Avengers vs. Disciples (Church, Assemble!)

I love story lines. And a story line I have fallen in love with and can’t get enough of are those of the Marvel Universe. I never really got into reading comic books. My love of words far overpowered that. I love how each character has his own movie, his own story, and then all of the super heroes come together to fight something bigger than they can take on themselves.

What if . . . these super heroes were Christians, trying to make a difference in God’s kingdom, instead of doing that super-hero-thing-they-do? If Iron Man was a disciple, how could he win people to Christ with his powers? Captain America? The Hulk? They all have some pretty great testimonies. I can envision Captain America being the cool pastor of some inner-city church. Black Widow would use her skills to help the church out, as well as Hawkeye. I could see those two heading up outreaches or something. I’ve read a few blog posts on the subject, and the Avengers are an awesome analogy of the church. We are all so very different, yet when we come together and “assemble” in church on Sunday, or at a Lifegroup or Bible study, we glean from each other’s’ differences. While Iron Man is trying to fix an engine that went down, The Captain awaits to pull the red lever. We all get distracted, but the job gets done! Thor would be in the nursery at church, gathering up the toddlers and teaching them about Jesus during church. Or maybe the kids would be climbing all over Hulk—but on second thought, the Hulk’s gifts could be much better used . . . parking cars? Or doing all the heavy lifting.  What jobs would you give these heroes if they went to your church?

What I set out to do with the book that I just released on Amazon, was to create that different kind of super hero—the one that serves Christ and each other. Although there are some deeper issues in the book that probably aren’t fit for children, who doesn’t love a battle scene where scripture shuts down the enemy? In my book, I explore the armor of God, and things of the spiritual world being visible—but only for those with the eyes to see.

If this peaks your interest at all, check out my eBook for Kindle on Amazon here!

Anna E. Meyer

What do you suppose your spiritual gift is? How is that your “super power?” How would having the super power of Christ behind you change the way you live life?

Writing: To God Be the Glory

I spent most of last semester learning about having to advocate for music education in all that I do.  Transferring that thought, I have justified and reasoned why I like to write so much (for myself, mostly).  So why do I like to write?  (This is me thinking out loud almost more than “advocating”.)writing for the glory of God

General: I think and speak better through writing, most of the time.  It has become my life’s mission to display and present and proclaim God all the time in many different ways to many different people.  One of the ways I can do this is through writing.

Fiction: I like to write fiction because I am allowed to present Christ in a new way.  I love analogies, and in writing fiction, I am allowed to bring some of the analogies to life.  Fiction is a powerful medium, and I’ve been given the passion and the gift to use it.  I have stories to tell: stories of God’s love, redemption and forgiveness.  I have my own story to tell, and I have evidences of God’s power and righteousness to share.

Letters: I don’t write as many letters as I would like to, but I have been writing letters to more people in the last semester.  My own letter writing has evolved into something in which I can encourage the letter-receiver with scripture and with Christ-centered chatter.  I’ve discovered that my two most prominent love languages are words of affirmation and quality time.  It takes time to write a letter, and I think about the person I’m writing to all while I write it.  As I said, in a letter, I am given the opportunity to encourage and affirm the receiver of the letter.  Snail-mail letter writing is a lost art, but I believe in it still!

Blog: Sometimes, I feel like I have a message to share.  Nothing new or profound, just what God has been teaching me recently or something that’s on my mind.  I love making spiritual analogies, and there are a lot of them here on my blog.  I share my testimony, I write about my struggles, and I write about school.  But in all this, I can see God working through it.  He is King of everything, not just what directly talks about him.

I worship God through writing.  Be it a letter, an off-topic blog post, or fiction completely immersed with God, I praise him through it.  Writing is one of the gifts I have received from the Lord, so all I can do now is use it for his glory.  I am trusting him completely, as in the next year I will try to get some things published.  To God be all the glory.

Anna E. Olson, unpublished writer, trusting in Him always.

A Little Encouragement about Encouragement!

Encourage: verb. 1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence: She could hear me from the bleachers as I encouraged the runner with obnoxious shouts.  2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.: Sometimes, I write “happy-fun-notes” to encourage my friends. 3. to promote, advance, or foster: When she is up to no good, laughter only encourages her.

 

So, I’d been feeling down earlier this summer, and my feelings of lowness keep trying to come back.  But stealthily, God has been encouraging me in so many different ways, as he has this wonderful tendency to do when we need it.  Last night (at an hour I so should have been asleep), I looked up “encourage” in the Bible.  It was awesome!  Here are some of the things I learned:

God has given us eternal encouragement by grace (2 Thessalonians 2:16), and continues to supply us with endurance and encouragement (Rom 15:5)!  He grants us this encouragement that we might be toward each other how Christ is toward us.  Because, if you remember, the goal, as a Christian, is to be more like Christ (duh).  But don’t worry, if you feel like you just can’t, God is right there to pick you up, wrap his arm around your shoulders, and encourage you!

When we find a community of believers, we are to be encouraged by each other’s faith (Romans 1:12).  This does not mean go to church and look at the cool shoes your neighbor is wearing or talk about the latest Olympic gold the US brought in.  It’s about finding a community and talking about God with each other, what he’s been doing in your life and what he’s been doing in theirs.  These communities don’t have to be just church or Christian organizations on your campus, but authentic friendships.  And yes, it is so encouraging!

In Paul’s letters to the churches, he continues to encourage them and tells them to encourage each other and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  In conjunction to the one before, you may build someone up by seeing other things that God is doing in them and through them that they may not see.  Or you may have found a Word that pertains to another person’s life at the given moment.  When you share it with them, God uses it to encourage!  It’s awesome how all these bolded statements tie together.  But I’m not done yet!

God uses OTHERS to encourage us and uses US to encourage them!  All through the book of Acts, the apostles traveled, visiting churches they had at one time planted or found and ENCOURAGED them.  Paul does this in his letters, as well.  Others encourage us all the time, whether it’s a compliment for practicing that week (which encourages practicing next week) or applause at the end of a performance (encouraging the conductor to take too many bows to acknowledge his orchestra or band or just encouraging the players that they really did a great job).  The audience cheers during sporting events and friends in the back seat encourage you to try and make a light as it’s turning yellow.  This is kind of a no-brainer, but it still needs to be said.  =)

Encouragement is a spiritual gift (Romans 12:8).  That doesn’t mean that you can’t encourage if you don’t have this gift.  It just means that some do it more than others effectively?  Not quite sure how to say that nicely.  This website has a spiritual gifts test and explains the different spiritual gifts there are.  They explain encouragement:

Encouragement (Speaking Gift) – The special ability God gives some to offer comfort, words of encouragement, hope, and reassurance to discouraged, weak, or troubled Christians in such a way that they are consoled. People with this gift: – come to the side of those who are discouraged to reassure them and give them hope – emphasize God’s promises and confidence in his will.

And lastly, the Word encourages (2 Timothy 4:2)!  This is really awesome, and God uses this LOTS.  My personal encouraging verses/passages right now include: Joshua1:9, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Jeremiah 29:11-14a, and Philippians 4:13.  Any verse cam speak words of encouragement to me if the timing is right (which, thanks to God, the timing’s usually perfect)!

God never ceases to encourage us.  He sent Christ, his only Son to die for us, that we may have eternal life!  What is more encouraging to live this life than the promise we’ll be with God in paradise eternally?  His riches and promises as we live in this world are encouraging and never-ceasing.  His wondrous deeds and the way he works so mysteriously are encouraging!  You just have to see it sometimes.  How has God encouraged you recently?  Are there any encouraging Bible verses that would go on your list of encouragement to look back on?

 

Smiling and being encouraged by all God’s encouragement, Anna =)^2