Star Wars and the Book of Ephesians

Star Wars is a fantastic movie franchise that is loved by people worldwide. The Book of Ephesians is the bible’s answer to how we must face trials, uncertainty and evil, something that Star Wars offers. So let’s take a look at how both can easily be intertwined as there truly is a connection between the two.

Bible opened to Ephesians 6:11

First off, I do not think nor believe George Lucas was thinking about The Book of Ephesians when he was writing the original screen play for what would become Star Wars.

Ephesians 6:10-17, 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

So in Star Wars, Luke Skywalker is trained to be strong in the Force, which is described as well the Holy Spirit, Obi-Wan Kenobi says “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” Much like Luke we need to daily become more aware of the Force (God’s Holy Spirit.)

Through the first three Star Wars films Luke realized his struggle was not against the flesh and blood of Darth Vader, But against spiritual forces of evil (Emperor Palpatine.)

Luke was basically taught to stand his ground for good. He did not want to fight his father, and was craving a peaceful resolution. Sometimes we need to fight for that in our own lives.

American actor Mark Hamill and British David Prowse on the set of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi directed by Welsh Richard Marquand. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Luke knew the truth, He stood up and for that truth even when facing evil. There is a lesson for us there. Sometimes we have a hard time identifying when evil is present. Yet, if we stand with the Helmet of Salvation on and are calm and lean into the Holy Spirit we will know.

Like Yoda told Luke, “You will know the good from the bad when you are calm, at peace, passive.” Now I leave you with this from the Book of Philippians, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Put your Armor on today.

Holding the peace

This coming July my wife and I will be celebrating 27 years of marriage. That is something I am humbled by and yet proud of. That said I have a secret, a rather large secret when considering the years we have logged together. My secret is that my wife and I have never argued. Impossible, you say. It is the absolute truth, my wife will back me on. Heading into our 27th year and zero, zilch, nada an argument has been had between the two of us.

The main reason for our non- arguing marriage is that we talk about everything, there is no grey area. There are very clear words which helps keep things calm and not escalate. The other reason is that I find arguing an incredible waste of time and breathe. My opinion is simply not more important than the person’s that I love.

From the get go it seems like my beautiful wife and I had an unwritten agreement. We both just seemed to not want or choose to argue. The reality is that we never discussed arguing before we said our wedding vows. We talked about children, where we wanted to live, what side of the bed she likes to sleep on and just about everything else.

I like most people have been around others who look for any opportunity to argue. When I have been in those situations I walk away. Again, I do not argue. There are times I will present facts which is also effective in keeping an argument from erupting, after all it is difficult to argue with facts.

My wife and I are not special people or view ourselves greater than anyone else. We are just two people who are madly in love with each other and who talk about everything.

By the way talking helps tremendously as an instrument to hold the peace in our house. But that is the choice we daily make, listen, talk, love .

The heart of a warrior

A warrior can be pretty much whatever we make it to be. A football player, cancer patient, the head of IT, the list goes on and on. Warrior is defined as such “a person who fights in battles and is known for having courage and skill.” A warrior is not typically what comes to mind when thinking about God. Perhaps you should change your perspective and begin to see God as a warrior.

“The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.” Exodus 15:3, in this short yet powerful description God is called a warrior by Moses. It is the only place in the bible God is directly called a warrior. So is there truth to how Moses addresses God in this passage?

Bible and a Sword on a Dark Wooden Table

Many Christian’s understand God is righteous and just. That He loves and extends grace and mercy. But a warrior invokes a different view of The Almighty all together. But, God is indeed a warrior.

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14, for those in Christ we are allowed the freedom to walk through this life with the backing and security that God himself will intervene for us.

You say you do not fully buy into that concept. Alright try this on for size. “The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes,” Deuteronomy 1:30.

What is the point in all this you ask? Fair enough, my point is that far too many Christ followers are trying to fight a battle they have no business attempting to fight. Not sure who I just offended but I am sure I offended someone out there.

It is true. Ephesians 6: 10-18 blesses us with the Armor of God. That is to be put on daily. After it is put on there is one little request, stand firm. It does not get much more clear than that. Stand firm. Do not move. Stand firm.

Fanum Fortunae-Caesars’ Fano. Hypothetical reenactment of Greek, Gaul and Roman civil and military life between the 4th and the 1st Century BC. Fighting legionnaire from the Republican period. Fano (PU) 13th-14th July 2019 (Photo by Camillo Balossini/Archivio Camillo Balossini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

God knew we would all need this reminder. It is our instinct when a conflict comes about to fight back. Do not do it! Stand firm. The battle belongs to the Lord. He has made things easy for us. Put armor on for protection as he fights for us.

Take heart in the fierceness of the Almighty warrior today. Give him your battle.

“The devil made me do it” may be the worst excuse a person can use

You are better than this! No, really we all make mistakes and do things that can lead us to a place we regret later on. For a person to utter the age old phrase “the devil made me do it,” is  not entirely true simply put. Why? because at the end of the day there is free will and free choice. So instead of placing blame on someone else that can make the situation even worse while making ourselves appear shallow. Let’s look at a better approach.

“The thief (devil) 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 .  I admit that the devil is many things, but know that he needs to have permission to attack according to the Book of Job.

The key word is attack. The devil can attack a persons thoughts. However, a  person still has a choice to make. Give into a thought, urge or action or that person can say no while taking that thought captive.

Yet when people do something wrong they act as though they had little choice and that the devil actually controlled their brains, arms and legs. That is not true and would constitute as a lie.

People need to get back to accepting blame for their own issues. Sure the devil may be able to initiate a thought like he did way back in the Garden of Eden when he asked Eve “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

There is zero proof the devil can actually take over total control of a body. That is where free will and free choice come into play. The devil gives the thought that does not mean darkness has to win.

Scripture from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians about putting on the armor of God.

What it means is that as a Christ follower we need to daily put on the Armor of God and take a stand. When we do we take full control of our thoughts, heart, path and can steer clear of making regrettable decisions.

The devil can only win if a person lets him. Press back and take a stand.

Why do Christian’s struggle against spiritual attacks?

The way to defeat darkness has been given. Jesus gave the template on how His followers should confront dark days or spiritual attacks, yet many Christian’s fail to apply what the bible offers. Anyone who has walked this earth for any length of time know that bad days come. That is because the devil is an outlaw. Yet, there is hope.

Reading Holy Bible

As a Christ follower I do not pretend to have it all together or that I know more than anyone else. I do read the bible daily and read the entire Holy scriptures every year. All I can attempt to do is point the reader to the word and hope that the Holy Spirit will give breakthroughs that are needed.

Much like us, Jesus was tempted by the devil. He was fasting and the devil made his move. Satan attacks us but this was a different story this was actually Christ. After the devil gives his temptation Jesus utters three words. “It is written.”

Now being fully man and fully God, Jesus did not just leave it at “it is written” He gave some meat, meaning he used God’s word (the bible) against the greatest villain the world has known and will know.

What we find in the book of Job is that Satan though banished to the earth is in heaven, in fact he tells God he was roaming the earth. The point is that Satan had to get permission to attack Job. Why? Because Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 that “ALL authority has been given to me.” Satan has to check in and get permission.

God knew that Job would stand firm in his faith and allowed Job to be given a no good, very bad day. One that tested all of Job’s resolve. In the end Job was restored and blessed even more.

So as a Christ follower I need to ask, when the devil attacks can you fill in the blanks to “it is written?” Do you know God’s words that well? If not start. Begin to read the bible or listen and read along.

My wife and I were been given a Job like day a while back and sought our then pastor and it began a quest to know God better through reading His word. After many years we are much better equipped to tell the devil what God’s word says after “it is written.”

Dealing with chronic pain

A breakthrough is coming. I know it is, I trust it is, I believe it is. With that said the struggle has been ongoing for years. I have chronic pain, arthritis, seized up muscles that go from my neck to my hips, yet I stand firm that a breakthrough is coming. Not because I am delusional or crazy ( at least I do not think I am.) Because chronic pain is not my identity.

A two car accident.

While I am not 100% sure what has caused chronic pain to invade my body I have some clues that at the very least did not help me out. Years of heavy work, a car accident and maybe a family curse of arthritis (I say that because I am adopted and have no way of knowing and simply do not trust the person I could possibly ask) may have all played a role in the pain that now ensnares my body.

It could be that all the events I listed have worked together for the great bad. The amount of times I say “Ouch!!” in a day boarders on ridiculous, I freely admit that. There was a time that “Ouch!!” would have been replaced by another word that was not meant for human or any ears to hear. So “Ouch!!” it is, because it does provide a little release.

The pain I feel is all day everyday. My body hurts the same there is no worse time of day. This is not a pity party and should in no way, shape, or form be taken or read as such. Why? Because I know where my help comes from. I just do not know when that help will come.

“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” Psalm 121:2

A crucifix is seen on the wall during a Christmas mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Maiduguri on December 25, 2021. – Despite the security situation in Maiduguri, Christian devotees gather together to celebrate Christmas in various churches across the state. (Photo by Audu MARTE / AFP) (Photo by AUDU MARTE/AFP via Getty Images)

I absolutely believe this. That the God of the universe will come and heal me in His time. Until then I need to listen to the doctors he has given wisdom to and to take the medicine they prescribed. Even though medicine is a masking agent to dull the pain, God is the one true doctor.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

So while some days are worse than others and I tend to mope around those days, I also know that God will not only deliver me from my pain in His time, but I will also fully understand the strength that comes only from Him that have gotten through this season of chronic pain.

If you are dealing with chronic pain or any pain for that matter, turn to God and trust in His time, by His grace freedom and healing will come.

 

 

Changing churches is an interesting navigation

A few years ago My wife, children and I packed our bags and well everything inside of our home of 17 years and headed back to our old stomping grounds. This was not a knee jerk move, because the housing market was heating up and the time was right, but it was a God appointed move that He initiated during our yearly family fast.

17 years is a long time to live in one area. We enjoyed life in our former location and we really like the church we attended and volunteered at for nearly the same span of time. After we moved we continued to drive back and forth to the church it only took a half an hour one way.

We moved back to help with aging parents and the Lord showed us why as there were heath issues that lead to surgeries. We again sought God’s face and chose to step away from our what is now former church. It was not an easy choice to make, getting out of the boat and walking on water never is.

We then began to check out different church’s and finally landed on one. Again prayer is a great tool to lean on. So now we were at our new church and all was right with the world. Hold on, yeah about that, sorry wrong story.

The sermons and church leadership was good but my relationship with God was dulled by the shift in church’s. Just being honest. All the friends and relationships we had known for over a decade were harder to continue.

We needed to get plugged in and begin the painstaking task of finding new friends. There is no magic wand and God did not grab ahold of my wife and mine hands and walk us over to people. He did give us what we needed. My wife attended a small group and I did as well.

I had been spoiled. I had great time with my wife coaching small group leaders at the old church and now we were attending different groups at our new place of worship. God worked it out, He always does. We both met new people and got plugged in.

We have met others since that time and are now starting our own small group. We are trusting that God will grow the group according to who needs to be there and for others looking for relationships outside of their homes.

I am thankful for where God has lead us. He really does make all things new.

The 11 year tick

Time moves fast at times and slow at other times. What happens between the minute change can be beneficial, the tick. The tick prepares us for another moment of life, another reset, victory or failure. For myself and my then new family (I am adopted) in 1975 we were given an 11 year tick. This tick would qualify as a reset, in my opinion. One that would come with tension, confusion, love and changed perception.

Picture a wife and husband who on the heels of losing a three year old child, chose to put on a brave face and  continue with life (not an easy task) and adopt a child. That child who had been abused and placed in foster care along with his sister.

Taz, Tweety, Sylvester and Daffy Duck during Daffy Duck For President Rally to Celebrate the Release of “Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Two” at Sherman Oaks Galleria in Sherman Oaks, California, United States. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage for The Lippin Group)

Now that you have that in your mind, picture a biological mother who had mental health issues which lead to child abuse. In the 1970’s things like autism and bi-polar were not as well identified as they are now a days. So there is no real way of knowing the mental issues that the mother had. What seems apparent is she passed those same mental issues to the sister. That sister was much like the Looney Tunes, Tasmanian Devil when she came for visits. The sheer destruction she would leave at the end of visits was breathtaking and not in a good way.

In the 11 year tick, grieving parents, a child who was abused and placed in foster care moved out of the state they resided in and to a new state. That move proved to be beneficial. Sometimes to get away and out of places and areas that caused daily pain can be healing. Along with learning to be a family while trying to shed the awkwardness of not being biologically related without those constant painful reminders can also be beneficial.

When the family moved back to the state they lived before the tick, they were better equipped to handle a less than ideal past.

Do you have a tick? A time that allowed you space to heal, reset, gain victory or even fail?

Why my family and I fast to ring in the New Year

“So we fasted and implored our God for this, and He listened to our entreaty.” Ezra 8:23

A New Year, a fresh start, time of wonderment and anticipation. While today football games will be played, people will gather and food will be eaten, there remains a single goal or should I say a tone setter for 2022, to seek God for what we would like to see Him do for our family this year.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

We seek God NOT because we are righteous. In fact it is the complete opposite. I am small and have sin filled hands. We seek God and His righteousness because our plans fail or we need help in areas that only He can bring life to. However, when our plans are placed in the one who spoke the world into being there is a success rate that can not be matched.

“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:3

The key points to fasting in my opinion are:

1. Be willing to open your heart to the one who gave it it’s beat.

2, Be willing to make your fast difficult, meaning eat just vegetables, just liquids or nothing. God will fill you and satisfy your needs.

3. Be willing to make a list of things you want God to move in.

4. Be willing to allow God space to move in His time, not yours.

5. Be willing to trust God in the areas of your fast which will increase your faith.

Can you sense a pattern? Be willing. Sometimes it is much easier to say than to actually do. Many of my opinionated list is centered on having a certain level of patience.

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25

Empty white plate with a napkin on an old wooden brown background, top view. Image with copy space. Kitchen table with a towel and a plate – top view with copy space.

As 2022 starts, I am willing to lay it all before a Holy God. I know He will meet all of my families needs and requests. If you have not done so, maybe consider ringing in the New Year with a fast.

 

The Book of Boba Fett Season 1, episode 1 review

*****Spoilers ahead*****

The who, what, where, when, and how regarding just how Boba Fett who was thought to be dead after falling into the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi have finally been addressed. This went a long way in explaining how the popular Star Wars character was able to show up in The Mandalorian. Wednesday, The Book of Boba Fett premiered on Disney Plus, some fans were satisfied some were not. As with anything Star Wars fan wise that is par for the course.

While I was on the fence as to whether or not Boba Fett should have his own show, that was quickly put to ease. It’s not that I did not or do not like Fett, he was always a background character with a supposed unfortunate death.

The Book of Boba Fett, Season 1, episode 1, was told in flashback form for a chunk of the show. What was nice was that Fett escaping the Sarlacc Pit was made cannon and not just a passage in the Tails from Jabba’s Palace novel.

Jawa’s find Fett who was passed out in part from escaping, in part because he was covered in stomach acid. The Jawa’s take his armor which explained how Cobb Vanth ended up with and wearing Fett’s armor in The Mandalorian. We also hear about a mysterious mayor, which I have some thoughts on that. But that is for another time.

Boba Fett is then captured buy a group of Tuskin Raiders. He is held captive at their camp site until he saves one of the children, which sheds light on how Fett and the Tuskin Raiders have respect for each other again in The Mandalorian.

Star Wars fans were spilt on the kickoff show. Some said it was too slow, while others liked the pacing. I happen to like the pacing. There was a lot of back story to fill in, in order to catch fans up on Fett and episode 1 did just that.

I am interested to see where this goes. Not to mention to find out how Fennec Shand will use her skills  as an expert assassin during the course of the show. It feels like the show is going to pick up the pace going forward.

All and all, The Book of Boba Fett’s premier show was satisfying  if not spectacular which again feels like is coming.