Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Montana De Luz

One of my good friends is a documentary film producer in Vancouver, B.C. He and his wife's latest film, Montana de Luz has been accepted into the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

"MontaƱa de Luz" trailer from matthew leahy on Vimeo.

Matthew and Elisa do incredible work and you should check out more of their films here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Morning Devotion #5

We often come back from camp feeling great. Like we could take on the whole world, but by the time school rolls around, it is back to business as usual, so on the ride home today, do something different.

Get in a group of 3 or 4 people, but at least one of them has to be someone who you wouldn’t normally be in a group with. Each of the following areas ask you to think outside the box. The idea is that you are going to do something radical, crazy even. The more outlandish and unexpected the idea is, the better. Remember, the jihad of love is all about surprise.

What are some of the ways that you, in this group, could uniquely and explosively love your school, neighborhood, or church? List 3 or 4 cool ideas for loving others...

What are some of the ways you could promote peace and reconciliation between cliques and groups at your school and church?

How can you be outrageously kind to those in your school and church? Who could you include that no one else will?

Morning Devotion #4

Jesus gives us, not just a high calling to respond in radical kindness when others do us wrong, but also to those who we despise day in and day out.

Who is your Arch-nemesis? That one person who in every way possible drives you insane. Who do you hate more than anyone else?

Read Matthew 5:43-47

The Kingdom of Heaven is here and now, and we have been called to rip windows open between this world and the next. We are invited to tear the fabric between our world and the world that is to come. We do this in a fascinating way.

We do this through love.

We detonate charges of hope when we love others. In what ways have you shown love today?

Those acts of love are windows into the Kingdom. But when we only love those who love us, we aren’t even scratching the surface of what Christ is calling us to.

Jesus Kingdom is best shown in the extremely difficult act of loving our enemies. Think about your arch-nemesis. In what ways can you plot a random act of kindness towards your enemies?

How can you make moves that will create peace between you and your enemies?

How can you scheme to do something that shows that you love, not hate, your enemy?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Morning Devotions: Day 3

So if Christ Kingdom is real, here and now, how are we supposed to act? Jesus actually lays out exactly the kind of Kingdom agents we are supposed to be. We are to be splinter cells of hope, anxiously awaiting our opportunity to throw kindness grenades and explosive love.

Read Matthew 5:38-42

What is your typical response to someone who wrongs you? When some mocks you, what do you do?

Do you respond by firing back? I know I do. But what does Jesus say in this passage?

This is one of the most difficult things that Jesus ever taught. EVER. Turn the other cheek. If someone asks for your lunch, give them your drink too. If someone wants to borrow your new CD, give them your iPod too.

Wait a minute. My iPod? Jesus doesn’t seriously want us to give away our iPods does he?

What would your school be like if you willingly gave away what people asked of you? The reason the idea of giving away your iPod (or whatever it is that is valuable to you) is so bothersome is because you are more concerned with that, than with living the way Jesus calls us too...

What things do you love more than your enemies?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Morning Devotions: Day 2

Who is the greatest Greek who has ever lived? I’ll give you a hint, the word Great is in his name...

So the answer is Alexander the Great, if you didn’t know. He became the “great” by, well, killing a ton of people. He was a military beast. He marched from Greece to India and hit up Egypt on the way, conquering as he went.

The greatest Roman, Persian, or Viking was always measured by the military dominance you showed. Kingdoms were all about great military victories.

Jesus teaches us that His Kingdom is at hand, and His disciples take Him seriously. They take Him so seriously that they want to know who is going to be the Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Read Matthew 18:1-4

At this point Jesus does something interesting, He calls a child into the gathering. The disciples are expecting Jesus to march to Jerusalem and kick some Roman hinny. They are expecting Him to violently overthrow Rome. Jesus does something totally radical, he calls a child up in front of the disciples. “You want to be great in the Kingdom of God? Be like this child.”

If Jesus is the King of a real Kingdom, and His Kingdom calls for our allegiance, what does he mean to have child like faith?

How do we, as Christians, place more value on the “Alexander” type of greatness and not the “Jesus” kind of greatness?

How would we as Christians act if we followed Christ in the way of weakness (the child), and not the way of strength (the soldier)?

Morning Devotions: Day 1

Ok, lets start with an easy question (maybe)...Why did Jesus die?

Now, lets make this a bit tougher. Why was Jesus killed?

Do you see the difference in the questions. The first has to do with the reasons Jesus died, what those things mean to us. The second has to do with Jesus trial and the people who accused Jesus and sentenced him to die.

Read Luke 22:66-23:17

After reading that passage, look at your answer for the second question. Do they match? Probably not right? So why is this?

We often think of Jesus dieing for our sins. We think of His crucifixion as simply a means to get us in to heaven. Both of these things are true, but they only tell half of the story. Pilate and the crowds were not crying out, “This man needs to die for our sins, Crucify Him, CRUCIFY Him!” They were claiming Jesus committed an actual crime. A real crime that deserved the death penalty.

What was the crime? They said Jesus was making Himself out to be a King and opposing taxes. They claimed He was a revolutionary.

We have often thought of the charges brought against Jesus as fake, but these aren’t. Jesus did claim to be the Messiah. What does the Word Messiah make you think of?

When Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, people knew He was claiming to be a real king who was about to set up a real kingdom. He was starting a revolution unlike anything the world had ever seen. If Jesus did set up a real kingdom on this earth what would that mean for us?

Hauntingly Beautiful

I found this over at my friend Rich's Blog...It is amazing.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Post Series: Morning Devotions

This summer I have been asked to speak at a camp for High School students from the PCA in Florida. Part of what I have been asked to do is write the morning devotionals to accompany my morning messages. I will be speaking 3 times and writing 5 devotionals.

I was looking for some help in tweaking these devotions and making them better.

My general theme is going to be "Living in the Radical Kingdom of Christ". I plan to emphasize the way Jesus calls us to follow Him and His kingdom that exist on this planet, but is completely "other-worldly". I want the kids to walk away seeing the Kingdom as a place to "Plot Kindness, Wage Peace, and Scheme Love". Then show them what that means in high school.

If you could do me the favor of reading these devotionals as I write them and giving me some feedback, I would really appreciate it.