Showing posts from March, 2014

More on the movies...

My reviews and thoughts of several films which are either currently in the theaters - or are coming soon is below - you can scroll down to find it.  The movies include - "Heaven Is For Real," "Noah," "God's Not Dead" and "Son of God." In the meantime there have been a number of other articles written about "Noah" and "God's Not Dead" and I want to share the links.  On the basis of these many reviews I might be inclined to see "Noah," - but "God's Not Dead" is still the stupidest and most terribly anti-Gospel film that has hit the theaters in years.  Christians should stay away from that film - if only that we don't want to encourage any more of this idiocy to be created. So here are some other reviews: God's Not Dead:

Reflections from the Pastor on John 9

Read the text here: John 9 Defined by our Weakness Throughout Lent we have focused on relationship – our relationships with God and with each other.   These relationships are central to our lives.   No matter how much we want to believe that we don’t need anyone else and that we can do it on our own, this is simply not true.   We need God and we need others.   We were created to be in relationship with God and others and in Baptism we are given the gift of community. The brokenness of our relationships is created by our self-centeredness, our false self of individualism. But God strives to restore these relationships for us.   Ultimately through Jesus, God is constantly at work healing and restoring the brokenness in our lives. Throughout Lent we have focused on the central stories in the Gospel of John. So far we have met Nicodemus and the Woman and the Well, both of whom do not believe they are lost or broken, but through Jesus begin not only to see the possibility of

A Pastor at the Movies - Reflections of the current crop of (so-called) "Christian" movies.

I don’t often go to the movies, but when “Son of God” was announced I decided that I should see it, just out of curiosity.   So my afternoon at the movies began, as is usually the case with a set of 5 trailers for movies that would be in the theaters soon.   These trailers were obviously carefully chosen to appeal to the kind of audience that the distributor (or theater) thought would be at “Son of God.”   I found these trailers to be almost as interesting as the feature film itself and feel compelled to share some thoughts.   Please bear in mind that I have not seen these entire films – these comments are based only on the trailers. 1. Heaven Is For Real.   This is a film version of the book that has been very popular.   I have not read the book but I know many who have and they have enjoyed it. Since I have not read the book I have no way of knowing how closely the movie follows the book, but I hope that the movie has branched off from the book for I found the

Reflections on the text – John 3 and 4 – Lent 3

Read John 3:1-17 here: John 3:1-17 Read John 4:5-42 here: John 4:5-42 Finding Jesus Lost and Found!   Being lost and then found by God is an important theme in the Bible.   The children of Israel are lost in the wilderness, where they wander for 40 years.   But often they don’t think they are lost.   Often, in fact, those who are lost resist all attempts to allow God to find them.   Like a driver who refuses to stop for directions and would prefer to wander, the people of Israel just plunge on ahead getting more and more lost, and sometimes becoming hostile to those who would help them to be found by God.   Jesus’ ministry is a ministry of healing relationships – our relationship with each other and our relationship with God.   Another way of putting this is that Jesus’ ministry is one of finding those who are lost and our Gospel text for both last week (chapter 3 – Nicodemus’ visit at night) and this week (chapter 4 – the Samaritan woman at the well) are

Reflections on the text – Matthew 4:1-11 – Lent IA:

Read the Genesis text here: Genesis 2/3 Read the Matthew text here: Matthew 4:1-11 Identity Theft * Who are you?   How would you define yourself? And as you think about how you would answer this question notice how often the words you choose represent a relationship.   I am a son, a father, a husband, a pastor, a musician, a teacher, a child of God – but not one of them is something I can be all by myself.   My identity is bound up in relationships of various kinds.   There is a very popular assumption that is part of our culture that we can forge our own identity all on our own, apart from anyone and everyone else.   This is the myth of American “rugged individualism.”   I don’t need anybody else – I am a self-made man/woman – NOT!   It is a lie.   We are who we are only in relationship with others. And this includes our relationship with God.   I am a child of God by virtue of my relationship with God who called me, who loves me and who initiated