Ok fine, you are IRON MAN but what Iron Man are we talking about? In my few years on this Earth I have observed many Iron Mans.
In fact there are even IRON MAN CONTESTS where biking, swimming, and running are combined into one big competition. Don't know if that makes someone an iron man or just a very sweaty man.
There was also the TIN MAN from the Wizard of Oz, who technically was not Iron man as Tin and Iron are two different grades of metal.
And I have even heard rumor of MEN WHO IRON their clothes, but I am not one of those men nor do I aspire to be. Ironing Man is ok to be, but does not a superhero make you.
So that eliminates a few HEAVY METAL (insert iron pun here) guys narrowing my list of true Iron Men to three. Let's choose the right Iron Man via the ol' 'Let's make a Deal' selection method.
Will it be the IRON MAN behind door#1, door#2, or door#3?
There you have it, three fine choices for IRON MAN so let's ponder each.. Choosing
Seriously, none of us of need Tony Stark, and certainly not Ozzy Osbourne to look up to for protection. In stark contrast we do need to be wearing The Full Armor of God.
Not so many years ago I umpired a lot of baseball games and in doing so have been dinged by a foul ball, or two, or what seems like 1000 times. Sometimes I was hit directly on protective gear, but other times finding a gap in between my face mask and chest protector, or an exposed elbow. Even with a quality face mask a foul ball can really jar you. And so much more am I exposed to the flaming arrows of the evil one where the Full Armor of God is very much needed.
Now considering those days I leave my house without quieting myself by praying, and/or without taking time to focus on God.. I believe I am left more unprotected like an umpire without a NUT CUP.
So I pray today to encourage each of you to.. Put on the Full Armor of God lest ye be struck by a foul ball wherest thou hurtest most. King James/Back Pew/umpire paraphrase Ephesians 6:11
Jeff (Iron Man) Larson
"I am off to pick a fight." is one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies.. ‘BraveHeart’.. not to be confused with Brave-Bird.
BraveHeart is the story of William Wallace of Scotland fighting for the FRREEEDOMM against the oppressive rule of England.
At one dramatic scene from the movie BraveHeart the Scots who were greatly outnumbered by the English are about to do battle. The well armed, well trained English did not take this rag-tag Scottish army seriously. But then after declaring.. “I am off to PICK A FIGHT.” .. in rides William Wallace (Mel Gibson) on his horse to mess with the peace negotiations between the Scots and England.
I won’t get into the details, but Wallace taunts and mocks the English until.. yes THERE WAS A FIGHT… and the Scots win!
The significant message of this movie is a call to do what is right no matter the cost, even the cost of maybe their lives.
Of course as modern day Christians we are not called to look for a fight, but we should NEVER be afraid to FIGHT for God's Truth. We answer to God, not to man. Some may cry out.. No, no, not the Crusades again…I go to church, I am a good person..
Please no Crusades 2020 unless they are like the Billy Graham Crusades. Billy Graham is good and I don't remember him with a bloody nose.
Others will say.."Jesus was about love." That's the Jesus we like.. the one about love. we don't associate with Christians who speak out against abortion, Planned Parenthood, gay marriage, or the LGBTQ like claims that there are more genders than Baskin Robbins has flavors of ice cream (31).
Then the media beats their drum of secular outrage with stories about the dangerous bigoted 'religious right'. They guilt many for wanting to build a wall, owning a gun, or for even being white. Why should I feel guilty that my parents were white?
Then every election year like lemmings we are pressured to run full speed off either a republican or democrat/socialist cliff following our political allegiances before considering God's Truth.
We are afraid of the fight (or ill prepared for a fight).. afraid to stand for our FAITH. if we are political, pro-Israel, or against Sharia Law lest we be labeled a Islamophobe. Please I am not one of THOSE Christians. I am a good person, who never makes waves.. I am like Jesus who is about love.. remember?
All this pressure to conform and fear of a fight with our society railing against traditional Christian values melts many into doing their best Piglet 'the pacifist' of Winnie the Pooh fame.. as we fret and worry stammering “Oh d-dear, oh d-dear!!."
But let's slow down and consider a couple examples from our Bibles.
David, leveled the giant Goliath, and cut off his head for daring to mock God. There was no peace negotiations with the enemy of God, and there was victory for David standing up against this Pagan.
and the best example..
Jesus the Son of God...
To summarize the example of Jesus, and how this should set with his church.
If the world hates you, know that it has hated Jesus before it hated you. If you are of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but Jesus chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19
Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Most likely we are not called to a literal bloody nose like fight, or to be the church version of ANTIFA.. but never EVER back down from living and teaching God's truth.
Important 2020 Note: This is NOT an endorsement of the so-called peaceful protests of 2020. All this misguided SJW angst turned rage mob is not of God. So put down that brick... AND instead be ready and willing to Pick a Fight for and/or Serve THOSE IN NEED, and the LOST? What good is our faith if it is only about our own well being?
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27
May God bless each of us today as we pursue and defend God’s truth. May God smile at, and bless our sincere efforts to serve Him and others, and lovingly correct us when we fall… and may God bless us and use us in ways that are BEYOND OUR DREAMS.
Jeff (bruise like a peach) Larson
note: With us all in the fight for God's Truth, let's calm down the internal fights in the church. We should stand for God's word to be honored in the church and while there are differences in the body.. The cry of "heretic" is overused by those we differ with.
Being a manly man like I am :) .. I think of myself as a Norwegian William Wallace (aka BraveHeart), or the Minnesotan Gladiator Larsonus Maxamus.. doncha-know…
or maybe just Ole the Goalie all geared up for any of Satan's slap shots.
BUT my gut check tells me I am more of a WARRIOR WORRIER going by the title 'Sir Gasps-Alot'.
As a believer I am called to put on the Full Armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18 ready for any and all confrontations. BUT a quick assessment of my armor but I find I should accessorize with more than a donut and coffee from the church fellowship center.
Considering this honest armor assessment am I really prepared to face what today might bring, and if not, then any extracurricular activity like storming the rusty gates of Hell will be out of the question.
The good news is I don’t have to be a spiritual version of the ‘Tin Man’ like in the Wizard of Oz. I can be more than conqueror through Christ who is my strength. If I purposefully and intentionally put on the full armor of God I can boldly live out the words of the prophet Dirty Harry.. “Go ahead, make my day”…
BRING IT ON!
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson