I know I am getting older when many have no idea who the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN was.
HE IS NOT.. a 'moderately' paid pro athlete. Instead I am speaking about a TV Show from 1974-1978 about Steve Austin who was in some terrible accident where all the FDA 'doctors', and all the CIA men couldn't put Steve back together again.. so the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) was called in to install him with ‘bionic’ parts.
Basically it was the story of Humpty Dumpty becoming Inspector Gadget.
And back at the day of this show the going price for bionic reconstructive surgery was $6,000,000.00! Considering today's ever rising medical costs I think bionics for 6MIL seems like a SWEET DEAL.
This 6Mil-Man could run 60 miles per hour (though it appeared in slow motion), he had superman like strength, vision better than Lasik combined with 'carrot' steroids, and whenever the bionics kicked into gear, it would make this techy-spring like noise. Not unlike a cartoon BOING.. but a sound that made it clear his 'bionics' were in use.
His bionics were only in one eye, one arm, and both legs. It seems like this would be a serious health risk when one arm can lift a normal weight while the other can lift a … BUICK. Now that I think of it... maybe INSPECTOR GADGET is a more realistic depiction of a bionic overhaul than is the 6 million dollar man.
So how about SPIRITUAL BIONICS? ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’. With a truth like this.. who needs bionics? For those of you unsure if bionics are for you or being a new creature in Christ is a better choice I have put together a side by side 'very scientific' comparison of the Bionic Man v the New Man in Christ..
BIONIC MAN versus NEW MAN
(1) The Procedure...
Bionic Man – Major surgery requires replacing broken down human parts with bionic parts. IT’S GONNA HURT.. LOTS!! Stock up on ibuprofen. Worse than a knee replacement X 10!
New Man – REFINING one's spirit in my opinion would be more painful than Lasik, less painful than bionics.
(2) The Brain...
Bionic Man – Bionic Brain IS NOT available at the time that I wrote this email
New Man – RENEWAL of your mind is one of the major benefits of New Man v Bionics. Some Eastern Religions claim that their meditation techniques are a renewal of the mind but then again.. when I look at Buddha I don’t have an impression of a man/deity who had enough self control to leave the buffet table alone let alone offer me peace of mind... unless he was eating comfort foods.
(3) Strength & Speed...
Bionic Man – Superhuman strength & speed limited to laws of physics and nature but are without a doubt beyond the abilities of any powerlifter or sprinter ever.
New Man – STRENGTHENED by God, New Man is not limited by laws of physics and nature. It is rumored mountains can be moved simply by faith. It sounds New Age, but it's not!. New man can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Bionic Man – Lasik is wimpy compared with bionics. Bionics provide a rev’d up digital camera cranium implant providing better than 20/20 vision.
New Man – GOD’S VISION.. New man has no real improved physical vision, but also the ability of discernment from God allows new man to be sensitive to the needs and hearts of others.
- Bionic Man – There are serious concerns if bionics are exposed to moisture and especially sea water. Also bionics are heavy.. putting you at risk of .. sinking like a 6 MILLION DOLLAR BOAT ANCHOR..
New Man – New man capabilities are very sea worthy. Power to PART SEAS, and WALK ON WATER are all documented attributes of new man. New Man's physical attributes of man (weight & density) remain unchanged, but the power of God allows New Man to defy laws of physics and nature.. without water wings. IN FACT many Baptists take to water like Michael Phelps.
- Bionic Man – I do not recall any brochures on bionics touting a linguistics module or app.
New Man – The pro bionics crowd points to The Tower of Babel as being a linguistic drawback to being New Man, but after further investigation it became clear that the language barriers at the TOB ( Tower of Babel ) had to do with Old Man, and not New Man. Later in the 2nd Chapter of Acts, the linguistic capabilities of New Man were put on display like a linguistic-matrix affect on all involved. Communication in words meant only for God confounded Old Man.. even if he was bionic. This provides a coded language to Almighty God that is only understood by the decoding of the Holy Spirit.
(7) Warranty Related Issues...
Bionic Man – Life time warranty on bionics, but still limited by the typical aging process and life expectancy of the physical portion of the bionic man and/or woman... Also this warranty is limited to our physical realm here on Earth.
New Man – Simply put.. New Man has ETERNAL LIFE . So while New Man is empowered in super natural ways during his life on earth, the best is yet to come. Better than a lifetime warranty, New Man will have a second life of no pain, no fear, and no limits. There is no ENTRANCE EXAM , and you will not be rudely BOUNCED at the gate as long as he/she believes in the God who was their source for life while on Earth.
Bionic Man – Back in 1974 the cost was $6,000,000 for one eye, one arm, and 2 legs. With inflation I do not want to guess what this procedure will set you back.
New Man – As strange as this sounds.. this transition from Old Man to New Man is FREE.
Closing Comments come in the form of 'real life' endorsements of SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN… and the original WHEATIES BOY Samson. Edge goes to becoming a New Man in Christ.
May God bless each of you with a great day, not limited by this world, but empowered by the one true God who is the source of this life, and the life that is to come.
RAISE THE BAR on what is possible with the Spirit of God in your life.
I was in our master bathroom where around the bathroom vanity there were 29 separate items.. four of which were mine. I have a razor, toothbrush, deodorant, and toothpaste (the toothpaste I share with my wife).. the rest belong to my bride.
Included in the other 25 or so items is a bag of makeup… so in reality the total is much more one sided.
BUT.. if I trim my beard and a few whiskers are left around the sink.. the countenance of my bride darkens… but
do I ever complain about ‘OUR’ bathroom vanity covered with a cosmetology collective of spray bottles, brushes, lip STUFF, hair dryers and the like?? Do I?? <pause>
Oh wait, I guess I am now.. BUT NOT TO HER FACE… so that does not count.
This brings me to a similar subject.. a ‘WOMAN'S PURSE’.
To me this is much like a Magician’s Hat.. where my wife will ask me for example to get her car keys from her purse for her. I cringe as I know THIS WILL NOT BE EASY.. so with my mouth hanging open, and my brow furrowed I look inside into the unending collection of ‘necessities’.. A LADY'S LABYRINTH of no end!
Even though her purse is very typical in size.. when you look inside it seems to go on forever. I finally closed my eyes, reached in and pulled out a rabbit, but no car keys. She then smirks, reached in her purse without taking her eyes off me and retrieves her keys with a look that said to me “are you blind?”
Another time when looking for a blessed stick of gum I caught a glimpse of what I believe was a secret passage to the Land of Narnia behind her cellphone, tic tacs, and what appeared to be a magnum 44 hand gun.. but I found the gum became distracted and lost sight of the Narnia portal.
Also, there is a third mystery I would like to share..
READY, SET, GO!
With my razor, toothbrush, deodorant, and a clean pair of jeans I can be ready for church in less than 15 minutes from shower to starting the car.. while my wife the process is a tad longer.. A REALLY BIG TAD.
I mean.. Mary must choose between outfits to wear, and does not use the guy-proven method of preparation which is … wear what is clean OR.. do the quick smell test if we are not sure if that shirt left on the floor the other week is still ok for a little Sunday morning hand raising. Then again, Mary does look and smell better than me... but if it were a race, the safe money is on me.
So what is my spiritual message today? <insert reflective pause here> Maybe if for no other reason man and woman are meant for each other so.. guys don't go to church dressed like the fella in the above picture.. and men are good for woman to.. umm.. to.. umm.. kill and/or protect the fairer sex from mice and spiders? .. and open jars. YES, we are good at opening jars.
That's all I got, I am drawing a blank.
Seriously, may God bless and use each of you today in ways that are beyond your dreams. For you ladies may you find your bathroom vanities whisker free, and your man willing and able to navigate the Estrogen Ocean of your purse without making any comments.
Jeff (Survivor on Estrogen Island) Larson
It is not good for man to be alone. God decided this before the ink dried when writing second chapter of Genesis was penned. Genesis 2:18
Adam's socks were all over the Garden. Dirty dishes were everywhere, and all man did was sit around watching ball games on TV telling knock knock jokes.. to himself.
Besides, Adam was not even using that rib.
Note: It is not good for man to be alone? Or is it not good for man to be 'unsupervised'? This question was raised by a reader the last time I posted this blog topic.
So it was clear then and is now it was not good for man to be alone UNLESS his only choice is a described in Proverbs 21:19.. then God advises.. get a room on the second floor of a one story home. The view is spectacular and the quiet is so .. quiet.
Of course there is much more to be said about God's Gender Odd Couple (man & wife). Both common sense and God's word make this abundantly clear.
One of my favorite verses to take out of context is Ephesians 5:22 Wives SUBMIT to your husbands.
This is an annoying verse to my wife Mary when I take too long to pause and ponder this 'great' scripture without continuing to read the next 11 verses. I even try to convince her that there are only 22 verses in Ephesians 5. She is not amused proving women have no true sense of humor.
But when I get serious and take time to read Ephesians 5:21-33 in a modern translation like The Message (MSG) my smirky bell-ringing stereotype of 5:22 goes silent.
21 Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.
22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The Husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
25-28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
29-33 No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.”
This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
There you have it, just like when Jesus taught us how to pray in 5 short verses (Mt 6:9-13), now Paul shares how to have a happy marriage in 13 short verses (Eph 5:21-33).
This scripture of a good marriage does inspire me to love, cherish and appreciate my wife, BUT I also do see in verse 32 Paul admits.. This is a huge mystery and I don't pretend to understand. Well Paul, welcome to my Marriage Mystery Club with a membership of about a BA-ZILLION!
Marriage truly is a beautiful mystery though our different emotional and processing 'wiring' often do create a few sparks. Just know even in the best of marriages you can count on your share of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, disagreements, a few tears, and if looks could kill..
I WOULD BE DEAD 1000 times over!
In the end most days most of us both love our spouse to death, and are scratching our heads wondering what planet they are from.
May God bless each of you that are married with spouses that are described in Eph 5:21-33, and not Proverbs 21:19.
final note: It has been a tough year for me physically (3 surgeries, and a hospital stay) and.. I turn 65 shortly. BUT in this year of pondering life I thank God to have been involved in this beautiful mystery with my beautiful wife for almost 38 years. I truly thank God for my wife as she is the blessing to me that I truly cherish.
Let me start today with a good ol' Protestant Brag.
I have attend church most every week, and not just Sunday mornings, I often go on Wednesdays too. I accepted Jesus into my heart at age 6, was baptized at age 14, and have been married to a wonderful Christian woman for almost 38 years! You see, I AM ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS.
Besides going to church, I work hard, pay my bills, and have endured rush hour traffic that would tempt Mother Theresa's to swear like a sailor.
I aspire to be like Jesus and so again.. I declare.. "I am a pretty pretty good guy." BUT.. (NEWS FLASH) I am really any better than those who never darken the door of a local church. Let's just say I am a lifelong member of the 'Flawed Folk Fellowship'.
The friendly members of 'Flawed Folk Fellowship' are known for their welcoming slogan 'No Perfect People Allowed' but this also could serve as a disclaimer much like you hear at the end of one of those prescription med TV ads.
CURElanta may be right for you. <pause> BUT.. some taking CURElanta "may experience tingling toes, a bloody nose, itchy ears, swollen rear, and.. in extreme cases DEATH or worse.
Our Flawed Folk disclaimer could be .. In some cases those attending Flawed Folk Fellowship experience involuntary hand raising, amen vocalizations and often the compulsive utterance of a hallelujah. On other Sundays sermon snoring may occur.
All silliness aside.. there are two recurring comments you hear regarding us Flawed Folk.
My prayer for each of you today is to find your own Flawed Folk Fellowship. To share, and support each other in our struggles, and to worship together the one true God of our Bibles is priceless.
Jeff (faulty) Larson
It's the summer of 2022 and it is .. The Return of the Me-Monster! Like a B-movie horror flick sequel, He (Me) is back, and bigger than ever!
Me, myself, and I. Me.. me.. me. , What about me? , What's in it for ME?
The Me-Monster is inspired by a sermon I heard a few years back The Me-Monster on when our self-focus becomes.. excessive.
Mr. Me-Monster is an ugly fella, and even his open mouth resembles an M, and the back of his throat an E.
And.. when our motives, and focus demonstrate a ME-FIRST attitude our mis-focused spirits can be just as ugly.
Turn on the TV and we see ME-Folk flaunting success, possessions, and attitudes of self-importance everywhere. You don't have to look far to see celebrities, athletes, and politicians out there in front of the camera sharing their pious golden nuggets of 'truth' to the masses fawning for adoration... all while you can hear the wind whistling through their ears past their empty thoughts.
Even in the Church.. beware of teachings with promises of health, wealth, and SELF. Be your best you now instead of first focusing on the worship and obedience to the God we owe everything.
Today's measures success are the car you drive, your home, career, a trophy wife or hubby with good looking kids on the honor roll, and captain of their sports teams. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of these things unless it is the product of a me-monster me first priorities.
Personally I have more of an econo-sized Me-Monster. My monster does not get identity from a high profile existence, nor does my life check all the boxes above of how society measures success, but my me-monster still likes to be known even if on a budget.
You see, I care what others think about me, and to be viewed as successful. I desire to have friends, and of course I seek the love of my wife, my children, grandchildren, and I do not want to be known for my past failings.
Again, I should desire to seek God to know His love and Grace, and to seek God's approval instead of the approval of our Me-First society.
In fact any level of success or any talents I have are from the Lord. So who is any man to boast.
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 1 Cor 4:7
Heavenly Father I pray for your Spirit to lead your people to demonstrate a servant's heart focused on KNOWING YOU and caring for others.
'Love God with all your soul and mind and others as yourself.' Mt 22:37.
May God bless and use each of us in ways that are beyond our dreams for His glory not our own. May our lives build God's Kingdom and not our own. And may you be Me-Monster free.
The Apostle Paul lived free of Me-Monsters -->
Max Lucado wrote a book in 1994 titled ''When God whispers your name'. It is a great read with his usual humor and spiritual insights, but my question is..
What happens when God whispers my name but .. I am hard of hearing, or maybe God simply remains silent? Truth is I do wear hearing aides.
Not so many years ago I weathered personal hurricane force storms in back to back years. My finances, health, and spirit were challenged and I didn't know if I would survive the first year's storm only to be windblown and tattered the next year too. I have never despaired more in my life.
Let me tell you I literally sobbed, and cried out to God for HELP. I wanted God to calm these storms, but my prayers were met with His resounding SILENCE.
Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? Ps 10:1
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Ps 22:1-2
I admit my cries to God were not as eloquent as when David penned the above Psalms, but I shed enough literal tears to warrant flood insurance.
Side note on Crying:
When a woman cries we feel empathy as her deep emotions touch our hearts.
When a man cries it sounds like a wounded Badger caught in a trap trying to gnaw off his leg in a short sighted attempt to escape his pain. Those in ear shot want to put that badger out of his misery, and the crying men.. STOP IT!
but I digress..
Now back to my storms..
During these stormy days I discovered God's providence/answers were found in His silence. During my storms I needed to experience the full impact of my situation including my mistakes and their circumstances.
note: There is an infinite difference between God not ignoring my prayers and God being silent as an answer.
God was with me the whole time, but pain and reflection was important for me to grow on a true path of restoration. A genie in a lamp with three hot wishes available was NOT what I needed.
Life rains on the just and the unjust Mt. 5:45, the Jeffs and the unJeffs!
We all know the story of Peter walking on water until he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on those very real waves.. and began to sink.
Just like Peter those the very real waves in my life overwhelmed me because I did not put my trust in the man who walks on water and calms the seas.
The good news is I endured those stormy years and learned over time how faithful and loving God was and is.
The details of my storm(s) are not important except to share a lesson learned when God seems silent. “Be still, and know that He is God." Ps 46:10
This is my prayer for you too. Be still, be faithful, be listening, be prayerfully try to remain peaceful even when you experience God's Resounding Silence.
Jeff (wearing my Hearing Aids) Larson
I like the old saying ‘That guy is so Heavenly minded, he is no Earthly good.’ This describes a person is so in to church and ‘churchy’ things that they don’t add much value or function outside of church walls. He can barely change a light bulb or change the oil on his car.
Over the years I have smirked at a person or twenty that fits that description, BUT I also see the irony in too many people are so 'EARTHLY' minded to be much 'HEAVENLY' GOOD.
It's just too easy to be caught up in the pace and 'stuff' of life (good and bad) to where God is put on the back burner. Instead of starting my day quiet before God, reading my Bible, and even uttering a simple prayer I am off cluttering my life with the very real demands of work, rush hour traffic, wasting time surfing channels on my big screen HD TV, or my many many many family commitments to where I have become more EARTHLY minded/focused to be much HEAVENLY good.
The real irony here is.. I often drift from God NOT when I am too busy or stressed but instead when life is good. No immediate worries or concerns so I relax my dependence, praise and appreciation of God to again become so earthly minded with erroneous feelings of self sufficiency.
I don’t believe my life is called to look as out of place like Amish folk selling home crafts in Las Vegas.. but I desire my personal faith show through in all that I do and say.
May your life be blessed and USED by God in ways that are BEYOND YOUR DREAMS having both Heaven and Earth in mind.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Mt. 6:10
My wife and I have a rescue dog named Cooper and I have written a 'beautiful' poem that captures my life with him.
Ode to Cooper
Cooper is our little rescue dog;
there's no doubt he LOVES my wife Mary,.
BUT despite the fact I rescued him;
.. for me.. Cooper is still wary.
I so want Cooper to love me too..
but he's a work in progress..
You see Cooper does not trust me ..
leaving me judged without due process.
Thank you, thank you
But then I stop and realize.. I am SORTA a rescue dog too.
For example, in this big old bad world I might turn on the evening news and .. I get uneasy as I can sense the tension EVERYWHERE. So I start to growl at partisan politics as I pace the room.
My demeanor only gets worse as these 'News SHOWS' spew hatred, racism, and violence all wrapped in their biased narrative void of truth leaving me finally in a state ..
out of control barking my panic and distrust of this world.
This state of panic and unease over just the evening news can leave me in reality wary of .. God. He is my perfect loving Heavenly Father, Jesus my Savior, and the Holy Spirit my comforter. My God is my RESCUER from both the evening news and anything else found in this broken world. But still I bark.
So just like Cooper I need to chill. Chill and realize this broken world is the result of man's free will, and compromised desires. This brokenness was never a part of God's plan, and my hope is NOT found in this world.
So chill Jeff, and realize in God I will find hope, a future, and a true joy while stranded in this world that is NOT MY HOME. .
So Jeff.. No more barking.
May each of us find our hope (rescue) in the loving Heavenly Father who sent his son Jesus as our savior, and his Holy Spirit as our comfort.
note: God is still our rescuer even when we bark.
Now if Cooper would only understand that about me.
Jeff (Rescue Dawg) Larson
I am reposting this old blog ironically in what our country now calls PRIDE MONTH where all things LGBTQ are celebrated by our society gone AMUCK! This being said, this blog is a standalone comment of silliness on a moment in time in my life not so long ago.
No, there has never been any gender dysphoria in my life which is all the rage now. I believe you are either man or woman which is defined by the sex you are born to, and that is that. This blog will not challenge this biblical truth. PERIOD.
But let me take you back to a time in my life not so long ago when I worked from home while my wife rushed off to work everyday to her job as a school teacher. For me there was no punching a clock or fighting rush hour traffic only a time of prolonged coffee drinking and the weighty decision of when/or if I got dressed for the day.
Pajama Day was a regular celebration in my at home work place environment.
I remember back during this time on a typical morning the alarm goes off. My wife Mary hops out of bed ready to begin another day of molding young minds (or are some kids just moldy minds?). Anyways, though I work from home I pop out of bed too so to spend time with Mary and maybe make myself useful. So I shuffle downstairs, start the coffee, let the dogs outside to do their 'bizness' then back in they come to be fed
My wife soon after joins me downstairs to drink coffee, eat some toast, and exchange a little small talk about the upcoming day while the fog lifts from our sleepy brains. After a few minutes my wife starts back upstairs to finish getting ready but on her way up asks with a smile.. “Honey would you fix me a lunch?”
Fortunately for her, I have grown fond of her over many years and so I am glad to make myself useful. So off to the kitchen I go where I make a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, lettuce, tomato, with mayo just like Mary likes. I also pack a small bag of chips and a couple cookies because she is sweet.
Just a few minutes later Mary rushes back downstairs grabs her keys, lunch (made with love) and gives me a quick kiss as she heads out the door.. This is when I say to her in a very 'needy' tone..
“Call me later.. I miss you when I don’t hear from you. ”
<insert dramatic pause here>
“Call me later.. I miss you when I don’t hear from you.” What kind of REAL man says this? I can still see those words hanging in the air ( like a cartoon bubble) when it hits me..
I HAVE JUST BECOME A WOMAN!!
This was concerning.. I mean.. I do not suffer from the above mentioned gender dysphoria, I do not watch Ellen, Oprah, Dr. Phil, or follow the Kardashians or Bruce/Kaitlyn 'gender-bender 'Jenner. This "Call me later, I miss you when I don’t hear from you.” moment in time I found a bit .. CREEPY.
The good news is my wife and I are true partners, and while I share this story with a smirk our roles as husband & wife, and father & mother are not blurred. Ephesians 5:21-33 is our happy goal for a happy marriage.
I pray you all have a very blessed day as I must leave you now to clip coupons, and then do my nails. well.. there I go again!!
Jeff (male gender intact) Larson
Never Never Hardly Everland (NNHELand) is a magical land where WE are all ok, and THEY are not.
In NNHELand we live by our three core Statements of denial.
In NNHELand we can even reference our Bibles for a feel better about myself fix.
- Well at least I never tried to 'give away' my wife like Abraham.
- Well at least I never was 'saved by a prostitute'.
- At least I get along with my neighbors better than Samson did.
- Well, I know I married better than Ahab.. and married less than Solomon.
More 'I aint so bad after all' pick me ups can be found by attending church by rubbing elbows with real life folk. The saints and the 'aints' who again are.. ' obviously not as good as you'.
- I never have drooled into a dish at a church potluck. (I have seen this happen)
- I know the difference between figurative and literal unlike some.
- I do NOT think out loud.. most of the time
We all know Neverland is fictional and there is no Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, or Captain Hook, but also it is better to realize NNHELand is a land of make believe as in reality we are all sinners saved by Grace.
Truth be told the stories of flawed men and women of the Bible, in history, and today used by God who served God despite circumstances, limitations, and/or failings is inspirational.
Abraham the Liar - Becomes The father of a Nation
Moses the Murderer - Delivered Israel from Slavery
David the Shepherd Boy - Defeats the Giant, and becomes King
Noah the Boat Builder - saved mankind from the great flood
Peter and his sinking Faith - Was the Rock Jesus built his church
Paul the persecutor of the Church - Becomes the first great missionary of that same church.
No need to hide out in NNHELand as we are all sinners but.. saved by God's Grace. Instead be faithful in the big and little ways in your life so God can bless and use you in ways that are beyond your dreams... unless you believe you are blessed to build an ark.. that one has already been done.
Jeff (Never Never Hardly Ever Sleeping in Church) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson