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The following post comes courtesy of Grace Hill Media in sunny Southern California. As the genre, and responsible parenting/consumption of media are near to my heart, it was a no-brainer to feature their byline here.

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Lessons For Christians From Horror Movies

The popularity of horror films continue to grow, especially among teens and young adults, who flock to movie theaters on opening weekend.  This Friday, August 11, for example, the movie “Annabelle: Creation,” about a possessed doll hits theaters nationwide.  It seems difficult to believe that any movie created to frighten and give us nightmares might have a meaningful spiritual lesson for Christians.  And yet, anyone who has been brave enough to watch “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” written by Scott Derrickson, a Christian filmmaker, knows full well that horror movies can serve us with cautionary messages and, might just inspire the audience to head to their nearest church pew.
To be clear, not all horror films are the same. The genre has different versions.  
There’s no takeaway from “slasher” or disturbing “torture” movies meant to provide nothing but shock.  However, there are horror movies that depict spiritual warfare (which we know to be real) and the battle between good and evil. These supernatural films, oftentimes written and produced by Christians and based on real-life events, are filled with lessons about something we as people of faith have stopped discussing in an increasingly distracted secular world – that evil is real.

Here are a few other lessons from supernatural horror films:
1) Exorcisms are also real.  Although incredibly rare, people can get possessed by evil.  “The Exorcist” is based on a real-life possession of a young boy, and “Annabelle: Creation” is about a possessed girl.  

2) God will always defeat evil. No matter how powerful the enemy may be, God will always come out on top.  In the Bible, one of the most powerful miracles that Jesus performed was The Miracle of the Gadarene Swine in which Jesus cast unclean spirits out of a man.  In real-life and in all supernatural films that have a faith message including “The Conjuring” and “The Rite,” evil will always be vanquished.

3) Ouija Boards are a big no.  Perhaps one of the strongest and most valuable lessons to come from supernatural horror movies (which just as true in real life) is that those who become plagued or possessed by evil may have inadvertently invited those spirits or demon to come into their lives.  This is done through certain “gateways” that many priests and Christian leaders warn us about.  Christians, especially Christian parents must teach kids and teens to stay away from Ouija boards, tarot cards, fortune telling, or any sort divination.  These are all means in which evil can take hold of our lives.  In the second “Conjuring” movie the character becomes possessed after playing with a Ouija board.  This was based on a true person and event.
 
4) Prayer is the most powerful thing in the world.  Prayers protect and deliver us from evil.  In horror movies, those who are plagued by evil must often turn to a person of great faith or priest to help them.  That Christian leader is always portrayed as someone who believes prayer to be of utmost importance and is shown onscreen praying to God throughout the film.

5) Faith is the most important thing in the world.  Believing in God and being baptized in the Christian community protects and strengthens us.  It is a natural defense again evil.  In times of weakness, we must lean on our faith and turn to God.  The upcoming movie, “Annabelle: Creation,” is a cautionary tale that depicts what happens when one turns away from God and succumbs to temptation during a period of grief and weakness as opposed to leaning on God for grace and healing.  

All movies, including horror movies tell stories.  In the last century, before we had television and films, parents told stories and tales that were meant to alarm and even frighten children and youth from a certain place or course of action.

Now these stories, meant to be lessons, are brought to life onscreen, complete with sound effects and make-up.  They are terrifying and they should be – evil is something to stay away from.  But for Christians, there is a stronger message, one that should always comfort and strengthen us – that we have a savior and that he will always come to protect and fight for those of us in need.
 

I have the privilege today of guest posting at that the Daily Gallen, the blog, and brainchild, of my friend, Tim Gallen. This month, he has turned his site into a digital playground, and is hosting all manner of different creative expressions from bloggers, writers, artists, photographers, etc.

Think of it as a creative magazine in blog form.

My contribution is less post, and more conversation, as I attempt to engage in dialogue with the online A.I. entity known as Cleverbot. (I’ll leave it to you to decide just how clever this ‘bot is).

Here is a taste:

“User: Hello, Cleverbot, how are you?

Cleverbot: I’m alright, I guess… Why are you sad?

User: Glad to hear you’re alright. No, I’m not sad. Are you?

Cleverbot: Are you?

User: Am I what?

Cleverbot: My wife.

User: No, I’m a happily married man of 22 years. I’m definitely not your wife! I didn’t even know robots could marry? Is that legal where you live?”

To read the rest, please click over to the Daily Gallen.

Today’s hilarious guest post comes from my friend, Larry Carter. You know–John (“of Mars”) Carter’s funny brother. <--Don't actually know if he has a brother named John. Anyway, Larry is loved by multitudes, is a husband, and father, and claims this is the most ridiculous thing he's ever written. Take it away, Larry: I have a lot of conversations with myself. A lot of them end with bacon. For example: “T.G.I.F.” <--This is either a restaurant, or it: “Sounds like the intro to a Katy Perry song.” [What? You mean like "E.T.," (pronounced "et") right? "Heart attack victim, fill me with some bacon"] And... You listen to Katy Perry? I thought you were a Christian? Uh, I did when she was Katy Hudson. “I wonder how Katy Perry made the transition from Katy Hudson, Christian singer, and morphed into Katy Perry, girl-kissing, pop-singing wife of Russell Brand?” [My guess? Not enough fatty, protein-rich bacon in her diet] Isn't that what happened to Amy Grant? No, she married Vince Gil--not Russell Brand. “No, I mean Amy Grant sang Christian music and crossed over to pop.” Oh, yeah, "Baby, Baby," right? “Yeah, but she had that song with Peter Cetera.” “All I Need To Know.” No, that was Aaron Nevill and Linda Ronstadt. Stay on task with me, please. Amy and Peter had "Next Time I Fall In Love." [Ed. note: Amy did sing "House of Love" with Vince Gill--while still married to Gary. We know how that turned out. Also, the next time I fall in love, it will be with bacon!] Peter Cetera was in Chicago, right? 25 or 6 to 4!!!! “I thought Richard Gere was in Chicago.” That was a musical, not the pop group. “Richard Gere was also in "Pretty Woman" with Julia Roberts.” I thought he was in "An Officer and A Gentleman" with Debra Winger? He was, but you're getting off task again. Stick with me. He was in "Pretty Woman" with Julia Roberts. Julia Roberts was also in "Mystic Pizza," right? "Yeah, but not what I'm looking for---though I'll bet her pizzas had bacon on them." Ok, Alex, give me another Julia Roberts movie, please, for 1000. Erin Brockovich? [Best line in that film? "They're called boobs, Ed."] Ocean's Eleven? No. Try again. “Oh yeah. Julia Roberts was in "Flatliners" with Kiefer Sutherland.” Yes!!! But guess who else was in that movie? No!!! Not him. Really? Yes, no denying it. Kevin Bacon? Yep. “Kevin Bacon makes me think of bacon.” [Which makes me think of the recently remade "Footloose. Did Kevin get cameo? No? If it tanks at the box office, we know why: Decided lack of Bacon] “Since it’s Friday, I’ll stop at T.G.I Friday's on the way home from work to get a BLT. Hope Jan doesn't notice I'm not hungry." “Sounds like a plan.” And that, my friends, is how all roads lead to bacon. And bacon makes me happy. How many steps does it take you to get to bacon?

Larry Carter lives in “Dunn Holler,” somewhere outside of Knoxville, TN. He blogs most days at Deuceology, and can be followed on Twitter @LarryTheDeuce. Roll tide, Larry, roll tide! 😉

Good morning! Today I have the privilege of guest posting for Leanne Shirtliffe as a part of her “Whiteboard Wednesday” series.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m a dad. Have been for a little over thirteen years now. Indeed, I was in my twenties when my parenting odyssey began, and it wasn’t until I was thirty seven that God decided to throw my wife and I a curveball. Or drop a surprise bomb (in the form of a little girl) in our laps.

Whatever.”

To read the rest of Daughters, Bad Breath, & Losing It, please head over to her site.

Thanks, Leanne, for the privilege and opportunity to post for you!

As a bonus for those of you who stopped by here today, here’s the postscript that didn’t show up on Leanne’s blog:

“As if showering is somehow a cure for halitosis? (Side note: isn’t there one of those in Canada? Oh. Never mind: that’s Halifax, Nova Scotia).

Thus, I’m forced to conclude that I’ve lost my mind. Can you help me find it? The one I used to have worked pretty well…”

(Imagine it coming after the picture).

You read that right. For some reason, Tamara (of TamaraOutloud ) picked me to guest post for her today. Being that we’ve already established how I feel about her (hint: I “hate” her), I was surprised.

No, that’s not true at all. She put out a call for guest posts this past summer, and I was fortunate to have one that was deemed worthy of posting. I can tell you this: she is a pretty ruthless editor–but I survived. 😉

So, without further ado, allow me to direct you over to TamaraOutloud so that you can read about a game of “Words With A Friend”.

Thanks for having me, Tamara!