Jul 29, 2014

Outlander - Episode 1

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been a serious fan of two series in my life:  Harry Potter and Outlander.  Both are extraordinary works that invite the reader to reside within the pages and are full of  nuggets that the author assumes their readers are intelligent enough to understand, research, or just skim over in pure enjoyment of the work.  By trusting the reader, these talented authors both built worlds with fleshed out characters, plot lines, and  rich detailed worlds that invite you in and surprise you with the vividness of the experience.   So if you haven't read the books, do yourself a favor and start.  Don't blame me if you stay up too late!

This blog is dedicated to the fans who have waited 20 plus years to see Outlander come to the screen.  I was privileged to see an advanced screening of episode one tonight and here are some of my observations.

  • Faithful adaptation - You will not watch the show and wonder what they have done to you beloved novel.  Pelican Brief and the Firm by John Grisham comes to mind, they bore no resemblance to the books and suffered greatly for their divergence from the source material.  Outlander is faithful.
  • Stunning Production - the light, the score, the filming, the acting, the editing, the authenticity - beyond my expectations!  
  • Characterization - spot on, true magic.
I find myself envious of the legions of fans who will experience Outlander for the first time and get to discover the series.  For the devotee, you will not be disappointed!

Jul 2, 2014

The Occult in Plain Sight

The Occult Forest
What comes to mind when I say, "The Occult".... visions of Satanists dressed in black robes, chanting in the deep woods, around a human sacrifice?  Perhaps you see a fortune teller or a voodoo witch doctor performing some spell in a basement around a bubbling cauldron?  These are the obvious and overt images that make up the idea of what the occult is, but what if it is more than that?

What if the occult is in the music that you listen to or the neighbor you are BBQing with this weekend?  What if that sorority/fraternity or social club you are involved with actually has its roots in the occult?  What if your friend has decided to join a secret society?
If you are like me, you simply shrug a shoulder, raise an eyebrow, and shake your head because really, the occult IS that witch doctor not your neighbor.

Ouija Board
"Yeah, sure, they do these hokey ceremonies at the fraternity but it's just part of the tradition and we laugh while we are doing it, nobody takes that stuff seriously, right?"
"I love that band and raise my hand in the sign of the I love Rock and Roll while I am banging my head, big deal, it's just a song."
"My neighbor has invited me down to the lodge, those are some really great fellows down there, I'm going to join to make friends."
"It's a Milton Bradley game for Christ's sake, what harm can a Ouija board do?"

Satanic Symbol
You, my friend, have now had a run in with the occult.  So what, you might ask, and given the seeming innocence of the scenarios I have described above, I don't blame you for that opinion.

Follow me for just a second, if you do an act, say punch somebody in the face but you do it while having fun, have you still punched that person in the face?  If you are singing a prayer to Satan but don't mean it, haven't you still said the prayer?  If your lodge has a ceremony that has it's roots in Dark Magic but you make a farce out of it, haven't you still done the ritual?

In a country that denies or minimizes the Supernatural the answer is still Ho Hum.  We have become conditioned by the Humanist point of view that truth is what we believe it to be.  If we don't believe these things have supernatural significance then they don't, but what if you are wrong?  What if, as the Bible tells us, that the unseen is greater than the seen? (2 Cor 4:18)  What if while you are joking around in your ceremony there are those hidden in another room who take what you are doing very seriously and are invoking curses and demons on your life?
Sorority Ritual

There are rules and laws in the Supernatural and if you give the enemy permission to move into your life, he is going to accept the invitation and once he's in, don't expect him to behave.  Don't expect because this was a joke in your eyes that it is a joke in his.  Are you angry now for no reason?  Has your baby daughter gotten sick?  Has pornography begun to take hold in your life?  Does Scripture make you cringe?  These could all be signs you have an unwelcome visitor in your life.  The Lord does nothing in secret, there should be no secret societies who serve the Risen Christ, yet Satan will always scheme in secrecy.
High Priest Apron
The good news is that there is a way free of this bondage.  Cry out to the Lord for salvation and deliverance.  Repent and stop doing the things that have brought the enemy into your life and you will be free by the Power of the Holy Spirit and the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, I encourage you to find a local evangelical ministry to help you break free of the bondage of the enemy and find salvation and freedom in the Lord.