Archive for the 'Jesus' Category

Easter 2016

There are lots of reasons for why it’s good that Jesus came when he came. I just can’t imagine having the savior of the world being covered nonstop by CNN, or Fox, or – gasp – News of the World. I’m glad there aren’t any descriptions of him in the Bible. I think he’s much more accessible to everyone that way.

And, dude, just think about social media. Knowing Facebook like I do, with everyone posting only the good or happy aspects of their lives, I imagine that we’d have no record whatsoever of anything happening to Jesus after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and before his return from the grave. Nothing during holy week, when all of the difficult but really important stuff happened to Jesus. Just a shot of him on a donkey and then later a selfie with Thomas.  And I simply can’t imagine having to endure the inane Internet comments people might post after seeing him give, say, the Sermon on the Mount. I imagine they’d start off talking about the sermon, but then they’d inevitably drift off to arguing about impeaching Emperor Tiberius. And can you imagine Jesus’s Twitter feed? Of course not – that’s why he had to come when he came.

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He came at a time when nobody really “covered” the news, but what he did and his message are so important that they exist forcefully 2,000 years later. Today, it would be the biggest news ever: Jesus overcame the world. He overcame death itself. And by doing so, he gave us hope not only for our lives, but also our deaths. Jesus told his followers: “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19).

Indeed, by conquering death and showing his disciples concrete existence of a life beyond this world, Jesus provided more than just hope – Jesus promised that we, too, would have everlasting life, and Jesus keeps his promises. But just as important, Jesus’s promise of a life beyond this world gives us meaning for the things we do in this world. Easter reminds us, once again, that what we do in the natural world matters beyond the natural world. What we do to other children of God matters. What we think about and believe in matters.

Happy resurrection day, everyone!

Tim and Denise

Palm Sunday! Palm Sunday!

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Every Palm Sunday I’m reminded at how quickly things can change. Just five days after Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he was crucified. But just two days after that, he rose from the grave to bring salvation to the world for all time.

Your life might take a bad turn, and it might take that turn fairly quickly. But remember that God is there to turn you back around even quicker. All you have to do is call on Him.

Happy Palm Sunday, everyone, and my God bless you all!

Once again, the real story is . . .

Denise and I are in Connecticut — I have to talk to the Governor, of all people, about my day job. Can you imagine? Life is certainly interesting.

While we were in the hotel, we watched the movie “Unbroken” on HBO. It tells the real-life struggle of Louis Zamperini, an olympic athlete who gets shot down over the ocean, survives sharks and Japanese strafing for weeks on a raft, only to be captured and tortured by a sadistic Japanese prison guard.

The movie was great, but one reviewer in particular pointed out what was probably most lacking in the finished product. Lena Cruz, in her review in the Atlantic, wrote that even though the story was true to Zamperini’s  ordeals during the war, it left out “the real story” from the book, which was his post-war PTSD, alcoholism, and ultimate turn to Christianity and forgiveness of those who abused him.

Once again, the real story is not human suffering, or even resilience in the world. We have plenty of that. The real story is how that suffering can be overcome most completely by Jesus Christ, leading to a life of forgiveness, and, ultimately, redemption. It’s the story of Jesus himself, who suffered more than anyone, and who, through his forgiveness, allows us to partake in that redemption.

God bless you all,

Tim and Denise

It’s True. All of it.

Denise took me to Star Wars the other day, and all I can say is, WOW! We decided not only to see the movie, but to see it in HD, 3D, IMAX, etc., and it was truly amazing. I swear there was one point in the movie when some starship looked like it was literally sitting in the seat next to me. And at another point, a guy from a few rows down went out for drink or something, and I thought he was a Stormtrooper dashing across the screen. For a brief moment, life and art were one. The whole thing was almost worth the price of the popcorn, for which Denise and I had to take out a short-term loan.

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Anyway, the reason that little excursion makes it into a blog about the supernatural is because the movie itself kind of overflows with a good and evil, God and Satan sort of tale. I knew that going into it, and then Harrison Ford summed everything up. When Rey was asking Harrison’s character, Han Solo, about all the stories she had heard over the years, Han replied, “It’s true. All of it. The dark side. The Jedi. They’re real.”

It reminded me of what might happen today if someone was able to meet up with one of Jesus’ apostles, like maybe John. That person might ask, “Hey, I’ve heard all kinds of crazy stories in the Bible, and a lot of people think they’re fairy tales. What’s the deal?” At that point, I’m sure John would say, “It’s true. All of it. God. Satan. Jesus. The supernatural. They’re real.”

But all of that begs the question, which has been posed most forcefully by Del Tackett from the Truth Project series. During that series, Del often asked, “Do you believe that what you believe is really real? Because if you really believe that what you believe is real, then Christians will change the world.” He’s right. If we acted as if we really believed everything in the Bible, our actions would look radically different not only to the rest of the world, but likely even to us.

What if we really believed that we were created in God’s image, that Jesus is God come in the flesh, and that by having faith in Jesus Christ we are able to live as eternal beings with God? And if we really believed that Jesus Christ is God, wouldn’t we strive every single day to act in ways pleasing to Him? We believe in the laws of the natural world, and we act accordingly. So what would our lives look like when we really believe in the supernatural?

I’ve spent many years studying various aspects of different worldviews and I’ve come to believe that there is universal truth, which points directly to Jesus and the Bible. That, in turn, has dramatically changed how I live my life. I don’t worry so much anymore. I walk in the supernatural. I fight demons. I talk to God. I talk to other people about God. I follow His will even when those in the natural world think I’m nuts. I know I’m about as far from perfect as someone can be, but I understand the concept of perfection and where to go to learn more about it so I can get better. If you don’t feel as confident as I sound, keep searching. Because if you go looking for truth – or, as Denise calls it, “Truth with a capital T” – you’re going to run smack into Jesus.

You aren’t going to have John the apostle or even Harrison Ford show up in person to tell you that everything is “really real,” but Jesus knew that. He said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)  You can strengthen your beliefs and come to know Jesus better through a variety of other sources – most importantly through the Bible – because you’re hard wired to recognize Truth. Start looking, and I’m sure you’ll come to believe that God, Satan, Jesus, and the supernatural are true. It’s really real. All of it.

May the Force . . . er, I mean, may God be with you!


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