Are you Listening?

Aug 1st 2017

Have you ever felt like todays younger generation is not listening to house rules or family conversations? Do you feel they are distant from you as a parent and what you feel they should be learning? Teens do you feel your parents are out of date in today’s house rules? Are we listening? Are we tuned in to the right frequency? Are we receiving the right message?

To anyone under a certain age the previous line of tuning into the right frequency will seem strange. For those that grew up with a radio it will make sense as with a radio it was important to tune the radio dial to just the right frequency to get a radio station to come in. The same could be said about tuning into God and his message.

In my award winning short film “Tuned In” it opens with a radio being tuned In. In the film I explore the story of a teenage girl named Emma (played by Marley Cabral) who is unable to put her phone down and get tuned in to what her parents are trying to teach her in life. As the film opens she is in her room grounded from all electronic devices, playing with a radio she has found in her closet trying to find something to listen to that is interesting to counteract her boredom and “electronic device withdrawal”. The film is a 13 minute short dramatic film that was released in August 2016 and has been on an amazing run of winning lots of awards and being shown in film festivals around the world for the past year. With more festival submissions and selections going well into 2018. The film has close to 40 awards and has been shown in over 20 festivals as well as lead Actress Marley Cabral having a “best Actress” nomination at the international Christina Film Festival with some of the best actresses in the world who were nominated from their films in the festival. The film it’s self-received an Official Selection from the International Christian Film Festival for its entry in 2017. The message of the film is striking a chord with families and people from all walks of life. A lot of people are raving about the message and how it applies to present day. A number of Churches have held showings of the film and had youth group discussions. Ultimately the story is about us connecting with God and having a relationship with the one that created us.

We need to first and foremost have a relationship with God, but also made sure we had a relationship with others. In Genesis 2:18 God said “it is not good for man to be alone”. So he created woman. This shows that God didn’t just want Adam to have a relationship with Him but also with another. He didn’t want Adam to be alone…. Then He placed them both in the garden but not only did He place them there He also desired a relationship with them. (Genesis 3:8) God dwelt with them in the garden. How personal is that!!!! He wants to be in our lives and in every relationship we have. .. Remember Adam and Eve are also the first family unit. Which shows that God created family relationships. And wants to be with us in our families.

Some would say that is fine and well with Adam and Eve but things are different in today’s world. So the question needs to be asked. Does God still want a relationship with us today? The over whelming answer is YES! Of course a lot has transpired since the garden. Right!!!

But the greatest answer to God wanting to have a relationship with us is sending his Son Jesus who came and died so that the relationship between God and man could be restored as it was in the garden. For those who believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior; we were given someone to help us on our journey of Life. This someone helps us stay connected to the source. In order to get to the source we need to be “Tuned In” to the right frequency…

In the Film Tuned In the father in the film Jamie Rainbird talks to his daughter Emma about tuning in to the right frequency. So what or who is the right frequency the father in the film was talking about? A hint is the One that dwells within us. Has the answer come to you yet? Are some still wondering? The answer is the Holy Spirit.

In John 14: 16-17 it says “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you”. The Holy Spirit is our connection to God our Father through Jesus Christ. The Father communicates to us through the Holy Spirit. When we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, then the Holy Spirit now dwells in us. So to get “Tune In” to the right frequency you need GOD +. JESUS = HOLY SPIRIT. Which in a simpler way can be explained Source + WAY = PROPER FREQUENCY.

So now that we are connected how do we stay connected without dropping or losing the connection? We have many things in our world that can distract and hinder our relationship with the Lord. I am sure each person reading this can relate and think of some that they struggle with or that a member of their family struggle with. In the film the Mother played By Corina Leatherdale gives a detailed account to Emma of the ways we get distracted and cause our connection to be lost. Emma lands herself in trouble because she brings her cell phone to the dinner table which breaks a house rule. Having the phone at the dinner table created a distraction that did not let Emma engage and connect with her family. Her having her nose in her phone effected the relationship with her best friend as well. Especially since the best friend was at a moment where she had some stuff to share about what was going on in her life and Emma’s focus on her phone did not allow her to “tune In” to her best friend. We each suffer the same problem in our relationship with God. Sometimes he is calling us, asking us to come be in his presence. Knocking at the door for us and we don’t answer.

We have many ways we can communicate with God and stay “Tuned In” to listen to what He has to say to us. The first and most important is prayer. All through the bible there are many passages that deal with staying connected with God. Listed below are but a few passages that I encourage you to read and will define why we need to pray to God and stay connected.

John 16: 13= To hear Truth / Receive Revelation
Matthew 7: 7-8=. Ask, seek, knock, and receive
Matthew 26: 41=. Overcome Temptation
Ephesians 1: 7=. To be forgiven of sin
Ephesians 1:17=. Receive wisdom
Philippians 4: 6-7=. Peace in heart & a mind stayed on Christ

There are many other reasons why to pray besides those mentioned above. Searching the internet you can find a great number of reason to pray. Next we communicate with God through His Word. This is us Listening and hearing Him speaking to us through his holy scripture. The bible is a great resource on how we can learn about God. An example is 2 Timothy 3: 16-17. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. This verse shows what the word of God does. All areas of life will fall into one of the categories mentioned in this verse. We can all use help with direction in life.

Another verse is 2 Timothy 2: 15. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”. This verse is talking about studying the word of God in order to know the Truth and not fall for a lie that the world might present to you.

Then in Joshua 1: 8 God reveals the end result for all who meditate on His word. “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”.

Through prayer and reading God’s word we stay connected and hear His voice speaking to us. Through that process we are listening to God and know the correct way to be a Christian and follow the Lord and do his will and works.

For those that are interested in a possible showing or viewing the film check out the links below. You can also find out more information about the film, how it is changing people’s lives and the many awards the film has won.

Internet Movie Database Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5655534/combined
Christian Film Database Link: https://www.christianfilmdatabase.com/review/tuned-in/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/tunedinmovie/
Link to Film on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/tunedin

Matthew R. Marshall