15 Life Lessons Learned From Classic Movies


  1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Written lies can be stories.  (Just don’t print them as truth.)
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird: Sometimes there are consequences for doing the right thing.
  3. Gone with the Wind: You might lose your soul-mate by pining for someone else’s.
  4. Clash by Night: “It’s who I am” is not an excuse for being a jerk.
  5. Johnny Belinda: Sometimes you say it best when you say nothing at all.
  6. 9-5: If you want good office morale, treat your employees right.
  7. Office Space: “Humans weren’t meant to sit in a cubicle all day.”
  8. 12 Angry Men: “Not guilty” isn’t the same thing as “innocent”.
  9. The Night of the Hunter: Religion can wound, and it can heal; it depends upon the application.
  10. It’s a Wonderful Life: Your life matters more than you realize.
  11. Miracle on 34th Street:  Let children be children.
  12. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: Never stop wooing your wife.
  13. Meet Me in St. Louis: A love of home and a sense of belonging is more important than more money.
  14. The Sound of Music:  Even in the darkest of times, music can be one’s salvation.
  15. Sullivan’s Travels: Making people laugh has intrinsic value.

The Little Lambs of Moundsville, West Virginia


John and Pearl—
a disciple,
a gem of the ocean.

The sins of their father fall to them
like the filthy lucre he stole,
his body swaying in the still air.
The little doll of Pearl
carries his costly secret
like an illegitimate child.

The blood smell from the money
brought Preacher Harry Powell—
the devil in the flesh—
to their Moundsville farmhouse.
A death tax collector,
a fallen Angel of Death,
a Grim Reaper that sows deceit.

The smells of fried chicken,
sweet potatoes,
and apple cobbler
fortifies the children on their journey
to the Wherever.

The children tire,
the nocturnal melodies like a lullaby,
but they must keep running,
keep rowing,
until they cannot.

From the loft of a barn,
John watches this black sheep
ride his horse in search of
the lost lambs with the loot.
He never sleeps.

The day dawn breaks,
and it is time to run again.
Floating adrift in a boat,
a savior in a dress,
greedy for love,
takes the children,
for they are like treasures
from a sunken ship.
Only she can see their worth.
Her name is Rachel,
but John will come to think of her as Bithiah,
for Bithiah drew Moses out of the water.

John and Pearl,
children of thieves,
of murderers,
of Willa the Weak,
are brought to live with three girls:
Ruby, Mary, and Clary.
It is the home of the Lost and Found.

Then, like a crow,
scouting out a cornfield,
it returns with the scrawl on its talons,
but Rachel’s bullet pierces the creature,
and the demon is exorcised from his body.
All of the children are safe.

This simple Rachel speaks of God and His Son,
the candlelight bathing the faces of the little lambs,
waxing innocent as the moon;
the lost lamb named John
turns away and into the night,
the screen from the door like a veil,
a wall separating him from the words of the black book.

He has heard this story before,
but it is different,
and he hears it told with love—
the way it was meant to be told.

Bless all the little children,
for it was a little child who led them,
they who believed,
to the truth of the wolf that had pulled the wool over their eyes—
blinded by plain words done up fancy.

Night of the Hunter - birdcage 01