Painful, But Powerful

This past weekend, I saw the new Mel Gibson movie Hacksaw Ridge. It was a tough movie to watch (lots of blood and guts), but it was also one of the most powerful and positive movies I’ve seen in a long time. No one walks away from this movie unmoved.

This morning, I decided to make a list of a few of the many lessons that can be derived from the true story of Desmond T. Doss at the Battle of Okinawa.

  • Stay True to What You Believe
  • Be Willing to Be Different
  • Be Strong and Courageous
  • Live a Selfless Life
  • Don’t Give Up – Persevere
  • Always Look for Ways You Can Help (or Save) Others in Need
  • Take Risks
  • Be Humble and Kind
  • Don’t Repay Evil for Evil
  • Seek God’s Help in Everything You Do
  • Read Your Bible for Direction and Strength

The List could go on and on – I’d love to hear what you would add.

One scene in the movie stands out to me, and it’s one that I think each believer can apply to his or her own life. In this particular scene, the Americans retreated off the ridge, but Desmond chose to remain on top of “Hacksaw Ridge” in order to save as many soldiers as possible. Tired and hungry, he worked through the night and all the next day risking his life to help his fallen friends (and enemies). He continued to pray, “Please Lord, help me get one more.” God gave him the energy and protection to save over 70 lives.

We may never see physical combat as Desmond Doss did, but the Bible says as believers we are in a spiritual battle.  Are we willing to pray as Desmond did – Lord allow me to help save one more life? Are we willing to go the extra mile to share the gospel and serve others? Desmond Doss offers an example to us all to be strong and courageous, to love the Bible and to ask God for wisdom and strength in all we do.

Risen – A Movie to Remember

465688: Risen, DVD Risen, DVD

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

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.