God’s Not Dead Family Movie Discussion Guide

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Willie Robertson quotes a passage from Matthew 10… “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33
+ How do you react to the above passage from Matthew 10?

Friendships and taking a stand:
+ Talk about a time when you were persuaded by a friend to a.) do something you
really didn’t want to do or b.) abandon something important to you. Never
underestimate the power of your story and how it speaks into your teenager’s life.
+ If you’re a Christ-follower, describe for your teenager the most diffi cult part of that
journey for you. Ask him or her to share the same.
+ How can I encourage you in your friendships?
+ How can I support you as you stand for Jesus?

+What do each of these passages say to YOU about taking a stand?
Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Acts 26:17-18
I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

+ Talk about a time you had to take an unpopular stand, perhaps one you took
entirely by yourself. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one of faith—but make sure
it’s not one related to disciplining or arguing with your student!
+ “Is there ever a time when you felt compelled to go along with the group
even though you wanted to take an opposite view?” (Remember, this is an effort
to keep communication lines open and fl owing, so be mindful not to judge or
correct your teenager’s actions during this conversation. One way you can do
this is by relaying a story of your own of a similar nature. If your teen conveys
something that requires your parental focus, engage in that at another time.)
+ “Is there someone you know—and respect—who has taken an unpopular
stand despite pressure to do otherwise? Tell me

Be it, Say it, Do it:
+ Tell a story from your life about when a friend ignored you in public and how
that felt. (If you don’t have a story like that, ask your teenager if he or she can
share one.)
+ When is it easy or difficult to acknowledge God in public? (Share some of your
thoughts, too!)
+ Who have you seen take a stand for God in public? How did it go for them?
What impact did that have on you?
+ Are there ways to “acknowledge God” without using words? If so, explain.
As always, thank you for allowing us to make a small investment in the spiritual life
of your family. It’s an honor to come alongside you as you continue to show your
kids the walk of a Christ-follower.

God’s Not Dead : HollywoodJesus.com : Movie Reviews, Trailers and Spiritual Commentary

God’s Not Dead : HollywoodJesus.com : Movie Reviews, Trailers and Spiritual Commentary.

God’s Not Dead | Review

Putting God On Trial
Jacob Sahms


Content Image

What would you do if you had to sign a piece of paper that said that God was dead? Sure, we know that Cassie Bernall said she believed in God in the library at Columbine, but have you ever considered how you say that God is alive (or dead) in little moments throughout your life? That’s the crux of freshman Josh Wheaton’s (Shane Harper, Good Luck, Charlie) problem in the first semester course of Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo): he has to sign a paper saying that “God is dead” to pass the class.

Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korrie Robertson, The Newsboys, Dean Cain, and David A.R. White highlight the cast, but the film’s poignant, heart-and-mind aimed focus is on the battle between Wheaton and Radisson. Sure, Wheaton’s girlfriend thinks challenging Radisson is a threat to their five-year plan, and White’s Pastor Dave gets involved as Wheaton’s advisor, but ultimately, it all comes down to the debate in the class: will Wheaton be the “only Bible” his classmates read?

White’s pastor tells Wheaton to check out Matthew 10:32-33: “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” It’s classic proof-texting, but it’s also an acknowledgment that we can’t just expect our “way of life” to testify to what we believe, but we actually have to be prepared to speak when the time is right.

Based on the book by Rice Broocks, the film embellishes an Internet forward that spins through the cycle every few years. I took this copy of the presentation from Truth or Fiction online: “A notorious atheist professor at the University of Southern California is known for challenging students about their faith. He dramatically drops a piece of chalk to the floor saying that if God existed, he could prevent the chalk from breaking. This happens year after year until a particular Christian student becomes a part of the class. This time, when the professor drops the chalk, it bounces off his clothing and ends up harmlessly on the floor. The stunned professor runs from the room in shame and the student preaches the Gospel to the remaining class members.”

Radisson and Wheaton go round and round, and there’s certainly not a skirting of deeper issues, like creation, the origin of God, etc. Stephen Hawkins gets some good airtime, and Wheaton’s arguments are torn into by Radisson. The fact that an atheist believes in something (or actually believes in nothing) becomes abundantly clear throughout the film, but it also shows that what we believe matters to us, even if it is, again, a belief in nothing.

In the end, the “proof” of God isn’t an argument—God’s existence is unprovable in mathematic equations. But the proof of God can be seen in the relationships, experiences, and moving of the Spirit in people. The challenges of our first-year student are merely the focal point in a string of events and conversations that allow us to hear the argument, and consider it for ourselves. Will it be enough to convince the disinclined? I don’t know. But it may open our eyes to the way we consider our words and actions and whether or not we’re prepared to explain what we understand about God, for ourselves.

YouTube You Can Use – The Best Birthday Gift Ever

YouTube You Can Use – The Best Birthday Gift Ever.

The Youth Cartel

The Best Birthday Gift Ever

Vol. 4, Issue 7





Siblings, Brotherly Love, Love, Community


Hebrews 13:1-2


Discussion Starter:

No matter your relationship with your sibling, Nicholas’ love for his sister is on full display in this video. Beyond the cost of traveling home from Guatemala his undertook an incredible amount of thought and effort to create the video and coordinate with his family to watch the video only when he was standing at the door waiting for her.

There’s a larger lesson for each of us to reflect on from the video. The love expressed between these siblings is also the type of love that our church community should have for one another. The church can be a place that knows how important certain things, like a birthday, can be to us. But it’s also a place where we can experience this type of sibling love when we might not experience it in our own families.

The writer of Hebrews talks about this kind of love. It’s written, “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”


Three Questions:

  1. Would you rather be the sister in the video or the brother?
  2. When was a time a close friend surprised you with something awesome?
  3. What are ways that your church family expresses brotherly love? What are ways your church family needs improvement?

Chew on this:

If we’re supposed to love one another like siblings, does that mean we’re supposed to fight and argue like siblings, too?

God’s Not Dead


Click here for Oakwood Student Movie Night Info


How far would you go…to defend your belief in God?

Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God? Wouldn’t it just be easier just to write “God Is Dead” and put the whole incident behind him? GOD’S NOT DEAD weaves together multiple stories of faith, doubt and disbelief, culminating in a dramatic call to action. The film will educate, entertain, and inspire moviegoers to explore what they really believe about God, igniting important conversations and life-changing decisions.

GOD’S NOT DEAD features a talented cast of actors including Kevin Sorbo (SOUL SURFER, HERCULES, ANDROMEDA), Shane Harper (GOOD LUCK CHARLIE, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2), David A.R. White (BROTHER WHITE, REVELATION ROAD and JERUSALEM COUNTDOWN), and Dean Cain (LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN), with special appearances by Christian super-band Newsboys and “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie and Korie Robertson.

Family Force 5 – About the Artist

family-force-5Family Force 5

March 27 Concert

About the Artist

Mark Pittman, longtime Team interlínc member and Southern California Director, got to interview Josh from FF5. Let’s listen in to a bit of their wide-ranging conversation.

Josh, we’re looking at a real change for Family Force 5. In 30 seconds, tell us how the change came to be, and kind of the motives behind it.
The change for Family Force 5 was probably a yearlong process; Soul Glow Activator and the guys in the band talked about it and it really boiled down to him wanting to go and spend some time with his kids and wife. He has a six year-old and he wanted to be a dad. That was the easy part of the decision. The hard part was whether we wanted to continue being Family Force 5. We’ve been three brothers in a band and with the other two guys we’ve been playing together for years, so they’re like brothers. The hard decision was whether or not we wanted to continue to go out and play in this band and use our tool as a ministry. We felt as a new-formed band we would still have a voice to share Christ with people. At the end of the day that is what made our decision to continue Family Force 5.

Looks like it would be a big change but from what you’ve played for me seems like Crouton is stepping into the role easily and things sound great. Are you encouraged on what you are hearing?
Soul Glow will still write with us, and that is the cool portion. It’s like really he’s going away from touring but not from writing music with us or being with us as a family. So that’s cool and Crouton is really stepping into the role well. It is gonna sound a bit different, but it’s still going to be Family Force 5 and still gonna sound great. Crouton is an absolutely phenomenal dancer that no one has ever gotten to see, so get ready for Michael Jackson #2! (Laughing)

I’m ready for that. Maybe it’s a sequined Hulk hand?
Exactly … or penny loafers!

You guys have also been working on some new songs. Give us maybe the two you’re most excited about now.
Family Force 5 has always been about cutting loose and dancing. There is one song called “Dance Like Nobody Is Watching.” It has a double meaning. The song is about that kid growing up, anywhere in the country or world, and dancing in front of his mirror. Everybody did that growing up … “Yeah, I’m going to be a Rock Star!” And then your mom catches you. Most people don’t have a place they can dance like crazy. The other aspect of the tune is dance around and cut loose for Jesus. It’s kinda like using dance as a form of worship to the Lord.

There is another song, “Glow In The Dark”, which is about being a Christian and having Jesus in my heart and wherever I go, whether it is being around Christians or not. It’s about letting the light inside of me and having Jesus as my savior inside of me shine through and make me glow in the dark wherever I am.

Having Jesus in our heart is the light that leads our way wherever we go. That is the meaning behind that song. It is a super RAD song, super dance-y, and super rock just all around fun. Those are my two favorites right now coming up on this record.

We normally ask what we can pray for you about. Hope you guys feel encouraged to go on. I know there are thousands of youth and youth workers excited to know you’ll be marching on. Also, we will pray for Soul Glow Activator and his time with his family. That is a huge decision and important and we want to stand behind all you guys. Thanks!

What I love about….Focus Pointe Base Camp | Glowing Heart Ministries

What I love about….Focus Pointe Base Camp | Glowing Heart Ministries.

What I love about….Focus Pointe Base Camp

It has been said by many a student, myself included, upon driving up the road to Focus Point Base Camp, “Yes! I’m home!!”  There is something about the time spent at the camp that just causes me and others to love it! Perhaps it’s the fact that I got to spend much time worshiping along side people that I grew to know and love. Or maybe it was the hours spent out under the open sky with the sounds of wind dancing through the trees and people running around and hollering as we played a game of capture the flag. But whatever the reason behind my own or their attachment, the love for the camp is still the same.


Although for myself personally, Focus Pointe is a home away from home because it is the place where I have truly encountered God. For the past five years I have had the wonderful privilege of attending Pacesetters, a leadership camp put on by Glowing Heart Ministries and held at Focus Pointe.  Over the period of the five days of camp all students spend two hours each day outside under the trees in the sweet sunshine reading their Bible’s and spending time in fellowship with God. Some of the things the Lord taught me during this time could only have been experienced in a solitary place. It was then that I was able to encounter God and His wonderful creation and connect with Him in a whole new way.  Many tears of longing and adoration have been shed in those woods!


I cannot walk through those trees without standing in awe and marveling at the beauty of God and His handiwork; so many hearts and lives have been touched by this beauty. Not too surprisingly, its beauty is not the only thing that has touched lives.  The lessons that I personally, and I know others, have learned are ones that have changed the way I will live my life forever.  Whether it was an experience with leadership, learning to work hard to honor Christ in everything I do, or the opportunity to really learn the meaning of teamwork and relying on others, all have influenced my life in a positive and powerful way.

Those who have had the good fortune to spend time at the camp can have nothing but wonderful things to say about the experiences had there. It truly is a blessing from God, a vessel He is using to change the lives of people from all over Texas. I am so grateful and blessed to be one of those people!

Megan Tyson, Alto Singer

7 ways to give up the Internet for Lent. – Stuff Christians Like

Stuff Christians Like Satire Book

7 ways to give up the Internet for Lent. – Stuff Christians Like.

I have recently been following Jon Acuff in the digital world and thought I would share a great thought on Internet and Lent.  Click on the links for his blog.

7 ways to give up the Internet for Lent.

By Jon on Mar 06, 2014 07:13 am

In case you hadn’t heard, Lent started. And do you know what’s the number 1 thing people will be giving up, based on a short survey I made up in my head? The Internet.

Mark my words: The only thing Christians like more than the Internet is taking a break from it. A digital fast if you will, where you swear off the Internet or a particular flavor of social media for a prolonged period of time. (The irony is that if you are on a digital fast right now you won’t be able to read my helpful article about it. Have a heathen friend read it to you.)

Since you missed the start of Lent, maybe instead you can do a good old-fashioned digital fast. (By “old” I mean circa 2007, which in Internet time is approximately 87 years ago.) But how do you do it? What are the rules? How do you take a really good, really helpful digital fast? The Bible is very thin on the best way to wean yourself off a Twitter addiction. Not once does Peter say, “Follow me on Twitter, I’m @Rock.” Or better yet for all you old school rap fans out there, “@PeteRock.”

So today, in case you’re curious about starting a digital fast, I thought it might be good to review the 7 steps:

Step 1: Go online crazy.
Unless you’re online all the time, it’s really not a big, dramatic deal for you to go offline. So the first thing you’re going to want to do is make sure you’re online 24 hours a day. Tweet everything that happens to you, no matter how insignificant. “Just ate a sandwich. Ever thought about that word? It has ‘sand’ in it. That would be gross if they really have sand in them.” Change your Facebook status roughly every 90 seconds. Update your blog as frequent as Lowell said something dumb in the television program Wings. (Old school topical!)

Step 2: Write a blog post about taking a digital fast.
The irony of writing online about how you are going to take some time from being online is so rich that it’s like a delicious sandwich spread made of boysenberry and irony. Technically, the Bible says we’re not supposed to tell people when we fast. Maybe posts on your blog don’t count. Maybe.

Step 3: Start a Twitter countdown.
You might have missed the start of Lent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start your own digital fast next week. Every day, in the week leading up to your digital fast, tell people how many days until you take your digital fast. Or start a group on Facebook called “Friends taking a break from Facebook.” The goal is to make sure you get as much attention possible about your very private, very personal digital fast.

Step 4: Go offline.
For a predetermined amount of time, just log off. Don’t check email or fantasy sports scores or Facebook or anything else. And say things like this to your friends: “Oh man, I know how smokers feel when they quit. This is hard.”

Step 5: After a week, go back online.
Make a triumphant return. Maybe write a blog with a headline from Eminem, “Guess who’s back, back again? Guess who’s back? Tell a friend!” Jump back online with both feet.

Step 6: Share the valuable lessons you learned while on your digital fast.
Turn three days offline into 10 days of blog material. Try to use the words, “community” and “fellowship” a lot, as if you suddenly discovered the real meaning of those during your 72-hour hiatus. If possible, post photos of you doing non-digital things, like flying a kite or making a sailboat or getting cats out of trees for people in your neighborhood.

Step 7: Return right back to your pre-digital fast amount of online consumption.
This wasn’t about learning or praying or anything like that. This was about digital showmanship. You were like an Internet David Blaine holding your breath offline for three days straight. Return to the Internet like David Blaine would return to dating models after a three-day hiatus in a solid block of ice.

Hopefully, these steps will help you with your first digital fast. I can’t wait to read all about it online and in the email newsletter you create. Just promise me you won’t do what my friends who are actually giving up the Internet for Lent are doing. Praying, being contemplative, serving people, having long conversations where you actually talk to the people you’re with, instead of texting other people you’re not with! There was no drama in either of those decisions. Where’s the fun in that?

Have you or a friend ever taken a digital fast?

Did you give something up for Lent?

(This is a Throwback Thursday post from a few years ago.)

The post 7 ways to give up the Internet for Lent. appeared first on Stuff Christians Like.
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This is MS awareness month.  Although I am THE HUSBAND and do not physically struggle with MS, I have found that navigating these new waters of the Multiple Sclerosis disease has been a little AWKWARD.   I recognize AWKWARDNESS easily because my occupation as the Middle School Pastor at Oakwood Church in New Braunfels, TX unleashes many moments of AWKWARDNESS in my daily life.  (That is a completely different subject in itself)  However, this AWKWARDNESS is on a whole new playing field for our family.


MSWalkMarch1.2014Changes ARE AWKWARD – How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions?  If you feel like a failure, don’t worry, ANY CHANGE IS AWKWARD.  Imagine having to stick to those resolutions in order to survive!  That’s Intense!  One term we have discovered on this new journey in life is “New NORMAL.” In order to have a good quality of life, we have to insert the “new normal” phrase into the routine now.  In the first year of the onset of this disease Laura is daily taking four to five medications that include daily shots of Copaxone.  It is awkward enough to have to take meds for a sickness that ends up going away.  (Imagine having to commit to a daily regimen that doesn’t go away and has many side effects.)  She is committed to a Gluten Free Diet by a Dr. Ordered Wholistic Approach.  Fatigue gives way to daily, spontaneous bouts with energy and crashing in the midst of our daily routine (with two kids I might add!).  With new diet comes new groceries and an overwhelming feeling at HEB for Laura (so guess who goes to the grocery store now…do you see the guy in the picture above?  Do I look like I am an ALL NATURAL GLUTEN FREE DIET LOVER?).  Many big and small changes to our daily lives can be VERY AWKWARD.

 The Subject of MS is AWKWARD – DebbieDownerDebbie Downer seems to find the perfect moments at parties to put just enough of a spin on life to kill the life of the party.  This Silent Disease is something that we deal with, battle weird side effects, and hash out as a family on a daily basis, but don’t really want to bring up all the time and be that Debbie Downer.  We know that the SUBJECT IS AWKWARD.  We also realize that God allowed this to happen at a time that could be the BEST TIME to find a cure.  One of the first thoughts relayed to us during the diagnosis was that 20 years ago would have been way different than today in terms of Medical Advances.  The subject of a Disease without a cure, but not as detrimental or even broadcasted as much as cancer and other life altering diseases can be tough to explain.  We get the “oh, you’re not going to die, so you will be okay” statement and feel dismissed.  The fact that we must realize is that this AWKWARD SUBJECT that we live with now is still a FAMILY CRISIS and STRUGGLE as we move to a “New Normal.”  We need our friends and family to talk and encourage us, now more than ever.  (So, who wants to hear about some new Nervous System terms I have learned lately?…)

Misunderstandings in the MS GAME are AWKWARD –  Living out the AWKWARD CHANGES and talking about the AWKWARD SUBJECT leads to AWKWARD MISUNDERSTANDINGS.  Many things are happening on the inside and it is hard to translate it all in a five minute or cordial 30 second conversation.

For Example:

Person 1: “Hey, you really sound like a health nut.”

Laura wants to say:  “I have MS and I am committed to a wholistic approach to battling the demyelination of the outer sheath of my Spinal Cord.  If I don’t eat right, my nervous system gets all out of whack and I feel tingling and sometimes burning on the inside.”

Laura really says: “I am on a strict diet”

Person 2: “Man, you slept through the whole dinner!”

Laura wants to say: “I have MS and my immune system is working overtime because it is fighting it’s own body and now fighting tons of drugs I just put in me today, so on top of my normal work stress, normal sickness and allergies, family kid stress and periodic husband stress, my body is naturally crashing in order to keep me alive.”

Laura really says:  “I am just really tired from the day.”

Person 3: “Wow, you look great.”

Laura wants to say: “I know I do!” Then she wants to say, “Since the diagnosis of MS, I have been on medications that don’t make me feel very well.  I have been nauseated most nights and early mornings, then I have to eat new foods with this Gluten Free diet. Sometimes I go to events that don’t offer the foods I need, so I don’t eat at my normal time and then feel sick to my stomach and miss a meal.”

Laura really says: “Thank You” (with a smile.)

Needless to say, that is just the surface of the awkwardness of misunderstandings.  In the struggle and vocalization of MS, others might MISUNDERSTAND that we are super grateful for where God has placed us.  We are in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas.  We have two amazing kids.  We get to have our parents living nearby.  On top of all that, we see Jesus do amazing things in our community through the people at Oakwood Church, and we have felt that love on a whole new level since August.

Here is something that I have written in my digital journal about how my personal faith mixes with this personal family crisis.

Personal Faith:

I believe God is Healer.  His creation of mankind is GOOD.  All disease and other physical ailments come from the direct or indirect effects of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.  Sin separates us from God, intervenes with the Good Creation, and ultimately reminds us that we are not yet living in the New Heavens and New Earth.

With that FAITH, I believe:

  1. God in His infinite power can heal Laura instantly if He chooses to.

  2. God will use this disease to grow Laura’s faith and mine as well (not to mention our family and extended family)

  3. God can also heal, redeem, and refine on a longer than “instant” timescale.

  4. I must TRUST in God, no matter what, and seek His Wisdom and understanding in this personal struggle as a Child of God, Husband, Father, and Ministry Leader.

If anyone would like to KNOW how I KNOW JESUS and talk about that amazing Journey as well, I am always willing to have a conversation.


Fusion-Logo-On-the-JourneysmAre you traveling somewhere this Spring Break?  Do you have a Summer Trip on the books?  We find ourselves needing to pack essential items for whatever journey we are on.  The truth is that we are all #OnTheJourney with our faith and we need some core items to pack along the way.  We are talking about Core Values that help direct our path On The Journey of our FAITH.