Amazing X-Men #1
W: Jason Aaron
P: Ed McGuinness
No one really dies in the X-Men universe. A dead X-Man is just one event away from a resurrection. Unless you’re Thunderbird. Then you can stay dead. Jean Grey has been on the dead/resurrected roundabout so many times she’s clocked up frequent flyer points. Now it’s Nightcrawler’s turn.
Ever since I started buying comic books digitally, I’ve been going through a lot of iTunes credit. So I’m always on the lookout for discounted iTunes cards. There’s this site I check out that keeps a record of who is selling these cards at the cheapest rate. When I’m running low on credit, I pull up the site, find out who’s got the best discount, then go shopping. But even though I’ve seen the price on the website, even though I’ve checked out the stores catalogue, I’m always a bit apprehensive when I walk up to the counter. What if I got it wrong? What if they’re not really on sale? Will I look like an idiot when I ask for the discount and there isn’t one? Although I’ve been promised the discount, I’m never sure I’m going to get it until I hand over my money.
God has promised me, through his Word, that the death of Jesus has paid for my sin and that if I believe in Jesus, I’m going to heaven. But how can I be sure? How do I know that Jesus really has deal with my sin? How can I know that God actually will follow through on his promise and let me into heaven?
A number of years ago, there was a show called John Safran’s Music Jamboree. Each week, John Safran would take his signature sense of humour and journalism and look at the world of music culture. In one of the episodes, Safran looked at one the most exclusive night clubs in Melbourne and wondered what it would take to get nine 18 an 19 year old males through the door. Watching from a surveillance van across the road, the first attempt was a miserable failure. The bouncer didn’t even open the door before telling them to be on their way.
But Safran had a plan. The next night he called the club up and told them to expect a big name band from the US to rock up. That they should be prepared for them and put their name on the list. How would these young men manage to convince the club that they were famous enough to let in? They would dress up like Slipknot, a 9 piece metal band, well known for wearing overalls and masks. And it worked. Not only did they get in, but they got given a private room and gave out autographs to fans.
Now I know I’m not good enough to get into heaven on my own. But what, if like these young men, I could get my name on the guest list? What if there was a name that could get me into heaven? A name that would guarantee me entry? Well there is such a name. And that name is Jesus.
When I was a younger man, I used to go nightclubbing with my mates. And because my house was the closest to the club we liked to go to, everyone would meet at my place. Once all the boys were gathered, we’d do “The Check”. “The Check” involved making sure everyone was dressed properly. Because the club had a dress code. And if you didn’t meet the dress code, they wouldn’t let you in. You had to be wearing proper shoes (sneakers didn’t count) and you needed to wear a button up shirt. If anybody didn’t have one of these, they would raid my wardrobe. Once everyone was sorted, we’d head to the club. We didn’t want to risk showing up to the club without “The Check” because if we didn’t meet the requirements for entry, then they wouldn’t let us in.
If proper shoes and a button up shirt were the entry requirements for the club, what are the entry requirements for heaven? I don’t want to rock up to the gates of heaven, only to find out I missed something and get knocked back.
When I take my wife out to dinner, it usually begins with us trying to work out which restaurant to go to. I’ll start by asking her where she wants to go. She’ll say she doesn’t know. And then I’ll say I don’t know. Then she’ll ask me to give her some options to choose from. And then we’ll narrow it down to one choice. And then, knowing my luck, the place will be shut and we have to go through the whole process again.
It’s good to know your options before you settle on a decision. Especially when the decision is where you are going to spend eternity. I want to go to heaven, but before I get my heart set on it, I really should investigate the alternatives.
And she’s buying the stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying the stairway to heaven.
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin is one of those really well known songs that I just don’t understand. Great piece of music, but e lyrics are a complete mystery to me. There’s someone in there about “a bustle in your hedgerow”. I mean really, what’s that supposed to mean? I don’t have a clue here. But I am intrigued by this idea of a stairway to heaven. That somewhere there’s this massive staircase you can walk up, up through the clouds, until you get to the top and there’s this whopping big sign that says “Welcome To Heaven!” I really doubt that a stairway like is exists but it’s a fascinating idea.
Because I have a lot of questions about heaven. How do I get to heaven? If there’s no stairway, is there an elevator? What will heaven look like? Will it be all clouds with guys in funny dresses and wings? What will I look like in heaven? Will I look like myself or do I get to join the funky halo club? But the biggest question for me, the question that takes precedence over all the other questions is: Am I going to heaven?
Starring Matt Damon
Directed by Clint Eastwood
What happens after you die? It’s a question that cuts to the heart of our existence. Is this life all there is or is there a life after this one? For those who have lost a loved one, this is more than casual speculation. This is need to know information. Where are they? Are they okay? Can I speak to them one more time?
Hereafter is a movie that deals with the question of life after death. Through the stories of three different people from different parts of the world, director Clint Eastwood challenges our ideas about the afterlife and why it scares us so much.
Birthdays can be a lot of fun. Presents, parties, people filling your Facebook page with happy messages. Sam, however, is not enjoying his 21st birthday. You wouldn’t either if you found out your parents sold your soul to the Devil. Now it’s time to pay up. Sam will have to juggle his day job working at a hardware store with his new job as the Devil’s bounty hunter, capturing super-powered souls escaped from hell. Life isn’t easy on Reaper.
by Dale E. Basye
Where do the bad kids go? If a really rotten kid dies, do they go to a) heaven, b) hell, or c) somewhere else? If you answered c, then maybe you’ve been reading the kids book Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go. Welcome to Heck. It’s not quite hell, but it isn’t a pleasant place to be either. Heck is where underage sinners go to be rehabilitated or punished for all eternity – or until they turn 18. Heck is not a place you want to spend any time. Are you in danger of spending time in Heck?
I once used the Alice Cooper song It’s Much Too Late for a high school chapel service. Each student was passed out a sheet of paper with the name of the song and the lyrics printed on it. I asked anyone if they knew who Alice Cooper was. Most of the teachers put up their hands. And one student. Just one. I was pretty sure he was just trying to get some attention. So I told him if he could tell me, I’d give him a couple of minties. His reply? “She’s a poet.” Me and the teachers laughed because he got it wrong on both counts. He is a popular rocker from the 70s and 80s. But some of my favourite work of Alice’s comes from this century. Like It’s Much Too Late.