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.

Won’t you be my Neighbor? (Oh, Hell no)

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, all the little twerps in the neighborhood will:

Rob and kill and maim and burn and extort in the neighborhood

Won’t you be my crummy neighbor?

Friends, the days of Mr. Roberts in America are over. The whole idea today is to not even know your neighbor at all. Most of us in urban settings are relegated to enjoying daily drive-by shootings, drugs and any other vile achievement modern neighborhoods produce.

And the church…where is the church in all of this?

For the large part the church is hidden,out of view from the every day milieu separated by gated communities, extensive expressways and zoning laws with detailed deed restrictions.

What that means, folks is that you and I are NOT welcomed there. We are kept out and for all practical purposes, this spills over to the churches as well.

No, we don’t want those stinky, scummed-bagged drifters and homeless and low-down, no-account people contaminating our ‘beautiful’ communities. We have programs for that, projects that contain this pestilence. AND SO THEN WE DON’T SAY ANYMORE…

Want you be my neighbor?

Obviously the answer is, no. And the lack of neighbors also means the lack of Jesus for Jesus is not allowed to go into the neighborhoods nor the churches sponsored by the neighborhoods.

To fellowship with Jesus we have to move over to, “Let’s Make a Deal.”

And with our avarice and riches, Jesus is permitted to enter only at His own risk and only if He intends to bless them more with even more American Deals that increase more things of which Americans don’t really want.

In the meanwhile can we still be friends, be neighbors? To this the reply is obivously.

No, no and hell, no for we have no neighbors.

Yeah, I’m Talking To You

Who’s zooming who?

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

“You’re so vain, you probably think this [post] is about you.”

Well… it is.

The stark truth of the matter is that you don’t even WANT to follow Jesus.  Not even a little.

Yeah.  It’s a heart condition.  Condition-critical.  You have a very hard heart.  You have it both-ways just as much as you can, AND you have a whole culture that helps you take the Lord’s name in vain (or doesn’t care), thus you are not held to account by anyone you respect.

Let’s get into it.

No doubt my words above seem harsh, very harsh.  Caustic, abrasive, mean-spirited even.  I am sure they SEEM it.  But I will ask you to look again carefully.  There is no insult, no name-calling, no put downs here.  There is a diagnosis.  And telling a patient they have cancer isn’t nice either; it is in fact harsh.  But if accurate, it is…

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Are You a Good Christian? Is Your Faith an Adventure?? Do You Even Want That???

You can count us out

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Are you a GOOD Christian?

Do you personally feel good about your faith, about your life, about your discipleship?

How long have you been a follower of Christ?

All your life? Or are you a new Christian… still learning the basics about following Jesus?

In the wee hours of the night when it’s just you and Jesus, do you feel you are truly and meaningfully committed to following Jesus and living a life that reflects it?

Or do you see room for growth?


Or, when you really get honest about it, are you ready to confess that actually even with a life-long membership in the church, you actually have betrayed Jesus just like Judas, Peter, and all the rest – and continue to do so practically every day?


Is your faith – your walk with Jesus, your prayer life, your church involvement, your life’s dedications – more like…

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MORE THAN CHANGE (When I grow up…in a year or two or three) Shirley Temple

MORE THAN CHANGE (When I grow up…in a year or two or three) Shirley Temple

Pastor Joy illustrates the process of change that occurs with Christians and the struggles and glee that goes with the transformation. Assuredly, our pastor stresses the three avenues provided to assist with our continuing journey of arriving to the point of being BORN AGAIN: we are provided with: God’s word through the Bible to include His CHURCH as enablers and too, the engagement of prayer to communicate with our Father through his Son during our wait here on earth to eventual Heaven.
During this transition period we are to perform Christ’s new commandment and that is to “Love one another as HE loved us.” The idea here is to NOT GIVE UP but commune with our God and with each other knowing that the final outcome is of victory and the complete emergence with Christ and the Saints in the end.

Lakewood Presbyterian Church
44 mins

Rev. Joy Laughridge Sermon, Sunday, May 19, 2019

ABD – HOSPITALITY (my reaction to John Koenig’s offering)

Rub-a-dub-dub No, there was no tub.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

After reading Arthur Sutherland’s I Was A Stranger last Christmas, I immediately looked up “Hospitality” in the Anchor Bible Dictionary and found John Koenig’s offering which then prompted me to purchase and read his book.  The ABD article, though much shorter, covers the subject more broadly, actually, and in some respects excited me even more.  At any rate, just finding this treasure hiding there in plain sight like that was such a huge blessing to me, and I recommend a look at it to any reader I might attract.

That said, I want to quote a couple of bits from Koenig’s ABD publication, and then copy my own notes of initial thoughts and reaction to it.  I hope it gets others thinking, talking, and maybe even making changes in our world for God’s glory.

Koenig Quotes:

“…the word most often associated with ‘hospitality’ in the LXX and the NT is…

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The Assault On Hospitality

Knock knock knocking on your door AGENT X calling

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Excuse me if this post rambles a bit, but I am literally multitasking as I write.

Coldest May 10th On Record

I saw the weatherman’s report during the morning headlines on TV today, and he claims we are set to have the coldest May 10th for the city of Lubbock, Texas in recorded history.  It’s not exactly a blast of winter, but it sure reminds me of Seattle.  Our high temp is projected to be 49 with a 20mph wind, meaning it won’t feel like 49.  But it’s also wet, very wet with drizzle and rain projected to fall all day long.

Think about that a minute.  Imagine yourself soaked to the bone in 40 degree weather with 20 mph winds.  Clouds fill the sky, and there is no sunshine on this fine May day to bask in at all.  It’s a recipe for hypothermia if you don’t find some…

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Is it possible not to change when encountering Jesus?

Even on the surface, it seems impossible not to change in meeting Jesus or even listening to him. The persona of Jesus is so different from us, that engaging with his spirit evokes transformation, sometime in a powerful way.

Think about this for a moment: you have sat and listened to hundreds of sermons and everything remains the same. This simply is not possible if the words of Jesus have been spoken. The carnal man and the words of Jesus are NOT conducive to each other. They are opposite.

In other words, there is POWER in the very words spoken by Jesus. There is even more power with the interaction of Jesus through His Holy Spirit.

To boil this down, this means that growing as a Christian is NOT a how-to improvement course, or a personality defect enhancement program. Engaging life as a Christian involves change, growth and at times, loss and riddance: in other words, it means CHANGE.

Consequently, if you are comfortable with your preacher and have been for years, yet nothing in your spiritual life has evolved, this should be a red flag that something is WRONG.

One major reason change does not occur is that words are weak in retrospect to actuality of the doing in obedience to our God. Whereas the reality of Jesus is real, his words are only a testimony to Him, but are no substitute to his visible actuality in the present tense.

As Peter had to get out of the boat to appreciate walking on water, the Christian too must surrender his ‘comfort zone’ in order to meet the realities of the spiritual realm. The realities of the spiritual realm go far beyond mere words and thus, Christianity goes beyond intelligentsia and reveals itself in active practice and performance.

If there has been no change in you or your church, then it is obvious it is time to step out of the boat.

And stepping out of the boat means far more than being in the comfort zone of the seats of a pew. It means being provoked to change to please our Lord through His son, Jesus. In so doing, it becomes obvious it is IMPOSSIBLE to be around Jesus without Change.

It’s Time for Backbone (An Open Letter to Preachers)

Tough words that are really needed. Going to share this post with the pastor of the church we are attending. Fortunately, he is the kind of preacher you are encouraging all to be.

The Recovering Legalist

This morning I watched a YouTube video in which Todd Friel (Wretched Radio) declared: “The problem with today’s preachers; nobody wants to kill them.” His point was that the reason preachers from centuries ago were imprisonned or killed was their determination to preach truth regardless the culture’s feelings. Too often our modern preachers and pastors are afraid of offending.

It is with that sentiment that I penned the following open letter. We need to love desperately, but without compromising our message.

Dear Fellow Preachers,

Now’s the time – it’s actually past time – for some honest-to-goodness, strong-as-steel, George S. Patton and John Wayne-like BACKBONE!

I don’t care if you’re Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Nazarene, Methodist, or whatever…MAN UP!! Stand in the gap! Quit being a politically motivated, crowd-pleasing, purse string-tying wimp and PREACH THE WORD!

Seriously, check out what’s going on in the world and what’s coming to America. Gentlemen, more…

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Commonalities of Christians (We have none)

Don’t feel alone if you see yourself with nothing in common with other church members and Christians.

The fact of it is: we have been chosen as Christians as the Bastard Child out of those who reject our Lord. So then, as misfits, leftovers, rejects,malcontents, losers, ‘different’ people we are similar to each other only in one way: and that way is that we suffered condemnation from God due to sin. The apex of all of this is Christ as he paid the price for our ransom, but in worldly terms,we have nothing really in common.

In this sense one should be glad we stand out as such to be counted by the Father and into His Kingdom and disposed from this world and into the abyss of Christianity.

And so find yourself in good company. You don’t quiet fit in? Who gives a flying flip? I don’t and I will never care as long as I have been stamped with the approval of Jesus as my Savior.

And since our priceless commonality with Jesus is a result of His death on the Cross and redemption, we should be GLAD we do not fit in with the rest of the world.

With Jesus, our commonality is that we are all broken vessels, all brought to our knees after fighting it out with ourselves and this world.

In the end, we came to the conclusion that only through Christ are we brought into Salvation with our God. And to that effect, it makes no difference if we enter the Gates to God’s throne either alone or with the company of those who are despised by the world the same as we.

In a Perfect World

As a Christian and in a perfect world, whenever someone bothered us, we’d forgive them in a heartbeat.

In a perfect world, there would be no problem nor hesitation in forgiveness at all. In a perfect world, we would love and give freely all that we have with no reservation. Joy would be the only satisfaction we would seek as our heart would yield the Christ unto perfection

The fact is, we do not live in a perfect world. Exercising your rights and duties as a Christian is oftentimes next to impossible.

The impossibilities include: forgiving sex offenders, sex predators, murderers, sadists, warmongers, divorcees, thieves, felons, those who offend us… And many many many more.

In other words our imperfect world forces us to choke on forgiveness. In all this we must remember, the chasm that separates us from God is the element of sin. Insomuch we might like to think we are good people, the truth is that we withhold most of the fruits of the spirit due to our roots in the earth. In other words, we are human.

The idea here is to strive toward perfection in Christ knowing we are anything but perfect. Our goal ultimately is to be like Christ. Our performance one is still 1 to 10 is probably in a subzero range. In fact without the grace, that wonderful gift from God, none of us would make a mark. Sin would ensure our failure.

Thank God for Jesus. And when we strive in this imperfect world, in all remembrance we should realize not only are limitations as humans but the glorification we find and discover in God’s kingdom. In the interlude of the return of our Lord we must attempt to serve as imperfect beings. This leaves no room for bragging. Too, as easy as it is to give up because we cannot achieve perfection it is our duty, our charge to try. In this sense the virtue is a loving our God with all our heart, mind, and soul. Our task is to perform this in an imperfect world.