Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nothing to Prove ~ a book review

Nothing to Prove, by Jennie Allen is one of those books. For me this is a book that, while the message is wonderful and timely, I can't make myself finish. This will be one of those books I keep around for reference or occasional reading but, for long settings, it is a little boring for my taste. I am not a huge non-fiction fan. Often it feels that she says the same things over and over again. I certainly want to finish this book, but I have had it forever and have not yet finished. I figured it was about time I post a review. This is a great book, just not my taste. I would recommend this book for people who love non-fiction and want to spend long hours reading. I'm a little ADD so this is not exactly in my realm of capabilities. 
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are soley my own. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Something I Need to Hear

Hello, friends!
I am nothing. I am not a single iota of anything. Nothing I have has any true merit and nothing I will ever do will mean anything. There is nothing in me worth having. I am nothing good. I am human.
He is everything. Not a single iota of him is corrupt. Everything about him is truly valuable and full of intrinsic merit. He is worth having. He is the embodiment of good. He is God. 
These are simple truths that most of us probably know in our heads. (And if you don't, lucky you! Hearing it for the first time is something I long to do over again.) We all know that we have fallen short of the glory of God. We learned that in Sunday School at age five. We know we deserve death. 
But we forget. 
I'm a good girl. I don't do the things that bad girls do and I do do the things that good girls do. I often think that I have a pretty impressive Christian resume. Like if God wanted to pick someone, surely he would pick me. I like to think of myself as pretty cleaned up. I need a little work maybe, but really, I'm not that bad. 
If you are like me, this is your mentality as well. Here is the deal. I am not good. I may not be at a party every Friday night and I may have never even kissed a boy, but I am still dirty. My brain runs to all the places it shouldn't. My mind's eye constructs images it never should even have the material to build. My mouth steals life perpetually.  My heart wanders so far from Christ I sometimes wonder if I should give up. I act like a follower of Christ never should. I am not good. My resume is far from impressive. All my good girl points aren't worth a thing. 
I do mostly good stuff, right? Even when I do wrong it normally doesn't affect others and I'm not killing people. 
Here is the deal. God is holy. Like that means perfect. He does nothing wrong.
Imagine this with me for a minute. You are a JV volleyball player (I had volleyball practice today, so...) You decide to try out for an Olympic team. Let's say that you were the best player on your team. You scored the most points and your team would have been lost without you. When you messed up it could have been a whole lot worse than it ever was. So you try out. And you fail. 
You probably wonder what my point is. Your not a bad player by your team's standards, just like I am not a bad person by the world's standards. But you aren't good enough for the Olympic team, just like I am not good enough for God's love and affection. You wouldn't expect to be recruited for the Olympic team from your JV team because you know you aren't good enough. You wouldn't be surprised that you didn't make the team even if you are the best on your team. 
According to God's standards, I am a JV player trying to be Olympic. I don't measure up. In fact that analogy pales next to its meaning because there are players that deserve to play Olympic. God's standards are impossible for us to reach, no matter how "good" we are. 
I challenge myself so much with these words that I am typing. I am learning this. I am not enough and none of the things I have are my own. I will never measure up.
He surpasses the mark.
When I fail, he has already succeeded on my behalf. 
He loves me as I am. 
That is grace. 
I am who I am because of him and I have no bragging rights.
So my friends, let this truth sink in. You are not enough and you are not good. But he loves you anyway and he makes you all of those things and more through himself. You don't have to be good enough. Stop trying and stop bragging. You did nothing to earn his love and you don't have to do anything to keep his love. 
I know that this post rambled quite a bit and if you are still with me your are amazingly awesome. I pray that you will grow closer to your Heavenly Father. 
In Christ,

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Priceless ~ movie review

     Well hello!
    So I recently watched the movie Priceless. For those of you who know nothing about it, it is made by the Smallbone family (For King and Country and Rebekah Saint James' family). It is not a family produced film but Joel from FKC stars and one of his brothers was the producer. The basic storyline is that James (Joel Smallbone) is a desperate man. His wife died several years ago and his daughter was recently taken from him. Now he is willing to do almost anything to get back on his feet. He agrees to drive a truck across the country for cold cash, no questions asked. When he uncovers the genre of the cargo, however, he is faced with a moral dilemma. James discovers that he is transporting two young girls. He has no idea what is going to befall them, but when he finds out, he is obligated to act. 
     This is a very timely and well-done film. While the accuracy is somewhat lacking in various areas I believe that it is as accurate as a movie could be made on this dark subject. I would give this film a hearty 4.5 stars. While I hoped for a little more, my views are rather biased as the daughter of a woman who is highly involved with fighting to end human trafficking. 
     This is not a family film. The very subject of sex trafficking is not easily glossed over and the producers didn't try to. It is very tastefully done but there are certain things that cannot be left out. We get a view or two of a girl in bed after an implied mollestaion. There are sexual innuendoes througought but always in an unglorified context. We watch a man get shot and die and we see bruises on a young girl. There is also a scene where torcher is implied but not directly shown. can shed better light on the content. I would recommend this film for ages 12-13 and up, depending on the viewer. 
     On another note. Please support this film. Everything that happens is real and far worse than portrayed. Most victims are never rescued. The treatment of sex slaves is worse than depicted. This happens today. This happens now. This happens in your city. This happens in my small town. We cannot remain oblivious. 
     Unlike many Christian films, this one lacks the overtly cheesy scenes of conversion. This is not your average Christian movie. 
     I hope that you find this review helpful!