Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of Jordan Belfort in the movie, "The Wolf of Wall Street," based on a true story.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of Jordan Belfort in the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” based on a true story.

 

I’ve seen “The Wolf of Wall Street” literally 5 or so times. Aside from the insane drug use, the debauchery and the stuff that would make anyone’s face blush, this movie is unbelievable.

Throughout the movie, we see Leonardo Dicaprio’s character, Jordan Belfort, as a money hungry, grotesque jerk whose driven by wealth and power and feeds it by selling questionable stock. Jordan is a masterful salesmen. He’s suave. He’s cool. He’s confident. He seems like someone you want to be like. He looked and acted the part. While not a perfect man, he seemed to have it together for the most part. But, he meet’s Matthew McConaughey’s character, Mark Hanna, the boss of his first job on Wall Street who gives him peculiar and integrity-crushing advice

The rest of the movie explains itself as to what happens next. Women, drugs, prostitutes, money, shady associates, lying, cheating and the list goes on.

Spoiler alert, but, in the end, Jordan pays for it.

He ends up in jail for 3 years and loses everything that he gained over time.

Jordan was at first a man who was looking to fit in and become somebody even though he was already very gifted in the art of selling.

Jordan became somebody but a kind of somebody that practically lost himself entirely, all the while using his great gift. His gift was used for evil rather than good, with seemingly good motives.

Jordan later spends 3 years in jail after being caught.

Jordan is now presenting himself in front of others in order to teach him how to be the him he was supposed to be from the very beginning.

As I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but think of the text Luke 9:25:

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Jordan’s cross might have been the stress of the job. It would’ve been the personalities he would have to deal with on a case by case basis. It would have to be the struggle of maintaining a relationship. It would’ve simply been managing without resorting to drugs, alcohol and sex.

Instead, he took the low road, and went for what made it easier. He went with the advice of his old boss, poor advice that led him to a life filled with wanting more and more…till he inevitably imploded.

Jesus gave us a call to action in Luke 9:23…”deny yourself…take up your cross…and follow me.” His warning…he who desires to save himself will lose it.

In an attempt to save our own lives, we’ll often attempt to try all kinds of ideas and plans in an effort to be the best, be the most successful and just plain survive. And yet, we try to save our own lives from debt. We attempt to save our own lives from troubles of life. We attempt to save our own lives from depression, from sickness and from trials of life.

 

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During Sunday morning service, my Pastor challenged us to pray for other people in our lives.

All too often, we get so bogged down with our own lives and circumstances that we forget about praying for the people in our lives and the people we deal with on a daily basis.

We forget to pray for family members and friends.

We forget to pray for the person that is in need of a job or a big career opportunity.

We forget to pray for the healing and deliverance of people.

We’ll even ask God to be there for someone but refuse to go ourselves to that location.

We even forget to pray for those who need salvation in Christ. 1 Timothy 2:1 says this:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people

My plan is this…to practice daily the art of praying for other people rather than for my own issues, needs and wants so much. My intentions is to pray for my co-workers, my best friends, my cousins and other relatives and more.

I’m looking forward to see the results. I always do, not on my own time frame, but, on time!

Let’s pray for one another in Jesus name this week and lift one another up to God.

After all, someone out there needs it just as much as you do.

You Matter!

March 10, 2015

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An interesting feeling washes over you when you feel like no one cares about what you do, what you think, what you write, what you say.

Again…when you “FEEL” like!

It is even more interesting when you feel like…they are right.

But, just the other day for me, it felt like the farthest from the truth. A young man, whose a very young author and cartoonist and actor, H.G. Sansostri, was feeling kind of blue about his own life too. He’s been looking to get connected with a major group who can work with him on anti-bullying campaigns.

I told him, just because he’s young is no reason to stop. In fact, it is the perfect reason to keep going. He’s a trailblazer whose speaking up and speaking out and using his gifts at an incredibly young age…as a teenager no less.

I told him a scripture that has stayed with me for the longest, 1 Timothy 4:12:

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Sometimes, whether it’s in creative work, in ministry, in cartooning or in whatever you do, it doesn’t feel like it matters.

But…it DOES!!!

To the preacher preaching the unedited, unashamed Gospel of Jesus Christ. It Matters!

To the artist whose not being recognized as much as the other guy. It Matters!

To the blogger whose not getting as much hits as others. It Matters!

To the single Mom. It Matters!

To the man trying to be a good Father. it Matters!

To the confused 30 year old whose waiting to hear from God and not sure what all the commotion in his life will lead too. It Matters!

God is not done with you yet!

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What an adventure in driving in the snow.

Between Wednesday night into early Thursday morning I had to work.

I was cutting and editing video when suddenly my supervisor came in telling us the snow and ice was really coming down.

The weather was getting worse. Which meant the road conditions were not going to be favorable for my drive home.

My supervisor let us out early. He even helped me scrape the ice off of my car while I let the car run for a bit and defrost the windows.

The snow was really coming down and the cold, windy air howled through the parking lot, making the conditions almost blizzard like.

I got into my car and pulled out of the parking lot and onto the roadway. I could feel literally nothing but a few inches of snow and a glaze of ice rub along the tires. As I held the steering wheel, it was like the car was an extension of myself, much like a sword for a master swordsmen.

I drove towards the nearest QuikTrip and picked up a hot chocolate in an effort to warm myself up. After which, I whispered a prayer and made my way to the freeway. I reminded myself that the nearest freeway entrance would require me to take a huge ramp which was known to be treacherous to drive on. I knew that was the worst thing I could do considering the fact that my Mazda 3 could only do so much especially in these weather conditions.

I was prepared for what was a normal 15 minute ride home to be an hour long.

As I sipped my hot chocolate and snacked on a bag of mixed fruit and nuts, I proceeded to drive as safely as I could and I finally made it to a turnpike entrance that was appropriate.

The turnpike was totally empty both north and southbound. I was the only one out there at 12 midnight. 2 or 3 times the backend of my vehicle wanted to spin, but, going 20 miles per hour and remembering my driving experience from childhood to my college years in Oklahoma served me well.

Realizing the turnpike was entirely too slick and dangerous, I took the next exit.

After finally maneuvering around lonely, icy cross streets and slick intersections, I finally made it to my street home and to my apartment complex.

As I drove towards the entrance, I noticed a mountain of snow that sat as high as my 4-door sedan blocking the entry way. The entrance had a slight incline and the snow stacked up high enough to block the entry that was surrounded by the apartment wall and the fence.

I decided to keep going a few more feet and go to the other entrance. As I drove up the incline I had a new problem.

The wheels began to spin and my car began to slide downwards, but thankfully, only a few inches.

I turned the wheels to stop the spin out. Looking behind me first, I backed up and tried to gain just enough speed to go up the hill. The second time failed. I then back up again and this time I gave the car just enough gas to come up the hill.

After 5 to 10 seconds of spinning wheels I finally made it to the top of the hill. I drove around the apartment building and left tire tracks to my usual parking space and footsteps to my door.