Delicious Morsels

This month has been about food, but today I want to encourage you to devour wise counsel and good instruction.

When we take in God’s words and feed on them as if they were delicate morsels of our favorite foods, we take in something of substance, something rich with benefits.

I love the delicious words of God. They feel good when I put them in my mouth.

If you’d like to read more on the subject, check out The Best Teacher.

Chris Tomlin's Tour

For the past few weeks, I’ve been celebrating in the car with my daughter every time the radio station played the reminders to get tickets to the Chris Tomlin concert I went to this past weekend. I just had to be there, especially since Israel Houghton would be on stage too.

I’ve taken my kids to a Chris Tomlin concert before. They enjoyed it last time, and they enjoyed it again this year. When we found our seats in the jam-packed arena and the music suggested that Israel and New Breed was about to begin their first song, I was ready to dance in the miniscule one-inch by one-inch space I was allotted. (A little exaggerated, I know.)

After they announced the intermission, my daughter and I went to get soft drinks and stood in a long line for a long time. A really long time. When the music started up again, I knew Chris Tomlin’s band was on stage. I wanted to head back to our seats so I wouldn’t miss anything, but my daughter had to have the drink. The first song was one I didn’t know. A part of me said I should be in there watching it being performed. I glanced at my daughter, but she would not be persuaded. We were next in line when the song was over.

I had missed the whole song.

Looking around on the way back to my seat, I saw strangers, grown men and even pre-teens with arms raised, worshipping in unity with their whole hearts. Such a beautiful sight. After a few songs, my daughter asked me to do that loud whistle that I do at concerts. I’d forgotten to make a lot of noise because I was so engulfed by the atmosphere of love, the worshipful singing, and the wonderful music.

It was the perfect concert. Crazy fun. Christy Nockels was on stage with Chris. A thrilling surprise for me. Talk about an evening with thousands of people loving God with one voice.

Chris Tomlin’s music is sung around the globe partly because he’s a great songwriter and partly because God loves to use those who give themselves fully to the service of their Almighty Father. I could hear the purity of the love of God in Chris’s voice as he spoke in between songs. His affection for God and for the body of Christ was evident. If you haven’t heard of him, go to his website and check out the rest of his tour dates and find time in your schedule for a concert you won’t forget.

Chris, thanks for playing your first song over again at the end of the concert. It rocked!

Suspicion, 1941

This movie captured my attention with its romance at first, and then with its amazing suspense.

I wanted to post my review of Suspicion after I ran my article about mushrooms because of the question: Which mushrooms are poisonous?

In this movie, there is a scene involving a glass of milk. Those who have seen this movie know exactly what I’m seeing in my mind. Cary Grant comes up the stairs with a glass of milk on a tray. For the effect to be truly and horrendously suspenseful, Alfred Hitchcock made them put a light in the glass of milk so it would glow during the long walk up the stairs.

Everyone watching that scene wonders: is it okay to drink the milk? Is it poisonous?

You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

Suspicion stars Cary Grant as Johnnie, a fun-loving gentleman whose eye is set on a young woman who is destined to be an old maid. Joan Fontaine’s character, Lina, accepts his affection cautiously at first, then agrees to marry him.

Watching the film, I found myself rooting for Johnnie and Lina to get together, and then worried that she’d stay with him. I fell for the movie’s entrancing twists.

Story events that seemed to come from nowhere led me further down the road I didn’t want to travel, the road farther and farther from a happy ending. But Lina worked through her conflicts with that one last shred of hope that what seemed to be the truth was only half the story.

I love to guess the endings of stories, but this one won me over by how difficult it was for me to make up my mind. The ending was satisfying and perfect for the story.

Alfred Hitchcock is a master at bringing out humor in the midst of a suspenseful film. Cary Grant superbly handles his character’s nuances. And Nigel Bruce plays a beautifully humorous Beaky.

I never catch the moment in the film where Alfred Hitchcock makes his cameo. Instead, the Special Features part of the DVD shows me where to look for him.

The novel that led to this movie was told from an interesting point of view. However, Hitchcock had to change the movie’s ending after he had already planned an ending that was similar to the book’s.

Joan Fontaine earned an Academy Award for her performance as Lina. She is the only actress to win an Oscar by acting in a Hitchcock-directed movie.

Joan Fontaine and her older sister Olivia de Havilland were the first pair of sisters to win Oscars and the first to be nominated for Academy Awards in the same year.

The Gift of a Good Meal

As a parent, I choose to limit my kids’ sugary desserts to one a day, if that many. I also let them have a couple of popsicles as a snack during the day to keep them hydrated. My goal is to teach them good nutrition habits so that when they get older and choose their own meals, they’ll have gotten used to eating right.

I don’t want my daughter to carry into adulthood the attitude that a day without ice cream is like a day without sunshine.

I also want to teach them that God is the giver of all good things. They see their parents providing their meals and praying over meals. However I want them to acknowledge that God was responsible for our household income so we could put a meal on the table.

On my devotional blog, Seek God With Me, I’ve written about how God gives us good gifts, everyday gifts that we take for granted all the time. Join me as we take a look at God’s Everyday Gifts.

North by Northwest, 1959

Happy Valentine's Day! If you're looking for a great movie for date night, check out this movie.

If you enjoyed my post on Cinnamon and my review of My Fair Lady, you'll enjoy my review of Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest. We found out that most people don't really know if they have cinnamon in their cinnamon box. We also read that Eliza Doolittle was being packaged as someone other than who she originally was.

This movie makes us ask the question, "Is she who he thinks she is?" We also wonder which identity Cary Grant will use next.

Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint pair off in this Alfred Hitchcock classic. One of the taglines for this movie is “It’s a deadly game of tag and Cary Grant is IT!”

Grant’s Roger Thornhill is mistaken for George Kaplan when he interrupts a bellboy paging Kaplan. Thugs take Thornhill to a mansion and then try to dispose of him. However, they were unaware that Thornhill was voted most likely to escape several attempts on his life.

With both the police and the villains looking for him, Thornhill finds help from a beautiful blonde. What a stroke of luck!

Eva Marie Saint’s Eve Kendall is smart and courageous. It kind of makes you wonder why she was caught up in this mess in the first place.

I had to chuckle at Cary Grant running the shower and whistling “Singing in the Rain”, which released seven years earlier so it was a good choice.

Grant and Saint heat up the screen often enough, but they’re gentlemanly about it. Unfortunately, today’s movies show a lot more than discreet intention.

Ernest Lehman’s action-packed screenplay was nominated for an Oscar. It was also nominated by the Writers Guild of America for Best Written American Comedy.

The death-defying sequences in Mount Rushmore’s most famous movie make this romantic thriller the movie to see on dark and stormy date nights.

My Fair Lady, 1964

Yesterday's post gave us another perspective of cinnamon. How do you know if you have cinnamon or cassia in front of you? Is cassia being packaged as cinnamon?

Today we look at a young lady whose teacher is passing her off as someone she's not. The scene at the races where she gets a little excited about a particular horse begs the question, "Is she a society lady or a flower vendor?"

People can change outwardly a lot faster than they can inwardly. But many real people in today's world have proven that inward transformations are possible and long-lasting, at least if you put a lot of effort into it. Eliza's story doesn't have a fairy godmother in it, and the change doesn't happen with a wave of a magic wand, but it is a type of a Cinderella story.

Eliza Doolittle is a lowly Cockney flower girl, but she’s a good girl, she is. Eliza is discovered by Professor Henry Higgins, an arrogant phonetics teacher who takes a bet that he can turn a mere flower girl into a woman with speech elegant enough that she’d be accepted at the Embassy Ball.

Played by Audrey Hepburn, Eliza works hard learning to use good manners, walk with grace, and speak well, as taught by Rex Harrison’s Professor Henry Higgins. Colonel Pickering, played by Wilfrid Hyde-White, is a gentleman intrigued by Professor Higgins. He’s intrigued enough to watch Higgins and the girl go through the speech-changing torment day after day. Gladys Cooper played Higgins’ mom, a woman who wouldn’t put up with her son’s attitude.

George Cukor won the Best Director award from the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. Among the eight Academy Awards won by this film was Rex Harrison’s statuette for Best Actor.

The cast enjoyed wearing the 1000+ designs of Cecil Beaton. From the furs and feathers on the opera patrons outside Covent Garden Opera where Higgins first found Eliza Doolittle to the black and white of those attending Ascot opening day, the wealth and finery to which Higgins has become accustomed and with which he has become bored colors the backdrop against which Eliza’s transformation takes place. The final test of her makeover, the Embassy Ball, also sparkles with elegance and is the perfect place for Eliza to shine.

The ending includes the one song Rex Harrison is found actually singing more than speaking the lyrics. After the song we see just how deeply Eliza’s transformation changes Higgins.

This is one of my favorite movies because of the costumes. But I also love how Eliza’s transformation doesn’t cool the fire in her personality.

Understanding Our Differences

Cooking is so much fun. I grew up asking to lick the spoon when my mom made brownies or chocolate cake. I still lick the spoon when the stirring is finished. However, my son doesn’t ask for the spoon. He doesn’t eat brownies or chocolate cake either.

We’re all different. My daughter likes chocolate, and my son likes plain sugar cookies. Sometimes I ask God for help in understanding my children. I like the fact that we’re not all the same, but I need patience when dealing with all the likes and dislikes at meal time.

Join me on my devotional blog, Seek God With Me, where we’ll take a look at understanding.

For Pete's Sake by Linda Windsor

Ellen Brittingham, a Harley-riding landscaper rescues a well-put-together Adrian Sinclair, her new neighbor. When she finds out he’s engaged, she tries to keep a reasonable distance from the newcomer.

Ellen’s relationship with Adrian’s son, Peter, develops with the help of her friendly dog. Peter exhibits signs of Asperger’s Syndrome and blatantly favors Ellen over his stepmom-to-be. He’s relaxed enough around Ellen to allow her to call him Pete, a feat which impresses his dad.

But what would make Ellen’s match-making mother happy is to see her marry the already-engaged man. Doesn’t her mother know that’s just not going to happen?

Adrian’s fiancĂ©, Selena, wants to get married in the back yard of their new home. It would be a pretty scene, but he’s having second thoughts about the upcoming wedding – especially with Ellen around.

One afternoon on a jet ski outing, Ellen teaches Pete to dig up clams for the chowder pot. It’s interesting that Pete’s housekeeper and Ellen’s mother work so well together in the kitchen, discussing whether to make Irish clam chowder or Boston clam chowder.

For Pete's Sake is really about Pete being a hero because Pete was the reason his dad moved to the new area to begin with. And Pete was the reason Adrian and Ellen spent so much time together. And Pete brought them together in the end. Of course, Adrian and Ellen's sparks kept the mystery of the relationship and the conflict interesting.

Linda Windsor’s stories always have a little humor, some romance, and a lot of heart. For Pete’s Sake is book #2 in the Piper Cove Chronicles series. Even though I haven’t read Wedding Bell Blues, the first book in the series, I still enjoyed watching Ellen and Adrian as they journeyed through their problems toward the happy ending.

Come to the Stable, 1949

Today's movie review features a nun from France who doesn't have a French accent. Is she from France or not?

In this movie, a Great Dane named Arson helps introduce his owner to the two nuns who are new in town. That’s a mild way of putting it. He actually almost knocks down the nuns at 5 AM when they’re praying on top of a snowy hill. When his owner explains to the nuns about the dog’s name, they find out that he used to belong to the fire department and thinks he’s a Dalmatian because of the spot on his back.

“Something tells me that an Irresistible Force has been let loose in New England.”

Two nuns from France move into Bethlehem, but not where the star gleamed overhead as the shepherds ran to see. This Bethlehem is in New England. Sister Margaret is played by Loretta Young, and Sister Scholastica is played by Celeste Holm. The two actresses won Oscar nominations for their work.

The nuns stay with Amelia Potts played by another Oscar nominee, Elsa Lanchester, whom we know as Katie Nanna in the movie Mary Poppins and as Jessica Marbles in the movie Murder by Death.

Miss Potts uses the stable as an art studio where she paints religious figures using her neighbors as models. When the nuns stop in to introduce themselves, the ball starts rolling and doesn’t stop until the end.

The nuns tell their story to Miss Potts, but not everyone who helps the nuns knows the whole story. They meet a neighbor who was out walking his dog and eventually obtain permission to use his jeep to drive into town.

The Monsignor in Bethlehem meets the nuns and can tell right away that nothing will ever be the same. The nuns go to New York to meet landowner Luigi Rossi. No one in Bethlehem has met him, and they don’t plan to. Mr. Rossi is well-known for his shady business dealings, but the nuns capture his attention.

Sister Margaret and Sister Scholastica find help in strange places, but can they raise enough money to fund the hospital before someone else takes over their opportunity?

This film was nominated for seven Academy Awards: Best Actress (Loretta Young), Best Actress in a Supporting Role, (Celeste Holm and Elsa Lanchester), Best Art Direction-Set Direction in a Black & White, Best Cinematography in a Black & White, Best Music in an Original Song, and Best Writing in a Motion Picture Story.

For Hunters

It’s a little early for an egg hunt, but what about a different kind of hunt?

Venison eaters go to a deer camp every winter to search for a ten-point buck. They know where to look. They know how to recognize their prize. They know what to do when they see it.

Wisdom-hunters aren’t always as effective.

I guess there are thousands of people wishing they had more wisdom at this very moment. Wisdom for their weight loss goals, wisdom for their financial goals, or wisdom for their social goals. They’re on a hunt.

On my Seek God With Me blog, I give easy to follow instructions for finding that treasure we call wisdom.