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Tag Archives: Courageous

Remembering Isaac – One Year

So, today is it – the one year mark.  It was one year ago from today, during the twilight hours, that our precious son Isaac was promoted to Heaven.  How I don’t want to meditate on the events of that day.  Instead, I want to remember Isaac as the young boy that he was – vibrant and full of life.  I want to savor those images of life that dance in my mind.  As those images dance, I put them to music and find some healing for my heart.  This process results in another video about Isaac’s life.  This one is different from the memorial video (although it includes some familiar images).  This one focuses on that last year with him.

Isaac’s last year seems to stand out above his previous nine.  The memories from that year leading up to April 2011 remain fresh and define so much of Isaac’s character and interests (especially his fascination with the Civil War).  These images memorialize our family trips, gatherings with family and friends, birthday celebrations, and happenings from around our home (I thought the haircut turned out pretty well :-)).  We have so many more fond memories that we didn’t capture with our camera, but are thankful for the ones that we did.  The music was selected from the soundtrack of something that had a very significant impact on me during this past year and I think that Isaac would appreciate its meaning.

For you, dear reader, I hope that this video brings back pleasant memories of Isaac from 2010 and 2011, and/or helps you to better understand the life and interests of our courageous young boy, whom we miss so very, very much.  How could we forget his big blue eyes, infectious smile and laugh, and enthusiasm for adventure?  So enjoy these memories of a son, big brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend.  While tears may flow, we remain hopeful because of the enduring promise from God’s Word presented at the end of the video.

I’ll be returning with at least one more post this week (hopefully a few more), Lord willing of course.  We thank everyone who has provided their encouragement and support.

Patiently waiting and trusting with hope,

Andy

 

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How to Be Strong and Courageous in the Midst of Trouble (Psalm 27)

We read this Psalm the other morning and again last night with the children.  I hold these words from David near to my heart as they provide me with comfort and encouragement.  Where (or to whom) do you turn when you are afraid and/or face trials and obstacles?  Let us allow these God-inspired words to fill our hearts…

Psalm 27

A Psalm of David.

(1) The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

(2) When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

(3) Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

(4) One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

(5) For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

(6) And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

(7) Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

(8) When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

(9) Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

(10) When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

(11) Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

(12) Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

(13) I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

(14) Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Christian Studies

 

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A Courageous Calling

I think that I have a new favorite movie and it may be very difficult to top this one.

This week, some sort of stomach virus made its way through our family.  Therefore, we had a lot of “down” time to rest and recuperate.  With some free time, I was looking forward to the opportunity to watch the movie that I have wanted to see ever since I became aware that it was in production – Courageous.  This movie became available on DVD on January 17.  This past Friday night, after putting the children to bed, Brenda and I settled in for a date night ;-).

Just a quick background – Courageous is the fourth movie produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church based in Albany, GA.  Courageous was first released to a limited number of theaters on September 30 and had the highest per-theater gross of any movie during that week.  The production quality of this film is excellent and far exceeds their previous three films.  For a previous post about this movie, click here.

The main characters in the movie are five men (four of which are police officers) struggling in different ways with the challenges of fatherhood.  One is distant from his oldest son; one is unforgiving of the father who abandoned him; one is divorced and only sees his son on a limited basis; one has a daughter that does not know he exists; and one struggles with finding a stable job to provide for his family.  A tragedy spurs one of the fathers to discover for himself what the Bible says about fatherhood.  After understanding God’s call to fathers, he challenges himself and the other fathers to commit to God’s call in leading their families to love and serve the Lord.  In order to not “spoil” the movie for you, I will refrain from any further plot details.

One other quick note – I strongly caution parents to watch this movie first before deciding to allow your younger children to view it (it is rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content).  The acting and content are presented tastefully, but the action scenes and a gang initiation scene are very intense and may disturb younger viewers.  After viewing the movie for yourself, you may decide that your children can watch it while skipping over three or four scenes.

I have not been impacted by a movie in quite the way that Courageous has impacted me.  This is a deeply personal story for me (again I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t seen it yet).  I cried many times through the movie and wept as the ending credits rolled.  If you watch the movie and are a husband and father, you may be strongly challenged and motivated to invest your time and efforts in instilling eternal values in your children and unselfishly loving your wife.  You may be motivated to appreciate every moment that you have with your children because you don’t know when the last moment may arrive.  You may seek reconciliation with others who have hurt you.  You may be convicted to walk with integrity and expose any hidden sins in your life.  Most of all, I hope that you think seriously about where you stand with God.  The last scene will present you with a challenge to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you to be a responsible man and father.  As I talk to other men who have seen the movie, they respond that they have been profoundly impacted through it.

There are Courageous Living Bible Study groups developing based on this movie.  There is even one group meeting at a local church in our area.  This church is sponsoring a showing of the movie at our local high school on February 4 with the intention of afterwards developing follow-up small groups (click here for more information).  I am patiently waiting to see how men may respond this call, hoping and praying that the Lord’s Spirit moves in our hearts.  I am humbled and hopeful that we can play some small role here in our valley and be able to share how the death of our son Isaac has impacted us to draw our hearts closer to God and share His Gospel with others.

A friend told me that when he saw this movie that he was reminded of our son Isaac many times.  I think I now understand what he meant after watching this movie.  There will be one overarching and obvious reason if you see the movie.  Another and unexpected reason for me is that the actor who plays Dylan (the main character’s son) physically resembles what I imagine Isaac may have looked like in another five years or so.

I understand that Courageous is only a movie and that men may respond based on emotions and not the conviction of God.  But I pray that will not be the case.  This is more than just a movie for entertainment’s sake.  The producers have used this movie to call men of God to say “I will” resolve to follow God and love my wife and children and refuse to let them fall.  There are even resources developed to challenge and equip the small group and individual.  Obviously, this commitment would be fruitless without the leading of the Lord and I pray for a fire to be ignited in our hearts.  Are you willing to make that resolution and join me in saying “I will”?

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Jos 24:15, emphasis mine)

If you have seen and been impacted the movie Courageous, please feel free to share any comments below.

Seeking to be courageous by the Holy Spirit’s strength,

Andy

 
 

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Courageous Movie Writer/Producer Stephen Kendrick Discusses New Christian Film | Video | TheBlaze.com

This is a thorough article summarizing the movies produced by Sherwood Pictures.  I’m hoping to see “Courageous” soon 😉

Courageous Movie Writer/Producer Stephen Kendrick Discusses New Christian Film | Video | TheBlaze.com.

You can also read my previous post about this movie here:

Courageous Trailer

 

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Courageous Trailer

Below is the trailer for the upcoming movie “Courageous” from Sherwood Pictures (the makers of “Fireproof”, “Facing the Giants” and “Flywheel”).  I was looking forward to this movie before, but even more so now given our recent circumstances.  As you may discern from the preview, we may be able to relate to this a little more closely now given our recent tragedy (“A tragedy that will awaken them – to a greater calling”).

Seeking to honor my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ,

Andy

Below is a music video for a new song from Casting Crowns based on the movie.

 

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Facing the Giants

Our Friday night tradition is to watch a family friendly movie together.  Last night we watched Facing the Giants – again.  This was one of Isaac’s favorite movies (including the song “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns at the end) and we watched it with new eyes for the first time without him.  We are facing the giants of fear, doubt and guilt.  I (Dad) was impressed again by the famous “death crawl” scene.  The scene previously had an emotional impact on me, however it seemed to especially touch my spirit this time.  We feel like Brock Kelly crawling across the football field with a 160-pound football player on his back.  We’re screaming “it hurts”, “it’s too hard”, and “I’m about out of strength”.  Meanwhile, it seems as if Coach Taylor is echoing the words of God to us “don’t quit” and “keep going”.

God, this seems too hard for us to handle and we are tempted to doubt You and quit our walk of faith.  The enemy keeps planting lies into our mind.  However, You are giving us just enough strength to move forward each day.  We are still trusting You and we choose to believe Your Word and place our faith in the sovereign Creator of the universe and the Savior of our souls.  We don’t understand Your plan but we still trust You.

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.  (Rev 3:7-8)

(We enjoy these movies and view them as a tool created by man to honor God but not a substitute for the Spirit and Word of God.  The movies produced by Sherwood Pictures are some of our favorites, including Flywheel and Fireproof along with Facing the Giants.  We are also anxiously anticipating the release of their next project, Courageous, in September 2011.)

 

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