Mundaze. “The Shack,” Review 

Okay, so I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the movie, “The Shack,” but I absolutely loved it! I fell in love with the book after reading it early last year and I’ve been waiting for the movie to come out since then. I have to admit though, I was anxious about the story being played out on the big screen. I didn’t want Hollywood to taint the purpose of the film. However, I’m pleased to say that I couldn’t have asked for a better execution of the book! The movie was beautiful: honest, painful, evoking, and emotionally packed. 


Now, if you read my entries regularly, you know my love for God means everything in this world to me. And yes, I am religious. But I’m also spiritual. I don’t believe that religion can be good if it is not paired with a true and personal relationship with God. Otherwise, we’re just following a bunch of rules without an understanding of why. That’s another topic for another day, but it makes me sad that so many religious people are dismissive of, “The Shack,” because they’ve perceived themes in the movie that don’t coincide with every iota of their religious doctrines. To me, the central theme of the movie is forgiveness and a true understanding of who God is and how much He loves us. 

I’ve read many articles claiming that the movie promoted universalism and that it watered down biblical truth. Honestly, maybe it did. I’m no theologian. Heck, I’m still trying to read through the entire Bible. But I never want to be so concerned with religion that I forget to have compassion for the pain of humanity. The truth is, people are hurting. Everywhere, people are drowning in their turmoil. Those people may not know that God loves them or even believe that He is at all good. They’re confused and angry and this movie has the potential to open the door to hardened hearts and initiate spiritual journeys to their freedom.

 I don’t believe in trying to conform God or His word to our modern society. I believe that the salvation of Jesus is the only way to eternal life. The universe is the universe, not God.

Even as devout as I am in my beliefs, reaching hurting people, to me, supercedes religion. If we can just get people to the point of forming a relationship with God, then all the why’s, what fors, do’s, and dont’s will come with the growth of that relationship. 

And by no means, am I asking people to compromise their beliefs, I just wish that we would become more interested in seeing one another in authentic happiness and peace. I believe this movie has the potential to break down barriers and pierce hearts. Even as a Christian, I came away with a renewed understanding of God’s love for me and ultimately, it made me want to seek Him even more. 

I certainly encourage people to go see this movie! I’d love to hear your thoughts and views on it! 

Happy Inspiration Monday, 

Celestial 

Song of the Week : “Background,” by Lecrae

“Background,” by Lecrae

This week’s song was also featured on my last post, “Karaoke with God.” 

I love the illustration presented in the song. It makes perfect sense and reminds me to loosen up on being in control and enjoy playing the background.

Happy Friday guys! I hope you all enjoy your weekend! See you Monday! 

Karaoke with God 

                             

A long stretch of road, the wind combing through your hair, and your favorite song blasting. Some days, life doesn’t get any more liberating than this. And even though that stretch of road may be just an ordinary trip to your local grocery store, a song on the radio can make all the difference. Seriously, if a song I love comes on in the car, my drive becomes an entirely new experience. On a regular basis, I drive past my destination just to finish jamming out!

As I was driving down I-75 the other day- bopping and singing along- it suddenly occurred to me: I wasn’t worrying. And I wondered why?

Is it the exhilaration we feel by the ability to bottle three to four minutes of complete freedom inside ourselves through belting out a glorious (or very silly) tune?

Maybe. But maybe it’s more than that…

The songs we love most are the ones we’ve listened to hundreds of times and connect with most. By knowing a song with such intimacy, we create a level of dependency on it. When we’re singing along to Whitney Houston’s, “I Will Always Love You,” we know that even if we make a mistake, she won’t. The song was released in 1992 and every time we listen to it, it will be as flawless as the day it was recorded. And even if we forget a run or adlib, it doesn’t mean the experience has to be any less fulfilling. 

The hard part is over with! All the fine details that go into making a work of music are sorted out in a studio before we ever know the song exists. There, they have the resources to accommodate any imperfections, so that when it is presented to an audience, it is flawless. Our only job as listeners and receivers of music is to enjoy its ability to transport us to worlds unknown.

God created each of our lives as a sacred and cherished song of His love for us, thereby making Him the ultimate musical genius. If we dedicate ourselves to putting in the work to learn the melodies of God’s heart, we will find ourselves liberated from the burdens of our worries. And in doing so, we will learn to sing the tune that God has for us- the plan and purpose He has for our lives. It’s like a conductor and his orchestra: the members of the orchestra are equipped with the instruments, and the conductor provides direction on how to best maximize the use of those instruments. Each individual player in the orchestra is focusing only on his/her instrument and role, while it is the conductor’s duty to oversee and act to the benefit of the ensemble as a whole.

Likewise, God sees our lives as a whole and knows them from beginning to end. Before we were ever conceived, He created a plan and a purpose for each of us. If we truly learn to rest in that knowledge, it will become that much easier to harmonize our lives to the melodies God has created for them.

Jeremiah chapter 1

Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that we write God’s word on our hearts. Life is hard, and sometimes it gets tough to remain hopeful when the world around us seems so hopeless. But if we cling to God’s song and study His word, we will remain firm in its power. When we’re singing our favorite song, our confidence is in knowing that the song is already complete and perfect as it is, so that if we make a mistake, the song is unaffected by it.

The same goes for God- His purpose for our lives is not limited to the circumstances we face now. If we would stop trying to be the producer, writer, singer, and conductor of our songs, we’d see many of our problems resolved. Believe it or not, we do have a role to play in our lives, and it is not that of producer or conductor. It is our job to be believers and trust that the God we put our faith in is in complete control. We must know, with no lack of certainty that God’s plan for us cannot be destroyed by anyone other than ourselves.

So, go ahead, sing your heart out. Let the windows down in your life, let the warm breeze fill your space, and scream God’s song at the top of your lungs, because in all the hurt, pain, and disarray of this fallen world, there’s no sound more beautiful.

Also, check out Lecrae’s song, “Background.” It’s a great complement to this post. 

Freedom’s Prison

Countless wars have been fought in its name. Brave soldiers have sacrificed their lives to protect it. We’ve pawned off our souls to taste it. Yet, it holds us captive. We have cut open the Earth and yanked it from her core. The blood that pours forth, we call freedom.

Can a creation exist separate from the will of its creator? Why then, do we believe that we can thrive independent from the will of our maker?

Outside of our creator’s purpose, we are but walking sandcastles. And is not dust easily swayed by the caress of the wind? Beautiful souls cloaked in flesh, so readily tempted by the elements. Fools we’ve become, dressing ourselves high and mighty in our own concrete beliefs and labeling it freedom.

The liberties that we’ve taken with our lives have served only as a deception to further bind us. We believe that we are exercising our right to independence, but in actuality, we are running further from the truth.

If this freedom that we seek liberates us, why do we constantly seek more? We’ve freed our bodies to sexual immorality, we’ve released our minds to false teachings, and we have entrusted our souls to one another. I cannot give you my soul to approve or disapprove of, for you know not my purpose; you are not my maker.

We are tortured by the gift of emotional freedom. Our feelings dictate our actions, and if we are moved solely by the events of this natural world, we have become slaves to it.

What if the trees decided that they wanted to be sunflowers, where would our oxygen come from? And say the sun had the inclination to become an intelligent Orca, what would provide us warmth? God forbid the water had the longing to become sand- we would be dead in days.

God created us, just as he has created our natural surroundings- with purpose. Except, we were made in his very image and given dominion over everything that roams the earth. We have abused the liberty we have over this land, slaughtering beautiful animals for jewels and tearing down forests to build cities of sin. Along with her innocence, we have destroyed our own in the search of freedom. And until we come to understand that our freedom lies only in God, we will continue along this destructive path.

Seek God with sincerity.  Read his word and understand his purpose for you as an individual, but also, his will for the human race as a whole. Accept his salvation and breathe in his holy spirit. Jesus has already paid the price for our freedom, so  any liberties outside of him is returning to bondage.

I’ll close with a quote that I love from the movie, God’s Not Dead,

“Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.”