Monthly Archives: January 2013

Help Support the film Reconciliation @ The Attic Film Fest !

Hey friends, an amazing opportunity has come to our attention and we wanted to let you know about it.

The Attic Film Fest (TAFF), Austin’s own independent Christian film festival, brings you Reconciliation, a Clean Freak Production at Alamo Draft House, 2700 W Anderson Ln, from Noon – 3:00. Reconciliation won for Best Feature at TAFF 2012.”

If you have not seen this film check out the trailer and then come experience it on the big screen.

If you have seen this film come anyway and lend your support to a very moving and important story!

Here’s the info

When & Where:
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
Doors Open 12:00 Noon – Show Runs – 12:15 PM to 2:15 PM
Alamo Draft House, 2700 W Anderson Ln, Austin, TX
Tickets & Info:
Tickets are $5.00
Food Service Available
TAFF Rating: PG-16 (for content including gay lifestyles, gay issues, and AIDS.)

You can go here for tickets!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/29541342″>RECONCILIATION – Now Available on DVD</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user5069147″>RECONCILIATION MOVIE</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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Let It Be.

letitbe2I struggle. I struggle with lots of different things. I think it’s safe to say we ALL struggle. . . with lots of different things. Struggling is hard, it’s good because it means we aren’t giving up , it means we are fighting to overcome whatever it is we are struggling with. Fighting is hard. Sometimes it feels like in the midst of this struggle, this fight to not give in , to not become what I don’t want to become, to not give up and stop trying to better than I am right now, it feels like I only have two choices, two options. One, to keep fighting and hope that I am strong enough or to break.

But I think we are missing an important third option.

Matthew, Mark and Luke all share their account of Jesus going to the garden and praying right before He was arrested and crucified . They say He fell to his knees, wept, sweat drops of blood and was overcome with grief. And He prayed for God to take away the cup that was before him .

How many times have you or I been in the midst of such a struggle that we feel something similar to what Jesus was going through? Have you ever been so tied up in knots over this struggle that you felt like laying on the floor and screaming and begging God to please please take it away ?

In the midst of this anguish , which I think it is safe to say was much greater than any you or I have ever felt , Jesus says to The Father,” Your will, not mine be done. “

Let it be. I trust you. You love me.

And here is our third option, to  come before God with our broken hearts and Just say, Lord, Let it be . That doesn’t mean that we stop fighting or that anything goes away but there in that moment, standing in God’s grace for us that tells us He will show us a way out, we acknowledge that our struggle has a purpose. There is peace in that place. For a moment just rest. Knowing that he loves us as we fight and because we fight and even if we don’t fight. Trust Him, He doesn’t waste anything, no hurt or pain or suffering or struggle.

Romans 5:1-5 says

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 

through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace by which we now stand.

And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

perseverance, character; and character , hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out

into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

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Going to Hell with Ted Haggard. . . and Adam Lanza. . . and Lance Armstrong

opendoor A couple of weeks ago Kristin text me a link to this  article by Michael Cheshire about his fallen and shunned friend, Ted Haggard. Most people within Christian circles (and a good many without as well) are familiar with Ted’s “fall from grace” so to speak, it hasn’t been pretty.
I’ve never been comfortable with the way the Christian community handled Ted Haggard and when I read Michael’s  article I wanted to sob and cheer all at the same time. This part especially stood out to me…

“A while back I was having a business lunch at a sports bar in the Denver area with a close atheist friend. He’s a great guy and a very deep thinker. During lunch, he pointed at the large TV screen on the wall. It was set to a channel recapping Ted’s fall. He pointed his finger at the HD and said, “That is the reason I will not become a Christian. Many of the things you say make sense, Mike, but that’s what keeps me away.”
It was well after the story had died down, so I had to study the screen to see what my friend was talking about. I assumed he was referring to Ted’s hypocrisy. “Hey man, not all of us do things like that,” I responded. He laughed and said, “Michael, you just proved my point. See, that guy said sorry a long time ago. Even his wife and kids stayed and forgave him, but all you Christians still seem to hate him. You guys can’t forgive him and let him back into your good graces. Every time you talk to me about God, you explain that he will take me as I am. You say he forgives all my failures and will restore my hope, and as long as I stay outside the church, you say God wants to forgive me. But that guy failed while he was one of you, and most of you are still vicious to him.” Then he uttered words that left me reeling: “You Christians eat your own. Always have. Always will.”

I encourage you to read the rest of the article, you won’t be sorry.

Eating Our Own
What brutal imagery, brutal and yet so very true. I don’t think I’ve heard a better phrase for describing the way we treat the fallen among us. It made me think, though. While I agree with Michael’s friend that we offer much more grace to those wounded on the steps of the church than we do to those who are bleeding inside, what about those who we’ve decided have fallen too far? What about those who have committed crimes of horrifying proportions? What about those who no longer have the option to repent? What about the leaders who become liars and cheaters and disappointments? What about the families who are left in the wake of their loved ones devastation? Sometimes it seems as though we take all of our frustration at evil in the world and pour it out into these people who do the unthinkable, and it seems ok because of what they’ve done, but we never think about who they’ve left behind. If we eat our own then we starve these others to death.

Connecticut
The day after the Connecticut shootings I went to work to open with my Boss. She came in a little late and looked as though she had barely slept. She has a first grader and had spent most of the night watching the news coverage of the shootings. I had watched a lot of the coverage myself and mourned with the rest of the world for the parents and family members who had lost. I have young nieces and nephews and the thought of losing them to something like that is literally unthinkable. It breaks my heart to even think of them having to live through an experience like that. I cried every time teachers described how they got the surviving children out of the school with their eyes closed so that they didn’t have to see the lifeless bodies of their classmates. What happened there could be no less than the product of pure evil, and yet as I had watched the stories on the news and stood and talked to my boss about it, I realized something that was really troubling me in the midst of all of the obviously troubling events. The whole world had joined with Connecticut to mourn the loss of all of those innocent lives, but who would mourn with Adam Lanza’s family? Adam Lanza was once someone’s baby, he was someone’s brother, he was someone’s student. Those who loved Adam, because I cannot believe he walked this earth being unloved, lost too, but they don’t get to mourn like the victims families. In addition to their loss they get to carry the burden of what their loved one did, they get to wonder for the rest of their lives what they might have done differently that could have prevented this horrible horrible thing. They get to bear the weight of the angry and the hurt of all of those affected. Christians are called to be counted among the outcast, but do we ever stop to think of those who aren’t allowed to mourn the loss of their children because their children were the guilty instead of the innocent? Do we know how to mourn the loss of life when it’s villain instead of the victim?

Live Strong Fallen Hero
Last night I watched the first part of Oprah’s big Lance Armstrong confession. I hadn’t followed Lance’s big fall too closely, but I was surprised when I saw him in this interview how unlike himself he seemed. And by that I mean, in the past he’d struck me as kind of a jerk, and I expected to see someone who looked angry and defensive and instead I saw the opposite. My dad mentioned at one point that he looked like he was at peace, and I agree. The entire time I watched the words, “Come to me, all those who are weary, and I will give you rest” kept coming to my mind. As Lance described the great deception he had been living for years, the titles he won and didn’t deserve, it seemed exhausting to me. I appreciated that he took personal responsibility and didn’t seek to take others down with him. Then we changed the channel only to see people rip his confession to pieces. Facebook, twitter, and just about every other social media outlet has been full of people’s disappointment and sometimes rage.
I believe that public figures should be accountable for their actions the same as any other person walking the earth. It’s my personal belief that if you are going to step into the role of a public figure that you ought to do so with the understanding that many many people will look to you and you, in a way, become accountable to them as well. It’s a consequence of living your life in front of millions. But in the face of confession Christians and non-Christians alike continue to tear the man to bits. Why does our society have this mentality that attacks a person when they are already down, and the more important question for me is, why do we, as Christians, participate?

We Have To Change

Understand, I don’t say any of these things to minimize the actions of the people mentioned. However, sin is sin and I am a sinner along with these people. I am just as deserving of eternal separation from my Creator as any one of these. I can’t fully acknowledge what Christ has done for me if I can stand in judgement of anyone of these men or be without compassion for them or the families and friends they have left behind. I know nothing about grace if I cannot find it within myself to show grace when it is hardest and most needed.
“For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me… Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25: 42, 43, and 45

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Video Tuesday: Oh Great God Give Us Rest

I love this David Crowder song so much and I love the audio they added here from Louie Giglio. I hope you find this encouraging and a blessing on this rainy Tuesday Morning. Thank you Tom Fusillo for making this wonderful video , you can check out his other videos here. Since it’s Video Tuesday all the links here are to the video pages of the artists/authors. Enjoy and May God give you rest!

Oh I forgot to mention this song is from David Crowder’s new album Give Us Rest Or (A Requiem Mass In C [The Happiest of All Keys]), click the link to purchase through Amazon.

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The Queen James …book.

queen-james-gay-bibleToday I want to share with you this fascinating conversation from In The Market with Janet Parshall . Joining Janet is the wonderful Christopher Yuan to talk about Matthew Vines and The Queen James Bible. You may or may not have heard about this book , there’s not much to be known about it other than the 8 passages that the editors have changed . From the website . . .

The Queen James Bible seeks to resolve interpretive ambiguity in the Bible as it pertains to homosexuality: We edited those eight verses in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible

Christopher Yuan is an incredible man, I have heard him speak as well as his lovely parents at a few Exodus conferences and their testimony is just so encouraging to hear. If you haven’t heard his story before you can check it out here or grab the book he co-authored with his mother , Out of a Far Country (an amazing story btw) Anyway check out this hour long audio , Christopher shares some wonderful insight into Scripture and will no doubt get you thinking and better yet reading your Bible.

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Yikes

Hey guys, you might have noticed we’ve not been updating very much lately. This holiday season hit us hard and we weren’t expecting to be so exhausted but we are excited to be coming back and getting some great things out to you. Thank you all for hanging in there. See you Monday !

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.