Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Courageous The Movie


This past week, the fourth movie produced by Sherwood Pictures of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia was released in a huge way.  I have the DVD from their first movie (Flywheel) and have to say that “These Guys Are Good (and getting better).”  Candidly, I was privileged to go to the Sherwood Church (with 3 of my friends) and experience this people first hand.  Their “ReFRESH” conference was a truly refreshing experience.  Their focus was not ‘church growth’ techniques or a ‘preach-off’ conference or even a ‘do it like we do’ conference.  These days were given to a ‘thirst’ for the Holy Spirit’s presence and power.  While these people are not ‘perfect’ by any stretch of an imagination, what they seem to project is “Live Christians Walking”.  Their humility, willingness to serve, and their ongoing ‘graciousness’ gave witness to their desire to ‘show Jesus to everyone.’  To experience this congregation is to understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ these movies have such a powerful and spirit-filled message on the screen.

Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof are all great scripts with great people which gives great truths, but the name “Courageous” (it seems to me) express the very heart of this congregation.  Beginning with the leadership of Senior Pastor Michael Catt, whose spirit-filled guidance keeps the ‘balance’ in the people, it is obvious that this congregation is something pretty special.  Making movies is but ONE of a myriad of ministries which far exceed the normal reach of a congregation.  They courageously face needs, struggles, and truth together.  It is no wonder that Stephen and Alex Kendrick developed this script named “Courageous.”  Action, humor, fatherhood, family dysfunction, and more make this an outstanding movie that the entire family can enjoy and learn from.

Hollywood will never understand the power behind these movies, because they seem to have closed the door on the very power which Sherwood leans on.  The movie concept was prayed over, the script was prayed over, the cinematography was prayed over, casting was prayed over, as well as lighting, makeup, costume, and all the rest—you guessed it—PRAYED OVER!!  Unlike Hollywood who, when faced with a problem, simply ‘pay over it’, Sherwood stops production and PRAYS over it.  Thus, the power of the movie comes from the power of prayer which engages the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you Sherwood for your 21st Century example and reminder!!! 

O, by the way – SEE THE MOVIE and TAKE A FRIEND!!!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Trust

Trust is a much used word in our English language. In the “Encarta Dictionary” it is defined as “confidence in and reliance on good qualities, especially fairness, truth, honor, or ability”. Having confidence in something or someone is a vital quality for a relationship to exist. When trust is gone, basically the relationship is gone.


Daily, we speak of trusting Jesus. While scripturally it remains true that when we place our trust in Jesus we are sealed with the Spirit of God, it is equally true that the Spirit of God will infuse our heart and souls making our trust level of Jesus grow and expand. It is what the Bible calls “Spiritual Maturity”.

On a personal level, without trust nothing of any consequence gets accomplished, every word gets challenged, and good ideas get derailed. The trust level between family, friends, churches, pastors, and the like constitutes the basis by which life is lived and goals are accomplished.

Sadly, it can happen that an individual can be stripped of his trust through no fault of his own. It only takes a ‘word’ or ‘suggestion’ from someone else and, so it seems, that individual is branded as someone not to be trusted. While this can be called “Character assassination”, the Bible calls it ‘slander.' Peter says, “Rid yourself of it.” Paul gives several thoughts on this subject. He says, ‘slander no one’, ‘it must be removed from you’, and ‘put it away.’ Paul knew what Christ would have us know, “The sin of slander has the spiritual impact of physical murder.’ To slander is to misrepresent which results in the trust of a trustworthy individual being undermined.

Scripture says, “Speak the truth in love”, yet this text has been sorely abused. The ‘truth’ which Paul writes about is God’s truth, not our own version of truth. Too often, as flawed human beings, we begin our search for the truth with our minds already ‘made’ about the end result. Most of the time, we find a way to come to the conclusion we wanted to come to. While it isn’t ‘right’ to do this, too often it is done this way. Also, too often we desire to speak the truth absent the love OR conversely, act in love without speaking the truth. Both of these scenarios have disaster written all over them and candidly, border on abuse.

The result of this type of behavior can be that someone who is trustworthy is no longer trusted, a reputation is destroyed, a life is wrecked, and even a ministry thwarted.

TRUST – we use the word much, but do we realize how easily ‘we’ can be the unwitting culprit to its destruction. “Let us put on the mind of Christ.”

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Judicial Lunacy Continues

The story begins, “A Ten Commandments display in an Ohio courtroom violates the Constitution, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.” Once again, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has shown their true colors as they, once again, have bowed to the pressure of the infamous ACLU. While this is old news in this country, it does give insight into the lunacy which seems to prevail on the bench of the Federal Courts.


Attempting to demonstrate legal scholarship, the three-judge panel rejected Judge DeWeese’s right to place the Decalogue in view and accepted the ACLU’s argument that to post this document is unconstitutional. The situation would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

This may be the shortest blog in history because this issue is not complicated. “IF” those who wrote the constitution deemed the ‘posting of the 10 commandments in a court room’ as a violation of the constitution, then “WHY DID THOSE SAME MEN ENGRAVE, IN STONE, THOSE SAME 10 COMMANDMENTS OVER THE HEADS OF THE SUPREME COURTS JUSTICES?”

Candidly, it is obvious that many of the judges’ today desire to do away with the very principles (the 10 commandments) upon which every successful government in history used (in some measure). Why not file a lawsuit against the Supreme Court to get THEIR Decalogue taken down. In doing this, we would finally have achieved what many desire, a land with not mention of this Decalogue which would ultimately become – a decadent society.

My suggestion is instead of doing away with the 10 Commandments, let’s replace the judges who consider the 10 Commandments to be unconstitutional. After all, these principles were carved in stone in the chamber of the Supreme Court by our “Constitutional writers” and on 2 tablet of our stone by our DNA WRITER (that would be “Jehovah God”). I trust these writers rather than those judges. It makes good sense.

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