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.

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.

dc-comics-armageddon-2001-issue-1Superman_Man_of_Steel_1

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.

Dark-Horse-Star-Wars-Dark-Empire-1

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.

The 25th Anniversary Edition 1991 Version: Movies

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 highlight some of those in this series.

We have previously looked at the year in music and video games in 1991. We now turn to the movies of 1991. This was another huge year at the box office. There were some pretty big landmark films that released in 1991. You remember them? Let’s check them out.

Of the top 10 movies of 1991, what was the highest grossing film that year? Interesting enough, both the domestic and worldwide number 1 film was Terminator 2:  Judgment Day.  It was released on July 3rd and had the highest grossing weekend that year and broke the record at the time for the highest grossing R rated film.

What film was number 1 at the box office for the longest consecutive amount of weeks? It was actually a tie between a film released in 1990 & one in 1991.  The one released in 1990 was Home Alone and the one released in 1991 was Silence of the Lambs (released on February 14th).  They both spent 5 weeks at number 1 on the box office.  Silence of the Lambs would go on to be #4 domestically & number #5 worldwide box office with $272.7 million.

What were the other top films in the top 5 worldwide released in 1991.  They were Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Released June 14th, 2nd worldwide with $390.4 million), Beauty and the Beast (Released November 15th, 3rd worldwide with $351.8 million) and Hook (Released December 11th, 4th worldwide with $300.8 million)

The rest of the top 10 worldwide grossing films include JFK (December 20th), The Addams Family (November 22nd), Cape Fear (November 15th), Hot Shots! (August 2nd) and City Slickers (June 7th).

Other big films that released in 1991 were Sleeping with the Enemy (February 8th), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II:  The Secret of the Ooze (March 22nd), Thelma and Louise (May 24th), The Rocketeer (June 21st), The Naked Gun 2 & 1/2:  The Smell of Fear (June 28th), Regarding Henry/Point Break/Boyz n the Hood (those three released on July 12th), Star Trek VI:  The Undiscovered Country (December 6th), and Father of the Bride (December 20th).

Which of the films listed was your favorite? Obviously there were so many more films that came out in 1991. Is there a film not listed that came from 1991 that you enjoy? Leave a comment and share them here. Next time, we will look at the year in TV shows in 1991. Until then, crank up the old VCR and enjoy some classic movies.

Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 53:1-5

“Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.”  (Isaiah 53:1-5)

This has been a really tough week in so many ways.  A lot of pain and hurt has been felt in some way shape or form.  And sometimes it feels we are alone in our pain and suffering.  It is times like these that I’m reminded of these verses from the book of Isaiah.

Here in these verses Isaiah was foretelling the coming of Jesus and what Jesus would go through on our behalf.  Isaiah said that Jesus would be “a man of sorrows”.  He would know what it’s like to be rejected.  He would know what grief and pain is like.  He would take it on so that we could be reconciled with God.  He would do it so that we could be healed.

There is a lot of suffering in this world.  There is a lot of sorrow and grief.  There is a lot of pain and rejection.  We all experience it.  But we can be assured that Jesus understands.  He knows what we’re going through because He experienced it first hand.  He did so willingly because He loves us.

This week, let us remember and share the hope of Jesus.  In the midst of our own sorrows and griefs, let us remember that we are not alone in it.  We have one with us who understands and who loves us.  We have one with us who can give us hope when it feels like we have no hope left.