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How To Live A Standard Without Becoming Arrogant

Can you name the two iconic comic book heroes known for being ‘boy scouts’? They even have similar colored uniforms if you need a hint. Have an answer yet?

The first is Superman. The second is Captain America. I prefer Batman to Superman. I do find myself identifying more with Cap as time goes on. What is it about them that draw people in?

It is what they stand for. They are good for the sake of goodness. I was reading some old comics to clear my head when in New Avengers 15, I saw Carol Danvers’s description of Captain America.

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I wasn’t intending to do any heavy thinking that day. I was trying to relax. However, questions popped into my head. Questions like:

  • How do you represent an ideal without becoming arrogant and self-righteous?
  • Is it possible without burning out?
  • How do you avoid burnout?

My personality type centers on idealism. I went in depth on that in the My Purpose and What Are You Made of posts. It also makes my pet sin to be self-righteousness. I face these important battles.

The days before I planned to write this, I came across an article in my Twitter feed. Chris Railey titled it The Shape of Leadership. He was facing burn out, too. The fire was lit and he questioned God about it.

The answer would be a blow to anyone driven by ego.

“It’s not about you.”

That is the sense he got from God. Then he really drives the point home in the article. “Ministry isn’t about you. Leadership isn’t about you. Your calling isn’t about you.”

I can take a hint. It is a long in-depth article that I encourage you to read. In it, he touches on the two traits that the best leaders have.

  1. Extreme humility
  2. Intense professional will

That sounds like Captain America to me. It sounds like someone else, too — Jesus. He didn’t look for personal gain or success. He put his mission and people first.

When you change success from a big picture perspective to a small moment’s perspective, it gets easier. Instead of worrying about the results, ask yourself three questions.

  1. Did I love them as Jesus would?
  2. Did I do anything Jesus wouldn’t be proud of?
  3. Are things better now than they were before?

When you make it about others your focus changes. The ego isn’t involved anymore and you get out of your own way. When you represent Jesus, it is no longer an issue about your reputation, but His. With the first, you retain your humanity. With the second, you retain your humility.

Hidden Strength; Growing Through Suffering

I would think there is not a person alive that doesn’t have a memory they would like to get rid of. For me, I’d love to be able to look at pictures of my godson. I cannot even look at his baby pictures without having flashbacks, but occasionally I wonder if it is my version of Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’. What good are these bad things in our heads?

  • They test our metal.

The strength of our character endures beatings and tempering like a sword being crafted in a blacksmith’s shop. James 1: 2-4 says that the testing builds perseverance that builds maturity. In Romans 8: 18, Paul writes that our present suffering cannot compare to the glory that is coming. Verse 37 goes further with Paul saying ‘we’re more than conquerors in Christ’.

Do you know anyone who has not been hit by reality? Untested, we don’t know what they are made of—aluminum that wilts in the heat or titanium that flexes under pressure. Those tested have the inner resources and experience to lift up the hurting. They can identify with the struggles and provide more than platitudes.

  • They bring rebirth.

Spoiler alert, my current book project centers on redemption and rebirth. It took me realizing I was helpless before I would cry up to God. He answered and it was months later that I realized how. I watched as things began to fall into place where it shouldn’t have been that easy.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Who needs God when everything is going our way? Few can hear the whispers, or respond to the nudges; however, when it all goes downhill and we realize we don’t have the answers, we can hear again. Our comfort weakens us. It causes us to lose perspective.

  • They help us grow.

A prevalent ‘gospel’ out there is the prosperity gospel. It teaches that God wants us to be happy. The problem is happiness is based on circumstances. Joy is a fruit of the spirit, not happiness.

It also teaches God wants you to be wealthy, just plant a seed and money appears. It is a very commercialized message that is far from the truth. Jesus taught about storing up treasures in Heaven, not here. That isn’t to say poverty equals holiness either, that is the idea that material things are unspiritual. God created the material world, and he wants us to enjoy material things but not owned by them.

What Jesus wants from his followers is in Matthew 28: 19-20. Tell the world about him and teach them his ways. Our funds are just another tool to help make it happen. Our time is as important too.

Like taking the training wheels off your kid’s bike, sometimes God takes parts of our lives away so we can grow. Jesus said as much after the Last Supper in John 15. I have had two things removed in my life. My Saturday afternoon martial arts class and a business I was a part of.

I gained an opportunity to help the poor and homeless instead of the class. I gained a position at work where I can be a servant-leader to over a dozen people instead of occasionally ministering to one or two. Romans 8: 28 says that ‘God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.’

  • They keep us humble, allowing God to work through us.

Can you do something if someone is in your way? It is the same with God. He’s willing to let us do it on our own. It’ll carry us as far as our strength and talents can take us. Paul was a Pharisee who learned from one of the great rabbi’s in Judaism. On his own, he came far and it led him towards self-righteousness.

In 2nd Corinthians 12: 6-10, he admitted he had a “thorn in the flesh”. We never learn what it was exactly, though it seems to be painful enough that he begged for it be taken away. The answer he received was ‘No’. God did give him an explanation though in verse 9; “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” It was there to keep him from becoming conceited.

I have the same problem as Paul. It’s easy for me to become arrogant. When that happens, I start to operate on my own strength. It makes things like being friendly to strangers or patience with people that annoy me harder. When I get out of the way, I just ride the wave of His strength and it becomes easier.

Would you go back and stop your own trials?

How have they benefited you?  

5 Areas Other Than Philosophy That are a Part of Apologetics


A great post.

Originally posted on Hope's Reason:

In discussions with other apologists, I sometimes come across an attitude that apologetics equals philosophy. If you want to be a good apologist, you need a PhD in philosophy. I suspect this comes from William Lane Craig and his vision to see more Christian philosophers in secular universities. I very much agree with that vision, but there is more to the apologetics story.

One of the problems is that there are philosophers who are not apologists and apologists who are not philosophers. I suppose I am sensitive to that as I have never taken a course in philosophy and I can count the philosophy books I have read on one hand and yet I would still call myself an apologist. Here are some other areas that we need some good apologists in.

1. Old Testament. This is one of the most neglected areas of apologetics. There are numerous attacks…

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It’s Okay To Ask For Help

I wonder sometimes if I’m a bit desensitized or emotionally stunted when it comes to my feelings. Everyone faces a loss in their family or friends. Everyone reacts differently to it. Some of my reactions though…are just weird.

In the last three years, I’ve lost nine people in the circles I run in. The last one was my step-grandmother. A lot of my later childhood was spent with her. Casey and I spent part of an afternoon with her a month before she passed to find hope was fading fast.

I heard about it through my sister when she died. The first thought I had was that I’m out of grandparents. I text my wife to tell her what happened. One of her replies was apologizing that I have no more grandparents. I hadn’t told her I had thought that.

I chuckled at that. Over the years, I found that dark humor is a misunderstood coping mechanism. It helped me through the other losses. Especially if I couldn’t find anything to laugh at, I would’ve lost my mind probably.

I did feel like crying. Of course, I can never seem to actually cry. I choke up at the most while the tears stay in hiding. I kept the information to myself about grandma. Instead, I retreated into my habit of bearing it mostly alone.

I wondered where she was now. Present with the Lord or at the other place? I think everyone wonders that in one sense or another. “Is this life all there is?” At the funeral, her chaplain at the hospice eased my mind on that. He had spoken at length with her about her relationship with Christ.

The funeral brought me face-to-face with my past. Instead of scary, I found it to be sad. In hindsight, I should have hugged my stepfather, expressing my condolences. Instead, I hovered protectively around my mom. I also retreat into ‘doing’ to avoid ‘feeling’ sometimes.

Not mom, though. She burst into tears when she hugged her sister-in-law after passing the casket. Casey consoled her while I stood awkwardly to the side.

We left immediately afterwards. While I drove, I thought of the figure that was laying in the casket. To me she looked much different. Life energy makes all the difference it seems. Have you ever noticed how living things have a glow that manmade things do not?

Later that evening, I was at Deaf Den for Prayer night. While I waited for it to start, grief finally hit me. Good timing, because I wanted to be alone so I hid between two rows of chairs.

Am I the only one who does not want to burden others with their sadness?

In Galatians 6:12, the Bible says to bear one another’s burdens. However, that is in the context of sin. It still is a good idea to be there for friends in pain. I have done it for others. They have done it for me when I actually do tell them what is going on. Maybe it’s stubborn pride…actually, that is what it is. Not wanting to show weakness. I will have to work on that.


Are The People You See Worthless?

What is the value of a person? At work, one of the new guy’s commented that he wasn’t anyone important. I told him everyone was important. “To an extent,” was the reply. Who sets the standard for something like that?

I googled “What is the value of the human body?” Well I can tell you it is at least $22,000 just for the corneas. From there it gets even darker when you consider slavery, sex trafficking, and selling the parts of aborted babies.

It seems like the only value placed on people is what we can get out of them. Can they make me money? Can they satisfy my needs? What is in it for me?

What value does a person have? In a conversation with my adopted sister, Bratgirl, she stated that she felt like she contributed to the blog. I decided to count how many times she had contributed.

She’s edited over 70 posts since 2014. Alternatively, the conversations we have that spark a thought. This post is evidence of that. I would like to think that these posts help people. If they have, then she has also helped them. Is this the only thing that makes her valuable?


People have an intrinsic value. I have gone in depth about how we’re not here by chance in Walking, Talking Miracles. In Looking Through God’s Eyes, I really dug into how God sees us. It is human life that has value.

I am afraid we’re cheapening it more every day. We see our own lives as valuable. Other’s not so much. That is evident in our daily behavior.

Watch drivers on the interstate that zip by, cutting in between cars with inches to spare. A miscalculation and it could result in a fatal accident. Look at the hook-up club scene where all people are searching for is a night’s pleasure without caring about what the other is going through. “Men” fathering children and walking out of their lives, or women doing the same, that is if they even carry the pregnancy to term.

Thoughts like, “Trample the weak, hurdle the dead”, “survival of the fittest”, and “what’s in it for me” pervade humanity. I have a question for you. Do you want to be noticed in the world?

It is a counter-cultural idea. Ready? Don’t use people, instead reach them. The real difference-makers touch lives. They care and they love people.

Do you remember anyone that reached out with love to you?

A heartwarming Facebook story gets thousands of Likes. How many want to make a heartwarming story in someone else’s life? How have you positively touched someone’s life today? A smile, warm conversation — it doesn’t take much. Today could be the worst day of their lives and you’ll be the only good thing that happened that

Go and be a light in someone’s life.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. First John 4: 11