Super Nova: Part 1

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Author Note: This is a story about a superhero named Nova. Told from the very beginning, before hope, before life, and before redemption. Let’s hear her story.

It was a sweltering evening on Andromis, everyone hurried about with protective glasses and reflective coverings. A scientist sighed at his work station, he leaned back away from the computor console and rubbed his eyes. Yet the images from the screen could not be rubbed away. He felt a great wave of loss and fear, There isn’t enough time, he thought desperatley.

Andromis was once a beautiful planet, tropical and full of life. Little had their ancestors known that their sun, Kritanta, was nearing the end of it’s life. It was only within the past century that the Andromisians were advanced enough to begin formulating a plan to save their planet.

Every child was taught science and brought up to become scientists. The need was too great, as the hourglass of time poured out with each passing year. The sun grew hotter and larger, the air became harder to breathe. Plants shriveled up and rain hardly ever fell upon the cracked soil.

It was with great sorrow that world leader Arkamin, stated that there was no way to stop the death of Kritanta, and that thier energies would now be directed towards saving thier people. Today, three years later, the planet had advanced enough to create space pods, large enough for an infant or child. They were prototypes, if they could send a small creature into space and it somehow survived, they would begin placing children in the pods.

It was their only hope, afterall. Andromis believed that life existed elsewhere, they believed this out of necessity, nothing was left for thier children here.

However, no one was ready to send thier children away, not when they believed they still had time. And so, scientist Barak, had went to work just as he always did, ready to study and perfect the prototypes believing as everyone else that the star had a few more years of life left in it. Until this morning.

Barak had witnessed an unsettling change in the sun, large solar flares had shot out away from it in angry bursts, it appeared to be expanding, and Barak knew that the final stage before explosion would be contraction. He figured that Andromis had only hours left now, the thought of his young daughter came to his mind. The pods will have to be ready tonight. He shot out of his chair and ran from the lab, he had to tell Control what he had discovered, even if it was too much to bare.

He grabbed the handle of the Control room, this was the very heart of the world’s science division, they called all the shots and had access to the world’s resources. Barak paused as he heard laughter and casual conversation behind the door. It was break time, the last one they would ever get. With great effort he pushed the door open and sadly approached the team. “I’ve made a discovery, I’m afraid that it is the worst news I could ever bring you.” Barak said, his voice shook with emotion. Everyon stopped, smiles fell off faces and they turned to Barak in confusion. “What kind of discovery, Mr. Barak?” He told them his findings and using the Control room’s central computor he pulled up the file of pictures the telescope had recently captured.

There was a moments pause, the lead Scientist Sentek threw an arm around Barak’s hunched shoulders and chuckled, “Now Mr. Barak, we have seen the sun this active before, it always calms down again, surely this is one of it’s tantrums, but to say that it is dying today? Why that is quite an absurd assumption!” The other scientists nodded in agreement. Barak pulled away from his grasp in shock, “No, you don’t understand, this is different! I’ve studied these readings every day for 15 years, never has the sun made quite the demonstation that you see now, It is actually expanding, look!” Everyone reluctantly looked at the screen again, and yet Barak could see that they weren’t really looking. They are in denial! The fools will kill us all! Barak thought in anger, he clenched his fists.

He attempted a few more times to get their attention and was met with more head shakes and laughter. “Mr. Barak, go home won’t you? I believe you have worked too hard and are in need of respite.” He locked eyes with them all, hoping to burn the truth into them with his gaze, they merely smiled sympethetically. “Fine, you’ve made your minds up, I see.” He turned on his heel and stormed from the room, slamming the door behind him. I don’t have much time, I can try to tell the world and risk being locked up, or I can save my daughter, I must ready a pod for her. In that moment he hated being a scientist, calculations and numbers never left room for emotion. He knew that the percentage was low that the world would hear his voice, after all it wasn’t the first time someone had claimed the sun was dying soon. Most people were in denial, he had only hoped that they could be reached.

The only one who would believe him without a doubt was his wife, Amara. How she ever fell in love with him he will never know, she was stunningly beautiful, with gold colored hair that reflected the sun’s brilliance. She had deep blue eyes that reminded people of Andromis’s past. When there were springs of clear refreshing water around every bend, and the sound of waves crashing on a not so distant shore. Barak felt he was only average compared to her. He had dusty brown hair, dark eyes and black rimmed glasses that slid down his straight nose. There was a time he had been quite physically fit, a time when he had hope that the world could be saved and that he could do it. I’m not a hero. Barak placed his hand on the cold pod before him, I am a coward. 

It was nearing sundown, the only time Andromis ever got a break from the heat. Amara looked at the horizen in confusion, the sun wasn’t setting as fast as normal. A baby’s cry drew her attention away from the kitchen window, “hold on sweetie, mommy’s coming!” She grabbed a fresh bottle and filled it with milk, shaking it slightly she left the kitchen and proceeded toward her little girl’s cry. A nursery painted to look like green forests and blue skies greeted her. She took in the sight of her baby, almost one year old, with golden hair and brown eyes like her father. She smiled and reached her little hands up to her. A front door opened, “Amara, where are you?” Barak’s voice called. She quickly picked up her baby and exited the room.

She greeted her husband with a warm smile, but it quickly fell when she saw the look on his face. “What did you see?” She asked knowingly. He slid to his knees before her and hid his face in his hands, “our time is up Amara, I’m sorry.” He looked up at her and tears welled in his eyes. Their baby started crying again, and Amara held her close fighting back her own tears. She too fell to her knees and together they embraced their little girl and wept. After a few minutes Barak broke away, holding his daughter in his arms, he patted her back gently and hummed a lullaby. Her crying stopped and she rested her head on his shoulder. “My little girl, I’m so sorry I couldn’t make a better world for you.” Amara wiped her eyes, “when?” was all she could manage to say.

Barak stood and helped his wife to her feet, “tonight, it will just be us Amara, I tried to tell Control and they wouldn’t hear me.” Her face grew more hopeless, “What do you mean? Why haven’t you tried telling anyone else?” Barak shook his head in frustration, “They are blinded, if we tell them and they don’t hear us, what do you think will happen? I could get banned from the lab and our only means to save our child!” Amara stood in silence and Barak was surprised at her quiet reply, “Is our daughter’s life worth more than the lives of an entire world?” Barak looked into his baby’s innocent face peering up  at him, “Amara, she is my world.” Nothing else was said, Amara only nodded and after one last pause to look at her own world before her, she left the room.

It wasn’t hard. Packing a small bag to put in the pod, and closing the nursery door, driving through the night toward the lab. Outwardly they appeared set and determined, this isn’t hard, they told themselves. And yet, inside they screamed and cried with each step they took.

The lab was dark, Barak swiped his badge and motioned for Amara and the baby to enter behind him. The only sound that could be heard was their footfalls down the hall toward the pod room. Barak had secretly set it up, one pod out of millions stood ready to be deployed into space. He had checked and double checked it and had readied his station. “It’s all set Amara, all we have to do is place her inside and we can control her ascent from here.” Amara nodded and began crying. “Yes, alright.” A computer screen turned on in the far corner and began beeping, a red warning sign flashed across it.

Barak’s mouth opened in shock, “no, no, NO!” He called running to the console and grabbing the sides with his hands. “What Barak, what is it?” Amara dashed to his side in terror. “Put her in the pod now, hurry we are out of time!” They ran back to the pod and gently placed thier sleeping baby in it’s compartment. Barak looked at her one last time, he didn’t cry but smiled and said, “I love you forever and always, remember that.” He went to close the hatch but Amara stopped him, she reached into the compartment and smoothed back her daughter’s hair and kissed her forehead, “goodbye, my heart, my life…my world.”

Barak closed the compartment, and turned away before emotion could consume him. Amara followed and they each manned a station. The pod was lifted gently by mechanical arms and placed in a torpedo like capsule. It rose up the shoot and out of the basement of the lab, it’s speed increasing with each floor. In seconds it shot out of the building completely and into the night sky that was quickly turning gaseous. Solar flares could be seen like fiery spider legs jutting out across the darkness. Their light grew brighter and stronger, fire began raining from the heavens as the pod’s capsule turned to rocket, with blue jets shooting it ever higher.

Barak and Amara watched it’s ascent, making slight adjustments and finally applauding when it broke the atmosphere into space itself. They turned thier faces away from the screens filling with static and instead looked into each others eyes. Their hands reached out and intertwined and they smiled.

…and Andromis, was no more.

(Part 2: coming soon)

 

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Valued

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Who has the right to decide someone’s value?

I believe the answer to that question is their “creator” or “maker.”

This very thought got me thinking about the problems in our society today. Do you know that right now the number of abortions this year is well over 22,000,000 and climbing every minute?

At the same time an unborn infant screams, there are birthday celebrations and baby showers with parents beaming with pride and love. How can both exist in one world? In one country? What is the true value of a child?

No one really knows. But we do know that they are worth more than we can imagine, that we are worth so much that God would send His Son to die for us. That Jesus would storm the gates of Hell for us, that the Holy Spirit would be with us always, remaining our companion even when we grieve Him.

God made us all by hand, each one of us is a masterpiece reflecting His heart. And yet, we destroy so many of His works of art. We can block it out, cover our ears and close our eyes. God cannot. He hears and sees everything we do under the sun, and He hears each cry, each plea for life. And yet He still loves us.

The problem is that our society is trying to erase God, and become “gods” themselves. If you’re a god, you can then be considered the “creator” of the life that is growing in your womb. And if you are the creator then it is your right to destroy your creation. It’s yours, after all, you decide the value of what you create.

The truth would be harder to swallow. That when we take a life it isn’t our right to take it. That the baby growing inside you isn’t being crafted by your hands but by the hands of Almighty God. Just because I am a woman and can be used as God’s vessel to bring life into the world, doesn’t mean that I can choose to end that life. We surrender to God’s will, not He to ours. I hold no power apart from Him, He created me with the ability to bear children, therefore He created in essence, the very idea of children.

And so the world values what it wishes, discards what it wishes, blind by its inability to understand that nothing is original to us. Everything we have “made” was first perceived by God, and would not be possible for us if it wasn’t for what God has already created, such as our hands, our eyes, and our minds.

The importance of value is that it is important. God may not have told us the exact value of a rose or a sparrow, but He has made it very clear that we are valued above all these. That we are the center of His heart, and that everything else He created for us. That we might reign with Him, as His sons and daughters.

Abortion isn’t the only way we devalue life. We do this through race, religion, wealth, beauty, gender, talent, and sexuality. It isn’t a new thing to look down upon a person, in fact, it is birthed from selfish pride. A sin that everyone has faced, even if they didn’t let it reside in their hearts so deeply.

That is why the idea of “surrender” seems distasteful. And yet in Christianity, surrender takes on a different meaning than what society has defined it as. To society, surrender means to give up, to wave a white flag and be captured unwillingly by a stronger enemy. It is seen as a sign of weakness, in war movies, the main character would rather die fighting than ever surrender. In Christianity, it is a sign of trust, love, reverence, and worship. It is likened to what Jesus did when he became a servant, kneeling at the feet of his disciples and washing them. It was a display of honor.

I’m not trying to shame those who have sinned, but in order for true repentance to take place, sin must first be recognized. A conviction of the heart must take place. Jesus died for every sin, no matter how awful the sin may be. There is grace, forgiveness, and love. No one is immune to sin, and the agenda of this world is to influence good hearts, to deceive blameless minds into doing the unthinkable.

I am merely pained, as I type this. I find myself just as guilty at turning away from the souls crying out for a savior. How can I laugh, watch TV, go about my day-to-day in a country that is murdering millions of innocent babies? We watch documentaries about the Holocaust and are sickened by what we see. We ask, how could the Germans let this happen in their own backyards? And look at us! We let the destruction of entire generations happen. I’m tired of only hearing, “all lives matter,” without the explanation of why. It’s sad but it’s true that people need to be reminded of why.

If God mattered to us then automatically all lives would matter to us. God transforms hearts and minds to reflect His. We can’t look in a mirror and expect to change, we have always needed to look to God. The truth is people were made to worship, and if we don’t worship God we will worship something else, in this case, ourselves. People uphold humanity as if it is a growing, changing thing. Like we can outgrow our need for a God or morality. When the reality is that, although we may develop in some ways, we still remain humans, fallible, imperfect, and bound to make the same mistakes we have made countless times before.

And so, when you go back out into the world remember this. The boss that may have ticked you off, the lady who pulled out in front of you at an intersection, the kid throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, the baby with a dirty diaper….are all priceless. Their value is set, by God Himself. Your value is set, no one can take away your value, your worth. You were paid for in full by Jesus Christ.

All lives matter, all lives are valuable, all lives were created by God.

 

 

 

 

The Wind in my Sails

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A young, tan-skinned boy of seven hopped into the fishing boat while his father pushed it from the bank. He climbed in after his son and watched with a smile as the boy hurried to and fro getting it seaworthy.

The boy stopped and surveyed his work with a frown, the boat appeared ready to sail and yet it was as still as the waves. His father motioned for him to sit beside him, “come sit, and get a different perspective.” The boy trudged over and plopped down on the pile of netting. Together they went over all possibilities but one, “I don’t understand father, everything is right, why isn’t it sailing?” His father reached over into the water with his hand, he stirred it up creating waves in the stillness. “look at the water my son, and look at the trees on the shore, what are they missing?”

The boy looked from the waveless sea to the still trees and his face lit up with understanding. “The wind!” His father laughed and patted his son on the back in praise. “That’s right, a fisherman’s greatest friend is the wind.” He stood suddenly and took the oars, with each row the boat gradually moved out away from the shore, but the work was tedious. “A fisherman can row, but the effort is great and the fish may scatter from the noise he makes.” He called over his shoulder, sweat forming on his brow. “The wind will guide you effortlessly if you allow it to.”

A memory came to the boy’s mind, of a mighty wind upon a stormy sea. How he had clung to the boat in fear as rain fell and lightning struck. He plucked up the courage and said, “but father the wind isn’t our friend during a storm, it nearly pulls the boat apart.” His father ceased rowing and turned to his son, “Even amidst a storm, the wind is your friend son, it is the waves that betray you.” The boy shook his head in confusion, “I don’t understand father.” The boat was still again, but their minds were alight with thought and excitement. “Son, when a passionate man is met with opposition, do we blame the man?” His father glanced at the sky in thought, “the wind is passionate, it wasn’t made to be quiet and still, but to make its presence known.”

The boy suddenly understood, “father, you aren’t talking about the wind are you?” His father laughed and smiled proudly at him, “no Son, I am not.” He hugged his father around the neck, “would the Holy Spirit lead me into a storm?” The father tickled him and pulled him onto his lap, “where the Holy Spirit goes, storms will follow…however, He will always lead you safely through them.”

Satisfied with his father’s answer, the boy readied the nets and together they cast them over the right side of the boat. For hours they fished and filled their nets, soon the sun dipped below the horizon and the wind finally took hold of the sails with a gust. The father and his son cleaned the fish as the boat sailed back to shore. Suddenly the son asked, “father, what is Jesus like?” He smiled so broadly that the son couldn’t help but smile too, he pointed to the brightest star that was now visible in the sky above, “he is like that star, always burning and constant, a light in the darkness that can’t be extinguished.” The star reflected back in his son’s eyes, “did he teach you to fish?” His father chuckled, “you could say that,” he paused and added, “he taught me to be a fisher of men.”

On the shore, a fire was lit and the voices of people could be heard, laughing and singing, the father jumped from the boat and pulled it onto the shore, securing it to a rock. “Peter! how did it go?” called James who ran to them and threw Peter’s son upon his shoulders. “Look for yourself, the Lord is good.” Other disciples approached and retrieved the fish still squirming in their nets. “And what did you learn?” asked James placing the giggling boy back upon the sand, Peter and the disciples paused to hear the boy’s reply, “I learned that the Holy Spirit is the wind in my sails, and Jesus is the star that guides me home.” Peter beamed proudly while his friends clapped, “we will make you a fisher of men yet, my boy.” called James laughing.

The night was perfect, everyone fellowshipped together, telling stories and singing songs to Jesus, all the while a gentle wind blew, pulling at the sails and stirring up the once still waves, the Holy Spirit was present amidst the laughter and joy, and inside the heart of a boy, who despite having much to learn about sailing and fishing, had learned the greatest lesson that day.

The 4th: 2018

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“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” –George Orwell

What was it like, hearing the scratching of 56 congressmen dipping their quills and signing their names? What were they thinking, what were they dreaming? Would they still stand proudly if they saw America today?

I often think of these questions when I watch the fireworks burst in the sky. I see the children clapping and spinning with their sparklers, watch as parents spread out blankets and food, ready to celebrate the holiday. Our flag colors can be seen everywhere and on everyone, even reflected in the light of firework bursts on their faces. I watch and I wonder if I’m seeing a display of true patriotism or mere celebration of “just another holiday.” If asked, could all these people here today answer correctly as to the reason behind this gathering? Could the children?

It is the children that I fear for the most, will they grow to forget our past, our history, and wish instead to rewrite it, to overlook the ugly and downplay the sacrifices that were made to secure our freedom? Will there come a time when fewer and fewer people celebrate at all? There are many people here today, but maybe, there was just a bit more the year after 9/11. Patriotism always re-awakens when a country is attacked and tried. People, if only for a moment, remember that everything we have can be taken from us, that our freedom must be maintained and protected.

Sadly though, they have forgotten that it is God who has blessed us because we followed after him, as John F. Kennedy once said, “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”  He is supreme, and His hand of blessing can be withdrawn at any time.

Will we continue to place our trust in God? Will we teach our children the truth of salvation and freedom? Both won through great sacrifice. As I watch each firework burst and rain down red, white, and blue, I can only hope and pray, that my nation will remain under God’s grace and protection. That we would remain a people who turn their faces to heaven. That we would never become so proud that we would refuse to fall to our knees in worship.

Our country isn’t Democratic vs. Republican, White vs. Black, Straight vs. LGBT,  or Men vs. Women. We are simply Americans, and we should be of one heart and mind on this day and all others. I stand for truth, I stand for our history, I stand for God, and I stand for America. Happy 4th of July to you all and God bless.

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“If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” 

~ Ronald Reagan

It Takes Three

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God has never felt alone. Maybe there were moments, such as when Jesus called out, “why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), that He suddenly felt ignored and cut off, but He never lingered there. It was a purely human thing to feel alone when the truth is He was never alone.

God has never felt the feeling of two either. Even as Jesus, when it was just Him and one disciple talking together while the others were away, Jesus was aware of three presences. His friend, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father.

Three, the Trinity, is what God has called complete. Longer than we could ever imagine, for eternity, God has had completeness in Himself. It is no wonder that He would want our marriages to mirror this same relationship.

My husband and I have always placed God at the center. He is first, the one we come to for advice, guidance, and love. In Him, we are complete, not in each other. I love Aaron with all my heart, He is my companion, and our marriage bond makes us one, however, He cannot complete me. And what a weight that would be on his shoulders to fulfill such a role!

Adam began with Eve a part of him, and though God felt he should have Eve at his side, Adam first only knew God. And I bet, it was enough for Adam. Just as it was enough for God before He created us. We do not see Adam asking for a helper, only God feeling that it would be good if Adam had one. Why is that?

It all goes back to why God created us and the angels. If He is complete in Himself, why create other beings at all?

I’ve known my husband for a long time, God even longer. I’ve experienced God’s love and have felt loved by Aaron. The wonder of love is that it grows and multiplies. And often longs to pour out. We long to both receive and give love. In other words, love longs to be shared. And that is why God has given us the ability to bear children.

Gods love is so great within the Trinity,  that He longed to share it with children of His own. And so we were created in order for Him to share His love. Marriage mirrors this in that after a while a happily married couple longs to share their love by growing their family. A child in itself is the result of love. He/she is a person made up of two individuals that came together as one. And likewise, we were made by God in His image, the image of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as an expression of His great never-ending love.

And so I claim that it takes three to make a marriage work. It takes three to reflect Christ and His love for the church. I once saw an image that demonstrated this beautifully. There was a bride and a groom with hands locked together, and God was in the middle, with His hand on top of theirs, holding them together, cementing their bond and adding to it with His own.

Through God we see each other more clearly, we love more honestly and fully. In Him, I see not just a man when I look at my husband, but a son created by God, in His image, loved perfectly and whole-heartedly. This helps me to look past his flaws and mistakes, to honor him and his authority as my husband because in doing so I honor God.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

– Matthew 18:20

Star Trek: Quotes

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“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”

-Captian Jean-Luc Picard

 

It’s impossible for man to fly ~ Wilbur and Orville Wright 1903

It’s impossible to land on the moon ~ US Apollo 11 1969

It’s impossible to create light without fire ~ Thomas Edison 1879

…the list goes on.

What has been considered impossible for one era has been proven possible in another. So the question is this, is anything truly impossible? Afterall, we label something impossible only when we personally cannot find a solution. Once someone is willing to stand up and challenge an impossibility, there is always a chance that he or she will succeed, solving the problem that no one else could and therefore broadening our abilities as human beings.

It is more than adaptation, more than growth, it is reaching beyond our limitations and societal boxes. It’s becoming something greater. Are we still human? Yes, but we are continuing to stand apart from the rest of creation, proving once and for all that we have a soul, and a purpose. That we aren’t just animals but that we have minds that see beyond this world.

If we were truly made for this world, it would contain us. However, it does not, we continually reach upward and outward, searching for more, driven by a great desire for more that only God can satisfy.

What do you think of this quote?

Have you ever faced an impossibility and have overcome it?

Small Town, Big Dreams

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Things are beginning to change in my small town. Hope is being stirred up and I believe that God is about to do something big.

But these things take time. After so many years of broken dreams, it takes time for people to believe and hope again. However, God is moving quickly, businesses are opening up, people are rallying together to rebuild and clean up our town.

It takes big dreams. Big leaps of faith.

Sometimes it’s hard to dream, and so much easier to doubt, to stop hoping and wishing because it hurts when doors close. After a while, we start believing those doors will never open. We stop knocking. Letting go of the doorknob with a sigh…

Growing up in this small town has molded me. I remember dreaming big as a child, I wanted to be everything, to do everything, and go everywhere in this life. As I grew those passions narrowed, some extinguished altogether. Others flickered dimly, clinging to hope.

For a while, I felt hopeless, trapped. Even now, I sometimes feel trapped by society. I have looked back on my life and thought, “what have I done, really?”

God looked back with me…and saw something else. I’ve fulfilled dreams I never knew I had. I may not have been a zookeeper or a famous singer, but I have had the privilege to worship God himself almost every Sunday on stage since I was little.

I would rather sing to Him, than to a crowd.

I have had the honor to serve others and to help them accomplish their dreams. To spread hope in the name of Jesus. To pray and witness God move.

I realized my dream to be a wife, more particularly, to be a wife to Aaron. My husband and best friend. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better match, or companion in this life. Who shares my faith and walks beside me down this ever-winding path towards God.

Now, I dream of being a mother. I dream of seeing their dreams come true.

Yes, some doors in my life have closed, some dreams have slipped past, and some have seemed too big to dream for. But that isn’t the end of my story, and though I may have stopped knocking, I will continue to look over my shoulder at those closed doors, always hoping that they will open, if only a crack.

Meanwhile, there are dreams that I am living, doors that are opening, and just as my small town is moving forward, so am I.

To you, I say this, the greatest dream there is…would not be half as so, without Jesus. Dream with him, take a leap of faith..and watch what happens next.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

-Jeremiah 29:11