First things first, what's the scoop on the plot? Honestly, as much as I enjoyed God's Not Dead, I think God's Not Dead 2 has even greater potential to stir Christians to action (fervent prayer is a great first step!) in a respectful, compassionate way and to shed light on the fact that the ugly hand of discrimination sweeps farther than they may realize if they only see the 5 o'clock news. We can hear so many negative, seemingly outlandish things on the news, that some people tend to discredit the stories. I am always a fan of making informed decisions, so rather than discrediting an article or headline that piques my suspicion, I dig deeper. I find there's always more to the story than what makes it INTO the story.
Having the opportunity to ride along via dramatic film and see the ins, outs, and unexpected ripple effects of the scrutiny placed on Jesus Christ's place in our society and our freedom (or lack thereof) to express our beliefs sounds fascinating. And safe. Let's not lie, we Christians do like to be safe. Most movie theaters seem fairy safe and comfortable. Take a minute to pray for believers in other nations who daily face extreme physical danger for their faith in Christ. Not sure where to start praying? Head over to persecution.org (International Christian Concern) and sign up for a newsletter. There are options for monthly or weekly news and prayer requests. Want more than a newsletter? Do you prefer a community feel with an option to interact briefly? icommittopray.com (Voice of the Martyrs) sends out occasional emails with photos and specific prayer requests. You can share the requests on social media if you'd like. You can choose to click on the requests and be taken to their website where you can share your prayer, or read the prayers of others. What's beautiful about this is that sometimes the parties requesting prayer are able to access the prayers and read them during their times of distress. Talk about encouragement!
While both of those previous resources offer worldwide prayer requests, we cannot ignore the needs of our own country. If you haven't checked out what Franklin Graham (Samaratan's Purse, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) is up to, you really should. When I was using Facebook, his posts were tremendously encouraging beams of light amidst the yuck that can often be posted on social media. Straight truth, seasoned with grace is how that man speaks. Don't we all need a little of that? I will be taking my whole family to our state capital when he arrives for the Decision America Tour of 2016. I've admired his father and won't pass the opportunity for my boys to see a great man of God and the assembly and felllowship of a church greater than the building in our local community. I'm sure there were some Christians who sat at home when Billy Graham toured, thinking this fuss wouldn't amount to much... I wonder if they ever looked back in hindsight and wondered that it would've been worth the trouble to attend? I'm not sure how much longer we'll have these opportunities.
So, about that giveaway? Without further adue...
· GND2 bag