Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Religion”

Breakfast Club on Jazz

We attended closing night of the Phoenix Film Festival and saw Blue Like Jazz. The film opens nationwide on April 13.

Let me first say that I loved the book. God used it to change my life. Donald Miller gets abandonment. It was one of the first times I felt understood in my struggle with parental abandonment. Miller helped me to see that even though I didn’t feel worthy of people sticking around, I have a Father who has never left me.

In my ongoing heartbreak with subsequent familial abandonment, I return time and again to the truths I finally understood through Miller’s writing. God’s love lasts much longer than the stabs of current rejection. His love is the only thing that is eternal.

Now on to the movie. It’s not advertised for, nor is it appropriate for children or young teens. We took our 13 and 16 year old sons. I was embarrassed, and as mom to three teen boys, it takes some doing to make me blush. I also was uncomfortable with the mocking of Christianity. I get that for free every day out in the world, through all social media and especially on TV. My son lives it everyday at the University he attends, the other boys at their middle and high schools.

Some reviewers say the movie is a great conversation starter for Christian families and helps them transition their young adults to the next stage of life. I wonder where they think we live? Do they really believe all Christians live out in the country where the most violent act we witness is a calf being born? Where our biggest problem is what dress to wear to church on Sunday? No, Christians face the exact things the world does, on the same moment- by -moment basis. When I attend a film, I want to be taken away from the world, not forced to relive my college days in all their lewd glory.

Reviewers said the movie was going to have a hard time and comments like the one below tend to polarize viewers:

A challenging book to turn into a film due to its stream of consciousness narration, director Steve Taylor and crew have for the most part succeeded in turning out a generally entertaining film, but one that will probably be too centered on Christianity for those averse to religion and too “edgy” for those of the Christian faith who like their films Kirk Cameronesque. -Linc Leifeste, Smells Like Screen Spirit 

I agree, it was too difficult to turn Blue Like Jazz into a film. As a person of faith, an avid movie goer and someone who respects Kirk Cameron, I don’t prefer my films to be Kirk Cameronesque. I further don’t consider mocking Christianity for 95% of the film to be edgy in any way. It’s an effort to reach the masses with an attempt to entertain. Mocking anything is usually good for a sure laugh.

The central message of Blue Like Jazz the movie, is that every flawed creature is worthy of respect, which we know is the gospel truth. The film had the chance to go deep with that and ended up a glorified, modern day version of the Breakfast Club with a jazz soundtrack. Basically an “accept all sin now, just be certain to ask forgiveness later.”

I highly recommend the book, it’s a completely different experience.

Blue Like Jazz the Book

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SCL:Claiming Sports are the ROAE

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(I reviewed this book last week and loved it! The following post is a contest entry. It's a chance to write my own version of stuff christians like and if I win, I'll be featured on Jonathan Acuff's blog Stuff Christians Like.)

We all know those
families at Church. They’re hardly ever there due to the amount of sports their kids participate in, but we’ve heard about them. We see them occasionally if
they aren’t in an “out-of-state-traveling-competitive-team” tournament.

Sometimes only part of the family will show up on any given
Sunday and that’s when we start in. 

If you’re a
Christian family who happens to love sports, use this handy guide for shot
blocking unsolicited advice.

Well-meaning judger: The Krells aren’t here, they had three games this weekend.
Three! They’re totally addicted.

Your response tailored to how many kids you have: We average more like eight games a weekend. An addiction is
something you can’t stop doing. We have three boys who each play two sports.
Sometimes they play double headers. We are talking simple math here friend, not
addiction. 

Well-meaning judger: Sports get in the way of family time.

You: Yes, I can see it would get in the way of couch time in
front of ESPN while your wife blogs and your kids play video games.

Well- meaning judger: You never let your kids play, or just be kids.

You: I’m sorry little Johnny/Jane doesn’t have an athletic
bone in his/her body. We’ll play, I mean pray for you.

Well- meaning judger: Your kids don’t pray enough.

You: They pray before free throws and point toward the
sky in the end zone. That single finger point clearly gives all the glory where
it’s due. Sure Matthew 6:5-6 tells us to pray in a secret place. However it’s
hard to be humble when you play in eight games a weekend. 

Well-meaning judger: Your kids don’t do God’s work; mission work.

You: You just don’t want my kid to witness more than yours.
Obviously when my son kneels in the end zone he’s ministering to the masses.
That’s more effective than knocking on one door at a time.

Well-meaning judger: Your kids give up their right to ask for God’s safety if
they choose to endanger themselves on the insane court of basketball.

You: I’m still searching the Bible for the list of things I
can’t go to God about. When I
find it, if “standing on the soccer field” tops the list, we’ll quit. By the way, I find you very competitive, almost sports-like.

Well-meaning judger: Sports are the ROAE. The root of all evil I tell you.

You: Actually in 1 Tim. 6:10, it says the “love of money” is
a root of all kinds of evil. The words sports and money are not
interchangeable. Unless you’re talking about professional athletes, then indeed
the words are synonymous. But the most my kid has asked for is to “show
him the Gatorade.”

And finally, when they next level it by stating “Asking God for a win
implies that he is an arbitrary God.” You simply reply: I don’t know much, but
Jesus loves me, this I know.

Arbitrary or not, this I know.

For the Love of Lent

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When I was young, the season of Lent meant managing my friends. At the end of every February I'd make mental notes like these: 

Don't invite Sally Sweet to spend the night, she's given up sugar for Lent. What's The Love Boat and Fantasy Island without a Big Gulp and a candy bar?

And later as a teen:

Please don't let Tom Foolery ask me out! I heard he's given up fun for Lent.

And then as a young adult:

Better not invite the Legume family over for dinner this month, they've given up meat for lent. Whatever would I serve them, rabbit food?

It was all about avoiding those who were avoiding the good stuff. 

Occasionally over the years I'd jump in and try to give up something, touting my omission to anyone who would listen. Finally I realized that fasting from something wasn't enough, I needed to use that time to privately grow and know God.

So this year I'm not giving up Starbucks (shocker), red meat, or my Crazy Heart soundtrack, rather I gave up my notions of what the Lenten season is. I put away past experiences and ideas and started from square one. I researched, read and prayed about Lent and believe I'm different because of it.

Most noticeably, I've learned that Lent isn't about me and my power to preclude. While it's difficult to enter into this season of sadness, joy always comes in the morning and we will celebrate with joy on Easter. 

We will celebrate God, who with his abilities and power is the only reason I can do anything at all.

Biblestick

Faith Comes By Hearing is sending thousands of Military BibleSticks to encourage men and women in our troops. They provide them at no charge and even send a coupon for the spouse and one for a child back home. Please visit the link below to find out how you can help.

http://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/who-we-are




Chaplains and troops are raving about the Military BibleStick. Since July 2008, Faith Comes By Hearing, the world’s foremost Audio Bible ministry, has sent more than 15,000 of these Audio New Testament listening devices to military chaplains around the world.


Ministry leaders at Faith Comes By Hearing specially designed the Military BibleStick to encourage America’s fighting men and women to engage in God’s Word in audio. 


The Military BibleStick is a portable, digital audio player, which comes pre-loaded with the Audio Drama New Testament. With a matte black finish, matte black ear buds and a red-light-only operation, the Military BibleStick has an intentional low-key design to reduce visibility and to be used in low-light situations. This Audio Bible, which is about the size of a pack of chewing gum, easily fits into a uniform pocket and is rugged enough to withstand unpredictable weather.


“The format is perfect for the military lifestyle,” said one Army chaplain deployed to Iraq.


Chaplains report that the troops enjoy the portability of the Military BibleStick, the dramatization of the Audio New Testament and quality of the recording itself.


“This is awesome,” said a Marine sergeant serving in the Middle East. “You feel like you are there – like you are listening to a story – or watching a movie.  It’s interesting and easy to listen to.”


“Listening to the Audio Bible really helped me to understand the Bible,” said a soldier deployed to Kosovo.  “I can read the words over and over, but to hear the Word spoken to me really puts it all together.” 


During deployments, troops often live in cramped quarters with little to no privacy or personal space. Dangerous environments and long missions also add to the daily stresses.


“Many of us have been here for awhile and the doldrums lifestyle can leave you worn out and empty,” wrote a soldier from Iraq.


One sailor said, “It’s hard to have time out and introspect. People appreciate being able to listen alone, which gives them the privacy and time to focus on God’s Word.”


These responses are no surprise for Lt. Cmdr. Steve Sexton, a Navy Chaplain stationed in southern California. To date, Sexton has distributed roughly 1,000 Military BibleSticks to Marines at the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, California. His involvement began after observing what Marines and Sailors in his unit did during their down time.  


“I noticed that nobody walked around with a paperback or magazine in their back pocket.  Instead, they plugged in their MP3 Player, watched a movie or played a video game,” Sexton said.


In fact, a recent study confirms his observation, citing that 83 percent of 18- to 23-year-olds own a mobile media player and listen to it an average of two hours each day.  This demographic reflects the same group who make up the junior ranks in today’s military.


“If these heroes are an audio-visual generation, why not reach them with the Scriptures in the media they are most comfortable with?” Sexton asked.

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