God of the bathrooms

wood 2Bob likes reading mythology, old and new, and even makes up some of his own.  One of the classic old standbys, of course, is the hero in the Odyssey.  Here’s my crib note version based on what’s left of my memory from required reading in high school and watching some old Hollywood interpretation on TV:

Odysseus has been away from the home castle for quite a long stretch; I can’t remember why, but “the rosy fingers of dawn” is mentioned several times.  That, plus the fact that he and his very macho comrades go through all kinds of fantastic adventures with all kinds of out of this world creatures (today, I believe they are referred to as “meta-humans” in the Comicon universe).  Continue reading “God of the bathrooms”

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Superheroes loading the dishwasher

wood 2By now, some of my readers know that my husband’s blog, Pneumythology, (the name of which I came up with, BTW, just sayin’…or I guess you can blame me, whichever), has much to do with equating mythology with everyday life.  As such, he writes and reviews about graphic novels, superhero movies, and so the upcoming Wonder Wonder flick is high on the summer watch list in my house.  I’m sure there will plenty of pyrotechnics and the zinging of bullets and explosions of unrealistic proportions. pow-158867_1280

Then there’s real life.  He really does clean the bathroom and load the dishwasher.  (#he’smineyoucan’thavehim)

However, in the midst of the mundane, we both actually believe in a mythology, not in the sense of make-believe fairy tales, as in Greek and Roman trying-to-make-sense-of-nature stories.  I mean the epic, the there’s-got-to-be-more-than-I-see life, a reality the supersedes my sensate tangibles and my abilities to understand.  And, occasionally, “it” pokes through the fabric of even our ordinary humanity…

Evidently, this happened more than occasionally to Moses.

 “But when you heard the voice from the heart of the darkness, while the mountain was blazing with fire, all your tribal leaders and elders came to me. They said, ‘Look, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak to us humans, and yet we live! But now, why should we risk death again? If the LORD our God speaks to us again, we will certainly die and be consumed by this awesome fire. Can any living thing hear the voice of the living God from the heart of the fire as we did and yet survive?  Go yourself and listen to what the LORD our God says. Then come and tell us everything he tells you, and we will listen and obey.’

And if you’ve read the rest of the story, we all know how long that lasted. 

Yet, God seemed okay with this plan.  Unfortunately, the people’s historic track record with this kind of communication/obedience pattern fell pretty short.  Second-party information can sometimes be just that—information.  Head knowledge instead of heart knowledge.  “What”, instead of “how” and “why”.  Information bereft of application.  Experience without wisdom.  And all that boils down to legalism or license, both of which are deadly as poison.

Enter the new covenant, with the Holy Spirit, A.K.A., the Paraclete, translated for us as Helper.  And, boy, do we need help, especially with the application part.  At least the Hebrew people, quaking in their sandals at the foot of the mountain, had a glimpse of the power and awesomeness that they were dealing with (and probably more than a few had to clean themselves off when arriving back at their tents.)  We, unfortunately, are generally not graced with that sense of awe, but instead with a smug arrogance of self-sufficiency, even without our Christian context. Got the marching orders, thanks Lord, I’ll take it from here! (Ouch.)

We really don’t know What (Who) we’re dealing with here.  But part of the good news is—we can.

“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

And part of the important news is, as a disciple of Jesus—I must. 

Because as Peter Parker’s uncle told the young and upcoming superhero Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Not bad wisdom for a myth.

Deuteronomy 5: 23-27; John 14:21 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Superheroes, UNITE! (This means us.)

Underdog_(animated_TV_series)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The iconic Underdog character was birthed from the mind of W. Watts Biggers. I think he intuitively knew our American mindset in this area!

Bob is pretty fascinated with the superhero phenom in our culture.  At the time of this writing, we just returned last night from a date (yes, couples should still date after 36 years…) to the local theatre where we saw Captain America-Civil War.  No spoiler alert in case you’re one of the handful who hasn’t seen it, but as the title implies, it’s the flick in the interminable series where the supers duke it out against each other. 

I guess they haven’t read that part about “a house divided against itself…”

Anyway, as a society we congregate over these fantasies for several reasons, some more ominous than others.  In fact, a good blogging buddy of mine, Oneta at Sweet Aroma, left me this comment:

“And while we build supermen in the sky, on earth we live so far below what God has available for us.”

Good seg into this account about Continue reading “Superheroes, UNITE! (This means us.)”

Where’s your cape?

Dawncartoon[1] (1)
The photo was created by Richard Starbuck.   Although I’m sure if I’m a super hero or an arch villain.  It depends on who you talk to, I suppose…

I find the explosion of super hero-mania interesting.  (Not so much the zombie fascination, although I’m sure there’s probably plenty of fodder there for the psychologists, also.)  I went to to see the original Star Wars back in the late seventies, back before Harrison Ford and I had gray hair. Rumor has it that my in-laws knew one of the guys who played Darth Vadar, and that he was a really nice and gentle human being. 

Good acting, that.

One spin-off from all of this super-hysteria is Marvel’s Agents of Shield.  It’s a fairly violent show, so I’m not putting my Better Homes and Gardens Seal of Approval on it or anything, but it does bring up an interesting make-believe concept: people may have latent super powers for which they didn’t ask.  And, secondly, they need to learn to control those gifts for good or for bad purposes.  AND in that learning process, there tends to be “collateral damage” along the way.

But, really, is that so far-fetched?

We all have hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) traits that need to be harnessed, but to do so, they must first be identified.  What we may initially think is a curse, may be the very thing our Creator had downloaded into our personal hard drive for a specific purpose.  When it’s tempting to think, “Why did God make me this way?  It seems so abnormal!!”, it may actually be wiser to ask, “Why did You make me this way?  What’s Your plan?”

Case in point: I seem to not “feel” as deeply as some others do.  I tend not to “miss” people so much when they are away, although I love it when I see them again.  Or why some people seem so blessed with “feeling” the presence of God, and I’m just, well,…me.  So I wondered about my emotional make-up, until I began to see how this irregularity functions quite well when there is a need for calm, unemotional evaluation or action. 

And then I just love the whole Bruce Banner/Hulk thing.  He’s finally starting to figure out how his curse can be used as a blessing, although it is only via his interaction and relationship with his new-found Avenger teammates that he is learning to harness his power for good.  He needs  his friends’ help.  We are no different.

Finally, in the learning process, there tends to be hurt.  For me, people may think I don’t love them, or in the other example, that I’m not in love with God.  Both assumptions are grossly wrong.  Here’s where clear communication is so important.  Pray for grace, pray for protection. We have an enemy that would like to fully take advantage of this misunderstanding. 

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.  A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”

So what are you waiting for?  Go grab your cape.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.