‘Metamorphosis’ [v170]

APRIL 2013

‘Metamorphosis’

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been putting a lot of extra time into totally ‘transforming’ my company’s web site. It’s been a huge undertaking, since the ‘operational foundation’ of the site has not been updated since 2008—and it’s ‘outdated’.

Our new site uses the latest technologies, and is “responsive”—it automatically ‘transforms’ itself to optimally present the information depending on what ‘device’ is looking at it (whether it be on a computer with high-speed Internet connection and a large monitor, a tablet on Wi-Fi, or a Smartphone using a cell service).

[ Note: Since we launched our new site on our 23rd ‘birthday’ (3.13.13), we placed 23 ‘presents’ throughout the site that, when you find one, we will send you a really cool “mirrored” M.C. Escher puzzle. As of 3.31.13, there are 13 left to be found (Not the ones on the home page!). So, go for it!:
http://VisualImpactSystems.com ].


My company has developed, over the years, a special “creative method” that we use when we do any marketing for a client. We’ve called it “Transformaction”—defined as “changing the impact of a company’s marketing message.”

A major portion of our visual ‘branding’ came from the definition of “transformation”: “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.” I noted that our English word originally came from the Greek word “metamorphoo,” or as we say it, “metamorphosis.” So, we used M.C. Escher’s lithograph called, “Metamorphose II” to visually represent what our company does.

[ FYI: It’s the ‘transforming’ graphic running horizontally in the middle of our home page, and if you are interested in seeing a scrolling ‘pan’ across the entire piece, click on the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrtYu_cEW4Q ].


Thinking about “metamorphosis” reminds me of spring—which finally ‘arrived’ this week in Michigan. We are seeing a lot of new ‘life’ popping up everywhere [It’s coming pretty late, even though “Punxsutawney Phil” ‘predicted’ it was supposed to come early. (FYI: The Ohio prosecutor dropped the charges against “Phil” this past week!)]. Where the landscape seemed ‘dead’ and incapable of change, it has come alive again!


I am finishing writing this on Easter Sunday (3.31.13) and, in conjunction with the new ‘life’ in my backyard, it makes me think of the “empty tomb” 2,000+ years ago. Jesus’ resurrection to ‘new life’ gave all of us the opportunity to be ‘reconciled’ to God. What seemed to be a devastating ‘defeat’, became the most awesome ‘victory’ in all of history!

Using my ‘metamorphosis’ metaphor again, another example of this might be the butterflies that have begun to appear in the gardens. They start out as an unattractive caterpillar, creeping and crawling low to the ground, impeded by every small rock or blade of grass, and are in constant danger of getting eaten. Eventually, some find their way up a tree and onto a leaf, where they will weave a chrysalis. Life for them, up to now, has been characterized by toil, labor, and striving.

For weeks, it appears that nothing is happening inside the cocoon. Like the winter landscape—or outside Jesus’ tomb after He was buried—things seemed lifeless and unchanging. But, beneath the ‘surface’, the most amazing ‘transformation’ was taking place—a stunning butterfly emerges, and it doesn’t have to crawl around on the ground anymore, or worry about being eaten—it can fly above all that once was an ‘impediment’.

The same kind of ‘transformation’ is available for those who accept Jesus as their ‘Savior’—then one doesn’t have to ‘creep’ and ‘crawl’ through life toiling, laboring, and striving to get to Heaven. It is available to all through the ‘power’ of Jesus’ resurrection!


But some of you might be a bit skeptical about whether or not Jesus really came back to life after being crucified. Well, there are many great volumes written about the evidence, but suffice it to say that many atheists have wanted to disprove the facts of Jesus’ resurrection, and they became believers! (contact me if you are interested in knowing the over 25 books that I went through before I believed).

Dr. Simon Greenleaf, considered to be one of the greatest legal minds that has ever lived, and one of the founders of the Harvard Law School, was determined, once and for all, to expose, in his words, “the myth of the Resurrection.” [FYI: He wrote the famous legal volume entitled, “A Treatise on the Law of Evidence,” considered by many to be the greatest legal volume ever written]. After thoroughly examining the evidence for the Resurrection, Dr. Greenleaf came to the exact opposite conclusion! He then wrote a book entitled, “An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice,” in which he emphatically stated: “There is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus than for just about any other event in history.” Wow, that’s a pretty powerful statement from an expert in evidence.

Another lawyer, Sir Lionel Luckhoo (1914-1997), considered one of the greatest lawyers in British history, is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Successful Advocate,” with 245 consecutive murder acquittals. Luckhoo’s law students once challenged him to use his legal expertise to disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Later, after much study, he declared: “I humbly add I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
[http://www.hawaiichristiansonline.com/sir_lionel_luckhoo_transcript.html].


Now, you don’t have to believe these guys or any other ‘expert’—you need to decide for yourself!


I got to thinking how the “Metamorphose II” graphic also does a good job in illustrating our lives—showing change from one ‘form’ to another in a fluent and ‘evolving’ way—as well as showing very influential ‘transformational moments’ that change the direction or ‘destiny’ of our lives.

Referring back to that graphic, about 1/3 of the way into the ‘story’ (from the left), the bees are given ‘life’, being ‘transformed’ by the hive where they were ‘nurtured’ and developed (Again, to view the entire scrolling image, click on the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrtYu_cEW4Q ).


The Bible tells us that after Jesus had resurrected His friend Lazarus, He said to everyone there: “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die” [John 11:25-26]. Wow, what a promise!


All this to say that, if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you TRANSFORM your present life—and your eternal destiny—by overcoming the ‘estrangement’ from God, and accept reconciliation through His Son, Jesus. The Apostle Paul summed it up like this:

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’

‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” [1 Corinthians 15:51-57].


Just like when the “Power Rangers” needed to get something big done, the exclaimed, “It’s morphin time!,” let me strongly suggest that today could be your “metamorphosis” into a ‘new creation’ and a new ‘life’ that will LAST FOREVER!


[ Excerpts from: Charles Stanley; Dr. Terry Watkins ]


[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about the evidence for the “empty tomb,” visit the following link:
http://www.TheSearchForMeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q2_d3_1of10.html


RESOURCES:
Online Resource for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Dr. Gary R. Habermas
http://www.garyhabermas.com/

Investigating Faith: Find Answers to Your Faith Questions
Lee Strobel
http://www.leestrobel.com/

Evidence That Demands a Verdict
Josh McDowell
http://www.josh.org/


“Eulogia”
(“Blessings” in Greek)
Mark


LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v170) for APRIL 2013
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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EASTER WINGS

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Most poore:
With thee
O let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did beginne
And still with sicknesses and shame.
Thou didst so punish sinne,
That I became
Most thinne.
With thee
Let me combine,
And feel thy victorie:
For, if I imp my wing on thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

[George Herbert]

******************************
LIFE RESTORED
(Parody of “Last Resort” by Papa Roach)

Plug my life into Jesus — this gets my life restored
Such a cakewalk — no brainer
Don’t need to fuss if I call on our savior
This gets my life restored

Plugged my life into Jesus — I’ve seen my life restored
Such a cakewalk — no brainer
Don’t need to fuss since I called Him my savior
Do not even care if I die later
Cause I belong to Jesus Christ
If they took my life tonight — chances are I’d arrive
In a place that’s out of sight — and I’m confident I’m doin’ fine

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I never realized I was meant to live
To live a new life if I would let Him within
Told me — death is the payoff for living in sin
End the cycle when you’re born again
It all started when I first discovered
The Book on my shelf and read cover to cover
Searching — to find religion that held my attention
Finding — something called Christian redemption

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I’ll be all right — I’ll be just fine
You’re runnin’ out of time
I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine
I can’t go wrong living this way

Plug my life into Jesus
This gets my life restored
Selfish nature — don’t need it
Go give it up — you can conquer your demons
Would it be wrong for me to pry
If you give your life to Christ — Chances are dynamite
You will make it out alive — and I’m confident you’ll do it right

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I’ll be all right — I’ll be just fine — You’re runnin’ out of time
I can’t go wrong livin’ this way — Can’t go wrong living this way
I’ll be all – right

[ApologetiX – Album: “Keep The Change”]

To hear this song, click on the link below:

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BECOMING A BUTTERFLY
“How does one become a butterfly?”

“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

“You mean die?”

“Yes and no! Life is changed, not taken away. Once you are a butterfly, you can really love the kind of love that makes new life. It’s better than all the hugging that caterpillars can do.”
[“Hope for the Flowers” by Trina Paulus]

******************************
DIDN’T JUST DIE
(Parody of “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney)

When He was hung on the cross like a common crook
His accusers said He was just dead
(You know they did, you know they did …)
But it was everlasting life that He was livin’ —
And they’d get a surprise
He didn’t just die!
Didn’t just die!
Didn’t just die!
Didn’t just die!

LEAD

What He did matters to ya —
Man He did a job for you —
you couldn’t do yourself
He had to save ya from the pit of Hell

LEAD

Now you still say He was just dead
(You know you did, you know you did …)
But He could never save this world unless
He’s livin’
Don’t you give up on Christ —
He didn’t just die!

————

DIED AND ROSE
(Parody of “China Grove” by Doobie Brothers)

When the Son come down He was deep within the ground
surrounded by a giant stone
And it’s no surprise that on the Sabbath day
all His pals stayed home

But things were all about to change
and they never were the same

Well, we’re talkin’ cause He died and rose —
Lord, died and rose!

Well, their leader, Simon Peter, and John the Apostle,
they took a walk to the tomb
And the Gospel came alive when they arrived
and they found an empty room

But they had forgotten His claim
that He’d resurface again

Well, we’re talkin’ ’cause He died and rose —
Lord, died and rose!

Then He came when the group met Sunday —
They’d locked the doors and shut the room
But standin’ right among them was the man they called Lord
You just should have seen the look in their eyes!

But Thomas would doubt it for eight more days
Till Jesus came when he was there —
He just took one look and he believed!

LEAD

[ApologetiX – Album: “Jesus Christ Morningstar”]

To hear these songs, click on the link below (“Died and Rose” starts at 3:10):

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DEEP THOUGHT:
A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
[Spanish proverb]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole” [1 Peter 1:3-5].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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