Saturday, January 24, 2009


A little over a month ago, on my birthday, my mom & I went to watch Bolt at the movie theater. She had seen it already, but I hadn't, & I thought it was a great movie! My favorite line of the movie was when Rhino, the fat little hamster (or guinnea pig or whatever ...) said, "Sometimes things seem impossible, but you can make them possible if you are awesome!" (or something close to that)
In the context of the movie it was just funny, because Rhino & Bolt both thought Bolt had superpowers (i.e., he was "awesome"), but he really didn't--at least not in the way they thought he did. At first it sounded like a motivation for anyone to take on a challenge, but there was an underlying thought that you must be a superhero.

Let's think about that on a broader scale, though, & apply it to Matthew 19:26/ Mark 10:27/ Luke 1:37; 18:27. We overuse the word "awesome" (which doesn't bother me as much as when people misuse the word "literally," but that's another topic). As Elly told Devon (a.k.a. "Captain Awesome") on Chuck, "If everything is 'awesome', doesn't 'awesome' then just mean 'mediocre'? (or something along those lines)
The truth is, God is "awesome" for real, so we shouldn't doubt that anything is possible for Him!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


"Serendipity" is a term that comes up fairly often in Library Science in the context of research. (For some reason when I think of this word an image of a purple dragon comes to mind--does anybody have an idea why?) The definition in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary: 11th ed. is as follows:

serendipity: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.

Perhaps you have experienced in searching for a certain item in the library, not finding the source you are looking for, you find something even better nearby. In the majority of such cases it is because of the cataloging & classification in the library--in other words, resources about the same subjects are shelved together in the stacks.
Sometimes, however, things just seem to come together. For instance, I am by nature better at presenting my own thoughts & opinions than listening to others. For me to be the husband Angie needs, however, I need to be a better listener. Understanding this, I find that the classes I'm taking this semester in graduate school, particularly "Introduction to Research," teach me to be a better listener. The purpose in the class is so I can help people find what they are really looking for, even if they don't know themselves. I think that this mindset will help me listen & pay attention to my wife better, & to respect what she has to say without feeling the need to give my own input.

Is serendipity just one of those things, or is there a reason? I know what I think, but I'll leave it up to you...

(Revelation 4:11)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Real Holy Spirit

Pastor Trent K. at Zion Baptist Church started a new series on the Holy Spirit this morning, & it had a real impact on me. More on that in a second...

I know that when I accepted Jesus as my Savior the Holy Spirit came to dwell within me, & he will never leave. God exists in 3 Persons: the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit, who each have distinct roles but are equally 1 God. Jesus, who is God's Son, & the Holy Spirit were both with God the Father at Creation. Before the day of Pentecost in the 2nd chapter of Acts, the Holy Spirit existed & filled certain people for certain tasks, but filling was only temporary. That's why David could write in Psalm 51:11 "...take not your Holy Spirit from me." Indwelling comes immediately upon receiving salvation through Christ, & it is permanent, at least for as long as we live on this Earth.

Pastor Trent pointed out that, as Jesus expressed in John 16:7, it is better that we are filled with the Holy Spirit than if Jesus were physically with us on Earth. When Jesus was physically on Earth he could only be in one place at one time doing his work, but when he ascended into heaven he could send the Holy Spirit, who is ever present with each believer & he works through us!
A most important thing to remember about the Holy Spirit is that he is here to point to Christ & to help Christians. When people claim to be performing miracles, etc. by the Holy Spirit, consider this: Who is getting the glory? When the Holy Spirit is at work the glory will always go straight to Jesus, not the person doing the miracle, not the place, not the miracle itself, not even the Holy Spirit--Jesus Christ alone is to receive the glory!
Satan masquerades as an angel of light, & sometimes he can heal people, too. He wants to distract glory from God, so don't be fooled.

Inaction figure

I was watching a little Phineas & Ferb this afternoon, & in this episode the 2 main characters wanted to make an "inaction figure" of Perry the platypus (who unbeknownst to them is "Agent P"). They invented a toy that doesn't do anything so it has an infinite market. Brilliant, eh?

Hearing that term made me realize something. As a boy I had a collection of action figures--Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Firestorm, & probably some others--& I was quite offended when my mom would call them "dolls." The toys I had were truly action figures, because they did something. Superman & Batman could both punch when you squeezed their legs. Robin (who back then didn't wear pants) would kick if you squeezed his arms, & the Flash's legs moved as if he was running when you squeezed his arms. (Don't think dirty; they were awesome!)

One regrettable day I went against my better instincts & sold my action figures at our family garage sale, so I have had to recollect them. I have a Buzz Lightyear with karate chop action, so he's a legitimate action figure, but none of my other superheroes do anything. Sure, they are moderately posable, & a few of them can even bend their knees & elbows, but can they be classified as "action figures"? In truth, they are little more than figurines. I still will never call them "dolls," though!