1 Corinthians 11:1 and “the Big Bang Theory”. Yes there is a connection!

Be imitator of me, as I am of Christ” 1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV

This is the beginning of a series influenced by the Bakersfield episode of the “Big Bang Theory”. Yes, you can see things that can/should influence your Christian walk while watching (/being in) the world as it goes by. I can think of at least 5 different subjects from this episode alone. I am having a hard time deciding where I should start: discipleship, the parable of the sower, Unity of the Church, or just being different. One of the most interesting portions of the show is where the ladies decide that they want to see what is so interesting about comic books. Many of you don’t know, but I was way into comic books when I was younger. I can call late 20’s as being younger now that I am looking at 50. My favorite character was Thor, god of Thunder. It is only a coincidence that the ladies in this episode decide to read a Thor comic book, but it is so cool that it is.

So now you may be asking yourself, how does this correspond to our Christian walk? Well, I actually see the discipleship model being displayed here. During the 6+ year run of the series, Raj, Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard have scheduled their lives around comics in some way, shape, or form. They had specific days that they went to the comic book store. They went to many comic conventions, comic cons, where they would even go as far as to dress up. They dressed up for Halloween. They even “worshiped” Stan Lee, the creator of their beloved characters. They gave up time with family and even with their “significant others” to be with their community of fellow lovers of comics. They let it infiltrate every part of their lives. Does this sound like something we should be doing?

This episode to me culminates in the definition of discipleship. Like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, the guys have been displaying an example so that the ladies have finally decided they wanted to see what was so great about these things called comic books. The example they saw caused the ladies to go to the comic book store, by themselves. The comic book store was a scary place. It was filled with others who were different, like the guys. They ventured to even interact with the owner, who before this was only an acquaintance. They then took the time to read the comic book and formulate their own opinion as to what was being said. They even got into some heated discussions about the meanings of what they read, but that is for another blog (can you say different theologies?).

They finally decided to follow the example of the boys. Now, I am not going to get into how deep a following it caused but only to say that it was a start. We Christians are supposed to be like Raj, Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard in being an example of difference that will cause others to want to see why. Have you been different? Have you been different in every aspect? Have you given up things to follow what you believe? Have you shown the excitement to be different for what you believe?

Do you know that there are many people who are watching your life to see if they want to see who this Jesus we profess is? Dare to be different for Christ and let him use your life to cause others to want to know what this life of following him is like.:

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The Artist

God is called the creator because the bible says He created everything. He also imbued that quality into us, some more so than others. I have a bit of a creative streak. I enjoy writing and decorating cookies. But while my writing has sparks of originality, the cookie decorating is really just copying well. I may have great ideas and concepts in my mind, but I lack the ability to draw them myself to make them known.

The other day I found myself somewhere I never thought I’d be, doing something I never thought I’d do, in the presence of a very gifted artist. You could even call him a creator. My husband decided to get another tattoo. He got his first two tattoos many years ago, before we met. He’s dragged me into several tattoo pallors over the past year or two and I never felt overly comfortable in them. But recently we found out that a young man we’d known since he was in junior high, had become a tattoo artist. He had always been an artistic kid. Kind of a different sort of kid. But I’d always connected with him.

So about two months ago we went to see Aaron about Tim’s desire for a tattoo and the design concept. About three years ago I had an idea for a ministry concept called Crow’s Nest. I felt that God was calling me to be a pastor to those people who were sort of on the outs anywhere else. I went from being a regular, suburban church youth minister to working as a chaplain to at-risk youth, those with addictions, mental health issues, or problems with the law. And with my own children being disabled, I felt their isolation as well. This was the beginning of Crow’s Nest. I had an idea for a logo but I couldn’t even draw stick figures so I never thought it would go anywhere. Enter Tim…

Tim decides to get that logo image, which is in my head, as a tattoo. We go visit Aaron and relay the concept to him and explain the ministry focus. He draws up a concept, measures Tim’s calf and says he will call us soon. A week later he sends a design image to us and I am blown away! Aaron has captured the concept far better than I can imagine. It’s a line drawing and I think it’s awesome. How little do I know.

Then a few days ago we go in to get the work done. I watch as he puts on the stencil and traces the outline on Tim’s leg. I’m thinking it’s looking pretty good but he’s just getting started. He adds shading, puts in more detail, inks, wipes off ink and blood, inks some more. I’m sitting there amazed. This is so much more than what I saw in that line drawing. It is so much more than the image in my mind. Three hours pass. Tim’s leg is petering out. We have to finish the rest at our next appointment, in two weeks. What’s on his leg is amazing. What the finished design will be I can only imagine!

This whole thing got me thinking about God. (I know, God in the tattoo pallor but why not? ) The artist knows what he wants to create. He sees the end result before he ever starts his work. It may look rough along the way. He adds some color, takes some off, cleans, causes some pain and bleeding, and gets working at it again. His hand may go numb throughout the process. He sets his tools down for a minute but picks it back up again. The cycle repeats and repeats until the image he sees is the image he had in mind from the beginning. Only then is he satisfied. How much this process of watching Aaron the artist work compares to watching God the Father work! God knows what we are designed to be. He never gives up until he sees us as He created us to be. Sometimes it’s messy. Sometimes we even bleed. But always it is worth the end result. Aaron has a gift. I am grateful that he decided to use it to create this image, which will be our Crow’s Nest logo. Whether he realizes it or not, God had this in mind when he created the artist in him.

The Decoy

Back in the early 80’s, when I was in my twenties, I played in a Laser Tag league. Only in New Jersey. Laser Tag was just coming on to the recreational entertainment scene and I was talked into playing by a group of friends. Now you will have to take my word for it, as I now am an old, half-blind, overweight, not able to run to save my life woman, but back then I was half the woman I am now and I was agile and a really good shot. I wasn’t much of a team sport kind of girl. I didn’t play softball or basketball. I couldn’t make the track team. But by the time I was asked to join the laser tag team, I had endurance from working as a letter carrier at the post office with a walking route. I had experience shooting real guns at the firing range. And I was short and thin. That made me the perfect decoy!

The goal of the decoy was to draw fire from the other team in order to distract your opponent from the main thrust of your own team. This allowed your team to fulfill its mission. Hopefully, the decoy would escape with little to no harm to his or her person but it was considered an acceptable risk to meet the team’s objective. I had quite a good record as a decoy. More times than not I escaped with only minor hit points. There were a few times however where I was ” killed” in the game. Sometimes my team won the game, sometimes we didn’t, but we always played to win.

In real life, it takes a very special type of person to take on the role of decoy. Not many would willingly risk their lives for another, teammates or not. But that is exactly what we should be willing to do. If you look at nature you can see plenty examples of predators. They don’t pick off the strong and healthy but the weak. Some prey animals realize this and form protective circles around the young, elderly, and injured to ensure their safety. But more often than not the prey animals work together to isolate the weak, the young, the elderly, the outcast. Once alone they are easily turned into food and are no more.

The church should be a protecting circle but too often we leave the weak, lonely, and injured out of our circle and they become easy pickings for the enemies around us. Sometimes they are assimilated into outcast groups, safe for the moment but ultimately lost from God. Most times, they are left to face the enemy alone. In Psalm 41:1-2 it says” Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them—they are counted among the blessed in the land—he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.” We need a few more decoys in the church! We need some nimble, well armed, men and women of God willing to take a little fire to bring the “prey” into the fold. Then we need the church to “circle up” and surround these “easy pickings” until they can stand up to the enemy. It isn’t an easy task but we are called to do just that.

So which are you? Are you “easy pickings”? If so, you need to find a circle and get in it. If they don’t want to let you in, remind them that it’s their job to do so. It’s what Jesus would do. Or maybe you are part of the circle? Hold up your end and defend the weak. Or perhaps are you a decoy? That’s a tough position to be called to, but if its your calling, do it with your whole being. You may take fire but you are valuable and needed to fulfill the mission, God’s mission to save the lost. It’s a holy mission! Are you prepared for the fire?