Choices, choices …

"I choose a mortal life," Lady Arwen ~ Lord of the Rings
“I choose a mortal life.” Lady Arwen, LOTR

For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

Corinthians 15:53

As anyone who is familiar with me knows, I can be a bit of a science fiction fan. I say “a bit” because science fiction is only a small part of what I like to read and it seems to be a genre with which more folks are acquainted. But I truly love fantasy adventure, young adult fiction with supernatural leanings, specifically. It goes back to my early childhood when I used to pick up my brothers’ comic books and teach myself to read. (To this day, there are still words I mispronounce because I learned by sounding them out as best I could!) The Archie digests, Richie Rich and Casper were faves, but the superheroes! They were the best – action, adventure, super powers, villains – BAM! POW! Cartoons and comics were wonderful, colorful and self-explanatory because of the pics. They were also a great way to improve reading comprehension and vocabulary. They built my imagination and increased my sense of wonder. Because these traits outlasted my childhood, I believe they contribute to my ability to look to God for great things even today.

I also credit my growth early on as a reader (and subsequently, writer) to The Book of Beautiful Bible Stories. I read my grandmother’s illustrated copy until it fell apart. (I actually found a copy at a library book sale when my children were young. I can tell you, I am quite happy to have it in my possession!) That was pretty much it for books, as I recall, until I was sent to a new school in the fourth grade – Walt Disney Magnet School. It was as magical as it sounds and a great opportunity for my family. I enjoyed the experience immensely and still carry fond memories of my time there.

After being there a short while, I noticed certain children walking around with a book under their arm. Not a textbook, mind you, but what I know now as a paperback novel. I was curious. Why did they carry this book? Was it assigned? It wasn’t a comic or picture book and the cover was dark and depressing instead of bright and attractive. It didn’t look like your typical children’s book. Hmmm. It piqued my interest and one day, while visiting the library, I spied the tome and was able to sate my curiosity. Little did I know, The Hobbit would take me on a lifelong journey to a world where the pictures would no longer be physically necessary. Instead, I would be required to create them with my imagination. But it would not be a chore as the author went to great pains to supply plenty of clues to aid the process so that my mental picture would be complete.

Other books of the same genre soon followed, most notably, The Lord of The Rings. Movie adaptations of LOTR failed to impress, although I so much wanted to be. Then came Peter Jackson’s version of the J.R.R. Tolkien classic. At last – a movie that did justice to the book! (It’s a three part book, people – not a trilogy!) So many times I had been disappointed with Hollywood’s take on my favorite stories. This was one of the few occasions they didn’t let me down. Normally, I found The Two Towers (Part II) laborious. Not so. The battle scene was thrilling. (Orlando Bloom in tights, shooting arrows and performing an insane flip to mount his horse – need I say more?) I was even pleased with the liberties taken with the story line. The added embellishment to the secret love of Aragorn and Lady Arwen kept me enthralled. The heroes of one of my best loved tales leapt off the page and sprang to life.

And then Arwen said something that I don’t recall from the books. But I have not been able to forget it ever since. “I choose a mortal life.” It may have come from one of other, lesser known books the author created in that same world, providing a back story for the works that would become famous. It has been said of Tolkien that he was Christian and that these stories were Christian in nature. Keeping that in mind, the parallel that I drew from his character to Christ did not seem so strange.

See, Arwen was one of the Eldar. Actually, daughter of a great king among the elves, Elrond. As such, she had the capacity to live a very long life. Potentially forever, if not killed. The elves were portrayed as angelic, though flawed. They could alternate between being beautifully ethereal and at times, terrible to behold. By contrast, hobbits had a life expectancy somewhere around the life span of man before the flood. Bilbo and Frodo, for example, were in their third century of life when their adventures began – equivalent to our early thirties. Aragorn aka Strider represented man after the flood. He would age at what could be considered, for us, a normal pace. Which left Arwen with a dilemma. I’m sure you could imagine it. How could she and her love be expected to overcome their age difference? He would expire long before she would even think of dying. But because she loved him, she would not want to outlive him. So, she made a choice. He could not become Eldar. The only option was for her to give up her longevity and join him. Only great love could cause one to make such a sacrifice.

Essentially, this is what Jesus, the son of God did when he put aside his divinity to become one of us. Stepping out of eternity, he entered our time stream to become like his creation, to experience life as we do. Jesus hungered and was thirsty, he got tired and was sleepy; he dealt with the same limitations of a mortal body that we do. He knew what it was to love and be injured by love, to be betrayed and deserted by his friends. In short, he became one of us. He loved us enough to not leave us here by ourselves, choosing to die with us, for us, as one of us so that we could live forever with him. He chose a mortal life. Because of his sacrifice, we can now choose immortality. Yep. Just ours for the taking. Jesus gave it all up to give us this opportunity. In effect, He pressed the re-set button. How many of us have thought, if i were in the Garden of Eden, I would’ve done things differently? Or, if only they hadn’t partaken of the forbidden fruit? Well, we now have the same choice set before us as Adam and Eve. Life and death, immortality or mortality. Therefore, let us choose wisely so that on the day of His return, like Arwen, we may be reunited with our King.

Be blessed,


Love On Top!

Beyoncé aka Mrs. Carter
This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10 
Baby it's you! You're the one I love. 
You're the one I need. You're the only one I see. 
Come on baby it's you! 
You're the one that gives your all. 
You're the one I can always call. 
When I need you make everything stop. 
Finally, you put my love on top. 

They say troubles come in multiples. For me, three is the magic number. That’s when I call it. See, the first incident could be merely coincidence. The second occurrence may be just plain bad luck, By the third event, I know that I am the recipient of a full-fledged, out and out attack that is supernatural. It’s usually at that point the devil is identified and he runs screaming like the little punk he is. (Yes, he is – we don’t owe him any reverence.) Picture him as the wicked witch of the Wizard of Oz after having a bucket of water thrown on her by Dorothy. “You’ve destroyed all of my beautiful wickedness,” the witch cries as she melts into nothing. It’s a comical scene when you think about it, but in reality, it’s not amusing. He doesn’t like to be called out. He wants us to think it is people who hate us, events are conspiring against us, or even that God doesn’t want us to be happy. That they are the enemy when all the time it is he, the evil one, who is at work. He is the spiritual wickedness that influences those who sit in high places.

The Bible promises us that the troubles we encounter are only those common to man. In other words, they happen to everyone at some time or another. We shouldn’t think it strange or unusual that it would eventually come for us in some shape, form or fashion. We may feel our troubles are unique. However, heartbreak is not. It is our common denominator, no matter our station in life. But with every trial, there is a way of escape given to us; the means to not necessarily undo what has happened but to transcend your circumstances, to rise above that situation. It is then that we can see that there may be a higher purpose for our trouble, a lesson to be learned. His ultimate goal is even sometimes revealed during our tribulation. So the way out is to change our focus, to see the One who is in control and to trust His plan.

So I’ve had my three recently – troubles that is – and I recognized the devil behind the curtain, manipulating events to discourage me. Then one day as I was driving Love on Top played on my car radio. That song had me grinning, singing along and bouncing in my seat. (It’s so much fun to sing along – not to mention the dance moves in the video were borrowed from New Edition’s If It Isn’t Love, another fave.) It has become my personal anthem, a love song from me to God. I riffed along with Beyoncé: “Baby it’s YOU!” I realized that in the midst of whatever is troubling me, my constant is God. My love for Him, supersedes everything because it helps me to endure and overcome anything. One of the most wretched feelings in the world is to feel like the object of your desire doesn’t return the sentiment. But I am sure of His steadfast love for me. Nothing can separate us. No-thing. I hear myself saying to Him as Bella said of Edward (of Twilight fame) – It’s Edward! It’s always been Edward! Poor Jacob never had a chance (LOL) because she had met THE love of her life. And so it is with me, no other god – be it money, worry (or worries about money), jealousies, envy, pride, job (or the loss thereof) – no other god can stand before my God. As was said of The Highlander: There can be only one! (I know that’s two movie references but I couldn’t resist! BTW – did you catch the shout out to Schoolhouse Rock?)

Which brings me to Good Friday, the day leading up to Resurrection Sunday – the holy day formerly known as Easter (nod to Prince). We honor the sacrifice of the one who loved us enough to die in our place so that we could have a chance at restoration. The One who put our love on top and made our salvation a priority. He is the only one who could have done it. I’ve heard folks mention other deities that have similar lore of a virgin birth and a god who died. But Jesus is the One who, as my sister loves to say, “loved us so much, he put his life on it!” He didn’t just die, he did it with purpose, executing a plan to save us which was set in motion from the foundation of the world. He put us first. God’s thoughts are always towards us, his creation. I know this. I see it in nature and how he carefully cultivated our living environment, anticipating our every need before he even created man, his crowning achievement, to oversee the world. We remain, to this day the apple (or center) of His eye.

I’m sure of some things in life. Troubles come and go. Everybody gets a turn. “But I know! (in ma Beyoncé voice)!” Jesus is the One I love. He’s the only One I know I need for certain. I see Him in everything, even a secular song, and gladly receive the confirmation of our love. I know He is working it out for my good. He gives me more than I asked for, more than I could ever imagine or conceive. I call on Him during times of distress, habitually. And He has answered my prayers repeatedly. It’s no wonder I can say with such joy, “Jesus it’s YOU!”

Be blessed,



Running with the Wolves

I’ll be honest. Brutally. I’ve avoided blogging for a while. Been turned off to it for quite some time now. All because of those who perpetrate and pretend to be Christians. They give those of us who are His disciples a really bad name. I’m not ashamed of this gospel but I don’t want to be counted amongst that number. We’re supposed to be good guys, people! But folks have got it twisted, thinking they are THE (ONLY) GOOD GUYS aneyes-712125_1280d, as such, above reproach. Oh, it breaks my heart, really it does, to see the foolish and vile things we visit upon our fellow man in the name of Christianity. Jesus said the world would know us by the love we have for one another. That would be the evidence, proof that we belonged to Him and that we are His disciples. So let’s ask ourselves, in light of that scripture: What are we really showing the world about us, as those who espouse His teachings and citizens of the oft proclaimed “God’s country?” It’s sad, truly and if you think God is down with it, you’re wrong. If Jesus came back today, looking for his church (without spot or wrinkle) would he even recognize you? Or would he count you as one of the goats – you know, one of those non-believers that we have been conditioned to look down upon. Would He see you, claim you as one of His own or call you out as a Pharisee so busy straining out the gnat that you swallow the camel? Worse yet, would He identify you as one of the wolves come to deceive the flock. Let us examine ourselves more closely. What would the evidence reveal about you? As one of my late pastors used to sing, “you oughta show some sign” of being a Christian. If only there were such a thing to indicate where our loyalties lie, a way to know for sure. Aha! But there is! It is LOVE.

Be Blessed,