GOD’S MESSAGE IN DISABILITY: THEOLOGY OF DISABILITY

WHAT THE CONCEPT OF MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE CORELATION OF DISABILITY WITH INABILITY

“Foggy: You’re blind, right?
Matt: Uh, yeah, so they tell me. I hope that won’t be a problem.”

-Daredevil Series (2015-to present)

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I had a very interesting discussion the other day with a friend who was curious about connecting comic books with the Bible. Where he is most concerned-and I understand him-is how is it possible to connect the two yet they do not have a common message? I do understand if some of you reading my blogs right now are equally disturbed by this. What I will say is that in the process of my walk with the Lord, I came to learn that the ‘secular’ realm does not give answers but it does raise concerns. The problem comes in when the church does not provide answers in and through the available media to these concerns/problems raised. As I pointed out in one of my posts, ‘these issues are progressively getting no sufficient answers from the church and are progressively becoming narrowed.’

Where the trouble comes in is the presence of a focus on materialism as well as a heavy reliance on them as the consolation for dealing with lack, pain, heartache as well the reality of one’s situation. Some of you might dispute this but study music over the last 40 years and you’ll observe what nearly every non-believer is taking notice of…that music ‘is not as good as it used to be’. This ‘good’ is linked to the positive values that were passed along through music rather than sidelining certain people groups in order to propagate one’s own fame–something comics like Marvel and DC sought to address in their own way. Now, comes in this post’s focus, on Daredevil and the concept of disability. Can a blind lawyer really exist?

Although Stan Lee, creator of Daredevil was having a ball creating characters in the 60s, it is said that he needed a character who’d stand out–but having an inability. The idea struck that he should have a character that would embody the idea of justice. That’s when the idea of a blind lawyer was born. As Stan himself said, “he’s blind and Lady Justice is blind so it kinda speaks for itself, doesn’t it?”. Now, Stan made things a little more interesting when he purposefully made Matt Murdock Christian and Catholic. Isn’t that a peculiar spin on ‘walking by faith not by sight’? I thought…

But come to think of it, the idea was brilliant. Matt is as much dependent on his new abilities to fight crime as he is on his faith to battle hatred, vengeance and the vices that tempt the heart. He is as much a hero possessing physical prowess as he is a saint trying to embody the core of his faith, justice. This aspect helps Matt stand out as a character of peace and hope [an emphasis that Marvel is no stranger to when it comes to presenting its characters as tragic heroes of some sort].

The question still remains: Why give Matt a faith/religious-inclination if such a dimension to a character does not impact the character’s overall person? That’s what art/concepts do though. Artists often reflect themselves in their artwork  in one way or another and also to one degree or another. This they often do by infusing into their characters certain aspects of their very own physical features, personality traits and or religious/philosophical/political inclination. Some good examples are J. Jonah Jameson and Stan Lee’s impatience and anger; Allan Moore and the DKIII Batman and most popularly Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster.

But but buuuut, Stan Lee’s Jewish. Now, here is where I find this all the more interesting, but he has some inclination to the religious as he himself has seen the religious facet of society play out to some degree as a positive force. Biblically though, it was common thought to see a diseased person and conclude correctly that they were suffering because of an ancestor’s sin; where a parent or grandparent. Take for instance the man born blind (odd story to use as an example ey, for all y’all Bible geeks out there?). The man was blind because, according to Jesus, “So that the glory of God might be made manifest in him”.

Now, both perspectives–Stan’s and Jesus’ view are superficially similar but they make a point. The fact that both their subjects have disabilities is not in any way suggestive or mildly hinting at, inability. This thinking is what is seen humanly communicated by Stan Lee by transforming Matt Murdock into what is humanly possible…as a hero. For Jesus however, the blind man is restored and his status changed as God’s glory was manifested in his restoration. We might not see it yet but the thrust of this understanding is seen all the more clearly in the hymn…’Give Thanks’

“Give thanks with a grateful heart,

Give thanks, to the Holy One…

And now let the poor say I am rich,

Let the weak say ‘I am strong’,

Let blind say ‘I can see'”

Whereas some are healed and some are restored to see the world through very different means, the point remains that in Jesus the person we are created to be is realized. And whereas we are no heroes, we are made into something more. We are enabled in our spirits to declare to the world what we experience within that “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

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UNDERSTANDING FEMINISM THROUGH THE LENS OF GENESIS

A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE OF THE PHENOMENON

“It’s kinda funny you know, we have this idea that women are lesser than us guys but the jokes really on us cause, [together] with all fellow women in Christ, we are His bride”

-Unknown

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Feminism. It has resurfaced over these last two centuries and it’s still going strong. Not only is it a hotly debated topic but it’s discussion has raised questions regarding the roles of the genders in society. As difficult as it might be to tackle the issue as it has often left many torn apart as previously, culturally-influenced notions of the roles of men and women contribute towards having heated arguments. Often times, some believers in Christ use the Bible as their defence. With revolutions and the equality of the sexes being a pivotal claim that has led to egalitarianism and equal rights in both the Western World and the Developing Countries, let’s delve into this matter a little more…

Genesis, the very first book of the Bible is the primary guide to understanding any and all statements made about man and woman. Any texts read and interpreted without knowledge of-and understanding of-Genesis leads to conclusions born out of eisegesis (which is a theological term used to describe the act of reading one’s own ideas into the biblical text). This, of course is not what we are setting out to do here because we would like to see if the Bible’s world itself supports a feminist inclination.

We do see that God in Genesis ‘creates male and female; in the image of God he created he them’. Both, from the first chapter are established as having been created in God’s image. An interesting bit of information on this is that biblically, God is neither male nor female, and he is not both (ref. to previous post on ‘Transgendering God’). God is neither gender and neither is he all. God gave both masculinity and femininity to mankind to better have a grasp of what he is like [note keyword: like]. God is as much initiator (which in Hebrew is associated with the masculine world) as he is sustainer (which is associated with the feminine world). This phenomenon explains why in God’s new world, people neither ‘give in marriage nor are given in marriage but are like the angels’: There is no need for sex/procreation since we are, after ‘the Wedding Supper of the Lamb’ given in marriage to the Lord since we are dwelling in him. Instead, we spend time delighting in his presence and worshiping him for the primary indicators of the former order is gone; time, age, sin and death (just to name a few).

The process of God’s pulling out the woman from Adam is quite another tale. Contrary to common, popular belief, there was no rib. God pulled the woman from Adam’s side and ‘built’ her ‘corresponding/equal to him’. And it gets stranger still, Adam is said to have been ‘formed’ as one would with a mud figurine: A feature very reminiscent of the process of Israel’s creating brick and mortar for building the structures in Egypt for Rameses II. And if we take Moses to be the writer of Genesis, this makes much more sense.

What’s intriguing about the creation narratives in Genesis is how they allude to several things that Israel was familiar with at that time. For, on one hand, the creation days with the culmination of the creation of Man and Woman on the 6th is a temple narrative: in this story, God creates a special place on earth named Eden and places his image and likeness in it in a manner similar to what a temple builder in Egypt and the Ancient Near East would do. It was common, upon completion of the temple for the deity for the chief builder to place a ‘holy place’ inside the temple where the images and likeness of the gods were put. A matter that is in fact very reminiscent of God’s order to Israel never to make any graven image or likeness in the famous Commandments.

Now, it is important to note that the writer of Genesis is giving this story to us in a very multi-layered way. For, if we take his intention for writing it as he did under God’s guidance we get to see that the Man and the Woman were created to function as God’s image and likeness on earth…and thus God declared earth to be man’s realm and the heavens’ his; but governing and ruling earth through his word, and mankind. Both man and woman were created to work together in this order with none really greater than the other. What makes things interesting is the rabbinic debate from the early 100s AD about why the woman had to come: This is the angle that makes the discussion all the more interesting.

Some rabbis suggested the earlier ‘drifting away’ of Adam from God as seen in God finding Adam doing umm…well, not so good…he makes the woman intentionally equal and corresponding to him but different. I would like to suggest that the early audience of the book of Genesis were not exactly surprised because they had seen for themselves in Egypt the authority of a couple who were treated as gods; the pharaoh and his queen. Not only did Pharaoh rule with his wife but his wife as well as women throughout Egypt enjoyed equal rights as their spouses. They could own land, inherit property and the list goes on…

The woman therefore was significant and following carefully, the woman was going to become the secondary source of Adam’s redemption; through the ‘through her seed’ clause in God’s redemption plan. This is seen when Christ’s conception takes place, Mary, not Joseph is the recipient of the exciting news. For just as Adam realized after the Fall he was dead (according to the word given to him) Adam, at this point named his wife Eve–whose name is ‘living/being/mother of all living’. Adam, we later on see was chased out, not Eve after a close examination of the biblical text [Adam, not Eve is to blame for the Fall as the New Testament would remind us; ‘Through one man, sin came into the world’] is to blame. Whereas their roles were now distorted, God still told Eve that she would still desire her husband but that he would rule over her. Eve’s value remained and her status demanded that she care for her husband and help him as he struggled with his new state of struggle.

But the irony is fully set in when God makes it known that he is the Groom to Israel [Romans 9-11] and that the Bride is his “called out ones”; the ekklesia–a word erroneously translated as ‘church’ when it is in reality a synonym for Israel [ref to posts on Jesus as Son]. The people believing in the ‘seed of the woman’ are the bride. The field is leveled as men become as much dependent on God as a woman is on God. As Paul would point out, and according to the Encyclopedia of the Apostles…Adam is the head of the woman as God is the head of Christ refers to the radiating glory of the objects i.e. man to woman and God to Christ. The example the encyclopedia provides is found in Revelation 1 Christ’s appearance to John.

This was a hard one to tackle but these are my thoughts in a condensed form on the matter. In my conclusive opinion though, the field has been levelled as evidenced in God’s distribution of spiritual gifts. This as well as ‘there is no male no female’ clause contribute to this discussion. Although debated, God has given us guidelines on why the genders exist and their purpose. How this is to be done is to be agreed among couples and other social categories but there is beauty to the genders working together in harmony and doing a good job not just for the sake of having gender equality as seen in Proverbs 31. This kind of agreement yields ‘mutual submission one to another as the Law of Christ instructs you’ that Paul speaks of…notice its lack of bias to either gender. In today’s world, we know this phenomenon as chauvinism…

Blessings

WHEN YOU TOOK THE PLACE OF MY TEARS, FATHER

WHEN WE HE TRULY IS, THE REALEST WE’LL EVER KNOW

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[Sevin]
Can I let my heart cry out?
Won’t let this flame die out

[Verse 1: Sevin]
Yeah
They really ain’t got no choice
I’m gonna make ‘em feel my heart the way that I empty mine
But an empty heart just leaves an empty mind, so send a sign
Coulda sparked, but the hood has darkened my attempts to shine
I bear the world with an injured spine, my strength declined
Yeah
Cause I need less of me and more of You
You are infinite, You’re the interest of my mortal view
You’re in control, and You implement my morals too
And You command that I recognize the only Lord is You
True
But is that too much to ask for being God Supreme
Two choices, casket full of cash, or a Sovereign King?
We are such prideful beings, we hit the stage, the crowd’ll scream
But they won’t cheer for the One that engineered everything their eyes have seen?
Dang
How we get so far from light?
You’re the face of truth, so they refute the martyred Christ?
I have realized that in Him is where real lies
If God so loved the world, no wonder Jesus cried

[Hook]
Yeah, You’re the realest one that I know
Feel free to take my life, Lord, I just feel it’s something I owe
Yeah, You’re the only one that I serve
And I swear I’ll preach Your Word until they throw me under my curve
Yeah, you’re the realest One that I know
Feel free to take my life, Lord, I just feel it’s something I owe
Yeah, you’re the only one that I serve
And I swear I’ll preach Your Word until they throw me under my curve

[Verse 2: Sevin]
Never did it for the fetty, nah, never did it for the fame
Never forsaken the fellowship with a brother and nothin realer than when we comin together in his name
Kill it
If it ain’t real, I don’t feel it – Novocaine
They say that my name shoulda been sport, and I musta been born on the court in gym shorts because i got so much game
But you know the name
Yeshua, the Blessed Christ
Line of Judah, Sovereign Ruler, nigga Hallelujah, he the Breath of Life!
The S-O-N of Man, came and He died for the remission of sins
So Mary don’t cry, Mary don’t cry
In the twinkle of an eye we gonna be risen again
So keep your eyes just peeled to the sky, no fear
If we die we gon meet up in the end
Submerged in that living water, I be swimming harder than a cheetah with a fin (ah ah ah)
Yo, God gave me the keys to the door
Boy, when I testifying in the west I slide like skis in the snow

[Hook]

[Verse 3: Eric C. Tha Tempa Tantrum]
And at my worst I’m gonna praise Jehovah
Looking up at the face of vultures
They be perched on the cross that I drag cause it breaks my shoulder blades
The pain brings me closer to you
Every time I take a hold of You, Father, You take me over
They wanna kill me cause I tell ‘em You really make it rain
We live in similar days to Noah
But, now I be kicking it with my Father somewhere over the rainbow whenever You say it’s over
You think You’re feelin me, shoulda got rid of me, but Lord You’re getting me feeling You are The Way deep in the pit of me and now I’m in love with Your Holy Spirit that You let live in me
You waiting for the day when You finally appear to me
I’m in the front row waiting for the curtain to open
And when the bands all playing tell em “send up the horn section” cause I’m ready for that trumpet to blow!
And when You stand on stage for the second time I’ma go crazy
Wanna give it your stance fo sho
He let the body open up for the Father to get the crowd hyped
And now He ready to headline the show
Somebody let ‘em know the Champ is here
The devil prolly be reliving him on the cross when Christ return
Jump in the box at the top of the rope
1,2,3, pin, death defeated, it was a massacre
Yeah
And He’s still the Champion of the World, baby (He’s the greatest One that I know)
Can’t nobody compare too, and illuminati gonna be bowed down to His throne
Yeah
You the only One that I fear, and I thank you for the blood, that be dripping off of the cross, cause He took the place of my tears

JESUS’ FATHER’S DAY SPEECH

HOW JESUS’ WORDS CHALLENGE AND INSPIRE FATHERHOOD TODAY

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the Gardener…any branch in me that does not bear fruit, he prunes”

-Jesus

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This is one for the season. I didn’t realize it until now but this particular text from John 15 packs a punch. While reflecting and meditating, I came to realize that there are plenty of chapters and verses that speak about Jesus’ relationship with God as his Father. All these verses are great, but Father’s day is unique and though it is no excuse for a celebration, it does emphasize something deeply rooted in the hearts of fathers all over the world. This thing is the greatest question plaguing children world over. Where are the fathers; who is he that I might connect with them? That’s right, relationship and connection is the missing factor among many youth today and they need answers.

I hear my friends’ hurt reverberate and echo in each word they speak and feel the pain buried in their hurts well up to the point that they literally feel like they are choking on their emotions. Seeing young women my age struggle to raise a child is no joke, especially when they knew that they got that child because of the love they felt their man have for them. It is no small matter when a child grows up never knowing his father. This actually is a a major issue. For where a boy would want to learn about life and how to win a woman’s heart and be the kind of man that she’ll need him to be, his father is not present to help.

As some of you reading this might know, I am a huge fan of comic books and I sometimes speak from my theological background as a graduate student on issues through them. I hope you realize by now that comics in some fantastic way, communicate something true about society. Take for instance, Peter Parker who is well known for being one of the world’s most loved and characters. Fans love the character not for any other reason than the sheer fact that they can relate to him. Think about it, in his earlier prints, it was revealed that a certain gentleman used to have his way with the young Peter and Peter could not share this information with his aunt for fear that the man might harm him; a bold move by Marvel and one of the reasons I love the company so much. At a time when many did not address these issues directly, they dared to do so through the pages of comic books.

Something else that I hope is not missed is Peter’s reaction to the loss of the only father figure he ever knew; he made an oath. He swore to embody that which had been passed on to him by his beloved Uncle Ben, that ‘with great power must also come great responsibility’. Peter changed entirely and sought to prevent the loss of innocent lives at the hands of crazed lunatics who sought to do harm to others. The point? A father figure is still a deeply influential figure to a child. And out of the loss of such a one, a fictional Peter Parker became a superhero!

Are we then to wear tights and fight crime? Are we to take on a new monicker to dazzle and impress the citizens of the world? The answer is a resounding, no. We are to call the fathers back. For those of you who have lost your father and someone else has taken over his stead, try your best to learn from him. Hard as it might be, they are there for a reason. There are lessons to be learnt that only they can give. We might not necessarily like them, but they deserve their honor. They are fathers.

As Jesus makes it clear, that his unique connection to the Father validated his authority and those who believe in him are connected to him. Although Jesus and the Father are not related in the same way we understand kinship, it is nonetheless beautiful and a mystery. As king, he makes those who trust in him, fellow sons and heirs of his and his Father’s kingdom. Most especially and most beautifully is the connection they have. Because of this connection, Jesus is able to say,

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other”

He has declared productivity to those who remain connected to him. For some of you seeking a productive connection. For truly this post is for the fathers/father-figures and their sons; do not let this moment pass and reconnect. You will make an impact on this world and the world itself cannot wait to see you bloom into who you are supposed to be.

For those of you who do not have a father, it is hard, I know but right now, God’s here and he loves you. If you give him this chance he will not, as I have experienced for myself, fail you. You are completely safe in his loving embrace. Yes, we do not know why we’ve had to endure, pain, hurt and suffering for so long because of this issue but take his word, he knows what you are going through. He understands pain. And isn’t that the point of having a parent? Do they not teach you from what they’ve actually experienced and endured in life?

This is his promise to those of you trusting in him right now, I will cause you to bear much fruit if you abide in me. That means, in the face of opposition; I trust, in the face of fear; I trust, in the face of doubt; I trust, when the chips are down; I trust. I do not believe in chances and that’s probably why I’m going as hard in this post as I am right now. There is hope for you. If you’ve read this post to this point, I believe that it’s for a reason.

For those of you seeking a hand and support in the form of prayer or encouragement, my contacts are as below. Feel free to introduce yourself and talk, I find it hard, especially for men to live without strength and that incredible re-assurance that they can still be the man they need to be in the face of all odds. Also, for the young women who desire to be more and need an exemplary example of manhood that they can look up to in a world that is robbing women of their worth and reducing their worth to mere eye-candy.

Catch me on;

email: brian.opati@gmail.com.

cell: +254-728-670657

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The Lord is with you and the Father to the fatherless…

Be blessed!

HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE?: THE GRAVE OF A BURIED GOD

WHAT WE CAN TAKE AWAY FROM THIS HIT SONG BY CALVIN HARRIS AND DISCIPLES
“Open up my eyes and
Tell me who I am
Let me in on all your secrets
No inhibition, no sin”

-Ina Wroldsen

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I have to say, this post is for all of those out there looking for love; those who are yearning for it, like I am. This is for those who are sorta tired and worn out with shallow ‘love’ in relationships; for those of you asking one nagging question to that guy/girl that’s been on your mind and are uncertain that they are keeping real with you. This is for those fed up with cat calls, and having their hearts strung out like puppets; this is for those interested in more than empty words begging, hurting and eager asking one question…”How deep is your love?”

When I first listened to Calvin Harris’ song, I didn’t know what to make of it. I liked the feel of the song, it really felt like it resonated with something in my life. Before I knew it, I found myself humming to its tune, watching the music video on YouTube and memorizing it’s lyrics. All this happened when the song first came out. All those of you who can relate with me on this will agree, the song is catchy and let’s face it, there are some songs out there that really do speak to us. This particular one is just one of those songs I guess…

I am still young and as you know being in your early 20s can be a struggle, a lot about the world just dazzles us and we are like “OMG! I never wana grow any older!”. [Ahem, raise your hands up in the crowd if you can feel me there, you, young man I see you; and you, m’lady, I hear you]. These are the experiences that make us the kind of adult that we’ll become later. Apart from all the eye-candy and momentary happiness that the sights and sounds that we immerse ourselves into, there’s more we get exposed to…

“Umm, hey there. I couldn’t help but notice but I saw you from over the counter and thought I’d come closer and have a close encounter…[’cause, let’s face it again, love is alien]”. He comes closer and your eyes fix onto his. You don’t know what to do, you try and play it cool but soon realize that because he was so hot, you had quickly given up your cellphone number and [sometimes] more. The relationship with him seems to feel like something new, as though the stars above have just made their home in your belly. “Wait a minute” you say, “I am not feeling too good actually”. Before you knew it, you found yourself pregnant and he isn’t replying to your texts nor is he answering your calls. You panic. You realize that it wasn’t love, it was something else…

The question of the level of commitment in relationships is probably and arguably as old as time itself. It’s the fundamental flaw of human comprehension and understanding of the universe. A quick journey back to our ancestors, from Egypt to Greece to Rome and several civilizations prior, we see that the core of our cosmology [understanding of our universe] is deeply rooted in the relationship that exists among the gods above. Many gods were very human in their relationships, in fact there really should be a Tela Novella show casting what these (often scandalous) relationships were like. For, in my view, we knew then, as we know now, we can’t live alone. We need love and relationships.

In fact, it’s so essential to our nature that some forms of punishment across the globe actually involve isolation. The results of these punishments are heartbreaking, for whereas beating and other forms of punishment can heal over time, punishments involving isolation are shown to rob a person of part of their personality as they gnaw at their humanity. These people remain scarred for life. Mentally and emotionally, these people, once released back to society return with a social limp. Some cases have seen these individuals commit suicide; a phenomenon deeply, and closely related to the same scenario of a broken man or woman.

As painful as the reality of these occurrences are, they are relatable. As a believer in Christ, I find myself challenged by this very thing. I acknowledge my shortcomings and realize that no matter how holy I feel, I am human and still drawn to committing the same mistakes and sins that I have just alluded to in this post today. But I rejoice in one thing, God has answered this question. When I expected to hear an answer that would satisfy me from others, he gave me his answer, he turned to me. He embraced me. He told me, “Look, look at my grave…how deeper can love be?”

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“no greater love has a man than to lay his life down…”

-Jesus in his final days

MARVEL’S GHOST RIDER: THE CONCEPT OF BRIDGING TWO WORLDS

WHY MARVEL’S GHOST RIDER IS WORTH LOOKING INTO

“This is what I look like when I’m smiling”

-Johnny Blaze

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With rumors beginning to flood the internet and fan-boys (such as myself) and fan-girls going with the buzz of the small screen flow, I felt that it is about time that we discussed this peculiar character; Ghost Rider. I have to point out here that the character has been rumored to appear soon on Netflix with a new actor as the vexed Johnny Blaze. Although this is some big news, I feel that there are still some fans who’ll greatly miss Nicholas’ Cage’s portrayals of the character.

To start this off I feel that I should be clear here and point out that although some of you out there might rate McFarlane’s Spawn higher than Ghost Rider, I want to assure you now that there is more to consider here when it comes to the latter. You see, unlike Ghost Rider, Spawn is limited to the spiritual aspect and does not fully, ‘walk both worlds’ as Ghost Rider does. Again, Spawn is a single individual who does not quite draw on any other being’s power other than his own in order to do what he does. Last but not least, I’d love to point out that Ghost Rider’s ties to Zarathos are quite unique and raise the Rider’s threat-level higher than that of Spawn when it comes to raw might and power. [Don’t get me wrong here, but Spawn IS an amazing character with incredible power, though he is no match for Ghost Rider as you’ll soon see].

Ghost Rider’s link to the mystical is through the ancient demon, Zarathos. Zarathos was Mephisto’s challenger when it came to seeking rulership over hell. What’s interesting about this is that he was almost as old and as powerful as Mephisto, and had already amassed for himself a large number of followers in his bid to take over Mephisto’s throne. By the time he was discovered and trapped in a crystal by Mephisto, he had waxed powerful. This way hell’s threatening divide was stopped up and mended.

Later on, Mephisto uses this very crystal to create the Ghost Rider. A process he undertakes by merging the crystal to the ‘soon-to-be’ Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze. What makes this particular Ghost Rider special to me is the fact that he did not make his pact with Mephisto out of selfishness, but rather out of selflessness. In his pursuit to save his dad, Johnny does the unthinkable and makes a deal with Mephisto who had since pursued and tracked him down for his own personal reasons. Conveniently for Mephisto, Johnny was in a desperate state and he used this to his own advantage and made the desperate Johnny into the Ghost Rider, while simultaneously denying him the one thing he wanted; the health and life of his father.

Tragic though, this may be, it speaks volumes about how we become what we least expect because of devastating circumstances that come our way. As though led by misfortune, Johnny’s loss became his greatest consolation for justice as he took on the mantle of the Ghost Rider! Now, tasked with the job returning wandering escaped souls [back] to hell, Johnny takes on the eery, mysterious and mystical persona of the dark angel, Zarathos.

Endowed with incredible power, the Ghost Rider is born. Zarathos’ power is freely given to Johnny to bring in the escaped spirits to their rightful place but [then again] here’s the twist; Zarathos lends all of his power to Johnny because through him, he gets to do that which he has painfully longed to do…he gets to bring justice to himself by getting revenge on the one being that put him in his present situation, Mephisto. This great power is alluded to in the World War Hulk Series when Ghost Rider intentionally avoids fighting the Hilk because of fears that the collateral damage would be severe. Basically, he knew that his might, combined with that of an enraged Hulk would cause death and that was not his mission when confronting him.

Why I bring this up is because of a little known fact; the Rider fights against Mephisto, rather than for him. In this way he is a very remarkable character. Intimidating though the Rider might be, he does not shy away from being what the Rider’s innate nature is-a fusion of two beings to create one new one-the Spirit of Vengeance. Allow me to make my point here; it is at this point that the Rider truly walks both worlds. He is as much a son of sorrow as a human being, as well as the expression of a disgraced spirit. He is capable of understanding as well as navigating his way mentally and physically in the astral and the physical plane.

As a Christian, I find this tremendously helpful in concretizing my understanding of what the Christian is. He is very much a being walking in two worlds; that of the spirit and the material. Not only is he called to do so, he is to embody the divine spirit that lives in him; that is, Jesus Christ himself. As the Scriptures would say, “as he lived, so also ought we to live…[and] as he is so also shall we be.” This has profound implications, especially when we consider that we become ‘Sons of God’ (see my previous posts on the concept of ‘son of god’ as applied to Christ). We are also said to be be transformed…but I’ll go more into that in a separate post soon.

Please remind me!

Remember, to keep riding and keep searching :-)!

GREATEST FEAR: FATHER FORGIVE ME LYRICS

SONG WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY SEVIN OF HOGMOB MINISTRIES

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Uh huh

Sometimes I wonder,

What more do I gotta do,

I’ve been pouring my heart out for years,

You know?

This is my greatest fear,

Yeah, yeah

Some say I’m sick, coz of what my dreams depict in the midst of death,

I hear the screams from hollow tips on the pistol’s breath,

banana clips in the triple vest, brethren no lovin’ in the ghetto,

it’s governed by zips and the crystal meth,

niggaz will put one in your brain just to get respect an’

please believe that when you slain is when you gettin’ left

I’ve seen raindrops drippin’ from dead carcasses,

and stray shots spittin’ ain’ trippin’ off who the target is,

we ain’ grew up like the partridges,

I watched my partners sniff lines of coke off the shine of nine cartridges,

the only good days are the ones that liquor’s out there,

I take a sip for my niggaz and pray that they get through the Gates,

I became popular from them weak niggaz poppin’ at me,

they think that I was choppin’ a key,

but no, I’m just humpin’ CDs,

I watched Dre get a deal then I feel,

“Nigga I’m just as nice”,

I pray I get a meal before I’m killed,

Nigga this is life

(hook)

They said one day would come, but it’s been so long,

[Verse 2: still grindin’ nigga]

so many tears to cry, and yet just one song,

[somebody help me]

[Verse 2: from the underground]

and if I die today, would they even care?

if I left this place without a trace that I was here

(Verse 2)

Uh,

all I got is my heat an’ my art, my heart, my balls dawg an’ my religion,

reality’s depressin’, got me thinkin’ ’bout my odds of livin’,

coz I see that they slim to none,

nicotine in my lungs,

mixing gin with rum,

until I vomit up lyrics to wet portraits,

that can captivate caskets and resurrect corpses,

then maybe I can see my brother again,

I’m tryna be righteous but that will only let me revel in sin,

[Lord I need you, I need you yeah]

I serve God but the evil one is governin’ them,

what’s the use of keepin’ it raw if they in love with the trade?

they don’t feel me, if I catch these years from another case,

which one o’ y’all gon’ wipe the tears from my mother’s face?

[who’s gonna do it?]

so quite boxin’ to south dawg, let it shine!

respect the grind, maybe you made it,

but the rest is done,

this is for my niggaz that tried even though they paid the cost,

and every rapper that died,

long before they met the Source.

[hook]

I spit off full dues and the produce capture this song,

hopefully the vocals will last after I’m gone,

will my image diminish before I’m finished at the end of my race

and they takin’ the bullets out of the ends an’ into my face?

when you cry, because you neglected this young man

an equal chance, an opportunity when you coulda seen me advance,

even as I’m writin’ I’m enlightened that the hour’s past,

damn, man

more sand just drained from my hourglass,

I pray daily they aid me when I’m seekin’ a deal,

and I’m keepin’ it real when I’m saying I sleep with my steel,

I write for hours preparing to perfect the technique in my skill,

do I got to put heat in my grill to show you what deeply I feel?

failure’s a sea, and I’m stuck in it’s wake drowning,

with the thought I won’t make it,

for God’s sake, it’s my eighth album!

Father forgive me, I’m tryna fulfill purpose,

I’ma feel worthless until my skill surface.

[hook]