Category: Entertainment


“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker– An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands ‘?”   Isaiah 45:9

Have you ever had God knock you upside the head?

I have.

Embarrassingly, more often than not.  Why does it take me so long to get the message?!

doh!

Recently I have been feeling convicted to spend more time alone in conversation with God.

I’ve felt His gentle nudging through little daily (if not hourly) hints… thumbing through a magazine and running across a prayer quote.  Doing my Bible reading and, no shocker here, seeing a verse about prayer.  Pastor talking from the pulpit on Sunday and mentioning the importance of prayer.  My kids asking a question about praying or, like a good Christian Mom, encouraging and reminding them that they should be praying (y’know the whole “do as I say not as I do” thing).  There have even been songs on the stinkin’ radio!  (Come on now, who sings about praying?!!)

Well, there is that one…

Funny…but that is NOT the kind of praying I’m talking about.

God longs to spend time with me and I desperately need to spend time with Him.  He keeps trying to get my attention, pressing sofly, lovingly, but I shove my big but right in His face; “…but I’m busy looking through this magazine.”  “…but I’m too tired to get up early.”  “…but it’s time to relax, I’m going to watch tv.”  “…but I need to get my workout in.” “…but I’m too sleepy, I’m going to bed.”

BUT! BUT! BUT! BUT! BUT!

It’s only a matter of time until He tires of hearing it and takes more drastic measures.

“There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.”   Proverbs 21:30

The past few months my husband and I have noticed a squeeze on the pocketbook.  That tends to happen this time of year with summer camps for the kids, family camping trips and payments due for next year’s activities, but this year we also have two girls in braces plus the brakes are seriously needing to be changed on the bug…so boy, we have felt some financial pressure.

I’ve found myself not sleeping well at night because of it and heard that little voice lulling me out of my sleep asking me to come talk with Him.  But I wouldn’t come. The pressure continued to build and build our finances getting tighter and tighter, and ignoring the sound of the brakes wasn’t only grating on the rotors but on our nerves.

nervesGod continued to call, begging me to sit a while with Him and unload my burdens, but I continued to ignore Him, trying to figure things out on my own.  We had to do something so we asked our parents for help, which praise God they gladly gave, and we were able to get some bills paid while scheduling to get the car’s brakes fixed the next morning.

That morning as I watched Toddlers & Tiaras and ran on the treadmill, God used the episode to grab hold of my heart.  In this episode, a family with not much money spent  all they had to put their little girl in a pageant.  This lovely little girl did win (whew!!) but her response caught me off guard.  She bawled and when they asked her why she was crying (I’m totally thinking she’s just overwhelmed to have won the title) but through sobs and tears she responded with:

“I won our money back.” 

I lost it right there on the treadmill.

I knew I needed to do more.  This doing it on my own thing wasn’t working…I needed to ask God for help.  I turned the treadmill off, went upstairs and spent time resting in my Father’s lap.  I shared with Him my fears, my unknowns about the future, I thanked Him for His mercy and grace in providing a loan to take care of what we owe and I apologized for running from His call.

When I finished talking to Him, I felt so full, so complete, wondering “why on earth does it take me so long to figure this out?!”

And later, as I drove the bug to the garage, God sent a confirming nudge by playing a song on the radio…

I have heard this song before, several times in fact, but this time it felt as if I wrote the lyrics myself.  It is exactly what I was thinking and feeling…and once again I found myself crying.

I dropped off the bug then got in the van with my husband to take him to work so I could have a vehicle to run some errands.  Our drive was uneventful but as I left his office to pull onto the highway heading home, the van jolted forward engine revving, the ‘check engine soon’ light came on, the speedometer stopped working and I couldn’t go much past 35 miles per hour.

{gulp.}

I laughed out loud when I called my husband to let him know, and to ask for prayer to get us home safely, but it wasn’t much of a surprise that this happened.  It was just more of a reminder that I need to rely FULLY on God and not my own abilities.  It seemed pretty clear that perhaps we should’ve waited on God’s timing; sat in His lap a while, resting in His comfort and protection, waiting to see what He would do.  But instead we acted, He gave us what we thought we wanted and because we didn’t trust Him fully, He forced us to lean on Him.

Now we have one car in the shop and a failing transmission in the other.

Super.

God placed everything in motion and shortly after I got home the garage called with an estimate on the brakes, while a friend came over to look at the van.

And how did God respond when we FINALLY turned to Him for help? It turned out that both cars weren’t as bad as we had expected.  Only the rear brakes needed to be changed on the bug and a couple sensors went bad in the van’s transmission.  All of it could be fixed quite affordably!

Praise Him!!

Did God allow our families to help provide the money we needed?  Of course, they wouldn’t have given it if He didn’t want them to, but would God  have provided for our needs otherwise?  Absolutely.  God wants us to trust Him and His leading.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

“On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? …”   Romans 9:20

Most of you have heard, I’m sure, Angus T. Jones’ recently aired disgust over the show he currently works for: Two and a Half Men.

 

He is quoted saying things like:

“I am on Two and a Half Men, and I don’t want to be.”

“Please stop watching it.  Please stop filling your head with filth.”

I’ve only seen the show a couple times and honestly never saw it all the way through, but I was a Jon Cryer fan (aaaaahhh, Duckie) so I gave it a chance.  The profanity and sexual innuendos were enough to know it wasn’t a show worth my time plus I didn’t like that kid.

Two and a Half Men

The character, Jake, that Angus played was disrespectful, snotty, arrogant and rude and I couldn’t stand watching him.

Several years ago my husband managed an entertainment company here in Madison allowing him close contact with the manager of the same entertainment company in Los Angeles where Angus frequented.  From the stories told about Angus, it confirmed my dislike for the kid.  In real life he treated people the way his character Jake did on the show: he expected everyone to cater to him and him alone.

Granted, I’m sure it didn’t help that this child actor made millions per season and therefore has only known his entire life that he can have whatever he wants.  But still…money shouldn’t have that kind of power over a person.

So when I saw this new found change in Angus, I was skeptical to say the least.  His past actions had satisfactorily proven he was self-centered and proud.

But aren’t we all??

How proud was I before Christ changed me?  Yeeaaahhhh…

I am excited and quite impressed actually, to see that Angus has made such a turn around.  Especially coming from a place of incredible power through fame and money…

“For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”   1 Timothy 6:10

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”   Mark 10:25

love of money

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”   Matthew 6:24

Our family has so often struggled with money, especially since choosing to live for Christ so many years ago.  When Jax and I were first married, we both worked full time jobs, made quite a significant amount of money together and did whatever we pleased.  Although we had both given our hearts to Christ…we acted more like fair weather fans, not true followers (see Kyle Idleman’s book Not a Fan).

I now know why God has not given us excessive amounts of money.  We have proven to be poor stewards of money in the past so when He forced us to rely fully on Him for it, our eyes were opened to what truly is His and allowed us to see Him working clearly in our lives.  Now that is a gift…definitely not fun, but truly a blessing.

 

So the hang up I have with Angus’ recent statements is this; if the show is such “filth” and if he truly “doesn’t want to be on it,” then why is he?

I understand that he signed a contract but I’m guessing he signed it within the last year after his conversion and new found faith.  Even if there is a breech of contract, I’m guessing the $350 thousand he makes per episode and his estimated $15 million net worth (source: Celebrity Net Worth) would probably cover the penalty cost were a breech of contract to take place.

Although should he stay… what a unique witnessing opportunity he has to those on the show as well as those watching!!

I don’t know.  Only time will tell whether Angus truly is a follower of Christ and what his next move is.  I won’t start watching the show but I am now a fan of Angus and pray he continues to make good decisions.  I can only imagine the trials he will be facing in the coming days…

 

See Angus’ testimony:

 

Related posts:
Tithe
I Spy God Ringing my Doorbell
God’s Towing…

Whenever I am asked that question, my answer is always Little Drummer Boy.

 

 

Even as a kid I loved that song, and it always seemed like I was one of the few who chose it.  I even remember people asking me why I liked it so much, and I never really had an answer.  I guess I liked how the songwriter incorporated the pa-rum-pum-pum-pum throughout the song…but otherwise I just didn’t know.

Today I heard the song again, and today God brought out the words;

“…then He smiled at me.”

 Whoa.

That’s it!  That’s exactly why I like it, and yet that’s exactly what I didn’t understand so many years ago…that relationship.

Jesus doesn’t want gifts, He wants our heart.

The little drummer boy literally gave Jesus all he had.  His heart when he played his drum and Jesus accepted it with a smile.

Oh, to have Jesus smile when I meet him face to face as we all will one day.  To hear him say;  

“Well done, good and faithful servant…”   Matthew 25:21 

 

Man, I wish I had a drum.

african drum hands

 

It has been over 20 years since I watched the movie Ghost; starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.  That’s a great movie even now, but it’s interesting how 20 years can change a person.  How, and praise God for it, eyes can be opened.

There were a couple things that stuck out to me in that movie and one of them in-particular got my attention even 20 years ago.

First; there’s a moment in the movie where Oda May, a psychic helping the recently murdered Sam protect his lover who is in danger, has a check  for $4 million dollars; the blood money Sam was killed for.  She has in her hands something that will change her life forever.  She has suffered and stolen most of her life because she has always lived in squalor, but this check, this money will set her up.

All will be better now and Oda May is elated, her mind reeling with all of the things she will be able to do.  But Sam, knowing the murderer will look for the money, tells her she needs to get rid of it and tells her to give it to the church.  It’s in Oda May’s response where I see myself:

 

 

Isn’t it just like Oda May, when God asks us to give back to Him through our tithe and offerings, that we grasp that check, that money we need for bills or food, perhaps a salon visit or new shoes and not want to let go.

We hold on white knuckled, “I deserve that money!” we cry.

“I earned that money!” We declare, while clenching our teeth and digging in our heels.

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know my view of tithing and the results of following that command.  (See my post on tithe.)

“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”   2 Corinthians 9:7

But so many enter the throne room and place an offering in the plate to save face; showing others how generous they are, or out of duty; to make sure they get it checked off their “hafta’ do” list.  I even remember agreeing with that common belief when Sam says to Oda May:

“Just think of it this way; you’ll go to heaven.”

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”   Ephesians 2:8-9

Interesting.

But the part that stuck with me all of these 20 years is the interpretation of death presented in the movie.  No, people don’t hang out on this earth waiting for their eternity to be decided or seek revenge upon people that wronged them while they were alive.  The Bible is clear about that.

“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;'”   Matthew 25:32-34,41

It’s the view of how the bad guys get caught up in death that stuck with me.

 

 

It’s a dark and scary interpretation that might very well be accurate.  Death and eternity will be a very scary place for a person who doesn’t know Christ and the Bible reveals the truth of that.

“and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”   Matthew 13:50

 

Related posts/articles:
Tithe
Are you a sheep or goat?
What does the Bible say about Purgatory?   (http://carm.org/)
Question: What does the Bible say about purgatory?   (http://www.gotquestions.org/)
What Will Hell be Like?   (http://www.godandscience.org/)

Job tells us how far he has sunk; essentially from above royalty…

“When I went out to the gate of the city… The princes stopped talking And put their hands on their mouths”   Job 29:7, 9

to how he is treated now, the lowest of humankind.

“Fools… were scourged from the land. And now I have become their taunt, I have even become a byword to them. They abhor me and stand aloof from me, And they do not refrain from spitting at my face.”   Job 30:8-10

He begins in chapter 30 and continues in chapter 31, like so many of us, to question God.

Where are you?
Why are you putting me through this?
What have I done?

I get that; the dejection, the loneliness, the agony and despair.  It is so difficult for us to see God’s plan especially in the middle of our struggle.

The other night on Survivor (Season 25 Episode 4), one of the contestants, Russell, displayed Job’s feelings perfectly when his tribe lost the immunity challenge for the fourth straight time.  With each loss, a team member must be voted off and what started out as a tribe of six will be now become, after this loss and tribal council vote, a tribe of two.

Russell loses it.  He smashes a pot ranting and raving;  “Lord I don’t get it!  You gave me another opportunity.  I don’t get what’s happening, Father.  You gotta’ help me understand this.”

He has had it, he’s at point break.  He feels he has done everything God has asked of him; placed his faith in Him, lives his life for Him, does everything to the best of his ability and yet he’s still being punished.

The desperation Russell is feeling echoes Job exactly.  Job lived a blameless life, now he’s human and certainly not perfect, but he has made good choices so why is God punishing him?

“Show me where I have sinned so I can change it,” he says.  “If I did wrong, then punishment is justified,” he admits.  The whole theme of chapter 31 is:

I don’t deserve this!!

I beg to differ.

We are frail, terribly imperfect and sinful creatures, who in every turn naturally choose what’s best for ourselves, and yet God still works through us.

“You owe me nothing, I deserve hell.  You owe me nothing but You’ve given me mercy.”
~Misty Edwards

Are you lifting up desperate pleas?
Are you questioning God and His plan for your life?

We don’t deserve Him or an eternity with Him but He offers it to us anyway.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”   Romans 5:8

Don’t wait another day.  See for yourself what real love looks like.

 

 

Related posts:
You Deserve Hell -jennypowell.org

Keeping Momentum -HopeRainsGrace Blog

I need a new… [Job 1-2]
with friends like these… [Job 4-25 reflections]
Are Job’s Friends All That Bad? [Job 1-2]
Are you a drama queen? [Job 3]
Shut don’t go up… [Job 7]
The beauty of a collector [Job 9]
You know what happens when you ASS-U-ME [Job 1-9 reflections]
Liar, liar, pants on fire! [Job 11]
Look around! [Job 12-13]
Put up your dukes! [Job 15]
Sticks and stones… [Job 18]
I pity the fool… [Job 20-21]
I am with you always. [Job 23-24]
Show Some Compassion! [Job 25-28]
Woe is me! [Job 29]

I am so glad I have boys.

Boys love to show how strong, fast and brave they are.  They want to protect the world, rescue the damsel and save the day.  Their heart’s desire is to be the hero and I tell you, a girl and the world wouldn’t mind being rescued now and then.

But because I have these boys in my life and am also married to one, I have been forced to become very familiar with all the great superheroes and villains; their powers, their weaknesses, their costumes and their movies.

I have now seen The Avengers movie more than once and I tell you, it is an absolutely outstanding movie and one I will watch over and over and over again.

The Avengers is a superhero action movie featuring Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America, who incidentally have movies of their own, but you don’t necessarily have to know about these characters before you see this movie…although I’m sure you’ll want to after you do.

But what I love so much about not only this movie, but superheroes in general, is how God’s character is revealed through them.  The feelings we get and how we respond to watching these superheroes is exactly how we should feel about our amazing, wonderful, strong and powerful God and how He should be seen.

Let’s start with THOR  as Wikipedia describes him: In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility.

Clearly resemblant of our creator…

“When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings out the wind from His storehouses.”   Jeremiah 10:13

“He covers His hands with the lightning, And commands it to strike the mark.”   Job 36:32

“Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning. It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, That it may do whatever He commands it On the face of the inhabited earth.”   Job 37:11-12

And then there’s IRON MAN  as Wikipedia describes him: Iron Man possesses powered armor that gives him superhuman strength and durability, flight, and an array of weapons. The armor is invented and worn by Stark. Iron Man’s standard offensive weapons have always been the repulsor rays that are fired from the palms of his gauntlets.

Like Iron Man, God offers strength, power and unique protection and also possesses a trait portrayed best by Stark; God wants our eyes focused only upon Him…

“Ascribe strength to God; His majesty is over Israel And His strength is in the skies.”   Psalm 68:34

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”   Ephesians 6:11

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”   Deuteronomy 6:5

“I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.”   Proverbs 8:17

“for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”   Exodus 34:14

Wikipedia describes the HULK as a gigantic, green, irradiated, mutated humanoid monster with incredible strength and an inability to control his rage. The Hulk is sometimes characterized as hyper-aggressive and brutal, other times as cunning, brilliant, and scheming. The Hulk possesses the potential for limitless physical strength depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger and is resistant to most forms of injury or damage.

Although the Hulk is typically cast as an anti-hero, our God portrays similar attributes; angry and wrathful, although rightly deserved…

“A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; The LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies.”   Nahum 1:2

“for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.”   Deuteronomy 6:15

“that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”   Joshua 4:24

And I just love the way he takes care of a false god in the movie and the only two words he utters…

 

 

Saving the best for last… my favorite, CAPTAIN AMERICA. As described by Wikipedia, Captain America has no superhuman powers, although as a result of the Super-Soldier Serum and “Vita-Ray” treatment, he is transformed from a frail young man into a “perfect” specimen of human development and conditioning. Captain America’s strength, endurance, agility, speed, reflexes, durability, and healing are at the zenith of natural human potential. Rogers’ body regularly replenishes the super-soldier serum; it does not wear off.

Not only is Captain America a beautiful picture of the power and strength God fills us with, the captain is the epitome of all America and humankind holds dear; truth, humility, justice, strength, love and hope and is the best portrayal of God’s true character.

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”   Psalm 18:2

“… God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”   Psalm 46:1

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.”   Psalm 89:14

There is even one scene where the Black Widow is explaining to Captain America who Thor and Loki are, saying “they’re basically gods”  and it was in Captain America’s response that had me cheering…

 

 

I serve an amazing God.  The sacrifice He made for me is astounding, the love he has for me is astoning, and the fact that He made me and wants to use me is mind-boggling.

My God surely is an Avenger.

Plugged In movie review

I was watching Alladin with the kids the other day and what surprised me, besides the fact that I knew all the words, and not just the ones in the songs…  seriously, I’m a geek.  I knew more words, in fact, than my children did.  I could practically recite the whole movie!  But what hit me was how that movie paints a beautifully accurate picture of King Solomon.

King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived.  When God appeared to the newly appointed king asking what he wanted, Solomon didn’t ask for fame, riches, for his enemies to be wiped out or to live forever.  Instead, he asked for wisdom.

“Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”   1 Kings 3:9

And because Solomon was not selfish, because he loved the Lord and wanted to do right by Him, the Lord was pleased and not only gave Solomon what he asked, but blessed him abundantly as well.

“I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days.”   1 Kings 3:13

I recently did a study on the Queen of Sheba.  Her story is found in 1 Kings 10.  The queen had heard marvelous stories of Solomon; the wisdom God bestowed, the temple and kingdom he built, as well as his riches and fame and wanted to test and see for herself if what she had heard was indeed true.

She was blown away.

Not only by Solomon’s wisdom; for she I’m sure was armed with difficult riddle-like questions to test him with and he effortlessly explained and answered each one, but she witnessed personally the prosperity and happiness oozing from his kingdom and people.

[Cue: Alladin]

I can only guess that you don’t have the extensive library of Disney lyrics dancing randomly in your head as I do.  Which is tragic, I will pray for you.  So to be of service I will list some of the lyrics from the Prince Ali song so you can see where I’m going:

Prince Ali:

He’s got seventy-five golden camels
Purple peacocks
He’s got fifty-three
When it comes to exotic-type mammals
Has he got a zoo?
I’m telling you, it’s a world-class menagerie

Like Ali, Solomon had countless and unique animals;

“…apes, and peacocks …horses, and mules …[and even more] horses imported from Egypt” 1 Kings 10:22, 25, 28

Prince Ali! Handsome is he, Ali Ababwa
That physique! How can I speak
Weak at the knee
Well, get on out in that square
Adjust your veil and prepare
To gawk and gravel and stare at Prince Ali!

Knowing his father David, Solomon had to have been quite hansom and like Ali, he certainly had a way with the ladies;

“King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women”   1 Kings 11:1

He’s got ninety-five white Persian monkeys
And to view them he charges no fee
He’s got slaves, he’s got servants and flunkies
They bow to his whim love serving him
They’re just lousy with loyalty to Ali! Prince Ali!

Solomon, like Ali, had wealth beyond measure and loyal, well treated subjects and servants;

“Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, besides that which came from the explorers … merchants … kings of the west and … governors of the land … trading ships used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory … All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold… Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and gold, garments, myrrh, spices …chariots and horsemen …silver as common in Jerusalem as stone”   1 Kings 10:14-15, 21-22, 25-27

“Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!”   1 Kings 10:8

With sixty elephants, llamas galore
With his bears and lions
A brass band and more
With his forty fakirs, his cooks, his bakers
His birds that warble on key
Make way for prince Ali!

A wonderful picture of a prince turned king!

“Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.”   1 Kings 10:23

What I like most of King Solomon’s story is the impact he had for God’s kingdom.  The Queen of Sheba was surely no follower of the God of Israel, as Solomon was.  Sheba was a pagan nation, and she the wealthy ruler of it.  She had the world at her fingertips, anything she wanted at the snap of her fingers, but what she wanted most was to experience this God whom she heard stories about.  To see for herself the wisdom He bestowed upon Solomon.

She was willing to travel thousands of difficult and dangerous miles to experience it, and when she did there was no question; this God was real, He was powerful, and she wanted to be part of it.

“Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.”   1 Kings 10:9

Do people see God through you?

Are they drawn to Him because of the things He is doing in your life?

Live your life in such a way that people take notice.  Show them you are different because of the God living inside you.  Share the amazing love, incredible goodness and many facets of God.

He is alive and doing amazing things.  Make Him famous!!

When I was about ten years old I was a girl scout (and I find it a bit disturbing that the exact girl scout uniform I used to wear -above- I found the image on the Smithsonian legacies site.)  I should’ve just gone downstairs and taken a picture of my old uniform!

Anyway, that’s not the point although I kind of dig the fact that I have waaaay more patches on my sash.  🙂

We used to go camping as a troop and one time we stencil painted our names and an adjective to describe us on a pillow case.  The catch was the adjective had to start with the first letter of our name.

Great.  There were only 3 words I could think of for N;  Nice, Naughty & Nutty.  (I know, there are far cooler N adjectives… give me a break I was ten.)

We went around the circle telling everyone our adjective…

Cute Christy

Sweet Shannon

Adorable Angie

Jumping Jena

Oh they had such cute names, I was totally going with Nutty Nicole.  It was fun and would make people laugh…oh yes, that was the one.

As we went around the circle, it stopped at the other Nicole in the group who was just as inventive on N adjectives as I was.  “Nutty Nicole” she said.

I about had a heart attack.  I was certainly not going with naughty, and nice was just lame!  The circle rounded  its final turn and I was last to go, and I said…

It is so funny the silly regrets we have in life. The little things we wish we could change… and I can assure you no one else even remembers the adjective I chose back then, but I do not still have and never did use that pillow case!

Do I wish I would’ve gone with another word?  Absolutely!  Any other; neat, nifty, noble, notorious, even noisy would’ve been good, but what I find so interesting is how desperately I did not want to be associated with the word:

           

We are born with an innate sense of right and wrong since the fall of mankind.  God didn’t want us to have to choose between right and wrong.  He had one rule…

“…You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”   Genesis 2:16-17

We are made in the image of our Creator who cannot do wrong, but since that fateful choice to eat from the tree, all the generations since have possessed that choice… and so we struggle.

“…Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil…”   Genesis 3:22

Thankfully as Christ followers we have help…

“… he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”   John 14:16-17

Although we all will fail at some point after giving our lives to Christ by making a wrong choice, I have frequently found myself labeled and placed in the “naughty” category, often by other Christians, because of the songs I listen to, the jokes I laugh at, the movies I see.

One of my favorite songs is “Fly Away” by FFH;

This song speaks to my heart.  I love it’s sound, it’s beat and especially it’s message.  I sang this song as a special one Sunday a long time ago at a church we used to attend,

and got in trouble for it.

At that same church I lead the youth program, AWANA, and used some Go Fish songs to teach the the kids;

it was frowned upon.

The God I serve is an exciting, colorful, and fun-loving God and I have been taught that the way I see Him and life is wrong.  Thankfully He brought us to the church we now call home, where I am surrounded by other people who enjoy life, a good laugh and a strong beat.  They are just as crazy as me in thinking God is alive and energetic and wonderful.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”   Zephaniah 3:17

“…as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”   Isaiah 62:5

Our five senses point to His creativity and enjoyment.

Why do we have taste buds?

Why does our skin long for touch?

Why does He create things of beauty for us to gaze upon?

Why do we prefer certain sounds?

Why can we be satisfied by a scent?

And why then did He create laughter?

Of course we must have a healthy fear of the One who created us.  He has rules we are expected to follow and we are to glorify Him through our actions and our lives, but to say He doesn’t want us to fully enjoy Him and this world He created specifically for us, is silly.

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”   1 Timothy 6:17

Find out for yourself how great God is.  He wants you to live life, love life, and love Him.

 

Isn’t it fun when you watch a movie and God whispers some spiritual truth to the ears of your heart?!

It is so cool to witness God’s truths and promises from scripture especially when it reveals itself in a movie, and it happens every time I watch the 2006 Warner Bros. Pictures movie: 300.

300?!!

Yes, 300.  I absolutely love that movie.

It’s not only because Mr. Gerard Butler is an amazing specimen of God’s wonderful creation, including Lena Headey and so many of the abs, I mean actors, who play a part in that movie…

I can’t help but lose my breath as I watch it and see all of the instances it points to history books and scripture, all the while painting a beautiful picture of how both Christ and the evil one sees us!

300 is a controversial and totally inappropriate movie for anyone who’s, y’know pretty much not married, but I tell you I LOVE that movie!!

First off it floors me every time, that this stand Leonidas and the 300 Spartans took against the mighty Persian army is true. You can read all about the Battle of Thermopylae in history books and archives. Unbelieveable!

Secondly, I stare in awe at the (probably not terribly accurate, but still artistically interesting) portrayal of King Xerxes. The very king that the stories talk about from the Bible; the son of King Darius who takes over the Persian Empire after Darius’ death and the very king Esther marries…

“In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius…”   Zechariah 1:1a

“Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces,”   Esther 1:1

“And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, …the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen …”   Esther 2:16-17

Granted, Xerxes is the Greek name for Ahasuerus, and he does not marry Esther until approximately the year following the battle, but still I find it fascinating and it puts the movie in a whole new light.

Third, there is a moment in the movie when the Spartans arrive at the “Hot Gates,” the exact location they plan to overthrow the Persian army. As they arrive and stand on a high cliff overlooking a sea filled with Persian ships, a powerful storm ensues and the raging sea tramples upon and swallows those mighty ships. The Spartans celebrate the “glorious rain” and rejoice in the power they are witnessing.

I can only reflect on that exact power our Creator holds and yields at His whim. How He can and does use the weather to do His bidding and to show His power…

“the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire.”   Isaiah 29:6

“There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences…”   Luke 21:11a

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,”   Luke 21:25

Fourth, the way the movie portrays fleshly desires is impeccable. There’s a scene where King Xerxes lures the derelict Ephialtes to submit to him by offering every kind of fleshly desire imaginable. He seduces Ephialtes not only with his words by promising him the wealth, pleasure, and honor he craves but also immerses Ephialtes within the temptation itself; Xerxes allows Ephialtes to be seduced by his own eyes…

“Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.”   Proverbs 27:20

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”   James 1:14-15

Xerxes promises that if Ephialtes abandons his country and shows the Persians how to defeat the Spartans, his “joys will be endless. Everything you could possibly desire… every happiness you can imagine… every pleasure your fellow Greeks and false gods have denied you… I will grant you, for I am kind.”

“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”   1 John 2:16

Oh, how we are like Ephialtes! So often we feel rejected by this world and when the evil one whispers his tantalizing, empty promises, we are eager to listen…

Lust of the eyes;

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…”   Genesis 3:6

“and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.”   Genesis 4:4-5

“… the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’”   Matthew 4:8-9

Lust of the flesh;

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food , and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…”   Genesis 3:6

“It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.”   2 Samuel 11:2, 4a

“After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’”   Matthew 4:2-3

The pride of life;

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…”   Genesis 3:6

“Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.”   Ezekiel 28:17

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ’If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down.’”   Matthew 4:5-6

“Yes! I want it all!” Ephialtes screams as he falls to his knees in devotion to the god-King Xerxes. How many times have we said those exact words and knelt to the wrong king?

And finally, there is a moment in the movie where Leonidas meets Xerxes face to face. Xerxes cautions Leonidas of the power and destruction he can ensue, and advises Leonidas to surrender and bow to him.

Xerxes warns; “Imagine what fate awaits my enemies when I would gladly kill any of my own men for victory.”

But it’s in Leonidas’ response where I see the clearest picture of my Lord and Savior;

“And I would die for any one of mine.”

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”   John 10:11

I have spent a weekend, this past weekend, being held in the bosom of our Lord.

I have just spent 48 hours in the embrace of the Almighty.

I have been called to lay back in the quietness of Jesus, the exuberance of the Spirit, and the peace of the Father.

I have been whispered to, smacked upside the head, wrapped tightly, nudged forward, and mightily covered.

“And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him.”   Mark 9:15

I was surrounded by women this weekend, at the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Speakers and Writers Conference, who ran along side me to greet Jesus.  He showed up mightily and revealed Himself colorfully.  We sat together within His embrace and under His teaching through amazing women; Luann Prater, Lysa TerKeurst, Renee Swope, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Whitney Capps.

We were filled to overflowing by hearing His words and His promises, then our Lord, who just loves to surprise and thrill us; plopped these like-minded, gorgeous-faced, Jesus-loving, God-fearing women with stunningly beautiful hearts and amazing stories to tell, smack dab in our laps.

These women, these truly separated-at-birth sisters have inspired me, laughed with me, comforted me, celebrated with me, encouraged me, cried with me… I am absolutely in awe, and I praise Him for how He brings lives together and weaves hearts.

Please, if you get a chance, visit these blogs of my new and dear sisters:

Kelly Pankratz

Nicole Ray

Lara Sadowski

Britta Lafont

Michelle Axton Kelly

Mary Beth Hall 

Elizabeth Suess

Melinda Gray

Alyson Brewer

Amy Alves

Misti Spacek

Dawn Mast

I am so thankful to my God.  The One who laid down His life for my own.  The One who orchestrates all things and reveals them in His timing.  The only One worthy of our praise, and oh He is so worthy.

Teach Them

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Marilyn Horton

"The Most Optimistic Woman in the World"

His Holy Temple

2 Corinthians 5:17b "The old has gone, the new is here!"

Damn girl, that's a lot of fattitude

Healthy lifestyler and certified nutjob

Never2late4's Blog

Adventures in procrastination

likeafighterpilot

Working on the Mind, Body, and Spirit

DREADmill Diaries

Because I don't love running but am determined to get these 20 pounds off!

Running With'em

Another boring running blog

Women Writers of the Triad

community | craft | excellence

See Jain Run

striving for non-violence while trit-trotting through the mainstream

voxifit

The Voice of Fitness Blog

If there is any magic in this world...

The world can be amazing when you are slightly … strange!

run4365

A place to record my goal of running every day for a year

Ugly Grace

Because sometimes, God's grace in our lives, starts first with an ugly story.

Godly Quotes

for the christian life

Rome Wasn't Built by a Day

Providing unsolicited two-sense and witty commentary since 2012

Michael Wilson's Blog

All things are possible with God

%d bloggers like this: