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DP: Would you rather laugh with sinners, or cry with saints? My question: what is a “saint?” The answer…

2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours…”

1 Corinthians 1:2 - New King James Version (NKJV)
Saints - In Greek it means "holy ones," or "set apart," in reference to ALL Christians. Meaning 
we are all called to be set apart and that, in Christ, we are all saints. All equal (Galatians 3:28)
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The Only Remedy

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, Oil on canvas

Image via Wikipedia

I often find myself looking over the Book of Romans, particularly at Chapter 7 – it’s amazing how quick I can forget the most important detail, and only to “discover” it again with a greater revelation than the previous. Paul, the guided author of this book, is a man who previously lived engulfed in sin. He was previously a high-standing Jewish church official, with great authority and power, born with the name of Saul. Throughout his life he persecuted the early Christian body, watching martyrs fall to the ground with a stone cold heart, likely believing himself to be the right hand of justice and the vessel of providence. He soon discovered however, that he was sorely mistaken. While on a journey to persecute more Christians, he was blinded by light from the heavens, and in a moment of overwhelming fear and awe, Saul heard the voice of God [Read1]. From this point on Saul would become Paul, a passionate Christian man till’ martyrdom, after which he resumed his life in the presence of his Savior.
It is this same man, readily acquainted with sin, that writes:

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[b] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[c] a slave to the law of sin.

-Romans 7:15-25 (Read Context)

When selfishness, pride, and envy – enemies of love – enter in, I find myself wondering how to escape the seemingly inescapable bonds that hold to me so tightly. The answer is a simple and awesome one: Jesus Christ. 

Passion: Here for You

“I’d say this album is the Best of Passion so far!”

The above quote is what I said last time about the Passion: Awakening album – now I’ve found another favorite! Passion: Here for You is abundant in energy and religious fervor, coming straight from Louie Giglio’s Passion

Passion_São Paulo

Image by Tiago Cata via Flickr

Conferences. Each song is more pumped up than the last, and that certainly goes for the Passion series as whole. The momentum builds with each song, each one powerful in its own unique way.

  • Here for You – Chris Tomlin
  • Symphony – Chris Tomlin
  • Waiting Here for You – Christy Nockels
  • All My Fountains – Chris Tomlin
  • Shadows – David Crowder Band feat. Lecrae
  • Lord, I Need You – Chris Tomlin
  • Set Free – Chris Tomlin & Matt Redman
  • Forever Reign – Kristian Stanfill
  • Sometimes – David Crowder Band
  • Always – Kristian Stanfill
  • Carry Your Name – Christy Nockels
  • Spirit Fall – Chris Tomlin

“Can I help you with that?”

Bud of a pink rose

Image via Wikipedia

Can I help you with that?

Puis-je vous aider?

Posso aiutarvi?

Naweza kukusaidia kwa hilo?

Tôi có thể giúp bạn?

No matter the language, this one sentence – or rather, the actions that back it, can do wonders. You may have heard of Make-A-Difference Monday, and other efforts to take actions to help others. When you help someone – whether that’s “buying them a cup of coffee,” or some other courtesy, it makes you feel good. It stirs something up in your heart, and maybe even gives you that extra push to do it again. Kindness can be catchy, and that’s certainly a good thing. So why don’t we take advantage of moments where we can express this sentiment?

"A Helping Hand". 1881 painting by E...

Image via Wikipedia

Many times, such action takes spontaneity, and a sincere desire to help others. So next time you see someone in need, don’t worry about who they are, whether or not they’re your friend or someone you dislike, just help. This is something I’m trying to do. To resist the impulse to stand around idly when I can be helping others, and it’s tremendously satisfying – especially when you have a great cause holding you to it. For me, it’s the love of Jesus Christ – the ultimate example of how to reach out.

Today the DailyPost topic was, When was your last random act of kindness? If you haven’t done something for anybody lately – try doing so. Whether it’s opening a door, asking someone how they’re doing, or helping someone carry a heavy load – there’s nothing too small to make a significant difference in someone’s life.


DP Bonus: The Roar of a Lion

Lion - Louisville Zoo

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, the DailyPost topic caught my eye – in particular, the bonus question: What is a sound you’ve never heard, that you hope to hear someday?

Aslan

Image via Wikipedia

As the topic of this post suggests – I would like to hear the roar of a lion… either in a zoo or from a safe distance in the wild of course! I’ve always found lions to be particularly amazing animals, what with their flowing manes that reflect the golden rays of the sun, and their fearless composure – acting like true “Kings of the Jungle.” It’s no wonder literary characters such as Aslan (who is intended to be the “Lion of Judah“) draw such attention to themselves, even in very short intervals, it’s simply spectacular – just take a look at the dramatic presence Aslan held in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

DP: What is a friend?

Vector image of two human figures with hands i...

Image via Wikipedia - GNU by Oliverbeatson

Who would have though such a deep topic would have come from Daily Post? Though it seems many of their questions have been of some relative, personal level recently.

What indeed is a friend? A friend, in my personal sight, is one of those rare companions who you are fortunate of to meet. I have two terrific friends, and I find that I am comfortable speaking with them about things that concern personal matters in my life. It is that comfortability in disclosure – that relationship that does not hold fear, but allows for relaxing conversations, that may form a true friendship. Friends are those people who will stick with you through thick and thin, and tell you the honest truth – what’s best for you.

Friends care for you not because they get something out of the relationship, but because they have such a respect for you as a person.

Friends are truly special, and sometimes people you will only meet once in a lifetime. Other times we may find an abundance of friends – genuinely caring people who seek the well-being of those they are close to.

This reminds me of a question that was asked on Yahoo! Answers, asking “Do you agree that there is no such thing as a true friend?” to which I responded with a Christian viewpoint:

Humanity is selfish – that is one sad realization that could lead to such philosophy.

There is however, a love that transcends all selfishness.
It is a divine attribute that seeks selfless relationship and ensures true friendship.
Even if you do not believe in the principals of Christianity, look to the lives of Jesus Christ, and other men and women who committed themselves to the ones they loved – even to the point of death. This bond of love may be formed in a friendship. It is something very rare, and very special. It may be called one of those “once in a lifetime” events – that, for some, never occurs.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Image via Wikipedia

It takes discernment and an understanding of selfish ambition. Is your “friend” seeking what’s best for you in the relationship, or what will benefit them? If it is the latter, you know the friendship is “untrue” and deeply lacking.

Hurt can lead us to set up barriers and facades, keeping us from deep relationship.
Sometimes you simply have to let go, and trust someone, but not before getting to know them and seeing beyond the facade that they may inevitably wear themselves.

Le Chant des Parisiens (The Song of Parisians)

Our first video-blog post!

Composed below is a collection of photographs captured around various regions of France and mouse-clicked for this video. The accompanying music is The Bells of St. Anne de Beaupre, performed by Paul Pitman from Musopen.org: the Public Domain music collection site.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Da...

Image via Wikipedia

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third installment of the TCON (The Chronicles of Narnia) movies released by Disney, Walden Media, & 20th Century Fox. The first movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was a hit, making way for it’s sequel, Prince Caspian, which received a fair amount of positive and critical feedback from it’s fans. The latest film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, seemed to promise much when I first came across the previews – a surge of excitement at finally being able to see the magic brought to life in another blockbuster film. However, was it successful?

Overview & Speculation:

Unlike my opinion with Prince Caspian, I believe The Dawn Treader is well accomplished. Although some areas of the movie differ from the book, I could recall a plethora of scenes that I remembered were in the book (when I read it sometime around 2004). The end even serves to make way for the next two books in the storyline, The Silver Chair and The Final Battle. Though the Final Battle will most likely be the only option, as it appears the Dawn Treader film has already taken many scenes from The Silver Chair.

The movie is filled with amazing effects, beautifully accomplished animation, all-around design, and a fitting cast. It returns with the same feel that was brought about by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, taking the audience back into the magic, wonder, adventure, and inspired genius that is the world of Narnia.

As for the basic storyline:

It has been a year since the events of Prince Caspian, and Edmond and Lucy find themselves in a terrible situation – as the war persists, they must live with their Aunt and Uncle… along with their cousin, Eustace Scrubb, who takes an immediate disliking to the Pevensie children and their Narnia non-sense, and finds no trouble, in his odious manner, in expressing his aversion. As in most stories as this, the boy is bound to become a believer. But how, one may ask? Why, being sucked into a painting! The room fills with the water, once a mere beauty to admire in the painting, now a torrent which violently tosses them back into a sudden reunion with Narnia, and onto one of their greatest adventures yet. Evil has shrouded the land of Narnia once again and Prince Caspian, accompanied by his royal castaways (Edmund and Lucy), must gather the Seven Swords of the Seven Lords (that’s a mouthful…) and set them on Aslan’s Table, which will vanquish the darkness if they succeed.

Many characters reappear from the previous movies, including one of my personal favorites: Reepicheep (beside my top favorite Aslan.)

It’s a terrific movie fit for the whole family – although there are some elements which may be unsuitable to younger audiences [Rated PG].

Religious Elements:

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader is rich in Christian elements and theology.

“I am,” said Aslan. “But there [in your world] I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

The name He speaks of is evident and beyond misconception, though some people may bring up controversy to attempt to establish otherwise. In the world of the Pevensie’s, and our world as well, His name is Jesus Christ – Savior of Humanity – The Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recomendation, and other factors…

Tron: Legacy [December 17, 2010]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

X-Men: First Class [June 3rd, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Transformers III: The Dark of the Moon [July 1st, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II (December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.

Music Review: Glory in the Highest

Cover of "Glory in the Highest: Christmas...

Cover via Amazon

Chris Tomlin’s Glory in the Highest album is one of his best since And If Our God Is For Us… and Passion: Awakening.

Emotionally moving with the sentiment of the Christmas season – Glory in the Highest conveys the feelings of gratitude and reverence at the birth and ultimate death of Jesus Christ (and when he rose again), that we feel mutually as Christians. It takes a new twist on the Christmas carols of old – bringing a fresh, Contemporary Christian vibe to the mix. It’s upbeat, uplifting, and calming of the spirit.

The album also features the voice talents of Christy Nockels, Matt Redman, and Audrey Assad.

My favorite song of the album would certainly be O, Holy Night, not only due to it’s beautiful composition, but of the message that follows with it.

This album is highly recommended, and may be easily and cheaply obtained in a Christmas Bundle from the 268 Store for those interested.

Included within the album are the songs listed below, which, along with Christmas classics, contains some originals of Chris Tomlin and Ed Cash.

O, Come All Ye Faithful

Angels We Have Heard on High

Emmanuel [Hallowed Manger Ground]

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

My Soul Magnifies the Lord

Joy to the Lord [Unspeakable Joy]

Glory in the Highest

O, Holy Night

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Light of the World

Winter Snow

Born that We May Have Life

Christmas Time is Here Again

Queen's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle 1848,...

Image via Wikipedia

What is like that warm holiday feel, such as you experience at Christmas? Crackling fires, falling snow, spending time with family – it’s a magical image. No wonder it’s accomplished such cinematic attentions.

It’s a time of presents… and in foresight, a time of frenzied shopping.

As a result, Christmas has become a holiday of giving and taking – a big day in the commercial industries – rather than what it used to be.

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ – son of God.

Holidays such as Easter have become so traditional – many people have forgotten the true meanings behind them… and what they’re even celebrating.

This will be our theme for Adventure Writer this month. I will be reviewing various things, from videos to Christmas songs.

Be sure to check it out.