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Film Review: SON OF GOD

Son of GAn update is written below the film review.

The movie opens with the lofty words,

“In the beginning, He was always there in our struggle for the promise land,”

and amazingly beautiful imagery. Honestly, I was hooked from the first few seconds and looking forward to watching and hearing the story unfold. Soon, however, I was thrown by the choppy feel of the scene transitions and the increasing sense that the movie was more of a reading of select passages than a reenactment of a very important period of the Christian life story. I knew going in that the scenes with satan had been deleted. According to the media, there had been backlash about the actor playing satan resembling President Barack Obama. Indeed, The Hollywood Reporter quotes Roma Downey, co-producer of the film with husband Mark Burnett as saying, “For our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time.” That’s all well in good in theory, but the devil plays a huge role in every believers life. Especially early on. And he played a significant role in Jesus’s testing in the flesh. What good does it do us (Believers) to see a representation of Jesus strolling through the desert and chatting on mountainsides with His friends? It was a pretty film but nothing in the Bible tells me that Jesus had a pretty and unencumbered life. I left this film thinking,

That’s why we have weak believers. People think we have a weak savior. They don’t think our Jesus did anything extraordinary.

Two main arguments Jesus Believers encounter are (1) Jesus was just a man, no one special; and (2) satan doesn’t exist. Basically, there is no ultimate good and no ultimate evil. And of course that leads to a larger argument about the existence of God. If we accept forms of Christian story-telling that omits significant elements of the story our belief is based on, then we risk weakening our belief in our Foundation.

A few days after seeing the film, I commented on a thread discussing it on Facebook. Rather than rewriting what I shared on Facebook, I’ve simply pasted my comments below.  The question was: “What do you think of the film and the controversy surrounding The Son of God?

March 8, 2014

LaShawnda Jones commented on a status.


I actually didn’t care for it. I have an issue with ppl trying to water down the gospel to make it comfortable for non believers or naysayers. The movie felt like a mashup of scripture readings linked together to tell a story. It should’ve just been the story. Most unfortunate is that they cut scenes of satan out, which could be why it felt choppier in spaces. They cut him supposedly bc ppl complained the actor looked too much like Obama. Seriously? So you attempt to tell the story of Jesus with no adversary? It made for a very flat story. It made Jesus look like He was just coasting thru the desert making friends. It’s been in my blog queue to post about this week, think this comment will get me going.

**Finally posted!  🙂 ** Someone asked a question about my above comment and I responded:

March 8, 2014

LaShawnda Jones commented on a status.


Nope, V——, it is certainly no Passion of the Christ. I will say, I saw Passion before I became a practicing Christian. I claimed to believe in Jesus at the time, but the thought of Jesus really had no substance for me until I saw that movie. Why? Because suddenly I could visualize a scourging, I could visualize what the lashes did to his body. Even the crown of thorns blew me away because, in my reading it was still just a crown. How can a crown hurt? Yes, Passion was violent and it was overwhelming for me watch but it didn’t run me away from the faith, it helped me to understand who I am believing in a bit more. The world is violent and the world treated Jesus violently. Glossing over that is a deep injustice to everyone struggling with their faith and everyone we are trying to reach to teach about Jesus – and most especially a deep injustice to the telling of how Jesus accomplished His assignment.



Interesting read: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Passion of the Christ

Referenced link:



On April 19, 2014, I watched about half of the ten-part The Bible series. It’s an amazing production. When I got to the last three episodes of the series, I immediately thought: What a disservice they did with the movie, Son of God, by cutting out so many scenes from The Bible series. I understand that they wouldn’t want to release a four hour movie to the theaters, but there is so much meat, beauty and truth in the interactions of The Bible series. As noted above, I completely felt the choppiness of the cuts and edits to make the movie feature film length.

If you have not seen Son of God and you are interested, I suggest you skip it and go straight to The Bible series episodes the film was cut from. As you can imagine, the series provides a much fuller story and flavor.

As a further balance, I share this link which discusses the non-Christian beliefs of the makers of the film and series. To that I say, whatever you watch and in all things, use caution and discernment.



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Seduced by the Enemy, Part 1: Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy

Can one born in sin truly recognize sin?
If all of life is a thought, then what is death?
If faith is an alignment of mind, heart and will, then what is doubt?
If no weapon formed against a believer can harm them, then how can a believer be destroyed?
If nothing can separate a believer from the love of God, then what can possibly turn a believer away from God?
If Jesus Christ died for me, why is it so hard to live completely for Him?

These questions may sound philosophical, but they have very practical answers.


Part 1: Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy

1. to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt
2. to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance

“Seduction” has a romantic connotation in world culture, however, synonyms for the word “seduce” include decoy, lure, deceive and tempt. None of those words have a romantic ring to them. The word “enemy” can also be misleading, in that it leads one to look outward for danger instead of inward. The spiritual attacks aimed at knocking believers from their walk with God targets the believer’s internal organisms of belief, faith, heart and thoughts. Even though the perpetrator of the attacks is the spirit we know as Satan or the devil or the god of this world, our most dangerous potential enemy is our self. The self that can be seduced into believing something other than the truth. The self that can be beguiled into a change of heart and led astray from their faith. The self that can be deceived into thinking they are less than they are. In a very real sense, a believer can seduce their own self away from God.

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.   ~ 1 John 5:18-19, 21

If we believe God’s word, nothing Satan/the devil/the evil one attacks us with will harm us. We have only to stand and resist his attacks. Faith is our shield and the Word of God is our sword. The Word of God says that our faith will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:11-17). Above we read in 1 John 5:18 that the evil one cannot touch us. So if the evil one, aka Satan aka the devil cannot breach our faith, how can he harm us?

He can only succeed against us when we are without our faith – when we have set aside our shield.

Does one not become one’s own worst enemy if one is assured of victory, yet chooses to forfeit said victory?

We are our biggest enemy because we have the ability to choose between life and death – every day, every step, every thought. Satan can’t do that for us, he can only camouflage death (choices leading to death) to make them look like life (or rather the type of life we seek in the world).  

It’s important for a believer to know who they are in Christ – saved, delivered, anointed, more than a conqueror, ambassador of Christ, minister of reconciliation, a priest, and a king seated in heavenly places. It is equally important to know who we are when we are not in Christ. When we operate in the flesh (seeking to satisfy our SELF) we are on a slippery slope leading to sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Believers who are susceptible to seduction by the enemy are those who think they can accept Christ, God’s saving grace, and still operate outside of Him, outside of God’s grace. Those who believe they can praise the Lord in the morning and still speak death to their life in the evening. Those who plant a fruitful tree yet starve it at the roots. Their left hand is not aware of the doings of the right. And their thoughts are not expressed by their actions.

I am such a susceptible believer.   

I am the most dangerous and destructive enemy I will ever encounter. I need to know that about myself.

You need to know that about yourself.

There is nothing that comes against you that can do more damage than what comes from within you. So the true battle is getting your SELF under control. Once you are in control of your SELF (or every time you regain control of your SELF), submit your SELF under the authority of Christ. It is through Christ that we have the power to continue to walk according to the Spirit of God and it is through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God that we are convicted and corrected of our errors during our walk.

I thank God for His firm hold on me and His persistent voice within me.    

The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit, not with our flesh (our SELF, our sinful nature). So don’t be seduced by SELF (by your flesh, your sinful nature) into seeking temporary worldly pleasures over God’s eternal promises.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.    ~ Galatians 5:22-26

 Q:  How many times must I die to self in order to live in Christ?

A:  As many times as it takes to REMAIN in Christ.

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Excerpt: You Must Believe to Understand

Introduction to The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love & Forgiveness

[F]or you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.  ~1 Peter 2:9, 11-12

The most difficult tasks involved in writing The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love and Forgiveness were deciding to whom to address the text and to maintain that focus throughout the book.

My questions to “self” consisted of: Am I writing to the people who love, or to the people who are loved? Am I addressing the repentant at heart, or the unrepentant? Should I focus on those who have forgiven, or those who have received forgiveness? Is this work ultimately for people who believe in God, His Son Jesus and His Holy Spirit, or for those who don’t believe at all?

The answer from “self” was: everyone represents, has represented or will represent each of those characteristics at any given point of their life.

This book is a tool to be used in working out love, repentance and forgiveness issues in human relationships through the examples God has provided. Those relationships could be with parents, siblings, spouses, other family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors or community members. There are many relationships during the course of our lives through which we have to navigate our way. Some of those relationships fail and die because one or both parties involved are unfamiliar with the process of love, repentance and forgiveness. Love, repentance and forgiveness are more than just words that you speak and forget about. Love requires action. Repenting mends the love you hurt. Forgiveness is a loving response to the attack on love. They are all choices. Asking is involved. Receiving is necessary. Giving is the only way each is shared.

The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love and Forgiveness is a work by a Christian woman who has chosen to purposefully sow into the Kingdom of Heaven. My goal with this book is to speak directly to anyone with eyes, ears and a heart open to see, hear and receive the truth of the Word of God. The majority of Biblical scripture used in this volume is addressed to Believers from the mouths and pens of Jesus and His Disciples.

The Holy Bible is a Teacher’s Manual full of instructions telling Believers (a.k.a. Teacher Aides) how to conduct themselves… and how to show God to other people. Believers are commissioned to teach the world by showing nonbelievers God’s ways through their mode of living and their treatment of others. The Father’s process is very deliberate!

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  ~ 2 Peter 3:9-10

This knowledge encouraged me to address Believers and nonbelievers alike. My hope is that the Believer will be encouraged, edified and strengthened; and that the nonbeliever will be exposed to a truth they can no longer deny and will begin to pursue.

What does it mean to “believe”?

God’s word is locked. His secrets are hidden. His word does not make sense to everyone. He does not reveal knowledge and understanding to all of Creation. But those He call His children are permitted to know His secrets and understand His ways through His Spirit.

How do you become a Child of God?

You must believe on and receive the One He sent – Jesus Christ the Messiah.

We must have confidence in and be convicted of God’s existence. That’s how we believe. By believing in His existence, we can then believe in His works.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn — not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.  ~ John 1:10-12

Having faith is another way of expressing belief in God. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the confidence that our hopes will manifest and it assures us about the things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:6 further explains:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Again, this may not make sense to a nonbeliever, but then again a nonbeliever wouldn’t be reading this if they weren’t seeking truth. So, if that’s you, keep on reading!

For the Believers, this may be elementary, but a review never hurts anyone. So, you keep reading as well!

Do you believe God?

You acknowledge that God exists, but do you have enough confidence in His existence to obey His Word? To believe God is to accept what He says as true. He doesn’t allow picking and choosing or alternating between a straight walk and a zigzag. If you claim to believe in God, but you do not believe what He says in the Bible (His Word), then you do not really believe God. God and His Word are one. “The Word” is also another name for Jesus Christ. God and Jesus are one. If you believe God, you will believe and obey His Word. If you do not believe what God says directly or through Jesus, it is God Himself you are disbelieving and rejecting. (Yoonu Njub, 1998)

But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name.  ~ John 20:31

How to become a Believer

If you desire to become a child of God, a Believer, one of God’s chosen people, a member of His royal priesthood and holy nation, then simply do so. All that is required is that you follow His instructions. If you desire to become one of God’s very own possessions and heed His call by walking out of the darkness of the world and into His wonderful eternal light, then you have only to believe in your heart and speak with your lips the words of Romans 10:9-10, and ask the Father to be your Teacher and Guide for everything He wishes for you to learn on your spiritual walk with Him.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  ~ Romans 10:9-13

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Introduction (MGAM)

LOVE by Robert IndianaDo you know the day and time you first believed? Perhaps you know people who claim they’ve been walking with Christ for eight years, nine months and ten days or some detailed variation? I am not one of those people. I cannot pinpoint the moment I first believed. Nor do I recall a time of non-belief. However, most of my life, I resisted practicing my beliefs. I resisted obeying God. I resisted His call.  Though I have always felt God’s presence in my life, I used to hope He would let me roam wild and carefree before taming me with His Word. I never quite got wild, nor was I ever free of cares, but I did get a lot of bumps on my head and many bruises to my ego. All have been lessons to grow on.

Prior to my move to New York City in the fall of 2005, God was someone I had great ideals about but not someone I knew personally. I had heard of His wonderful works and had actually experienced His works in my own life but I didn’t think He was really paying attention to me. There were so many other people for Him to be concerned with. During those years, God was like a wardrobe accessory I put on most days then promptly forgot I was wearing.

Ecclesiastes tells us repeatedly there is nothing new under the sun. As I have studied the Bible, grown more confident in God’s Word and more knowledgeable of his methods, I’ve come to see that even the way He deals with His people today is similar to the model of Biblical relationships we have been given. I’ve been able to identify parallels between my life and Biblical stories. The parallel that most influences My God and Me is God’s instruction to Abram to leave his country and his kindred. Abram did as instructed and had terrible difficulties from the outset. However, those difficulties did not deter him in his faith or his belief that God would do as He said He would do.


Meditation Verse: Genesis 12:1-3

Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”


I believe I have been called away from my family and the community of my youth in order for God to better prepare me for His work. I have gone through many difficulties that have strengthened my faith and deepened my fellowship with my God. I know I will have many more tests and trials before my journey is complete, but I am so much better prepared now than I was a few years ago.

I used to tell people I grew up in the church; I knew about God and Jesus. My declaration has changed. Now, I know God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit! I live in them as they live in me. Awesome! What wondrous power the Trinity gives me from day to day! Yes, I am in love; a deep abiding love that has nothing to do with this world. I am awed and humbled by the way my God takes care of me, I am amazed by the examples my savior provided me and I am continually enlightened by the awareness and revelations the Holy Spirit allows me. I desire nothing more than to be obedient to the instructions God speaks to me. I sincerely seek to be in His presence and to please Him. I didn’t experience any of this until my isolation triggered my personal evolution. Or rather, my isolation allowed me time and space to focus on my evolution, as well as my relationship with God.

This collection of previously posted blogs is a record of the transformation my spirituality and life focus has undergone over the last four years. In the beginning, I railed against being set apart from everyone and everything familiar to me; I didn’t like being by myself. However, I am grateful for the process He put me through for I have learned to depend on and commune with my Father God. The time I’ve spent talking to Him exclusively has taught me to hear Him better. Even as I weaned myself off the false dependency of family and friends, I had to also wean myself off of my “self” dependency. I learned quickly that nothing outside the will of God is going to take place in my life. He is my protector, guide and provider. When I began to recognize, accept and trust His care and provisions, I was able to let go of my issues bit by bit and rely more and more on Him.

When I began blogging, my only intent was to entertain and promote. However, as I have reread and edited this collection, I am truly humbled by the message God is giving you through me. I am blessed by the amount of cleansing and lifting He has done within me. This book is a synopsis of my life. Some stories may seem very un-Christian, in fact maybe the whole collection may cause you to question my “Christianity”. That’s fine – I’m not concerned with being judged by anyone. This is a record of my honest thoughts, opinions and experiences at the time I chronicled them. I don’t want anyone to think for a moment that aspiring to a Christ-like character and existence is easy or without lapses and outward desires. Some words are mine, but most, I believe are simply delivered through me. I pray you find some words within these pages to help you and contribute to your continued growth.

May God continue to bless and keep you.


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