Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Now having read a few reviews of this movie, I knew exactly what we were in for. 105 minutes of bloody violence with a few naked women thrown into the mix. But still in the three weeks since its release the movie has grossed over $162,354,000, and continues to dominate the box office. Now obviously I don't think that we should just go along with whatever culture does, but when something makes such a splash, I think that there is something worth checking out. Why are people seeing it? So we went. Now I will say this about the movie; There, were a few minutes where we all spent some time studying our shoes (but the movie wasn’t nearly as sexual as I had been led to believe). And second there is a lot of blood (although it looks pretty fake). With that said, at the end of the movie all of us were wishing that we lived back in 400 B.C. and we had what it took to be a true Spartan. What was it about this movie, that inspires? That draws a longing deep within us? What this movie does is it shows us a world were things are simple. It shows us a world where honour, respect, and glory are held above everything else. It shows us a world where there is something greater than ourselves to live and die for. It shows us a world where men discipline their bodies, and make it their slaves. It shows us that our lives can mean something, even if we are small and it seems like everything is against us. It shows us a community of people who will stand by each other and sacrifice their lives for each other. Essentially it shows us the world that we wished we live in. Now most of us would rather do without all of the violence and battle, that came with this era, but we want something to live and die for. We want honour, respect, glory, discipline, community, and a cause. And that is what draws us to this movie.
Of course there is more too it than that. Cinematically it is stunning, and the stylized fighting is amazing to watch. But I believe that at the heart of it, there is a longing that this movie creates in us. I know that even days later, I still have a longing to be a warrior, to have a battle that demands my life.
And so.... the question is, where do we go from here? I believe that within Christianity there is a place for honour, respect, glory, disciple, community, and obviously there is a cause that we have. But how to we draw that out? How do we inspire men to grab hold of the faith, and become warriors? How does Christ, become our battle of
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
1) God Can Change his Mind, so then the plans Change.
First we are told in Hebrews 6:18 that it is impossible for God to lie. With this in mind when we read the story of Exodus 32:9-14 we are left with a clear picture of when God’s mind can be changed by his people. Because his threat to destroy the people was either, real, or a lie, God was clearly ready to destroy the Israelites, but because of Moses’ intercession, and arguing God relents and changes His mind. So if it is possible for us as humans to change God’s mind, how can He have a blueprint laid out for my life? Clearly there are things that can change His mind and make new plans.
2) We must have choice (To choose and reject)
God is Love, God created us for love. In Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis says,
“Free will is what has made evil possible. Why then, did God give (creatures) free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”
Because God wants real love from us, it means we must have a choice. This choice is clear to us through the scriptures. It is repeatedly affirmed that God loves the whole world and does not want one person to be lost (1 Tim 2:4 4:10; 2 Pet 3:9)! And yet at the same time it tells us that many people will be lost. The possibility of saying no to God must be there just as the possibility of saying yes. People can and often do resist God. Choice is part of the fabric of who we are. So in my life I must have choice in the decisions I will make, if God has a blueprint of everything I will do, and am supposed to do, I become nothing more than a robot. It also raises questions about those who choose not to follow God. Either they have a choice, or God has a blueprint that says they will not choose to know Him. And so now He is the one responsible for them being lost. Seeing as we have already established that God cannot lie, and the God wants all people to be saved, so this clearly isn’t an option.
3) If God is responsible for everything that means evil as well
One final reason (although I’m sure I can think of more) I see a problem with the idea of God’s blueprint of my life is that then there is, “A specific divine reason for every particular event that transpires, including the activity of Satan, then the ultimate explanation for evil cannot be found in Satan. It must rather be found in the reason that God had for ordaining or allowing him to carry out that specific activity, The problem is that the New Testament doesn’t point toward that. Acts 10:38 says that Jesus “Went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” In fact Jesus always treated disease as a work of the enemy.” If God has a plan for everything in my life it means that He is also in control of all the sickness, disease and disasters that happen in this world, that He NOT Satan is the perpetrator of these events. To me this is irreconcilable with God as good, and the pictures we see in the scripture as God’s kingdom fighting against the powers and principles of this world.
In Conclusion, I find the evidence of God’s ability to change His mind, His gift of choice to choose or reject Him, and the fact that a good God cannot be responsible for evil, is enough that God does not have a single plan for our lives. It seems to me that if God has a plan for our life it is that we will Love Him, and that we will live Holy Lives.
Now I also have to say that all of this doesn’t make total sense to me yet. I am just a pilgrim searching for answers. And while I don’t think that God has a specific plan for my life, I also believe that God calls people and commissions them for things. I believe that it is good to seek the guidance of God, and walk in His steps. So how that relates to what I’ve said before I am not totally sure yet. But this I do know, without choice, we stray too close to predestination for my liking.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
It seems to me that the busyness in our life is like a wind that shakes our extremities, and threatens to knock us down. But when we have learnt to rest in God, all the wind does is shake our branches, but WE are firmly rooted and are able to rest. So we are active, but not busy. But when we have lost the ability to be still and know God, the wind/busy times in our life come and blow against us, and we shatter like an old tree in a strong storm. Busyness will kill you. Think about that word, what comes to mind? For me it is the bee going from one flower to the next, flying around in circles. Busyness will destroy you. It will separate you from God. Unless we can slow down, rest in the presence of our creator, we will break under the speed of life. So stop for a minute, take a breath, tune into the presence of God, rest....... and then go back to your work, but do so remembering that the wind is only shaking your branches, not you. Remember that you can be active, but not busy.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
So if I ever write a book, I am going to make sure that there are Lots of pages at the front of it, and a very large appendix at the back. I started reading Contemplative Youth Ministry today by Mark Yaconelli, and I discovered something. I had just gotten part way into chapter one when I realized that I was 34 pages into the book. I had this huge sense of accomplishment. WOW!! after only fifteen minutes of reading I am so far!!!! Now the problem is that by page 237 I'm dragging my heals and wishing I was done (hence the need for large appendixes). So one day I will write a book. This will be a book that not only fills your soul and mind, but that also makes you feel good about yourself, because it took you so little time to read!!