Risen – A Movie to Remember

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This past Sunday our pastor taught us from Psalm 78, a psalm that communicates the importance of passing down the powerful stories of what God has done. Both parents and grandparents alike were encouraged to be diligent in teaching the next generation about the attributes of God. The psalmist gives the following reasons for us to be faithful in teaching our children and grandchildren about the Lord. We must teach them…

…so the next generation might know them—
    even the children not yet born—
    and they in turn will teach their own children.
So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
    not forgetting his glorious miracles
    and obeying his commands.
Then they will not be like their ancestors—
    stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
    refusing to give their hearts to God.

Psalm 78:6,7

 If you are like me, you want your children and grandchildren to set their hopes anew on God, not forgetting His glorious miracles and obeying His commands.

Why do I bring all of this up? Recently, I was asked to review the movie entitled Risen, a beautiful Biblical portrayal of Christ’s resurrection. Where Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion left off, Risen begins. It is well acted and excellently portrayed.  It is a quality feature film in every way.

The movie brings us into the examination of the claims of the resurrection and into the fears and joys of Jesus’ disciples. More important, it is a reminder of God’s great love for us and His power over sin and death. It is a story of victory – God’s redeeming victory over pain, sorrow and death. It’s a story which must be passed on to generations to come.

As we intentionally impart to young people the “glorious miracles” that God has done, let us never forget the most important miracle – that Christ triumphed over the grave. Colossians reminds us how personal this is. Paul wrote to believers, “With Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.”

In today’s culture, we want to use a variety of forms of media to grab the attention of young adults and pass along our Christian heritage. Consider using this movie as an opportunity to enjoy some family time together with your teens this summer.* It is a wonderful way to open up the discussion to proclaim the hope we have in Christ.

*You can click the icon at the top of this blog to order the DVD. Keep in mind that this movie is for older kids. It is rated PG-13 due to Biblical violence and a little bit of blood and guts. Best for kids 13 and older.

For more summer ideas to do with the family check out PositiveMom.com

Our $5 Special this month includes two books – Fun House and Table Talk. Both are perfect for family fun this summer. Click Here for more info.

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How do you personally respond to the evil and injustice you see in this world? You have a choice. You can either be overcome with fear, despair, anger & bitterness, or you can choose hope. The Bible tells us to overcome evil with good. What does that look like in a practical sense? That’s what we are going to be talking about at Positive Woman Connection Bible Study as we finish up our study of Romans 12 on May 24. I hope you will join us. For more info click here.



Happy Place

You will probably have no sympathy for me when I tell you that I spent this past week in Aruba. Beautiful beaches, perfect weather, delicious food – no wonder it’s called “The Happy Island.” Who wouldn’t be happy in such peaceful surroundings? Yet despite the temporary bliss of this island paradise, we all know that true happiness isn’t about finding the perfect sandy surroundings. Happiness is ultimately a matter of the heart. The Bible gives us a picture of joy and delight rooted in God Himself. The psalmist declared:

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.  (Psalm 1)

Psalm 119 continues this joyful principle:

Joyful are people of integrity,
    who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey his laws
    and search for him with all their hearts.

And Proverbs gives us this reminder:

The hopes of the godly result in happiness. Proverbs 10:28

Jesus spoke of happiness in His famous Sermon on the Mount. The word “blessed” literally means, happy, supremely blessed, to be envied and spiritually prosperous with life-joy granted to the person who experiences salvation. Here’s what He said:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:3-9)

 Happiness begins when we come to the end of ourselves (poor in spirit) and find our hope and strength in the One who came to give us joy and peace. Yes, Jesus is the One who makes our hearts truly happy. He is not a paradise island, rather He is our rock, our righteousness, our refuge, our salvation.

To learn more about what the Bible has to say, check out Becoming a Woman of the Word.



Learn to Thrive

Karol-Ladd-Page-Featured-ImageLeadershipCouncil God has given each of us gifts and abilities to use to build up others and to glorify God. Romans 12 reminds us that we are to not only use our gifts with humility, but we are to use them with passion. Join us on Tuesday, January for lunch and Bible Study as we continue our study of Romans 12. I look forward to seeing you there! Click here for more info and to register.

Victory of Peace

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The God of peace be with you all.

Romans 15:33

Peace between God and mankind began at Christmas as Jesus entered this world and the angels proclaimed, “Peace on earth to men of good will.”

Isn’t it ironic that during this Season of Peace, most people feel especially frazzled, overwhelmed and anxious? Between strained family relationships, crazy-busy schedules and over-the-top gift expectations, even the calmest of people can become a bit rattled. It’s easy at Christmas to lose sight of the fact that as believers in Christ, the God of peace is truly with us.

In the gospel of John, we read about Jesus preparing to go to the cross on our behalf. He reminded His disciples that the Father would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to give us peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” (John 14:27). Jesus gave us a unique and wonderful gift, the gift of peace. Not a peace that the world gives, but rather a peace that only God can give, a peace that passes all understanding.

The cross was the ultimate victory providing peace with God through Jesus’ sacrifice. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, God did not leave us here alone to try to figure out life on our own. He gave us His Spirit.

Think about it – the very same Spirit of God who brought order from chaos when the universe was formed, is the Spirit that is with us!  Certainly He can bring a glorious peace to our restless hearts. So when you feel anxious or overwhelmed, remember this simple yet powerful phrase, The God of peace is with me. He will guide you and give you a new perspective. He will calm your chaos.

This is devotion also appears in Buckner International’s 2015 Advent Guide. Click here to download your free Advent Guide.