Monday, December 31, 2012

Bible Reading Plan

I have a confession to make.  I don't read my Bible every day.


Yes, I'm imperfect and make mistakes.  While I love Christ and try to always follow Him, I fail Him by not spending enough time in the Word of God.  I know that only by reading the Bible will I have a closer relationship with God and learn more about His nature.

A friend of mine started a new Facebook group to help motivate and encourage people in reading the Bible. I've made the commitment that in 2013 I'm going to read the entire Bible.  I've read every book at least once and many of them several times.  But I haven't been that committed in several years.

A great tool that was shown to me is  This site is free and has numerous Bible reading plans, as well as multiple translations.  I'm following the Chronological reading plan, as I think it's interesting to consider the Biblical events in the order that they happened.

So as we go into 2013 I strongly encourage everyone (both of you who read this blog) to do the same thing. Spend more time in prayer and reading the Bible.  I think it will change your perspective and life as much as I expect it to change mine.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Finding God's Will

I don't typically cross-post from my other blog about life as a vet to this one.  But I thought that this crossed over to both subjects and knowing that not everyone follows both blogs I felt it was worth posting to both.

I am so glad to have come across your 7/24/11 post called 'God and Veterinary medicine'. I have a pressing question which I know only God knows the answer to, but I wanted to open it to you for honest insight... 

My name is Rachel and I'm a pre-veterinary student at the moment, after having graduated with an unrelated bachelor's degree a few years ago. I don't know how to put my passion for helping animals into words that don't sound cliche. I want to help and heal them to my highest ability, which is why I changed my course and returned to school in pursuit of a career as a veterinarian. At the time when I made this decision, there were many signs that this is the way, and many wondered why I hadn't chosen this path in the first place. Simply put, I'm crazy about God's animals, and to see them ailing brings me to my knees.

I have always believed in God, but only a few weeks ago I fully accepted Christ into my life and my relationship with Him is growing everyday. Before, I admit to being guilty of putting animals above humans - honestly, I was people-fearing, even loathing. After reading the Bible, I realize that as a follower of Christ, I cannot live or think that way - we must love one another as Christ does. I heard a sermon not too long ago that said once you accept God into your life, He does with your life as He pleases, and He will take/make you far from who you think you are, and you certainly may not like it at first. 

Thinking of this brings me anxiety, panic, and confusion, because not long after, a thought came to my mind (from me or God, I do not know) that I should be a human doctor, and specialize in oncology to be exact. I don't know if this was God talking to me, or me messing with mind trying to stir up anxiety again (not uncommon). I feel that everything that has happened for me in the past two years - volunteering, participating in veterinary mission trips abroad, meeting wonderful contacts in the field, finding inspiration in the veterinarians I have followed - all of these things I feel were/are blessings from God. They all came to me at the right place and time; coincidence is impossible. I enjoy and am fulfilled when I help people day to day, but animals have been in my heart, as are many other God-given passions and talents, since my beginning.

Perhaps it is God trying to tell me that I need to balance myself out and dedicate more time to helping people in need? This I can believe. I have merely just begun my walk with God and I am just starting to learn more about Him. Of course I want to always say 'Yes' to God! He knows what is best for us. I can only hope it was a silly 'what-if'  thought that came to mind. Now I can't help but worry as I continue my studies that I am displeasing God, and being selfish for pursuing what I love. I have prayed about this, but nothing is yet clear to me. 

I am coming to you because I trust your honest insight, and I am sure you understand more about God's character than I do right now. What are your thoughts?

First I want to say that I'm not an expert on God, just a devoted layperson who makes mistakes and still sins.  I'm no better than anybody else, so take any of my advice with a grain (or three) of salt.  And I can't say that I understand more about God....I'm still trying to figure a lot of it out myself!

God is not the author of confusion.  That's the domain of Satan.  But we as fallible, sinful humans can mess with our own minds without the Devil's help.  I've certainly had plenty of doubts and confusion of my own and have doubted what God wants for me, yet I don't think Satan is behind all of that.  We have our own free wills, and that includes the freedom to doubt.  But if you're moving in a direction that God wants, Satan can certainly intervene and muddy the waters.

I agree that too many people put animals over humans.  Humans have a special place in God's creation, and though animals are special they are not on the same level as people.  I do believe that animals have emotions and can show love and devotion, but that alone doesn't place them above or even equal to humans.  In Genesis God gives Adam (and therefore all his descendants) authority over animals.  But that doesn't mean that we can do whatever we want to them with impunity.  God still wants us to take care of His creation.  Animals are there for us to be able to use, but also for us to act as caretakers.  That is a big responsibility and ties directly to those of us in the veterinary profession.  But no matter how much I love animals, I firmly believe that any human has more value to God than any animal.  As a follower of Christ, I need to mirror that attitude.

Rachel, I can't tell you what God wants from you, even if I knew you.  I would first recommend finding a local pastor, priest, or other spiritual leader that you respect and with whom you feel comfortable.  Talk to them and ask them to pray for you.  Also spend daily time with God, praying and above all listening.  I think that too much prayer time is spent with us talking while God wants his turn to speak to us.  Be quiet and focus on His will and His presence.  Read the Bible daily and get to know His character.  You'll find great wisdom in His words that will help you understand what He wants from you.

Think about where your true passions and interests lie.  When I think about human medicine I get a bit weirded out.  I find things related to humans rather disgusting and could never imagine myself being part of that, even though I deal with the same things on animals.  I also don't feel a burning desire to help people in this way.  God has never given me a heart or passion to be involved with human medicine.  That's not me being selfish, that's just how I've always been.  God creates each of us with innate talents and interests, even before we turn to Him.  He creates us to do certain things, even if we may not realize it at the time.

He did the same thing with you, Rachel.  If you feel strongly drawn to human medicine and oncology, start to look into that.  Perhaps volunteer at a hospital where you can work with cancer patients.  If you feel your heart crying out to these people and wanting to be around them, then consider switching your path.  But if you feel uncomfortable and nervous in this situation, it may not be right for you.  If you go into human oncology you can still help animals by giving to charitable organizations and volunteering at shelters or as a foster parent.  If you pursue veterinary medicine but still feel that God wants you involved with human cancer patients you can do something similar, volunteering at a hospital or with hospice, or giving to cancer research foundations. It is possible to have a passion for one thing but still help out in another area.

Both veterinary and human medical schools will stress and tax you in ways you can't imagine.  Both are worthwhile pursuits, but you should be sure of which one you want to pursue before starting.  Spend more time with God, listen to Him, and find a local pastor to help you.  I hope that some of my words may also help, and I will pray for you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Evil Is In The World

There was a senseless tragedy in Connecticut today.  If you've been under a rock and haven't seen any media (at least here in the US), a demented, evil person walked into an elementary school and shot to death 20 children and 8 adults.  We may never know the underlying reasons for his murderous rampage, but nothing in his past could ever excuse such a horrible act.

Think about the parents, family, friends, and other children for a moment.  These children had gone to a normal day of school like so many million do every day.  Newtown is a small community, not what you would ever consider as prone to such an event.  This could happen in any school in the country.  The timing could hardly be worse as we are 11 days away from Christmas.  That means that in all likelihood presents were already bought for those who were murdered.  They may actually already be wrapped and under the tree at this moment.  What must it feel like to find out your child has been killed at their school in a mass shooting, then go home and see the present you bought for them wrapped neatly and awaiting eager hands to open it Christmas Day?  

I heard about the news when I got into my car after having watched The Hobbit with my wife and two children.  My kids are 10 and 11, close to the age of those who died.  I can't imagine having to face what these parents are going through.  As I was running errands my wife was watching the news reports on TV and crying.  My son came in and saw the newcasters talking about the shooting.  "Mommy, why would someone do that?" he asked her.

How do you answer something like that?  Because I don't think anyone has a good answer.  There is absolutely no reason to explain why anyone would murder like this.  Nothing except evil.

I am a Christian and fully believe in Satan as a real entity.  I believe in demons and I believe in pure evil.  Now, I don't think everything bad that happens is due to demon-possessed people.  Humans are quite depraved enough in their own souls to perform heinous acts by their own inner evil and don't need external help.  But I also know that Satan does try to influence people both directly and indirectly.  The only excuse for murdering children in this manner is pure evil, whether internal or external.  And though this may somewhat explain the behavior, it in no way gives credence to it.

We are seeing and hearing more about things like this in modern times.  Remember the shooting at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado this year? There have been others like that in malls, schools, and other public places.  Such mass shootings often make individual murders seem trivial and go unnoticed by the public at large.  But the killing of even one person is a tragedy to those that love them.  Is the sorrow of a parent who has lost their child in a car accident any less than that of one of the parents in Newtown, Connecticut?  We need to remember and pray for everyone who is going through such hardships, not just the ones affected today.

So what can we do?  First of all, put politics aside.  Though I'm a political and social conservative, I really don't want to hear about the arguments for or against gun control on a day like this.  We're not going to solve the problems that lead to tragedies through laws or lack thereof.  The root cause of these evil events is in the heart, not in the legal or social system.  Today if I see a politician using this tragedy to promote their own viewpoint I would want to go up and slap them.  This isn't about politics.

We need to change hearts.  We need to embrace love.  No, I'm not going all "hippie" on you, and I don't believe in the kind of "tolerance" that the American political Left promotes.  We need to have a society that is based on morals and that embraces supporting each other rather than dividing ourselves.  Even just in my lifetime I've seen a breaking down of the family and an acceptance of things that really shouldn't be allowed.  All in the name of "tolerance".  I'm sorry, but there are many things in our society that we should not tolerate. By having a relativistic point of view we no longer tell people that something is "right" or "wrong".  And that leads to a belief that nothing is wrong.

Of course, as a fairly fundamentalist Christian (though non-traditional since I'm also a geek), I'm going to talk about the need for God.  As we have pushed God out of school, business, and the public eye we have also gotten rid of our moral yardstick and the sense of something holy.  We have lost our reverential fear of our Creator and the consequences of our actions.  The idea of loving enemies and supporting those in need seems so far away in much of today's society.  I actually feel sorry for those who don't have Christ in their lives, as in times of tragedy He is the perfect person to go to and rely on.  I know that God wants to comfort the broken hearts, if only people will let Him.  And if more people followed the example of Jesus, we would have fewer events like happened today.

Sorry if I've rambled today.  This entry is a bit more free-form than I usually do, and I plan on leaving it that way.  The events today made me think more than many things I hear on the news, in part because the children killed could have been friends of my own kids.

Stop right now and pray for these people and others like them around the world.  Then immediately find or call your own children, hug them if you can, and tell them that you love them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bringing Up New Christians

I grew up "Christian", but it wasn't a real focus of our life.  We went to church on Sunday and attended many church events.  I was raised Lutheran so I went through confirmation classes and regular Bible lessons.  But at home we didn't really make a big deal over it.  We prayed over meals and said bedtime prayers, but it was almost routine and ritualistic.  God didn't permeate our lives and influence our decisions, at least as far as I could tell.  I had a good childhood and good parents, but the importance of Christ was minimal.

Since I became a parent after my salvation, trying to bring my kids up as Christians is important to me.  However, I sometimes feel at a loss because of the lack of this in my own upbringing.  I want them to have a stronger Christian foundation than I did and truly love God.  I want them to have a passion for Christ and involve him in their own lives.  I want them to understand why they do it and not merely follow my own rituals.

That's not always easy.  I often struggle with my own relationship with God and don't spend as much time with Him as I should.  That makes it more difficult to set a great example and lead by doing.  I'll also admit that I'm sometimes so busy with other things that it's easy just to tell the kids to go away and do their own thing.  That's not good parenting in general, let alone acting as a good Christian.

It's important to share Christ with children.  Ultimately everyone is responsible for their own fate and relationship with Christ.  However, parents can influence kids to or away from Jesus.  Obviously I want to do the former.  So we earnestly pray at each meal, we talk about God openly with them, and every night we have a family devotional and prayer time.  We are trying to instill good Christian habits in them.

But it goes beyond events and tasks.  When we need to make a decision, we try to deliberately include prayer and seeking God.  When the kids do something wrong we couch it in terms of the Bible and sin.  Good parenting doesn't have to be Christian-based, but the Bible really does tell us the best ways to act and think so we want to keep that front and center.

It's not always easy.  But it's one of the most important things I will do in my life.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today is Thanksgiving in the US and Canada.  We use this day to reflect on what we're thankful for and celebrate the blessings that we have.  It's a time for family, food, and preparing for the Black Friday sales.  Traditionally we spend a lot of time listing out the things we're thankful for and letting people know how they bless us.

But why limit it to today?

I try to remember to give thanks to God every day.  At least once daily I thank him for my wife, and try to thank him for my job at the end of the day, no matter how good or bad the day was.  I'm not successful at giving thanks as much as I should, but I try to keep it to the other 364 days of the year as much as I do on Thanksgiving Day.

We should be grateful for what we have every day of the year.  I certainly don't mind setting aside a day of special celebration just like we do for Christ's birthday and resurrection day.  But I think many of us forget to give thanks the rest of the year.

Make a pledge to find something to be thankful for every day of the year.  And thank God out loud so that you really make it known.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 NIV

Monday, November 12, 2012

What's A Christian To Do About Magic?

I have a sad admission to make.  Many years ago I thought that Harry Potter was evil because it promoted "magic", and that's spoken against in the Bible.  As a Christian, I'm supposed to avoid those things and so I condemned those books and movies.  It even got to the point that my mother-in-law, a pastor's wife, got rid of her Harry Potter movies because of what I and my wife (her daughter) were saying.

I was wrong.  And ignorant.

After becoming involved in Fans For Christ I started getting to know people who loved Rowling's works.  Then I broke down and watched the first movie.  I loved it!  And I didn't see anything Satanic or evil in it.  My wife and I began watching the other ones, and then I started reading the novels.  I am now an official Potterhead, and have begun dressing up as characters from the movies and books (mostly myself as Professor Lupin and my wife as Tonks).  This past year at Dragon*Con I even gave a sermon with a Harry Potter theme and preached with my wand, dressed as Lupin.

So why the change?

I realized that the books didn't actually promote paganism or real-world evil spells. In those books you are either born a wizard or you aren't.  If you aren't one by birth, you can't learn how to become one.  It's a form or genetics as well as technology.  The Bible speaks against magic in the real world, but doesn't fully define it.  The idea usually comes about that any supernatural powers not from God are automatically from Satan.  In the real world I can't disagree.  But fiction follows different rules and settings than our own.  In these stories you either have deities other than our God, or you have something like Harry Potter where the power is innate and not reliant on a supernatural being.

That brings me to an article I recently read, surprisingly found on  It deals with this very issue, and states the topic in a way that I can't say any better.  So I'll just highly recommend that you go and check it out.  For any Christian it is an important read.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween As A Christian

Last year I wrote an entry where I defended Halloween from a Christian perspective.  It was the first time I really sat down and made my thoughts coherent and even did a little research on the origins of certain holidays.  Recently I went back and re-read that post, and I have to say that I agree with myself even more.

If you know me or read through this blog, you'll know that I am a conservative, born-again Christian who believes in the truth and infallibility of the Bible.  I believe that faith in Christ is the only way to get to Heaven and the Bible outlines this path.  I have very mainstream Christian beliefs, even if I am quite a geek.

My involvement in the ministry of Fans For Christ has shown me that God loves people that the average Christian would probably turn away from.  In merging and balancing my love for Jesus with my interest in comic books, sci-fi, movies and so on I have learned that God's love envelops more people than most Christians probably realize.  Christianity is not a single outlook and can include many different "types", even while not straying one word from the Bible.

And that brings us to Halloween.  

I think that many Christians are unintentionally ignorant.  Someone tells them that Harry Potter uses real Wiccan magic and they then condemn the books as being anti-Christian without ever looking into it themselves.  Someone tells them that Halloween originated as a Satan-worshiping celebration and they take it as the truth, never checking out to learn that it was actually the opposite.  There is often a lack of real discernment amongst mainstream Christians.

So as a Christian I do celebrate Halloween.  My kids trick-or-treat, and we have pumpkins and decorations around our house.  Our concession to other Christians is that we avoid decorations that might seem "evil" or demonic, even though we personally see the separation between fun and what God tells us to avoid.  

I don't think it's wrong for a Christian to have fun with Halloween.  After all, in modern times that's all it's supposed to

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The End Of Civility?

It's political season here in the US and our presidential election is only weeks away.  That means the mud is slinging on both sides of the political aisle.  I'm always open for a good debate on politics, religion, or just about anything else, and so have gotten into a few discussions on Facebook.  Sometimes I get good, reasoned intellectual stimulation.  But more often I see "u suk!" kinds of comments.

It's not been limited to political discussions.  In the four years I've been blogging I will from time to time get hateful comments on posts.  Few of them have been bad enough for me to delete, but some are particularly judgmental without knowing anything about me.  As I stated, I enjoy debate and am willing to go point-to-point on most issues.  But the hateful insulting statements simply are uncalled for.

Where is civility in today's society?  Why do discussions have to quickly devolve into insults and name-calling?  Heck, I've seen many of them start that way!  I honestly don't understand it.  I can disagree with someone's views and beliefs and not hate them.  I have strongly different political views than my father and we often debate the subject, but despite those differences I really love him (hi, Dad!).  While I am very politically conservative I have friends who are quite liberal.  Though I disagree with them I can also see past those issues to appreciate who they are otherwise.

I see so little of these better attitudes nowadays.  People seem unable to disagree without hating.  And they seem even more unable to express their opposition without insults.  I was in a discussion with someone of liberal leanings on Facebook and he kept making quite rude and hate-filled comments.  I challenged him to make one salient point without an insult. He responded by insulting me and other conservatives.  He was literally unable to do so.

When did this happen?  I shouldn't be surprised, though.  It's part of human nature and people are often of very strong opinions which they defend with passion.  I've heard a dramatization of campaign advertisements from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and they are even more directly insulting than anything you'd see in modern politics.

Even so, I'd love to see a return to civility.  Disagree without insult.  And when you're talking to a stranger online, be very careful about the assumptions you make.  It's impossible to really know someone just by reading their words on a computer screen (even when they write over 800 blog entries like me).  

Sometimes old adages are indeed best.  "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Easier Said Than Done

I know that we've all said it.  "I'm going to focus on God more."  "I'm going to pray more."  "I'm going to read the Bible every day."  With all of our best intentions we plan to focus more on our relationship with God.  It might start out good, but pretty soon it tapers off to our old habits of "nothing".  At least, this is the way it happens if you're anything like me.

Why does it have to be that way?

We are flawed, imperfect beings that are constantly having to fight against the influences of the Devil.  One of his most potent weapons is to distract us from being closer to God.  The less time we spend with God the closer we are to forgetting Him.  Satan doesn't have to make us turn towards him, he just has to make us turn away from Christ.

Be warned of this (and I'm warning myself here).  Making the decision to study the Word and spend more time in God's presence is a spiritual battle and puts you on the front lines of such warfare.  Gird yourself and stand firm in the decision to be with the Lord.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Who Are You Touching?

As usual after coming back from Dragon*Con (read my report on the Fans For Christ web site) I have a lot of thoughts about God.  This year it started to hit me just how many people we touch there.  

A few years ago we had an atheist come up to our fan table and talk to us.  He said (and I'm paraphrasing as I don't remember his exact words) "I don't believe in God but I've seen you guys around for the last few years and really admire what you're doing and how you're conducting yourselves.  Keep it up."  An avowed atheist told us to keep promoting Christ!  Maybe a seed was planted in his heart that the Spirit will water.

Every year my family goes to the Yule Ball, a Harry Potter themed party.  It's a lot of fun to us since there are great costumes, dancing, and a lot of our friends go.  This year I had three different groups of people come up to me and say how much they enjoyed our church service and the message.

One of the people who came to our service was Rick Goins of channel 57, WATC, in Atlanta.  It is a Christian station and he is a host of their show, Atlanta Live.  He was very impressed and surprised by our fan group and the service.  So much so that today I recorded an interview with him.  That interview about Fans For Christ and con ministry will be broadcast to Christians and others all over the metro Atlanta area.

Obviously we are touching people in an amazing way and God is using this ministry to spread His message.  I'm so humbled to be allowed to take part in this and am so excited to see hints of what else He has in store.

Every year at the con we see street-preachers, some of them holding up big signs saying "Repent" or talking about sinners going to Hell.  While I don't disagree with what they are saying, I sincerely disagree with how they are going about it.  Even many Christians are put off by the method of the message, and non-Christians certainly avoid them.  I can promise you that we touch more people in a few hours than those guys do in four days.  While they have the same message that we do, the presentation is what draws or repels people.

What are you doing in your own life?  How are you touching those you come into contact with?  You don't have to be a minister or go to a con to show people Jesus.  We need to learn to show people the Gospel and Christ's Light in everything we do and say.  For the next few days pay attention to those around you, and really notice your interactions.  Are you making people want to find God, or chasing them away?  Or can people even tell that you're a Christian?

I once heard a very wise statement.  "Be the Bible you want people to read."  I sincerely believe that this is true.  Sometimes you're the only Gospel that people will notice.  Make sure they want to learn more.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Into The Lion's Den

As we do every year, Fans For Christ is showing up at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia.  As Christian geeks we are an oddity in every sense.  The average church-goer doesn't know what to make of us because we don't look, dress, or act like traditional Christians.  The average geek doesn't know what to make of us because we don't always act or talk like your traditional nerd.  We are a minority in a minority, and proud to be so.

One of the hardest things to do at cons like this is to maintain your faith and Christianity.  Certainly there is nothing evil about liking anime, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and so on.  But there are also certainly influences of Satan present.  Remember that one of the devil's greatest weapons is people's apathy towards God.  When we shine Christ's light in the darkness we are going to get pushed back.

For the few who might read this blog, I ask you to pray for us.  We need God's guidance as we seek to spread the Gospel.  In fact, join us in our 30 Days of Prayer on Facebook.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Batman, Tragedy, And God

I think that by now most people know about the horrible, evil tragedy that happened in Colorado at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.  I've seen reports online from people blaming the movie, Batman in general, and both right- and left-wing political influences.  In today's society it seems like everyone is ready to lay the blame at the feet of someone, anyone other than the person who committed an atrocity.  In our post-modern society many don't believe in "evil".

I do.

I know that there is a devil and that he wants to not only destroy us physically, but spiritually as well.  He wants nothing more than to separate us from God.  Tragedies like this latest one make people wonder, "Where is God?  Where is His mercy?"

I'm not one to speak on this, because I haven't been through that sort of horrible, life-changing event.  So I want to point you to another blog where one of the people in that theater during the shooting answers the question.  Because the author was there with her daughters, she better than anyone I know can speak to this topic.

Follow the link, read the post, and remember that despite the evil of Man, God still loves us and cares for us.

So you STILL think God is a merciful god?!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

God's Production Notes

Sunday we were having a Bible discussion about Job and started thinking about what Job's response was when he got to Heaven and learned the details about all that happened to him.

"So let me get this straight....You allowed my kids to die, my possessions to be ruined, my health to fail to the point where I wanted to die, my wife to tell me to curse You, and my friends to wonder what I had done to bring Your wrath....all for a bet???"

I certainly realize why God allowed these trials to happen to Job and how he had it all restored and then some.  To us looking back it's a great story of how someone can maintain their faith even through the worst trials.  But how would we feel about that in our own lives?

My wife and I do a lot of community theater and we get to read the scripts and other production notes for the plays.  She does costuming and directing, so has made her own notes on productions.  These kinds of notes tell the "whys" and "hows" of the play, not just the "whats" of movement and lines.  I'm sure that God has production notes for our own lives.  He has jotted down writings and scribbles about why he lets things happen (or not happen) to us.  One day we'll get to Heaven, read the Book of Life, and see exactly what He was thinking.

Do we really want to know?  It's not as easy as it may seem.  Yes, it would be nice to have a better understanding of why we go through trials.  But we may not want to know that in a week we'll be in a car accident and loose our family while we survive.  Foreknowledge is a mixed blessing.  But I sure wouldn't mind some post-knowledge or present-knowledge.  I think that sometimes it would be easier to go along with God's plans if we actually knew what they were.

But that's not the case.  And that is why we have Job and other examples of how to have faith despite not knowing the details of His plans.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Zombies In The Bible?

I like a good zombie flick as much as the next guy, though I'm not as up on my zombie lore as many of my friends.  So when I see a topic on zombies in the Bible and comments like "Jesus was the first zombie" my ears prick up.

There are several things that people may bring up in this discussion.  The obvious choices are Jesus and Lazarus.  Both of them died and were laid in their tomb but later "got better" and came back to life.  But there are other events like this spread throughout the Bible

Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.  Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
1 Kings 17:17-23

When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.  
2 Kings 4:32-35

But the most "classic" example has to be after Jesus died.

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
Matthew 27:50-53

Sounds like zombies, right?  


The problem comes in the definition.  Historically zombies came from voodoo and were enslaved automatons.  What we currently view in popular culture as a zombie (such as in Zombieland and The Walking Dead) really originated in George Romero's classic 1968 Night of the Living Dead.  In our current parlance we see zombies as rotting undead creatures who seek out brains and human flesh upon which to feast.  That doesn't exactly sound like what we read in the Bible, does it?  Everywhere in the Bible that we see someone brought to life after dying they are perfectly fine.  They aren't decomposing and they don't develop a craving for cerebrum.  They are also resurrected by the power of God and His prophets, not by some curse or virus.  I don't think that if Lazarus had bitten one of his sisters after he came out of the grave that Mary or Martha would become undead themselves.  If we call these resurrected people "zombies", then anyone who has been clinically dead but revived by CPR is also a zombie.

However, it would be very cool to see a movie about the crucifixion of Christ actually show that scene out of Matthew!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Binding And Loosing

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
 Matthew 16:19

I've  been listening to Beth Moore's "Believing God" series on CD, after having read the book.  It's really great stuff!  Honestly, that book has helped turn me around and enabled me to get out of the pit of clinical depression.

But there was something interesting she said on one of the discs.  In the above Scripture, Jesus is using a tense in Greek that means "has already been".  So really He is saying "whatever you bind on Earth will be what has already been bound in Heaven."  In essence, He's repeating part of the prayer that He teaches the Apostles.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:9-10

Look at that last part.  Jesus is guiding us to pray that things on Earth happen as they already have in Heaven.

Why is this so powerful a thought and revelation?  Because we are given power to do things that God has already done!  Through all of our struggles we wonder how we can survive and do what we need to do.  But God already did it!  He has already overcome these struggles!  And He has given us the power to do these same things on Earth.

Do you think that God wants Satan bound up and powerless in our lives?  Well, He already did that in the spiritual realm, and has given us the power to do that in our Earthly lives.  Does God want the Holy Spirit free and loose to blow around us and through us?  He has allowed that in Heaven and released the Spirit onto Earth, so all we have to do is loose the Spirit within us.  God isn't asking us to take on unreasonable challenges.  All he wants us to do is use the power that He gives us and do in our lives what He has already done spiritually.

Grab hold of that thought!  God gives us power and authority to do what He has done in this regard!  And because God already did the "heavy lifting", our job is that much easier.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

My wife is rather obsessed with Disney's Tinker Bell.  We literally have over 700 Tink items around the house, and more all of the time.  For Mother's Day our son gave her a snow globe with Tink and the quote from Peter Pan.

"All you need is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust."

My odd mind looked at this familiar phrase and realized that there is a lot of Biblical truth in it.  Really!  As Christians we honestly do need these things.  Don't believe me?

For we live by faith, not by sight. 
2 Corinthians 5:7

Now go read Hebrews 11, the best chapter on this subject.  In our lives and our daily struggles, we really do need to rely on our faith in the Lord.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 3:5 

God expects us to trust Him.  No, this isn't always easy, but we really can trust in Him completely.  If we don't trust God, who can we trust?  If He's not worthy of trust, then He's not worthy of worship.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

God is magic!  No, I'm not talking about spells and such.  His miracles transcend the natural and known physical laws.  Just look at miracles!  And when Peter Pan was using pixie dust he said to think of a happy thought.  In fact, with pixie dust alone you can't fly; you need the happy thoughts also.  We need to think on these things as Paul wrote to the Philippians.

So there you go.  All we need in live is to have faith in God, trust Him, and rely on his miracles and the thoughts of Him (pixie dust) in order for us to fly! 

Monday, April 30, 2012

In God's Country

This weekend my family took a short vacation to the mountains of Tennessee.  I grew up going to the Smokey Mountains, visiting the North Carolina side at least a couple of times every year.  I developed a great love for those mountains and have always felt most at home there.  However, over the years I spent less and less time in the area, with my last real foray into the Great Smokey Mountains National Park back in 1998 on my honeymoon.

So this weekend was my first trip in almost 14 years.  I didn't realize how much I had missed the mountains until we starting driving up that winding road out of Gatlinburg.  What made this even more special was the difference in me this time.

You see, I'm a lot closer to God now than I was back then.  When my wife and I were married I had been a born-again Christian for less than a year and was still growing in my walk with the Lord.  This time I'm more mature in my faith and have recently been growing closer to God.  This time I looked at my visit through Christian eyes.

It was amazing to me to see such beauty and majesty.  From the grand glory of the mountain silhouettes to the small wrinkles on leaves and the lichen on the rocks, I could see God's hand in all of it.  Looking at His creation I found it even harder to believe that such things happen randomly and without a guiding hand.  I had so much more appreciation for that land than I ever had before.  God is so amazing and wonderful and He has blessed me so much.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Praising Him

Do we thank and praise God enough?  I seriously doubt that.  We spend a lot of time praying to Him and asking various things, but do we thank Him?  God does want us to come to Him with requests and needs, but he also wants a personal, one-on-one relationship with us.  Such a relationship requires giving as well as taking.

Lately God has really been blessing me personally. He has helped me with my struggles with depression.  He has improved my faith and my attitude.  He has helped us unexpectedly with some financial issues.  He has given me a wonderful wife and great kids.  He has really spent time with me because I'm wanting to spend time with Him.

What did you thank Him for today?  Find something and do so right now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Staying In The Fire

I believe in Satan and demons.  Anyone who believes the Bible must also acknowledge the existence of evil and the servants of such.  However, I don't think of the Devil as the stereotypical red-skinned, cloven-hooved, pitchfork-wielding character you see in cartoons.  That image came out of the Medieval times and doesn't match with what the Bible says abut him.

Satan is beautiful.  He is subtle.  He is manipulative.  He works on your fears and desires.  He's not the Faustian character who gets you to sign away your soul on a piece of paper.  Rather, he lies and tricks you into doing things that will result in your soul going to him anyway, and makes you think it's fun and your idea all along.  Most people are prepared to resist the greater evils, but aren't as cautious about the smaller ones.  Think of things like lying and lustful thoughts as the "gateway drug" of sin.  Just like drugs such as marijuana can lead to harder drugs such as crack, "minor" sins can lead to comfort in this area and eventually to serious sins.

As part of my ministry with Fans For Christ I attend sci-fi/fantasy/comic conventions, talk about Jesus there and hold church services.  There are plenty of things at these events that are fine for Christians to like and be around.  I'm a big fan of these genres myself, and an active comic-book geek as well as a role-player.  But there are also some very anti-Christian and even demonic forces at these events.  It takes discernment to tell the difference, and it's not always a clear choice.  Satan wants it to be this way, with you thinking that you're really not doing anything wrong, thus leading you down a dangerous path.  If you reject God your soul is his...and you don't even have to sign on the dotted line in blood.

So how do we resist these influences?  Pretty simple, actually.  You read the Bible, pray, and surround yourself with Christians.  We are all bombarded by influences every moment of the day.  The media and advertising vie for our attention, trying to convince us of their point of view.  We have work and family issues that try to sway our thoughts in one direction or another.  If you have a certain type of thought or influence around you all of the time, it's human nature for your mind and attitude to gravitate in that direction.  Surrounding yourself with things of God helps deflect the negative influences.  And it's critically important.

I have a friend who is in the process of trying to divorce his wife in the year that they would celebrate their 20th anniversary.  He isn't in church, though says he's a Christian.  In the last year he has been in a job that keeps him away from his family.  When he's home he's heavily involved in things that aren't anti-Christian, but still are very worldly and secular.  He has no Christian influence in his life to guide his thoughts in a Christ-like direction.  And I think this is affecting his marriage.  I also fear for where he will end up if he continues down this path.

A story is told of a crotchety old man who stopped going to church.  He developed a bad attitude towards people and his wife was worried about him.  After he started getting meaner and more depressed, she contacted her pastor.  She explained what was going on but said that he wouldn't listen to her about going back to church.  The pastor came over one day and found the old man sitting near the fireplace.  Without a word the pastor sat in a nearby chair and stared at the fire.  The two men sat in silence for several minutes before the pastor got up and used some tongs to take an ember out of the fire.  He placed the glowing coal on the brick in front of the fireplace and then sat down again.  The men watched the glow fade, and then remain dark for several minutes.  The pastor got up again, picked up the cold coal with his bare hand, and threw it back into the fire where it quickly started glowing warm again.  The old man nodded and sighed.  "See you at church this Sunday, pastor."

If we don't keep ourselves in the fire of Christ and surround ourselves with other Christians, the Bible, and prayer, our faith will cool.  That is when Satan will take us and we won't even realize it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Resurrection Day

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:12-17

Christmas is wonderful, and we need to celebrate our Lord's birth. But the true focus of Christian holidays should be on Easter.  The event of the resurrection of Jesus is the single most important event in human history as well as in our faith.  Our entire belief system as Christians rests on this one simple fact:  Jesus died and rose from the dead.  If He didn't actually die, then the Bible and the Disciples were liars and we can't believe anything they say.  If He didn't rise after death, then not only do we believe in liars, but we haven't had cleansing of our sins and we're still just as miserable as always.

So focus on today.  Focus on what happened on Friday and how He suffered.  Remember that Jesus chose to go to the cross and could have stopped it at any time.  He did this because He loves us.

Spread the word!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Life To The Full

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  
John 10:10

Over the last few months I have been struggling a bit with the challenge of keeping joy in my heart and life.  I live a very good life, with a wonderful wife, great kids, and a good job where I'm very well respected and liked.  Yet I still find myself depressed at times and looking for ways to be happy.

Part of this I know is biochemical.  I actually have clinical depression and have to be on medications to help with this problem.  Though it affects my mind and behaviors, it's no different than high blood pressure or diabetes in the physiological origins.

But I know that Satan wants to make it worse.  I'm actively involved in my church, am co-director of Fans For Christ, and am trying to be the spiritual leader for my family.  If I'm unhappy and unable to see the blessings around me, I can't be an effective witness for Christ to the people around me.  Satan wants to kill my spirit and destroy my happiness.  

But Jesus wants me and everyone else to have full (abundant) life.  He came to Earth in mortal form and then died in order that we may have this.  We don't have to be burdened by the devil and have to settle for a half-life.  We can have the entire life that God wanted for us.

Now I'm not saying that by believing in Jesus I'll suddenly win the MegaMillions jackpot.  Tried that last week and I didn't match a single number.  Having full life is about your heart, mind, and soul, not about your finances or possessions.  

I've noticed that some of the strongest and most faithful Christians are those who have little.  These are people living in poverty or in third-world countries.  They have no possessions and live a hard life.  They really have nothing but their relationship with God.  And that's enough for them!  I've seen some of them happier than people in the western world who have multiple TVs, cars, and computers.  How can they be happy and satisfied with so little?  Because they have Jesus, and He came to allow them to have full life.

I can have full, abundant life.  So can you.  It's not a matter of earning enough money or being successful in your job.  Those things can actually bring unhappiness.  A full life revolves around God.  A lack of abundant life is a spiritual battle, as are so many other things.

I'm fighting against Satan.  I want to have Jesus buried deep in my heart so that I can have the life that He wants for me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Praising The Lord For Pokemon!

My son is a fairly typical 10 year-old and one of his big obsessions is Pokemon. Some days it's all he talks about.  He has posters, books, figures, games, plushes, and just about anything else he can get his hands on.

A couple of days ago we went to a flea market that was set up to raise money for various animal shelters and rescue groups. We had been planning this, so the kids knew about it and had anticipated it.  Our family loves yard sales and flea markets because of the great treasures we can find for dirt-cheap prices.  So we went hope to find some good things.

In one of the areas we found boxes of kids' toys, four for a dollar.  All of a sudden my son stars to get excited because he found several Pokemon figures. In a rather loud voice he started talking about how he had prayed the night before to find something good and the Lord had answered his prayers.  He started going on and on about how he loved God and how good God was to help him find the Pokemon things.  He was genuinely excited about the toys, but equally excited about how wonderful God was to him.

Now this may seem like a rather trivial thing, and admittedly it didn't seem like much to me.  But there were two important lessons we learned and talked about as a family.  First, God cares about even the small things in our lives.  He wants us to be happy and doesn't mind letting us find trinkets and fun things to brighten our day.  There is nothing too big or too small in our lives that God doesn't care about and can't do something about.

The second thing was one of these "from the mouths of babes" moments.  How many times does something good happen and we say "Wow, that was a lucky break," "Hey, perfect timing," or "Look what I did"? My son could have easily thought how lucky he was.  But instead he gave God the praise.  Do we do that often enough, especially for the little things?  Are we getting excited and thanking God for what He has done for us?

The next time something good happens to you, remember to thank the Lord.  And never be afraid to ask Him for anything.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Most Important Piece Of Armor

I've been struggling with issues of faith recently, and in trying to handle it I've been spending more time with God and in reflection/study.  One of the books I've been reading is Beth Moore's Believing God.  In that book she points out something that I've never realized before.  Ephesians 6 talks very famously about the "armor of God".  But look closely at the King James Version of verse 16 (we don't see this wording in other translations).

above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

"Above all".  Most importantly.  Before anything else.

Thought I'm not a "King James only" person, and typically read the NIV translation, I think this particular version has it right.  As Moore states, the shield is "the armor's armor".  If we lift up our shield, then our enemy's weapons never make it to our helmet or breastplate.  Let's say that we didn't have a shield.  Then even though our other pieces of armor will give us some protection, it can still hurt and bruise.  Ask anyone who has done real historical combat and they'll tell you that they'd rather have the blow hit the shield than the other pieces of armor.  The rest of the armor is to handle blows that make it past the shield.  And even with that protection you can still take some damage.  Over time, those injuries can build up and the armor can be damaged.  This is especially true of arrows ("firey darts").  Watch any movie involving historical combat and what do the soldiers do when a rain of arrows comes down?  They raise their shields!  They don't trust their armor to handle it. In fact, English longbows were specifically designed to penetrate plate armor.  A shield keeps the arrows away from the body and the rest of the armor.  When the shield is down, the soldier is more vulnerable.

This is especially true in spiritual warfare.  Our faith is our first line of defense.  Yes, righeousness (breastplate) and salvation (helmet) will protect our souls.  But if we raise our faith high we can avoid most of the attacks of Satan.  Our faith provides us with protection against his "darts" and keeps them from hitting the rest of the armor and potentially hurting or bruising us.  Satan knows that if he can get us to lower our shield (faith), we won't stand for long against him.  So I believe that the shield of faith is the most important part of God's armor.  Without faith, we can't find salvation, we won't be pleasing to God, and our works won't be effective (go read Hebrews 11 to see more on this topic).

Unfortunately, Bibilcal faith is not easy for some people.  I'm pointing at myself right now.  I have been suffering lately because my shield has been down, and I can testify to the fact that the devil has been beating the rest of my armor pretty severely.  I'm working on raising my faith, but it's not always easy and is a work in progress.  At least now I know how important it is to do so.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

For Or Against Us?

Unfortunately it is common for people of different denominations and Christian sects to argue with each other.  History is sadly filled with examples of the body of Christ dividing and being made ineffective because of disagreements between believers.  Families and even nations have broken up because Christians couldn't overdome their differences and focus on their similarities.

This is NOT what Jesus wanted.

Yes, it is important that we stand firm on the core beliefs of Christianity and the teachings of Christ as presented in the Bible.  Many of Paul's letters dealt with incorrect beliefs and actions of the church.  However, he didn't automatically turn his back on those churches or say that they should be rejected.

Because of our sinful human nature, Christianity is often a clique of sorts, where we gather together with like-minded individuals, pushing away any who don't subscribe to our particular "flavor" of belief and worship.  If someone isn't a part of that group, we don't want them around.  Does that sound hard to believe?  It even happened to the Apostles.

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.  Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.  Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
   “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”  Luke 9:46-50

Jesus' own followers, his core 12, were arguing over which of them was the best.  Remember when the mother of James and John tried to get them at the Lord's side over the other Apostles?  Some of the disciples had a problem with thinking that they were the greatest, and the others were less.  Some felt that the others who walked with Christ were somehow less important, less effective, or had differing beliefs.  Rather than remembering that ALL of them were personally chosen by the Messiah, they bickered over who was the best or favorite.

Christianity would be far more effective if we would get past our differences and work together to further God's Kingdom.  Can you imagine what would happen to the world if Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, nondenominationals, and other Christians banded together in unity?  How would all nations in the world be moved if we started fellowshiping with those who might have different traditions and views on Scripture, and concentrated in sharing the Good News of Jesus as the Messiah?  Unfortunately this doesn't happen nearly often enough.  These pet beliefs are so precious to some that anyone who doesn't share them must be an outsider to be shunned.

That's what happened when John and the others saw someone chasing demons in the name of Christ.  Because this man was not one of the Twelve, they tried to stop him.  He was doing the right thing in the name of the right person, but because he wasn't part of the "elite", he was to be condemned.  And how did Jesus respond?  He chided his disciples, and basically told them that it didn't matter that he wasn't part of their little group.  Since he was trying to do the same thing that they were, and in the name of Christ, they should accept him.

Keep this story in mind the next time you come across someone who is a Christian, but maybe sees things a bit differently than you.  Perhaps you are a political conservative and they are a liberal.  Maybe you believe in infant baptism but they don't.  Or you think that having alcohol is fine but they say it will lead to sin.  Some may differ on how the Bible says we should treat homosexuals.  In these situations and many, many more, remember that despite such differences, we all follow Christ and want others to find a place with Him.  We need to work together, not push each other apart.  In Jesus' own words, whoever is not against us is for us!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Talking To God

Lately I've been having a bit of a crisis of faith.  Yes, it happens to most people.  I do preach and teach, but I'm not immune to human doubts and fears.  I certainly haven't doubted my salvation or God's existence, but with certain stresses and crises in my life I've wondered where He is and what His plan is for me.  I know in my mind that I need to trust Him because His plan is perfect.  But when problems hit hard, I tend to worry and fret about things that I really can't control.  I pray daily but it hasn't seemed to help much.  So what's wrong with me?

I realized one of my problems when I talked to a pastor friend of the family.  He said that I need to talk to God out loud.  Really?  For the last couple of weeks I've turned off the radio in my car so I can spend time praying and speaking with God, but I've done it in my head.  Of course, God can hear my thoughts, but the pastor was saying that I need to verbally speak the words.

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim:  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  Romans 10:8-10

I think this passage applies to more than just salvation.  The last few days I've actually been speaking my prayers and discussion with God instead of thinking about them.  And it seems like it's been helping!  I feel like I'm more in touch with God and finding him more of a personal companion.  It makes sense, as we talk to our friends and family rather than thinking to them.  That audible, verbal communication allows us to be connected to other people.  Speaking out loud to God does the same thing.

My worry hasn't gone away, but it's lessened.  And more importantly, I feel God's presence closer than I did before.  If you are having problems connecting with the Lord, speak to him.  REALLY speak to him!

Monday, February 20, 2012

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night

This past weekend I was at ConNooga in Chattanooga, TN, our fifth year there as a family and fan group (Fans For Christ).  The service was amazing, and I preached on faith and Green Lanterns.  Here is an excerpt from the sermon, with a modification of the GL oath....

We can look at a power ring as faith.  It’s small, has a rather insignificant appearance, and yet can be the greatest source of power in the universe with the capability to do virtually anything the wielder imagines.  Let’s look at some of these parallels.

1.       The ring focuses the wearer’s willpower.  Without strong willpower, the creations of the ring will be weak.  Faith focuses our belief.  Without strong belief, the actions of faith will be equally as weak.
2.       The ring channels willpower and energy.  It is not the source of the willpower or the energy, but merely a conduit for these things to act.  Similarly our faith is not the source of our power, but the way in which our power works through our belief.
3.       Without the ring, you have nothing.  You can have Hal Jordan’s willpower, but without the ring you can’t do as much.  Our belief in God is strong and powerful, but we much channel it through faith in order to accomplish truly amazing works.
4.       The ring can create amazing constructs that defy natural laws and can be considered impossible.  Faith can break laws of biology and physics just as easily, resulting in healing that doctors can’t explain, money that comes from unexpected sources at just the right time, and news that is better than was expected.
5.       The ring’s energy comes not from the wearer or itself, but from the main power battery on Oa.  The ring is a receiver for this energy and doesn’t actually create it.  The power in our faith doesn’t come from the faith itself, but from God.  God is our power battery, and we can do nothing without His help.  Without the Oan power battery the ring is just jewelry.  Without God, our faith is just as empty.
6.       The ring needs to be recharged every (usually every 24 hours), being placed in a small power battery to draw on the energy of the main power battery.  If we go without prayer, reading the Bible, and fellowship with Christians for too long, we will become drained of spiritual energy and will lose power in our faith.  We need to have these contacts with God daily in order to keep our faith strong.
7.       The energy and constructs of a power ring are visible for all to see, and you can’t easily hide them.  This is actually joked about in the new Justice League comic book.  When we use our faith, the power of God is evident for everyone to see.

Our faith, Biblical faith, is our own power ring.  As cool as it would be to be a Green Lantern, it’s better to be a Christian.  When Satan is attacking us as fiercely as Sinestro or Parallax, call on the power of this faith, and you will prevail.  Take your faith with you everywhere and use it regularly.

In brightest day
In blackest night
With godly faith
I join the fight.
Let Satan tremble
At Jesus’ might
The holy power
Of God’s true light.