Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 139:23 & 24

Psalm 139:23 & 24

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my anxious thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Has anyone had the courage to pray like this, because it scares the beans out of me. To ask God to search for any and all iniquity contained in your heart is both an awkward and terrifying request. Many men and women, wiser than I, have stated that we are transparent in front of the Lord. That would mean that God sees directly through us, as if we were invisible. I believe we are not transparent, but fully exposed, an open book, as if God has a MRI of our soul. If God knows everything about us, what would be the need to utter this supplication? This petition has everything to do with us. It is an appeal of unyielding humility and faith, of ultimate obedience to God that demonstrates total trust and confidence in Him. Asking God to find every scrap of corruption within us, to explore areas of our spirit that we have shut off to everyone else, and submit totally to the move of God in every aspect of our life. Requesting God to examine or challenge us, so that our faith may be sharpened and His wisdom unveiled. It is praying that God lead us through the darkest parts of our heart so that we may reach a path of a deeper relationship with Him. God knows us better than we will ever know ourselves. He wants us to come to terms with that, allowing Him to accomplish a marvellous work within us without any resistance from us. What does that resistance to God look like? Try one or more of these on for size and see if any or all fit; I am not a sinful person, but a decent person, God already knows what I am going to say so why pray at all, or if it were that awful God would have dealt with me about it. To answer the latter, He probably has, and it was missed mistaken for misfortune or a lousy day. To understand the need for this conversation with God, we have to understand that sin exists and its determent to our souls. If sin does not exist, if it is just an idea established by the self righteous, then Jesus was born, died, and resurrected for a cliché, a lie. Christ's sacrifice on the cross, not only allowed us forgiveness of sin, but escape from its eternal consequence. Even after grace, sin still exists. We may be forgiven, but sin is a supernatural virus that attempts to regenerate continuously. We all have issues with sin, some unconscious, some we refuse to accept. Those issues must be left at the altar of God before we can proceed further into a relationship with our maker. It is only when we recognize the necessity of the Lord's intervention in every facet of our existence that we begin to be refined and molded by Him. We can not hold anything back from God even if we think we can it is ignorance not reality. We can, however, hold God back from working powerfully in our lives, by our resistance. Who loses out then? Now I could explain sin in its various forms, but that would be wholly useless. We know what sin is and notice its effects when we allow it to influence our lives, and if not, we are in bigger trouble than we first imagined. God gives us the discernment to know when we not only step, or many times sprint, into the sin minefield. God wants us to avoid the explosions, shrapnel, and destruction that accompany. Why do we, time after time, resist Him? God knows our humanity and comprehends that we need this passage if only to realize the only protection we have from, sin, or ourselves, is grace. Do you dare to have God search you and deal with you inner most fears, desires, and pain? Could you ask God to try you, to strengthen your faith? God never forsakes us or gives us more than He can handle through us. The only fear is the possibility of losing control. That is a control that is more of an illusion than reality. God bless.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Minute Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love

Another entry in the Dramedy category, a phrase I coined thank you very much. This time starring Steve Carell, much to no one's surprise, as the hapless and clueless romantic, a role that is fast becoming stale and repetitive. However, in this film I give him a pass as it works well.  His transformation from dull dude to man about town is subtle, comedic, sharp, and completely unlike any other dud becomes stud fare, which typically overreaches and ends up as cheesy as Chedder. Ryan Gosling plays the part of his casanova mentor, Miyagi style, with all the style and swagger of James Bond but the wit and timing of Cary Grant. Their relationship feels real and genuine, immersing the audience in Carell's makeover. Julianne Moore is as tedious as she is in every movie she has ever made. Her stoic demeanor and cold reactions are in no short supply this go round. The one fault of this movie is the utter lack of chemistry between leading man and leading lady. Gosling and Carrell share much more of a dynamic than Carrell and Moore, can anyone say Bromance. Although there is not much originality here, Ficarra and Requa are able to add enough subtle twists, turns, and surprises to keep the film alive and engaging, Kevin Bacon co stars, apparently contracted to be in ever film for the next decade. However, the way he phones this performance in he should change his last name to Verizon. Emma Stone is delightful, and Johan Bobo steals the movie as Carrell's love struck son. Overall, an amusing story and Gosling, Stone, Bobo, and Carrell keep it entertaining. The humor hits in all the right places without overdoing it, and the dramatic piece plays close to the vest, with just enough emphasis to impact the story without shattering it. It has a valid message that marriage requires effort love can not be forsaken, and family always comes first. 3 out of 5 Kernels, good date night rental.

Monday, December 26, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 119:105

Psalm 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

How is God's word a lamp and a light, brightening the road I travel? How many times have you heard someone say, "I wish there was a guide book for my life?" Is there an instruction manual for our existence? Is there a GPS that advises which direction to take to arrive to my goals? The answer to all these questions is clearly yes. How? There are several reasons that explain my position. Let's look at four. One, God's word is timeless. God's word has no expiration date, the same issues and struggles of those that lived before, while, and after it was written, are the same tribulations and obstacles we face today. They battled temptations, limped through hardships, felt the weight of tragedy, suffered illnesses, desired achievement, hungered for power, loved and lost, lusted and lost, tried to scratch out a living, and continually developed relationships with their family, friends, and enemies. The only difference between them and us, they wore sandals out of need, while we wear them because they are stylish, just not with black socks, please. Two, the bible has a historic element with purpose. Why were the accounts in the scriptures chosen? God knew that the personal conflicts, situations, trials, failures, and victories in his testaments would serve us in our times of need. Whether it is; facing challenges of faith (Abraham, Isaac, Daniel, or Paul), demonstrations of heroic or extraordinary acts that could have never been accomplished without God's intervention (David, Daniel, Samson, Joshua, Nehemiah, Gideon, Moses, or the Disciples), deliverance from internal pain or disease (the woman with the issue of blood, the Centaurian's servant, or Paul), principles to absolutely live by (Jesus' entire ministry), and struggles with sin and obstinance (David, Solomon, Samson, and The Rich Young Ruler). Third, the greatest value of God's word is that it introduces us to Him, how he works, how much He loves us, how he wants us to succeed, how we can avoid the trappings of sin, and why He makes the decisions He makes. Some call it a love letter to His people I consider it so much more; it is a map through the minefields of this world, a testimony of the greatness of God, a treatise of His sovereignty, and the history of His soul. Finally, God's word is not filled with as many mysteries as many would like you to think. It is true we will never fully understand the full scope of our Lord or why He does everything He does. However, it's treasures are more accessible than many portray. How does one truly explore and comprehend the scriptures? It is as straightforward as the difference between the meanings of looking and seeking. Looking is defined as directing your gaze on something, searching with your eyes, or considering something. Seeking is defined as physically searching and striving for something, to head for and attempt it. We can read God's word, study it, but that is the looking part. To understand His word, devour its components, explore and discover its treasures, moving closer and closer to its author, requires seeking. It is seeking God through His word, with a focused, quiet, meditation desiring with all your heart and mind to have God reveal Himself through it. It is a respect and passion for it, an agreement that it is absolute truth. It is a commitment to its precepts and guidance, the revelation that it provides a closeness between us and almighty God. It is so awesome it became flesh in the person of Christ Jesus. It moves beyond the communciations of Facebook status, tweets, messaging, and email. It is God's silent, authoritive beacon in a world of noise. How influential is God's word to you? Is it a guide for your life? Is it the definition of truth in your spirit? How do you read it, do you just look through it, or seek its wisdom? If you want to know God, then seek Him out within his living biography. God bless.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 92: 1&2, 4&5

 Psalm 92: 1&2, 4&5

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: To declare thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.

For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord, how great are thy works! And thy thoughts are very deep.

The book of Psalm is a book of reminders. The passages contained remind us of; the greatness of God, depth of His mercy, sweep of His love, His unconditional desire to share an intimate connection with us, and how profoundly lost we are without His presence in our lives. In a world, where it is so easy to forget God's continual forgiveness, provision, and faithfulness; the psalms take inventory of all of the Lord's gifts to us; gifts we have never earned or deserved. It is a good thing to praise the Lord, to give thanks, daily and nightly. Why? There are three undeniable reasons. The first, remembrance. As stated before, it is such a quick and simple thing to forget, especially in adversity, how gracious God is and has been to us. The more we dwell, moment by moment, on God's providence, the more we get very little has to do with us. When we take stock in God's goodness, we realize that the troubles of the second, minute, or hour pale in comparison to the legacy of deliverance and blessing God has presented to us. Second, it draws us deeper into a selfless relationship with the Lord. If we truly seek to experience God's intervention in our lives, selflessness is required. There has been no better expression of this very personal revelation than John the Baptist, who as his ministry ended and Christ's on earth grew he stated so clearly, "I must decrease, so He may increase." The less we care for ourselves and the more for God, the more God crafts us into the person He created us to be. Finally, it is the ultimate remedy for self pity and despair. How great are thou works, I triumph in them, God has made me glad, your thoughts of me are extraordinarily deep. God thinks about us all the time, an unimaginable reality. However, we only seem concerned about Him during times of crisis and complaint. Well God's complaint department policy is straightforward; I know what you are going through, and I am with you, trust in me, take account for all the ways I have been with you, and be glad in it. In this entitled selfish culture that we have shaped it is a hard position to accept. We are taught me, me, me. That life's purpose is to feel happy with ourselves no matter what we are up to. This runs opposed to what God wants; to give ourselves to him, lock, stock, and barrel; and to look to serve the needs of others. To daily discover a deepening relationship with our maker over all else. What are you thankful for? What gifts have you opened and then forgot? Which gifts have you received lay unopened and ignored? What gifts of God would you return? What have you given to God? Thankfully, He never forgets us. To God, we are the greatest gift He ever created, an incomprehensible love that escapes the finite mind of man. God bless.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 91: 14-16

Psalm 91: 14-16

Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him, and honor him. With length of days will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation.

Imagine God, creator of the universe, master of all, sovereign, almighty, all powerful, whose one greatest desire, of all things, is that we love Him and "know" His name. He waits for us to trust and follow Him, so He may in turn, deliver us from the condemnation of our sin, not His. He will set us on high above all consequence of sin and makes us righteous through His grace. When we call upon Him in need He hears us, and answers us. Whether we appreciate that answer or not. He carries us through troubles, trials, and tribulation. He honors us, even though we are ineligible and incapable of earning or deserving that honor. He provides us strength in dark times, light to overcome shadow, saves us from every enemy, from ourselves. Why? The answer may be beyond our comprehension. God loves us. As simple as that may sound it is a love that is infinite a mystery to mortal souls. There are actually three types of love. Two we know well. The third passes through our mental grasp like sand through a siv. The first type, we are all acutely familiar with, it is the force that, at first, provides attraction. Eros, the sexual love, also called infatuation, attraction, and puppy love. It is the "hotness" we see in a future mate, makes the heart beat fast when you touch his or her hand for the first time, and contributes to countless cold showers if one practices abstinence, as they should. Eros is the simplest of love, and the most fleeting and temporal. It is by no means what any relationship should be based, however, unfortunately, it is what most relationships are based in. The primary driver of a 50% divorce rate in our culture. Eros can develop into lust and worse if unchecked. pool when compared to God's love for us. This is the love you feel for your children, parents, sibling, and friends. The love that forgives, forgets, allows you to see past the eccentricities of our relations and love them despite themselves. Of course, the same may be said for the way they think about us. This love transcends physicality and appearance it is substantive and selfless, but still limited. Finally, there is God's love, Agape, unconditional, unrelenting, unending, and unreasonable. It is unreasonable because we have done absolutely nothing to gather or justify His love. We are a rebellious, stubborn, ignorant, and self destructive people who, before God's intervention through His grace, were thoroughly oblivious to His principles, love, and desire for unity with Him. Yet God determined for reunion sent His only son to die for our sins, so we could have an ever deepening and breathtaking relationship with Him. It only makes sense to Him, an infinite, wonderous, miraculous God. What a world this would be if we could only hold a grain of that love and give it to others. Wait, we can, because God gives us the ability to tap into it if we only let Him. Dear God live everyday through me. Granted that one request, how utterly brilliant life would be. The impact on this world for you would be inconceivable. God bless.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 51:16 & 17

Psalm 51:16 & 17

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

What is worship? What is the meaning of real worship worthy of the one and only God of all? What does that look like? Is it singing praises and hymns both modern and traditional in church? Is it dancing before the Lord as David danced? Is it testifying to others or spending quality time reading and meditating on the scriptures? What is worship? First worship is not for our own edification but  a complete focus honoring God. We may be amazingly blessed in the process, but that is a wonderous side effect and not the primary purpose of worship. It is the act of selflessly seeking to respect, love, and submit to our Lord and Saviour. Even though, we are always the first thing on God's mind, we should be the last person on ours. Second, worship is not an act, it is a lifestyle. It is not a scheduled response or time sensitive process. Worship is a continual, fluid, commitment to serving God as He leads us. Finally, worship is obedience. Before Christ's sacrifice and resurrection, the cleansing of sin and act of true devotion to God was through burnt offering. One was bound to this process in order to commune with the Holy God. That action irraticated through the cross as the veil between God and man was torn in twain. Now we have direct access to God through His Son. However, the identity of worship never changed even though the process did. Worship is still dedicating our lives to Christ, submitting to Him wholly, to forgive and cleans our sins. He gives us the strength, wisdom, courage, and perseverance to be utilized by Him to further His kingdom. What an awe inspiring opportunity, able to have God use us for His glory and will, impacting the world with His love, mercy, and grace. Not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Singing songs of praise, witnessing to others, concentration on His word, all these things are part of worship if they are focused on God and not to feel good or righteous about ourselves. We deserve nothing God gives us everything. All He asks in return is that we allow Him to work within us to transform us into the person He knows we can be. A transformation that will take you places and show you things that will shake the very core of your soul, and raise you higher than you could have ever imagined. Seek ye first, the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Forget about what God can do for you, He has you eternally in his hands, seek Him first and His righteousness, for there is no greater purpose or goal than a deeply intimate relationship with the Most High and creator of all. God bless.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 51:10

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart O God:  and renew a willing spirit within me. 

What other supplication is more powerful than the one requested in this verse? Of all the lamentations and prayers, we lay at the Lord's altar, what could exceed this sincere but crucial plea? We ask God for; help, healing, strength, wisdom, protection, and providence on a regular basis. If we truly sought out a clean heart and willing spirit, everything else would seem insignificant. A man or woman who submit themselves to God and His purposes live extraordinary lives, far beyond anything they had comprehended or understood. What is a clean heart, anyway? This is not a final state of being, but a continual process. A clean heart is one that seeks freedom from the trappings of sin. But how? By avoiding those things that would draw us into temptation. Temptation itself is not a sin. It becomes sin when we dwell too long in the places we know better than to visit, both physically and figuratively. A clean heart is the honest and humble admittance that we need God to keep us from the snares created by the enticing of our own lusts and desires. Those things, we know deep within our spirt, are hazardous and detrimental. So what is a willing spirit? The hardest thing to obtain is a willing spirit, because, despite our conversion, we are still fleshly beings who struggle with very real internal issues, past hurts and resentments, anger, conflict, turmoil, and temptation. So is it an impossible thing? Fortunately no. The willing spirit is the decision to seek God first in all things, allow him to work within us, submit our goals and agendas to Him, and look to His word as the foundation of how we live our lives. It is a tall order and takes a lifetime on earth, and an eternity with our Lord to accomplish, if then. Those who seek to have a willing spirit want God to work through them to accomplish something greater than themselves. It is a commitment to living a life according to God's word. Not an easy path, but God provides the strength and support to journey down it. What are your deepest desires? Is God any part of them? The irony is, even when we keep God out of our plans, He always keep us in His. God bless.

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 51:1-3

Psalm 51:1-3

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

I am one of the few people who do not prescribe to a "sinner's prayer" as there is no specific mention of one in the scriptures, but was an idea contrived via church tradition and practice. I firmly believe recognition of sin emanates at the moment the Holy Spirit enters and awakens us from the slumber of iniquity. He quickens the spirit and reveals the unmistakable necessity of God's grace and presence. Once this supernatural event occurs, one is irresitstably drawn to God becoming desperately aware of the need to seek forgiveness of sin and the strength and courage to repent. With that said, this Psalm is the closest thing one could consider as a thoroughly sincere and heartwrenching appeal to God for His forgiveness, mercy, and grace. These verses are in response to the prophet Nathan as King David laments his adulterous affair with Bath-sheba, a sin that also resulted in the eventual death of his close friend and loyal soldier Uriah, who was also her husband. Was this person the one God called, a man after His own heart. We learn three things from this passage. One, historically, David haunted and tormented by these sins brought him to a place of utter contempt and ruin. Two, personally, David realized that only God could forgive him of his transgressions, not because of any good thing within David, but because of the unconditional love and mercy of God. Finally, that forgiveness is extended to all who recognize their transgressions, sin nature, and desire for God's forgiveness, cleansing, and renewing. As a reference, one need only to look at a particularly obscure verse, not mentioned much, John 3:16. In our current culture; the mere mention of sin is politically incorrect, churches forgo conversations about sin and its consequence for fear of empty pews, and rationalization and equivocation replace accountability and truth. Without the salvation message, what is Christianity? What was the need for God to become flesh as Jesus Christ? What was Jesus' purpose if the recognition of sin and its cost is folly? Strip away the need for renewing of mind and spirit through Christ's ultimate sacrifice and we have transformed theology into philosophy. Christianity metamorpjizes into a concept rather than a reality. Does God judge sin? Yes. Does He forgive sin? Yes. Does He provide  escape from sin to share an intimate relationship with Him through Jesus Christ? Absolutely!  It is a matter of faith, which is the precise essence of Christianity. For you, there is only one question left, is God's word just conceptual or reality? God bless.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 46:1

 Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
In today's times, atheism and agnosticism are on the rise, and steadily becoming more and more popular especially among the next generation. God has been portrayed as everything but who He is. Most misconceptions fall into three main ideologies. The first compare Him as a fairy tale like character, used as a crutch by the week minded. Others believe Him to be a brutal judge and a ruthless dictator just waiting for us to slip up or fall into sin so he may exact his revenge. Finally, the third group, picture Him as a hippie figure existing in a Woodstock like heaven doling out forgiveness and love without any regard for any personal responsibility or consequence of sin. All are inacurate views of a sovereign, almighty God whose primary focus is reuniting us with Himself and provide us life truly worth living through a continually growing relationship with Him. The Psalms demonstrate that perfectly. This verse gives us a snapshot into the true identity of God, one of shelter, protection, care, strength, and ever presence in our lives. The next verse states, and I paraphrase, we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and mountains be carried away. Talk about your definition of strength; incomparable and boundless. Even when we may not feel His presence, He is there, protecting us from the pains and dangers we do not see, or those to come. The shepherds hand is always on us, guiding the willing, protecting His children, carrying us over uneven ground, and illuminating the darkness through His unquestionable and infallible word. The periods we are unable to feel Him near may be a failure, on our part, to comprehend His presence. We try to construct it using our own limited beliefs, rather than seeking to understand His working and methods by His scriptures. The pain you are experiencing is real, your trauma evident, and struggle acknowledged. Nothing is more powerful than the move of the Lord. His peace surpasses all understanding if we are willing to seek it out and accept it. Fear not, God is always with you, He never deviates from His promises, and will never forget or forsake you. God bless.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 42:1-4

Psalm 42:1-4

As the deer longs for the water brooks, so longs my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteh for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before my God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say unto me. Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with a multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept the holyday.

Okay, there is alot going on within these verses. The three take aways that I treasure most about the Psalms are: that they contain both labour and triumph, are filled with numerous examples of God's eternal providence, and they exmplified pure worship wondrously and continuously which is demonstrated in their tone and substance. With that said, I would like to focus today on the theme presented in my preceding devotions, broken heartedness. In the first two devotions, we examined the broken heart, or crushed spirit, that may result from individual pain, spiritual struggle, physical ailment, or emotional distress. Here, the broken heart is personified as a deer thirsting for water, that thirst driving him to find sustenance, quenching, and relief. Here, the broken heart, I believe, represents that moment of submission or surrender to the absolute necessity to have God restore and revive us. It is a longing to draw close to God for no other reason but to experience Him in every facet of our lives. It is when we seek to shatter the shell of cynicism and bitterness encasing our hearts, having it fall away to reveal that God is our only sustenance and provider. The psalmist so intensely desires communion with God that he weeps day and night for it until God responds. He compares his submission to the very pouring out of his soul. How many times have we said a prayer that barely lasts several minute or, even, seconds, asking God for His support and comfort as we; shower, drive to work, or during our exercise regime then remaining silent to Him for the rest of the day. Then we wonder why God is silent to us. We sip from the brook, rather than immerse ourselves in it, attempting to satisfy a thirst that permeates every inch of our soul with a mere lap of our tongues. God answers all prayer, sometimes in ways we may not agree with, but He undoubtedly knows best. To move past that, into truly building a relationship with our Lord and Saviour, requires a desperate and endless longing to have Him fill our spirit to the point of overflow. We pant for so much in this world; money, position, power, relationships, strength, popularity, stability, materialism, political opinion, and personal satisfaction. We place the most high God in second, third, and even, last place in our lives. We only go to Him when needs have become to great to understand and too heavy to carry. Can we only imagine how extraordinary life would be if we hungered for God like we are famished for the things of this temporal world. We are judged by what we hold must dear in our lives. What do you thirst for? What does your soul literally long for? When you decide, measure it with the possibility of a deepening relationship with your creator. Where God sizes up against those desires say alot about who you are and where your life has been, and is going. God is always waiting for us to return to Him, what an amazing and incomprehensible love He has considering our track record. God bless.

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 34:18

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be crushed in spirit.

God has many promises, none are more profound than his commitment to draw close to those who suffer both spiritually, emotionally, and physically. A broken heart understands the absolute need for God's intervention, and the undeniable truth that we are entirely lost and naked without God. It is when we are broken, that God can truly repair whatever suffering and damage we face brought about by; poor health, tragedy, loss, emotional dismay, or the consequences of sin. How many times have we limped along, trying to heal our own wounds, manage our own pain, with no success, instead causing more harm than good? If our vehicle's engine light comes on, but the car still operates, using the excuses of lack of time and money, many times we wait until it completely breaks down before we even think of repair. Much to the delight of most tow truck drivers and mechanics, usually creating more cost than it would have required if we were more proactive. God knows because of our nature of stubbornness, most times we have to completely break down before we recognize how desperately we need his assistance. We think, on our own, we are stronger and in more control of our lives than we ever could be. That is where God's waiting and never ending patience plays its part. It is at the moment that nothing else but God makes sense that we allow Him to do his perfect work within us. It is also evidence that God is ever present, there when we need Him most. So what is the difference between a broken heart and crushed spirit, nothing. They are one in the same, as the spirit is the center and wellspring of the heart. Even when faced with the difficulty of our trauma, God carries us through it. Whether we experience immediate healing or rectification, or we must endure our trial until its end, God is with us, providing the courage, peace, and strength to navigate the storm. God is always there, as the fanous poem states, when we see only one set of footprints it is because He has carried us through our pain and suffering. God bless.

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Minute Devotion: Psalm 27:14

Psalm 27:14
Wait in faith on the Lord, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.

In this smart phone and microwave generation we exist in, waiting is not a popular concept. We can order movies on demand, pizza via the internet, and search any piece of information, small and large, via search engines like Google and Bing. Technology has revolutionized the world so that patience is no longer even necessary. With that said, the Lord continuously tells us to wait. Why? God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, why would our Lord, who is sovereign over all, require us to wait for anything. He created this world, our entire universe in the near blink of an eye, with that kind of power, any type of hesitation or pause seems utterly absurd. So, I ask again, why would He ask us to wait? For just a moment, let's revisit technology. I know, every time I seem to obtain the latest, "thing" it is already outdated before I leave the breezeway of Best Buy. The industry is in such a rush to expedite the latest and next best thing that instead of waiting for the Iphone 5 we get the IPhone 4s. I guess the s stands for sucker. We willing except the in between model, because we have to be the guy or gal with the newest gadget, after all, is not the world's current slogan, "he or she who has the most toys wins?" So you get stuck with something slightly better but not quite as good as it could be or should be. God does not work like that. He asks us to wait, because when He delivers it is not only the best, but what is best for us. He looks to bring us to the next level and not some, holdover until good catches up with great. God understands, even when we do not, that we appreciate things more when we wait for them. In fact, we learn more, when we wait. Remember, faith is not really about by the target or gift, but the way we are permanently affected by the journey towards it, or, it has little to do with the product but more so with how we grow in the Lord in the process. In those wait times we actually begin to see how much we truly trust in God. Some of us would rather move God out of the way, as we could do so much better by ourselves. This is a foolishly arrogant notion that results in complete failure every time. God understands what it takes to wait. He knew this time of progress and technology would come, once again demonstrating His word is timeless. That is why he begins with; "be of good courage." It takes real courage to wait, more courage than most things in life. Notice also the assurance that we miss when we get stuck in considering the waiting part. "He shall strengthen thine heart," what a wonderous guarantee and gift. A heart that is strong in the Lord can face the trials and turmoils of life with the peace and confidence in our creator. A strong heart moves mountains and changes lives. Like any other muscle, you have to consistently excercise and utilize it to make it strong. Waiting is that workout. It is a continuous process, notice it says strengthen, which notes a fluid promise. There is no finality to it, rather, the indication of growing and developing. God knows best, I know that is not popular idea right now but for those who have experienced God's intervention, it is a complete and undeniable truth. Learn to wait, with the courage to overcome all fear and stress that God provides, and your relationship with God and the strength of your faith will continually move forward into experiences that will forever change your life and the lives of others. God bless.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

One Minute Movie Review: The Smurfs

Not to long ago, I had a conversation with a fellow film buff and jokingly made the comment, "Hollywood has made so many bad films it is apparent they have run out of good ideas, the next thing you know they will make a movie about the Smurfs!" I have now learned the indispensable lesson, to consider what one says. So how does one measure a movie about the subject of Smurfs in this brave new world? Good question, obvious answer, it was goofy, sappy, and cartoonish, which in this case can play as either a positive or bad review depending on how one looks at it and your age range. The cartoon itself was ridiculously sappy and annoying, so in the case of staying true to form, it is a win. However, that would suggest that sappy and annoying is enjoyable. A fan of any Jack Black, Adam Sandler, or Will Ferrell vehicle might fare well riding the little blue wave. If one enjoys good cinema, it would not be rented in the first place or even heard of it, so the point is mute. The special effects are ok, but nowhere near the caliber of other live action meets CGI fares. As far as the acting, if Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays, (and if anybody can, please let me know who she is), if their performances were any more phoned in they would have needed a long term contract with Verizon. Now, there was one upside, Hank Azaria, one of the least known but most talented character actors on the market, steals what there is of this film, rebooting the role of Gargamel. He brings a level of quick wit and satire with such lines as, "I can not quit you, " as he laments to the infamous Azrael the cat among many other subtle quips that I giggled to. The film finds moments to poke fun of itself, but the story is just too immature to retain any interest. The ending is too predictable and silly to bother. 1 out of 5 Kernels: this was a smurfing tragedy of a movie, and I'll never recover one smurfing moment I wasted watching it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One Minute Movie Review: Spy Kids: All The Time in the World

My surround sound system blew up while watching this movie. I think it may have committed suicide. If so, it was justified. I know the thought crossed my mind several times as I endured this atrocity. This has to be one of the worst kids movies I have ever seen. The humor was entirely unfunny, even for its juvenile target audience. The premise, apparently, is to utilize the word time in as many lame one liners as possible. Every one falls flat, and the sheer number becomes a quick and complete nuisance. The acting was dreadful, the story was ridiculously complex for a kid flick, and the action was hokey and uninteresting. The young actors are continuously annoying I do not know if that is intentional or not. In fact, the entire cast is a real dissapointment. This film should be called Talent Takes a Time Out. Add in the all the 3d gimmicks, for an absolute, hi tech mess. This is the fifth installment in the franchise and its predecessors do not fare much better, but watching grass grow or paint dry would be far more enjoyable than this tragedy. 0 out of 5 Kernels; do not waste your valuable time.