The Spork Challenge

Toy Story is back! Woody, Buzz, and Jessie have returned to the big screen for a new chapter.  And included with them, are some new toys, such as Benson, a creepy doll; Duke Caboom, a Canadian daredevil; and Forky, a spork. But you see, Forky didn’t begin the movie as a toy.

In the beginning, Forky was nothing more than trash–literally. When Bonnie, the toys’ new owner, is having a hard time at Kindergarten orientation, Woody tries to help her out by retrieving Bonnie’s art supplies that a bully had discarded into the trash, along with a spork. Using googly eyes, a rubber band, yarn, a popsicle stick, clay, a pipe cleaner, and the spork, Bonnie makes for herself a new friend. And not only did Bonnie make Forky, but she even wrote her name on the bottom of his feet. What was trash is now Bonnie’s most prized possession. As Woody later says, “Alright, Forky. You have to understand how lucky you are right now. You’re Bonnie’s toy. You are going to help create happy memories that will last for the rest of her life.”

But, at first, Forky doesn’t want to be a toy; he still thinks he’s trash: “I was meant for soup, salad, maybe chili. And then the trash! I’m litter!” There’s even a whole montage in the movie of Forky tossing himself away inside disgusting trashcans, as Woody keeps tossing him out back to Bonnie. Bonnie has given Forky a new purpose, yet he didn’t want to embrace it, rushing to what was familiar and safe for him, that being the inside of a trashcan.

For many, Forky is a relatable character. Because even though he’s a tritagonist in a kid’s movie, he wrestles with a problem that’s very normal. Continue reading

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The Dogs and the Cats

Two teens were volunteering their Saturday, working at an animal shelter. They had spent many hours pampering puppies, bathing kittens, and cleaning up mounds of poop and puddles of pee. Being worn out and sweaty, one of the teens wiped the perspiration from his brow, before he said to the other teen, “You know what, today reminds me of when Jesus will come again.”

“What do you mean?” the other teen asked.

“Well, for instance, look at this room.” The other teen did, seeing where they were standing was a hall with cages filled with barking and meowing critters on either side of them. “Now imagine, if the cages on the right were filled only with dogs. And the cages on the left, were only filled with cats.”

“Okay,” said the other teen.

“Well, when Jesus comes back in his glory, and all the angels will be with him, he will then sit in his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations of the earth. Not just Israel and Rome, but America, Russia, China, everyone will be there. And he will separate people one from another as an animal shelter volunteer separates the dogs from the cats. And he will place the dogs on his right, but the cats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, a feast fit for a king. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, opening your home as if I was family. I was naked and you clothed me, wrapping me with the shirt from your own back. I was sick and you visited me, bringing me some of the best chicken noodle soup that I have ever had. I was in prison and you came to me.’ Continue reading

Harding Chapel: The Inconvenient Cross

As the semester draws to a close, summer mission trips draw near. As a part of their global sendoff, this message was spoken today in Harding’s chapel–a very powerful message–about the cross. A message, which I believe is good for all to hear:

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

Thank You, Reba

So, I have a confession to make. I’m a 27-year-old man who lately, tends to watch Reba whenever I’m bored, feeling down, or stressed. Yes, it’s been off the air for over twelve years, yet it’s still a hilarious show that’s also not afraid to talk about some very challenging issues, such as divorce, teen pregnancy, living with mistakes, etc. And a show with a very encouraging theme song. For life happens, and your “roots may be planted in the past,” but you gotta keep going. Stay strong and courageous and just take this life one day at a time. . . . He can get you through anything:

The Sand Dollar Missionary

The Legend of the Sand Dollar

There’s a lovely little legend
that I would like to tell,
of the birth and death of Jesus,
found in this lowly shell.

If you examine closely,
you’ll see that you find here,
four nail holes and a fifth one,
made by a Roman’s spear.

On one side the Easter lily,
its center is the star,
that appeared unto the shepherds
and led them from afar.

The Christmas Poinsettia
etched on the other side,
reminds us of His birthday,
our happy Christmastide.

Now break the center open,
and here you will release,
the five white doves awaiting,
to spread Good Will and Peace.

 

This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me,
to help us spread His Gospel,
through all Eternity.

–Author Unknown

 

~Photos Obtained