A note to my 20 year ago self

•June 16, 2014 • 4 Comments

Hello me,

You are going to be 40 soon, I am almost 60, and yes you did live that long. The kids are out of the house, you have grandchildren. You and your lovely bride are finally able to breathe and be husband and wife again without a child crisis to manage. Even though you end up with differing political views, food tastes, and priorities you love one another so bank on that during the final years of the kids growing up.

Everything you thought you knew for certain about your faith is different now. All those bible classes you took. All the rock and roll albums you threw out, you will wish you had those back. The books you sold at garage sales that didn’t jibe with what you learned was good Christian you will want to repurchase. God is much bigger and able to handle these things. Your kids turned out all right. You will have a pretty extensive library, all of which will have gently guided you to realize the power of the Gods grace.

Certain lessons need a future perspective. James Dobson was not always right. Nor was Promise Keepers they all had a good intentions going into things but ultimately it turns out to be more about money. Children should be raised to question, to enjoy sights and smells around them. If possible pay for them to go to Europe (or anywhere not North America), after high school, in your case it won’t be possible unless I can rewrite your future. See World Series winner below.

You will find that the time you lived in Christian Community in the 80’s has given you a good outlook in the future. Forgive and move on.

Don’t loan your kids money, no relationship is worth being based upon debt. Instead give them money when they need it, overflowing pressed down and poured on their lap. It’s only money and you have outlived them so far. People will tell you you need to give them good money management lessons, that’s fine, but they are your kids and that’s how your dad did it. On Money share everything with your wife, no secrets, start saving now and don’t touch it. You were just unemployed for a year and your children never went hungry. God will provide. If they ask they receive, unless you don’t have it.

In the early 21st Century some guys will fly some planes into some buildings and everything will change. Don’t listen to fear or hate, it will be very difficult once that happens. Unfortunately some of the people you know now will show their true colors and become afraid. Love them anyway they are misguided about behavior and ultimately I hope they will come around eventually.

On your Christian faith, You will learn some things that won’t make sense to other people. Grace is awesome and will free you from so much doubt and worry. Remember to breathe and when you are unsure remember to go down the path that feels peaceful. You will forget this lesson a choose a very difficult job. But you will form some deep lasting relationships.

The most powerful active force in the universe is God’s grace. Not “Bonhoffer” grace, but for free, violent, vulgar life changing grace.

“My life is a witness to vulgar grace–a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up a ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying theif’s request–”Please, remember me”–and assures him, “You bet!” A grace that is the pleasure of the Father, fleshed out in the carpenter Messiah, Jesus the Christ, who left His Father’s side not for heaven’s sake but for our sakes, yours and mind.

This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.” Brennon Manning

You will open a not for profit Cafe to hopefully give the poor a dignified meal, if you hire alcoholics make sure they are in a 12 step program and going to meetings, it will make the place run better, when you hire a board, make sure they are just as interested in raising money as they are the mission. Ultimately you will find that everything you wrote into the vision statement you are working on will become a reality, so dream big. No bigger!

You will change your mind from a behavior based faith (you actually do measure up) to a being based faith. However there will be a time that will make the adjustment logical in your life. God is truly in control of all things.

Rom. 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Rom. 12:1   Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Rom. 12:3   For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.

The meal together is important for life and family, messy meals are fine. As long as people are together sharing food and conversation.

On music, Christians on a whole still don’t do a good job with music.

The World Series will be canceled in 1994 due to a baseball strike.
And just in case you need some extra cash in 2012:
The San Francisco Giants win the World Series over the Detroit Tigers in 4 games. Yes you are still a Tigers fan.
Super Bowl XLVI The New York Giants will be at the New England Patriots 21-17.

Much love
Me

Wild-eyed radical “The Name”

•April 24, 2014 • 1 Comment

Proverbs 12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

I remember when my mom died. Actually she had been mentally dead for several years before she really expired. Thanks to modern medicine and semi abusive caregivers, it was good that she died when she did. I remember the time we had lunch together while the “care” giver shoveled mushed up pink, white and green food into her mouth. I imagined it was ham, peas and mashed potatoes. Sometimes she would mix a little green and pink together for variety.

Mom taught me how to cook and appreciate food, so this was just mean. Mom was courageous with food, at times things she prepared did not go together but mom loved it. We once had meatballs 101 ways because she was a cookbook lover. She drank Labatts Blue because it was from her home, London, Ontario Canada. Mom was a proud Canadian. She would add V8 or tomato juice to her ale. Always in a mug she kept in the freezer. Then add Worcestershire sauce (L and P ) and Tabasco. Then she would break a raw egg into it sprinkle season salt and stick a stalk of celery. She called it a Bloody Mary. After the Queen of Scots, not the Vodka drink. And then then there she was, force fed old people baby food. The caregiver not really paying attention to if it was being consumed, as long as it went in her mouth. Pausing to spoon the dribbles off her chin, mix it with some more pink food and shovel it in. I remember the lady that sat by the TV when I would go to see mom in the nursing home, she would look at me when I came in hold her hands up and say ‘help me”.

After mom died her night nurse told us that she came into mom’s room the night before mom died. She was looking at the ceiling smiling. The nurse asked her, “Lois what are you looking at?” Mom just said “Jesus” The nurse left mom and Jesus alone.

I bring up Mom, because despite normal mom faults, she introduced me to Jesus. Not just the book Jesus (he is pretty awesome), or blond hair blue eye Jesus (mushed up pink, white and green food), but the Living Jesus that interacts with his people here and now. The raw egg in your beer Jesus. Mom made sure that I knew the reality of Him. Standing in front of her arms outstretched blood dripping out of his side and hands, telling her “I did all this to forgive you!”… “Why can’t you forgive him?” (my dad, but thats a different story). Mom introduced me to books about people who had encounters with the today, right now Jesus, The IAM, among the myrtars of the modern day. She specially loved the stores of the miraculous Jesus providing for his people in the wake of doom. I met this Jesus in 1985. (another different story). He has been with me since.

Fast forward to today…

The current controversy in the church I belong too is, where do you stand on the “gay issue?” The religion that is currently touted as “Christian” appears to be nothing more then a divine self improvement scheme dreamed up by people who need to keep butts in seats and tithes in baskets. Because Jesus is too busy being angry and his fallen people. The world is ending because of abortion, famine, global warming, other religions, especially Muslims. Seriously! Do we believe a word of the gospel? What do they teach in seminary, seminal comes from seed…Mark 4:7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.

As long as you behave!

Some people miss the message because they are too busy looking for the mistake.

“The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore; He changes them into ‘nice people…’”

—         Robert Farrar Capon

Why are we so afraid that we will be compromised by the next bad thing? Most of my Christian friends are good at intercession, spiritual warfare, and creating categories of holiness that they have lost the narrow road. I like Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Put down your sword and pick up your fork.

But where do I stand on the issues?

So, here is where I “stand” on the issues. Before the throne, neither for or against anyone or anything based upon what they do.

For that or any “issue” totally misses the point of the gospel. The whole point to the Bible.

Matt. 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” — which means, “God with us.”

Immanuel = God with us. Is one with us a perfect revelation of the Father.
The Divine Dance
“When He looks at you who are put in Christ, He does not see sin. He sees Jesus. God is not cross-eyed! He doesn’t look at you with two different perspectives. He only has one perspective about you, and He put you into Christ. God is not obsessed with sin, He has dealt with sin once and for all.”
From UNCOMMON LOVE Graham Cooke
The thing that really saddens me is that that the same group that revealed the living Jesus to me and others is now about the business of building walls.
Mark 2:15   While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

love

•January 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Love is a flame that burns everything other than itself. It is the destruction of all that is false and the fulfillment of all that is true.

Adyashanti

separated

•January 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Matthew 6, DO not worry.

My imagination always told me that being “In Christ” was something different then what it seems to be.

I always thought it would be a life of behavior, service, a struggle against the doing things I thought might be bad to God.

I have found instead that what God has called me to (in Him) is joy, love, thankfulness, and generosity.

In Him, all is changed to rest.

Matt. 11:28   “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

The un-beginning, un-ending one has invited us to ride along and spread joy, love and generosity.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Give without regard to anything, as soon as we count the cost all is lost.

Tithing is down at my church, including mine, because we are counting the cost and running the church like a business. When will we learn?

Matt. 6:24   “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Matt. 6:25   “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Matt. 6:28   “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

“The converging crises of our time all arise from a common root that we might call Separation. Taking many forms—the human/nature split, the disintegration of community, the division of reality into material and spiritual realms—Separation is woven into every aspect of our civilization. It is also unsustainable: it generates great and growing crises that are propelling us into a new era, an Age of Reunion.”

Excerpt From: Charles Eisenstein. “Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition.” iBooks.

It is this separation that necessitates the worry.

Ex. 13:21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Abide in my love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. John 15:9,11

One of my favorite parts of scripture is the story of the calling of Elisha.

1Kings 19:21   So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.

Kill the ox burn the equipment feed the people and follow me…

You are not separated from “In Him”

simple

•January 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

We over think what it means to be Christian. It is mind numbing to me, how far folks go to dissect scripture or provide memory tools and rules for living.
It is maddening how far we go to be correct, or to provide God with a way out, as if he needed it.
Or worse say what we think God is saying, as if we could dare to speak for Him.
Most things times the focus is on ours or others sin and the remedy.
Or how our actions effect us.

It is real simple.

God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. So, you get to rest in Him.
And out of that rest you get to share Him (love) with others.
Without any expectation of anything.
Because we are resting in God.

The joy of the Lord is our strength.

Period!.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Karma and sin place the focus on you and how what you do effects you. How pompous we have become to think that anything could be about us in His Kingdom.

When proponents of karma quote this verse they change one little word and thus the meaning. …the common rephrase of the last sentence is, For with the measure you GIVE, it will be given to you.

NO! It is not what you have that you give, but what you use from what He has, the supply is always enough. It is about trust and grace.

Grace is always focused on the other, using Gods resource.

Seek First the Kingdom of God.

Turn from yourself. That is repentance.

Trust HIM.

Psalm 37:24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

When you regarded me
Your eyes imprinted your grace in me,
In this, you loved me again,
And thus my eyes merited
To also love what you see in me…
Let us go forth together to see ourselves in Your beauty.

–St. John of the Cross

At the heart of all things is the unending, un-beginning, unfailing, unfathomable love of the Most High God. In Him, Through Him and Too Him are all things.

“It is very hard to teach very simple things.” Rohr

good

•November 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

A couple nights ago, I had a “God” dream, God kept saying over and over “It’s only your shame that keeps you from me.”

Obviously stemming from the recent sermon series at church, but I found my self asking the question “what is it?” my shame.

I own my shame.

“Religion” depends upon shame to exist. We are naked and don’t measure up, we are told to ask God to forgive you because you don’t measure up. We try to be as God by covering our vulnerability.

Would you walk into church naked? Of course not. But why? shame, fear of rejection?

I once got into church when no one was there and spent a considerable amount of time praying naked. Once I got over the fear of discovery, God and I had a chat.

Because the social norms state that one must dress well to come in to the “Lord’s House” Is that really true?

Why then does God say to Moses, “Ex. 3:5   “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” ?

shame

Gen 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

They hid from God.

Shame is believing the lie. What is the lie? That God is somehow less than sufficient, that we can be as God.

yet, yes….but NOW!

•October 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Faith…
When you come to the edge of all the light you have,
and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid to stand on,
or you will be taught how to fly.

~ Patrick Overton ~

I am standing on solid ground, today. I will be with Him in the future.

Already and not yet.

Yet • referring to something that will or may happen in the future.

I live in the present with faith that the yet will eventually stop being yet.

“What if you can defeat the enemy by being joyful? What if there is a place set aside for you in the spirit where you defeat the enemy with grace? You overwhelm him with peace. You weary him by your joy. You depress him by the love that you have in the heart of God. What if you can make the enemy depressed, tired, weary and requiring therapy? If there is no such place in the spirit, then Jesus is not Lord.”

“I think good preachers should be like bad kids. They ought to be naughty enough to tiptoe up on dozing congregations, steal their bottles of religion pills…and flush them all down the drain. The church, by and large, has drugged itself into thinking that proper human behavior is the key to its relationship with God. What preachers need to do is force it to go cold turkey with nothing but the word of the cross-and then be brave enough to stick around while [the congregation] goes through the inevitable withdrawal symptoms. But preachers can’t be that naughty or brave unless they’re free from their own need for the dope of acceptance. And they wont be free of their need until they can trust the God who has already accepted them, in advance and dead as door-nails, in Jesus. Ergo, the absolute indispensability of trust in Jesus’ passion. Unless the faith of preachers is in that alone-and not in any other person, ecclesiastical institution, theological system, moral prescription, or master recipe for human loveliness-they will be of very little use in the pulpit.” – Robert Farrar Capon, The Foolishness of Preaching

Knowing What vs. Knowing Whom

“I know Whom I have believed.”
2 TIMOTHY 1:12

“A certain brother was always emphatic about what he believed until someone with equal or greater argument confronted him. This occurred one day when someone pointed out several supposed “errors” in the Bible. This caused the brother to be very alarmed. He went to an elderly sister and informed her of these alleged errors and wanted to know her opinion. She simply stated that the knowledge of God did not depend upon the answering of these questions.
He thought, perhaps not to you, but to me it is important! So he spent the next year investigating what this other person had told him and found it to be untrue. But, had he simply known God He would not have found it necessary to study the whole thing and reason it out. The elderly sister was right, the knowledge of God did not depend upon the answering of those questions.”

“If you know Who, knowing what and why become less significant.” Chip Brogdon

If you know WHO…NOW….not “yet”
Let “yet” be “yet” until it becomes now and there rest.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.