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This is from the journal’s owner, Mary, to all her friends who will write over the next 30 years.

1821-1850

1st
Gladly I’d twine a wreath for thee
From friendships fair unfading tree
And bid it bloom unceasingly

To slain thy hours of loneliness


2nd
but where shall this rare plant be found.
does it eve grow, on the earthly ground
or only grace some heavenly mound


amid those lovers of happiness

3rd
It sometimes blooms neath suns bright skies
But when misfortune blasts arise
Quickly the sunshine friendship dies
and leaves but dull formality

4
Some bird of origin divine
I’ll seek to form this wreath of thine
plucked from the withering bond of time
to bloom for thee eternally

5th
nor i alone this wreath will twine
but all thy friends who trace a line

in this nespitle (?) of thine
shall form this wreath for thee

6th
this album then a wreath for thee
and every name a flower shall be
a pure bright gem of constancy
sacred to love and memory

Mary E. Harlow

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Hello, hope you are well!

If you could get this message out as many people as you feel comfortable forwarding to, that would be greatly appreciated. It has to be done soon though.

Praise the lord that God has freed us and chosen us to bring forth his word and love through his son Jesus Christ.

In January I made a video for an authors book release. It was a competition between six filmmakers and their interpretation of a single page from the authors book.

When I was picked I saw this opportunity to continue in the path the Lord has set before me to become move involved with the world of filmmaking.  Though this competition does have a prize, I see this as an opportunity to push faith based films in a creative way to inspire faith and encourage conversation about Jesus. The book is called Dug Down Deep by Josh Harris and the intention for my film was to do just that, cause you to search for the meaning and to not only not give you answer but leave you in question.

The winner is chosen by how many comments the video has.  Please go to http://www.joshharris.com/2010/01/film_6_stephen_mcgee.php#comments

and leave a comment under my video if it moves you. Thank you.

The movie is about one Christian who sees that his church is focused more on going through the motions of religion. I chose a Ukrainian actor to play the lead and an Ukrainian man to be the voice. Read why in the blog post below.

Harris testifies in his book that until recently his life was built on sand even though he read and believed the word of god. A Sand based foundation was a theme throughout the film. I had the narrator whisper some key lines in the script to emphasize how God speaks to us; in whispers. Like Elijah and God’s still quiet voice at the mouth of the cave I wanted the audience to lean in and truly listen to what was being said. There are elements throughout this film that mirror what Harris wrote about Doctrine and Theology as well as instances in my life where God was revealed to me.

I love the shadow scene in the dark church.  I chose this sequence to represent a few different things. Maybe I’ll write more about that later.

Harris also wrote “I kissed dating goodbye”.  In one section in this, his most recent book, “dug down deep”, he talks about meeting the holy spirit in what he called ‘the bubble church’. The bubble church he thought was great but focused too much on performance based faith.  I represented the bubble church as a ballerina with bubbles.

So often Christians name themselves specific parts of the body of christ, giving themselves opportunity not to serve in other ways than their “role”. As The pastor is preaching from blueprints representing many Christians today who have ministry goals based on what works in other parts of the world and in other churches the congregation goes through what looks like a workout routine.

The main character sees one group who are focused only on prayer, the next group on action and a third, the ballerina, on performance based faith. His search for truth brings him to the front of the church where he sees the ballerina. Beliving he needs also to take off his shoes to do the right dance to meet the holy spirit and become like her faith he takes off his shoes and sees that he had been walking on sand the entire time.  The main character walls over and takes the sword out of the sand and walks it out of the church which stops everyone.

The main actor is a Ukrainian and so is the voice. Because of this film both got to see the love of chirst and were ministered to.

If you could send it to everyone you know and have them do the same if they are moved that would be great. Comment on the video to cast your vote.

May God reveal himself to you and create in you a clean heart built on the solid foundation of his son Jesus.

Thanks.
Stephen

Sorry for the typos, my computer died so I typed this on my phone.

I just came across Hebrews 5:8-9. This just leveled me.

Although Jesus was a  son (God’s), he learned obedience from he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

I run from the suffering I don’t want. I run from it trying everything I can to fix it or just not deal with it. I even curse my suffering in my mind, indirectly in my words and creatively in my works.

God however, even taught his own physical son through the suffering in his life. What did he teach Jesus? Obedience. The ability of discernment and recognition of God’s voice. I want that but show mercy on me lord. Through that suffering which Jesus did endure and ultimately died from, Jesus was made perfect.

So in my suffering, should I long for something else I can compare myself to or run? No. I should consider every trial in the will of God from which he allowed and from which he will deliver me if it glorifies him. Each trial can teach me to be more like Christ. How stubborn I am when faced with the work of the perfection my spirit desires to become.

It is hard to understand but a continental shift in faith is occurring in my life. The form of it can not be presented in well crafted words or works and revolves around the same words I have been reading in my life for as long as I have been able to read. The shift isn’t measured in locational standards or by distance of thought but by a centering of existence in and around Jesus.

When the early church was teaching about Jesus, I have just read/researched, they taught about what Jesus did more than his teaching. What he did for us by dieing on the cross.
Using the common sunday school model of a wheel spoke; the center hub being Jesus and the spokes being various parts of life, I now see that instead of being with jesus in the center, my life is lived accordingly hanging on along the outside wheel. When opportunity approached, aka a spoke, for example a film, I, with the film am outside of Jesus, looking at Jesus, looking at where Jesus is, from me and the film’s perspective. I can not say that I have changed until Jesus reveals to me that he has changed me.

Jesus Centered faith is walking with Jesus, next to Jesus, focusing on what God has done for us and not what we are doing for God. I prayed a few weeks ago that I would stop hiding Jesus in God, stop hiding my faith in Jesus by just telling those I was ministering about God in my life without mentioning Jesus.

A lifetime of recalling what one person did for God will never equal a lifetime pointing to the one thing Jesus did for us.

If you support a missionary please don’t gauge whether or not to give to them or to continue giving to them by the number of people that have been saved because of their ministry.

Pray for this man who just emailed me and know the He who began a good works in you will complete those works. Meaning God is moving in your ministry while you believe it or not.

…I just visited your site and I am touched by your love and faith for Christ.  Recently and over a period of several years, my family and I have gone through some pretty amazing trials, two of our children had serious problems with depression and drugs, we had to have our teenage son locked up for 18 months, my wife had cancer, I had to close my business of over 20 years, and we lost our home.  All I can say is that it has only been through my faith in Christ and my surrendering continually to Him that He has sustained my family and myself, and has kept me sane as I nearly lost that too.

In 1992, while I was taking a shower I had a powerful vision of ‘who’ Jesus is that forever changed my relationship and walk with him…..

My Response

…. Nothing I have is my own. Praise the lord for your faith and testimony. Thank you for your email. If the crediting of my video leads people to the lord then place it on the site. Your email came at a great time in my life as the lord is moving and you are witness to that. You have felt great pain as life unfolded un-according to your plans. Job lost it all and praised god but that isn’t to say how strong job was but how strong god is. Later as you know job received twice as much or even more. Although you might not receive your reward for your faith in this life you will receive it in heaven. We soon shall join him at the throne. The devil has no power though there is darkness in my skin. The grace of god has freed us from the law of sin and the mosaic law through Jesus. The lord does not work in our understanding of time and saves our spirit for his kingdom while we are here. I don’t understand heaven but I believe it is there. I would be humbled to the point of death if I glimpsed at what is to come (for us who love Jesus). In my struggles I have begun praising god for those struggles I’m in. Like serving and loving our enemies I have, under the lords strength, begun to do so when considering my trials. All things can be used for the greater good for those who love Jesus. (Romans 8:28) Surrender to him like you told me about and I will do the same, encouraged by your faith. I have not been through what you have. I consider you in a place where you, like Paul, can boast in what you’ve been through because you have the ability through gods strength to claim Christ as your victory. Rescue is coming. We have already won. Don’t try and make sense of it all like there is an equation to be figured out. Christ is moving and it will look different. Again thank you for your email. I’m not sure what site you visited, my blog? All I have written you I pray for the same in my life and the lives of all the saints. Stephen

You know each person searching after you. You know their steps because they are following in yours. Each person who is weary or downhearted, strengthen them. Step towards judgment, step towards peace. Insert title but see what a world can’t.

Two Masters? It is hard to narrow all that I serve to less than 9 so please Lord lessen me the 8 but with mercy and grace.

Alone I find you, my head toward heaven

looking towards others are the needs you prompt me to bare in burden.

If my voice may be heard across the world, will you carry it a message of yours alone.

With bank accounts more than empty caused by lavish hotel rooms and equal meals to suite any price range of suite, coffee twice a day and a San Francisco bay, travel expenses ate just as well for my three week shoot to China and now in this fall chill, -zero is forecasting the unpaid bill from not yet paid recent jobs will soon eat too. Recently home, I sit on the floor near my cat’s food box, empty, ripping up bread for her to eat, along with me. Neither of us have any money to buy the other anything of editable value so we feast like beggars on the streets of Paris, on a four course meal of the handout sourdough bread from Le’Gagnavalon. The granite rose, charcoal and tan stones that make up my kitchen’s floor help the Français de l’humeur.

I realized today that it could be likely that by chance I will never have a separation between social life and what others have called my passion. And that makes life a bit easier to navigate and I think that is so because instead of dividing which parts of existence go where and more importantly to some, when, everything seems to go together as it fits together. As it fits together, planned by the Hymn.

It is 530 am and simultaneously 5 videos in full 1440×1080 hd push a little blew bar of status as they upload fresh from the export chambers that rest in the depths of a late night fcp edit session. The videos will be seen by Congress week. Mr. Z.P, Genious Esquire was beside me, making my evening as a perfect assistant would, from 8 pm to 520 am helping any way he could. The original Pink Panther film played as the night went on.
5 Videos exported in two resolutions, color toned with audio fixed, all of that done today.
6am. Time for sleep, for just a little while.

Angelic chimes ping at seemingly random only narrate the joy of the completed movie files uploading to the internet.

A week of hard work can teach you that even a cat can get full on crumbs of simplicity and bread.