Saturday, February 06, 2010

Jasper Speaks:

Saturday Night:

Sitting: On our couch with my feet up

Waiting: For my new portable hardrive to synch with my laptop

Glad: To have had two of my oldest, dearest friends and their family over for dinner tonight

Needing: To work on seminary stuff

Anticipating: Disciple Now this weekend

Reading: See all the lovely books listed on the sidebar

Avoiding: Seminary work

Enjoyed: Spending the day with my family and my evening with the Sikes

Preparing: For Disciple Now

Drinking: Nothing at the moment but am thirsty

Snacking: Nope. Too full from dinner.

Trying: To get into a better Bible study groove in the new year

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Jasper Speaks:

So I got this note today written on my Facebook wall from a former student who is all grown up now. Reminded me why I do this:

Kendra Rains and Jasper Rains Miss you guys! Thanks for helping shape us and give us habits that have kept us on the right path throughout the years. God really used you in our lives, and I know he is doing the same in the lives you are touching now. Just thought I should let you know how much you are appreciated and loved!

So, remember that our work today is remembered tomorrow and has eternal value. Thank yous are few and far between. Maybe that is what makes them so special.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Jasper Speaks:

I have been trying to work on Disciple Now stuff all week. Usually I am way over prepared for events but not this time. I feel completely behind the eight ball. Some of it is not my fault. My worship/small group leader point person has not been receptive to meeting with me. This makes me very uncomfortable. It is important that the team be prepared for what is coming. I will not be pleased with them riding by the seat of their pants. It is frustrating. This is the third year I have used people from the same place. It will be my last. The problem is that I need to alert the supervisor of these people of my grievances. He is a friend of mine. He is undergoing cancer treatments. This seems petty. Still, I think he needs to know the poor representation these people are of him.

The other element that is holding me back is the alternative worship service we do. I just need to sit down and write it. I have some ideas. I am still not there. This is very unlike me.

Just one of the ebbs and flows of ministry but this has been my frustrating week.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Jasper Speaks:

So, now I have seen To Save A Life three times. I have to start off by saying that the production quality of this film is top notch. It reviles most independent movies that Hollywood puts out every year. The acting is fine, The directing is also well done. The script is well thought out and packs a lot of issues into a couple of hours.

At first I thought they tried to do too much in too little time. Then I started to think about the teens in my student ministry. I thought about their lives and the hectic pace that this technology driven society forces them to lead. Then I realized that many students today are bombarded by these issues all at once. We like to think that our students are dealing with one problem at atime in a neat little way when truthfully many of them feel like they are being closed in from all sides with major conflict and turmoil all at once. I think this movies speaks to those teens.

I have heard concern that the gospel message isn't made crystal clear in the movie. I would agree with that. However, I am not sold on the idea that this film is for the lost. I think that seeking kids can find hope in this film but I came away from it seeing it as a battle cry to Christian teens. I think the moral of the movie is much more about removing ourselves from lukewarm Christianity and actually DOING something than it is about seeking salvation. Jake Taylor's redemption is vital to the story but what he does with that redemption is where the real value lies.

Some people will be offended by the suggestive scenes of drinking and sex. Some will be offended by the mild language. I think the producers went right where they needed to go. We got the idea of the life of the teens but I never felt like my mind was taken to places where it didn't need to be. It showed real life. I know because when I was in highschool I was immersed in scenes just like those in the movie. I think to ignore that culture is to bury our heads in the Christian bubble of sand.

I believe that this film's legacy will be twofold. I think first, it will be known as a movie that inspires students to find hope for themselves as well as point their friends to that hope. I also believe that a line in the sand has been drawn as far as future faith based movies go. I think Newsong pictures has laid down the gauntlet and has proven to us that just because we deem a movie "Christian" it does not have to be cheesy. We do not have to put up with sub par acting and production. If you have read my blog at all you know I love the people of Sherwood films. Facing the Giants quite literally was used by God to change my life. I also believe that without their success, To Save A Life may not have been made. They opened doors that were previously closed. Still, I always felt that I had to apologize a bit for the quality of those films. I think To Save A Life will leave us expecting more of a movie. I think in the end that could be very good for Christian media.

So, I wholeheartedly endorse this film. Go see it. take students and parents to see it. I also think the church as a whole can learn from it's message of being authentic. The one area where I am struggling is how to capitalize on the message of the film to see real change in our group. I am praying that God will lead us in that knowledge. The film has opened up avenues for discussio,now the challenge is making it more than just a great film we all saw together.