Monday, June 19, 2006

Develop A Brave Heart Or You Will Break Hearts

It's been said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus; women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles.

My wife & I have been married almost 14 years, but she still doesn’t quite understand the ‘male’ thing. She is the oldest of three, followed by another very responsible girl, her sister. She was using flashcards to instruct her younger sister when she was 5, & little sis only 3! Both of the girls set records for achievement at various schools along the way, racking up valedictorian awards like Wayne Gretzky accumulated MVP’s trophies. Then along came the first and only boy in her family, her younger brother. He couldn’t be here today, but he’s a cool guy.

Compared to the girls, everyone in the family must have thought he came from Mars. Jamming the bathroom door open & stuffing a toilet roll down the toilet; luring the babysitter outside & then sneaking in locking her out; shaking a can of pop & opening it in the kitchen to see what would happen (the stain is still visible on my mother & father-in-laws ceiling all these years later).

Guys are different than girls. Last month on Mother’s Day we looked at the expression of God’s image in women and church through the lens of motherhood. Today we look at the warrior side of God in the way He’s created men.

James was invited to the birthday party of the younger brother of his good friend. Rachel wanted to pick James up form the party so she could see what it looked like-after all, there were no girls allowed. Why was this party so interesting to Rachel? Because it was a knight party: they had swords, rode dragons, built shields and masks. An all around good guy time. The interest in girls comes later. Just like it all started out in the Bible.

Way back in Genesis 3 we see God creating man, placing him in the world, the garden, and giving him dominion over it all. He gets a helper, Eve, to share it with. Essentially God is giving Adam a most amazing, a most unending adventure to live. And he gets to share it with a beauty-Eve.

God has passed that very same mantle on to men throughout history-the desire to live an adventure & to rescue a beauty.

Those passions were put there by God.

And God wants us to embrace these passions, to connect with them, to develop a Brave Heart so that we should not be breaking hearts, be it our own or of those around us.

Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents, has God giving three servants some money to use to create more wealth. The money is synonymous with the gifts and talents he gives us & his desire that we use them to the fullest. One servant, believing that he can’t trust his master, buries his talents, gives them back, but is harshly treated. He wasn’t expected to replicate what those had done with more talents; no, he was only to have used the talents given to him wisely. He spurned the adventure in fear of his master. How many of us are spurning the adventure of our life because of a similar fear of God.

Today we look at the movie Brave Heart & will ask God to help all of us develop a Brave heart so that we won’t break hearts.

The movie follows the story of William Wallace and the search for Scottish independence from English rule in the 13-14 century. Indeed in our very midst we have one of Scotland’s own- Bob Stenhouse!

Early on, William Wallace is drawn to his boyhood flame, Murron, and seeks to win her heart that they may settle and raise a family in peace.

Chapter 4 28:45- 30:07

Murron is murdered by the harsh English overloads & Wallace takes the battle to them. In this next seen, the future queen of England is discussing the passion & love Wallace had for his now dead wife. Watch & see how it moves her.

Chapter 8 1:06:17- 1:07.21

With the death of his wife, Wallace is thrust into the adventure chosen by God for him: the battle for Scottish freedom. We all have an adventure that we’ve been thrust into. Discovering it and embracing it become the work of a man, & indeed a woman for that matter!

An important lesson to learn is that our adventure is God’s adventure. We don’t make our own up and ask god to sanction it; we look to where God has placed us with the talents given to us and are asked to make the best of it we can, knowing that God will never leave us or forsake us.

I have a good hunch very few of us present here today are being asked to pick up a real sword to fight, but that doesn’t mean the adventure isn’t there. We may just have to look a little closer to find it.

Our adventure is God’s adventure.

Well William Wallace seizes upon his divine moment and oh how it has power to inspire us. Let’s watch him rally others to join in the battle for freedom & independence, and tell me it doesn’t stir your soul to do the same in your own life. The Scots are outnumbered 3-1 & are beginning to flee, in fear of their own lives, when Wallace shows up.

Chapter 10 1:15.01- 1:18.50

“You may die, but not all men truly live”.

Chapter 12 1:34:40- 1:37.02

Do you want to spend your own life squabbling for scraps, or for working, fighting, living the adventure to spread God’s freedom for us wherever you want to go?

Application to our own life? Risk It!

In this next scene, the nobles want Wallace to meet them to forge an alliance against the king. It is a risky move because it could be trap. The nobles have betrayed him before. Here Wallace explains why when you’re living the adventure, there is a built in risk factor. It’s not an adventure if there isn’t any risk involved.

There is hurt in the world, there is hurt in our lives. Many of us have many scars and wounds from attempts to rescue our beauty. Many of the beauties of this world carry deep emotional pain from failed rescues-failed relationships.

For some of you this is a painful season to be living-alone, or alone again. God says to you, “Do not lose heart. See this as a time of developing a brave heart.”

Some of you are struggling with living the adventure. It may not seem like a story line you would have chosen-long on responsibilities and short on romance or excitement. I spoke with someone last week who was realizing that the adventure, having a dream is another way to put it, had been dashed & it was hard to even think along those lines.

This is a continual battle: to be faithful whatever may come. Life’s hurts and wounds, the betrayal of others; the attacks of the enemy of our soul can put us in the story of the talents, where we’re tempted to just bury them like the last steward & to wait for the end.

Perhaps you find yourself in a season of confinement because of illness or aging-you’re not the warrior you once were. There still is an adventure for you. It is more likely the leaving of a legacy & what you do for others. Even that is scary, though.

Feel the fear and do it anyways. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but it is doing what you are afraid to do.

1 John 4:18
Perfect love casts out all fear.

What are you afraid of today?

Chapter 17 2:25-15- 2:26:30

The life of William Wallace is taken after he is betrayed to the king of England. But through the power of death, a life surrendered to god’s purposes, new life comes. Watch what the future king of Scotland, Robert the Bruce does with the inspiration from his now dead friend.

Chapter 21 2:47:30- 2:50:25

It’s never too late to get into the adventure of your life. No mistake you’ve made is too big to disqualify you. We all make mistakes; we have made them & we will continue to make them. But we can learn from them. We can even learn from the mistakes of others!

What will you plug into? Plug into God’s grace and get into the adventure today!

God is in the business of raising the dead! He's a pro at resurrections.


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