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Posts Tagged ‘Joy’

What We Can Learn From The Flash?

October 8, 2014 4 comments

Last night was the series premier of The Flash.  Being a superhero geek, of course I tuned in.

The origin of the Flash is something that I have been familiar with most of my life.  Barry Allen is a what used to be called a police scientist, but now is a forensic analyst.  During a freak storm caused by an incident at S.T.A.R Labs, he is struck by lightning.  After spending nine months in a coma, Barry wakes to discover that he is now a metahuman with the ability to run at or near the speed of sound.

Mix in the fact that mother was killed when he was eleven and his father was found guilty of the crime. Barry was raised by a police officer and his best friend is the officer’s daughter, Iris West.  If you know your comic lore, you know that Iris West eventually becomes Iris Allen.

In the pilot episode, Barry works with the scientists who indirectly caused him to become the Flash.  He meets the man known in the comics to be the Weather Wizard, who is a member of the Flash’s Rogue’s Gallery.

The question that came to my mind was what we who call ourselves followers of Christ could learn from the character of the Flash?  I think there was one specific thing.

Barry faced all sorts of issues during this initial episode.  There was the loss of his mother.  His father was wrongly accused and rotting in prison.  He was struck by lightning and in a coma for nine months.  The girl he loves is dating another man.  You name it, Barry is running up against it.  However, despite all of this, there is one word that can best describe Barry Allen.

Joy.

Once Barry begins to learn to harness his power, he exhibits joy unlike any he ever had in his life.  He is truly exuberant when running as fast as he can.

This causes me to pause and ask myself if I exhibit joy in my life.  I’m afraid of the answer I will get if I really dwell on this question.

The Flash is one of my favorite shows already.  I look forward to seeing more episodes and seeing the joy grow in Barry Allen’s life.

Did you watch The Flash?  What did you think?

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: , ,

No Grumbling Zone

Today at the campground we will be taking a look at Philippians 2:14-18.  As Paul often does, after talking about theology for a bit, he begins to demonstrate how that should start looking when played out in our lives.

Paul begins this paragraph by writing Do all things without grumbling or disputing.  The all things Paul refers to is everything involved in the previous “work out your own salvation.”  So, yes, Paul means we should go through our lives with our salvation being played out without grumbling or disputing.  Grumbling can be described as simply have emotional reactions to things.  We shouldn’t just have emotional reactions to events that happen in our lives leading to grumbling.

Disputing, on the other hand,  can be described as an intellectual argument.  We have all probably run across those who want to have an argument no matter the subject.

Why, though?  Why would Paul be concerned with grumbling and disputing?  Why should all things be done without them?  So that you can prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.

Paul seems to be saying that grumbling and disputing hurt your testimony.  It causes you to live a life that is not blameless or innocent.  We should be living lives above reproach, different from the world we live in.  Just as Jesus was the light of the world, we, His representatives now, are lights in the world to this world.

Is that is?  Is that the only reason to not grumble and dispute?  Paul goes on to say that we are  hholding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory  because I did not run in vain not toil in vain.  Not only does grumbling and disputing hurt our testimony, but it also affects our spiritual life.  Neither of these draws us closer to the Lord or builds us up spiritually.  They do not help us to hold fast to the word of life.

It also affects our spiritual leaders and mentors.  Paul would not be able to glory in those who grumbled and disputed.  He would feel as thought he had done all of his work in vain if those marked the Philippians lives.

Paul then writes some words that I think few of really can relate to in our lives.  He says But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the service and sacrifice of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

At the time of writing this, Paul is imprisoned.  He is chained to a jailer, under house arrest  for his faith.  His attitude?  It is not one of grumbling and disputing.  His attitude is one of sacrifice and joy.  He is living out the life he is encouraging his readers and us to live.  If anyone had a reason to grumble or argue, it was Paul.  Instead, he looked at himself as a joyful sacrifice.

How does Paul end the paragraph?  You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.  Paul is living a life so confidently in the Lord that he encourages us to live like him.  Rejoice in life no matter the circumstances.  Share that joy rather than grumble and dispute.

To summarize what Paul is saying, we should live lives that reflect joy and rejoicing, rather than grumbling and disputing.  This is a kind of life worth sharing with others.

How To Respond To The Election Results

November 7, 2012 11 comments

As I write this, I have no idea who will win the election.  I know who I want to win.  I know who I hope wins.  And I know what Jon says in this post.

However, no matter what happens, I do know how we should all respond to the election results.

We should love those who we voted for, who we voted against and everyone who supported these candidates.

We should all be joyful that we live in a country that allows us to participate in the process .

We should live in peace with those who hold different views and political opinions than we do.

We should exhibit patience as we pray for the Lord’s will to be done in our country.

We should show goodness to everyone, those we agree with and especially those we do not.

We should be kind to everyone regardless of their political affiliation.

We should remain faithful to the convictions we feel come from the Lord.

We should be gentle with those we interact with on a daily basis.

We should maintain our self-control no matter what situation we find ourselves in.

The fruit of the Spirit should be such a part of our lives that it is exhibited in all areas of our lives.

How do you think we should respond to the election results?

Learning From The High Priestly Prayer, Part 3

Jesus continues to pray for his disciples in  John 17.  This week we tackle verses 13 thru 21.  There are six requests Jesus makes of the Father in these verses.

JOY

Jesus tells the Father that He is praying this prayer so that they will have His joy made full in them.  They are about to face a traumatic time with Christ dying on the cross.  His time with them is growing shorter and shorter.  Their lives are going to change forever.  What does He want for them?  Joy.  His joy.

CHANGE OF STATUS

Jesus declares to the Father that the disciples are not of the world any longer, just like Jesus is not of the world.  He has given them the Father’s word and the world hates them now, just as the world hates Jesus. (By the way, this is the same world that God loves so much that He sent His only begotten Son.)

KEPT FROM THE EVIL ONE

Jesus then asks that they not be taken out of the world, but to be kept out of the power of the evil one.  I imagine that the saying I have heard much of my life, “In the world, not of the world” comes from.  The implication is that the world is run by the evil one.  Jesus is praying that the world will not have any hold over His disciples.

SANCTIFICATION

Jesus then asks the Father to sanctify the disciples.  Sanctify is a delightfully old-fashioned word that most of us don’t use on an everyday basis.  It means to set apart and make holy.  Jesus is asking that the disciples will be made more like Him.  He even tells the Father how it can be done.  How?  Through His word.  He had previously said that the Father’s word had been given to them.  This word had power to make them holy, to set them apart.

EXAMPLE

Jesus then says that He is sending them into the world as He has been sent into the world.  He describes that He has been sanctified for their sakes.  What Jesus is saying is that He is not asking the disciples to do anything that He has not already done and set the example for. 

UNITY

Finally, Jesus once more asks that the disciples be unified just like He and the Father are.  The wonderful thing is that He says that this prayer is not just for these remaining eleven disciples.  It is also for those who believe in Him through their words.  So, this prayer is for all followers of Christ throughout the history of the Church.

How does it make you feel to know that Jesus prayed these things for you 2000 years ago?

Is There Any Christmas In Your Carol?

December 20, 2011 9 comments

How many versions of A Christmas Carol have you seen?

I’ve seen the old black and white version from back from the 30’s.

I’ve seen the one from the 50’s.

I’ve seen the one starring Mr. Magoo.

George C. Scott even started in one in the 80’s.

When I was in college, I went to see Scrooged.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago I saw the new Disney version featuring Jim Carrey’s voice.

This new version may be my favorite that I’ve seen so far.  It was fast paced and, of course, the special effects were great.  However, there was one thing about that I liked best and stood out to me more than any other time.

What A Christmas Carol is really all about is a redemption story.  Scrooge changes at the end.  On Christmas Eve, he is the Bah Humbug Scrooge.  On Christmas Day, he is the New Scrooge.  Or, as the movie implies, the Renewed Scrooge.  There is one thing that marks the change in his life that stands out more to me in this new version than any other I have seen.

Joy.

Scrooge is enthralled with the joy of Christmas after the visits by the three Ghosts on Christmas Eve.

You can see it.  He embraces the joy of Christmas in everything he does that day.

It reminds me that Christmas is about joy.  It reminds me that the ultimate joy that we receive at Christmas, and in life in general, is through Christ.

How about you?

Is your life full of joy this Christmas?

Is your life full of joy?

Is there any Christmas in your carol?