Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lady in the Water

I would like to encourage you to see a film. I’ve heard a number of people pan Lady in the Water. The critics are WRONG. It’s a film about a bedtime story. But there are characters that are interesting and believable who reflect reality in the midst of fantasy. Cleveland Heep is the Superintendent for an apartment building. He lives in a cottage just to the side of the pool and courtyard. In the course of the film, he meets Story, the lady in the water.

The movie is about finding purpose. Story is a 'not human' lady from “the blue world” who live beneath the pool. She needs to return to her home, but she requires help. Cleveland is a man suffering in his own world. It is his nature to help people. He is a good and noble man. Through his efforts to help Story, he finds his way back to his own life and heart.

If you’ve ever been in the place of hurting so badly inside that you wish you could disappear. If you’ve ever earnestly prayed that Jesus would return to alleviate your strangled heart. If you’ve been lonely and yet worked at secluding yourself at the same time. If you’ve known that you had something to say that needed to be heard but couldn’t get a hearing. If you’ve ever felt abandoned by God and wondered if he cared about you anymore. I want to encourage you to believe that you have reason to hope.

The early disciples considered it an honor to be considered worthy of suffering. If you are a child of God, difficult times will come. It has always been thus. The struggles we face, whether on the inside or from without, always pass through God’s hands. All of the disciples faced difficult times and the dark clouds of the heart. Jesus himself felt abandoned in his darkest hour.

God is there. When Cleveland Heek intercedes for Story, (not praying to God, but interceding nonetheless,) he finds himself. Our struggles in life and disciplines, (not punishment,) from the Lord do not mean that we’ve lost favor, they are proof that he is with us and for us. They are the beckoning of his love, the force of his truth and the assurance of his presence. As David said, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you,” (Psalm 63:3). In the dark times, respond by serving others and genuinely express your soul’s love for God.

telemicus out

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Vacation Historical Markers

This past week our family took a vacation. It was packed with activities, sights, friends and unforgettable experiences. It was Caleb’s first ride on a plane, and Hopes first that she could remember. We visited the Gateway Arch, the Mississippi River, (thanks to “Ranger Boring” we wont soon forget that,) a couple of Museums, the St. Louis Zoo, Six Flags, rode in a Limo and spent our share of time in the hotel pool. We shared warm days, good food, and a lot of laughs.

We also visited Kirksville, the town where I spent my teen years and it was, for me, a real joy. Caleb and I walked on the field where I played high school football and I told him some stories of games and plays that stand out in my mind. We looked at the houses where my family lived and talked of the people who lived around us. We looked at farmland and talked about soybeans, hay and corn. It was glorious!

When we were at worship on Sunday morning, I showed Caleb where I stood and proclaimed God’s word for the first time. I was called into the service of God during those Kirksville years, when I was 15. Though we were visiting with friends, when no one was looking, I visited that place inside me that remembers the past and wonders about the future.

It’s important that our kids know that we have a heritage of faith. We should share with them our spiritual heritage. The Lord told his people, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' “…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:5-7).

Our vacation was fun for our family, but it also served to remind me and to show my family where I came from spiritually. Have you shared your spiritual roots? Have you introduced them to people who taught you and built your faith? Have they seen you honor those people? Have they seen that you value your own spiritual heritage? Before they’re too old, show your kids the markers about those people and times that gave you your spiritual life. It is a blessing from God.

telemicus out

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Crying for a Savior

Well, the Boy and I went to see the new Superman Returns movie last week. We gave it two thumbs up. There were some things I liked and some things I didn’t, but overall it was a good, (what you would expect,) Superman movie.

In this movie, Superman returns after a five-year absence. While he was gone, Lois wrote and article titled, “Why the World doesn’t need Superman.” He finds Lois Lane on the rooftop of the Daily Planet and this exchange takes place.

Superman: I read the article, Lois.
Lois Lane: Yeah, so did a lot of people. Tomorrow night, they're giving me the Pulitzer.
Superman: Why did you write it?
Lois Lane: How could you leave us like that? I moved on. So did the rest of us. That's why I wrote it. The world doesn't need a savior. And neither do I.

Superman asks Lois to go with him and he takes her on a flight high above the Earth. He stops and says:
Superman: Listen...
Lois Lane: I don't hear anything.
Superman: I do. I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn't need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.

We who know the Savior have the ministry of sharing the love of the Father with a world that cries for a savior everyday. Jesus said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows," (Mat 10:29 -31).

Yes, the world is a mess. People have turned to their own selfish ways and have no regard for God or the things of God. But not all people. There are those who know that God made them for more. They would love to believe that they are worth more than many sparrows. “They need a Savior, but who’s gonna to teach them, who’s gonna reach them with the Father’s love?”1

It’ll have to be us.

telemicus out

1 from "Savior" by Michael English