Aspiring Superhero: Guest Author John W. Otte

Today I am pleased to introduce you to a friend and fellow MN Nicey, John W. Otte. John leads a double life. By day, he’s a Lutheran minister. He graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a theatre major and then from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. By night, he writes weird stories. He lives in South St. Paul, Minnesota, with his wife and two sons. Visit him on-line at  His Debut Novel, Failstate is featured below.


What kid hasn’t dreamed of being a superhero?

I can remember, when I was younger, deciding that when I grew up, I would be a vigilante. Every week, my home church would have family nights on Wednesdays. People would get together for a potluck and then the kids would have educational programs. Between the meal and classes, though, we usually wound up in the gym, running off our extra energy.

Well, on one Wednesday night, I decided the time had come to start training for my life as a masked vigilante. I pulled some mats off the gym wall and threw myself down on them repeatedly.

I think I was trying to teach myself a safe way to fall from great heights. A superhero has to know how to do that, right?

Sadly, my dreams of putting on spandex and fighting crime never came to be. Actually, that’s probably not all that “sad,” especially the spandex part. But my love for superheroes never left me.

When I was in college, a group of my friends would get together every day to watch “Batman: The Animated Series.” Nowadays, if I’m going to a summer blockbuster, you’d better believe the star will be someone in a costume knocking heads together.

You’d better believe that I’ll be one of the first to see “The Avengers” when it comes out in May. I suppose in some ways I haven’t grown up. I still want to be a hero.

Of course, one of the major obstacles is the fact that I don’t have any powers. At least, none worthy of a cape. No amount of exposure to radioactive chemicals will change that. I can’t “retcon” my way into strange and incredible powers that defy human explanation. And yet, I know that I’ve been blessed with special gifts nonetheless.

That’s what St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12. He reminds us that the Holy Spirit has given each of us special and unique gifts and abilities for use in His service. That’s not something that He does for a select few, those worthy of donning a cape and cowl.

Instead, it’s something that He does for each and every one of us. And then He gathers us together into a supergroup of His own, one larger and more powerful than the Justice League or the Avengers or anything you’d find in a comic book or blockbuster movie.

Because of God, all His children have special gifts. In His eyes, we’re all heroes, called into the service of something far greater than ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty cool. But it’s still fun to play pretend, right? So let me ask you:

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

13 thoughts on “Aspiring Superhero: Guest Author John W. Otte

  1. It’d be so cool to fly around everywhere without having to wait in airports! My first superhero was Superman…so I guess it’s as true about first heroes as it is about first loves…you never forget them!
    Great post, John.

  2. Beth K. Vogt says:

    Ah … so hard to choose!
    I always go for invisibility. Stealth mode! Yeah, I’m sticking with that one.

  3. Michelle Lim says:

    You gals have great ones! I would like the power to immediate regeneration/healing during my superhero adventures.

  4. A palm-stinging high-five to you, John! Looking forward to reading this one.

  5. Emily (fellow Nicey) says:

    Nice post, John! I think I’d go with an intuition related power (although it might be a little weird having a sense about something no one else had a clue about).

  6. Leanne Hardy says:

    Did you see the guy on the news the other evening who dresses up in a Batman costume and visits children’s hospital? He even arrives in a Batmobile. They pointed out that Batman has no superpowers. He is an ordinary person like you or me, fighting injustice. I like your analogy of spiritual gifts better and the church as a Justice League. We just have to be careful to keep our methods God-approved.

  7. Amy Hahn says:

    I always want to see into the future so i have the right things packed in my purse. Looking forward to your book, John!

  8. Sounds like a really cool book, John. I’m all for super powers in service of the King. The gifts of the Spirit fit that bill 100%. I figure myself a superhero in training. Every once in a while I might even do an exploit! 😉

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