A weekly smorgasbord of high-quality recommendations (if I do say so myself).
Bible Passage: 2 Samuel 5:20. I love the phrase at the end of this verse about God giving David victory over his enemies. David named the location of this victory Baal Perazim, which the NKJV notes as being literally translated, “Master of Breakthroughs.” This is one of infinite, amazing aspects of who our God is. When we trust him, he breaks through our enemies… and he gives us breakthroughs in the midst of stalemates, hardships, and near losses.
Movie: Blue Like Jazz. After spending an eternity at the top of my Netflix queue with a status of “Very long wait,” I was finally able to watch this film adaptation of Donald Miller’s bestselling book. I haven’t read the book, but the movie has been well-talked-about (and somewhat controversial) in the Christian internet world. I liked the movie. Now, I will say that it is not for those who expect Christian movies to be “unspoiled” by the world (no language, talk of sex, or questioning of God). It is very real and very critical of the Church. However, it is also forgiving. The main character (Don– the book/film is based on part of his life), spends time at “the most godless campus in America,” angry at the Church for very personal reasons. The movie does not gloss over the fact that Don has a right to be angry, but it also doesn’t shy away from making him realize his own hypocrisy and that while all people are broken (in and out of the Church), not all of them are the same. This movie, while being fun and quirky, also makes you think– especially about how you see, judge, and treat other people.
Tweeter: Indecision. This is Comedy Central’s hilarious Twitter account that pokes fun at both candidates and parties in this election season. Invaluable humor in the middle of a debate.
Song: For The Glory by The O.C. Supertones. The wonderfulness that is Christian ska is making a comeback– both the Supertones and Five Iron Frenzy are releasing new albums after calling it quits years ago. Maybe reggae/rap/rock with horns isn’t your thing, but I love these guys. I’ve heard it argued by many– and I agree– that ska was one genre that Christian bands dominated. High energy, diverse songs with lyrics that are actually deep (at times even theological– whoa) are a forte of the Supertones. This exciting new song from their upcoming album might not have their deepest lyrics, but it still manages to be God-glorifying and praise-inducing without sounding recycled. P.S.: The Supertones retweeted me!
Quote: C.S. Lewis, in Till We Have Faces.
And for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream. But things that many see may have no taste or moment in them at all, and things that are shown only to one may be spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth.
Fiction Book: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. This was a fantastic book, but one I haven’t heard many people mention when they’re gushing about C.S. Lewis (don’t worry, I love him, too). It is a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, in which Psyche’s sister Orual makes her case for “what really happened.” Set in a fictional land in a far away time, yet in some ways rooted in history– there are constant references to Greece, it is a tale of love, loss, and adventure that teeters between the physical and spiritual worlds. While the characters interact with pagan gods, there are strong Christian themes throughout. It is a brilliant story that serves as an intriguing commentary on the true nature of love.
Video: Partysaurus Rex. Three words. Toy. Story. Short. Pixar fan? You’ll love this.
You can read previous Re:commends lists here.
COMMENT: Got any recommendations I should check out to add to future Re:commends lists? I particularly need some suggestions for good non-profits or ministries right now.