Thursday Quote Day: C.S. Lewis

For Thanksgiving (and to remember the life of C.S. Lewis who passed away 50 years ago last week) here’s a quote in honor of the day:

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is “good,” because is it good, if “bad” because it works in us patience, humility, and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” (C.S. Lewis)

Being Thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and throughout all this month I’ve seen friends post things they have been thankful for throughout the month.  It is good to be reminded of the things God has blessed us with, not just this month but throughout the year.  Here are a few things that I am thankful for:

*Jesus Christ.  This has to be number one.  I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without Him.  I was reminded again today how thankful I am for Him and what he has done.  That Jesus, fully God and fully man, came to Earth lived a perfect life, was tempted yet never sinned, died on the Cross to pay the penalty for my sins, rose from the grave three days later and is alive and well.  I’m not always the best follower of Jesus but I’m grateful that he forgives me when I repent of my sins and has changed me and continues to work in my life (through the Holy Spirit).

*Family and friends.  In good times and rough times, it’s good to rely on family and friends.  It is such a blessing to have those people in your life who love you and care about you.  Life is not meant to be lived alone but in community.  This is a great reminder of that.

*Church.  Ties right into family and friends and community.  We all need that that community of believers to encourage, exhort, spur one another in our walks with Christ.  It is important to be connected to a local body of believers and that’s key to be a part of a church.

*Fun activities.  I enjoy sports and video games, movies and TV shows, reading and writing.  There’s lots of cool things that are fun and entertaining and I enjoy doing.  And the cool thing is getting to enjoy that with others.

I hope that all of you have a great Thanksgiving and that as you celebrate with food and family (and football) that you take time to remember the blessings that God has provided and be thankful.

Sunday Devotional: Romans 15

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

In this time of giving thanks, it is a great time to remember to be thankful of hope.  Paul, in his letter to the Romans, is wrapping up his letter to the believers in Rome with some admonishment and encouragement.  One of the things he’s encouraging them is to remember Jesus.  In the verses prior to verse 13, he quotes from the Old Testament in several places, the last being in Isaiah as a prophesy to Jesus as one who will rule and bring hope.

Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we can have salvation.  We can have hope.  With this, we can have joy and peace in that hope.  And with that, we can share that hope with others.  Above all things, that is something we can be thankful for.  So if in this Thanksgiving season things are going well, be thankful.  And if in this season things are not going well, be thankful.  With Jesus, we have hope and that is something to give much thanks.

Doctor Who and Regeneration

50 years ago this weekend the television show Doctor Who premiered on the BBC in the United Kingdom.  It became a worldwide cultural phenomenon that has spanned the decades and the globe.  People around the world are faciniated about the adventures of the Doctor.

For those who may not know, here’s a brief description of the show:  the lead character is The Doctor, an alien who looks human who travels through time and space in what looks like an English police box (think old telephone box).  He travels with a companion (or several companions) and solve problems and fight villains who threaten the universe.

One of the key components of the story of Doctor Who is the Doctor’s ability to regenerate.  When the Doctor is near death (or some major tramatice event hapens) he regenerates into a new form.  He is still the Doctor, he just looks different and acts different.  He does retain the knowledge and memories prior so he is the same yet different.

When one thinks about regeneration and Christianity, one of the obvious things that comes to mind is 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.”  When we repent and confess our sins and turn our lives over to Jesus, we go from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive.  We are made new.

Like the Doctor, we are still the same yet different.  We still have our memories of what our lives were like prior but we are different.  And I think that as we continue to follow Jesus and major events and circumstances come our way, we continue that change.

I am not the same person that I was in January, or five years ago, or ten years ago or even 25 years ago (when I first became a Christian) or before that.  There are different versions of me throughout the years yet I’m still me throughout.  There are people that know me through multiple portions of my life and there are some that only know me in one season of my life.  And I’m sure like how certain companions of the Doctor know him a certain way, there are some friends of mine that know me from a certain way.

But the cool thing is that throughout all the different changes in my life, God is at work in all of them.  He is constantly at work in my life molding me and changing me into what He wants me to be.  Sometimes that’s hard and sometimes it hurts.  But each times those life changing events happen, I come out on the other side of it changed and for the better.

It will be interesting to see what new adventures the new Doctor will have.  It will be more interesting to see what God has in store for me and what new adventures I will have.

Thursday Quote Day: Ed Stetzer

For this week’s Thursday Quote Day, looking at a quote about community.  Community is a huge part of the life of a Christian and it is important to be a part of a community of fellow believers.  Here’s the quote:

“Community is the love of God manifesting itself in and through the people of God.” (Ed Stetzer Lost and Found)

Trailer to “The Wind Rises”

A new trailer came out today for the movie The Wind Rises.  It is the final film to be directed by the great Hayao Miyazaki.  Anyone that knows me knows I am a huge fan of his work.  I first got interested in his films when I was in college and my appreciation for his work has grown as the years have gone by.  He has made some of the best films in the past (roughly) thirty years or so.  Not just animated films but films period.

It will be released in the U.S. in limited release on February 21st.  Here’s the trailer:

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 11

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

Hebrews 11 is in many ways a record of faith.  The writer of Hebrews takes time throughout the chapter tracing back those in the Bible who lived by faith.  Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and so on are mentioned throughout the chapter.  People who lived by faith.

That first verse of the chapter is an important one.  Those people who are listed afterwards are examples of what that first verse is talking about.  Some things I want to highlight are hope and faith.  It is important to have hope.  When circumstances are rough, when times are tough, when you are hurt and brought down, it is important to have hope.  We are able to have hope because of God.  God is always there and will never leave us or forsake us.  He will never hurt us.  He will never let us down.  He will never betray us.  People can let us down.  People can hurt us.  But God won’t let us down or hurt us.  He’s there to heal us.

Like the writer of Hebrews says, faith is the assurance of things hoped for.  By faith, we can follow Christ and serve Him.  We can trust Him that He wants what’s best for us and He will reveal what that is.  The writer gives example after example of those in the Bible who, like us, had hope and acted on it through faith.

Let me encourage you (and myself as well).  Don’t lose hope.  Don’t lose faith.  Keep persevering in the faith.  Keep following Jesus.  Be assured that faith and hope in Him is well founded.