Parties, Summer Jobs, and Love… But No Blue Popcorn

My dreams are usually extremely weird, involving things like blue popcorn, giant monsters pushing me towards a door-stop, talking trees, birds being eaten by dogs, and many other odd occurrences. This wasn’t completely false with the dream I had last night but I did find a way of relating it to God this morning, which is unusual. To explain…

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It all started with me starting to work at my summer job again. I met up with my boss late on my first night. The night sky was seen clearly above us, framed by the trees that make up the mountain woods, yet the camp seemed bright with all the lights that were shining from the buildings. I remember having a conversation with my boss which included giving me my instructions for a task, then walking off in search of my work boots, which I seem to remember wearing at the time of the conversation. I entered a house that apparently I thought held my work boots, or whatever I was looking for, and found a party. I mean a hip-and-cool lights-going-off-all-around food-and-drink (of course non-alcoholic) jumping-grooving-happening party. It looked great. I remember having a quick conversation with someone and then walking into a small room where I found whatever I was looking for. I then returned to the party room and carried on having small conversations with people, having fun in the process. After a while of this I remembered I needed to return to my boss who probably suspected something. I returned. Then I scampered off again and got distracted doing something else. I don’t know what but I’m sure it was fun and exciting and probably involved puzzles…

Wait, puzzles aren’t exciting, and generally not fun either… hmmmm…..

Anyways, it is a dream…

I realize I must return to my boss again who is probably waiting for me again, this time he is probably very angry and will most likely kill me.

That didn’t happen though. I return to him and he gives the final instructions for the night. After finishing these instructions, he said, “Now, don’t be going to anymore parties from now on, okay? Get the work done, then you can have more fun.”

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Can you see what I realized with this dream?

God does the same thing. We start off with God saying, “Okay! What can I do! I am ready! You are my Lord and Savior! I love you and will serve you with my entire life!” And then what happens?

Life happens.

We start out on a mountaintop looking at the entire world with joy and enthusiasm and then we start walking. Then we look up and the scenery has changed. What used to be a gorgeous view of the world has now turned into a valley of despair. We can see one of two things. One, all we see are the giant challenges before us and nothing else. We don’t see the landscape and overall view of the world anymore. We get stuck in a situation that drags us into pain and suffering. Or, two, we find a nice little spot down in the valley that isn’t full of wild animals or terrible thorn bushes. It is just some nice green grass that can keep us comfortable for a while.

The second thing is what I find myself, and most of America, doing today. We find a nice place to settle down and we are just indifferent to the struggles and pain around us. We ignore all the things we should be doing, both in our everyday lives as people and our everyday lives as followers of Christ. This is what I did in my dream. I was with my boss and everything was as it should be. I was doing willing to do my job and get some rewards for it. But then, when I went to do my job, I found something that looked much more pleasing and was much more immediate in its reward.

There are so many things out in this world that do this to me. Friends, music, talents, exciting life events, and other such things are what pull me away from my mission for God and my mission to get closer to God. You might initially think, “those are awesome things though!” Yes, they are, but if I focus too much on myself and my personal gain in relation to those things, it becomes harmful to me and my missions.

Eventually I exited the first fun party and returned to my boss. Sometimes in life, we return back to God and our mission, but then those things suck us back or new distractions enter our lives, as I fell victim to in my dream.

After I returned to my boss the second time, he said that I needed to stay with my work so I could achieve the greater reward, just like God tells us to do with our lives. Living eternally with God and praising His great name because of his love and sacrifice for us is something that I look forward to in this life, but I do get distracted by the immediate things that come up to tempt me in life, even though they might not be inherently evil.

Colossians 1:21-23a (NIV) parallels this dream perfectly when Paul says, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.”

One of the most amazing things about this verse, and the surprising part about my dream, is that the person in charge, doesn’t hold the sinner accountable for his actions. In my dream, my boss just continued on, just reminding me of the work and reward that was to come as a result. In life, God wiped our entire history for us so we can be blameless and pure. Search histories are often filled with evil things, but God just hit the clear button with Christ. He replaced every single terrible website with Jesus Christ. And, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12 NIV).

Through Christ, we now stand before God with freedom and confidence. We can return to God from those ‘parties’ or those evil things we have been doing, and He will welcome us with open arms, covering us with his overwhelming love.

Because…

“His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.” -One Thing Remains-  -Jesus Culture-

Christmas Music

Merry Christmas (Bing Crosby album)

Merry Christmas (Bing Crosby album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas music is always the signal that Christmas is coming. On many stations, it starts playing before Thanksgiving! That’s a little too early for me. But once we get in to December and and all the lights go up and the tree is decorated… that is the best time for Christmas music. But one thing really annoys me when it comes to Christmas music. When artists, such as Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, and others  start making remixes of classic songs like Silent Night or Winter Wonderland, it just seems wrong. Those classic songs by artists such as Bing Crosby just seem like THE Christmas Songs that we listen to and when new artists go and try to create their own version, it just sounds wrong.

 

Now some new versions of classic songs are amazing. Such as Matthew West‘s “O Come All Ye Faithful” on his The Heart of Christmas album. And there are some great songs out there  now that have never been heard before: “How Many Kings” by Downhere is a great song as well.

 

Christmas is a time of traditions, so I feel like most of the classic Christmas music is the best choice of music, unlike the new stuff. But there are one or two songs out there that are pretty good.

 

-George Stanley with a C.

 

Movies x 3 = 3 Reviews

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Image via Wikipedia

Hey there folks! I have really wanted to see a good many movies lately. For example, I have wanted to see Pirates of the Carribean 4 for a while, Transformers 3, Real Steel, and Tower Heist. Well this past month, I saw three movies. One of them was in my list of movies that I wanted to watch. The other two were not.

Before Christmas, my whole family sat down and watched Planet of the Apes and the third Planet of the Apes. My parents said that the second one was just weird so we skipped that one. After watching the third one, my dad surprised us when he decided we could get Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the new one that came out this year, from On Demand. So we all settled in with some snacks and started the movie.

This movie was a really good movie and doesn’t dissapoint the first three Planet of the Apes movies. It really doesn’t have a whole lot of action until the end of the movie, so to keep the movie interesting, the plot and suspense were all amplified. Especially the suspense. The whole movie I was just waiting for something to go wrong with the apes. I will say though that watching the first Planet of the Apes and third Planet of the Apes right before watching this new one did make it more interesting at points because of the references sometimes in the earlier movies.

Oh! And one last thing! There is a clip at the end of the movie in between some of the credits that really makes the end a little more reasonable. My family and I were all talking about how this and this happened and why they didn’t explain some key parts of the story, but those parts are in that ending clip that you NEED to watch. So when you think it is over, you need to wait and watch the last clip.

Overall, I give it 4 stars. It was a really good movie that complimented the earlier Planet of the Apes. I would definetely recommend this movie to a friend or even a stranger!

After Christmas, my whole family was off of work, school, etc. So we, well I was anyways, were getting bored so my dad again suggested going to the $1 movie theater. We all loved this idea and my dad found two movies we could watch that day: Puss in Boots and Real Steel. We watched both of them, but Puss in Boots was first.

This movie was as expected: A cute little movie were there was a cute little plot where an evil guy hatches out some plan and Puss saves the day. The only thing was that it is all fairy tale related and there were some pretty good jokes in it as well, so that was a plus. Out of 5 stars, I would give this one 2 stars just because it was similar to a lot of movies out there. The only difference was the fairy tale theme and jokes that I mentioned before. This was a pretty good pass time and I would recommend it to anyone with smaller kids. Adults will enoy it as well (as I said, a great pass time), but I would rather go see…

(Sorry, post is acting weird, it won’t show this review I’ll fix it later)