Birds and Pigs Don’t Mix

Is Angry Birds even a thing anymore? angrybirds

I have never been a video game person, but when I first started playing Angry Birds a few years ago, It didn’t take long to get addicted. I found short bursts of time to annihilate those nasty pigs and their ridiculous structures. Oh the joy in watching every stick and stone in those structures crumble while I racked up stars! The problem arose when short minutes became long ones because I couldn’t defeat those ham hucksters in the first round. I had to replay the level until, whalla, defeat came to those porkloining, err purloining, pigs.

Oooh, then they came out with Star Wars Angry Birds! My geekdom was complete, I had crossed over to the dark side. Not only did I need to destroy structure and Pig Vader, but I had to overcome the physics of outer space. Anti-gravity and gravity, centrifugal force, momentum and everything else that Sir Newton could throw at me, with a little Einstein on the side. Sometimes I spent a round just to spy out weaknesses or gain tools and power points.

As the challenges became harder I sought help. I discovered angrybirdsnest.com, a site full of cheats. I learned about structural weaknesses, hidden tricks, and the best shot angles for annihilation. Even so, leveling up became harder and harder, really just too much work for a mere game. After months, I gave up and haven’t touched the game in years.

I was stumped at the numbers of children, and some adults, that are addicted to video games. They joyfully go back day after day to repeat their trials at the same level, just so they can move up a new level to defeat the same evil foe again on another playing field. Why?

Well, I read James 1:2-5 for the thousandth time the other day. Consider it wholly JOYFUL, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.

Wait just a second… New perspective time. What if I took a gamers’ attitude towards real life? Every day there is a temptation, trial or foe. They don’t stop coming at me or putting obstacles in my path just because I won’t play the game. In fact these trials are supposed to keep me from playing, make me hang my head and quit.

If I recognize the trial up front, before I confront, I can run to my Daddy for His cheats, the Wisdom Toolbox that He prepared just for the big hairy green guy blocking my path. This isn’t about how smart I am or how brave. It’s about Father’s wisdom only. I’ll end up stuck on the same level fighting shadows till I get that one fact straight. His wisdom helps me defeat That temptation. Either way I can’t quit half way through. I must endure until I’ve won that level. I might want to run from the trial, bury that temptation, or bury my head. But it won’t go away. That thing WILL come back.

Why? God isn’t sending the temptation, it comes out of the unfinished parts of me. If I don’t confront it it will stay inside of me as an obstacle in my race. I must face it joyfully expecting my opportunity to level up and start another chapter.

God actually wants me to be the victor. He desires that I know my own faith is real, that I become fully developed, crown included. (I would like to have one of those so I’ll have something to throw down at his feet someday.)

Note to self:
See the trial’s purpose
Get Wisdom
Tear down that obstacle
Become more complete in who I am in Christ
Level up
New trial, no sweat, He’s got this, until I receive that Crown of Life.

Anyway, what’s a good adventure without an antagonist?

Let us learn from the ever so wise emperor Kuzco:

Pacha: [eyes widen] Uh-oh.
Kuzco: [resigned] Don’t tell me. We’re about to go over a huge waterfall.
Pacha: [also resigned] Yep.
Kuzco: Sharp rocks at the bottom?
Pacha: Most likely.
Kuzco: …Bring it on. [As they go over] Boooooo-yaaaaahahahahahahahah!

So a joyful Boo-ya to you too.

Quiet on the Set

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I love adventure movies. I prefer them to chick flicks any day. Who doesn’t like a good adventure? Globe trotting Heroes, creepy villains, epic story lines, mysterious occurrences, mass mayhem and death, clueless bystanders, exciting chase scenes, crazy cinematography, and of course a pot of gold at the end (or the lost ark.)

I believe we love adventure movies because we were created to live our lives as an adventure. Instead we’ve been tricked into living vicariously through Indiana Jones, while safely eating popcorn.

Everything about God and His story screams adventure. But you already know all that. Pick any person in the Bible… Adventure. John Huss, Charlemagne, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther (both of them), Smith Wigglesworth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera… Adventure.

Lately, I’ve decided to see my life as an adventure. Woah, that totally changed my perspective. It has been awesome just hanging out with Jesus and watching Him work through me and despite me.

But right now I’m not thinking about all those exploits. I’m thinking about the in-betweens. The parts that never make it to the big screen. Waiting for set changes, waiting for make-up and wardrobe, waiting for others to complete their scenes… Waiting, waiting, waiting.

The adventure was moving right along when someone yelled, “Cut! Reset, back to 1.” Again?! We have to do that whole scene over again?! Or worse, waiting for the extras to get it straight before you even walk on the scene. Waiting for the adventure to get rolling again is the hardest part.

So here I sit in my director’s chair, munching on popcorn, missing the thrill of the chase.  Suppose I’ll take this time to go over the script again. I guess the waiting is an adventure in itself.

Quiet on the set, filming resumes in 3, 2, 1… Action!

Greater things

Greater things

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, she will herself be able to do the things that I do; and she (that means me) will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. And I will do whatever you (that still means me) ask in My Name, so that the Father may be glorified and extolled through the Son. (John 14:12, 13 AMP)

That’s what I long for, I believe Jesus.
I want to run this race.
I want to run this race with Jesus alone.
No one on earth can run it for me, run it with me or give advice on how to run it.
Jesus is my cadence.
Others must run their own race…

So what is holding me back?
Because I haven’t seen the greater things yet? Because I haven’t seen “leaders” do greater things? If they aren’t who am I to run on ahead.

But I hear this cadence…

I need to run.

Why do I want this? Because I believe Jesus is alive powerful and compassionate. I hate that the world equates Christianity with powerlessness and submission to mythological king. He IS alive and it’s time I live what I truly believe, and I run with Him in love and power. It’s time to make him famous again. No more waiting for “ready, set, go.”

Just go. Go now. He calls cadence and I want to make God’s name great and cause His glory to cover the earth.