Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Review: Dracula

Dracula by Bram Stoker
In this novel, Jonathan Harker visits Count Dracula's castle on a quick business trip. But he quickly finds out that the Count is no ordinary man, and behind his sauve, kind demeanor is a threatening, blood-thirsty desire for those around him. Will Jonathan Harker be able to escape the castle alive? And if he does, will he find the Count in London wrecking havoc on those he loves?
Vampires. Love. Adventure. What more could a story possibly need to be good? This novel was surprisingly easy to read, despite its older language. It is written in journal entries and letters, which is interesting and helps the story to move along faster. The plot was well thought out, but towards the end I was growing bored with the story and knew what would happen.
Overall, it was a good novel, though I wouldn't recommend reading it at night if you scare easily. Did I mention it has vampires in it? And these are no Twilight, "I won't drink your blood because I love you" vampires (although I like that kind, too). It is a great read, and one of the classics I didn't have to struggle through. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

War on Christmas

Is there a war on Christmas? We were talking about this a little bit in one of my classes the other day, and personally, I don't think it's a war on Christmas as much as it is on Christ. Satan and the world want to rip him away from Christmas and make it just about gifts, just about ourselves.

No other holidays from other religions receive the emotional drama that Christmas and Easter do, to my knowledge. Some people want to remove nativities from public places and say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". This is the same fight our nation has had about changing the pledge of allegiance and taking "In God We Trust" off our bills.

Should we as followers of Christ be surprised by any of this? Jesus said all who follow him will be persecuted and hated; just look at Christ and the disciples. Followers of Jesus in other nations are literally being killed, scorned, and imprisoned for there faith, while the battle in America is much more subtle, coming through lies in the media, government, and ourselves, right where it catches us the most: selfishness and pride.

Sometimes I think it would be easier to be a follower of Christ in a country where you could be killed for him. There, you have to follow him wholeheartedly or not and usually know for sure who Satan is using to fight against Christ. I wouldn't know for sure though, because I've never lived in a place like that. Even if it would be easier, it would be more frightening. But believers in these countries are forced to trust Christ in all things, and these trials strengthen their faith brilliantly. Someday our nation will be at this violent stage. Are we ready? Will we be bold for him like Paul?

It's so easy to forget Jesus and the reason he came not only at Christmas, but every day. Praise God that he won't let Satan or our flesh tear Christ from our souls or make us forget him completely!

What are some ways we can fight this war for Christ? And please keep those who are suffering for Jesus in your prayers this Christmas (and after that too). I hope everyone finds joy in the celebration of the birth of the King of Kings and his ultimate resurrection!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Radical Faith

So at my church we were studying being a dangerous church like the believers in Acts for a while. My pastor told us an incredible true story last week about a man he knew in Fiji.

This man who lived in Fiji one day heard the Lord speaking to him through the Holy Spirit to go and share the gosple in Japan. The man answered, "Okay, I'll go. Let me just book a flight there and start raising money."

But God told him to go now, so the man replied that he just needed to get a change of clothes and some money. But the Spirit was insistent in him and said there was a taxi waiting for him outside.

So without a change of clothes, money, a plane ticket, or probably even a passport, the man walks out of his house in Fiji and into the taxi.

On the way to the airport the man explained to the driver that he didn't have any money. The driver understood and let him go without being paid.

At the airport the man walked up to the counter and told the lady he's flying to Japan today. She looked at her computer and said, "You're not in here, so you're not flying anywhere today." So the man sat down and prayed like crazy, thinking he himself was insane.

A while later the woman walked up to him and gave him a boarding pass. So he got on the plane (don't know the details, sorry) and an American was waiting for him in Japan, expressing his delight in having someone help build a church. They had been praying for someone to come for a long time.

All I can say to this story is wow! I often wonder why God doesn't do crazy awesome things like this in my life, and I think it's because I'm not sensitive to His spirit or taking those risks for Him.

How can we live dangerously for Christ in our daily lives? Do you have any ideas/suggestions?