Thursday, November 20, 2008

WALL-E and the Red Box

You just don’t know how excited I was when I went to Wal-Mart the other day and found out they had just put in a Red Box near the entrance. Now for those of you who have never heard of a Red Box. It is a DVD rental vending machine. You pick your movie from a touch screen, swipe your debt/credit card and the movie magically appears through a slot on the side. The great thing about it is the cost and convenience. The cost is a dollar for a day and of course it is always open. Sorry Blockbuster, Movie Gallery and Netflicks..I think they got you beat. Anyway the Movie I rented was called WALL-E, which was a big hit in the theaters. Here is a brief synopsis that I borrowed from Roger Moore, a movie critic from the Orlando Sentinel

“Some 700 years in the future, Earth is a vast wasteland. Literally, garbage clogs the ruined streets of ruined cities. Humans have so trashed the joint that they've abandoned the planet for a gigantic spaceship, leaving robots behind to clean up the mess.The last one working on this project is WALL-E, a cute little Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth-class. He's a trash compactor with eyes, gears, a fading finish and a "directive." He compacts trash cubes that he then stacks into vast obelisks of junk.WALL-E has a pet roach (roaches will survive the apocalypse) and a curiosity about the people who left all these Frisbees, toasters, VHS tapes, cigarette lighters (and Luxo lamps) behind. And WALL-E is lonely.

Then a spaceship drops a "probe" robot, a sleek, white, floating dynamo with a ray gun and a temper. She's called EVE, and her "directive" is finding signs of life. WALL-E, who whiles away his off-hours watching song-and-dance numbers from Hello, Dolly! on tape, is in love.Events conspire to hurl them back to EVE's mother ship, where WALL-E is treated to the future of the human race. We're all clueless, zoned-out sedentary fatties, hooked on video and cell phones, sipping super-sized drinks. It's a vision of Wal-Mart Nation run amok.”

I won’t spoil the rest of the story but I will try to give you some observations I have from a spiritual perspective. First it is obvious that the humans have destroyed the planet and have not been good Stewarts of what God has created for them. Secondly in the movie and now in real life, it seems like we are relying on machines and automations to take over a lot of things humans once did. I.E Red Box, Auto manufacturing, on-line banking, automated phone operators, ect..ect..

Now don’t get me wrong I am for all of these things and enjoy the convenience of them but I have to wonder if someday we will be like these humans on this spaceship and let the computers and machines take care of all of our needs. Is technology distancing us from the wonder of creation? Does that distance cripple us spiritually? Will we be like the humans in the “Matrix” and have thoughts implanted into our brains like in “Total Recall” I think Jesus will come back before that happens but sometimes you have to wonder when you see movies like this. It’s funny, when I was a kid I use to love watching the Jetsons, now we are seeing a lot of that technology being used today. How do you all feel about this?
On a positive note the main character WALL-E shows what it means to be a true and faithful servant. He also exemplifies John 15:13 CMB “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends” I will close by saying WALL-E is a great movie and I highly recommend it! There are a lot of lessons to be learned. Kids will love WALL-E and EVE and grown-ups will appreciate the messages being conveyed. Let me know you take on the movie.. Later

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Family Snuggle

For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to make it a point to snuggle with Heidi every morning before we get up to start our day. I will usually get up about 20 minutes before we have to get ready for work and just snuggle and tell her I love her. But this morning I decided that we need to include our Son. So this morning we went into his room and woke him up, gave him a hug and told him we loved him. This was very special for all of us because our usual routine would be “Hey wake up, your late for School” then everyone would scramble to get ready for their day. This morning made me realize how far we have distanced ourselves over the years. I remember when Cj was little, we would snuggle and love on him all the time but as he got older and more mature, we slowed down and would just give him an occasional hug and pat on the back. We still tell him we love him everyday but our little boy has become a young independent man. We know he still loves us and needs us but it’s different now that he has matured and is becoming an adult. I am very proud of my children but have to ask myself “What happened to my little babies?” Their all grown up and have matured. I know that every parent struggles with phenomenon. I guess that’s why we look forward to becoming Grandparents.

I say all this because I wonder if God feels the same way about us. Does he feel like we have grown away from him, especially after becoming more spiritually mature? Are we like some teenagers who think they know everything and just come to him when we are in trouble? In Mathew 18:3-4 Jesus says “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. I know this goes against our human nature but what an ideal! Come to our Father like we were a child. That’s awesome! How do you guys feel about this? How can we snuggle up with our Father and have a family hug? Give this some though and let me know.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election That Matters

Friends I wish I had written this but I found it at the Pilgrim Bible Church This ties in with what my Brother has blogged about at Enjoy…Chris

It seems that our entire nation is captivated by yet another presidential election. In what seems to be one of the most politically charged moments in history, many have suggested that this upcoming election is the most important one of this generation. Because of this, nearly every venue of the media is equally charged, yielding a continual flow of opinion columns, interviews and talk show chatter. With all the exposure given to this year’s presidential election, perhaps some of you are thinking: “I’ll be glad when it’s all over!” Well it will be over soon, but this does not mean that the political tensions in our nation will necessarily end with the election. And beyond our own nation we must admit that our world is filled with many difficulties and trials that often fuel the political rancor here at home. But the problems of our world and our nation are not essentially new. In fact, all of human history is rife with the trials of war and terrorism. And because of this we should ask the question: “Can America, or any nation on earth, experience peace and safety forever?” It is an important question that is on the hearts and minds of many today and should be addressed by the following 3 principles:

1. We must understand what true peace is: Many will define peace as the mere absence of war, terrorism or any form of dissension among men. While this may seem to be true, it is not. Men may enjoy such peace with other men for a season, but it is temporal and does not establish the more important truth of man’s enmity with God: Because of the universal sin of mankind (Romans 3:23) men are at enmity with God (Romans 5:10), they are “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3), there is none who does good – “not even one” (Romans 3:12), “the intent of his heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 9:21), “their feet are swift to shed blood” (Romans 3:15) therefore “destruction and misery are in their paths” and the “path of peace they have not known” (Romans 3:16-17). Man’s enmity with God is the very source of all enmity which we see in this world. Trying to solve the latter problem by ignoring the former is like treating a cancerous tumor with soap and water: Topical treatments are useless, for until the source of illness is plucked out there will be no cure. Spiritually speaking, this is the very problem that plagues mankind, but the good news is this: “...God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It is crucial to understand that Jesus Christ is our peace (Ephesians 2:14) if we confess our sin and believe in Him: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). Men can have true peace, if they trust the Savior and thereby have peace with God through Christ.

2. We must understand something about presidential elections: It is crucial that we understand the concept of election, not as defined by the votes cast by Americans, but as defined by God in the Bible. When we speak of election, we are speaking of the choice of an individual and this is exactly what we do when we cast our vote in election years. But there is a much more important discussion concerning election in the Bible, and it is this: All history is governed by God’s sovereign election: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9-10), therefore Kings and rulers are established by His authority: To Pilate “Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.’“ And finally, those who are ordained to rule, ultimately serve God’s sovereign will: “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). In the end, the election that matters is the sovereign election of God.

3. We must understand how the story of human history ends: Many kings and presidents will come and go, but there is only One who will reign supremely without end: Jesus Christ the risen Lord Who is exalted “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 2:21). His kingdom “is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion endures throughout all generations” (Psalm 145:13). The kingdoms of this earth will constantly face the trials of poverty, warfare and pain but in the eternal kingdom of the Son of God “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). And who will dwell with Christ in His kingdom? – those who believe in Jesus Christ the Savior, Who died for sinners in order that those who believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life and everlasting peace with God.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

God is in Control!


While reading the local news on the internet the other day I came across a story talking about the Mercedes Plant in Vance Alabama offering buyouts to it’s 4,000 employees. This story really hit home because for the last three years I was in the hiring process at Mercedes. I took my test, interviewed, took the drug screening and even did the training. For the longest time I was wondering why I never heard back from them, then it hit me. God was in control, and he has been for a while. If I would of got hired then, there would be a good chance I would be looking for a another job right now. Friends God did the same thing for me eight years ago.

When I first came to Birmingham I was working in a metal recycling plant as a maintenance supervisor. Little did I know that the company I worked for was in financial trouble. Well ten months after I was hired I was let go. So here I was unemployed, in a new city and I had just bought a house. I had some money in savings so I wasn’t too worried but I still felt a little uneasy. Well to shorten the story, a couple of months later I applied for a maintenance position at Sloss Industries and was interviewed by a supervisor who also happened to be a veteran and also a Baptist preacher. Of course I got the job and as it turned out I made more money and worked in a much better environment. The thing that really blew my mind was that later that year the company that let me go, went out of business and shut down. Friends this is just another example of how God works in our lives.

So to finish my story I worked in that job for two years and then got a phone call and was asked if I wanted to return to active duty. Another blessing! I was able to go back in the Army and finish out my career and retire. Now I am just waiting for God to open the next door for me. I can always return to my previous job but I feel God has bigger plans for me. How has God blessed you in your life? What kind of unusual circumstances put you where you are today? Like I tell my wife “we are here for a reason” God put us in our neighborhood, our Church and our Job and I am so glad I have trusted him and let him take control.