The small group from church I attend is called Solo. We are studying I John now taught by Randy Beaver. On alternate weeks we watch a classic movie. We have been watching four films with the marvelous Judy Garland: (1) The Wizard of Oz; (2) Meet Me in St. Louis; (3) A Star is Born; and last Saturday evening (4) The Harvey Girls. But Judy Garland can do more than entertain us as today’s devotional shows. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Revelation 3:17-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
I Corinthians 2:14
1 Corinthians 2:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
John 3:3 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[a] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Revelation 3:17-20; I Corinthians 2:14; John 3:3
Consider the great Judy Garland (1922-1969). A fantastic singer, superb actress, star of stage, screen, and television, she could totally captivate an audience. She had everything people think will make them happy: talent, Success, Applause, money; she tried everything the world suggested to find happiness: parties, booze, drugs, sex (she had five husbands). And yet she was a tragic figure.
“Judy was still in her teens when she began being plagued by a weight problem. In an effort to contain her tendency to gain pounds, the studio put her on a strict diet and a doctor recommended pills. At the time, the strain of work began taking its toll on her nervous system, and before long she was living on pills; pills to put her to sleep, pills to keep her awake, and pills to suppress her appetite. By the time she was 21 she was seeing a psychiatrist regularly…. The news Judy made in the late 50s involves lawsuits, counterlawsuits, nervous breakdowns, suicide attempts…”
[Ephriam Katz, The Film Encyclopedia, (New York: The Putnam Publishing Group, 1979), p. 467-468]
Her last husband, Mickey Deans, said she was ‘frightened, guilt ridden’ ‘afraid of the dark, afraid of sleep, afraid of death’ [Look, (October 7, 1959, p. 85]. Newsweek described her as “…the bruised and vulnerable woman of 47 who struggled to the other side of the rainbow and found nothing there”
[Newsweek, (July 7, 1969), p. 19].
She was so unhappy she repeatedly attempted suicide. Her last husband said, “She must have tried it at least 20 times while we were married…. Someone had to be there every minute. We never dared to leave her alone” [Life, (July 11, 1969), p. 27]. But one night, when he fell asleep, she crept into the bathroom and took an overdose of sleeping pills.
And yet she had heard where help could be found. British actress Joan Winmill Brown tells of a meeting at Debbie Reynolds’ home. She writes, “I heard the door open and Judy Garland stood there. To see her face was quite a shock to me. Her eyes betrayed the years of agony she had gone through…. She hesitated and then began to walk toward the couch where I was sitting. I moved over, and she sat down next to me. Whispering introductions, we then turned our attention to Billy Graham and listened as he told of God’s inestimable love.
“Suddenly Billy turned to me and said, ‘Joan, why don’t you tell what has happened in your life?’ All faces turned towards me. Judy looked at me and smiled that beautiful smile as if in encouragement.
“I began to tell of my innermost fears and longings, my breakdowns, and then my contemplated suicide. I told how the Lord had come in and given me hope where there had been nothing but despair, and how I was assured of His love in my life. After I finished speaking there was complete silence.
“Then I felt a hand on my arm. It was Judy’s. ‘That we beautiful, darling. But you see ― you had a need. I don’t have any need.’”
[Joan Winmill Brown, No Longer Alone, (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1975), p. 124]