Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Super: Joseph is Professor X

Since the year 2000, hearing the name Professor X has drawn up images of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a wheel chair for people all around America.  We see him as the very powerful, yet humble, old, and balding leader of the X-Men.  But as X-Men First Class showed us, he wasn't always this way.

In fact, the comics that trace Professor X's origins reveal he was a slightly different man in his youth who hadn't yet received the hard lessons of life.  In his younger years, the chairless Charles Xavier was rich, intelligent, and even a gifted athlete.  With his psychic abilities that allowed him to read minds, see glimpses of the future, and even control other people altogether, Charles explored the world.  He was an adventurer seeking fame, fortune, power, and even love.  

One day, a battle of biblical proportions with an alien who was bent on destroying the world and appropriately named Lucifer left Charles a changed man.  An injured spine paralyzed him from the waist down and stuck him in the wheel chair he would become known for.  The powerful Charles Xavier had been humbled and seen just how short this life might be.  He decided to make his life count and spent the rest of his time on earth forging a legacy he could be proud of.  He founded Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and formed a team of X-Men with the goal of seeing man and mutant live at peace.

It's interesting how life experiences that knock us down can lead us to realize what really matters and guide us to make the most important decisions of our lives.  Joseph from the Bible was a young man very much like our mutant friend Charles.  He has a privileged childhood, a talent to see the future, and it takes some rough experiences to lead him to his calling in life.  Here's his story.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Responding to God's Word

Have you ever been sitting in church listening to the preacher go on and on and wondered when the sermon would be over?  We've all been there, but in Nehemiah chapters 8 and 9, we see Ezra stand up and read from the Bible for four hours (possibly more)!  While I don't recommend our preachers start knocking out Lord of the Rings lengthed sermons like Ezra, I think we can learn from the response of the people.  Here are four tips to help you respond to God's Word whether you are listening to a sermon or reading on your own.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Reversals for All

Harry Potter starts his story as an unwanted nephew living in a storage space under his abusive family's stairs.  He ends up the most famous, respected, and powerful wizard in the world.  Aladdin begins as a street rat who's gotta steal to eat and gotta eat to live while Jafar is the second most powerful man in Agraba using the Sultan as his puppet.  By the end of the tale, Jafar is imprisoned and destined for servitude but Aladdin gets the girl and will one day be the ruler of the kingdom.  We love a good flip-flop in a story.  One story in the Bible is absolutely filled with them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Super: Samson is the Incredible Hulk

Hulk: The Engine of Destruction

If you've seen any Hulk movie or read any of the comics, you know what the Hulk does well.  SMASH!  In Marvel's Avengers, we saw this as the Hulk chased down Black Widow in SHIELD's flying fortress and ended up wrecking the whole place.  There are Hulk comics that end with the Hulk being the only living person left on earth after nuclear fallout has killed everyone else.  It's just him and the cockroaches.  There's an animated movie called Planet Hulk that starts off with Hulk being locked in a spaceship and shot into outer space because the Avengers realize the Hulk will destroy everything on earth.

When it comes to superheroes the Hulk is definitely Super but the jury is out on the hero part.  He's just as likely to make things a hundred times worse as he is to save the day.  His blinding rage and anger consume him.  That's why almost all of the Hulk's stories end in disaster.  There is a man in the Bible who fits this description.  His name is Samson.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Little Help from My Friends

I remember watching The Wonder Years growing up.   I honestly don't know why I liked the show so much. I was too young to really get what was going on episode to episode.  All I really remember is that Kevin crushed hard for Winnie.  And I remember the theme song and its famous chorus "I get by with a little help from my friends."  I pretty much know that whole song by heart because of The Wonder Years.