The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – A Heart to Know God

Today’s Scripture: 2 Chronicles 13-16

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. – Psalm 119:35

King Asa was a man whose primary aim in life was to please God and do the things of which the Lord approved. In 2 Chronicles 15:1, the prophet Azariah told Asa, “The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”

Asa set His heart to know God and His ways. He spent the first years of his reign purifying the worship of God throughout the land. When he was attacked by a neighboring king with a vast army, Asa turned to God in prayer. And the Lord delivered him. Now, is it possible for you and me to have that kind of relationship with God and that kind of guidance from Him? Of course it is.

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BreakPoint –  Oscars 2016: What Do Movies Tell Us about Our Culture?

There are few movies as beloved as Gene Kelly’s classic musical, “Singing in the Rain.” It’s a story about Hollywood’s awkward transition from silent pictures to—as they called them in the 1920s—“Talkies.” During one scene in which the characters watch their first “talkie,” a mogul of the old-school silent film industry scoffs, “It’ll never catch on.”

Well, it’s clear that film as we know it has not only “caught on,” but as Sunday’s Academy Awards remind us, it’s become probably the most visible expression of culture. But the Oscars reveal another transition taking place in Hollywood.

At first glance, this year’s nominees look like very different movies. One takes place on Mars, another in the American wilderness, and another in a nightmarish, dystopian future. But on closer inspection, writer and producer Bryan Coley says the nominees all have one thing in common: They’re about survival.

Bryan, who’s the Founder and Chief Creative Director of “Art Within,” calls movies the “cultural texts” of our time. John Stonestreet spoke with him on our latest episode of “BreakPoint This Week,” and got his take on this year’s Oscar nominees.

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Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – JESUS, SON OF DAVID

Read Luke 1:1-45

Biographers often approach their subject from a particular angle. For instance, the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume has been the subject of several recent biographies: one focused on his intellectual history, another focused on his work as a historian, and a third devoted more attention to his childhood and early life.

Historians and biographers try to be objective in their presentation of the material, even when they have chosen a particular focus. This is no less true in the four biographical accounts of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. But like other biographers, the Gospel writers do arrange their material in a purposeful way, each striving to emphasize certain elements in the story of Jesus. Luke, writing to Theophilus, determined that he would write an “orderly account” to encourage faith in the truth about Jesus (vv. 3–4). Luke would bring his own (Gentile) perspective and research to bear on the history of Jesus’ life.

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Denison Forum – THE ACADEMY AWARDS: 2 THEMES AND 2 RESPONSES

The 88th Academy Awards are still making news today. Two themes resonated last Sunday night that mirror the moral and spiritual condition of our culture today.

One: Whatever hurts others is wrong for us.

Spotlight won for Best Picture. The movie focuses on the Catholic church’s clergy abuse scandal. Leonardo DiCaprio won for Best Actor and used his speech to warn against the dangers of climate change. (For more, see Nick Pitts’s Leo Wins Oscar: Is Climate Change the Most Urgent Threat?) Lady Gaga delivered the most-discussed musical element of the night, focusing on the horror of sexual abuse. And host Chris Rock commented all night long about the lack of diversity among the nominees.

Two: Whatever you do personally is right for you.

Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl, portraying the wife of a man who undergoes surgery to become a woman. Eddie Redmayne was nominated for Best Actor in the same film. Cate Blanchett was nominated for Best Actress, portraying a housewife who is threatened with losing custody of her daughter because she has a sexual relationship with another woman.

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