Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Repo Men: A Movie Review

Warning: You're about to read a subject that many might find disturbing.

Repo Men is a recent movie. Set in the near future, it's about a man who repossesses artificial organs. That's right, he kills people and steals pacemakers when people are overdue on their payments. And kidneys, livers, the list goes on. All in glorious, graphic Blue-Ray detail. I watch war movies on occasion, and I found Repo Men disturbing. Who watches and enjoys this kind of stuff? It was slimy, as if I had lost my innocence.

Every movie has a message. Every story communicates ideals from a certain facet of our culture. When I see movies like Repo Men, I become a little worried about people who enjoy them. Many Christians decry sex as much as violence in movies. But, really, sex is a part of the natural order of life (not that it should be shown in graphic detail either). The kind of violence depicted in some movies, movies like Repo Men, where killing is just a job, is not a part of every human being's existence. It's kind of like the Roman gladiatorial games. We're feeding the violent part of our nature, the part that only warriors used to experience.

I'm not per se against showing violence in movies (in what degree it should be shown is another matter). I'm against the way violence is portrayed in many movies, especially killing, as a casual event. As the repo men said, "It's just a job." Death and violence is sometimes necessary, but we should never look at it casually. Life is precious, sacred. When we no longer view life as such, bad things happen, like the Roman gladiatorial games...or abortions.

However, Repo Men does have its good points. The main character gets an artificial heart he can't pay for, so the repo men who used to be his coworkers come after him. Along the way, he falls in love with a girl who is all black market artificial parts. His view changes. He's now protecting one of the people he used to kill. It's not just a job any more. These people have lives, have loved ones. Murder, for him, is no longer casual.

There might be some hope for our culture after all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review- Living the Cross Centered by C.J. Mahaney

His Gift, Your Hope*

Do you desire more passion for Jesus Christ? Return to the very essence of
your faith- the cross of Christ. Here, the deepest truths of Calvary will stir
your passion for Him into an unquenchable fire.

"Never lay it aside. Never move on," says C.J. Mahaney, who shows you how
to center every day around the life-giving reality of the gospel and how to
escape the pitfalls of legalism, condemnation, and feelings-driven faith.

One Center, Countless Radical Changes.

With these words author C.J. Mahaney invites you to explore a revolutionary kind of faith. A faith that is not focused on us and our deeds and/or misdeeds, but rather, the center of a Christian's beliefe system- Christ and his redeeming sacrifice.

The book covers topics such as Why the Cross Should Define Our Lives, What We Feel vs. What Is Real, Why Only Jesus Christ Could Save Us, How the Cross Rescues You From the Performance Trap, How the Cross Removes Guilt and Shame, Practical Ways to Focus Daily on the Cross, and more.

In reading this book I have learned so much. I have seen that my faith is not based on what I do or don't do. I have realized that Cross is all we have, in reality. It is one of the only three lasting things on this earth- the Cross of Christ, the Word of God, and our eternal souls. This book has reminded me that it is not of myself that I am where I am, that it is only by the blood of Christ, and through his grace and mercy that I am who I am today. This book teaches true joy, true grace, true mercy, and true justice. If you are looking to redefine your walk in the way the Bible teaches, this book is an amazing help. It's advice is timeless, it's message life-changing, and it's truth solidly based. I highly recommend this book to all Christians and non-Christians alike. It speaks truth with no fear, and for that I give it a high rating.

*Taken from the back cover of Living the Cross Centered Life, by C.J. Mahaney

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A look at Jeremiah 1:7

Our theme verse is Jeremiah 1:7. Why? Because it's a challenge for boldness. It's a command from the Lord. It's not a request.

"Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak."

God is very specific here when He says that we will do as He commands. And He doesn't say "the things that you like that I command of you, you shall speak". He says whatever He commands us. That means going up to the lonely kid at school and speaking the word of God into their lives. That means standing before a crowd and speaking out against what's wrong. That may mean going to another country and sharing Christ to untouched places. Whatever it means for you, you have to do it.

Some people say that you can be too bold. I do not agree with that. You cannot be too bold in anything involving the Gospel. Honestly when you take away everything but the Cross, you either have it, or you don't. Those who do are going to Heaven, those who don't are going to Hell. You might say "But they'll laugh at me. They'll mock me, or they'll ignore me." Well, to be blunt, they aren't going to be laughing at you, mocking you, or ignoring you when they are standing in the fires of Hell. God didn't call us to be passive in deed. He called us to take action.

Mark Twain once said "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." We are never so courageous that we have no fear. But we do have a way to resist the fear, to go on despite the fear, to overcome the fear, and to do what needs to be done. We have a God who has promised never to leave nor forsake us. He doesn't command something that He will not give us the strength to do. In Mark 10:27 we see Jesus telling the disciples that with man things will be impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible. In Philipians 4:13 we see that all things are possible in Christ. In Acts chapters 4, 9, 13, 14, 18, 19, 26, and 28, we see at some point disciples being bold and speaking out boldly. Why? Because it is what God commanded them to do. And as the Lord commanded, so did they.

This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
~Ephesians 3:11-13

In Ephesians we see that it is only through Jesus Christ that we have boldness. What He has called us to He will give us the strength to accomplish! And it is only because of this that you, or I, or anyone else can do anything that God has commanded of us. We need to see that there need not be a need to hesitate. We know not how much time we have left on this earth. This earth is quickly passing, but souls are eternal. The only thing that really matters is where your soul ends up. Every person whos soul has not been dedicated to the cause of Christ, and does not believe that he is their Savior, and that by his blood they are made clean, is one more person condemned to the eternal grasp of Satan. Without Jesus they cannot break loose. You could be the one to help them break loose. When we allow God to speak through us, we are priviledged to aid in the touching of one more heart, one more mind, one more soul. God doesn't need us to speak for Him. And yet He commands us to. We should be able to do so with confidence and boldness in Christ, but still maintaining a gentle humility and love for all mankind.

I extend a challenge to you today. It's not my challenge. It's God's challenge. I'm taking the challenge through my writing. You may take it in your own personal style- speaking, writing, music, or art. But I challenge you to do as God commands, go where God commands, and speak what God commands. And I challenge you to start now, and to never stop. You would be amazed at what you can accomplish with faith that He will do the impossible through you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We Shall Speak- The Jeremiah 1:7 Project

This is the blog home of the We Shall Speak Project. It is a project founded by a group of Rebelutionaries who want to impact the world with the writing of books, essays, short stories, and poetry all in a bold, Christ-glorifying way. We desire to work as a team, and do the hard thing in all that we do. We will stand strongly for what we believe in, and hope to share Christ with all the world! Our founding verse is Jeremiah 1:7
"Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak."

We began assembling our team on April 06th, 2010, and are going to begin working on our first project very soon. We look forward to sharing with you our thoughts on the matters of importance in today's society, and we hope you enjoy hearing them!

If there are any topics you would like us to blog about, please feel free to share them with us in the comment section.

If you are interested in committing to our team, you can email us at weshallspeak@gmail.com. There you will receive some questions, and upon receiving the answers, we will look over your application and notify you of our decision. Thank you all!