Monday, April 27, 2009

Enjoying The Real Thing.

The students had to blog on this video today: click here.

So often we allow our expectations of what Jesus wants in the form of a relationship to bring about changes in us that are not God honouring. There is nothing wrong with many of the activities we engage in but more the attitude we have. So many people give up activities and things they enjoy in order to meet a false expectation.

To quote Randy Jackson, "Just keeping it real, dog." That is the expectation Jesus has with us. If we are angry express it to him. He wants to hear about our disappointments. He certainly wants to deal with our questions. He wants to engage us in life. Include him in the joys and disappointments in life. He wants us to be real with him.

If we enjoyed this level of relationship with him then we may understand just how much he loves us. His forgiveness would be that much more real to us. Prayer would not be so hard. Jesus would be as real to us as we are to him. The cross is the beginning. It is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Its the real thing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Freedom of Speech - Good or Bad?

This is my response to the Blog question today.

As with all freedoms of society, the freedom of speech can be used to build up or tear down, to praise or destroy, to improve things or make them worse. I would rather not consider the philosophical debate but instead the difficulty of maintaining a proper balance between the freedom to express and the freedom to not be abused.

Freedom has always been a struggle in any society because of the good and evil that exists. Some believe a balance must be maintained between good and evil but this is a distracting lie. The fact is that good and evil exists as warring forces within ourselves. In our fallen state we tend toward the darker side of things but the Spirit fights for the good. The only reason it is a struggle is because of the free will our Father has given us. Good will win out but our Father is giving us a period of time to make that decision for ourselves before evil is swept away.

As believers we have our own freedoms but this is the caution Paul puts forward:

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

It is permissible for us to speak our mind and give our opinions but we should ask ourselves if our opinion will be beneficial. We should ask if what we have to say would be considered constructive or destructive. "Will this add to my community or take away from it." That does not mean that every opinion is a positive opinion and it is not saying that every negative opinion is unwelcome. What it is asking is, are we adding to the community with what we are expressing or taking something away?

If we were to continue looking at what the Apostle Paul was saying we would read this:

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:24-24)

Freedom of speech would work well if we ask ourselves if we are trying to benefit others or ourselves. Let us be God-honouring in speech and action.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Red Balloon

This blog is because my students requested it of me. The challenge was to blog on the video at this link : click here . Considering that I believe in absolute truth I will chose to blog on the technique of the video.

I found the video effective in the purpose which was to get people to dialogue on the place of absolute truth. Because it was done in the form of an allegory it allows us to consider this subject from a fresh point of view. The fact that it was done in such a simple form with very little to distract our eye it forced us to consider the balloon and the dialogue.

What I found excellent was their method of drawing our attention to the truth of the video, that it was a video. By stepping out of frame and causing the camera to follow the actress to the "behind the scenes" we were being shown the truth of what they were doing. They were making a video.

The simplicity of the dialogue, of the action, of the background and of the music allowed us to focus on the message. This reminds me of some of the best photos we will see, those that present a simple message and that uses everything in the photo to draw our eye to the message or focal point.

In conclusion I find this an effective and powerful video that evokes discussion of a subject that is pivotal to our understanding of our lives and the world around us. OneTimeBlind should be celebrated for their creativity in bringing important messages to a world that longing to hear.