The Ultimate Showdown!

The Ultimate Showdown!

This is probably going to be one of those posts which may not make anyone happy because I’m not going to choose sides. It is beginning to feel like “The Ultimate Showdown” of my lifetime. (And I’m not talking about a school Science Fair with models of robots and volcanoes!)

In the United States, we kind of enjoy being polarized whether we admit it or not. We like knowing who’s on our side and who’s not. On top of that, as Christians, somehow we have taken the idea that “If the world is against you, then you must be on God’s side because the world is always against God” to the extreme.

At times I think some of us actually want to be persecuted and criticized just so we can feel like we are on God’s side, and if we are on God’s side, then we must be right. There are some who actually thrive on being “the dogmatic underdogs.”

So I’m not taking sides. I am going to stubbornly insist that my love of God and my love of science can coexist. Both are too vast and great for my mind to comprehend anyway, yet my mind can delight in them both.

I’m also going to stubbornly insist that my love for all that God has created (like volcanoes) and all that mankind has created (like robots) can coexist as well.

There seem to be two extremes. Either people totally believe science textbooks and throw away God’s Word, or they rigidly believe God’s Word and throw away science.

The ancient scrolls that became our Bible were never intended to be a physics textbook, but I do believe that they were written in an inspired way to convey truth in words that would best speak to readers and hearers at that time.

Here is the simplest reason why I believe God exists. It all has to do with the power of words.

(First Reader Alert: I am not a “God-said-it-that-settles-it” kind of guy when it comes to some things in the Bible. I’m not going to give up science in order to read the Bible in a fundamentalist way. I believe my love of science and my love of God’s Word can coexist.)

Genesis One is all about creation and God repeatedly saying “Let there be…” Everything He said just simply was. To me, this is letting me know that all we see (and don’t see) was created by God’s own words. Sort of unscientific, right?

But what about words? Words are sound waves…which are…vibrations. (Remember that word.)

For the topic of creation, a Physics textbook might be all about The Big Bang and maybe even String Theory. Sort of unreligious, right?

But what about The Big Bang? It was an expansion of space accompanied by…sound waves…which are…vibrations. (There’s that word again.)

And what about the strings of String Theory, the particles that make up everything? Strings are…(You guessed it!)…vibrations.

To me, it certainly seems like both my “unscientific” Bible and my “unreligious” Physics textbook are sort of saying the same thing but just with different words. So maybe I really can have both science and God!?!

More about those robots and volcanoes when Laser Eyes Jesus returns!

(Second Reader Alert: Laser Eyes Jesus is NOT the same as Real Life Jesus. He just happens to have been born at the same time as Real Life Jesus and with a remarkable pair of laser beam eyes. Although he does make a lot of mistakes, he does care deeply about the children who visit him. By the way, those laser eye blasts are basically harmless. Seriously. No children, not even comic strip children, are ever actually harmed in the making of the comic strip.)

Thanks for reading!

John

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“What’s For Dinner? Maybe Mom!?!”

So here we have a somewhat perplexing comic strip…actually a perplexing comic strip with a gratuitous dinosaur…just because I wanted to include a dinosaur somewhere! Is there a Biblical message in all of this? (I admit I am a little doubtful at first.) Hmm…Well, let’s try this. 

So what do you think? Is it possible to get so involved with what we are doing that we are totally oblivious to the man-devouring prehistoric monsters that are breathing down our necks and just waiting to turn us into “dinner”? And is there any relevant symbolism in the hulking dinosaur, or is it just for fun?

I really have to admit there are days when I really am oblivious! Although I can only speak for myself, I am so often distracted by my ideas and what I’m doing that I totally forget what’s going on and what is needful. Then the lurking prehistoric human inclinations sneak up and bite me!

I think that’s very similar to,what we see in the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus was guest in their home.

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42 (KJV)

Mary sat at Jesus’ feed and heard His words. That was needful to her and to Jesus. “Needful”is not a word that we hear very often, but I really like how it sounds to me in the King James Version. “Knowing what is needful” is not a skill we think of very often, but it is definitely…needful!

Today my heart is resting on the words “which shall not be taken away.” I have a feeling that in this comic strip Laura is just as oblivious to Jesus as she is to the dinosaur in her living room that is ready to turn her into dinner. I can already imagine the dialog balloon “Mmm! Tasty!” So even if Laura isn’t taken away, her stacks of lists can be.

What’s more, I can even imagine Laura asking the dinosaur to please wait a minute while she completes a list of “Man-Devouring Prehistoric Monsters Breathing Down My Neck And Waiting To Turn Me Into Dinner.” (You know, things like jealousy, anger, selfishness, and stubborn-headedness. Those are things that have been with us before recorded history.)

Even when all the nice lists and helpful projects and general busyness are in the service of Jesus, I want to remember that He should still be my true focus.

“What My Best Buddy Godzilla Dreams”

Occasionally in this comic strip there is a view into what life is like for Laser Eyes Jesus after most of the children go home. That has made me wonder about a Bible verse that I remembered about “sleep,” especially since there’s this thing called “insomnia” which you may have experienced. (By the way, you’ll notice that Laser Eyes Jesus doesn’t really answer the question “What do you do when we’re not here?”)

The last thing I want to do is stir up the “KJV Only” controversy here! I enjoy the King James Version. When a Bible verse or phrase comes to my mind, it’s almost always in that version, and I like that because it’s easier to find in a concordance or online search that way.

But this is one of those verses that maybe, just possibly where…well, I’ll let you decide for yourself. So what do you think?

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2 (KJV)

I’ve always focused on the last part as meaning “If God loves you, then he will give you a good night’s sleep.” But if you have insomnia, that verse can sort of cause you some spiritual doubting, right? (If you can’t get to sleep, does that mean you aren’t one of God’s beloved?)

Recently I’ve started comparing verses in the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) when I feel like there may be something more. (Thanks, Don and My Heart Is For Israel!)

In vain do you get up early and put off going to bed, working hard to earn a living; for he provides for his beloved, even when they sleep. Psalm 127:2 (CJB)

So what do you think? Does that make a difference? To me, it does. I no longer need to worry that a sleepless night is maybe because God is withholding sleep from me. Instead I can rest soundly while knowing God is providing for me even when I’m sleeping.

“He provides for his beloved, even when they sleep” sounds so very compatible and so very comforting, I believe, with the word of Real Life Jesus concerning the lilies of the field (or “the fields of wild irises” in the CJB).

When I doubt between text versions, I do tend to choose the words that magnify God and make Him bigger in my heart and emphasize His lovingkindness and grace.

“Time Warp Cheating!”


Laura seems quite determined to get help with Rob’s list challenge without opening her Bible! First she tried a “Dear Abby” kind of letter, now she’s using a time warp! (How she did this is another storyline entirely!)

What actually prompted this little series was a recent garage cleaning. I found some old books that I had put away along with some notes, and they were mostly all about Bible commentaries and Bible lists. This reminded me of how I had for a time been more inclined to “read about the Bible” rather than to “actually read the Bible.” I think I’ve said before, Laura is a lot like me in some respects!

So what do you think about reading the Bible? Is it something that you avoid doing? Would you rather take a “shortcut”? Even a “cheating shortcut”? (Which for me would be the times when I was afraid of what God would say to me if I read His Word directly, so I’d choose to read someone else’s word about His Word!)

I guess there may be two different ways of looking at the Bible.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow… Hebrews 4:12a (NASB)

The Bible can be used as a sword, a weapon, and I’ve done that. But I think that may have been wrong. The verse is only making a comparison, not giving a command to hack down as many people as possible with God’s Word.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 (NASB)

This is probably my more favorite view of the Bible these days. I really like how personal this makes God’s Word for me. My Lamp. My Feet. My Light. My Path.

And honestly, I really can’t go around hacking other people to pieces when I am looking for my next step, can I?!?

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Paul is wrong. I’m just saying that at times I have forgotten the latter part.

…and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12b

That’s still God’s Word for me. My Judgment. My Thoughts. My Intentions. My Heart.