Movies: How They Impact Our Lives #Usblogs #Usguys

This blog post is for week four in the #Usguys #Usblogs weekly blog topics. This week the one we chose is: What we learn from the movies.

Everything I know about life I’ve learned at the movies. Well not quite, but they have made an extraordinary impact on me. I remember seeing “The Brothers Grimm” on the biggest screen in Minneapolis, the Panorama at the Cooper Theater in the early 60’s. Fairy tales came to life! My little cousins, my sister and I were awe-struck. My husband and I, who a year apart in age, remember seeing “How the West Was Won” and later “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World at the same theater.” We didn’t meet until we were in our twenties, but our childhood memories of movies are very similar!

His is favorite movie is “The Godfather”. My favorite is the 1981 Academy Award Winning Best Picture: “Chariots of Fire.” It is the true story of Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell training to run and running in the 1924 Olympic games. I’m not usually big on true stories. I’m a hopeless romantic who grew up watching romantic comedies and musicals of eras gone by, the 30’s and 40’s. But I was moved to the depths by this movies and it changed my life a bit. Certainly it changed my heart.

chariots of fire

Chariots of Fire
Courtesy of Photobucket

When “Chariots of Fire” came out I had written a screenplay, begun in a college class and finished by sheer determination. I had written a true story of my battle with bipolar disorder and peddled it in Hollywood to the likes of Melissa Gilbert, a good friend of my then sister-in-law. My brother is an actor. I was turned down everywhere I went. I had first written the story as a fictionalized account and then my true story. No one was buying either. No one could believe the true version: that my husband left me while I was hospitalized for bipolar disorder and my son died before I was released. It was too sad with not enough relief for the audience. I came through it. God carried me through. I was very relieved, why not the audience?! 🙂

After having my screenplay rejected so many times, I was a bit hardened to the entertainment industry and to the type of stuff they were making. I thought there was no way they would ever pick a story of triumphing over the odds due to a strong will and love for God — the outcome of “Chariots of Fire.” It was a movie of conviction. Eric Liddell’s 100 meter Olympic Race was scheduled for Sunday and he felt it against his beliefs to run on the Sabbath, so he declined to run even at the urgings of the Queen. As it happens he ran a race he hadn’t trained for the 400 meter and won the gold. His teammate, Harold Abrahams took the gold in the 100 meters and the British team went home triumphant! It was so beautifully crafted. It also won best screenplay, best music, and best costumes. I loved every minute of it, but will never forget one line by the Missionary Runner Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) who said, “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Immediately my self pity and discouragement over my writing left me. I thought to myself, “When I write, I feel His pleasure!” I think we all have that feeling when we are really clicking and doing something we were born to do. Those may not be your words to describe the feeling, but let me suggest, you could be feeling the pleasure of the One who gave you the talent you are using!

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made, What’s a sundial in the shade?”  Benjamin Franklin



Offline Klout: I Know the Source

You hear a lot on Twitter these days about Klout as a measurement of influence online partly due to a company and website of the same name doing just that. Now they’re even saying they may be able to measure offline Klout. Can our influence in the world be measured by algorithms and do we want it to? I don’t think it’s possible and why would we want it to be? I don’t think about clout or influence over family or people in my life much. Maybe it’s because the main “person” in my life I want to please, I already know I can’t influence: God, the source of all true offline clout.


I can please Him, however and here’s how:
Matthew: 22: 37-38 “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38) ‘This is the great and foremost commandment.'”

This is a great verse and I’ve read it many times, but I’ve most recently seen the reference on Twitter. Today, actually on the bio of a new friend.

Family and friends. The next most important relationships to me after my friendship with God. All I want is their love. How does that happen? I care for them — act in a loving way toward them, think of them first…put myself in their shoes — and lead with my heart.

That’s usually how I usually navigate my way through life and have since I was quite young. Not in my own power, but under the steam of He who first loved me. This last week when I was first introduced to and my online Klout score I went a bit nuts. But, thankfully this week three blogging topic from #Usguys #Usblogs about offline Klout got me thinking and helped me. That, along with my new Twitter friend and the verse on her bio put things back into perspective.. So thank you @Project5050 who deserves a blog post of her own, and thank you to #Usguys Twitter tribe — my friends who are always causing me to learn new things. I appreciate the lesson on life and the reminder about the true Source of clout.


The 21st Century Leader: The Leadership of Friends #UsGuys #UsBlogs

Remember #UsGuys Twitter friends? Their blog challenges on an assigned topic #UsBlogs are now a weekly adventure. I’m all for it! It’s a chance to share your blog with friends and stretch your blogging abilities tackling topics you might not on your own.

This week’s topic is: 21st Century Leaders. As I researched the topic, one quote I found really hit me. Alan Keith of Genentech states, “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.” This is an idea whose time has come! A true 21st Century leader will draw people together and help them contribute towards making something totally awesome happen!

My very favorite quote also came to mind: “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”  Albert Camus 

Gentle leadership. The leadership of friends will go a long way towards “making something extraordinary happen!” Friends have always been leaders, now leaders must be friends! The best friends in any group with set the pace, the trends, the tone of the group. These two friends met on social media.
Now leaders must be friends first…due to Social Media and the nature of people. It has always been the best way to lead and now that people are so informed, they demand the best! “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”  C.S. Lewis = Connection!

This style of friendship leadership is apparent right now in the #UsGuys tribe on Twitter. One of the leaders I know the best is @Josepf. I think he is a great example of a 21st Century Leader. He is a friend to all and leads with a smile. He is also inspiring, brilliant, good at bringing people together around great ideas, collaborative, nurturing and funny. These are vital qualities for a good leader in the 21st Century and a true friend.

The 21st Century leader must connect first. They must build a friendship of some kind with the people they may come along side to lead. They then help people get together to bring into being their plans and ideas. Doing so they bring out the very best in people. They nurture and collaborate rather than being authoritative and dictatorial…in short they are a friend who leads gently. Do you want to be a leader or a friend? Be a true friend, leadership may follow. #UsGuys #UsBlogs


Best Friends on Twitter Finally Meet!

My very best friend on Twitter and Facebook, Heather Jeanette Siebens, (Hetty) @AliveinMe finally met last week. We were friends from the beginning. We both had a strong faith in Jesus. We both were battling health issues. We both loved our families and friends and life passionately with abandon!

We always wanted to meet, wondering if we would this side of Heaven. Heather was scheduled for brain surgery in early February of 2010. I was having a serious and complicated stomach surgery the end of January of the same year. Hers was to end a siege of constant seizures due to Epilepsy. Mine was to end years of constant pain in my stomach that had become more than I could bear. Neither had guaranteed outcomes. Both were successful, thanks to the prayers of many friends and our families! And the power of the Mighty Lord we serve! Heather however was left with terrible pain in her muscles and bones and partial blindness in one eye. I went through quite a recovery year too with a long period of migraine headaches, possibly from the brain swelling that occurred mysteriously after my surgery, no cause ever determined. We were so fortunate. We were delivered from such chronic illness into joy and active lives. My migraines are almost gone. Heather’s pain level is becoming manageable. We have so much to rejoice in Jesus for!

And rejoice we did for an entire week together! It was almost exactly one year from these surgeries that God had us meet! Heather flew in from Philadelphia on a mommy on her own week and stayed with my husband, Mike and I. We were delighted to have her and had such a wonderful time together!

Heather and I spent the week talking, hugging, making jewelry, shopping, talking, laughing, having pajama parties, joking with husband Mike, eating, sleeping ’til noon and later! 🙂 Talking! Shopping! Pajama Parties! Posting our fun on Facebook daily!  Now posting on Twitter! Eating out! Talking! Behaving like best friends and the true sisters that we are in Jesus and in heart! Visiting Mary Triviski a dear Facebook friend in Lake Elmo, MN (about a 40 minute drive from where I live in Minnetonka, MN). Visiting my mom in South Minneapolis and taking her to Applebee’s to dinner. She had a wonderful time and adopted Heather as a daughter!
What wonderful friendships come of the relationships we find on Twitter and other Social Media sites. If you aren’t a part of one, please join. If you are, don’t collect followers, make friends. You can make friends for a lifetime. Like Heather @AliveinMe and me, Libby @libbytalks! Enjoy! God bless you all!

Pajama Party!