Sunday Devotional: Psalm 123

“To you I lift up my eyes,
    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants
    look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
    to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
    till he has mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than enough
    of the scorn of those who are at ease,
    of the contempt of the proud.”  (Psalm 123)

Many of the psalms are songs of prayer and this is one of those.  The writer in these short verses knows where to lift his eyes to as he prays and sings, it is to the Lord.  He know the one who shows mercy and that is the Lord.  The writer sings to the Lord asking for mercy because he is going through a rough time.  He knows the Lord provides mercy and trust that the Lord will deliver.

Many of us may be going through tough times.  We may be struggling and hurting.  We may feel scorned.  But we know that God brings grace and peace.  He will bring mercy and love to us.  Let us call out to Him and trust that he will provide mercy and grace this week.  And let us be sure to share with others that God provides for all who call upon Him and trust Him.

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The 25th Anniversary Edition 1991 Version: Comic Books

It’s time once again for the Anniversary Edition. This is a series where we highlight the 25th anniversary of some of our favorite things. These include movies, TV shows, video games, comics and music that came out during the year of 1991. A lot of big things debuted or made a huge impact that year and so we will highlight some of those in this series.

We have previously looked at the year in music, video games, movies, and TV shows in 1991. We now turn to the year in comics in 1991. There were several storylines and characters that made their debut that year.

On the Marvel front, the big crossover event was the Muir Island Saga.  It was a five issue crossover between The X-Men & X-Factor.  The results of the saga included seeing Professor X losing the use of his legs again as well as the members of the X-Men go back to wearing individual uniforms instead of team uniforms.

X-Men Muir Island Saga
On the DC front, the big crossover event was Armageddon 2001.  The event ran May through October and was featured in all the big DC chararacters’ annual comics as well as a limited series specific to the event.  The other big DC comic was the #1 issue of Superman:  The Man of Steel which debuted in July.  With this comic series, it meant that at the time that there would be a new Superman comic book every week of the month.

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Another huge comic book miniseries that released in 1991 did so through Dark Horse Comics.  This was a new story in the Star Wars universe.  That title was Star Wars:  Dark Empire.  The first issue debuted in December and told the further adventures of Luke Skywalker and the gang.  These stories, along with many post Return of the Jedi stories, are now apart of the Legends canon of the Star Wars Universe.

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There were several characters that made their debut in 1991.  I’ll highlight two here.  The first is Cletus Kassady, better known as Carnage.  He debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #344 in March and would eventually become the “darker version” of Venom.  The second one is someone that is pretty popular given the recent movie that came out this year and that is Wade Wilson, better known as Deadpool.  Debuting in The New Mutants #98 in February, Deadpool was initially a villain but his popularity drove the writers to morph him into the anti-hero character that he is known for today.

Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_344New_Mutants_Vol_1_98_001

There are many other comics and characters that were featured in 1991. Is there an issue or character not listed that you enjoy? Leave a comment and share them here. Thanks for joining us this month during our trip down memory lane. We’ll be back next year around this time to look at the 25th anniversary of things that happened during 1992. Until then, break out the comic books and enjoy some classic reading.

Sunday Devotional: Ephesians 3:7-13

“Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.  To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,  and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,  in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.  So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.”  (Ephesians 3:7-13)

Paul always wanted to encourage others to continue in the faith.  He loved the cities in which he ministered and planted churches and Ephesus was no exception.  In this letter to the Ephesians, Paul shared again with them of the mission that he was called to do by God.  He was given this mission by God to share the Gospel.  It is God working in and through Paul that this is accomplished.  And even though there were hardships and struggles, Paul wanted the Ephesians to not be discouraged.

This says a lot about the love and concern that Paul had.  Even though he was the one that was suffering, he didn’t want others to be discouraged by the things he was going through.  I’m sure there were moments where he was discouraged but yet he persevered because he trusted God and the message he was given to share.

This week let us encourage one another to be faithful to message we’ve been given to share.  Let us love one another and build one another up.  And let us persevere in the faith.  God loves us and is there for us.  He will always be there for us and will help us to endure.

The 25th Anniversary Edition 1991 Version: TV Shows

It’s time again for the Anniversary Edition. This is a series where we highlight the 25th anniversary of some of our favorite things. These include movies, TV shows, video games, comics and music that came out during the year of 1991. A lot of big things debuted or made a huge impact that year and so we will highlight some of those in this series.

We have previously looked at the year in music, video games and movies in 1991. We now turn to the TV shows of 1991.  Lots of pretty cool and memorable TV shows debuted in 1991 so let’s get right to it.

Seeing as this was still the era of great cartoons, let us start there.  On Nickelodeon, we saw their first foray into original animation shows.  On August 11th, three shows debuted.  Those shows were Doug, Rugrats and Ren & Stimpy Show.  This was the beginning of the Nicktoons franchise.  Another great cartoon that debuted in 1991 was Darkwing Duck.  Starting on the Disney Channel on March 31 & then later moving to syndication and ABC, Darkwing Duck became another key component in the Disney Afternoon cartoon block.  Other cartoons that debuted in 1991 were Taz-Mania (August 31st) and Pro Stars (September 14th)

Nickelodeon also had Clarissa Explains It All debuted on March 1st.

On the talk show front, there were several pretty big talk shows that debuted in 1991 including two that are still going today.  These talk shows were The Montel Williams Show (September 16th) The Jenny Jones Show (also September 16th) and the two big ones Maury (September 9th) and The Jerry Springer Show (September 30th).

Some other big shows that debuted in 1991 included Blossom (January 5th), Dinosaurs (April 26th), Home Improvement (September 17th), Step by Step (September 20th), and The Commish (September 28th)

Which of these TV shows listed was your favorite? Is there a TV show not listed that premiered in 1991 that you enjoy? Leave a comment and share them here. Next time, we will look at the year in comics in 1991. Until then, crank up the old VCR and enjoy some classic TV shows.

Sunday Devotional: Philippians 2:1-4

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  (Philippians 2:1-4)

Paul, in his letter to the church in Philippi, wanted to make sure that he conveyed the message that he wanted the church to be unified.  They were doing a great job of this but he wanted them to continue in that.  He wanted them to be “of the same mind” and to have “the same love”.  When followers of Jesus are united in the mission that we have received from God, great things are accomplished both in our lives and in those around us.

When we are loving God, it will compel us to love another.  When we are loving one another, it shows the love we have for God.  As believers, this should be what we’re all about.  Loving one another, serving one another, caring for one another.

This week, let us show that care and compassion for others.  Let us look out for one another first and foremost.  And let us be of the same mind and the same love in serving God.