My Thoughts as The Head of A Women’s Ministry on the Movie Exodus: God’s & Kings

I walked into my favorite theater last night solo with an eagerness in my spirit to watch the pages of Exodus unfold on the drama of the big screen. I was early mainly because I was kid-less and had time to purchase the essential Diet Coke and popcorn before taking my seat.

The story of freedom from captivity of the Hebrew slaves because of the might of God visibly displayed and the significant use of Moses stirs my affection for the Book. I needed God’s might to free me from the captivity of sin and now that I am free, my deepest desire is to lead others to that freedom.

I sat as impatient as ever through the 23 minutes of previews waiting for what my eyes were about to behold.  When the movie finally began I found myself literally sitting on the edge of my seat. Let me start by saying, I absolutely believe in the infallibility of scripture. If it is located in the pages of the Bible, I believe it absolutely took place or will take place. God has proven Himself to me too many times not to believe in its inerrancy.

Ridley Scott’s Exodus, like all movies, took creative liberty. It does not represent all details of all the events that are located in the pages of the Bible. It does represent the details that are important that we know because the ones that are in Scripture are given for specific reasons.

This movie, in my opinion, gave a great representation of the bondage of the Hebrew people.  It also gave a good representation of the idol worship that took place amongst the Egyptian people. The plagues were well represented as the Egyptian people suffered as a result of the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart.  The scene with the angel of death (the last plague) was well displayed in a very dramatic way as the Egyptian firstborn children were killed. The basic story line was kept pretty close to the plot in the Bible. After all the events in the Bible don’t need to be exaggerated too much.

Despite the good, there were many misses to the sacred story. The way the plagues took place and began were influenced by an alligator fight, definitely not in the Scripture. Moses only approached Pharaoh twice during the plagues and one was in the stable. This representation is false. God told Moses to “Go to Pharaoh” many times in the text. The plague of darkness was left completely out. Pharaoh put families to death by hanging for not turning Moses in to him. Again, creative liberty at its finest. Still, even with these “misses,” I found Exodus to be a much better than the movie Noah.

However, there is one major grievance most Christians will have with this movie. When Moses is supposed to be speaking to God, he speaks to a little boy. At one point Moses mentioned that the little boy was a messenger for God, but the exchanges between Moses and the child are weak at best and do not in any form represent how God truly spoke to Moses in the text. God didn’t have a messenger to speak for Him – God can speak for Himself.  The boy never quoted scripture from the actual text in Exodus and the conversations that the two had were weird. I want to make it known that God directly spoke to Moses in the burning bush and it is represented here:

Exodus 3:7-10 (NIV)

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Clearly you see that there was no little boy speaking on behalf of the Lord. God speaks to Christians regularly and personally just as He did Moses.

The scene with the parting of the red sea was magnificent. There were hundreds of thousands standing at the foot of the sea, and it seemed like they were all going to perish. Then God moved the water back so they could cross over into Canaan, the Promised Land.

The movie captured the hesitation of the Hebrew people. They desperately wanted freedom and knew if they didn’t move forward they would perish, but they hesitated in crossing over into freedom.

As I watched this unfold, I thought about many of the women I encounter each day through my ministry and perhaps even some of you reading this article. You staring at the Red Sea that God has parted for you and yet you can’t seem to make the step to move forward to freedom.

I want to challenge you to take that step. Freedom from sin, addiction, lust, drugs, whatever it is has been cleared by God Himself in your life through His Son, Jesus. Move forward. In Exodus 14:15b, God says, “Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.” That message is for you today, go forward, it’s time to leave the bondage behind and embrace freedom.

I am so glad that movies about these biblical stories are being made, I just wish they were more accurate. However, unlike some movies that have come before it, Exodus stays closer to the spirit of the text. If Christians understand that the film is loosely based on the biblical story, they should have no problem supporting it and seizing the opportunity to discuss our faith in culture.

Why do we care so much about what other people think? Grrrrrr Insecurity!

Why do we care so much about what other people think? Grrrrrr Insecurity!

Insecurity and women go together like a great peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or coffee and cream, or ice cream and chocolate syrup. You get my drift? IF YOU ARE A WOMAN, I KNOW THIS IS A STRUGGLE FOR YOU! You are lying if you say it isn’t! There is something about how God made the woman that is sensitive to what others think about them, and how they are viewed! I wish it wasn’t, but we know better don’t we!

 

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Eddie and I have been in full time ministry for about seven years, and I alone before that for a while myself. God has brought me through a load of trials at during my 29 years, and I am feeling more confident in the woman God made me to be these days more than ever. UNTIL, DUM DUM DUM, the other day. The Miles family was headed out to go shop for funiture for our new house, Yay, and as we were leaving my four year old daughter looked at me with a disgusted look on her face and said, “Mom, did you fix your hair today?” I replied, “Yes”, totally annoyed that she asked me that. I told her to go on to the car and I would catch up in a second. I went back to the bathroom and worked on my hair another minute before heading to the car. When I got to the car I asked Eddie what he thought of my hair, and in true “Eddie” form he told me it looked great. I sat in the car totally dumfounded that my four year old daughter in one line made me feel insecure about something as stupid as my hair especially when I fix hers!!!!! Crazy, because people have called me alot of things that I let run off my back, and are really no big deal, but this, my daughter who I love more than anything, made me feel a little weird. Now I know if you are a mom reading this you probably think, just wait, it will get worse!

 

I say all this to say, I know dear sweet girl you feel insecure when people make a weird comment about you, and you hear about it through a friend.. Or someone looks at you and rolls their eyes. Or you are not invited to a big party that you wish you were. Or maybe you don’t have the money to have all the cool clothes. I remember what it’s like. More importantly, I work with youth, and I see what’s going on. I also know THAT ALTHOUGH THOSE THINGS CAN ROCK YOUR SECURITY, YOU WERE CREATED FOR A PURPOSE THAT ONLY YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH! God also places you in a circumstance that you don’t know why you are in. It might be that you have a physical medical condition, or live in an area that people make fun of. Or maybe you tried out for the cheerleading, or soccer team, and you didn’t make it WHATEVER REASON YOU FEEL INSECURE GOD HAS PLACED YOU THERE FOR A REASON.

 

When someone misunderstands my passion, or the way that I do what I do, it bothers me for a minute, and then I remember that I was created JUST THE WAY I AM, FOR JUST THE PURPOSE GOD WANTS ME TO DO. You, my beauty, have your quirks, and your circumstance for JUST WHAT GOD WANTS TO DO IN YOU! When I got this idea, that I was perfectly created for a great purpose, I started to become more secure because I am looking for acceptance with God, not man! I am certainly not perfect! Ask my husband! But I was created wonderfully!

In psalm 139, God says He made you fearfully, and wonderfully! Remember that today, when you are feeling insecure. You are wonderfully made. You are wonderfully made. You are wonderfully made. You are wonderfully made. You are wonderfully made.

 

 

YOU ARE WONDERFULLY MADE! Claim it girl, YOU ARE AWESOME!

HATERS????

I was speaking a few years ago to a large group of people in Indiana.  The crowd was men, women, and children.  It made for an interesting day, however, I prayed and prayed about what exactly God wanted me to share.  I had not taken this engagement lightly and was completely excited for what God was going to do that day.  I decided to share my testimony about my previous husband and God’s grace to me through that situation.  I knew that the topic would be heavy, but made sure it was age appropriate.  I prayed before I took the stage, I remember being honored this group would even have me, I was so grateful for the experience.  Because children were present I decided to share how my daughter Grace got her name.

My daughter Grace is part of God’s grace to me.  I won’t ever forget the week after my divorce from my previous husband was final my family and I went on vacation.  We NEEDED a vacation so bad due to the huge amount of stress the whole situation caused.  We went to Gatlinburg, TN.  I remember sitting in a hot tub by myself one night talking to God.  I at that point was content to be single for the rest of my life, but I said this to God that night, “God, if you bless me with a baby girl one day, I will name her Grace because of the grace you have shown me.”   I prayed for a while that night, and always remembered my promise.

Well, wouldn’t you know a few years later, I was remarried, and pregnant and I knew even before the ultra-sound tech told me that it was a girl.  Her name is none other than Grace.

I shared that with that crowd  thinking it would resonate.  I left the stage and gathered my belongings to head home.  I remember many coming up to me saying they enjoyed what I shared.  As I went to leave on woman was waiting for me.  She came right up to me and said, why would you ever share that about your child’s name.  That is inappropriate, and I don’t think you should tell anyone that she was named after a bad marriage.  Her advice to me was to keep it a secret.  I left feeling a little defeated, but confident in my message, and I have come to realize that there WILL ALWAYS BE HATERS.

I read the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead today, you can find the entire story in John chapter 11.  It’s an amazing story about one of Jesus’s closest friends getting very sick and before Jesus could make it to heal him he passed away.  When Jesus finally got to his home He was questioned as to why He waited to get there.  Jesus’s response was, vs.40b “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God.”  The He prayed, and called Lazarus out of the grave and the dead man came back to life and walked out still bound.

The whole story is captivating, but one part caught my eye.  If you read the story in it’s entirety you will see vs.45 many Jews believed in Jesus that day.  But verse 46 says,

“But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.”

Even Jesus, who the Jews just saw Him raise the dead, were haters.  It didn’t matter what this man did for humanity, they didn’t like Him nor did they want Him spreading His  truth.

I think of us…..Sometimes, we are doing all we can for the glory of the Lord and we get bogged down by a single comment of negativity.  Our hearts are righteous before the Throne, and someone takes what we do and pulls it apart.

Let me encourage you today, DON’T GIVE IN!  If God has called you to do a specific thing to further His name, do it.  Let the haters hate, and let God take care of them.  Whenever we do something for the name of Christ, satan doesn’t want us to succeed so he tries as hard as he can to destroy us.  There will always be someone who doesn’t like everything you do, but remember to keep your eye’s on our God, and He will give you the strength to overcome!

What do your roots say about you?

Yesterday, I made a trip to Galveston to work.  The trip was a long one, and even longer when you factor in traffic for no reason in a random place, and Houston’s rush hour traffic.  I enjoyed my time though, I prayed and prayed for the direction of Blush and where God is going to lead us in the very near future.  I listened to some new worship records that I haven’t had a chance to get all the way through.  I was immersed in my Jesus when I noticed something that I have never seen before.  I began to see on either side of me big trees that were dead from about the middle to the ground.  The tops of the trees were completely bright green.  I was amazed by the sight.  Some of the leaves were brown and completely dead, and literally one branch above them there were leaves that were bright green.  I just looked in awe for several miles wandering what could happen to make the same tree so drastically different.  The Lord brought to my mind several things as I was gazing in awe, one of them is this passage of scripture.

Psalm 1: 1-3

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  HE SHALL BE LIKE A TREE PLANTED BY THE RIVERS OF WATER, THAT BRINGS FORTH ITS FRUIT IN ITS SEASON, WHOSE LEAF ALSO SHALL NOT WITHER; AND WHATEVER HE DOES SHALL PROSPER.

I couldn’t help but liken the trees to some Christians.  I have rarely seen a more beautiful group of people than Christians.  We get all dolled up on Sunday, we fix our kids hair all cute, and wear a cute number that we just picked up from the mall, and come to church all beautiful.  We say the right thing, like “praise the Lord” or “Amen” or even “I’m praying for you” regularly, but beneath the surface some of us are spiritually dead.  I have talked and counseled with some of the most beautiful individuals you would ever see, and they look like they have it all together, and yet they are dead inside.

There problem is almost always and INACTIVE WALK WITH CHRIST.  Without Christ, and the Holy Spirit you lack the power for anything.

Romans 8:13 says clearly,

For if you live according to the flesh (or ourselves) you will die.

I know that some of you out there are tired of playing the nauseating, church, country club game and are ready to commit fully to a relationship with God that is not a show, but an outpouring of your heart.  To me, there is nothing more amazing than to see a person completely in bondage to themselves, and their ideas, SET FREE.  Guess who offers that freedom?  His has a name that is above all other, Jesus Christ.

I can speak to this so passionately because many years ago, I was the tree who looked nice on the top, but whose roots were completely dead.

Choose to commit and stop playing the fence today, I promise it’s worth it to let go of the control.