Force and Faith: Forgiving Anakin, Giving Thanks with Luke

Dear readers, I am preparing for quite a funk this coming holiday season.  My life is turned upside down.  Things are changing, and this is inevitable.  Changes have been coming for a while, but we all know that the holiday season can be taxing in such a situation.  And I want you to know that I am trying to remain thankful and hopeful.  Trying.  Will I succeed?  I’ll let you know in January.  Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the holiday season, and I intend to maintain and meditate on the hope that is imbued in the reason for the civic holiday.  I have blogged about hope many times.  I firmly believe everything that I have written for this grand community.  And the opposite of hope is despair.  This is a paradigm that has been central to my life for its entirety.  Let’s look at each in turn and see where that gets us.  Read more

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Force and Faith: Luke’s Lonely Exile and Hopeful Return

Some very fun and creative parody accounts are on Twitter, spoofing Kylo Ren’s maudlin behavior, or the loneliness that Luke must be feeling.  Whichever comic geniuses were behind them, they had me laughing many times.  (And I make no endorsement of any blue material I may be overlooking).  They took these iconic characters and looked into their psyches for incredible comedic results.  But the online world of Twitter, Facebook and the like can actually lead us to feeling isolated, which is very similar to the loneliness that Luke must have felt on the heights of Ahch-To.  Luke was a man who grew up in a family, surrounded by friends, and joined the vast rebellion with its camaraderie.  In his exile, he must have experienced a profound loneliness that affected him. Read more

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Force and Faith: To Rebel is to be Truly Human

“I rebel.”

Very simply put, this is the most important thing you can come to grips with, and become part of.  And yeah, me, of the first estate by vocation, I will teach this to the bitter end.  There are evil and nefarious forces in the world masquerading as goodness, trying to steal the inherent beauty in each of us.  There are greedy people trying to gain unlimited power through the theft of the beauty each of us possesses.

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Force and Faith: Abundant Life Blooming in the Desert

The Star Wars community tends to boil things down to a lowest common denominator.  While we all have Wookieepedia bookmarked and a vast knowledge TIE fighter models, we find the conversations being whittled down to likes or dislikes, goods or bads.  We polarize our conversations instead of finding deeper levels of understanding through true understanding, dialog and compassion.  If you think I’m nuts, have you ever persuaded someone with your theory about who Snoke is?  When talking to someone with an opinion on midichlorians, have you changed your mind?  There is a call to something greater, though.

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Force And Faith: Jyn and the Woman of Hope

The joy of being a Star Wars fan knows no bounds.  To be treated to the latest epic adventure just days before the celebration of Christmas is like an embarrassment of riches!  Let’s take a short spoiler-free look at Rogue One, and see what we can draw out of it.

StarWars.com offers this as a synopsis of the movie: “In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction.”  While this is an ensemble cast, the story has an iconic heroine in Jyn Erso.  Through her, the story is moved, the task is completed (don’t be surprised, since we have known since 1977) and all of the soldiers aboard Rogue One find their fulfillment.  That is all I will say, in case you haven’t seen it yet.  But seriously, why are you reading my ramblings if you haven’t seen the move yet?  Put this down!  Run to the theater!  Then, come back and finish up here.

The scourge of the Empire has enslaved millions and oppressed the rest.  Their power is supported by Death Star I as it menaces the galaxy.  Only Jyn can get her hands on the plans and deliver them to the Rebel Alliance.  Her efforts are the beginning of the hope-filled future for the Rebellion.  The sinister Sith-inspired scum are coming upon their crushing calamity. Read more

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Force and Faith: Forgiving is the Way of the Light Side

Force and Faith Sabers SquareSome might say that it has been a rough couple of weeks for us here in the United States.  Others will be happy because a contentious season has passed.  Still others may be indifferent to the imposed emotional frenzy.  No matter where we find ourselves on this spectrum, it is necessary for each of us to live with each with grace and forgiveness.

Some think the Galactic Empire is being channeled, and some think the Rebel Alliance has emerged victorious.  Honestly, I think the rich are still getting rich, and I’ll still be in relatively the same place in 4 or 8 years regardless of the larger political world.  And that is as it should be.  My life should not be dictated, controlled or overly influenced by politicians.  I still have neighbors and family members by and through whom I hope to become a better man. Read more

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Force and Faith: Can Jedi Be A Religion?

Force and Faith Sabers SquareHow do you identify yourself?  When you meet someone new, what facets of your life do you mention first as an introduction?  For some, it is relationships, children, employment, favorite Star Wars movie, hat size.  Whatever.  One thing we are always shy to ask about is someone’s religious background and preference.  I think this is a newer phenomenon, actually.  Nevertheless, in the new millennium, crazy answers to all of these questions are offered.  Quite often, we get stories about people listing Jedi as the religion of choice on some form or another.

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Force and Faith: My D’Qar D’iet

Force and Faith Sabers SquareAlmost a year ago, I was at a convention and had to have my picture taken for a directory, which I resisted for 6 years.  It could be put off no longer.  A few of my buddies and I got in line and had a ton of fun trying to look professional.  A week or so later, the picture came back and I was confronted with something that I had already known: I had let myself get way too big.  Jabba big.  Pergill big.  I should be Han average, but it seemed that I had taken Malakili as my patron saint.  Something had to be done about it.

That day, I jumped off the couch and went for a walk.  I was incredibly pleased to be able to go an entire mile.  That was the first step in a long journey of trying to live a little better each day.  Over the past few months, I have been thinking of this as my D’Qar D’iet.  Clever, right?

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Force and Faith: Boshek Returns from the Far Off Land

Force and Faith Sabers SquareI once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see…
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home. – Amazing Grace

Did you ever lose something of dear importance?  Car keys when you are late, a child in a packed department store?  We all have, to one degree or another.  Then the friends mobilize and work to find the missing person or item.

We saw an amazing example of this in the Star Wars community a short while back.

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Force and Faith: The Power of Silence – an Easter Reflection

Force and Faith Sabers SquareOver the last few weeks, I have been a little sick. For me, that means that I will lose my voice. The smokey tones of Marge Simpson will emerge for a while, giving way to the honk of an imprisoned swan, leaving me finally with utter silence.

I pause now for my wife to rejoice. It is a bit rough in my line of work – It is hard to preach, lead the prayers or to talk with someone who is having a rough day. So this was an eye-opening experience as I moved through the community observing how other people communicated.

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