Category Archives: Humour

Twin Lightsabers!

After some of my more serious posts recently, I felt I just had to inject a bit of light relief into my blog posts.

The Bible says to “…take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Now, whether that refers to Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, or the Bible (possibly not, as it didn’t exist when Ephesians was written! And I don’t do bibliolatry*) but in any case, having the Scripture memorised is indeed a powerful weapon in spiritual warfare; the enemy doesn’t like to hear an appropriate Scripture quoted at him!** So let’s call the Bible the word of God for now. And it’s the Sword of the Spirit. I like to think of it as my spiritual lightsaber***.

Now, as you may know, I am a huge Star Wars geek. Not just a fan, but a total geek. And in Star Wars lore, there is a lightsaber combat style known as Jar’Kai, which is the method of using two lightsabers together in combat.

Well-known (to Star Wars geeks anyway) practitioners of Jar’Kai are Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano, who wields two lightsabers of different lengths, and (usually) one of them in a forehand grip, one in a backhand grip:

ahsokalightsabers

ahsoka1

…and there’s also Sith apprentice/Nightsister Asajj Ventress:

ventress1

Here’s Ventress using her two lightsabers while fighting against the Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker:

anakinventressduel-kamino

Now, here’s the funny bit. At home, and also when I go to my church’s life group (our housegroup), I take two Bibles.Β In effect, I’m carrying two swords. Or, as I’d prefer to think, my twin lightsabers!Β Here’s the Star Wars equivalent: effectively, I use my Bibles Jar’Kai style. I take my 1978 NIV and my King James Version. I find that sometimes, one version puts a passage in a better, more easily understandable light. An example of the King James carrying a better turn of phrase is in Matthew 18:3 (KJV), as explained in this article. And the other side of the coin is that the Bible I use most is the 1978 NIV, and quite often I use that translation to obtain the modern English meanings of the KJV archaic speech. I find the result to be most illuminating! Each translation has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each Bible covers points the other misses.

Similarly, the Jar’Kai lightsaber style allows the user to cover his/her weakpoints with one saber while attacking with the other, or to get better use out of each saber. Think like the effect of having two lightsabers is greater than the sum of the two sabers.

And, for me, so it is with my Bibles. Some have called me things like ‘Two-Gun Tex’. I’d prefer the Jar’Kai label but nobody knows about it except us geeks πŸ˜‰ Here’s Anakin Skywalker again (played by Haydn Christensen) improvising Jar’Kai against Sith Lord Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus (played by the late legendary actor Christopher Lee) in Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones:

anakin_dual_wielding

There are more parallels, too. Use of the lightsaber relies very heavily on the Force, which is the Star Wars universe’s equivalent of God. Similarly, the Bible has to be used as inspired by the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit brings to life a passage of Scripture, then that is the point at which the Bible becomes the Word of God – living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12). Although as I have said above, Jesus is the Word of God, the Bible when activated by the Spirit is still a powerful weapon. And we don’t need to be ultra-precise about these things anyway; this is supposed to be a light-hearted piece.

kenobi_faces_grievous

The picture above shows Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) facing Separatist General Grievous with his four lightsabers****. Now that’s just cheating. Not even sure that counts as Jar’Kai….

And carrying four Bibles would mean you’d have a really heavy bag.

Anyway, yes, it might sound pretentious and maybe even super-spiritual to carry two Bibles to housegroup – but I really do find it useful and educational to do so.

And I know all this sounds completely nuts. But I find it funny, and maybe that’s just a quirky Aspergic sort of thing. But I thought I’d share it because it might get a few chuckles….something we could all do with now and again!


*Bibliolatry is where people are almost thinking of the Bible as God, and anything said against the Bible is seen as blasphemy. No, really. But of course those guilty of bibliolatry can’t see that they are doing it. Now that’s worth a chuckle or two, or would be if it didn’t cause so much misery!

**Please don’t be under the impression that I take my Bibles to housegroup in order to start Scripture-bombing fights with people. I don’t πŸ˜€

***If you don’t know what a lightsaber is, be advised that it’s a famous weapon from the Star Wars movie franchise. It’s like a laser beam formed into a sword and it can be used for both attack and defence. And it’s deadly in the right hands; deadly in a different way in the wrong hands (you’d end up chopping off bits of yourself and your friends πŸ˜‰ ). Another parallel about the use/misuse of Scripture!

****In Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

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Use the Force!

force doors 4

This is hopelessly true. At least, it is in my case. I always open automatic doors using the Force. Try it and see if you can get it to work too!

force door 3


For those who don’t know, in the Star Wars movies, some characters can ‘use the Force’ to move objects around without touching them – kind of like ‘telekinesis – and this ability can also be used to open doors without touching the handle. I couldn’t find a proper Star Wars YouTube clip to illustrate this, but this is what it would look like:

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The ‘White Christmas’ Game

Bah, humbug! It’s that time of year again!

The time of year where the shops are full of Christmas displays, some of them works of absolute genius, some of them not quite so good. The time of year where we get bombarded with so much commercialism, adverts and just general Christmas tripe; by the time it’s all over, many people are sick of it! πŸ™‚ But still, the kids love it and despite all the trappings of the commercial Christmas, still somehow the magic of it has not quite disappeared, at least not for the young. And it’s always great to remember the greatest Gift of all, the Gift of Jesus. So, bring it on!

When I was about 14 years old, I had got so tired of hearing non-stop Christmas music in the stores that my cynical mind decided to make a game of it all. To me, at the time, the song that epitomised the whole Christmas selling-things-at-you environment was the song ‘White Christmas’, which was first performed by the legendary Bing Crosby on Christmas Day, 1941.

So I decided to make a game of it.

I decided to see how close I could get to Christmas Day without hearing the song ‘White Christmas’ in a commercial environment. For me, that would mean hearing it in pubs, shops, malls, Christmas fayres or on TV/radio adverts of any kind. Basically, anywhere where the song was being played in order to try and make people feel ‘Christmassy’ and therefore buy more stuff. Maybe it’s because I am a tight-assed Yorkshireman who keeps a solid fist wrapped around his dosh; I don’t know. And my family play it too.

But that’s the game: how close can you get to Christmas Day without hearing White Christmas?

Last year for me it was a paltry 2nd December; I was well gutted. I think the closest I have ever come to ‘winning’ was 23rd December, and that was in 1994. Bah, humbug, indeed!

You can make up your own rules as to what counts as a proper ‘hearing’ of the song. For example, what arrangement counts as having ‘heard’ the song? Does it have to be the Bing Crosby version, or would it still count if you heard the Michael Bolton version? What about if you just decide you want to listen to it on your iPod? What if someone learns that you are playing the game and just hums it at you ‘for a laugh’? And what about the starting time for the game; what if you hear in in mid-July?

For me, I count any hearing of any version, in a commercial environment (including TV/radio ads), after 5th November – what we in the UK call ‘Bonfire Night’. For me, that’s the point at which I personally consider it fair game for the shops to put up their Christmas stuff (rather than late August as some idiots do) – so that’s when my White Christmas game begins!

Of course, it will probably be impossible for someone working in a pub or shop to play this game. All Christmas CDs have this song on them in one iteration or other. Sorry about that!

Don’t get me wrong, the song – in the original Bing arrangement – is absolutely gorgeous, full of incredible chord sequences and lovely dynamics. I love it to bits. I also understand that this year they are re-publishing the original Bing version to try to get it to the Christmas Number One slot.

But still the game is just a bit of fun; in my family, we always confess to each other when/if we hear the song, and cheer on those who haven’t heard it yet. It’s interesting in that for me, I find it quite funny to see my reaction each time I hear the song for the first time each Christmas season. You know, when it’s ‘Game Over’. Sometimes I just grin wryly, sometimes I think, ‘Oh if only that queue had moved just a little quicker!’ But whatever, my first thought is usually like ‘Ah well, that’s it for another year! Never mind….’

So then, are you in? Get to it! Good luck!

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Theology, the Oyster and the Ballerina

When people like me read and write about theology, we need to bear in mind that a lot of the time, we don’t really have a clue what we are talking about.

Sure, I have a relationship with Jesus and because of this I am aware of the Presence of God in my life. But the immensity, the infinity, the immeasurable, unknowable complexity and grandeur (I can’t find the words!) of Father God in His awesome Majesty; even eternity will not be long enough to plumb the depths of His greatness – so how much more so, while we are still human, mortal and limited in understanding and perception, how much more so will we be unable to comprehend God?

Jesus makes God more understandable, more approachable, as He Himself is God and shows us what the Father is like. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”, Jesus said in John 14:9. But even so, and much as I am in full appreciation of Jesus’s work in His life, death, resurrection, ascension and His continued presence with us by His Spirit, still we really don’t understand everything. We don’t really even scratch the surface!

Here, then, via well-known Christian writer Jeremy Myers of ‘Redeeming God’, is a parable about a rock, an oyster and a ballerina. Funny, entertaining, and hopefully helping us to laugh at ourselves and our limited concepts and perceptions, I wholeheartedly recommend my readers to give it a go. It’s quite long, but it’s worth it.

Click the image below to go to the article:

Redeeming God logo

 

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How do aeroplanes fly?

flight_dynamics


A word of explanation: the ‘FAA’ is the Federal Aviation Authority, the national regulatory body for aviation in the USA; here in the UK we have the CAA – Civil Aviation Authority. These national regulatory bodies are often seen by many pilots and aviation enthusiasts as barriers to the free enjoyment of the skies. They do a lot of good, though – modern aviation wouldn’t work without them – but they are also largely bureaucratic in their mindset. Here in the UK, some pilots even refer to the CAA as the ‘Committee Against Aviation’.

The diagram is a spoof of the ‘Four Forces of Flight’ diagram that normally illustrates the four main forces acting on an aeroplane in flight:

four_forces

But of course everyone knows that what really holds those huge airliners up in the sky is all the passengers clinging on tight to the armrests. Without those forces, the plane would just drop out of the sky….. πŸ˜‰

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