Pleasantville

Is a movie a movie, or does it have to be perfect? Is a story a story, or does it have to be perfect? Or are we content with a plot that opens our minds and makes us think, or does it have to present to us what we already know in a nice little package? Why is it that as Christians we ask Hollywood to put out a movie that expresses Christian values, and yet when they come close, we bash the movie for not meeting our high standards. I dare say the Bible probably doesn’t meet our high standards. And why do we want Hollywood to make a movie about everything we already know about? My only guess is so it can be a perfectly packaged witness. My friends, a Christian witness is not going to come packaged in VHS format. It comes from our lives, our actions, our choices. No movie will ever perfectly capture the message of salvation that our world needs to hear. A movie may come close, and yet be only grasping at straws, and yet Christians still complain that it’s not good enough.

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Did Today Really Happen?

Sometimes days go by and I just have to wonder if it really happened. You strain to keep your eyeballs open in one class, you watch the seconds slowly tick by in another, and another class is just a fun mental exercise–an intellectual island in the middle of an otherwise checked out day. It’s one of those days where you need to take a nap before noon. One of those days where your burger sits cold at lunch as you try to cram in the reading for the afternoon class. One of those days where the evening blurred by and before you know it your other commitments crowd in and you haven’t accomplished a thing. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, I just have to wonder where my day went. And as I wonder where it went, I realize where my day never went. My Bible still sits on the shelf, a day’s worth of dust collected on the cover. Is 11:55 PM too late?

Going Beyond the Sunday School Answer

Why did Christ have to suffer and die? These and other questions come at 9:00 AM Sunday School, and really make you think.

OK, put that brain in gear, I know this one. Well, God is a God of justice. Sin demands a penalty, and if Christ didn’t die, then how could our sins be forgiven? Sure, the Jews could have accepted Christ as their Messiah, crowned him King, skipped several thousand years of history, and human kind would be all set right? But what about our sin? Would God just magically wipe it away? No, Christ’s suffering and death on the cross were necessary in order to pay for that sin. Anyway, if you claim that it wasn’t God’s plan for Christ to die on the cross, then you’re saying that his death was God’s backup plan. What does that say about your God?

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To Push Hearts

Reshapes. Reforms. Metamorphosis. Something beautiful emerges. It has the power. It has the respectability. It has the ingenuity. It has the quality. It has the dream. The ability exists to go where no one has gone before. To push hearts. To influence lives. To dust eyeballs and clean out ear canals. To incite action. To invoke change. Shall we sit around and watch TV? Or shall we act. Interact. And watch the love of God rain down and wash away the cloudy mess of sin, and feel the seeds of light growing so deep within.

What’s It All For?

Today was Fall Break, so we had no classes. I spent the entire day writing HTML for ReALMagazine.com. Did you see the new student art section? You should check it out.

A whole day spend excavating in cyberspace, building a site bigger, more pictures, more text, more users. What’s it all for? I could have taken a vacation this weekend. But I didn’t. It’s all based on the hope that God can use this humble little page. Use it to work in people’s hearts. To open doors. To build dreams. To push hearts to where they so need to be. To help people look up and see the beauty of another day. To make people turn up the radio and smile again. To have them sit down at the computer, and stand a changed person. That’s the point. That’s why I gave up my three day weekend. At least that’s my favorite reason. Pride, glory, satisfaction, ego–they all dance inside my head. I hope they have nothing to do with this site. Am I so naive in thinking they won’t? Can God purify my motives and work in spite of my pride? I can only pray that he can, and will.

Sick and Working Hard

For those of you truly worried about my state of health, the doctor told me it’s probably the clinging remnant of some bug. So I just get to deal with it until it goes away. Bring on the advil!

You may be noticing a few subtle changes here at ReALMagazine.com. I’ve decided to take my Fall Break here at school and bring some much needed change to the site. It’s cool to see the possibilities. We can do so much. There are so many things that can be done. Microsoft asks, ‘Where would you like to go today?’ and I think that’s a question we need to ask ourselves. We don’t have to sit around and wait for others to do everything. We can do it. Take the initiative and change the world.

The Six Billionth Person

Yesterday the 6 billionth person was born in Sarajevo. Well, not exactly the 6 billionth. It’s all symbolic. The UN declared October 12, 1999 as the day the human population would surpass the 6 billion mark. They picked the first baby born that day in the city where the current secretary general of the UN was born. Okay, very symbolic.

Another interesting fact is that of those 6 billion people, 16% of them consume 80% of the world’s natural resources. That 16% is the most affluent countries in the world: the United States, Japan, and most of Europe. For the most part, that’s us. Not only that, but the United States is home to one third of the automobiles in the world.

That doesn’t seem like a very sustainable system. You can’t turn the faucet and magically get water forever. You can’t always put your trash on the curb before the landfill starts to creep into your backyard. You can’t drive your cars forever without turning the sky black with pollution. I don’t mean to preach apocalyptic doom, and rain down on your happy day, but it’s a reality we may soon need to accept. God made us stewards of this planet. I can’t help but wonder if some day he’s going to come home, find the place trashed, and we’re going to have some explaining to do.

Temp 105

The dead are raised, the lame walk, and the sick are healed. Well, I’m not exactly healthy yet, but getting there. I just love being sick. Sunday I had a temperature of 105. Then I remembered you’re supposed to shake the thermometer. Whoops. Sorry for skipping out on my daily thoughts for some much needed sleep. Now if only I had an appetite.

I Just Love Being Sick

Eyes aching. Can’t focus. Head pounding. Arms shaking. Can’t stand up. Can’t sit still. Body reeling in a thousand directions and it just won’t stop. So disengaged with reality I don’t even hear the commotion in the hallway. All you can do is lie in bed and wait for the shivering to stop, wait for the equilibrium to return.

I just love being sick.

Parental Responsibility

Yet again parental responsibility comes to mind. What happens in a society where parents neglect their children? How can this happen? That child is your flesh and blood, your son or daughter, and yet you won’t even show up at her volleyball game. That shocks me. The weighty responsibility of bringing children into this world frightens me. It immobilizes me. Yet some people are able to laugh in the face of this overwhelming duty, and focus solely on themselves. That is what’s wrong with humanity today.