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Luther shook the world of his day
by MELINDA WILLIAMS
Oct 25, 2014 | 23 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE REV. JONATHAN KLEIN discusses the importance of Martin Luther in preparation for Reformation Sunday.
Courtesy photos
THE REV. JONATHAN KLEIN discusses the importance of Martin Luther in preparation for Reformation Sunday. Courtesy photos
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LAYTON —  Martin Luther showed the world of the 16th century that what the Bible said was, and always should be, more important than what religious leaders and theologians say, an area Lutheran pastor maintains.

Leading up to Reformation Sunday on Oct. 26, the Rev. Jonathan Klein, pastor of Light of the Valley Lutheran Church in Layton, shared his thoughts on Martin Luther and the impact the religious reformer had in his own time and continues to have today.

“If (what religious leaders say) does not line up to God’s word, then we should not believe it,” Klein bluntly said.

“Most importantly, Luther made it so very clear to Christianity of his day that forgiveness of sins was, and always is, a free gift from God that none of us can earn, no matter how hard we try,” he said. “It is this teaching that distinguishes Christianity from every other world religion.” 

“It’s not about what you do; it’s about what God has done for you.”

On Oct. 31, 1517, Luther, a Roman Catholic monk, was troubled by the fact that he felt he could never do enough to please God. 

He shook the world by posting his 95 Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg Germany.

Lutheran churches and some other denominations mark Luther’s action with special services on the closest Sunday in October to the date. This year, Reformation Sunday is on Oct. 26.

Klein said that after extensive study, Luther had to reconcile his struggle with Biblical passages like Romans 1:17 and Ephesians 2:8-9 that says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God — not by works so that no one can boost.”

Those theses were meant to bring about debate between the Biblical scholars of the day on the free gift of the forgiveness of sins, Klein said

An unknown person translated the theses from Latin into German so the common people could read them, and with the help of a rather recent invention of the printing press, circulated Luther’s points throughout Germany, Klein said,

At that, the Roman Catholic Church demanded that Luther recant what he wrote about the forgiveness of sin and Luther refused.

“Luther refused with these words, ‘Unless you can prove from the Bible that I have made wrong statements, I cannot, and will not, take back anything. My conscience is bound by the Word of God. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me,’” Klein said.

Luther’s teachings continue to have impact today, Klein said.

“If Luther had not done what he did, would there still be people like Lutherans in the world?,” Klein asked, answering, “If He (God) did not use Luther to return people back to the teachings God gave in his Word, then he would have used someone else to do it.

“What disadvantage it would be for me and the people here at Light of the Valley and all over the world if they could not hear God’s Word or read God’s word in their home language,” he said. 

“It was meant for us all. The reformers did great things to bring God’s Word to the everyday person.”

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Movie Beat: Bill Murray best part of ‘St. Vincent’
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Oct 25, 2014 | 196 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
© 2014 The Weinstein Company
© 2014 The Weinstein Company
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Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including alcohol and tobacco use, sexual content, and language

Written and directed by Theodore Melfi

Starring Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard and more

Grade: 

Characters don’t have to be “good” to be successful. They just have to be people we can’t make ourselves stop watching. 

Bill Murray has that kind of pull when he cares about the movie he’s making, a chaotic force of a man who understands that sometimes the line between comedy and tragedy doesn’t actually exist. He works his magic once again in “St. Vincent,” creating a character who’s nearly impossible to like but who is gripping, humorous, and heartbreaking enough you can’t make yourself look away.  

Unfortunately, the rest of the movie has trouble keeping up. The script has far more trouble balancing the humor, grief and sentimentality than Murray does, and though the rest of the cast members do an admirable job, their characters are mostly sketches.  The only one with a real chance to go toe-to-toe with Murray is Jaeden Lieberher, an unknown child actor who brings both an offbeat charm and surprising depth to his Adorable Child role. 

Of course, that’s far from the only stock character the movie traffics in. Murray himself is the Crabby Old Man With a Heart of Gold, while Melissa McCarthy is Overworked Single Mom and Naomi Watts is Hilarious Foreign Hooker. Anyone familiar with any of these characters will be able to piece the plot together on their own, from the ex-husband’s legal threat to the hijinks the Crabby Old Man and Adorable Child get into in inappropriate places like bars and the racetrack. 

Writer/director Theodore Melfi does bring some depth to the stock story, making the ex-husband far less of a villain than usual and taking some care with the inevitable tragic backstory for Murray’s character. But the overall tone of the movie can’t decide whether it wants to be bitter or sentimental, and when the audience lets themselves get distracted from Murray or Lieberher the whole thing starts to fray a little at the edges. 

Murray, though, almost manages to hold the whole thing together. He doesn’t softpedal Vincent’s bad qualities in the slightest, seeping him in a bitterness and general misanthropy that can be both painful and hilarious by turns. He’s always been a fearless actor when it mattered most, and he makes Vincent the most entertaining train-wreck of a man I’ve seen in a long time. 

He also makes sure, however, that there’s more to the character. Murray deftly weaves in the character’s vulnerability and a real empathy for others who life had taken advantage of. There’s no last-minute conversion to being a kind, decent human being, but on some level he doesn’t need one. 

Lieberher is the biggest surprise of the movie, never letting his character devolve into “cuteness.” He makes Oliver a justifiably angry kid with a tendency to think way too much about things who is accepting enough to appreciate both Murray’s character and an unexpected friend he makes later in the movie. Even the most ridiculously grown-up lines sound natural coming from this kid, because this is exactly the kind of child who talks like that naturally.  

When they’re onscreen together, it’s hard to stop watching. 

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Movie Beat: Keanu Reeves only uninteresting thing in "John Wick"
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Oct 25, 2014 | 151 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo courtesy of Lionsgate
Photo courtesy of Lionsgate
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Rated R for strong and bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use

Written by Derek Kolstad

Directed by David Leitch, Chad Stahelski

Starring Keanu Reeves, Michal Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe and more

Grade: 

It’s tough when the protagonist is the least interesting part of the movie.

That's my one real problem with "John Wick," the surprisingly funny, mostly delightful shoot-em-up with some of the most fantastic world-building I've seen from a movie in years. Unfortunately, it also stars Keanu Reeves in a role that forces him to try and pretend he has feelings, and every second he's onscreen means the movie is no longer paying attention to the wonderful supporting cast and bit players languishing on the sidelines.

The movie follows a former assassin who gets back into the "kill everything" game after thugs come into his house and kills someone he cares about, but the concept starts fraying around the edges when you find out that "someone" is a dog. Yes, it was given to him as a final gift from his dead wife, but it's the kind of ridiculous detail your mind can't help but snag on every time Keanu makes his "serious" face.

Surprisingly, there was a way to spin the revenge as entirely legitimate – Keanu pretty much lost all will to be a better person after his wife died, and was looking for even the flimsiest excuses to go out and kill pretty much everything in sight – but the "hope for the future" speech they give him would be absurd delivered by even the best actors. And Keanu, as we all know, doesn't get higher than "mostly decent" even on his best days.

Luckily, there are far more interesting things going on around him. One of the main villains, played by Michael Nyqvist, manages to be both emotionally nuanced and wonderfully hilarious. In one scene, he manages to make the a quiet "oh" the most hilarious line in the entire movie, and yet also manages scenes of amazing grief and brutality.

Some of the supporting cast, however, is almost more wonderful, bit players in a fascinating world that we don't get to see nearly enough of. Lance Reddick is the hotel manager at what is apparently a special hotel for assassins, and his dry, wonderfully polished delivery of every single line steals the show every moment he's on screen. Ian McShane is some kind of management at the hotel, combining casual menace and amused disdain in a way that elevated every scene he was in.

David Patrick Kelly played Charlie, whose crew knew how to tape up a body as well as Windex a window. Assassins called them for "dinner reservations," and they cleaned up the bloody, multi-bodied aftermath like the professionals they were. Willem Dafoe practically pranced around, happy to be so much more delightfully classy than everyone else.

The show's sense of humor was fantastic, responding to absolute carnage with dry humor that elevated the whole thing into a work of art. A unnamed policeman was on screen for not more than a minute, but the pauses in his careful conversation with Wick were a work of art.

I could have spent hours in that world of "John Wick," where there were magical hotels full of secret rules, practical cleaning services, and assassins who all had such a delightful way with a one liner. I'd watch a TV series about that world any day, and if it was narrated by Riddick's character than so much the better.

Just make sure that Keanu Reeves and John Wick aren't anywhere near it, please. 

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Crime Briefs: Former deputy facing charges
by MELINDA WILLIAMS
Oct 25, 2014 | 112 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

FARMINGTON – A 14-year Davis County Sheriff’s deputy was terminated from his position after he allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a person in custody.

Michael Mueller, 51, was terminated on Sept. 23, as soon as the alleged relationship came to light, according to Davis County Sheriff’s Sgt. DeeAnn Servey. 

“He was just just six years away from retirement,” Servey said.

Charges against Mueller are currently being screened for a possible third-degree felony charge of inappropriate interaction with an involved person, a law that prohibits law enforcement officers from having sex with a person in custody.

Servey said the Sheriff’s Office asked that Farmington Police conduct the investigation. They turned the results of that investigation over to the Davis County Attorney’s Office.


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Centerville seeking trail chiefs
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Oct 25, 2014 | 134 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TRAIL CHIEFS may also help with events, such as the 5K and 10K held this past spring.  
Photo by Louise R. Shaw | Davis Clipper
TRAIL CHIEFS may also help with events, such as the 5K and 10K held this past spring. Photo by Louise R. Shaw | Davis Clipper
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CENTERVILLE —  If you’re one of those people who feel at home in the mountains, here’s your chance to keep them clean and ready for company.

The Centerville Trails Committee is looking for trail chiefs to watch over some of the many trails in the city’s canyons and foothills. Trail chiefs would be responsible for hiking the trail they oversee, taking care of trail maintenance and working with volunteer groups on more significant projects for their designated trail. 

“We have an incredible system of trails here,” said Alan Peterson, chair of the city’s trails committee. “We’d love to have some help keeping them open and a little more accessible at times.”

The trails that will be the focus of adoption are in the canyons to the east of the city. There’s at least one trail per canyon, though some have multiple routes along the canyons’ ridge as well as deep in the heart. 

Though a love of hiking is useful, Peterson said that experience is not required. 

“Our only requirements are that you be able-bodied and willing,” said Peterson. “More than anything, we’re looking for people with a good attitude to help us out.”

The idea is based on the method Farmington officials use to keep their trails maintained and open to the public. 

“They have a wonderful system, and have been great at getting people involved,” said Peterson. 

For those who don’t want to commit to the permanency of being a trail chief but still want to help, the trails committee has several projects that could really use the help of Eagle Scouts or other volunteers. 

“We have a whole menu of projects that need to be completed to help the trails on the west side,” said Peterson. 

No matter what you do on the trails, though, he cautions residents to be polite. Several of the trails on the city’s hillsides cross over private property during at least part of their route, which means that they stay open only because the property owners say they can. 

“These people have graciously allowed members of the community to use their property,” said Peterson. “We have to be really respectful of that, or we could lose that privilege.” 

Those who want to become a trail chief should e-mail the Centerville trails committee at centervilletrails@gmail.com, or call city hall at 801-295-3477. 

 
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