Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Forgotten God DVD Review

In late march I was contacted by a person from David C. Cook Publishers who had read my blog post about the Francis Chan book, Forgotten God. They had recently created a DVD resource that is meant to act as a video supplement to the content of the book, and they wanted me to review it.

Of course I was thoroughly excited about the opportunity, and I immediately shared the opportunity with two small groups in which I was participating at the time. Shortly after sharing the possibility of reviewing this DVD together, I had a pretty long season of travel (I was only home three days during April). By the time I had returned, both groups were wrapping up for the summer, and I no longer had a group with which to experience the DVD.

While in my conundrum, I had almost arrived at a paralysis because I really valued the group’s input to the review. But sometimes we don’t get to do things in the way we want. So I sat down, and watched the video alone in my room. I had watched the first session with a group, so I can speak share the impact of the first session on our discussion, but for the rest of the DVD my remarks will be restricted to a more personal review.

Here’s the deal. This video, much like the book, will challenge and inspire the viewer. As I watched the first session with a group, I had to compose myself when the first 10 minute segment had finished. I was in tears. I was in tears because of the power of the truth that was being shared on a screen in front of me. The question being asked was dealing with our desire to hear from God and to do what He wants us to do. It doesn’t take much observation to see brokenness and hurting in our world. What takes effort is for us to walk headlong into the hurts to care and to serve. That’s the kind of place where God wants us to be, and deep down, we know that this is the place where we will find our greatest joy because our life will be poured out for the good of others and the beauty of our world. And yet, we wrestle with this divine call of God, and cling to things that aren’t satisfying, that aren’t enabling us to allow the power of God to be made manifest in me most robustly.

One of the great questions for our generation, and one of the great questions of the video is this. Are we willing to risk everything to be obedient to God? Nobody will ever fault us for doing good things that aren’t risky, but it takes real guts sometimes to listen to what God is speaking to you and DO it, regardless of the cost.

I hope that many will watch this video together with friends, and that God will use this resource to challenge and inspire groups of people to challenge and inspire one another to live lives of radical obedience to Christ, and to run boldly, listening to the Spirit of the living God as He directs and goes before us.

Even if you never watch this DVD or read this book, please take time to think about living a different kind of life. God loves us deeply, and he is our strong support, our encouragement, and our rock. What would your friends, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, and family think if they saw you living differently? What do you think is stopping you from letting go of the American Dream to grab hold of God’s great dream for you?

The subtitle of Chan’s book is “Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit.” God wants to do work in you for the good of others, and ultimately for His glory. Maybe a starting point for each of us is to ask Him to supernaturally empower us to be able to love Him and love others.


Baci said...

Billy, you're absolutely right. I have felt this way for a long time. What I can't figure out is how to balance this with a responsibility for my family, which is pretty much taking up all of my resources in terms of money, time and energy. Of course, this leads to a certain amount of frustration and - you're absolutely right - taking refuge in life's little comforts... I don't want to make excuses for myself - I just don't know how to do it...

Anyway: keep up the good work, you're definitely on the right track!

Your friend: Laszlo

chanchanchepon said...


My friend, thank you for your comment. I can totally empathize with where you are.

I think the challenge is for us as individuals and as families to seek to listen continually to what God has directed us.

I think you are on the right track as well brother. It's just hard to fight against the little nuances of our own desires competing against those of God.

You are a huge encouragement to me brother!

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ohio12 said...

glad to see a great review of this. we are thinking of useing it in our small group. can you PLEASE help me though!!! i can't find anywhere how long the sessions are. i see that there are 7 sessions, but i need to know how long each session is to know if it will work for our group. thanks so much.

chanchanchepon said...

Hey Ohio12,

You were wondering about the length of the episodes. I think they all run between 7 and 11 minutes. The purpose of the video segments is to provide content for discussion in your small group so I think they minimized the length of the videos to maximize your ability to discuss.

This would be a great video for a small group for sure! Will you please let me know how your groups go?

ohio12 said...

Thanks for answering my question. If we do the video series, I will try to report back!