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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Let It Be You

My son was watching Spider-man 2 today, one of his favorite things. He even wants Spider-man as the theme for his birthday party again, even though it was the theme last year. Both of our kids adore Spider-man, and why not? He is a hero after all. Then it came to the part in the movie where Peter Parker is struggling with his Spider-man role, not sure if he even wants to be Spider-man anymore. And he chooses to give up being Spider-man for a time. It was during that scene when Aunt Mae (unknowingly) encourages him to resume being Spider-man, or at least think about it, that was when I heard God speak these words. “Don’t count on someone else to do it.” By “it” He meant, my place in the Kingdom.

Suddenly my mind went back to when I had my doubts about this whole thing, and was uncertain whether or not I would actually write anything beyond simple notes. I questioned why God would put this, as in what would become Hope, Faith and Star Wars, on my heart rather than someone else’s. Perhaps I felt someone else was better equipped because, I have never considered myself a writer, mainly because of my (in my mind at least) poor grammar and spelling skills. But the thing is, I was the right person for this divine appointment, because if I had never written any of the 20 something posts that are on this blog, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. God knew what He was doing when He chose me, I just needed to see it.

Then my thoughts went to Anakin, while he didn’t necessarily depend on someone else to fill his place, what he did was forget it all together. And worse, lessened the chance that someone else would attempt to fill his role. You see, no one could have defeated the Emperor that way that Anakin did, his unique talents and all of his “isms” where what was needed for the task at hand. But Anakin lost sight of that, he didn’t just hope that maybe someone else would do it for him, he hoped to ensure that the role would never be filled.

Anakin Skywalker, Peter Parker, myself and you too, have one thing in common, we have a role to fill. A place in the Kingdom. A divine appointment. And all the “isms” that make us, us are what is needed to fill said role. Why it is true that some else can fill the role, no one can do it like you. Anakin is the Chosen One, Peter is Spiderman, I am a writer, and you can say, I am [insert your role/calling here]. People are chosen for the roles that they have for a reason, and it is my prayer that you and I and everyone else will not loose sight of that.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
-Psalm 143:10

Well Equipped

A cheerful and excited “Amen!” rang from the balcony of our church this past Sunday. It came after a “Can I get an Amen?” moment, in which the adults of the congregation responded with a collective “Amen” of a respectful, inside voice tone. But my four year son who had come to church that day dressed as Spider-man could not resist giving it more “umph”. This excited the young guest pastor, who had stated earlier in his sermon that he enjoyed an energetic crowd, and everyone got a laugh when he pointed out that “Spider-man” had given an “Amen” from the rafters.

My favorite super hero is Spider-man and my kids who have recently discovered Spider-man can’t get enough. This would explain why my son went to church looking like Spider-man. I love that Spider-man or Peter Parker, was just a regular kid, given an incredible gift. It wasn’t because he was rich or from another planet, it because one day he got bit by a genetically altered spider. And while he did use his powers for good and saved people from “regular” bad guys and epic comic book bad guys, he still faced the same daily struggles we all face. Money problems, balancing work, school and relationships, all while being Spider-man. He also didn’t have (at least in the movies) tons of gadgets, or fancy vehicles, just what was with in him. His abilities were all he needed to be Spider-man.

This got me thinking about the gifts that God gives us to fulfill our place in the Kingdom. Little things (and sometimes big things) that give us courage, grace, and help us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Sometimes we may feel like we need add-ons, extras, strengths from the world or our own “two cents”. But the amazing thing is God gives us everything we need to be the person He needs us to be, we don’t need extras or gadgets. God supplies our needs and surrounds us with the people we need in our lives that help us stay on track. The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” What really sticks out to me in this verse is the call to faithfully administer God’s grace, faith requires a steadfastness, a focus on staying the course. Being faithful means not swaying, not looking else where, simply standing on the promise and the gift that has been given. And knowing, trusting that the gift from God, is enough.

Anakin during Episode II, was beginning to look else where, he was losing his faith in the Jedi and the light side of the Force. He didn’t feel like it was enough, he believed that he needed more to accomplish tasks that he wanted to accomplish. The Jedi, like Spider-man, did not need a whole bunch of “stuff” to be Jedi. While yes I know that they had spaceships, comlinks, and few other gadgets, but they could still be Jedi even with out those things. To be Jedi, all they needed was the Force and to a lesser extant their lightsaber. From the Force, breathed everything they needed to be the peace makers of the galaxy, they didn’t need anything else. Anakin lost sight of that, lost himself, his gifts were twisted, and were used to serve the evil emperor.

How often do we allow other things to get in the way of following God’s plan, wander away from the place where we stand on His promise, and lose faith in the gift that has been given. Thinking that it needs something else, and we may not even know what that something is but we go looking for it anyway. Like the Jedi, whose strength came from the force, our strength comes from God. Like Peter Parker, who only needed what was with in him to be Spider-man, we only need our God-given gifts to fulfill our place in the Kingdom. With God on our side, we are well equipped.

He is enough, nothing else needed.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” -James 1:17