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Finding Unauthorized Faith…

What I Learned from Exploring Lily Potter’s Death from Her Perspective

Over on MuggleNet we’re doing a series where we take scenes from Harry Potter and rewrite them in a different character’s POV. My contribution, “Why Did Lily Potter Let Herself Die? — Her Death from Her Point of View,” takes Lily and James’s death scene as Harry experiences it in Voldemort’s mind and flips the POV to Lily.

Why did I choose this morbid scene?

I’m about to be a mom and feel a strong kinship to Lily, who did whatever she could to protect her child. As a mom-to-be, I’m already extremely protective of my baby. The thought of anyone trying to harm Seeker (our little one’s nickname) causes a lioness-like fierceness to roar up inside of me.

Side note: Don’t ever mess with a pregnant woman. We are lethal. You’ve been warned.

 

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What did I learn?

  1. Lily (and James for that matter) died for Harry because there was no life that meant more to her (them) than that of their son. It’s a parental instinct. The moment my husband and I learned we were pregnant, everything in our world shifted. There was suddenly this life that either one of us was willing to die to protect.
  2. The greatest act of love is a power Lily, James, and many parents understand on a deeper level than before they become parents. Jesus, who is God in flesh, came down to die for all of His children. Why? Becuase He’s our father and that’s what loving parents do. They protect the lives of their children without their children ever having to do anything but exist to deserve such devotion.
  3. Every person who lays down their life so another may live is a hero. Lily was a hero, James was a hero, Harry was a hero—and Jesus was the ultimate hero because his sacrifice did for us what Lily’s sacrifice did for Harry (more even). And, the deeper we understand what Jesus did, the more able to love to the greatest degree we become. Jesus began a powerful cycle of love that still captivates and drives us two-thousand years later—that’s heroic.

This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:12 – 13 HCSB

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16 HCSB

 

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Which Hogwarts House Would the Apostle Peter Have Landed In?

So I thought it might be fun to sort Biblical figures into Hogwarts Houses one by one (in a series of short posts). Granted this is all based on my opinion and not actual Sorting results. Here goes nothing.

Peter “Simon” = Gryffindor

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart
” ~ Sorcerer’s Stone

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My reasons:

From my reading of the Gospels, Peter was known for acting without thinking in his younger years. He’s the disciple who jumps out of boats. Both into the storm to walk on water toward Jesus, and subsequently, fall when he stops believing. And when he sees Jesus on shore.

“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.”

“Come!” He said.

And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” ~ Matthew 14 HCSB

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. ~ John 21 NLT

I can almost see John rolling his eyes as he writes this passage about Peter. The two seemed to have a rivalry of sorts while still being friends. I feel like John’s saying, “I had to be the one to tell Peter it was Jesus, and then instead of helping us get the boat to shore he made a dramatic leap into the water and slogged his way there while the rest of us did the sensible thing.” In other words, a typical reaction of any of the other Hogwarts Houses to a Gryffindor.

Peter is definitely brave. In the Garden facing an army that had come to arrest Jesus, he whips out his sword and chops a man’s ear off. Jesus has to restrain him with a quick teaching.

Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” ~ John 18:10-11 NLT

Peter acts based on his guts and thinks later. Jesus is often correcting him, but also recognizes Peter’s heart—Peter is the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. And that is why Jesus chose him to be the leader of the Apostles—the Rock upon which Jesus built the Kingdom.

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:15-19 NLT 

A side note: John seems to have recorded most of Peter’s blooper moments for all of history to read. It’ll be very interesting to meet these two in the next life and experience a bit of their dynamic, lol. Also, let this serve as a warning to make sure to be nice to writers or you may become the subject of their most famous works. 😉

Harry Potter According to the Gospel of Matthew

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 3 But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ~ Matthew 6:1-4 (HCSB)

Harry Potter:

One thing there is a lot of in Potter is generosity. However, not all generosity is the same. The Malfoy’s could be labeled as very generous with their money, but they give to people and organizations that will give them a leg up. Lucius gives to Minister Fudge to gain power and influence over how the ministry is run. He donates his time as a member of the Hogwarts’ board in order to thwart and attempt to control Dumbledore — poor fellow never quite comprehends that Dumbledore will not be thwarted.

However, there is another kind of generosity more widely displayed in the series. A pure and innocent and true type. Here are three examples, though there are many more instances.

1. Dumbledore’s generosity to his students, not just financially but in another way Hagrid describes…

“Dumbledore was the one who stuck up for me after Dad went. Got me the gamekeeper job … trusts people, he does. Gives ’em second chances … tha’s what sets him apar’ from other Heads, see. He’ll accept anyone at Hogwarts, s’long as they’ve got the talent. Knows people can turn out okay even their families weren’ … well … all tha’ respectable. But some don’ understand that.” ~ Hagrid, Goblet of Fire, p. 455

2. Harry’s generosity to Fred & George Weasley…

“Harry,” said George weakly, weighing the money bag in his hands, “there’s got to be a thousand Galleons in here.”

“Yeah,” said Harry, grinning. “Think how many Canary Creams that is.”

The Twins stared at him.

“Just don’t tell your mum where you got it…although she might not be so keen for you to join the MInistry anymore, come to think of it….”

“Harry,” Fred began, but Harry pulled out his wand.

“Look,” he said flatly, “take it, or I’ll hex you. I know some good ones now. Just do me a favor, okay? Buy Ron some different dress robes and say they’re from you.” ~ Goblet of Fire, pp. 732-733

Sure Harry was already financially well off, but at the beginning of Goblet he coveted the prize money just as much as everyone else who wanted to compete in the Triwizard Championship.

3. The Weasley’s generosity to Harry, Hermione, and anyone in need, despite their not having a lot of money.

“It’s traditional to give a wizard a watch when he comes of age,” said Mrs. Weasley, watching him anxiously from beside the cooker. “I’m afraid that one isn’t new like Ron’s, it was actually my brother Fabian’s and he wasn’t terribly careful with his possession, it’s a bit dented on the back, but —”

The rest of her speech was lost; Harry had got up and hugged her. He tried to put a lot of unsaid things into the hug and perhaps she understood them, because she patted his cheek clumsily when he released her, then waved her wand in a slightly random way, causing half a pack of bacon to flop out of the frying pan onto the floor. ~ Deathly Hallows, p. 114

There were a lot of unsaid things in that hug because the Weasley’s had done so much more than money could buy for Harry — they gave him the love and family he never knew as a child.
Generosity comes in many forms, but it is the kind that seeks to give without getting that returns the biggest rewards.

Why You Should Apply Newt Scamander’s Advice to 2017!

Newt stands behind Jacob, fastening the breastplate over him.

Jacob: Okay.

Newt: Now, there’s absolutely nothing for you to worry about.

Jacob: Tell me—has anyone ever believed you when you told them not to worry?

Newt: My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.

Jacob digests Newt’s “wisdom.”  

Fantastic Beasts Original Screenplay, p. 131

 

As we enter 2017, or any new year, there is a great deal of excitement and trepidation. On the one hand, we have no clue what is going to happen, the opportunities for a better life are endless. On the other hand, we have no clue what is going to happen, the opportunities for pitfalls are endless.

In my opinion, Newt’s philosophy is the way to approach this new year and every new year (and day) to come—don’t worry about anything. Why suffer twice? If something bad is going to happen, worrying only makes it worse. If something bad is not going to happen, worrying only wastes your time and makes you feel miserable for nothing.

The Apostle Paul writes:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

Don’t worry. Pray. Be at peace. Go forth and conquer!

Was Newt Scamander a Seeker?

In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplaythese lines are shared after Newt unknowingly stumbles upon a Second Salemers’ rally:

NEWT: Oh…I was just—passing…

MARY LOU: Are you a seeker? A seeker after truth?

A beat.

NEWT: I’m more of a chaser, really.

~ pp. 12 – 13

First off, I loved this play on words by Jo that pulls in Quidditch positions. Did Newt ever play Quidditch? I’m not sure. I couldn’t find any information that he did or didn’t during his time in Hufflepuff House. But when the founder of the Second Salemers confronted him about being a “seeker of truth”, Newt pointedly replied he was a “chaser” of truth.

What’s the diff? Why not just say, “Sure I am” and move on?

I have theories and, of course, they also relate back to biblical matters.

**Cracks fingers and sets to typing**

 

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In Matthew 7 and Luke 11, Jesus teaches his followers to ask, seek, and knock. Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. I’m not an expert in Biblical studies or interpretation, but I think Jesus is telling those listening to him that if they want to know God and to find God and to discover Truth, God won’t run away from them. God is eagerly waiting to show the truth to anyone who is willing to seek or chase after it.

 

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I think what Newt may be saying when he responds that he is a Chaser is:

  1. Mary Lou is preaching a “truth” but it is not the “truth” Newt is seeking. It is a false truth, of which there are many. Being a Chaser, Newt has developed a more discerning eye for false versus real truths.
  2. Newt is doing far more than just seeking, he is also asking and knocking and breaking down walls in his quest for Truth. Making him a Chaser of Truth.
  3. He very well may have also been a Chaser in Quidditch and is just messing with an ignorant and hateful No-Maj (Muggle).

 

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What we can learn from all of this:

  1. Be a Chaser of Truth. Ask, Seek, and Knock. Don’t wait for Truth to come strutting up to you on a silver platter. There are way too many Mary Lou’s out there trying to teach the latest “truth” that really isn’t “truth” at all. It is fear mongering, propaganda, truth with an agenda, etc. Learn to discern from Truth and “truth.”
  2. Chasing Truth is active. Get out there and break down walls (metaphorically) in your quest. Don’t accept anything at face value. Jesus didn’t even ask that of his followers. He gave them a multitude of signs and teachings and fulfilled prophecies. Contrary to some teachings, Jesus didn’t ask for blind belief. He warned about blindness (and the blind following the blind to destruction). Rather, he asked his followers to listen and understand. To seek, ask, and knock. To discern between false teachings and real teachings.
  3. Quidditch is a fun game even for Muggles (No-Maj’s) to play. 😉

So, in Newt’s words, he is not so much a Seeker as he is a Chaser.

Harry Potter Christmas Quotes!

Since it’s Christmas week, I thought we’d let our hair down a bit and enjoy some fun Potter Christmas quotes!

“Come one, cheer up, it’s nearly Christmas.” ~ Hagrid, Sorcerer’s Stone

“And you’re not sitting with the prefects today, either,” said George. “Christmas is a time for family.” ~ George, Sorcerer’s Stone

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” ~ Dumbledore, Sorcerer’s Stone

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“I always stay at Hogwarts for Christmas and Easter holidays, and I don’t ever want to go back to Privet Drive.” ~ Harry, Prisoner of Azkaban

“Oi! Presents!” ~ Ron, Prisoner of Azkaban

HAVE A VERY HARRY CHRISTMAS ~ Dobby’s banner in the Room of Requirement, Order  of the Phoenix

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“Mistletoe,” said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry’s head. He jumped out from under it.
“Good thinking,” said Luna seriously. “It’s often infested with nargles.” ~ Luna, Order of the Phoenix

” The more the merrier!” ~ Sirius, Order of the Phoenix 

“Good haul this year. Thanks for the Broom Compass, it’s excellent, beats Hermione’s — she’s got me a homework planner —” ~ Ron, Order of the Phoenix

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“It’s Christmas, and it’s not a crime to want to come to a party. Just this once, we’ll forget any punishment; you may stay, Draco.” ~ Professor Slughorn, Half-Blood Prince

“Do people usually give their house-elves Christmas presents?” ~ Harry, Half-Blood Prince

“Harry, I think it’s Christmas Eve!” ~ Hermione, Deathly Hallows

“Cheer up, it’s the Christmas holidays, Luna’ll be home!” ~ Ron, Deathly Hallows

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Merry Christmas Potter fans!

P.S. ~ It’s Seeker’s first Christmas! Obviously, in womb but there will be at least one present under the tree for our future Quidditch Player & Christ follower! Here’s a pic of last week’s ultra sound (20 weeks 3 days)!

seeker-20-weeks-3-days

 

Cursed Child: Delphi & Albus, their Father’s Children

DELPHI (to Albus): … your weakness was the same as your father’s: friendship.

 

Albus

Okay, one of the things I couldn’t stand about Albus in Cursed Child is that he acted like a spoiled brat. That was never Harry’s M.O. After living with the Dursley’s, he wouldn’t know where to begin being spoiled. However, if Harry grew up in a loving home provided by Lily and James, whose to say he might not have been a bit spoiled and bratty—James was until Lily got a hold of his heart strings.

I digress before I even begin. Delphi accuses Albus of having the same weakness as his father. Albus, who feels he’s nothing like Harry seems to be more like his father than he thinks. Friendship was always Harry’s “weakness” in the eyes of Voldemort. But that weakness turned out to be Harry’s greatest strength in the end.

 

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Delphi

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Delphi’s greatest weakness is the same as her father’s, only she thinks it is a strength—her self-inflicted inability to have close friendships because of her self-inflicted inability to love. What she thinks is a strength leads to her end, just like with her father.

 

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Not My Gif, but I can’t find the source :/

 

Our Parents

This is a long, but great passage from the Old Testament that I think applies to both Albus and Delphi’s relationship to their fathers:

“But suppose that sinful son, in turn, has a son who sees his father’s wickedness and decides against that kind of life. 15 This son refuses to worship idols on the mountains and does not commit adultery. 16 He does not exploit the poor, but instead is fair to debtors and does not rob them. He gives food to the hungry and provides clothes for the needy. 17 He helps the poor,[b] does not lend money at interest, and obeys all my regulations and decrees. Such a person will not die because of his father’s sins; he will surely live. 18 But the father will die for his many sins—for being cruel, robbing people, and doing what was clearly wrong among his people.

19 “‘What?’ you ask. ‘Doesn’t the child pay for the parent’s sins?’ No! For if the child does what is just and right and keeps my decrees, that child will surely live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. 21 But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. 22 All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done.

23 “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. 24 However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins.

25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? 26 When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. 27 And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. 28 They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. 29 And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I.

30 “Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!31 Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? 32 I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!Ezekiel 18:14-32 NLT

Just because our parents behaved a certain way, doesn’t mean we have to. And vice versa. We are each our own person. We each get to make our own choices. And those choices will have consequences. Good choices = Good consequences. Bad choices = Bad consequences. And God’s really hoping we choose the good. That’s why he sent all the prophets and then his Son, Jesus. He’s giving us every means possible to choose the good path that leads to a great, everlasting life.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[h]” ~ John 3:16-21 NLT

 

 

Cursed Child: Professor McGonagall on Stupidity

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL: Your intentions to save Cedric were honorable, if misguided. And it does sound as if you were brave, Scorpius, and you, Albus, but the lesson even your father sometimes failed to heed is that bravery doesn’t forgive stupidity. Always think. Think what’s possible.

Bravery is an honorable trait. McGonagall should know, she is a Gryffindor after all. However, bravely running to battle for the wrong cause because you didn’t think before you acted doesn’t forgive the wrong-doing (or stupidity) of the act. There are brave people who do evil things and brave people who do good. The difference is thinking before you act. Seeing things outside of the current situation. Thinking through the wide-reaching and long-term effects of your actions. Thinking in terms of love rather than fear or hate.

 

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Harry did learn to think first and act second, but not until the end of Deathly Hallows. He had to decide not to act in the case of the Hallows but to return to his quest for Horcruxes. In doing so, he saved no only himself but all of the Wizarding and Muggle world.

 

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Bravery is a noble trait to have, one too few possess. However, when bravery is coupled with thinking and especially with prayer (seeking God’s thoughts on a situation), truly great things can happen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take. ~ Proverbs 3: 5-6 NLT

Cursed Child: Snape and Dumbledore More Alike Than We Thought?

SNAPE: Strange, isn’t it? What comes from within. You need to run. I will keep them at bay for as long as I can.

SCORPIUS: Thank you for being my light in the darkness.

SNAPE: Tell Albus — tell Albus Severus — I’m proud he carries my name. Now go. Go.

In one of the alternate realities Scorpius travels to in Cursed Child, Snape sacrifices himself to the Dementor’s Kiss in order to save Scorpius. Why were the Dementors around in the first place? Because Snape had also helped Hermione Granger escape.

 

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One of the interesting things about the Time-Turner storyline is seeing “What comes from within” our favorite characters when they are presented with alternate circumstances. In a world where Harry Potter died and the Dark Lord took over, Snape became an even brighter light. What was within him was this caring man who served his whole life to right the wrongs of his past — to save those he once sought to dominate.

 

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When looked at through this lens, Snape isn’t really all that different than Dumbledore. More jaded? Sure. Snape didn’t grow up in the loving household that Dumbledore did. Snape had a lot more darkness to battle through in that sense. But they both at one point in their youth sought to dominate Muggles and elevate Wizards. And they both realized the error of their ways after the death of someone they truly loved.

Inside Bigger Than Outside Biblical Connection

One of the themes of the Potter series is that the inside is bigger than the outside. (Hermione’s beaded bag, Room of Requirement, Newt’s case, Arthur Weasley’s tent and car, etc.) The funny thing is when we look closely, this is also a theme of the Bible.

 

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Some examples: God, who is as big as the universe, comes to live inside the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34); Jesus teaching that the Kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21 KJV); having faith, which is within us, as small as a mustard seed being able to produce the biggest of results (Luke 17:6); not to mention all the big things Jesus saw in people that the religious elite had judged by the outside as worthless.

We are all bigger on our inside than our outside. The question is: are we big with light or are we big with darkness? We all have darkness within us. It is the easiest instinct to act on. It is comfortable and me-centered. What is hard is to do what Dumbledore and Snape did — chose the right but difficult path of being light in a world filled with darkness.

Who has been a light in the darkness to you?

Thank that person and use the light they shone on you to fuel you to lead a life that is light for others.

Love is light. Love on!

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