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Tag Archives: Rocky the movie

With All Your Heart

Within every culture, there are clichés that exist.  As a former high school athlete and coach, playing with all your heart was often stressed.   Perhaps, this saying comes from a fictional character, Rocky Balboa, an overweight, out of shape boxer who is given a once in a life time chance of facing the heavy weight champion on Independence Day.  What Rocky, played by Sylvester Stallone, lacked in raw talent was compensated by a heart that refused to quit.  I guess you can say this is Hollywood’s depiction of with all your heart.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7.

I recently watch a documentary on director Stanley Kubrick.  Entitled Filmworker, Leon Vitali spent decades serving as Kubrick’s punching bag, absorbing and learning from the criticism dished out by Stanley.  According to this film, during production Kubrick worked 18-20 hours daily, rarely sleeping.  As a perfectionist, tiny little details that few directors consider kept Kubrick on edge.  The more I watched, I began to understand what it means to do something with all your heart.  While Stanley Kubrick was difficult to work for and with, his request to his production crew and cast remained the same, give everything you have and more.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” Matthew 22:37.

Jesus asked first century followers for the same commitment level.  To meet, reach and surpass this standard takes passion.  When you feel like you have been born to do something, excitement comes naturally.  However, as human nature pulls your attention into other direction, focusing on a task is extremely difficult.  Perhaps, this inspired the apostle Paul to write “I beat my body and make it my slave,” 1 Corinthians 9:26.  When human hearts grow cold, lose interest or become comfortably numb, maintaining spiritual disciplines in your daily is crucial.  For those who are able to weather the storms in life, you may reach a point when you can honestly say, I have given all of my heart.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Finding Solace in Sorrow

Although inconsistent at times, I’ve tried to be a positive person in my spheres of influence, set on changing the mindsets of defeated souls.  In high school, one of my ministries was seeking out the depressed and down to bring a glimpse of happiness, laughter and joy to their sad faces.  However, now I find the shoe on the other foot as sorrow has moved in, keeping me company during the entire month of February.

Like a prized heavy weight slug fest from the Rocky series, my body has become a punching bag for Apollo Creed, scrambling for the ropes to hang on.  Repeated blows to the heart have erased any remnants of confidence, making room for sorrow to feel at home.  Since I lost control of my health weeks ago, I am finding solace in this helpless condition.  Stripping away my impurities, desolation has forced me to seek a higher power to be rescued from disappointment.

Sorrow has lead me into the furnace, testing my faith beyond what I expected, 1 Peter 1:6-7.  Stretching me like Plastic Man, I have a new appreciation for misfortune, viewing it as an opportunity to display a heavenly perspective, James 1:2-4.  After this hurricane, I will be a better man, able to see the sun on the other side of the storm.  With no easy way out, I am content to find solace in sorrow until the Lord calls me home.

by Jay Mankus

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