I love movies.

Once again, I became lost in the sparkles, the glamour, the gowns, the fabrics, the patterns, and the glitz. I confess, “once a sparkly costume girl, always a sparkly costume girl.” Watching the Oscars reminded me of why I love movies. They wield power and affect change. Not always for good, but today, I’m not focusing on that aspect of the big screen.

I love the power of story.

I love moviesVoyage of the Dawn Treader, Reepicheep taught me that big faith has nothing to do with size and that big love has everything to do with risk and courage.

In 2014, I’m giving a great deal of space to one little word: LOVE. It is the main theme of my newest book project and is the main theme of my life this year. Last year, I learned more about LOVE than I thought I ever could. God stretched my heart like a rubber band. So tight at times, I thought it would snap.  Yes, it was a painful process, but one, in hindsight, that is simply priceless.

I love moviesTo Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch teaches me that sometimes love means taking a stand against what is wrong—no matter how hard the fight, how misunderstood the stance, or how long the war.

Typically, great stories unfold during the broadcast of the Oscars. Behind-the-scenes stories not known before. One such story, this year, was of Alice-Herz Sommer, a 110-year old pianist and Holocaust survivor. I hadn’t heard of her story, The Lady in Number 6, and will be first in line to view it when released.

I love movies

the-lady-in-number-6Alice-Herz Sommer, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but this picture assures me that Alice will teach me about our insatiable capacity for joy—even in the midst of unthinkable challenges.

I believe it was Director, Malcolm Clarke, who accepted the award (don’t quote me) and said of Alice,

“Alice was a woman with an amazing capacity for joy,
and an amazing capacity for forgiveness.”

My heart skipped a beat. I’ve been studying and teaching and writing about that astounding word, capacity, for the last three years. Defined, it simply means, “the maximum amount something can contain.” I know that none of us have reached our full capacity. There is more. Especially when it comes to love. We can all love better. I just know it. I’m dedicating my time to help make this happen!

As my head hit the pillow, I couldn’t help but think of Alice. Someone I had never heard of before.

I prayed:

God, the joy on her face.
Where does someone who has faced such extreme cruelty find the capacity for such radiant joy?

I think I heard him say, “In my presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11, ESV):

Psalm 16:1-11

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.’

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Amen.”

I’d sure love to hear how God has increased your capacity for love or your thoughts on how we might practice loving others better.

Read more about this remarkable woman: http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/02/28/oscar-documentary-shorts-the-lady-in-number-6/

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