Most everyone born in the later half of the 20th Century is familiar with the 1981 Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire (Best Picture, Best Original Music Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design + 3 additional nominations), featuring the story of runner Eric Liddell. The Olympic gold medal recipient has influenced many following his days on the track, leaving various quotes and statements in his interviews while also demonstrating them in his life of service. One such statement has proven to be a North Star, of sorts, for me, and the longer I work with industry professionals it proves itself over and over. Liddell said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.”
Psalm 74 is a Maschil (or Maskil) Psalm, meaning that it was written for learning and instruction. Likely written around 578 B.C., it focuses on the lamenting of the people over the destruction of God’s temple and the great loss at not having access to God’s Word or to have a prophet in the land. That said, the ongoing oppression of the Jewish people during that time would have been immense. Certainly, their identity was in their religion. God gave them their land, and after hundreds of years of failing leadership and warning, the Lord allowed the people to fall under the ownership of the Babylonian Empire. Hence, the remnant begin to seek God’s face once again, knowing that it was their own failure, not God’s, that took them to their present condition.
Being a Psalm of instruction, one can certainly find truths about God and how he or she ought to live in the present day. Here are a few snippets I found in my own study:
This morning I was drawn to Facebook, finding encouragement in a dear friend who is working out in California, trying to make an impact on lives for God’s glory. Just recently, he was rewarded with several joys as a result of his years of effort – years of hard work, discouragement, and even abandonment because of his non-standard approach. Instantly, I was reminded of Hebrews 12:1-2, which states, …“let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
What a shot to the solar plexus it was, knowing how often I get sidetracked and decide to sit on the sideline, rather than participating in the race. Well, here’s my internal contemplation put into words…
“When God gives a vision, there will be provision for it” – Mark Batterson. “What you order you pay for. What God orders He pays for” – Tom Messer. The statements are true. The Creator leads His own and will always meet needs as they follow His will.
In his experience of persisting through a difficult challenge in obtaining the rights to a story for a short film he was producing, Eric Kripke said this,
“‘The Lesson here is get it done, no matter what. You can never give up and never quit. If you find an insurmountable obstacle, then you weren’t meant to be making movies in the first place. The whole thing is about impossibility, so you have to be willing to conquer the impossible in every realm'” (Levy, Frederick, Short Films 101, New York: Berkley Publishing, 2004, pg. 24).
So far on my short journey into the film world,
Okay, this is a strange post to show up from a guy who shoots and edits video, but it is something that has impacted my life, and I want you to be challenged by it, too…
So, I was sitting in a planning meeting with Pastor Jason Cross and Shaun Staley this morning, and our discussion moved from the typical planning meeting to prayer. I was hit smack in the face by stuff I had heard throughout my tenure of ministry but had been failing to put into practice.
(Moved from Facebook, originally posted on November 3, 2009
If I asked you, what is the one thing that you would do if you knew that you could not fail at it? what would you say? You know, as I observe people, I see many with regrets. They wish they had done this or that. I don’t want that to happen.
(moved from Facebook, originally posted on June 23, 2009
Let me just say that I have been impacted from my recent trip to Togo, Africa. The culture. The people. The needs. My life. For me, I want to help. No, I don’t feel a compelling to go back on a permanent basis. I’d be willing, though.
I wish that I could share all of my experiences from my trip to Africa, and maybe I’ll do that at some point.
My role in going to Africa was two-fold: