Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Good Pain

My wife and I are big C.S. Lewis fans and we especially love the Chronicle of Narnia series. We have the whole series in book form as well as Audio form and we have seen the three movies that have been made thus far.

We recently went to see the newest in the series called The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Let me just say, even if you are not a huge C.E. Lewis fan, this is a great movie and a must see.

For those of you who have not seen the movies or read the books, Narnia is a fantasy world, created by C.S. Lewis, in which the Pevensie children one day find themselves. In The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderLucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. 

Without giving away the whole move, Eustace finds himself being transformed into a dragon. Near the end of the movie, Eustace meets Aslan and Aslan changes him back into a boy. Edmund asked Eustace, “So what was it like when Aslan changed you back?” Eustace answered, “No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t do it myself. Then he came towards me. It sort of hurt – but it was a good pain, like when you pull a thorn from your foot.”

I have not been able to stop thinking about that line in the movie, "It sort of hurt – but it was a good pain, like when you pull a thorn from your foot".

Eustace is an excellent example of the transformation that we each much experience. The only way he could change was to have Aslan remove his dragon skin and emerge as a real boy. The only way you and I can change into the person God has created us to be is to have Jesus Christ remove the old and reveal the new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."  (NASB)

Let God make the necessary changes in your life. Will it hurt? Probably, most change does. But it is "a good pain".

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lesson from a Child's Prayer

Every night before we put our girls to bed we read a Bible story with them and then they each take turns thanking God for something. The list almost always include, mommy, daddy, sisters, grammy, grampy, grandma, grandpa, along with other various things. But last night as my 3 year old was praying, I heard her thank God for something that I had never heard her thank Him for before. She thanked God for her cold.

This got me thinking, when was the last time you thanked God for the difficulties in your life. We all have them, they are apart of life. But do we thank God for them?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

It is easy to thank God for the good things, but do we thank Him in the difficult times as well. I don't mean putting on some kind of fake smile as if nothing is wrong. I mean living with our eyes on Jesus and seeing things from His perspective. living with the kind of faith that allows you to see the blessings in the midst of the difficulty. 

Always remember that God has a plan of making you more like His Son. So whatever your facing, thank God!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Default Mode

When you hear the word "fasting", what typically comes to mind? I think that most of us think of doing without food for a certain period of time. But have you ever considered fasting from television?

I will admit that I have gotten into the habit of putting the girls to bed and then turning on the television for the next 2-3 hours just to fill up time before I go to bed. There usually isn't much on worth watching, but somehow TV has become my default mode.

So this past week my family and I have fasted from television. This means that in the last week we have not watched any TV, DVDs, or played video games on the TV. "What did you do with your time?" you might ask. Well we played games together, built puzzles, and read books. Simply put we spent time together as a family. After the girls went to bed (around 7pm each night) my wife and I had some quiet time to talk, read books, and even read the Bible together.

I wasn't sure how my daughters were going to react to this change, but surprisingly enough they never even asked to watch TV and they always ask to watch TV. They found that they could fill their time with other things and they were quite content with family time. 

I must admit that there were a couple times when I said to myself, "Oh no, I'm missing _______" (fill in the blank with your favorite program). But found much more enjoyment in spending time with my girls and my wife.

This has got me thinking, what do we fill our time and minds with? Are the things we do done with a purpose or are they just something to do? I was reminded of a verse today. Philippians 4:8 says "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Not that everything on TV is bad for you, but there is more to life than TV.

You may be asking how long this TV fast will last. Well we do plan to start watching TV again this weekend, but it is no longer my default mode!

What are you filling your mind with? Has TV become your default mode? Put down the remote and spend time with your family, with God, or even just enjoying the quiet...or better yet, all three!