Star Trek: Quotes

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“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, and irrational fear of the unknown. There is no such thing as the unknown. Only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”

– James T. Kirk, “The Corbomite Maneuver”

I remember the first time I watched Star Trek. Having watched 2009’s, J.J. Abrams-directed film, I immediately became captivated by creator Gene Roddenberry’s imagination. So I started at the very beginning, or as it’s called, The Original Series. And haven’t stopped watching since.

Why did I become a Trekkie and what’s this post leading to? Good point, I’m getting there. What first drew me to Star Trek was nostalgia, I have a fondness for the past and that includes TV shows. They take me to another time, to another world. Star Trek takes me there literally, with a whole universe of worlds to explore!

What I really love about the show, however, is that each episode reflects the problems and issues of the day, and asks all the deep questions that many of us struggle to answer. I’m not saying that I agree with the answers that Star Trek provides to these dilemmas, but I do applaud their openminded boldness to even ask such questions and try to tackle them. They are deep and personal things that can be painful to uncover and challenge, and yet this is the only show that I have seen take such a leap.

Lastly, I will say that I love how it explores humanity. It’s never truly about exploring new planets, though on the surface that’s what it would seem. With each new discovery, we also discover something about ourselves that makes us set apart. Whether that be compassion, creativity, love, or the thirst for freedom.

Now on to the point, I really wanted to start a blog series on Star Trek quotes that have stuck with me and have challenged me to think deeper. Although I would say this is a highly secular show, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from it as Christians. In some ways, it gives us a broader understanding of what our society thinks and feels about different subjects from a non-religious background.

The first quote, though spoken by both Captain Picard and Doctor McCoy, originated from John Dalberg-Acton, a writer, politician, and historian from the late 1800s:

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Let’s discuss this quote for a moment, and let’s see if you agree. I believe this speaks to our need of God, in that we ourselves are ill-equipped to handle access power apart from Him. This also shows that evil does exist and tends to take over well-intentioned people of power. I truly believe that without God and His authority over us, we automatically place something else in that place of authority and power, and if we aren’t careful, that something can be ourselves.

We see this in society, this erasing of God and promoting of self. It is a weakness in humans to believe we know and perceive more than our creator does. That somehow we can surpass Him in our goodness, wisdom, and power. When we start to believe this, satan takes over and that is when we start to bring about our own destruction. There is a reason we live in a world that lacks a supreme ruler, power is delegated for the sole purpose of protecting ourselves from such a predicament.

Let’s chew on this one for the time being, what are your thoughts on this subject?

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Weight of Glory

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“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

Corinthians 4:17

Glory is measurable. Its definition is, honor won by notable achievements. Beneath that description is another term, magnificence. These are terms of divine royalty, something that we both carry and display as beings made in God’s image. Upon searching for verses about glory,  here are some that stood out to me:

 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. – Philippians 4:19-20

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14 

The term “glory” is found throughout the Bible in relation to God. However, when I searched for verses that talked about “weight of glory” only one popped up, Corinthians 4:17, listed above. And to my surprise I found it was directed towards us, “...are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” I believe this is the “heavenly treasure” that is mentioned in Matthew 6:20:

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

When we think of treasure, we think of man-made items, things that tarnish and are eventually lost. Generally what we perceive to be a treasure, is garbage to someone else. But when it comes to glory, honor, and love….these are universal treasures, because they all cost something. They are created and birthed from God’s own being. His kingdom is filled with this kind of treasure, and we each have a storehouse.

Through sacrifice, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin, he took care of our debts and put us in right standing with God. Through this offering, we have eternal salvation. Hence the fact that we all have a storehouse in heaven with our names on them (symbolically). If we want to fill those storehouses, that is entirely up to us, right here and now. If this wasn’t so, the Bible wouldn’t say that we can store up treasure, or that we can achieve glory in heaven that outweighs any earthly glory.

So what does that mean for us? It’s time to start investing! Nothing precious is free, nor should it be. Everything comes with a price and that price is sacrifice. If this makes you uneasy, let me explain further. We all have sacrificed something. The moment we became a Christian we sacrificed the old self and its ways. When you asked him/her to marry you, you were willing to give up your single life for the sake of a lifetime united with them. Maybe there was a time in school when you could have walked past someone being bullied but decided to defend them, sacrificing your own security. Life is full of these sacrificial moments both small and large, as a Christian, though we are tested greatly, we aren’t alone.

Jesus knows sacrifice, he understands how difficult it can be for us humans to let go sometimes. I’ve read stories of martyrs who felt the presence and comfort of God in their great moment of sacrifice. And that same peace and comfort is there for us in our small sacrifices too. The fact is, the more in love we are with Jesus, the more we will sacrifice, and it will even be joyful! It’s like the saying goes, “it’s better to give than to receive.” When you are motivated by love, their joy becomes your own. As Christians, the bride of Christ, our Lord’s overflowing joy should overflow in us. More of him is the answer to any problem we may face. It really is all about relationship with Jesus.

God deserves all the glory. And yet He places crowns on our heads and gives us the keys to His kingdom, where the first become last, and the weak become strong. What king would lower himself? Would give His only Son? Would pour out glory and love that cannot be weighed on His people? …He gave it all for me….now what can I sacrifice for Him?

 

 

 

Just for You

Jesus and child

Just for You
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
I’d come running when you fall
Wipe your every tear
Hold you in my arms
Fight away the fear.

I’d face the hardest trials
To simply know your heart
Your name is My Beloved
We are never far apart
I pray for you unceasingly
Sing many lullabies
Remind you what I see
When I look into your eyes
There’s no mountain
And no valley that
Is too tall or wide
I’d fight your every battle
And would gladly give my life…

-Jesus

Happy Valentine’s Day

The Hidden Agenda

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This picture isn’t pretty to look at. And yet it clearly shows a battle that is taking place in our society. A battle between what is morally right and true, against what is perverse and false. How did all this come about? What has become of the world where truth was once prized above all else?

I must say part of this shift in our society is because we have failed to be the church God called us to be. A church of love and full of the Holy Spirit. Without these components, the church becomes self-righteous, prizing the law above the Covenant of Jesus. The church becomes a place of judgment and condemnation, and lacks power, which was never God’s intention or will. Naturally, people would rise up hating the church and the God they follow, never knowing the true message of Christ or his love.

It is a tragedy that can still be reversed. God is the redeemer, and He is awakening the church again to the great call. I have seen first hand, the impact such a church can bring about. Amazing testimonies of healing and redemption all because a church surrendered themselves to the Holy Spirit, who is Christ with us.

What has become of the world while we were sleeping? What damage has satan inflicted on our brothers and sisters? What is his hidden agenda?

I believe satan’s ultimate goal, is complete rebellion against God. This involves more than we realize, as one cannot just rebel against their creator without also rebelling against themselves, “the creation”. To slam the door on God is to slam the door on our identity as children of God, designed with a purpose, handcrafted by one who makes no mistakes. It isn’t  surprising that people are more depressed than ever, hating their bodies and even their gender.

Rebellion against God includes rebellion against His morality. What God has established as right and wrong has been our moral compass for generations. Our societal laws are formulated by God’s commandments. Today we see those laws being attacked and rewritten, and we can continue to see a new “morality” take its place. One built around relativity and convenience.

Do you see why we can no longer hide behind our church doors, condemning the world and using the cross as a means to strike fear into unbelieving hearts? It. Doesn’t. Work. Hell fire and brimstone teaching may outwardly produce results in some places, but inwardly breeds fear of punishment, not love. Love is the only thing that can heal, restore, and truly change a person.

In a society so far gone, we can’t expect people to know they are doing wrong. We can only show them what they are lacking. Satan has handed them all the counterfeits, he has given them the weapons to destroy themselves, disguised as everything they thought they ever wanted. They are so hungry and they don’t even see it. It’s our job to show them what they are truly hungry for, to love them as Christ does, and to live our lives set apart. That we would be in the world but not of the world, dispelling darkness and never missing an opportunity to demonstrate the heart of God the Father.

I want this to be a message of hope, a call to rise up and take back the world from satan’s grasp. He stands defeated, but we still have a job to do. If we didn’t, Jesus would be here already!  Let the Holy Spirit move, let his presence rest upon you….I believe he has much to tell us…and show us.

Love people, with no hidden agenda. That’s all there is to it.

 

Photograph

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“We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
And time’s forever frozen still”

-Song: Photograph by Ed Sheeran

I love looking through old family pictures. Sometimes I will dig them all out and allow myself to fall into a time that has slipped away. I find myself forgetting the names of the faces that held me close at one point in my life. So long ago it seems, but in the face of time, happened only yesterday. Taking pictures can be an obsession, I used to snap pictures of everything in my haste to remember, and yet I failed to make a memory. Fear of time passing tends to make it pass faster. My fondest pictures are, truly, the ones only in my mind. The moments I put the camera down and lived.

It can be painful, always being so nostalgic. Maybe that’s why I love photography, antiques, and old TV shows. They all preserve a time that has passed, a time that can no longer be. People and stories that shouldn’t be forgotten, and yet, also shouldn’t be brought back to life. What I mean, is God places us all in the right era and time. We take the stage of life right on queue, singing our song and leaving our mark, preparing the scene for the next lineup or generation. We dishonor our past by living in it. What they sacrificed and died for was for us to live in now. Our freedom, for instance, we enjoy now because our distant relatives understood what it meant to be on the stage of life. They could have lived only for themselves, and yet they recognized that once they left the stage others would fill the space, their children and grandchildren needed a better world, and so they took it upon themselves to make it so.

When I look back that is what I see. Men and women sacrificing to make the world a better place for their children. Did they always get it right? No. Were their times of selfishness? Yes. But it was their time, to live, love, and die. Each chasing what they thought had lasting meaning and purpose, hoping their story wouldn’t be forgotten, but never desiring that the future generations would look at their time and long for it. They always wanted the future to be better than what they had, just as much as we want our children to live in a better world and society.

As Christians, we have forgotten what others have paid the price for. We have failed to secure the ground that has been won by our ancestors. There shouldn’t be doubt today about the spiritual gifts, we shouldn’t be stuck in religion, love should still be our legacy! Instead of looking back and declaring that God only worked in those times, we need to remind ourselves again that God NEVER changes, He is the same God in every era, and He didn’t start off big to become smaller in His works and wonders! It was His desire that we would look back and see what is possible through Him, and do greater things now because of it. And we have accepted the past as our endnote just as we have accepted the final page of the Bible as the end of God speaking to us. I say this with caution, He wouldn’t contradict His Word, but He will compliment it and work in new ways through it. The Bible doesn’t contain Him. To be honest, what really could? He is infinite and full of mystery.

The past should be remembered, it’s ok to take pictures and to be nostalgic once and awhile, but if we find ourselves always longing for the past we need to ask ourselves, why? I long for the morality of the past, the patriotism and simpler times. I also long for the innocence and naivety of my youth, the days spent with people that are now asleep, or have moved beyond my reach. No matter what I wish, I can’t fall into those pictures and relive those moments. I can’t tap my heels together and bring about a new world. Our world would not gain anything to go back in time, just as we wouldn’t gain anything to go back to our youth. We would be living in a museum.

Our past should stay in the past, but we record the past so that we remember where we came from. A photograph can bring you back in time and remind you of who you were, and that should give you hope, should spur you into growth and hopeful expectation of the future. I want to be more than that girl in the photograph, I want our world to be more than it was back then, I want my ceiling to become (the next generations) floor.

Yesterday

Forever apart

And a part of me

Were the days 

I spent playing

Along the stream

The waters still moving

Though never the same

Time had erased

The river I claimed

No sound of laughter

No gentle breeze

Water no longer

Up past my knees

But maybe it’s not the river

But me

That has undergone change

Like the current I see

Yesterday is gone

Like a seed to a tree

I don’t regret

Those changes in me

Though I no longer

Play by the stream

I’ve learned a great lesson

About legacy

Yesterdays’ seed

Is tomorrow’s tree

Forever apart

And a part of me.

The Grafted Branch

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“Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

-Romans 11:19

Someday it is my hope to adopt a child…though it will be wonderful to have our own children, I can’t ignore the many kids who don’t have a family, who deserve to belong and grow up safe and loved. That child would be my own regardless of DNA, in my heart I would be their mother and they would be my son/daughter. How I love them, and I don’t even know them yet.

Adoption today is very expensive, more expensive than getting an abortion! Many mothers feel that abortion is more merciful than putting their child up for adoption, writing off their life story as a failure before it ever began. They hear about the horrors of being an orphan, and for many children, those fears are warranted. Moving from home to home, with no one to call mom or dad, never fully rooted and never fully knowing their worth. Instead, they feel like a burden, a waste, a mistake…never was it God’s intention for us to give up our children. If we root ourselves in Him, we are the only ones who were made to raise our children. You may not believe me, but His original design is always the best.

It’s time we put a new face on adoption. We were adopted into the kingdom of God after all, and are very far from understanding what that means. The symbolic image of the grafted branch found in Romans gives us only a vague understanding of what it means to be included in this family tree. It also gives us a dire warning to not fall into pride or self-righteousness.

18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you too will be cut off.23 And even then, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. (Romans 11:18-23)

Through Jesus sacrifice, we have been given salvation (grafted-in). Something that originally wasn’t possible. In the Old Testament, we had the law and fear of God. Only a few could even stand in His Presence without perishing. Some were even considered close to God. But after Jesus, the veil was torn, signifying that we no longer were held to righteousness by the law but through Jesus. Through him, we can all now have a personal relationship with God, and not just as friends. “And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”‘ (2 Corinthians 6:18) We are God’s sons and daughters! What does that mean exactly? Well first, remember that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, which means “of the same kind.” We are human and God is not. Jesus has always been with God and is a part of God. We are God’s creation, therefore when He calls us sons and daughters, He is inviting us, adopting us into His family, the Trinity.

We aren’t the black sheep of this family. God doesn’t call/label us adopted ones or outsiders. He calls us His children. When He looks at you He thinks, “that is my son,” and, “that is my daughter.” It’s more than we can imagine, more than Adam and Eve experienced in the garden, and they walked with God!

As son’s and daughters we’re not only grafted into this amazing family but we also now share its inheritance! Jesus blood paid for a lot more than we realize. The Bible isn’t just a story of salvation, it’s also the greatest story of redemption. What does God do with anything that satan has taken or destroyed? He repairs the damage, yes, but on top of that, He multiplies His blessings and outpourings. He is the ultimate redeemer, and guess what? He has ultimately redeemed you. The Bible is, in fact, a story of a God who romanced a world, died for her and brought her home. Not so sure? Why is it that our favorite fairy tales are those of sacrifice and love? We were made to be loved, so much so, that we crave stories that involve someone giving themselves up for the sake of rescuing us. Our heart of hearts knows what it is lacking, and so it speaks freely in our literature, art, and music.

Our power is in the root, Jesus is our root. Through him, we have been grafted into this great family, given a heritage we are still learning to walk in fully, and have been given an identity that no one can take from us, children of God. Our job now is simple, accept this great identity and share with others the great news! That they too can join this family. God wants to adopt them! We live in a fatherless society, a world of people who believe they are orphans, hungry for the love of a father. It’s our job and privilege to tell them that they have exactly that. A father who loves them and paid the price for them to walk in relationship with Him forever. We have a home and a family, we are branded with love, and God’s heart is for us, His children.

I’ve been grafted in, have you?

Sacrifice

cross

I thought I knew

What it meant

To give myself away

But in the light

Of the great cross

I have no words to say

For who could ever measure up

To what He gave that day

Yes, I thought I knew

What it meant

To give myself away

You see there is no going back

I’m on this path to stay

Following His footsteps

I will not go astray

But will I keep on walking?

Fighting for my faith?

You see, I thought I knew

What it meant

to give myself away

Can I be courageous?

What am I holding back?

I want to carry my cross

Feel it’s weight upon my back

I want to run the good race

I want to understand

Yes I want to know

what it means

to give myself away

And there’s no better teacher

Then the One who paved the way

He walked this path before me

Though trials come my way

I will discover what it means

to give myself away.

That’s why this path

Is rightly named

“The only way”