Joy from Disney Pixar Inside Out

I was so excited about the release of Inside Out, I dressed up as Joy for Denver Comic Con weeks ago. Nobody knew who I was. I didn’t mind. After all, I was Joy.

Five years in the making, Inside Out unfolds in the mind of an 11-year-old Riley, whose faces a crisis when her family uproots her from small-town Minnesota to move to San Francisco.

The snafus that follow—a lost moving truck, a sketchy start-up, a wincing-oh-so-painful first day of school, and a sports try-out turned disaster—transform the happy-go-lucky pre-teen into a short-tempered, angry tweener, with the a bad case of the G-pains, the growing pain, that occur whenever one waves buh-bye to a life built, loved, known.

Never content with a shallow story, the writer-director Pete Docter (Up) digs deep into the anthropomorphized feelings lodged in Riley’s mind.

Disney Inside Out

Joy = Amy Poehler = cast perfection = group leader

Disgust = Mindy Kaling = can you hear “Mindy” saying "Ew!"?

Fear = Bill Hader = a skittish, shy character until he’s afraid

Anger = Lewis Black = no one could blow their hat better

Sadness = Phyllis Smith = Office fans will adore = brilliant performance

The opening of the film feels like being thrust into a Psychology 300 course. An exposition and information dump.

Before you can navigate Riley’s emotional world (or your own) there’s much to learn.

Riley’s personality is represented and shaped by a series of island including Family, Honesty, Goofy, and Hockey. Her mind is filled with a Long Term Memory facility (inspired by a real Jelly Belly candy factory). Imagination land is magical place of possibilities. Dreams are scripted and filmed in a mini-Hollywood studio ironically not named DreamWorks.

Not all is light and fluffy. Abstract thinking can flatten and distort anyone who enters. The Subconscious is a dark place dreams become nightmares.

All this may seem random and hard to follow for those of us who managed to graduate from college without taking Psychology (or at least showing up to class).

Keep watching. Once your mind is stuffed with the necessary details, Pixar kicks the plot into second gear as Joy goes on an unforgettable journey.

Without spoiling the movie, here are 5 Myths Inside Out exposes about our emotions. Continue Reading...

One of the Biggest Lies the Church Has Taught You

Throughout Scripture, Jesus uses natural wonders to explain supernatural truths. From fruitless figs  and buzzing bees to choking weeds and lost sheep, it’s no secret that the Bible is steeped in an agrarian culture.

Now I never used to think about sheep very much. Or shepherds for that matter. But then I met someone who changed all of that. You’ll meet Lynne the Shepherdess in your homework during the online Scouting the Divine Summer Bible Study this week.

Ever since my encounter with Lynne, I’ve read everything I can get my hands on the subject. The Bible contains almost 700 references to sheep, shepherds and flocks. God not only uses these wooly creatures to reveal truths about himself and draw people into a closer relationship with Him.

One of the great mistruths taught in the church is that sheep are dumb. This teaching has almost done more harm to understanding the character of God and who He has created us to be than any other.

Think about that common fallacy: Sheep are dumb.

First, it’s not true. Sheep can be trained much like dogs and other pets using clicker training. Check out this YouTube video. Continue Reading...

Bored Reading the Bible? Try this.

On far too many days I read the Bible and don’t connect. It feels flat. Cold. Distant. The pages may contain timeless tales, but they feel boring. Flat. Stiff. They feel written endless miles away, in distant cultures, far off lands, a way of life I can’t relate to no matter how I try.

Some days I slam the book shut, hoping, praying the next time will be better. Continue Reading...

Free Books, Free Books, Free Books—Win Them Here, Now, Today

Summer reading season is upon us. Some gifts have nestled on my desk that I want to share with you.

The first is from my friend and pastor, Michael Hildago. The lead pastor and a gifted communicator at Denver Community Church, he is translating faith to a new generation of spiritual seekers in creative yet authentic ways.

I’m a huge fan. Continue Reading...

What’s the Difference Between Vulnerability and Vomit Writing?

The gruesome details of the nasty divorce.

The juicy photo of plumber’s crack.

The whiny complaints of the wealthy who forget to end their posts with #firstworldproblem.

My friend’s kidney stone plastered on Facebook reminded me, we live in the age of oversharing. Too much information. Ooh I didn’t need to see, know that, experience that!

Yet it seems like oversharing is rewarded with clicks, shares, and sugary comments of “me too.”

So how do you tell the difference between vulnerable and vomit writing? Continue Reading...