A Challenge…Who’ll Take Me Up On It?

September 20, 2006 at 3:27 am | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | 25 Comments

John Wesley was a great man. However, he didn’t consider himself that way, and in a letter he wrote to his mother, Susanna, he asked for a list of sins he should avoid. Her response astounds me as it probably astounded him:

Whatever weakens your reason, whatever impairs the tenderness of your conscience, whatever obscures your sense of God, whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind, whatever takes away from your relish for spiritual things, that to you is sin, no matter how innocent it is in itself.

Think about that for a second. That is phenomenal. Can I challenge you guys?
Here’s my challenge to you: memorize that. It’s not much, and it’s not hard to memorize for those of you that do speeches, or even debaters that memorize their 1AC. But I wonder how our conduct would change if we had that memorized…

I’ll do it too…Who’ll take me up on that?

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The Rebelution is new, yet the same.

August 29, 2006 at 2:05 am | Posted in Christianity, News, Random | 6 Comments


No, you didn’t come to the wrong place. May we introduce you to the all-new and improved online headquarters for the Rebelution.

Hours and hours of work have been put into this project over the past few months. We have been looking forward to the day when we could finally show it to all of you. We decided to launch the new site today, almost exactly a year since The Rebelution blog officially began, in celebration of our one-year anniversary.

It’s been an incredible ride.

God’s Sovereign Plan
The Rebelution began as two young men’s attempt to discipline themselves to think and to write. We wanted to have a blog that went beyond the normal journaling and chatter of typical teen blogs, and hopefully, to network with some like-minded young men and women while we were at it.

Little did we know that God would take and turn it into something so much bigger than we are. We’re so blessed to be part of what God is doing in our generation.

As you may have noticed, things are looking quite different around here. Not only has the blog gone through a redesign, but it’s switched from Blogger to WordPress. Plus, the blog has three new friends. In this first post on the newly-designed blog, we’d like to introduce you to each of them:

blog_header

The blog may have a new suit of clothes and a new address, but it’s still the same old blog. This is where everything started and where it continues to happen. You’ll find our same old sidebar on your right, full of original articles, cultural commentary, and special news coverage, with new posts added several times a week.

Be sure to update your links, feeds, and subscriptions. The RSS feed is on the sidebar in The Rebelution Rundown. The new address is: www.therebelution.com/blog

conference_header

The Conference Section of the site is devoted to the upcoming Rebelution Tour 2007. We’re looking forward to meeting many of you and to share our hearts with many hundreds of like-minded teens and parents around the country.

The Conference Section includes the tour schedule, conference message and session topics, speaker bios, and frequently asked questions. As the Tour draws closer we’ll be adding more features, like movies, video, and audio, as well as downloadable publicity materials and secure online registration.

forum_header

We’re really excited about the all-new discussion forums. They have been specifically designed as a place for young people who share the vision of the Rebelution to network and interact.

This is not your typical message board with celebrity gossip, heated (and unproductive) arguments, and spam all mixed together. Instead this is meeting place for mature Christian teens to engage in intelligent and meaningful conversation. All that to say, what are you waiting for? Go join the discussion!

resources_header

The brand-new Resources Section is a compilation of a great articles from the some of the best Christian authors of our day. It’s all out there, but now it’s all together in a single place.

Even better, it’s going to constantly grow as readers submit suggestions and as it expands to include audio and video resources as well. We know you’ll be blessed.

Some Closing Thoughts
So go and explore. There’s a lot to see. Browse the Resource section. Join the discussion in the Forums. Invite your friends to join you. And give us feedback, we’d love to hear what you think.

Most importantly, continue to fight beside us in the daily battle against the low expectations of this world and to return to God’s standard for the teen years. The blog, the conference, the forums, and the resource section were all created to equip us in this fight. By God’s grace and for His glory, let the Rebelution continue.

I’m so excited for you guys Alex and Brett! Keep up the good work, keep advancing his kingdom, and keep doing hard things.

His Kingdom Come!

Marshall

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Fear: Do or Die.

July 11, 2006 at 8:50 pm | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | 8 Comments

 

Thanks to Hannah from Beauty of the Heart, for her help and inspiration in this post!

 

Imagine: Two people in a room, the first person, Bob, is bent on creating a famous quote. His friend, Frank, is trying to help.

Bob: “Ooh! What about this? You have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

Frank: “But Bob! What about spiders? Because, you know, I really don’t like spiders, and I’m really afraid of them.”

Bob: “Alright. Then you have nothing to fear, but spiders…and fear itself.”

Frank: “But Bob! What about snakes? You know, there are some really poisonous snakes, and I really don’t like them, in fact, I’m downright scared of them.”

Bob: “Ok. Then you have nothing to fear but, spiders, snakes…and fear itself.”

*Five hours later*

Bob: “So what you’re telling me, is that there is nothing to fear but, spiders, snakes, the dark, clowns, hippopotamus’, peanut butter, books, string, trees, lighthouses, fish?…and fear itself!”

Frank: “But Bob! What about things like, rejection, failure, pain, disappointment?”

HT to Adam Hardy for the intro idea. This was part of his Original Oratory for compeition this past year.

Someone asked me recently, “What would you attempt to do if you did not fear failure?” I felt as though I had been hit over the head with a baseball bat. The question made me stop and think. Think hard. If I were to compile a list of every opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience, which I have rejected due to my fear of failure, the size of my list would rival Webster’s Dictionary. The times in which I have turned down the chance to offer an encouraging word to a hurting person– when I shirked from giving a gentle rebuke to a friend when one was needed, when I did not share the Gospel for fear of ridicule, or when I ignored the opportunity to serve because it would remove me from my comfort zone–are staggeringly abundant.

Conquering fear is a subject mentioned a lot in the Bible. Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” The phrase, “Be not afraid,” occurs in the Bible fifty-four times. If the Bible warns us so many times not to be afraid, we do we fear? Selfishness? Comfort? Lack of trust? Fear will drag you down, and has in many cases, made people physically sick. When you fear, trust is placed in the familiar, rather than God. We would rather believe in what we know than step out into the un-known, leaning on God to fulfill His promise of faithfulness to us.

But is all fear bad? Psalms 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10 tell us, “”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” So not all fear is bad. What those passages tell us, is that the fear of man ensnares, whereas the fear of the Lord liberates.

 

First, when we look at the fear of man, we can see that many times it stems from selfishness. For instance, I have known people who have become reclusive and unsociable because of shyness. They cannot look you in the eye or carry on a full conversation. As a person with shy tendencies, I can sympathize with them, but the damaging effects of their fear are apparent. They are unwilling to look beyond their own comfort towards the needs of others, because they are literally handicapped by fear. I have known people who were unwilling to talk to do something with a non-believer because they feared. They feared that they unbeliever would cause them to sin, they feared that they would do the wrong thing, etc. As a result, that non-believer didn’t hear the Gospel that day. So fear will handicap you, and prevent you from doing something that you should be doing…it ensnares you.

On the other hand, you have the fear of the Lord. What is the fear of the Lord? It is a reverence that causes us to want to do the right thing. Not because we’re scared of the punishment, but because we fear the shame, we fear failing the Savior. So let’s define our terms here. Fear: In the Hebrew, the word is “YIR’AH” and is used in the Old Testament to describe:

a. fear, terror

b. awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear)

c. fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety

The Greek word is “PHOBOS”, and it is used to describe:

a. fear, dread, terror

b. that which strikes terror

That fear of the Lord, prevents us from sinning. Proverbs 16:6 states that, “…through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.” What does sin do? Well, in Hebrews 12:1 Paul encourages us to, “…throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Emphasis mine) What is another word for entangles? Sin ensnares you. But since the fear of the Lord causes us to avoid evil, the fear of the Lord liberates. There is a famous song that captures this eloquently:

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved.

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believed.

(once again, emphasis mine)

When we fear the Lord, we liberate ourselves. Today, I encourage you to exchange your ensnaring fear of man, for the liberating, freeing fear of the Lord. In the end then, we have nothing to fear, but God Himself.

For discussion:

  • What you are afraid of?
  • How extensively does that fear impact your life?
  • Who governs you? God or fear?
  • What would you attempt to do if you didn’t fear failure?
  • What would you attempt to do if you didn’t fear?

 

Of Doves and Snakes: Christ’s Commission To Us

June 30, 2006 at 2:18 am | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | 11 Comments

In Matthew 10:16 Jesus tells us,

“I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

What a strange comparison! I mean, you’d think that Jesus would pick an example or an analogy that is a little deeper and a little bit more profound. You’d think Jesus, of all people, would pick something that would grab the people’s, or even the reader’s attention! But no, not Jesus. Why? Because there was a meaning; a social significance, if you will, behind the doves, and the snakes.

But why snakes? Since the beginning, and going all the way back to the beginning of Genesis, snakes have been known for their cunning. Maybe it was because that was the random animal Satan chose to embody himself in to deceive the woman, or maybe it was something else. But regardless of the reasons, the serpent has always been a symbol of shrewdness.

And doves? Same thing. The dove all throughout scripture has symbolized peace, innocence, and purity. In some instances the dove represents the Holy Spirit. For example, when Jesus is being baptized; the Bible records that the Holy Spirit descended upon like a dove. The dove would also symbolize peace. When the dove brought the olive branch back to Noah on the ark, it was a symbol that God’s wrath had ended and that the Flood was over. So why did Jesus put those two symbols together in one sentence, and then tell us that we are supposed to be both?

God calls us to be innocent, not ignorant of the ways of this world. He wants us to shine our light everywhere we go. And to specifically address this, there are some groups of people that don’t believe that Christians should vote in elections. Because politics and government can get so messy, and downright dishonest/sinful sometimes, they don’t believe that they should follow, support, or participate in it. I disagree with these people. I don’t think you should support politicians that engage in corrupt or immoral practices, but I don’t think you should leave it alone. If all the Christians in the United States “left the government alone” where would this country be? “As the leader goes, so goes the country.” We can’t leave all of the decisions up to the non-Christians. The same goes for current events and controversial issues. Issues like gay marriage, civil unions, abortion, etc. Too many Christians today are afraid of learning about those things, for fear of…well, for fear. Most Christians won’t have a problem disagreeing with abortion, and saying gay marriage is bad. But we don’t want to talk about them, or do anything about them.

Now, most of my readers probably agree with Christians being involved in politics, and that we need to do something about controversial issues. But we need to understand that God never calls us to ignorance. We as Christians do not need to be afraid of sin, we need to be afraid to sin. There is a huge difference between those two letter words. Jesus ate dinner with the tax collectors, and the prostitutes, some of His disciples were criminals. He was not always around the Pharisees. He did not shy away from the sinners. In fact, He rebuked the Pharisees for doing that very thing. In Matthew 9:9-13 we find Jesus calling Matthew the Tax Collector to be a disciple. Especially potent in that passage is verses 12-13.

“…Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

We should not, and cannot, be afraid of sinners or even of sin. That does NOT mean that we shouldn’t have a fear of the Lord, that causes us not to sin. That does NOT mean that we shouldn’t be afraid to sin. In all the time that Jesus spent with the sinners, not once did He sin. The first logical argument that Christians propose in response to this, is the scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:33,

“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

And to this my only response is, absolutely. But, what you have to look at, is the motive. Why are you hanging out with them? Jesus didn’t go to the bars to party. He went to minister. I am not suggesting that you make all your best friends sinners. But what I am suggesting is a paradigm shift. God wants to heal the sick. But someone has to go. Will it be us?

In order to encourage thought, and maybe even discussion, ask yourself these questions.

• Are you afraid to get involved in politics?

• How many “sinners” (unsaved) people do you know?

• When was the last time you witnessed the gospel to someone? (I’m not talking solely about street evangelism; I am talking about hospitality, having them over to dinner, doing something with them, inviting them to church, etc.)

• Where do you draw the line between associating with someone, and becoming best friends?

• Where do you draw the line between your Jesus rubbing off on them, and their bad company rubbing off on you?

Talent…A Pre-Requisite?

March 18, 2006 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | 14 Comments

Christians across the world could be doing so much more for Christ, so why aren’t they?

Many times, they don’t feel that they’re qualified, or equipped. They don’t think that they are as good at something as another person. And you know what? They might be right. They may not be as talented as another person. But that doesn’t change God’s call. God still wants you to do what He wants you to do.

So in church, we cry out to God, “God! Equip me! Give me what I need to evangelize for the glory of your name!” And there is nothing wrong with that. That is, to an extent. We do it every Sunday, and we never get any closer. We never feel ready, equipped, and bold. You can’t get any closer to being ready, than when you’re ready! Now, that’s a pretty bold statement to make. And it’s But it’s backed by scripture and other people. I’ve heard it said, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” Philippians 4:13, says “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” If you have Christ, you have everything you need to be successful, and advance his kingdom! The only thing that God requires you to have to be His servant, is a personal relationship with His Son. That’s it. You don’t need to be a great speaker. You don’t need to be good looking. You don’t need to be the smartest kid in your class, home, or city. You just need Jesus.

Does that mean you’re perfect? No. Does that mean you won’t stumble? No. Does that mean you won’t have weaknesses, trials, or tribulations? No. But that doesn’t matter. God willing, I’ll look at this in a future post or series, but for now, just know that suffering and the will of God are not at odds. Many times Biblical characters were in the center of God’s will and they were suffering. However, for now, just know that you will stumble. And know that your weaknesses don’t hinder God. In fact, 2 Corinthians 12:9a says, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. Praise God! And this was Paul’s reaction, “…Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9b

Now, this is not to take away from talent. Not at all. Talent is great! And we should do all that we do, with excellence, as if doing unto the Lord. And of course, we can’t forget about maturity and experience.But I simply wanted to point out, that we don’t need talent or ability to accomplish for God. It’s not a pre-requisite. So let’s go on! Let’s accomplish for Him! If we have Him, we need nothing else.

My House Shall Be…

January 28, 2006 at 7:32 pm | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | 4 Comments

In order to allow the readers to read this post, and comment, I’m going to keep this on top.

What is prayer? That seems like a simple enough question with a simple enough answer. However, if we really look into it, we find that it’s more important and maybe complicated than we think. It involves more than just bowing our heads before every meal, and kneeling by our bed before we get up or go to sleep. How powerful is it? What does it do? How often should we do it? 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV instructs us to,

“Pray without ceasing;”

. “Now, come on,” you might say, “I’ve got a lot on my mind sometimes, and I’m sure God would want me to concentrate on what I’m doing, so I can do it with excellence.” Absolutely! This doesn’t mean that we have to continually be talking to God. What we need to do, is look at this scripture in context. So,

14Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16Rejoice evermore

What are these scriptures? They are instructions, in how to live our lives. So going on ahead to verse 17, “Pray without ceasing”, and looking at it in context…it’s a life style. Our lives should be living prayers to God. Princeton’s Wordnet Dictionary defines “prayer” as: “the act of communicating with a deity”. We need to walk (walk as in live our lives) in such a way that we have open communication with the Father, so that we can hear when He’s speaking. For instance, there is a story told, (a true story, happened to a lady at our church), of a woman who was driving home late at night. She was tired, it had been a long day, and she wanted to go home. She was driving by a grocery store that was closed, with a lone car in the parking lot, when she felt the Lord speak to her.

“You’ve got to be kidding, Lord!” But the urge was unmistakable. “I can’t do that! I’ll look like an idiot! I mean, if you had told me to go stand on one foot, that would be different. But I can’t go stand on my head in front of that soda machine!” So she kept on driving, arguing with God. Unfortunately she was so entranced in trying to prove to God that He was wrong, that she missed her turn, and had to go back. As she passed the grocery store once again, she felt the same urge, the same voice, telling her to do the same thing. She gave in. “Alright Lord. I do NOT understand it, but I’ll do it.” So, she pulled into the parking lot, got out of her car, walked over to the machine, and did a headstand. As she did she wondered how long she was supposed to do this, when a lady jumped out of the car, with a gun in her hand, and tears streaked across her face. She dropped the gun and ran up to the lady on her head and starting sobbing again. “I’ve had a horrible week. I lost my job, my husband died, and my daughter is in jail. I was going to commit suicide. I told God, that if He was real, and if He existed, to have somebody stand on their head in front of that soda machine. I never would have believed it. Now I have something to live for.” Something like that wouldn’t have happened, if that lady had not been living in a state of open communication with God. God speaks to us in a still small voice. In this world of busy rushing, and noisy work, do we live our lives so that we can hear when God speaks to us? As demonstrated by that story above, and by many others, prayer is powerful. It saved that lady’s life. Not only that, but prayer is an effective weapon for tearing down strongholds. Prayer is powerful. James 5:16 NIV says,

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. It can heal, it can drive out demons, it can do much. Prayer is also important, Jesus said, “It is written: ‘My house shall be a house of prayer.” He didn’t say, “My house shall be a house of worship.” Or a house of missions. Or a house of evangelism. Or a house of Sunday morning instruction classes. He said a house of prayer. And guess what?

“…your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God…” -1 Corinthians 6:19.

You are to be a house of prayer. In conclusion, and aside from a specific petition, living our lives as a prayer, is powerful and effective. Because that’s what God’s house is designed to be. And when we strive to make God’s house what it was designed to be, God is in the house. So go, live your life in a powerful and effective way. Live your life in a state of constant prayer. God bless!

An Extra Power: Not Of This World

January 3, 2006 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | Leave a comment


Now in that last post, I was pretty hard on those that aren’t redeeming the time, and I gave a really big challenge that was somewhat, impossible. I mean, to constantly redeem the time, to be a good steward, and not to waste any moment, word, or thought is indeed a rather large challenge. However, my challenge didn’t stop there, it went another step further, calling young Christians to be bold, and witness Christ’s love for us. I’m not talking only about street evangelism, although that is a big part of it. But something along the lines of street evangelism. After leaving you with that huge challenge, and telling you that you were here “for such a time as this”, what do you do now?
I wanted to touch on an issue that is somewhat controversial in the Christian church. The Holy Spirit. But how controversial can that be, right? Very much so. Does He exist? Does He still work today? If not, why not? There are many questions and I want to look at what the Bible says about it.


First, is He real? Of course. As early as Genesis 1:2 we are told that,

“The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters…”

In 1 Samuel 10:10, talking about Saul, we are left with the picture of,

“The Spirit of God came upon Him in power, and he joined in their [the procession of prophets] prophesying.”

Sound like the Holy Spirit? Luke 24:49 says,

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

And in John 20:22-23 Jesus says,

“Receive the Holy spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

How do you receive something that doesn’t exist? You can’t. So we can see from the scriptures that the Holy Spirit is real.
Next, does He still work today? This is where the controversy comes in. Most Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is real, indeed it’s hard to be a Christian and not believe that. And most believe that we have the Holy Spirit. But are His gifts still available? Were they only for the disciples, because they walked with Jesus? That’s inconsistent with scripture however, and I want to look at those scriptures. I’m going to organize this in a fashion that is more Q & A, as though an anonymous person were asking questions. This will be slightly different however, because some of the points from Mr. Anonymous, will be just that. Points, not questions.

1.) The gifts of the Holy Spirit were only for the disciples.
There are two things that I want to point out with this.
First of all is the fact that this has no Biblical backing. Nowhere in scripture are we told that the Holy Spirit left the earth. Nowhere does it say that the Holy Spirit is only for the disciples. Or that His gifts are now null and void because the finite disciples died.
Second, in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 we are told,

“Do not put out the Spirits fire. Do not treat prophecies with contempt.”

What Paul means by this is that we should not ignore or toss aside the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In this instance he specifically mentions prophecy. In 1 Corinthians 14:49 he talks about speaking in tongues. Sometimes, spiritual gifts can cause a division in the church. The reason is because they can be so powerful against the enemy; that he tries to do what he can to stifle them. As a result, many Christians try to smother them. I’ll address this in a minute. But this scripture is telling us, not to stifle the Holy Spirit’s work!

2.) We have everything we need in the scriptures. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and all the revelation we need, we can get from the Bible.
Absolutely. We can get all we need from the Bible. But since when does God only want to give us only what we need? God longs to give good gifts to His children, not just what is necessary for them to survive! Ephesians 1:13 says,

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are in God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.”

He is a deposit, that guarantees our inheritance. He’s a sign. He’s given out of love.

3.) Well the letters containing that information were written to the churches specifically.

Once again, two responses.
First, I don’t see that in scripture. Maybe it was a typo or something, but I haven’t read a scripture where it says, “The information contained in this book can only be used and applied by the person or people group it is addressed to.” So if someone could point out where it says that it is only to the church in Corinth, or the church in Ephesus, that’d be appreciated.
Second, then what about the rest of each book? Even if I were to accept that statement as truth, what about the rest of the book? For instance, the book of 1 Corinthians was addressed to the church in Corinth, so does that mean that the definition of love given in 1 Corinthians 13 is only applicable to those in Corinth? Or only to those that were in Corinth? Let me ask another question, how much of the Bible was written to us? None of it was addressed to us specifically. I mean, there is no book of 1 Marshall, or 1 Americans. It was written along time ago, but that doesn’t nullify what it says. God’s word never returns void, and it’s not bounds by time either. So it retains it’s validity through time because it’s not bound by time.

I think one of the main reasons that people in churches nowadays is because a lot of times, it gets messy. It threatens our ideal of what we think church should look like. We want to be in and out of church by 12:00 so we can go out to eat, and then head home in time to watch our favorite football team play. We don’t want people to get offended, and we don’t want anything out of the ordinary. We just want a quiet little church service that follows a schedule, so that everybody is happy. God doesn’t always work that way. God takes the ugly stuff out. And on top of that, a lot of times His schedule looks a lot different than ours.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like football just as much as the next guy, perhaps even more, (GO COLTS!) but I think we need the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way we are going to be able to change the world. It’s not enough to Do Hard Things™, Do New Things, and Redeem the Time. All that is great, but without the power of the Holy Spirit, it won’t have the effect that it could. Yes, the disciples changed the world by doing new and hard things, by redeeming the time, but they also had the power of the Holy Spirit. We’re not any different. If we want to change the world, we can only do that through the power of the Holy Spirit.



For Such A Time As This

December 21, 2005 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Character in Today's World, Christianity | 1 Comment


Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.


The above verse is one that a lot of people glance over. I know I have done that before. Or we read it and say, “Indeed, the days are evil.” However, a lot of times, it seems we miss the admonition, or the exhortation that goes before hand. We often look at the world and say, “Wow. Look how evil it has become!” But we don’t do what the scripture tells us to.

What does that passage tell us? “Be very careful, then, how you live…” Are we careful how we live? In this society of quick fixes, many people live for the moment, not thinking about what is going to come next, because, “Oh. If I mess up I can fix it.”? How about among Christian circles? How often do you hear, “Oh, it’s ok, God will forgive me/them/him/her.”? Yes, God will forgive them, but that doesn’t mean you have a license to sin. God only forgives a repentant heart, and by it’s very definition, repentance means turning around and going the other way. But do we live carefully? Or do we live recklessly?

Next, “…not as unwise but as wise…”. This is right up the alley of what Alex and Brett have been talking about. How do you live as wise? By hanging around the wise. I’m not going to talk about that, that has been covered previously, and that’s not what this post is about, but I thought I’d point it out.

This is where I want to focus, “…Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil…”

We all know the days are evil. I don’t think I have to convince any of you of that. What I want to focus on, is redeeming the time. Do we make the most of every opportunity? How many times do we stop and talk to someone on the street about Jesus? Do you ever talk to the Salvation Army bell-ringer when you put in your spare change? Do you know for certain that they are Christians? What do you spend your time doing?
In an excellent post, “My iPod is My Best Friend”, Alex examines how much time most teens spend on technology. “According to a study published by Business Week, the average American spends 9 1/2 hours a day watching TV, going to movies, renting videos, reading magazines, listening to music, and surfing the web. This was in 1998. Since then, Internet use has skyrocketed, DVDs have supplanted VHS, and the iPod has ushered in a new era of isolation from fellow human beings.”

What are we doing online? I have to admit, there are many times when I have spent my computer time doing fun, yet somewhat useless, or idle things. I don’t have an eternal perspective of things. I’m not seeing through God’s eyes. Now, don’t feel condemned. I’m not bashing the instant messenger, I have an account. I’m not bashing technology, I do web design. Nevertheless, what are we focusing on? Are we listening to what God is telling us? Are we doing it?

How are we going to know what God wants us to do? By living in a state of constant prayer, I’ll examine that in a future post…For now, I just want to encourage you to make the most of the time.
God created your for such a time as this. It reminds me of a song by one of my favorite artists, John G. Elliott.

Each of us was born to hear the holy call,
To find our place in God’s unfolding plan.
When his voice is heard, it’s glorious to obey,
And bear his light and truth to every man.

We’re called to be the generation,
That turns the tide within our nation,
but who will go and who will stand?

For such a time as this:
We were born to speak the truth;
anointed words that move the hearts of men.
If we are silent now, the Lord will send some other men;
Faithful men whose hearts are fully his.
For such a time as this.

Each of us was born, to know the heart of God
His deep desire to love and to forgive
He does not delight in judgement or in wrath
But calls to all to turn to him and live

The words that bring a true repentance
That turn away God’s judgment sentence
Are words that only we can give.
(For Such A Time As This, from the recording “Let All The Thirsty Come”, 1990 BMG SOngs {Gospel Division} ASCAP)


Now go into the world making disciples as you go. Redeem the time. Don’t let it slip by you, for our God is worthy of so much more than we can ever give. So do all you can. God bless.

A Good Discussion

December 18, 2005 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Christianity, Random | Leave a comment

Click on the banner to take you to the discussion post.

There is a great discussion going on over at Agent Tim’s site. Check it out and comment. Kudos to Tim for posting on it…

God Bless!

Robots: Worldview Or No?

December 1, 2005 at 8:47 pm | Posted in Christianity, Movies, Random | Leave a comment

“You can shine no matter what you’re made of!”

That sounds like a wonderful line, and one that would encourage younger viewers to have faith in themselves and not worry about what others think. Prima facie, that’s what it is. However, when you combine it with other key quotes from the movie, you get the true philosophy behind the movie. “What is that,” you might ask? Well, sit tight, and I’ll tell you.

The story begins with a very proud robot bursting out of his restaurant with glee, exclaiming, “Wahoo! I’m gonna’ be a dad!!” Wonderful way to start a movie! We then watch as the new baby, Rodney Copperbottom, grows through a couple sets of “hand-me-down-parts” and into a young adult. The first set is from his cousin, Jeff, and are slightly too big, and little Rodney is constantly tugging on them to keep them from falling off. The next set of hand-me-downs is from his cousin, Veronica. As the name implies, they are from a girl cousin, and are pink, and shaped like a girl torso. After watching a show on inventing, he aspires to grow up and become an inventor. At his graduation, instead of throwing his hat, he throws the torso up.

The next scene we see is Rodney walking into the fancy restaurant where his dad works as a dishwasher. He begs his dad to let him try out this new invention that he’s created. His dad finally consents, and the new gadget works brilliantly. That is, until Mr. Gunk, Mr. Copperbottom’s boss walks in and has a fit. Rodney’s “Wonderbot” gets nervous and starts going crazy, zig-zagging all through the air, knocking plates and dishes all over the place. Mr. Copperbottom has to pay for the dishes, and as he doesn’t make much, Rodney decides he is going to make his way in the world, and try to help his dad pay back Mr. Gunk. He wants to be something, and he can’t be something here in measly Rivettown. He was going to Robot City. Once in the big city, Rodney meets up with a couple of unlikely, and seemingly hopeless, companions as they proceed to stop major corporate corruption and save the known world from being “outmoded”.

The first dubious character that we meet is Fender, a somewhat crazy, definitely eccentric spirit who immediately became my favorite. Perhaps it’s the accents and the atmosphere that Robin Williams lends him, perhaps it’s the funny, although accurate lines, or perhaps it’s both combined. Regardless, he quickly became my favorite character. When we first meet him, he begins taking pictures of Rodney rapidly, much like paparazzi, exclaiming things like, “Work with me! Work with me!” And, “Come on! Inside of you is a fashion model just waiting to throw up!”

We meet up with the rest of Fender’s family in a back alley. And Rodney is taken “home”, to an inn, that is provided by Aunt Fanny, a lovable character, that takes in bots that are “broke” in all three meanings of the word.

Rodney and the gang spend their time fixing the broken bots with anything they can find. And they do fix many bots. However, in a city the size of Robot City, it was drops in the bucket, to borrow the old colloquialism. They had to get to Big Weld, the CEO, the best robot in the world. He would come back and fix the problems.

One of the key quotes I was referring to in my paragraph is, “Follow your dreams…” Another that I think is essential is, “You’ve got greatness in you…” Those are a few of many references and quotes along the same lines. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but to say that you have all it takes to follow your dreams and achieve them, and that you have greatness in you, is Biblically unsound. The Bible no where tells us that we have greatness in us. What the Bible tells us is that we are sinners, condemned to hell, and that there is not one good, no not one. So if no one is even good, then no one can be great. As a disclaimer, I’m not trying to be pessimistic, and God doesn’t leave us there, to be condemned, and I understand that this was not done by a Christian company, or producer, and so I’m not expecting them to have the message of salvation portrayed. I’m not condemning them, or saying that the movie is heathen and you shouldn’t watch it. Nevertheless, every person has a worldview; every person believes something about God. Either they believe He exists or He doesn’t. If they believe He exists, some don’t believe He cares about us. The list of beliefs is endless. But they believe something, and that will come out in their works. In what they write, what they say, how they act, etc. What I am attempting to do with this review is look into what the author’(s) and/or producer’s worldview was when the movie was created. The worldview that’s present in this movie is one in which you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, that you don’t need any help from a higher power. That anything is possible, as long as you work hard. The Bible teaches differently however. It teaches that all things are possible, through Christ. According to the Bible, man can do nothing apart from God, as He is the very giver of life.

I’m not sure how this all really applies to robots, but then again, robots aren’t that sophisticated. Yet.

Overall the movie had wonderful animation, a somewhat memorable storyline, and many wonderful, brilliant, outstanding, and hilarious lines along the way. On a scale of 1 to 10, Robots gets a 9.

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