Satan vs Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2 Characters HD wallpaper for Wide 16:10 5:3 Widescreen WHXGA WQXGA WUXGA WXGA WGA ; HD 16:9 High Definition WQHD QWXGA 1080p 900p 720p QHD nHD ; Other 3:2 DVGA HVGA HQVGA devices ( Apple PowerBook G4 iPhone 4 3G 3GS iPod Touch ) ; Mobile WVGA iPhone PSP - WVGA WQVGA Smartphone ( HTC Samsung Sony Ericsson LG Vertu MIO ) HVGA Smartphone ( Apple iPhone iPod BlackBerry HTC Samsung Nokia ) Sony PSP Zune HD Zen ;

Toy Story came out in 1995 and completely revolutionized my view of movies.  As a kid, that was the first time I had seen a movie with such meaningful depth that still kept me laughing. My parents bought the VHS for my two brothers and I and we wore that tape out. To this very day, I can still feel the chills from the scene where Buzz Lightyear sadly realizes that he is only a toy. I still cringe at the sight of Sid, who is quite analogous of a young Adolf Hitler.  However, at the end of the movie… youthful joy wins. We can ALL admit that after watching that movie we believed our toys could secretly talk. Honestly, a small part of me still believes to this day. Weird.

Cutting back to the story – To the beloved surprise of my brothers and I, in November of 1999 Toy Story 2 was set to come out in theaters. Needless to say, we were beyond ecstatic. At that age we had no idea that there were possibilities of “movie sequels.” The only certainties we Imageknew were that Kel loved orange soda and that Are You Afraid of the Dark was based on true stories. Therefore, with our apparent limited scope, we knew nothing of Toy Story 2 until the day before it came out. My brothers and I ran to our father and told him this once-in-a-lifetime news. Surely he’d be as excited as us. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Our dad was sitting on the old blue sofa reading the newspaper. We jumped onto his lap and interrupted everything to ask if he could take us to the movie theater to see Toy Story 2 the next day. He paused for about 3 seconds……and said yes. A yes!! We asked again to make sure we heard correctly. And again, yes! We freaked out, haha. Freaked out is an understatement. We then went into another room and watched Toy Story 1 for preparation work.

The next morning we were still rampantly on fire, being extra “good boys” that day. As the evening drew near, we approached our newspaper-reading papa again.  We asked him what time we’re leaving…our eyes gleaming of excitement…but what happened next I have never forgotten to this day. He looked at us with the confused look and told us no. Stunned and taken back for a few seconds, we pleadingly asked him again, but his facial expression this time made it very clear that we were not going. To our utter dismay, our father had completely changed his mind. The hurtful feeling in that instant was piercing. It is a funny thing, ya know, how we can remember the most random occurrences from our childhood. For some reason they stick with us. For some reason, I never quite shook that residue one off.

To make one thing clear, my dad was and still is a great father. He has happily done numerous things for us and I love him. However, that particular clip in my life has stuck with me and I can see glimpses of how it has affected my walk with Christ. Many times I will come to God with the feeling of, “Oh, he doesn’t want to be bothered with me. He doesn’t care that much.” It has negatively affected my intimate walk with Christ and at times tremendously hindered my prayer life.

We need to understand that Satan is extremely crafty and sneaky. His craftiness is beyond human ability. Back in 1999, what Satan did in that instant was grab hold of a short clip of my life and he turned it into a fundamental negative way of thought of how I view a father. Something as quick and innocent as my father changing his mind, Satan has used to skew my view of the nature and character of the loving, triune God. Scripture claims that God wants for us to pray to him unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2). Therefore, somewhere within His numinous character and nature, He has a will for wanting prayer that it runs contrary to how my earthly dad reacted to us that very day. This is why Satan would find it opportune to make sure that I always remember what my father did. Touche Satan, touché.

This is not the first time in history that this has ever happened. We all seem to still remember the simplest things from our childhood. Things that still affect us to this day – both positive and negative. If we focus, we can trace many of our insecurities and weaknesses today back to a single experience or something said to us in the past. For instance, if I were one of Satan’s demons, it would be ineffective for me to outright tell a girl that she should have image issues and not trust God. But it would be effective to have her stumble upon a revealing Cover Girl commercial at an early age. Then the next day when a boy jokingly picks on her class I would have all her classmates laugh at her… longer than usual. That way, she’ll subconsciously remember that piercing feeling. Not exactly what the boy said…but just how it felt. She will never want to feel that way ever again. The rest is history. Eventually, when she is older she wouldn’t want anything to do with God because, come on, what man would want a girl like her. Do you see all the subtle lies there? That voice would whisper in her ears for years. That is what Satan and the powers of darkness would whisper to her for many years to come.

Luckily we have Truth that combats those lies. Truth that tells me that I have a heavenly Father that wants me to come to him and talk about “Toy Story 2”. We all have a Father who cares. Hebrews 4:13 describes Him as a Father that knows us. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knew that I would like Toy Story 2 before I was born. Because he wired me for it. Isaiah 62:6-7 claims that God is so serious about wanting us to bother him in prayer that he has appointed people to do exactly that. To pester him and keep knocking on his door. He says to GIVE HIM NO REST. This is foreign to me because not only is He saying that I can ask him about Toy Story…but that he also delights in my asking. #MindBlown

We must be watchful of Satan’s schemes. It would be wise to notice what memories that he grabs hold on to in our lives. How blessed are we that we have a Father who thoroughly knows each of us and offers freedom. Who cares about You. His glory and majesty outweighs all things. May we not neglect such a great salvation that is offered to us.

Other verses used: Luke 11:9-12, James 4:2, Hebrews 2:1-4, Romans 12:12

Advertisements

Angels & Fairytales: Imagine a Box

Image

Focus. Picture a box. Imagine what the box will look like. It’s simple and open at the top. Now picture yourself climbing into the box. Sit down. Run your fingers along the surface. Maybe you have to hug your knees to your chest in order to fit inside. Now enlarge the box to a size that will allow you mobility. Imagine that from the day you were born until this very day…that all that you know is inside that box. Now enlarge that box even further, making its dimensions indefinite. Picture a community of people to live in it with you – consisting of family, friends, and strangers. This box and the surrounding 4 walls are all that your subjective awareness holds.

Here comes the tricky curveball:

Continue to imagine yourself inside this indefinite box. Really transfer your mind and soul into imagining the reality of this “box” scenario. My question is – Can you imagine anything outside of the box that is not presently inside the box? That is, would your brain be able to create a single story that goes beyond what you have experienced your entire life within those 4 walls?

The answer is that it is impossible to do so. If you were somehow able to imagine anything outside the box then what you created was a fairytale or myth, with respect to the foundational elements that already exist in your box. Therefore, by creating a story outside the box, all you have done is subconsciously grab hold of some form of truth from within the inside and transcend it outward. This explains why, ever since the beginning of time, we have been able to create stories of a spiritual world. Myths and fairytales exist to satisfy primordial (i.e. original) human desires. Myths are not lies, they convey the essential truth and primal reality of life itself. Anything pictured outside the box MUST be innately created. Craaazzy huh? Let see if it can get a tiny bit clearer…

ImageThis box represents the laws of materialism. Taking superiority in our society,  materialism states that “physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical experience.” Materialism imprisons us in a world of matter and physical facts; void of any divine god. They’ve basically convinced us that this is all there is. Materialism is one of the fruits of “The Age of The Enlightenment”. We studied this for only about 1.5 days in the 9th grade, ha (remember Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferon, etc..). The Enlightenment started in the 18th century and boomed in popularity. They believed that human reason could overcome superstition, tyranny, and the troubles in their world at the time. Many really great things came out of The Enlightenment that we benefit from today. However, one of their main targets was the Church. The Enlightenment brought in ideas of individualism and identity of self; and coupled with a new rebellious nature, against authority, that said, “No one is the boss of me”. So now we have some massive problems. The key being that it turned man’s eyes further away from God and deeper onto himself in every aspect of life and culture. We were already sinners, but now The Enlightenment exalts the “self” beyond what was normal and made it worse.

But lets bring it back to our simple box. If this earthly box is all there is, how are we able to picture and imagine things outside the walls. How can we create stories, spanning thousands of years, of a true loving God that created the universe if he does not exist? Stories of the supernatural. This boils downward to the everyday Disney movies, Justin Beiber songs, and the current craziness over the NBA Playoffs. Is it not ironic that Disney Movies always seem to portray an unlikely hero that comes along to save a people. These are all shadows of something bigger. Myths are a beautiful video that allows us a fleeting, but powerful glimpse of what is truly outside. They allow us to escape the 4-walls of materialism to see the truer beauty that lies above.

ImageImageImage

My favorite chick-flick is Serendipity. I watch it about 25 times a year, at least. It is a story about chance and fate. About not quitting until you find that mythical “soul-mate” (It’s cheesy but it’s totally awesome!!!). You see, the screenwriter did not pull this fairytale of fate and everlasting love out of fictional thin air. As J.R.R. Tolkein once put it,

“We make things by the law in which we are made. We create because we were created. Creativity and imagination is God’s image-ness in us. We tell stories because God is a storyteller. We use words. He uses history.”

Serendipity’s plot of fate was taken from our innate sense of the prophecies and promises of Jesus coming as our Savior. Serendipity’s yearning for true-love was taken from our innate desire for the unfailing love of Christ.

Christianity is the archetype of all stories. It is the story in which all other stories have their source.

  • Greek Mythology, as fake/counterfeit as it is, still dips its authorial hands into Christianity for its wonderful stories.
  • Video games such as Halo and Call of Duty sell big because the gamers get a high from the feeling of glory each time the achieve a killing spree.  (FYI, playing Halo was the best years of my life)
  • We flock to watch Game of Thrones, Iron Man 3 and Superman because the glory depicted in the films makes us feel great.

This glory should be experienced in the worship of Christ and living out his exciting call on us. This can go on into music, politics, culture, and other domains of society.

Image

C.S. Lewis nailed it by saying, “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning.” Luckily, for believers we know that ‘In the beginning was God.’

Picture a box. Picture yourself climbing into that box. Now picture Jesus in walking towards you and the box suddenly disappearing.

Some sources…

  1. http://public.callutheran.edu/~brint/Arts/Tolkien.pdf
  2. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705307318/1815-30-Birth-of-modernity-and-the-rise-of-materialism.html?pg=all
  3. http://www.apologetics315.com/2012/06/cs-lewis-on-reasoning-to-atheism.html
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment#Influence