Friday, August 27, 2010

Aug. 22 Sermon: Changing Your Mind

Matthew 5: 21-30
Romans 10

Sermon notes

Some of my notes today were a bi-product of a great conversation I had with David Bruce, webmaster of  Check out the website for insightful commentary on finding aspects of faith in film. 

Many movies that come out follow a particular formula, and yes it is a bit comforting to be able to predict the different turns or twists, but sometimes we grow tired of that, don’t we?

I’ve noticed that there are often two movies with a similar premise out at the same time. And sometimes after I watch a movie (or more likely ¼ of a movie) I think, “I thought it was supposed to be hard to get a script bought and made into a movie. That was incredibly stupid!”)

The film that I lift up today are impossible to predict and there is nothing else like them on film.

Dreamweaver: Inception and the Idea that Changes our Life

Use scriptures of dreams: Joseph, or Jacob’s ladder, or Gideon

The history of dream interpretation in scriptures:

Daniel, importance of dreams to Nebuchanexer.

Plot of Inception. Clandestine group puts people to sleep and then learns their secrets from their dreams in order to take their money, etc. They get a job offer where their client wants them to implant an idea in a dream that will cause the person dreaming to want to divide up his father’s company that he has just inherited.

They need to engineer a dream within a dream within a dream in order to plant the idea deep enough in the person’s subconscious for it to seem genuine and life-changing.

Whereas the team of “extractors” are doing what they do with deception and self-motivation, Jesus was interested in “implanting” an idea in the minds of his followers that would surely change their lives forever too. “You are loved. You have fallen short, but God has a plan for you. God wants to see you achieve at the real goals of life, so God plants in your subconscious (and perhaps even reveals to you in your own dream life) what this purpose might be.

IF dreams are so important, then what can we do to be more attentive to them? They say to leave a pen and paper by your bed.

What we believe is important. An idea can change a life, as it does in Inception.

A memory can become an obsession. It can ruin a life, especially if it involves guilt. Which we take form in Inception. A memory can also give great strength for the present or future. Cobb, the main character of Inception, has a lot of emotional baggage about his wife, and this plays into his work as a “dream-thief.” In the movie, we see him deal with her memory.

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Toward the end of Inception, two important characters give voice to two important, life changing ideas, and through that idea given voice, (which is confession) they find salvation.

Be transformed by the renewing of your minds. The person who makes a change first has to take root in the mind.

You have to let the idea change you, if you allow it. It’s like the seed that Jesus talks about.

If you share an idea with a friend, a dynamic happens.

Jesus said murder first happens in the mind.

Biblical “Repentance” in the original Greek is metanoia, which means a change of mind and purpose and life.

Allow thoughts to change them. One reason devotion and the prayer life is so important.

It’s not what goes into our mouths that defiles, it’s what comes out.

What are you entertaintaining in your mind.

Greek Orthodox Story about 3 priests in training. 3 trainees avert their eyes. The master looks directly at her

God knows us not only by our actions—God knows us by the thoughts of our hearts. (beatitudes, Samuel choosing David for king, “I look not on the face, but the heart.” We cannot hide them from God—which is why we are to “practice holiness.”

Romans 10:7So faith comes from (Z)hearing, and hearing by (AA)the word of Christ.

Thoughts matter—sometimes our thoughts are reinterpreted to us in our sleep—sometimes they are no doubt strange and meaningless—but sometimes, and you know when they should be reflected upon—they contain moments of clarity.

Why should we disregard what goes on in our minds? Our waking thoughts, our flights of fancy, our dreams—they are important, and can shape our lives. Jesus thought they were important enough to be equivalent to the actual actions that were regulated by the law.

Perhaps much of the basis of many of our societal ills are as much to blame on our collective thoughts as our collective actions.

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