Saturday, October 31, 2009
I have been thinking a lot about light and darkness. This started to be really interesting to me a few days ago. 1 John 1:5 says “God is light and in Him is no darkness: . Wow! Have you ever been in a room that was totally devoid of light? I have and it is really unsettling. You lose orientation, you wouldn’t be able to find anything without fumbling around first, you would have to walk around by feeling for things, you would in affect be lost… in a dark room… waiting for alight to be turned on.
What does it take to lose this darkness? Light of course, even the faintest glow negates the darkness. If you were in the darkest region of the planet, at night, cloud covered, no moon or stars, no artificial light, nothing, zilch, nada. Total blackness, you couldn’t see your hand if you stuck it in front of your face. Then someone 20 miles away turned on a flashlight and pointed it toward you, what would that in essence do? It removes the darkness. Not much, and not in your general vicinity, but you can no longer say that it is dark.
Same situation but you are the one with the flashlight (or lantern, torch, match,etc.) When you engage the light what happens? You are flooded with light because of your proximity to the light, it could be the same light that you saw from 20 miles away, but you are now immersed in the light, it lights up all that’s around you, you can see again, you can do things again, you have been given sight. What’s more, the person that is 20 miles away without light can see your light shining at a distance.
These thoughts have been running around in my head, like I said, for a few days. It reminds me that God is Light and when we are in close proximity to Him we are engulfed in His Light. It is nothing that we produce ourselves, but only reflect His Light. It also brings to memory Proverbs 4:18-19 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. How descriptive is that?
Also, when God first shined His light on you can you remember how bright it was? It illuminated everything around you, but sadly as time continued, the light seemed to dim. Everything started to get dimmer, you may have even started to squint a little to try to make things out. Did the Light really get dim though? Or were your eyes just shutting the light out, or did you put on dark sunglasses that hid the light? Oh, it was always there and it was always just as bright, it was our proximity that was the issue, not the brightness of the Light.
So how does the Light regain its brightness again? You have to get close to the source again. You can’t be 20 miles from a light source and be effected much by it, you have to get as close as possible. So close you can feel the warmth radiating from it, so that it envelops you. The Light is always there; it is you that moves around.
If you are seeing things dimly now, I say that it is simple to be lit again. Just return to the Source. I’ll remind you of Luke 11:33 – No one that has received Light will hide it; they will hold it high and shine it so everyone around them can see. Are you shining your light? Are you reflecting God’s Light? Have you ever been in the Light in the first place? I pray that He will illuminate Himself and His Word in your life.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Just wanted to take a short moment to let everyone know about this great ministry opportunity. We all have the chance to be part of the new Jesus movie, as producers. Well, not actually make the movie, but be able to give $10 towards the making of this movie.
Please check out the video below and the New Jesus Movie website for information. The producer of this movie is to be a Word for Word adaption of the Book of John, the vision of Bruce Marchiano. If Marchiano's name sounds familiar it is because he played Jesus in movie version of The Gospel of Matthew, which was also a Word for Word movie version of the Book of Matthew.
This is a great opportunity to make a high quality movie that will gain much attention and could be a tool used of God to save countless souls. The producers are not out to have a large box office, but rather have this movie on millions of iPods, computers and streaming across the internet. Monetary gains are not the goal, but the precious souls of the lost and the edification of Gods people.
Please prayerfully consider being a part of this wonderful ministry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why another Jesus film?
Many great Jesus films have been produced over the years, and God has used them all for His glory. There are several focuses that make Jesus… No Greater Love unique and vital. To list only a few, our vision is to bring the Gospel story to film afresh using the latest cutting edge, big screen technology - to truly create a Jesus movie for a new generation of highly sophisticated film-goers.
Also, where Jesus films generally focus on the gospel events, Jesus… No Greater Love focuses on a revelation of "The Man" - his heart and person, impassioned, joyous, relevant, brimming with kingdom authority, driven "on a mission of redemptive love" - the Jesus of Scripture.
Who will be the Producer and Director?
Bruce Marchiano is our current writer/producer. Once funding is underway we will begin interviewing prospective directors as well as co-producer(s) to solidify the team.
What happens if you meet your film budget of $45 million and donations continue to come in?
We sure hope this happens. All money received beyond the $45 million will be used to release the film in different languages and to distribute these new versions around the world. We want to present the Gospel to as many people as possible. To meet this goal, we will sustain our fund raising efforts year after year so that we can continue translating the film into new languages.
What Bible translation will be used for your word-for-word film?
We are currently in negotiations with two different translation rights holders and will make this determination before end 2009.
Will Bruce Marchiano be playing the role of Jesus like he did in Matthew?
We are hoping Bruce will reprise the role of Jesus, but as in all kingdom endeavors, ours is not to presume anything. Thus we are intensely seeking God along with Bruce, keeping our hearts open for any fresh direction He might want us to pursue. We are counting on the Lord's clear leadership here, as we are with all critical decisions.
Why the book of John when there already is a film on the book of John?
There are depths, multi-layers and prophetic dynamics of John's gospel that have yet to be explored on film. As does John's written gospel, Jesus… No Greater Love literally begins "In the beginning," unpacking the revelation of Jesus in the Law and the Prophets of the Torah, presenting Jesus as more than a man who teaches and heals, but the living reality of the living God, I AM in human flesh, as prophesied for centuries and now fulfilled. This film uniquely presents Jesus in the fullness of "yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
Why film a word-for-word version rather than a dramatic script?
We believe that the power of God’s Word, portrayed by the right cast and masterfully filmed, will be immeasurably more powerful and impactful than any dramatization to date. The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). There is really no need to improve on what God Himself has written by adding story elements and/or fictionalizing. Demonstrating this distinction between man’s voice and the authoritative voice of God is vitally important to sharing the Gospel with a postmodern generation wondering if absolute truth exists and who, if anyone, has the authority to share it. We will not alter the words God has given, and we will trust His promises about the power of those words.
What if you do not raise enough money by your deadline?
To effectively produce the film, we must receive substantial donations within specified time frames. If we do not, by targeted dates, receive benchmark levels of donations, we will be forced to make difficult decisions regarding whether to continue the project. Our first critical target date for raising funds is March 1, 2010. If targets are missed and the decision is made, that we will not be able to complete the project, we will distribute the excess donations to a few selected ministries that are spreading the Gospel in creative ways. With this arrangement in mind, you can be sure that your contribution will be used to promote the Gospel, regardless of whether the film is successfully produced.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
In the United States, a resounding "Yes!" Marchiano Ministries is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization. All donations to the New Jesus Movie are tax deductible to the limits allowed by law.
Have a question not answered above?
Send it to us at email@example.com.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A church in my general area has been embroiled in a debate lately. Seems that a vote to sell alcohol in the county this church is located was really being pressed for by some residents. To do this a certain amount of names on a petition were needed. Not much of a story here and you might be asking “Jeff, why is this a church issue?” The issue became a church issue, when some of its members voice their beliefs that alcohol should be sold in their county and that they were going to sign this petition.
This church has within their Church Covenant the following wording as far as what they will and will not do as a body “to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage”. In my opinion, these members that chose to promote this petition have gone against this part of their churches covenant. Apparently these people had been voicing their opinion FOR alcohol sales which garnered the attention of the church elders. These folks were visited, reminded of the church covenant they agreed to upon being made members of the church, given another copy of the covenant and informed that if they were to promote the sale of alcohol they would be removed as members from the church. These 20 or so people decided that their “personal freedoms” were greater than their covenant with this body of believers. They were not “kicked out” as some news agencies reported, as they were welcome to come back any time and would be allowed to be reinstated as members if they apologized.
The debate is happening on the West Kentucky Star website (since posting this blog the WKStar website has removed all comments to this story). I have chimed in some throughout and offer you the same freedom to do so. There are a lot of people commenting that claim to be Christians, but seem to have forgotten that “personal liberties” are non existent when a person is converted. The new creation seems to be a foreign term to them. Of course there are atheists commenting as well and people saying this church has no right to discipline these people. After all, they can choose to drink of they want to, they can do on their own time, what they choose to do and no body better say anything about. If you don’t like it, lump it, hmph! Of course, any true Christian would know that they lost their “personal freedom” upon conversion, they were bought with a price, they are now a doulos, a slave to the Lord, they have forsaken everything and follow Christ, they seek holiness and shun this world and the evil of it….. including alcohol.
I have wanted to comment a lot of things so badly on the West KY Star site, but was restrained in doing so. I did comment some, and what I did comment was bible. I do extend my personal invitation to go there yourself. The story is also on the local NBC affiliate here – seems like more of the same comments there the “judge not” phrase is being thrown around a lot as well as name calling and much more. What would your church do? Would the members of your church even be in this predicament? Does your church practice church discipline?
All in all everyone involved with situation is in need of prayer. I would suggest praying for wisdom, love, repentance and a deeper understanding of what a covenant is and what forgiveness entails. Many bridges have been burned at that church, many hearts broken and many families torn, but God can mend any of those with just a Word. Pray that there is restoration.
Also on a personal note, I would like to thank you for being patient through my sabbatical. I have been pampering my wife through her healing process. God has been really gracious to us over the past 6 weeks or so. Our church family has been very, very wonderful as well, with many of them preparing dinner for us over the past 2 ½ weeks. They have all been such a blessing and we love each of them greatly. We thank God for them and for allowing us to become part of a real church family.