Believe, NIV – NEW BOOK ALERT!!! (GIVEAWAY!!!)

Hello World,

It’s hard to believe that the first month of this New Year, 2015, is almost gone. Although Photosome of us may have faltered a bit on our resolutions or goals or given them up altogether already, it is still early enough in the year to get back on your plan!

If reading the Bible more is one of your goals and or resolutions, maybe seeing the Bible in a fresh way could help get you more excited about reading God’s word. Zondervan recently released “Believe, NIV: Living the Story of the Bible to Become Like Jesus” a topical abridgement of the Bible designed to help readers discover 30 key beliefs, practices and virtues of the Christian faith. With Randy Frazee, senior minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, as its editor, “Believe, NIV” is organized in 30 chapters that address three questions: “What do I believe?”, “What should I do?” and “Who am I becoming?” (Confession: This format makes the Bible an approachable book versus the 66 books that I should have read all the way through by now!)

In the first section which is under the heading “What do I believe?”, you can learn more about 10 areas including Personal God, Salvation and Eternity. In the chapter Personal God, you are introduced to David, a poet, singer, shepherd, warrior and king, who described what it means to have a personal relationship with God. He marvels that, “Your eyes saw my unformed body, all the days ordained for me were written in your book.” I’ve seen that verse, Psalm 139:16, before, but it still hard to fathom that God has a colossal heavenly library that literally contains the books of the lives of the billions of people that inhabit this world! As an example that God knows when the books of our lives begin and end, Hezekiah, the king, was also included in the chapter Personal God. At 38 years old, he got sick and was about to die. However, since Hezekiah had a personal relationship with God, he prayed, asking God for more time to live. God heard his request and added 15 more years to his life! I remember when I was a little girl (if I am remembering correctly) this woman who had cancer at my church, shared that she prayed to be able to raise her children. She eventually did die from cancer, but she was able to raise her children until they became adults…

“What should I do?” is the title of the second section which incorporates 10 themes including Bible Study, Single-Mindedness and Giving My Resources. I learned some information I frankly did not know before while reading the chapter Bible Study. (I hope my father does not read this post!) Did you know that Moses is thought to be the author of the first five books of the Old Testament? Also, prior to Moses, the word of God was simply verbally communicated from one generation to the next! Here is the another piece of important information that I missed: Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. Also, the entire chapter is devoted the benefits of reading and studying the Bible. Here are three of the verses: “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches” Psalm 119:4, “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors” Psalm 119: 24, and “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” Psalm 119:105.

The third and final section is entitled “Who am I becoming?” Love, Self-Control and Humility are three of the 10 topics covered in this section. I especially gravitated to the Self-Control section because if you have ever been a passenger in my car, you know this is an area that I need to work on. Thankfully, the word of God has many examples of what happens when you fail to control yourself. The life of Samson, who struggled with sexual self-control, is illuminated in this section. As a result of his lack of self-control, Samson lost the amazing physical strength given to him by God and was blinded. Samson’s life is compared with the life of Joseph, who had plenty of reasons to lose control, but ultimately he did not. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, he was wrongfully accused, and he was jailed for a crime he did not commit. Still, he continued to trust God and control himself and was placed in a position of authority as a result.

Below is a video about “Believe, NIV.”

“Believe, NIV,” has a companion book “Think, Act, Be Like Jesus,” which was released jointly with “Believe, NIV.” Written by Randy Frazee with Robert Noland, this book explains how to grown as a follower of Christ and become more like him in our thinking, actions and character. This book can be read with “Believe, NIV” or separately as an individual study.

So what do you think of this new approach to the Bible? Guess what? You can check it out for yourself! I partnered with Zondervan to give away three copies of  “Believe, NIV: Living the Story of the Bible to Become Like Jesus” All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and share this blog post in social media whether it be a Facebook post, Twitter, etc. To prove that you shared this blog post, send a screen shot to me at jacqueline@aftertheatlarcall.com or just point it out to me if you are one of my Facebook friends or if you follow me on Twitter. The first three people to meet these requirements will receive a free copy of “Believe, NIV!”

Any thoughts?

Note: I did receive a free review copy of “Believe, NIV” but all of the opinions expressed are my own:) .

 

 

 

 

 

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The Christian Faith of David Oyelowo…

Hello World, dr. king

As is my custom on the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, I always watch the Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service held at Ebenezer Baptist Church on television. You can count on hearing inspiring speeches that espouse the beliefs of Dr. King, seeing people of different races crowd the sanctuary, politicians promising to work together…You get the idea…All of it is good, but it is a rather lengthy service…And just like in any long church service, no matter how good it is, you realize that after some time that you are no longer listening, you are rather waiting for it all to come to an end…

This year, however, there was one speech, a jewel of a testimony, that shone because of its rarity…David Oyelowo, the actor that portrayed Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. in the biographical film “Selma,” openly spoke about how his faith in God led him to the role of Dr. King…This is how he began his speech…

“I stand before you today as evidence that what God starts, He will finish. On the 24th of July, 2007, having read a script for ‘Selma,’ God told me I would play Dr. Martin Luther King in the film ‘Selma.’ It came during a time of prayer and fasting, and I know the voice of God.”

Oyelowo said he later auditioned for the role, but the director of the film at that time (not Ava DuVernay) did not agree with God so he did not get the role. However, in the mean time (How many of you know that when God promises something to you, it doesn’t mean it will happen immediately even though you know that you know His promise is being fulfilled? Or that there won’t be some roadblocks along the way?), he went on to play a part in the movie “Lincoln.” In 1865, his character said these words to Lincoln regarding the Gettysburg Address. “You cannot say these words. You have actually have to act upon them. Maybe one day we”ll get the vote.” He goes on to tell what happened when he did get the part.

“Seven years after God told me I would play this role in another film called ‘Selma, 100 years later. In ‘Lincoln,’ I played a character in 1865. In ‘Selma,’ I played Dr. King in 1965. Nineteen presidents later, my character as Dr. King asks the very same question. What God starts, He will finish.”

Insert praise dance…

praise

He could have shut down his speech right then…But he had more evidence that God led him straight to the role of Dr. King…As tears shone on his face, he revealed that he prayed to God to “allow the spirit of Dr. King to flow through me.” And God answered his prayer…Just before one scene in the movie, as he portrayed Dr. King giving a speech in front of the capitol steps in Montgomery, Alabama, Oyelowo said he felt a “palatable, indisputable fear of death” and that he “felt a huge need to ask for the buildings around to be swept.” He concluded: “I’m an actor. I’m not Dr. King, but it was very real for me. At the end of that day, I was shocked I was still alive.” And he said it was no accident that Dr. King had the name “King.” “He was a king. He was a priest. He was ordained by God. He was a child of God.”

Oyelowo also introduced the sanctuary to his father who had flown in from the United Kingdom and talked about the tribal marks his father, who is from Nigeria, has on his cheeks and his stomach. The tribal mark on his stomach means “King.” Oyelowo said he thought the tribal marks his father and other Nigerians bear are a custom that predates slavery; however, in a conversation, his father told him he was mistaken. The tribal marks originated during slavery times.

“When we were taken away from Africa, we marked ourselves so that when we made it back, our people knew who we were and where we are from. I’m in the first in my line of over 400 years to not bear those scars.”

Insert shout…

bernie

Oyelowo concluded his message with some words about Hollywood (I’m guessing he was referencing the fact that “Selma” was snubbed during the Oscar nominations…).

“In my industry, in Hollywood, we are celebrated more for being broken and subservient than playing kings, than being leaders, than being in the center of our own narrative. I stand before you today as a man that has played a king.”

To see the speech in the entirety, please check these two videos….Thank God for E Powell who recorded the speech…

Any thoughts?

Posted in Church, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Holidays, Oprah Winfrey, Pop Culture, World Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soul Mates: Dr. Martin Luther Jr. & Coretta Scott King…repost…

thekings

Editor’s Note: This post is from 2011, but I always love a good love story…Read and enjoy…Happy MLK Day 2015!!!

Hello World,

As you know, I love to write about love and marriage. In fact, I have dedicated a whole section on my blog to married couples, Soul Mates. While I know that many people do not believe in soul mates, I would like to believe that God has a hand in orchestrating great love stories that end in marriage. Today, we officially celebrate the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  But from Dr. King to President Obama, their wives had a hand in making them great men. While I will never get the opportunity to interview Dr. King and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, I still want to feature their story on my blog. So I have decided to post interesting quotations about their marriage. Read, enjoy and take note…

  • Born and raised in Marion, Alabama, Coretta Scott graduated valedictorian from Lincoln High School. She received a B.A. in music and education from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and then went on to study concert singing at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, where she earned a degree in voice and violin. While in Boston she met Martin Luther King, Jr. who was then studying for his doctorate in systematic theology at Boston University. They were married on June 18, 1953, and in September 1954 took up residence in Montgomery, Alabama, with Coretta Scott King assuming the many functions of pastor’s wife at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. (from The King Center website)
  • While studying music, she met King, then pursuing a PhD at Boston University. “…he was looking for a wife. I wasn’t looking for a husband, but he was a wonderful human being,” she told an interviewer. “I still resisted his overtures, but after he persisted, I had to pray about it…I had a dream, and in that dream, I was made to feel that I should allow myself to be open and stop fighting the relationship. That’s what I did, and of course the rest is history. ” (from About.com)
  • Martin, about their first date: “So you can do something else besides sing? You’ve got a good mind also. You have everything I ever wanted in a woman. We ought to get married someday.” (from About.com)
  • She was studying music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1952 when she met a young graduate student in philosophy, who on their first date told her: “The four things that I look for in a wife are character, personality, intelligence and beauty. And you have them all.” A year later, she and Dr. King, then a young minister from a prominent Atlanta family, were married, beginning a remarkable partnership that ended with his assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968. (from The New York Times)
  • Her first encounter with the man who would become her husband did not begin auspiciously, as recounted in “Parting the Waters,” by Taylor Branch. Dr. King, very much in the market for a wife, called her after getting her name from a friend and announced: “You know every Napoleon has his Waterloo,” he said. “I’m like Napoleon. I’m at my Waterloo, and I’m on my knees.” Ms. Scott, two years his elder, replied: “That’s absurd. You don’t even know me.” (from The New York Times)
  • Still, she agreed to meet for lunch the next day, only to be put off initially that he was not taller. But she was impressed by his erudition and confidence, and he saw in this refined, intelligent woman what he was looking for as the wife of a preacher from one of Atlanta’s most prominent ministerial families. When he proposed, she deliberated for six months before saying yes, and they were married in the garden of her parents’ house on June 18, 1953. The 350 guests, elegant big-city folks from Atlanta and rural neighbors from Alabama, made it the biggest wedding, white or black, the area had ever seen. (from The New York Times)
  • Even before the wedding, she made it clear she intended to remain her own woman. She stunned Dr. King’s father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., who presided over the wedding, by demanding that the promise to obey her husband be removed from the wedding vows. Reluctantly, he went along. After it was over, the bridegroom fell asleep in the car on the way back to Atlanta while the new Mrs. King did the driving. (from The New York Times)
  • “I had no problem being the wife of Martin, but I was never just a wife. In the 1950s, as a concert singer, I performed ‘freedom concerts’ raising funds for the movement. I ran my household, raised my children, and spoke out on world issues. Maybe people didn’t know that I was always an activist because the media wasn’t watching. I once told Martin that although I loved being his wife and a mother, if that was all I did I would have gone crazy. I felt a calling on my life from an early age. I knew I had something to contribute to the world.”  (from The Washington Post)
  • The Kings had four children: Yolanda Denise King (November 17, 1955 – May 15, 2007) (October 23, 1957 in Montgomery, Alabama), Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King (January 30, 1961 in Atlanta, Georgia), Bernice Albertine King (March 28, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia) All four children later followed in their parents’ footsteps as civil rights activists. (from Wikipedia)
  • Scott King became an activist in her own right, as well, carrying messages of international peace and economic justice to organizations around the world. She was the first woman to deliver the Class Day address at Harvard University and the first woman to preach during a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. When King was assassinated outside a motel room in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968, Scott King channeled her grief into action. Days later, she led a march through the streets of Memphis, and later that year took his place as a leader of the Poor People’s March in Washington, D.C. (from ABC News)
  • And to carry on that legacy, she focused on two ambitious and daunting tasks. The first was to have a national holiday in his honor, the second was to build a nationally recognized center in Atlanta to honor his memory, continue his work and provide a research center for scholars studying his work and the civil rights era. The first goal was achieved despite much opposition in 1983 when Congress approved a measure designating the third Monday in January as an official federal holiday in honor of Dr. King, who was born in Atlanta Jan. 15, 1929. (from The Washington Post)
  • Over 14,000 people gathered for Coretta Scott King’s eight-hour funeral at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia on February 7, 2006 where daughter Bernice King eulogized her mother. The megachurch, whose sanctuary seats 10,000, was better able to handle the expected massive crowds than Ebenezer Baptist Church, of which Coretta was a member since the early 1960s and which was the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral in 1968. (from Wikipedia)

Any thoughts?

Posted in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dreams, love and marriage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment