Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Louie Giglio: the Essential Collection, DVD




Giglio highlights God’s wonders, from the furthest reaches in space to the human heart.

Louie Giglio: the Essential Collection, DVD
Publisher: sixsteprecords
Length: 5 DVDs; each over 40 minutes

I want to share it! That is how I feel about Louie Giglio: the Essential Collection, DVD. Giglio’s primary audience may be college-age youth, but this is relevant to most age groups. I want to share this with my mom, a friend and the person who does not know Christ.

Giglio is an excellent communicator, which is one reason I am comfortable recommending this to a wide variety of people. He is passion personified and has the knowledge and experience to make each subject relevant to real life. He is winsome but does not sugar-coat the topics. He acknowledges that inspirational speakers often resolve conflict and tension with a satisfying conclusion. I appreciate his desire to avoid being untrue to the way God works. Perhaps it is a reminder that whatever relief we experience now is only temporary and partial. God does not right every wrong in this life. He is moving toward something that defies imagination, when time shall be no more.

Giglio sees this big picture. He imparts a vision that inspires people to live for God rather than themselves. Those who need a more expansive view of God and what he can do in their lives will be well-served by the encouragement found here.

This is especially true of the talk “Hope: When Life Hurts.” This gets beyond everyday trials. Where do you turn when your life is shaken so badly that you wonder if God is even there? This is a message that one could return to repeatedly when going through life’s worst moments. 

Giglio draws attention to the cross, which is not just for salvation, as important as that is. Much has been said and written about the cross of Christ, but it can still be a challenge to comprehend what it means to the Christian in suffering. Giglio connects the dots in a clear and unforgettable manner.

This third talk is comprised of two complete messages even though it is counted as only one of five talks. Here Giglio tells the story of Ashley, a University of Florida student, who is nearing graduation. Though exposed to Christianity growing-up, Ashley chose the party lifestyle and sided with her atheist father. Giglio tells the story of how her life intersected with his in a way that has impacted people all over the world. He tells it in these two parts and in “Fruitcake and Ice Cream,” the fourth talk in the series.

Giglio is probably best known for the first two talks, which are older, “Indescribable” and “How Great is Our God.” Here Giglio’s love of astronomy helps viewers get a sense of the greatness of God. After seeing this one could say that the word “awesome” should be reserved for God alone. It will be a challenge for anyone to watch this and not come away with a larger view of God.

Passion conferences are known for worship music. I would have liked to have seen performances of the songs from which these early titles come in the form of bonus content, even though they are available in other formats. It would have been like icing on the cake. On the other hand, I recognize that the production on these earlier talks is slightly inferior and that this might have carried over to any music videos. I was more than pleased, however, to see Chris Tomlin leading a special song at the conclusion of “Symphony (I Lift My Hands),” Giglio’s latest talk.  

This is a beautiful ending to a fitting finale. If the first two talks extol the greatness of God, and the next two grace for salvation and suffering, this last message is about our response. It recognizes God’s centrality not just in our lives but in the universe, which in itself amazingly offers ceaseless praise. Giglio provides a taste of it. Since I like surprises, I will say no more so as not to spoil it for viewers.

Again, this is suitable for any age, except for young children, in an individual, group or even church setting. A discussion guide is included. This was my first exposure to Giglio, and I was not disappointed. This inspires hope and noble aspirations.
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