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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Hawking’

Most of us know who Stephen Hawking is. For younger readers, Kirk Cameron was a swoon-worthy idol during his time acting on the 1980s TV comedy Growing Pains.

You might also not be aware that during the show’s seven-season run, Cameron decided to follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the Son of God. Since the show ended, Cameron, now in his 50s, has starred in and/or produced many faith-themed movies and documentaries.

So why is he being mocked in this meme? Well, many of his productions have been….underwhelming. And some of his socially conservative public statements have made him a target of criticism from media, atheists and many celebrities.

What’s interesting about the meme that sparked this blog is how it singles out one controversial person while ignoring other Jesus followers who are widely admired for their intelligence and accomplishments.

Immediately, I can think of several:

  • Academy Award-winning actors Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington
  • Country singers Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood
  • Scientist Francis S. Collins, who led the way in mapping the human genome (I wrote about him here: https://wp.me/p2wzRb-3o)
  • U.S. talk show host Stephen Colbert

There are many, many more Jesus-following notables – I listed a few in this blog: https://wp.me/p2wzRb-e9.

Here’s the thing, though: it’s not about who’s on what side, it’s not about popularity contests and it’s certainly not about anyone’s IQ. All these “measurements” are distractions, designed to prevent us from thinking about the big questions: who am I? Why am I here? What happens after this life ends?

If you’re willing to consider these questions, then consider this: you’re a creation of God. And one of the original-source biographies of Jesus says “God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not be lost, but have eternal life.”

Maybe you’ve read that statement before. Did you know it applies to you? God so loved YOU that He gave His only Son, so that if YOU believe in Him then YOU will not be lost, but have eternal life.

If this doesn’t make sense, then let me ask: do you believe there’s something beyond this life? Maybe even a “good” place and a “bad” place? If yes, then ponder these words that Jesus told anyone willing to listen: “you must be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

So that’s the ticket we need to spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus and His Father. None of us have any hope of achieving perfection, so what to do? Simple. Trust in Jesus. Declare Him Lord, Saviour and your best friend.

If you do that with serious sincerity, then He’ll come into your life and start to make you more of the person God created you to be. And when this life ends, God will see you like He sees His Son: perfect in every way. And the doors of Heaven will be opened to you.

Sound interesting? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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faith-badIf, through some twist of fate, I happened to meet American science blogger Bruce Peeples, I would be sure to gratefully shake his hand. Because when I found this meme quoting him, I knew I’d been handed a gold-plated opportunity to explain what a life of faith is really about.

First of all, I’m struggling to understand how my faith — I trust in and follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the divine Son of God — is keeping me from believing in myself.

I showed this graphic to my wise friend Ross Carkner and right away, he noted “believing in yourself and having faith in God are not mutually exclusive.”

Do I somehow not “truly” believe that I can be a valuable, contributing member of this culture? Why on earth would I accept such a notion? Certainly no pastor or Jesus follower I’ve met has ever suggested any such thing to me.

Secondly, I find that believing in God and following His Son makes me MORE powerful.

I have more power because I’m no longer struggling to fly solo through a world that I think most of us will agree is not doing well. I’m part of something larger — a movement of God, through all His followers, to make this hurting planet a better place.

This new power started when, after deciding to put my faith and my trust in Jesus at age 41, I came to understand that life is NOT all about me and my pleasures, my needs, my prejudices or my childhood grievances.

As a result of fully accepting this truth, I’ve learned to become more generous, more aware of suffering around me and more willing to invest in others. I can quite confidently write that without my faith in Jesus, none of this would have happened.

Let me make it clear: this isn’t about self-confidence. It’s about what Ross calls “Jesus confidence”. Consider this quote from one of Jesus’s earliest followers: “Jesus is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do.”

That’s Jesus confidence. And it happens in a way that scientists like Steven Hawking can’t possibly explain. It’s supernatural. And if you encounter someone fully caught up in Jesus confidence, you’ll see it for yourself.

All that said, if you’ve ever met any serious Jesus followers, I’m sure you’ll agree we’re a long, long way from perfect. And that’s OK. That same early Jesus follower, named Paul, acknowledged it himself when he wrote this:

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Jesus, who has so wondrously reached out for me.

Jesus is reaching out to Bruce Peeples. And through this blog, I believe He’s reaching out to YOU. Are you interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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