Posts Tagged ‘victory’


How we tell a story is important.

Yesterday, I told the Easter story before my church’s Easter Egg Hunt. It’s a story I’ve told a lot of times, but having to adapt the telling for young children made me look at it differently. How do you relate the horrors of the cross to little ones? Then something hit me. Too often we Christians end the story too soon. We leave our story, Jesus’ story, in the realm of tragedy. We talk about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, and He did and that is awesome, the ultimate act of love, but it’s not the end of the story.

Our story is not a tragedy. Jesus is not a tragic loss, not a victim. Jesus is a hero. No, Jesus is THE Hero. The one on whom all heroes are based. He rises up against unspeakable odds with powers beyond our comprehension and defeats death itself. The story of Jesus is the story of ultimate victory. The cross is so hugely important and we need to tell that story, but we have to be careful not to end the story before the best part. We can’t afford to end this story at the cross or the tomb because that’s not where the story ends. Jesus rises from the tomb. His tomb is empty and for all who believe in Him, so shall ours be.

This ain’t a tragedy. This story ends in eternal victory.

Jesus is risen.


Well folks this is my 1300th post on AMOKArts.com. I thank each of you whether you’ve been with me a short time or a long time, because you help to make all the effort worthwhile. But that’s not why I called this post victory.

You see I feel a big part of my calling is to encourage others especially us creative types, to throw off the shackles of fear and use out gifts to serve the Lord. To do that, a lot of times I will be vulnerable and share part of my story. Often these are the painful stories that I learned the hard way, whether it was through my own sin and stupidity or inflicted on me by others. All this is part of my story and don’t miss this a testimony to God’s goodness. Occasionally I hear back from some of you about how one of these stories has helped or encouraged you. That’s victory. You see when what I have been through, no matter how bad, serves to help someone else, it makes the pain make sense. It makes me look at it and see, “Oh, okay Lord, now I see what you’re doing.” I’ll say it again, that’s victory, mine and more importantly, His.

I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I do know this, there is victory in Jesus, even if it doesn’t look like it right now. God is good and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Romans 8:28 says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him who are called according to His purpose.”

I’ve seen that lived out in my own life, time and time again.

Look for your victory. I believe it’s coming.


Maybe it’s because of the era I’m from, but I can’t hear the word “jungle” (this week’s challenge) without hearing “Welcome to the Jungle.” Because of this, my first thought ws to do a cartoon of Axl Rose facing down an actual lion and shaking in his kilt. It would have been funny, but then I thought of something more important.
jungle
He had his day in the sun, 2000 years ago, give or take, as he watched the Son of God gasping for every breath, hanging on the cross. He had managed to convince the very people Jesus came to save to scream for his execution. You know he was elated when he heard the words, “It is finished.” Ah sweet victory, but sometimes victory is short lived, especially when you mess with God.

Oh, make no mistake about it, there was victory that day, but it was not as it appeared. Not many days before, Jesus reminded His disciples that He would die for their sins and that no one takes His life away but that He lays it down freely. He has the power to lay down His life and the power to take it up again. What looked like victory was really a crushing defeat for death, hell, the grave and the devil as Jesus paid the price for our sins and bought eternal life for all who would believe. Jesus won the victory. In His human form, he looked easy to defeat for the mighty fallen angel, but the fatal flaw was forgetting that the suffering servant was also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Welcome to the Jungle.


Toulouse-Lautrec

No that’s Tolouse (Henri de Tolouse Lautrec to be precise).

Yes, I know that’s a bad pun, but this is a serious topic so I thought a little levity might be a good place to start. How many times have you felt like you were born to lose? It’s a pretty common malady in the creative community. Creativity requires risk. You go beyond what everybody else is doing. You push boundaries and more than anything else you put yourself out there and you say, “this is mine, this is me, what do you think?” It can be downright intimidating. It keeps a lot of people from ever trying. After all, if you don’t try, you can’t fail, right? Oh sure they tell you to get back on the horse, but why, so he can throw you off again? I believe it’s thoughts like these that keep most people from their creative destiny and that is tragic.

Let’s face it there are times where we feel about like this guy.

marvin-the-martian

When he shows up on your TV screen you know it’s only a matter of time before he gets blown up or disintegrated. You know it’s going to happen, no matter how angry it makes him (and it makes him very angry, very angry indeed.) Sometimes being a creative feels the same way, especially when you’re a creative and a Christian. You do your best to do good work, to serve others, to help people and they come back at you with harsh criticism of your work and sometimes your person. It’s enough to make you feel like you were born to lose, no good deed goes unpunished.

That’s just not true. Jesus warned us we would have trouble in this world. It is coming. Most of us are either going into, going through or coming out of a crisis. It’s a state of life in this broken world. But right after Jesus gives this most dire of warnings, He says “take heart. I have overcome the world. The Bible further tells us that we are more than conquerors and that nothing can take God’s love away. You weren’t born to lose and eventually, Jesus promises we will overcome because He has overcome.

The best part of any crisis is the other side. The part where we see the lesson learned, the struggle fulfilled and the victory. That’s where we need to place our focus. This too shall pass, you will get through it because Jesus will walk with you the whole way.

I don’t know where you are today, but I do know this, the best thing you can do in the struggles and the dark places of life is to keep passing through, which means keep moving. Keep creating and chipping away.

God will get you through. You weren’t born to lose, you were born for victory.


Is Your Jersey on Backwards?
There’s and old maxim in coaching that says, “We win when the name on the front of the jersey is more important to us than the name on the back of the jersey.”

Nowhere is this more important and true than in the church. You see there are a lot of names on the back of our jerseys. There’s our own name of course, each of us has a personal identity. There’s our congregation, our denomination, our faction within that denomination, our theological emphases and on and on and on. There are a lot of names. The problem is, we tend to get our jersey’s on backwards and let all these other names divide us. The name on the front of every Christian’s jersey should be Jesus Christ. He needs to be first and when we work together in His name, we win.

His name is called the name above every name, remember?

Is His name on the front of your jersey and does your life bear that out?

Otherwise your jersey’s on backwards!