December Media Picks

Once again it is time to select my recommendations for the best Christian song, movie, and book of the month. I like to draw upon the wide vast of media that moved me as a child as well as those I’ve discovered in my adult walk with Christ.

This month will be a mixture of the two.

We will start with “my song” from childhood. If you ask a child today what HIS song is, you might get something like Old Town Road or Let it Go. Perhaps the lyrics to Shake It Off provide a mantra crutch for tough times.

For me, however, there was one song that whipped me into jubilant frenzy: The Savior is Waiting. I’ll be honest- I’m not sure why. If I saw that we would be singing it in the service in the church bulletin, it was like Christmas morning and my birthday rolled into one.

I really can’t explain it.

All I can figure is that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, knew that by burying that song deep within me as a child, He would be able to use it to draw me to Him down the road when hymns were no longer in my heart.

The song always draws me right into His Bosom, no matter where I am.

In my early adult life, I discovered the book The Gospel According to Peanuts written in the 1960s by Robert L. Short. Short interpreted certain themes and conversations in Peanuts as consistent with parts of Christian theology, and used them as illustrations in his lectures on the Gospel. The parallelisms are interesting, especially as an avid Charlie Brown fan.

I read the comic strip occasionally but I faithfully watched every Peanuts special that came on television. I also had several of those book and album sets where you read along with the audio version of the story on a vinyl record. I loved all the characters; I can’t remember having a favorite. Maybe Charlie Brown.

As an adult, I definitely see myself in Lucy which is ironic since I always thought Lucy was annoying and bossy. Hmmm….

The movie I’ve chosen for this month is one I watched a couple of years ago, part of an incredible set of modern-day biblical tales. This one, Amazing Love, is about the story of Hosea.

Some friends of ours recently watched it and loved the message as well.

On a small youth group retreat, Pastor Stuart senses that something is amiss with the group of kids he is responsible for.  A new non-Christian girl is among them, and her presence is causing divisions among the Christian teens.  He decides to try to get through to them by telling them his creative and family-friendly rendering of the Biblical story of Hosea and his tenuous relationship with his wife Gomer.  Ultimately, each person must decide how they are going to respond and to show God’s unconditional love for all people.

It is a great Christian movie, especially if your knowledge of Hosea consisted solely of where it is found in the Old Testament, such as mine was!

 

GEAR UP: SILENCE

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on SILENCE!

The world gets a little noisier at Christmastime and most of us love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But, ironically, in the season in which we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we often stop hearing Him.

There’s just too much noise.

Work on finding pockets of silence this week.

Carve out 10-15 minutes each day to not be distracted by phones, radios, or television. Just sit in the absolute silence and relish being one with the Creator.