Friday, September 28, 2012

Bragging About Our Little Kingdoms

He closed his eyes to sleep after a long day of work.  His mind raced for a while about the things he had forgotten to do and his plans for tomorrow.  But slowly slumber crept in to give him the rest he needed.  The darkness of sleep washed over him.  He dreamed of the ocean.  The waves crashed in and receded back from the shore.  But then the clouds grew dark and the waves grew violent.  Lightning flashed over the stormy skies.  And Daniel beheld visions fit only for a nightmare.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Super: Release Your Inner Hero [Gideon]

Have you seen Captain America?  It was good, not amazing, but pretty good.  Steve Rogers starts off as this scrawny nobody.  No powers, no abilities, nothing that makes him special in any way whatsoever.  He gets jumped in the alley and needs his buddy to rescue him.  He’s so weak that he tries to join the army and they won’t let him in!  Finally, he makes it and he’s a trainwreck.  He can’t keep up.  He’s no good.
But what he does have are his convictions.  He’s got the kind of convictions that lead him to charge straight into the enemy camp all by himself at the end of the movie.  And because of those convictions, he is given great power and leads the team to victory.  The Cap's story is a lot like the story of Gideon in Judges 6-7.  You may want to read these two chapters as I'll only be sharing a few verses.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dark Knight Rises and So Can You!

Now that I'm back to writing after my break, I can finally write about some of the great movies that came out this summer!  Among them is Dark Knight Rises!  It's probably for the best that it's taken me time to get to this one because there are so many twists and plot points to spoil.  By now, the majority of you have probably seen it, but be warned, "There be spoilers ahead."

Batman Begins was a movie about falling to or mastering one's own fear.  Dark Knight was about justice and morality from the common folk on the street to the politicians we idolize and how even great men can fall.  Dark Knight Rises picks up right there with an absent Batman and a devastated Bruce Wayne.  It is a movie about rising out of the ashes and not letting anything keep us down.

Batman really takes some hard falls in this movie.  Just when you think things can't get worse. . . they do again and again.  When the movie starts, he is out of shape, has a bum leg, and is an emotional wreck over the loss of his love, Rachel.  His company is failing because he sunk its money into a supposedly failed clean energy project.  On top of all of that, the people of Gotham hate Batman for the killing spree pinned on him in the last movie.

But come on, he's Batman!  He picks himself up, does some push-ups, gets a fancy knee brace, puts on the Batsuit, and jumps back into the action.  He even picks up a sidekick in Catwoman.  There's nothing to it.  Right?

Wrong!  Things go from bad to catastrophic.  Bane shows up and destroys Batman in every way possible.  Everything this guy has going for him is gone in the end.  Even the things that make him a Superhero are taken away.  His super wealth?  Bankrupted through a crazy stock exchange robbery.  His super gadgets and Bat-mo-tumbler?  Stolen by Bane through an elaborate sewer demolition plan.  His super butler?  Walks out on Mishtah Wayne.  His new super sidekick Catwoman?  Betrays him in a heartbeat!  But at least he's still got his super ninja skills and fighting styles right?  Oh, wait no, did you hear that snap?  That was Batman's spine getting broken.

The man is completely and utterly defeated.  He is left in a pit in what most of us would consider a hopeless situation.  In fact, hope itself is what taunts him in the form of sunlight pouring down from the only way to escape the pit he is in.  But everyone tells him its a futile hope.  No one can escape.  Give up.

Have you ever been down in the dumps?  Have you ever been discouraged?  Have you ever been so beaten that you were left with only the tiniest shred of hope that things would get better?  Have you ever just plain run out of hope?  Maybe you were living a lie and got caught and it seemed impossible to fix the broken relationships in your life.  Maybe you went through a really rough break up.  Maybe you lost your job.  Maybe you lost someone you loved in tragedy.  You're not alone.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Processing Benghazi

Benghazi.  A few days ago, if you had said that word I might have replied with "God bless you."  Now its a word I'm hearing all over the place.  If you haven't kept up with the news, a US consulate (sort of like a small embassy) was attacked on Tuesday night in Benghazi, Libya.  Four Americans are dead including the US ambassador to Libya while more were wounded.  I don't have all of the facts and I won't pretend to, but there are two things I'm hearing floating around Facebook and the internet that I'd like to respond to.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More Than Normal

After taking a break from my blog over the very busy summer, I'm back to writing again.  I'm not sure if I'll be writing three times a week again this year.  We'll just have to see how it goes.  As this new school year starts, I wanted to share a word from Daniel with you teens and young adults, though it certainly applies to everyone.