Monday, May 23, 2011

Movie Reveiw: What If . . .

On Saturday, May 21, 2011, Teens For Christ hosted a viewing of “What If . . .” for the monthly TFC Rally. I thought I would share a couple of thoughts on the evening.

The film itself was very good. It was a project of Jerry Jenkins’ son and his name escapes me at the moment. The elder Jenkins co-wrote the “Left Behind” series.

From the production side of things, “What If . . .” was put together very well. Technically, I thought there were some sound and lighting issues that caught my attention but were not a total distraction. A couple of the scenes could have been shorter, but overall, it played well.

Kevin Sorbo of the “Hercules” franchise played the lead character well. He portrayed the self absorbed business type well. Watching him come to the understanding that there is more to this life than living and dying was played out properly.

John Ratzenburger who was the lovable know-it-all on “Cheers” was Michael the angel. The part fit him well and his dry humor and sucker punches gave the audience a comedic break.

Kristy Swanson, who played Buffy in the movie “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, did a good job as the dutiful, faithful ministry wife. After researching a bit about her past, it appears she has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb in real life.

The two daughters did a good job. The eldest has been a part of the Disney franchise for several years. In the behind the scenes extras on the DVD, it appears that she has a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The youngest had some of the best scenes in the movie even with the death of her beloved goldfish.

One moment in the film that I noticed the most was when Sorbo’s character has to visit an elderly man dying in the hospital. Not only are there some incredible one-liners, there are some incredible moments as the Gospel is clearly presented.

I would highly recommend this film to anyone. The easiest way is to contact Rich at: to schedule a showing in your community.

Other highlights of the evening were the turnout of 120 or more people. I like to be honest on the numbers and 120 seems to be the conservative count for the night. We had quite a few new faces and a bunch of faithful folks to. Two students responded to the invitation with one being for salvation.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Child of God

(The following article is one that I wrote for the Church Page of the Concordia Blade-Empire. It is scheduled to run on Friday, March 11, 2011.)

Every week, I find myself fielding questions of doubt - not raised by the world, but from other “religious” belief systems. Students and adults alike inquire if there is any other possible way to a right relationship with God than through Jesus Christ.

The beauty of following Jesus Christ comes from the simplicity of the Gospel message. Most people know (or have at least heard) the ever familiar John 3:16 which tells of God’s incredible love for us. Two chapters earlier, another incredible verse jumps off the page:

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name," – John 1:12 (NASB)

By believing on the name of Jesus Christ, a person receives the full benefits offered up to a child of the God Almighty. By believing, we are changed from one who is lost, to one who is found. This belief leads to a life of repentance, a life that has been forgiven and a life that has purposeful hope. All of this and even more is available to us, because of Jesus Christ.

For many, doubt about these truths set in when they encounter other belief systems that whisper falsehoods wrapped in a shade of truth. Some say you need to be a part of “God’s organization here on earth”. Others teach that Jesus and Lucifer were siblings and that the Gospel was lost for centuries. Other religions deny that Jesus Christ died on the cross. There are even belief systems teaching that we pay for our sins over and over like a cruel version of Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day” until we reach enlightenment. And, of course, there are those who say it is all just a fairy tale.

As we enter the 40 days counting down to the celebration of the very physical death and very physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us remember that He became the payment for your sin and my sin so that we can have the opportunity to be a child of God. If you are reading this and you realize that you are not a child of God, please call 1-888-NEED-HIM. You can also call me - my number is in the phone book. If you are a child of the God, reach out to those around you and tell them about Jesus.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Taking Care of the Weary

(2 Thessalonians 3:13 NASB) "But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good."

(Galatians 6:9 NASB) "And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary."

I am always amazed at the things God allows me to do. Over the years, I have sat on several boards. Some of them have been interesting while others have been a bit odd. Over the past 48 hours, I have looked at each one and found that for various reasons, it is time to resign. One or two of the positions, I may be missed. One or two of the others, my departure will only garner a brief mention.

Between Thursday and sometime next week, three resignation letters will be typed up and presented to various presidents, chairmen, or directors. One of them, I have discussed my departure with. A second board should not be surprised since I was unable to attend any of their meetings since 2009. The third board will feign admiration and move on.

I would say the one primary reason is I am tired of being weary for no apparent reason. Not from being on the boards, but for being distracted from the passion God has placed in my life. It will be interesting though, stepping off of three boards to see what door God opens next. I am glad that He knows my plans.