Happy Independence Day!

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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY EVERYONE!!!!!

Today is one of my favorite days of the entire year.  Right up there with Christmas.  I just love the idea of celebrating the birthday of the best nation in the history of the world by eating way too many brownies and blowing things up.  AMERICA.

237 years ago today, a group of rebels and dreamers risked their lives to found a country unlike any other.  They were committing treason in Britain’s eyes, punishable by death.  However, that didn’t matter to them.  They were determined to be free from oppression.  They wanted to have the liberty to govern themselves and worship their Creator freely without being told how and when to do it by the state.  They didn’t want to be subjects anymore, they wanted to by free citizens.  That was worth dying for.

There are so many things to love about America.  One of my favorite things is the mix of different cultures that make up the greater culture of America.  America is the only country in the history of the world where you can walk down a street and see white, black, Chinese, German, Irish, Russian, Mexican, Indian, Canadian, Cuban, Swiss, and so many other ethnicities living together under the pretence of wanting to be free.  You see, America is the only country to ever be founded not on a specific people group, but on an idea.  French people live in France.  Japanese people live in Japan.  But in America, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like as long as you are committed to liberty and equality.  There are no hyphenated Americans.  I’m not an Irish-American.  You’re not an African-American, German-American, or Asian-American.  You’re an AMERICAN.

We're all Americans

We’re all Americans

Another thing to love about America is our type of government.  People often confuse the United States as being a democracy.  However, the Founding Fathers didn’t want a democracy or anything like it.  They knew that a democracy would be dangerous to liberty and the idea of America.  Thus, they instituted a Republican government.  There is a huge difference.  In a democracy, every citizen gets to vote directly on laws.  Therefore, if 51% of the people thought that all women should be enslaved, it would be law.  In a Republic, we vote for our public servants who then go to DC to vote on laws.  The beauty of a Republic is, if we don’t like the choices our representatives are making, we can just vote in someone else.  That way, the power still stays in the hands of We the People, but we don’t run the risk of mob rule.

The Founders had lots to say about democracy:

“Democracy is the most vile form of government…democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property:  and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”  ~James Madison

“We are a Republic. Real Liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy.”  ~Alexander Hamilton

“A simple democracy is the devil’s own government.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”  ~John Adams

“Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine percent.”  ~Thomas Jefferson

These concerns are what led them to found our Republican nation.  It is because of that precaution that we haven’t been overturned by mob rule.  I think that’s something to be thankful for.

Yup.

Yup.

Lastly, the best thing about America is our Christian heritage.  Yeah, I said it.  No matter what people want to believe, America was founded on the idea that all men are created equal and are blessed with rights from their Creator.  Many of our founding documents and amendments were based on values from the Bible.  America is a place of virtue, life, equality, freedom, peace, acceptance, and liberty…all straight out of the Bible.  Truth is, a huge amount of our Founding Fathers were Christians and believed that our nation would not last long if we shunned God.

“God who gave us life gave us liberty.  And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?”  ~Thomas Jefferson

“Religion is the basis and Foundation of Government.”  ~James Madison

“Here is my Creed.  I believe in on God, the Creator of the Universe.  That He governs it by His Providence.  That He ought to be worshipped.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

“The Christian religion is above all the Religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of Wisdom, Virtue, Equity, and Humanity.”  ~John Adams

Even though no one is forced to conform to Christianity, we are a country founded by Christians on Christian values.  And honestly, what’s wrong with being a country that stands up for virtue?  I don’t see a problem here.

So, today, celebrate the birth of your country with your family and friends.  Celebrate our heritage and values.  Celebrate the fact that we are a free nation with a wonderful culture, the best form of government, that was built on and has preserved Christian values and rights.  Have fun today, but try not to set your neighbor’s bushes on fire.  😉

God bless America!!!!!

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~Theophilus

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A Deeper Spiritual Struggle

It hasn’t been the standard 12 light years since my last post, but there is something that I felt the need to discuss.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the current struggle going on in TX, let me recap.

The Texas Senate was scheduled to vote on SB 5 last week, which “would affirm the state’s interest in protecting the lives of preborn children who feel pain by banning abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization.  Senate Bill 5 also requires all abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety regulations as an ambulatory surgical center, requires a doctor providing abortions to secure admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and lastly, requires a doctor to personally administer the abortion-inducing drugs to the patient.”  It was estimated that this bill would save the lives of 30,000 unborn children per year.  However, apparently some people don’t like the thought of preventing mass murder and unsafe situations for women (shocker) because there was a HUGE protest in the state Senate on the day the bill was to be voted on.

It began when Democrat (continued shock) Senator Wendy Davis stood up and began to filibuster the bill in the name of “women’s health.”  After eleven hours, her filibuster ended, but was soon followed by screams and chants from pro-abortion protestors inside the capitol.  The vote was unable to go on because of these mob-like disruptions, and the bill died at midnight.

However, because TX Governor Rick Perry is so awesome, he called another special session to vote on the bill.  This time, there was no filibuster, however the protests continued.

Also, late last night, before I went to bed, I came across this little video:

Those are the “tolerant,” “caring,” “peaceful,” “pro-choice” protesters (albeit paid) fighting for a woman’s right to make her own choices concerning her health.  By shouting down the sound of Christians singing “Amazing Grace” with chants of “hail Satan.”  Stay classy, liberals.  Stay classy.

At least some of the pro-death protesters decided to make this a family outing:

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If you can’t see what that sign says, it says “NO to SB 5” and displays a beautiful, hand drawn coat hanger.  And they made CHILDREN hold the sign.  Hey, “pro-choicers,” if you had exercised your “right” to choice, you wouldn’t have kids to hold your pro-death signs for you.  Isn’t that just precious.

*puke*

Rick Green (courageous pro-life advocate and founder of Patriot Academy) documents a comment from another one of those tolerant, caring , civil-rights-loving scumbags on his Facebook page:

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Gotta love loving liberals.

Look, I’m not in the mood to debate abortion at the moment.  That’s a post for another day.  What I want to suggest to you is something that I haven’t heard a whole lot of in this debate over abortion.  Ready?

We are experiencing one of the most earth-shaking spiritual battles of our time.  Oftentimes, pro-lifers get caught up in debating the logical or philosophical side of abortion and forget about the spiritual side.  While debating with people and changing their minds on this topic is absolutely vital, we need to keep in mind that it’s deeper than that.  This is a spiritual issue as well.

I read the book “This Present Darkness” a while back, and it really illustrates what is going on in the abortion debate.  The book is about a fictional town that is controlled by spiritual forces.  Every time something happens in the physical world, whether it be a murder or a family argument, the author shows what is going on in the spiritual realm at the same time.  There are many instances of demonic possession and influence.  This book clearly demonstrates how everything in the physical realm is linked to and influenced by spiritual forces.  I believe this is what is happening in America today on the subject of abortion.

When a group of organized protesters chant “hail Satan” at the TX state capitol, I see it as more than just some blind puppets repeating a phrase.  I see demonic forces pulling the strings.  When a woman stands up to fight against saving lives of innocent children, what you’re not seeing is Satan standing behind her.

Call me a lunatic if you want, but this debate is more than a debate over choice or life; its a battle between good and evil.  However, there is good news.  Demons aren’t the only spiritual forces out there.  The forces of Heaven are in the capitol as well, giving our guys strength to keep fighting.

Ephesians says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Of course, we know who wins in the end.  Or rather, who has already won.  Jesus won the war over evil at the cross 2000 years ago.  However, today we are struggling to win the individual battles.

I truly believe that the pro-abortion movement is powered by more than women trying to protect their “civil rights.”  It’s powered by something much darker.  Something that is deeply imbedded in our society.  Not a mere ideology or mood.  But a force.  An evil, destructive, death-seeking, spiritual force.

We can win this battle, but we need to keep fighting.  The best way to fight is to pray as much as possible, but we also need to get out there and win minds and hearts over for Christ.  Notice I said minds and hearts.  This issue stems from the heart.  If we tell people about Jesus, we can change their hearts.  By changing what’s in their heart, we can change what’s in their minds.  While we need to continue debating and changing peoples’ minds, it needs to be accompanied with a story of love, grace, and mercy that only Jesus can give.  That is the key to winning this battle.

If you want a clear example of how to do this, go to http://www.180movie.com/.

So, pray for this fight in Texas.  Pray for the scores of babies who lose their lives to abortion each year.  Pray for the women who make decisions based on a lie and have to live with it for the rest of their lives.  Pray for the men and women who give in to the spiritual forces around them and protest life in the public square.  And then get out there and change some hearts.

~Theophilus

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Confessions of a Recovering Introvert

Hello everyone!  Hope you’re all doing well and are gearing up for the Fourth of July!

My blog has been pretty inactive for the past few weeks.  Allow me to fix that.  Commence story.

I’ve always been a bit of an introvert.  And by “a bit,” I mean I would be perfectly happy to sit in my room, in my pajamas, with my cat, 24/7 if I could.  To be honest, I kinda do that already.

introvert

What I’m doing right now:

I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older, though.  Let’s just say, if you want to cure shyness, go to summer camp.  I’ve always been the kind of kid who is perfectly content to have 3 or 4 really close friends and leave it at that.  It’s only been fairly recently that that has changed.  However, when I was younger, I was not exactly chomping at the bit to meet new people.

I’ve never really been the most popular kid.  Honestly, I’ve never necessarily wanted to be popular…but I’ve never wanted to be left out either.  However, I got left out a lot when I was younger.  Being that I was introverted to begin with, whenever I was around a big group of kids, I was the one who couldn’t find a way to squeeze into the circle.  I was the one who was quiet at birthday parties.  I think this is why I’ve never been one for having a huge amount of friends or for going to parties.  When it comes down to it, I kind of like being alone.  Even when I went to the high school Wednesday night service at my church, I usually tried to find the seat that was farthest away from everyone.  Not because I’m afraid of interaction, but because I’m more comfortable sitting by myself than I am with a big group of people.  No matter how introverted you are though, there’s always a part of you that wants someone to hang out with and laugh with.

That’s how I was for a good chunk of my life.

One thing that I can remember leading to this changing was something my parents did when I was little.  There was a Burger King in the town where I grew up that had the BEST play set (they don’t build fast food restaurant playsets like they used to).  Sometimes my parents would take me there JUST to climb on the playset.  However, they always had me do one thing while I was there.  They had me make sure that I introduced myself to and made friends with at least one kid.  Truth be told, I didn’t exactly enjoy this, but I always did it and it always turned out well.

As I got a little older, this friendly, outgoing mindset stuck with me.  I can clearly remember when I was 7 or 8 befriending a girl at church who was dropped off at the kids’ service for the first time.  She was screaming and crying over having to move up with the older kids and not being able to be with her parents.  I remember going over to her, sitting with her, and being her friend.  We sat together every week after that.  Within the past few years, I even saw her at the high school church service and reintroduced myself.

When I was 9, a new family moved in across the street from me.  I soon found out that they had a daughter who was my age.  I didn’t want to go see her, but my dad took me over one day and our families met.  We were a lot alike, and started hanging out everyday when she got back from school.  She was about as shy as I was, but we always stuck together.  She ended up moving to another neighborhood, but we still got to see each other.  To this day, she is still my best friend, even though we’ve both changed a lot.  We probably have more inside jokes than anyone on the planet (Alyssa, if you’re reading:  *sniff*), and we have a great time together.

Two years or so ago, my mom, who heads up a homeschool support group, told me that she was having a meeting for new members at our house.  She said there was a new lady who had a daughter a few years younger than me coming.  The lady had asked if she could bring her daughter, and my mom asked me to hang out with the girl.  Being the die hard introvert that I am, I was unsure of this whole arrangement.  However, when I met Mac, we completely hit it off.  She was a blast and we had a bunch of fun.  She came with her mom to the next meeting.  Mac is now one of my best friends and we still have a load of fun together.

One day, when I was probably 14, I was sitting in the high school service at my church with a few of my friends.  As we were talking, I noticed a girl walk up and sit at the end of our row.  She was alone, and I had never seen her before.  During the service, I realized that this girl wasn’t your average goes-to-Wednesday-night-church-to-get-a-Monster-and-be-cool-with-her-friends teenager that made up for 60% of the crowd there that night.  Through the entire service, she was paying attention, taking notes, and following along in the Bible she brought with her.  That had a huge impact on me, because NO teenager does that anymore.  I admired that attentiveness and commitment.  As the service ended and teenagers filed out of the sanctuary, I made my way down the row to talk to her.  I said hello and told her my name.  She introduced herself as “Martha” and said she was visiting from Kentucky.  We talked a little more, then agreed to sit together the following week.  The next week, we met, and got to know each other better.  As it turned out, we were both homeschooled (although she was a few years older than me).  We found that we had a lot in common, and really hit it off.  When it came time for her to go back home, we exchanged addresses and agreed to write to each other.  That was around 3 years ago, and we’re still close and still write to each other today.

As you can see, many of my favorite people I met by going outside of my comfort zone and interacting with them.  It was awkward at the time, but I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did.

What I want to propose is that teenagers, even Christian teenagers, don’t do a very good job at taking risks and reaching out to people.  I believe that’s one of the best ways to show God’s love, and we don’t always nail it.  How often do we pass up an opportunity to make someone’s day?  How many times do we miss out on helping someone out or caring for someone who isn’t in our “clique?”  I’m a culprit of this as much as anyone.  If it weren’t for my parents training me early, I probably wouldn’t have met Martha, Alyssa, or Mac who are now some of my best friends.

Yup, that's us!

Yup, that’s us!

7 years ago, I was the girl sitting in the corner shielding her eyes when people walked by (okay, I exaggerate slightly).  Now, I’m the girl who wants to be friends with everyone and never wants to be involved in any sort of disagreement.  Some of the friends I’ve made recently probably wouldn’t recognize me if they had met me a few years earlier.

Christian teenagers (all teenagers as a matter of fact) really need to step up their game on this one.  With all the discussion over the last few years with bullying, this is important now more than ever.  I’ve never been bullied, but I know that it stinks to be outside a group.  You have no idea how big of an impact on someone’s life you can make by just going up and saying hi.  I know it’s awkward and uncomfortable, but do it.  You don’t have to make any lifelong commitments; just go introduce yourself.  Ask the new kid at school to come sit with you at lunch.  Invite the new girl in the neighborhood to your party.  Introduce yourself to the boy sitting by himself at church.  You never know, maybe you’ll succeed in making someone’s day.  Or maybe, you’ll gain a lifelong friend.  Best case scenario, you’ll get an opportunity to share your faith with someone.

Bottom line:  as teenagers, we have become way too used to sticking with our group of friends, being safe, and going through life without looking out for others.  We’re pretty much bred to be that way; that’s what society teaches us to do.  However, as Christians, we can’t afford to make this mistake.  God has called us to go above and beyond in this world.  Christianity is too big to not influence how we interact with people.  Jesus himself was famous for reaching out to the people that others ignored and loving them.  Shouldn’t we be doing the same?

I think we should, which is why I want to encourage you to do so.  I know it’s tough, I pass up some such opportunities myself.  But in the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Feel free to share this post with any teens you know.  Also, as always, go over to my Facebook page if you want to get updates about my blog.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thoughts-of-a-Theophilus/321478084644751?fref=ts

Thanks for reading!

~Theophilus

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God with Us

Hello faithful readers!  I’ll just start off by telling y’all that you are the coolest people eva’.  My blog has over 1500 views and has spread to 34 countries!  You can stay up to date by going to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thoughts-of-a-Theophilus/321478084644751?fref=ts and “liking” the Facebook page.  Thank you for reading and sharing!  Keep it up!

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Blog map as of today!

Is it just me, or does it seem like every other day there is a tragedy or natural disaster or shooting or massacre or other crazy stuff?  I don’t remember so many terrible things happening when I was younger.  I remember 9/11 and Katrina, but that’s about it.  Now, we have Sandy Hook, Benghazi, earthquakes, Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings, Gosnell, the Oklahoma tornado, the OTHER Oklahoma tornado…and those are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head.  In the wake of so much pain and suffering, one question always arises:  how could a loving God allow so much evil into the world?  This question has driven many to atheism and despair.  Because of this, I believe it is one of the single most important questions to discuss.

Christians get nailed with this question all the time, however, Christianity isn’t the only religion who has to answer it.  Before I get to the Biblical answer, let me illustrate how other religions would answer the question of evil.

Atheism, being a naturalistic worldview, preaches that the world is exclusively physical and life is an accident.  That means that everything that happens in life is an accident as well.  So, all the good things that happen to you (promotion, love, healing, happiness, random acts of kindness) were merely a product of blind chance.  You didn’t do anything to deserve them.  The same is true for bad things that happen (murder, rape, losing a family member, theft, natural disasters).  They’re just bad luck.  There is no comfort or peace to find in these situations; it basically just sucks to be you.  If you don’t believe in God, you’re left to believe that life, and subsequent evil, has no meaning.  This also leaves you without hope because, without God, there is no plan for your life.  As you can see, atheism’s answer to the vital question of evil is pretty shallow.

Religions that believe that the world is only spiritual (like Hinduism, Buddhism, and New Age) would tell you that evil is an illusion.  In Hinduism, your experiences in this life are results of your actions in past lives.  This philosophy is what led to the caste system.  In other words, if you get raped, you deserved it because of something you did in a former life.  That’s comforting.  Buddhism teaches that suffering is a result of desire.  To a Buddhist, if you extinguish desire, then you eliminate evil.  However, in order to stop desiring, you have to desire to stop desiring.  Obviously, that doesn’t work, so that doesn’t really help either.  The New Age claims that evil doesn’t exist, just as the physical world doesn’t exist.  It’s all just an illusion.  Thanks Oprah.  Seriously though, what does that leave you with?  It basically leaves you wondering, “If bad things are an illusion, why do they hurt so much?”  New Age can’t answer this.

Islam teaches that Allah causes all things to happen.  Every good thing, and every bad thing, is a result of Allah’s will.  In Islam, humans have to follow standards of right and wrong, but Allah doesn’t.  So when your child gets kidnapped, a Muslim would tell you that God made that happen.  Try telling that to one of the Sandy Hook parents.

But, what about Christianity?  If these other worldviews don’t do a good job of dealing with evil, how does Christianity fare?

The Bible begins with a perfect world; a world without suffering and sin.  However, Adam and Eve were tricked, by Satan, into eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (which God told them not to do).  As a result, sin entered the world, and evil with it.  Now, when God created humans, He created them in his own image.  Thus, we are relational beings.  We have the ability to love and to hate.  We have the ability to do good and to do evil.  That begs the question:  why would God create beings with the ability to sin?

God didn’t create puppets; He created people.  He made us with the capacity to sin because He wanted us to have the free choice to turn from sin and love Him.  If we were involuntarily made to love Him, we wouldn’t be truly human (and thus wouldn’t be truly image-bearers).  Also, because of the Trinity, God Himself is a relational being.  In fact, God is a relationship.  When God created man, He didn’t say “let there be,” He said “let us make man in Our image.”  This shows us that God is relational, and therefore desired children who were relational with free will.  It is this free will that gives us the ability to sin, which causes the evil we see around us.

Okay, that’s the big picture Biblical explanation for evil, and it makes sense.  But, if you had a friend struggling with losing a child or spouse, do you think they would be comforted by that interpretation?  Probably not.  Another bad thing Christians do a lot to try to “console” someone who is suffering is quote Romans 8:28.  This verse tells us that all things work together for good to them that love God.  While this is certainly true, it may not be a particularly helpful statement to someone who just lost everything they owned to one of the OK tornadoes.  While you’re in the moment, it’s hard to take that verse to heart.

So, what’s the answer to personal suffering?

The Bible gives us a God who acts when faced with evil.  The first thing God did when Adam and Eve sinned was act on their behalf.  Genesis 3:24 says, “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”  When man sinned, God put a guard to keep him out of the Garden.  Not as a punishment, but as a protection.  If man was allowed in the Garden after sinning, he might eat of the tree of life.  If he did that, he would be forced to live forever in his fallen state.  Then there would be no hope of redemption or peace.  So, God immediately did something about evil in Genesis.  Our God is a God who acts.

God was acting when He sent His son to die for us.  Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”  We hear this verse a lot.  What we don’t hear as often is the verse that comes right before it.  Isaiah 53:4 says, “Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted.”  Jesus didn’t just die for our sins, He died for our pain and suffering. Every hurt we have ever experienced was on the shoulders of Jesus that day.  The Bible gives us a God who suffers the consequences of sin with us.

My all time favorite Bible story illustrates this so well.  It’s the story of Lazarus.  We’ve all probably heard it.  Jesus gets word that his good friend Lazarus is dangerously ill and Lazarus’s sisters want Jesus to come heal him.  Jesus says, “This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  A few days later, Jesus tells His followers that Lazarus has in fact died, and they all head back to his house.  When Jesus arrives, Lazarus’s sister Mary falls at His feet and says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  What does Jesus do next?  He has known the whole time that He is going to raise Lazarus from the dead.  Does He tell Mary that?  No, He doesn’t.  What happens next is the defining moment for Christianity’s answer to personal suffering.  The Bible says that, instead of revealing His big plan:

jesus wept

Jesus wept.  The King of the world, the Creator of all things, wept with Mary.  Christianity gives us a God who not only acts, He suffers with us.  He feels our pain.  He weeps with us.  Our God got His hands bloody and dirty in order to save us.  No other religion in the world offers you that.  Christianity can truly offer hope to us when bad things happen, because Jesus died and rose again.  He died to redeem His world and to take it back from Satan.  Yes, God created a world He knew would fall, but He also created a world He was going to save and make even better.

So, in the midst of the disasters and tragedies happening in our world right now, we need to remind people that Jesus died for all of that.  Jesus is the God who looked evil in the eye and beat it.  And one day, evil will be completely destroyed and gone from the Earth.  Until that day, He is weeping with us, sharing in our pain, and offering us redemption from all the evil things we have done ourselves.  That’s hope.

Evil is still going to hurt, but we can at least find some peace in the fact that God is truly always with us.  After all, His name is Emmanuel, which means “God with us.”  I pray that, whatever your circumstance, you will always remember that God is with you.

~Theophilus

Posted in Worldview | 7 Comments

He’s the King, I tell you

Greetings Earthlings!  I feel like I haven’t posted anything in forever.  What’s it been? 8 1/2 years…something like that…?  My life has been insane lately.  I finished my freshman year of college last month, and just finished my junior year of high school today!  Crazy stuff up in here.

To be honest, I rock at coming up with blog post ideas.  What I fail at is narrowing my options down to one topic.  But, I came up with a great idea a couple days ago.

I was in a nostalgic mood last week, so I decided to watch one of my all-time favorite “kid” movies:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  This movie is, in my opinion, the only movie in history to even come CLOSE to topping the book that it came from.  The story is great in and of itself, but add the visuals and special effects, and you have perfection.

My favorite thing about this story is Aslan.  Anyone who can manage to get one eye open will realize who this character really is.  He is a character who represents Jesus. Oh, whoops…SPOILER ALERT.

Image

We all know the story (and if you don’t, your childhood must have been fun).  What I find brilliant is C. S. Lewis’ way of portraying the death and resurrection of Jesus in a way that kids can understand and that brings adults to tears.  Aslan is the perfect representation of Jesus.  The way the lion treats the other characters is exactly how I would picture Jesus treating His children.  He is kind, loving, and magnificent.  Just like Jesus.

Sometimes, when people think of Jesus, they think of a wimpy guy going around telling people what they can and can’t do.  That’s not who Jesus is.  He is a King, a loving Father, and a Savior.  In my opinion, Aslan is the best example of a Christ-like figure.  If you look at the story of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, you’ll see what I mean.

When Peter, Susan, and Lucy arrive at Aslan’s tent, everyone around them immediately bows to the great lion.  He is the perfect picture of power and might, as well as gentleness and love.  When the Witch shows up to demand that Edmund die on the Stone Table, Aslan stands his ground and stares her in the eye the whole time.  She claims that, according to the Deep Magic, because Edmund is a traitor, he belongs to her.  She wants him to die on the Stone Table, but Aslan strikes a deal with her to prevent Edmunds death.  We don’t find out right away, but Aslan had agreed to sacrifice his own life in exchange for Edmund’s.

Later on, Aslan approaches the Stone Table, where his life will end, surrounded by the Witch’s cheering followers.  They laugh and jeer at him…the ruler of Narnia.  The Witch orders that he be tied up and his mane shaved off.  As they brutally cut off his mane, we see the humiliation in the eyes of the Great Lion.  Although he was bound, there is no doubt that Aslan could have broken away and killed all of the evil creatures around him.  Even Susan and Lucy, who are watching in horror from a distance, wonder why he doesn’t fight back.  Finally, after taunting Aslan as much as possible, the Witch stabs the lion.  Soon after he is dead, the Witch and her army leaves to fight Aslan’s forces for Narnia.  Lucy and Susan run up to him and break down.  They sit there most of the night just crying for him.  As dawn approaches, they decide to head back to the camp.  Suddenly, they experience what seems to be an earthquake, but what turns out to be the Stone Table cracking.  Aslan appears, living, whole, and more magnificent than ever.  He explains to the girls that while the Witch understands the part of the Deep Magic that gives her ownership of Edmund, she missed the part that states that when an innocent person gives their life for a traitor, death cannot hold them.  Aslan sacrificed his life for Edmund, and was brought back to life because he had not done anything wrong.  He then goes on to save Narnia and defeat the evil Witch.

It isn’t hard to detect the symbolism in this story.  Just as Aslan died for Edmund, Jesus died for His children.  Also, like Aslan, Jesus was resurrected because he was faultless.  Death had no power over him.  In addition, Aslan is a great representation of just how powerful, yet meek, Jesus is.  Jesus could have fought back when He was on the cross.  He could have simply stepped down, and wiped out all of His murderers, who were taunting Him just as Aslan’s enemies had taunted him.  Yet, He didn’t.  He didn’t because He knew that His death was the way it had to be.  He submitted because He was committed to saving the very people who were killing Him.  Even though he didn’t fight back, we all know He was powerful enough to.

Later in the story, Aslan goes around the country and literally breathes life into the creatures that the Witch had turned to stone.  Jesus does the same thing.  Because He died for us, He offers us new life.  If we accept his free gift of salvation, he promises to breathe life into us.  I don’t know about you, but that makes me pretty darn happy.

Another part of the story that really spoke to me the last time I watched it, is when Edmund is fighting with the Witch and breaks her wand in half.  Because Edmund had been redeemed, he had been given the power to rebuke and take away the Witch’s power.  Jesus has given us the same power.  Because of His blood, we now have the ability to resist and destroy the enemy.  We do not belong to him anymore, and he can not hold us down.

Jesus isn’t the judgemental, passive man that some people envision Him to be.  He is also not merely a “good teacher.”  He is a mighty King, who loved us enough to allow Himself to be killed in order to save us.  Just like Aslan died for Edmund.

Anyway, that’s why I love Aslan as well as the whole story.  Lewis is nothing less than a genius.  Aslan’s caring spirit, as well as his immense power, is an exact mirror image of Jesus.  He is kind and gentle, but also shows His might when He needs to.  Mr. Beaver said it right, “‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”  One of my favorite parts of the movie is right after Aslan comes back from the dead.  He tells Susan and Lucy to cover their ears and then lets out a huge, earth-shaking roar.  It’s almost like he’s proving to his enemies that they can’t stifle his power.  Jesus has this same power, except His is real and is continuing to work in the world He created.

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So carry on with your Mother’s Day with the assurance that the King has saved you and dearly loves you.

~Theophilus

(Remember that, if you want to keep up with blog news, you can “like” my Facebook page.  Go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thoughts-of-a-Theophilus/321478084644751?fref=ts)

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The Massacre We Never Knew About

*Warning:  This post contains very graphic content.  While I believe the full understanding of these atrocities is vital for teenagers and adults, this isn’t something that kids should see.*

The media loves tragedies.  Trayvon Martin…Newtown…starving kids in third world countries (and these are certainly all tragedies).  The problem is, when a tragedy occurs that doesn’t help perpetuate the liberal narrative, it sadly gets left aside.

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This is the case with Kermit Gosnell.  Never heard of him?  That’s because the media hasn’t covered him.

Gosnell was an abortionist in Philadelphia who is being charged with several counts of murder.

Now, this post is NOT going to be a post to condemn abortion (those will come later).  I am not going to try to convince you that abortion is wrong.  This is simply a post bringing to attention a story that goes WAY beyond anything we have heard before.  The Gosnell case is not a case that should only tick Christians off; this is something way more serious.  You’ll see what I mean.

I am also not going to sugarcoat this.  I will tell you the cold, hard facts.  This is important, and isn’t something that anyone should look past.  This story deserves everyone’s full attention.

Back to the story.  Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia.  Suspicion arose that he might be illegally selling prescription drugs, so the FBI raided the clinic in 2010.  What they found was an utter shock.  They entered a room with blood stains on the floors and chairs, a smell of urine in the air, and several sedated, moaning women (who had been sedated by unlicensed staff).  They found rusty, unsterile equipment.  But that wasn’t the worst of it.  They also found jars, bags, and jugs full of fetal remains…dead babies.  Not just aborted fetuses either.  Some of the babies were second-trimester with incisions at the back of their skulls.  Obviously, an investigation ensued.

Gosnell was characterized by providing (illegal) late-term abortions.  In PA, it’s illegal to do an abortion after 24 weeks.  Almost half of the abortions performed at Gosnell’s clinic (the Women’s Medical Society) were past the 24 week mark.  It was calculated that Gosnell would do 4-5 illegal abortions a week.  His method was atrocious.  He would induce labor, and the baby would be born alive.  After it was born, Gosnell would insert scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and sever its spinal cord.  He called this “snipping.”  It also came out that sometimes he would leave his untrained staff to sedate the woman, deliver the baby, and then do the “snipping” (sometimes after the baby had been living and breathing for 20 minutes).  There were also instances when he made crude and disgusting remarks on the size of the babies.  I won’t repeat them because I’m too close to crying already.

It also came out a few days ago that Gosnell employed a 15 year old girl.  She admitted to helping him with abortions and administering drugs to patients.  I pray for this poor girl.

If all of this wasn’t enough, Gosnell’s way of handling the mothers was nothing short of abuse.  He had one woman who went into convulsions from the medication and fell off the exam table.  She hit her head, and Gosnell refused to call 911, or let anyone else do so.  His former employees admitted that he treated black patients much worse than white patients.  The white patients were allowed to sit in his one clean office, and were only sedated by him.  However, he made the black patients sit in the blood-stained offices, and were often medicated by unlicensed staff.

However, here’s the kicker.  Gosnell had one patient that had just immigrated to America.  She was illiterate.  She was given drugs while Gosnell was not there (she was a minority).  She was overdosed and went into shock.  When Gosnell finally arrived, she wasn’t breathing.  After calling 911, Gosnell and his staff rearranged her body and his instruments to make it appear that they had been in the middle of an abortion when she died.  They also lied to the paramedics about who had administered the drugs, and how much she had been given.

I hope, at this point, that you are enraged and repulsed.  You should be.  I don’t care if you are so far pro-choice that you think Margaret Sanger was a sweetheart.  This story should make you want to cry.  If it doesn’t, you need to reevaluate yourself.

These tragedies went on for years.  Many patients and former employees reported Gosnell, but the PA Department of Health stopped inspecting abortion clinics for “political reasons.”  So, the Gosnell clinic went on illegally murdering babies and harming people until they were discovered in 2010.  Gosnell is currently on trial for 8 counts of murder (it would be hundreds more, but no files were kept of many of his illegal abortions).

For years, the media has been trying to cover it up.  Why?  Well, think about it.  The mainstream media is a liberal institution…there’s no denying it.  The media only covers what helps build up their worldview.  Liberal tend to be pro-choice, so they don’t report stories that make abortion look bad.  They can’t afford to hurt their case.  So much for “unbiased” news.

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You saw President Obama speak to the parents of the victims at Sandy Hook.  You saw him talk briefly about the Bengazi scandal.  Have you heard him talk about a massacre of live babies and women that has been going on for decades?  Nope.  The murders I mentioned are certainly tragic and well-deserving of mourning and recognition.  I would NEVER want to take away from that.  However, my point is, Obama (being a liberal) can’t risk degrading his beliefs…so the Gosnell trial remain unspoken.

Thankfully, the media is FINALLY starting to cover the trial.  Christians and conservatives have been beating them up and shaming them (and rightfully so!) over their silence.  I didn’t think it would work, but it did.  That’s something at least.

My reason for writing about this story is to bring this tragedy to light.  It has sat in the darkness too long.  It is important for everyone to know about this (not just pro-lifers).  This is a national tragedy; it is deserving of unwavering attention and appropriate mourning.

If you’re like me, this story made you sick and depressed.  The details (and pictures) of the way the babies were killed are simply too much.  However, it is VITAL that we are aware of all of the information.  That’s why I wasn’t afraid to describe it in full.  You NEED to hear it.  You need to see it.  The only way anyone will ever be convinced of the evil of this case is if they know what really happened.  My challenge to you is, tell everyone you know.  Send them this post or the many others that are out there.  Tell them what happened; make them see the evil in it.  This isn’t a one-sided issue; everyone, of all faiths and views, NEED to know about this.

Here is an article that I used as a reference (it has the full story with all the details):  http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/why-dr-kermit-gosnells-trial-should-be-a-front-page-story/274944/

I know this was a tough post to read, but it is probably one of the most important ones I could write.  I truly felt convicted to get it out there.  Next week we’ll go lighter.

If you want to keep up to date with blog news, you can “like” my FB page at:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thoughts-of-a-Theophilus/321478084644751?fref=ts

Have a blessed week!

~Theophilus

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He is risen!

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Happy Easter, everyone!

I hope you are all having a great weekend, filled with Easter egg hunts, church services, and family dinners.  I can smell my dad’s smoked ham from my spot on the couch.  Today is certainly a good day.

I know this day can get pretty chaotic, and I know we can all get caught up in our activities.  However, today is a day of remembrance.  It’s the day that Jesus was resurrected.  This single event has saved us all.  This day had been predicted for hundreds of years beforehand.  Isaiah 53 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  And several hundred years after that was written, the prophecy was fulfilled.  Jesus was born, killed, and resurrected.  If it were not for this, we would all still be separated from God.

But, He didn’t just die for our sins.  I’m sure, for some of you, this day doesn’t bring you much joy.  Yes, Jesus died for you.  But evil has invaded you life, and that makes it hard for you to feel comforted…even by something so great as Easter.  However, Isaiah 53 talks about more than just Jesus dying for our sins; it says that He also died for our griefs.  “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.”  I think we often see God as a lofty, detached being who doesn’t understand our pain.  We say things like, “God, why are you doing this to me?  You don’t know how much this hurts.”  What we don’t realize is that Jesus suffered too.  He was in pain too.  Not just physical pain, but emotional and spiritual pain as well.  He not only had the sins of the world on His shoulders, He had the sadness and the hurt of the world on Him also.  He felt the the pain of being betrayed by His friends, hated by His people, and murdered by His children.

You see, Jesus is fully God, but He is also fully human.  Everything we experience on this Earth, every joy and grief and fear, was experienced by the God of the universe too.  He knows what we are going through, because He went through it too.  As humans, we have rejected Jesus over and over.  We have betrayed Him, we have hated Him.  Isaiah 53 also says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.  Like one from whom people hide their face, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”  This has been going on for eternity.  Yet, despite all the hatred we had for Him, He still risked everything to die for us.  He was killed in the most painful way imaginable…all for us.

But we know that isn’t the end of the story.  Jesus didn’t just die.  He had not committed any sins.  Since the penalty for sin is death, death couldn’t hold Him.  He was not under the same penalty we are; He had lived a perfect life.  Death had no power over Him.  So, while He did die, He came back to life.

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We are His children.  He loves us more than we could every think, and nothing can separate us from that love.  Nothing.

Easter is a day of remembrance and celebration.  We remember the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for us, and we celebrate the fact that we are no longer under the curse of sin.  We have been shown compassion that we could never hope to deserve.  Praise the Lord.

So, whatever sin you have committed, whatever pain you are experiencing…Jesus died for that.  Because He loves you.

Happy Easter to all of you.  I pray that God blesses you this week with the knowledge that you are saved and loved.

~Theophilus

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