Saturday, March 8, 2014
I first must preface with two statements true to me that will influence my opinion:
1-I rarely like films made about the Bible or people of the Bible.
2-I rarely like a film more than a book.
With those things said, I was not greatly impressed with this film. First, it is a huge undertaking to take my most treasured book, that is alive and active and means more to me than anything, and do justice by making it into a screen film. The Bible is different from other books because it is the very word of God. It is inspired by Him. With that said alone, this film was a huge and challenging undertaking. The Bible is the book I study more than any other so it is very easy for me to see where they get things wrong, though it may be minor, it is hard for me to swallow and because it is the Bible, I do not like deviations or creative license regarding it.
Jesus. He is everything to me. When portrayed on the big screen it is very hard to even get close to what He would be like, look like, etc. Again, I do not think they portrayed Him the way He would have been if we were with Him in real life in Israel 2000 years ago. They seemed to try and did okay. It is just hard to get Jesus right. How can you rightly depict the visible image of the invisible God in the flesh?
I was not surprised by my reaction to this film. I was hesitant to even see it because I knew I would not like it as much as I wanted to. However, with those things said, I do think it does give people a decent picture of Jesus. I do think they made it clear that Jesus was the Son of God. I do think they focused on the importance of the death and resurrection of Christ which is the great news of the gospel. Is more conversation needed regarding this? Yes. But it is a starting point.
With all this said, should you see the movie? If you are going to see a movie anyway, yes, because it is better than the other things in the theater now. It challenges you to study the Bible for yourself to judge for accuracy. It is good for starting conversations with those who do not know much about Jesus. I also think it is a good film for someone to see who is just interested in who Jesus is. God can use it to open the eyes of those who belong to Him.
Have you seen it? What were your thoughts?
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Today's Trades of Hope Feature Product comes from India. I personally have this necklace and love it! Not only is it a beautiful accessory but it also helps children get an education and provides clean water.
To get yours SHOP HERE.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Because God loves us and because He tells us to preach the gospel in all places, we feel compelled to do that as a family. The facts are that 90% of the people sharing the good news are located in North America. That leaves only 10% around the rest of the world and seriously the rest of the world contains more people (eternal souls) than those in North America alone. People need to be willing to go.
I write this to say that as a family we are feeling compelled and called to go. Here, in the city we have come to love and call home, the gospel is saturated. There are churches on every corner; literally. I pass more than a handful on the way to my church. Christ is evident here but there are many places where His good news has never been heard. This is where we are feeling called to go.
I am not writing this to make anyone else feel like they should go. God has specific plans for each of our lives and they are not all the same, however I do think each person should question where they should be and how they are reaching their neighbors and the nations. Sometimes we do get so comfortable that we ignore God's call. Don't do that either. We must be an intentional people who intentionally share the love and news of Christ with whoever God puts around us. Where you do this is between you and God.
Because our family is unique in make up there are only a few specific places, in this season, we believe are appropriate for us. God will show us how this will work and will pave the way. As we wait on Him to show us the final plans and confirm things for us we prepare to get ourselves in position to go. We are just a regular family who will be moving to a new place getting jobs there so we can live like we do here but being able to share life with those who have not heard the good news.
As we wait we love and share with those who God has placed before us. We help strengthen the church. We help believers grow in Him. We do what He puts before us. We all should be doing this. Not because it earns us anything but because He loves us so, He gave so much for us, from the response of His love we serve, we pour our lives out. We do this together little by little. It is a blessing to be a part of the body of Christ in this way, working together for His glory.
Will you pray for us as we move through this transitional phase of our lives? We would appreciate your prayers. We need perseverance because getting into position to be ready to go is not easy because it challenges our American attitude of excess and success. Pray for our fears regarding changes. Pray for our boldness in sharing. Pray we will be a blessing to whomever God allows us to partner with. Pray we will be united as a family in this. Pray we will love well. If you want more specific details on this just send me an email. This is an exciting and crazy time for us but we are all in.
Book Review: Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus' Death and Resurrection by Thabiti Anyabwile
I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.
I loved this title. It is especially a great book to get now in this season because it focuses specifically on Jesus' death and resurrection. A perfect book to reflect upon during the Lenten season. However, this topic is great to meditate on all year around. Anytime we reflect upon Christ we grow in Him.
I personally have grown to love Anyabwile. This is the second book I have read by him and I really like his easy to read writing style. Also, I love his humility. I have heard him speak on several occasions and have always been moved. I always say, anything that will aid in your walk with Christ and point you to Him is worth the time. This title is worth the time. In the Christian walk, nothing is more important than Jesus' death and resurrection. Each chapter in this book focuses the reader there.
The book is short. The five chapters are:
1. Is There No Other Way?
2. Why Have You Forsaken Me?
3. Where, O Death, Is Your Victory?
4. Why Do You Seek the Living among the Dead?
5. Do You Not Know These Things?
You can see the book trailer here. http://youtu.be/M8rD3dj8BpU
You can get a copy from Amazon here.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Sometimes when I see people running and training for things, it makes my heart sad. I really want to rejoice with them and for them and I do, but the consequence of it is seeing my own deficiency. It really should not be a big deal yet I fight back tears every. single. time.
I used to be an athlete. I used to be a competitive dancer and runner. I used to be in great shape and I loved every step that came with dance. I loved how I felt like I could fly. I also especially loved running when I was angry. There is something about the thrill of hashing out problems in your mind while your feet crush the pavement below that is exhilarating. Especially on black asphalt, that is the best. The sound and smell of it even now delights my soul.
However, that is of the past; At least for now. I know God can heal but sometimes He chooses not to. That is my reality. It is okay most days. I can walk along and live my life to the very fullest capacity. I can walk my race toward Him boldly and confidently but then I look around and I stumble some because there are so many runners. These runners are fast and in great shape. They have the strength of Samson, I often feel like Job in the dust, sitting feeling like I have nothing to offer.
But it is not true, I am not sitting, I am walking, sometimes I get a burst of strength to run, sometimes I crawl. Often I crawl. I will fight with all of my strength to move toward Him. I am on a journey home. My body, just like yours, is meant to die on the Earth. It will give out one day. No one lives here forever but in Heaven our bodies will be amazing! I cannot wait! Yet it spurns an urgency in my heart because too many people are running but not knowing where they are going. Too many are seeking gifts but not the Giver. Too many people are lost with out a Savior. As I sit, I pray.
In whatever strength He gives you, serve. Serve well, love well. Don't forget to help the weak. Don't make them feel in the way or like a dead weight. Don't make them feel less because God has not healed them. Love them. Learn from them. We are all on this journey together. All we get is a blip of time to live well for Him.
Because of the invisible illness I live with is so controversial, it is not certain how it will turn out. Doctors cannot even agree on it. I am only one of many living with Chronic Lyme Disease. However, many would say that Chronic Lyme does not even exist. That statement alone makes it hurt even worse. The manifestation of my Lyme mimics MS for me and as I write, scary things are happening to my body. They do randomly and without warning. But I refuse to live in fear! God is the remover of my fear. I will trudge on and will serve in the strength that He has given me.
Runners, do not take the ability to run free for granted because at any moment you could lose it. Health is not a guaranteed gift. Weakness is not either, as soon as weakness comes it can lift. Either stage God allows you in, live it to the fullest for Him. He is the goal. He is all that matters. Use each stage to be mindful of Him.
In weakness praise Him for being your strength. In strength praise Him for the gift. Don't take anything for granted. Run, walk or crawl your race but by all means keep going! Press through the pain. It is worth it! I promise. Maybe one day crawling will look as cool as running. You never know.
Friday, February 21, 2014
I am over at Comfort in the Midst of Chaos today. I love this ministry geared toward parents of special needs children. Go and check them out here.
When you have the opportunity of raising a special needs child you have more available occasions to express true love than others. It can be easier to love a compliant child than a ten-year-old throwing a temper-tantrum in the middle of Walmart's floor. Anyone can love a cute and compliant child easily but when it gets tough can you still love unconditionally? READ MORE
Monday, February 17, 2014
To the point, hands down, this is one of my favorite books of all time. The topic of prayer, specifically spiritual warfare, has not always been given the best biblical kind of teaching and training. I have read scores upon scores of books on this topic and this one is the most balanced and biblical I have found yet. I think all Christians should read this. I really hope you do, it will help you immensely in your Christian day to day walk.
Essentially this book is just a book that takes a look at the Ephesians six passage on prayer. Simple. Yet so profound. It walks you through this teaching in context and easily. It not only applies the text to the cultural period brilliantly but also helps the reader see how to apply the text to one self in this culture. It flowed in a pleasing way that made it not only easy to read but also a joy to read. It will spurn you on in good works and bring you closer to Christ. Get this one! It will be worth the time.
You can get a copy of this on AMAZON HERE or CHRISTIAN BOOK HERE.