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Heroes Needed: Apply Here -- 9/20/2020

PBS’ “The Great American Read” is an eight-part series that explores America’s 100 best-loved novels. This episode highlights books that feature heroic characters and explores why we love them. 

 Literary experts, authors and everyday book lovers discuss why our favorite heroes are complex and relatable, from the everyday hero to the tragic and unlikely or anti-hero:

-“A hero is who we all wish we were if we didn’t have our own personal limitations.”

-“I think when we hear heroes or see them or read about them, we think about qualities we wish we had. Courage, strength, fortitude, bravery.”

-“I think we aspire to everyday heroes because we wish to be them… In moments of great tragedy we see people drawn to firefighters or emergency workers or the people who went beyond their job. They rushed in where angels fear to tread.”

-“We’d like to believe there’s like a hero gene in all of us.”

Is there a hero gene in all of us?

Frat boys have a bad reputation. Perhaps deservedly so. 

Young adult males … 

Gender and age are arguably the two best predictors of crime. In 2014, males accounted for 73 percent of all arrestees in the U.S. and 80 percent of those arrested for violent crimes. Prison population statistics tells a similar story. Males accounted for 93 percent of the U.S. prisoners in 2014. Similarly, more than half of all homicides in 2014 were committed by 15-to-29-year olds, who only made up 20 percent of the population.

Story about having pizza stolen at Eastland Park…

Story about the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Southern California on November 7, 2018 as a tale of self-sacrificial men and masculinity.

Lost in the carnage is a lesson that has little to do with the monster who took lives and everything to do with the men who saved lives. The killer was 28 years old, lost, lonely, and living with mom. He knew that on Wednesdays—college country night—the place would be packed with kids laughing and dancing. He entered tossing smoke grenades, then unloaded his handgun—fitted with an illegal extended magazine—into the crowd.

But there were other young men there, too. One of them was 20-year-old Matt Wennerstrom. In interviews, Matt looks like a typical college student—backward baseball cap, gray T-shirt, jaw scruffy with a few days’ growth. As soon as he heard the shots, he knew “exactly what was going on.” He and some friends grabbed everyone they could and pushed them down behind the pool table, placing their own bodies on top of the girls. One woman, who was celebrating her 21st birthday, said: “There were multiple men who got on their knees and pretty much blocked all of us with their back toward the shooter, ready to take a bullet for every single one of us.”

When the shooter paused to reload, Wennerstrom grabbed a bar stool and tossed it through a window. He and his buddies pulled 30 to 35 people to safety. 


Abigail Shrier, “The Borderline Bar and Grill: A Tale of Men and Masculinity” 

The bible is full of surprise-heroes… whether it is young David facing Goliath or Gideon finding out that the angel of the Lord thinks he is a mighty man…

Jesus invites you to believe that “great works” are possible. 

John 14:12

Speaking spiritually, that is hero-language…

Your world needs a hero! 

What does a spiritual hero do?

1) We uphold the promises of God by our words.

Hebrews 1:2-4

We uphold his promise by our words

Isaiah 62:6

2) We plead for justice on behalf of another. We speak God’s justice into a broken world as witness that we are of and from another kingdom.

Isaiah 59:14-16

3) We plead mercy for another. We hold back judgment.

Ezekiel 22:30

How could we ever be a hero? Faith and Intercession

Abraham is the father of faith… 

His life symbolizes the path from “living for this world” to “living for another world…”

He is quite ordinary it seems. 







He know more of his sins than any other patriarch: 

Disobedience, Lying, Doubt, Partially obeying, Haggar, Dead-beat dad, more lying... 

Yet you will see Abraham rise to heroism.

1. Story of Lot, Genesis 14, taken by the four Mesopotamian kings…

This is a hero story. An intercession story. Abraham takes his servants, 318, and rescues Lot.

2. Story of Intercession for Sodom

Genesis 18:20-25

Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

1. At first, Abraham could intercede for someone close… family… Lot…

2. But finally, he can care for people who he has never met, and become an intercessor, A SPIRITUAL HERO!



Just because you are imperfect does not mean you cannot be a spiritual intercessor!

5 Keys to Intercession

1) Grow in friendship with God – When we allow God into our lives and develop relationship with Him, we grow in our understanding of what He is actually like.  This helps us know His heart so we can pray in alignment with His will. 

2) Grow in Your ability to be still and listen – One aspect of prayer is discerning what God wants to do and then asking Him to do it..

3) Seek and value eternal things. Pursue a higher kingdom. Stay in your tent. This world is not your home. 

4) Seek peace with people despite of who they may be and how they may treat you. (Lot)

5) Practice empathy towards people you don’t even know. “for the sake of five…”