Friday, March 30, 2012

"Every man that knocks at the door of a brothel is looking for God."

          ABC’s The Bachelor aired when the “reality TV” hype first began and has maintained ratings long enough to stay on the prime-time lineup for 10 years.  The show centers around one eligible bachelor who is always financially stable and physically attractive.  Twenty-five single women from all over the country (also physically attractive) are thrown together in a mansion and given opportunities to try to win the affections of the bachelor.  Every week, there is a rose ceremony in which he eliminates several of the women he no longer wishes to see.  Of course, as numbers decline, emotions intensify and the drama that inevitably occurs when one man dates twenty five women keeps the attention of millions of young viewers.

            Most of the women who appear on The Bachelor will emphasize (usually during their teary-eyed departure after they’ve just been dumped) that they were only searching for love.  They are generally left baffled and hurt, as they were certain that they had a “connection” with the bachelor.  If one is able to place all superficial judgments aside, it is interesting to view the show from a psychological and theological standpoint.  It brought to mind Larry Crabb’s book “Connecting.”  In it, Crabb accentuates our need as humans to bring back the connectedness that we were designed to experience both with God and with each other.  He believes that there is soul-healing to be found in such relationships as people were created to take delight in each other and in their Creator.

It is clear that today’s fast paced, sin-laden society lacks the level of connection that humans are yearning for.  People avoid becoming too intimate as this creates fear of rejection and greater difficulty in taking delight in another person.  However, they know that something is missing and they want it.  In the case of The Bachelor, women are so desperate to find connection they are willing to place their lives and stories on national television.  G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “every man that knocks at the door of a brothel is looking for God.”   People are searching in all the wrong places but ultimately, they are searching for a connection with God and with others.  We were created for perfect community and intimacy and, according to Crabb, regaining at least some of that back (of course community and intimacy will not be completely restored until Christ’s return) will heal many of the emotional wounds that individuals are experiencing today.  I wish I could tell each and every crying woman on The Bachelor as she contemplates in her departure limo “what went wrong” or “why won’t he accept me” that they are not going to find the love, intimacy, and connection they are longing for in a man on a TV show.  They are only going to find that in connection with the ultimate source of love: God.  

Healing Through Connecting

When I began my freshman year of college a movie was released called End of the Spear. This movie is about the truth story of 5 missionaries; all who wanted to live out God’s will to witness to the Waodani, a tribe living in the jungles of Ecuador. The story begins with the missionaries, Jim Elliot being one of them, attempting to find the tribe. The 5 men do finally make contact with the tribe after flying into the area of the jungle the tribe lives in. The missionaries are excited and encouraged that they have made the first steps in witnessing to this tribe. However, this is where the story takes a sad turn. Several of the tribesmen who were the first to come among the missionaries misunderstood the purpose of these men. Due to the tribe’s belief that all foreigners were cannibals, they killed all 5 of the missionaries.

While the death of these men was a devastating tragic for the families, something unthinkable and amazing was about to take place. After learning of their husband’s death, the wives made the decision to live among the tribe in order to share the Gospel. Even among their grief they heard and obeyed God’s calling to give forgiveness and reach out to the same people who killed their husbands. They succeed in making a connection with the tribe members. Through that connection the women transformed the lives of tribe by showing them forgiveness for the murder of their husbands. From seeing the forgiveness that can only come from God, the members of the tribe gave over their lives to Christ, which changed the course of the tribe forever.

Click here for the movie trailer.

For the last few weeks I have been reading a book written by Dr. Larry Crabb, called Connecting. The idea behind this book is a different approach to healing. Dr. Crabb’s belief that pain of the deepest kind can be healed through connection, intimacy, and building a true community with others. Mankind was not meant to go through this world alone, we are meant to have relationships and connections. In his book Dr. Crabb listed what he believes are three elements that are needed in order to connect and in turn find healing through that connection.  1. A taste of Christ delighting in us. 2. A diligent search for what is good. 3. An engaging exposure of what is bad or painful. As I was reading this book, I could not get the story of the End of the Spear out of my mind. The women whose husbands had been killed had every right to hate the Waodani tribe, and no one would blame them. However these women chose to show the tribe a taste of Christ. These women, who had been forgiven by the death of a man who was innocent, decided to show forgiveness for the death of their husbands. They made a diligent search for the good in the Waodani people by living among them. And through the connection these women made with the tribe they exposed the pain from the death of 5 men cause by fear and lies. That connection and forgiven not only changed the Waodani people, but help the wives to heal from one of the most painful experience any one can go through. While this movie is a bit older so it may be harder to find, it is very much worth the search. The story of the End of the Spear is a story of how powerful connecting can be. How the forgiveness and the love that Christ shown us by dying on the cross can change even the hardest of hearts.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Most Astounding Fact

Often in my free time, when completing my work and looking for simple way to relax, I find myself scouring the internet in search of interesting and unique videos to hit the web.  Recently, I stumbled upon a video entitled "The Most Astounding Fact" directed by Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Already having over 2 million views on Youtube, this video's popularity gained my attention and I began to wonder what this astounding fact could be.  In this video Tyson gave his explanation of the universe and it's beginning, and how the very particles of the universe that make it so amazing are in us as well, actually giving a certain level of connectivity with ourselves and the universe at large.    The production work in the video was quite impressive, having many beautiful shots of nature and space, as well as the very cells that compose our being.  It seemed that the overall purpose of the video was to give people a hope that they are relevant in our world.
            However, as I am sure many others will agree, I found myself somewhat depressed after watching the video.  The past few weeks of our counseling class, our professor has been teaching us in detail about the fact that we are a unique creation in how we were made.  Each and every single one of us is created with both material and immaterial parts to our being, parts that die here on earth but others that will live on into eternity.  God has revealed in both his natural and special revelation that He created us to have fellowship with him, yet the weight of sin in our own lives has broken that bond and restoration and redemption is needed through the blood of Christ.  God desperately wants this restoration to happen, being willing to send his own Son in order that we may have a way back to him.
            As I mentioned earlier, the video by Tyson left me somewhat depressed despite the fact that many parts of the video were quite frankly beautiful.  The reason why I felt this sadness is due to the fact that people are searching so desperately for hope and relevance in this world, but they are looking in all the wrong places.  I have no doubt, especially when looking at the popularity of the video, that many people found some form of solace in this video in that they were given a bit of hope in this world, but it is pushing them farther and farther in the wrong direction.  What I honestly feel is the most astounding fact is that considering the magnitude and sheer complexity of the universe, seeing all the different creatures and galaxies that make us look like a very small dot in comparison, God specifically and carefully hand crafted each and every single one of us.  He considers us more dear and precious to Him than anything else, going as far to give up His only Son in order that we be brought back into His arms.  I just hope and pray that others see this and realize that they no longer need to search in vain for relevance in this world. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Connecting: Loving God and Loving Others

     Research is discovering more and more that those who have healthy, close relationships with friends and family members tend to have better mental, physical, and emotional health than those who do not have close relationships with other people. For seven years, researchers in Finland followed 3,500 working-aged individuals and compared their living arrangements with psycho-social and health risk factors. They found that those who lived alone were 80% more likely to struggle with depression than those who did not live alone.  (Article link:

     When reading about this study's findings, I could not help but remember what Larry Crabb has to say about human relationships in his book, Connecting. He stresses the truth that humans were created to have relationships with God and with each other. He makes this point clear when he says, "We were fashioned by a God whose deepest joy is connection with himself, a God who created us to enjoy the pleasure he enjoys by connecting supremely with him but also with each other." He stresses that all people need to connect with one another, and to not do so means that we are "profoundly unknown," and as a result, we do not experience the joy of loving or being loved. Also, when we are unknown, we do not enjoy the blessing of being believed in by other people. 

     I sometimes wonder what my life would be like without my friends and family members, and each time I think about such loneliness, I cannot help but feel like my life would be without purpose. I have heard so many times that life is about loving God and loving people. While this truth sometimes strikes me as almost too simplistic, I cannot help but agree completely. The longer I live, the more I am convinced that God has created us to have a relationship with Him and to love and influence others in a way that pleases Him. Jesus says in Luke 10:26-28 if we love God with everything we are and love our fellowman as ourselves, we will truly live. I wish I could remember this truth more often because if I did, most of my present concerns would not even matter at all. If I really think about it, when this life is over, all that will follow us into eternity will be how we loved God and how we loved and impacted others for His glory. So when I see more and more research that shows how much healthier and happier people are when they have positive, strong relationships with others, I am not surprised by the findings. How much of our problems, like depression, would be eliminated if everyone truly felt loved and appreciated for who they are? Whether they know it or not, they have a God who already does, but what a great need there is for all of us to reach out to each other as much as we can, as often as we can. A quote I have heard, and it is unknown exactly who said it, is, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Friday, March 23, 2012

Heart Attack

If you had asked me a month ago who Joseph Kony was, I undoubtedly would not have had an answer for you. In fact, for most of us, the word "Kony" had never been uttered or heard of until recently. But now, it is the new buzz word and hot household name. For those of you who have been living in a galaxy far far away and have not hear of Kony, don't worry, he isn't running for president. The Kony 2012 campaign was created by a charity called Invisible Children which made a documentary featuring Joseph Kony as it's star. Kony is a Warlord in Uganda and several other counties in Africa, and has been accused of enslaving thousands of children into being war soldiers and sex slaves and killing those who do not comply. This social media campaign was created to bring awareness, which it has done successfully. With well over 84 million video hits and counting, people are pouring out money and support to "Stop Kony".

Although this viral video has stirred up a lot of controversy, there are several things that are clear. Whether or not the charity is honest or corrupt, the documentary has created a heart attack in those who watch. The majority of the audience who had no idea who Kony was previously, has been touched, moved, enraged and motivated to fight against a villain. Something pierced their heart. As Dr. Corsini explained, our heart is part of our intellectual life, emotional life, volitional life and spiritual life. Whatever is in our heart flows in and out of our entire life. From there, our conscience starts to weigh in, serving as a witness inside of us, which identifies what is right and wrong. Our mind then perceives, understands, judges and determines everything we are feeling and thinking. This has the power to also affect our soul and spirit.

 While I believe that it is great to be aware of current event issues, I also believe it is important to be aware of how we can often be manipulated as well. A majority of the people who have watched the Kony video and have jumped on the Kony bandwagon have done so because their hearts have been touched. I believe that this was the film makers main objective, and to be honest, he has clearly done a great job. But all of this hype makes me wonder; what else do we let stir in our heart and affect our whole being? What motivates us to take a stand and feel powerful? How often is that not the Holy Spirit and not of God? How often do we even consciously recognize it?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


A new series has recently aired on NBC called Awake. It features a detective who was in a tragic car accident with his wife and son. He lives in two worlds. In one world his wife lives, but his son has passed on. When he goes to sleep at night in that world he wakes up to find that his wife has died, but his son is alive. He has two therapists, one for each of his realitiess, and each tries to convince him that the world in which they live is the real one despite his bizarre coping mechanism. He does have crossover between the realities which often helps him solve the cases hinting that his self-conscious holds the clues that he is not aware of and manifests itself in his dreams or alternate reality. He also mentions that he has buried both his son and his wife each in an alternate reality, and would gladly do anything to keep them both alive with him-even in different worlds and at the high price of his sanity. He has no intention, at least up to this point in the series, of distinguishing truth from falsehood or dreams from reality because it means losing either his wife or his son. Only his wife and his therapists know about his strange world. Check out the full trailer below.

We have been talking in class about the nature of truth, and have decided that all truth is God's truth. Most would agree that truth is generally preferable to falsehood. However, what if knowing the truth caused more pain that being in blissful ignorance. This really calls into question both the right of the client to autonomy and the nature of healing. Can healing really be good if it leaves you in a more painful place than you are currently in, just with a better grasp on reality? What if the healing really left the client in a worse place than his ailment. But what if the ignorance was actually a tool that helped on the job and kept those closest to you alive, as least as far as you are aware.

If the therapists helped him come to find which world was the real one would they be helping him heal, or would they be harming him? The consequences of staying the way he is include seeing both his wife and his son grieve for the loss of each other and work toward moving on when he has no intention of letting either go. Even though he would be still see both of them, they would each be moving further from him because as they see it, he is stuck in the past and not moving forward. Lets say then that his wife wants to move on, clean out their son's room, and get on with her life. He is still in the world where he sees his son every day and has no intention of moving on or letting him go. From her perspective, he is stuck in the past and not willing to even try to move on causing her great pain. What if she leaves him because he is so stuck, and then he realizes that is the real world. He has now lost both his son and his wife has left him. It seems that if he was able to determine which world was real and which one was a dream then he would be in more psychological distress, at least at first. Let's assume then that after determining which world was the real one, with the help of the therapist, he went through the grieving process and came to terms with his loss. At this point he continues on with his life with either his wife or with his son and has grieved the loss of the other. Would he really be better off than when he started where they were both alive just not together? Does the therapist's opinion even matter if the client is unwilling to change? Is there such a thing as healthy psychosis? These are just a few of the questions brought up by this series. Counselors have the opportunity to question the nature of healing and their views of client autonomy by critically analyzing the questions raised by Awake.

Friday, March 9, 2012

". . . it can be good again."

A new movie called The Hunger Games will be hitting the theaters in America this March. You can watch the official movie trailer here. The movie is based on the best-selling novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and is the first in the Hunger Games trilogy, which includes Catching Fire and Mockingjay. The Hunger Games takes place in a futuristic America-like setting, referred to as the land of Panem, which is divided into 13 districts. The Hunger Games themselves are all-district events in which each district randomly selects a male and a female child below the age of 18, and all the chosen participants are then put into an “arena” of wilderness where the goal is to kill each other off and be the last one standing. The story follows the adventures and life of the protagonist, a young girl named Katniss.  

Without giving away too much of the story, the end of the third book, Mockingjay, finds Katniss married and living out the rest of her life with the man she loves. Both of them also appear to experience severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) throughout the books, and the author implies that both of them continue to suffer from it for the rest of their lives due to the trauma they were forced to experience. Yet despite all of their immense pain and loss, and although they do not experience relief from their suffering and trauma in their earthly lives, the book ends with goodness and hope, through the words of Katniss herself—“What I need to survive is not fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

By reading through the previous two books, one comes to know that the color yellow and the dandelion represent the man whom Katniss eventually marries. Katniss and the man she marries find hope and goodness again through their relationship with each other, even in the midst of having lost everything and endured unimaginable suffering. Those closing words had a huge impact on me when I first read them, and recently they have reminded me of a book we have been reading in class called Connecting by Larry Crabb. In this book, the author illustrates why he believes that the most effective medicine for suffering is connection—connection to each other and connection to God. He states his beliefs quite simply—“We were fashioned by a God whose deepest joy is connection with himself, a God who created us to enjoy the pleasure he enjoys by connecting supremely with him but also with each other. To experience the joy of connection is life; to not experience it is death to our souls, death to our deepest desires, death to everything that makes us human (p.55).”

John Piper and Justin Taylor, in their book, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, tell us of the great lengths our God went through because He so strongly desired to connect with us--“People who suffer want people who have suffered to tell them there is hope. They are justifiably suspicious of people who appear to have lived lives of ease. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the reason that Jesus suffered in every way that we do, while he was here. 1 Peter 2:21 says, ‘This [your] suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps.’”

Our lives will not be perfect on this earth. There is no “magic” cure for our problems while we are here—that is, if we define cure as “relief from all suffering.” But perhaps relief from suffering is not the goal; perhaps our connection with God and with others is the goal we are meant to be gazing upon. Like Katniss, we may suffer unbearable pain. Some of us may even live the rest of our earthly lives with the terrifying symptoms of PTSD and the blood-red horror of our memories. But we have hope. We have a God who came down to earth to suffer unimaginably for our sake, so that He could connect with us in our pain, and so that we could connect with each other through the comfort that He gives to us. When we see the bright yellow of a dandelion growing in the ground, may we all be reminded of rebirth, of the Resurrection, and seek with our whole hearts our God who gives us hope.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Inner City Philadelphia: Home of Polo Champions

Horses and polo have come together to give a brighter future to many at risk youth from Philadelphia. The CNN article, “Top ranked polo players hail from Philadelphia’s inner city,” highlights the work being done by Lezlie Hiner, a psychologist, who chose to give inner city at risk kids a better chance and life. Through her “Work to Ride Program” she is offering these at risk teens an opportunity to get off the violent streets. Not only are at risk teens being skirted out of the extreme “violent crim[es]” and drugs and alcohol that marks much of Philadelphia’s inner city youth, but they are also making headline news about being the first “all-black” polo “team to win the National Interscholastic Polo Championship.” The polo teams coming out of the “Work To Ride Program” are know for demolishing many “ivy League” polo teams such as, Harvard. To read more about what is going on with the “Work To Ride Program” in Philadelphia click the link below.

Lezlie Hiner, founder of the “Work To Ride Program” in Philadelphia, has made it her life to help at risk youth navigate the turbulent water’s they have been born into to become healthy productive adults. This is similar to the ideas behind a "healthy" person being discussed by Dr. Corsini in Counseling and Theology.  As canvased in class, a "healthy" person encompasses more than not being sick or involved in  a dangerous lifestyle, but focuses on a functioning complete whole person. That is the material biological part of a person and the immaterial soul/spirit part of a person are redeemed and reflecting the image of Christ more and more. This is what we as counseling students are learning in hopes to help our future clients, so we too, as Lezlie Hiner, can make a difference in the lives of others.

Although I am uncertain what my future holds and the work I will be in, but, as Lezlie Hiner has done I also hope to make a difference in the lives of the hurting human beings around me. It is not enough to simply share the truth about what Jesus has done for humanity, but must also, through the Holy Spirit, live the gospel out by addressing the material needs of men and women in hopes to facilitate the healing of their immaterial. Lezlie Hiner is an active example of what living the gospel out should look like. “The Work To Ride Program” is offering tangible help and hope to those who need a reason to be counter cultural in their homes, neighborhoods, and community. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Creation, what does it reveal?

Lately in class we have been discussing Natural revelation and special revelation. Below is a video of Louis Giglio, who gives a talk about how God has created the Universe. He goes into detail about how there are parts of the Universe that we cannot even see; how glorious the Lord is through his creation. This clip is just a quick version of the entire message that was given, but it shows just how much the Lord reveals himself through nature. Giglio discusses the enormous size of the different stars in the universe and compares them to the size of the earth. He says all this to show how great and powerful the Lord is.
Natural revelation is God’s witness to himself through nature, history, or conscience. It reveals and teaches us about God’s existence, power, wrath and character. This video helps to show some of what God has revealed to his through his creation.

While this video clip gives a synopsis of the full message, I would suggest watching it here

It reminds me of Psalm 19, which states,

"the heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour for the speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
Their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun."  

This video is a great reminder of how big our God is. How we serve a God that has created things that we may not even know about; things to marvelous for us to comprehend. In class, we are currently reading a book by Dr. Archibald Hart, called The Anxiety Cure. Anxiety is an issue that inflicts itself upon many people. I find at times where I am fearful or anxious that it is the moments when I feel that God has lost me somehow; that I am no longer being looked after by Him. While I know these are false beliefs, one of the ways that I can remember the invalidity of them is by looking at God's creation. His creation helps remind me that He is in control. God spoke only with words and the earth was created, He can certainly help me overcome things that happen in my life. Being able to see God through natural revelation is truly a gift that helps remind us how powerful, beautiful and great He is.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Are we more than just skin and bones?

"You are a soul, but you are not a spirit, though you have a spirit." This was a line that I had taken note of in class. I recently remembered a song written a couple years ago called "Someone Worth Dying For" by Mikeschair. The chorus as well as the verses reminded me of what we are learning in class. Below are the lyrics posted to the song.
You might be the wife,
Waiting up at night
You might be the man,
Struggling to provide
Feeling like it's hopeless

Maybe you're the son,
Who chose a broken road
Maybe you're the girl,
Thinking you'll end up alone
Praying God can you hear me?
Oh God are you listening?

Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I wanna believe, I wanna believe that
I'm not just some wandering soul
That you don't see and you don't know
Yeah I wanna believe, Jesus help me believe that I
Am someone worth dying for

I know you've heard the truth that God has set you free
But you think you're the one that grace could never reach
So you just keep asking, what everybody's asking


You're worth it, you can't earn it
Yeah the Cross has proven
That you're sacred and blameless
Your life has purpose

You are more than flesh and bone
Can't you see you're something beautiful
Yeah you gotta believe, you gotta believe
He wants you to see, He wants you to see
That you're not just some wandering soul
That can't be seen and can't be known
Yeah you gotta believe, you gotta believe that you
Are someone worth dying for

You're someone worth dying for
You're someone worth dying for

Reading the lyrics meant more to me than hearing the song several times. The question asked in the song "Am I more than flesh and bone?" brought to mind what we are. Our living is really in our souls, not our bodies. The bodies we have are temporary dwellings that we have just for Earth. If what we are is a soul, then what does that even mean? The class as a whole defined the soul as life, something only belonging to humans and not animals, and breath. Without this breath, there would be nothing keeping us alive. This topic can be heavily debated by scholars, of which I am not, so I do intend to talk about something of which I have not mastered, if that is really possible.
Scripture points us to some places where the soul is mentioned and described. Starting in Genesis 2:7 where God created man and "breathed" into him the breath of life. The word "breathed" is also used in 1 Timothy 3:16a, "All Scripture is God-breathed." Can the Scriptures really be alive? If God breathed into them, then I would agree with that. Matthew 10:28 says, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." With that verse in mind, the soul cannot be destroyed; however, the body can.
Our whole beings are more than just skin, bones, and organs that allow the body to function. I believe that God allows our souls to live, since He breathed into them life. God is able to create and destroy souls, so we ought to fear Him and His immense power. The Scriptures say it best in Acts 17:28a "For in Him we live and move and have our being." This verse carries with it a vivid picture of how we are created in Christ.
Below is a link for the song.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Find Jokes, Find Truth

One of the chapter in the book “The Anxiety Cure” talks about ways to promote serotonin and GABA which are the happy messengers in human’s brain. In chapter 15, Dr. Archibald D. Hart illustrated how humor, laugh, and maintain a positive outlook influence human’s physical and mental health. He provided ways to help us to have an attitude of humor which most of us already know, such as read humorous book and comics, take time to play a prank, and to highlight humorous point in a difficult situation. They are all good suggestions and people usually follow those ways to entertain themselves. However, if you are very interested in looking for humor, there is a book that you should also look into. That is the Bible. Lots of people might feel surprised, but there are actually many funny stories in the Bible as well.    

Most of people think Bible is a somber book and people should read it with a serious attitude, because it is the word of God. However, God actually have revealed his humorous and fun character in several places. For instance, when God promised Sarah that she would give birth to a child at an old age (Genesis 18), Israelis ate meat in the desert (Numbers 11), Samuel anointed Jesse’ youngest son, David instead of his tall, strong, and intelligent brother (Samuel 16). Beside all the humorous history, Jesus, the son of God also showed his fun character when he came down to the earth. He enjoyed having party with people he loves, because the wine was almost gone in the wedding banquet that Mary asked Jesus for help. They must have a lot of fun that Mary did not want the guests to leave (Mathew 17). Moreover, Jesus talked about faith can be strong enough to move mountain. Jesus also said that adult have to return to be a child in Mathew 18, and in John 6, the miracle of Jesus feeding five thousand men and after that, he proclaimed that he is the bread of life and told people to eat him. The humor of God is not only present in some of his works but also his words.

        We are made to enjoy everything that God created for us; relationship, nature and his word. After he crated all the earth and human, he said it is very good. I believe when God said this, he had a huge smile on his face and cannot wait to enjoy the relationship and start to have exciting adventures with his children. Because God reveals his character through the special revelation (the Bible) and the general revelation (nature), we learn that he is a loving, righteous, creative… and of course a humorous God. Also, he tells us that his word is living and powerful (Hebrews 1:3, 4:12, Luke 1:37). If people believe that reading secular humorous book and comedies can enhance their “happy messengers” and bring some temporary relief, how much more “joy messengers” and true healing can God’s word provides to his beloved children.

Article about jokes in the Bible

Friday, March 2, 2012

Can we discover Jesus on our own?

In a recently published book, entitled The Jesus Discovery: the New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity, the authors tell of a discovery that is supposedly the earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity. According to the authors, James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici, the images depicted on the ossuaries, or bone boxes, (shown above) are scenes from Biblical stories, such as Jonah and the Whale and Christ raising people from the dead. There are also inscriptions on the ossuaries that say “Jesus, Son of Joseph” and more. According to Tabor and Jacobovici, these ossuaries contain the bones of Jesus and His family, including His children. There is also a cross carved into one of the ossuaries and, supposedly, an inscription that states, “Divine Jehovah, raise up, raise up." However, these “facts” are disputed by Christians, scholars, and archaeologists alike, who claim that the assumptions made by Tabor and Jacobovici are not only invalidated, but also completely fabricated for fame and profit. Scholars state that the names depicted on the ossuaries were extremely common in that time, and that the bones probably belonged to a common Jewish family.


The article about The Jesus Discovery reminds me of our most recent class, in which we had a discussion about our ability, as fallen, sinful humans, to know about and understand God. God has given us the ability to see who He is through Natural and Special Revelation. Natural Revelation is defined as the way in which the Lord has revealed Himself in nature, or His creation. Through creation, He reveals His existence, power, wrath, and character. However, due to our fallen nature, our ability to see God through Natural Revelation has been blurred. Therefore, Special Revelation is required for us to see God clearly. Special Revelation is God’s way of assisting us in seeing who He is, through the Bible and His Son, Jesus Christ. These two gifts to humanity give us an aid in seeing God’s Natural Revelation clearly.


The way in which The Jesus Discovery relates to Natural and Special Revelation is in its clear attempt to define God on man’s own terms. The authors of this book are not the first to attempt this. People, non-Christian and Christian, are constantly searching for “proof” or “non-proof” of God’s existence. In doing this, man is disregarding the gifts that God has given to us, in which He has already proven His existence and His power. Only through seeking the Lord on His terms will we find Him. Just like everything else we seek to do without the help of the Almighty, we will not succeed in proving that He is real without His involvement. The Lord created us to be dependent on Him, and we will not find contentment, success, or answers if we try to achieve anything with our own strength.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our Time or God's Time

I recently watched the movie In Time starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. I will admit right off the bat that I did not think it was an amazing movie overall, but it did have some interesting points that it was trying to make. Set in a future where time has become the only form of currency, this movie attempts to address what individuals would do with their time.

In Time takes place in the year 2161, where people have been genetically engineered to only live to the age of 25. Once an individual turns 25 they are given 1 years worth of time which appears on their arm as shown in the picture above. It is important to note that they do not physically age past 25, since it is a little confusing that even those living for a hundred years still look 25. In this world they are always losing time as they live and have to use their time to pay for everything. Of course individuals can earn more time by working or other various forms of more illegal activities.

In the movie the main character Will Salas, played by Justin Timberlake, meets a man who has over a centurys worth of time. Will helps to rescue the man from some thugs that want to steal his time. Once safe, the man reveals a couple of ideas that become the main thrust of the movie's plot. He tells Will that "For few to be immortal, many must die" alluding to the idea that there is enough time for everyone, but a few people are greedy and are trying to amass all the time for themselves. Will is upset by the idea that people are dying before they naturally should, just so others can be immortal. The man tells him that "your mind is worn out, even though your body may not be. We want, we need, to die." That night the man gives all of his time to Will, leaving himself a short amount of time, and essentially killing himself. Will then determines not to waste the time he was given and proceeds to upset the unjust system.

We have been discussing ideas of what it means to be a human being. We have determined that there is a material part and an immaterial part. There is the idea of the material body and then the immaterial mind. I thought it was interesting how the man had a youthful body, but his mind was weak. God knew what He was doing when he created us and we are not designed to live past our time. In Psalms 139:16 (NIV) it says that "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." God has a plan for each of us that fits perfectly into His plan.

In the movie the man's body had stayed young but his mind was growing weak. I know that this is science fiction however if we were able to genetically alter our bodies, what would happen to our minds. Being designed by God, I believe our minds would be affected by the unnatural alteration. Also what price would individuals have to pay so that others could have more time? I do not believe that God would intend that some people would die prematurely just so others could go on living for hundreds of years.

Ultimately the movie made me think about God's plan for our lives. I think part of our existence is that we do not know how much more time we have, therefore we are urged not to waste our time. Ephesians 5: 15-17 (NIV) says "Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."