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.


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.

Born Again This Way: Cruciformed

After before he was (the process of being born again)

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I write a blog that few people read with a message most people don’t want to hear.  I don’t white-wash it, sugar coat it, and I ain’t overly nice about it either.  I’m offensive.  I embrace being offensive.  Not because I want to keep you at arm’s length or run you off, not because I want to get in a good lick in the fight.  None of that.

No.  I want to be REAL with you.  And whenever you get to where you can actually HANDLE THE TRUTH, you will see what I mean, and we will get along fine!

You see, I am offensive because I was Born Again This Way.

What WAY was I born again?

Well, if you follow me to the white, middle-class, Protestant, American, Evangelical church I am most likely to attend and look and listen very carefully, you would be pardoned for thinking the…

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Sometimes I Watch Them Sleeping


Fat Beggars School of Prophets

So, we have all these foster children living in our home.  A couple of them are adopted now, but many have come and gone, and by far, most of them are very young babies.  Needy urchins, who through no fault of their own, will literally die if someone doesn’t provide for them EVERYTHING necessary for life and love.

Thus you can imagine how treasured those quiet moments are when everyone is asleep.

And sometimes I go check on the sleeping babies.  And some of those times, I stop and linger… watching… and really just FEELING the love.  The innocence and vulnerability of these babies grips my heart, and I think how satisfying it is to have snatched two, three, or four (however many I have at any given moment) from the fire!  They are safe, snug, sleeping in PEACE that passes their understanding!  And I get to play some part…

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“Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room”

Move over pls and make room

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

When I was a kid, the Christmas Season didn’t start until Thanxgiving, particularly the Friday after.  Perhaps that was just my very subjective experience, but that’s how it worked to my recollection.  It didn’t last long like that, but it seemed like it did, and that’s how I remember it.

My baby sister’s birthday fell in the first week of December, and Mom always put up our Christmas tree the day after that.  She normally pulled our tree down the day after Christmas, but sometimes on New Year’s Day.  Thus we had a maximum of 3 weeks worth of Christmas decorations at our house, and as I recall it felt like an eternity with all the anticipation of blessings to come.  Childhood magic, I am sure.

The tree would go up, and in a day or two a wrapped gift would almost magically appear under it.  Then another day or…

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The When-Helping-Hurts Father

When NOT to return HOME

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

N.T. Wright once wrote that the parable we call “The Prodigal Son” could have just as easily (and perhaps more meaningfully) been called “The Running Father.”  Wright points out that in the culture in which Jesus tells that story, older men, such as the Father in this parable, typically guard their dignity in various symbolic ways, one of which is to NEVER be seen running.  Not even walking too fast.  Thus part of the shock of that story is how this heartsick Father watching the horizon everyday, hoping against hope to see his boy, at the moment when he finally does, throws caution and dignity to the wind and goes RUNNING to greet the boy upon his return.

The parable of The Prodigal Son is one of the most famous passages in the Bible, known to believers and nonbelievers alike, and rightly so.  It is a powerful depiction of the…

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Pop Quiz: Bible Math

It all Adds up

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

This is a serious Pop Quiz.  Remember, JUDGMENT is riding, not so much on how you answer, but on how you live out the right answer.  So if you are having trouble coming up with the correct answer, now would be a good time to brush up on your Bible math.

1.    Revelation 3:20 + Matthew 25:31-46 =

2.     Hebrews 13:2 + Luke 24:28-32 =

3.     Matthew 25:31-46 + Hebrews 13:2 =

And the correct answer is…




….. drum roll please….





Open The Door!  That stranger knocking is Jesus!

(If you answered “Matthew 22:37-40” … that response will be accepted!)

Now… let’s get out a red marker and grade the quiz.  Everyone pass your quiz to the person behind you, and you in the back, pass yours to the front!

Come on.  Hurry up.  Judgment is coming!

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Agape Hurts

Making love and a bowl of plastic cereal

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

(Warning: Long post, probably not worth your time.  Nothing to see here folx, just keep on moving….)

I posted recently “Love Hurts” and referenced the song by that title.  I then spent a good deal of that post distinguishing the sentiment of the song from the LOVE of Jesus.  But I endorsed the notion that love does really hurt, though.  The song got that part right, and we need not avoid suffering as we set out in ministry – that would be unloving.  Yet, no doubt the “love” featured in the song is a very selfish parody of the LOVE of Christ.  As for the song, it deals with a romantic kind in particular.

(That really says something.  Don’t you think?  Our culture has totally hijacked the word and thus the meaning of “love,” of which we only have one in the English language.  And while other languages (Greek for…

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I Repent


Fat Beggars School of Prophets

My story needs to remain confidential.  And even though I strongly doubt anyone in the know would read it here, I will take care to tell my story in such a way as to skew a few of the facts (not the pertinent ones though) and obscure the identities of all involved (except God, assuming he is involved).

Several years ago, I was invited by a church to join a leadership team which was going to pray carefully and seek God’s guidance for the future of our little congregation.  It was truly a great honor to be invited to participate, and this church was an exciting and dynamic group to be involved with already.  So I was absolutely thrilled to join it.

In some respects, this was a highlight of my career.  Soon I found my own input rising up as some of the more influential parts our group worked…

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“I’ll Have What She’s Having!”

“….Either making love or else expecting rain…”

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I am not a big fan of “chick flicks” generally.  Romantic comedy is not my USUAL genre of movie enjoyment.  (And I like movies!)  But there is one HUGE exception, in my list of favorite movies: 1989’s When Harry Met Sally.

This is all the more an anomaly since the movie is such an overt exploration of casual sex, which I do not advocate in the slightest.  The plot, the language, the worldview portrayed, not to mention the genre, all make a perfect recipe for me to leave it alone.  But the acting is good, and the zingers and one-liners are brilliant… and… and then there is that most perfect comedic scene where Meg Ryan, sitting opposite Billy Crystal in a restaurant surrounded by the anonymous, restaurant-eating public enjoying a fine meal, fakes an orgasm and draws the attention of everyone in the place, then suddenly stops and goes…

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The Prodigal Son Kidnapped In LUBBOCK, TEXAS

Where Everyone Knows Your Name (and it’s not a good one)

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I went to church Sunday, the same church that has so thoroughly shunned me.  The church in which the small group that used to meet in my home organized against me to disappear like a fart in the wind.  (No.  Really!  Just when I was expecting people to show up for the regular meeting, no one did, and despite the fact that my name had long been included in the email circular, I was not notified but apparently every last one of that group was except me, because NO ONE showed up at my place even by mistake.)  The church where the shepherd told me that I can “scream at the top of my voice” yet they “will not listen to me.”

Yeah.  That one.  I went there Sunday for worship.

And though my attention was quite divided between the sermon and my unruly children, I managed to catch a…

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Strangers & Angels

Welcome to Deadwood Jesus is playing cards in the back room holding a Dead Mans Hand

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

When I was young, I dreamed that I might be a rock star.  I didn’t take the fantasy too far; never really gave it a try, but like so many before me, I tried on the notion in my fantasy life.  (It fit in there sometime after wanting to grow up and be an astronaut, a policeman, a pro football player, and before attempting to be a lawyer.  I have since settled on a lowly homeless minister for a vocation.)

Anyway, if I were a musician, I would call my band Strangers & Angels, I think.  (However, I think I would prefer to be a blues musician rather than a rock star… but that’s just me.)  Part of the problem is… I ain’t a musician.  Can’t sing either.  But aside from that, a great idea!!!

I don’t have any ambition to start a church.  Jesus did that already, and…

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