Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
My son came home to visit last night. We had a wonderful evening but he spent plenty of time on his phone talking and texting. About 2 months ago his girlfriend of 18 mos. called their relationship quits. They spent so much time together that for all intents and purposes they were married, joined at the soul, a couple. So after about a month of grief and sorrow and anger he went out with another girl. They enjoyed spending time together too and soon they are a couple. Girlfriend number one hears through the grapevine that this is happening and wants to reconcile.
So last night I was sitting with my wife tearfully listening to some music that my friend Nektarios sent me, when Roman transforms the scene with tears of his own. Broken hearted, he has told girlfriend no. 1 and no. 2 that he will no longer be trying to maintain relationship, platonic or otherwise, with girlfriend no. 1. He left and went for a walk in the crisp frosty winter night to regroup and pray. Meanwhile I prayed too.
It looks like two marsupial's. When we are in love we take turns doting over that love, carrying it carefully around in our pouches, sharing the responsibility and joy as that love grows. Suddenly, as if someone flipped a switch, that love looks like a great big selfish thing eating us from the inside, eating parts we don't want to have eaten because we really do love ourselves like we were and are afraid of what we are becoming. Our first reaction is to hand the love off to the other party. It isn't getting the nourishment it needs so it gets even more ridiculously needy and hideous and we blame each other for its poor health. This is the time where we have to make a very difficult decision. We either have to succomb to that love and let it eat what parts it wants and discard the parts it doesn't of us until it becomes us and we are it and there no longer is anything to distinguish it apart from ourselves or..... we tear it out of our souls along with part of what we've become and throw it to the ground to lie there trembling and quivering and very much alive but already dead.
So the decision to throw it to the floor is made. But we take pity on that love and we continue to rip little pieces of us off and throw it to the thing lying on the floor - after all it was so cute and cuddly at one time and it is already house-trained and we've grown used to it's chewing....
Then along comes another marsupial with a little bundle of love of their own and even while we are ripping little pieces of our pouch off for the dieing love we begin to nurture and care for the new love all cuddly and sweet and everything and then.....
I guess that is why we are encouraged to love each other with an agape love instead of a storge' love. We just don't have enough of us for the storge' part. The agape type is like a constant spring, cool and clear and refreshing. It takes nothing for itself but gives all from the very beginning, no expectations of the future, no hauntings from the past. It is courageous and sacrificial. It looks like Jesus.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
This morning I got a call from my buddy Baldy, the one whose mom died about a month ago. I need to visit his dad, he's giving up on life and just keeps playing some crazy Allan Jackson song about "walking in heaven with you" or something. It breaks my heart to see lovers mourn. I don't think I have anything to say but Baldy thinks I need to come. You can't say anything to a person like that. I'll just go and sit with him. I'll ask him to play me that song - precious.
Friday, September 14, 2007
I'm glad that she was who she was. I loved hearing her stories about when she was young and single and living it up in Detroit with her girlfriends. I love to look at the photos of her sunbathing in the 50's. She was free from her abusive mother, had several friends and a couple roommates, worked as a keypunch operator at GE. She didn't look like that ever as a mom. She worked almost all the time, back when women ironed sheets. I remember her being exhausted and going to bed by 9:30 p.m. every night. The closest she got to relaxing was when we took a break from hoeing or picking pickles. She'd pour herself half a beer and sit in front of the fan in her sweat-soaked sleeveless white shirt. Her brown hair would be flying every which way making her look much like a TV madman, except for her smile. I felt so sorry for her and wished we were rich then. Her eyes would droop as she relaxed but it would only be for about a 1/2 hour and then we'd be back out again hoeing weeds or picking pickles until 3:00 p.m. Then she'd go in to start dinner and put on her "shows". She'd escape into General Hospital and then get on the phone with my abusive Grandmother to talk about what was going to happen tomorrow. I hope she felt that she lived a good life when she died but I don't think she did.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The last lines of Wendell Berry’s poem “A History” reads “This place, that the great nation passed in its hundreds of hundreds, becomes again the place that they were searching for.”
As I read I was reminded of our own fair city of Carson City. I thought of the farmers and families that had carved a life out of mid-Michigan, had coffee together, raised barns, threshed grains, shocked corn, and built schools, churches, and businesses. The industrial revolution and more specifically the automobile has been kind of like the fire in Berry’s poem, “They set fires behind them to discourage pursuit. Behind them, the way would not support another passage.”
We find ourselves, as in Berry’s poem, at the point where the fires are out (as well as many of the manufacturing jobs), the opportunities are popping up like new shoots of grass through the ashes but it will take much vision and determination to culture a different kind of community from the devastation that many call the “Rust Belt”.
Agribusiness will continue to figure prominently but as any farmer knows diversity is the key to success. Picture a landscape broken by a huge wind farm. Farm and municipal waste flowing through sewer lines toward anaerobic digesters to capture the earth-suffocating methane- redeemed as heating fuel or to power a generator. Maybe our roofs will reflect the blue skies as photovoltaics turn sunlight into energy to serve our homes and community. Perhaps a biodiesel plant processing corn stover or wood chips into syngas in a biomass gasification process and using the waste heat to make ethanol or heat a hydroponic greenhouse where fresh vegetables are produced year-around.
Change is right around the corner and I urge you to resurrect and embrace the frontier spirit that calloused the hands of those that came before us. Don’t be drawn into negative politics this fall, concerning yourselves with what has been done wrong, but rather ask what will be done right and choose someone you believe will do it. Indifference is our only enemy. If we are not building we are dying.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
A quote by C.S. Lewis I recently read in a biography by Beatrice Gormley read (from memory)"I find at 50 that much of me is still that 12 year old boy and I suspect that at 12 I already had much of the 50 year old in me".
As I passed a newly mown alfalfa (hay) field and smelled the richness of the sweet hay raked in rows awaiting transportation to feed bunks or plastic ag-baggers I imagined the life-cycle of the farmer's alfalfa. What is now sweet-smelling will become waste and smell enough to make me wretch in disgust before a year is out. The process of being alfalfa is like that. Oh if that alfalfa could remain on the cusp of pre-flower fullness instead of being subject to the haymakers knife, the cows bicuspids, .... Anyway, as I thought about both the alfalfa and Lewis (he had a very tough childhood of abuse and neglect after his mother died when he was 9) I thought about people and how we can look deeply at people and find a mirror of most of what we are in almost anyone we meet. Our alfalfa has manure in it as well as our manure has alfalfa in it and the same it is with everyone else. If we can love people for their alfalfa and have mercy on their manure maybe our own alfalfa will be freed to remain at its fullness in wonder and admiration of the life we've so graciously been given in Christ.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The other distinct memory I have of her was when we three would come to the house drunk. Her husband would be at work and we'd get the music going and singing and playing guitars and banjos, even the juice harp or a harmonica would fit - anything that made noise. We'd have bread races (see who was the fastest to eat a dry piece of white bread with nothing to wash it down) and arm wrestle and push and shove and Mrs. Smith would stay in the kitchen and fix something for us to eat or smoke a Pall Mall until we settled down into a ballad or some slow cheating song. She'd come in and sit and tell us it was her prayer that someday we'd use our music to Glorify God.
The last time I saw Bev was a couple years ago. I had written a song and was drinking a couple beers with Baldie and he told me I had to sing it to his mother. It was a fresh 6 months since her son Doug had been killed by a brick in a construction accident and the song was about how we can't always understand why God allows some people to die in their youth or in their prime. I sang it for her a capella and she shed a tear. Her prayers had been answered and the miracle of proof stood before her and sang to her Jesus' sweet song of redemption.
Bev died on Saturday morning July 28. She'd had a minor surgery 6 days earlier and was overcome by infection and lost circulation in her legs which turned black. I went to her Friday night and told her that she shined, shined like the brightest diamond to me - a kid who desperately needed someone to love him EVEN when I chose to not live within God's will. I'll never forget the smell of Pall Mall cigarettes and fried potatoes.
Saturday I dug some new red potatoes from my garden, picked some tender young summer squash (I can eat those things right off the vine by the pound), and the first half dozen of ripe sweet corn, drove a mile and a half from my dad's house and walked into that dirt-road house. The pack of Pall Malls was still on the window sill but no one was there to smoke them. I sat with Baldie and his dad. We talked of coon hounds, bear tracks, coyote races and fishing. We talked about gardening, tractors, and music. Finally I just had to tell Merle how much Bev had shined in my life. The legacy of love will continue through my six children and many other relationships that have been blossoming from a mustard seed planted in good soil here and there. I told him that she was the saltiest of salty and there was never a bush that could hide her light. A flicker of an ember of that Pall Mall reflected off that kitchen window and into my life and lives to come.
We shed some tears right there and then we smiled together while Merle talked of Jesus' love for us that will transcend our loss. His voice wavered little as he spoke of how important family is and how much it meant to him to have shared that moment of Bev's step into another life. For a moment I really wanted to smoke one of those Pall Malls but only for a moment.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
After he left a person that has not been all that kind to me from the church I used to attend stopped by. He is going through a rough spot with his ex-wife and wanted to talk. We spent three hours together talking about Jesus and forgiveness and redemption. We did church.
Saturday morning an usher from the church stopped by (in our neighborhood) and we caught up and shared our lives and we did church.
Saturday afternoon a old old friend called and we spent a couple hours on the phone talking about his severe arthritis and heaven and hell and Jesus and old men in our lives and how we are not far from it (he's 42, former concrete finisher with two kids left at home and now crippled with arthritis) and yes we did church.
Saturday evening a very good friend of mine that I just seem to hit it off with stopped in to see if I needed some help from him (I rented a jackhammer to break concrete but was blind-sided with a plumbing problem and since he works at the hardware he knew all about it) but we sat and talked about life a little and just a little about Jesus and about his upcoming trip to England and about loving your neighbor and about growing up tall (he's really tall) and we did church.
Sunday I jackhammered all day but did get interrupted by a good friend who was excited about the pastor and christian author that moved in a block down my street and right across the street from him. Our conversation was very short but I know why he stopped and in that little act of love we did church.
This morning I and four of my co-workers and two of their wives drove 3 1/2 hours north to attend a funeral mass for a 23 yr. old man who found life much to difficult for him to bear and put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger last Wednesday morning. His sister works with us. I didn't know Adam. I know his family loved him very much. On the way up I rode with two other guys and the subject turned to Sodom and Gomorrha (I can't remember why we got on that subject, I think it had to do with Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt) and we had differing interpretations so we read it and we talked about it and it ended by following Lot's lineage through Moab through Ruth and through Tamar and on through to Jesus. We then talked about evil and lessons and growing and redemption and GOOD and we finished about 2 miles from the church when I read Revelations 21. It was spooky cool when the same scripture was read by the priest at the funeral. The mass was so beautiful and the service so rich that I was compelled to get up and go to the elements before the priest even called the body to recieve them. I stayed in my seat though because I've gone up front with my hand outstretched and been blessed when asking for nourishment and the rejection burned angrily within me. I remained seated so as to not rush into the same sin. Afterward a catholic friend of mine told me how to hold my hands to "look like a good catholic" so I could recieve communion. I know it seems as though it shouldn't be that important but my spirit longed for those elements. If it happens again I'll know how to hold my hands like a good catholic. After bagpipes cried out Amazing Grace and we walked the shady procession to the cemetary (the first time I've ever seen that done and it too was just beautiful) we joined together for great pans of scalloped potatoes, polish sausage and saurkraut, potato salad, cakes of every description, jello molds and Kool-aid to wash it all down. We followed Adam's sister to the family farm, where they'd all grown up, and had a little cry out by the pig pen overlooking the alfalfa field that leads to the woods where Adam was found in his deer blind. With the fresh, cool, slightly-fishy breeze of nearby Lake Huron in our tear-stained faces, we did church.
God this is a rough and beautiful place. I know you must be both rough and beautiful (warrior and nurturer that you are) and I am with you and I ask you to please hold Adams family very tight and very long because they are in that suffocating parched throat pain that only you can provide relief from.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I don't think I'll bother thinking much about this when others are so much better at it than I.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The next day I did just that. It was just like the picture of Jess slugging Scrogins or whatever his name was at the end of Terabithia. Howard slugged me in the cheek from behind and I stood up, turned around and let him have it full force and knocked him backwards out of his desk (he was leaning cockily on the back two legs but it was a nice added affect) Jackie Byrne gleamed at me with a twinkle in her eye and when we soaked our clarinet reeds in band class later I looked as courageous as I could (with a clarinet reed in my mouth) as she related what happened to the other people in band and I was someone else that day.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
First, impacting the world is first a “matter of the heart,” said Geoff
Tunnicliffe, international director of WEA, during the commencement ceremony on
Friday for Olivet University in San Francisco.
To illustrate his point, the
evangelical leader used the story of the Good Samaritan who helped a man different than him. Tunnicliffe emphasized that the Samaritan came near to the man when others seeing the man’s
broken image distanced themselves from him.
“The Samaritan comes near to the
man that lays on the ground. He is in contact with the other
man. This man comes close to the different,” Tunnicliffe said, before
noting that all mankind is the creation of God.
Most people will have a change of heart if they just once sacrifice their own safety and comfort to help another. Several people I know have went on short-term mission trips because it was the right thing to do and their hearts will never be the same again. Jesus didn't tell Peter to love his sheep, he said feed my sheep. Love is often found when we are obedient. I doubt if the man lying wounded and bleeding was interested in whether the Samaritan truly loved him. Bleed for others and proclaim God's Glory. Lose your life(style) for others and lift his name on high. Love somehow shows up so you cannot stand to NOT do as the good Samaritan.
God please help Tim, my whole family loves that guy and we cherish the time we've spent with him and his family. Send your angels to protect him from evil. Lord you know his heart and you know mine. Amen.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I think that is why God just doesn't destroy evil from among the good. That is why evil lingers among good as both grow and the good matures along with the evil. The servants cannot disturb the evil lest the good be killed along with it. I think we have to be very careful not to be too hasty in our weeding of our lives. There might not be much life left alive after the garden is clean. Maybe bleached-out dried-up bones will be all that is left.
Maybe we'll be left with a row of empty dirt, no weeds and no parsnips.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
About three weeks ago I had a dream about a guy from high school, Steve Kopka. I guess we could have been considered aquaintences. I know if we were to see each other we'd speak about old times for about 10 minutes and we'd be done. I don't know why I'd have a dream about him, especially one that had us actually talking about our kids because I haven't seen him in almost 25 years and didn't even know he had kids.
My sister sent me this last week:
Sheriff: Suicide bullet struck deputy, too
Its a story of a man at the end of his choices, or so he thought. I've been so close to that same place. Nothing anyone said could help me see things differently because there is no way they could understand. A few did love me though and that stuck with me in a big way. I hope that I never make the mistake of saying nothing again. I know I don't always say the right things, my wife tells me that, but sitting in this chair and wondering if I could have said the right thing is not a position I hope to find myself in again, for Jesus' sake.
Life is so fragile. Hope is so important.
I don't know how I never found it before but this is the blog of one of my all-time favorite authors. I cannot recommend his books enough. Even if you don't agree with him it is obvious he is genuine in his love for Christ.
Here is his podcast
Here is a podcast he did at Mars Hill last month called "Christos Victor" and it is awesome.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
The deadline for applications for the grants is May 18, the deadline for the loan app. or loan/grant app. is July 2.
Thats a short time to come up with ways to spend almost $200 million dollars in funding.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
I get melancholy when I think of all we could have been doing and haven't. I get melancholy when I see my financial obligations have me enslaved to a lifestyle I no longer wish to remain in. There are over 20 homes for sale in our tiny city of 1200 people. Our real estate market has fallen as manufacturing jobs that people relied on go south for cheaper labor. No way is someone going to buy my 6 bedroom, 3 bath energy monster so I can downsize. I get melancholy when I realize that in a few short months I'll have 3 kids that are licensed drivers and only one with a job to pay for his insurance (he now has his own car too so really I only have two drivers). Even if I don't let them drive (which would be abuse in our society) my cars my insurance company is still going to raise my insurance. I get melancholy when I see that in spite of all the change that is being made in my own life I still find myself like Paul, doing that which I wish not to do and not doing that which I long to do.
Its 51 degrees on the 1st of June. Just a couple days ago it was 93 degrees. That alone is a reason to be melancholy. I think I need a nap...or a bowl of soup...or maybe a good book....or hope that springs eternal. Yep, I need that.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The engineer that is manufacturing these small oil mills is a student of Ghandi and has many pages devoted to his teachings. They sound remarkably like Jesus in many ways.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
McDonnell pointed to a case of a Christian being unjustly harmed by the blasphemy law. A Christian boy was sentenced to death for writing blasphemy on the wall of a mosque. However, the boy was completely illiterate but was accused by Muslim “witnesses” of the crime. Under international pressure the boy was released but the family had to flee the country for fear of being lynched by mobs.
“Christians and other religious minorities are being roped into false cases under the blasphemy law. They are being murdered by zealots … This law is proving to be a sword hanging on the heads of non-Muslims and secular-minded people,” said All Pakistan Minorities Alliance in a statement.
“The blasphemy law needs to be amended, if not altogether repealed, because of its great misuse. The law has created an atmosphere of bigotry and intolerance …a sense of insecurity and harassment.”
Currently, Pakistani Christians in the northwest town of Charsadda are confronting the additional threat from extremists to shut down their churches and convert back to Islam by May 17 or face “dire consequences and bomb explosions,” according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
“Kindly pray for the protection and safety of Christians of Charsadda, who continue to remain in siege but undefeated spiritually and continue to uphold their faith in these difficult times,” wrote Shahbaz Bhatti, chairman of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, in a letter Friday.
“Kindly pray for government of Pakistan that God may provide them wisdom and courage to make sincere efforts to control the situation and violence.
I grieve our brothers and sisters in Pakistan, those living in persecution and those walking corpses that are instituting the anti-apostacy hate conspiracy. In dire times such as these it is only a little comforting to know that Christ's Kingdom is breaking in through the evil. I pray that in this suffering, for Christ's name, satan's cause be defeated and the red dragon of hatred be driven to ground where the strongman lies bound by the sacrifice of the lamb and the testimony of the faithful. I pray that the peace that passes all understanding strike fear in the hearts of those who persecute and they seek the strength and peace of the Holy Spirit rather than the destruction and death that would consume the entire world were it not for the blood of the lamb and the surrender of those whose blood wil be shed for Jesus.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I was studying this morning and finalizing a talk I have to give on study (DeColores) and I read Exodus 16. It spoke to me. A few different things:
1. If we are grumbling against something we are grumbling against God.
2. When we get hungry we grumble.
3. When we get hungry we tend to think of what we’ve already eaten before rather than wondering what God will have us eat next.
4. God promises enough for the day, an omer for each, no more no less, whenever we try to make it last longer than the day he provided for, it gets full of maggots and smells like a rotting carcass. It MUST be new every morning.
5. Every time God shows up with bread we better pay very close attention.
Bread from Heaven
16:1 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?”  For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer,  according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. 19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
see also Luke 24 and Deutoronomy 8 for bread/word-God shows up.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
So the music starts and I wish I could tell you everything that was played but I can't because I paid so little attention to the announcer and focussed on the kids. There was so much life packed into the little gymnasium. I think there were probably 250 kids split in three groups, fifth and sixth graders, middle-schoolers and high schoolers. Their faces were a collage of confidence, nervous energy, jubilance, humility, posers, and indifference. They sounded awesome. As they played the music I thought of the composers and what might have been in their hearts as they wrote in a cymbal crash or a flute solo or a bell strike. I was moved to tears by this really large young lady's rendition of Evanescence's "Wake Me Up Inside" and thought of times that I felt just as the artist felt when they penned those words but not now, no by no means did I come anywhere close to that now because every one of my senses was awaken to everything thing around me to a degree I've only experienced like 3 times (not counting my earlier partying years). Now I was in awe with wet tears on my face at the naked courage of this young lady, beautiful young lady, that was belting out these words as if she herself were attached to every one of them and being carried on wings through a life that we can't touch or see but know just from her voice that it holds the richness of what the very centroid of the universe is anchored on. If this is what experiencing life in Christ is like sign me the heck up forever because I don't want to be anywhere near that corpse that used to walk in and wonder if everyone seen how supportive it was being of its kids or if its kid realized it was missing some important meeting at church for this and if they appreciated it for its sacrifice.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
I got to connect a little more with the kids across the street yesterday. A couple of neighbors came by to warn us to watch them - that is so awesome. The neighbors finally come outside in the warm weather and realize they've got a houseful of kids (in their twenties) in their neighborhood threatening to do something, well, like they used to when they were that age. It was great that Leslie could let the neighbors know that we know them well enough and we're not too concerned. She suggested they stop in and say hi.
Dancing with Consumerism | Out of Ur | Following God's Call in a New World | Conversations hosted by the editors of Leadership journal
This is a good article and particularly compelling for me was the final paragraph-
The way that I think about engaging it is…well, let’s look at how Jesus interacted with his culture. Jesus used three primary movements in every context. The first movement is towards. So he was incarnational. He entered. People like to use the word relevant for this. But Jesus also moved against the culture, he was resistant. He overturned tables in the temple and said “You brood of vipers.” So he was both relevant and resistant. And third, Jesus withdrew to quiet places. He was also distant, he moved away. So you have three rhythmic movements of toward, against, and away—relevance, resistance, and distance. And none of those can be static. They always have to be happening.
Enter, Resist, and Distance. This I can do as I live out the counter-culture of Jesus Christ.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
I watched a documetary on Global Climate Change debate done by a guy named Moyer who interviewed Evangelicals from both sides of the debate. I'm hard-pressed to believe anyone that uses scripture out of context like Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla did when Moyer interviewed him really can adequately represent the "Church" on this issue. There are a vast number of Christians that believe good stewardship means getting the most return out of mines, wells, farms, developments, etc. I cannot agree with them when I see God's hand trying to restore as soon as we mess something up. I like it to giving my kids pencils to write with and then going behind them with a 'magic eraser' to get the pencil off the wall. At some point the child either quits writing on the wall or you take away the pencil or you instill in the child that it is your job to wipe pencil off the wall. I don't like the third option but that is what many of the I don't think it is God's job to clean up our messes.
Oh, one other thing. When I read the sermon on the mount I'm not reading it like people have read it to me. I read it alot differently now that I actually view it through the 'metanarrative' or story. Jesus was adressing the crowd as well as his disciples. Christians aren't 'the' light of the world, nor are they the 'salt of the earth', HUMANITY is the light of the world and the salt of the earth so get over the pep talks and share in the life of someone that isn't from your 'church family' because THAT is how hearts are transformed.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I'm just ranting. No one from my church reads this anyway. They talk about me not to me.
Friday, April 06, 2007
So what do we do with this overwhelming urge to get busy with something a little more costly, something outside of the small groups, prayer meetings, leadership development, team-building, 40 days of this or that (I don't want to belittle local church discipleship but at some point a disciple has to move into something else and risk something, that is what is meant by faith, not the faith that comes from building each other up to Christ but the faith that comes from trusting Jesus with everything and risk losing it all) and build something real and lasting and firm. We need to do something that pares away the rot of the civil religion most of us have called church and breathe deeply of true self-sacrificial love that finds is source from the one that whispered "follow me" to some dirty, raw-boned, smelly, dark-eyed fisherman.
In one of the sessions the DVD profiles a family of suburbanites that developed a "homework time" at an inner-city apartment complex. I think they eventually moved in to the complex but they started by renting an apartment and offering to help kids with their homework after school. They also played games with the kids and just loved them. I'm thinking this is for me. I'm putting the plan together right now and am going to start a non-profit, buy a trailer in the worst trailer park in the city I work in and start it up this fall. I've offered the idea to my bosses and now they are talking about kicking out the tenant that is in the old theatre that they bought (he just stores antiques in there) and making it a teen center. I think I'm going to forge ahead with the homework/game trailer because I can almost cover that with my own resources (other than volunteers). I guess the reason I posted this is my excitement level is so high I had to tell someone and now I'm thinking I'd really like any readers to be in prayer for this project. I think the right kind of mission not only transforms the person being served but also the one serving.
Monday, April 02, 2007
I wonder how the hungry will eat them.
Maybe lepers can use them as bandages.
I guess if you glued enough of them together you could give them to the naked.
Prisoners could write notes to each other on them if he leaves enough space.
TRACTS ARE NOT THE GOSPEL. Love in action is the gospel.
Of course Jesus' blog wouldn't look much like mine either so I'm gonna work on the tree in my own eye right now and serve someone.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
So He was the alpha particle, there in the beginning, from which all matter formed. Close, real close.
I know I'm taking it all out of context, I said it was POETIC, nothing more. I'd have called it irony but thats Fe not He. MMmmm Hmmm, its late.