Fences and Grace #2

In this second part of the blog, I’d like to explore the other line in the film that stood out for me in terms of grace and the gospel.

Rose: I been standing with you! I been right here with you, Troy. I got a life too. I gave eighteen years of my life to stand in the same spot with you.

This conversation takes place after Troy confesses to Rose that he had an affair with another woman and that he is going to be a daddy, again! Troy is 53 years old. He is an old man. Rose has been his faithful companion. Rose cannot believe what she just heard. She is bamboozled and then begins to lay out her case because she just cannot believe what Troy said to her.

At the basement, Cory has been listening to the conversation the whole time. When his father grabs his mum’s hand, Cory in a fit of rage comes out and tackles him. Cory then throws a punch that hits and knocks him down. Troy and Cory are both stunned by what just happened.

Troy gets on his feet and guns for Cory, but Rose stops him.

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Fences and Grace #1

 

Recently, I watched the film Fences by August Wilson based on his Pulitzer prize-winning play. The film features the two most gifted and talented actors of their generation – Denzel Washington and Viola Davis amongst other cast of stellar actors. 

 

The film is set in 1950’s Pittsburgh and it’s about Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington), his wife Rose (Viola Davis) and their son Cory (Jovan Adepo). Troy has a mentally impaired younger brother Gabriel Maxson (Mykelti Williamson) and an estranged son Lyons Maxson (Russell Hornsby) from a previous relationship.

Troy works as a garbage collector alongside his best friend Jim Bono (Stephen Henderson) whom he met in prison.

Troy’s younger brother is mentally impaired because of a head injury he sustained while serving in World War 2. Troy used the money Gabriel was paid from the army and bought the house they live in. Troy bought the house so that Gabriel could live with them but Gabriel moved out and is always in the neighborhood causing trouble because of his strange behavior.

Troy left his abusive father when he was young and became a robber. He ended up serving time for fifteen years because he stabbed a man to death he was trying to rob.

In prison, Troy learnt how to play baseball. However, his desire to play professional baseball was thwarted and blamed it on the racism that was very prevalent during his time. He claims that he wasn’t picked to play professional baseball because he was black. Bono his loyal friend thought he was way ahead of his time – came too early. Rose, on the other hand thought the reason why Troy did not cut it was he was too old. He was past the age of playing professional baseball.

His son Cory is a gifted young man who wants to play college football. But Troy insists that he wouldn’t allow him to play any sports because he fears that his son would encounter the same racism that kept him out of the big leagues. He wants his son to learn a trade and look for a job. In the film, you can sense some jealousy because Troy is scared that his son might do better than him.

Rose however is keen that their son embraces sport and makes something out of it. Eventually, Troy scuppers his move to see a recruiter who was due to visit and offer him a place in the college football team. Rose sees in her son that everything he does is to get approval from his father. Yet, his father keeps on pushing him away because of his own insecurities.

The film is very thought-provoking, heart wrenching, tear jerking and inspiring. As you watch the film, your own life might flash before your very eyes. You’d see your life through the various themes that run throughout the film. I cried both times I watched it. 

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Top secrets to landing a job with the grace company – How to prep your CV

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I’ve always been fascinated by leadership and especially how leaders recruit their workers or employees. The recruiting process in companies, organizations, religious organizations, learning institutions, goverments etc. is one that I’ve studied for a long time. It is amazing to see the different approaches used to recruit and retain workers and employees. Some approaches are very rigorous because they seek to always to get the crème de la crème of the work force. 

Here’s a short breakdown of what top companies do during their recruiting process.

  1. Make calls to assess interest and team fit.
  2. Skype, FaceTime or video calls with a recruiter – this usually takes three to four weeks
  3. On site interviews at the HQ or site offices – takes 6 to 8 hours. At this point you get to meet with the people you’d be working with for a culture fit assessment (would you be able to fit into the company’s culture?)
  4. Week or so later you get your results.

This whole process takes time (up to 4 months or more) and a lot of money.

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Why your hair matters to God – Why you are more valuable to God

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Every morning for the past 6 years I have been at the front seat of my wife’s hair-do. I mean literally. Jenny has this particular routine that she has perfected throughout her entire life that she goes through every single morning. Here it is – wakes up – has cereal for breakfast and reads — takes supplements — goes to the toilet (reads while in there) — showers — blow dries her hair  — does her make-up — done. All these take around two hours. Yes, two hours folks. I don’t know how she does it. 

I want to zero in on the part where she blow dries her hair. If I’m lying in bed or downstairs, I usually know that its time for the hair-do because of the sound the hair dryer makes. I’ve actually developed a snarky comment that I make – that the factory is now open for business because of the sound the hair dryer makes. 

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Are you normal, common, ordinary, or just plain simple? Here’s why grace is for people like you and I

 

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Most of my life I’ve been bombarded with the idea that God uses people with specialized skills, experiences, gifting’s, talents, titles, etc. The religious landscape is permeated with many super gifted people and every imaginable title. It almost seems like religion is for the super gifted with normal ordinary people being spectators. Books and sermons with titles such as ten keys to an exceptional life, ten steps to living your dream, ten ways to financial freedom, etc, have become trigger points for the search to live out the purpose driven life as one noted author writes which only the super gifted can achieve. 

Within the Charismatic Movement (a movement within the church) we have a saying that goes like this: when the “natural” meets the “super”, the natural becomes supernatural. When the “ordinary” meets “extra”, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The result of this teaching is this – we chase after the “super” or “extra” so that we can become extraordinary or supernatural. The chase is usually after the anointing, the miraculous, the supernatural, the glory, the shekinah, the mystical, etc. The emphasis shifts from just being common and ordinary. After all who wants to be ordinary? Duh…

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Brought to the end of ourselves – the gift that marriage has given us

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Our wedding day – September 2, 2011

So, Jenny and I are celebrating our 6th year in marriage. To the one’s that have been married recently that’s like, “Wow that’s amazing guys.” To the ones that have been in this game for long they are like, “Mschew, nothing to see here.” hahahahahaha

On September 2, 2011, we made our vows before God and in front of our families and friends. It was a joyous occasion. I cried and snorted like a baby. The day was a blur to me though. I cannot remember most of the details. The only thing I do remember is that the next day we drove around Johannesburg looking for a doctor because I had mild pneumonia. That’s how we started our honeymoon.

Here we are 6 years later. As we celebrate our 6th anniversary we decided to write a short post about our journey. It’s something we plan to do every year. This is the first of many posts to come about our marriage and how the gospel of grace has worked its way in and through our lives.

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This is war!

 

2 Samuel 3:1 NKJV

Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

Right off the gate, Saul and David are both from the same house of Israel. What does Israel represent? The Israel in the wilderness and in Canaan is the NATION under the Old Covenant of law. The Israel of God is the CHURCH under the New Covenant of grace (Galatians 6:16)

Secondly, Saul and David represent two different set or type of believers. Saul is a believer that depends or rests on his own self-effort, performance, strength and obedience. Saul really conducted his life on his self-effort, his performance, and his doing. He did what he wanted to do. He obeyed when he felt it was right. He lived to please people. He did it his way.

David on the other hand believed in chesed. He was totally reliant on the chesed of the Lordchesed is the Hebrew word for grace or the commonly used word lovingkindness . His psalms are full of chesed – his reliance and dependence on chesed for everything.

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