Monday, December 26, 2016

Rogue One: Life or War?

The hype on Rogue One has settled down and the reviews have been recorded. Most agree that the story line was solid, the new characters were compelling, the effects were spectacular, the war scenes were filled with excitement and it can be a base to build on for the future. I really enjoyed having a sarcastic droid in K-2SO that keep things light in the midst of danger. The burning questions for me is  "Was the movie about war that happened to occur in space or was it about life in general?"

The Case for War:

Throughout history there has always been a struggle for power and the dominance of ideas. Many times the ideas and the quest for power blur, but there is usually both lust drunk power figures and ideals that are fought over. Since the rebels were trying to resist an overwhelmingly powerful and growing dark segment, war seems the dominant story. The power hungry draw on the dark side of "The Force"

The Case for Life:

Life is a struggle and challenges us to overcome many circumstances, emotions and people with bad intentions. We have to draw on our family, close friends and our God given gifts to survive and thrive in life. We are all surrounded by dangers and opportunities and our decisions as free willed people make a big difference in our life outcomes.  Hopefully we all draw inspiration from the light side of "The Force"

Bottom Line:

It's really about both. In every day life we are at war with our fears. situations, oppressors and bullies. The dark side appeals to our quest for vengeance or a cowardly surrender. The light side of the force appeals to our desire to love, to be kind and quest for acceptance from the very God who wonderfully made us. We all have free will to chose the light or dark side. There is a spiritual battle going on around us to draw us to one side or the other. What is your choice or are you still deciding?

Other Rogue One Articles of Interest:

Fear or Faith
Extraordinary People
Imminent Destruction
One with the Force

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Perfect Gift for Christmas

At Christmas, we are always looking for the right gift for others and frankly sometimes ourselves. I know I struggle trying to pick out the right gift that says "I love you"  or in some cases "I like you". Picking a gift can be really personal. Imagine if someone knew you so well that they could get the perfect gift for you. Let's say that perfect gift didn't come in a fancy box that was gift wrapped but was given in a humble way. Would you accept it? 

Well the good news is someone did find the perfect gift for you. That someone knows you better than anyone else. The gift is perfect and personal, but it's non-traditional. It's the gift of mercy and forgiveness from God through Jesus Christ. All we have to do is humbly accept it and agree with God that we need him. In turn, He will allow us to be with him for ever. Jesus was the perfect gift for me and that's why I celebrate Christmas. Will you accept Him too? 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rogue One: One with the Force

While Rogue One did not disappoint with brilliant action and a great plot, there was a strong theme about being "One with the Force"  While it is significantly repeated by one character and passed on to another through circumstances and inspiration, what is the real meaning?

 Is it about community? Is it about something greater than all of us?  Is it about aggregate good? We believe that it is the representation of hope that can only come with peace with our maker. We see the good side of the force in family, nature, human friends, applied science, demonstrated kindness and love. We see the bad side of the force with cruelty, power, oppression and hate. Often people wonder how both exist in the force. This is the very situation we find ourselves in that the world and the universe we live in has both the light and the dark side.

In that same way we all have both sides of the force in us. If we are honest, we all have a force for good at times and a force for sin in others. This puts us under the spell of death and at odds with a perfect God. The difference for us is that God provides us a pardon if we just humble ourselves and accept his peace offering. An offerring that allows us to beat our personal "death stars" and spend eternity with our Beloved God.

Bottom Line:

We have the hope, love, peace and joy that defeats death and destruction. If you get a chance to see Rogue One again, which we will, keep pondering the meaning of " One with the Force". We hope you find the meaning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rogue One: Is Destruction Imminent?

There are several threads of the destruction theme through out all of the Star Wars movies. Rogue One is no different. There is the every day threat of being captured because of being a rebel. There is the "big threat" of the Death Star. This is a strong parallel to our lives today. There are the daily threats of survival all around us and this drives both a conscious and unconscious threat in our minds. There is the threat of feeding and housing ourselves at a base level and a threat of poor health that accelerates as we age leading to death.

In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

The Threat of Not Thriving Well:

Every day we work to keep food in our tummies and some kind of shelter over our head. We may be in a bad job with the pressure of performance or "see the door".  Even if our job or role as a student is going well, things can upset the balance and worry can consume our minds. These daily pressures can cause some to crack, even if its a temporary moment of rage when someone cuts us off while we are driving. We face daily threats of succumbing to life itself.

The Threat of Not Being Understood and Accepted:

We all try hard to be accepted by family, friends, associates and sometimes strangers we meet. While it generally is not imminent destruction, a constant felling of rejection can whittle away at our self worth and encourage us to self destruct. We think everyone else is doing well and being accepted and it is just us. We face daily threats of succumbing to life itself.

The Threat of War and Death:

Today there are wars and rumors of wars that make us uneasy. All of this is in our face at the same time we know that our health will eventually decline leading to death.  Enough on this depressing thought.

Bottom Line:

Destruction seems imminent to us all at some point in time. Are you like me that just ignores it an carries on? Are you like others I know that get gripped by the fact that destruction is in our future like the rebels in Rogue One. In Rouge One, the power of community and with a crafty plan executed by the brave souls wins out. Is destruction our fate too or is there a peace that passes all understanding in the face of destruction?  Our answer is God providing a way out through his son Jesus Christs death and atonement for us. All we need to do is let go of our pride and humbly accept Gods solution to our ultimate destruction.

Other Rogue One Articles: Click on Links

Extraordinary People
Fear vs Faith

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rogue One: Extraordinary People

In Rogue One the rebels come together to destroy the death star. Their strength was in their togetherness and their belief in "the Force"  We all face our own personal "death Stars" in our daily challenges and our life journey which ultimately ends. While most of us depend on others and depend on community, the challenges we face are ours. While we are all truly extraordinary in our own unique ways, we were made to bond with others and our Maker to face life challenges. See the previous Rogue One article here.

In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

Extraordinary You:

We are all wonderfully made, even with all of flaws and imperfections. If you just contemplate how intricate and complex your body is, working normally or not. It is amazing. Your mind is also brilliant and capable of both great good and otherwise. Your heart can be filled with amazing emotion and feelings. Now combine body, soul and spirit together to create the extraordinary you. What a creation!

Extraordinary Community:

Combine many wonderful people, each with special gifts, and now you have tremendous ability to do good. Imagine if each is guided by a common goal, the things that could be accomplished are truly great. The community provides acceptance, socialization and the combination of talents and abilities that can do extraordinary things.

Extraordinary God:

We all have a Maker that made us extraordinary with gifts and challenges. He has imparted to us not only our existence, but a love that doesn't care if we mess up. That love is eternal and enduring and helps us cope in situations we could do on our own or with the help from a community. All we need to do is humble ourselves to accept and believe it.

Bottom Line:

Like the Rogue One characters we can accomplish extraordinary things with the gifts our Maker gave us, the talents we honed and the group of people we ran into over time.  We are extraordinary. All you have to do is believe in that fact. You are accepted.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Rogue One: Fear Vs Faith

The excitement of the release of Rogue One has us in great anticipation. The story line of Rogue One seems to parallel our times in significant ways. This is the first in a series of four posts that will pick some key themes in Rogue One and discuss openly the threads entice us. We hope you will enjoy the movie and the discussions :)

In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

We live in days of great uncertainty and conflict. You can see it world wide as we all grapple with a growing population, competition for remaining resources and the economic extremes that exist. It seems we are living in a time of rumors of wars and conflict. It is pretty similar to the pressures we see on the rebels in Rogue One as the ultimate oppressor is preparing a weapon of awe in the Death Star. There are two ways to respond to these pressures. One is fear and the other is hope. We see the rebels ultimately opt for hope. We should do the same, but what do we put our hope into these days?


Natural human tendencies are to let fear grip us and cause reactions that don't really work. We can run away and get as far away from the threat, but that hardly works. We can boldly lash out in the face of an overwhelming dark side of  "The Force:" and pay the consequences. We could make sure that others succumb first buying us time. we don't think this really works for the long term. Our suggestion is hope that the rebels chose.


Hope is only as good as what the hope is placed into for resolution.  You can place hope in your family and friends. You can place your hope in community. You can place your hope in your investment portfolio. You can place your hope in your own efforts. The rebels put their hope in working together guided by the good side of  "The Force".

Bottom Line:

What or whom you put your hope into is a big bet for your life. It's a matter of life and death as it is in the movie. Where does your hope lie? Our lies in the proven and great God who sent his son "Jesus Christ". We are excited about celebrating Rogue One, but we are even more excited about celebrating Christmas as the birthday of the One we our hope in today and for eternity.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What Does Real Acceptance Mean to Us?

This is a place we have created to feel safe and accepted. We may not be accepted in todays’ society per say due to our out of the ordinary viewpoints on life and how we live it, but it is in this space we are accepted. According to acceptance is defined as:

                       The act of taking or receiving something offered
                        Favorable reception, approval or favor
                       Act of believing
                       Act of being accepted

God openly invites all to accept his gift of forgiveness of sins and live a life glorifying Him and spending eternity with Him. While He puts this offer out, he also intends to accept all who seek him. Each and every person has a desire to feel wanted and accepted. You are being offered an invitation into a life of acceptance. This takes a special kind of love to accept us as we are that only God can offer.

What is your response to this offer of acceptance? Is it thankfulness? Is it skepticism? Is it a complete and utter rejection? It may vary by your season of life, but for us it is thankfulness. We hope you will join us in discussing contemporary issues in todays’ world in light of this wonderful kind of acceptance we humbly enjoy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nothing but Thankful

While it's easy to think about being thankful when there is a holiday created to focus on thankfulness, but I think I could be more thankful on a daily basis. Thankfulness is an important step to self acceptance. We may not admit it, but we all struggle with self acceptance in some way or another. In order to be accepted by others we have to accept ourselves. Being thankful is a great daily step we can all take. Even if others won't accept us, we can accept ourselves. In that vein, I'd like to list (below) many things that I should be thankful for every day.

I've always lived in a environment that protects me from the elements. Sometimes a sleeping bag under the stars, other times in a tent, but mostly in some kind of housing. Thanks :)  I hope and pray for others to have the same. 

I've always had enough to eat to sustain myself long term. Sometimes it was pancakes with no butter or syrup because we had no money, but mostly three squares a day. Thanks :) I hope and pray for others to have the same.

I've always had someone to talk to and be friends with during my life. Sometimes it was the other kids that were bullied too, but mostly I have had great friends to share experiences with on a regular basis. Thanks :) Thanks especially to my best friend and spouse. I hope to be a good friend who shows mercy and kind honesty. I hope others can too. 

I have a great family with guiding parents, children that are caring and productive people, grand children that are discovering life. Thanks :)  I hope others have some family or friends that are like family. 

I'm on a life journey that teaches me at least one thing new a day. I am thankful to be able to think clearly and have a body that still works well for my age. I hope others can discover and create in ways that make them feel good. 

I'm thankful for the beauty of nature when I make time to stop and enjoy it. Soak in nature. 

I'm thankful for resources I can share with others that don't have the basics. Share a little something.

My main problem is I don't continually think in a thankful spirit as I go through my day to day activities. Let's hope that we can all do that be thankful on at least a daily basis. I appreciate all my readers and hope I can continue to serve as a helpful blogger. Happy Thanksgiving for my US friends !!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We All Need Acceptance

We all, as humans, want to belong and feel apart of something. To that end, this new blog is being created to discuss acceptance and how we can be part of something even if it is discussing this blog site. Officially the definition of acceptance is "the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group"  Our hope is to spur folks to discuss contemporary and current topics as they relate to being human.  The first series will be discussing the new Star Wars Movie Rogue One as it deeply raises great discussions around what folks can do as a group or a collective. 

Please join in on the discussions as we hope this blog becomes one of interest over time. We are certainly open to discuss topics of your interest and create a sparking post to get things going. Please comment on topics that would help you with acceptance and personal growth or send us an email at Perhaps this blog can be a good place to show acceptance. We look forward to what sprouts and grows here.