Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spiritual Application on Smallville

It is the 1oth & final season of Smallville, a television drama about Clark Kent before he became Superman. The character is in his early 20s, so he should be able to fly by now, but I think when the producers decided "no flights, no tights" they didn't realize the show would last 10 years! Nevertheless, I am a loyal fan.

The actor who played Lex Luthor was only on the show for 7 years (he got tired of shaving his head), so for the past few years the writers had to get creative because Lex is Superman's most well-known villain. Now in the final season they are incorporating another Big League villain, Darkseid, the Lord of Apokolips. They are giving it an interesting twist, though. At this point Darkseid draws on the darkness within people & uses them for his evil bidding.

The truth is, all people do have a darkness within--the sin nature. Temptation does not come externally but internally, as we read in James 1:13-15. We all sin because we are sinners. Jesus Christ died to take the punishment for our sin, and He rose from the dead & is alive now to enable those who have trusted Him as Savior to overcome temptation.

Like Darkseid on Smallville, Satan can use the sinful desires within you against you if you let him, but the sin is already in you. If you accept Jesus' sacrifice for your sins you will be forgiven, & once you are forgiven the Holy Spirit will live in you to convict you of sin & enable you to live godly!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A good boy, but not too bright

I was thinking about Joseph, the son of Jacob, whom we read about in Genesis. We usually remember him for all the hardship he went through & how God used him through it. Remember what happened before his brothers threw him in the pit, though? I don't know if he was being proud, but it kind of seems like it. Even if he wasn't proud--he was just saying it like it is--it probably would have been better for him to keep it to himself. Sure, God used it for the good of His people, Israel, & for His glory, but this is a good example for us today of what not to do.

This reminds me of something Pastor Duane Pease said once: don't say everything you know, & don't feel like you always need to "be right," even if you are right. That would have been good for Joseph to know (I'm sure he learned it as he got older), & it's great advice for us today!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do you ever wonder?

I try to stay balanced as far as what is spiritual and what is physical, & I'm figuring out how the emotions work--my wife helps me with that. The gnostics had ideas about the physical & spiritual kind of similar to what Plato said, if I remember correctly, but I'll leave that up to you to research for yourself. Overall, the way I see it, physical, emotional, & spiritual are all connected--which is easier for a woman to understand than a man (the whole spaghetti/waffles thing.)
Anyway, last week it seemed like everything was going wrong. I had been so sure I had been following the Lord's leading in going to graduate school, but I began to doubt that & doubt myself & just feel miserable. Looking back on it, though, I was on the edge of getting a cold, & I had gone a night without sleep (I went to bed & everything, but I'm not sure why I didn't fall asleep). I just had to remember what I know about God & remember what He's already done, & stop trying to figure everything out, & I felt much better. Everything still falls into place, which says to me God is in control!
I started reading the Psalms for my devotions, which I hadn't really read for awhile. Usually when I read the Bible I write down things I notice, & that's really good to do most of the time, but I had to recognize that sometimes I should just read it & think about it, & not worry about writing anything down. Angie has told me more than once that I just need to lighten up & not think so hard about things, & it's good advice!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I don't know how many readers I have (I guess there's a way to check, but I never bother), & of those readers I don't know how many of you watch Heroes, but last night's episode (which I recorded & watched this morning because I take classes at night) said a lot about the sin nature. I don't know if it was on purpose or not, but it was clear to me. In the possible future they discover a formula that gives people super powers (Lex Luthor did the same thing in DC Comics), & some idealists think it's a great idea. It turns out, though, that people are selfish & arrogant, & once they have super powers they use them for evil.
I noticed a similar pattern on Smallville. Clark Kent has powers & uses them for good, but whenever humans were exposed to kryptonite & given powers they were bad guys. They have said on the show that the kryptonite makes them evil, but the way I saw it was that humans have Adam's sin nature & Clark as a Kryptonian didn't. It turns out that Kryptonians are just as sinful as humans, but it was a thought...
Okay, back to Heroes. Nathan said that people are created in the image of God & are good, so they will use superpowers for the good of the world. It's true that humans were created in the image of God, but when Adam sinned that image was tainted, & all humans have inherited Adam's sin nature from birth. Christ died & rose again to not only save us from sin, but also to free us from being slaves to sin. Apart from Christ, all people are slaves to sin. Sinful people still do good things sometimes, but just as Sylar couldn't control his lust for other people's super powers, without Christ we couldn't control our sin. I doubt they'll say anything about that on Heroes, but we do see the pattern that people who are given super powers use them for evil.

Monday, May 5, 2008


A lot of times when people have been around me for a little while & they recognize that I talk about God & the Bible & church a lot, they seem to label me as a "religious" person. It's usually not an appropriate context for me to explain why I don't see myself as "religious" so I don't worry about the semantics, although once or twice I have been able to take it further. Usually non-"church-going" people see "church-going" people as religious, & they respect them, but don't want any part of it, & they don't know the deeper issues. Some people who do go to church think of themselves as religious people, but they for the most part don't really know what's going on, either.
There's always talk about different religions, & some people think that they should be tolerant of all religions, while on the other extreme they believe you have to find the right religion, but I think both sides are wrong. This is what I have come to understand the term "religion" to mean: Man's efforts to get to God. This applies to every religion in the world except justification in Christ alone, therefore what I believe is not a "religion".

The Gospel (good news) that brings salvation comes by believing that Jesus Christ died on the Cross to take your punishment & that He rose again the 3rd day & now indwells all believers by His Holy Spirit. First you must recognize the truth that you are a sinner, & because you are a sinner you cannot earn your own deliverance from the punishment of sin, but the God-man Christ Jesus, who was without sin, took your sin upon Himself & was punished for it, & God the Father was satisfied. Jesus died for you whether you believe it or not, but His righteousness will only be placed on your account if you choose to accept His gift!

I have heard many people say things like, "If God is like that, I don't want to believe in Him." But you know what? God is the way He is no matter what you believe, but if you take the time to get to know Him, you will realize how great His love is, & how perfect His justice is! I don't mean to sound cold, but here's where I stand: Everyone is responsible to make his or her own decisions, but there are right decisions & wrong decisions! Whoever sang, "I believe I can fly..." was speaking metaphorically, because I'm pretty sure he didn't try it. If what you choose to believe is true, that's good, but if what you choose to believe is not true, by believing it you have not made it true! I believe the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. As a child I believed it because that's what I was taught, so I'm passionate that we should teach children what it true! Now I still believe it, but I have logical reason to!
What I'm getting to is that true salvation in Jesus Christ is not a "religion" but a "relationship". Perhaps you've heard that before, & it's very true, & easy to remember. Yes, God wants to have a relationship with you through His Son, Jesus, as the mediator. There's more to it than that. Before the relationship comes the "identity". If you have accepted that Christ's sacrificial death on the Cross was for you, then you have been identified as (1) forgiven from your sin, & (2) indwelt by God's Holy Spirit. A Christian is not what you do, but who you are!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Trusting God

As much as I know how faithful God is, & how important it is to trust Him fully, I'll admit sometimes it's hard. I won't go into details, so don't jump to any conclusions about anything, but I'll just say that as of tomorrow I am no longer a Legal Assistant for the state of Ohio. This morning I was feeling peace about the whole situation, but I needed something. I asked God to guide me to what I needed to read from His word, & I knew I needed to read something about trusting God, & this is where I ended up:
Hebrews 10:19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works ... 34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. 35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. 37 “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. 38 And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” 39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.

Being laid off from a job is not as bad as being thrown in jail or having everything you own taken from you, but that was the audience of this letter. Those of us who are Christians today have the same promise, though! On this present Earth we must have endurance & we will continue to do God's will, & we have better things waiting for us that will last forever on the New Earth!
Day by day, God has been reminding me that He fits everything together to happen at the perfect time in the best way, & this was exactly what I needed to read today!
As a second blessing, God has used people to encourage me so much today! I wish the same kinds of blessing on you.