Today was a great end to the fall man school. David Burnell’s testimony was incredible. God spoke through him and I hope he will be open to other speaking engagements.
Attached below is a link to the final slides. Here are the lyrics from the 3rd stanza of “Be thou my vision” that we listened to…
“Be Thou my battle shield, sword for the fight; Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight;
Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.”
And here is the text from what I read about The Shawshank Redemption…
“Whether unwittingly or not, the great film, The Shawshank Redemption is about Hope and the sacramental foretaste’s of redemption that can occur even in the most hellish of the World’s dark places.
Andy DuFrane is wrongly convicted for the murder of his wife. He is sent to Shawshank, a maximum security prison run by brutish guards and, an outrageously hypocritical-Bible-quoting warden.
As in any prison movie, the walls and bars and fences are virtually characters in the film. They are they symbols of hopelessness and oppression. Early on in the movie, they are featured especially prominently.
Conversely, light and expanse (symbols of hope), are rare.
As the film progresses, we have several scenes, which for a time, make the walls disappear. Through Andy’s agency, he and his brother inmates work on a roof and enjoy a couple of beers at the brutish guards expense, beers that “Dissolved the walls. We felt like men. We felt that each man was on his own house.” And for a time, the sky is blue and you can see for miles.
Another time Andy gets some Mozart records and plays an aria over the prison loud-speaker system. Like the beers, the music dissolves the walls. Red, Andy’s friend says, “I don’t know what those ladies were singing. It was so beautiful, so deep, it couldn’t be expressed in words. Made the walls dissolve. Every last man felt free.”
But such moments get you in trouble. We hear, “hope is a dangerous thing” several times. Andy gives Red a harmonica to make his own music, and make his walls disappear, but Red does not dare play. The elixir of freedom and hope would be too strong and too painful. The prison is designed to take away hope and any who dare to try to have it get savaged by the system.
Finally “time, pressure, and big girly poster” combine and Andy escapes. In an amazing reversal of the crucifixion/resurrection story, Andy first crawls through the grave (a 500 foot long sewage pipe) and upon his resurrection, standing free and clean in the open night air, he does a crucifixion pose.
The Pacific ocean is the place of a bright and blessed future, the place hoped for. It is a sort of heaven. All light and expanse. To Mexicans, the Pacific is a “Place of no memory.”
Think about that, a place of no memory. This is where we are heading men – to a place of no memory of this life of regret, pain, failures, mistakes, affairs, addictions, rejections and disappointments. We are heading toward Freedom.
Guys, we all have our Shawshanks. The question is “What are you going to do with your Shawshank? Keep it locked up? Keep it a secret? Hope it will just fade away and that nobody else finds out? Or…are you going to be a man of honor and integrity and transparency and admit your mistake, admit your vulnerability and break free of this prison of your own making?
The battle call to us as men is to LiveUP. To raise the bar. To aspire to the higher vision that Jesus laid out for us.
Erwin McManus said – “I hope there is one man here tonight who will say, ‘I don’t care if I look like I came from 3,000 years ago – I’m going to live a life of honor and of nobility and integrity and courage and sacrifice and compassion and generosity – I’m going to be a real man.'”
There it is – the bar being raised for us…
Honor, nobility, integrity, courage, sacrifice, compassion and generosity. That’s our call. LiveUP