My Review of The Amazing Spider-Man

The-Amazing-Spider-Man

Image from The Amazing Spider-Man. Dir. Marc Webb. Universal Studios. 2012.

I was one of few people who didn’t really care for the 2000 blockbuster Spiderman, so I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from the lead-off movie in the rebooted franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man. But this movie delivered. I loved it. By the way, THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!

I never cared much for Toby MacGuire as Peter Parker/Spiderman. I didn’t dislike him, but I didn’t connect much to the way he played the character. I could have never fully articulated what his performance lacked until I watched Andrew Garfield pull it off so brilliantly. Garfield 1) plays the role as if he were actually a teenager, and I believed it; 2) cheeses it up accordingly and that works because I believed in his youth; 3) stunningly portrays the heartbreak of losing his parents, his Uncle Ben, and his girlfriend. His acting was excellent and consistent throughout, but he really shined when he was portraying the joy of having his powers and the losses he had to endure.

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How I Am Building My Blogging Platform, prt 1: Getting Started

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Image courtesy of Kristina B. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Many people are familiar with, and have purchased, Michael Hyatt’s best-selling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. The purpose of this post is to tell you how I am building my platform. The reason this series may be valuable to you is because I am still “small” enough that you may see your journey in mine, but I have made enough progress, and recently enough, that you may be encouraged that you can make progress too. That is my hope.

My journey into blogging was like a lot of other people’s. I started my blog almost ten years ago with the mistaken notion that a lot of people would care to read my random musings about mundane things in life. When people didn’t flock to read it, I was frustrated. For several years my daily readership hovered between four and eleven (people, not thousand!). The truth is, people care not about your life but about their own. As long as you treat your blog like a personal journal/diary, chances are very high you’ll be the only one who reads it.

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The Frustrated Leader

Wolfman -- Frustrated Leader

Public Domain

Background

I have been a leader in the church for almost eighteen years. When I was growing up in the church, the environment in most churches was one of considerable, and fairly extreme, legalism. It is so refreshing to see that beginning to change. I believe one of the main reasons it is changing is because people who grew up in the church in the 60’s-80’s sensed that something was wrong and decided that as soon as it was up to us, we were going to make some changes. That is exactly what we have done. The emerging church movement has come largely, I believe, from frustrated X-gen leaders (with a few baby boomers around the fringes helping to light the fire!), and now bridger-generation leaders, who are for the most part reacting to anti-intellectualism, unnecessary restrictions, judgmentalism, self-absorption, and huddle mentalities with which we grew up.

All this is great. As a middle schooler I was always attracted to the kind of speakers who were so passionate that when you listened to them you felt like your face was melted off. The passion and conviction were so motivating, and I could hear in those voices the prophesying power of John the Baptist, of Jesus, of early disciples in the faith. These were the Tony Campolo‘s, the Mike Yaconelli‘s on the national stage and, more locally for me, Ron Kopicko and Jon Kulaga. These were people of insight, honesty, power, and conviction, people who weren’t afraid to tell it like it was. Of course today Tony is as fiery as ever, Mike is too-long gone, but there are so many more! In fact it seems the vast majority of Christian teachers on the national stage today are calling the church to service, to openness and authenticity, and to what it means to walk in humility and quietness with God.

The Problem — The Frustrated Leader

I am so grateful that things are changing. It was way too long in coming. But I am also concerned. I am concerned because as I read blogs, books and articles, and listen to sermons, frequently what comes across to me is a sense of frustration. I identify it because I know I have too often come across to my congregation that way. Leaders, if we are not careful, we can easily come across like our primary message, underlying all the good things we say, is, “What’s the matter with you people? Why are you so selfish? Why aren’t you more committed? Why aren’t you more on board with your church? Why don’t you give more, serve more, follow better, think harder, and pray more often for your pastor?”

There is an answer to that question.

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Still here

 

terrain still here

Image courtesy of Hazel Hambidge, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons

I hope you had a great July 4th. Just a quick note to let you know that I haven’t fallen off the earth. I normally post at least three times a week, usually on weekdays. Last night we had a massive storm that knocked out power and Internet in our area, so Internet access has been hard to come by. Hopefully there will be substantial progress in restoring everything by tomorrow (7/6).

I will get a new (and interesting!) post out sometime in the next day or two. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Until then, please flit around the site a little bit — there is a ton of stuff here that may interest you. Start with Recent and Popular in the sidebar at your right.

Back soon!

Attention People of Influence!

bullhornImage courtesy of Carol Brown on Flickr, under Creative Commons License

If you have a group of people who trust you, look to you, depend on you, or otherwise allow you to influence them, then you are an influencer — a person of influence. It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself a “leader” or not. If you are a person of influence on any scale at all, I am asking for your help.

What I’m doing

In the past three weeks, I have grown my following on Twitter from 137 to 832 (thanks to those I’ve followed who have followed back!). The number of people who subscribe to my blog has more than doubled. In the past two months the blog has gone from around 100 page views per day to ¬†over 300 page views per day. I could go on and on with the metrics, but I think you get the point. I am working on growing my blog and my audience, and I am seeing success in expanding my influence. That is where you come in.

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