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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

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

CHION, by Darryl Sloan

Day 3. Another thing about CHION is the way Darryl Sloan creates believable characters. Specifically the way he captures junior high children. How many adult authors can remember, and then put into writing, those wonderful and terrible years? Not many. A lot of authors try, but few are successful. Think about it for a minute. You have a young boy experiencing his first love. A young girl coming to realize this new admiration, which she enjoys, but at the same time causes internal conflicts. Then you have the wise guys in the class, like Alex, who aren't satisfied until they get in trouble. The teachers fall into categories. Some really go the extra mile to help their students out, others have tried to do this so long that they are burned out and don't care any more, then there are those who never really cared in the first place. The kids are all different too, yet united in this crisis. That's junior high, right? Who hasn't gone through the harrassing, the ridicule, been prodded along by peer pressure, or stood at the head of those who terrorized the other kids? Yet all these kids will come together against a common foe. They will unite against something they all are against. You and I have all seen it, been part of it.

I've been one of those who went against the grain and sustained the kind of jeering that Jamie experienced. I've walked in his shoes, well, he got the girl. I didn't. Nevertheless, the whole atmosphere Darryl Sloan created here is so very realistic that the story is more believable. One of the things I look at when reading a new author is checking out the different ways they slow the reader down. Some will stop to describe something. Others will use confusing dialogue. There are those who will skip important scenes, or worse, confuse these scenes with others mentioned. Grammar and misspellings also cause problems. Each different problem causes a reader to hesitate and each time a reader hesitates the writer risks losing them. If you can put in enough realism, many times readers will continue on even if they find some mistakes. The fact is every writing is going to have mistakes. I've yet to see the perfect work, well, except for the Bible.

Scripture tells us that we are going to go through rough places, just like Counagh Junior High. Our problems may be different and seem more important, but just like Jamie, everyone's problem is to that person the most important problem. We have God's promise that He would not give us any more than we can bear. As with Jamie, we have to find out just what that means, what it entails, and what sacrifices it is going to take. One of the keys to getting through life both CHION and Scripture points out, and that is to put others ahead of yourself. Jamie found a reason to rise above his own problems by helping Tara. We are told that we should be like Jesus and become a servant to others. May we all learn this lesson well. Those who didn't learn this lesson became captives of Chion, of a false snow. Those of us who do not learn this will become captives of our own vain imaginations and temptations.

David Brollier
CFRB co-founder

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