Genesis According to Disney

It is said that all great stories derive from the Bible. I emphasize that it’s not all intentional, but just for fun, I couldn’t help pulling a few biblical inspirations from some our favorite Disney films. More to come later.

Clouds

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Day and Night

…He separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3)

Garden

Now the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden. (Genesis 1:8)

Eve

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 1:18)

Snake

“Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1)

apple

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. (Genesis 3:6)

Cain Able

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. (Genesis 4:8)

animals

You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. (Genesis 6:19)

ark

Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. (Genesis 7:23)

All images are from Disney Screencaps

A Little Damaged

JetBlue292Landing

You may remember the event that took place on September 21, 2005. For the first time since 9/11 the nation stood still and almost every eye was on their TV set or ear on the radio. Once again, fellow Americans were in aerial danger.

One hundred forty passengers and six crew members were gripped in absolute fear aboard Jet Blue Airlines Flight 292. There were no terrorists on board, but the thing that caused such fear was the plane itself.

The front wheels were jammed in a ninety-degree angle, perpendicular to the direction of flight. Foregoing their destination to New York, the pilots made arrangements to land at LAX to take advantage of the long runway and the expert emergency personnel that would be ready on hand.

After circling the Pacific in order to release aviation fuel, the plane got itself en route to landing at LAX as the world held its breath in fearsome anticipation. With the front landing gear damaged, the plane began its descent toward the runway. One can only imagine how many armchairs were destroyed by the tight grips of the passengers onboard.

But with skill and cunningness, the pilot managed to bring the aircraft to safety very close to the 11,096-foot runway. At once the nation let out its breath and everyone was able to move on with their lives, and life as they all once knew it was restored.

Everyone knew what was wrong with the plane, but something had to be done about it; It wasn’t something that could just fly by without notice. But so many of us choose that route everyday.

All of us are damaged – the kind of damage that is nearly impossible to fix, try as we might. But so many of us choose to just linger high and mighty above everyone else, refusing to make contact with the rest of the world. There’s always a great risk involved when connecting one on one with someone. The risk being that they might discover the broken pieces about us and see us for the messed up people that we really are.

So we refuse to connect. (We often think our flaws are so huge, but in reality they’re as small as a wheel on an airplane.) We don’t allow ourselves to make a connection with the rest of the world. We hold ourselves back. We circle around the ocean of safety hoping to fix ourselves before we join up with the rest of the world. But sooner or later, we will run out of fuel and we’ll have no choice but to land. And a forced landing could be a pretty messy thing.

You know your weaknesses, shortcomings, and troubles. Don’t be afraid to reach out toward someone today and ask for help.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  – Proverbs 27:17

Image Credit

Everyday Orphans

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Think about the first image that comes to your mind when you hear the word “orphan.” Most of us think immediately of a poor, desolate child staring at you with big eyes, and skinny arms and legs, with loose rags for clothes. This is a very true image of an orphan, yet the idea of an orphan is much, much bigger than that.

You and I run across orphans every single day. We talk with them and joke with them and conduct business with them on a daily basis. They are people who have no heavenly Father. Their deepest relation is with the Father of Lies who keeps them in bondage and slavery and neglects their needs. He withholds their daily bread, and inflicts harm on them by spoiling them with the evil desires of their hearts, and spares the rod. He is the antithesis to what a father is. And so those who do not know the Lord God as Father, are fatherless.

Now, we may not be able to adopt them, but we can direct them to the One who can. After all, if you are alive in Christ, you were once an orphan. And as Hosea 14:3 states, have you not found mercy in the Lord? Just like He did with Adam and Eve, God took pity on you and clothed you, not in animal skins, but in Christ’s blood, covering your sins.

We have a responsibility to the parent-less children, by taking them into our homes, or providing others with the means to do so. But we must not neglect our responsibility to the countless others who are spiritual orphans. Though they may seem content with their lives, and walk around with a smile on their faces, wearing expensive suits from Barney’s, they’re not happy. They may tell you they are, but like a rebellious orphan who has never known a home or love, they scoff at the idea of needing a Father to guide and direct them.

What is stopping you from showing mercy to the orphans of the world? Seek them out, be Jesus to them. Offer them the shelter of a church, the clothing of Christ, and the ever-extending hand of the Father waiting to take them Home.

In you the orphan finds mercy. – Hosea 14:3

 

Casting Stones

Song_Sparrow-27527-2I was driving to work yesterday, just a regular 80′s-music-induced drive. I drove the usual speed limit, dealt with the usual traffic not knowing how to merge, and then it happened.

I was singing along with the Cranberries (don’t judge), and I actually saw the white pebble slip out from under the truck in front of me. That’s how big it was. And even though I watched it shoot toward me, the impact on the windshield still made me jump.

I was angry. Even though there wasn’t yet a visible crack, I know that sometimes it takes time for those to appear and grow. I thought about writing down the truck’s license plate number so I could sue him when it comes time to paying for my windshield repair.

What a dumb thing to think, right? But all sorts of possible scenarios are permitted to play out in one’s imagination.

I thought about how this truck driver has absolutely no idea how angry he made me, and how he will never know that he totally destroyed my Toyota Scion. He’s just going to go about his day oblivious to his negative impact on my life.

What a jerk.

And then it happened.

I know it was a bird because I watched as a flock of them soared toward me from the bushes as I slowed down toward the end of the off-ramp. It wasn’t like the sound of a rubber ball on my windshield. It was softer – and more feathery-er.

It’s the first time I ever hit an animal that I know of. Even though in my younger days I actually tried to hit squirrels. I’m not very proud of that, and lucky for them I’m a bad aim.

Well, it was a bird this time alright. Just for confirmation I looked into my rearview mirror.

5…4…3…2…

Aaaand, thud. It landed right in front of another car, making it swerve a little. (“I swear, Honey! A bird hit a UFO and fell right in front of me as I was gettin’ off that dere freeway!” – I usually think of the average Ketuckian sounding like Mater the Tow Truck.)

Well, I thought about that bird. And the stone from just a minute before.

You see, I got really upset that someone caused a loud noise on my windshield, which never cracked, by the way.

But I had a negative impact on that bird’s life. So negative that I killed it.

I thought about that Bible verse that says God sees every sparrow fall to the ground. Matthew 10:29 I believe.

After I repented, I realized God was teaching me something.

Someone might cast a stone or two at me, and I have no reason to complain. Two reasons:

1) I probably (and I mean definitely) deserve to have stones cast at me.

2) Instead of complaining about the stones thrown at me, I should focus more instead on how I can avoid being the boulder that crushes someone else.

Honest Worship, Honest Life

4572427358A.W. Tozer once said, “Christians don’t tell lies – they go to church and sing them.”

Like you, the phrase caught me off guard. But when given to deeper thought, I realized it was true.

Let’s start with the basics. A popular verse found in many Christian songs is, “I lift my hands and I sing.” (If I cited that, I would run out of room on this post.)

I know I’ve never once had my hands in the air as I sang that verse.

Oh, we can justify it all we want by saying things like, “But it’s my heart that I’m lifting up.”

Bull. God knows the difference between your heart and your hands. He also knows the difference between security and insecurity.

What about song verses like, “I lay it all down for You.”

There aren’t many times I’ve repented from things after singing songs that make those bold statements. In fact, not sure if I ever have.

Here’s the thing. We’re so concerned with looking spiritual, we’re willing to live lies in order to come across as having it all together.

Not trying to toot my own horn here, but I don’t have it all together. In fact, I’m a mess. A spiritual, emotional, (sometimes) physical mess!

There are two types of places I’ve worked at. One was corporate. The other local.

In the corporate setting, these managers did everything right and by the book. They checked and double-checked everything off their lists that they were supposed to do. They dressed properly, they blushed if they cursed, they obeyed the rules.

Until they thought no one was looking.

First, they gossiped. (That’s how I learned about all the rules they broke on a daily basis.) Online shopping on the clock, not clocking off for lunch, “borrowing” some cash from store funds, engaging in inappropriate affairs with their employees, passing their jobs off to others, shirking duties, and the list goes on.

But you’d never know it by talking to them.

Then I’ve worked for a local place, where the “corporate office” isn’t but half a rung higher than the managers on the proverbial ladder.

These guys smoke weed, curse like sailors, cheat on their taxes, and I’d not doubt for a minute that a handful of them served time.

But you know which group I like better? That’s right – this right-winged fundamentalist Christian would much rather hang out with the rap-popping, weed-smoking, beer-happy “sinners” than the uptight, stiff-necked, hypocrites of the corporate place I worked for.

Why? Because at least these rough necks aren’t hiding anything.

They’re unashamed: “Here I am; take it or leave it… foo’!”

These guys are easier to witness to. They’re not going to get all over you for being politically incorrect or cry foul to the boss because you offended them. They might not admit they need help or change in their lives, but they’re also not likely to say nothing’s wrong with them and that every thing’s fine.

But I tell you. I’m such a mess myself. I do lie every time I sing, “I give You my all,” because honestly, I don’t. I just don’t give Jesus my all. That hasn’t happened before.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t worship. I’m not berating you for singing such songs, and declaring such promises. I’m just at a point in my life where I feel dishonest singing them.

I need to get to a place where I am actually doing such things as “giving my all,” and “taking up my cross,” and being brave enough to raise my hands (only for the attention of God), and then I’ll have a better, more honest, transparent worship time.

Then maybe it will make it easier for Jesus to come minister to me. Heaven knows I’m such a mess that I need it.

Moving Forward

NO LIMITS SIGN BLOG_0Post Christmas blues. December 26th – the most depressing day of the year. I’m sure Ebenezer Scrooge once had this day marked on his calendar with smiley faces and highlights while the rest of the world cried boo-hoo-hoo like the Grinch wanted to hear from Whoville.

The wrapping paper is torn and thrown out, the Christmas cookies are half eaten, the sink is piled up with dirty dishes, work starts back up, and reality sets back in. Through the magic and joy of Christmas, the Curse sets back in and reminds us of our daily duties and responsibilities and the grudges and burdens we carried on December 23rd set themselves back upon our shoulders, causing us to mope and drag our feet with breaking backs.

Last night, as Christmas came to a dreadful close, I made a couple of promises as to how next Christmas will be better than this year. And I perked up a bit because I have an entire 365 days stretched out before me to ensure that I accomplish what needs to be done to make Christmas 2013 a year for Sarabeth to remember for the rest of her life.

It was hard, I admit, celebrating another Christmas without a baby giggling in a crib. But if God allows it, those sounds will ring through our house next Christmas morning, and God will provide a way for us to pursue our foster-to-adopt goals.

Some of you know that we have been keeping Sarabeth’s sister’s two dachshunds for the last fourteen months or so, as she and her husband are over-seas as missionaries. They’ll be back next year, which we’re SO excited for, but they’ll be taking Rox and Syd back. So, not only do I pray we have a baby in the house, but we’ll also have a new puppy.

So 2013, as I have it set in my heart, will be a really great year. Now, maybe relatives will die, and disasters will strike and finances might deplete. We can still rest at peace if we are daily walking with the Lord, because we know that whatever happens this coming year, God has already got it written out, and has permitted to happen.

And everything that happened this past year happened because God allowed it. Maybe you had a bad year, and there are things you want to do differently in 2013. If you’re like me, you’re wondering if you should bother making New Years resolutions. Well, here’s a rule I generally go by. If you keep thinking you ought to make a resolution, that means you probably need to make that resolution, no matter what time of year it is.

Resolutions aren’t something you decide you want to make and live by. They’re generally something you need to make. But make them while looking forward. If you had a bad year – maybe you fell into some nasty habits, or you strayed from your relationship with Jesus, or you haven’t been running from anger or selfishness, or you have been denying your calling – then commit to making this very moment in exactly one year from now, one where you look back and can say, “Some things happened that were out of my control, but overall, I’m more refined by God because I allowed Him to do a work in me that needed to be done.”

Wouldn’t that be beautiful? Wouldn’t that be a great moment? I should say that that would definitely make up for the Christmas blues!

Or maybe you had a great year. Then I still say, make next year even better. How can you be more loving to your family? How can you spend more time with the Lord? How can you be more kind to others?

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

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Sandy Hook Massacre

Tears-eyes-16143904-500-368Forty sets of parents are waking up childless for the second time this morning, or one child short. Siblings are waking up without their brother or sister under their roof, some only for the second time in their lives. Many dogs and cats are still sleeping on empty beds, many grandparents lost faith in this next generation. Uncles lost nieces and nephews. Aunts lost best friends. Friends keep waking up from tearless nights.

The sudden realization of that forever-lost sort of feeling crashed into more than 27 homes again this morning. And it will continue to happen long after the rest of us move on.

Friday, death reigned. But it reigned the day before and the day before that, and it still reigns today. At least in an earthly sense.

But soon, Satan will be de-throned and cast into the fiery pit for all eternity. In the end, sin and death and tears and sorrow will be destroyed forever. And God will comfort His children, young and old. And rest assured that God is comforting many children as you read this.

This is probably why The Hobbit was such a perfect movie to watch at a time like this because it’s a great comfort to see good triumph over evil time and time again.

Our hearts are breaking, and will be broken for a long time. We are also more scared than we ever have been. Our country has entered into a new phase of perversity. Over the last fifteen years we’ve seen our homeland sink deeper and deeper into depravity, starting with the Columbine shootings, the first massive school shooting we had ever heard of.

We’ve gone from high school shootings to college shootings to airplane takeovers to movie theater shootings – and we thought that was the lowest people can sink. Until Friday.

But remember that kids have been killed since the time of Pharaoh. All over the world kids are deliberately killed on a daily basis. Babies have been shamelessly murdered in the womb in our own country longer than we care to remember. There is nothing new under the sun. And people, by and large, are no less evil than Adam Lanza.

That is not to diminish the terror of Friday’s events. An age-old monstrosity, that has been committed since the time of Moses, simply stepped into the spotlight on the most prominent stage in the world, and gained a worldwide audience.

This will continue to happen all over the world, though we will not hear about every instance. There will be many prescriptions to curbing these heinous acts, laws put into place, and security will tighten around every school campus at least for the remainder of the school year.

But let us be clear, as good as some of those things are, it all comes down to the depravity of the human heart. And the only remedy to that is the redemption and love of  a Father who hates this sort of sin more than even we possibly could.

Remember that when we fall into fantasizing about personally punishing the Adam Lanzas and James Holmeses of the world, we are falling prey to the same depravity that they started out with when their crimes were first conceived. Thus our hearts are just as wicked as theirs in God’s eyes.

We must respond to this in love. Pity the murderers who are burning in Hell; resist the temptation to laugh and rejoice over their eternal torment. It does no good to pray for their souls now, because what’s done is done. But know that they are not in Hell because of this, any more than a man who committed one sin early in his life is in Hell.

Adam Lanza is not only paying for his sins from Friday. He’s not even paying for the many curses he uttered under his breath or the white lies he’s told. He’s in Hell for the same reason the other inhabitants are – refusing to place their faith in Jesus Christ.

Not only would he have experienced salvation, but twenty sets of parents would not have woken up childless again this morning. This is part of what we mean as Christians when we say that Jesus saves, and that He has an alternative plan for our world and for humankind.

Detach yourself form the company of Adam Lanza and Timothy Mcveigh, and join with the One who firmly stands against these monsters. You may be concerned for the lives of children and innocent people, which is commendable, but if you are not concerned about their souls, then you care only for what cannot be saved.

Do not be concerned for your own life as you go to the movies or to school or Christmas shopping at the mall, but be concerned about where you will go after your life has ended. We were reminded all too brutally that life is but a vapor, but our souls live on forever. Now is the opportunity to decide where. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and your prayers for the victims, for your friends and family, for your life, will be heard.

Grace, peace, and love be to all the Sandy Hook victims and their families. May they be drawn to Jesus through this unspeakable tragedy. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many lives may be saved” (Genesis 50:20).

Come, Lord Jesus. But only once all your children are gathered. Amen.

Please read this blog post by Dr. Albert Mohler concerning Friday’s tragedy.

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