Yoda, of the Star Wars saga tells Luke Skywalker to do what seems impossible. Luke responds with a half-attempted response of “Alright, I’ll try.” Yoda immediately counters with, “No! Try not. Do. Or, do not. There is not try.”
We often make half-attempts at life – with one foot in a decision and one foot out. This is one of the major differences between trying and doing – commitment. Commitment is closely related to our belief. How much of what we do for others truly comes from our heart? How much is forced and labored?
Yoda (a fictional character) is able to do what seemed physically impossible, not because of size or brute strength, but because of his strength of character and trust in the Force. Jesus (a real person) is able to stare right into the heart of a storm on a raging see and say “Peace, be still” and the elemental laws of nature obeyed, not because of his physical strength, but because of his supernatural strength of character and his connection to the God of the universe – trusting in who he was – knowing what he was capable of doing. Read more... (743 words, estimated 2:58 mins reading time)
There is a certain level of truth in William Shakespeare’s phrase, “To thine own self be true.” The body, mind and spirit was not made to easily work against itself, on the contrary, the entire being of an individual was created to wholeheartedly move as one – in any direction. But how can we be true to our self when we don’t even know ourselves truly? The bible speaks in several passages about what happens when a person’s inner dimension is in conflict with their body. I believe that Jesus gives us all the pieces of the puzzle when he said, “Love God with all your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Our existence starts with God. If we are true with Him, then we will be true with ourselves and as a result we will be true with others. God knows all of the intimate, intricate workings of our spirit, soul and body – even more so than we know ourselves. Read more... (488 words, estimated 1:57 mins reading time)
Do we matter at all? And if so, what are we doing about it? It would do us well to learn, if we have not already, how to balance our lives trilaterally: balancing the outer expectations of others with our own inner expectations, while seeking to please God through pursuing His expectations.
Common sense tells me three things:
First, in all of nature, living creatures are gifted with the exact abilities they need to not only survive, but to thrive; some come by instinct and others they must learn and improve upon. Likewise, if I take the time to discover the things that I am good at, the talents that I possess, these will hint at the direction my life ought to take.
Second, since it seems that we humans are always working from incomplete knowledge, then I need to seek God so that He can reveal to me who I truly am and what my purpose is. Read more... (473 words, estimated 1:54 mins reading time)
There has been a quiet desperation in the back of my mind. Stasi Eldredge describes it in the book, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul, which she co-authored with her husband John. Here, Stasi is writing about the heart of a woman, before you get any ideas, I bought it for my wife and decided to read it to so I could get a better understanding about my wife’s soul), but the truth of Stasi’s statement lends itself to that of a man as well. “… But the desires set deep in our hearts seem like a luxury, granted only to those women who get their acts together. The message to the rest of us – whether from a driven culture or a driven church - is try harder. And in all the exhortations we have missed the most important thing of all. We have missed the heart of a woman. And that is not a wise thing to do, for as the Scriptures tell us, the heart is central. ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Prov.4:23)‘” Read more... (639 words, estimated 2:33 mins reading time)
Here’s a few movie reviews that I did for HollywoodJesus.com, back when I was in seminary (1997-2000).
The Last Temptation of Christ
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
“Your focus determines your reality.” – Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars, Episode II’m a big science fiction fan, especially of Star Trek and Star Wars. Sci-fi is one of those genres where we can let our imaginations cut loose! In fact, a lot of the technology we have and enjoy, in society today, was created by individuals impacted by science fiction…
But I’m not here to talk about technology just yet. I want to talk about one of the greatest lines, in my opinion, from Star Wars, Episode I. Qui-Gon Jinn is giving insight to Anakin Skywalker and says, “Your focus determines your reality.” This statement speaks volumes, which I won’t get into here, but I do want to bring up a few points.
What Do You Focus On?
If you think about it, many of the things you have focused intently on have gotten accomplished, whereas those things you say you want, but don’t focus on just kind of dwindle away. Read more... (422 words, estimated 1:41 mins reading time)
What Do We Believe?
I was surprised when the Hip-Hop, Rap and Urban Fashion mogul, Jay-Z was being interviewed on the November 29th airing of Nightline, where he talked about growing and maturing from a street thug who sold Crack to a Hip-Hop star and beyond. What he has promoted has often been murderous, blasphemous, misogynistic and materialistic. But what struck me was how his worldview and belief system were changing, not only because he was older, but because he had visited Africa and encountered a greater reality – poverty. He was no longer just a Hip-Hop mogul… he was now an individual who was using his resources to make a difference. Where will he end up? I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is that the encounter on his beliefs caused him to begin to change his actions.
As we grow, so should our belief system. As we mature, so should our understanding and our beliefs are modified as we seek to understand the world around us. Some beliefs of old have been invalidated, while others have proven true throughout the ages. When I was little I believed in Santa Clause, Superman and Peter Pan. But as I grew up, I realized that no matter how badly I wanted them to be real, there were never going to be. After 9-11 a little boy asked his mother, “Where was Superman?” Adults asked an even greater question, “Where was God?” When the reality we have always known comes crumbling down… our beliefs are tested to see if they are real or not. Read more... (556 words, estimated 2:13 mins reading time)