Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Be still

Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him. Psalms 37:7

The simplicity of this statement blows me away. Be silent before the Lord, and wait. As I sit here with my headphones in, planning my busy day out and thinking a million miles a minute. I'll hop into my car later and my phone auto connects to the radio and starts blaring my jams as soon as I'm in the vehicle. At work the headphones go back in, until I leave and the radio takes over again. I get home, plug into speakers, jam on the various instruments around our house, text and talk to people, then crawl into bed with a sigh and get ready to wake up and do it all over again. Maybe I've missed the boat. Perhaps I should unplug and just be silent. No phone. No computer. Just me. Just God. Just waiting. Just being amazed at God.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Noah: the review

Big, bad, and hateful. These are not three words I would want associated with any production in which I was a part. “ The Noah Movie” is a *very* (cough cough) liberal and personal interpretation/recreating of a priceless biblical narrative. The storyline of the movie deviates from the bible in so many ways that most of the movie you sit there and wonder “is the only thing these two stories have in common the name?” So here are my thoughts. This won’t be exhaustive but this is what I walked away with. I always try to walk away with finding positives but with this movie it was difficult. Below is my best attempt and they are pretty far fetched.

The Positive:

It did make me think about two things:

1) Man’s condition. 

One of the major things that struck me through this film was the overwhelming coldness, harshness, and evil of humanity and the severity of resulting judgement. Consider it, the whole world was destroyed save what was in Noah’s ark. Everything. Every animal, every plant, and every human gone, washed away in the judgement water. It was a reminder of how serious God really takes sin and rebellion. When we disobey God it is no light or small matter.

2) The continual stress on Noah. 

I never really took into account how much stress the whole time would be for Noah. Here he is, the only human who is following the Creator of the universe and he is now responsible for saving not only the human race, but all living creatures. Whoa. Talk about overwhelming.

The acting.

With a cast including Russell Crowe and Emma Watson you know that the acting will be good and it was. The characters they were portraying however were just... bad. Plus I mean, it had Emma Watson in it so how bad could it be? :) Unfortunately it proved to be quite awful.

That’s it. The rest of the movie was quite depressing.

The Negative: *this list is not exhaustive. This is simply what stood out to me.

Lack of biblical truth from a biblical story. 

There were only two or three times that I could actually say, oh yes that actually happened. Most of the negative is due to this “umbrella” sort of problem.


The character of Noah was portrayed as angry, hateful, and bitter. While we don’t know anything about his personality from Scripture, we do know that Noah followed God and was chosen based on his character/relationship with God. “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God”. (Genesis 6:9b) As God is not angry, hateful, or bitter is safe to say that Noah was not either. He might have gotten angry, dealt with hate or bitterness but it could not have been habitual for him to be blameless and righteous. All through the movie you see Noah disregarding his role as a leader. You see his wife eventually intervene through means of sorcery because of his lack of leadership. You see him threaten the life of his children and grandchildren. You see him telling people that they are judged and there is no hope for their redemption. Unlike the Noah of scripture who went out and preached for one-hundred years that there was mercy for the repentant and that they could all be saved. Noah saves the lives of animals and chooses them over his own family telling them that the future paradise will be free of mankind as “the Creator wills it to be”. There is not much to respect in this character and you feel that when you finish the film.

The Watchers.

These beings are fallen angels that help Noah build the ark. Their story as told is:

“We were the guardian angels of earth and man. When man fell we tried to intervene and help but when we stepped out of our roles given to us by the Creator we were punished by being thrown out of heaven. We were once light but we were entombed in these rock bodies as punishment.”

So they help man build a civilization and eventually man turns on them. Methuselah ( Noah’s grandfather) stands alone and with magic protects the last few of them from death. (There is a slight positive to these creatures as they are the only “people” in the film who show unwavering dedication and actual repentance, unfortunately though they aren’t even real from the biblical account. They were however my favorite comical addition to the movie.) After they die protecting Noah and the ark they are returned to their original state of light and are accepted back to “the Creator”. This is the only display of twisted mercy from the heavens in the movie.

Noah’s sons.

In the biblical record all of Noah’s sons were married. In the movie, only Shem has a girlfriend who then has twin baby girls, allegedly to be brides to his two brothers. Character seems to be lacking as two try to kill their own father among other displays of disrespect and disobedience,

The agenda.

The agenda, whether intended or not was mind-blowing. It goes like this, man is evil and should die and let all of wonderful nature live in peace. Animals and plants are sacred and should never be touched, ever. This is environmentalism at it’s fullest. Man is a disturbance to nature and the Creator wishes to destroy everyone and leave the animals and plants in perfect harmony. All Noah was for was to deliver the animals safely and then die. He won’t find wives for Ham and Japheth, and when Shem’s girlfriend/wife Ila gives birth to two girls, Noah almost kills them because they will lead to more humans on the earth. There is a major lack of respect for human life whereas animal life is held in a divine place.

The portrayal of God.

God is unnamed and is simply referred to as “the Creator.” He is harsh, just, unloving, unmerciful, and non-communicative. Noah learns what is coming and what to do through drug induced dreams. God is aloof and uncaring. There is no reference to His mercy or love.

Sexual content.

There is some very passionate kissing/making out between Shem and Ila. Adam and Eve are seen naked, although from a distance it is still painfully obvious they are not clothed.


There are various swear words floating around throughout the film.


Noah’s grandfather Methuselah is some kind of wizard who intervenes multiple times, from drugging Noah and giving him dreams, to healing Ila of barrenness, and using magic in a battle against men to protect the Watchers. There are various other occurrences throughout the movie.

From a production standpoint,

For having a 125 million dollar budget the CGI felt fake and unbelievable, and at times the set was just poorly done. Disappointed all the way around.

The bottom line

The Noah Movie is disrespectful to the character of God and Noah. It undermines the Bible and the truths there contained. I went in expecting some deviation from scripture but this was a completely different story and one I would not recommend to anyone. God’s character is under attack and compromised, man is viewed as an oppressive evil creature that needs to be exterminated. Not like the loved creature that God has us to be. Mercy is non-existent, “justice” is perverted, and demons and witchcraft are praised. With things like this stellar acting can only go so far. When you have a story, set, and characters as depressing and so far removed from the Bible there is good reason for Christians to cry out. We expect directors to respect other authors and to stick to the original story so why should the Bible be any different? If you want to make a biblical narrative, then follow the biblical narrative. They might as well just had named it “The Bob Movie” and just ditched whole Noah concept altogether but I suppose you make more money with the Noah name.

Final thought,

A probably-too-generous 2 out of 10 stars. Save yourself 2 hours and 10 bucks and just don’t go see The Noah Movie.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Evil is not unlike a whisper at night heard far away from the great din of battle. This is where good's greatest fight is held. In the silent moments everyday is where we must triumph at last.

We live in a time of crisis. Not unlike the fiction we read as children, evil comes pressing in on every turn, every nook seems to be infiltrated with a corruption of what is good or a greater distortion of things that are not. "Battle" seems unavoidable. There comes a time when good needs to stand up to wrong in an age-old clash of the arms and it seems this time is now. 

No doubt this is true. Believers in truth and right need stand for those beliefs but there is a war greater than even our enemy knows.

This war is not held in the plains or on the city walls. 

Nor in Hollywood or New York.

This war is held in the smallest of places. 

Your heart.

There are moments in our lives that come to battle moments. Where we give all we have for right. The truth is that the enemy fears these moments. For even he knows that when we put out all the strength given to us by Christ there is nothing he can do to stop Him from winning. No, the enemy knows the great battle was lost ages ago. But he is crafty and won't go down without taking out as many as he can.

And so the true battle of our day and age is held in the quiet moments. As a matter of fact you wouldn't even know that there was a fight going on it's so subtle. What is so frightening about these fights is you stand completely alone with no hero to come save you. Just you, alone.

"Out of the heart comes life's issues" we are told in proverbs. It's the moments deep in your heart, nearly subconscious that we must stand strong to what we know is true. The truth shown in the scriptures must be so interwoven into our subconscious that the battle can be fought, and won.

It's those moments of what we watch, listen too, do on our own time, and our friends that make or break good's fight.

If we are so busy listening to evil's whispers in our entertainment, friends, and daily activities how can we expect to stand strong on the battle field? In reality the battlefield is nothing more than a parade showing the time and effort put to training.

So when evil is pushing in and you can't seem to win, think for a moment about the quiet battle. The one no one sees. The one deep inside. Do I consider what effect my friends and music have on me? If I am weak in training can I truly expect to be strong in battle? God help us to be strong in training which is truly the true battle.

Next time evil's whisperings come wafting through the night air stand strong friend. For it is the smallest battle that good must win.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Grace for All" by Holly Starr

Heard this song on the radio the other day was so blessed.

His grace is all I need, 
His power when I'm weak,
And His love that carries me,
will always be enough. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

In which - I reckon with my past

His wife said to him, "Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!" "You speak as a foolish woman speaks," he told her. "Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?" Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said. - Job 2:9-10

I wish I could say what God says about Job applies to me.

But here is the simple fact;

It doesn't.

If there is one thing that I hate to do it is reckon with the past. I hate to be honest with myself.

But the past is what inspires the present. Without the past, there cannot be a present but somehow the past always looks so ugly. Like a bad dream that you just want to get away from but you can't. No matter how hard you try. Sometimes you just start running.

And running.

You know why you are running at first. 

But eventually all you know is;


You thought running from your problems would solve all of them. Ignorance is bliss, right? But in time, the ignorance turns to guilt, which turns to pain, which turns to bitterness, which turns to more running which ends you up so far down the slippery slope that you have no idea how you got there. 

And you sit there and you feel so overwhelmed by your sin and shortcomings. You feel like a spring loaded knife, ready to spring on anyone who steps on your toes. 

You hate who you've become.

But you know no different. You start blaming all those around you. 

After all, my problems can't be my fault now can they?

Welcome to my inside life. That is the life that goes on inside my head. And while I hate to reckon with my past, I can't go on anymore in this pain and bitterness.

So it's time to come clean. It is time for you all to meet me; at my core. Aside from my church face, away from my social image. This is who I am.

I am an angry, 





and incredibly bitter person. 

But here is another fact; 

I'm tired of being this way.

I have tried to fix myself on my own and all I've done is slip farther away from God. I didn't know why I was so angry and bitter. I thought I had dealt with all the "instances" in my life that could cause this.

Then, as though on a mission direct from God a friend pulls me aside last night and asked the dreaded question.

"Jacob, how are you really doing"?

Ha. That's a zinger right there. I knew I couldn't honestly answer, "I'm great". So I just opened up, only to find out he was going through the same problem. 

This problem of being helpless to fix myself.

This problem of feeling like I had confessed everything.

This problem of feeling like there is this little black monster living inside me and every time I try to grab him, he slips through my fingers. 

I know while all the things I said exist in my life, they all come down to two things. Bitterness and no trust in God. 

I told my friend that I look back in my life and I see how many times my family has been shamed, falsely accused, ridiculed, used and wasted, and outcast for simply wanting to follow God. All this was done by "christian" people.

How can I really want to have anything to do with these "conservative" christians when they live in such an anti-Christian way? Where's the love, the grace? 

My friend looked at me and bluntly said;

"Jacob, you aren't bitter at the people, or the times, you are bitter.... God. You don't trust him and are bitter that He let you go through those hard times. "

Well when you put it that way.........


But suddenly it hit me. That is so true. While it hurts to admit it, I just do not trust God. Sure He saved me but every day life just has to be way too complicated for Him to handle. Right? Oh wait.....

This morning I opened up my bible to Job. I knew that if I could learn how to fight bitterness and a lack of trust there was one man I could get those skills from, and that was Job. And that is where these verses come up.

"Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?"

Well Job, thanks for putting that so blunt. It is becoming so clear to me that I have bought into the American-dreamanised-Christianity. 

If God is going to do just good things for me then obviously He isn't trust worthy. But here comes ninja Job saying hey. Do you really think you should only accept good from God? Like really Jacob? God created everything around you. As a matter of fact, He created you! He saved you, and He loves you. Why don't you trust Him?

My friend looks at me again, 

"you need to thank God for all those times, repent of your bitterness to Him, and trust Him. Every time you feel bitter and angry, stop. Thank God for the people, or place, or instance, or things said, or things not said. Thank Him for being so wise to give you what you are experiencing now. Remember who consequences come from. They don't come from us or the devil.

They come from God. And He can be trusted."

It was like a breath of fresh air after being in a closed off closet for 5 years. 

Do I like being responsible and exposed for what I am, no. Does it hurt. Yes. But I now know in my heart what I have always known in my head, 

God can be trusted. 

I know it doesn't feel like it. I know that. But God can be trusted.

My problems run deep. Not trusting God affects everything in my life. I have consequences to deal with and I know I won't be a new person over night. But I know now, that God is the one who is walking through this with me. 

So there you have it. I might have said it in a round about way but I am essentially a bitter and doubting person but with God's help, I long to become the opposite, a grace filled, trusting believer. And I am so thankful that He is showing me how.

Then again, He always has been showing me now, I just needed to open and listen.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kiss The Rain-Yiruma

I was digging through my email looking for an old draft when I found a note to myself; "Kiss the Rain -Yiruma". I had no idea why I had written it down so I figured I look it up. All I can say is wow. This song is so beautiful! I hope you guys enjoy!