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Finding Unauthorized Faith…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Scorpius’s Wise & Humble Truth

SCORPIUS: The world changes and we change with it. I am better off in this world. But the world is not better. And I don’t want that.

Scorpius and Albus try to fix the death of Cedric Diggory by turning back time. Only every change to the world doesn’t work out how they expect it. In the above quote, Scorpius has found himself in a world where his life is everything he’s ever dreamed. Only the world is not better off for the change.

His words show that Scorpius is not only wise but humble. He recognizes that there are more important things than just what he wants. That there is a whole world of people. And he’d rather sacrifice his own wants than live in a world that makes other worse off.

 

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Our World Today

As humans, we tend to get caught up in us. We forget to look around at those close to us. We forget to recognize we are not the only people on the planet that matter. Every life matters.

I think in the days we are in, we really need reminding of this. The growing hate I see on social media and in other places breaks my heart. But I am not perfect. I have to keep reminding myself not to engage, not to also succumb to the anger that breeds bitterness and hatred. It is not an easy task, but it is one worth fighting for.

Each of us is not the only person in the world that matters. We do matter, but so does everyone else around us — even those who are mean or cruel to us or perpetuate hate. We all matter, even when we make bad choices.

 

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The Bible Says…

Jesus didn’t come into this world to heal and save the “perfect” people. He came for those of us who recognize we are not perfect and need Him to heal our hearts. To make us like Him, a perpetrator of love in a world filled with hate.

Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” ~ Mark 2:15-17 NLT

 

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When you get the chance to judge or love someone, remember that none of us is perfect. It is not our job to judge. Our only command is to love. And, should I ever forget this, please, please, please lovingly remind me. 😉

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Snape’s Cost Analysis

SNAPE: Sometimes costs are made to be born. I didn’t just quote Dumbledore, did I?

 

Snape the Time-Turner version and the actual version knows what he’s talking about. He bore a major cost. He sacrificed over a decade of his life to fighting the Dark Lord he once served. He sacrificed his desire to overthrow the Muggles, all his long-held beliefs, and gave his life to protect and ultimately die for his enemy—Harry Potter. The child of his forever love and the rival who stole her from Snape.

 

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In a world that constantly whines, “I don’t deserve this!” and “I deserve to have whatever I want,” it is refreshing to hear a message other than, “Just do whatever makes you happy.” If the heroes of Harry Potter lived like that, Voldemort would have taken over the world and killed millions. The Trio wouldn’t have been heroes but cowards.

Sometimes costs are made to be born—even if they aren’t fair or deserved or what we want.

Jesus bore a cost that was not fair to him, not even non-Christians think he deserved to be harshly beaten and crucified, or what he wanted. Jesus asked God to take the cost from him, but not Jesus’ will but God’s be done. There was a cost that had to be born, only then could God save the world he created and loves.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. ~ John 3:16-18a (NLT)

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I think this is what Jesus meant by, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me,'” (Matthew 16:24 NLT). We each have a cost or “cross” we are made to bear out of our love for God and others. For Snape, that was sacrificing his life so that Harry could continue on his mission. For Harry, that was walking to his death, letting Voldemort hit him with the killing curse yet again so that Voldemort could finally be destroyed. 

All these decisions are made with a complete lack of concern for self and a powerfully strong love for others.

If we are going to be people who live in love, we must recognize what Snape (and Jesus) have taught us—some costs are made to be born so that love can prevail.

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My Potter Pregnancy

Sooooo, I have some super exciting news! We’re pregnant for the first time, which is why I’ve been absent from this blog for a while. Let’s just say the first trimester raised my level of respect for mothers and pregnant women 100 fold. I never knew pregnancy could be that difficult. But now I’m in the second trimester and feeling much, much better.

Above is the image of our Facebook announcement. We included the note,

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.” ~ 1 Samuel 1:27 NIV

We have prayed for our little Seeker for quite a while and couldn’t be more happy that he or she is finally with us. Here’s the most recent pic of our future Quidditch player taken last week, Thursday.

 

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We’ve decided not to find out the gender until the baby is born. And, since I refuse to refer to our child as “it” for nine months, we’ve nicknamed our little one, Seeker. Seeker has the dual meaning of both the Harry Potter Quidditch position and also of being a seeker of the Lord. We thought that would be appropriate. And, of course, we’re planning on making the baby shower and nursery Potter-ific. 🙂

Stay tuned for more pics! And, if you feel so compelled, we would greatly appreciate prayers for a safe, healthy pregnancy and child who both loves Jesus and Potter.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Draco’s Light

DRACO: You know what I loved most about your mother? She could always help me find light in the darkness. She made the world — my world, anyway — less — what was the word you used — “murky.”

As much as there are parts of Cursed Child that irk the core of my Potterness, I really love who Draco becomes. He has been forever transformed by love, and he’s become quite the source of wisdom. What Draco loved most about his wife is what I believe we should all have. Those people who help us find the light in the darkness. The more we have of those, and the more we can be that for others, the less murky our worlds will be.

 

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But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.” ~ Ephesians 5:13-14 NIV

Draco’s darkness was exposed to the light of his wife and that darkness became visible. Her light illuminated it and made it light because Draco chose to let it shine on him and change him. The same happens to us when we allow the light of others expose the darkness within us and illuminate that darkness until it turns to light.

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I experienced a period of darkness in my early twenties, but a few lights came into my life. They illuminated my dark spots and turned them to light. That would not have happened if those lights ignored me or if I ignored them.

If you are light, shine bright so those who chose to can become light themselves. Don’t ever let the darkness intimidate you into a corner. Some will choose to remain in darkness, but many others will turn into light.

In short, love people. We all need it, and love has the power to change us all as it did Draco.

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I’ve “Discovered” My Patronus

Yesterday, Pottermore finally released the much-anticipated Patronus test written by JKR herself. Some fans love their Patronus, some hate it. I’m of the “love” category. Why?

My Patronus is a Chow Dog. While I didn’t specifically envision a Chow Chow (I’m a Shitzu owner), I always knew my Patronus would be a pup of some sort. As a proud Hufflepuff, I deeply value loyalty and dogs are known for that trait. I just didn’t realize how loyal the Chow was!

The Chow Dog

Here’s a general character run-down of the typical Chow: proud, independent, highly suspicious of strangers, but fiercely loyal to the right person, strong loyal bonds to family but specifically attached to one or two people. Not excessively active (yep, that’d be me), quiet and well behaved while also being resistant to training, at adolescence they reject authority from those who didn’t earn their respect as a puppy.

While I’m definitely not saying these are all good characteristics, I think they generally describe me well, flaws and all.

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Pride & Loyalty

One of my major flaws is the tendency to be prideful. I think that’s why, when I prayed for one word to work on for the year, I feel as though God put “humility” on my heart. Like Love, being Humble is not natural and requires daily and moment-by-moment choices to set self-down and raise others up. What can I say, I’m a work in progress. But I do recognize that I don’t want to be proud.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. ~ Proverbs 11:2 ESV

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. ~ Philippians 2:3-5 NLT

However, there is one quality in me that, while not perfected, I do think is good and strong. I have grown into an extremely loyal person. The thing about loyalty is that you can’t be loyal to everyone and everything because then you won’t truly be loyal to anyone or anything. Loyalty, like Love, is a choice. The Bible says you can’t both Love God and this world, they are opposed to each other. I can’t be loyal to both my husband and another man, loyalty doesn’t work that way.

And, I believe, God asks us to choose to Love him and to be Loyal to Him and His Ways. That’s a choice I made years ago and have to keep making each day, just like my choice to live in Love rather than in Hate. Hate feels easier and comes more naturally, but Love is a choice to stick to the hard, right path. To respect and care for those who are my friends and my enemies. To not pay back evil with evil, but to pay back evil with good.

For I desire and delight in [steadfast] loyalty [faithfulness in the covenant relationship], rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. ~ Hosea 6:6 AMP

What is your Patronus?

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Albus’s Opinion of Voldemort’s Child is SO Wrong

ALBUS: …I don’t think Voldemort is capable of having a kind son — and you’re kind, Scorpius. To the depths of your belly, to the tips of your fingers. I truly believe Voldemort — Voldemort couldn’t have a child like you.

In this sweet moment, Albus reassures his best friend — only friend — that he couldn’t be Voldemort’s child. Why? Because Voldemort chose a loveless life, therefore, there is no way his child could choose otherwise.

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This is one of the reasons Albus Severus annoys me to the nth degree. It’s as if he’s refused to learn anything from either his namesake or his father. Granted, that makes him a typical teenager, but the reason we love Harry, Hermione, and Ron so much is they are not typical teens for the most part. I digress…

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” ~ Dumbledore

Is Scorpius all the things Albus says he is? — Yes. But that is not the reason Scorpius can’t be Voldemort’s child. Having Voldy as a father doesn’t doom a child to grow up to be evil. That child’s individual choices determine who he or she becomes.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~ Dumbledore

A Jewish religious expert asks Jesus what the most important laws are. Jesus agrees they are to love God and love your neighbors. When the expert asked Jesus who his neighbor is, I love that Jesus not only told a story that led the man to the answer of the question he asked but also led him to another truth. See if you can find it:

Bible

30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” ~ Luke 10:30-37 NLT

Jesus chose to make the man who was a good neighbor born of a people the Jewish expert most likely despised. Jesus showed that it was not the Jewish man or the priest who abided by God’s law of love, but the Samaritan — a man born of a people the religious Jews went out of their way to avoid in those days.

Jesus exemplifies, you could say invents, the basis behind Dumbledore’s maxims of who you are not being determined by what you are born or your natural abilities, but your choices and what kind of person you grow into because of them.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Draco’s Words of Wisdom

DRACO: My father thought he was protecting me. Most of the time. I think you have to make a choice — at a certain point — of the man you want to be. And I tell you that at that time you need a parent or a friend. And if you’ve learnt to hate your parent by then and you have no friends…then you’re all alone. And being alone — that’s so hard. I was alone. And it sent me to a truly dark place. For a long time. Tom Riddle was also a lonely child. You may not understand that, Harry, but I do — and I think Ginny does too.

GINNY: He’s right.

I must admit, I quite like Cursed Child‘s Draco Malfoy. Love has changed him, and he’s turned out to be quite a remarkable father. Not to mention, he’s flexing his Dumbledore-esk word-of-wisdom muscle in this scene.

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Bible

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone…. ~ Genesis 2:18 NLT

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT

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Conclusion

Draco’s advice to Harry is biblically sound. It is not good for Albus Severus to be alone. His friend happens to be the son of his childhood rival. Harry assumes Scorpius is the bad influence in the friendship, but he is sorely mistaken. What’s worse is that without Scorpius and having turned his back on Harry, Albus goes to an even darker place.

When we’re choosing who we want to be, the people around us make all the difference. First, that there are people around us to help us up when we make poor choices. Secondly, that we choose people who have qualities we admire to be around so they can rub off on us.

Find people who make you want to be a better person, and be a great friend to them. We all stumble and fall, which is why we need friends who will lift us up and not push us down further.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Draco & Ginny on the Golden Trio

DRACO: …Because as much as you might take the word of a haughty centaur, you know the power of friendship.

DRACO: …You – the three of you — you shone, you know? You liked each other. You had fun. I envied you those friendships more than anything else.

GINNY: I envied them too.

Does anyone in the Potter fandom not envy the Golden Trio? I mean, if Draco does, everyone besides Voldemort probably does as well.

But why do we envy them?

I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun. This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 NLT

Ecclesiastes is probably one of the most depressing books of the Bible, but it was written by the wisest man ever to live — King Solomon — and thus is full of wisdom. Here, I think Solomon is trying to express the point that humans are made for relationships, that is where we find our meaning. Which, I also believe is why we grow depressed when we focus on living for ourselves. We aren’t meant to live for ourselves, we are meant to live for others.

Thou shalt love thy fellow man as much as thyself. ~ Jesus, Matthew 22:39 WEY

No one has greater love than this—a man laying down his life for his friends. ~ Jesus, John 15:13 WEY

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The Golden Trio

That is what the Trio has. Harry, Ron, and Hermione don’t just live for themselves, they live for each other—they lay down their lives for each other. They share their victories, defeats, fears, goals, accomplishments, failures, heartbreaks, etc. This is what makes their friendship so enviable and so durable.

At the beginning of Deathly Hallows, it would have been best for Hermione’s self-interest to go with her parents to Australia and live as a Muggle. It would have been best for Ron to disaffiliate himself with Harry—as Percy suggested—and return to Hogwarts. It would have been best for Harry to hide out in 12 Grimmauld Place and have Dobby bring him food from the Hogwarts kitchen.

That is what their lives would have looked like if they lived for themselves. And King Solomon is right—lives serving their self-interests would have been very meaningless. Rather, we love the Golden Trio because they don’t do what serves them best, they do what serves each other and the world around them best.

Conclusion

If we want Golden Trio friendships, we’ve got to stop just “doing what makes us happy” and we have to start doing things that serve others. By living a “do what I can for others” life, we will find great meaning and great friends to share our life with.

Being a great friend attracts great friendships.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Dumbledore on Parenting

DUMBLEDORE: We cannot protect the young from harm. Pain must and will come.

HARRY: So I’m supposed to stand and watch?

DUMBLEDORE: No. You’re supposed to teach him how to meet life.

Though I didn’t like Harry’s disrespectful responses to Dumbledore’s portrait, especially after naming his son after the Headmaster — and it’s hard for me to picture Harry not addressing him as Professor — I do enjoy Dumbledore’s lines in Cursed Child.

Harry’s having a tough go of it in the parenting department when it comes to his middle child, Albus. Dumbledore’s response is that Harry needs to stop trying to protect Albus from every harm and pain that could come his way and to start teaching him how to meet what life will through at him.

Dumbledore’s Parenting

Granted, Dumbledore’s style of fathering is a bit too hands off, though Harry does turn out well in the end. But, Harry trying to protect Albus from every evil is unrealistic and hindering. The fact is that we will all eventually be met with some sort of evil. As parents, we can either prepare our children while we can still protect them, or we can send them out into the world clueless.

Sadly, many parents take the “clueless” route thinking that sparing their children any pain at all is the most loving method. I disagree, and I think God does too.

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Biblically

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 ESV 

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. ~ Proverbs 29:15 ESV

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. ~ Proverbs 13:24 ESV

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. ~ Hebrews 12:7-11 ESV

Parents train and discipline children that:

  1. They consider theirs.
  2. They love.

Why? Becuase the job of a parent is to train up a successful, loving, Christ-like child, NOT to make a BFF who depends on their parents until death do they part.

Note: This does not mean you should harm your child by physically abusing them.

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