Lessons from Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland - IMDB

So as part of my TV bingeing ritual (it’s become sort of my thing on the weekends and I love it!), I came across the beautiful Alice in Wonderland. Now, you must understand that Alice is my FAVORITE! Well, the Disney version at least. I haven’t read the books, but I’ll get to it. Promise.

If this is the first time you’re reading my blog I feel it’s only fair to let you in on a little secret: movies, songs, games, etc. Pop-culture in general has a funny way of taking me to deep places and teaching me lessons I just don’t get any other way. Alice, of course, could not be the exception, I just got into the movie like never before and it talked into some ares of my life I just knew I needed to share.

Time to dig in!

When the white rabbit and pretty much half of the posse take Alice to absolem (the caterpillar) to find out if she’s the right Alice, they get quite a surprise. The caterpillar tells Alice she’s the wrong Alice, because in order to be the right Alice she needed to change her mindset. She needed to believe in herself, that she would be able to complete the task, to believe in the world she was in and that it deserved saving. How many times have we been the wrong us? How many times have we put in a situation we just want to get out of so bad? Often! don’t lie, much more often than we’d like. But not wanting to be there doesn’t make it go away, if you’re in that situation you need to believe in yourself and what is already inside of you, which is all you need to get out of the situation a victor, not a victim. You need to remember what makes you so absolutely precious and really that it’s all you need. There’s nothing you need that you may lack, but in case you do, trust that in your daily walk you’ll learn it, receive it, realize it, grow it.

When she finally meets with the mad hatter, one of the things he said that really got to her was when he said she had lost her “muchness”. Have you ever had someone from the past come back into your life and asked you “what happened to you? you’re not the same.” How did it feel? I’m sure thoughts like “how have i changed?” or “what do you mean?” came to your mind. I’m sure it bugged you in some way and it may have made you wondered what they meant, without the courage to actually say it. Sometimes the most annoying and upsetting words are the words that ring the true. But they’ll be the ones to hit the chord necessary to make you move. Had it not been for the mad hatter uttering those words, Alice just wouldn’t be Alice, or at least the movie. At times people making you uncomfortable is EXACTLY what you need to get on track and end up in an even BETTER place! At times we lose our way, or choose a simpler way, one that isn’t really meant for me. And thank God for those people who say the worst, because they force us to stop and as our GPS would say, re-route.

the white rabbit
the white rabbit – IMDB

Frabjous day, sometimes people believe in you more than you believe in yourself. Many times you won’t see what really inside of you, but those around you will. They’re guides, lights, oppositions, bumps on the road that will question you and doubt you or maybe believe the greatest in you. Regardless, they’re all there to help you along the way to get you to where you need to be.

Stop hoping is a dream or a nightmare, realize that it’s your life and you can come out triumphant in the end, if you just keep moving.

The mad hatter: at times someone crazy will enter your life. Truly crazy, but mad hatter - imdbso worth having. Let the silliness come into your life, the belly-aching laughter, the interrupting joy. Let others believe in yourself and allow your logic to be tested. At times, the most brilliant moments and the clearest epiphanies will come from the mad hatters and the tea times of your life.

Alice only believed when she realized it was a reality since childhood: Alice had lost herself in pain, regret, in logic. Remember your child self. Respect them, love him or her, embrace them, wall with them, and keep them as upfront in your heart and mind as possible, always allowing them to exist and celebrating them and they should be. Your greatest self is your child self. Why? They believe without limits, love without care, give you honesty even when you prefer they wouldn’t. They’re your bravest, most confident, most caring, most heroic self.

 

And if you don’t believe my overall obsession with Alice, I’ll leave you what I believe to be one of the most clever trailers, released on the same day as Daylight Saving:

 

And if that wasn’t enough, here’s the official trailer. You bet I’ll be watching this movie when it comes out!

Morgan Freeman embarked on a journey as The Story of God premiered on NatGeo

storyofgod.nationalgeographic.com

The Story of God with Morgan Freeman premiered last Sunday on National Geographic, and is set to air all 5 episodes in Spanish on Nat Geo Mundo, and  globally on National Geographic Channels in 171 countries, and translated or dubbed to  45 languages.

As the executive producer, Morgan Freeman doesn’t narrate someone else’s story, but he takes a journey every viewer gets to witness. As he asks very profound questions, he travels to the epicenters of each religion, belief, or school of thought, and learns from experts, priests, archaeologists, rabbis, and other religious authorities what their religion’s take on the question is.

Take for example last Sunday’s question, what happens after we die? He explores resurrection in the Christian faith and from the Jewish perspective, reincarnation from the Hindu, and even explores science and its takes on how to cheat death.

What’s interesting isn’t just the journey he’s on, which is quite amazing. To break the limitations on one faith and go around to find each religion’s view on the question makes the journey personable, it makes it vulnerable, even real. We’ve all asked those questions and for many of us one answer has sufficed. For others the question is more important than the faith itself, so the quest for the answer becomes almost like a personal religion. Here you have none. It is an almost child-like curiosity to find common ground and open up to conversation about these questions between people of all walks of life.

Also Read: “Killing Jesus” movie airs on National Geographic

I’m also impacted by the scenery, the places he visits. These are very important historical places. They are of great significance, way beyond their religious implications. I for one know that many of them are on my bucket list of places to visit. Others I didn’t even know existed! I mean the history lessons! I’m about to bust out with a notebook and pen, and just take notes. Don’t be surprised if you feel the same!

Here’s the thing, as a Christian I realize that as open-minded as I believe to be, there’s still so much to learn. We cannot be afraid of what’s outside of our bubble. In the end is not what you’re exposed to but what you allow to have an effect on you that really matters. This show isn’t going to change my faith. My faith comes from what God has done for me! PERSONALLY. There’s no point in believing in any god if that god cannot personally impact your life, for good. If he cannot change you, he’s of no value, to me.

Related: 20 Questions with Morgan Freeman | The Story of God

I’m fascinated by these shows because of all the information I get to consume. I’d rather be watching this than all the different Real Housewives (which I’m addicted to, pray for me), and all the other reality TV shows out there (except my pastors Rich Wilkerson Jr. and Dawn Cheré, Rich in Faith on Oxygen, that I’ll keep watching over and over). But they don’t get to change my faith nor make me question my God. He’s real to me today and every day, because of what happens when I have a relationship with Him.

So don’t be afraid. Watch it and educate yourself on what others believe. I think there’s something so loving about going the extra mile to understand others in order to have intelligent and gentle conversations. If we cared about what the other believes, maybe we could have a real positive impact in this world. We know we need it and BAD.

This is a 5-episode series, each centered on specific themes: Afterlife, End of Days, Creation, Who is God?, Evil, and Miracles. These are the questions Morgan Freeman travels with and tries to find the answer to in different beliefs.

The Story of God with Morgan Freeman is produced by Revelations Entertainment for National Geographic Channel. For Revelations Entertainment, Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary and James Younger are executive producers.

 

Finding Strength in the Power of Worship

In the process of healing my mind, my heart, my everything, I’ve found the power of worship. When I’ve had episodes of terrible anxiety (like tonight) and have turned to worship, I’ve found healing. Spiritual healing alone may not be enough, therapy without divine intervention is worthless… But when the divine and the God-designed meet, there are unbelievable breakthroughs. To worship God while your chest is compressed, your stomach is shut, your head pounds and you start speaking His truth, declaring His word, and start speaking to the body to align with His word, something miraculous happens. My body was shocked by therapy as false truths were unearthed, but it was with worship that my body aligned with God’s truth that only He brings peace. If God is calling you to it, seek help for what ails your body, your mind, your soul. Ask for help and uproot all that the devil has planted deep in your subconscious, and worship Him as He performs surgery on your mind. Talk about a dynamite combination. Want a different life? Then you need to do things differently to obtain the results you know you need. Listen to Nike, just do it.Finding strength in the power of worship

A Simple Game of Trivia Crack

So the other day I started a game and doubted myself to know the answer, only to choose the wrong one and the right one was my original option.

Then it happened a second time.

By the third time, I decided to not question myself and ended up getting 4 of the 6 crowns in one turn. I landed everywhere and only lost when I decided to answer too quickly and didn’t really analyze the question. 

I thought to myself “how silly… Doubting yourself only caused you to fail… Stop second-guessing yourself!. It actually took me longer to say that to myself, than it did to win the game.

Now trivia crack is nothing but a game, so nothing happens except for a little ego bruising and the death of my battery. But how many of us treat life the same? How often do we second-guess ourselves in every aspect of our lives? For YEARS, and I mean YEARS I disnt trust myself to make good decisions. It was so bad that i became completely dependent on what others said about me. My mistakes had created in me an inability to trust anything and everything in me.

It affected my relationship with God, family and everyone around me. And it helped no one, not even me. I wanted to break free so bad but I knew it would cause rupture and I would lost a lot of people I cared about, and possibly all. 

Who do you think is benefiting from doubting yourself?

No one! Not even you! If anything you’re only hurting yourself. Depending on others is telling yourself “you are not to be trusted, you can’t make good decisions, is best to leave your future in the hands of others because you’ve resulted to be unreliable”. How dare you think and speak to yourself like that! And that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re silencing the voice of God inside of you be trusting the humanity of those around you.

I get it. Your past mistakes, heartaches, disappointments have gotten you there. Been there, done that, planted the flag, got the Tshirt and bought souvenirs on the way back. But you don’t have to.

Depending on others and not trusting yourself is not trusting you, nor trusting God, and it’s not fair to either of you. But you can change that.

 It has taken me so long to get here, but I’m finally in a different head space. Im walking this season alone, not because I don’t have friends I love and care about, not because I’ve decided to part ways with God or my home church. I’m walking alone because it’s time I tell myself “you’re smart, you have God’s wisdom in you, you are loved and saved and creates for greatness. You’re going to mess up and make mistakes and your heart might be broken again. But you have a Dad who loves you beyond all of that, and you can learn to love yourself like that. You can learn to love your mistakes and your flaws and all that makes you YOUnique. This time you won’t fight for others, this time you’re fighting for yourself.”

Fight to love yourself, regain control of your life because only then will you be able to give that control to God. You cannot give what you don’t have. If you’re seeking the approval of others, if you trust their decision-making as opposed to yours, if you’re constantly waiting for others to rescue you, you don’t have control of your life and neither does God. He never intended for you to depend on others to speak into your life. 

He can do it all for you, you only need to trust that He’s working IN, WITH, FOR, and BECAUSE of YOU. 

Her Faith

My grandma’s faith confronts mine. She doesn’t have this big ambition towards God. She doesn’t believe in Him hoping to get something great out of Him of their relationship. She finds rest in praying her rosary, believing He listens and somehow that’s enough to soothe all her pain. </p> <p>She’s not trying to preach to the world, save thousands for Him, she just hopes to pray another “Our Father”. She’s not out looking for anointing, or platform, or conversion. She just believes, she has enough mind to ask Him to take away the leg pain that torments her without questioning Him if the pain never goes away. She’s not doubtful, she’s not confronting Him, not scared, just a faithful believer of a God she may not completely understand but fully follows. How lovely, such uninterested, unaltered, unfailing love.

That’s who my grandmother was. What a lesson that is. In a world un satisfied with that is given, asking for more constantly and desiring all it feels it deserves, she was happy with her portion. She belived for more and better, but that didn’t stop her from appreciating what she had at the moment.

“Killing Jesus” movie airs on National Geographic

We know Jesus was hated and not liked by some, worshipped and followed by others. But do we really know the thoughts inside the minds of the men responsible for his life ending on a cross?

These and more are some of the questions that the film adaptation of “Killing Jesus” attempts to answer.

The series will air tonight on National Geographic at 8/7c and is the third of the “Killing” book series written by Bill O’Rilley and Martin Dugand. The earlier books in the series are “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln”.

Jesus with his disciples / National Geographic
Jesus with his disciples / National Geographic

 

Christopher Menaul wanted to direct the movie in such a way that it would appeal believers and non believers. And it did, in more ways than one.

The idea behind the book and film are to present the environment politically and socially around and during the time of Jesus. Today there are more than 2.2 billion Christians around the world, but what did it look like when He was walking here on Earth and who felt threatened by his presence?

Now for those Christians who have experienced an Easter or two within a Christian church, this may seem repetitive. But even in the movie “Passion of the Christ”, the environment outside of Jesus’ circle wasn’t widely presented.

The movie captures the ideology and beliefs of the high priests and governors, and of the people around Jesus, including family. It’s surprising to see a more in-depth look into people who to us Christians don’t seem as important, but were key in his life and death.

Caiaphas
Caiaphas with the temple guards

Unfortunately the biblical counts are weak and sometimes even wrong, according to what we’re used to seeing and hearing, and honestly what we’ve made up in our minds happened during the time of our Savior. But there’s something to be said about the humanity of Jesus, who walked wanting to spread a simple message of love and had to adapt as people responded to his journey and his message.

Haaz Sleiman, the actor playing Jesus, is actually muslim and may be the first Middle Eastern to portray Jesus, which makes for an interesting twist but also win, since so much criticism arises with each actor that portrays Jesus in different movies and series.

“I was familiar with Jesus’ story from a very young age. It’s probably the most famous story of all time, one that touched me and inspired me as a child,” said the actor when asked how he prepared for the role.

The movie was produced by Mark Huffman and Aidan Elliot, and includes names like Kelsey Grammer, John Rhys-Davies and Eion Macken as part of the cast.

Grammer, a Christian, speaks of his faith and the more spiritual experience of the film:

“It sure does require a lot of faith. I’m a Christian. I think Jesus is the most remarkable human being that’s ever lived. I love the saying in the Bible, “He was made a little less than the angels, to become so much more.” The lessons he taught and the examples he gave resonate to this day. I’ve seen half of the producers on this set start to cry — when they talk about how “we’re going to shoot this scene today or that scene,” and then they well up a little bit. It’s a remarkable thing and I think that’s a great service to what is good about religion.”

This is a movie that MUST be watched. Whether you’re Christian or not, whether you agree with the movie completely or find the missing pieces, it’ll definitely open up your mind o a new perspective, it’ll place Jesus’ story in a culture, society, and political environment that many haven’t cared to see but should thoroughly comprehend.

If it doesn’t do any of the above, it’ll at least show you what others are learning, seeing, and maybe believing.

Tune in, watch, enjoy, and learn.