L.T. Jeyachandran of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Christchurch

Helping thinkers

to believe

and Believers

to think . . .

L.T. Jeyachandran

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

will speak on the resurrection

of Jesus and challenge believers

to defend their faith with confidence.

Come and be Equipped!

St. Theresa’s School Hall

Riccarton Road

7pm, Friday the 21st May, 2010

Come with Family & Friends!

Free Entry

Supper Follows

For details contact Ramana / Seema

Ph. 0274412217

August Rush, Belief, Conviction, Faith and God’s Plan

You never quit you music no matter what happens. Cause anytime something bad happens to you, it is the place you can escape to and just let it go. I’ve learned that the hard way. And anyway look at me. Nothing bad’s gonna happen. You gotta have a little faith.”

August Rush, a little orphan following the music in an attempt to find his parents hears these words after having a little jam with what turns out to be his father later in the movie ends up indeed finding his parents through his music. The movie itself is all about the power and mystery that is music, but more than that it is a movie about straying true to your belief, in fact about staying true so much that they become your convictions. There is a subtle difference in that beliefs may change but for your convictions you are willing to die. A remark came back to min that was made by Chad Dedmon during a seminar organized through Harmony Church:

“You cannot let your circumstances determine your theology.”

August Rush stayed true to his belief, that the music he was hearing everywhere would one day lead him back to his parents and of course it did. One of his parents did not know of his existence, the other his mother was trying to locate him and indeed in the end recognized his sounds as something that could well have been coming from her son. All that time however the world was telling August Rush that his convictions were not going to bring him anywhere and that he should be getting back to reality. But AUGUST WAS IN HIS REALITY! He did not just believe what he said, it was HIS CONVICTION; HE KNEW!

For those interested here is the final scene of the movie, with the piece of music that would reunite a scattered family:

Make your Belief your Conviction

I guess the following bible quote illustrates and summarizes the movie completely:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

That is exactly what the movie is all about. The lesson for me personally: trust, patience, and endurance will get me there.  My conversion has not come without challenges and temptations and it seems sometimes that every time I think I know, something will come along to distract me or get me off track even. Never before have I found myself to realize how good I am in screwing up: in the sense of not being able to live up to God’s standard. But through prayer, conversations and meditation (which is actually just playing music without thinking about what I play), God’s plan for us reveals itself, and than it is up to us to pursue and persevere. In an email Rick Warren wrote:

I like the definition of conviction I once heard from the great Bible teacher Howard Hendricks: “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!”

I guess that is what the movie August Rush can teach all of us Christians but most of all me. First of all that we should make our beliefs our convictions as that will make us sure of the things unseen. I know it works for me: despite all the challenges it is posing an despite all the failures on my part along the way.

Conviction ==> Purpose

5because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.
1 Thessalonians 1:5

Jesus’ life was dominated by his conviction that he was sent to do the Father’s will.  This produced a deep awareness of his life’s purpose and kept him from being distracted by the agenda of others. It was exactly the same with August Rush. When invited to have his Rhapsody played by the NY Philharmonic, all he want to know is whether or not a lot of people will be hearing it: he is convinced that they need to hear it so as to enhance the chances that it will lead him back to his parents. His talents serve his purpose.

Jesus’ convictions become clear through his words: just study all the times he used the phrase “I must.”
I a slowly learning that in developing Christlike convictions a new and deep sense of purpose.

God’s Plan for You or Your Plan or God

It’s one thing to pray and ask God to make you to person He wants you to be, but it is a second thing of  His plan does not seem to make sense or poses foreseeable challenges straight away. Repentance is a challenge in itself but His plan may well go even further. That is where faith comes in I guess. That is the moment where you have to decide on the question of whether or not to follow through and place your faith in Him or to continue with your plan for God? I choose the first what about you?

Lessons from Sacred Spain: How to Bring Faith to Life :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Oratory of Sorrows

Twenty-five years ago, in an interview that Vittorio Messori titled The Ratzinger Report, Cardinal Ratzinger expressed the following sentiments:

“The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb. Better witness is borne to the Lord by the splendor of holiness and art which have arisen in the community of believers than by clever excuses which apologetics has come up with to justify the dark sides which, sadly, are so frequent in the Church’s human history. If the Church is to continue to transform and humanize the world, how can she dispense with beauty in her liturgies, that beauty which is so closely linked with love and with the radiance of the Resurrection? No. Christians must not be too easily satisfied. They must make their Church into a place where beauty—and hence truth—is at home. Without this the world will become the first circle of hell” (p.129-130).

It may seem astonishing for him to have given art equal mention to personal holiness in the evangelization of the world. But art, like holiness, is a dynamic manifestation of the faith, a making real of the love of God in one’s own life.

Beautiful sacred images can certainly be effective in communicating the faith in a compelling and sometimes irresistible way. Many have been drawn to the Church by the beauty of her art; I, for one, came into the Church my final year in college after four years of study in art history. Numerous other cases throughout the history of the Church prove that art can be as powerful in winning over souls as an authentic witness of Christian living.

For many, this power is enhanced by the care an artist takes to portray reality in his figures, in conjuring a figure that seems truly to occupy our own reality.

The Church endorses no single artistic style as the style of Christianity. She does, however, offer guidelines which provide fruitful boundaries for artists working in sacred themes. I’m partial to the Baroque — the dynamism, clarity and emotion in so many Baroque masterpieces succeed in uniting the natural and the supernatural in, well, a natural way. Nonetheless, the answer to the scarcity of sacred art today is not simply to copy a style from the past. The Church is alive and active in every generation. She responds authentically to the shifting needs and concerns of each age. However, a realistic quality in art can have a powerful impact on every generation, especially upon today’s jaded post-Christian society, which dismisses Christianity as superfluous, irrelevant, mere allegory. Christ was and is true God and true man. The saints were and are real men and women. And each of us is also called to live holiness in the reality of our own lives.

Some critics of this tradition of art categorize it as overly dependent on emotion. While emotions alone are not the meat of the spiritual life, they can be formed and directed to help us deepen and animate our response to the God who loves us. The works of art discussed above take advantage of that capacity; they stir our hearts and awaken our senses to God’s action and God’s call in the midst of our everyday reality.

To view more of the Berzosa’s work, visit www.raulberzosa.com.

This resource is provided in collaboration with The Foundation for Sacred Arts.

* Rachel Ross is Curator of The Foundation for Sacred Arts in Washington, D.C.

Read the rest of this article via  Lessons from Sacred Spain: How to Bring Faith to Life :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).