Hitting the Mark #6 Viligance, not Shame

Curious about this article’s title? Good. Where am I going with it? Glad you asked (or didn’t, I’ll tell you anyway). I have the unfortunate problem of, when it comes to porn and any related material coming into view, getting the need to be vigilant confused with the the strong feeling of condemnation. I am choosing these very strong words because each represents something important that needs to be addressed if you or someone you love struggles with lust. I’ll break it down.

Guilt and shame are all too common in my life, especially with this particular issue. I tend to dwell on anything negative, which also means I don’t move on and the feelings consume me. But, gentlemen, hear this: we are not meant to live this way! We are not meant to live in shame and guilt and to feel condemned when we aren’t! It is hard to accept, yes. It is very hard for me to accept that I am not condemned or marked by shame when my eyes and mind wander where they shouldn’t. Men are also often made to feel these emotions when their struggle is found out which is truly shameful, because that will not help solve the problem where stern but gentle accountability and love will do so.

How can we separate guilt and shame from appropriate vigilance? First, one must remember when or if possible that we MUST be vigilant, as the temptation for this sin is everywhere as I discussed in a previous post. Vigilance makes one’s heart, mind and eyes aware of the danger around them, and when appropriately applied, can be the difference between resisting or falling to temptation. A lot of the time, it will seem very hard to separate the two or to even exercise vigilance, especially if you’re feeling weak or even run down. Furthermore, seek help! I cannot stress this enough, look for places and people who can help you in those weak moments and give an encouraging word or offer prayer.

All in all, shame and vigilance often seem to go hand in hand, but they aren’t meant to, at least not to the extent that I have allowed it to. Yes, be vigilant and guard yourself, but don’t be so discouraged by a slip-up or relapse and allow the shame and guilt to overpower you. It is phenomenally difficult, yes, but not impossible to be vigilant and not let shame be a non-product or replace the former altogether. Men, I say again, keep your shields and swords raised and know you aren’t alone, for you have brothers (and sisters) who fight this battle everyday, and don’t let shame devalue you or dent that shield which would leave you vulnerable. Fight on!

A Movie Review By Cole Thrush: The Lion King, 2019

Disney’s The Lion King was my childhood ever since it was first released in 1994, and this year’s remake is a near-perfect tribute in just about every way. I said to Mom and McKenna, “This hits me in the childhood”, and it couldn’t be more true.

The CGI animals combined with the breathtaking live-action shots of the African savannah (some locations were CGI for sure) alone were stunning to see, especially in the opening sequence which perfectly mirrored the cartoon, frame by frame. I was almost moved to tears, seeing my favorite childhood movie brought to life. The dialogue and the music were also taken right from the original, which I, personally, really appreciated. This adaptation was, in a word, faithful.

We heard some negative reviews before going to see this but after seeing it, I declare that those reviews are, in a word, wrong! I could find little to no fault with it, neither with the casting nor with the characters’ roles, such as Nala being given an apparently-stronger role compared to Simba. Personally, it didn’t seem that way to me, AND, in the wild, the females in a pride actually do more of the work such as hunting and cub-rearing. Also, you can’t go wrong with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa!

I must also point out that the animals themselves do match the look of the cartoon but that is because this is a live-action remake, and as such, the animals are made to look as real as possible. The color in the lions’ manes and of Timon and Pumba are not red, but naturally-colored. This I also actually liked about the movie and the characters.

All in all, this year’s remake of The Lion King is a remarkably stunning and faithful adaptation of the 1994 original cartoon film. The locations were breathtaking, real and CGI, the story was spot on, perhaps improved in some ways, and the voice casting, contrary to numerous reviews, fit the characters very well in my opinion. My advice? Go see for yourself. You be the judge. Yet I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. Hakuna Matata!

A Movie Review by Cole: Toy Story 4 (Spoiler-Free)

Over the last weekend, McKenna and I went to see the latest and last in the Toy Story franchise at our local theater, and what I will say is, Pixar has done it yet again! As this is a spoiler-free review, major plot details will not be shared here, just what is needed to express my love for this movie and why you should see it.

Toy Story came out when McKenna and I were both around 2 years old, in 1995. Feel old yet? I do! Again, Toy Story 4 is the final ending of the adventures of Andy’s toys, and it tugged at my heartstrings very strongly. From the trailer we know that Woody and Bo Peep are reunited, and seeing their relationship rekindled and evolve throughout the movie as well as the journey of the other toys like Buzz Lightyear et al, was a highlight. Also, the introduction of Forky, Bonnie’s newest toy, played a huge part in the overall plot and further emphasizes Woody’s heart for helping other toys and their kids. It has sizeable (no pun intended) action, the story itself is well-orchestrated and there is, of course, plenty of humor, much of which meant for the parents. Also, the parents and their kids enjoyed it equally but on different levels. Parents & younger adults grew up with the previous movies so there is a strong sense if nostalgia, and the kids enjoyed it for the action and fun that the characters had, regardless of whether they saw the others or not.

Honestly, I could find little to no fault with this movie. Ever since the first Toy Story, they have delivered time and time again, and this one may be their greatest to date. It is an emotional and satisfying conclusion to the journey of these characters that we have known for 24 years. I was an emotional wreck for the second half of the film, so that should be a good indicator. I give this one a 5 out of 5 no problem, absolutely recommend for parents and kids, single adults and elder millennial couples like McKenna and I. Go see it, alone or with kids, you will not be disappointed.

We are Knights in Battered Armour

Our internal battles can at times feel just as difficult as those fought by the knights on the battlefield and just like the knights of old… with battered armour we continue on.
royalty free music: https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/6OKhKVNYHZColes: latest video: The Miracle of Music: https://www.facebook.com/ournotsotypicallife/videos/619718205182054/