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Showing posts from November, 2013

Principle and Honor

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"No one's gonna tell you nothin'. They're wise to your act. You got rules. The Joker, he's got no rules. No one's gonna cross him to you. You want this guy, you got one way. But you already know what that is. Just take off that mask and let him come find you. Or you gonna let a couple more people get killed while you make your mind?" — Salvatore Maroni, "The Dark Knight"

There is a moment in the Christopher Nolan Batman films where the titular hero is forced to question his motives. In "The Dark Knight," Batman faces an evil he can't comprehend and he questions whether he needs to adopt the motives of his adversaries.

Batman, of course, doesn't break with his means. He maintains the core of who he is and honors his mission.

One of the architects of that story was Jonathan Nolan, the brother of Christopher Nolan and the creator of the TV show "Person of Interest." For a long time I've seen "Person of Interest…

Homeland Reveals its end game

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"Something's going on. None of this makes sense." — Carrie, "Homeland"

After a meandering half season on "Homeland," the end game is starting to take shape. Sadly, it's hard to tell how good that ending is shaping up to be.

During its first season, "Homeland" was the best show on television. Claire Danes and Damien Lewis were the best actors on TV. The first season was a revelation, but it was hard to see how it would work long term with those two as leads.

Three years later, that's the problem indeed. The two longest, most difficult to watch episodes during the third season of "Homeland" has been the two episodes that have featured Brody. His character doesn't work and this ending story arc seems problematic.

Somehow this show — which was about spies, deception, and patriotism — has become about unrequited love, an unplanned pregnancy, and fighting to prove the innocence of one of the most useless characters on televi…

Upcoming Releases — December

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The holiday movie season is upon us!

Friday, December 6:
Out Of The Furnace — This film, from the director of "Crazy Heart" and starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, looks like a cross between "Justified" and "The Town." It looks like it could be a compelling drama and likely features a great performance from Bale.

Friday, December 13:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug — Peter Jackson's epic, three-part take on the children's book continues with this second installment. This one will feature the dragon, Smaug, and a continuation of the journey. I am curious to see where it goes.

Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas — Madea, the mouthy old lady with a heart of gold, is back in this holiday themed adventure.

Wednesday, December 18:
Her — This film from Spike Jonze — the director behind "Being John Malkovich" and "Where The Wild Things Are" — looks fascinating and strange. It features a key performance from Joaquin Phoenix and…

Week 13 Picks

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For a few days last week, I was losing picks to Lindsay. She correctly called the Thursday night game, while I did not. I recaptured the lead Sunday, but it's tenuous at best. Lindsay's picks in Brackets.

Week 13:
Packers +5.5 Over Lions (Lions)
Cowboys -9.5 Over Raiders (Cowboys)
Steelers +2.5 Over Ravens (Steelers)
Bears +.5 Over Vikings (Bears)
Jaguars +7.5 Over Browns (Browns)
Titans +4.5 Over Colts (Colts)
Jets -1.5 Over Dolphins (Jets)
Patriots -8.5 Over Texans (Patriots)
Cardinals +3.5 Over Eagles (Cardinals)
Buccaneers +8.5 Over Panthers (Panthers)
Falcons +3.5 Over Bills (Bills)
Rams +9.5 Over 49ers (Rams)
Bengals +1.5 Over Chargers (Bengals)
Broncos -4.5 Over Chiefs (Broncos)
Giants -1.5 Over Redskins (Giants)
Seahawks -5.5 Over Saints (Seahawks)

Last Week: 7-8
Lindsay: 3-12

Overall: 94-83
Lindsay: 90-87

Patrick Jane gets his man

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"We're done. There's nothing more to do here." — Patrick Jane, "The Mentalist"

Six seasons ago, CBS debuted a slick new crime drama — "The Mentalist" — centering on a whip smart con man, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), who decided to use his skills to help the police catch criminals.

The show worked for a couple reasons. One, Baker is a charismatic lead character and the show had a gimmick that worked. The second is the overarching narrative, which surrounded the serial killer Red John, who was a great dramatic foil to Patrick Jane.

Throughout the first few seasons there were some excellent moments when Red John became a part of the main story. The show built interest and intrigue, and it cultivated a desire to know who Red John was and get the epic confrontation we expected.

As the third season ended, that seemed to finally happen. Bradley Whitford did a guest spot as, we were told, Red John. The confrontation was fascinating and what we could have …

2013 Broncos Season, Week 12

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A mighty wind blew against the Broncos on Sunday night, and after a fast start they couldn't keep up with the New England Patriots.

Week 12: Patriots 34, Broncos 31 OT
Season Record: 9-2 (6-0 Home)
Key Play: With the Broncos up 24-0 at the half, the Patriots came out fired up to compete in the second half at home. After a few quick plays, Tom Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski on a 33-yard completion that took the ball to the Denver 18. The Patriots quickly scored, beginning a run of 31-straight points to take the lead back.

Recap: Last Monday night, as the Patriots came up short against the Panthers thanks to a brutal no call in the end zone, my heart sank. I like and appreciate the Patriots, but I wasn't upset they lost, just that they lost a heart-breaking game right before playing the Broncos. That's not the way you want to go in to meet the Patriots, a team that rarely loses multiple games in a row. In addition, the Broncos had to play in a game that featured icy cold t…

The Joy of the Lord

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Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10

People struggle with the idea of Joy, particularly during tough times. We know that joy comes from the Lord, and we should be joyful in all circumstances, but sometimes we can't feel it. Of course, we often think our struggles are unique, and the encouragement given in the Bible was for people in a different place.

Nehemiah told the Jews in the Old Testament that they weren't to grieve, but rather to embrace the idea that the joy of the Lord was their strength. Nehemiah didn't speak to a peaceful, prosperous people during times of great contentment. He spoke to an oppressed, broken people who were in exile. Yet the command from the Lord was simple, be full of My Joy!

Solomon once wrote in Ecclesiastes there is nothing new under the sun. The meaning of which I tak…

Coach of the Year?

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Last year, after Mike Brown was fired, the Lakers turned to Mike D'Antoni to coach a team with championship expectations. The Lakers — buoyed by Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and Kobe Bryant — were supposed to be a super team. Instead, they struggled to make the playoffs, ending up in the seventh or eighth slot most of the season.

That led to a lot of talk that D'Antoni was a bust, shouldn't be coaching the Lakers, and was going to be fired. I was one of those that had my reservations after a season of promise fizzled quickly in the first round of the playoffs.

What a difference a year makes. Over the summer, Kobe rehabbed from his Achilles injury, Steve Nash  continues to struggle to return from injury, and Dwight Howard fled to Houston. The Lakers filled the roster with a mis-mash of role players and young, undeveloped talent. Pundits predicted the team to finish 12th in the West at best and struggle all season.

It's November, Bryant still isn't back and…

A Dark Day Remembered 50 Years Later

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"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." — John F. Kennedy


On this day 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. He wasn't the first U.S. President to be assassinated, but he was the last one to this point. And 50 years later, the fascination with the man, his legacy, what might have been, and his death remains strong.

We have been inundated with specials, discussions, remembrances, and the like this week. Our local movie theater, Cinemark, replayed the film "JFK" on the big screen Sunday and Wednesday. Books have been released and the Internet is flooded with information about the man and the infamous day in Dallas.

It struck me a couple weeks ago, when watching the film "Malcolm X," that we have come a long way in this country. I don't mean in terms of race relations — which still remains an issue — but rather with the way our s…

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movies I saw this week.

About Time
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Domhnall Gleeson, Lindsay Duncan, and Lydia Wilson
Synopsis: Writer/director Richard Curtis has a knack for romantic comedies that are a bit off the beaten path. A decade ago he gave the world one of the best Christmas movies of all time in "Love, Actually." Now he's back with "About Time," a funny, quirky film that's a mash up of a romantic comedy and a sci-fi infused drama. It sounds like an odd description, and the trailer could have left you wondering how it would work, but what you get in this film is something funny, charming, and delightful. Gleeson is great in the lead role — bringing the right blend of goofy comedy and emotional depth. McAdams, who seems to have a profound draw to movies involving time travel, is a great romantic foil here. Also great is Nighy, as Gleeson's amusing dad. There is a lot to like about this movie. Curtis has a cer…

Week 12 Picks

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Last week I went just 7-8 in picks. While that's somewhat disappointing, what was more disappointing was that Lindsay went 11-4 and now we're tied after 11 weeks. So it's a six-week sprint to see who is better at picking agains the spread this season.

Week 12:
Saints -8.5 Over Falcons (Falcons)
Bears +1.5 Over Rams (Bears)
Steelers +2.5 Over Browns (Browns)
Buccaneers +9.5 Over Lions (Lions)
Vikings +4.5 Over Packers (Packers)
Chiefs -5.5 Over Chargers (Chiefs)
Panthers -4.5 Over Dolphins (Panthers)
Jets +3.5 Over Ravens (Jets)
Jaguars +10.5 Over Texans (Jaguars)
Titans +1.5 Over Raiders (Raiders)
Colts +2.5 Over Cardinals (Colts)
Cowboys +2.5 Over Giants (Giants)
Broncos -2.5 Over Patriots (Broncos)
49ers -5.5 Over Redskins (49ers)

Last Week: 7-8
Lindsay: 11-4

Season: 87-75
Lindsay: 87-75

November TV Premier Roundup

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Though we're more than two months into the traditional TV season, new shows continue to bow. Below is a recap of three new shows that came out last week.

Monday Nights:
Almost Human, Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX (Premiered November 17 and 18)
Synopsis: Prior to the start of the season, "Almost Human" was one of the most hotly anticipated shows. It comes from producer J.J. Abrams, it was created by "Fringe" showrunner J.H. Wyman, and it stars Michael Ealy and Karl Urban. It also had a cool premise and trailer. Sci-fi geeks, drama geeks, and Abrams devotees were all in on this one. Curiously, FOX announced it would debut on November 4. Then it pushed that debut back two weeks, locked it into a two-night premier behind football, and hoped America would eat it up. The premier drew OK ratings — including a 3.1 in the target 18-49 demographic — but nothing incredible. And there's a reason for that. Despite all the talent and potential, "Almost Human" isn&#…

2013 Broncos Season, Week 11

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The Denver Broncos are, once again, in first place in the AFC West and the top seed in the AFC. To stay that way, we need to repeat last night's performance the next two weeks.

Week 11: Broncos 27, Chiefs 17
Season Record: 9-1 (6-0 Home)
Key Play: Lead 3-0 in the first quarter, after the teams traded fumbles, Peyton Manning locked on to Demaryius Thomas and connected on a 70-yard pass that brought the Broncos to the Chiefs' nine-yard line. Two plays later, Manning connected with tight end Julius Thomas on a nine-yard touchdown pass to make it 10-0. The Broncos established control and never trailed.

Recap: Much was made of this game heading into the fray last night. It was a 9-0 team facing an 8-1 team. It was the two best teams in the AFC squaring off. And it was a divisional rivalry game. To say nothing of the fact it was the NFL's No. 1 offense facing the NFL's No. 1 defense. And the game lived up to that hype. The Broncos couldn't move the ball easily, and the Chie…

A Mighty Wind

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"The autumn wind is a pirate. Blustering in from sea with a rollicking song he sweeps along swaggering boisterously. His face is weather beaten, he wears a hooded sash with a silver hat about his head... The autumn wind is a Raider, pillaging just for fun." — Steve Sabol

Yesterday was windy here in Colorado Springs. Actually, that's an understatement, it was blowing harder than I've ever experienced. I thought maybe that was my California showing, but speaking to a person in my Sunday School class from Hurricane country, he said that was one of the strongest winds he'd ever experienced. I felt relieved that it was not my imagination.

Watching the news, they reported that we experienced sustained winds in the 30s and 40s as well as gusts between 55 and 73 miles per hour. I like my speed limits in the 70s, not the wind. And, as luck would have it, not only did we have to be out and about in the wind, we also had to leave our house and stay somewhere else for the n…

Amazon dips a toe in the original content waters with 'Alpha House'

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TV in 2013 isn't what it was in years past. One of the best shows of the year was "House of Cards," which was an original production of NetFlix. Network shows are time filler, for the most part, and every channel on the dial has original programming.

But in a post "House of Cards" world, having a channel on the dial doesn't matter. Last spring Amazon announced that it was going to be joining the original programming fray in the most fascinating way possible — they offered a set of pilots free online and asked people to provide feedback. Based on the feedback they received, a few series were ordered.

The first of those, the political comedy "Alpha House," made its official debut today. In addition to the pilot, two additional episodes have been made available free of charge. I actually watched and weighed in on the pilot for "Alpha House" last April, so I was excited it got a series order and curious to see how it would develop.

Perhaps …

Morality and Covert Affairs

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"I want you to know that what's going on here is not okay with me." — Quinn, "Homeland"

What began as a slow, confusing and frustrating season of "Homeland" has begun to develop its central premise. Saul and Carrie have been playing the long game, sacrificing their public reputations in order to do what needs to be done to secure long-term security for the United States.

As a bonus, their new asset has confirmed what Carrie wanted to believe in her heart all along — that Brody was as much a victim of terrorists as those who perished in the CIA bombing. Clearly the back half of the season will be about uncovering the truth — or for Carrie, clearing Brody's name — and developing this new source of information. Sure, there will be fallout from Saul's actions toward the Senator, but the overall narrative seems to be in a better place.

Save for one character — Peter Quinn. Quinn has a conscience. That's a good thing for a human being, but a ba…

Now Playing

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Here's this week's reviews

12 Years A Slave
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Michael K. Williams, and Paul Dano
Synopsis: There are movies that you see that change your life. Films that are incredibly powerful that you only need to see once. I think of "Schindler's List," one of the finest films ever made that I haven't been able to bring myself to watch a second time. For me that was also the case with "The Passion of the Christ," a beautiful depiction of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that is impossibly hard to watch. It might be too early to say for certain, but I felt like that will be the case with "12 Years A Slave," a beautifully told true story that brings the horrors and injustice of slavery to life in a real and painful way. This is not an easy film to watch. It is violent, disturbing, and unsettling. But it is a necessary movie to watch. Sometimes I th…

Week 11 Picks

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We have hit the point in the season when the results are getting hard to predict. My picks last week reflected that reality... let's hope this week is better. Lindsay's picks are in brackets.

Week 11:
Colts -3.5 Over Titans (Colts)
Buccaneers +1.5 Over Falcons (Buccaneers)
Jets +1.5 Over Bills (Bills)
Bears -2.5 Over Ravens (Bears)
Browns +6.5 Over Bengals (Bengals)
Lions -2.5 Over Steelers (Lions)
Raiders +6.5 Over Texans (Raiders)
Eagles -3.5 Over Redskins (Eagles)
Cardinals -6.5 Over Jaguars (Cardinals)
Chargers -1.5 Over Dolphins (Chargers)
Packers +6.5 Over Giants (Giants)
Seahawks -13.5 Over Vikings (Seahawks)
Saints -3.5 Over 49ers (49ers)
Broncos -8.5 Over Chiefs (Broncos)
Patriots +2.5 Over Panthers (Patriots)

Last Week: 6-8
Lindsay: 7-7

Season: 80-67
Lindsay: 76-71

Clinging to Hope And Humanity

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"I don't want to be afraid of being alive." — Maggie, The Walking Dead

"The Walking Dead" is a ratings giant, but some have complained that it's not that fascinating as a show. There were times during its run when that's been the case, but the thing that has interested me most in this fourth season is the exploration of what it means to be alive in a world like this. It's been about how you maintain a sense of hope and purpose when all around you seems lost.

Sunday night's episode was another great reminder of that, and also of maintaining our faith in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And that has been, mostly, seen through the eyes of Herschel, a man of faith and convictions in a world that's seemingly been turned upside down.

Herschel presented the most beautiful moment of the season a few episodes ago when he pointed out that the only thing in ones control in a world where everything can kill you is what you'll risk yo…

A Mess in Miami

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“I also know it’s not an isolated incident. It’s unfortunately the culture of the NFL.” — Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears Wide Receiver.

I have probably watched more Chicago Bears games over the last two years than any hard core Denver Broncos fan in the country. Confused? Don't be. It's just that I love the players that were important to the Broncos to the point that I tape Bears games while I'm at church so I can watch Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, two key pieces from the Mike Shanahan era for the Broncos.

When Marshall played for the Broncos, he had problems. He had off-field distractions, and it was a concern. But somewhere along the way — as he journeyed from Denver to Miami and then Chicago, he grew and matured. He has become a thoughtful and insightful player.

So it came as no surprise that Marshall offered one of the most fascinating takes on the story that has dominated the NFL landscape for two weeks — hazing, the lock room culture, and the battle for the sou…

2013 Broncos Season, Week 10

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The Broncos returned to action off the bye and posted their lowest total score of the season. But they picked up another win.

Week 10: Broncos 28, Chargers 20
Season Record: 8-1 (5-0 Home)
Key Play: In the fourth quarter, trailing by eight, Chargers' quarterback Phillip Rivers muffed a snap and was dropped for a four-yard loss. On the next play, Broncos' linebacker Von Miller made a crucial sack, forcing a third and long. After failing on that play, the Chargers were forced to punt and the Broncos picked up a couple first downs to run out the clock and secure the victory.

Recap: Some victories are more costly than others. That might be the case with Sundays game. The Broncos looked good in the first half and, after building a 22-point lead following the opening drive of the second half, looked to be cruising. But the offensive line struggled to protect Peyton Manning, the offense stalled, the Chargers made plays, and this game got a lot closer. Then, Manning was forced to pass to…

Blackfish

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In 1983, a Killer Whale named Tilikum was captured and brought to a water park to serve as a main attraction. In 2010, he gained national attention after brutally killing one of his trainers at Seaworld in Orlando. It wasn't the first person he killed, yet he remains a performer daily at the park.

The documentary "Blackfish" tells the story of Tilikum, and an industry that's in denial. Most documentaries don't get screened in our local theaters. There is a variety of reasons why, but none of them are great. Thankfully "Blackfish" got a special airing on CNN, which enabled it to be accessed by a wider audience.

I recorded the documentary a few weeks ago and watched in Friday night. What I saw was amazing, compelling, frustrating, and heart-breaking. It tells the story of Tilikum, and so many Killer Whales like him, who live lives of isolation, pain, and trauma.

We all appreciate zoos and aquariums as places to learn. I have never been to Sea World, but …

How We Play The Game

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There is a sequence near the end of "Ender's Game" that stood out to me. Ender has just learned that, rather than playing in a scenario, he was fighting a real war. He won the war by destroying the enemy's home world. He thought it was a game, but when it's made brutally real to him, he is shaken.

His trainer, Col. Graff, follows him and shouts "We won, that's all that matters." Indignant, Ender responds, "No, how we win matters." It was striking and unexpected, but also true.

I have written a review of the film. I didn't think it was a great film, but I thought it had some interesting and challenging ideas. One of them is that how we win matters. How we conduct ourselves matters. In other words, while our society prizes the ends as a justification of the means, the means matter.

I thought about that two days later when watching "Homeland." The CIA agents had closed in on an asset that could change things for them. But befor…

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.

Ender's Game
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and Hailee Steinfeld
Synopsis: When Orson Scott Card unveiled his short story, and later novel, of “Ender’s Game,” it was a huge hit. For the time it was unique, and it opened up a new world in young adult fiction. It has also become choice reading for a number of military academies and organizations. But the short story first appeared in 1977. While the story and the subsequent book series were ahead of their time then, it’s now 2013, and the movie version of “Ender’s Game” feels like another in a long line of films aiming for the same core audience. This is a similar problem that happened to “John Carter,” which was a forerunner in literature but felt passé by the time it was adapted to be a film. “Ender’s Game” feels like a young adult fiction adaptation in a marketplace full of them. Worse yet, it’s missing the traditional trap…

Week 10 Picks

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Picks continue to be hit or miss because of the inconsistency among NFL teams. Last week was a down week. Hopefully this week will be better... Lindsay's picks in brackets.

Week 10:
Redskins -2.5 Over Vikings (Redskins)
Falcons +6.5 Over Seahawks (Seahawks)
Bills +3.5 Over Steelers (Bills)
Bears -2.5 Over Lions (Lions)
Bengals -1.5 Over Ravens (Bengals)
Eagles +.5 Over Packers (Eagles)
Jaguars +13.5 Over Titans (Jaguars)
Rams +10.5 Over Colts (Rams)
Giants -7.5 Over Raiders (Giants)
Panthers +6.5 Over 49ers (49ers)
Broncos -7.5 Over Chargers (Broncos)
Cardinals -2.5 Over Texans (Texans)
Cowboys +6.5 Over Saints (Saints)
Dolphins -2.5 Over Buccaneers (Dolphins)

Last Week: 6-7
Lindsay: 6-7

Season Total: 74-59
Lindsay: 69-64

Fall TV Roundup, Week 8

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We've finally come to the end of our new show recaps. OK, there's a few more new shows coming later in November that I will tackle... eventually. Below is the recap of my grades for all the new shows we've seen since Mid-September. Enjoy!

Monday Nights:
We Are Men, Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS (Cancelled after two episodes)
Pilot Grade: D
Second Episode: D-

Sleepy Hollow, Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX (Picked up for a full season)
Pilot Grade: B+
Second Episode: B

Mom, Mondays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS (Picked up for a full season)
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: C

The Blacklist, Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC (Picked up for a full season)
Pilot Grade: B+
Second Episode: B

Hostages, Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS (No verdict yet)
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: C-

Tuesday Nights:
Dads, Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on FOX (Picked up for a full season)
Pilot Grade: D
Second Episode: F

Marvel's Agents of Shield, Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC (Picked up for a full season)
Pilot Grade: B
Second Episode: B

Broo…

2013 Broncos Season, Week 9

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The bye week is usually a quiet time of rest. But that wasn't the case for the Broncos, who begin the second half of their season with a number of new challenges courtesy of a week where they didn't even play a game. This week we'll explore all that as well as look at the NFL season at the half way point.

Week 9: Bye week
Season Record: 7-1 (5-0 Home)

Recap: The Broncos headed into the bye on a record pace, offensively, but in second place in their own division. None of that changed, but they will come out of the bye with a new set of challenges. Hopefully the week off provided rest and healing for key players. Peyton Manning, Champ Bailey, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker, and Eric Decker all went into the bye with nagging injuries. Hopefully the week without a game will have provided them some time to improve so they can get back on track. But the team comes out of the bye minus a coach. John Fox fell ill on Saturday and will undergo heart surgery this week. He could be gone for …

Giving Thanks

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"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." — Psalm 100:4-5

This week, as we wrapped up our year-long exploration of worship, we considered being thankful. I don't know about you, but when I think about worship thanksgiving isn't the first thing that comes to my mind. But it probably should be.

I think we've all gone through lessons on prayer. Usually there's a catchy anagram to help with it. But it always starts with praise and thanksgiving. We tend to jump right to supplication and petition, asking for what we need and others need. But that's not the way prayer is modeled to us in the Bible. It's about giving thanks and honoring God for his blessings first, even when concerns are pressing on our heart.

When you read prayers in the Bible you see this idea of thanks and joy modeled. In fact…

Homeland Moves to Patch the Leaky Vessel

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"She's always been on her own." — Saul, "Homeland"

This third season of "Homeland" has been frustrating. The first two episodes were confusing, the third was awful, then the fourth... well that sort of changed the game. It was the place where the show made a big turn and reveal as the audience learned that all of Carrie's suffering was part of a bigger plan. All the slow played beginning, and the confusing lack of care from Saul, was a well-orchestrated plan.

So does that excuse the agony of the first three episodes? Not really. Does it make me excited for the rest of the season? Possibly.

You see "Homeland" was a victim of its own success. The first season had an incredible concept and even better execution. For its success, it received input from the network. Specifically, Brody (Damien Lewis) lived, changing where the story was headed.

The second season further stretched the concept, but found an explosive (pun intended) way of makin…

The Millennial Question

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"Church for the college student who cannot seem to get plugged in has turned into a culture of church hopping and church shopping, but definitely not one of church staying. We are always moving, when church ought to be a place of rest and consistency." — Elizabeth Martin

The church is seeing the next generation of believers move on. It's been the case for a while. The Millennial Generation seems to be moving away from the faith of their parents and the mainline church in general. There have been a lot of theories and discussion about why.

The tendency is to blame the church. Some say it doesn't understand the younger generation, it's stuck in its ways, and it needs to do better. I have read a lot of articles like this, but I think this is also emblematic of the Millennial Generation — a generation I belong too. We don't like to join, we don't like to take responsibility for anything, and we're a big part of the problem.

After reading a few of these a…