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When you just don’t want to Live anymore


For some of us, it gets like that.  During times like that, life sucks and it is hard.  Times like that are more than difficult:  they are impossible and during those periods there is a complete lack of joy.

In fact, all one sees during those times is bad.  All that one feels is pain.

For the Christian these are difficult to say the least.  Times can become so painful and overbearing we can get where we simply don’t want to live anymore.

We see life as horrible and our relations and accomplishments as nothing but failures.

These characterizations can be completely real and honest;  yet, once again, the Christian MUST see beyond the immediate or the elements in front of us or the barriers during the present.

For in all the cruelty and badness we are encompassed with, the GOOD is also there. The problem is:  at the moment, one cannot see the good for we are blinded with our own problems and with our own circumstances.

During those times, we need to buy time. During those days when you no longer want to live, one must force them self to see that exiting out of this world is selfish.  More importantly, one must know and realize that the world is not static and no matter how difficult or impossible our circumstances seem at the time, things will change.

No, I won’t lie and say everything will be alright.  They will NOT be alright.  But, what I am saying is that God is Good and life is worth living because of HIM.

And because of Him, there are many other people involved and they too are worth living for.

And so, when life is not worth living and we don’t want to live anymore, we must—–I repeat, we must look at others and climb out of the grief of self.

Once out of self we will see the good and when we see the good we will also see our Lord in the middle of it.  For no matter how bad things truly are:  Christ is there with us.  The important thing is for us to remain with HIM.

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When We are WWrongG


As it happens, being human and subject to available facts at the time, we are most often wrong as our judgments and perceptions are only built around whatever data is available to us at the time. This is not exactly a comforting thought as most people like to at least think our thoughts and behaviors are based on a sound and rational system of logic.

Even in interpreting the Bible, we are confined to the best interpretation available and must assign ourselves to distant our thoughts from our preconceived notions and ideas.

Regardless of our intentions, we nonetheless manage to mutilate our efforts as we piece together wisdom from one chapter or one book or another to formulate whatever of organized thought we had in mind.  In other words, we tend to piece together a series of actions to scope the information into one complete organism of action and sequence.  This is profound when we do it with the four synoptic gospels. In reality, we ‘force’ the information to fit our scheme of things and this is a distorted truth that is probably more wrong than correct.

In short, most things in our view with life and likely more wrong than right.  Thus, most of our precepts, our values are engrained with a loose system of faith and presumptions.

And as our perceptions change from day to day and from year to year, we also approach the universe differently than from previous days or ages.  And as we age, most of us believe our previous views were more or less immature or otherwise viewed as wrong.

Because of this, in the past we relied more on a system of elders to balance out the views of the youth.  A more well seasoned individual was supposedly wiser and possessed a knowledge more subject to time.

Today’s generations tend to move away from that concept and rely instead on more ‘instant’ information and thus, I think are subject to even more error than those of the past.

Nonetheless, the result will at least be the same:  we will continue to believe in wrong realities and now will not be checked by the knowledge of our progenitors and elders.

The real shame and crime here is that people will be content in being wrong and in being satisfied that the answers gleaned are sufficient and good enough to strive forward. However, we must remember that our wrongness can never be good enough for the large measure of truth we search for in life and in Scriptures.  In the end, our quest is for the truth and for the peace given as a result.  To all of this, the only answer that is succinct enough is that of our Lord, Jesus.  In him, we ferret out the truth and enjoy the peace given to us by the salvation of His grace.  And in that, He is never wrong.

Private Jets, Starving Children, and … the CHURCH


I’m a leaving, on a Jet Plane..don’t know when I’ll be back again…

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Here is a framework for the worldview in which I operate:

In this world which YHWH, the creator God of Israel, made in his infinite LOVE and WISDOM, and in which the human creatures in particular are made to bear his image (represent him), when I see ANYONE owning, using, and keeping a private jet WHILE ANY child ANYWHERE in God’s creation is known to suffer hunger, then those private-jet people are very selfish, self-centered, and egocentric and thus do not bear God’s image insofar as they keep those jets.

It practically goes without saying.

If we ALL shared those jets, then this argument would not hold up.  But the fact that they are private, particularly, makes them problematic.

These are markers, in my worldview, of the edges of practically everything.  Let us situate ourselves IN THAT framework.  Where is the church in all this?

I don’t personally know any…

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Thinking In Terms of Spiritual Triage


How do you plea?

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

“Triage” is a medical term.  It has to do with making quick decisions about who will be saved and who will not.  It’s a rating system.  In an event with mass casualties, a doctor (or qualified medical personnel) will quickly pass through the mobs of needy people and bloody carnage, assessing and making snap judgments based on the level of need and the level of urgency.  If you are deemed “too far gone,” then you will be set aside, hopefully with pain management until you die, but, at that point, you are without hope of salvation.

I grew up watching the TV series M*A*S*H, and I recall how this process was portrayed.  Sometimes those snap judgements get second guessed, and sometimes those initially deemed beyond hope actually get saved.  Maybe we need to take a second look at our Spiritual Triage as a church today.

Now I am a grown…

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JESUS: THE GREATEST HOMELESS MAN WHOEVER LIVED


Many places to go, but no home.

Screenshot_20191006-163727~2White Christian America is deeply entrenched in the Protestant Work ethic…and materialism. This work ethic is based on the very un-Biblical theological idea called Pre-Destinationism.

Pre-Destinationism is the idea that if you work hard, store up material wealth and are frugal…that your material success is an indication given from God that you are ”pre-destined” for heaven.

This widespread practice lead to the vast capital reserves necessary for developing the immense industrialization of the West. It is at the root of Capitalism and it’s attendant destructive practices, materialism and greed.

Yet, White American Christians erronously envision Jesus as being an industrious small business owner…a private contractor/carpenter.

Jesus renounced the world, greed and the hoarding of wealth. He became a homeless man…the greatest homeless man who ever lived.

He instructed his followers to renounce wealth, to share all they had and to show compassion on the poor/socially ostracized. To unite with these…

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Competing On Your “Level” Playing Field


“For 2cents Plain” revisited. OR something like that, more or less.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I was drunk the day Mama got out of prison.  Drunk on Granddaddy’s bootleg stash.  I took my job and shoved it, joined 11 long-haired friends of Jesus on and chartreuse micro bus, and couldn’t keep a permanent address long enough to collect my welfare cash.

I’ve been arrested six times – 3 P.I.’s, a lude conduct, loitering, and another I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t do – but they called it prostitution.  I dropped out of school in the 10th grade, officially, but I haven’t seen the place since the eighth.  The thing I’m most proud of is the stuff I got away with, but I wouldn’t tell you about it and blow my cover unless we finished a very nice bottle of Scotch first.

I can pick a guitar, a little, and I can write a song or two, but I can’t sing; I ain’t…

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Why Are We Cruel to our Loved Ones?


Lily does it again and hammers in the Truth.

Retrospective Lily

Hi, friends. I know I take my loved ones for granted. How about you?

When People Create Their Own Misery

How many others have witnessed this scenario?

You’re in the company of a married couple or a child-parent pair. In conversation, a wife says something snide and cruel about her husband, and you instantly feel a pang of pity for both of them. Or a parent says or asks something pretty innocuous, and the child snaps back in an unnecessarily harsh way. Again, you feel the pang of pity.

Watching these scenarios is tough (especially in one’s own family). I want to shake the one who’s being cruel and ask, “Why do you act this way? Why do you delight in tearing this person down?”

I observe the facial expression of the one torn down, and when they look dejected, I just want to wrap them in a hug…

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TRUMP 2020 – NO MORE BULLSH*T!


What an aroma to our nose. Wait a minute, that smell just isn’t good.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

*   I have contemplated writing this post a long time, yet never have found a way of addressing it that actually satisfies.  Notice: I use an asterisk in the title of this post.  Nevertheless, I strongly doubt the meaning or the sentiment is censored.  The offense is seething loud and clear behind that stupid little*“!

Okay, so here’s what’s up:

I live in a very nice, white, middle-class neighborhood in a very conservative and “Christian” town.  My neighborhood is not the most upper of crust, but it is a well established area with fine homes which I presume play host to Jesus in our hearts.  (At least that is the vibe I thought I was sensing when we purchased here.)

Shortly after moving here, our nation endured the presidential election of 2016 which proved to be an upset defeat for Hillary Clinton.  My neighborhood, that year…

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On Their Level


I am glad i’m not like those bums over there.

Our Daily Journey

Recently a church youth group was on a wilderness back-packing expedition and got lost. It was supposed to be a half-day trip, so they soon ran out of water in the Texas heat. One boy especially became dehydrated and seriously ill. Another hiked miles to get help, then hiked back with rescue team to show them the location. A helicopter came and took him and this now seriously ill friend to a hospital over 100 miles away. The other hikers were provided supplies and were eventually trucked out. Fortunately, the rescue was in time – the young man’s life was saved.

Nice story, so far. Right? Here is where it gets dicey. Our young hero is now in the hospital waiting room. He calls home to bring mom and dad up to date. So far so good. The boy continues his vigil, but soon realizes a predicament – he has…

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What Does It Profit A Nation To Gain The Whole World And Forfeit Its Soul?


Throw the bum out and leave him there. Wait a minute. That person happens to be ME.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

The problems of poverty and homelessness are “intractable” and complex.  However, in American culture, it is easy to blame the poor for their own problems and thus to be overly simplistic and uncaring.  “These people” lack discipline, delayed gratification, job skills/education, work ethic, and so forth on the one hand, but on the other, “these people” struggle with alcohol and drug addiction and mental illness.

No doubt such observations are true.  Any and all are common – even major – contributing factors to poverty and homelessness in our culture.  However, very quietly, bubbling up at the edges of popular analysis, I find a concern for “networks of support.”  People living on the street suffer the loss of “networks of support” which put them there, networks which enable (empower, if you don’t like my use of “enable”) them to overcome any of these other contributing factors.

Got a debilitating drug addiction? …

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TOUCHING


At least one remarkable peculiarity of the NFL is the spectacle of enthusiastic players touching each other after successful plays. The players become emphatic on seemingly impossible plays where afterward, the players and circle each other one-on-one and begin to hug and pat down each other over various body parts but in particular even on the behind.

A highly successful slogan by Southern Bell in days gone by was to reach out and touch someone. The emphasis was stressed, and a proverbial marketing feature was to tap the consumer’s conscience and their need for physical contact with others.

And this is where at least in one place in American society we have gone astray. In our avarice, our profiteering, ever-expanding search for possessions we have oftentimes hidden ourselves in gated communities and ensconced deeply in our air-conditioned cars foreign away from other people. Denoted here is the American population seal away from the rest of society.

This is the problem. We have removed ourselves from the sensitivities of our fellow man. In our quest for success we have separated our own persons from the elements that sustain us. To illustrate the point: our beloved friend, Wilson, in the movie starring Tom Hanks, Castaway. The need to remain in contact with people is stressed over and over again to good effect in this video. The movie presents no denial of our need for physical contact with one another.

Even scientists reveal the critical need for young babies to experience the human touch. Universally accepted, young babies require the actual physical touch for healthy physical maturation and development.

And so is also true with God. It is one thing to intellectually accept the existence of God, yet our conscience yearns for the physical reality of our creator. Constant in the theme of Jesus is Jesus healing people through touch. So much so is this true one person’s blindness was healed through Jesus’ spittle.

When we shield ourselves… When we remove ourselves… And when we encased ourselves within safe zones away from other people our message is one of exclusion and rejection.

This is not the message of Christianity.

The message of Christianity is the embracement of the morning. In a word, is touching… Touching the rejected, the dejected, and the unwanted. It means to fully envelop those who are dirty, nasty, sick and disgusting. Whereas the world judges and merits people by the outside, Christians are to duplicate godliness and value people from their inside.

This touching involves holding, feeding, stilling, clutching, clenching, clasping, and otherwise immersing ourselves into the physical body of others. While our actions may appear invasive and scary it is necessary to reveal not only who we are but as our image bearers of God. It is not a matter of fear of dirt rubbing off on us and us to sidestep those who are considered undesirables.

In the end, it is we the Christians who are in fact undesirable made desirable by the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. Our quest as Christians is to reach out, to touch, too old, and to uphold all sense of righteousness through our love as expressed in us by Jesus Christ.