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DVD Review

I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

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May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Thursday, July 05, 2007

TRUE LIGHT, by Terri Blackstock

Day 6 Friday

In Prison Like Joseph

Those of us who know our Bible stories remember the story of a man named Joseph. Joseph was the Mark Green of his day. He was sold to slave traders by his brothers, ended up in Egypt, in the service of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard. He found favor in Potiphar's house so that he was given charge of everything under Potiphar. Then his wife tried to seduce Joseph, and when he ran she claimed Joseph tried to rape her, showing his cloak as evidence. Joseph was sent to prison. Even there Joseph found favor so that, eventually he was the head trustee over the other inmates. Two men had dreams, Joseph interpreted them, and much later Joseph was called to tell Pharaoh his dream. From then on Joseph was 2nd only to Pharaoh in all of Egypt.

In TRUE LIGHT Mark has similarly had to deal with living under the reputation of his father and brothers. This makes him one of the “usual suspects” any time something goes wrong. Still Mark rises up, time and again, to be one of the most caring individuals in all of Oak Hollow. His genius at creating new ways of using discarding and useless items makes him something of a celebrity. Yet, when Zack is gunned down for a deer and Mark comes home with a deer the same day he's back on the “usual suspect” list. At first he tries to run, but realizing he'd only be hurting others he surrenders to Sheriff Scarbrough. Angry, lonely, afraid, in jail he overhears a plot that nearly gets the sheriff killed. He asks God what to do and is given the wonderful task of cleaning the toilets. Shortly afterwards he is vindicated and becomes one of the volunteer deputies, along with Doug Branning and Brad Caldwell.

The message is one that I've noticed and commented on time and time again throughout the Bible. God will humble those who do not humble themselves, and will raise up those who do humble themselves. When you lift yourself up, often God breaks you down. Yet, if you lower yourself before God, He then lifts you up, even before others.

Of course we must be willing. We must be willing to find ourselves falsely accused. We must be willing to “clean toilets” if that's what God calls us to do. We must avail ourselves to God, not try to prove our innocence. When we do we find God working in us to work out His own justice, one that is far more righteous than any we might work out. We also find ourselves where God wants us ... doing His will. These actions, while we may not believe them to be so, can be the turning points in our lives ... if we will just take a lesson from Joseph and from Mark Green. Don't hold on to grudges. Don't try to prove your own innocence. Let God do that. It's a very relaxing way of walking in the way of Christ. In doing so we find, as does Mark, those “little” things go a long way in convincing others of His love.

Is there an Oak Hollow in your life? Do you find that you are often the Mark Green of a situation? Recently, after a teaching on forgiveness I ran smack into something of the sort. My first response was to get angry. Even though I kept my mouth shut, well, for the most part, this anger grew inside of me. Yet something else was going on. God kept pleading with me to forgive, to release that one from my anger so I wouldn't end up a hostage of my own making. As I was brewing on the matter the woman postal carrier came up and said, “I really liked your book. The way you presented the plan of salvation is so clear.” We talked for a bit and I found that her name was Magdela. Isn't it interesting that God sent me this woman to remind me of His love? At one point I told her how I was feeling. Her response wasn't to take sides, not really, but she said, “Do you need a hug?” Just as Jesus had Mary Magdeline following Him during His missionary journey to encourage Him, to wash His feet, to simply love and be there for Him, God sent me my own Magdeline, named Magdela. As I hugged her my anger and bitterness began to seep out of me, overpowered by the love of God.

Yes, I know what it's like to by a Mark Green in an Oak Hollow. I know what it's like to be falsely accused. Like Mark I struggle with forgiveness. Face it, the were wrong. I had to learn that it wasn't my job to judge. It was my job to forgive. So, like Mark, I struggled, and in fact couldn't even sleep right, until I had settled the matter with God. - David Brollier

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Be sure to visit Terri's website and find out a lot more about her and her writing than you'll find here. Terri Blackstock: Up All Night Fiction

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