Thankfulness Challenge – Week 3

With Your Final 7 New (and FREE) Images

A week from tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to relaxing, eating too much pumpkin pie, and spending some unplugged time with friends and family. Have you joined the 5-Minute Thankfulness Challenge?

A Thankfulness Challenge

Two weeks ago, I invited you to join me in spending 5 minutes a day, for 3 weeks, being thankful in 5 different categories. If you haven’t read that post – or joined the challenge – here’s the link to find out all about it. And remember, if you’re going to share or tweet about it, make sure to use #ThankfulnessChallenge so I can follow along!

Today, I’m sharing seven brand new verses that remind us of the why, what for, and how of being thankful. Last year there were 14 images. I included those over the last two weeks. But hey, if two weeks of thankfulness is good…THREE weeks must be better! Right? 

5 Bible Verses to Help You Process This Election (No Matter How You Voted)

This has been one of the most brutal weeks I can ever remember. The amount of disappointment, anger, fear, confusion, frustration, and venomous words is – quite honestly – a bit unfathomable. So, how are those of us who call ourselves “Christ Followers” supposed to process it all?

5 Bible Verses to Help You Process This Election

God’s Word is the ultimate lens we must always use to process everything.

Hear this clearly: A few Bible verses thrown together in a blog post is not going to take away all disappointment, frustration, or concern. Think of it like getting a long-awaited diagnosis from a doctor. The diagnosis doesn’t instantly cure the disease. But it does give you a place to focus (other than focusing on the unknown) and points us toward the cure.

My desire in this post is to point us toward God’s Word, point us toward what is right and true (rather than focusing on the unknown), and point us toward the One who is the Ultimate Cure for what ails us.

Thankfulness Challenge – Week 2

With 7 New (and FREE) Images

I was going to write a post about the election, but honestly, I feel like God is reminding me (and so I am reminding you!) that He is sovereign, He is good, He is not surprised, He is faithful, and I should spend way more time giving thanks than whining. So….

A Thankfulness Challenge

Last week, I invited you to join me in spending 5 minutes a day, for 3 weeks, being thankful in 5 different categories. If you haven’t read that post – or joined the challenge – here’s the link to find out all about it. And remember, if you’re going to share or tweet about it, make sure to use #ThankfulnessChallenge so I can follow along!

Today, I want to share seven more verses that remind of us some of the why, what for, and how of being thankful. Maybe you should take one of these each day and weave it into your 5-Minute Thankfulness Challenge.

A Thankfulness Challenge: 5-Minutes, 5 Categories, 3 Weeks

With Free Images Every Day Until Thanksgiving

Last November, I shared 14 images with Bible verses about thankfulness and gratitude. People told me they shared them, printed them, and posted them. Two years ago, I challenged you to five minutes a day of thankfulness. This year, I’m combining the two and adding an extra week’s worth of images!

A Thankfulness Challenge

I have included the first seven images at the bottom of this post. However, I will also be sharing one each day on my Facebook Page. Certainly the easiest way to share them is to like my page and share them right from your news feed.

Frequently, it’s difficult to be thankful. In fact, it is pretty easy to find reasons to not be thankful.

We should all take this thankfulness challenge not because we want to do it. We should take the challenge because we need to do it. That’s why I’m doing it.

When I look at much of what’s happening around me, I don’t feel thankful. There are many, many things that are not “thankfulness-worthy.” And not just small things. Big, important, really hard things as well.

For example…

  • Friends whose newborn is still in the hospital…after four months.
  • Continued racial tension around our country…and the world.
  • A good friend who recently lost his job…after two decades with the company.
  • Two presidential candidates that have forced me to apologize to my own kids for leaders I don’t want them to be like.

Ugh.

I want to complain. I want to whine. I want to gripe. I don’t want to be thankful.

That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I need this thankfulness challenge. Will you join me?

The Top 41 Christian Movies for Families

Do you like movies? If not, well, I’ll write something different next week. If so, read on, my friend, because Christian movies have gotten heaps better in the last decade or so. Below is a list of 41 you’ll want to check out. Many of them I have seen. The ones I haven’t seen were recommended by fellow movie lovers.

The Top 41 Christian Movies for Families

NOTE: The movies are arranged in order from most-recent to oldest. I’ve included the release year and the rating, and a short description of the movie. Oh, and if I’ve done a review or interviewed someone from the movie, you’ll find a link. Enjoy!

1. Priceless (2016) PG-13

A man stands at the crossroads of his life. Angry after the death of his wife and losing custody of his daughter, James is unable to hold down a job. Out of desperation he agrees to drive a truck across the country for cash. When he discovers what his cargo is, he goes all out to save two sisters who will be sold into the sex slave trade. Here is a review I posted about this movie.

2. God’s Not Dead 2 (2016) PG

A sequel to God’s Not Dead, this film is about a high school history teacher, Grace Wesley who faces disciplinary action, administrative leave and a lawsuit when someone claims that Grace has been preaching in class because she quoted a verse from the Bible.

“I’m Not Ashamed” – Columbine on the Big Screen (and So Much More)

Video Interview with Masey McLain

Do you remember where you were when you heard about the shooting at Columbine High School? I was at home in Tacoma. Three days later I was on a plane to Denver, CO.  That Saturday night I was speaking at a local church, processing and grieving with confused students (and parents) who wanted to worship a God who was present in this tragedy.

Masey Mclain Inteview - "I'm Not Ashamed"

Tomorrow – October 21, 2016 – a terrific movie comes out about the life of Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed in the shooting at Columbine. I’m Not Ashamed is much, much more than simply a here’s-what-led-up-to-a-school-shooting. This a a well-told, honest story about a young woman, trying to do the right thing (many times failing…just like you and me). She is ultimately striving to live a life that honors Jesus.

largememe13My guess is Rachel Joy Scott was a very different person from the picture you have painted in your head.

This week I got to sit down (via the wonder of technology) with Masey McLain – the fantastic actress who played Rachel in I’m Not Ashamed. We were scheduled to chat for 15 minutes and ended up recording 23 minutes (and then talked for another 10 after). Masey is not only a terrific actress, she’s a cool, authentic, fun person.

Enjoy!

The Interview

Priceless: A Sometimes Hard-to-Watch Movie That Takes Sex-Trafficking Head On

Sex-Trafficking. Horrific words we don’t like to say. So we ignore them. You might even be tempted to stop reading because you either think it’s not happening near you (it is) or you know it is but don’t want to deal with it. But when we’re talking about something that is affecting at least 2.5 million people and has been reported in every one of the 50 states, we can’t ignore it. Period.

Priceless Movie- Poster

Friday (10/14), a new movie comes out that goes head on into a topic most of us never discuss. Priceless is not a documentary. It is a based-on-real-events story of one man’s discovery, involvement, transformation, and sacrifice to do something about it.

Simply put: See it. And as uncomfortable as it will be…ask others to join you.

meme07_worthI thought about writing a “review,” but I can’t. Yes, it’s a very good movie. Yes, it’s gritty. No, it’s not a “perfectly made” movie (though better than most faith-based films I’ve seen).

Voiceless Movie (with Interview)

Video Interview with Stuart Migdon - Producer, Executive Producer, and Actor

Over the next three Fridays, there are three terrific Christian movies coming out back-to-back-to-back. Tomorrow’s movie is called Voiceless and deals head-on with the issue of abortion.

Voiceless Movie

Voiceless is a very powerful movie. It is honest and gritty. After having the opportunity to watch it last month, there are two things that are really sticking with me.

First, its “honesty” covers those inside the church as well as those outside. The temptation with a movie like this is to have one character stand up for what is right, and then have the whole church get behind him and make a difference. I won’t give away the latter part of the movie, but all throughout you see various characters display apathy, fear, tension, and downright opposition to the main character’s desire to fight an increasingly challenging battle.

How About a Little Context (Part 3 of 3)

Discovering What Was Happening When the Bible Was Written

Two weeks ago we looked at getting to know the 40 people God inspired to write the 66 books of the Bible. (Check out Part 1 if you didn’t read it yet.) Last week we shifted our focus from authors to the audience? (Here’s the link to Part 2.) In this final, installment, we’ll shift one last time and look at the atmosphere. It’s time to answer the question What was the setting when this author wrote to this audience?

How about a little context? - Part 3

This 3-part series is adapted from the chapter ‘How about a little context?’ in my book Falling in Love with God’s Word: Discovering What God Always Intended Bible Study to Be. You can read reviews or a grab a copy on Amazon. I also cover background studies in my 8-week, online video course Relational Bible Study.

You’ve heard it said many times… Context is king. Nowhere is that more true than when you are reading the Bible.

How About A Little Context? (Part 2 of 3)

Discovering the people who first RECEIVED the Bible.

Last week’s post was devoted to discovering the 40 people God inspired to write the 66 books of the Bible. But what about the people who first read what those 40 people wrote down? (Check out Part 1 if you didn’t read it yet.)

How about a little context? - Part 1

This 3-part series is adapted from the chapter ‘How about a little context?’ in my book Falling in Love with God’s Word: Discovering What God Always Intended Bible Study to Be. You can read reviews or a grab a copy on Amazon. I also cover background studies in my 8-week, online video course Relational Bible Study.

We frequently miss out on some pretty cool stuff if we never think about the different audiences – sometimes vastly different – who were the first readers of what we have as the Bible. For example…