Quarantine date nights ideas

Embed from Getty Images The order “Stay at Home.” Fine we all know this is the smart thing to do. But, keeping the romance ball rolling has become a bit of a challenge. Factor in kids, and it seems like mission impossible. Alas, there are things to do to keep the romance alive. You just have to be willing.

I am in no way, shape or form an art person. Unless you consider stick figures art. Last night my wife and I sat at our kitchen table and Facebook lived a water coloring class. I found it very enjoyable. To sit listen, paint and joke with my wife, make mistakes. It was worth it! Oh and our oldest plugged in headphones and played video games so it was like he was not even there.

Take long walks. Mind you we have two dog’s so this is a bit easier for us I admit. We also have a fenced in backyard so there is a choice to be made. Do I leash and walk one dog and my wife does the same with the other dog, take a long walk while holding her hand? I think yes. It is a good statement to our neighbors.

Sit down and watch a movie together. First and foremost (this is for the guys) ask her what she wants to watch. Guy’s I ask for an umbrella of mercy, we tend to be remote pigs. Let go and let her pick what you watch. It is the little things.

Share what God is showing you. Listen my wife and read through the Bible every year and have since 2007. Yet, God shows me new things every year and usually daily.

Sit with your wife while she does tasks. My wife, God bless her is making masks which are in shortage. It is nothing to go up to our loft and sit with her, encourage her and maybe sneak in a smooch.

Order flower and have them delivered. Delivery is huge right now. Take advantage of it. The person dropping items off wear masks and gloves. They walk it up to the front door ring the doorbell and drive away. Try it, order flowers when the doorbell rings tell your wife you think it is for her. When she opens the door she will be surprised and again there just maybe a smooch involved.

If you have quarantine date ideas, feel free to drop them in the comment box. Until then, look for ways to keep the romance going.

Covid-19 showing why living by a list is not always the best

Embed from Getty Images Some of us are list makers. We map out grocery trips, school drop offs and pickups. We write a  list about things we need for vacation or things to do around the house. We leave a list for the babysitter. We jot down what we need for our hobbies or when we see a friend. It goes on and on. Then along came a global pandemic and the list makings came to a screeching stop.

Is there anything wrong with making a list? No. I say that carefully. While on the surface lists are a good idea, they can hold us in captivity. If we make a list and either have to stick to it no matter what. Or feel disappointed with ourselves at the end of the day because one or two things did not get done then our list can creep into idol worship.

It is not that I think all lists are an idol. But lists without allowing flexibility puts us in captivity. Listen there are plenty of things out there to put us in captivity. Words on paper should never be one of them.

Now let’s toss in Covid-19. A small (I kid and in no way make light of the issue at hand) global pandemic that has made mockery of nearly every list out there. As well as calendars. Perhaps, and just hear me out that is a gift from God.

Lists are null and void. Perhaps this is God saying “check with Me, I’ll help you through your day.” As Christ followers that is what we should be doing daily. This allows God’s Holy Spirit to flow through us the way He intended. Something a list puts a blocker of sorts between us and the Spirit of God.

“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, again a list is not a thief unless we allow it to be.

In my opinion, God is giving some rather strong clues to His church as to what He expects during this time. One is do not live by lists, live by asking Him. When we do, we may find we have more peace and happiness. That is what He wants and died for us to have.

What has your perspective been like since and during Covid-19

Embed from Getty Images “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

Admit it, doubt and fear have crept into your thoughts from time to time. Also thoughts of having to spend one more day cooped up in your house, apartment or condo. It is easy to start to complain. It may even seem right to be angry at God. But, now just hear me out, what if we change our perspective?

2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us “As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” This is a good example of perspective change.

We all see things, stores, movie theaters, grass, trees, the list is expansive. What if during the “social distance” or “quarantine” mandates we take 2 Corinthians 4:18 and apply them?

Sitting in my house I see the four walls and t.v. mounted on the wall. But if I slow down. If I open myself up to what God is exactly doing right now on the earth, I find peace. Psalm 46:10 puts it best ” “Be still, and know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

When I am still, I do not focus on what my eyes see. I see a God who is giving me protection against an enemy we can not see by allowing me to be safe in the house He provided for my family. I see a God who despite my wanting, is providing me health so I can tend to my family, friends and neighbors.

You can take this time to be angry, or to invest it or you can even waste the time God has given to slow down. I leave you with this thought, choose to be content, God is good and has given us much more than we can ever give Him.

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6: 6-8

How should the Church respond to Covid-19

Embed from Getty Images “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

In the sheer panic and fear that has engripped the United States and the better part of the world. God has called His church into action. No more standing on the sidelines hoping the head coach does not call on you to enter the game. No the Church, the whole Church needs to be proactive during this time.

So what are some practical ways the Church can help during a time of “social distancing?” First and foremost, love your neighbors. Text or call them ask how they are doing, if they need anything. The same for family and friends. Always pray with each person as you check on them. This will help to lower panic and hopefully with the help of the Holy Spirit fears will become less elevated.

Next always make sure you are leaning into God for peace, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6. If you have children of any age, they and your spouse will react according to how you both present things as well as react to things. Again, bring prayer in as you tend to your house.

While people wear masks and gloves (which is absolutely fine!) it can be a starting point at stores. Tell them while P.P.E. is very good, God provides everything we need Proverbs 18:10 tells us “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.

What the Church also needs to be during the day in which we live is to be like Daniel, to stand in a cave with roaring lions (or a global pandemic) and be willing to pray and make intercessions for the world, the countries, the sick, the worried and the fearful.

It is my opinion, God is giving His Church this time to shine. This is extremely important. Do not be lukewarm, for the sake of the world!

 

 

Star Wars: the legacy of Luke Skywalker

Embed from Getty Images When I was a kid, I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. He was the closest thing that resembled my life. So I felt there was an instant connection. Along with the battle of light side versus dark side, Star Wars is also a story about personal growth and adulthood.

Luke Skywalker started out as a farm boy and ended up a legendary Jedi. Through dealing with evil, Luke then trying to sort out his own failures he ended up soured into bitter sadness.

Luke Skywalker, once the hero of the Rebellion, built a Jedi school on Jakku. In a moment of part his own guilt and horror and part weakness and fear, he thought about killing his nephew, Ben Solo. Perhaps the evil intent in Ben’s heart hit too close to home who had dealt with a father with some evil in him as well and Luke did not want to go down this path again.

Like many of us who fail at something we want to hide. Luke was driven to Ahch-To in part by his own feelings of unworthiness as a teacher. He would self-distance himself, or in today’s terms social distance himself.

Luke needed Yoda to remind him that he is a very important part of the Jedi Order’s history.

Luke blames his own hype as a “legend” for his actions. Yoda does not deny this, but he does tell Luke to stop focusing on the past, the future, and the dreams of the horizon. Luke’s last lesson is meditative: to live in the moment.

Luke’s arc in the Original Trilogy took him from farm boy with good aim to the Jedi who threw away his weapon when he was offered the opportunity to rule the galaxy.

Luke Skywalker’s legacy is not one of wanting and gaining power, Luke’s legacy is about laying down one’s life for his friends, about being willing to say no to injustice even when there is no hope of a future without a hint of yes.

“The Last Jedi” showed how powerful Luke Skywalker was. Luke understood, his real power was not violent or aggressive.  His last act is a trick, a misdirection used to save people. No anger, no hatred, Luke simply projected and won.

In the Bible, Jesus tells us “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. That is Luke Skywalker’s legacy.

Star Wars Rogue One spinoff, Cassian Andor will have little used or never seen creatures

Embed from Getty Images Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is getting a spinoff. Cassian Andor. The show will be part of Disney Plus streaming. An early report is that the show will serve as a second chance for Star Wars creatures who might have only gotten a small amount of screen time, or a place for previously unused creatures all together to finally make their way to a galaxy far, far away.

When the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker released  Neal Scanlan, the creature and special make up effects creative supervisor of the five most recent Star Wars movies. Scanlan has been making lots of headlines recently by dropping an interesting clue about Star Wars productions, when Scanlan turned his attention to the upcoming Cassian Andor Disney Plus show, which features Diego Luna reprising his role from Rogue One as a Rebel spy, Scanlan revealed some more interesting tid-bits about the series.

“We also have this backlog of characters. A lot of the characters that we built for all of the films either didn’t make it to the final cut, because that’s just the way that the film process happens, or that they are seen so momentarily that there is this wonderful second opportunity to bring back some of the characters that we’ve made and bring them to this new storyline in a more, shall we say, integrated way. I think it’s going to be tremendous. I find that it’s a second opportunity for everything that we’ve made, plus the opportunity of moving TV along, in a sense, at what will not at all be diminished as far as the level of quality, the level of things that we are going to try and achieve.” Neal Scanlan told reporters.

With many aliens and creatures at his finger tips, this is good news for Star Wars junkies (of which I am one.) It will be fun to check out the finished product when Cassian Andor hits Disney Plus streaming 2021.

“The Mandalorian” is bringing a Star Wars fan favorite to season two

Embed from Getty Images Ahsoka Tano, is coming to “The Mandalorian” season two and fans could not be more excited. Rosario Dawson has been cast as a live action version of the popular “Star Wars” animated character Ahsoka Tano, Anankin Skywalker’s Clone Wars time frame Padawan.

Ahsoka’s co-creator (also co-creator of The Mandalorian) Dave Filoni directed two episodes of season one, and has signed on to direct at least one episode of season two, currently in pre-production. Filoni has reportedly signed off on the character’s appearance.

Rosario Dawson, who is said to have made pleas dating back to 2017, to play the widely popular Tano looks to have had her pleas answered.  Many view Dawson as the perfect fit to play the would-be Jedi.

Fans and media are now speculating that a possible Ahsoka Tano spinoff could be coming to Disney Plus in the near future. Something Disney has hinted at. That would go over big with die-hard Star Wars fans and Ahsoka fans.

While Star Wars films are sure to still be made and hit theaters. Disney streaming is wise to fill the gap with stories and characters that have impacted fans. For Ahsoka Tano to appear in the smash hit “The Mandalorian” is enough to make the already sky high anticipation for season two, hit hyper drive.

Steve Yzerman built the 2019-20 Detroit Red Wings to lose, and that’s okay

Embed from Getty Images With some nice prospects in the pipeline but more needed, Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman felt the quickest way for a turn around was icing a bad hockey team. So a tanking by design has worked well in this suspended NHL season. When the season picks back up and closes the Red Wings will know their draft lottery slot.

Quinton Byfield, Alexander Holt, Lucas Raymond, Alexis Lafreniere, there is a really good chance one of the prized prospects will be wearing a Winged Wheel after the NHL draft in June (or whatever will be the draft makeup date or month.)

Steve Yzerman was not lying when he said the Detroit Red Wings would not tank. He is dead against it. However, Yzerman did not say he would field a team (except for the young core players of Dylan Larkin, Filip Hronek, Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha) that were just not good.  In other words this seasons version of “The Yzer-plan”  was to let it sink naturally. Check.

The Red Wings and their general manager hold nine draft picks including six picks by the third round. Steve Yzerman wants to add talented young prospects and is armed to do so.

It is safe to say the Detroit Red Wings will be improved after the draft. They also will have a lot of much needed salary cap space. For a rebuilding team it is not wise to spend big money on big names. First the core players need to be identified then players can be added to give support or help the team make a playoff push.

It is a process that can seem long. That said, the Red Wings do have talent, a couple lottery drafts and they will be right back where fans expect them to be, the NHL playoffs. Yzerman said he understands what is expected in Detroit “playoffs and Stanley Cups.”

There is little doubt he will deliver. The right now is not fun. But it is fixing to be fun again. This years draft will set the tone for when the Red Wings pull out of the rebuild and begin to ascend to the top again.

The world is full of gripping fear and chaos, there is hope

Embed from Getty Images Unless you live under a shoe or do not watch, listen to or ignore the news. Unless you have not been to the grocery store, odds are very good you know what is happening in the world. A pandemic of epic proportions is and has swept the globe. Leaving fearful people everywhere. So how do we find peace?

The answer in short is Jesus. Jesus is the calm and peace the world needs. I am not going to add fear and panic on top of fear and panic. The Bible does talk about the end of the age and the return of Jesus to this earth. Let’s take a look at the facts.

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.” Joel 2:28, This is what God promises before he even thinks about coming again. That he will send his Holy Spirit to open peoples eyes and wake them spiritually. In my opinion that is what is happening now.

Jesus who came as the sacrificial Lamb of God, in order to both allow us to go before a Holy God as sinful people and open the doors of Heaven wide for all. When he comes again He is coming as judge and jury.

“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will cry on account of him. Even so. Amen.” Revelation 1:7, this is peace filled. To see God is all His glory coming. Unless you have rejected Him or not even thought about Him.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Matthew 24:36 “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:44.

I submit that this is a good time to take Jesus at His word. I have been blessed to have visited Israel. I walked the same places Jesus walked. I have little doubt that what is happening right now is God is demanding the attention of the world.

God and God alone will bring you the peace that is absent from your life. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you: not as the world gives,  let not your heart be troubled, do not let it be afraid.” John 14:27.

I offer you this, a way to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior: “If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved.  Romans 10:9-10. Pretty easy.

I think it is time to look in the mirror and do some soul searching. Be blessed.

Who are some of the best minor characters in the Star Wars movies

Embed from Getty Images Yoda, Han Solo, C-3PO, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Kylo Ren, Rey, the list goes on and on. Star Wars has always had strong main characters. I want to look at the minor characters who give body to the stories. This is my opinion and is hopefully a launching pad for discussion.

Dianoga- Star Wars: A New Hope, for all I know this thing was a swimming eye. Upon further examination it looks snake-like with a sing eye. As a child seeing Star Wars for the first time made me less enthused about swimming for fear Dianoga would suck me under the water.

Labria- Star Wars: A New Hope, the  Mos Eisley Cantina is a place I want to visit every time I watch Star Wars. One character I think I would steer clear of is Labria. You know, the guy who looks like the devil?

TT-8L/Y7 gatekeeper droid- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, I always thought it would be both cool and entertaining to have a mechanical robot eye pop out of my front door. I mean it would be a great way to chase unwanted people away and give a scare into neighborhood kids.

Paodok’Draba’Takat Sap’De’Rekti Nik’Linke’Ti’ Ki’Vef’Nik’NeSevef’Li’Kek aka Pao- Star Wars: Rogue One, someone bless me. Just kidding. This mighty warrior is the only nonhuman on the team that assaults the Imperial base on Scarif.

Lobot- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the stoic and famously bald, Lobot is a human aided with a cyborg construct attached to his head. In charge of Lando’s security on Cloud City.

 Plo Koon- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the coolest looking Jedi in the prequels.

 

Nien Nunb- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Nien Nunb is one of the most beloved minor characters in Star Wars history as well as Lando’s co-pilot.

There are many more characters, some who are great. This is only my list of the ones that stuck out to me.