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?

How Do We Make Decisions – By Revelation or Information?

making right Decisions

What works for you – Revelation or Information? I watched a very interesting program on Dreams and Mysteries and had to reflect on how I have made decisions all my life. How do you decide between the Spiced Ginger Latte or Chai Tea Latte at the coffee shop, who to marry, where to live, when to move or change jobs, which college to attend or in my case when to get involved with an intensive and exhilarating 90-Day novel-writing workshop?

John Paul Jackson, author, teacher, speaker and founder of Streams Ministries International and host of the show, related how decades ago, searching for an apartment in a new city, he walked into a building and when the resident manager saw him, she exclaimed, “Young man, you’ve got a gift!”

Thinking she meant a physical gift, he said “No, I don’t.”

She disagreed vehemently and asked him to take off his wristwatch and hand it to her, he did and she put the watch to her ear. She stood still, rubbing it…weird!

Then she said, “You just broke up with a girl, whose name starts with an ‘X’ – in three days, you’ll be receiving a letter from her asking you to come back.”

She stopped abruptly and stated, “Well, that’s all I’ve got.”

(Yeah, right…we know the drill!)

He stood stunned and thought, How did this stranger know about the breakup and the girl’s name?  He grabbed his watch, and bolted out of the apartment fast! He found a trash can and flung the watch inside, wanting NONE of her energy.

What do you think…was that revelation or information?

making right decisionsMerriam-Webster explains that REVELATION is a usually secret or surprising fact made known; an act of making something known usually in a surprising way. If you are spiritual, then revelation is usually the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or sometimes supernaturally.

INFORMATION on the other hand is like yesterday’s news– knowledge that you get about someone or something; facts or details about a subject, derived from study, experience, or instruction. Information is NOT a secret, it already exists and is easier to find.

In John’s case, the break-up was not a secret, their circle of friends and family probably knew about it. It’s also possible that the heartbroken girl had written a letter and already mailed it. Just like the simple flutter of butterfly wingseverything we do is coded and woven into the fabric of the universe.  That was information peddled as revelation.

A price tag would have been attached if he had taken the bait and asked for more. This is the trick of the trade by psychics, fortune tellers and mediums, they know “things” and that’s the surprise, because we can’t imagine how they know what we’ve done or been through. We are wired to seek wonder and so we’ll pay for more.

“We make decisions everyday – while some are trivial, others are huge, life-altering choices that requires you to look beyond the present, weigh consequences and ask the hard questions. Who do you ask ?” AD

Back to the 90-Day workshop decision. It was an expensive course, would require grueling self-discipline and time – three major currencies where on the table.
I bookmarked the website, visited at least once a week, debating if I even had enough of the three to spend. I prayed and asked the Omniscience, All-Knowing God to help me decide.

making right decisionsI had the Information – the website, sample lectures, reviews and experiences from past students, bio of the faculty members, the cost and discounts, success stories, character of the founder but still I couldn’t decide, until the night before the deadline. (I’m sure you ever been at many crossroads in life – armed with all facts, but still can’t decide)

Then, I had this vivid dream of a huge faceless man, calling me from across the street, to come over and get into the RED EXPRESS BUS with three numbers starting with a 4 on the headboard, that had just pulled up and was waiting ( it seemed for me) at the bus-stop. I turned and walked to towards him and the red bus.

If you know how to interpret dreams, you’ll understand why that morning with an overwhelming sense of peace, I knew what to do and without fear, I enrolled. Revelation came in that dream.

Some people are born with a defined, innate gift of revelation, folks who felt strange growing up, who just knew things and could not explain how. The good news is that EVERYONE can hear from God for themselves and when we ask Him, pray or press in, He speaks through His word, dreams, visions and that intuitive sense of “knowing” or “something-told-me” that we have all experienced.

“The gift of revelation is NOT the messages you receive, it’s the ABILITY to receive messages.” John Paul Jackson

The gift of revelation isn’t the signal or messages, but the hardware, like a “human satellite dish” able to receive and send messages, so before you go into ask someone to “see” for you, you have to determine who the prophet or psychic is tuned to. When this gift is directly from the Creator, it requires dedication and character to keep the messages unadulterated while dark forces would prefer the seer NOT have any character at all.

making right decisionsSo when natural-born seers became unscrupulous and lose their connection from the original source, they have to find a counterfeit, an alternative and these dark forces are always willing to transmit, like a computer virus seeking a host.

They’ll take anyone who opens up to them through the medium, and enslave both the psychic and their paying customers. And they usually start with INFORMATION – the yesterday’s news about your life. Once the virus gets downloaded, hell is let loose! That’s why people report nightmares and a sense of heaviness afterwards.

The offense in our minds, is often necessary to expose what’s in our hearts. Paraphrased from D&M Notes

I understand this is not for everyone, but there are steps on Dreams and Mysteries to clean out hard drives of compromised lives and cut off the counterfeit one who manipulates information and sends people desperate for immediate answers down the wrong path or a sidetrack. Some people even treat something this serious as entertainment!

Discerning the source of the advice that guides our decision-making is crucial. We need both revelation and information. Information we can get by the natural process of reviewing the pros and cons, but when we need insight and revelation, it’s always about the SOURCE, that brings peace and ONLY PEACE.

Prompt: Can you tell the difference between information and revelation?

Invitation to Party..

Invitation to Party

Surprisingly, the checklist and criteria to get in, is rather unimpressive.. it’s almost too easy:
1. Cowardly and Fearful
2. Unbelieving
3. Abominable
4. Murderers
5. Sexually Immoral
6. Sorcerers
7. Idolaters
8. Liars

This is the revelation – its extremely low standards means you only need ONE attribute to qualify and be ushered in. I used to think that only sin-crazed maniacs got a specially reserved personal hearth in hell, also described as a place of eternal torment, a burning lake of fire and brimstone, the belly of the earth.

Imagine drowning in a sea of volcanos, furnaces of flaming lava and hot vapor eruptions eternally timed to guarantee extreme misery, in a pit made for fallen angels, demons and not you.
In there cloaked in suffocating darkness – your dry and parched throats strained from the blood curdling screams of pain and terror in the realization that, in exercising God given free will, you made this choice and any hope of relief for your burning flesh and unquenchable thirst is forever lost in this second and last death.

The place of the damned…filled with the unimaginable stench of fear and putrid sweat from the heat that melts even the staunchest of hearts. Unless you are certain that someone other than Jesus, made the big blue sky, we all will acknowledge that He is Lord….EVERYONE will. In the game-show of life,  it’s too late to give the answer after the buzzer sounds…I know, I really should say “trumpet”, but you get the idea.

Here and now, while you still have a choice, check the venue of the party on that invitation card you have accepted into your heart, will there be a party over there? You bet, there was a party when I said my “yes” and the Bible states that there’s a party in heaven,when we decide to accept God’s invitation to come home.
Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard nor can our finite minds imagine what God has planned for those who love Him.
Whew! I made it…This time I scored an invite to the right party on the best side of the Heavens and all I had to do was believe….that too, was quite easy.

Just Say Yes, God does the rest.

Ama