I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Reality of Superheroes: Guest Post

This is an awesome Guest Post by Kari Scare from Struggle to Victory.  
 Kari focuses on encouraging small changes that over time add up to make a huge difference. Because focus determines reality, Struggle to Victory consistently applies biblical principles to everyday life in an effort to help readers focus their lives on the truth of Scripture. Kari lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. Her passions include reading books, magazines and blogs, pursuing a healthy lifestyle through exercise and diet, spending time with her family, and of course, writing. You can also reach Kari on Twitter @KariScare.
Thanks, Kari for taking the time to share this important message with us.
The Reality of Superheroes
What if?”
My boys, like many teenage boys, like watching superhero movies. They’re past the age of cape-wearing and “flying” through the house activity, most of the time anyway, but they still enjoy discussing “What if…” scenarios based the movies.
“What if you could choose any super power. What would it be?” (I have to pick just one?)
“What if you could BE a superhero. Who would you be?” (Jedi Elf… Not technically a superhero, but that’s my answer. Just think about it for a minute…)
“What if mutants or super-soldiers were possible?” (Foe or friend? Definitely friend.)
You get the idea. For the most part, these discussions provide fun bonding time, a less-frequent activity as my boys get older and busier. They serve to stimulate the imagination too, not just for my boys but also for me as a writer.
But these discussions are just fun and pretend, right? After all, superpowers, mutants and super soldiers along with much of the technology and science in these movies aren’t real, are they?
“Do you want a soldier that can run faster than Usain Bolt? Do you want a soldier that won’t need food or sleep for days? Do you want a soldier that can regrow lost limbs? Do you want a soldier that can outlift Olympic weightlifters and that can communicate telepathically? Americans flock to movies about superheroes and mutants, and soon they may actually have real life “superheroes” and “mutants” fighting their wars for them.”
That’s right. What you see in movies like X-Men, Captain America, Avengers, Spiderman and the Bourne Series actually exemplifies not only what’s possible, but what IS HAPPENING already!
Christians and Superheroes
As Christians, we need to know that the movies our kids - or at the very least their friends - are watching indicate more of our, and especially their, future than we might like to admit. Even more so, we need to be ready to talk about the morality issues these movies bring up in a way that reflects God’s truth.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Christians need to know what the Bible says about the issues — issues such as power (Jeremiah 10:12 & 1 Corinthians 15:55-57) and immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53-54 & 1 Timothy 6:16) — portrayed in these movies. And, we need to be prepared to talk with today’s youth about the reality that science plans to create for them.
You see, they’ll need that wisdom because superhero movies are a bit more realistic than we care to admit. They’ll need it if what futurist Ray Kurzeil, world-renown scientist, says is possible within the next 20 years actually happens.
“I and many other scientists now believe that in around 20 years we will have the means to reprogramme our bodies’ stone-age software so we can halt, then reverse, aging,” he writes in The Sun. “Then nanotechnology will let us live for ever. Ultimately, nanobots will replace blood cells and do their work thousands of times more effectively.”
That’s right, he’s talking immortality. He’s saying that scientists are working on technology that allows them to play God.
The superhero world we see in movies likely depicts what our children’s and grandchildren’s world will look like more than we realize. And our job as parents and grandparents is to equip them to live a Godly life in a corrupt world and at
“…bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
Superheroes and Faith
I enjoy watching superhero movies with my boys. Sure, we get a little crazy with our imaginations at times, but we also get into discussions on spiritual matters such as whether or not messing with our mortality is a good idea, and we talk about what Scripture says about these topics too.
So bring on Captain America: The Winter Solider, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Amazing Spiderman 2 and X-Men (all new movies in 2014). Bring on watching DVDs of superhero movies with my boys over and over and over… because not only do I get to spend time with my teenage boys, I get to be a part of the Holy Spirit using what peaks their interest to increase their wisdom and draw them closer to God. And at the same time, my faith and wisdom increase too.
DISCUSSION: How should Christians discuss what’s happening in science and technology with each other and with our kids?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It is through Death that you find Life: Letter from Pastor Saeed

I wrote briefly about the persecution of Christians around the world in my new book, The Precipice. One such hero currently enduring sufferings for Christ is American Pastor Saeed. He is a prisoner in Iran and needs your prayers…as do his wife and children.

Despite his physical anguish and his desperate longing to be reunited with his family, he had a message to share with Christians around the world this Easter. A message that focuses not on his own sufferings, but on the need for us all to suffer for Christ in order to know the true meaning of Freedom found only in the Cross.

Few of us can comprehend the persecution some Christians face for their belief in Christ, their dedication to His call, their selflessness, their willingness to suffer, their ability to give all for His glory. 

We think them giants of faith.

They aren’t giants, they simply trust in a Giant name Jesus.

They believe His Word. They claim it as their own.

They are willing. They are obedient. They are blessed.

Yes, they are blessed in the midst of their suffering.

This point was driven home as I read Pastor Saeed’s Easter Letter he wrote from his hospital bed in Iran.

I pray you will take the time to read the entire letter by clicking here, it’s a short letter and will bless your heart as it challenges you to reflect upon your own devotion to our Savior.

Here’s a short exert of it:

On the Eve of Good Friday and Easter I was praying from my hospital room for my fellow Christians in the world.  What the Holy Spirit revealed to me in prayer was that there are many dead faiths in the midst of Christians todaySome times we want to experience the Glory and resurrection with Jesus without experiencing death with HimWe do not realize that unless we pass through the path of death with Christ, we are not able to experience resurrection with Christ…A Glorious life with Christ starts only after a painful death (to self) with Christ…Pastor Saeed Abedini
Prisoner in the Darkness in Iran, but free for the Kingdom and Light.”
(emphasis mine)

I pray you will read this and take it into your soul.

Our time on Earth is short. 

We aren’t promised our next breathe.

What are YOU doing for God today? 

Does it bring Him honor? 

You will probably never be called to endure such suffering as Pastor Saeed, but you should be willing to do whatever God has purposed for your life.

If you don’t know what that is, take the time to ask God. 

He will tell you. One step at a time.

Had Pastor Saeed known where his journey would take him, he might not have taken that first step. But thank God he did take it—lives are being changed. He is impacting the Kingdom of God and shaking the forces of darkness by shining God’s light. 

Are you? 

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. Take it one day, one moment at a time. Remember, we are in the “need to know” basis with God. Trust Him to complete what He’s started. 

“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?Luke 9:23-25 NIV

Monday, April 21, 2014

Embrace the Captivity

Many of the interviews I did for my book, The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends, dealt with fear. Likewise, many concerns I’ve had from readers is that they’re apprehensive Christians will be engulfed with fear at the realities I present in the book.

One Bible story that helps me deal with fear induced by current events is found in Jer 28-29

Here we see the false prophet Hananiah telling the Israelites their captivity was soon to end. This was a message the peopled wanted to hear. This gave them hope their struggles were soon to end and God was going to bless them again.

Jeremiah disagreed. 

In fact, Jeremiah reminded the people that it was GOD who placed them in the captivity (Yes, it can be God’s will for us to be in a “not so pleasant place”). Further, he told them they were going to be there for a LONG time (roughly 70 years). 

This was NOT a message they wanted to hear. It filled them with dread. Seventy years in captivity! How angry was God?

But Jeremiah didn’t end his message there. 

God wasn’t angry. 

God had a plan. And that plan involved not only captivity for His people, but that they also EMBRACE IT.

Jer 29:4-7 says, This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 

Did you catch that?

God put them there (captivity from their homeland) and they were to be happy about it. At least that’s how I read it.

People who build houses, grow crops, raise families and seek success for the entire community are people who take pride in their surroundings and enjoy the life they are building. They’re flourishing

They aren’t bewailing the situation God has put them in. 

They aren’t looking for prophets to give them false hope.

They aren’t upset God is taking so long to bring deliverance.

They aren’t biding their time (70 years)…they’re making life happen now.

They’re content.

They’re trusting God and enjoying the abundant life found in John 10:10

This tells me that no matter happens in America, or around the world, we can thrive

We don’t have to lose hope.

We don’t have to look for false prophets, or preachers, to peddle lies to ease our anxious hearts. (click to tweet)

Being firmly grounded in who we are in Christ, we can look at the Current Events plaguing us and say, “It’s okay. God has it all under control. I’m not going to fret. I’m going to go about my life until God calls me home.”

Until our time here is over, we must make the most of whatever situation (captivity) we are in- be it financial strain, declining health, stressful job, tense relationships, or whatever (all are types of captivity and all are in God’s sovereign hands). 

So no matter what transpires in the world, go about God’s instruction to build a home, settle in the captivity until He brings deliverance, plant gardens, make a family so the Christian numbers don’t decrease, find peace in Him and seek the prosperity of your surroundings so that God’s light will continue to shine (Matt 5:14-16).

I don’t know how long your personal captivity will be. Just trust that God’s timing is perfect and He isn’t far away. He wants you to be happy, even in your captivity. 

Lastly, remember, sometimes He calm’s the storm and other times He calm’s His child. But not matter what, He’s near and there is no reason to fear- don’t take my word for it, take God’s. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.John 16:33 NIV

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thank You to the BEST Launch Team!

Last week was the Launch of my book, The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends. It was a great week. Full of touching reviews both on Amazon and personal blogs, tons of tweets and facebook postings, 9 Interviews and 7 Guest Posts all taking about this book! 

All this action put The Precipice on Amazon’s Best Seller list for Christian Futuristic books. 

None of this could have been possible without the amazing help, support, and prayers from my launch team. If you don’t know these people, I HIGHLY encourage you to meet them by clicking the links below. 

I’m truly blessed to know them and can’t thank them enough for all the effort they put forth in helping this dream become a reality. I could write a page about each of them and still not give the credit they deserve. 

Seriously, check these awesome people out! 

Bryan Entzminger (FYI, Bryan has a new itunes radio show that focus’ on missions.) 


Laura Hodges Poole- 2 blogs, A Word of Encouragement

Susan D. McDaniel- 2 blogs, Voice of a Patriot 

Wednesday’s winners of a copy of The Precipice are:

From Dave’s blog, Reflections from the Alley, Cathy Courtney has won.
From Heather’s blog, Heather Day Gilbert, MaytheK9spy has won.
Ladies, I’ll be in touch with you through Dave and Heather or you can feel free to contact me.

If you haven’t purchased your copy of The Precipice, you can do so by clicking here.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8NIV

I look forward to returning to my normal blogging next week. Thanks for all your patience as I've promoted this book. 

God bless!