Monday, November 24, 2008

The Average Life of a Super Hero

There was once a SUPER-Super Hero. He created millions of Super Heroes. Not just a few, but millions. He created Superman, Wonderwoman, Flash, Captain America, The Incredibles, Batman, Spiderman, the Invisible Woman, the Bionic Man, the Bionic Woman, the Hulk, Elastic Man, Ironman, Hancock, etc.

Why did this Super-super hero create all these millions of super heroes? Because he saw the human race needed help, needed saving. So he sent these super heroes to the earth to help mankind.

But, as time went by, these super heroes one by one got distracted...

They integrated with "normal" life and the challenges of daily living. They had new relationships to deal with, issues with their children, problems with their jobs and careers. Occasionally they would do something significant to help people out. But they learned to give scientific explanations for their supernatural actions.

Eventually, they forgot altogether their power and their purpose.

The idea for this allegory came from Jesus' words in John 14:12-14. What do you think it means?

Please post any comments you might have below.

Or click here to listen to the message about this allegory shared at Titusville Branch Fellowship on Sunday, November 23, 2008.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Ridiculous Judge?

There was once a judge, who after simply hearing the prosecution's side of a case would render his verdict.

Sound ridiculous?

This isn't as uncommon as you think. This is a metaphor. And the judge represents people like you and me.

Many times in my life, people have rendered a verdict against me, because of something they've heard from someone else... without getting the full story. Can you relate?

I'm beginning to wonder how many times I've done a very similar thing in my own mind - rendering an opinion about someone before I've even had a chance to hear their viewpoint.

Years ago when I led summer missions trips for youth, I remember being involved in a number of conflicts between participants. After initially hearing about a problem, it would seem so clear what had gone on, and what I needed to do about it... until I heard the other side of the story.

It's bad enough to form an opinion about someone based simply on the "prosecution". What's worse -- and more painful -- is when we broadcast that opinion to others. In this sense we are not the judge who renders a verdict prematurely.

Instead we are the reporter who hears one side of the case, and then goes to print with a story.

Please post a comment below with your thoughts.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Peace and Joy

The Christmas season is soon upon us. Soon there will be well-wishes of peace, joy and similar greetings.

Peace and Joy. A nice greeting, but what does it really mean? What does it really take to have peace and joy?

Many people think of 'world peace'. Who doesn't want that? But isn't world peace wishful thinking, especially when many of us can't even attain perpetual peace on a personal level? It seems there are always an abundance of relational conflicts. There are also those internal, nagging conflicts that are ever-present. Is it ever possible to arrive at peace (at least internally)?

Joy might seem like a far away, abstract idea, too. We're more familiar with desiring happiness than joy. And most of the things we pursue bring only short-lived happinesses. I wonder if a better description of joy is, not an excited feeling, but a state of constant contentment, regardless of the ups and downs of life.

Why do Peace and Joy Elude Us?
Perhaps something Paul wrote may give us some insight. He said the kingdom of God is "righteousness, peace and joy." Could it be that these are intricately related to one another? Maybe righteousness is a precursor to peace. And maybe peace is a precursor to joy. We often see these as separate qualities. Perhaps Paul is saying that they go hand-in-hand.

Righteousness simply means to be walking rightly with God and others (at least as it depends on us). Do we try to experience peace without being in proper relationship with God or others? Jesus promises peace, not as the world gives -- temporary, shallow -- but real peace that goes beyond understanding and circumstance. However, it doesn't come separate from living rightly with God and our fellow man.

Lasting happiness or joy, then, is a byproduct of peace, but it is indirectly connected back to being right before God and our neighbor.

Are you struggling with a lack of peace in your life? A lack of joy? Consider that any breach on your part in relationships could be a factor. Jesus wants you to live life to the full. Fullness of peace, fullness of joy. Righteousness is the doorway to a life of peace and joy.

Please post a comment below with your thoughts.

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