The Conjuring

A few nights ago I allowed myself to be frightened (yes, I slept with the lights on). Still, it was worth it.  In watching The Conjuring I found myself contemplating the battle our eyes usually don’t get to see.  The Bible says there are angels and demons and yes even ghosts.  Perhaps you don’t believe the last part…but if you’re skeptical perhaps you should read 1Samuel chapter 28.  Also I will quote C.S. Lewis:  There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils.  One is to disbelieve in their existence.  The other is to believe, and to feel and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.  They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist and a magician with the same delight. 
In any case, The Conjuring did an extremely good job showing the conniving tactics if the devils…a three step process according to the movie: 1.) Infestation 2.) Oppression 3.) Possession.  The movie showed how the demonic spirit ‘toyed’ with the family, then it pretty much began tourmenting them with fear until they were beyond weak and vulnerable, then possessed the person it targeted in order to kill the whole family through one person.  The devil’s tactic is to steal, kill and destroy.  But the movie went further and showed the importance of faith and how it is THE ONLY weapon against evil.  At one point Ed (the supernatural hunter as I would call him) asks Roger (the dad) something along the lines of: ‘Have your children been baptized?’ Roger answers basically that no and that they are not a church going family at which Ed recommends that he reconsiders that.  Also Ed puts crosses around the house to provoke the demon and I loved how they showed that it’s not that piece of wood that protects.  In the end, at the exorcism we see the real battle and there Lorraine (Ed’s wife) is THE one who points the possessed back to life by getting the person to fight the demon from ‘within’.  I loved that because in essence that is THE truth, the real battle can only be won from inside.  The only way to overcome is to fight Satan from inside because that’s what he attacks.  He toys with your mind, with temptations, with his games, with hate, with unforgiving thoughts and more.  There is a darkness in the human soul that he feeds off of.  I can tell you that is the case with myself and if you’re honest probably it’s true for you too.  But how can we conquer our own deepest darkness which Satan seeks to exploit in order to destroy us (and those we love)? I’d like to say it’s easy, but for most of us it’s not…though it could be.  The only way is to shine a light so bright into that darkness that it is no longer dark.  Jesus said in John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”. So you see…easy, Jesus is that answer.  The only problem circles back to ourselves…we don’t know how to surrender…because if we do, all that ugliness that has lurked in that darkness will be plainly seen…but also…we have become comfortable with that darkness…right?  Because in all honesty, when life opressess us, there are certain thoughts that have become comforting.  Thoughts of why forgiveness is not an option because after all I am the one who was wronged.  See, that first step is THE hardest: surrender to THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.  Because if we surrender to Him it means we are letting go of our own view if justice and trusting Him…and what if He chooses not to avenge us here on earth? What if the bad guy gets yet another chance?…Indeed, what if?  What if Jesus chooses to give you a gift greater than justice?  What if He gives you healing and that person a chance at redemption? What if we understand that He truly wishes none to perish?
Anyway, that is what I got from this movie…though the lights may stay on in my room for a while…oh and that’s another observation…have you ever noticed how light has that interesting power to dispel fear?

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“My name is Jack Bower, and today is the longest day of my life.”

24

The show 24. For the longest time I refused to watch it, simply because I thought it was going to be borrrrring…boy was I wrong! The first season took me captive and even now I have not been ransomed. The storyline is great, fast paced, each episode ends with some type of bang (cliffhanger)…this is a well written show and I think writers could learn a lot from watching this because it’s the best example of how to keep a reader (watcher) going.

Now about the show. I will start by saying that each actor is well picked. Jack Bower is of course the best, I love his unconventional attitude because it gets results. He is smart and no matter how hard the situation he outsmarts the bad guys…well almost all the time. Each character is well picked, you either love them or hate them. There are clues given throughout the show as to the outcome. In the first season we are actually shown who the traitor is but then we are tactfully taken away to the point where we think ‘no it’s not that one thank God’ but then we get slapped with the shock that it was indeed that one all along. The show plays with us and keeps us guessing. The second season, believe it or not is even better, but I will get to that soon. There is one thing that I will say that I do not like, because it stretches my patience quite a bit, but perhaps this will change in the following seasons. In season 1 and season 2 both Kim (the daughter) and the wife are in constant trouble, constantly kidnapped etc…while I thought this was okay for a little while, I do think that they have to come up with something different (which they probably do).

Now, for the second season, wow, it litteraly has a bang. There is a nuclear bomb that is set to detonate in 24 hours in Los Angeles by an extremist group called Second Wave. We are given pottential suspects and we are led to think, yes, that is definately the one…but beware of such thoughts, things are never as they seem. One of my favorite parts is the part where in order to safely detonate the bomb away from the population, someone has to fly the plane with it and crash it…thus a suicide mission. There is a line that is said by the president’s assistant: (paraphrazing) “To save millions one has to die.” When I heard that line I got the chills because it is exactly what Christ did for us. Now, I’m going to get a bit deep here so have patience with me. I asked myself as I watched this: Us humans when another human being sacrifices themselves for us, we honor them, we honor their memory, we respect them, we are in awe of that sacrifice. (Like at the school where a teacher died saving her students with her own body) Yet when we are told that God became man and died for ALL OF HUMANITY we scoff at this, in fact some even mock this as nothing, as no big deal, as if it’s not a great sacrifice, as if blood was not spilled in our place that we might live. Yes, as I watched the sacrificial scene in the second season of 24 I thought of Jesus and the sacrifice He gave for us. Yes the show is fiction….but Christ is not ficiton. Some would argue otherwise, but if they dig through history they cannot ignore the fact that there is more proof that Jesus existed then there is for many other historical figures of that time. And yes, some will say that indeed he existed and go on to say that he was just a really really good man. If he existed though, he either was exactly what he said or he was an evil liar (thus not a good man). Because Jesus claimed to be the way, the truth and the life, and he claimed to come to take away the sins of the world. He was the living sacrifice that saved and keeps saving many. He was like Jack Bower…only Jesus was real, and Jesus was perfect.