An amazing story about a “surprising hero” has emerged in the wake of Hurricane Harvey: a 13-year-old boy from Dickinson, Texas, who reportedly used an inflatable air mattress to save 17 of his neighbors.
I am highly intrigued by this, I can’t endorse something before I’ve seen it, but please look into this for yourselves, and if you can’t financially support it, pray that this movie furthers God’s Kingdom.
Two years ago I pitched a compelling story of forgiveness to a faith-based production company in Ohio. They liked it and agreed to make it one of five feature films they would distribute primarily via video-on-demand and DVD. The following spring, I wrote, directed, and produced the movie, with the help of a wonderful cast and crew.“One of these things is not like the others.” Then late last year, while we were in post-production, it became apparent that Over-the-Rhine, named for the urban Cincinnati enclave where its story takes place, was darker, earthier, and more universal than the other four films. When a Hollywood distribution rep saw it, he said, “This should be seen at as many movie theaters as possible, not just on video.”So we tested Over-the-Rhine at ICFF, the largest Christian film festival in the world, where it received nominations for Best Picture, Most Inspirational Picture and Best Score, and received a special Honorable Mention. More importantly, however, the audience claimed it as their own; many called it the most powerful faith-based movie they’d ever seen.
Many of us from time to time feel useless. Many simply just don’t want to hear what we a Christians are talking about. Some get angry. We often never see the impact that we make on others, and it can lead to a very dark place, where we want to just give up.
When I feel like that an episode of the Twilight Zone of all things brings me back to Earth. The episode is called “The Changing of the Guard” It is about an English teacher who has been teaching for 50 years. He is forced into retirement. When he sees what some of his students have accomplished, and he feels like his life in comparison was wasted. It drives him to want to take his life. Before he can commit suicide, however, he is interrupted by the sound of bells that should not be ringing. When he goes to check it out, he finds that his classroom is filled with the ghost of former students. Each of those students gave their life for the sake of others. One even received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valiant death. Each of those students had come back from the grave to tell him that they learned loyalty, ethics, courage, and other things in his class that enabled them to be the brave men that they were. In a sense, their accomplishments were also his.
Often we do not get to see the results of the things that we tell others. You may feel like you haven’t made a difference, but if a simple man teaching literature to young men can inspire courage, and loyalty big enough to actually save lives, just imagine how a teacher of God’s word, with God behind them, can make!
If you are faithfully serving God, you are making an impact, even if you don’t see that impact. God will see to it that you do have one!
Exodus 4: 10-12
10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
Many people fear to witness to others about God, while in some ways in this day and age it is somewhat justified. Talking about God with the wrong people can get you fired, cause arguments, lose friends, and in some places get you killed. Moses was about to be in one of those situations. He was about to go face to face with the Pharoh, who had the legal authority to kill him. He was scared and had a right to be, but he was not alone. God was with him. Yes, witnessing can be scary, but God has your back. He can use anyone or anything he wants to accomplish his will. He does, however, prefer to use those who want to be used to accomplish his mission. If you desire to be close to him, and carefully study who he is, he will give you the words you need when it matters most. Sometimes it will come at an earthly cost, but our reward in Heaven will make up for anything we lose here. Fear Not!
Atheists, skeptics and critics attack Christianity saying that it is unreasonable. Faith, they say contradicts reason. Many of us have heard their rhetoric, “Faith is a blind leap in the dark”; Faith requires one to check your brains at the door”; “Faith has been rendered meaningless in this age of science and reason.” Sadly more and more Christians sitting in our pews with doubts, week in and week out, have heard this rhetoric, and are slowly divorcing faith from reason.This view is not consistent with historic Christianity, let alone biblical. The Early Church Fathers, the Medieval Scholars, and the Protestant Reformers believed that faith fits the biblical view of reason. In this posting, I want us to consider the reasonableness of faith, keeping in mind that our finite human intellect is not able to fully grasp infinite divine truth. At the same time, let us also bear in mind that something cannot be fully understood by reason does not mean that it is unreasonable. There are some things that we cannot comprehend, but with a little effort, that which is not fully understood can be apprehended.
Many people say that we are Christians because we were born in a Christian country around a Christian culture. While this may be true for some, many people change religions, and many of them pay a cost for that change.
There are laws in many Muslim countries that say if you leave Islam, you deserve to die, and many do die for their new faith. Even the infamous Athiest Christopher Hitchens, had a brother named Peter that became a Christian who wrote a book called “The Rage Against God (subtitle in US editions: How Atheism Led Me to Faith) ” Which was an answer to his brother’s book “God is not Great. ” There are people all over this world who are dying in the culture they were brought up in, because their faith, doesn’t match their culture’s faith. If faith were just about geographic location, and local culture, this would never happen.
What about the person making the charge of religion being the response to geographic upbringing? Were they raised in an atheist culture? Most were not. They became an atheist because of a tragedy that happened, unanswered questions, or something their teacher said… their reasons are more complicated than that.
There are many reasons why a person could be the religion that they are, instead of assuming that reason, we need to ask the person holding the beliefs what their reason is.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been told what I believe by someone who barely knew me, and they were completely wrong! Don’t make that mistake, the people who do look very foolish. Instead, talk to them, and treat them like the individuals that they are.
A recent post from the Please Convince Me blog analyzed whether it is normal for Christians to only evangelize their friends.
We typically only share our faith with people we know, so it’s shouldn’t surprise us that these are the people who come to know something about our faith! But does it have to be this way, and more importantly, is this approach consistent with what the New Testament teaches?
In order to answer this question, we needn’t go further than the words of Jesus. During His earthly ministry, Jesus commissioned seventy-two of His followers to travel from town to town, announcing, “The Kingdom of God has come near” (Luke 10:9). Were these disciples told to engage only people they already knew? Hardly. In fact, Jesus warned these budding evangelists that they would be in unknown, often dangerous territory…
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