>Thank God for the 22nd Time


I thank God every day that I get to try again.  The idea that Christians need to be perfect, or that we need to do everything correct is just a lie.  And for the people who think Christians are hypocrites…yes, yes we are. 
I’m one of the worst. Nice to meet you.
The difference should be what we do with that knowledge.  Those who are hypocrites but deny it do nothing for the Kingdom.  However, those that recognize just what we are can truly become dependent on God, and through Him seek the power and grace that completely changes lives.
My name is Jason Henderson, and I’m going to screw up today.  And after I do, I will thank my God that there is a 22nd time. 
“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

>Adrenaline Rush

>The body is full of wondrous chemicals.  We all have neuroreceptors that are designed to accept those chemicals, depending on what we are experiencing: thyroid hormone is released for growth, melatonin helps regulate our sleep cycles, etc.

The most commonly known hormone, in my humble opinion, is adrenaline.  We all know what an adrenaline rush feels like, whether from scary movies or extreme sports or harrowing situations.  Some of us seek out that rush; that’s where we get thrill junkies or haunted house fanatics or what have you.  Adrenaline causes our bodies to immediately go into hyperdrive, enhancing senses and reflexes.  It’s the fight or flight syndrome-when the rush happens, we become almost superhuman.  

I once drove by a car where a woman had inadvertently locked her baby inside, and she came screaming into the street trying to get us to stop so we, my friend Jacob and I, could help her.  Now, we’re both grown men, but after prying and pulling we were unable to get into the car even half an inch in order to attempt opening it with a coat hanger.  Deterred, we moved to another door when all of a sudden we both heard “Is this open enough?” and looked up to see that this little, 5’2″, 100 lb. woman had nearly ripped her driver’s side door off of the car.  

Say what you want about my manhood, but adrenaline allows us to do some pretty awesome things.

The problem we face is that after a while, the receptors wear out.  It’s like addiction; the reason addicts crave bigger and bigger doses or hits is because eventually they need more and more to achieve the same level of high.  The chemicals lose potency.  We’re then left searching for something else to fill the hole.

It states numerous times in the Bible that God delights in us (Psalm 149:4), finds joy in us, and loves us.  If we are created in His image, shouldn’t we seek out those same things?  If God delights in us, shouldn’t we in turn delight in Him? 

Stop seeking the ultimate high from this world.  It doesn’t exist.  And if you thinking being able to rip a car door off it’s hinges is power, just wait until you see what my God can do (Job 38).

“But the Lord is the true God; 
       he is the living God, the eternal King. 
       When he is angry, the earth trembles; 
       the nations cannot endure his wrath.

“Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’ “

But God made the earth by his power; 
       he founded the world by his wisdom 
       and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.

When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; 
       he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. 
       He sends lightning with the rain 
       and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”  Jeremiah 10:10-13

>Bruce Willis is Dead

>…at the end of The Sixth Sense.  Calm down. I don’t think John McClane could ever really die.

However, that moment, when you realize the plot twist, has captivated millions and millions of people.  Some viewers figured it out early on in the movie and decreed it rubbish, while others were so stunned that they don’t remember the actual end of the movie.  Count me upon the latter group.
Now imagine the scene between David and Nathan after the king’s little tryst with Bathsheba going much the same way.  Nathan is telling the story about the rich man who has much taking from the poor man with one little ewe lamb, and David gets more and more indignant, until finally Davey makes a ridiculous proclamation:
“David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.'”  2 Samuel 12:5-6
I can’t even begin to fathom the faces of his court at that point.  Everyone else had to know Nathan was setting David up…they mostly knew what he had done.  Bathsheba is initially described to David as “the wife of Uriah the Hittite,” (2 Sam. 11:3) so people knew who she was when she spent the evening with David while Uriah was away.  They’re like the ones who figured out The Sixth Sense early; as the plot twists happen, they start looking around like “who hasn’t figured this out yet?! This is ludicrous!” 
Then Nathan drops the hammer on David, announcing for all to hear “You are the man!” (2 Sam. 12:7)  David then falls into the second group of viewers: those stunned by the revelation, immediately lost and trying to figure out how things got so twisted so fast.
However, David’s recovery is really the story here.  He immediately admits sin (11:13) and accepts the punishment God gives him for the transgression.  The end result of all this calamity is Solomon, whom God gives the name Jedidiah, which means loved by the Lord.
The result of the twist in The Sixth Sense is that Bruce Willis is able to move on and rectify the mistakes he left behind when he died.  What we should all realize is that God does this for us daily; the mistakes we make, the “David moments” where our horrible transgressions are brought to light, do not have to lead to chaos.  They can lead to growth, peace, and, as Jedidiah proves, love, if only we return to Him.
When you look at it that way, its not a plot twist so much as a divinely happy ending, no?
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do no cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”   Psalm 51:1-2, 10-12. 
A psalm of David, written when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

>Spontaneous Combustion

>Abby asked me the other day if I was a pyro. The answer is, um, maybe. Mainly I just like fire imagery.

A lot of the images I use involve sparks, matches, fires, etc…things that need help starting. Most chemical reactions are reliant on heat to begin. You need to turn up the Bunsen Burner, hot plate, etc., to get the job done. Think of cooking…what you put into the cake pan does not look like what comes out of the oven. At least it shouldn’t. If it does, please step away from the baked goods and order take-out.

Some reactions give off heat after starting. You need heat from friction to start a match, but afterward, the burning gives off more heat than you put in.

Then there are the spontaneous reactions. Try putting baking soda into vinegar. I’ll wait…

Now clean it up.

That didn’t require any heat, did it? And it didn’t give off much heat, if any, while exploding all over your room. So what happened?

Sometimes things just click. The basic nature of the baking soda and the acidic nature of the vinegar come together to make salts and hydrogen gas, resulting in an awesome display of bubbles.

I guess all that is to say, I’m happy at GC-4. It didn’t require a lot of work from either end, but I have no doubt that God will do something incredible with this relationship. At times, it may not be as exciting as exploding household products, but it will be better in the end, because it will be God’s.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

>If only life were like Batman

>I turned on the TV at Jacob’s house tonight to an episode of Batman, the greatest cartoon/superhero ever.  Batman was underwater, being held in a chokehold of doom by Killer Croc, a mutant human-crocodile hybrid bent on destruction, namely the destruction of the Caped Crusader.  If I had turned this on having no prior knowledge of Batman or his wicked awesome crime-fighting skills, I might have been a little concerned for his safety.  But he’s Batman, and he somehow bent his entire body in half (must not have ribs) and kicked KC in the head, rendering him thoroughly beaten down. As Batman should.  All Batman episodes involve the criminal gaining the upper hand at some point, but Batman coming through in the end.  You don’t necessarily need to watch the entire episode to know what will happen. Bruce is gonna win.

I, however, contrary to popular belief, am NOT Batman.  I don’t always win, I don’t get out of every scrape, and I don’t get attacked by man-odile mutant freaky hybrids.  At least not so far.  If you looked at my life right now with no prior knowledge of what was going on, you’d see me moving to Houston next week to be with my fiancée and start work at GC4 and not be concerned at all with what was going on.  Looks normal to you.  And you’d be wrong.
On May 17th, 2007, I was single, about to start work at a hospital in Abilene, bolstering my resumé for another crack at Medical School.  I had just graduated from ACU with my BS in Biology, and was not looking forward to a year cleaning operating rooms after surgery.  Life was moving forward, but tough and a little bit debilitating. 
On May 17th, 2009, I will marry the love of my life, Abby, and be in my 4th month working with the youth ministry at GC4, my passion in life. I’ll be halfway done with my MDiv and gearing up for an awesome summer with some great kids.  Life will be moving forward, and it’ll be exciting and terrifying all at once.
That’s not how the episode ends;  on May 17th 2010 there’s no telling what will be going on.  The important thing is to not forget how the episode started…and how God has guided me through all of it.   Stay tuned, sit back, grab your popcorn, relax, and for heaven’s sake…don’t blink.  You might miss the show.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:25-27, 33