God’s Not Dead – This Should NOT be Headline news!

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The movie, GOD’S NOT DEAD by Pure Flix Entertainment featuring  Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Shane Harper (Spencer in Disney’s Good Luck Charlie), Dean Cain (Superman) and David A.R. White (Jerusalem Countdown) with special appearances by Christian super-band, Newsboys who perform — God’s Not Dead , Willie and Korie of the Duck Dynasty (which I do not watch)  opened today in theaters across America. There are plans to screen the movie in other parts of the world too.

The movie synopsis stems from the book by Dr. Rice Broocks  a highly respected senior minister and founder of  Every Nation  family of churches, which according to the website, “currently includes more than 1,000 churches in more than 60 countries …  is on hundreds of college campuses ….focusing on equipping college students around the world to defend their faith.” He also developed the 10 questions conversation – The God Test.

The book presents Nine (9) basic proofs of God’s existence and includes stories of the journey of faith, doubt, disbelief from people ranging from an atheist Harvard Professor to campus students having to defend His existence intellectually. The reality is that while God is evident to Christians, the rest of the human population could be completely oblivious or worse indifferent.

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The book tackles the arguments of atheists such as Dawkins, Harris, Krauss, Mahrer and explores the direct  impact that the teachings of Darwin and Nietzsche have, especially on the highly intellectual communities and shapes the minds our children and young adults. (Parents need to pay attention…our children have to learn to defend their faith.)

Why is this important and Who needs this?

  • The Seekers – those wondering, what if God REALLY exists? It’s not a sappy movie, but a serious INTELLECTUAL, CEREBRAL discourse around the question that plagues our hearts.
  •  The Hungry – people feeling empty and searching for more in life. C.S.Lewis said, “If you are hungry, that points to the existence of food.”
  • Christians  who have always wanted a non-preachy way to articulate and express their faith. The Spirit convicts the heart, we cannot do His job, but we can offer plain intellectual and logical answers to questions about our faith and belief in the Lord.
  • Parents who want to fortify their children with information that is powerful in the face of dogmatic philosophies that run rampant in colleges and schools.
  • Anyone who is still alive, breathing and just for Pete’s sake, wants to know the straight forward truth
Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 2.04.54 PMI entered college as a Christian, got carried away, flunked a few (OK, a lot) of courses, got angry with God for “failing” me and basically ignored Him for a good chuck of my early adult years. That decision cost me dearly.
Without a solid foundation and core understanding of WHY we believe, by the time we get through college, most us will suffer a crisis of faith.

Here are some questions from the Dr Broocks’ book to ponder as you head into the theater or order the book:

  1.  Why would you believe that there is nothing rather than something?
  2.  Where did life come from? Evolution doesn’t explain where the first self replicating mutation came from.
  3. Where did our unseen conscience come from? Across cultures, nations and creed, why are we moral, how do we innately and universally know right from wrong?
  4. Who can you trust? A being who demands sacrifices from you or one who became the sacrifice?

Sites like RatioChristi and PoachedEgg provide apologetic resources that shakes us out of our comfort zone, so that we learn to give logical reasons for our faith.  Some one said, “We are not salt-shakers but real change agents when we engage our world.”

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So get out there, get some organic popcorn (*wink*), grab a friend, your child or loved one, pay for a stranger to go see the movie and  if you stumbled on this post after it’s gone from theaters, please get the DVD and read the book. In the indelible lyrics of the Newsboys, “Our God’s not dead, He is surely alive!” (And this should NOT be headline news.)

*All image credits from God’snotdead.org site.

Prompt: How far would you go…to defend your belief in God?

A Rude Awakening to Gratitude.

Credit: Pixabay Commons

Credit: Pixabay Commons

At 6.25 am today, between trying to hitch a ride to the library from an old friend who turned out to be a snitch and trying to catch the giant baby, Beyoncé dropped on its head, I was rudely awakened by the after-shock of the 4.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Westwood CA  and  sent shock waves through San Fernando Valley, Orange county and Santa Barbara.

Is it bad that my first thought was about my laptop? Anyway, as the shaking continued, I mentally checked for noise from my son’s room, the pantry and prescription medication levels for the family because this is Northridge. Apartment managers, realtors and agents don’t advertise the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, which was a 6.7 magnitude with strong ground motion felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, about 220 miles (360 km) from the epicenter of Reseda and had a death toll of 57, with more than 5,000 injured.

That earthquake-caused property damage estimated at over $20 billion, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history, affecting everything from television, movie, music productions, schools and universities, homes and hospitals and came with an outbreak of  coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever). In all my research before moving to Northridge, I totally missed this crucial piece of information or maybe it was hidden from me.

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Google Image: Northridge

Hidden, I believe because if I had known, I would not have moved to Northridge. But then I would have missed the blessings and special grace I have found in this city. The friends, the neighborhood, the Rite Aid pharmacy that gives us  advance medication when the insurance company is acting constipated, the Ralph’s Deli that’s a quick walk away, where every Tuesday, we line up for the freshly baked  sweet wheat & oat boule, a dark hearty loaf with a slightly sweet chewy crust and soft interior, rolled in oats…yum! What’s a neighborhood without Starbucks? Well, just around my street corner, we’ve got two!

In this neighborhood, my son’s education could not have been in better hands, he blossomed in Stagg St. Elementary and now is in Holmes M.S. one of the best middle schools in California. Everything I need, except a next-door-library (which explains the hitch-hike in my dream)  is close-by.

Here is a checklist of earthquake survival tips from the Red Cross.

  • Develop and practice your family disaster plan.
  • Stock up non-perishable goods and have an emergency preparedness kit.
  • Get someone in the family trained in First Aid and CPR/AED.
  • Most importantly, don’t forget to learn the Drop, Cover and Hold On technique.

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It’s been quiet in California and this earthquake was just a rude awakening, to appreciate what we have, a home, family and the promise of God’s care and protection. As my building did a little rumba this morning, I prayed, ” Jesus… please keep us save where You have planted us.”

I am thankful that no-one got hurt and I went about my day…deeply conscious of grace, knowing that in any moment,  life as we know it, can change.

…He has made from one blood, every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings. Act 17:26.

Activating The Domino Effect in Life

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The domino effect is a chain reaction that comes from a small change or action taken. The process of activating the domino effect in life starts by asking the right questions or by having the correct response to opportunities.

Isn’t it crazy how we never deal with one problem at a time? Domino tiles are also called bones and if anyone is surviving, bare-knuckled and holding on by desperate measures from one crisis situation to another, it’s time to check how many things we juggle and check the quality of our game tiles.  Beware of grasping at shadows and overcrowding.

Self knowledge is critical to ascertaining our path — For example, I struggle with team activities and I often wondered why, because I love people. So I went back an reviewed an extensive personality test I took years ago, it clearly stated that my strengths are with Activities and not People…AHA!

I try not to miss watching the Power for Living program by Bishop Dale Bronner and his precise and exceptional teaching . Here are his principles of the activating the domino effect:

1. You must have dominoes – (duh?!) be curious about what strategy you should be playing and don’t play with another person’s pieces.
2. Align them up properly – don’t get out of alignment of the common good. No cheating, crooked or twisted thinking.  As a man thinks, so is he.  A lack of character moves you out of alignment.
3. Push the first domino in the RIGHT direction.  A tile pushed in the wrong direction has no effect.
4. After the first domino falls, be READY for the rest of the tiles to fall…because they will.

“What’s Taking So Long? “What you’re waiting on is not following you, it is waiting for you in a place called obedience.” – Bishop Dale C. Bronner

If you have lived long enough and through some seasons, you’ve gathered a set of dominoes  – your interests or passion, education, temperament, life experiences, family, friends, your sensory vault, that song/movie that inspires you, that strange workshop you enrolled in on a whim, the book you bought at the airport that was clearly written for you, a clean record – even though you should have had a ticket or two (now you can tell I’m talking about me) and if you do not have a clean record, that’s also a piece of your game.

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All things work together, no experience is ever wasted, but you want to minimize how many of your pieces fall sideways, wasting valuable time or delaying your arrival.  Like a fist, FOCUS as you align the pieces of your life, get them in sync with your calling, ready for that knockout punch to the first door and trigger your breakthrough!

Here are some domino effect activation prayers or questions suggested by Bishop Bronner to unleash the power of the ONE thing:
Lord, show me the one thing that I can do better this week to align my life for greatness / What is the one thing that can unlock all the other frustrating areas in my life ?/ What is the one thing I can do about my child/health/business etc.?

Join me in declaring an end to dead works and boldly ask for light to illuminate each right step. Fist bump…Game on!

All images Credit: Pixabay

Loving His Passion and His Body.

valentine-185944_640, Loving His Passion and His Body

Loving His Passion and His Body.

Love is here, there and everywhere!
We burrow deep into our dusty lockers, to find the rose-colored glasses that’s needed to bear this Valentine Day. To love another human, (especially one who shares your body) is an almost impossible quest.

If you think you are in love…think again. Most of us are in love with HOW our partner makes us feel. How in love are you when you are upset? This day reminds us of the benefit of curbing the urge to kill that “person” winking at you when they goof badly.
Sure the guy (or gal) is so-fine-he-blows-my-mind  but what about what they did just last week?

There is a lot of frustration and resentment in loving a human is because some people refuse to grow. Even those who are forward-thinking and vision-minded still cannot grow at your pace. We all come out of life’s birth canals in our different and unique pace. The pangs you feel is because while you are evolving, they cannot reach you.

Loving His Passion and His Body

I hope we cling to the passion and to the one who loved us enough to offer his body. He left it hanging on the cross till love’s mission was accomplished and it wasn’t the nails that kept Him there, LOVE DID.
He could have come down at any minute, but He saw the joy of us running to Him, when we are in pain, in grief or just when we want to snuggle up and His love for you and me kept him there.

I am grateful for the love from family and the people in my life and I am happy to add my few dollars to the billions spent by the world on chocolates, perfumes, dinner and rose flowers for loved ones today. But I know that without my Lord, Jesus who first loved me passionately, deeply and unconditionally… and is forever smitten with my smile, I could not love them back.

HAPPY LOVE DAY!!

Thirty-One Summers and Counting – Poem

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Credit: Pixabay Commons

Thirty-One Summers and Counting  – Poem
by Ama Danesi

In your hurry, you left bones behind
and the heat of thirty-one summers.
Sunset’s not the end of time –
interrupts the rendezvous of a carved image.
I feel your light upon my waters,
I know you are in His.

I pray your heart healed as
it caught up with the Sun.
Stalled timeline, memorialized on Facebook.
Now we live and die on full display
You no longer appear as People-I-Know.
I miss reminders of your birthday – like today.

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Happy Birthday to my little one, Imah-Obong-  who is resting above.