Saturday, May 12, 2012
Some classic villains just have a hard time transferring to the modern era. Such is the case I think withthe classic Batman opponent The Penguin. Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, aka Penguin, has been around almost as long as the Batster himself, but in an era when there are more Batman titles than some publishers have magazines, and the Joker gets his very own titles, the Penguin, despite great effort, seems to be a background player. OF course some of it stems from the fact that such is the role the current editors/writers have assigned Cobblepot. But why?
Why have the Penguin's bird crimes been deemed "too corny?" Why has he been turned into an enabler of criminals instead of a direct actor himself?
The character became who he is because of is less-than-appealing appearance, and distinct lack of physicality. IN wonder if his role in the comics is not based on the same. He does not stand a chance against Bats in a stand-up fight, but guile is a funny thing. Of course, that is the reason behind relegating him to the shadows, but would not his development also drive him to flamboyance?
I'd like to see Oswald on a real tear - killing all the super-villains to prove he is the most super! Paying hookers to hang on his arm and prove he is good looking. Kidnapping scientists to give him actual super-powers! (That would be rich, really rich)
DC Comics - Bring Penguin out of the shadows!
Friday, May 11, 2012
Christ and Our Expectations
Oswald Chambers asks, “Are you more devoted to your idea of what Jesus wants than to Himself?”I think that is true for everyone. She uses this to urge worship:
Yes, Lord, I am.
His nearly naked dance into Jerusalem while the house of Israel brought the ark back into the city may be the metaphor that best depicts David’s joyous unselfconscious abandonment to God. It mortified his wife, Michal. Such displays of adoration will often evoke mortification in observers. Somehow, I don’t think the rich young ruler would have been caught doing such a thing. After all, he was more devoted to what he thought Jesus wanted than he was to Jesus.We must indeed abandon ourselves to God, wholly and fervently. Unfortunately, I find the example of David dancing himself into Jerusalem problematic. I have heard that passage cited far too many times as justification putting "worship" in the same role that service appears to be taking in Ms Dye's life. You see it is equally possible to make "worship" what we think Christ wants just as much as anything else.
This is really the crux of the matter for us. Do we merely believe in him and serve him carefully or do we love him and follow him, even if it means living with the contempt of others—even if it makes life untidy, even if it departs from what we always thought Jesus wanted?
Jesus minced no words when asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
It seems to me that when we love God, we please him most. The ruler came minus sins, but also minus love and was sent away sad. David came dancing and loving and yes, sinning. Expressing the most fervent contrition, David deplored his own sin, but he neither walked self-consciously through life nor stopped running toward God with a passion. It was David’s passion that pleased God and moved him in love to call this flawed king a man after his own heart.
There is no one thing, at least not that our minds can conceive of. Love demands obedience, which demands service, which must be done lovingly, and we can only be loving in our service to others as we love and are loved by God, and so it is a circle. The answer to overemphasis on service, or worship, or self-improvement, is NOT another emphasis - it is well roundedness.
I just started reading "Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues." The book begins by stating the principles in sentence form and then devotes entire chapters to each idea. As I read through the principles, I saw where each, on its own could be, and in fact had been, warped into something quite perverse. But when considered as a whole and together, the principles balance each other to create something quite good.
When we consider our faith, we must consider all of it. There is no emphasis, there is only the whole, other wise we will pervert and warp the emphasis into something God never intends.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Your Place In God's Heart
[God] comes for you, in the flesh, in Christ, into suffering, on your behalf. He does not offer advice and perspective from afar; he steps into your significant suffering. He will see you through, and work with you the whole way. He will carry you even in extremis. This reality changes the questions that rise up from your heart. That inward-turning “why me?” quiets down, lifts its eyes, and begins to look around.You turn outward and new, wonderful questions form.You know when I first read that, my heart said, "Great, I still get to count, just in proper perspective."
As that deeper question sinks home, you become joyously sane. The universe is no longer supremely about you. Yet you are not irrelevant. God’s story makes you just the right size. Everything counts, but the scale changes to something that makes much more sense.
But the Holy Spirit answered my heart and said, "No, you don't 'count.' Only I count."
We are called to nothing less than to join Christ in Gethsemane and say, "Not my will, but thine." So long as we hold to a "proper perspective," we hold to an improper perspective. We have no role other than to be God's wholly and completely.
Forgetting the third Toy Story movie, where this analogy goes horribly wrong, think of Woody and Buzz, whose entire raison d'etre was Andy. Apart from Andy they were abandoned and useless.
Until we are there, until we will do the impossible to be God's - we do not have proper perspective.
Related Tags: Illuminated Prayer
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
When Christ has first place in our lives, we will experience many blessings. These include a . . .
- Quiet spirit.
- Stronger faith.
- Purified heart.
- Prepared mind.
Does that sound like a formula for "success?" I mean really, where is the accomplishment, where the money, where the things we need to relax?
Here's what I know - I have known many "successful" people - I have known many people of ordinary means and accomplishment - I have known many people without. I have found people who it is nice to be around in each category - and it was those things that made it so.
Dear God, grant me the desire for those attributes and not the attributes the world tells me matter.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
It's A Cake?
Part of the good news of God’s salvation does indeed have to do with our life beyond the grave. But that’s only part of what salvation entails. There is still more! We see this in Psalm 85. Verse 9 affirms, “Surely [God’s] salvation is near to those who fear him.” Then verse 10 spells out some of what that salvation includes: “Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!” When we are saved by God’s grace, his unfailing love embraces us forever. His truth fills our minds and transforms our hearts. Relationships are healed, and we live in peace with God and people. This peace is much more than simply the absence of conflict. Rather, it is life as God meant it to be, in which all people flourish in fellowship with God, people, and the earth.I think there are lots of "self-help" Christians out there that really to look for God in the now, that need to remember the eternal, but not in the sense of going to heaven, in the sense that eternity is supernatural.
When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we not only receive reassurance about our eternal destiny. We also begin to experience the fullness of God’s salvation in this life.
The benefits of our salvation are not only here and now, but they are power, supernatural power to enable us to be who we were meant to be, not the ugly sinners we are. Supernatural power not for showy miracles like tongues, but for deep and abiding miracles lie changed lives.
Monday, May 07, 2012
Cool Is Not What Matters
There are two iterations of the idea of cool. In bike culture, there are people who genuinely enjoy riding fixed gear bikes; then there is a second group who enjoy the idea of and association with fixed gear culture. The same is true for the Church. There are communities who pursue being simply and honestly themselves—and churches who try with all they are to be “cool.”Whoa! Back up the truck there! Don't you think the phrase "being authentically yourself" smacks just a little of fashionable coolness? I mean millennia of Christian church and though and this phrase shows up in the last couple of decades and we are going to use it to express the deep reality of Christianity?
While “cool” will always go out of style, being authentically yourself is what both God and the world are looking for.
Fascinating Captain. He continues:
Just like Fixed Gear culture, the Church has been unable to effect lasting change in the culture at large. There are movements that see a temporary increase in number— mostly by attracting Christians from the church down the street by offering the latest version of what’s cool—but it’s simply a lateral shift in organizational attendance.Now we're getting somewhere, but as he proceeds he is still wrapped up in pop psychological psuedo-speak. He is still trying to sound "hip" while extolling the virtues of eternity.
I will admit that some of my own personal decisions have been in reaction to cultural influences. But over the last several years, I have learned something important. If I and my community are going to grow in wisdom and maturity, it will not come from hopping from one church to another based on style and preference. It will come only from growing alongside the people I call my church family.
And let’s remember here that the Church is meant to stand forever.
First of all, the more we change, the more we are the same. Yes, language and culture change, but man is essentially the same. It is that sameness that Christ came to address, and it is that sameness that we should address ministering in His name.
Secondly, authenticity lies in large part in being other centered. So to my mind "authentically yourself" is a bit oxymoronic.
And finally, part of moving out of yourself is to join with something eternal and unchanging. That means maybe clutching to something that has survived the centuries of cultural upheaval. Molding our presentation of Christ to suit the prevailing culture of the day somehow robs it of its eternal qualities.
Why Do We Do This?
The Greatest News in One Sentencewith quotes from Jared Wilson and John Piper. Consider the question I ask in the title, what purpose is served?
I cannot help but think that the purpose served is to give us some sort of command of that which is essentially our commander. It is also an effort to comprehend the incomprehensible.
I cannot help but think that the purpose of Christ was to set God loose in my life, not limit Him to a single sentence.