Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sudanese woman sentenced to die

Meriam Ibrahim. Is it worth dying for?

What’s worth dying for?

Meriam Ibrahim sat for months in a Sudanese prison cell nursing her newborn daughter and caring for her toddler son. She steadfastly refused to do the one thing that would instantly save her life and the lives of her children; deny her faith in Jesus.

Wow.  It’s one thing to put your own life on the line, but to know that your choice could lead to the death of your kids…that’s a tough one…unless you care more for their eternal souls than you fear their physical death.    And unless you know that Jesus offers something so amazingly wonderful it’s worth dying for.

Meriam understood that living under Islamic law, worshiping the hate-filled god of Islam and risking the souls of her children wasn’t worth living for.  She’s not alone.  Followers of Jesus are tortured and killed for their faith all over the world.  Those precious souls have experienced something many Christians in America have not—a faith worth living for and dying for.

There is a crisis of faith in America which is destroying our nation from the foundation up.  We claim to follow Jesus and yet we often deny who Jesus really is… or we water down what He actually taught when it becomes uncomfortable.  As important as it is to fight for our freedom to have our faith; we must fight even harder for our faith.

Young people are leaving the church in droves.  Why?  The answer we hear most often is they don’t think Christianity “works”.   They hear a lot of “rules” associated with faith but they don’t see the joy Jesus plainly promises lived out in their homes and in their churches.  If it doesn’t really work…why bother?  The thing is, Jesus hasn’t changed.  The promises of God Almighty haven’t changed.  We have.

My dear readers, fight for your children’s faith by personally pursuing God with wholehearted passion.  The more you know Him the more you will trust Him.  The more you trust Him the more you will rely on His strength rather than your own.  The more you rely on His strength the more your children will see a faith worth living for.  The more they see a faith worth living for the more they will see a faith worth dying for.  The more they embrace a faith worth dying for the more the culture they live in will be transformed.

Fight for your children’s faith by engaging them in daily conversation about who God REALLY is and why it matters in their life today.  (Because God is Awesome!  and DiscoverGod4Kids.com are great tools).

Pray today for the other “Meriam Ibrahims” still imprisoned around the world for their faith.  Pray for God’s strength to stand firm.  Pray for their freedom.  Pray for our faith.

P.S.  A huge thank you to Megyn Kelly of Fox News and Tony Perkins from Family Research Council for fighting for Meriam’s freedom!

Maleficent

Maleficent

I normally agree with the reviews on movieguide.org but after seeing Maleficent I have to disagree with their take on the movie.  Did it have some dark elements?  Yes.  Was there a lot of magic?  Oh yeah.  Could you find some environmental messaging woven in…I guess.  Was there confusion over who is good and who is not?  Only if you are expecting a remake of Sleeping Beauty, but if you put aside any preconceived ideas about the characters it becomes very clear who is good and who is not.

The most powerful message in the film is this:  you become what you focus on.

If you take your older kids to see the film, go out for ice cream afterward and discuss some of the following questions:

 

  1. What did Stefan want most?
  2. What was he willing to do in order to get what he wanted?
  3. After Stefan became King what was he focused on more than anything else?
  4. After Maleficent had her wings stolen, what did she focus on?
  5. When she began focusing on Aurora how did she start to change?
  6. How did Stefan’s focus destroy him?
  7. How did Maleficent’s focus save her?
  8. What do you think Maleficent learned about true love?
  9. Are you focused on anything that makes anger and bitterness grow in your heart?
  10. What can you do about it?

 

Maleficent and Stefan started off likeable characters, but Stefans fixation on power drove him to do the unthinkable.  He couldn’t go as far as killing the one he claimed to love but by taking her wings he destroyed her just the same…almost.  Once in power Stefan was haunted by what he did. It ate at him from the inside, but it did not lead to repentance.  He dug in, held on and prepared to protect what his betrayal had provided.  He focused on destroying Maleficent.

Maleficent became consumed by hatred after she had been betrayed but as she focused on the goodness, joy and innocence of Aurora her heart began to soften.  The transformation of her heart is revealed not only in “true love’s kiss” but also when she chooses not to kill Stefan.

What we focus on will determine who we become.

…let us run with endurance the race God has set before usWe do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  –Hebrews 12:1b-2a  NLT