Sunday, March 10, 2013

Movie Star

At the end of February, I had the amazing opportunity to be part of a video taping through Focus on the Family.
In our Focus Leadership Institute Alumni newsletter last December, we received an invitation to participate as students while Dr. Del Tackett taught the third set of lessons for TrueU.
For those who are familiar with the Truth Project, Dr. Tackett's name will be familiar. He taught that study of Christian worldview and society in a 12 lessons DVD-based curriculum intended for small group adult Bible studies. Now, a similar series has been developed for students in late high school and early college that centers on equipping students to embrace and defend their faith in college.
So far, two sets of lessons have been filmed and distributed. The first set addressed the question "Does God Exist?" and the second was "Is the Bible Reliable?" Now the third set will ask "Who is Jesus?" and will be available in October of this year. If interested, you can pre-order it here. (Though if you plan on using it for a Bible study, I would recommend doing Sets 1 and 2 first since they all build on each other.)
It was an absolutely amazing experience that left me feeling immensely blessed to have had the opportunity to participate. We had been previously told to bring around six different outfits for taping and I'm glad that some of mine were interchangeable and could be added to since we ended up doing about nine outfit changes, even if some were only minor (add accessories, change hairstyle, etc.).
It was refreshing and stimulating to sit as a student again under Dr. Tackett's teaching. I scribbled notes as quickly as I could while still keeping in mind all the instructions and cues we'd been given by the film crew. "Look Alive!" "Don't look at the cameras!" "Don't slouch or cross your arms!" Only half my brain could pay attention to the lesson since the other half was focused on not hitting my microphone (lapel mics that plugged into a wire on our chairs), staying alert, and not shivering too much (the room was cold!). The whole crew was great and the makeup/wardrobe ladies kept us looking good. I felt a little like a movie star! :)
I don't want to spoil too much of what the lessons are about but I will share two statements I highlighted in my notes that made an impression:

"We are offended by Jesus when he doesn't fit our image of what he should be." <<< We referred to this image as our "Jesus doll" throughout the study.

"We struggle with exclusivity [that Jesus is the Only Way] because we think too little of Jesus and too little of what he did." <<<Explaining why we tend to think we have to defend Jesus or give into a doctrine of "tolerance" which in fact demeans what he did and elevates ourselves in our own minds.

If you want more you'll have to watch the series when it comes out in October! :)

Believe it or not, this was only the first half of my trip that started in Colorado! :) Second half was a girls' weekend with my roommates from the Focus Leadership Institute in Dallas, TX...that deserves a post all to itself! :)

Soli Deo Gloria,

P.S. This photo was taken and posted on the FLI Facebook page :) I'm in the front row in the bright pink shirt (also visible in the camera screen in the foreground). How cool is that!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: Sudden Glory

Have you ever longed for something more in your relationships with God? Maybe if you just did one more Bible study, volunteered in one more ministry, or baked just one more meal for a family in need you might feel you had attained something more? I know I have at times which is probably why Sharon Jaynes' book "A Sudden Glory" appealed to me. I was curious to hear what she had to say about what she called the "glory ache" and how to alleviate it.

This book really drew me into its message of living, moving, and having our being in Christ (see Acts 17:28) at all times, eradicating the supposed barrier between the sacred and everyday life. As I continued reading and delving into the various aspects of this idea, I found my eyes opening and seeing more of the glory moments around me. Not only that, but it's reinforced my desire to have boundaries when it comes to getting involved in activities and ministries. I don't want to give in to the tyranny of the "busy" and miss out on what God would say to me when I heed to call to "be still". Sometimes it's just realizing that the real question is not what does God want from me but what does He want for me and the difference that small distinction can make.

The book also includes a study guide with a section for each chapter that can be used individually or with a group. In addition, on her website, Sharon offers additional resources and a place to read and share glory moments that you have experienced. There's even an online Bible study centered on the book. Everything available enhances the experience started in "A Sudden Glory". 

You can read Chapter One of "A Sudden Glory" HERE and see for yourself.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Soli Deo Gloria,

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.