If you’re a comic book geek like me (which you probably aren’t), then you know that most action figures purchased by adults are not meant to see any action at all. They are meant to be purchased and then quickly stored away or put on display next to other pristine action figures that have never been removed from their protective see-through plastic tombs. Ahem, I may or may not be guilty of this very thing.
Photo: Nareeta Martin, Unsplash
But that attitude toward moveable pieces of plastic is all really silly when you think about it. Toys are meant to be played with and not just observed, right? So why do so many people insist on never taking action figures out of their packaging in order to experience them to the fullest?
During our second pandemic lockdown in Pennsylvania, my daughters (9 and 7) heard from a few of their friends that Disney+ had a trilogy of movies originally released on the Disney Channel between 2015 to 2019 about the teenaged children of famous Disney villains. As a result, Descendants, Descendants 2, and Descendants 3 quickly became the favorite movie requests for my girls when they were allowed to have screen time.
Photo: Maria Teneva, Unsplash
And because I’m a dad who tolerates dreadful kid movies for the sake of my children, I’ve seen all three “films” and now regularly wake up with the ear worm soundtrack of the third movie playing in my head as soon as I open my eyes each morning.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7)
It’s easy to see that there is great agony in our world. Trials, difficult times, pain, and suffering are everywhere and, frankly, are altogether unavoidable. And when (not if) suffering rears its ugly head, you can wonder why God permits it, and if it will ever stop.
In many ways, you have control over what you want to have fed to you online. When you think about it, the internet is one giant digital buffet line you can pick and choose from to put on your plate and eat, depending on the mood you’re in at that particular moment. Other than advertisements here and there, nothing is digitally forced on you except what you have personally chosen.
And the same can be said about who we choose to spiritually influence and mentor us. If you’re trusting in yourself and choosing who you are going to on the internet as your primary source of spiritual input, you’re submitting only to the trustworthiness of yourself, and you don’t have to listen to anybody you don’t want to listen to. If the sermon on the podcast starts to make you feel uneasy, you stop it and find something else to tune in to. If the Bible study is too challenging, you can simply click away to a different one you’re capable of easily digesting.
This was an important conversation to have right now in our current cultural moment.
My hope and prayer is that this conversation with Alisa Childers helps you understand how doubt can be a healthy part of your walk with God, and also point you in some great directions as you see/hear stories of “Christian deconstruction.” I really appreciated my time talking with Alisa. She was kind, warm, and super encouraging. Click here or on the image above to see the video of our conversation.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to be interviewed on Igniting a Nation and talk with Messianic Rabbi Eric Walker on the topic of doubt and how people young and old can doubt well in our current cultural climate. The background where I’m recording in this video is white and bland (like me), but I assure you the topic of conversation will be helpful for you. To watch the full interview, click here, or on the image below.
I’ve been doing several interviews to talk about my book DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard. Here’s one I did for Heritage of Truth TV and blog. The full video is available right here. You can also click on the image below.
I was interviewed yesterday for a podcast on the release of my new book, and during the interview, I mentioned an article I wrote several years ago about the ethnic diversity in the movie Furious 7.
After hunting for it for a while, I came to the conclusion that the article was lost in cyberspace, so I scoured my computer and found the original text document. Below is the original article from April 6, 2015 that I’m reposting here today. I love the Fast and Furious franchise for several reasons, but this article highlights an important one. Enjoy the throwback on this Thursday.
It’s August 17, and today’s the day that DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard is available everywhere. I received my author copies last week, and I love the red—it pops.
Big shout out to New Growth Press for publishing. I’m grateful they’ve trusted me enough to publish a second book.
Here are a few things some have been saying about it:
I’ve just sent out the first batch to everyone who asked for a free sticker, and now I’m ready for round 2!
Above is the image for a sticker that my publisher designed. They gave me a few hundred to give out to people, so if you’d like a free sticker for your water bottle, laptop, or favorite pair of skinny jeans, email me at email@example.com with your name and address and I’ll send you one for FREE!
No catch at all, just a free sticker. DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard comes out in less than two weeks on August 17th!