Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You worry about yourself, let me worry about Peter.

This phrase, or something like it, was fairly common in the Hellmuth household. Peter was my young brother and that phrase, often times, was directed right at me. And rightfully so. I was pretty obsessed with making sure he wasn't ever doing anything wrong and, more than that, just making sure he was doing things my way. The way I thought was best or, more often than that, simply not annoying to me.
In the past couple years I have found myself coming back to this idea of worrying about myself. I had never thought about it much after I hit high school. But, I began to realize, after graduating from college, just how difficult it is to keep myself in check. Just little ol' me. I'm not talking about usual day to day kinds of things like paying the bills, or holding down a job. That stuff comes relatively easy. What I find more difficult is living a moral life. It seems that the more bad habits I do away with, the more aware of more bad things in myself I become. And the more aware I am that it was never really me who got rid of those bad habits of mine, it was God giving me the strength to do it in ways I have never thought possible. I begin to realize that it is almost all I can do in my life, just to make sure that I am living a somewhat moral life. It's really hard!
Just a quick note. I don't want to sound legalistic here. I know that I'll never be perfect. And I know that my salvation does not hinge on my attempts at morality. But, it's still the goal that God wants us to aim for.
Why this thought of worrying about myself instead of others? I have been noticing an ugly tendency within the church for Christians to worry about others, when they should be worrying about themselves. Shoot, I fall into it all the time, so I write this with much hesitation and humility (hopefully!). I think this idea of working out our own "salvation," so to speak, is extremely relevant for Christians today. I think that this could mean it's time we stop trying to make all the non-Christians in America stop acting like Christians. It could mean that we forgive people who wrong us in some way more quickly. It could mean that we stop trying to figure out the moral problem with other people, our church, or our country and start trying to figure out the problems within our own hearts. When I start looking at all the areas of imperfection in my life, I find I just don't have time to think about how to solve the problems in other people's lives.

So that's it.

My extremely ironic post.

Do you get the irony in this? It's me telling other people not to worry about wrong things other people are doing when they should just be worrying about themselves. Thus... becoming the very thing I hate.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Here's a post that DOES matter!

Isn't she a peach?

That's what I couldn't stop thinking when I first saw her around Biola's campus. I noticed her long before I even knew her name. Of course, I did figure out her name in a not-stalker-like way at all by eves-dropping on conversations either involving or regarding her. I was tempted for a long time whenever I walked by her and she would smile and wave at my to just stop her real quick and say, "You know what? You've got a pretty face. The prettiest on campus I would venture to say!" I'm glad I didn't. I would have totally freaked her out.
Anyway, at the time we were just getting to know each other, I would have never guess that we would be married someday. It's bizarre to think about, but really cool! It being Valentine's Day and all, I want to spend this post just rambling a bit about my wife, Kerri (and that's exactly what this will be. Rambling. Don't expect it to be organized or thought out!). Dating and marrying her is easily the best thing I've ever done in my entire life. We just click so well. When we were dating, my roommates would always tell me it was freaky because I found the one girl in the world who is exactly like me. Now, we're not exactly alike, but I still think that we're pretty darn close! I remember one day, before we were dating, I was walking Kerri back to her dorm, and I made some joke about cannibalism. I quickly fell silent after I made the joke because of the sudden realization that she, being a girl, might find it gross! But, to my surprise and delight, she laughed just as hard as I wanted to laugh! It was at that time, that I knew she was a keeper.
Okay, so that's not the only thing that's great about Kerri. We have the same sense of humor, which is great. But, another thing I've always loved about her, is her sweet and tender spirit. She is good for me. She doesn't really know how wonderful and uncommonly kind she is. Oh yes. She's also humble! Another character trait I need to be around as much as I can manage (good thing I married her)! Everyone I know who has met her just loves her. When she used to work at Finley Holiday, where I worked, she quickly learned everybody's name and seemed to know everything about all of the employees, after about two weeks. She knew more than I had figured out in an entire year! She doesn't work there anymore. So, my source of knowledge at work has now disappeared. :(
The picture at the top is a picture taken right before we got engaged. Well, not RIGHT before, it was about thirty minutes before I popped the question. SO many thoughts were running through my head when I asked her to marry me. What will marriage be like? Does she want to get married right now? Will she say we should hold off a bit? Will I screw up my awesome proposal line (I didn't)? No doubts though. I've known just about since day one of dating Kerri that she was the one. Everything just fit so perfect. I was more nervous about driving down and asking her parents for their blessing than I was about asking Kerri to marry me. Notice, I said asking for her parent's blessing, not permission. I mean, no offense Tim and Shelley, but I was going to marry this girl no matter what anyone else said! Luckily, all of her family loves me. And I love them too, so there was a wonderful lack of drama about it all. Okay I'm off the subject! Being engaged to Kerri was great. It was like an explosion of love and ideas all of a sudden. We made a point while we were dating to save talking about marriage for when we were engaged. That way, when we were dating, we could just focus on getting to know each other really well. So, as soon as we got engaged, all of the things about marriage and our wedding that we were thinking just started shooting out of our ears! It was a blast! I will never forget our amazing two hour drive back to Biola after getting engaged and all the awesome ideas about marriage and our wedding that started to fly around. It was great!

The above picture is, of course, from our wedding day. I love her smile here! When she smiles like that, at me, it still takes my breath away. Our wedding day was great. Perfect really. Just the way we wanted it. But, it was only one day. We have the rest of our lives together, and that's the truly exciting and awesome part of it all. There are so many things I want her to know, that I try to tell her as often as I can. I love her. She's the most important thing to me here on this earth. I will take care of her as long as I'm alive. She gives me so much grace when I mess up and do something stupid, I pray that I will always extend the same grace to her. I'm glad that she's always so close so that I can tell her these things as much as I want!
Kerri, I know you'll read this. So, know that I love you and I hope that this is a fantastic Valentine's Day for you! You're my favorite!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First post of all time!

I figure since it's the first year of a new decade... why not start off the decade with a blog? I can't say how often I'll post on this thing... how good they'll be, or if I'll give up blogging completely in a month, or after this first post. I've just been reading a lot of top ten lists recently so, you guessed it! A top ten of the decade list from yours truly (that's me) comin' right up! These movies are movies that came out in the last decade that dramatically changed the way I see filmmaking in some way or another. They're not, by any means the most influential/best films of the decade (who am I to say what those are anyway?). And they are in no particular order. But, I tend to think of things chronologically, so they'll mostly be in the order that I watched them.

10) Mystery Men (a movie I started quoting in high school and am still quoting)
9) Gladiator (the first film where I actually noticed the cinematography)
8) Gran Torino (this movie is definitely Clint Eastwood's strongest statement. Do I agree with all his statements? Not really. But, there are some really great messages and themes in here. Plus, it's just a really great film)
7) A Beautiful Mind (the plot of this movie just really pulled a number on me in high school)
6) Dancer in the Dark (this movie made me realize the power of story above anything else)
5) Unbreakable (the first Shyamalan film I ever saw. It's still my favorite)
4) Million Dollar Baby (such a simple and relaxed pace to the movie, yet it's so gripping. I had never seen a drama bring me in so completely)
3) Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Lucas accomplished some VERY epic shots in this movie that I did not think could ever be pulled off. Say what you want, he did something no one had ever done before)
2) Up (made me realize how simple and elegant a story you can use to communicate profound messages)
1) Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (When I watched this for the first time, I was literally pushing myself against the back of my seat I was so tense. This movie moved me in a way no other film has before. Ever. I literally did not know a movie could be this good.)

With all that said, I'm not even sure if these are truly my top ten films of the decade. One or two films are bound to pop in my head that I'll probably wish were on this list instead of some of the films that are. In fact, I've already replace a film that used to be on this list.
So, there you go. William's top ten movies of 2000-2010! Probably one of the most trivial things I could think of to post for my first post (well okay, not THE most trivial). But, I think that it's good for my first post to be nice and light. That way I have fun and don't get burned out.... and I'm not burned out! And I did have fun!