Sunday, July 05, 2020

Sunday Afternoon Tea - What I learned from a 1980s movie

The opening of the movie takes place in a classroom where a teacher is talking to his students when he notices paratroopers landing in the schoolyard.  The young people race to the window to view the scene while their teacher walks outside to find out what is happening.  The paratroopers begin shooting everyone in the playground.  Thus begins the movie Red Dawn (at least the 1984 version).

What is going on is the Soviet led invasion of the United States in the beginning of WWIII.  Thus begins two hours of heart racing action as teenagers are forced to become heroes that help save the nation.  We watch their skills, their increasing bravery, and over time learn what has happened to their parents.

I've thought of that movie many times the past few months.  First, I realize it couldn't be made in an age when the Cold War is far in the past and it is no longer politically correct to make a movie that shows what would happen in a foreign occupation of America.  Second, these young people are tougher than most kids being raised today.

The third truth I kept thinking of is the suddenlies of it all.  As I watched the government take more control of our freedoms almost overnight, even if most of it was necessary to slow down the progress of the virus... it was unsettling.  As I viewed some cities burn as their elected leaders applauded the anarchists and not the police, I sensed what could come.

In reality, those who are aware of the increasing fault lines in our Republic have seen trouble on the horizon for over fifty years.  However, I think what has happened in 2020 is not unlike what the parents in Red Dawn went through, albeit not as life changing as having Russians drop in your backyard! We find out through various conversations in the movie that they sensed trouble ahead.

I can hear what you are saying to your screen as I type.  Okay, now that you have brought about a substantial increase in our anxiety level, where is the faith you are talking about in the title?  Well, give me a minute or two or three...

As a result of childhood trauma, I used to be a person who had constant anxiety.  I ended up in the hospital as a teenager because of its' affect on my health.  I became a Christian around age fifteen or so and while the change was not overnight... I eventually overcame anxiety.  Other than the normal kind we experience in challenging times or when we hear a siren and our teenager isn't home, yet.  That is normal human nature.

I came to learn that my challenges in childhood and adolescence fit under the category of "what the enemy of our souls intended for evil, God used for good".  For I developed the ability to look at my circumstances as well as possible outcomes truthfully.  Just as the parents in Red Dawn, although not expecting paratroopers to fall in their backyard literally, had a sense that something was amiss.

God never, in all sixty-six books of the Bible, encouraged His followers to bury their heads in the sands of their Middle Eastern homes.  Instead, they were often warned of what was ahead and He advised them on how to follow Him in the midst of troubles.  If they followed His advice... unless they were meant to be martyrs, they often not only survived but flourished.   If they did not follow His advice... well, it wasn't pretty.

That is also why one-fourth of the Bible is prophecy.  I have come to realize that Bible prophecy has at least two purposes.  When we look back and it comes true exactly as predicted... such as in the birth of Christ... we can know that the Word of God is trustworthy.  When it causes us to look forward, we know that everything works out for our good and His glory... even if we do not know the specifics.

We know from the Book of Acts that God places us exactly on the timeline of His-story when He wants us to walk this sod.  He also places His people where He wants us at any given time.  If you are breathing, and I assume everyone who reads this is breathing, then you are living in this age because this is where you were suppose to be on His timeline.  He knows He can trust you with His purpose.

What is our purpose?  I believe it is to make our own faith strong through reading His Word, talking to Him a lot (aka: prayer), and learning from teachers we can trust.  Then... as with the parents in Red Dawn... we give strength to those younger than us by being strong in our faith and we give wisdom by sharing what we know.  What that knowledge is depends entirely on the calling He has given to each person.

Those of us who have experienced great trials can share with those who are experiencing anxiety from the sudden changes that God has always been faithful and He has always provided and that He has always been trustworthy. Forever and ever, Amen!

Parents and grandparents of young children can hold them close and provide immediate comfort.  We teach His Word through songs and stories and good media like Superbook.  I remember walking with my daughter when she was just two or three and picking up pretty rocks, talking about how God created such Beauty and how much He loves us.  Little by little... precept upon precept.

Parents and grandparents of older kids and teenagers have an invaluable opportunity to remind them of the faithfulness of God and how He created each of them to be His unique Esthers and Daniels for the times in which we live.  They need good biographies of the people who were brave and followed God even in times of great danger... and there have been many.

However, we can only give peace if we feel peace.  We can only share trust and faith if we have it ourselves.  That doesn't come from watching 24/7 news or listening to political talking heads.  Although a quick dipping of the toe into the waters of current events is not harmful so we keep updated as to what is going on.  We don't want to swim in the sewage.

I've been asked where I stand on the whole end times thing.  I learned long ago that I have absolutely no idea when Jesus is returning.  I was kinda' hoping it would have happened before the world fell apart to this extent.  He decided instead to keep us here to be Salt and Light in these uncertain times.

I do believe from reading the Word about what the world would look like just before the return of Christ that there is a good argument we are in what the Bible calls the Birth Pains (aka: Birth Pangs) leading up to His coming.  How long they last, I don't know.  The Bible doesn't give a timeline for that and I have found that if God doesn't tell us a timeline, speculation only gets one in trouble. 

Each of our callings is different but one thing they all have in common is this... people who are listening to Him (and the Word does say that His sheep hear His voice... usually that still small voice or a feeling we have learned is His direction from past experience) are all sensing that this is the time to draw closer to Him for peace and for wisdom.

With His help, you have got this!  You are here for a purpose.  Anxiety may land for awhile but we do not have to let it take root.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you and give you peace. 


Mentioned in this Blog Post
Red Dawn, DVD version... here.  (This was the first movie to receive a PG-13 rating but it was for the violence that takes place in war situations.  I have only seen it on TV so I don't know if there is anything inappropriate in it but that was rare in 1984).

Red Dawn, Amazon Video... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.
Image:  From the film Red Dawn.


Vee said...

I don't know, Brenda, I'm glad that I missed that one. I find dramas of events sometimes more frightening than living through them in person. (Not that I've lived through Russians dropping into a schoolyard or anything.)

On that note, my sister and I have been having some in-depth conversations about now, right NOW, being the time to have some of those unsettling conversations that we tend to avoid not wanting to offend. This is no time to worry about such concerns.

Anonymous said...


I wish you'd stick to coffee, tea, and books. The political talk is a big turn-off.

Terra said...

I like this post, so just keep posting what you like! Now I am intrigued to watch the two versions of Red Dawn, when I am in the mood. Our God is mighty to save, He has defeated the grave. Good news for us.

Anonymous said...

I remember watching the movie “Red Dawn” some years ago and wondering, could that really happen here?? Our pastor was sharing about drawing closer to God just before the Covid-19 crisis erupted and has been stressing the importance of it again. It has been my desire from the beginning of all this, to draw near to God and hear His voice as it says in Isaiah 30:21. And I want to keep in step with the Holy Spirit like it states in Galatians 5:25 in the NIV. I ask Him to speak to me through His Word when I read my devotions each morning, and He usually does, if I’m paying attention! This may sound silly, but I think of the line in the Goonies movie (my husband’s favorite, BTW!) when one of the kids says to the others “This is our time!”. My word for this year is “faithful”, and I know I can trust the One who is Faithful and True, no matter what may come. Thank-you for sharing this today! It was a faith-builder for me!
Blessings to you,
Laura C (WA)

Anonymous said...

I knew the movie as soon as I saw the picture! As a mom of three sons (now grown) I am very familiar with Red Dawn and it still scares me. I will say, it got me thinking of having emergency supplies on hand way back then. As always, I appreciate the time and effort you put into your posts and look forward to them. Blessings, to you, Dee

Anonymous said...

I am perfectly ok with any "political " talk. Which I think in this instance is just information and caution as in any pantry post you do. Also check out the you tubes of the made for tv show Amerika. You can view all episodes there. It was a tv show on in 1987. Similar to the premise of Red Dawn and good.

Bless your heart for keeping up with this blog. You have your hands full with health issue and such. I appreciate all you do for us. How many years has it been now? Seems I have been coming here for ever. :) And really enjoying coming here forever too!! Sarah

PJ Geek said...

I paid for Hulu for 1 month to see “The Handmaid’s Tale” which resonates with the political issues of late, particularly the far left and far right, though the far right of this film is brutal and false..more like a devil In charge than Christ. without going into details, I will say that over the course of 3 brutal seasons I could see true spiritual transformation in some of the characters and a reliance on God to sustain them through their lives. it is a brutal show R to almost x rated for nudity , sex, language, and violence. why watch it? it Is a cautionary tale. it makes me truly look at what is happening in our current society, and breaks down my tendency to be overly sympathetic. it helps me to just pray for peace, love, kindness, and freedoms of religion. it is based on a 1980s book by Margaret Atwood and a 1980’s movie starring Natasha Richardson. you may not want to post this. But Red Dawn was a movie that I feel is a cautionary tale and feels like a reminder to me to Be aware and watchful and to be in preparation and this show has the same exact effect.

BeBe said...

Amen, you tell 'em sisterfren...

Anonymous said...

Outstanding essay! God bless your ears and heart that hear! Cindy F

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Brenda I have never seen the movie Red Dawn. Your thoughts regarding how we are here in this time and place orchestrated and perfectly planned by God to do His work is what I believe. Spending time with Him in His word gives us insight into His heart. Whether this is the beginning of the end - who knows. The most important thing is to be busy sharing His love with others so when He returns He will find us being faithful. I find you doing this through your wonderful and insightful posts. Have a blessed day.

Deanna Rabe said...

It’s been years since I’ve seen Red Dawn!

I agree we need to prepare our children and that we we can help them learn to trust and look to the Lord just like we must do.

elizabeth said...

I enjoyed this very much, it is good to be reminded that God can help us with anxiety and that He is with us no matter what. I really appreciate your blog, thank you!

Lee Ann said...

I like Red Dawn. You are right. Today's kids would not be able to do this, at least none of ones I know. Sorry but that is the truth.

I would suggest watching Contagion as well. It came out 11 years ago but quite surprisingly it is exactly what has been happening the last few months.

Linda said...

Thank you, Brenda. I am feeling the same way and appreciate your encouragement to trust in the Lord. Blessings on you. Linda Nichols

Amy said...

What a timely blog post for me~Ms. Brenda!! I have a bakery and have been crazy busy since all of this has begun hence I’m behind on reading your posts. This was such a blessing to read as anxiety has been a constant companion for me for as long as I can recall. We do battle daily and I usually win:-). This environment we are living in would exacerbate it if I allowed it but I stay away from the media and talk with God more. Works like a charm. Thank you for reminding me about the promises of God. Soli Deo Gloria!
Amy Fry