Stranger Things

Stranger Things. If you like suspense, fear, and intrigue with a strong dose of fiction, then  the show, Stranger Things is for you.

My wife and I really enjoyed both seasons. Try it! You just might like it too!

stranger-things-titles

In the show, there was an alternate universe. Some of the characters called it ‘The Upside Down’. It was the same yet different. The buildings were there but there were very few people. Again, the Upside Down was the same but yet, strangely different.

I understand that I am being very vague and ambiguous with the description of the show. All I really want to communicate is that there was another world, a world different from the reality in which the people were living.

The Word – reality

The Worth – We live in this world. But I feel like we are not always living in reality.

Acts 17:16-31 is a passage of scripture that describes Paul while he was in Athens. The people are accusing Paul of speaking about ‘strange things’.

So Paul, as was his custom, began to preach. He was explaining how the people were worshipping many different idols and gods. They even had an idol to an unknown god. I assume they were covering all of their bases.

He then turns the conversation around to God. And in verse 28, Paul hits them with the truth. “For in him we live and move and have our being…” 

In the original language, the word being means simply, “to exist.”

Substitute the word reality for the word being. We exist, we live and breath, in fact, our very reality is in God! If God is removed, we cease to exist!

All of the idols and gods the people of Athens were worshipping are not reality!

In November of 2017, are we just like the people of Athens? Too many times the answer is…yes! We worship so many things and can be oblivious to the reality that is God!

The Work – What is your reality? Do you find that your life is filled with many things, that you are religious, that there are idols present?

If you answered yes then you might need a reality check.

reality check sign

Stop and take time to ask God what is reality. What is real?

Perception is truth. What you see you take as truth. Ask God to help you see, feel, touch, and perceive His reality. That is the truth we all need.

It might take a little getting used to but it will be worth it!

I conclude with Paul’s words, “For in him we live and move and have our reality!”

 

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Which are you?

Have you ever heard God’s voice? His actual, audible voice? I have not but it would be awesome if ever I had the chance!

I have, however, heard God speaking to me. The other day, a short bible story came to mind. After having thought about it for a while, I realize that the Holy Spirit dropped this story into my mind. 

I needed to learn something.

Luke 10:38-42 describe a scene that I am all too familiar with in my life. Here it is:

38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42but few things are needed—or indeed only one.f Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Italics mine.

There are two main characters in this story (three if you count Jesus). 

Martha and Mary.

Martha worked while Mary worshipped.

Martha stood while Mary sat.

Martha lamented while Mary listened.

Martha prepared while Mary pondered.

mary-martha-4

I have been Martha the last couple of weeks. I want to be Mary. 

Which are you?

Chemistry, Christ, and Colossians

Today is the first day of Lent so I thought I would post my wonderings about it. To do this, I want to make a comparison from the realm of chemistry. Please keep reading even if you hate science! This will worth two minutes of your time. =-)

The Law of the Conservation of Mass states that mass cannot be created or destroyed; it is merely rearranged.

Here is a chemical equation with chemical symbols: CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O

Same equation in word form: methane gas + oxygen = carbon dioxide + water

Again but in picture form:

conservation of mass 3

If you look at all the atoms, they are the same on both sides of the equation. There are four different substances but the amount of matter is the same.


 

Now let’s take a look at the idea of giving up chocolate for Lent. Fred is pretend. I am using Fred as an example so anybody named Fred is not to be directly associated with this post. =-)

Fred has 100 units of energy to spend each day of his life. These 100 units can be divided up however he wants to divide them. Fred really likes chocolate. He devotes 10 units of energy to chocolate. Thinking, buying, making and the eating of chocolate takes up 10 units of the 100 units that Fred has each day. The other 90 units are spent on everything else. Fred is disciplined so he only devotes 10 units for chocolate. Never more and never less. For Lent, Fred decides that he will give up chocolate. It will be difficult be he thinks he can do it. Now, he has all 100 units of energy to delegate to whatever he wants. Just because he always gave 10 units for chocolate does not mean that he loses those 10 units when he gives up chocolate. He has 100 units and will always have 100 units to spend. This is the law of the conservation of mass working in his life.

Let’s see if we can put this all together.

I can pursue God however I would like. Reading my Bible, praying, going to church, worshipping, or having coffee with another believer are all ways I can do this. I have the same amount of time that everyone else has. There may be a myriad of ways to spend it but it is there everyday. For Lent, the idea is that I am supposed to give up something. Great! But now what do I do with the extra time I have? Fred has 10 units of energy (that he used to spend on chocolate) that he gets to spend on some other thing. Maybe he will read or write or play a board game.

If I give up something, what will I do in place of that thing?


 

Whatever you are doing this Lenten season, I hope it helps you to draw closer to God. If you need to fast or give something up for these weeks leading to Easter, than do it. Make an effort to find God in a new way. I think Lent is about clearing the clutter and listening for our Lord. Whatever actions that means for you, awesome.

Remember the law of the conservation of mass. You will spend your effort on something so you might as well make it something great.

Colossians 3:17 says “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

 

One Yard of Christmas, pt. 1

Happy New Year!

I usually look forward when starting a new year. But for this month, I am going to reflect not on 2015 but on Christmas. Yes, the modern season and commercialism of Christmas might be the Reason for Christmas is still real. Jesus, that helpless little baby born in a manger is still alive today! And because He still lives and reigns, the celebration must go on. So I now present to you One Yard of Christmas!

There are three feet in a yard. So it only stands to reason that in One Yard of Christmas, there are also three feet.

Here is the first one: a feat

 

Luke 2:6:7 says, “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

 

How is it that God, who happens to be completely powerful, was born completely helpless? At birth, that little baby was just like you and me. Totally helpless. It becomes even more staggering to think where He came from. The timeless words of John tell us “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” John 3:16a. What God did was a feat of great love.

 

Here is how Dictionary.com defines the word feat:

1. a noteworthy or extraordinary act or achievement, usually displaying boldness, skill, etc.:

For me, God giving His son is an amazing act. A feat that has never been duplicated in all of time. You can probably think of many great feats that have happened through history. But do they really compare to the Almighty God and Creator of the Universe wrapping Himself in skin and being born as a crying little baby?

 

But why does it matter? Let’s go back to John. He wrote the three little words that are so simple yet so impactful: “God so loved.”

 

So as we journey through this year, may we never forget that God so loved us. I mean me. I mean you. Anyone can experience this love. That is what is so noteworthy or extraordinary about Jesus. The love of God shown to us in and through the infant of Christmas.

 

This is all in vain unless there is application. Carve out some time today and everyday to ponder the love of God. Read His Word. Soak in it. Let it be the driving force for your life. Surrender to the waves of His unending, unrelenting love. His compassions are new every morning! See Lamentations. Let 2015 be a year in which you are changed. God’s love will do that…

but only if you let it.

“G”

I live in Green Bay, WI. What was the first thing that popped into your mind when you read the words Green Bay?

For many, the football team that plays here would be the first thing into their minds. For others, it might be cheese. Beer? Some might even call it home. But I think we could agree that we are the most famous for the green and gold, the Green Bay Packers.

Back in July of this year, I had an amazing opportunity. Without going into the whole story, I was asked if I would give the Invocation at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet!

Needless to say, my answer was yes.

My wife and I got to attend the banquet, enjoy dinner, meet some famous people and shake hands with some Packers themselves.

Big deal right? Sure, it was probably something that I will never get to do again. It was really fun! Meeting these larger-than-life people is surreal. Very tasty food also!

 

But if one is not careful, those things (Packers, banquets, fame, food etc.) can become the object of our worship. 

I believe that God created us with a built-in capacity to worship. We will worship something. The great part is that we get to choose what object, thing, or person we will worship.

Let that sink in for a minute. Click this to read a passage from God’s word.

To end this post, I want to share with you the prayer that I prayed for the Invocation. For me, reading it again is a good reminder to reevaluate what I am worshipping.

 

Thank, It is indeed an honor to be a part of Packer history so again, thank you.

We are all on a journey. Life itself is a journey. Everyday, we make stops along the way of our own journey. However, for the vast majority of those of us gathered here tonight, those stops do not include being inducted into the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame!

It is a gift to be a great football player as such are gathered here tonight. In fact, all gifts are given to us by God and God alone. Therefore, as we honor these men tonight, let us remember to recognize that all good things come from the Father above. Let us pray.

Almighty God, we magnify you tonight. For it is by your grace that we stand here today. May we honor you because of who you are.

Arrest us in our sin.

Aid us in our shortcomings.

Affirm us in our strengths.

May your blessing rest on these inductees. Let your love abound to all who are present.

Thank you for all the work and effort that has preceded this banquet and give us nourishment from our meal.

We pray all of these things in the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.


Closing thought, “What does that G stand for again?”G on helmet