Edward Norton. Stephen King. And how to get angry. Slowly.

If you haven’t seen The Italian Job, it’s a great movie starring Charlize Theron, a Mini Cooper, and Edward Norton. If you’re not an Edward Norton fan yet, watch him as a priest in the hilarious Keeping the Faith (along with Rabbi Ben Stiller, below) and you will become a Norton fan. I promise.

Norton is also phenomenal as a naive lawyer in a Larson family favorite film, Everyone Says I Love You (Woody Allen at his best). But back to The Italian Job….there’s a great line in the script bemoaning the use of the trite phrase “I’m fine” which is code for “Freaked Out, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional.”

We are movie people. And movie night is my fave date night with my babe. Mostly because when we go,  we spring for the popcorn. It feels so decadent to buy food at the theatre after years sneaking in my own loot with my sibs. But Stephen King has a point here:

“First, support your theater. Buy at the snack bar and damn the expense. You could probably sneak your own food in, but if you’re caught, you’ll be thrown out. As for bringing healthier snacks from home: Did you really hire a babysitter and drive six miles so you could snark cucumber slices half-drowned in buttermilk ranch out of a slimy plastic bag? Is that what you call living it up?” (Entertainment Weekly Column, 2008)

Stephen King has sardonic down. Did you hear his take on Job?


Makes me smile. I’m sure Job felt that at times.


We all do. Because we’re human.


Also because we’re human? We get angry. Tim Keller in his sermon “The Healing of Anger” says “truth-tellers” who are “quick-tempered” often confuse “truth” with emotional anger or intention to bruise. TK says how we deliver a message is just as important as the message itself. And that it’s a sin to blow up with anger but it’s also a sin to NOT get angry. Slow to anger – that’s the wise person. Because that’s how God is:


“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate

and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” – Exodus 34:6


Similarly, like anger, correction must be present if we truly love someone. If we don’t get angry, if we don’t correct, we don’t love. And yet we are 100% responsible for being slow to anger and delivering that correction in a loving way when someone we love is “under threat” from a bad influence or bad decision.


A few years ago I read this article about affirming before correcting / critiquing that looks at how the Apostle Paul handled churches going astray. It’s worth a read for managers managing people, parents parenting kids; Paul starts off with:


We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints” (Col. 1:3-8)


What a way, in our negative and “go to the jugular” culture, to lead a performance review or constructive criticism. So note to self, before I suggest MJ NOT put stickers all over her face and mine, I should praise her for taking initiative and demonstrating her natural creativity : )


Signing off now with a song –  if you haven’t heard Kelley Mooney’s spiritual take on Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah it’s just beautiful.  As are the family pics below:


A crown of thorns placed on His head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said did you forget me Father did you?
They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah


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