Category: Provision


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…

Well, glory!!  I have made it all the way through Job to chapter 42 and as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I have read through the entire book of Job several times, but this time…this time when I started this (what…sadly started over 3 months ago with this post) study of Job, this time I got help.

Before, I only read Job because it was part of the Bible.  I had to read through it to check off my read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year box or the read-the-entire-Bible-because-you’re-a-Christian-and-what-you’re-supposed-to-do box.  But this time I felt God tugging at me to actually read it.  To figure out what it had to say and so I asked Him to help me.  And y’know what?

He did!!

Why does it always shock me when He works like that?!!

“Hear, you deaf! And look, you blind, that you may see.”   Isaiah 42:18

I guess what shocked me as I went through Job is how much I got out of it.  I understood it!  It wasn’t just a bunch of old guys pointing fingers and yelling at each other.  It was really interesting!!  So now that I’m in the last chapter, the chapter where Job is finally restored to bigger and better things (come on, we all know the story…)

But that was all the story I knew.  Poor Job got everything taken away, he has terribly mean friends, but he kept the faith and got rewarded…man, he won the Powerball at the end!!

The moral of the story was just hang in there…

…and with a little persistence, God will reward you.  Which of course He can, but it’s so much more!!  (That you can read in my older posts)!  🙂

In this final chapter, it makes my own point…the reason I write this blog; God has a plan for everything.  He works in every situation, every breath, every moment and all we have to do is look for Him.  We take so much for granted in this life.  The beauty, the mystery, the smells, the tastes, warm breezes, cool rain and we often forget that God created all of this, all of us, for His enjoyment.

He loves to see us happy, longs to hear us laugh and when we make it through the hard times and can see the good that came from it…He receives the glory.

It’s what happens once we’re done with the struggle, that Job finally gets… when we finally get it and are able to see clearly.

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You”   Job 42:5

Plus, it’s nice that Job is finally vindicated in front of his friends…but the thing that was so touching to me, where I saw Christ most clearly, was through the forgiveness that Job had for his friends.  He prayed for them.

“The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends…”   Job 42:10

Sure, they gave him some crummy advice, but don’t we all give rotten advice sometimes?  (Especially when we think we’re right?!)

Mmmm…hmmm.

But it was when Job wasn’t expecting God to replenish all he had, when he was still suffering so much loss, that he thought of them and prayed.

My Life Application Study Bible notes say it best:

Would the message of the book of Job change if God had not restored to Job his former blessings?  No.  God is still sovereign.  Jesus said that anyone who gives up something for the kingdom of God will be repaid.  Our complete restoration may not be in this life — but it will happen.  God loves us, and He is just.  He not only will restore whatever we have lost unjustly, but He also will give us more than we can imagine as we live with Him in eternity.  Cling tightly to your faith through all your trials, and you too will be rewarded by God — if not now, in the life to come.

 

“Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”   Luke 18:29-30

Older Job posts:
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]
Desperate Pleas.   [Job 30-31]
The mysterious Elihu…  [Job 32]
Shhhh…God always has an answer   [Job 33]
The witching hour…  [Job 38-39]
High Winds…  [Job 38-41]

Tristan is Start Student this week in his 1st grade class, which means he’s top dog.  He gets to fill out a “Read All About Me!” poster, bring in a favorite book and photos to display in the special Star Student spot, he gets to be first in line for lunch as well as lead when going to other classes and then on Friday, when he shares his photos and poster with the class, he gets to read his favorite book aloud.

When T found out he was going to be Star Student last Friday, he began preparing what he would bring in come Monday which included the book…

Great book…don’t get me wrong, but honestly I’ve never seen him read it.  I figured he knew I would be happy with his choice because it’s a story about baby Jesus and we encourage our kids to share their love for Christ with everyone.  Besides, after the whole Sneak & Share cross incident a couple months ago (They won’t understand) I just figured he was trying to do the “right thing.”  So I asked him,

“This is your favorite book?”

“Yes.” He said.

“It is?!!” I questioned.

“Yes.” He repeated.

“What’s it about?!”  I quizzed…and he told me.  Everything!  He knew the story!  Okay then, I thought.

Looking back now I should have realized how much that book meant to him, especially when Monday morning rolled around and the only thing he remembered to bring to school with him was the book, but I didn’t give it a second thought until a few days passed.

On Wednesday I received an email from Tristan’s teacher:

“… Due to school policy, we won’t be able to read that book to the whole class due to its content related to Christmas and religion.  I’m sorry.”

Honestly, it wasn’t a shocker.  Sure it was a bummer but T’s a reader and I figured he had plenty of favorite stories to choose from.  I’m sure he won’t care too much about it, and I said as much to his teacher.

Jax, on the other hand had more to say:

“… To not give Tristan the same opportunity as his fellow students (to have his favorite book read) because of the book’s religious content is nothing short of religious discrimination.  A six year old will not understand the (errant) political motivations behind the decision, only that he is being treated differently because he believes in God! …”

“Oh gees,”  I thought, “poor girl.”  Tristan’s teacher is a 2nd year teacher…quite young, and I was embarrassed a bit by Jax’s response.  I agree with him of course, but like Tristan’s teacher I figured this wasn’t a huge deal and Tristan could just bring in another book.  She was just following the “rules” after all.

Now this really is a mess, I thought.

It wasn’t long before Tristan came bounding through the door, fresh off the bus yelling,

“Moooooooooom!”

He told me about the book and that they can’t read it in class.

“Why?”  I said testing him to see how much he knew about it.

“She said I have ‘plenty of favorite stories’ and to bring in another book,”  eerily echoing the exact phrase I said to his teacher, “but I don’t!” He exclaimed.

“Sure you do, T!” I said.

“No, I don’t!  That’s my favorite!  The other kids got to read their books…”

His words hit me like a blow to the gut, I felt them cut straight to my heart.

 

I never liked kids.  Growing up I never enjoyed babysitting or being around kids and was a common belief among my friends that either I would be last to have kids or not have any at all.

I always thought they were annoying; smelly, whiny, loud and foolish.

After I accepted Christ as my Savior, when I heard a person (including my husband) share their story about coming to know Christ at the age of three, four or five I thought they were nuts.  There was no way a decision of that magnitude could be made by a child.  They were just spewing what they had heard their parents say…about “that one time they gave their heart to Jesus.”

But even God’s word tells us that it’s the the innocence and unwaivering eyes of a child that we will know truth and have faith.

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”   Mark 10:15

Now that I have children of my own (I can still hear the collective and shocked gasp from my friends) I fear I still don’t truly get how much they understand.  Children love and trust unequivocally.  Their thinking is simple and sincere and has not yet been corrupted by others.  They don’t need to have answers to the mysteries of the universe.  It is enough to know that God loves us and provides forgiveness for our sins.

God holds children in high esteem.

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.    Matthew 18:3-6

So should we.

 

Have you approached God like that of a child?  Forget everything this world has taught you.

When you were little, think back to a time when you were confused or scared and the only place you knew to turn was your Dad.  You didn’t know how he would fix things, you just knew he would.  You would lift your arms up to him and he would scoop you up, hold you tight and everything would be better.

That’s what God does for us.

It’s when we approach Him, nowhere else to turn… arms outstretched and nothing to offer… asking for forgiveness and to help make everything better…

We need to be that child needing only His love, His protection, His forgiveness…

 

He’s waiting.

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/)

I am not into politics.  I get confused listening to platforms and agendas.  I nod off watching debates.  I don’t listen to talk radio and try to avoid the television all together but especially around an election.

Some might call me an ignoramus; a fool and quickly deduce that either I won’t take part in this 2012 presidential election at all or I will be casting an uninformed and wasted vote; voting upon looks or pretty necktie instead of what really matters.

Oh but I surely will vote.

My vote won’t be based on gender, mascot, color of skin or political party.

I won’t focus on whether I get taxed, my neighbor gets taxed or my rich Uncle George gets taxed.

I have lived through job loss during both Republican and Democratic presidents.

I have seen wars fought, heroes and friends lost and a nation come together.

So how will I vote?

I will vote the way I live my life.

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”                  1 Peter 2:13-17

God has given us a set of rules to live by, a conscience to make decisions and examples of people who have chosen their own paths instead of following His.

He has given us the incredible blessing of living in a country based originally on His principles, where our voices can be heard.

I will follow His lead for this presidential election and vote based on only His truths.

“… We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan.”   Proverbs 28:12

#526

Lord, I thank you for the incredible blessing it is to live in a country where we can learn about You, worship You and talk to You without fear of persecution.  I thank you that I live in a country founded in Your Word and I am able to share my opinion.  I pray Lord that You place the person who will help bring this country back to the greatness it is known for, but I pray most earnestly that You continue Your hand of protection over us and that Your will be done.

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]

Job continues the longest speech in his namesake book of the Bible, found in Job chapters 26-31, with the “if only’s” of Job 29.

You can almost hear Job’s “woe is me” attitude, wishing things back to the way they were and turning all drama queen implying that God is no longer with him.

“Oh that I were as in months gone by, As in the days when God watched over me; When the Almighty was yet with me…”   Job 29:1, 5

He recounts his past blessings; how well he was treated, how wonderful and great he was, how he had everything… respect, honor, children and God.

How often do we do that ourselves?  We remember back to the “good ole’ days” when life was somehow better or easier or simpler, and wish we could go back.  But God doesn’t want us to dwell on the past…

“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.”   Isaiah 43:18

He wants us to learn from it.

 

 

The experiences we have in our lifetime make each of us unique.  Each experience molds us into the person God wants us to be and gives us our voice, our unique story and equips us to help others.  God uses the past to teach us and to better us.

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”   Romans 15:4

Don’t look back upon your life with regret or wish away where you are now.  Ask God to help you find His plan for you right where you are.  God has given you a story only you can tell and equipped you with the tools you need.  Look around.  Who has God placed in your life right now?  Reach out…

 

 

 

Related posts:
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]

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

Yesterday, all day, I didn’t receive any texts.  I had sent many out, to many different people; some important that needed an answer and some not so much.  I figured people weren’t by their phones or were too busy and some didn’t necessarily need to respond…

but all I got was silence.

I had so many unanswered questions…

and silence.

At times I didn’t know what to do without a response, but when I called I got no answer.

More silence.

I felt alone and was forced to take what I felt were the next logical steps, questioning and doubting as I went but I continued on the path I felt was right until I heard back.

Some answers came quickly; a call was returned or the person reached, but others were not and because I had only silence, I was forced to make decisions.

Some of those choices were wrong and when I finally got the answers I sought, albeit late according to my timing, I realized I had to change things.  Others however, were not answered as quickly and I needed to move forward blindly.

This morning when I checked my phone, 25 texts were waiting.  At 10:30 last night all of the messages came through.  Every answer I searched for over the past 36 hours were now in front of me; some confirmed good choices, others exposed mistakes, while others revealed new information giving me better understanding.

Isn’t that just how our prayer life can be?

So often we ask for guidance or an answer over a decision and we are greeted with silence.

Sometimes we are forced to make a seemingly blind choice; we must go with our gut and make the best decision based on the facts before us.  If it’s wrong or misguided, God will discipline and correct, but if it’s right, He will confirm it.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”   Proverbs 19:21

Do you have a decision to make you haven’t gotten an answer for?

Take the step you feel is right.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

God will reveal His will and His plan… trust Him and in His timing!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”   Proverbs 3:5-6

 

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!!

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