The “Wonderful-Plan-For-Your-Life” Lunch Box

The “Wonderful-Plan-For-Your-Life” Lunch Box

If any post generates a lot of “Unfollows,” it might just be this one. The “Wonderful Plan For Your Life” Lunch Box Special is not one that I would recommend. It is the first “Jesus-In-A-Box” I ever bought. I took a number of years to realize it didn’t agree with me, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think.

Just like the old “Things Go Better With Coke” advertisements, there is a tremendous promise to satisfy all of our longings…

…only if a person is not spiritually minded, it can come across as a promise to satisfy our material longings.

That is perhaps the biggest concern I have with what is titled “The Four Spiritual Laws,” a tract published by The Navigators.

So before you click “Unfollow,” I want to say that it was that same “Four Spiritual Laws” tract which a friend shared with me between my junior and senior years of high school that started me on a path of serious discipleship. In fact, during my college years I was a member of the campus chapter of The Navigators and led Bible studies.

So why am I knocking the “First Spiritual Law”?

Mostly it is because if someone is not spiritually-minded, has not been regenerated spiritually, they will hear “wonderful plan for your life” and imagine fame, fortune, material things, a happy family life, and a place in Heaven where you get to do all of your favorite things.

That is not the experience of the early Christian martyrs or modern Christian martyrs. They were and still are treated as criminals, stripped of their possessions, disowned by their families, imprisoned, and tormented. For them, choosing Jesus is choosing the possible loss of life in one of many brutal ways. I would have a difficult time telling someone living in this type of culture, “God has a wonderful plan for your life.”

You may be thinking “Well, buddy, the wonderful life that you’re knocking is really about spending eternity with Jesus in Heaven!” And although spending eternity with Jesus is a truly powerful motivator for those of us who are in Christ, I’m unsure that the average spiritually blind person will experience that same motivation when they hear “God has a wonderful plan for your life.”

I was that way. I thought a great deal about the “wonderful plan for your life” part, and not so much about the “Jesus part.” Quite honestly, when I was most preoccupied with myself, the “Jesus part” did not agree with me very well.

Whatever The Gospel is…it has to be the same for everyone and everywhere. It can not be an extension of The American Dream. It is not just about selfish me and my selfish life.

The Gospel must be about more than me and the wonderful life I imagine for myself.

Thanks for reading!

John

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Because the length is growing and to minimize scrolling, I’ve moved the list of some of my favorite Content Creators to a separate page. Just select the link below.

Some Of My Favorite Content Creators…

Killing God In Five Comic Strips

One of the challenges I’ve found has been trying to present comic strips in sequential order. They naturally post with most recent first at the top, and that works great for single topic posts. It just gets tough when there is a sequence. If you are a new or first-time reader, you won’t easily know what has led up the present comic strip. It’s not always easy to find the first in the series. This is an attempt to make that easier.

Select the thumbnail image or link to go to the comic strip where you’d like to start reading, then you can advance through the series.

We Have Finally Killed God!

Savage (Salvaged) Comics #001 “We Have Finally Killed God!” The main point of this comic strip is that some people may try to remove God from our minds and hearts and other people may try to warp God’s image in our minds and hearts. Both an atheist and a theist might agree that the latter is the worst. Maybe there are a few false ideas about God rattling around in my mind that need to be “Killed”?

The Power Of Words!

Savage (Salvaged) Comics #002 “The Power Of Words!” The main point here is words have the power to create and to destroy. It points to the irony of how the same things God used to create all we see (and don’t see) can also be used to kill God…words.

How To Kill God In Three Easy Steps!

Savage Salvaged Comics #003 “How To Kill God In Three Easy Steps!” This comic strip points out that science and religion are not necessarily enemies by looking at the work of three important scientific thinkers and how some people might try to use their work to kill God. We can kill God, but it is not done with words from science, it is done with words from man’s heart. The words in man’s heart made Jesus homeless, unemployed, and unrecognizable. The words in man’s heart killed Jesus.

The Ultimate Showdown!

Savage (Salvaged) Comics #004  “The Ultimate Showdown!” This comic post launched a sidetrip to a series of five Laser Eyes Jesus comic strips which explores faith and fear. To take that sidetrip now, here’s a post for that!

I Am In Charge Of God! I Am In Charge Of Me!

Savage (Salvaged) Comics #005  “I Am In Charge Of God! I Am In Charge Of Me!” This final comic strip in the series explores how the real tyrant in our lives can be the god we create within ourselves, My-God-Me. Only Real Life Jesus, I believe, can rescue me from the tyranny of My-God-Me.

Thanks for reading!

John

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Because the length is growing and to minimize scrolling, I’ve moved the list of some of my favorite Content Creators to a separate page. Just select the link below.

Some Of My Favorite Content Creators…

Faith and Fear (In Five Short Comic Strips)

One of the challenges I’ve found has been trying to present comic strips in sequential order. They naturally post with most recent first at the top, and that works great for single topic posts. It just gets tough when there is a sequence. If you are a new or first-time reader, you won’t easily know what has led up the present comic strip. It’s not always easy to find the first in the series. This is an attempt to make that easier.

Select the thumbnail image or link to go to the comic strip where you’d like to start reading, then you can advance through the series.

The Volcano-Stomping Robot vs. The Robot-Melting Volcano!

Laser Eyes Jesus #044 “The Volcano-Stomping Robot vs. The Robot-Melting Volcano!” The main point of this comic strip is we are all naturally most concerned with ourselves and getting things that will ensure our happiness and pleasure. It’s all about survival, even if our own getting blocks our neighbor’s getting.

Are We All More Alike Than We Realize?

Laser Eyes Jesus #045 “Are Things More Alike Than We Realize?” The main point here is we create justifications for our actions to get what we want. We can sometimes treat God as if He doesn’t exist (killing God) because we want Him to do something that He isn’t doing. We can sometimes treat God as if He is what He is not (warping God’s image) because we can threaten others with what He might do.

Two More For The Museum Of Abandoned Science Fair Projects!

Laser Eyes Jesus #046 “Two More For The Museum Of Abandoned Science Fair Projects!” This comic strip points out that we are going to run into dead ends, particularly when we aren’t waiting on God in faith and trust. When we hit a dead end, our natural inclination is to try to take over and exert our own power in a situation to manipulate the outcome any way that we can. Instead we need to humble ourselves and hold fast to Jesus.

First Epilogue: Whatever Happened To Larry And Brenda?

Laser Eyes Jesus #047 “First Epilogue: Whatever Happened To Larry And Brenda?” Here is a happy ending comic strip, just because one seemed to be needed. It also points out that sometimes opposite positions can sometimes produce pleasant compromises, even in the form of baby multi-purpose appliances!

Second Epilogue: A Night Of Wrestling With Fear

Laser Eyes Jesus #048 “Second Epilogue: A Night Of Wrestling With Fear” This final comic strip in the series shows a different side to the character Laser Eyes Jesus, and for regular readers, you know this happens mostly at night when the only two children left. This comic strip series has been about overcoming fear and dead ends by following the example of Jesus. It is not a step-by-step process. There really is only one step: know Real Life Jesus.

Thanks for reading!

John

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Because the length is growing and to minimize scrolling, I’ve moved the list of some of my favorite Content Creators to a separate page. Just select the link below.

Some Of My Favorite Content Creators…

First Epilogue: Whatever Happened To Larry And Brenda?

First Epilogue: Whatever Happened To Larry And Brenda?

Just one more epilogue left, and then this will all be wrapped up, hopefully, with one last look at the “We Have Finally Killed God!” Guy from the beginning of this series…way back before we took a detour with “Laser Eyes Jesus.”

Sometimes there really are happy endings after all…even if nobody wins a Science Fair ribbon! It just didn’t seem right to send Larry and Brenda off to The Museum Of Abandoned Science Fair Projects without saying a little more about them.

Since these two have been presented as “opposites,” it seemed like there would ultimately be an attraction like magnets. Sort of scientific, right? After all, you might imagine Brenda the Volcano would be somewhat of a “hothead” while Larry the Robot would be “as cold as ice.” It turns out, Brenda is the logical and practical one while Larry is the wildly emotional one! Maybe opposites really do attract?!?

Is there a lesson here? Maybe. Maybe not.

Could it be that we often can not anticipate how God will work things out? And that when we try to force God work things out (preferably our way), we are only going to end up frustrating ourselves?

Could God be working towards something bigger than what any of us can possibly imagine? Hmm… Maybe so!

And yet even in our fears and anxieties, something good can come out of it, right? Like those cute little multi-purpose appliances!

Bedtime story is over. Next Up…Laser Eyes Jesus #048 “Second Epilogue: A Night Of Wrestling With Fear”

Thanks for reading!

John

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Oops!

Oops! That Page Can't Be Found

“Oops! That Page Can’t Be Found!”

Not the best thing to see on your screen, right? (Actually I added the second exclamation mark because the message just seemed to need it.)

Yesterday I reinstated a large number of previous posts that I had “hidden” to sort of give myself a fresh start with creating new material or at least a new approach. In doing this, posts were published again as if they were new content, and I think email notifications were sent out if you signed up for email notification.

I’m really sorry about that. It wasn’t my intention to overload anyone’s email box with a pile of emails! (If that is what happened?!?)

It wasn’t until I was done that I realized two of the major “Some Serious” posts were missing. They were also two of the most popular categories: “Whatever The Gospel Is…” and “Voices From The Back Pew,” and “The Gifts” Although I still have the graphics which I had backed up separately, the text was not.

Although I will probably be reposting the graphics, I really don’t have the words to put with them. It would really be difficult to recreate them because those posts in particular took a great deal of thought and prayerful listening to what God would have me write.

At first I was honestly a little grumbly about it, but then a started to see it as a new opportunity to prayerfully listen anew, and I’m looking forward to that. After all, this is a journey, right?!?

So I just want to seriously apologize to anyone and everyone who got a pile of email notifications about the posts that were put back in yesterday. It wasn’t intentional. I will work on my site management skills!

On the plus side…I have really enjoyed looking back over old posts and reviewing the feedback, suggestions, and comments. You have always given me something to think about, new questions to explore, and suggestions for other ways of looking at some really important things.

I truly feel like you are on this journey with me! Thank you so much!

Thanks for reading!

John

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