Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Fun

When I link to other things, it is normally because I have found them helpful. Or I have found them inspirational.

Today, I just find this fun. And you're probably going to waste at least some of your Friday. Otherwise, what would you be doing here?

Try this:

1. Pick any YouTube video. (An individual video – not channel videos)

2. Play it, then pause.

3. Click somewhere outside the video.

4. Type 1980. Enjoy what happens next.

5. Tweet/share this post with everyone!

Thanks to Ed Stetzer for the find.

- See more at:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Do You Really Want To Read This?

Soooooooo, I wear a few hats at my church. It's really quite amazing all the things you can fit under the title Associate.

Who's in charge of the youth ministry?
~That would be the Associate.

Who's in charge of small groups?
~Ummm, the Associate.

We need someone to meet with the greeters.
~I'll get the Associate.

How about someone to call Bingo numbers for the monthly game?
~The Associate would love to.

That is somewhat of a stretch for most, I hope. But I do oversee a number of different things at my church, and the schedules do not always work kindly with each other or wait their turn patently. I'm not complaining. I'm just saying that if some of my recent posts seem less than focused, it's because I'm a bit busy with several details.

I wondered about writing this and putting it out there. After all, do you really want to read this? When I don't have any pre-planned ideas of what to post, I'm prone to wonder if I have anything worth putting out there. I do see other blogs that talk about the daily stuff, but I've always thought them more interesting.

Yet I realize that it is my mundane and day to day that reveals the insignificance I truly encapture. Much like 99% of the world's population, it's not all glitz and glamour over here. If you don't go to my church, you could throw up a prayer for me. And if you do attend the same community I do, perhaps you could say a prayer as well...and then sign up to help somewhere.

Who is in charge of recruiting people?
~That would be the Associate.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Succeeding At Failure

I think the Apostle Paul could have written this blog.

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. ~2 Corinthians 11:30

Of course, as I think about it, Paul would be writing a more successful version, which would cause the brain to hurt, because he'd be successful at not being awesome. He would write out of his weaknesses, which he did with great strength, since he allowed God to shine clearly through him.

This is opposed to me writing in my failed attempts to get over myself, as I continue to try painting myself in the least embarrassing light possible. So while I fail at failure, Paul succeeds at failure. Is your head spinning yet?

Suffice it to say that I will continue to write, though imperfectly, as I continue to journey on towards insignificance, while Paul revealed to all of us the secret of finding it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Who Are You?

Every once in a while I have to remind myself regarding my identity. And by 'every once in a while', I mean every moment of every day.

My identity is not found in the number of people who laugh at my jokes. It is not found in the number of people who show up to things I plan. It is not found in the number of followers I have on Twitter, the number of people I am LinkedIn to, or the number of friends I have on Facebook. (It's a good thing, too.)

My identity is not found in the number of people who comment on my blog, take time to say hi to me in a day, or by the number of emails I get from people who were just thinking about me. (Again, it's a good thing.)

My identity is not found in how many things I can check off my to-do list, by the number of things accomplished or by the number of people impacted by what I do.

My identity is not found in how fast I can run, how many baskets I can make in basketball, how much my Fantasy Football team can score, or even by how much cheese I can put into my eggs. (It's a lot.)

My identity is not found in the things I like or the things I don't like, the doctrines I adhere to or the teachings I roll my eyes at, and it is not found in how many people choose to agree or disagree with me.

In case you are wondering, neither is your identity found in any of those things.

When all is said and done, my identity is found in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who decided that who I am was worth giving up who He was.

I am a child of the King, a son of my Heavenly Father and a servant to the only Master whose opinion matters.

That's who I am. Who are you?

Monday, August 26, 2013

What Do I Dream About?

My daughter comes to my bed in the middle of the night. Not to me, of course. She knows better than that. She sidles up on her mother’s side and curls up fast asleep before my wife knows what’s going on. I wish I had a dollar for every time Jennifer has said to me, “Yeah, I woke up and saw we had a friend. I wonder when she joined us.”


I ask my daughter why she joined us. Bad dreams are the most common answer. I kind of wish one of my kids had been brutally honest and told me they knew they had worn their mother down to the point of total exhaustion during the day. Phase one of their plan complete, they knew they could sneak in at least 2 hours in their parent’s bed before anyone was the wiser.

Better yet, I’d have loved to have woken up just once to the three of them arguing over whose night it was to come in to our bed.

Alas, a bad dream was the culprit 99 times out of 100.

Right now I am having great dreams. It’s not because of any supplement I’m taking. I’m not avoiding snacks after 9 p.m. like I should either. They are not odd dreams either, involving purple man-eating dinosaurs or of sandwiches eating me. My dreams are happening 24 hours of the day, but I’m not sleeping on the job.

My dreams are for the areas of ministry I oversee. I don’t take enough time for this kind of dreaming, but every summer, while planning fall kick-offs, I allow myself to see the difference between what is and what could be. And that is exactly where I am at right now.

Don’t try to talk me out of these dreams. Don’t list the reasons why it won’t work or tell me how we’ve never done it that way. I’m seeing what could be. I’m seeing the growth. I’m seeing the potential. I’m seeing God glorified by the lives changed and the hearts opened and the community encouraged.

I’m seeing what could be, and it looks great. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Live or Die Man!

As a youth pastor, I see a lot of pettiness in the church and among believers. Truth be told, I see just as much of it in the youth themselves as I do in their parents and grandparents.

We slam adults for arguing about hymns vs choruses, words in a hymnal vs words on a screen, or the wearing of a tie vs the wearing of anything not resembling a noose. But the same stuff happens in the youth group. Only here it is played out in things like pizza vs tacos, camps vs mission trips, or the value of a full goatee on a balding youth pastors head.

I may have made that last one up. No one argues about the value of a goatee. If you're lacking hair in top, you have got to grow it somewhere to avoid that much skin with nothing to break it up.

I digress.

People, no matter the age, still get worked up over their preferences. But it seems to me that Paul addresses this way back when he write Romans, specifically the fourteenth chapter.

7 For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. 8 If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.      ~Romans 14:7-8.
If the punk karate instructor from Karate Kid had been a good Christian man, he might have quoted these verses when Miyagi asked him, 'Live or die, man?' If he had, I bet Miyagi would have been too stunned to tweak him on the nose.

Yet Paul writes it as if the Christians on Rome were already living that way. My hunch is that, if they were, Paul would have been talking about something else. Either way, I think it serves as a good reminder and goal for us. Whatever we do should be done for God's glory.

Its even more important considering Romans 14:9. "Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead."

That sounds an awful lot like a purpose statement to me.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Let Me Put What I Think In A Song

We all have those facepalm moments, when you realize that someone is out there because no one told them they shouldn't be. Looking out at celebrity culture provides us all the material we want, if only we will look. Some of us don't always have a choice.  

That would include those of us having tween daughters. It means having plenty of opportunities to listen to One Direction. In their big hit, What Makes You Beautiful, they have a line. It's a dumb line. I'm sure it's not the only one. But they tell this girl that they prove their point by putting it in a song.

Oh, is that all we have to do? When our backs are against the wall, and we've met our mental match in an argument, can we just put down our ideas to music and be held up as irrefutable? 

If that's the case, Joe "Beans" Esposito was singing to me when he said "You're the best around." He proved it by putting it in a song. 

Pink Floyd said "we don't need no education." Would you like to tell your kids, or shall I?

I'm sure there are others. Care to share?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Part of You Dies?

Before you even read the post today, realize that I understand this is somewhat different writing for me. I did not intend to be dark, although as I read it over, I wondered. I'm not in a bad place, trust me. I was thinking about it, I wrote it down and now I am sharing it. 

It is a common theme to hear that when a loved one passes, part of us dies with them. This is a tragedy, I think.

If our lives, short as they are, are to count for something eternal, then what is so significant that we should allow a part of ourselves to die before it is time? This is not to take away the deep meaningfulness found in our human relationships but to find the true significance in the only relationship that has eternal consequences. I am speaking, of course, of our relationship with God.

I have a good many dear friends whose passing would effect me in many deep ways. I have binds with them that I pray continue on into eternity in some meaningful way. But as I read the scriptures, Heaven appears to have an unashamedly singular focus on the Holy one of God, He who is now our life, according to Paul in Colossians 3:4.

As I consider death, even when the Son of God allowed His earthly life to be taken, though He gave it all freely, He did not allow His death to be an end for anybody. It helps that He reappeared three days later, of course, but His life and death were one continual gift to God.

This also reveals where significance is found. When Christ died, new life was discovered. Parts of us that were long dead sprung to life. If we are truly connected as a fellowship of believers, then even when death takes one of us, it should not cause a partial death in the rest of us. Rather, their life, connected with Christ, should continue to spark life on us.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ordinary People

Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.
Ordinary. It's not exactly a term most of us like to hear in front of our name. 'There goes ol' ordinary Rick.' It's kind of like hearing someone say that our ideas are just plain vanilla. Of course, someone once reminded me that vanilla is, in fact, a flavor. So, for all you non-chocolate lovers out there, don't let people hate. You like a flavor. 

Now, I'd love to turn this into a feel-good blog post and tell you there are no ordinary people either. But let's be honest. Its not too difficult to imagine who Paul is talking about here in Romans 12. But what does it say about me that my first reaction was to think, 'this is how I put with most of the people on Facebook.'

My reaction should have been more like 'Finally, I have a Bible verse that will make people be nice to me.'

Ah, the joys of getting over myself.

Ordinary people. They are all around us. And unless you are one of those pro athlete, movie star, pop music sensations having my blog read to you by your butler, then you are probably one of those ordinary people as well.

By not being proud, we can embrace our ordinariness. Heck, I think someone should even write a song, or a poem about it. Perhaps we could even create an ordinary people dance, something that slaps flash in the face and goes back to not being noticed. 

Yes, that is exactly what we should do. Then, when the dance music starts, don't be too proud to dance ordinary. 

What would the ordinary dance look like?

Monday, August 19, 2013


I'm just not sure how you put up with me for so long. 

I could have said that to my college roommate of 2 years. I could have said that to the people at my church, where I've been for over 10 years. I think my wife would like me to say it to her, just so she knows that I know I am a lucky guy. We've been together for 17 years, celebrated last Saturday by decorating our church in preparation for our upcoming children's ministries kick-off.

If I'm being honest, I could say the above to anyone who's been talking to me for more than five minutes.

But today, I'm saying it to you, my loyal blog readers. I just passed 700 posts last week. When I began this blog, I never dreamed I had 700 things to say, much less the focus to write it all down.

700! That's 700 times that somebody has seen the link and said to themselves, 'Sure, I'm not doing anything better for the next 5 minutes.' Or perhaps, 'Maybe he'll stop bugging me if I read it and comment.' (Side note: there's many things you could be doing with that 5 minutes and no, I won't stop bothering people.)

I acknowledge that not all 700 are gems, and even combined, I am not exactly creating my magnum opus here. But as long as ideas pop into this head of mine, I'll continue to jot some of them down and see what people think.

Those people are you. So thank you for continuing to check in.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday's Funny

The truth of this video is that men and women communicate differently. Of course, I think the first time I showed it to my wife, I used it as an opportunity to point out that I'm normally right about stuff.

That probably wasn't the way to go.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Planning So It's Not About You?

I'll say it. I like to plan. I know there's got to be at least one other youth pastor who likes to plan. If you know who he is, tell him about my blog.

I like to spend a portion of each summer planning out the next school year for my youth ministry. For me, this means planning out 9 month-long teaching themes and several of the bigger and yearly events. This planning has several advantages.

  1. I can get a wide angle view of what I'm attempting to teach.
  2. It's a lot easier to look for videos, stories, illustrations, etc. in batches than week by week.
  3. It allows me to be flexible when changes come.
It's this third point that is often the best, and the worst, aspect of any planning. In fact, I'll even put forth that, for anyone planning anything for any length of time, this is the best and worst aspects.

Assuming you agree that planning for something is better than not planning, I'm going to go ahead and explain why I think the flexibility allowed is the worst. Flexibility is normally something that is a valued trait, especially when we're looking for people to flexible with us. 

When it involves having other people change their plans, I'm uber-flexible. But when it comes to my plans, well, what's the type-written equivalent of mumbling? Making plans is akin to building a Lego set with my son, which I've done a few times. 

Can you do lots of things with Legos? Yes. Do I want someone taking the Legos I just built something with and making something else out of those blocks? Absolutely not! I planned. I dreamed. I worked. I built.

But do you see what I just wrote? I, I, I. 

No matter what we're doing in life, we can't make it about us. Because then the plans will become more important than other people. Flexibility is lost when we hold our plans too closely, as if they directly from God and chiseled on a tablet. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Here and Now, Then and Later

This past Sunday, I said goodbye to another group of leaders. I said farewell to faithful attenders. I showed the door to those who have been committed to coming in the door.

We prayed over our graduates and wished them well in their next phase of life, one that does not include coming to youth group each week. A scary world where statistics tell us over half of them will leave the church, seemingly graduating form their faith. They may return a decade later when they have kids. They may not.

Either way, they are out of my physical reach, existing only in the social networking world where we have promised to keep in touch. Whether I had 2 months with them, or 2 years or even 6 years, they have graduated. Even their parents can no longer check in with me, or I with them, to ensure the teen is taking the direction we hope they will take.

And the group they have left behind is now changed as well. There is a new batch of seniors, who have been waiting for their chance to be the top dogs. They have dreamed of their opportunity to be looked up to, whether it has been earned or not. The dynamics have shifted and, on top of that, there is this new group of strangers, looking to make their mark on a group they have not known before. These middle schoolers step into a world they have only seen through a haze of fog and greasy snack food, but one they have longed to be a part of.

I am giddy with excitement for what this new year will bring always hoping for improvement and growth to surpass the previous year. I am simultaneously scared and feeling lost without these seniors I have come to depend on. These leaders who said things that conveyed in jargon I could not speak the message that I hoped to pass along.

What if the next year is worse than the previous?

What if it's better?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers

So there's this great book about zombies that's going to help you reach teenagers for Christ.

Yeah, right.

I was looking through some of the youth ministry websites. I was looking for ideas. I was looking for something with pop, with sizzle. Honestly, I was looking for a bargain deal as well.

I came across The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers by Jonathan McKee. Followers of my blog have seen me mention that name before. I like his stuff. But zombies?

Yes, friend...zombies.

Call it striking the pan while the oil is hot if you want, but this book is the real deal. I wasn't sure what to expect, but by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked.

Jonathan has set this book up as a journal from a teenager who has survived with his brother in a post-Havoc world where zombies reign free. Dangers abound and Chris, the kid in question, decides to journal his knowledge to help others survive.

As I'm reading through the first journal entry, without realizing what was coming, I'm telling myself, 'Man, I know how I would spiritualize this and share it with teens.' Then Bam! I get to the end of the chapter and see discussion questions, a scripture passage to read and even an activity to cement the truth.

27 short journal entries make for an entertaining story, though without the graphic detail that many Hollywood movies offer. And the questions and exercises after each chapter make this a great resource, either for student devotions or a small group.

To be honest, I scored a free copy through my friends at The Youth Cartel, but I plan on buying several for my teens this fall. Because you never know when the Zombie Apocalypse is coming and I want them to be prepared.

If you would like to see more, and read some for free, just click here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Would You Say This?

"I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!" 

The words belong to St. Paul, in Romans 9:3, and quite honestly, I don't know that I've ever been willing to utter that phrase. To be even more honest, I read the verse recently and wondered what Paul was thinking. He said it in connection to his fellow Jews. He wrote that his grief was unending as he considered how many of his friends would die without knowing Jesus as Christ. 

Yet I still wonder what Paul was thinking. 

Consider it for a second. Aren't we continually told that God should be our focus? Aren't we taught that anything that comes first before God is an idol? Couldn't you read this and think, even for a second, that Paul values his fellow countrymen more than he does being with God?

I think you could. However...

Paul is surely more of a saint than I am. Paul, who had visions and dreams and saw things I can only imagine, was surely on to something here. 

For in this statement I believe we find a perfect blend of love for God and love for man. Paul's love for God cannot be questioned. Even his pre-Christian zeal is something to be admired. He knows God is the best thing anytime. 

But Paul shows his true love for man when he offers his life, his eternal life, in exchange for theirs. 

I don't have an official bucket list, but this is officially on it. I want to so love people that I would be willing to trade my life for theirs. 

How about you?

Friday, August 9, 2013

It IS a Good Question

"Why hasn't God made it better?"

I was explaining Alzheimer's to my kids. The question came from my 7-year old. At the moment, I'm glad I'm not God and don't have to answer.

Of course, I don't want to be the person pointing a finger at the Almighty, asking Him when He intends to get around to this matter.

I will admit, however, that it is a good question. My 7-year old is not the first person to ask the question and she won't be the last. Though an argument could be made that she is the cutest. And she asked it with pure sincerity. 

Many people have taken more time than I have lived and more space than my silly blog to answer this question. I've taken the time to read some of those answers, as I'm sure you have. Some of the answers are questionable. Some of the answers are great and lead to deeper faith. Many of them could be much shorter, like that of my 10-year old son, "God makes good things out of hard roads."

I think asking the question is a good thing. If we're asking the question, it means we recognize that not all is right in this world. It means we acknowledge things that are not good, as God created them to be. It even should bring us to the point of considering what we can do to make things better.

I think answering the question is good as well. If we were to continually stick our heads in the sand and offer nothing more than shallow and empty well wishes, we would be no better than the people James talked about, who wished a brother well but did nothing to help. Answers lead to more questions, which lead to better questions. 

But better than both is spending time asking God the question, and allowing Him the time and space to answer, or not, as He wants. 

After all, He is God. And we're not.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

If Everyone Agrees

Yesterday I posted an article by Group Magazine editor Rick Lawrence. Group Magazine is basically catnip for youth workers. It's been bringing good stuff for years. Rick Lawrence is like a guru.

It struck me that so many people say that life is not, nor should it be, about us. This begs the question; why are so many still living as if it is?

If people agree that life is better when we give...when we focus on others....when we show love in its truest forms....  Then why? Why do so many find it so difficult to take the focus off of ourselves. If you've read more than one post by me, you know I heartily, but sadly, include myself in this.

I've preached for years to my youth group that life is not about them or I. It's about Jesus. But I still find that, when I am discouraged or bitter or angry, it is oftentimes due to my focus. I say oftentimes, because I acknowledge that these things can also be caused by others.

Many times the struggle remains the same as Paul described in Romans 7.
14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
Paul can wax eloquent all he wants about our two natures, and I agree with the truth. But the fact remains that I still see a whole lot of 'I' in there. Me. Me. Me.

So although it's been said many times, many ways....let's get over ourselves.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Everyone Seems to Agree

Pretty much everyone agrees that it's not about you. Lots of people are saying it, but most aren't living it. I guess I'll keep saying it, and pointing to people who say it as well.

by Rick Lawrence

Business guru Tom Peters said: “If you're not confused, you’re not paying attention.”

Hall-of-Fame golfer Jack Nicklaus said: “If you don’t learn from (a final-round collapse), then you’re not paying attention.”

Here’s what I say: “If you’re happy and you know it, you’re not paying attention.”

I’m smiling as I write this—here’s why…

If you want to finish this article, click here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What About Hur? Dude, That's a Guy!

There is a story found in Exodus 17 that leaves me with questions. 

The gist of the story is that the Israelites and the Amalekites were doing battle. Whenever Moses' hands were raised, the Israelites were winning. Whenever they weren't, the Amalekites were winning. So Moses kept raising his hands. 

Before continuing, can I just ask a few questions? 

How did Moses even discover he could do that? Was he watching Israel lose and he went to stretch? Did he try it a few times before getting Aaron and Hur and saying "Hey guys, check this out "

Aaron and Hur end up holding Moses' arms up and Israel takes care of business, for the win!

Speaking of Hur, his name is a Abbott and Costello routine waiting to happen.

Have you seen Hur?
-Who? There's three girls over there.
No, not the girls...Hur!
-Are you talking about Ben?
No, Hur!
Yes, Hur.
-Are we talking about that guy?
I have been talking about Hur the whole time!!!!

I digress. The story of Moses and his arms has a couple of great lessons. First, teamwork is always a good thing. Second, don't get confused. This story is not really about Moses holding his arms up. Check out Exodus 17 again and you will see that Moses is holding the staff of God in his hands. That is the same staff that God used to display His power in front of the Pharaoh. It probably didn't look as cool as Loki's glow stick of destiny in The Avengers, but trust me, that is where all the power was. 

As Aaron and that other guy were holding up Moses' arms, God was holding up His purpose, that He might get the glory. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Jesus as Youth Pastor: Dealing with Randomness

"So what's the deal with God wanting my money?"

That was the first question.

"What if I'm married and some hotter girl comes along?"

That was the second question.

"Do I really have to listen to all the rules?"

That was the third question. 

If you've ever been involved in youth ministry, in any capacity, this probably sounds like a normal youth group meeting to you. The youth pastor had probably been speaking about priorities or choices or Jesus sacrificing His life for everyone. Then he noticed someone had a question.

The question, of course, was not going to be about priorities or choices or Jesus sacrificing His life for everyone. The youth pastor didn't know that, unless he'd been teaching teens for longer than twenty minutes. Then he knew what was coming. 

"So I saw this episode of Ninjago where the master told the ninjas to hone their skills for battle."

And even though that is not actually a question, the youth pastor now has the challenge of connecting that thought with his original thought. This kind of skill, though I've worked on, had always left me discouraged. If I was teaching well, shouldn't their questions be on topic. 

But then I realized that Jesus, the Master Teacher, had the same experience. The above scenario is from Mark 12, where Jesus had been speaking about the Kingdom of God and Himself. But then we see the Pharisees and Saduccees, like teenagers, volleying questions so random from each other. The amazing aspect is that Jesus kept up.

Taxes to Marriage to Law

Much like a youth group, the questions changed topics faster than Taylor Swift writes break up songs.

So I have decided that if Jesus put up with it, so can I. If I need to be prepared every week to answer questions about End Times to Sex in Heaven to Women Pastors, Dating in High School to the Devil in my bedroom to Justin Bieber witnessing through his music, so be it.

But the story in Mark 12 wasn't done. Then Jesus pulls the ace card out of His cloak. He turns the tables and confuses the crowd with a deep question. Having no answer from the crowd, Jesus got back to the topic at hand, which was Himself.

Well played, Jesus, well played indeed. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday's Woo!

Today's Woo comes from my friend Jon Acuff. I'm pretty sure he and I, and thousands of others, are tight enough to call each other friend. Anyway, he write this. I like it.

by Jon Acuff
Why do some Christians use shame as a way to tell people about Christ?

Why is shame sometimes the first thing you experience from Christians?

Why do we use shame sometimes when we witness?

Because love takes too long.

Love is too messy.

It’s slow and out of our control.

And worst of all, love makes us vulnerable.

Shame doesn’t really require me to let my guard down.

I get to lob rocks from behind the safety of my walls.


Love exposes us.

It unmans us.

It disarms us.

And then, there is the considerable risk that we won’t be loved back.

So we pick shame.

And we take steps away from a Christ who never used that as a tool for evangelism. Was he honest? Direct? Did he even use the R word? Repent? Of course!

But did he deploy shame? When a shame parade landed at his feet with a woman they wanted to stone, what was his response? When the Pharisees deployed shame about his dinner party guests what did he do? When the woman at the well approached, did he offer water or shame?

Love is slow.

Love is sloppy.

Love is tangled and difficult at times.

But at the end of the day, to quote Bob Goff, love does.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's a Super Big Job

“It was a big responsibility,” the 30-year-old admits. “It was very important to represent the character’s physicality in the right way. I was living and breathing ___________. I just wanted to do this right.”

I'm leaving the name blank on purpose for a moment. I would like you to consider, just for a second or two, who should be saying this. You may realize the quote is from an actor, but disregard that. I think this should be a quote similar to what Christians say about representing Jesus every single day.
I'm not one to keep you waiting. The quote is from Henry Cavill and the blank should read Superman. It was from an article where Henry talked about physically getting ready for the role. Since Superman has often been a Christ-figure in the world of comics, I instantly saw the comparisons.

Cavill immediately began work with 300 trainer Mark Twight. He recalls the first meeting, when Twight peppered him with workout questions.
“Then he asked, ‘Would you like to use steroids or HGH (human growth hormone) to get to where you want to go?’ I immediately said no. And he said, ‘Good. Because if you did, I wouldn’t train you.’”
Playing Superman without steroid cheating was vital to Cavill. He wanted to be as clean as the character. “To take a shortcut to get to that place is not what Superman represents. That was important to me,” Cavill says. “That’s when I learned what work was.”

Temptations will come. Shortcuts will be offered. We know that many take that route. As a superhero fan, I am happy to see stories like this. Again, it should match the dedication we see from our brothers and sisters in Christ as we pursue a much larger role...imitating Christ.

It's time we started some serious training.