What Women Want

Nick Marshall: Mel Gibson
Darcy McGuire: Helen Hunt
Lola: Marisa Tomei
Dan Wanamaker: Alan Alda
Alexandra ‘Alex’ Marshall: Ashley Johnson
Morgan Farwell: Mark Feuerstein
Gigi: Lauren Holly
Eve: Delta Burke
Margo: Valerie Perrine
Erin: Judy Greer
Paramount Pictures presents a film directed by Nancy Meyers. Written by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa. Running time: 127 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for sexual content and language).

Central Theme
If men want to know what women want, they need to listen and observe and women will tell them.

Mel Gibson stars as Nick Marshall, a chauvinistic ad executive who thinks he’s next in line for a top job at his Chicago agency. When his boss passes him over for Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt), Nick is ordered to try and understand a woman’s perspective. This is not going to come easy for Nick, who was raised in Las Vegas by a doting showgirl and has built a career on macho man ad campaigns. Nick experiments with lip-gloss, eye shadow, pantyhose and exfoliation, but still can’t put himself in a woman’s mind. However, after a freak electrocution accident, Nick discovers he has powers to hear what all women think. He uses this newfound skill to market products for women, in the hopes that he will replace Darcy as the creative director. What he doesn’t expect is to develop a genuine affection and sympathy for women like Darcy, his daughter and other women in his life who he has mistreated through the years.

Beliefs num
–Men have no clue what women want.
–If men actually listen to women and try to ‘hear’ them, they will understand them better.
–What we think people are thinking isn’t always what they are really thinking.
–Women will often say the opposite of what they really feel.
–Despite claims of equality, men don’t like to have women supervising them, and they view successful career women as ‘hard’ and aggressive.
–Above all else, women want to be listened to.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Are many men really that clueless in their understanding of women?
–Why is hard for men and women tosee things from each other’s point of view? Is it important for men and women to understand the opposite gender?
–Do women really say the opposite of what they are really thinking, and if so, why?
–Do most women really think a lot of guys are ‘schmucks’? Do they communicate these feelings to the men? To other women?
–Even if we can’t read minds, are there ways to be more perceptive and empathethic to the opposite gender?

Provocative Quotes byline
–There’s way too much estrogen on television these days.
==Nick, frustrated with trying to market products for women
–What’s the difference between a wife and a job? After 10 years a job still sucks.
==Nick (in his pre-electrocution ‘piggishness’)
–I’m the maneating bitch Darth Vader of the ad world.
–You talk to me like a woman, you think like a woman. Nick, come on, admit it. You’re totally and completely gay!
–What, are you officially a woman now?
==Morgan to Nick
–I can see elegant parties…
You can see all that?
Well, maybe you’re naked and I’m the only guest, but it’s still elegant.
==Nick, raising, then squashing, Darcy’s hopes that he has some sensitivity
–It’s never too late to do the right thing. That’s what I’ll do, I’ll go over there and do the right thing.
–I had to see you.
==Nick to Darcy
–Have you ever done that, taken the wrong road? Of course not, you wouldn’t do that, somebody like me does that.
–What kind of knight in shining armor would I be if the man I love needs rescuing and I just let him walk out my door?

Posted in Movies, Staublog in December 15, 2000 by | No Comments »

Leaving Comfort Zones

(The following is from Too Christian, Too Pagan, published by Zondervan. Order your own copy of the book today by clicking on product links.)

C.S. Lewis once said, “ I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly wouldn’t recommend Christianity.”

Jesus promises an abundant life but the route to that life requires the kind of obedience that will regularly challenge your comfort zones. Because most humans are by nature risk averse, your decision to follow Jesus beyond your comfort zones will often make you seem TPTC.

Jesus calls us to leave our comfort zones. The disciples discovered this to be true all the way from their first encounter with Jesus right through the end. His first words were “follow me.” His parting words were “go into the world.” Every step along the way Jesus told his followers to leave everything they knew, their jobs, their homes, hometowns always for unknown destinies. His benefit package was not insignificant. He said he would never leave them or forsake them. He said if they sought his kingdom first, he would provide for their every need.

Now here is the truly exciting news. Nothing has changed. As spiritual descendants of Jesus’ disciples, we are commanded to
go into the world just as they were. There are really only two troublesome elements in Jesus’ commandment to “go into the world.” First, there’s the part about going, and second, the part about going into the world. Other than that it all seems pretty darn doable.

This is all pretty fresh stuff for me. I’m writing this in a Mac Donalds in Naperville, IL. I was evicted from my house by a realtor about an hour ago for entirely respectable reasons. Today our house was put up for sale and by noon we’ve received multiple offers. Realtor Don thinks if the gregarious “yours truly” stays in the house I’ll mess up the deal, so he’s been pestering Kathy all day, begging her to “get that husband of yours” out of the house! So here I sit.

It is a very emotional day and I’ll tell you why. Staying is easier than going. We’ve lived here for eight years and have come to love this place. We’re part of a wonderful church where we’ve been befriended by some of the finest people we know. Our home backs on to a forest preserve complete with prairie grass, bluebird boxes, trails and a river meandering through old oak trees. Our home is located in the world’s nicest neighborhood and is decorated just the way we like it. We are conveniently located near all the things we like–a neighborhood pool and tennis courts, a thirty-plex theater with stadium seating, the best restaurants in the Chicago suburbs and shopping galore. Plus, we’re within an easy drive or train ride to Chicago, a world class city in every regard.

Never mind that we experienced this same rush of emotions when we left Seattle eight years ago, and never mind that we’re moving back to Seattle where we have every reason to believe God will provide more than we ask. Never mind that our entire family is in the Northwest. Never mind that for six of our eight years I longed for the Northwest and couldn’t wait to move back. Now that we can “go home,” we all feel the strongest possible urges to stay put. It’s just a fact of life–staying is easier than going.

When it comes to following Jesus, there is just one problem with this human desire for the status quo. Jesus is always on the move, and he wants us to follow him. Granted, in his life on earth he covered a relatively confined patch of earth. One New Testament scholar calls him a simple, Mediterranean peasant and another refers to his life as rather relatively “provincial.” Visit Israel and you’ll see how small the territory he covered was. Take comfort in this because it means His “going” doesn’t always require traveling great geographic distances.

In our case, we believe Jesus has asked us to physically relocate 2,200 miles away. Sometimes Jesus required that kind of relocation in the first century too. The first Christians heard his words to go to Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the earth and so they obeyed and went to all those places. Listen to the roster of cities where the disciples died and you see their movement-Matthew (Ethiopia), Mark (Alexandria, Egypt), Luke (Greece), John (Ephesus via Rome), Peter (Rome), Thomas (East Indies), Simeon (Persia),

But even if we were staying in Naperville, this “going” business would still apply. Sometimes Jesus told people specifically to stay put and be a witness where they are. After being healed, some new disciples wanted to climb on the gospel bus and hit the road with the traveling Savior. Jesus told many of them to stay in their own village. He wanted everybody to hear the good news, one person at a time, and he figured leaving a few witnesses was the best way to accomplish this objective. You’ve heard of management by wandering around. Jesus was into “sharing the gospel by wandering around.” As the pebble ripples out in concentric circles, so one person can be an expanding presence in their circle of influence.

Now this is the second truly challenging thing about Jesus. While we like to stay in the comfort of our home and church, Jesus tells us to go into the world. Turns out in his view, church and home are havens for rest and recuperation, they are supposed to be safety nets not hammocks! He sends us into the world, and needless to say, the world can be a dangerous place.

I told you where the first disciples died, but not how. As Paul Harvey says, “here’s the rest of the story.” While early on, the church found favor with all in Jerusalem (Acts 2:47) it wasn’t long before it was spoken against everywhere (Acts 28:22) and this growing animosity towards the early Christians extracted a great price from Jesus’ followers. Stephen was martyred outside Jerusalem, Matthew in Ethiopia. Mark was dragged to his death through the streets of Alexandria. Luke was hanged from an olive tree in Greece. John survived a boiling pot of water at Rome, then died a natural death in Ephesus. Paul was crucified in Rome. James the Great was beheaded in Jerusalem. James the Less was thrown from the roof of the Temple and then beaten to death with a club. Phillip was hanged against a pillar at Hierapolis in Phrygia. Thomas was stuck with a spear in the East Indies, Bartholemew was killed by having his skin ripped off while still alive. Jude was shot to death with arrows, Simeon crucified in Persia, Paul had his head cut off in Rome by Nero. (The Amazing Expedition Bible, p 259 Baker, 1997). Not exactly the kind of stories you want to put in the recruiting poster for a new organization.

Nevertheless people keep signing up. The fate of those early Christian martyrs is shared by their spiritual descendents today.

On my trips to China, I’ve heard numerous first hand reports from house-church members who have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith and these stories of modern-day martyrs can be heard in countries throughout the world. While uncommon in the United States, it can happen here as well.

In 1999 we were shocked by the slaughter of twelve students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. A widely reported and confirmed story tells of one student’s final moments at Columbine,
A girl was asked by one of the gunmen if she believed in God, knowing full well the safe answer. ¢â‚¬ËœThere is a God,’ she said quietly, ¢â‚¬Ëœand you need to follow along God’s path.’ The shooter looked down at her. ¢â‚¬ËœThere is no God,’ he said, and he shot her in the head.

Just the day before Columbine, Cassie Bernall. one of the victims, had written a poem and entered it in her diary,

Now I have given up on everything else
I have found it to be the only way
To really know Christ and to experience
The might power that brought
Him back to life again, and to find
Out what it means to suffer and to
Die with him. So, whatever it takes
I will be one who lives in the fresh
Newness of life of those who are
Alive from the dead.

Throughout the centuries relatively few Christians have been martyred for Jesus. We may die of embarrassment, but few of us will face the literal loss of life for our faith. However, it is clear, that staying-in is easier than going-out into the world. But then Jesus never promised us we could stay in our comfort zone. Jesus calls us to go into the world.

‚© 2000 CRS Communications. Dick Staub

Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in November 13, 2000 by | No Comments »

Too Christian, Too Pagan


Dick Staub

Posted in Books, Staublog in November 1, 2000 by | No Comments »

Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God

Harper San Francisco

Brennan Manning

Central Theme
Ruthless trust is the ragamuffin’s path to God, who is delighted with our trust.

Trust is the result of faith plus hope, which then matures into trust. God is glorified more by our trust than our love. Without trust it is impossible to please God! Before we trust God we must become attentive to His presence and unconditional love. “The underlying premise of this book: the splendor of a human heart which trusts that it is loved gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the sight of ten thousand butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom.”

Beliefs num
–Trust is the way to please God.
–Gratefulness is the evidence of trust.
–The trinity of pain, suffering and evil poses an enormous difficulty for trust.
–Our God is trivialized and too small. To trust we need a God-sized God: radiant, infinite, incandescent, eternal, powerful and majestic.
–Artists, mystics and clowns help us see God in unexpected ways and places.
–Trust can be tainted by craving tangible reassurance, the presumption of God’s intervention or dishonesty with Jesus.
–Trusting Jesus requires moving beyond intellectual knowledge of God to an actual experience of God.
–Brokenness is the path to humility, which is in turn the path to confidence.
–Nowhere actually stands for “now here.” to the follower of Jesus.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–What is the distinction between faith and trust?
–What in your life makes trusting God most challenging?
–Do you agree that the American Church fails to admit its brokenness and is therefore missing God’s true love, acceptance and forgiveness?
–Why would trust mean so much to God?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Always and everywhere the overriding issue for the ragamuffin is the person of Jesus Christ.
==BM, Preface.
–Brennan, you don’t need any more insights into the faith. You’ve got enough insights to last you three hundred years. The most urgent need in your life is to trust what you have received.
==Spiritual director.
–The underlying premise of this book: the splendor of a human heart which trusts that it is loved gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the sight of ten thousand butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom.
–If God stopped thinking about me, he would cease to exist.
==Angelus Silesius, 15th-century theologian.
–Nouwen’s earlier books are peppered with the word faith, and yet in his swan song, he uses faith once and trust sixty-five times. My point? Somewhere along the way, in the life of the maturing Christian, faith combined with hope grows into trust.
–The person with an abiding spirit of gratitude is the one who trusts God.
–There are only two choices; integration and acceptance of our whole life story, or despair.
==Eric Erikson.
–Without explanation I turned down several request so speak at memorial services in his honor in Nashville, Wichita, and Chicago. I was lost in the tangled, dark, and frightening inner world of my grief, doubt, fear, and anger over Rich’s death.
–Along with Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett, and Eugene Ionesco, many Christians have been unable to cope with what they fear most the loneliness and absurdity of life.
–The sheer magnitude of evil that our age has witnessed in death camps, nuclear warfare and internecine tribal or racial conflicts has not raised the question how can God tolerate so much evil, but rather how the more tangible reality of evil still allows the possibility of God’s existence.
==Louis Dupre.
–When the heart-strings are suddenly cut, it is, I believe, a physical impossibility to feel faith or resignation, there is a revolt of the instinctive and animal system, and though we may submit to God, it is rather by constant painful effort than sweet attraction.
==Harriet Beecher Stowe.
–The glory of God is the human being fully alive. And the life of the human consists in beholding God.
==Irenaeus, Against the Heresy of Gnosticism.
–But to avoid mystery is to avoid the only God worthy of worship, honor and praise. And it is a failure to slake the thirst of seekers and believers alike those who reject the dignified, businesslike Rotary Club deity we charter about on Sunday morning and search for a God worthy of awe, silent reverence, total commitment, and wholehearted trust.
–In the days ahead you will be a mystic who has experienced God, or nothing at all.
==Karl Rahner.
–Sacred scripture is too important to be left exclusively to biblical scholars. Theology is too vital to be consigned solely to the province of theologians, to explore the depths of the God who invites our trust, we need the artists and mystics.
–The reality is more profound. It is God Himself who can be discovered in the beauty of sensible things.
==Henry Newman, who once thought behind every flower, was an angel who made it grow and blossom.
–Life is lived forward but understood backwards.
==Soren Kierkegaard.
–The great weakness in the North America church at large and certainty in my life, is our refusal to accept our brokenness. We hide it, evade it, gloss over it. We grab for the cosmetic kit and put on our virtuous face to make ourselves admirable to the public. Thus we present to others a self that is spiritually together, superficially happy and lacquered with a self-deprecating humor that passes for humility.
–It may mean more to Jesus when we say, ¢â‚¬ËœI trust you,’ than when we say ‘I love you.’

Posted in Books, Staublog in October 1, 2000 by | No Comments »

Home to Harmony


Philip Gulley

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Unashamed (Lineage of Grace #2)

Unashamed (Lineage of Grace #2)ublisher

Francine Rivers

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Growing Up Together

Harvest House

Margaret Becker

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: A Novel

Picador USA

Michael Chabon

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The Fingerprint of God

Whitaker House

Hugh Ross

Posted in Books, Staublog in June 1, 2000 by | No Comments »

Unveiled (Lineage of Grace #1)


Francine Rivers

Posted in Books, Staublog in May 1, 2000 by | No Comments »