Saturday, March 02, 2013


Comic Art

Swamp Thing is one of those comics that you either get or do not get. The Len Wein psychedelic comics of the 70's and 80's are revered by many in the comic book world and other read them and go "WTF?!" The Swamp Thing character has been all sorts of things - straight heroic, mystic, earth saving avatar and sometimes comic relief. When a hero has that hard a time finding his identity, so often does his arch-nemesis - never has that case been plainer than in the case of Anton Arcane - arch-nemesis of the Swamp Thing.

Arcane has been man and monster - he is both sorcerer and scientist (which makes him Doc Doom, funny how he has not achieved the same levels of success) and in movie form he has been very, very funny.

There were two Swamp Thing movies in the 1980's. One with Adrienne Barbo and the other with Heather Locklear. Neither were attempts at great film making and the second was made for about $1.50 - but it is highly entertaining. Both movies take the jumbled mess that is the Swamp Thing legend and chuck all the pretension and just have fun.

Generally comic movies suffer in comparison to the comic books because the medium does not allow for the depth of character development nor plot development that the books do. But in this case I think the movies are better than the books - they are straightforward story telling, tongue-in-cheek and highly camp. The movies are well served by Louis Jordan in the role of Arcane.
Jordan clear "got" that the movies were intended to be silly and he went for broke. He must have needed the payday to begin with becasue these movies were way below where his career had previously been, but he did not let that deter him from performing well, and in the absolute spirit of the piece.

I cannot begin to tell you how to enjoy the Swamp Thing comics without the use of mind altering substances, but I can tell you to enjoy the movies and especially the role of Arcane as portrayed by Jordan.
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Friday, March 01, 2013


Identity and God

Ron Edmondson shares some thoughts of his friend Jeff Goins:
I’ve spent too much time trying to prove something to myself instead of living into the reality of my identity.

I’ve labored and toiled, desperately trying to affirm in myself what I hope is true about me. That I’m good enough. That the world needs to hear my message. That what I have to say counts.

I’ve wasted years on this pursue and not spent nearly enough time grasping my identity as a child of God. A son. An heir.

That is a great start - I think it hits right at the heart of the issue, ut then he makes two points that miss the point he made in his opening altogether:
  1. You are not what you do.
  2. What you do comes from who you are.
See where he misses the point - he is still looking for an identity instead of looking at God. Apart from God we have no identity and with od are identity is God.

There is no answer to the search for identity, there is only an end to the search.
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Friday Humor

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Thursday, February 28, 2013


Know Your Place

Rev. Adam J. Copeland @ HuffPo:
While many mainline churches say "we want young people," they don't really. If young adults actually showed up and joined their church for good, the change they'd naturally bring with them would be stark, even off-putting. In fact, making a congregation welcoming for young adults necessarily means it will get less comfortable for the current members.
There is something just wrong here. Church is meant to 1) preserve the faith and 2) spread the faith. The first purpose means that change should come to the church slowly and deliberately, just to make sure we are preserving and not warping. The second purpose means that EVERYONE will be uncomfortable in church to some extent as we are all in the process of being stretched and grown.

Part of spreading the faith is building maturity. That word maturity means that young adults will feel a bit more uncomfortable than their elders becasue they have more growing to do. Rather than looking for a place that is "theirs," young adults should be coming to church looking for a place to grow.

We have reduced everything to "fashion," but somethings are not fashionable, some things are better than others, and they do not change simply becasue tastes change. Being cognizant of that fact alone could change the church forever.
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Illuminated Hymn

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Worth It

Mark Daniels:
"...following Jesus is costly. The costs of not following, however, are eternal." (Craig S. Keener)

Putting Christ first in our lives may cost us misunderstandings with friends and the loss of relationships with them over those misunderstandings.

Putting Christ first may mean loss of social acceptability, the loss of jobs or income.

It may, sometimes, even cost us our earthly lives, as many Christians over the past one-hundred years or so have found.
I wonder how many Christians find their faith worth those sorts of costs? Seriously - do we offer people something they are willing to suffer for? Do we work to build disciples that are so motivated they will die for the faith? Certainly not, of course, in the brutish manner of some branches of Islam, but in the manner of Christ.

It seems to me that we attempt to sell the faith of most convenience. We sweat service times and music choices and "felt needs." People leave church in a flash when it becomes uncomfortable.


Well, on thing is for certain, if they do not see a faith worth dying for they are not going to develop it.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Grace That Replicates

iMonk Classic:
When I remember the grace of God in my life, particularly at those moments when no one could rescue me from my sin and foolishness but GOD ALONE, it fires my heart with a hunger for grace in my relationships, actions and heart-motivation. (Thank God he didn’t treat me the way he advises that fools be treated in the book of Proverbs. Praise God for his wonderful inconsistency!)

The question for me today and from now on is “Has grace made me gracious?”
I am struck that there is a big difference between love and grace. Love, at least as defined these days, overlooks sin - grace stares sin in the eye and forgives it. If you read this whole iMonk post, you note the work of grace in his heart. The grace he so deeply felt and appreciated did not allow him to continue in sin - it illustrated his sin to him.

One does not experience true grace unless one is truly in touch with their sinfulness.
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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, February 25, 2013


Add Beauty

Mark Roberts:
But, even if you and I are not gifted in architecture and other artistic fields, we can still imitate the God who created beauty. We have the opportunity to make this world more beautiful in humble and seemingly commonplace ways. In so doing, we can honor God and reflect his creation of beauty. In the fitting words of singer-songwriter Sara Groves, you and I can "add to the beauty" of the world in countless ways.

I think, for example, of my wife's rose bushes.
I am sure the roses were lovely, but as someone very adept at killing roses, I got to thinking about a way that all of us can add beauty - by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.

Of late, I am struck by how ugly the world is sometimes not becasue or art or architecture, but because of people. It is ugly to jostle for a place in line at the store; it is ugly when people cut you off in traffic; it is ugly when people talk in movies - I could go on and on and on and on. The world would be a much more beautiful place if all of us let God in just enough to fix that kind of stuff about us. If we all learned how to count others more important than ourselves in even just the little ways.

Some days I think that would be the greatest beauty in the world.
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