Thursday, October 6, 2011

We've moved

This is just a reminder, this blog has now moved to Wordpress. Please change your bookmarks and RSS feeds to For those in Russia, Germany and other ares that routinely read my blog from the search engine, please change it to wordpress as well.

Thank you all for your readership on Blogger and to all who find this because of Zombies, I'm glad you came. Come for the Zombies, stay for Jesus.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Blog moving

To all my wonderful readers (and those who found this blog by searching for Zombies), I am slowly moving it over to wordpress. Please find me at

The Force of comfort

I've always thought that Lucas' idea of midichlorians in the bloodstream to explain the Force was always a cop out. It was a bad attempt to explain something mystical. Very bad. But now it's part of it all. I've always wondered if a Jedi had a blood transfusion with a non-Jedi if the recipients midichlorian count go up or not. But that's not what this Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday is all about.

In A New Hope (spoiler alert) Ben Kenobi became the mentor martyr to save Luke and the rest. He was dead. Yet, in the final battle, Luke hears Ben's voice coming to him loud and clear. In The Empire Strikes Back, Obi Wan is all blue and sparkly. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Obi Wan, Yoda and Anikan (first the older guy then Hayden Christiansen) were all blue and sparkly. The Force allowed them to come back. The midichlorians were strong in them and held them together.

In many ways, this gave us all hope and comfort. They weren't dead. They were still around by the power of the Force. The midichlorians were still mystical after all and things were good to go. The battle has been won! The unblinking primitive Ewoks helped defeat the massive Empire. And all is good with the world.

I think we're all like that. We love the victory. We love the ability to overcome adversity. We love those highs that we get in knowing that all things are working out for our benefit. And it's great. It's wonderful. And we want to live in that moment forever.

And then Heir to the Empire comes in. I can't believe I've never read this book. I bought it for my brother back when it first came out. But I never read it. Until now.

And it's all different (spoiler alert). At the start of it, Luke's depressed. Hahn and Leia are married and are stressed. Wow. That sounds like my life. And even ol'Ben Kenobi is fading away, no longer able to stick around. Where's the comfort after death? Where's the happy ending?

So many times this is more of our reality than it is the Battle of Endor. The emperor may be defeated but we will always have our Grand Admiral Thrawn. And the battle continues. With all these attacks and battles, where's the comfort of the Force?

What about us? What about our comfort. There's this thing called the Heidelberg Catechism. It's a great document. It starts out with this question: What is your only comfort in life and in death? Not what is your greatest, what is your best, what is the one that you like. What is your only comfort in life and in death.

The answer: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Dude. Now that's epic.

Midichlorian counts don't matter in this. It doesn't matter how the count is, you can only be blue and sparkly for so long. Yet we have so much more in the long run with Jesus being our only comfort.

I can rattle on and on about this. Honestly, yes, I've laid at wake at night thinking about this stuff. That and what ever happened to Qui-Gon Jinn.

What about you? Where's your comfort?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Take your pic

I'll be honest, it's been tough. I'm having a hard time relaxing. I used to relax, refresh, renew and recharge by hitting the gym. I'd blast the music in my ears and the world would disappear as I did my squats, bench press and curls. I'd focus on the movements of my traps, my lats and my triceps. I'd focus on my stance and on my technique. Nothing else existed outside of that room. Nothing. I set up my heavy bag in the back yard and later in the garage on a stand. I'd go at it. Just me and the bag. Nothing else. Just me and the bag. And the world disappeared. I was able to find that moment where I could just exist and refresh, renew and recharge for the day and be ready for, work.

But over the last two months, this hasn't happened. I'm going stir crazy to tell the truth. I haven't been able to get that recharge I so need to keep on keeping on. I'm not able to get that moment where nothing else exists. The physical activity hurt my lungs and left me short of breath. I wasn't resting to get better like I was supposed to.

It was suggested to find something else. Something that can still take my mind away and be able to renew, refresh and recharge without the intense physical activity. I have an old dusty guitar that was given to us my my in-laws back in '03. I dusted it off. Popped in Guitar for Dummies and have been torturing my fingers since.

It's harder than I thought. My left hand hurts and gets cramped. My finger tips are getting all tingly and weird sometimes. My fingers just don't know how to fing, as if my phalanges on my left hand never realized that, yes, they too would eventually work one day.

I was told that it takes time. It takes time for the fingers to develop the callouses needed to play. The pain is the muscles in the fingers learning something new. The pain and the callouses, though they hurt and tingle now, will make the music come out more clearer here soon.

I also have to remind myself that when I picked up weight lifting in high school, I was sore for days on end. It hurt. And when I started using my heavy bag, I could only go a few minutes at a time.

And so, I solider on. I'm gonna cowboy up and I'm gonna find a way to get relaxed. I don't think I've worked this hard to relax in a while.

What about you, how do you refresh, renew and relax? How have you had to change things up or at all?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Point Break

I've been doing Weight Watchers (for Men) since July. I've lost 20lbs. The last 15 have come off even without much activity on my part. This lack of activity is not from trying. Trust me. I tried skipping rope. I tried going at my heavy bag. But this blasted walking pneumonia has taken me down a few pegs.To tell the truth, in many ways, it has humbled me. I don't like admitting it, that's for sure.

I've learned that, no, I cannot do it all. I've learned that I must rely on others when attempting to do something. I've learned that I must accept the generosity of others when they are trying to help. And this has been hard.

I've also learned that I eat a lot of crap sometimes. I went to Pizza Ranch last week to celebrate my kiddos' birthdays (they're born right next to each other three years apart). Last week I had a max of 66 points for the day and 49 wiggle room points. I knew I was going to Pizza Ranch that night so I did my best to conserve points. But I still went over the top and hit 90 points that night, being left with 27 wiggle room points. I looked through what I ate. Did I really need that second piece of fried chicken goodness? Did I need to eat a second Bronco Pizza slice?

Where did my control go? I do great that day, even turning down a slice of warm apple crumble with vanilla ice cream at my classis (regional governing body CRC's in this area) meeting on Tuesday so I could go to Pizza Ranch that night.

The rest of the week wasn't any better. Too much cake. Too much ice cream. Not enough rest to get over my walking pneumonia. Yet, God has been good to me. Smiling down on me and allowing me to break through the weight limit when I got below 310. Okay, so it's 309.8 but still. It's better than what I was worried it would be.

So, this week, I begin with new vigor. I am recharged to keep at it. Now, I just gotta do it. I need to place my own pride to the side and keep moving forward. I'm even trying to not emphasize the "For Men" part. But it's hard. It's like carrying around a murse. Of course, I call it a satchel. It's a satchel until you put chap stick in it.

In my own spiritual health, I'm trying to do my best with putting aside me pride. And it's hard. I know I need to place my self second before God, to humble myself before him and admit that I can't do it all myself. That is hard to do when you're someone who is used to plowing forward on your own and doing it by yourself.

Next week is communion at church. We'll be taking the Lord's Supper. I'm spending this week reflecting on that. And the question that came up for me this week too is how many points is communion anyway? I've decided that it's 0 points for the grace we have in Jesus and also listed as a power food because it fuels us to go forward.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thor and Peace

I'm worried that I've lost points on my geek card. I didn't get a chance to see Thor in the theaters. I didn't get to see Captain America in the theaters either. (Bought a blue '08 Dodge Avenger and named it Captain American though. Might be able to save some geek points on that one.) But I have been watching Disney XD's Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

I've learned a few things from Thor on that show. In the comic books, (and movie I'm told) Thor is cast out of Asgard (the home of the Norse gods) and sent to Midgard (earth) because he is cocky, stubborn and arrogant. And he is cast out of heaven and sent to live amongst the mortals to learn humility and the need to put others first.

But Thor in Disney XD's version is different. He values honor. He also has a heart for the people of Midgard. He wishes to protect them. He wishes to help them. In fact, he voluntarily leaves Asgard when asked to stay behind during Odin's yearly Odin Sleep. He refuses and goes to Midgard to battle and protect. Yes, he's a bit misguided. yes, he's a bit arrogant about it. But still he wants to do his best to help others.

I like that about him. And honestly, I try to do the same, of course with out Mjölnir of course (his hammer). I also try hard to push forward and to help and to do what I can. I have a great heart for the people out there in need of help. It's not a messiah complex or anything. I'm not out to save the people. But I want to make a dent to help those in need. Those who are hurting. Those who are struggling. Those who are in pain and can use the healing found in the Great Physician Jesus. (This is a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday, remember). And I push hard. I give my all and I still falter.

The one thing about Thor is that he realized that he needed help too. In the Disney XD version, he sees that he needs to team up with others to fight off the baddies. And this leads to the formation of The Avengers (Wasp suggests that name because to her, it just sounds cool.). Alone, the Avengers can do okay. But together, they can do so much more.

And I have to remind myself of that. I'm not at this alone. There are others with me. There are others who are able to work with me to help those in need. Not only that, but in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the teammates help each other out personally. They encourage one another, they have fun with one another. They have each other's backs. And we all need this for our own spiritual, emotional and physical well being. We all need a team of people to help us, encourage us and fight the good fight with us.

I have that team with me here at my church I serve. I also have that team with me with my good friends all over the place. We encourage and help one another.

What's your team? Who encourages, supports and fights the fight with you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When I am weak

I'm not liking this. I'm not liking being told I can't do something. Whenever I've been told "You can't" to me that's a challenge not a deceleration. I was told I was physically unable to learn Hebrew due to language aphasia. Guess what I did? Yeah. I learned it. Spent hours working on it. But I did it. When I was told that I couldn't win against Apollo Creed, guess what I did? Wait, that's Rocky.

But now that I've been sick for the last month, I've been told I can't push myself to hard. That I can't lift weights. I can't go all ape poopy on my heavy bag. I can't even jump rope. I said watch me and guess what happened? I nearly passed out. This walking pneumonia is one big bad word.

So, I have to accept my weakness. Which I hate. I really do. I mean, c'mon, I have to actually admit that I cannot do something! You gotta be kidding me? I can't do something? I've always been able to do what I put my mind to. Yet, this one time, I can't. And it bugs the frak out of me, to tell the truth.

So, what do I do? I think of these words from Paul who had a thorn in his side that wouldn't come out. He begged and begged for it to come out and it didn't. Then Jesus said to him

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

So, I will live in this weakness. For when I am weak then is He strong. Now, I just gotta keep telling myself that over and over again. I have to stop. And admit I can't do something. I need to stop and trust that Jesus will do what he said he would. He is the Great Physician so why can't use medication to heal me. So, I must rest and wait. I'll maybe get my geek on with reading some Full Metal Alchemist. That might work.

What about you? What weakness/es are you struggling with right now?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The sins (I mean geekiness) of the father

In the Bible it says that the sins of the father will be passed down to the third and fourth generation. From a psychological/family systems point of view, what this is saying is that the bad habits of the parents are passed down to the child. In many ways, one of the goals in life is to break the cycle of that negative behavior.

Yeah, way too heady for me right now so I'm not going much into it. One things for sure though, my son's been picking up on my geekatude. He's heavily into Transformers now. He loves Star Wars, he even knows what a Sarlaac pit is. Yeah, he's cool like that. He is getting his identity from me. He is learning from me what it means to be a man. And I so don't want to fail him on that.

But this got me thinking about another father I grew up watching. Grew up watching and saw how he felt he had failed. Saw how his son felt he had failed. Yes, I'm speaking of Worf and his son Alexander.

Worf son of Mogh, lived a life of failure in many ways. He was a strong Klingon. To tell the truth, he in many ways is more Klingon than Klingons. In my mind (and of fans) he is the epitome of what it means to be a Klingon. Yet he still lived with the shame of being raised by humans. He lived with the shame knowing that his father was blamed for the destruction and massacre of the Kithomer colony outpost.

After the death of his babymamma (that is what Alexander's mother basically was, no offense), Worf attempted to raise his son Alexander. The shame of the father was passed down to his son. His son did not take a Klingon name. Maybe this could protect his son. Maybe. But soon Alexander was sent to live with Worf's adoptive parents and was raised amongst humans, even taking their last name Rozhenko (Row-shank-O). Sadly, we do not see the child Alexander again until the war with the Dominion. And then, he comes in attempting to be a Klingon but keeps the surname Rozhenko. Again, shame for Worf that his son fighting on a Klingon Bird of Prey knows nothing of his own Klingon heritage, the honor, the valor, the philosophy of what it means to be Klingon and Worf is teased because of it.

As a father, I fear failing my son. I fear that I will bring him shame, that I will create in him some wound that will take years of therapy (and in turn tons of money) to deal with. I don't want to pass down my shame to him. I don't want to pass down my own personal demons, my own failures as a man down to him.

Instead, I so want to pass down to him those qualities that are good. Are honorable. What I like about the relationship between Worf and Alexander is that Worf, after some struggles of his own, is able to welcome back his son into his life and Alexander is able to welcome his father back into his life too. Worf is then able to begin passing down the honor, the valor, all that it means to him to be Klingon down to Alexander.

I want to do this for my own son too. I deeply want to teach him what it means to be a man of God. I want him to know the importance and honor it is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want him to know that he is strong in Jesus. I want him to know the honor and valor and responsibilities that are required to be a man of God. I want him to have what I had to learn.

If Worf can do it, so can I, but by the Grace of God go I.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

How does that saying go? The only way to kill a zombie is to blow off its...head, right? Okay, so why zombies? Well, honestly, the majority of people find my blog by searching for zombies. Seriously. I get hits on my blog with search words like: zombies, pics of zombies, zombie Jesus (yes, seriously, say it with me: Zombie. Jesus.), zombie apocalypse, etc. And they all stem from one post (which you can read here). I wrote it sometime back for a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday. (Which, by the way, this isn't, just to let you know).

So why Zombies? Well, they're in popular culture right now I guess. Real big too. Now, with Zombies, you have rules. You can find these rules at And rule number one: Cardio. Yes, that's right. Cardio. (Of course, Rule 21 is stay away from strip clubs, but if you ask me, that should be a no brainer if zombies are attacking, that's like the last place you wanna go to tell the truth.)

And now here's the kicker, recently from a tweet from Think, I saw this video and fell in love. Check it.

Honestly, I just gotta say wow! Now that's a way to put a passion, pop culture and exercise to a great fusion together.

Now, of course, I'm not going to make any Zombie Jesus jokes (again, say it with me: Zombie. Jesus.) Jesus, of course, isn't a zombie. That's a whole 'nother raising from the dead thing that deals with the power of the Holy Spirit and is probably a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday someday.

But right now, what I like about this video is that there's some fun and play in getting encouragement to run. I'm not a runner and I'd probably be that idiot who some how survives. But what I do like is that encouragement that's given.

And honestly, getting over this blasted walking pneumonia (my Megatron right now if you will) I need all the encouragement I can get. I'm looking forward to the all clear to start lifting again and hitting the heavy bag. Getting ready to maybe not be the idiot that survives or the idiot that survives by punching zombies. I'm not sure.

What about you, how do you get encouragement in working out?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Epic Battle that Never Was

I'm ill. I've had this blasted walking pneumonia so long that I don't need spell check to help me spell pneumonia (and for a dyslexic that's pretty long). I keep getting told that I need to rest to get better. But I need to get work done. And of course, I get myself all outta breath and then can't do nothing.

And then I think of Indiana Jones. Well, more like Harrison Ford to tell the truth. And not in that way. Dude. No, during the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is running through Cairo and comes upon a dude with a sword who does all the cool sword moves. Indy on the other hand, just finished running for his life and quite in a foul mood, pulls out his gun and shows the guy.

Now, there's a story behind that. Apparently Harrison Ford was quite ill that day. But they were on a very tight schedule. In a moment of improv, he just shot the guy and kept going. This has become one of the most classic scenes in the movie.

Since I've been sick, I've hardly been able to work out or exercise. Before I knew I had this blasted walking pneumonia, I was trying to go at my heavy bag and do some basic calisthenics to stay in shape because I was so busy. But I'd get outta breath real quick like. And then I was told by the doc to rest and not push it.

So, I've been improvising. I've been doing what the doc has told me to and to stick to drinking lots of liquids. But I've also stuck to the Weight Watchers (for Men) very tightly. And I've been resting. And I've been getting better. Yet I also know that I can't push myself too hard because Friday I felt better so I went for a walk and that made things worse.

So, I'm thinking WWID (What would Indy Do?) of course, it'd be more like Harrison Ford but of course that wouldn't make sense either.

But I've also been using this free time to read through my Bible and stay in prayer. A healthy body needs a healthy spirit to keep it going. So, I'm making sure I'm focusing on my spiritual health as much as I am on my physical health. And with this free time, It's been helpful. I've spent a lot of time in prayer these last few days. Now I just hope I can get this blasted pneumonia kicked and get moving on with things.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

They said me said

So, I wasn't planning on posting something just because I've been sick. I mean, really sick. Apparently there's something called walking pneumonia. And right now with how tired I've been even my illness is more active than I (can you hear the rim shot or is that just me).

One thing I've been noticing while I've been sick is how many people tell me so many different ideas of what I should do while sick and what I should have done to prevent being sick. And I'm not saying these are suggestions but instead they come across as absolutes, as if this is the only way I should go.

"You should have had more Vitamin C"

"You should have had more fresh air."

"What you need now is less dairy and more juice."

"You need to think positive" (okay, trying that, nope, still sick)

Honestly, this doesn't just end with being ill. It's also in parenting:

"Put the kid on your schedule because you're the parent." "Just let them cry." And then parents look at me weird when my kid falls down and smacks their knee I tell them "Shake it off, walk it off, throw some dirt on it." Okay, not always the best thing but now when my kids fall down they get right back up and keep playing.

I hear it when trying to loose weight and exercise:

"Stop having so much dairy." (and I love this part) "No other animal above infants drinks milk after being weened like humans do. It's just a conspiracy by the diary companies"

or "So many people are anti fat and anti meat, you need more of that not less"

or "What you need to do is exercise in the morning because that's the best time you're bodies ready for it."

or "High reps low weights." or "high weights and low reps" or "split the routine."

You get where I'm going, right? These are all opinions. And if you, the reader, have told me one of these before and might be grumbling to yourself (you know who you are, right?) please don't take offense. You aren't the first nor the last to tell me as such.

Now, don't think I'm getting all wishywashy on health and stuff. There are some absolutes. 1)Lift with your knees, not your back 2)Low caloric intake with high exercise is the optimum way to loose weight 3)weight training is a vital exercise in improving muscle size and quality.

There are time tested medical and scientific absolutes. When working on being healthy, please keep these absolutes in mind. When being spiritually healthy, please keep the notion of an absolute truth in mind as well--God through Jesus Christ. Yes. I went there. You didn't see that coming? Sorry.

Opinions are out there and there are many. But there are also important absolutes you need to know. If being healthy mind, body and soul is important, then seek the great physician who is the great healer. Okay, I can go more into this and some might just be frustrated that I stopped there but this is a blog, not a book. More sometime down the road though, I promise.

Until then, stay healthy my friends, stay healthy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Apologies, Out Sick

My apologies for not blogging this week. It appears that I will be out sick for this week. Thank you for your readership.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Don't Even Blink

What is fear? It's worrying about the unknown. It's not wanting to take steps forward because you don't know what will happen if you make the decision. It's being worried that as soon as you blink that angel in the corner who looks like it is weeping will attack you and steal all your potential life energy sending you decades into the past.

Okay, that last one is a reference to the totally freaky Weeping Angels from Dr. Who. The weeping angels are an alien race who only exist outside of recognition. If they are being looked at they do not exist. And so, they instead are stone statues who are non-existent. But as soon as you look away, as soon as you blink, the move and move quickly. This Dr. Who monster taps into that fear of what you see out of the corner of your eye. This monster taps into that fear of the unknown and the unseen.

Not only that, but this monster doesn't just take your life, it takes what you could have been. If you were to live for 80 more years, then this monster kills you by sending you back 80 years in the past and living off of what you would have been 80 years in the future. This monster taps into the fear we have about what we want to be and what we could be and eats it up.

Fear can make us do one of two things: 1) Runaway in abject terror trying to find your happy place or 2) use that fear to fuel you into action. The weeping angels forces you to focus. To focus on the fear and not let it over take you. To focus on what makes you want to flee in terror and instead stand firm, staring it down. With the weeping angels, you have to face your fears or die.

To be healthy, to be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy, you need to face your fears. To stare them down and allow them to fuel you in moving forward.

You have a fear of failure and so you don't try to exercise. You have a fear of failure and so you don't pursue that relationship with someone you care about. You fear failure and don't even want to try to enter into God's presence. You fear rejection and don't want to even approach God through Christ. If everyone else has rejected you so will God you think. Or you fear rejection of family and friends as you step forward in faith to serve.

To run away from fear is to allow fear to win. You become a traitor to yourself, turning from what will benefit you and running away. Turn fear into a tool to allow you to step forward in faith, to step forward in making yourself healthier, to make yourself grow in the Spirit, to make yourself Grow in the knowledge of Jesus and God. To make yourself healthier mind, body and soul.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Squirrles, writer's block and ADD

Squirrel Powers activate! Form of Shiny Object. Shape of the Letter A...A-Team.

Not many people will get the Wonder Twin's reference here will they? Yeah. And I'm not referring to that team in Minnesota either.

I've been trying all day to think about what to write.

Okay, that's a bit wrong, not really all day. Kinda some of the day maybe. Part of the day. Okay, I've been thinking about it off and on an on and off.

Was going to talk about boxing germs this morning. Well, this morning I was thinking about boxing some germs. Let me try that again. I was thinking this morning about writing about boxing some germs which would make no sense unless you were with me during my workout this morning. And that couldn't happen because I don't think all of the readers in Russia and Germany could fit into my garage. Not saying y'all are big. I mean, I'm of northern European decent and all. Well, Scotch-Irish (or is that a drink) or Scottish and Irish and German and English. Pretty much at war with myself really.

Let me try this again shall I?

I've been distracted all day. Well, not all day. The day itself started out pretty nice. Woke up early. And went a few rounds with my punching bag. I also realize I need to put weights on my heavy bag stand because I almost knocked it over this morning. I put in a good set of push ups and sit ups this morning as well.

Why am I saying all of this? When we get busy, get blocked have issues focusing, you gotta find something to get it all out. This past summer I've hardly hit the gym and it's not good. Though weight watchers has been pretty good in the losing weight part, I also want to get back to gaining muscle. But I'm starting with some fun cardio at home first because I pretty much can't get to the gym on time right now.

Picked up a jump rope this afternoon too. Not them weird weak plasticky things that make me think I should start singing "Cinderella dressed in yella." But one that's white, thick and has handles, like Rocky's. Inspired by Mr. Balboa, I'm going to start skipping rope here soon too. Not sure about practicing at a meat locker though any time soon.

This post has almost no point to it whatsoever save for the fact that even when I have writer's block and things are looking frazzled...trying hard to find something that will help me with my routine and exercising. I'll let you know how it turns out...hey! Look! A Squirrel!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Stupid Rhinos

I've never liked colds. They're all drippy and coughy and all that stuff. But in winter, you get them. They arrive during the holidays just like that family member that drives you nuts but you gotta allow in for Thanksgiving or Christmas anyway because, well, they're there already and it'd be mean to let the go but secretly you just want to put them in the oven with the turkey? Yeah. That's how I feel about colds.

Now, colds are colds and are expected in the winter time. You grumble about them but then you move forward anyway. A summer cold on the other hand is just plain mean. It's like a slap in the face reminding you that nothing's safe during the summer time. And the rhinovirus hits ya making sure you face the next summer with fear and trembling never knowing when it'll charge at you and lay you flat.

Now, some of this is my own fault. Yeah, it really is. Though I've been doing my best to stay healthy and fit (Shout to Weight Watchers...for Men 15lbs and counting) I've also been stretched then and haven't been getting much sleep or rest. Oh, rest, how I miss thee. And now that I've been stretched so thin, the rhinovirus with its mass army of neon green nose goblins and secret sore throat ninjas come attacking.

So, I'm laying low. Taking it easy. Trying to sleep all I can. Taking time for prayer for health and prayer for others. Taking time to just breathe (when my dose idn't sduffed dup) and taking vitamins.

What about you, how do you deal with a summer cold?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gwen Stacy's Never Coming Back

In 1965 Gwen Stacy died. She was held captive by the Green Goblin on top of the Washington Bridge. During a fight between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, Gwen was knocked off the top of the bridge. In his attempt to save her, Spider-Man slung one of his webs, catching her quickly. The abrupt stop snapped her neck. She died. Her death greatly affected Spider-Man, Mary Jane and so many others.

Over the years, Gwen Stacy clones have come and gone. In magical mythical cross overs and what if's she's appeared. In alternate realities she's been alive but soon after leaves. In effect, she is dead and is never coming back.

This is strange because many Marvel Universe characters always come back. The mutant Cypher with the passive power of translation was killed in 1989's epic saga The Fall of the Mutants. And he came back almost 20 years later.

So what does this have to do with Spiritual Musclehead? Well, it's Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday.

One of the interesting things about the Marvel Universe is that it has its own rules and ways of doing things. It operates certain set standards. In many ways, in order to understand the Marvel Universe and interpret it, you must use the Marvel Universe. In order to understand the importance of Gwen Stacy's death, you have to read comics in the Marvel Universe to understand the importance of it.

The same is true with another book called the Bible. Many people call it false, they say that it contradicts itself many times. And I will be honest, yes, if you just look at small areas, you see contradictions. But the same can be said of Wolverine where there are many, many contradictions. Take for example his claws. In the Captain America, Black Widow and Wolverine comic, Wolverine in the 1940's has no claws yet years later when Magento pulls out Wolverine's adamantium skeleton, he has bone claws. Total contradiction right? Yet reading the whole of the Marvel Universe, you understand the complexities that show why this happened and the reason behind it.

If you need to do this with the Marvel Universe, why can't it be done with the Bible. Even if you just see it as literature and not the inspired Word of God, you still have to use the in universe of the Bible to interpret the Bible. To do otherwise is unfaithful.

There is much more I could write about this, but that's for another Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday.

In the end, what's important is that we shouldn't discount something just because we think there are contradictions or problems in it. There are many problems with Gwen Stacy's death. Some have said that her abrupt death ended the Silver age of comics. Comics themselves were never again the same. They were allowed to deal with darker issues. Over the years, many people have asked, cried out, that they bring Gwen Stacy back. But to do so would break the rules of the Marvel Universe. She's never coming back.

The Bible is an in universe book made up of 66 smaller books and two divisions of Old and New or the Tahnak and the Gospels, History and Letters. To read one without being in Universe is to not fully understand it. Everything else is just fan fiction.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Magical mystery tour of gaurdians of the fridge

I think someone's been guarding my fridge or something. I mean, seriously, I just can't seem to get into it as of late. I mean, I open the fridge but then I don't see what I think I wanted to see or something like that and I shut the door. Then, I just walk away.

When I felt the urge to snack, I'd open the fridge. Not see anything I liked. Then checked the freezer. If I still didn't find anything I liked, I then checked the cupboards. If it turned up zilch back to the fridge and the frightening cycle begins.

Yet, it's almost as if I have some magical mystery guardians or something around the house or something. I'm just not getting past certain points. I just don't get it.

I can almost imagine some gigantic viking named Sven or something standing in my way like the angel did for Balaam. Or Gandalf standing in the way saying "You shall not pass!" Don't know what it is, but it's like I'm just not getting there or something.

And then, when I go to the store, it's like there's some gaurdian there as well, blocking me from buying these sweets or really really really good types of food. And if I do throw something in my cart, it's like woosh and it's out again. I can just imagine some mean looking guy with a sword and sash or something just walking around smacking the bad food from my cart and hand (He wasn't around yesterday when I bought the apple fritters. He and Sven went out for coffee or something I think, but hey, even magical mystery guardians need a coffee break here and there, I'm tough work for them, poor guys). I don't know if I have a name or not for the guy in the supermarket that's been stalking me lately but he doesn't look all too pretty.

Yeah, that's him.

Of course, it could also be the fact that I'm starting to get a hang of this whole points system from Weight Watchers (for men). It could be the fact that I'm starting to figure out how to eat right...or it could be Sven and Mr. Not-so-nice-eyes.

What about you? Do you have some magical mystery guardians??

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to the routine

How's that song go? "It's the most wonderful time of the year..." yeah, that one. I know, I know, it's not Christmas but it is the start of the school year out here in South Dakota. And my son started kindergarten this year. I don't know who's happier and more excited--he or I?

What's really cool is the fact that he's totally into transformers now. Yeah. That's right. I'm raising my son right. I've introduced him to the awesome that is Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. And today, he told his teacher "I like Transformers because my Daddy introduced me to them." No lie and no prompting from me.

Not only is my son returning to school but so is my wife. After a few years hiatus from teaching, she is now returning to school to teach part time. This means that my two-year old is in day care (which I think we all needed to tell the truth).

So what does this all mean? Structure!!! Yippee!! This is what someone like me with ADHLAS (Attention Deficit...Hey! Look! A Squirrel!) so needs and to tell the truth craves. I'm so happy to have structure back again. I even was able to hit the gym early this morning for the first time since...well, since summer started. And so now I'm working on getting back in the routine.

It also means that I'm starting to get back in the routine of watching LifeChurch.TV podcasts while I'm on the stationary bike. It means getting back into having that quiet time in my mornings with Bible and coffee.

I so need tell the truth, I'm shocked my Straterra kept me together this long without that much structure.

What about you? With the school kicking in, with things getting back into a routine, are you looking forward to it or dreading it?

Friday, August 19, 2011

I ambassador

One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation is the two parter "Unification." This is the episode where rumor has it Spock (yes, THE pSock) has defected to the Romulans. Picard and Data go in a covert operation to find out if this is true.

It's odd what memories you have concerning your childhood. When we heard that this episode was coming up, we threw a party. My dad, step-mom, Trekkies and us little nerdlings all came together to watch these episodes. Why? Because Spock was coming back! And he wasn't just coming back as any ol' Spock, he was now Ambassador Spock. Ambassador for the United Federation of Planets. Ambassador for his home planet of Vulcan.

And what was it Spock wanted to do? Something amazing! He wanted to unite the Romulans and the Vulcans. They were once one but they separated and went their different directions a millennium ago. He came in peace to bring peace by preaching a message of this peace.

Now what does this have to do with anything? Good question. A lot. Did you know that if you're a Christian, you're also an ambassador?

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

That puts us on the same level as Spock. It's a completely new name. And I know Spock's been called a number of them over the years, good and bad. And with most of them, Spock's not impressed. But as an ambassador, there's nothing more that he would want to do. He knows who he is regardless of what may come.

I've blogged (is that verb now?) over and over again, knowing who you are is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Spock knew with assurance that as an ambassador, he was a representative who came to bring peace to two warring peoples.

There's another person like that as well. A man named Paul who called himself an ambassador in chains because he was constantly arrested. He too knew who he was and what he was called.

So, what's your name?

What're you called?

We can go through life fleeting from one thing to the next. We can get our britches in a twist when we do that, you know. If we're just running back and forth trying to figure it out, then we're like a star ship tossed in the eddies of space.

Do you want to be an ambassador? Do you want to be someone who brings this message of peace--a peace with God and with others? This is one of the greatest new names you might ever receive.

What is your name?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I am...precious in His sight

What's your name?

No, not the one your parent's gave you, but the one your friends gave you. The one your enemies gave you. The one those cheerleaders who never actually let you into your group and teased the snot out of you gave you. Yeah. That name. The name you get called when you and your friends are hanging out--"Knothead" "Numbn...ts" "Fartknocker." What about the names your enemies have given you--"Skank" (that word that rhymes with "witch"), "Jerk" "Weirdo."

Those are the names that stick with us from childhood to junior high to high school. These are the names that hit us at the wrong moments when we hear a compliment or someone trying to be supportive. Even though they are being nice and kind, even though they are trying to be encouraging, you still, in the back of your mind hear those words.

Oh, those blasted frakin' awful words that hurt like sticks and stones. Names will hurt us. They hurt us worse than them sticks and stones which break our bones. And even when we're rubber and they're glue, the names still stick to us and not to you.

And then, when we look in the mirror first thing in the morning, we feel sorry for the mirror. Even our reflection's muttering things under their breathe. We see every blackhead, every zit, every gray hair, every bag under our eyes. We see the cylon underneath our skin and we don't like it at all (okay, that might be reserved for a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday. Ask a fellow a geek for help on that's from the rebooted BSG).

How many times have we said to the mirror in our bathrooms first thing in the morning "Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all." And we hope, we dream, we pray that it's us and the mirror responds with a snap and a head twist "Sure ain't you honey."

That's our view of ourselves.

But then we're hear God's view of us

But now this is what the Lord says--"He who created you...He who formed you...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine...for I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1 & 3

He has a different name for you. He has a name beyond names--you are precious in his sight. You are beautiful to him. You are His.

Now, will you take his hand? Will you allow him to call you precious?

Monday, August 15, 2011

I am...forgiven

What do you call yourself?

What's your name?

They say that a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. But if you call it a stink weed would it still have the same idea of smelling sweet?

So many times, we call ourselves by what we've done and what we do. But there are other times where we see ourselves by what we wish we hadn't done. Is that a bit too philosophical and out there? Probably. Sorry.

What's I'm trying to say is that when it comes to being healthy--physically, emotionally and spiritually--we need to also look at forgiveness.

It's so hard to forgive I think. It's hard for our bodies sometimes to forgive us for putting it through a hard workout. It's hard sometimes to forgive others when they've put us through hard times. It's hard sometimes for us to forgive ourselves because of our own body image. erg.. again.. philosophical.

Let me try this again...

you ever just want to beat somebody upside the head with a baseball bat because of what they said to you? yeah. That feeling. It'd be great to do that sometimes I think. But we can't. It wouldn't be too good to do something like that. And it's even harder to forgive them. And you know what, somewhere out there there's someone who wants to do the exact same thing to you because of something you might have said or done did to them.

Now, take a step back, put down the baseball bat and think this through. Do you want to be called forgiven? Forgiven from what you've done to others, forgiven for what you'd like to do with the baseball bat? No, seriously, put down the bat.

Forgiveness is a two way street. God is willing to forgive us but sometimes we need to be willing to forgive God. Sounds weird. I know. But it's true. Sometimes you might just want to take that baseball bat to God, huh? Put it down.

We also need to forgive others for what they've done to us. And we need to seek forgiveness from those we might have hurt and who want to take a baseball bat to us.

So, why is it healthy to forgive? Dude, so much to say that is too long for a blog post, that's for sure. But in short, a lack of forgiveness just builds up in us. And when it gets too big, we just want to act out that frustration on something, someone. And this can come out through a workout, through going at it on a heavy bag, to wanting to (put it down) get a baseball bat.

Forgiving does something to us. It helps us to let it go. To not let someone or something have control over us. And to tell the truth, if you don't forgive, that anger can really build up in you.

What is your name? Who do you need to forgive? Who do you need to ask forgiveness from?

Trust me, just starting down that road will lead to a better healthy life physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Driving through the Empire


This is the final line of dialogue from The Empire Strikes Back. Now, I must warn you that there might be spoilers here if you haven't seen The Empire Strikes Back. And if you actually haven't seen the movie, go grab the nearest geek and asked to borrow his/her pre-1997 DVD of it. Or just wait until September when Lucas re-re-releases them on BluRay. You know that every fanboy and fangirl will buy their overpriced copy...and yes, I will too probably.

Sorry, back to what I was writing...yes, "ouch." These four letter pretty much sum up the entire movie. From the pain of war to seeing Lando wearing clothes straight out of Hahn's closet. Seriously, check it out in the final scenes, he's wearing Hahn Solo's outfit. Creepy.

The whole movie is about pain. The pain of losing, the pain of the past, the pain of getting your hand chopped off by a lightsaber while dangling very precariously off a ledge. The Empire Strikes Back is all about pain, loss and struggle. And it is all summed up in the word "ouch."

Now, many who saw Empire back in the day were struck at just how hopeless the ending of the movie seemed. Hahn was frozen in carbenite, Lando took off in the Millennium Falcon, and the Rebels were scattered all over the galaxy.

Yet, during this time of trial and struggle, Luke had Yoda walking him through his training as a Jedi. He had a teacher who taught him how to focus, how to concentrate, how to fight and how to escape. This training is what Luke leaned upon when he fought Darth Vader, whom he learned (*spoiler*) was his father.

Now, I'm not comparing Jesus to Yoda what soever. But, in order for Luke to be healthy, he needed a trainer, a teacher to walk with him (and sometimes on Luke's back hitting him) to endure and to understand and to learn. During a time of temptation, Yoda talked Luke through it.

When going through our own Empire Strikes Back, we have our teacher, savior and friend, Jesus, walking with us through it. He is talking with us through tough and dark times. We have one who is greater than Yoda, who died for us so that we might have life. And he teaches us what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Remember this, yes, Empire Strikes Back is bleak, but there is The Return of the Jedi. We need to drive through the hurts, the pains, the struggles of our own life, of our own Empire in order to make it to The Return of the Jedi. Jesus will walk you through this and bring you safely to the other side.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I overcomer

What's your name?

What're you called?

What do you call yourself? Honestly, I've been called it all. Fat. Lazy. Stupid. Behemoth. Big Guy. Fatso. And that's when I was in elementary school. Some by schoolmates but some by my teachers. And I believed them too.

Later on in my life I was called other names. Stubborn. Persistent. Self Determined. Tenacious. Driven. These sounded cooler to me so I believed them too.

But none of these are the names which I like being called. There is only one name I like being called and that is one of Christian.

I have overcome a lot in the last few years. I've overcome weighing over 400lbs. I've overcome a stint in the hospital due to a bad interaction with high blood pressure meds. I've struggled through dyslexia and other learning disabilities. I've worked hard through seminary learning Hebrew and Greek. I've overcome health issues. But I still had my old names. I had what other people called me. And then I was given a new name--Over-comer.

So many things seem to get in our way when trying to do our best. So many things get in our way that keep us from being healthy--physically, emotionally and spiritually. And they seem like they'll always be in the way, stopping us from coming before God.

And then I hear these words

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

What're you called now? Is it getting in your way of, well, everything? Do you feel beaten up like that guy up there? Do you feel pushed around by things in this life?

You can be a conqueror over it all. You can be an overcomer. Heck, you can be more than an over-comer. Now what's standing in your way?

Do you want to be an overcomer? What do you need to work past? What can Jesus help you work past to be more than a conqueror, more than an overcomer?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

from a beetle to a warrior

I recently got my 5 year-old son interested in Transformers. And boy is he now interested in them. He has Transformers underwear (to which he proclaimed in church one fine morning: "I'm wearing underwear that has daddy's toys on them!), a Transformer backpack, a Transformers lunch box and a Transformers folder for school. He has Transformers PJs and Transformer toys. I've also introduced him to The Hub's Transformers Prime. His favorite character? Bumblebee.

And then I think I blew his mind.

I showed him the old Transformers cartoon show from the 80's. His first question: "Where's Bumblebee?" I pointed to the old VW beetle Bumblebee "There he is." I said as a proud parent. My son's first response: "No he's not." He couldn't understand that this Bumblebee was different than the one he knew. This weird, small, talking un-cool-car Bumblebee was, well, Bumblebee.

Things have changed in the last 25 years. The Old Bumblebee was a wisecracking friend of Spike who was faithful and true but also a VeeDub Bug. He also lacked confidence and his first response was to always whisk Spike and the other humans off to safety.

The new Bumblebee is different. He can't talk (his voice processing unit malfunctioned and Ratchet can't fix him with the primitive tools we have on Earth.) Only his friends and fellow fighters can understand him.

He's also a warrior and a scout. He's a fighter. He's a tough-kick-but-take-name's-later fighter. He is confident and is willing to head into battle even when he's had his knees broke. To tell the truth, I wouldn't want to be on the business end of him any day. No way. No how.

One thing Bumblebee now and Bumblebee then do have in common is that they are faithful and loyal. He is loyal to his friends, he faithful to Optimus Prime.

To be honest, Bumblebee has grown up. He is now a warrior. He is truly a relfection on what it means to be a dude now a days. Strong, loyal, faithful to friends, willing to fight but is only understood by those who know him and fight beside him. Other than that, he's alone.

It's hard to be a guy today. We're supposed to be strong yet sensitive, rugged yet metro, work hard yet be supportive, a nice guy but also a bad boy. We're supposed to be neutered warriors without anyone to fight.

We need a battle to fight. And if we don't have a good solid reason to fight a battle, then we fight for no reason.

I choose to fight. I choose to fight for God. To be a prayer warrior. To stand firm against hatred, lack of grace, abuse, pain and otherwise un-niceness. And I want to teach my son to do the same.

How can you be a warrior fighting the good fight?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My ears a painin'

So, I got this wicked bad earache/infection going on here. Massive pain in the ear. This last Friday, my wife (oh so loving and wise beyond her years) said I should probably go get it checked out sooner rather than later. I was busy on Friday. I had to get a ton of work done and visits in. Plus I had a sermon to finish and a funeral meditation to get done. I didn't have time to do that. And so I pressed onward figuring that if I just put some of those Wal-Mart earache drops in my ear and pop some Tylenol, I'll be just fine.

Yeah, so not the case. Saturday it started hurting and that ringing sound started playing where you want to make sure that the phone is ringing and not your ear and you're wrong, it is your ear. Yeah. That. Then Sunday it started hurting worse. Monday around 4am I was cursing the day I was born, folded in the fetal position, rocking back and forth trying hard to find my happy place. Okay, so I wasn't really doing that, but I was up with a heating pad watching late night TV in a ton of pain. I almost drove my self to the ER.

As soon as the doctor's office opened up, I called up to make an appointment. I was seen later on in the afternoon and given a bunch of stuff including the wonderful concoction of Tylenol 3.

This got me to thinking--How many times do we ignore our own pain, our own physical pain (just play through the pain), our own emotional pain (spreading the peanut butter over the pie, sealing away the cracks of pain [a line from Mall Cop]) and our own spiritual pain (God can't love me for what I've done).

Honestly, we do it way too often. We ignore the pain hoping it goes away. We ignore it or try to cover it up hoping that we can maybe get over it. Other times it becomes the excuse we use to avoid others, including God.

What pain are you going through right now. Get it checked out. What pain do you have with God? Lay your pain at the feet of Jesus. Give him your worries, anxieties and pains. He's big enough. He can take it.

And what did I learn from all of this? Listen to my wife next time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Get your dent on

Weight is something I've struggled with all my life. Since I was a kid I've been called fat, overweight and, well, some very nasty words as well. I wore size husky in everything. Looking back on those pictures of me as a kid, I wasn't fat at all. I was big. I was tall and big for my age. People thought I was two or three years older than I really was. One teacher thought I was lying to her when I said I was never held back a grade or three.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been trying to put a dent in my weight. In high school, I looked at going into the Navy. No offense to the Navy or the rest of our armed services, but not the best for one's sense of self worth when you're told the only way you'll ever be accepted in life is to be thinner.

In college, I dropped down to my healthiest weight yet. But according to all the charts, I was still considered obese. Of course, according to the charts, to be what they want me to be I'd have to be skin and bones.

In Seminary, I struggled with a lot of school work, etc and gained way too much weight. In 2004, I started to put a dent into it. By 2010, I'd lost 100lbs (or more. When I was at my heaviest, no one had a scale that would weigh me outside of a zoo.) In December of 2010, I was up 15 pounds. In February, I was up 20. In May, I was up 30 and rising.

I decided it was time to put a dent in it again. Step by step. Minute by minute. And today, I've lost 5lbs since I started.

One of the things that's been helpful for me has been encouragement from friends and family. It's also been coming back to listening to or reading God's word. I know, I know, so cliche, but honestly, this blog is called Spiritual Musclehead (or as I like to say, come for the zombies, stay for Jesus).

We're so fearfully and wonderfully made. Our physical health affects our emotional/mental and spiritual health. Our emotional/mental health affects our spiritual and physical health and our spiritual health does the same.

And so I trudge on. Sometimes I really don't want to eat that apple. But with zero points for an apple vs a candy bar, well, I'm gonna be stingy and go for that. I don't always want to take that time to read or to pray but I know it's needed for my own health and journey. Other times, I so look forward to it all. I so look forward to eating something good and healthy (I know, scary , huh?).

It's amazing what God can truly do.

What are you doing to keep healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A perfect storm of awesome

So, I've been getting back to the gym. I've also started Weight Watchers recently and they have a good app for counting points (so not getting into the whole points system, all I know is that my favorite burger at Hardee's is like 30 something points and so I have the BBQ Ranch Turkey burger which is 12). Now, this being said, I'm trying hard not to talk too much about Weight Watchers because it even annoys me sometimes.

But now about the perfect storm of awesome. There's an app for that. Literally. Back when I had an Android LG Ally, I downloaded the sweetness of workout apps from JEFIT. I mean, it rocked. Then I left my cell on top of the car and picked up the pieces later that day along HWY 44. I joined the crowd of Apple Zombies and got an iPhone as a replacement. But no JEFIT app.

One thing I could do though was watch podcasts from LIfechurch.TV while doing cardio on the bike at the gym. Then I added the Weight Watchers app. And then (cue the "Hallelujah" chorus) JEFIT released their app on the iPhone. This week has been a heaven of pain and joy. Why? This week alone, I've lost 5 pounds by following the Weight Watchers app, been getting my lifting/workout routine going with the JEFIT app and getting spiritually fed (which is hard as a pastor sometimes, I don't always get to hear others preach) while doing cardio.

That being said, wow, perfect storm of awesome this week for that. I'm working spiritual health and there's an app for that. No, seriously. The Today daily devotional is on the iPhone and also Android. Great way to do a short devotional in the morning. And then there's the Youversion Bible app. I've been listening to their audio Bible while doing long drives for hospital visits out this way (pretty much any drive is a long one in South Dakota).

What other apps are out there to help in your journey?

Thursday, July 28, 2011


So, if you're a regular USA Today reader, you might already know this, but for the uninitiated, I'll fill you in.

The day after Memorial Day, DC Comics, the oldest comics-publisher in existence and home of icons like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, announced that their entire publishing lineup (about 60-some titles) will be discontinued in September and replaced with 52 brand new series.

Now, a couple of questions need answering.

1. Why such an oddly specific number like 52?

Well, see, a few years ago, it was established that, within the universe of DC Comics, there were exactly 52 universes, consisting of the main DC Universe and 51 alternatives.

2. Hasn't DC done this already?

OK, that's probably something not a lot of you were asking. But a few of you were, and that's what counts! And yes, DC has done this thing before: twice in fact.

The first time was in 1985. See, by then, DC Comics has been publishing its roster of heroes and other titles for 50 years. As to be expected when publishing stories on a continuous basis every month for that long, there were a lot of mix-ups, contradictions, and bizarre errors.

A lot of this resulted from the fact that since the '60s, a Multiverse (a series of multiple universes with their own defining characteristics) had been used to allow creative teams to do whatever they wanted and play with characters anyway they chose. While this allowed them to reconcile the Golden Age/original versions of characters like the Flash with their modern counterparts, thus solving questions like "How can Batman still be a young guy if he fought during WWII? ", it also created a lot of mixups as to when a certain story happened in conjunction with others and turned off a lot of readers to DC over the years.

To fix this, DC turned to writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, then making waves with their popular New Teen Titans series, to fix things. In response, the duo created the
12-issue series Crisis on Infinite Earths, which ended with the Multiverse (as well as Supergirl and the Flash) being completely destroyed, leaving just one Earth with one set of superheroes.

As part of this new "Post-Crisis" continuity, as it came to be called, new origins were made for Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and the Justice Society, the Golden Age super-team, was retconned so that they were simply the WWII-era predecessors to the modern heroes.

For the next 20 years, things went along just fine. Then, along came...Geoff Johns.

Geoff Johns, the guy on the left, is a writer from Detroit, Michigan. If that image up there doesn't clear it up for you, he's a HUGE fan of Green Lantern.

Anyway, he fits in this story because he started at DC in the '90s. From the start, with his long run on JSA (Justice Society of America), it was obvious that he cared about the long history of the DC Universe. To that end, in 2005, Johns, with artist Phil Jiminez, created the 7-issue series Infinite Crisis, which restored the Multiverse to the 52 Earths I mentioned earlier.

Now, why would DC do this if the stuff after "Crisis on Infinite Earths" worked just fine? Well, see, in the '90s, a phenomenon swept through comics that's since been labeled the "grim'n'gritty" movement: the idea that heroes and villains had to be darker, edgier, and ultra-violent. This resulted in a lot of violent storylines like the death of Superman and the crippling of Batman and the creation of characters like Spawn, who Dr. Peter Coogan once called "the corpse as superhero." Pretty violent stuff, huh?

So yeah, DC (and more specifically, Geoff Johns, who, as I said before, really likes Green Lantern) understandably wanted to make their comics less dark and more accessible for new readers to come in. But, because the Multiverse came back, so did a lot of the original characteristics of the heroes, resulting in the "soft reboot" where DC skipped ahead one year in the lives of all its characters (while simultaneously publishing a weekly series where they showed exactly what happened during the missing year), giving new and lapsed readers a jumping-on point.

Now, I've been reviewing the Superman books in this "New Earth" continuity for the website Trade Reading Order. I can't link to them because none of them have been put up yet, but so far, I'm enjoying what I'm reading. Unfortunately, others can't say the same. Many people were confused after "Infinite Crisis" as to what events during the preceding 20 years had happened and what hadn't. A third Crisis book, the bizarre, convoluted, and just downright incomprehensible "Final Crisis" (I'm not even linking to it, it's that weird), only made matters more confusing. Many people got outraged even further as subsequent events like Blackest Night brought back more of the grittiness and ultra-violence DC claimed they were getting rid of with "Infinite Crisis." So, they needed a shake-up.

And, personally, I'm supportive of it. Of the 4 monthly comics I get right now, only one is a superhero title: "Action Comics," otherwise known as the book that's been around for so long only 6 copies of the first issue still exist! I also just love the DC Universe. Some of my earliest memories are of watching the '40s Superman and '90s Batman cartoons and playing with my Batman toys. They just have great characters, great creators, and great stories to tell. So I'll be invested in this--you can be sure of that.

And I'm not upset that DC is reworking their line again. The superhero stories are modern-day myths, and the classical myths underwent a retelling and reenvisioning for every generation that heard them. I even wrote about 2 Superman revisions for the Superman Homepage, the world's biggest Superman fansite. Clearly, I'm on board with this sort of thing.

Whew...OK, that was a lot of history I threw at you folks. I know that. Sorry for throwing information at you on a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday, but my point for telling all that is to give you some context.

Now that we've done that, here's the heart of the matter. DC doesn't like to call this "New 52" thing a reboot; instead, they're calling it a "relaunch" and a chance to make things new. Who's to say we can't do the same thing?

Occasionally, we get lapsed in our faith, stuck in a rut in our Christianity, just going through the motions. Some people, knowing how troubling this is, take drastic measures like going on mission trips or volunteering for church ministries to recharge themselves.

Now, obviously, that's not a thing that works for anyone. But for something that most of us know by heart, sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones to shake things up and make us see Christ again.

We're told that "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart." But a lot of us don't. So, as I look forward to September and the new DCU, I'll be thinking just what to do with my whole heart.

I took a big step this week. I brought along my Bible on vacation this week so I always remember to pray. I was hoping to use the Bible itself, which didn't really work, but I know I needed to do something as drastic as that to shake me up and get me back to praying.

What about you? can you think of something you can work at for God with all your heart, maybe even something that is outside of your comfort zone?