A weekly smorgasbord of high-quality recommendations (if I do say so myself).
Bible Passage: Ephesians 6:10-20. This is a familiar passage, often referred to as “The Armor of God.” It has inspired countless Sunday School coloring pages over the years because it is so visual– and because armor is cool. Of course, when we think of putting on armor, it’s preparing the person who’s getting suited up to do what they’re about to do– fight. It’d be ridiculous to go to all the trouble of wearing that bulky armor if you were just going to sit on the couch and play Mario Kart. But so many times, we do the equivalent of that. Every piece of our spiritual armor comes from God– and it is meant to give us strength, boldness, and effectiveness in spreading the gospel and standing against the enemy. This passage should move us to action, not to just imagine a cool picture, but to take advantage of these awesome gifts by using them for the mission God has given us.
Tweeter: Fake J.D. Greear. This is a parody account for popular Christian pastor and author J.D. Greear– and it’s usually hilarious and eyebrow-raising. In light of the recently discovered scrap of papyrus that some believe claims that Jesus was married, Fake J.D. started tweeting #MrsJesusQuotes. For example:”Who is this ‘church’ you keep talking about? I’M THE BRIDE OF CHRIST!” and “I can’t find the silverware. Has Judas been here again?”
Album: Night Visions by Imagine Dragons. I waited as long as I could to put some space between my recommendation for Imagine Dragons’ amazing EP and this one for their album– but I could wait no longer. While the EP might be stronger (it’s just that freaking brilliant), and four of the best tracks on Night Visions are from the EP, the rest of the album is awesome. This is alt rock that I am proud to sing at the top of my lungs and blare from my car with the windows down. Though the songs are of a similar genre, they are each unique in style and even lyrical themes. On Night Visions, you will find inspiration, heartache, cutting loose-ness, and fun. The back half of the track Nothing Left to Say/Rocks is one of the funnest little tunes I’ve heard since I first heard Some Nights by Fun. (no pun intended). Favorite Tracks (EP tracks not included): Bleeding Out, Nothing Left to Say/Rocks, Working Man, Fallen.
Quote: Katie Davis, in Kisses from Katie.
We want big things from God and then think it’s strange when He asks us to build an ark, or feed five thousand or mark around a building for seven days with seven priests blowing trumpets made from rams’ horns… Every morning, as I wake up with some impossible task in front of me, I know that God will meet it with impossible strength and love. I serve the God who used Moses, a murderer, to part the Red Sea; a God who let Peter, who would deny Him, walk on water. A God who looks at me, in all my fallen weakness and says, ‘You can do the impossible.’
Non-Fiction Book: Kisses from Katie. I’ve been hearing about this book and the girl behind it for a few years, and I’m so glad I finally took the time to read it. Katie Davis, a Tennessee girl fresh out of high school, left everything behind to serve God in Uganda. Over just a few years (she’s now 23, I believe), she started a non-profit that sponsors hundreds of children (among many other things), bought a house and opened it up to the community, and became the adoptive mother of 13 Ugandan girls. And that’s just getting started. Her story of heartache, sacrifice, and great joy is wonderful and infectious. It is so amazing to see how God has used her in amazing ways, just because she was willing.
Website: Prodigal Magazine. Prodigal is an online Christian magazine that allows different people to tell their stories. Their posts are almost always inspiring and helpful.
Movie: The Shawshank Redemption. I watched this classic film for the first time this week (I was like 5 years old when it came out– give me a break!). As expected, it was at once disturbing and powerful. Starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, nearly the entire movie takes place within Shawshank Prison, a truly desperate place, where guards and fellow prisoners are brutal and corrupt. Andy, the main character, manages to bring small bits of normalcy to the monotonous horror of prison life. It’s a poignant tale of hope, freedom, and humanity.
Video: Beauty and the BEAT! This is probably one of the funniest (and cleverest) videos of the year. “Little Town” from Beauty and the Beast– hood style. Shout out to E-Money for showing it to me. Disclaimer: This is a comedy video and the stereotypes presented in it do not represent my views. Brief strong language.
You can read previous Re:commends lists here.
COMMENT: Got any recommendations I should check out to add to future Re:commends lists?