Facing Self-will

Facing self-will is something all of us should do. Not many of us want to.

Jesus had to face the human part of him at the Mount of Olives in order to pray “Not my will, but your will be done.” That prayer requires us to stop and think about what we’re doing. If we’re powering through our day like a bulldozer, we may miss the blessings God planted along our path.

Today on Seek God With Me, I’m encouraging all of us (including me) to slow down and listen to what God has to say before we make our plans. His wisdom helps our preparation and prevents our mistakes. Join me.

The Invisible Man, 1933

A scientist injects himself with a drug that makes him invisible, but finds out too late that he can’t reverse its effects. The drug’s side effects include madness. He snowballs from causing turmoil to running from place to place in a murderous rage.

The screenplay was adapted from the H.G. Wells novel. Director James Whale took on this project after the success of his 1931 film Frankenstein. This movie’s tagline was “Catch me if you can.” I saw the same invincibility in the Invisible Man that I saw in Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Catch Me If You Can from 2002.

Actor Claude Rains is the voice of this invisible mad scientist whose face is only seen a few times in the film. They had to use all kinds of tricks to make Rains invisible. The special effects were amazing to a 1930s audience. Not so today. Our technological experience makes the movie seem almost homemade.

Henry Travers, who was the angel in the 1946 classic It’s A Wonderful Life, played Dr. Cranley in this film. Cranley was the former employer of the Invisible Man and the father of the Invisible Man’s girlfriend.

There is always good news, even in a horror movie. Cranley believed that an antidote could be found to reverse the invisibility or possibly the insanity that came with it. The good news is that if you’re feeling invisible and unloved, God sees you and cares about you. Look around to see if God has sent people to help you as Cranley and his daughter tried to help the Invisible Man.

Facing God

Moses had an appropriate and reverential fear of God. If you read chapter nineteen of Exodus, you can imagine yourself in place of Moses and listen to God’s words as if you were there, kneeling in the dust.

When God called the people together at the foot of the mountain, he descended on the mountain in fire and smoke. The people trembled in fear. God had their attention, but Moses was the only one climbing the mountain to face God.

Today at Seek God With Me, I’m challenging you to face God and accept his invitation to begin a relationship or grow in your relationship with him. When others are shaking in their boots, you and I can climb the mountain of fear and face God. You and I can get closer to him.

What are you waiting for?

Frankenstein, 1931

Directed by James Whale, this classic horror movie shows mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein giving life to a monster created from different corpses. The monster, played by Boris Karloff, has personality, a strange innocence, surprising strength, and a rage that can’t be controlled. In some scenes, the monster makes the audience feel sorry for him. There's a look on his face that roars, "What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment?" And then he kills someone.

Boris Karloff, listed as 5’11” on imdb.com, was not taller than Colin Clive who played Dr. Frankenstein also at 5’11”. The costume, lifts, and padding gave him his monstrous size. 

There is a well-deserved fear in the community regarding the monster, but no one saw the monster’s tender side when he was with a little girl. Of course, the tender side only lasted a little while, but it was there. To me this demonstrates that everyone, even monstrous people, have it in them to show a little tenderness sometimes.

Facing Disease

Luke 17:11-19 tells the story of the ten lepers. Only one out of ten thanked God for healing him. The oft-asked question is: why didn’t the other nine throw themselves at the feet of Jesus and thank him?

I couldn’t begin to put myself in their position since I’ve never been faced with a torturous, flesh-eating disease like leprosy. It would be a very scary situation. It’s a rot-while-you-wait kind of slow death. I would imagine living in a colony of lepers and watching everyone around you go through the same pain you’re feeling could destroy anyone’s positive outlook.

If you or your loved ones are facing a devastating disease, you can call out to Jesus. He will hear you. Today on Seek God With Me, I’m taking a look at what should happen after you call out to Jesus and he answers.

Facing Your Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde

Everyone wants some kind of change. If you don’t think there is something in each of us that we don’t like, check out the self-help books, cosmetics shelves, and plastic surgery ads. We try all kinds of physical fixes to help change what’s inside.

In the 1941 film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Spencer Tracy plays Dr. Henry Jekyll, who wants to help make the world a better place by removing the evil urges he’s sure everyone has. Dr. Jekyll’s good intentions turn sour as the experimental solution fails. Ingrid Bergman plays a barmaid, and Lana Turner plays a refined and innocent woman. These ladies have an effect on Dr Jekyll’s plans, but neither knew at first how far his experiments would go.  

This horror film, based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, changed the story slightly and was nominated for three Oscars. Award-winning director Victor Fleming did a good job with this movie, but his only Best Director Oscar was for Gone With The Wind in 1939.

The good news you can take away from this film is that not everyone lets their Mr. Hyde run free. We can develop our God-given self-control. We allow God to help us make good decisions when we choose to use his wisdom. Facing that part of ourselves that we don’t like can be less scary when we give it to God. He can handle it.

Come back next week for more on how to take the scary out of your situation.

Facing Demons

The story in Mark 5:1-20 where Jesus faced a demon-possessed man seems like a story that would strike fear in the hearts of the hearers. I think the disciples who stood there with Jesus probably were a little scared. The local people of the day were unhappy to have lost their pigs, but they had to look at the bright side of the situation and remember that they were no longer plagued with fear when traveling through that area.

Join me at Seek God With Me where I’m sharing how Jesus can take the scary out of the situation.

We all face scary situations. Some of us relocate to a new community and have to adjust to new friends, new climate, or new responsibilities. Sometimes just going to the dentist is a scary situation. If we’ll remember who Jesus is, everything turns out better. Check out my devotional blog today for a happy ending.

Facing the Scary Stuff

This month, even though I don’t “celebrate” Halloween, I will be featuring reviews of scary movies. I will also have devotionals on my other blog, Seek God With Me, that take a look at scary things in the Bible.

We all have those moments when we’d rather not face what’s ahead for us. For some, going off to college is scary. For others, letting a babysitter take care of your kids for the first time is what makes your knees knock. When my daughter lost her first tooth, she thought all her teeth would fall out and she wouldn’t have any left. It was a scary moment for her. Of course, when we told her the truth about her teeth and comforted her, she calmed down.

Join me Wednesday for a Bible verse and a reason not to be scared. On Friday, I’ll review a classic horror film from the 1940s. Don’t worry, there will be some good news in it.