Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Odyssey Connection: Hard Work

Odyssey Connection - No Chemistry Whatsoever:

No Chemistry Whatsoever tackles one theme from two different angles. Two important angles, but we'll look at each one at a time. 

Connie signs up for what she thought would be an easy Chemistry class and winds up having Eugene as a teacher. She quickly finds out that she might actually have to put some effort into her work in order to get the grade she desires. Honestly there are a lot of people out there pulling a "Connie Kendall". They want to get through a class (or whatever) with very little effort and as quickly as possible. The problem is that with that mindset, you don't actually learn anything or at least not as much. The verse that comes to mind is Ephesians 6:7. 
"7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,"
I think they should have tied that verse in there somewhere, but that's alright. The point is even with our school work we should work at it as if for God. 

The second angle was with Barrett memorizing verses. Like Connie, he attempted to take the easy way out and memorize only the shortest verses he could find in order to get the prize of water world. He quickly found out that the prize wasn't the point. Mr. Whitaker was trying to get them to memorize scripture so they would have it as defense against the enemy and as a comfort in the hard times. The Bible isn't just a bunch of words for us to store in our noggins. It's our sword. And it's necessary for us to treat it like one. Let's say you're house sitting for a friend and an armed man comes to the door. You know there's a gun somewhere in the house, but you're friend didn't tell you where. The gun can't protect you since you don't know where to find it. Memorization is oober important for the same reason. It can't help us out if we don't know where to look. And yes it does take work to memorize the verses and their context, but it's worth it. 

Both of these angles stick out in my mind. I'm sometimes guilty of trying to take the easy way out. Hard work is well... hard. But that's the idea. You appreciate something a whole lot more if you actually spend time pouring, sweat, blood and tears into. Ok, maybe not blood but you get the idea. 

Here are some questions to ponder in reflection to this episode;
1. What is God telling me about working hard?
2. Am I working as if for God or for men?
3. Am I armed with the sword of the spirit?
4. Am I constantly working on sharpening my sword by memorizing scripture?

I want to challenge you to use this episode as a spring board for inspiration. Ask God to pinpoint the areas in your life where you need to work harder and put in the extra effort, and remember to work as if for God and not for men. That small change in mindset makes all the difference in the outcome.
Once again this has been Freddy Jay connecting the gap between Odyssey and YOU!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Odyssey Connection: Revamped (Hearing God's Voice)

Hey cyber world and the few possible readers I might have! I know it's been forever, and the main reason is that I've been keeping busy. It's an old excuse but a valid one. Anyway, I'm going to try something different with this blog and hopefully get it going again.

Back when I first started this blog, I did something I called "Odyssey Connections". After a while the connections got fewer and fewer and the news got more frequent. I'm going to try to bring those back in a slightly different way. (You'll understand by the end of this post.)

Your Servant is Listening 1&2- Odyssey Connection

If you take a look at Odyssey's biblical episodes they have covered a lot of the major stories; Moses, Joseph, Esther, Jacob and Esau, Ruth, Paul, Jesus, and more recently the Early Church. Honestly I was surprised when I heard that the story of Hannah and Samuel was gonna be in album 57, only because it came with the realization that they hadn't done it before.

This episode hit me like being double flip kicked in the face. Hannah and Samuel is possibly one of my favorite stories. But just hearing it as a dramatization was phenomenal, plus they added some really deep quotes. (I'll get to those in a minute.) Hannah had it bad. She couldn't have children and then on top of that Peninha constantly reminds her of this fact. The thing I like about Hannah is that she doesn't blame God for not being able to have kids, but continues to pray that God would make it so. She kept her faith strong in the Lord. 
One of the best quotes from this episode is this;

Camilla ParkerGod's never talked to me.
HannahGod is faithful to do what he says he will do. Perhaps the problem is that you haven't been listening. That you have ears, but fail to truly hear.

Mind = BLOWN! Hello? Does this sound familiar. Let's say you're in a classroom and you're "hearing" the teacher but then when he asks you a question you have no idea what the answer is. You heard him but wasn't listening to what he said. This thought is bookended with a quote from Samuel in part 2.

SamuelI've never experienced God talking to me like he did last night, but he has spoken to me before.
Camilla ParkerReally?
SamuelYes, in other ways. Like when Eli reads the words of God out loud from the holy scrolls, or in the things my mother tells me when she visits, or that nudge in my heart reminding me what's right and wrong.
Camilla ParkerI've never thought abut God talking to me that way.
SamuelI guess it takes time to recognize his voice.

O.O If you intentionally seek God's voice you'll hear what he has to say. He can speak through many things, but if you don't really know him you can fail to recognize his voice. It's so easy to miss God's voice due to the distractions we surround ourselves with. But He's still there nonetheless. Another example similar to this, is the story of Elijah going to the mountain. There was a fire, wind, and maybe some things I can't remember, but God wasn't in any of those. Then Elijah heard a quiet whisper and God was in the whisper. Sometimes we just have to be still and separate ourselves from things in order to hear God's whispers.

Here are some discussion questions to ponder in reflection to this episode;

1. How can Hannah serve as an example for my faith?
2. How has God been speaking to me lately?
3. Have I heard him recently? 
4. Am I truly listening?
5. How am I purposefully seeking his voice?

 The whole concept of this episode has really spoken to me. Which in part inspired the revamp of my blog, and Odyssey connections. I hope to continue these with my insights from the new episodes. (Maybe I'll catch up, but I won't count on that.) Feel free to drop your thoughts, on the new episodes or anything I've said. Comments are always welcome

Well that about wraps things up, I'm Freddy Jay with another attempt at connecting the gap between Odyssey and YOU!