I wish I was a Super Hero (or why I became a youth minister)

I have been thinking about this post for some time now.  I preached a topic similar to this a few weeks ago, so hopefully I can FINALLY gather a few thoughts and hammer them out on this keyboard.

There really is only one way to say this…  I am a geek.  If you also happen to be a geek than you already know what I mean by that.  If not, I pity you.  My geekdom stretches into every part of my life.  My hobbies and interests become obvious the moment you step into my house or office, or when you look at my car.  I have more Legos than most stores carry at any given time, video games and merch are all over the place, collectibles abound.  As I sit here typing this, a completely original 1983 all steel Ertl A-Team van (with functioning sliding door and B.A. behind the wheel) sits atop my cabinet next to several other toy/model cars.  Several comic book encyclopedias sit on my desk, the list goes on and on.  I am a car geek, a religion geek, a movie geek, a video game nerd, a Lego fiend…  all that and so much more.  I am oh so proud to be called a geek.

But there is the point to all of this geek talk.  One of the things I think about most often, the thing that haunts my thoughts when I try to sleep, the one thing I want more than anything else, is to help people.  To be a Super hero, for real.  I think about the powers I’d have, the ways I’d stop bad people from doing bad things…  It never ends.

This might bring some ridicule my way (actually, it already has), but I cry when I watch super hero movies.  Not because I’m jealous of the heroes, because so often in these movies the hero’s make sacrifice themselves or the things that they want most for the good of the people.  They shoulder the hurt, they step on front of the train, they take the blow…  so that we don’t have too.  Sure, many Super heroes are egotistical, over the top, wealthier than japan, and often jerks.  But that isn’t what matters.  All that matters is that when we need them, they are there.  In our darkest hour, they stand against the evil that would see us all ground to dust, or enslaved to some mad man from another universe.  These heroes stand for whats right.  They have the courage to do something about injustice and pain.

When I look back at my life I see so many times when I could have used a Super hero.  I was fortunate enough to have “normal” people who cared for me, who stood up for me when I needed it.  But what about the people who don’t?  What about the people who feel that no one loves them?  What about the people who are at this very moment hurting, contemplating suicide, being abused by the very people who are supposed to love them?  What about the people who need a hero and don’t have one?

Before I go any further, let me explain that I know there are real heroes out there.  People who get up every day and spend it helping others, protecting others, fighting for others.  The Teacher, nurse, policeman, fire fighter, soldier…  They are so important, so needed.

That is why I became a youth minister.  I didn’t have some industrial accident that gave me super powers, I don’t draw energy from the sun that allows me to fly and lift extremely heavy things, I don’t (and never will) have an enormous sum of money with which to buy/design and build gadgets.  I am just me, no more no less.  But that is all I need to be.  You see, I have a story.  That story has shaped me into the person I am today, it has shaped the way I see the world, and the way I interact with it.  I have been blessed with gifts that let me relate to young people in ways that other adults cannot, the ability to read faces and body language (this helps in card games too), and I have the deepest desire to make sure that at least a handful of young people never go through what I went through.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish for super powers, but until that day comes, I’ll keep helping people in the only way I know how.  Being myself.
Be yourself.  Find your inner Super hero.

Blessings,

Chuck

By chuckinreallife

“I Thirst” A meditation on a last word of Christ

This is a meditation I wrote on the Fifth last word of Christ.  

Please understand that this was written the way I wanted it read, so keep that in mind as you read it.

 

“I thirst”…  This isn’t your average “Gosh I’m parched” kind of thirst…  Think about the last time you were REALLY THIRSTY…  Now imagine how thirsty you would be after enduring the beating handed out by Pilate’s men, then carrying a 130 pound beam almost a mile to the very spot you would die.  It’s safe to say that we would all be indescribably thirsty.

But these words must have been about much more than a simple drink of water. 

          “I thirst”…  This is the flesh crying out…  The utterly human part of Jesus begging for mercy.  Jesus surely needed water, but he also needed relief from the excruciating pain, the exhaustion that few if any of us can even begin to comprehend, and the relentless mockery from all sides.

          Jesus had just hit rock bottom. 

          We must remember that Jesus was human.  He felt joy, hunger, sadness…  and pain, just like all of us.  That is what makes this journey so significant…  Jesus was a no less of a human being than any of us, and yet he endured so much… 

          What conflict must have raged inside him…  He must have asked “Why me?” and “isn’t there another way?”  That is after all the natural human response…  But it’s the other part of him that prevailed.  The part of him that was DIVINE.  The part of him that knew what must be done.

          The Thirst that a simple drink of water could not touch, was quenched only by the grace of God…  with Love and Faith.

          And so he thirsted…

          And so he endured…

By chuckinreallife

Welcome to chuckinreallife…

Where you’ll get just that, Chuck in true form.  I’ll be posting things I care about here.  Expect to see a few rants (Ok… a LOT of rants), reviews of various products, and whatever I happen to feel like writing about that day.  For my first post I’d like to finish something I started on Facebook…  my Top 30 Favorite movies of all time for my 30th Birthday.  So here are the remaining films that I neglected to post on FB.  Counting down from #8 here they are:

8) Dogma (1999) 

Dogma Poster

Great film for many reasons…  Not the least of which is writer/director Kevin Smith’s hilarious yet spot on religious commentary.  I do however always forget how many F-bombs get dropped during this movie…  not one for the youth group.  If you have not seen this movie, take a night out to watch it.  “Know him?  Dude* owes me 12 bucks!”

7) The Harry Potter series (2001) 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Poster

First of all, if you have seen these movies without reading the books…  You’re dead to me for at least a week.  These books were intended for adults and children alike.  Hollywood cannot possibly contain all of the great story and details from the books into a movie.  Read them, see them…  in that order.  “Not my daughter, you &!*@#!!”

6) Star Wars Episodes I-VI (1977)

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Poster

I can already hear the complaints…  I don’t care if you didn’t like episodes I, II, and III.  I don’t care if think I’m an idiot for liking them.  They are part of the Star Wars universe and are therefore entertaining to me.  Take that Society!  I recently received the Complete series on Blu-Ray…  AWESOME!!!  If you haven’t seen these movies…  there is little hope for you as a person.  (J/K… or am I?) “Who’s she calling scruffy?”

5) Back to the Future franchise (1985)

Back to the Future Poster

Yes, this trilogy is higher on my list than Star Wars.  I was exposed to B2TF when I was very young, since that day I have thought of time travel EVERY DAY!  Great writing/acting/effects…  there is nothing bad about these movies!  LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  “1.21 GIGAWATTS?!?”

4) Inception (2010)

Inception Poster

This film took hold of me the very first time I watched it…  I have seen it no less than 15 times and every time I notice something new or change my mind about what things mean.  I will no doubt watch this movie 100 times more before I decide there is nothing new to discover.  Watch it, argue about it, enjoy it.  “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.”

3) Office Space (1999)

Office Space Poster

This film is one of the coveted top 3.  The top 3 will likely never change.  Who doesn’t love this movie?  People that have never worked a day in their lives.  As I get older I love this movie for different reasons, but I will always love it.  “I could set the building on fire.”

2) Dazed and Confused (1993)

Dazed and Confused Poster

An instant classic.  I used to set my dvd player to loop this movie all night while I slept…  I can’t even estimate how many times I’ve seen it.  The music, cars, story…  it speaks to me.  “I older, they stay the same age…”

1) The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption Poster

Easily the greatest movie of all time…  I’ll fight with anyone about that FACT.  A story of hope and perseverance…  I will never get tired of this movie.  Great cast, wonderful adaptation from Steven King’s story…  I want to watch it now.  “They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.”

So there it is…  The rest of my list.  I would like to say that there were MANY films that I wanted to put on this list but simply did not have room.  The films that did make it are the ones I feel deserve to be there the most.  Again, this is a list of MY FAVORITE MOVIES of all time…  so if you disagree, good for you!  You are capable of thinking for yourself.  I hope you enjoyed the list, feel free to comment if you have questions or positive things to say, if you try to tear down my list choices I’ll just delete you and most likely humiliate you publicly for not reading things before you post.

Blessings,

Chuck

By chuckinreallife