Christian Films in the Marketplace

Interesting video essay by Andy Saladino on the rise of the Independent Christian movie, released through major production companies.  Published in February 2016, it is slightly out of date.  But it does point out that the takings at Box Office are better than respectable.

Be interesting to see how “The Shack” performs and what questions it raises in culture.

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Who is this?

Reminder of the Mystery.  Truth-speaker.  Great bridge-builder.  The space of love between everything. Inherent victory.  The welcoming within.

 

These are just a few of the descriptions which Father Richard Rohr has used to describe the Holy Spirit.  He wrote them when he went on a retreat as he turned 65 years old (what a great idea for a birthday celebration) – and during this time, wrote 65 descriptions of the Holy Spirit.

I heard him read these out, in a sermon on Pentecost Sunday, as part of his podcast series “Homilies“, this one on Pentecost Sunday., 4th June 2017.  If you listen to the podcast, you can hear him introduce and read them out, in his deep, calming voice which invites meditation. (Personal note: his voice in audiobooks and recorded talks is a great calmer if you are feeling a little unsettled or anxious – and yet what he says also gently stirs deeper questions and responses)

“The Holy Spirit is not something to be believed intellectually – it must be experienced as a dynamic flow of life and love through your very body.”

– Fr Richard Rohr

He also observes that all the images in the Bible of the Holy Spirit are movement – descending dove, fire, flowing water, wind…..

Here are a few of the phrases he used to describe the Holy Spirit, which he invited those listening to consider which ones rang true in their own experience:

Pure gift of God

indwelling presence

promise of the Father

eternal praise

inner defence-attorney

inner anointing

reminder of the mystery

homing device ticking away inside of you guiding you home

implanted peace-maker

overcomer of the gap

magnetic centre, God compass

inner breath

 

divine DNA, given glory

hidden love of God

implanted hope

seething desire

fire of live and love

sacred pacemeaker

the non-violence of God

seal of the incarnation

the firstfruits of everything

father and mother of orphans

truth-speaker

God’s secret plan

great bridge-builder

warmer of hearts

the space of love between everything

flowing water, wind of change

descending dove, cloud of unknowing

and cloud of knowing

uncreated grace

deepest level of our longing

attentive heart

sacred wounding

holy healing

softener of our spirit

great compassion

generosity of God

inherent victory

the universal sadness

the universal joy

God’s tears, God’s happiness

the welcoming within

the new and eternal covenant

the covenant written in our hearts

jealous lover

holy Spirit, you who are the desiring of God and have chosen to live within each one of us.

 

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Answering Big Questions in Life

Why is there suffering?  Is Jesus God or God Jesus? How do you know that God loves everyone?

These honest questions are not simple.  But from the Christian community, the Zacharias Trust and Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics come some indications on how to think these through.  You can see short videos tackling those topics and others on Vimeo.

e.g. How do we know that God loves everyone?  (one minute vid)

 

Why is there natural suffering?  What about earthquakes?  Amy Orr-Ewing

e.g. Michael Ramsden – one of their dynamic communicators.  One of the most interesting parts about this is that the listeners are given questions, cards and asked to debate their answers in groups.  Does this happen in Church?  Do Christians learn to think about life and the universe, within their faith?

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Chapter and Verse: counter-cultural every day life

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Photo by goMainstream via IM free – Creative Commons Licence

The Message version of Romans 12:1-2 puts it well 

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.

Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

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be who you were made to be

This morning, I have a sense that when followers of Jesus do what we are gifted to do ‘as unto the Lord’, no matter how we feel – that God says “You honour me” and it is pleasing to him. Simple worship.

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Thought for the day – from a wee shap in Glasgow

Herewith, the lesson o’ the day from ma pal, Keith, who works in a shap in Glasgow (and writes in Doric):

17991891_10155010402347787_6318529858797792955_n.jpgWe hae a regular customer that comes intae oor wurk practically a’day, wha’s name’s Andy.

Andy is mair kent as th’ “is everybody happy?” guy, as that is whit he shouts a’time he comes intae th’ shop an’ practically aw th’ way aroun’ it while he dus his shoppin’. Andy is quite an individual – he’s like Marmite – ye either like him or ye dinnae. Fowks tend tae judge him as he’s quite unique in his appearance, but only judge him frae th’ view ahin’ th’ bars o’ their ain cell. Ah‘ve got a lot o’ time fur him as he’s a pleasant soul.

Sae Andy likes tae spend his mornin’s doon th’ road a bit frae ma wurk at Costa Coffee enjoyin’ shoutin” “is everybody happy?” at th’ passers by wi’ a coffee in his hon, tae kind responses, nasty responses or nae response at aw, dependin’ oan wha’s passin’ by.

Sae when’er he eventually comes in fur his shoppin’ or his lottery we ayways hae a bit o’ an interaction which usually gaes tongue in cheek “did ye buy me a coffee th’day?..- naw? Ya selfish bam ye”.

Andy sed tae me th’ ither day “ye’ll be waitin’ forever fur a coffee fae me big man!”, followed by a smile an’ his endearin’ laughter. Tae which, if Ah’m honest, Ah thoucht wis actually true, e’en though oor banter wis just tongue in cheek.

Sae whit a shock Ah got when Andy comes in th’ day an’ efter years o’ ribbin’ him fur a coffee he smiles an’ hons me a cup o’ hot cappuccino.

If Andy wis tae pass awa th’morrah maist fowks wis min’ him as th’ “is everybody happy?” guy – how wull YOU be remembered?…

Daddy telt me twa hings th’day – 1: Ah wis wrang tae judge Andy (which Ah apologised fur) & 2: If ye spend years chippin’ awa at a massive boulder eventually it wull crack. 😉

Thenk ye Faither fur ma gift an’ fur valuable lessons learned. 😊

#everydayisaschoolday
#keepchippingaway
#neverjudge
#coffeeatworkisfromdaddy

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Beginning Asset-based community Development

(from article Robert King “Death and Resurrection of an Urban Church, retrieved 15 April 2017) https://www.faithandleadership.com/death-and-resurrection-urban-church

Three steps in the process

1. Listen

Learn about your community by paying attention to its people and environment, including individuals; associations and other community groups; institutions such as clinics, schools and grocery stores; local economics; physical characteristics such as highways and valleys; and natural areas such as parks and woodlands.

2. Connect the dots

See relationships between ideas, resources and opportunities that others have not seen. Connecting the dots requires practice and collaboration; no one person can see the whole network.

3. Take action

Asset-based processes engage the gifts of people who are motivated to act. Meetings should end with a clear plan about who will take what steps.

For a practical guide to an asset-based approach to ministry, read “Discovering the Other” by Cameron Harder.

 

Questions to consider

Who do you serve? With whom do you partner? What difference does framing the relationship make in the outcomes achieved?

 

The Rev. Mike Mather asks people, “What three things do you do well enough that you could teach others how to do it?” How does a question like that shift the conversation?
Is anyone assigned to listen to your congregation and community? If so, do those listeners compare notes and connect what they are learning?
Mather realized that his church’s food pantry might be contributing to obesity and diabetes. Do your ministries produce unintended consequences? How do you envision the impact of your projects? How do you assess their impact?

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