Head Shot

Head Shot: Miraculous Agony by Michael Nichols

"God will never give you more that you can handle." I've heard it a thousand times, but it's a lie from hell. It's a false hope against trouble in your life. Jesus promised there'd be trouble, but He said to take heart because He has overcome the world. There's a passage of Scripture that says that God chooses the weak things of this world to show His strength and upset the wisdom of those who think they're wise.

It's really funny. Isn't that what He did with Christ? He chose a weak form to show His strength in living sinless, paying the punishment for sin, and overcoming the grave. It was by becoming weakness Himself that He carried out the greatest miracle to this day.

But no miracle is possible unless He gives us more than we can handle. We have no reason to trust anyone else unless we're allowed to see that, no, we don't "got this." God doesn't tempt us, but He does give us opportunities to build our faith in Him. That can only be achieved by extraordinary circumstances and an extraordinary God.

Head Shot: Insufficient by Michael Nichols

I wonder if Eve felt insufficient when Satan told her that God was trying to hold her back from being like Him.
 
So much is a lie there.
 
If Christ is "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world," if He "died for us... while we were yet sinners," then that means the outcome of His death and resurrection would have occurred regardless of whether or not we fell. So that means that is we are to be "transformed" at the end of days to be like Him, then that means that, like the crucifixion, our transformation to be like Him was always in the plan.
 
It was never in the plan for us to BE Him. It was always in the plan for us to BECOME LIKE Him (including His humility). He was never trying to hold us back. He was trying to get us to the same place without the burden of a knowledge we could not handle.
 
And though we are not sufficient to REPLACE God, we are TREASURED BY God. Some 2000 years ago, a radical Israelite (the Word that was God) proved that by humbling Himself and becoming obedient to the death we deserve as fallen creatures, and blew death up from the inside so that we could overcome it, too, thus fulfilling a transformation deeper into Christ's image, a transformation that was ALWAYS in the plan, regardless of the fall.
 
He was never trying to hold us back. He was always trying to pull us close.

Head Shot: You're Wrong by Michael Nichols

Our culture hates negative talk with good reason. The world has no need for bullying. But has this thought process gone so far that we are unable to accept and deal with the reality of the darkness?

Ask any scientist. If something doesn't make sense, either your formula is wrong, or you executed it wrong. In the scientific, analytic, performance based world we've always had, it is important to know the difference between right and wrong. Remember how people thought that the sun revolved around the earth? They were wrong, and when someone figured that out, it revolutionized (no pun intended) the scientific world, did it not? Finally, we had explanations for how and why things work the way that they do. Without the understanding the fundamental truths of our world, how can we function in it?

Is it better to preserve our all-important feelings, or to embrace the harsh truth of wrongness in order to find something more reliable? No, this philosophy that "what is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me," simply is not true. Though one's experiences cannot be undone, not a single person's perceptions takes into account every factor, and the whim of no man can undo the nature of the creation. It is arrogant to think that, just as it is arrogant to think that our own ways of thinking are flawless when only the Creator of the universe could possibly shine light on the questions we ask in darkness.

Head Shot: Alone by Michael Nichols

Do we alienate people because we hate them or because we hate ourselves?

Is it better to be surrounded by oblivious, apathetic souls, or to be alone?

At the end of the day, can you live with pushing everyone away for the sake of staying safe inside, free of criticism, free of failing others, free from the hurt of missing those absent?

...or is failure found in the alienation of everything and everyone we ever deemed important?

No. Failure means that there is no hope to change.

Is it worth the effort to believe and hope that genuine albeit imperfect love exists between two human beings? Is fulfilling our calling in Jesus' name a greater gain than the connections we lose in defying those who deny the dreams we've been given? Is victory over our own soul's shadows worth the struggle?

Yes. Undeniably, yes. It is worth it.

Head Shot: In the Same Sentence by Michael Nichols

I once asked someone if they thought I could make it as a musician. They told me they believed God could do big things with me. At the time, I thought they were just avoiding the question because they knew that I already knew that to be true. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength," said Paul the apostle. See, I was saying, "I know God can do big things with me, but can I make it?" But my career success was never really the point of my life, was it?

I was asking an impossible question, and the wrong one, at that. Sure, I have some tricks up my sleeve, but who put them there, and what are they really worth if Jesus isn't directing them? They're just tricks, sleight of hand to get applause. A sentence doesn't have room for both our potential and God's. We will always rely on one or the other, and one will always run dry while the other will not.