Bearing Fruit

When I saw the suggested title my first thought was-making fruit “naked”. Fruit of the spirit is singular fruit vs. plural fruits and should be served naked (unadorned). Like a strawberries in spring, melons in the summer and apples in the fall. Fruit is best when eaten in season in the region it was grown. Fortunately we have the Tree of Life that grows its fruit in season and lives in the Kingdom of God (Rev 21:12). I got thinking about how we “bare” fruit. I got stuck on the baring part. Is it a burden we must endure for the Kingdom?  Do I bare the responsibility for the use of the fruit. As I thought about it I realized that the fruit mentioned in Galatians are not things we pick up and put down. They are not things we bare as a burden, but qualities we enjoy because of the spirit. Also the list just above was not designed to be an opposing list of “evil” fruit.

Then I realized the word was bear, but I was too far down that road.

There are so many things in the bible, like fruit, that we only see in relation to it’s supposed opposite. These scriptures pose a problem for us.

Gal. 5:19   The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

As a result of these actions, I warn you. My natural inclination is to look for something that I can do to counteract those bad things that keep me from inheriting the Kingdom. Note those things are things you do, fruit is things you “be” because of the Spirit. The burden is not for you to strive for.

Gal. 5:22   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Being of the spirit they are in reality fruit from the Tree of Life. For against these things there is no law. The law is derived from the fruit of the other tree.

It’s all about His grace.

“We are , it seems, even more fainthearted before grace than before evil…

…Unused to living beyond ourselves, out of control, by faith, the great danger is that we timidly retreat to the kind of religion that we can manage.” Eugene Peterson-Reversed Thunder

“The most unlearned of men become ripe scholars in the school of grace when the Lord Jesus by his Holy Spirit unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom to them, and grants the divine anointing by which they are enabled to behold the invisible.” Charles Burgeoun

My son Nathan sent this to me a wile back, it puts in perspective what I am trying to convey.

“Faith is fearful and defensive when it begins to die inwardly, struggling to maintain itself and reaching out for security and guarantees. In so doing, it removes itself from the hand of the one who has promised to maintain it, and its own manipulations bring it to ruin. This pusillanimous faith usually occurs in the form of an orthodoxy which feels threatened and is therefore more rigid than ever. It occurs wherever, in the face of the immorality of the present age, the gospel of creative love for the abandoned is replaced by the law of what is supposed to be Christian morality, and by penal law. He who is of little faith looks for support and protection for his faith, because it is preyed upon by fear. Such a faith tries to protect its ‘most sacred things’, God, Christ, doctrine and morality, because it clearly no longer believes that these are sufficiently powerful to maintain themselves. When the ‘religion of fear’ finds its way into the Christian church, those who regard themselves as the most vigilant guardians of the faith do violence to faith and smother it. Instead of confidence and freedom, fearfulness and apathy are found everywhere. This has considerable consequences for the attitudes of the church, faith and theology to the new problems posed by history. ‘Why did the church cut itself off from cultural development?’ asks R. Rothe, whose messianic passion in the face of the modern age can speak for itself here:

I blush to write it down: because it is afraid for faith in Christ. To me, it is not faith in Christ if it can be afraid for itself and for its Christ! To me, this is not to have faith, but to be of little faith. This, however, is the consequence of a lack of faith that the Saviour is the real and effective ruler of the world; and only when this faith is lacking is such fear psychologically possible.

Christians, churches and theologians who passionately defend true belief, pure doctrine and distinctive Christian morality are at the present day in danger of lapsing into this pusillanimous faith. Then they build a defensive wall round their own little group, and in apocalyptic terms call themselves the ‘little flock’ or the ‘faithful remnant’, and abandon the world outside to the godlessness and immorality which they themselves lament……”

–Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), 19–20.

Grace is challenging, puzzling, and completely good. Unless you are bothered by something that has no opposing other. No south for its north, no balancing darkness for it’s light. Raised in the culture of karma, yin and yang I still wait for the other shoe to drop. Grace makes me alive, grace takes away any labels we bestow upon each other. Faith says grace is true, complete. This is the heart of the gospel.

But what about this? You ask.

“Has this passage ever worried you?

John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away

You’re not alone, but I have god news for you. The phrase “takes away” doesn’t mean throw away, it means something entirely different. The greek word for this phrase is airo. It means to lift up, raise up or carry. It also means “to take upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up, to bear.” This sheds new light on the dreaded idea of not bearing fruit.”  Clint Byars

“Not Bearing Fruit”

All the fruit is as a result of grace. Even if I show no fruit, all depends on the Lord to lead me, lift me up and guide me.

Synchroblog April Bearing Fruit


why I’m done

Being Done This is a link to a recent article about people like myself who are so close to being done with church.

“Religion knew the truth of metaphor and symbol for almost all of history until the past few hundred years, and especially until the wrongly named Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. Then we started confusing rational and provable with real. We actually regressed and went backward. In trying to defend its ground in the face of rationalism and scientism, religion tried to become “rational” itself and lost its alternative consciousness, which many of us call contemplation. It’s as though we tried to deal with Mystery with the entirely wrong “software”. We lost access to the higher levels of consciousness, the transrational, the transpersonal, the transcendent itself. Most tragic, we lost most inner experience of our own outer belief systems. That is the heart of religion’s problem today, and it is indeed a deep and serious problem for upcoming generations. My generation took the symbols to literally, and now the following generation is just throwing them all out as useless. We are both losing. It might surprise you, but both religious fundamentalism and atheism are similar in that they are self-contained rational systems. Such a system works if you stay inside its chosen logic and territory.” ― Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self

My church, The Ann Arbor Vineyard is smoldering with the remnants of conflict, both internally among the pastors and externally with the National church leaders. I am not going to go into the history of the conflict, because to do so I will need to make statements that someone will choose to agree or disagree with, and that will prove my point. We have lost our way. Apologetics has unraveled what is really at stake here. There is a different paradigm, set forth before creation. Not written about in the bible but every bit as true. The reality of faith, undefinable or the ability to trust completely in an unseeable God, to care and watch over.

Dan lost his oldest child recently. He came about as close as loosing his faith and trust in God as anyone else I know. Yet despite all Dan continues to press into a God he can question. Over the past 30 or so years I lost my identity in my church. Then the crisis happened, while itwas going on I found the deeper reality, a greater truth, that doesn’t require my behavior. Which has a little irony because the issue surrounding the church involves peoples behavior. There are those that believe in this God, and those that he has made some sort of moral code that rules the behavior of even the most hardened atheist.

But delving into that defeats my purpose here.

“That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

It is the fruit of the wrong tree has which has fermented and intoxicated making us “right” so we can strive until He returns. The tree of life has become something we don’t earn until heaven. Or at worst it is left in the garden. Who needs it, when you have the written word of scripture to systematically theologize? We struggle to keep ourselves independent and separated from the inevitable reality. We call deviation dangerous and churches split. Both sides placing their stake in the ground. The idea of a good God is questioned and a God that is to wonderful to be true has caused, the question was asked of me, “Paul are you a gnostic?”

WTF- must we label what we don’t understand?

“Live by the law – any law – and you fall from grace. You set aside the cross and trample the Son of God underfoot.

It makes no difference whether you keep the law to be saved, sanctified, or sanctimonious. Being faithful to the law is being unfaithful to Jesus. It’s walking by sight instead of faith. It’s walking after the old way of the flesh instead of the new and living way of the Spirit. Live by the law – any law – and you fall from grace. You set aside the cross and trample the Son of God underfoot”.- Paul Ellis- Escape to Reality

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
ROMANS 11:36

“Not yet”, we say, “I have a family to care for, I have a ministry, I have a business, I need to earn money until I can save enough…”

Faith is about acknowledging that the kingdom works, not how to get it to work.

My life verses come from the interchange between Elijah and Elisha in 1Kings 19:19   So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
 “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

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 those who choose to eat from the Tree of Life.

Heb. 4:1   Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
Heb. 4:6   It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.


a lone heretic.

Struggling to come up with a metaphor that expresses the reality of my faith that does not include religous-speak.

“Awkward Christian flirting” is about as close as I get. I saw it used in a different contact but it seems to fit.

The bible and christian literature are filled with examples of God’s love for us. I am not comfortable being loved, I love others. But others loving me, I always wait for the other shoe to drop. What do you want? What will it cost? When will it hurt? When we talk about a supreme being of a universe loving me, a speck of germ on a remote dot hurling around a massive void. I have my doubts and If this being does in fact love me there has to be a cost. Isn’t that how most of us live out our faith?

I remember working in a food bank and giving an adult man bags of groceries for his family. He broke down and sobbed, between tears he said, “ If my dad could see me now he would be so angry, because I am not earning this.”

How many of us fall for the same lie.

“If you believe in absolute grace you will fall into depraved sexual sin.” Seriously? Actually me thinks you might be having problems with porn and you are afraid it will come into the light. So, in an effort to explain how deeply the supreme beings love is, we reduce the love of God to a Christian metaphor based upon an old letter in the bible written by a Hebrew King. Then add qualification, just in case it might not be real.

The Heart of God by Francis Frangipane

”Last week I asked, If Christ were in the room, would you enter? How would you enter? We spoke of our sin, fear and shame being barriers. These are due to our perception of ourselves. Yet, when the thought first awakened within you that you could enter His presence, something also awakened in Him. He says,

“You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; you have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes” (Song of Sol. 4:9).

Your glance, even if it was no more than the briefest anticipation of being with Him, made His heart beat faster. The King James Version reads, “Thou hast ravished my heart.” Jesus is not returning simply to destroy wickedness; He is coming for a bride. At the end of the age our task is not simply to prepare for the rapture or the tribulation but for Christ!

NOTICE the verse says NOTHING about sin or wickedness. This was added by the author to make a point not contained in the verse.

Let me pause while I remove the from the lint in my navel.

Hmm, would I let my sin hinder me from loving God or would sin keep me from being loved by God. Do we realize how ridiculous this thought is?

What he is trying to express using the book of Songs is the intimate expression of love between two lovers. He is using the example of Christ and His bride, yet he asks us to see through the artificial lens of sin. Instead of the lens of grace, God forbid someone loves us without expecting something.

I have a fundamental disagreement with Mr. Frangipane, but I forgive him because he is emerged in the Christian culture of today and its faulty eschatology. Jesus is returning, the book says so. But the work has been done. We are not waiting for Him to redo what is already done. It is finished, the finishing is ongoing. complete.

That is a topic for a different day.

Jesus tells this story in Matt 25-

Matt. 25:1   “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

“Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’

“But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

We have a lamp full of oil because, like the Widow at Zarephath we come with empty jars that we didn’t empty or even make that are filled with oil that is just enough. We don’t buy anything.

This is grace.

Ever read one of those statements that arrests your attention and makes you stop to reread it?

Recently reading an email blog during lunch I found two such statements:

  1. “…According to Tullian Tchividjian, the number one problem in the church today is not cheap grace but cheap law, namely, “the idea that God accepts anything less than the perfect righteousness of Jesus.” I totally agree. It is Jesus who makes you righteous, holy, and eternally pleasing to God. Anything you might add to his perfect work only subtracts from it.”
  2. “The phrase ‘unconditional love’ is nowhere in the Bible.” That’s because the Bible writers were good writers who knew how to avoid redundant qualifiers. The phrase “unconditional love” is like “sunny sunshine” or “wet water.” Don’t you see? Love must be unconditional or it’s not love. There is no such thing as conditional love.”

Notice the subtile shift in focus from cheap grace to cheap law.


”Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.“ http://www.crossroad.to/Persecution/Bonhoffer.html

There is NO such thing as cheap grace. That is like saying love could be conditional.

The unconditional love of God is absolute. God’s grace is powerful. God’s covenant and fatherhood has drawn us into a family where the only thing that matters is His love shared.

Once we grasp the reality of this the world will change.

I realize that much of what is called Christianity feels like it must balance good with bad to be real. While it is true we need bad to establish what good is. There is a second option that is difficult to fathom, life. Life is the breath of God into Adam’s lungs. It is exhaling that breath over others and sharing in the life. It is the reason for the faith.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

“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


A note to my 20 year ago self

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


Wild-eyed radical “The Name”

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 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.




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”