The Lego Movie

Lego movieHave you seen the Lego Movie? It was released in theaters back in February and on video a few weeks back. I’m not going review it; I’m going to share the Gospel!

The Lego Movie reminds me a lot of the Matrix. Both movies feature an entire world filled with people living their lives who do not know their world is a construct. In the Lego Movie everything is put together with plastic blocks and takes place on a large table in a family’s basement. In the Matrix everything was virtual and existed online. It’s just that the Matrix came out before there were blogs! For this post let’s sticks with Lego’s. The target audience consists of all age groups and the Matrix, well, is probably running on AMC by now. Continue reading

Prayer Week: Raindrops of Prayer

May 1 2014 is the National Day of Prayer. I’m posting on the subject of prayer all week; here’s a rerun from January.

Screenshot 2014-01-13 at 9.24.12 PMHow much potential does one raindrop hold? What about a snowflake? While one of each may not make much difference, we have all witnessed the outcome if those drops or flakes just keep coming.

At some point every analogy breaks down. There is power in prayer. We are told to pray without ceasing. Jesus himself arose early each morning and began praying even before daybreak. On occasion he prayed late into the night and at times all night long. We ask other Christians to pray with us, forming prayer chains and now publicizing our requests utilizing social media. While a flood or an avalanche of prayers make for powerful imagery, prayers may not add up in a cumulative manner that we can measure mathematically. We must pray for God’s will to be done and keep in mind that he understands our needs in ways we cannot comprehend. Prayer is a powerful weapon in the spiritual battle, but not a tool we use to manipulate God.

I like the raindrops of prayer idea, many prayers of the saints coming together to move like a powerful tidal wave. At some point every analogy breaks down, but try this one: a bear cub. Baby bear cubs are cute, cuddly, and basically defenseless. But when that cub calls out for Mama Bear…

That’s what prayer is like. 

Screenshot 2014-01-13 at 9.31.43 PM

Raindrops of Prayer

Screenshot 2014-01-13 at 9.24.12 PMHow much potential does one raindrop hold? What about a snowflake? While one of each may not make much difference, we have all witnessed the outcome if those drops or flakes just keep coming.

At some point every analogy breaks down. There is power in prayer. We are told to pray without ceasing. Jesus himself arose early each morning and began praying even before daybreak. On occasion he prayed late into the night and at times all night long. We ask other Christians to pray with us, forming prayer chains and now publicizing our requests utilizing social media. While a flood or an avalanche of prayers make for powerful imagery, prayers may not add up in a cumulative manner that we can measure mathematically. We must pray for God’s will to be done and keep in mind that he understands our needs in ways we cannot comprehend. Prayer is a powerful weapon in the spiritual battle, but not a tool we use to manipulate God.

I like the raindrops of prayer idea, many prayers of the saints coming together to move like a powerful tidal wave. At some point every analogy breaks down, but try this one: a bear cub. Baby bear cubs are cute, cuddly, and basically defenseless. But when that cub calls out for Mama Bear…

That’s what prayer is like. 

Screenshot 2014-01-13 at 9.31.43 PM

Exchange Day

Screenshot 2013-12-26 at 8.10.57 AMWe (collective we, as a nation/society we) have been Christmas shopping since October. We went out Thanksgiving Day, got up early on Black Friday and/or hit the Christmas Eve specials for one last hurrah. And now here we are: December 26th, the day after. It’s time to make those left-over ham sandwiches and take it all back. The Walmarts of the land will have an aisle or two handling nothing but returns. It’s a tradition as old gift giving itself; returning what you got in order to get what you really wanted.

I had a funny thought this morning; this may be a stretch, but hang in there. On Christmas Day we celebrate the greatest gift the world has ever known. Continue reading

A Seed Must Fall

wheatTruly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24 ESV)  I’ve heard that verse a couple of times this weekend, so it was fresh in mind when I started reading the Exodus this morning.  Let’s first put it in its proper context.

Nearly half of John’s Gospel deals with the events of the Passion week.  The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem is recorded at the beginning of chapter 12, and this verse is spoken by Jesus in reference to his hour having come.  A seed must fall into the ground and die just as Jesus must go down into the earth by being placed in the grave.  John 12:24 is an illustration of how Jesus must die and be buried in order to rise again with new life.  By being obedient to the Father’s will, Jesus will produce much fruit for the Kingdom.  God speaks aloud in verse 27 and says that he has gloried Jesus’ name and will glorify it again. Continue reading

Theater as a Metaphor for Life

When I say theater I mean actors on a stage.  Watching a movie in a crowded room with a sticky floor is not the metaphor for life I’m thinking of.  

Imagine sitting down to watch a play.  The set looks great.  The costumes are wonderful.  It becomes clear very quickly that the actors have put in the time rehearsing scenes and memorizing lines.  But there is so much more going on that you – the spectator, the audience – do not see.  Backstage there are props and furniture pieces that haven’t come out yet.  There are people scurrying around in quiet darkness so as not to be seen or heard from the house.  There are people in the wings changing costumes and make up, and others in the booth controlling lights and sound.  The director may be sitting in the audience unnoticed while the stage manager runs around making sure everything happens that should happen.  During a scene with two people sharing a dialog, there could be 30 others working frantically on whatever is about to happen next.  If all goes well, what the audience sees is only what they mean for you to see. Continue reading

Who Loves You?

When I was a kid my favorite restaurant was McDonald’s.  When I saw a t.v. spot for the latest Happy Meal toy, there was nothing doing until I got one.  In time I had to decide between the Happy Meal and the Big Mac.  All through high school and into college McDonald’s was still my favorite, but during my college years I was introduced to Applebee’s.  I had a couple of friends that worked there at different times, and eventually I came to know pretty much everyone at our local restaurant on a first name basis.  At a different time in our life, my wife and I ate out just about every night and wound up at Applebee’s even if it was just for desert or to see our friends there.  We moved away, grew up a little bit, and now live about 45 minutes away from the nearest one.  Ruby Tuesday is now our favorite place to eat out.  We save it for special occasions, but their salad bar can’t be beat.  I’m a big fan of the bleu cheese crumbles.  We love Ruby Tuesday. Continue reading