Changes/The Last One

It has been a while since I last wrote something for this blog, the reasons for which are many. I became discouraged that I was not reaching anyone, because honestly it appeared as though no one was reading what I wrote; to include people who seemed excited about this idea at first. I also discovered that I had developed a gluten intolerance and a Vitamin D deficiency, this was after months of not feeling well. Add in a demanding bachelors degree, family time, an epic summer European travel, and moving back to the states; and my year has been quite full.

Today I felt the need to add one more post to this blog, because so much has changed since the last post; which was written shortly after seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the post I wrote about Anakin’s lightsaber making a cameo, Kylo Ren’s intentions, and Anakin’s possible appearance in the new Star Wars movie, expected to hit theaters next summer. My main concern being that Anakin’s legacy will dealt with properly, not to mention his true character. I have not thought about Anakin much sense then, aside of a occasional find on Pinterest; but he is and will always be my favorite hero, followed closely by Killian “Captain Hook” Jones, William Barret Travis (the commander of the Alamo), and Bucky “The Winter Soldier” Barnes.

I have learned a great deal about myself over these past few months, the “ins and outs” of my personality, my strengths, my weaknesses; and how I can use this information to better myself. And most importantly to be okay with what makes me, me. This is something I have struggled with on a regular basis, I sell myself short, I hold back when I should have said/done something; and I have a hard time making friends, or at least I think I do. Which of course makes our recent move from Germany to New York that much more difficult. I long for our routine, the sense of belonging, the feeling of being settled, being familiar to people, and people being familiar to me. Perhaps this is why I have focused so much on bettering myself, because me is something that I can always take with…well…me.

What does this have to with Anakin you my ask? Honestly I am not sure. Anakin had struggles, he felt lonely, disconnected, and probably felt as though “normal” was always just out of his reach. Moving half way around the world, having 1 out of every 4 or 5 things go wrong, and having a “to-do” list a mile long, can feel a bit like chaos. But the good news is that, the place where we felt settled, the place that provided the belonging that we so long for; was once where we felt lonely, disconnected, and unfamiliar. Yes it takes time, but this new house will one day soon be home. The old saying, “this to shall pass”, is full of so much truth. The tunnel may be long, but the light is always there.

I have written nearly 30 posts for this blog over the past 3 years, I feel that it is time to say that this will be the last one. I hope that you have been inspired, encouraged, and blessed. I hope that you have spoken against your own doubts and fears, that you have quelled your own anger, and perhaps tried to become a little more patient. Along with Star Wars, I have written about, Killian Jones from Once Upon A Time, Spiderman, the ending to How I Meet Your Mother, Texas history, and our own family’s adventures/mishaps. I have enjoyed finding little bits of wisdom and nuggets of truth, in these real and fictional stories. I hope that you will be encouraged to look to your favorite heroes, movies, historical accounts, or right in your own backyard, and find what speaks to you.

May you be blessed, happy, and healthy. Thank you for reading!

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Mission Statement

While washing the dishes the other day, I received a word from God, something I will call the “Mission Statement” for Hope, Faith and Star Wars. Using the life of Anakin Skywalker as an example to teach a Biblical truth has been and will continue to be the focus of this blog. It has helped me to grow, because the emotions that Anakin felt are very human emotions. We all get angry, we all have fear and we all get impatient from time to time.

But my favorite thing about Anakin is the good that was in him, the good that was able to survive Darth Vader. And the good that he was able to find again, because someone believed in him before he even believed in himself. We need to fight for the good, and believe that it can be found again. With that being said, here is my hope and my mission:

I believe that goodness is in everyone. Does this mean that everyone who has fallen into bad deeds will find that goodness again (or for the first time), sadly, no it does not. But I will hold strong to faith in the good. Why? Because Anakin did not die as Darth Vader, Paul did not die as Saul, the guy who was beside Jesus on his own cross did not die as his “Darth Vader”, and I will not die as mine. All of the Darth Vaders of the world may not be reached, but I will faithfully follow my calling to reach as many as possible. They need someone to believe in them, like Luke believed in Anakin. Some many be quick to dismiss them as a lost cause, but God, at least until they breathe their last for then it is truly too late, believes other wise. Therefore, I will pray for them and the strength to believe the same.

Faith and Miracles

(photo credit fiallderil.dreamwidth.org, found on Pinterest)

Miracles can happen, we just need to believe that they can. Pray for those around you who are lost, and be obedient to the call to reach out to or pray for a specific person if you feel led.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8

The Color Red

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is being able to listen to Christmas music. I start listening to it the second that Thanksgiving is over, even before any Christmas decorations have gone up. I might also cheat a little bit and listen to some in October, mainly because I am not a huge fan of Halloween. This year among the Christmas classics like, “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night”, I heard a new song called “Red” by a Christian group called Shine Bright Baby (they’re all girls). The song is about the colors seen at Christmas time like silver and gold, or the different lights on a Christmas tree like yellow or green. The chorus is about the color that means the most, the color red.

The song describes the color has being the color of love, the promise of the blood (Jesus’ blood) and declaring the message that, “..heaven’s son is here to save.” The song speaks about focusing on Jesus’ birth as being the true meaning and the most important part of Christmas. “Red” should be the most important color, the one our eyes should be fixed on. The birth of Jesus is a source of great joy for those who believe. The Biblical story of the birth of Jesus is outlined in the book of Luke in chapter 2, one important element is the angels that come from heaven to deliver the good news to shepherds who were near by, Luke 2:10 says, “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people.” So Jesus equals joy.

The message of this song meant a great deal to the type of Christmas our family had this year, it was not necessarily a bad Christmas, just not a great one. We were visited by a lovely flu-like cold that caused our daughter to miss last couple of days of school before Christmas break. The sickness hit me pretty hard as well, messing up my plans to bake more than one type of cookie and do a craft a day with the kids to count down to Christmas. Our son got hit not once but twice, the second time hit on Christmas Eve and he coughed pretty much all night. This left him with little to no excitement on Christmas morning and asleep (yet still coughing) by Christmas afternoon. We had cancel our plans to have dinner with “Daddy’s work friends” as our daughter says and had Spinach Dip for Christmas dinner. Add to that a dash of homesickness and it was not the perfect Christmas most people imagine they will have on December 1st.

Thankfully, as the song displays, Christmas can not be ruined by sickness or missed dinners. Jesus was still born, we (my husband, daughter and son) were together, we may not have been healthy but, we were together. We got to play in the snow two days after Christmas, we watched all movies on our Christmas movie list and, read “The Night before Christmas” on Christmas Eve. We have a home, we had a tree and it had presents underneath. Plus another awesome thing about this time of year, the promise of a New Year. We rang in 2015, surrounded by friends and fireworks. When one looks at everything that went right and the absolute joy of Jesus, it was pretty awesome Christmas after all.

This also made me think more about the color red and what that might mean to Anakin. It was the color of his lightsaber when he was Darth Vader, and while that may not seem like a good thing, it meant very simply that he was alive. Anakin Skywalker could have died any number of ways, Palpatine could have killed him when he first arrived at the Jedi Temple as a little boy. He could died in any of the battles during the Clone Wars or Palpatine could have thrown him out of the same window that Mace Windu had just thrown through. Of course he very easily could have died during his battle with Obi-Wan on Mustafar, but he didn’t. Red was Anakin’s second chance, he was still alive to make a change, to finally live out his amazing calling. Anakin’s life was for certain not perfect, but there were many elements that worked together to create something pretty amazing in the end.

Red stands for promise, in the colors of Christmas it is Jesus coming into the world and becoming the least of these, to grant us a second chance (and third chance and forth chance).

Red is our saving grace.

The Importance of One

What can one person do? What can the hope and faith of one do for those who are lost? Let us think about Luke Skywalker, an important leader in the Rebel Alliance, new hope for the Jedi Order and…..the son of Anakin Skywalker. Luke wasn’t too pleased when he discovered that Darth Vader was his father, in fact his exact word was, “Nooooooo!” This revelation at first was horrible, but in the end this gave Luke the opportunity and the desire to look at Anakin differently, not as Darth Vader but as his father, Anakin Skywalker. Luke was the first person in 20 years, who saw past his mistake and challenged Anakin to make a change. He spoke the truth over him, saying words that went through Darth Vader and found Anakin’s heart.

In Romans 12:21 it says, “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Hate can not be overcome by hate. Fear can not be overcome by fear. Anger can not be overcome by anger. All of the people that had been close to Anakin were either dead or had given up on him, both Yoda and Obi Wan were convinced that dark path was something no one could come back from, Anakin especially. Luke chose to believe that there was good in Darth Vader, even though no one else believed him, and he felt that he at least had to try even if he was wrong, he knew he had to try.

God calls us to be lights in the darkness, to love on people and always speak God’s best over their lives. As 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.” Luke chose to love Darth Vader because Anakin was inside and Anakin, his father, was worth fighting for. We shouldn’t sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called us to do, don’t allow fear to make you complacent or inactive. Its that one moment in a sea of a million others, that moment is what matters, give it to God and He’ll take care of the rest. The moment where we choose to be kind, where we choose to be joyful or where we chose to speak about what we believe to be truth. It is never to late for someone to make a change in their lives and it can be the calling of Christians to speak that truth over those who have given up on themselves.

Anakin had been buried under 20 years of anger, hate and oppression, it destroyed him and most of the people around him. The hope of one person and Luke’s faith in Anakin’s goodness proved to be stronger than the power of the dark side. One person brought Anakin back and saved him from darkness…one person. So overcome evil with good, love each other deeply and hold strong to your faith because as the Bible says it truly can move mountains.