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Issue #5 June-August 2012
PUBLISHER DIRECTOR Joan Polito EDITORIAL Nancy Reimann | Associate Editor Jerry Rood | Associate Editor Yo Snyder | Associate Editor CONTRIBUTORS Michelle Bransford | Ray Del Toro Misty Foster | Will Hall | Leigha Harvey Nate Heitzig | Skip Heitzig | Stevo Jeter Jesse Lusko | Lindsey Maestas Katie Lynn Milford | AJ Villegas DESIGN & LAYOUT Khanh Dang | Design Director Bethany Dorl | Junior Designer ADVERTISING Darren Arnold | Sales Director > email@example.com DISTRIBUTION If you are a retailer and would like to carry Connection Communications
Static Paper, please contact:
Joan Polito > firstname.lastname@example.org 505.344.0880
In this issue of Static Paper we take on the American obsession with wealth, beauty, power, and fame. Articles broach our fascination with American Idol, our fixation with looking young, and our continual quest for pleasure. You will also find reviews of Suzanne Collins’ popular novel, The Hunger Games, and House of Heroes latest album, Cold Hard Want, as well as interviews with TFK and Jeff Bramstedt, consultant for the film Act of Valor. Don’t miss any of these insightful takes on tough issues—all with a twist that will make you think.
-Static Paper Team
4001 Osuna Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87109 505.344.9146
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Top 10 Summer Jobs for College Students
the 411 >>>
1. WORK ON CAMPUS 4. MAKE A DIFFERENCE 6. WAIT TABLES 7. FIND AN INTERNSHIP 9. BE A NANNY
If trading in your summer vacation for a plastic nametag sounds like a losing deal, it’s time to shift your perspective. Scoring a summer job can also help you boost your bank account while earning valuable work experience. Here are ten excellent ideas for meaningful, profitable, and often fun summer work.
Want a summer job that can really help you manage your education costs? Thanks to programs like the Federal Work-Study Program, college students can earn financial aid with part-time work. How much you earn depends on your financial need.
2. BE A CAMP OR YOUTH PROGRAM COUNSELOR
Relive the awkward social dynamics, bugs, and unforgettable fun that dominated your own camp experiences, only this time you get to wear the whistle.
3. GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY AT A LOCAL FARM
The farm-to-table and local movements have created a number of summer jobs at farms, farmer’s market, and within community share agriculture (CSA) programs.
Programs like Habitat for Humanity provide valuable work and teambuilding experience while providing much needed services to those in need. Many of these programs offer paid positions in addition to volunteer opportunities.
5. BE A LIFEGUARD OR SWIM INSTRUCTOR
Who wouldn’t want to get paid for lounging by the pool? This type of work is seasonal, fun, and may even help you save a life.
It might not sound as exciting as other jobs making our list, but waiting tables is an excellent summer job, particularly at nicer establishments with excellent tip potential. Serving also sharpens your organizational and multi-tasking skills and keeps you on the move.
Landing a summer internship, particularly one related to your major, boosts your resumé while establishing skills you can actually use down the line. Some internships are unpaid, however, so ensure potential positions meet your financial needs before applying.
8. RESORTS OR SUMMER ATTRACTIONS
Spend your summer on the islands or working at a theme park. Summer resorts and attractions provide excellent seasonal work for high-energy college students who want to get away or just have fun with their jobs. Some employers even provide housing as part of your compensation.
Busy parents are willing to pay good money for reliable childcare while their kiddos are out of school for the summer. Some families provide food and housing.
10. BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR
Summer is an excellent time to launch your own seasonal business—a venture that hones your marketing, financial, and general people skills. Mow lawns, clean pools, or walk dogs, just be sure you’re doing something that you love. SOURCE: onlinecolleges.com
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second season; you’d think they were running for office or something.) It was a frenzy of passionate devotion focused on finding not just a star, but… well, the next American idol. You have to give credit to the show; it was bold enough to be honest about what was going on. Of course some may be thinking, Hold on, it’s not like that. Sure, the show is called American Idol, but it’s not like people were actually worshiping those contestants like idols…er, even though they were called “idols.” Besides, it’s all just entertainment. What’s the big deal? Everyone knows that idolatry is some Old Testament thing and isn’t that big of a deal anymore; right? Hmmmm…let’s take a closer look. First, perhaps we’d better define our terms. What is idolatry? Well, according to Dictionary.com it’s “excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.”i Synonyms include madness, obsession, and mania. Thinking about the phenom that was and is American Idol, that ought to make us squirm just a little bit. Going a bit deeper, Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary says that idolatry is “image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object.”ii It goes on to say there are three forms which include “Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.,” nature worship, which is “the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, as the supposed powers of nature,” and hero worship, which includes “the worship of deceased ancestors, or of heroes.” I think we could certainly say there’s a bit of “hero worship” in today’s culture; from American Idol singers to all those guys in tights running around in the big summer blockbusters. Then there’s the definition a pastor I know once used, “An idol is anything that takes our attention and affections away from God.” Looking at those definitions, is there really any way we can say that today’s obsessive culture of celebrity is anything but idol worship? And it’s not just American Idol we’re talking about here. How much do we know about any celebrity? How much do we know about the personal lives of people we’ve never met—athletes, actors, singers— just because they’re famous? How much
It’s the stuff dreams are made of. The chance to be a star. The chance to be the next “big thing.” The chance to be the next everyday Joe to become an overnight, national sensation. Fame. Riches. Glory. Who hasn’t dreamed of that happening? Of being “discovered”?
From 1983 through 1995, the TV show Star Search was one of the most popular ways to make those dreams come true. In fact, just a few of the stars who graced that stage on their way to something bigger over the years include Adam Sandler, Britney Spears, Kevin James, Rosie O’Donnell, Sharon Stone, and even Justin Timberlake (who appeared as Justin Randall back then). After a few years of being off the air, Star Search tried to make a comeback in 2003, but it never quite caught on the way it had before. Why? Things had changed. America was no longer looking for the next big star, they wanted something bigger. The rise of the internet as a ubiquitous part of life and the constant access people had to information and gossip (thanks to the invention of the “smart phone”) meant a greater level of obsession than ever before. People wanted more than just another talent show, and they got it. American Idol made its debut in 2002, just a
year before the return of Star Search, but it quickly solidified itself as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything seen before. It rose to the top of the ratings and dominated them as the top-ranked show, virtually unchallenged, for eight straight seasons. It’s still very popular today in its 11th season, but faces greater challenges from new shows such as The Voice and X-Factor, as well as internal challenges with some changes among the judges (no more acerbic comments from the razor-tongued, but usually spot-on, Simon Cowell). American Idol wasn’t just about finding a new talent—it was something much more personal. Fans divided into camps each season as they supported “their singer,” fervently extolling their virtues, trying to convince others of their worthiness in order to get enough votes to get that singer to the next round, and hopefully the finals, where they could win it all. (I got so tired of the whole Ruben Studdard/Clay Aiken debate during the
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do we know about the next big blockbuster? (There was so much known about The Avengers movie before it ever came out one almost didn’t even need to bother seeing it.) How much time and money do we spend on things to entertain us and distract us? Did you know that since 2004, gamers have played 123 million hours of the various games in the Halo franchise?iii That’s 85 million days! Did you know the total box office for last year was just under $10 billion,iv and video games racked in just over $16 billion?v If time and money are any indication of our true devotions, well, what does all of this, from American Idol to the box office, say about us? There’s obviously some “excessive…adoration, reverence, and devotion” going on there. There’s obviously an obsession, at times almost madness over these things. It’s clear that honor is being paid to created objects (and yes, people fall into that category). Our attention and affections are obviously being drawn away. So, can we really say that idolatry isn’t present in today’s culture? All right, so maybe we do enjoy entertaining things. Maybe we’re even a bit obsessive about them; but it’s not really that big of a deal, right? Well, if there’s one thing the Bible makes clear, it’s that God really, really doesn’t like anything to take His place. In fact, He hates idolatry of any kind. Very few passages of Scripture relate God’s feelings on idolatry quite like Jeremiah chapter 3. “The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: ‘Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore?’” (Jeremiah 3:6 ESV). In fact, in this one chapter, God uses some form of the word “whore” at least
perversion—it’s that severe. It’s also something that hurts God. Read through Jeremiah 3 and you’ll hear the voice of a wounded and scorned lover, of a husband whose wife has ripped out his heart with her indifferent unfaithfulness. It’s a heartbreaking passage that reveals the depth of betrayal God feels because of idolatry. I read these passages of the betrayal God feels and I wondered, If my wife were to brazenly and blatantly go off and give herself to other men, not even hiding it, but doing it in such a way so that all the world and myself would know, how would I feel? How devastated, angry, heartbroken and bitter would I be? It’s only when I go to this dark place in my mind and emotions that I begin to get an inkling, the smallest sense of what idolatry does to God. When I put anything first in my life other than God, when I give my devotion, my obsession, my affections, and time and resources to anything above God, when I go from just enjoying a show called American Idol to a place where it truly becomes American idolatry; I am a whore in God’s eyes. However, this passage in Jeremiah 3 doesn’t just reveal to us God’s broken heart because of the sin of idolatry, it also shows us His expansive love and mercy. Even as He talks about how He has been betrayed, He also reveals His longing, His yearning for the one He loves to return to Him. Even the sin of idolatry can be forgiven by the greatness of His love and mercy. “Return, faithless Israel, declares the LORD. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God and scat-
An idol is anything that takes our attention and affections away from God.
six times to describe Israel’s faithlessness. What’s more, many of you are probably more offended over the fact that the word whore is even used than you are over the context of how it describes God’s feelings about idolatry. Whore is not a pleasant word. But that’s really the point, isn’t it? Because neither is idolatry. Truth is, it probably best explains how idolatry affects God. He feels that idolatry is a betrayal, a violation of trust, a vile act of tered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 3:12-13 ESV). Elsewhere God just simply says, “Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 1:3 ESV). It’s astounding to think that God can and will forgive even the sin of idolatry, and yet He says over and over again that He’s willing to do just that. All He wants is us.
All He wants is to love us heart, soul, body, and mind—and He wants the same from us in return. Even in the midst of vile betrayal, He still speaks of love, forgiveness, and restoration. As severe as the sin is, God’s love is more severe still—more powerful, more potent, more capable. Again I try to imagine the situation through the lens of my relationship with my wife. I know the hurt that I would feel, but would my love be strong enough to overcome it all? To forgive her and welcome her back? Putting it in that context just leaves me in awe of the immensity of God’s love. I think it would be no easy thing to welcome back a brazenly unfaithful lover and spouse, yet to all who have whored themselves out to idols of any and every kind, that’s exactly what God is willing to do: welcome us back with open, loving, forgiving arms and once again lay claim to us as His beloved. Truly His love for us is immense beyond measure. You know, there’s a lot we can learn about ourselves looking through the lens of the American Idol phenomenon. Though its appeal has faded somewhat in recent years, certain things are clearly on display when you watch the audience. As their favorite “idol” sings, watch to see what happens in the audience. There are raised hands. There are closed eyes. There are rapturous looks. There are declarations of love and devotion. All of this suggests to me that worship is instinctive. We were obviously designed for worship and devotion. We give those things out so readily, sometimes without even thinking about it: at a concert or a big sporting event or a big movie release, where the adulations flow so freely. And yet, at times, we struggle to bring that same level of excitement, devotion, and passion to our time of worship at church. Strange, no? It’s also clear from the American Idol phenomenon that we are fascinated to the point of being obsessive when it comes to celebrities. They intrigue us; and the contestants on American Idol even more so, because they’re almost like us; they’re everyday people living our dream of becoming larger than life. So if we’re naturally inclined to worship, why do we turn so quickly away from freely offering up that worship to God? If we’re naturally drawn to follow and obsess over intriguing people, why do we often show so little interest in God? Is there anyone more fascinating? Is there anyone more intriguing? Is there anyone more worthy of worship or devotion? There aren’t any hard and fast statistics on this, but just going off of conversations I’ve heard over the years, since 2002 there have been plenty of Wednesday nights where church attendance has dipped because people “needed” to stay
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Whore is not a pleasant word. But that’s really the point, isn’t it? Because neither is idolatry. Truth is, it probably best explains how idolatry affects God.
home to watch American Idol. It’s interesting that the very One who gave us our worshipful nature so often lost our devotion to a show boldly proclaiming exactly what it was—something that drew our attention and affections like a siren’s song away from where they truly belonged, just as idols of every kind have always done. It’s easy to read all of this and think, Well great, guess that means I need to sell my TV, downgrade my smart phone, and head off to live in a monastery. I’m not suggesting that at all. There’s nothing wrong with watching a little TV, enjoying a good movie, being moved by a powerful song, or getting caught up in the make-believe world of a video game. However, there’s a line between enjoying those things and whoring ourselves out to them. We need to be aware of our natural tendencies; to obsess over and offer devotion to and to worship and adore and revere and “love” things that were never meant for that. It’s a line that’s so easy to cross, so easy to pass by and leave us looking back and wondering why church is so boring and why cheering on some stranger to become richer and more famous than we’ll ever be is something we must see, must participate in, must know every detail about. We all know that idols of wood and stone are silly; why would we ever give our affections and attention to such inanimate objects? However, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that because we know that about wood and stone, that idols no longer exist. What about the idols of silicone chips and retina displays, of glitz and glamour, of fantasy, action, adventure, and even of flesh and blood? They permeate our culture like camou-
flaged predators, not seen and recognized for what they are until it’s too late. To avoid the whoredom (still shocking, right? Good, just seeing if you’re still paying attention) of American idolatry we need to remember our first love, and if we’ve crossed that line from entertainment to idolatry, we need to repent and return, to “do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:5 NIV). Do you remember what it was like to first fall in love? How you would do anything just to be where your beloved was? How you would do anything to please them and incur their favor? Do you remember what it was like to first realize how much God loved you? How He was willing to do everything, even die on a cross, to declare His love and make a way for you to be together with Him? That’s what we need to cling to and cultivate. That’s the passion and devotion we need to fuel through worship, prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and meditation. Most importantly, we need to give Him time. The idols of this world draw us away simply because of the time we give them. Our affections can’t help but be drawn away when our time is spent on that which we say is merely “entertaining.” To say we have no time for God is to give in to the lure of American idolatry. We need to raise our awareness not only of the fact that idols still exist today, but also of how easily they can absorb our time. A lot has changed in the years from Star Search to American Idol. There are more distractions for our obsessive nature to latch onto than ever before. There are more details about every intriguing person to absorb than ever before. (Is anyone else getting a little tired of knowing every little thing
that Tim Tebow does?) We have access to more gossip, inside scoops, tweets, posts, and likes than ever before. Idolatry is not just something from the Old Testament that took the Israelites hundreds of years of repeat invasions and subjection to foreign powers to break them from. It’s more rampant and easily accessible than ever before, refined to deftly appeal to our natural tendency to worship and follow devotedly that which captures our interest. We also need to be aware that perhaps now more than ever, in order to stand against the lure of American idolatry, we need to follow the advice of the old hymn which tells us to “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Idolatry. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ Idolatry (accessed: April 12, 2012).
ii Idolatry. Dictionary.com. Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Idolatry (accessed: April 12, 2012). iii i
Murphy, David. (April 1, 2012). Halo’s Final Statistics: 235,182 Years Played, 136 Billion Kills. PC Mag.com. Accessed April 13, 2012 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402479,00.asp
Lang, Brent. (December 19, 2011) Box Office Slide: 2011 Domestic Revenue To Fall Short of 2010. The Wrap. Accessed April 13, 2012 http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/ domestic-box-office-will-shrink-second-year-row-33777
v Jackson, Leah. Video Game Sales Down 2% According to NPD Analysis. G4TV.com. Accessed April 13, 2012 http:// www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/719867/video-game-sales down-2-in-2011-according-to-npd-analysis/
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It’s My Birthday & I’ll Cry If I Want To...
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the jocks >>>
s I sit down to write this article, I am blown away that it has already been one year since the launch of Static Radio (mystaticradio.com). A lot can happen in a year, and we saw and did some amazing things. We launched this here paper, threw some sick parties during the summer with our Party on the Patio free concert series, launched a slew of great specialty shows on the air like Shockwave (our hardcore show), Jah Roots (our Reggae show), and Shock Therapy Live (our one-hour call-in show). We had artists like Stephen Christian from Anberlin and the guys in Wavorly take over our morning show, we launched our first annual Static Radio Winter Ball, had yet another great Prom with hundreds of high schoolers, planned our first ever Battle of the Bands, and held our first Static 500 fundraiser. Needless to say, we were very busy this past year. So what’s in store for year number two with Static Radio? Aside from the obvious things like hoverboards and penguin-flavored spaghetti sauce…I don’t know…but I’m excited for the future…and not just because of the already mentioned things like hoverboards…and the ever delicious treat of penguin-flavored spaghetti sauce. Trust me, in 2072 it’s considered a delicacy.
Listen to a live stream of Static Radio on your mobile device available free in the Apple App Store and Android App On Google Play for free.
Heart Check I
t was 1995 and I was seven years old. I was really good at sounding out words and spelling them, so I used to practice all the time. One day I thought it’d be cool if I sounded out all the bad words I had learned from watching TV and around the playground and spelled them out—in the dust that had collected on the mantel right next to my dad’s chair. I spelled out a slew of “no-no” words and then promptly forgot I had done so, thus forgetting to erase my work before my parents found out. Later on that day, I was watching TV in the same room with dad when I heard him say “Michelle…” As I looked at him, he pointed to the mantelpiece. Unable to give a good explanation, I immediately started crying and ran to my room. Like any other parent, he disciplined me, and like every other child, I didn’t like it. You were most likely disciplined as a child for doing the things you knew that you weren’t supposed to do. Now that you’re older, you realize that feeding grandma’s cookies to the dog—even though you want to—is not a good idea… But you had to be disciplined and learn the hard way. It turns out that this is a crucial process that we have to go through in our relationship with God, as well. Have you ever noticed that, as a believer, whenever you do something dumb, that you are eventually, if not immediately, found out? Someone either calls you out and/or the Lord convicts you until you repent to Him and anyone else involved. If we aren’t careful, this can be a grueling process. It’s hard to accept that we’re wrong when we actually are wrong. Proverbs 3 says, “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; for whom the LORD loves He corrects; just as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12 NKJV). In this verse, Solomon is exhorting us to be thankful when the Lord corrects us, because like our parents (or parent-like figures), He’s doing it because He loves us. If we harden our hearts against correction, it is foolish and without understanding. We need to be constantly aware of how God is working in our lives. You don’t want to be the person who knows all about Jesus, but isn’t actually transformed by Him. Chuck Smith said this about getting away with evil, “If you can do it and get by with it, then you’re in a dangerous place. That’s an indication you’re not a true son of God. God chastens his sons. So the chastening process of God in my life is always a very comforting process, because at least it proves that I’m His son.” Here is where the heart check comes in: Are you allowing God to correct and transform your life into a life pleasing to Him? If not, then ask for forgiveness and accept what the Lord has in store for you. The Bible says that when we receive His words and treasure His command, that’s when we understand the fear of the Lord.
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My Story M
y name is Jared Murphy, and I am the drummer for the band Gozur, a local Albuquerque rock act that you can hear right now on the Static Radio airwaves. I am 20 years old, and I can safely say that these past few years of my life have been the most challenging by far. You see, I’m the kind of person that wants to know very quickly how life is going to play out, who I’m going to marry, what my future is going to hold, etc. For the two years that I’ve been out of high school, I’ve gone through some high peaks, and some super low valleys. It seemed like everyone that I came into contact with knew exactly what their career path was going to be and knew exactly where they wanted to be in life. Meanwhile, I was just the guy in the background saying, “I have no idea what to do with my life!” One night, I sat in my room praying earnestly that the Lord would give me some direction and guidance on this little thing called “life.” It sounds so cliché, but I guess I never really realized that God was directing and guiding me all along. I picked up my Bible and I came to Proverbs 20:24, which says “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” (NLT). It was then that God showed me that life is a journey. My walk with Christ...is a journey. The Lord showed me that night in my bedroom that I’m not always going to have the answers in life, but that sometimes, I have to take a step back, put “Jared Murphy” on the back burner, and let the Lord direct my path. My band, Gozur, has a song entitled “Gave It All Away.” One of the verses in that song says, “I heard you say time and time again ‘Follow me,’ but I don’t understand where to go, or where You are leading me. But what if I let it go? What if I just finally lost control? All of me to ALL OF YOU! What if I just gave it all away?” I think it’s awesome how God even used a song that I play with my band at least once a week to show me that even when I’m in a place where I don’t know where to turn, He will always be with me. That truly is a wonderful feeling! Since reading that verse, God really has brought some incredible people in my life, and has put me on a path that I’m ready to follow. I now am going to college at UNM with a career goal in mind, I have a wonderful church family that continues to support me in my musical endeavors, and I even plan to get the reference Proverbs 20:24 tattooed on my arm later this year, to always remind me that God will always be directing my steps.
Send your testimony of God’s faithfulness to email@example.com for possible inclusion in the next Static Paper.
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What’s the best way to meet Christians to date?
Have you ever wondered something, only to remember that with a few clicks of a mouse and a couple key strokes you can get the answer to virtually any question? I can barely remember what I did before internet search engines. I guess I would have asked someone, or used an actual book like the yellow pages or an encyclopedia. Google is receiving some one billion web searches every day (sometimes I feel like a quarter of the traffic). Simple searches like How late is that restaurant open? to deep ones like What is the meaning of life?
As Christians, we often wish that getting answers from God was as easy as getting them from Google. We’d love to type to God, What do you want me to do in my life? or Why am I going through this trial? and get a response in .14 seconds. If we could, I’d argue some of the top searches would be: Who am I going to marry? or How can I meet a good guy or girl who won’t break my heart? These are questions both believers and non-believers alike want answers to. I was once in a coffee shop with a friend and when he asked a random person how he could pray for her, her response was not shock or that she was offended by his offer to pray. Rather she immediately piped up and said, “Please pray I will find the person that is right for me.” Christians pray and long for that same companionship. But what are we to do as Christians? Should we line up to get in the newest club in hopes our eyes will magically meet with someone else’s across the room? Should we strike up an online dating profile and see if we can find the perfect match? Do we pray for a sign from God that when we are with that person, we will see a shooting star and know it’s right? I know you might want me to answer these very questions—but I can’t. Why, you ask? Because I cannot pin down the methods that God uses in one’s life. I’m not here to say that internet dating websites are bad or that you must meet your spouse in church or that looking for a sign is futile. The fact of the matter is that God has used all of these means and more to bring two godly people into marriage. I did a wedding two years ago for a very happy couple who used a popular internet dating website, and I’ve done a wedding for a couple who met while serving in a ministry at church. And in the Bible, Eliezer was given a sign so he would know exactly who Isaac’s wife would be. Our God has made Himself known, but not all of His methods. We don’t know why some things take so long to be revealed. Deuteronomy 29:29 (just Googled it) says, “The secret things belong to the LORD.” Who you will marry may be a secret to you now, but not to the Lord. And that is not to say that everyone will marry. But sometimes God withholds information to grow our faith and dependence on Him. So I submit to you that if you could ask God a question and get a Googlelike response it wouldn’t be, Where will I meet my spouse? but Lord, will you
Who you will marry may be a secret to you now, but not to the Lord.
grow me and bring me to the place where I am ready to be a godly spouse? You see, so many people are so interested in having a spouse but they aren’t spiritually ready to receive that blessing and that is not how you want to start your marriage. There is nothing wrong with the desire to marry. After all, Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD,” and the same is true for a woman who finds a godly man. God uses a variety of methods to bring people together. Ask some godly couples their stories and you’ll see that all are unique. So, how we meet someone isn’t as important as being the right person, so that when God does bring along that person, you can start on the right foundation. I remember one friend who said that he wanted to be running to Christ with such focus that one day he would look over and there would be a girl doing the same, and they could run side-by-side to Jesus together. This is what we should desire: not just anyone but the right person. Not to settle, but to seek Jesus and wait for His perfect person in your life by whatever means He chooses—a person who builds you up in Christ and fulfills their marriage roles. That, my friend, is worth the wait.
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7:45 am, ugh. I need to pick up the pace or I’m going to be late again. I know it takes me an hour and a half to get ready, why did I sleep late? I desperately need to cover these dark circles under my eyes and please tell me I am not getting another pimple. Where is that new foundation I just bought? I need all the help I can get today and it better be worth the ridiculous price. If it will make those wrinkles disappear like it says, it’s worth it. If I could just afford those injections, I wouldn’t need that foundation. A little injection around the eyes to get rid of those crow’s feet, maybe a shot or two around my mouth to remove those frown lines. That’s all it would take. Although, while I’m there maybe I can get them to throw in a chemical peel, then I would be a brand-new woman. Maybe I should pull money out of savings, but I just did for last weekend’s shopping spree! I tell myself never pay full price but those shoes and skirts were calling to me. I had to have them to keep up with the other office gals. If it gives me a leg up, it’s all worth it right?
But ask yourself: Is it worth it or is it worship? While you might not use the word “idolatry” in your everyday conversation, you probably still practice it every day—maybe even without realizing it. “Wait,” you may say, “I don’t idolize anything. There is nothing I bow down to and worship like a god.” Merriam-Webster defines idolatry as “immoderate attachment or devotion to something.”ii That car you own, your relationship with your significant other, the high-dollar clothes you just can’t live without? Oh. That changes everything. “But those aren’t idols right? It’s just my stuff.” Your looks, your hair, your perfect Botox smile? Those aren’t idols, it’s just me. Best foot forward, right? “We live in a world where materialism is king,” you say, “but not god.” Until you find out between November 1 and December 26, 2011, U.S. consumers shelled out $35.3 billion dollars on online shopping, and there were nine days in 2011 in which online sales were more than $1 billion dollars. Is it stuff or god? Or that in 2011 cosmetic procedures increased 2% from 2010, with 13.8 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures being performed. The top five procedures: breast augmentation, nose jobs, liposuction, eyelid surgery, and facelifts.i Is it good looks or idolatry? Even without surgery, in 2011 the NPD group, a marketing research company, reported that “in the first ten months of 2011 total prestige makeup dollar sales in U.S. department stores were $2.8 billion, an increase of eight percent in dollars compared to 2010.”ii Today’s society tells us we have to look good, act good, buy good, live good—and we believe it. But this stuff is of the world (see 1 John 2:16). It’s easy to get caught up in the things of the world; we walk around in it every day. But when does something go from a happy hobby to an inappropriate idol? In Old Testament times idolatry was used in reference to graven images worshiped instead of God, but today? Today idolatry goes far beyond the original religious connotation. Wikipedia notes, “It can also refer to a social phenomenon where false perceptions are created and worshipped, or even used as a term in the entertainment industry.”iii We idolize anyone famous, from singers (American Idol) to actors (teen and screen idols). We watch their every move onscreen, in the paparazzi magazines, and on the gossip websites. What are they doing? Who’s getting married, who’s getting divorced, who’s moving in together, who’s having kids together, who’s having affairs together? We see how they dress, how they wear their hair, what they drive, what they eat, what they drink, and yet somehow along the way, we don’t realize our fascination gets us more and more fixated with every movie, every new album, every Idol that is crowned. We want to be them, dress like them, eat like them, look like them. But at what cost? According to the statistics: billions. Matthew 16:26 asks us, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” We can have all of the things in this world, but in the end, where will they get us? Let’s be clear. In and of themselves, those things aren’t bad. We are gifted in beauty, talent, or wealth as part of God’s design. It’s when they become deity to us that we get into trouble. So again, where do we go from being “in this world” to becoming “of this world”? We obsess, “to haunt or excessively preoccupy the mind.”iv We allow ourselves to continually be preoccupied with this world and all of the things in it. You might ask, “What’s so wrong with that? What’s wrong with investing in the things that bring me joy in this life?” Nothing. Until you read 2 Peter 3:10: “But the day of
Ask yourself: Is it worth it or is it worship?
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The Negative Side-Effects of Botox
TOXIN SPREADS ANXIETY BLURRY VISION COLD SYMPTOMS REFERENCES
Today’s society tells us we have to look good, act good, buy good, live good—and we believe it.
the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” Why invest in something that’s going to burn eventually? It just shows us those things are not everlasting and therefore aren’t worth the fixation. You may eat, drink, and be merry, but be cautioned that while you are partaking in those things, if it is your time to leave this earth, those things will not be going with you. So take a step back and see what captivates your thoughts and life on a daily basis. Own things, don’t let them own you. Pour out your money, but into something that counts: feeding the homeless, helping underprivileged children, stocking your local food pantry. Obsess about clothing, as in donate old clothes to domestic violence shelters. Don’t just make a life, make a difference.
Because botulinum toxin type A is introduced into your muscles via a needle, the actual act of the injection can cause you to get a bruise. The area may also be painful. This can be caused by both the needle itself and the substance, Botox.
Botulinum toxin type A is a poison, so if it spreads beyond the muscle that is intended, it can cause symptoms that are typical of botulism. These side effects may include difficulty breathing, slurring your speech, swallowing difficulties, and weakness in your other muscles.
When you first receive your Botox injection, the drug can have the temporary effect of making you anxious. You may feel worried about things you normally wouldn’t be concerned with, and you may not have any reason to feel this way.
Botox also may cause some problems with your vision. Because it is essentially relaxing the muscles in your face, Botox can make it difficult to focus your vision on near or far objects, or both.
Taking the Botox injection also can temporarily induce side effects that are similar to the symptoms of influenza or a common cold. For example, you may be congested or have a runny nose. You may get a fever and chills or a cough.
http://retailindustry.about.com/od/statisticsresearch/a/2011-Us-Christmas-Holiday-Shopping-Sales-Data-Statistics-Results-And-Numbers.htm?p=1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idolatry http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obbsess?show=0&t=1334282987 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsess?show=0&t=1334282087
MayoClinic.com: Botox Injections University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Botulinum Toxin Injection -- Medical University of Michigan Health System: Botulinum Toxin (Botox)
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Thousand Foot Krutch is a band that has been putting out good records and amassing a loyal fan base for close to 15 years, and, well, some say it’s time for them to fade away. Their latest release, The End Is Where We Begin, clearly shows that TFK is just getting started. Recently, front man Trevor McNevan took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with Static Paper about the new album, changes in label status, and Pinterest.
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STATIC PAPER: Your new album, The
End Is Where We Begin, dropped back in April. Tell us about some of the reasons and inspiration behind the record.
TREVOR: We’ve always enjoyed variety
TREVOR : The title track, “The End Is
on our records, and being able to include a lot of different musical inspirations into one song/ record, but this one is really no-holds-barred. It follows its own path.
Where We Begin,” was actually written before the album title was chosen. This title summarizes everything we’ve been through as a band, and where we are now—the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another. We’ve been through every transition you could face as a band in the past year (aside from the band lineup), and our entire team couldn’t be more excited. To describe this album in one word? Uninhibited. It captures where we’re going, where we’re at, and where we came from—unapologetically. Other than loving these songs, that’s what makes me the most excited about it, really. It’s exploring the view of every angle of who we are. apart from your previous records?
STATIC PAPER: On the new record,
in addition to cranking up the voltage on the rock side of things, you seem to have returned to elements of the Set It Off era. Why the return to TFK’s roots with the incorporation of the hip-hop and rap sound?
STATIC PAPER: What sets this record
We’ve always been a rock band first and foremost. I grew up on hip-hop and classic rock, and recorded my own hip-hop records when I was 13 and 16 years old. So, it’s always been in my blood, and we had a lot of fun fusing rock with hip-hop/funk in the beginning before certain bands tainted that for everyone. When we started out, the only examples of that were the first RATM record, and collabs
like Aerosmith and Run DMC. It wasn’t a populated scene—it was new and it was very honest to us. We didn’t want to be just another one of “those bands,” so we focused on what inspired us in other ways— although that influence has always been there. The timing felt right to re-introduce that influence. We came from that, and wanted it to be a part of this record. I’m excited about it.
couldn’t be more excited about our new frontier together. We are just getting started!
STATIC PAPER: Some of your songs
like “Fire It Up,” “Move,” and now “Let The Sparks Fly” have been used by the NHL, NBA, and NASCAR. How does it feel to be watching a game and hear one of your songs?
STATIC PAPER: In the past, you’ve said that
you didn’t want to record anything that you couldn’t pull off live. On the new album, what is the most challenging song to perform?
TREVOR: So far, we’ve only performed two
It never gets old, I still freak out every time I hear it! A huge thanks to ESPN, NASCAR, EA Sports games, and all of the pro sports organizations for your support! The energy it creates when you combine the two is amazing!
off the new record, but are looking forward to playing everything over time. I think “Courtesy Call” and “All I Need to Know” will be more of a challenge, introducing new instrumentation.
STATIC PAPER: As a member of the
Pinterest community, what are your thoughts on guys using Pinterest? I know quite a few guys who say only girls should use it.
STATIC PAPER: Leading up to the release
of the TEIWWB, you parted ways with Tooth & Nail Records and chose to go independent. Why the change?
TREVOR: I don’t actually know many guy friends who do use it yet, but they should! Be careful though, it can be a time sucker!
TREVOR: We took a lot of time to do our homework and pray about the right decision for this band here. We had some very generous deals on the table from a lot of labels, but in the end, we felt confident that this was the right move for us. It was definitely a faith step we had to follow our hearts on. What most people don’t know is we were independent for a long time before signing with Tooth and Nail/EMI. We used to manage ourselves, book ourselves, drive ourselves (I’ve spent more time in a van with the band than probably anywhere else in my life!), hire our own radio/video, and everything in between. After a while, we picked up distribution through the Diamante Group and ended up selling 80,000+ records out of our van. It’s always been about the connection for us, so this allows us to make more of that direct connection and do it on our terms.
Have you ever found yourself idolizing something or someone?
TREVOR: I’ve never really had an “idol,” so to speak. I’m not really the star-struck type. I’m inspired by people all the time, though.
STATIC PAPER: The music industry
seems to have a focus on setting artists and bands up as idols. How do you and the band as a whole deal with the pressures of being looked up to and sometimes idolized by fans?
STATIC PAPER: When you went
independent, you funded the new record through Kickstarter with a goal of raising $40,000 through the support of fans in one month. If I remember correctly, the TFK Army not only reached the goal in one day, but by the end of the month they hit the $100,000 mark. What was your reaction to the response you got from the fans?
did in the beginning—to God be the glory, and we feel blessed to do what we do. You can’t take yourself too seriously. I’ve seen too many great people come into this and over the years start buying into themselves—it’s sad to watch. I try hard to encourage new bands to stay focused and not get caught up in that. Love people and treat them right. Well, it seems like great things are in store for Trevor and TFK, and fans will be happy to note that they show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, this summer they have a packed touring schedule that includes numerous festivals and a spot on the Uprise tour with Shinedown and Papa Roach in August, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see the new and improved Thousand Foot Krutch for yourself.
TREVOR: We look at it the same way we
TREVOR: We were blown away. We wanted to do this together, and they made that possible. We’re so incredibly thankful. They were a big part of how we funded this record and all of the pieces that come along with doing a proper launch. We’ve teamed up with our manager Tony Patoto and the Fuel Music team, and we
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Music That Will Rock Your Summer
SLEIGH BELLS, REIGN OF TERROR
Close To Home, Far From Ordinary
The Brooklyn duo is back to terrorize your speakers and it is awesome.
INGRID MICHAELSON, HUMAN AGAIN
The indie-pop singer/songwriter brings more of the same with a slight twist.
THE BLACK KEYS, EL CAMINO
A determined new album from the modern masters of bluesy rock.
The band’s attempt to return to its roots comes off safe and outdated.
The second, dance-y album might just kick off your summer.
MIIKE SNOW, HAPPY TO YOU
elikis has been involved in the hip-hop game for quite some time now. He started playing music and performing at the age of 14, with shows ranging from local youth events to churches and schools. Growing up in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque, NM area, hip-hop had always played a prominent role in his life and musical influences. It wasn’t until Relikis graduated high school that he began to professionally pursue his music. At the age of 18, he began to really pioneer this idea of music and ministry combined. Since the release of his debut album in 2006 entitled Soulja City, Relikis has obtained national as well as international success on various radio programs. This album led Relikis to winning the 2007 Best Rap Song of the Year Award, given by the New Mexico Music Awards. Even though Relikis obtained all this national success, he still maintained an independent status, handling his own recording and production. After spending much time on the road and sharing the stage with bands such as Beckah Shae, Grits, Manafest, and others, Relikis moved to Nashville, TN for two years, where he got connected with Chris Chicago of the Hype Radio Network, and many other talented Christian rap artists such as Pro, Lil Prophet, Gospel Gangstaz, and more. Relikis recently signed a deal with Shamrock Media and, after moving back to Santa Fe, NM, he’s spent the past year recording and finishing his most recent album, I Am Relikis. I managed to sneak a listen to the new album just after the final touches were completed in April of this year, and I’d have to say it’s my favorite hip-hop album of the year, so far… Relikis does an excellent job of maintaining an old-school sound with a modern delivery of beats and rhymes. Also, let’s not forget to mention the spiritual integrity of his lyrics. “I Am Relikis” is the title track from the album, which was chosen to be the first radio single. If you’ve listened to Static Radio this past spring, you’ll recognize the tune. With his free time, Relikis maintains the persona of a down-to-earth independent artist, who often helps out with youth and ministry events around town. And you thought this kind of thing only happened in the movies! Relikis pursues his love for Christ through his love for music, and his story is a shining example that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or what you’ve done. When you do things out of your love for Christ and the fire He’s put in your heart, anything is possible.
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With the recent launch of the newest iPhone, a new program has become extremely popular. You might know “her” as Siri. Along with the launch of this new program comes the launch of numerous websites highlighting funny things you can ask Siri. Sometimes in life we only want to ask the funny questions, but what about the hard ones like: What happens after you die? Is there a Hell? Is my life worth living?
Death: it’s a very unpopular subject. It’s something most people are very uncomfortable with. We don’t want to face the fact that we are mortals. But, I’m here to tell you: You are going to die. It may be tonight or tomorrow or ten years from now or 50 years from now. I don’t know when, but I promise you—you are going to die. Something is going to happen. You might get a disease or get hit by a car or be in a car accident or get shot or have a heart attack. Whatever happens, you will die. Your days are numbered. It’s a fact that everyone has to face. British novelist William Boyd wrote, “We all want to be happy and we’re all going to die. You might say these are the only two unchallengeable true facts that apply to every human being on this planet.” We want to be happy and we are going to die. Steve Jobs recently died. One article reports, “The king is dead. Long live Steve Jobs.” CRN reports, “Apple co-founder, chairman, former CEO, and messiah [I kid you not], Steven Paul Jobs, is dead… Jobs was the guy who brought computing to the masses... The iMac, iTunes, the iPod and eventually the iPhone and iPad completely transformed the computing landscape… Jobs was eccentric, brilliant, visionary and mercurial… The term ‘genius’ is badly overused these days—not least by the Apple Store—but it surely applies to Steve Jobs. In his way, he changed the world.” Just after Jobs’ death, I was astonished how much of an impact this man, who most people never met, let alone saw (twice a year maybe, at some Apple convention), impacted people’s lives. He really did change the world in his own way. The Apple website says, “The world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. His spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.” In August 2011, Steve Jobs announced that he was retiring due to his cancer. He said he was stepping down from Apple, and Apple stocks plummeted and people started freaking out about what was going to happen to Apple without Steve Jobs. No one really paid attention to the important part—he had cancer, and cancer can lead to death. And a few short months later, Steve Jobs died. He once said, “Almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs might have been a great man, but great men die. Steve Jobs might have changed the world, but people who change the world die. Steve Jobs might have had a lot of money, but people with lots of money die. Steve Jobs might have been loved, but people who are loved die. In 2005, Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, or whatever—because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart... Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important thing I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” Remember that you’ll be dead soon. You may
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STATIC PAPER \\ 25
I don’t know when, but I promise you—you are going to die. Something is going to happen. You might get a disease or get hit by a car or be in a car accident or get shot or have a heart attack. Whatever happens, you will die.
say, “I’m young! I’ve got years ahead of me.” Guess what. In light of eternity, even fifty years goes by in the blink of an eye. You will be dead soon. You have to trust in something. Not just something. You don’t have to trust in karma—not destiny, not life, and certainly not your gut. Unless you trust in Jesus Christ, unless you make the biggest choice of your life by accepting Him, there is no hope. Being a great man or a great woman will not help you. It’s a harsh reality that we all have to deal with. Death is no respecter of persons. It matters not if you’re a billionaire or the poorest of the poor, if you’re an old person or a very young person. You might be a president, a king, a queen, a movie or rock star, eventually everyone dies. Death is unavoidable. Life has a 100% fatality rate. Only those who are prepared to die are really prepared to live. Are you prepared to die? Is your heart settled before the Lord? Or are you that person who hears the truth and says, “Next time. Next time I’ll give my heart to Jesus Christ. I want to do something before I receive Christ, but next time I’ll do it… When I get a family, a wife, some kids, that job…then I’ll accept Christ.” We aren’t promised then—only now. Are you prepared now to die? There is a tombstone in England with this epitaph: “Pause now stranger as you pass by: As you are now, so once was I, As I am now, so you will be So, prepare for death and follow me.” Are you prepared to die? If you have not already received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior—do it now. Please don’t wait. With a sincere and repentant heart, pray: Father, I know I am a sinner. I repent of my sin, and turn away from it. I turn to Jesus. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, saving all who believe in Him. Fill me with Your Spirit and come into my life. Transform me. Make me into a new creation. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen. If you prayed this prayer, please contact Calvary of Albuquerque at 505.344.0880. There are people waiting to hear from you!
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Apple iPods Timeline
Apple presents iPod, offering “1,000 songs in your pocket” Apple introduces the second generation iPod, compatible with Windows and holding up to 4,000 songs
Apple launches the iTunes Music Store with 200,000 songs at 99¢ each, along with the new third-generation iPod that is thinner and lighter than two CDs and holds 7,500 songs
Apple introduces iPod mini, available in five colors
iPod shuffle introduced. Apple unveils the new fifth-generation iPod that plays music, photos and video. iPod nano replaces the iPod mini and goes on to become the best selling music player ever
iPod nano gets a new aluminum design available in five colors. Apple unveils a wearable new iPod shuffle with built-in clip
Apple introduces iPhone. Apple unveils iPod touch with Multi-Touch interface and built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking
Apple introduces the new iPhone 3G, twice as fast as the previous generation and featuring support for third party applications
Apple announces the iPod nano has sold more than 100 million units to date
Apple introduces the new iPod touch with Retina Display, FaceTime video calling, HD video recording and Game Center. Apple unveils the new iPod shuffle, the world’s smallest iPod
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the show >>>
ome people find that the world is a better place when you have a good beat to listen to, and Static Radio’s DJ Kayla (AKA 2.0) is one of them. Her mentality makes her the perfect host for Surge, Static radio’s Christian hip-hop show on Friday nights at 8 pm. Surge is intended to be a mix of Christian hip-hop, dance with a mainstream feel, and yes, you’ll even hear some dubstep making it. According to the host, Kayla, it is “something that people can easily listen to without having to listen too closely to appreciate it. It’s more about beats and less about lyricism.” Each and every show has an inspired playlist that draws inspiration from fans’ Facebook requests and special themes. Christian hip-hop has been a strong influence in Kayla’s life ever since she heard Tedashii’s song “I’m a Believer” on the Hype Radio Network when she was a freshman (which eventually led her to becoming an intern at Static Radio for over a year and a half). Now, she is dedicated to sharing that influence with her listeners on Surge. Every element of the show has been carefully crafted with that in mind, right down to the artwork she designed with the help of her best friend, Ryan. Surge destroys the misconception that Christian hip-hop isn’t as cool or as good as secular hip-hop. Every Friday night, you’ll hear the latest tracks from the Reach Records roster including Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, along with even more mainstream names like Tobymac, Manafest, and KJ-52. In addition to the big names, Kayla and Surge introduce you to underground artists with the sickest beats like Steven Cooper, The Alumni, and La Familia Muzic. If you ask Kayla about the music on the show she’ll tell you, “The idea is to reach out to those outside of Christian music, to show that good hip-hop music doesn’t have to be everything that mainstream secular hip-hop music makes it out to be, and also for the fans of Christian hip-hop who listen in weekly to encourage them with godly and positive music.” As a recent high school graduate, Kayla has her fingers on the pulse of the Christian hip-hop world and always knows what’s new and fresh, keeping Surge infused with a great mix of cool music. So on Friday nights, whether you’re cruising around town or just chillin’ at home, turn on Surge and add a beat to your life.
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Ray Del Toro
he United States Declaration of Independence declares that “All men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That’s the American dream—pursuing happiness—trying to attain the perfect job, big house, well-rounded family, nice car, and more. Many churches and religious people will tell you that acquiring possessions is wrong and that being a Christian requires great sacrifice when it comes to material possessions. I think the motives behind this state of mind might be pure, but that doesn’t mean that they are on the right track by any means (it also doesn’t mean that those who live a simpler lifestyle are wrong either). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul gave some advice to a man, new in his church ministry, named Timothy, advice that I think is every bit as fitting for us today as it was in ancient times: As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life (1 Timothy 6:17-21). ment. So why is it that people always assume that God is some kind of Grinch or hall monitor? As if God is out to steal our wealth, take away our joy and happiness, and leave us wearing sackcloth? Even those within church have become enslaved to the thought that they can only be happy when they are doing “God’s work,” and that nothing else in life is enjoyable. Even the unintentional discovery of enjoyment in something “unspiritual” is often frowned upon by people in the church. I’ll be honest; I find enjoyment in a number of television shows. I find happiness in certain music. I don’t feel bad about my flat-screen TV or owning some Blu-ray discs. I’d probably take a bullet for my iPad (I said probably) and there are lots of material possessions in my life that I find great joy in. Here’s my point: It is not idolatry to find enjoyment in a gift—it’s idolatrous when we forget about the Giver. God is not a hall monitor. God is not the Grinch. God is not a spoilsport. God is the Giver of all our true enjoyment, He invented it, and the reality is that the best kind enjoyment is found only in Him. God designed us to worship Him and enjoy Him Did you catch that? God gives us our stuff for our enjoy-
Why is it that people always assume that God is some kind of Grinch or hall monitor?
forever! That’s why you and I were made, to enjoy His gifts and especially the Giver Himself. The way we’re designed, however, is unique. We were designed with what Solomon said was eternity placed in our hearts (see Ecclesiastes 3). In other words, we are incapable on our own and do not possess the resources necessary to acquire true and lasting happiness or fulfillment. If God is the source of lasting joy, then true enjoyment cannot be found apart from God. With this in mind, the American dream becomes a sad dream. Not because enjoyment or possessions are bad, but because joy cannot be found apart from God! It’s a dream that is contingent on how hard we work and how much we can accomplish—a dream that forgets the Giver. Unless eternity is factored into the picture, our enjoyment will not last. We need to stop dreaming! We need to open our eyes to the reality that true happiness, real fulfillment, and eternal enjoyment is found in God our Maker through the blood of His sinless Son on a cross in our place. Joy is right there: It’s free, it’s life, it’s eternal—His name is Jesus and He gives us all things that we need (and sometimes more)!
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sound check >>>
House Of Heroes
ouse of Heroes’ records have always been guaranteed fun, but on their latest effort, Cold Hard Want, they leave us, well...wanting, if you’ll pardon the pun. Conspicuously absent is the trademark crazy energy that is so characteristic of the band. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t energetic moments on the album, but for the most part they seem forced and contrived. They never quite find the spark—songs build, but don’t manage to soar. Part of the problem is the overall flow of the record doesn’t fit together as smoothly as it should, and it tends to get bogged down with what feels like a plethora of slow tracks. However, when you put that all aside you find some glimmers of potential that, in the future, could take flight. The first track on the album, “A Man Who’s Not Afraid, ” is the intro that should have been a full-length song—it sets the bar so high that the rest of the record never meets it. Those first 60-odd seconds contain so much promise that when I first heard it, my ears couldn’t believe what they were hearing. House of Heroes mixed Beach Boys-esque harmonies with a southern spiritual feel (you can hear the ocean in the background). I thought, Wow, they did the Beatles, so now they are taking on the Beach Boys and it sounds great! This record is going to be epic! Then the first song, “Out My Way,” hit and killed that idea with what sounds like a Switchfoot song. Unfortunately, House of Heroes should stick to covering the Beatles and The Beach Boys, as this song would fit Jon Foreman and Switchfoot so much better. Sadly, many of the songs on the album gave me a nagging sense of having heard them somewhere else. In fact, permeating the whole record is a film of familiarity that overwhelms and sucks the originality out of the music. The band seems to be hunting for a new direction and experimenting with different styles on this effort. If that is what’s really going on, then my vote goes to the harmonies we hear on “A Man Who’s Not Afraid.” Not many bands have the talent to go there and pull it off like they do. Before everyone starts getting too depressed about the album, let me say this: While it’s not the most wonderful thing to come from the HOH camp, it’s not bad either. I don’t think they could do a bad record if they tried. This one will eventually carve out its own niche among their other releases with its own fair share of affection. One of my favorite songs on the album is “Remember The Empire,” a musical cross between an old western epic and Star Wars (imagine Jedi Knights riding to battle against Darth Vader in a posse and you’ve captured the spirit of the song). It has a line that goes “Fight with us, and ﬁght for love!” and that sums up what this record will do—it will fight for love. Will it succeed? I don’t know, Cold Hard Want is an interestingly odd little album.
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Here are a couple of amusing thoughts from children about God. One little boy asked, “Mommy, is God up there?” When she said yes, he said, “Wouldn’t it be great if He’d just poke His head out once in a while so we could see Him?” And this one (from the book Children’s Letters to God): A little girl wrote, “Dear God, are you really invisible or is that just a trick?”
People have a problem with the invisible nature of God. That explains (though it doesn’t excuse it) why the children of Israel left the true and living God over and over, and worshiped the idols of the pagans around them. People want something they can touch, see, and display. We have a problem having a personal relationship with a person we can’t see. But this is just what the Bible calls us to do. God’s First Commandment is “You shall have no other Gods before Me” (that is, “besides Me”). God is saying, “I, the Lord your God, am unique. I stand alone.” It’s a simple and practical command, because all of the other gods or goddesses that people may worship are fake. God says, “You’ll have no other gods before Me,” because there are no other gods at all. Worshiping any other god but Him is like bowing down to a mannequin. If you do that, you’re a nut, because it’s not real. The only God that exists is the Lord! So it only makes sense for God to say (as He does over and over, especially in Isaiah), “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” Psalm 115 speaks about false gods and goddesses: “They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear” (vv. 5-6). Pretty useless! So the First Commandment tells us Who to worship, and the second tells us how we are to worship. It tells us we are not to make an image of anything in heaven or on earth and bow down to it. It is saying, “You will not worship the true God in any false manner.” Why does God prohibit images of Himself? It’s simple. There is no image of God that you could create that would capture all of who He is. Any image, by necessity, limits Him, and therefore doesn’t butes, so we need the Word. And so He reveals Himself to us in the law, the prophets, the gospels…the Bible. That’s revelation. The second source of information is imagination. If people don’t get their information about God from revelation, then they tend to make it up.
We have a problem having a personal relationship with a person we can’t see. But this is just what the Bible calls us to do.
convey the truth. I have been asked, “When you pray, what do you picture?” Answer: Nothing! I don’t need to picture God as anything. God has sufficiently revealed who He is, and I accept that by faith. There are basically only two sources of information about God. Number one is revelation. God reveals Himself in His creation and in His Word. We can see His power, His majesty, His splendor, and His beauty just by looking around us. But that doesn’t tell us about His love or His moral attriThey say, “I imagine God to be—” and they fill in the blank, and they write books or teach college courses based on whatever they’ve made up. And that’s bogus. So God says, “This is who I am. Have no other gods before Me, and worship Me the right way.” Anything else is idolatry. It may not be as easy as looking up and seeing Him peeking through the clouds, but it’s His world, and we play—and worship—by His rules!
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book report >>>
The Hunger Games
Katie Lynn Milford
et me start with this—I’m generally not a fan of book bandwagons like Harry Potter, Twilight, or even The Lord of the Rings (which, by the way, was well-written). However, when it came to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I decided to give the book a chance. I knew I’d want to see the new feature film and didn’t have a reason not to read the book first. Boy, am I glad that I picked this one up. I downloaded it on my phone and gobbled it up by the end of the day. For those of you who live under a rock and aren’t familiar with the story line—The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of books. It’s written from the perspective of a 16-year-old girl, Katniss Everdeen, living in Panem, a place once known as North America. Panem is divided into 12 districts and is ruled by a singular wealthy city referred to as Capitol. The Games are a sort of reality television show put on for the entertainment and continued power of Capitol. I could try to explain the Games, but the book speaks for itself: The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins (p. 18). Katniss volunteers as a tribute in place of her younger sister to save her from the horror of the Games. Collins does impressively well with character and plot development. Since it’s a narrative, you don’t know anything that Katniss doesn’t know, which keeps the suspense going. At the same time, it’s easy to root for or despise characters based on the amount of information you have of them—and the reader’s perspective on characters may easily differ from Katniss’. For example, her mentor for the games is an old disgusting drunkard whose primary advice is simply to “Stay alive.” Though he’s portrayed as vile and unwanted, I grew fond of the guy and thought he offered comic relief in such a dark story. The plot kept me going, but I have to warn the English majors that there were a few irritating spelling and grammatical errors. From a spiritual perspective, the book doesn’t offer much. The society is godless, with Capitol being the only force in control. It’s one of those post-apocalyptical concepts that the Bible
mentions: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4). It’s not a far-fetched idea. It goes to show what can happen when God is left out of the picture—hopeless poverty, love of money and entertainment, children forced to kill, and fear-driven living. Though a few of the contestants practice some morals (like not participating in cannibalism and occasionally sparing the life of other contestants), none rely on a higher power as a source for hope or strength. This leaves them with little to hold onto. It’s like 1 Chronicles 28:9 says, “For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (NIV). Personally, I prefer reading about a hopeless God-forsaken place with poor morals over a happygo-lucky world that denies God. My guess is that the book is such a hit because it’s written for a variety of audiences. I can read it and reflect on Scripture, while a twelve-year-old girl may read it and fall in love with the romance aspect of the plot (that part may have been necessary, but it drove me nuts…notice that I haven’t mentioned much of it). A college student may have Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984 come to mind while analyzing the social aspects of the book, while a young man can appreciate the bloody descriptions of the multiple murders within the Games. Anyway, it was an easy and entertaining read, even if you’re not a fan of book bandwagons.
Collins, Suzanne, The Hunger Games, (New York: Scholastic Inc., 2008).
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he scene is burned into my mind: After a service, a young man approaches me, incapable of eye contact, wringing his hands and dragging his worn soles across the freshly waxed floors. Soon words of shame and exasperation begin to trickle—then gush—describing a debilitating cycle of resolution, temptation, and failure. I hug him, encourage him, and pray for him, and he returns to his seat. As the last chorus of the service resolves, I can’t help but think that the encounter will replay itself again soon. And it does replay itself—in a thousand different ways, with a thousand different faces and a thousand different lingering sins. Mine is one of those faces and if you are honest, yours is too. But why? Ezekiel 14:1-8 details a fascinating yet troubling encounter between the Lord, Ezekiel, and some leaders in Israel. I believe it sheds insight as to why exactly we can’t seem to break that nauseating sin cycle. These leaders approach Ezekiel, many commentators point out they are coming in sackcloth and ashes, to hear a word from the Lord. It’s like they are showing up for church with sincerity and brokenness but when God answers, it is not at all what we expect: “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?” God sees these penitent leaders and though they have no jungle drums, Apocalypto altars, or Play-Doh gods He rejects them as idol worshipers. Their hidden temple was beneath their ribs. Much like our culture, for the Jews the heart was an idiom for desires, thoughts, emotions, and values. That’s why Jesus could say that every wicked act had its source in the heart of man (see Mark 7:21-23). These men had every semblance of being worshipers of God—but they really valued, trusted in, and sought satisfaction elsewhere. What they had was want worship. They were worshiping their desires. James confronts worshipers of the same breed in James 4:1 “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” The argument you get in with your wife, the bitterness toward a boss, the pornography you
view, or the outburst of profanity we are so shocked by is an indicator of a whole system of idolatry. A pastor I know put it this way: Anytime you desire something, whether good or bad, to the point that you are willing to break God’s commands, that desire has become your god. What you do is proof of what you worship. I believe this is the core of why we become trapped in certain sins. We repent of the action but not of the idol. We often feel guilty for some particular incident or pattern that offends our conscience and cultural guidelines, so we come to church (like those leaders) for some consolation and forgiveness. But the root of what we value most remains and in a matter of time it again rears its spiny head. The text in James continues to call this group adulterers and adulteresses. In other places God is even more direct, calling idolaters whores and prostitutes. You see, God’s problem was never with
and situations that stumble us, we will always remain entrapped. Tim Keller defines an idol as “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.” The word in Hebrew most commonly used for idol literally means “worthless.” Idols never deliver what they promise, and every year we see the tragic end of celebrities who offered themselves on the altars of pleasure, fame, and wealth. Anytime we worship something that wasn’t meant to be worshiped, we will be disappointed. But the living God, who gives us all things richly to enjoy, will never disappoint us. If idols are worthless, the only thing that can break their power is something worthy. In eternity, our cry will forever be, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!” (Revelation 5:12). Jesus didn’t just die for sins, He died for sins
God sees these penitent leaders and though they have no jungle drums, Apocalypto altars, or Play-Doh gods He rejects them as idol worshipers. Their hidden temple was beneath their ribs.
sculptures—idolatry is about loyalty. God has a claim on all of us: He “holds your breath in His hand and owns all of your ways” (Daniel 5:23). In disregarding His will and valuing other things while He sustains us, we become like a wife who rents a room on her husband’s dime to house adulterous escapades with her lovers. If we fail to take our sins seriously, they will seriously overtake us. Until we see our “mistakes” and “habits” as acts and of rival worship, and take practical steps to remove the friends, technology, we committed against Him. Christ gave His life for idol worshipers! The more we feast on that reality, the more our hearts will become temples of praise set on doing God’s will, and “want” worship won’t stand a chance.
(For more on idols of the heart, get a copy of Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters by Timothy Keller).
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Yo: I’m sure you’ve heard this question tons, but it’s such a fascinating one; give us the inside scoop: Just how real was all the stuff that happened in Act of Valor? Was all of that legit SEAL tactics, or was it “Hollywood-ized” to make it more exciting?
On February 24 of this year, a different kind of action movie hit theaters. The leads weren’t the typical buff, brash Hollywood action heroes; they were actual, active-duty Navy SEALs. Even the film wasn’t the usual over-the-top, Die Hard-esque series of action set-pieces, but scenes that were based on actual SEAL missions. It was a unique way to approach this type of film, and it seems to have paid off. Act of Valor opened number one with $24 million, and ended up with a domestic take of $68 million. Not bad for a low-budget action film that didn’t feature any big stars. In the weeks following the film’s release, we had a chance to talk with one of the film’s consultants. Jeff Bramstedt is a former Navy SEAL who currently runs Force Ministries, performs skydiving demonstrations for church and community events, and occasionally lends his expertise to various films. He’s also friends with the Navy SEALs who starred in Act of Valor, so when it came to getting the inside scoop on just how “real” everything in the movie actually was, he seemed like the guy to talk to.
Jeff: Well, you know what they do in the film industry, they have what’s called a technical advisor follow around the director and kind of keep him in line so that he’s not stepping out of bounds very much with anything that would be realistic. I know this because I’ve been that guy. But, they had to forgo that guy in this film because they had a whole cast full of technical advisors to keep them in line, and what they did was—I mean the enthusiasm is authentic, the action real—they actually took portions of real ops that have really happened and put them in this film. And there were times where they went live-fire, which never happens in a film, and it’s legitimate. Tactics-wise, there might be a few minor adjustments that were made just because I’m sure there’s going to be the wrong person watching this movie at some point, and so they made up some things just so they can keep some of the family secrets safe. But for the most part, having seen it seven times now, it’s legitimate action. Yo: Now this might seem like an off-the-wall question, but how does what happens in the movie and legit SEAL tactics compare to what a lot of video gamers experience in games like Call of Duty and Battlefield 3? I don’t know how familiar you are with those games, but does that give gamers any sense at all of what it’s really like to be out on the battlefield, because that’s kind of how they sell them sometimes. Jeff: Yes. I’m not a gamer. I wish I had time to do that. But the people I’ve talked to who are gamers and watched the movie, have said it takes the realism, I guess, that you would see in video games like that and takes it to a whole other level, and that’s me passing on commentary from them. I don’t know because I have not really watched a whole lot of video games, but from what I understand, this is a whole other thing; a whole other level. The point behind making the movie was to do a couple things. It was one, let people see the man behind the mission and let people really see what happens on a mission. You can hear the radio vernacular, you can see the passion these guys have, in and amongst a lot of the action that is going on—the way that these guys interact with one another in combat, they way they interact with one another even with their families and everything else. So, the realism goes beyond the battlefield in this movie. It goes into their lives, it goes into their interactions with their wives, their children, and with each other off-duty. So you get to see kind of the full meal deal, so to speak, in that were you watching the news, the results are the only things you get to see. You get see what happens, the results. “Hey did you hear the SEALS did this, the SEALS did that?” Well here, in this movie, you get to see that it’s not just a bat-signal that goes up in the air and then when it’s done they go back to their cave. These are real men, they have real lives, and they love just like anybody else.
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When you’re with somebody and your guys get shot at, there’s an instant bonding that happens in that moment.
Yo: I’ve read a few reviews that have said the movie is nothing more than “pro-military propaganda.” I was curious about your response to seeing some reviews that are saying this movie is just trying to get people to think what we do in the military is okay and people shouldn’t question it too much. Jeff: Um, that is not the whole point behind this film, in my opinion. You know, just like you have yours, I have mine, and those people are entitled to theirs. Well, the reason they’re entitled to their opinion and can say their opinion is because of guys like this. So they need to have a little bit of an appreciation for the fact that they can write those kinds of reviews and the guys who are in the movie are going to be absolutely okay with it because their healthy perspective is going to [help them] look at it and go, “Okay, well you can write that stuff because of what I do.” So, it’s not really pro-military propaganda, it’s “Hey, this is who I am. I’m the guy behind the mission and it’s not that fun to be me. It’s not that fun to do this.” The whole SEAL thing probably is a little more glamorized than it needs to be, because it’s a bunch of dirty work and you get to see the dirty work. And even though in the movie, at the end of the day, it does look like a very interesting job with very interesting people behind it, ultimately there’s a lot of pain behind it too, because we do lose our friends and we do lose the people who are closest to us. When you’re with somebody and your guys get shot at, there’s an instant bonding that happens in that moment, and you get to see the strength behind the relationships that generate the result that you get to see in the media. Yo: What do you hope people will take away from the movie? What do you hope, when the day is done, that people will be thinking about and say, “I’m glad I saw that movie because of…” what? Jeff: I hope that when somebody watches this, they leave with a sense that each of these guys, at the end of the day, is really a family man; it’s a guy who loves his family, who loves his friends, he loves to spend time with his kids, and he’s affectionate with his children. These are guys who are your everyday guys who have a little bit of something extra that many people don’t have. We are hoping they look at this movie and say, “You know what, there are bits and pieces of these guys that I want to take into my daily life, the way that these guys live their life, the passion they have for one another, the passion they have just in general, just for freedom.” You know that whole cliché thing “Freedom isn’t free”? Well that’s very true, but at the same time, it’s more expensive for some people who don’t really take it for granted because they get to see the actual dirty side of humanity almost on a daily basis on a deployment. Over here, we get to live our life of gray, and we get to say everything’s just okay all the time. But we don’t know sometimes how close we really are to danger, and this movie really brings it home that there are things that could happen in this country and as a result of the actions of men like this, those things are being thwarted by men who are able to perform an act of valor. Yo: Well, Jeff, thank you for your time, and we really appreciate all that you have done, and all that your buddies are still doing in the service of our country. Thank you. Jeff: Thank you. It was great talking to you.
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Top 10 Things To Do In Albuquerque
the town >>>
2. National Hispanic Cultural Center 6. Albuquerque Zoo and Bio Park
Albuquerque is ideally located for getting to some of the best places to visit. There are Albuquerque attractions and tours for the whole family! Check out the Top 10 things to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico including historic sites, museums and numerous fun and cultural tourist attractions. Plan your day trip into the heart of New Mexico!
1. Historic Old Town Plaza
Cycling the Sandias
When the chill comes and the snow falls, the skiers and snowboarders come out to play. Luckily, the local Sandia Peak doesn’t shut down after ski season. This summer, first-time bikers and thrill-seekers alike will have the ability to experience a whole new level of mountain biking. The options are endless for a sunny day in the mountains, and it begins with a ride on one of the world’s longest tramways. If you have a fear of heights or choose to bring your own bike, a drive up the mountain is just as nice and a bit lighter on the wallet. Sandia Peak is well known for its spectacular view, and a picnic basket filled with delectable eats and treats is the perfect complement as you overlook the splendor of the city. After filling up with a delicious lunch, it’s time to bike. Many people tend to label mountain biking as vigorous exercise, but depending on the paths chosen, it can also be a very relaxing experience. The Sandia paths vary extensively from very easy to difficult. The Capulin Spring Road is a 1.9-mile ride that is perfect for beginners. It is a wide, gentle dirt road, which offers inexperienced riders the chance to sharpen their skills before tackling more advanced trails. After a little practice, take a trip on the Downhill Blue—an intermediate trail with an option to take the lift and descend from the top of chair number one. For experienced riders, the Competition Loop Black runs counterclockwise and is the same trail used for the Sandia Peak Mountain Bike Challenge Race Series. A consultant for the Sandias said, “If you bring your own bike and choose to take the chairlift, it’s only $12 for one ride and $20 for the whole day. The lift will take you up once and then again for a downhill trip. We offer a full-service rental shop for bikes and helmets. If a rider chooses to rent the bike, it is a $58 fee for an all day, all-inclusive pass including a refundable deposit.” Grab some sunscreen and a helmet, and enjoy the fresh air. Plan on spending at least half a day on the mountain, but don’t hesitate to spend the evening playing sand volleyball and horseshoes while enjoying the gorgeous array of colors that only a New Mexico sunset can create.
3. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center 4. Albuquerque Museum of Art and History 5. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
7. Petroglyph National Monument 8. International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta and Museum 9. World’s Longest Tram 10. Day Trip to Acoma Pueblo
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“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10, NIV). A 75-year-old blind woman in Massachusetts was recently threatened with a lien against her home due to an unpaid amount on her sewer and water bill. The amount was exactly—are you ready for this—it was exactly one cent. Yup, just a penny. When this story broke, people all over the nation were calling in saying they were willing to pay the one penny so this woman could keep her home. Well, the good news is that God has done something similar for us, although the stakes in our case were much higher. God was willing to pay the price for our sin so that we could keep our life, but it cost Him the life of His one and only Son. What’s more, God did this long before we ever knew Him—while we were still His enemies. Why? Because He loved us. People wanted to pay the penny for that woman because they thought what was happening wasn’t fair. God paid the price for our sin because He loves us so much, He didn’t want to see us die. It’s good news that someone helped that woman pay her bill to get out of trouble, but isn’t it better news that God gave everything to save our lives? Isn’t that a story worth sharing?
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the good news
Mass Effect 3
the guide >>>
ass Effect 3 is making history. Not because of how many games it’s sold, not because of the record number of people playing it, but because of its ending. Specifically, many fans just weren’t all that happy with how the game ended, and they asked the makers over at Bioware to change it; and they’ve listened. The company is releasing some DLC (downloadable content) this summer that they promise provides “greater context” for the controversial ending. It’s a rare example of the creators of a game acquiescing to the demands of the players, and the repercussions of such a move have yet to be assessed, especially if the alleged “fix” for the ending still doesn’t meet the expectations of the players. It’s never easy to bring a popular story beloved by fans to a proper ending. Just look at the ending for Lost, or Battlestar Galactica or even Seinfeld; all were successful and popular shows, and they all had endings that divided the fans; some saying the ending was good, others feeling pretty much the opposite. Despite the strong feelings, however, there weren’t any reshoots done for any of those shows to try and “fix” the ending, and yet, that’s exactly what was demanded of the creative team behind Mass Effect 3, and it’s what they’re (supposedly) going to deliver. However, Mass Effect 3 isn’t the only thing people would like to change the ending for. Truth is, a lot of people would like to change the ending for life. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but life pretty much ends the same way for everyone—in death (sorry to spoil that for you). The mortality rate for humanity is 100%. Every person born eventually dies. That’s just not satisfactory for some, and hence the quest to forestall death as long as possible. We have all kinds of products and pills designed to help us look and feel younger longer. There’s also the option to have oneself put into cryogenic freeze until cures can be found for things like…well, death. Still the fact remains, no matter what choices we make, the ending for us all is still the same: death…with one possible exception. Jesus Christ has changed the ending. Through His death and resurrection, we have the choice of a different ending for our life. When we include Jesus in our life, it’s like getting the best piece of downloadable content ever; it changes everything. Oh, we still die in the end, but that death becomes a beginning instead of an ending. Death is no longer some scary thing to forestall as long as possible. Through Jesus it’s been conquered and subdued so we can truly say, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55, NIV). We can enjoy new life, eternal
life, through Jesus Christ. We can enjoy new adventures for all eternity in heaven with Jesus. In short, we can change the ending to something far more satisfying, one that will exceed even our wildest expectations. It’s rather interesting that people can get so worked up over the ending of a game, especially if it doesn’t completely satisfy their sense of expectation, and yet show so little regard for their own ending. If people can passionately pursue changing the ending for a beloved character in a video game, why don’t they pursue a change for the ending of their own life; which I can only assume would be more meaningful? Well, perhaps they don’t know that a change is possible. Perhaps they haven’t heard of what Jesus has done. When I hear the cries to change the ending of Mass Effect 3, what I hear is a symptom of their true desire—to find a better ending for themselves. I hear a desperate desire to find a good ending for hurting souls. Getting a satisfying ending that lives up to expectations is a good thing for video games or anything else that tells a compelling story, but what people really need is a satisfying ending for life, for eternity. That’s only found in Jesus Christ, and it’s freely available to anyone who cares to download Christ into their lives. You can do that now, or if you already have, you can tell people about it now. Either way, something needs to be done to change the ending—now.
Get more insights on video games, comic books, movies and more from The Guide at gameandmovieguide.com
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static strip >>>
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june-august 2012 03. 05. 06. 10. 11. 13. 14. 16. 20. 23. 24. 27. 29. 31. 32. 35. 36. 38. 41. 42. 43. 44. 46. 1st words the 411 the edge American Idolatry the jocks It’s My Birthday & I’ll Cry If I Want To... proverbs Heart Check testify My Story the heart Meet Your Match the movement Your Perfect Botox Smile the sound Thousand Foot Krutch underground Close to Home, Far from Ordinary shock therapy iDeath the show Surge pause American Dream sound check House of Heroes the source There Is No Other book report The Hunger Games the thought Whore Habits the talk Act of Valor the town Cycling the Sandias the good news the guide Mass Effect 3 static strip index
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