Tuesday, May 6, 2014

#Intramural - Part One of NYC

I can still remember the day I became an aunt.  Well - it really wasn't my day to become an aunt because it was in 1983 and I wasn't married to that baby's uncle yet.  But I still remember....

We are a family who celebrates each other....

A couple of summers ago (almost 3) it was a United States Coast Guard graduation ceremony on the East Coast and as our life so often becomes...... fate sent us back to the East Coast this spring.

Nephew Two (middle) with his precious wife - July 2011

Our East Coast trip this time was to the Big Apple.  Yes we went to New York City.  I still cannot believe we got to do exactly that!  We went to NYC.

I am a bit intimidated by vacations.  And quite honestly I feel quite sure I would have never asked to go to NYC - under normal circumstances.  But a film - premiering - at - the - TriBeCa - film festival....

Well that's a Coast Guard graduation equivalent!

This #Intramural event really started a while back in our community.  Nephew One brought some of the group to Graham to talk about the film and raise money for production.  We had a wonderful time meeting his friends and even hosted some in our home.  

Do you recognize us?  (Febreze commercial....)

That's what aunts do - we follow those nephews around celebrating their success.  I found another aunt in NYC.

And when I found her -

I knew how this blog would go.

I believe that Christ has called me to celebrate my nephews.  I have the 3 best nephews that anyone could have.  It is pretty easy to celebrate a teenager while playing sports & making awesome grades (currently Nephew Three) and likewise a nephew who serves his country - well that is quite easy too (Nephew Two).

But a nephew who produces movies?  How do I celebrate that - how do I celebrate something that probably would not be shown in "a church"?  (you know where I am going with that I am sure....)

David Kinnaman writes about something just the same in his book You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church.... And Rethinking Faith.

My friends Steve & Valerie have modeled this "new mind" as their son, a filmmaker, has grown into a man..... Steve told me, "You should see some of the major films his' worked on to build his credibility in mainstream Hollywood - It's mostly great stuff.  But sections are jarring.  ..... Who do I feel comfortable inviting to see this?  How many Christian folks will understand how strategically he's placed?  That he may be the only Christ-follower some of these Hollywood-types ever meet, one of the only believers with inside access?  When some Christians pray for him - I think they are really saying they hope he doesn't go to hell in Hollywood - we wish their prayer was for him to find favor and work for God's pleasure....film can reveal the truth about human condition and our need for redemption in ways that are as powerful & provocative as any sermon."

Film also can bring families together.  My nephews work hard and long hours on the things they do.  But for a few short days in a great big city far from Texas - we were together.

Son One, Son Two, Nephew Two, Nephew One, Nephew Three - and 
it was Nephew Three's 17th Birthday!!!

I wasn't the only aunt celebrating a nephew.  I really don't know this family - oh how I wish I did - I know we would be immediate friends.  But I suspect she has some Christ-like conviction too.  Some thought that along the way - she will celebrate her nephew.

Me & Jay's Aunt Shaunda (you must pronounce it as Aunt is pronounced in the South)

Jay's sister, Nephew One, Me, Jay's Aunt Shaunda, and Shaunda's Nephew Jay

So I found the Aunt who traveled to see her nephew on that big screen. Aunts..... we find a way to celebrate.

Me, Kerry, LynDee, Nephew One, Nephew One's Precious Friend, & Kevin

I don't have all the answers to how God is using Nephew One in the film industry.  I do know that throughout EVERY conversation that we heard regarding Intramural:  The Movie - the cast - crew - people associated with the movie - ... the conversation always went back to what a great time they had - great experience filming - the bond that the group of people created is forever etched in their Austin Texas minds.  Nephew One gained some great friendships from this experience.  And I suspect they were amazed that there were 10 Groves Family members that traveled to NYC - to celebrate Nephew One's accomplishments.  

This movie has sophomoric humor and  Intramural:  The Movie is not for everyone - but it is absolutely hilarious.  If you are my age and you saw Airplane - then know that Intramural:  The Movie is the Airplane for now.  

I loved the movie.  I really cannot wait to watch it again.  There is so much humor and I know I missed a great deal.  (there's also a great message hidden among the craziness - a message about dedicating yourself to something - a message about listening to your heart...)

Most of all - I cannot wait to celebrate Nephew One again and again.  I know the production company - Ralph Smyth Entertainment - has many more films to share with us.  In fact - you should go find out about Dealt ........

The reason we celebrate - the reason Ralph Smyth Entertainment has movie stars talking about how much fun they had - the reason all comes back to having a relationship with something bigger than us - something that holds us all together.

Something that takes us to an ocean in July of 2011 

and a park in 2014.  

Part Two of NYC  - coming soon...... 

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.