Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Bible on The History Channel

For the past several days, I've been bombarded by commercials and news show interviews on various channels for a new mini-series set to air on Sunday, March 3, 2013, on The History Channel.  Perhaps you've seen many of them, too, for (insert shofar blast here):

'The Bible.' 

And what better time to do so, with Easter being only about a month a way, right?

Now, I normally don't do this kind of thing here on my blog. But I really do feel as if I should offer a word or two (or twenty) of warning here. Before we all go a'jumpin' on the bandwagon to praise & promote History Channel's showing of this mini-series on our social media pages and whatnot, I'd like to say this:

Please keep in mind that this is someone else's interpretation of the Word of God and the various Bible stories found in Scripture. I have to say that in the past, I've found that The History Channel's shows centering on the Bible and Jesus Christ more often than not have leaned heavily in the direction of debunking Christianity, planting seeds of doubt in viewers' minds about Moses' parting of the Red Sea, Noah's Ark, and worse, the validity of Christ actually being the Son of God. At times as I've watched some of these shows, I've felt what I can only describe as an uncomfortable, 'yucky' feeling, as if any minute, Satan would slither up alongside of me in my seat, asking, "Did God REALLY say/do that?"

The History Channel's website for 'The Bible,' touts it this way:

"The Bible comes to life in HISTORY'S epic new series. From Genesis to Revelation, these unforgettable stories unfold through live action and cutting-edge computer generated imagery, offering new insight into famous scenes and iconic characters."

New insight. Really? It'll be interesting to see just what famous scenes they are speaking of, scenes which will allow us to gain 'new insight'. 

Over the years, I've enjoyed watching movies like 'The 10 Commandments,' 'King of Kings,' 'The Greatest Story Ever Told,' etc. But keep in mind that, once again, this IS Hollywood taking charge here, and to make scenes and people seem more exciting and larger than life, it's certainly not uncommon for screenwriters, producers and directors to take creative liberties and change things up to gain a larger viewing audience or to cater to a particular people.  Personally, just ONCE, I'd love to see Jesus portrayed as a darker-skinned, dark-eyed, Middle Eastern Jew, and not the Nordic and WASPY, blue-eyed, light-haired Savior with the neatly trimmed facial hair and British accent. (Oops -- a much needed addendum here. My apologies to Mel Gibson and company. How I completely forgot about 'The Passion of The Christ' and Jim Caviezel's very non-blue eyed, blonde-haired portrayal of the Messiah is beyond me!)

While I'm no Bible scholar by ANY stretch of the imagination, lately I have found myself shouting talking back to the TV while watching some of these same movies now, with things like, "Whoa, Jesus never said that!" and "Wait a minute -- I don't remember seeing THAT scene in the Bible!" 

I know, I know -- I'm being what my daughter, a huge SNL fan, would call a 'Debbie Downer.' I'm sure 'The Bible's' producers, Mark Burnett and his wifey, actress Roma Downey (of Touched By An Angel fame), moved forward here with the very best of intentions in the making of this mini-series. 

I'm certainly not saying we should boycott this series, nor am I asking anyone to tell family and friends to avoid it like one of the plagues we may see Moses calling down upon Pharoah in one of the episodes. This actually could be a darn fine opportunity to discuss our faith and our life in Christ with those  friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and classmates who normally wouldn't give us the time of day, but just MIGHT now because they've watched this or are at least aware of it because of all the hype. 

All I'm doing here is simply reminding and cautioning us all who profess to follow Christ, to be wise and discerning as we watch these kinds of things, and that the best way to gain new insight into the Bible and for its stories and characters to come alive to us, is to actually READ IT, while asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you afresh those things that God desires for you to know from His Word. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Into The Wilderness

"Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil." ~Luke 4:1-2a

Led into the wilderness
Carried into exile
Placed in a spot
Tailor made for me

Despair, by Rose Waugh, copyright 2004
A vessel emptied and
Waiting to be filled


There are lessons to be learned
In this silence

No longer the teacher
But the student

No longer the scribe
But the reader

Refinement taking place
In the absence of words


Those I thought I knew
Strangers now
Like vapors that have
They are gone, and I am


A moan

A cry

A sigh

Escape my lips at various times
Echoing back
Among the ruins
The sound of my own voice
A cruel taunt

Cry For Help, by Deborah Nell
And yet….I sense
That I am no longer
And fear evaporates

Now there is One
Who waits beside me

His nearness…
A comfort

His presence…
My strength

Spirit of the Living God, by Deborah Nell
Although I cannot see Him yet
I know that He is
Here…right here

I sense His love
His peace
His wordless invitation
To come closer– to Him

Because He’s been in this place before

Temptation In The Wilderness, by Briton Riviere

Exiled while still fresh
From the wild man’s baptism
Spirited into this desert
With droplets of the Jordan still clinging to
His hair

Abandoned by friends with
Fear His close companion as He
Sweats great drops like blood and prays
Alone in a garden dark

So I lean into this Shepherd
This Friend
This Brother
This God Man of hope and compassion

His breath, warm and sweet
Like a gentle summer breeze
Upon my head

His heartbeat a rhythm
Like a sweet symphony
In my ear

The Promise, by Morgan Weistling


Content now
To sit at His feet and
To wait…
To learn…

In exile
In the wilderness
In silence

No longer alone
No longer afraid

When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. ~ Jeremiah 29:13-14, NRSV

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Worship Song Sunday -- How He Loves Us, by David Crowder Band

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither the lower ranks of evil angels nor the higher, neither things present nor things future, nor the forces of nature nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which rests upon us in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:38-39, Weymouth New Testament

I have been battling a depression of sorts, off and on lately.  More on than off.  With it comes feelings of emptiness, loneliness, doubt and anxiety. I've had a suggestion or two from some friends as to what might be the cause.  But much of it, I think, comes from the fact that deep down inside, I am still struggling to believe that God truly loves me. That I am worth something in His eyes. 

After all that God has done for me -- the healing of diseases and disorders; the provision I've experienced that I know could have ONLY come from Him; His protection of me when I was in danger (whether or not I was aware of the danger at the time); the gifts with which He has blessed me, tangible and intangible; the times God has revealed Himself to me in supernatural, mind boggling ways; and just the way He has restored my life from what it used to be  -- STILL I struggle.

So it sounds kind of ridiculous to question His love for me, doesn't it?  

Yet at times -- like now -- that's exactly what I do. My mind clicks into overdrive, and I begin to wonder WHY God would love someone like me, how can He still love me after I continue to make such a mess of my life? I allow the brash, loud, lying voice of Satan to drown out the still, small Voice of the Savior.  The Voice that patiently, persistently reminds me that His promises of love to His people of old are mine, too:

I have loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3, HCSB)

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken (Isaiah 54:10)

Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to Me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you (Isaiah 43:3-4, The Message)

See, I am NOT beyond my Creator's intervention. I am NOT beyond the reach of the power of my Father's transforming and amazing love.  No matter how dark it seems in the wilderness, in my pain, in my grief, in my struggle with temptation to sin -- in ALL  of that and more: I am not alone. 

And neither are you, dear one. Abba is there. And He loves you.  He loves me. 

Oh, how He loves us!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...