The Hulk is a very confusing super hero. In the movie The Avengers everyone, including Bruce Banner (the guy who turns into the Hulk when he gets angry), is wary of the appearance of the green monster. But they know they need him at some point if they are to be successful against the evil Loki.
Towards the end of the movie when things were getting rough for the Avengers, Banner realizes that the Hulk must appear. He calmly walks in the direction of the massive enemy and reveals how he has learned to control when the Hulk appears. Captain America tells him that now might be a good time to get angry. Banner looks back just before he transforms into the enigmatic hero and says, “That’s my secret . . . I’m always angry.”
It finally happened. In my post about Planet Fitness I made reference to the Lunk Alarm. It’s a large purple siren fixed high on the wall. It’s part of a sign that defines a Lunk as someone who displays their physical strength by shouting while lifting or slamming weights down at the end of some heavy reps. I’d not heard or seen the alarm go off in my four months there and I was beginning to think that its function was limited to decor.
When the siren went off my first thought was that it was a fire alarm, but nobody moved toward the exits. I noticed the light flashing when I got to the other side of the machine that had been obstructing my view. Everybody else must have experienced the alarm before that day because they kept going about their business unaffected. The culprits had been putting on a show that no one had been watching.
Without fail, whenever a terrible event occurs there are stories of people performing incredibly selfless acts to help the victims. Monday’s bombing in Boston was no exception. The media’s bombarding of our airwaves with video clips of the terrible thing shows that even in the earliest moments after the explosion many people ran toward the carnage. It’s evidence that there are good people who are ready to help when others are desperately in need.
However, there are many instances in everyday life when people are in need and nobody helps them. So, what does it take to get people to sacrifice their time, efforts or even finances to aid them?
No, I don’t mean food. This is my friend Denny Pallay. He retired from working on the railroad in Northeast Ohio back in January. In the fall we chatted over coffee and he shared with me this idea that lined up with his passion for working on cars. He lives near our church and is in tune with the needs of people in the neighborhood.
It’s really quite simple. Denny loves to work on cars, and that includes maintaining them. Since there are so many people who don’t have much money and don’t know much about cars, he thought it would be a great idea to show them how or even fix their cars for free.
I’m waking up the morning after our wedding with a sense of being out of my element. It isn’t because I don’t belong here, it’s because I don’t know how to belong here. I am the same person and yet everything has changed. Yesterday I woke up a single man with only the promise of matrimony. Today I am a married man, terribly excited but not knowing what to expect or how to act.
Will I remember to put the toilet seat down every time? How often is too often to play ball with the guys? Vanda is British, and they have already thrown me with the crazy tradition of crackers last Christmas. I’m still not completely convinced that everybody in the United Kingdom wears those silly paper hats during Christmas dinner. What if there are other traditions I’m unaware of that will stress the boundaries of my comfort zone?
Have you ever noticed that Jesus never made excuses? Not so much us. Every one of us. Some more than others.
Okay, no more sentence fragments. It’s not my fault. I wasn’t an English major. D’oh! Plagued by excuses (and sentence fragments, apparently).
I know it’s a New Testament kinda week, but what I would have said today I already put in Friday’s blog. So if you’re okay with me goin’ all OT on you this Passion Week, let’s take a look at how God helped Moses to overcome the excuses he had that could have prevented him from becoming a great man of God. It happened at the burning bush event in Exodus 4:1-17.
The best method to overcoming your excuses is to see them as God sees them. Here’s what God saw in Moses’ response to the quest of the Exodus.
Early on Saturday morning only the guys were awake in the Knick household. Zach, my nine-year-old, was watching cartoons and told me how bored he was. It turned into a manly morning as we took an impromptu trip to McDonald’s. Maybe it will be one of those surprises he’ll remember into adulthood. I know I will.
It took awhile for him to choose what to eat. We don’t do the Mickey D’s thing a lot, and I can’t remember the last time we had breakfast there. He finally decided on a breakfast burrito and, after his first bite, vowed to consume only that delicacy as the first meal of the day until the length of his days on this earth would expire. By the time he started the second burrito he’d already changed his mind. I have his fickle taste buds to thank for what happened next, since he was no longer fixated on fast food delicacies.
Silence, however powerful, is not the cause of poor communication – the fear of pain is. It is basic to human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. But people actually avoid pain first and then seek pleasure.
Les and Leslie Parrott, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Page 81
This book by Les and Leslie Parrott is about marriage, but I also heard truth in it about our difficulty with sharing Jesus Christ. We know that telling people about Jesus is our most important job as Christians, yet most of us have never done it – and never will.
The young adult group discussion that I mentioned in my last post was based on a chapter in my book. They are graciously reading my book and discussing it one chapter a week. It’s based on John 10 where Jesus uses the analogy of a shepherd and his sheep to explain the relationship he has with us. The Shepherd (Jesus) leads us (his followers) to pasture, but that only happens if we actually leave the safety of the pen to follow him. The pasture is the ultimate fulfillment for the sheep; their way of living life to the fullest extent.
Emma was one of 17 kids ranging from 7th grade to high school senior to be awarded honorable mention at Kent State University last night. We’re in the Northeast Ohio Writing Region for the Scholastic Writing Awards. Nationally, more than 80,000 students participate. Fifteen percent get honorable mention, ten percent are given a Silver key and five percent are honored with the Gold Key Award. Emma’s friends, Alexandra Morar and Madison Lucansky, joined her on the ground floor with honorable mentions. Her friend Anna Sherman shot right to the top with a Gold Key award! Kudos to their teachers, Joyce Zitkovich and Marli Brocker.
As the kids were walking up to read the Golden Line from their work that had been chosen by the judges (great idea!), I experienced a mixture of great pride and a tiny bit of envy. Maybe envy isn’t the right word. Basically I was feeling sorry for myself. My daughter was getting an award for writing at the tender age of 12, and I hadn’t written anything that wasn’t a mandatory assignment until I was 39. If only I had the same encouragement that these kids have. There are so many skills that I need to develop – so many circles of influence to help foster my dream. If God really wants me to be a writer, why didn’t he get me started much earlier in life?