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Monday, October 21, 2013

King David Story Challenge

Hi there adventurers and honest seekers.

How is your day going?  Mine is going fine.  What is your favorite adventure story from the Bible?  There are quite a few to choose from.  Paul's travels and David's battles and Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.  Plus so many more!

I like David's stories a lot.  David did not do everything right.  He faltered in sin many times, but he was open to admitting his sins when confronted about them.  He also fought many battles, showed mercy to King Saul (even when Saul did not deserve it), and he also wrote many Psalms that expressed his frustration and joy and have helped many millions more express both joy and anger, along with other emotions.

So here is my challenge to you.  Write a short story of an interaction between King David and a fictional character from one of your favorite franchises.  I warn you that the fictional franchises I know best are Stargate, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Marvel and DC.  I do know a fair amount of Star Trek knowledge as well but I have never watched DS-9.

Please limit the stories to 1,000 words or less.  The due date for this challenge will be November 8th.

The story I like the most that can help us discuss life issues and does a good job representing both characters will get published on this blog as a "Guest Entry".

Email your story to me: ericanderson25@gmail.com


Monday, October 14, 2013

Belief and Trouble

Belief is a common theme in fantasy and fairy tales.  This has been especially true in the more recent episodes of Once Upon a Time (and yes, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland).

It would seem that the island of Neverland is run by belief.  When the crew had captured a mermaid in the season premiere, there was a storm which was fueled by their own arguing as the realm of Neverland responded to them.  Then a week ago, it would seem that all of Mr. Gold's experience for that episode was being sharpened and run through his belief (or lack thereof) in his own nature.  In the Wonderland premiere, or particularly in the flashbacks of that episode, we learn that many of Alice's decisions as she grew up were based on convincing her dad of something she believed and he did not.

The central line of Wonderland's premiere episode was "When you love someone you don't need proof to believe them."  (Not sure if this is fully accurate quote, but it is close).

We all face trouble, don't we?  In American religion we love to think that God doesn't want us to have any hardship or trouble.  That his plan is all comfort and "happiness."  Let us separate the words of happiness and joy.  Happiness in America is based on your situation.  It is based on what is going on around you and receiving the weather or the items or the people you want around you.  The Biblical Principal of joy is based on Christ and the fact that we have Him, not the situation we find ourselves in.  We are actually told by James to have joy even in great difficulty.  Why does He teach this?   

When we know that we have God watching over us, we don't need to worry about our situation.  As our love for Him grows, we don't need the miracles to convince us that He is still there.  His presence becomes the guide in our difficulties and our belief in Him is more powerful than our desires for comfort or worldly items.  He does often still do miracles.  They might be small, medium, or sometimes He even does a huge one, but He still asks that we believe.

While watching Once Upon a Time, you may notice that they don't have easy lives.  I mean, when your son/grandson gets kidnapped by bunch of kids with swords or your town is almost destroyed by people set out on revenge or when you find out you have been living a lie because of a curse.  Does this sound like an easy life?  

After all this, Snow White and Prince Charming still believe that all will turn out alright, even while still looking for Henry.  When Emma is angry and argues with them about this, they simply say, "We HAVE to believe."  After all they had been through, they had to believe in themselves and each other.  There was no other choice.

Now imagine all that the prophets and leaders of God went though in the Old Testament.  Read Hebrews 11, where you find a list about the trials faced.  They faced war, imprisonment, disease, even death.  But Hebrews 11 is not about what they faced, although that is in there.  It is about their faith. 

After all we, the combined followers of Christ throughout time and space, have been through, we have no other choice than to believe...even to believe with joy.  You see, God uses these difficulties.  He uses them to build character and hope in us. 

"Not only so but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."  Romans 5:3-4  

Will you believe?  In the middle of fear and frustration and pain.  In the middle of the good things and the horror of life.  If you believe, you will go on a wonderful adventure, but it will be dangerous.  God will take you through difficulty and shape you into a person of character and hope, but only if you BELIEVE.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  Philippians 4:11-13

Scriptures to Read: Hebrews 11, James 1, Philippians 4:2-20

   

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pre HD Hobbies vs. HD Future

Hey guys.

So I watched episode 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Tuesday after going swing dancing.  What an amazing ride it is starting out as.  I will say that with the final scene after the final commercial break they set a really high standard.  I have to say that I am really excited about this show and about Thor:The Dark World.  But that excitement made me think about something important.

We like our hobbies a lot, don't we?  I get really excited about board games, movies, and television shows.  I also really enjoy swing dancing.  We all have something that gets us excited.  But here is the crazy part about life:

What we have here is nothing compared with eternity:  Just consider the descriptions of the Throne room in scripture: 

 "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.  And they were calling to one another 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.'  At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke."  Isaiah 6:1-4

"At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.  And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian.  A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.  Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones and seated on them were twenty-four elders.  They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.  From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder.  Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing.  These are the seven spirits of God.  Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal." Revelation 4:2-6

Can you imagine how we will feel when we see the throne room of God?  Scared, excited, flabbergasted, unworthy, confused, joyful.  It would seem with these descriptions that God doesn't like to keep his throne room the same at all times.  Paul speaks of heaven as being indescribable:

"I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven.  Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.  And I know that this man-whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows--was caught up to paradise.  He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell."  2 Corinthians 12:2-4

We get so excited by earthly things, and that isn't bad.  We do need things to keep our minds and bodies active.  But this is not the highest definition experience.  In Romans Paul says that all of creation is groaning for redemption.  Revelation 21:1 says that we will experience a new heaven and a new earth. 

Now, this man that was caught up to Heaven (some think it was Paul himself) could not tell us all he had experienced because it wasn't his place to tell us.  Have you ever been so excited about a birthday gift or a Christmas gift you were giving that you were going crazy waiting for the person to receive it?  I wonder if that is how God feels sometimes.  What if the reason Paul could not tell us everything was that it was to be saved for when we see eternity for ourselves?