The Cars Trilogy

The whole family went to see Cars 3 at the movie theater last week.  We all enjoyed the film and had a great time.  The Cars movies are fun to watch, but they also teach valuable lessons.

Cars 1

Lightening McQueen starts out rude and arrogant.  As a result, he had no friends, his pit crew abandoned him, and he lost the most important race of his life.

During the movie, he learned humility.  He learned to treat others with respect.  He also learned actions have consequences.

Cars 2

Mater is a rusty tow-truck.  He loves being silly and he is a loyal friend.  Unfortunately, other cars tend to make fun of Mater.  They call him an idiot and a fool.

However, Mater knows more about car engines than anybody else.  That knowledge allowed him to solve the case and find the mastermind criminal that was trying to destroy the race cars.

Lighting McQueen and Mater learned everyone is different, with different personalities, and different skills.  It’s important to accept our differences and be kind to everyone.

They also learned fights happen among friends.  However, friendship is valuable and we should make amends after a fight.

Cars 3

Lighting McQueen is getting older and struggling to keep up with the rookies.  He learns a lot about motivation and asking for help when it is needed.

At the end of the movie, Lighting McQueen learns another valuable lesson.  Helping someone else achieve their dreams is extremely rewarding.  Teaching others the skills you have learned throughout your life is a great way for your legacy continue, even when you are no longer able to compete.

 

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

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I read “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch a few years ago and I loved it.  Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnage Mellon.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and only had a six months to live.  Before he died, Randy Pausch gave his last lecture at Carnage Mellon.  The advice he gave during the lecture struck a cord with millions of people.

Randy Pausch talked about the importance of family, humility, and working toward your dreams.  There is an abundance of good advice in the book, so I decided to read it again.

While reading the book, I found myself thinking about my own personal goals.  A few years ago, I finished a PhD program and a huge dream of mine was fulfilled.

However, since then I have floundered a bit.  I don’t have another dream or personal goal.  I started thinking about what I want to accomplish next in my life.  I have a some ideas that I am researching.  I will post an update once I get it all straight in my mind and let everyone know what I plan to achieve next in my life.

Become the Greatest of All

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In Matthew 20:26-28, Jesus was telling his disciples how to be great in His kingdom.  Jesus defines greatness and leadership in a way that is contrary to what we normally see in the world.

According to Jesus, having power or privilege is not what makes you great.  Being able to force others to obey you and serve you, does not make you great.

What makes a person great in the Kingdom of God?  Jesus tells us that to be great, to be a leader in His Kingdom, we must be willing to serve.  We must also have an attitude of humility.

It’s our willingness to humble ourselves and serve others that will make us great people and great leaders in this world and in the Kingdom of God.

 

Positive Character Traits

In Matthew 12:22-50, Jesus has a lot to say about character.  For example,

  • A tree is known by its fruit
  • Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

Webster defines character as the mental and ethical traits of a person.  Those traits could be positive or negative.

Positive character traits that I try to incorporate into my life include:

  • Humility
  • Kindness
  • Loyalty
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Generosity
  • Gratitude
  • Patience
  • Compassion
  • Friendliness
  • Dedication

I don’t always live up to my goal, but I learn from my mistakes and try again.

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John the Baptist and the Religious Leaders (Matthew 3:7-12)

The Pharisees and Sadducees went to watch John the Baptist as he was baptizing people.  When John the Baptist saw the religious leaders, he addressed them by saying:

You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.  Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. (ESV)

There are several things that struck me about the statements made by John the Baptist:

  • He spoke his mind.  John the Baptist didn’t care if the religious leaders were powerful or if they were wealthy.  He told them the truth.
  • Actions speak louder than words.  I think this is a message we all need to remember.  It’s easy to post about peace, love conquering hate, or helping your fellow man.  However, social media post will not change the world.  It takes action to change the world.
  • John the Baptist also humbled himself in his sermon.  He spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ and declared himself unworthy to even carry the shoes of the savior.

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