Saturday, July 06, 2013
I am never more disappointed in a superhero than I am in Hawkman - never has a character looked better and delivered less. I honestly think he is the best look in any superhero ever, but his stories have never lived up to the appearance. BUt this column is about villains, which is one of the reasons Hawkman has never really delivered, he Roues Gallery is just not that strong. Perhaps the strongest of the bunch, but also the most frustrating is Shadow-Thief.
Like so many DC characters Shadow-Thief has been invented and reinvented and invented again, but the gimmick remains, He's a guy that looks like a shadow, and interestingly, behaves like on too. That is to say is is without form or substance. The trick in the original telling was that he could alter his density like The Vision of Avengers fame. Later it was a multi-dimensional thing, but anyway the power worked it meant you literally could barely see him at night, he was well camouflaged in day, and he was so insubstantial that you simply could not touch him. How do you beat a bad guy like that?
You outsmart him, of course. And that I think is where the troubles begin with Hawkman. He had an awfully hard time outsmarting the guy, making him and irredeemable muscle head - something a hero that looks that good should be better than.
Shadow-thief now enjoys a bigger presence than Hawkman, having gone on to battle other superheroes more matched to his capabilities. He has also hit the animated world pretty hard, which Hawkman has barely penetrated. I have never been a big fan of Shadow-Thief. Frankly he was the bad guy in my first Hawkman encounter as a boy. I was so excited becasue of how good Hawkman looked on the cover of that mag. I was so disappointed becasue half way through the story I had figured out six ways to beat Shadow-Theif that Hawkman had yet to consider. At that moment I decided to hate Shadow-Thief becasue he made a hero I so wanted to look good, look bad. Perhaps that makes him the most villainous of all comic villains?
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Friday, July 05, 2013
- They build a strong social fabric.
- They engage in activities that fit their strengths, values and lifestyle.
- They practice gratitude.
- They have an optimistic thinking style.
- They know it’s good to do good.
- They know that material wealth is only a very small part of the equation.
- They develop healthy coping strategies.
- They focus on health.
- They cultivate spiritual emotions.
- They have direction.
But some of it is, I think, dangerous. Particularly the "focus on health" thing. IN this narcissistic age, people get a lot carried away with stuff like that. You see, poor health can indeed impede happiness, but it is very possible to become so self-absorbed in the pursuit of good health that any positive effects are lost in the endless pursuit.
This illustrate the real key to happiness which has a lot to do with learning to look at places besides yourself and your happiness. The root of happiness, like the root of all things, is in God, not in ourselves. I am happiest when I am seeking God's face and not my own happiness. That's about as simple as it gets.
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Thursday, July 04, 2013
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Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Here’s an amazing instruction by Jesus. Jesus believes each and every one of us is an influencer. Not just pastors and leaders, but each of us. Preachers and Bible readers are agreed on one thing about “salt” and “light” in our passage: they might mean any number of things, but the one thing they do mean is that salt influences meat and light influences darkness. They make an impact. But there’s more here: Jesus doesn’t urge us to become influencers. He says each disciple, by virtue of being a follower of Jesus, already is an influencer. His concern is not becoming an influence but ruining our existing influence. He doesn’t want our “salt” to become “unsalty.” (What is chemically impossible is morally possible.) He doesn’t want our light to be covered up (by refusing to witness to Jesus Christ).
Another way of looking at this: Jesus wants us to be more influential by faithfully being who we are and by faithfully doing what we are called to do: follow Jesus, show love to our neighbor as we would to ourselves, and serve others out of the grace we have been shown by God. If we pick weeds from our garden daily, if we water our flowers daily, our garden flourishes; if we pick weeds once and water once, our garden dies. So, too, if we read the Bible daily, if we pray daily, if we love daily … if we are faithful over time our influence may increase.This is how God intends to change the world - one of us at a time, doing what we are doing to His glory!
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Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Frame also writes that “the work of theology is not to discover some truth-in-itself in abstraction from all that is human; it is to take the truth of Scripture and humbly to serve God’s people by teaching and preaching it and by counseling and evangelizing.”
He is not seeking to disparage theoretical work done by professional theology, but he is “seeking to discourage the notion that theology is ‘properly’ something theoretical, something academic, as opposed to the practical teaching that goes on in preaching, counselling, and Christian friendship.”Fair enough if things stopped there; however, as is the way, people have perverted this approach to the point that they think scripture and theology is about them. In an age when :that may be true for you" is perhaps the most often heard phrase in any discussion, such an approach is highly dangerous.
Truth is not relative, application of truth can change on circumstance, but truth itself does not change.
It is fair to say that all must be involved in trying to understand scripture, and to that extent all are involved in the study of theology. However, all do not get to understand truth on their own terms.
Somehow, somewhere, we have to teach people the tools and methods to arrive at the truth. That seems to be a relative thing as taught in our schools. A request for "meaning" as Frame describes it is generally the question "What does that mean to me?" That is not, as Frame suggests always a request for "application." Sometimes it is an effort to change the truth.
Truth does not change.
Monday, July 01, 2013
Investing in Lives
Scripture teaches us to tell others about Jesus Christ. And while sharing the gospel is awesome, it is simply not enough. We should continue to encourage and invest in new believers. Many don't know where to begin reading in the Bible or how to spend time with their heavenly Father.
Of course, God takes each person's spiritual journey seriously, and He won't leave a seeking heart unsatisfied. At the same time, we have a responsibility to invest in the lives of spiritual brothers and sisters by sharing our understanding and experience.Why does this have to be said? Should it not be obvious? I would argue there are two reasons.
Firstly, investing in someone else's life means they are invested in yours. That's risky stuff. Most of us are afraid of that.
The second reason is related In order to lead somewhere, we have to have been there ourselves. Often such is not the case. Often, we are content with our mere salvation and we ourselves have not made the journey to maturity.
I agree with Stanley here - this is an issue with the church, but I think the cure lies within, not in looking out.