Who do they think THEY are?


Do you ever feel small as a result of the constant banter over celebrities? Even if a family member gets sick or dies, it somehow makes headline news.  The same is true with their nauseous political comments.  They speak as if they had great authority or and as if we actually cared what they thought.

Often times they’ll delight in us knowing their stage names, real names and even family members and names for their dogs and cats.  Think about all this hogwash for a moment.

They take great offense if you don’t know who they are, but then again, do they have a clue who you are?

Do you think they even care?

But then again it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is if God has your name and if whether or not it’s written in the Book of Life. I imagine that God knows your full name at baptismal for He even knows the number of hairs on you head—that how much He cares for you.

As for the others?  Who gives a rat’s—they don’t care about you…all you can do is  PRAY for them and BLESS them as they are lost in their misguided values. You are important if for no other reason that the fact that God believes you are important.  And you are important also the Kingdom of God and that makes you important to the rest of us.

And while you may not be a celebrity among people you are a WARRIOR to God.  And what you are to God is what’s important.  For when it comes to God, it does matter what He thinks.  And it also matters to Him who you are.

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FREEZE-FRAME God (A moment in Time)


For those of us who are not exactly photogenic, a single snapshot can do a very poor job of portraying who we actually are.  The entire idea that you take a holistic person, freeze them for just an instant and then say we have a reproduction of that person is more than silly.

And so we do the exact same with God, at times. For study purposes we’ll at times extract nothing but a tiny portion of an important event or Scripture and then declare it to be the words or character of God.

Horrors for the end result is a distorted view of God.  Try as we might to package God and put Him into a small box simply doesn’t work.  As the same as with people, a holistic approach must be performed. True, that freeze-frame is God, but it is not all of God.

God, per se is to be embraced.  Jesus provided the mechanism for embracing the father as we have the physical person of Jesus to focus on. However, to take one small portion, a tiny slice out of God, as wonderful as it is, only serves to limit God or at least the total Character of Him in all his amazing capacities.

Even when we approach God, we desire to be viewed in our entirety, not on a small sample of time. While a photo of us when we are kids would be true (it is us), it is in another way, no longer true for we are no longer that child.

And so it is equally true that we are no longer the same person from moment to moment, as time continues to change us forever.

The suggestion then is to attempt to see God for ALL His glory and not stop at one precious moment in time.  And to do that we must embrace His son, Jesus—the Son of God.  At that gap, that moment in history, we have access to all of Him and all of us—all at one time.  In that process of that spiritual circle, we have it all and all at once forever.

Words from Another World (I didn’t want to live Anymore)


In the late 60s two teachers who were black assisted me for hours on a train ride from NYC to Jacksonville, Florida.

There I was, a schizophrenic, so drugged up, I couldn’t see anything beyond a blur. I was fresh out of a hospital and a seaman of the United States Coast Guard.

Those teachers were angels.  They were bold and good and patient and kind and gentle.  They were angels.

Ask any schizophrenic and ask if they feel pain.  Ask what world they reside in and what voices and pictures they see and then wonder why others wonder why we see things so differently.

We live in another world.

Our worlds consists of dreams and visions and voices and pictures and hope and agony and anxiety and tension and a world where others have no idea what we are speaking about.

And you ask us if we know about pain.  You ask us if we know about death and angels and spirit worlds and suffering and hopes and fears and anxiety.  We know all about it as it’s a daily diet in our world of refuge.

Where life no longer has any meaning, where suffering is taken for granted where no one can really hurt you anymore.  You retreat and backtrack and cover your body and your mind and your spirit and refuse for anything else to come in.

Of course, the scars remain on my wrists and the drugs ingested failed, but then the hope beyond hope rested in people like you.  So when people ask about why the church exists, they should point to people like me and as how they help me.  How the church raised me up from complete failure to a life with opportunities.

For you see, when someone like me encounters the many possibilities like someone as Jesus, then the world becomes a whole another place.

So then, if you think you are not doing anything worthwhile.  If you think you are powerless and worthless and ineffective, you should talk to someone like me.

For I will attest.  I’ll avow that you as those two school teachers who comforted me on a long train ride, were sent directly from God to me.  It is the difference in the voice of this world.  Because of people like them, I wanted to live once again.

The Hard Stuff (Jesus wants a few good…)


Some preachers perform a disservice when they depict Christianity as one of warmth, song and warm fuzzies.

The opposite of that:  Jesus really asks for warriors: for people to give us their lives in order to serve Him.  The life-style Jesus asks is one that involves forfeiture and sacrifice and at times, the cost of our lives?

And for those who point their fingers at the ‘hypocrites’ of Christians—those who are accused of being nothing more than armchair Christians—it is because they were approached with membership with ‘lukewarm’ appeals.

Let’s face it:  as Christians most of us SUCK. Most of us fail over and over again and at best can be described as a wannabe. Yep, that’s what we are.

We could ask the most fundamental questions and fail:

Did we give up all our wealth and income?  Nope

Did we deny our mother and father?  Nope

Do we wash each other’s feet?  Nope

How about giving all our stuff to the poor?  Nope

Are we willing to deny ourselves and be killed for our belief?  Probably not

How about the idea of depending on God day to day, not worrying about what we shall eat or drink or sleep?  Nope

So you see—we fail the most basic of Christian requirements right from the get go and so—I ask—exactly what is it that you are willing to give up in order to serve Jesus?

And then I’ll also ask for you to compare not my standards, but the standards of Jesus.  Do we really fit the criteria?

Truthfully I say that you are going to fail. And don’t think I’m up here on the blog all high and mighty for I fail as well.  I am right there with you in failure.

Jesus replies in our failure that ‘All things are possible with God’.  However, we shouldn’t let this permit us to sleep in our duties.  Jesus asks for disciples—a few good…..well, disciples.  And where you and I fail, it seems to me that in our faith we should commit ourselves to serve God through Jesus in all our efforts to the best of our ability. In that capacity, at least we should do that.  And when we commit our very best with all our heart, mind and soul, we can then say we are no longer failures.  To that degree, with our Lord Jesus we become winners—all in the Kingdom of God.

When Always is not Forever


This is especially true for those who are married.  Promises are made and by conservative counts, about 50% of American marriages end in divorce. Many of those remarry and yes, many end up divorces again.

Without going into it, all uttered vows for always and all ended up going their separate ways.

Towards the end of Jesus’ ministry when most disciples were fleeing out of fear, Jesus spoke the most horrid of words imaginable.

“Will you also go away?”
Can you take that to the bank?  For people like you or I who say, who declare and avow that we are loyal Christians, probably aren’t any different to Jesus than we are to our mates.

Oh, yes, of course, we say we are different.  Sure, we do.  And then again we more than likely told our mates that we were also different, that we were true blue forever.

Consequently, it looks like “FOREVER’ is not a very long time for humans.  And where we feel sorry for Peter in his trying time of denial, we are right behind him, seemingly taking turns in our denial of everything.

And so the realist sums it up when we ask for an accounting in what we say:  and in their reply they tell us, “They are only words and our words don’t mean a thing.”

How true of this is it of you?  What category of all of this do you fit?  My hunch is that you are no different than the rest of us.  As a person—you are, well—GUILTY in vast contrast for the grace of Jesus provided by the suffering on the cross. And thus, whereas with people the only element exists that is eternal are our sins, and with Jesus—the exception of total forgiveness.  And with Jesus the one person where His words are FOREVER and that is a long time.

 

When Words Just don’t cut it


There are times when grief and pain are just so great that mere words actually create obstacles rather than relief.  Anyone who has been in real agony knows that well-meaning words of comfort are unwelcomed when deep suffering Is endured.

Sure, we have such a need to ‘fix’ it when only a deep hug or clutch of the hand would suffice.  In moments like those, human-to-human contact is needed to establish a better pivot point of reality.

And that is exactly why we have such a need for a ‘earthly’ Christ.  I say earthly as Christ wasn’t in spirit only.  He walked here in the flesh and recognized the need for physical contact with people.

And when we find ourselves crying out to God, in actuality we are really asking God to reach out and ‘touch’ us. During those times words really don’t mean much…they don’t mean much at all.

In these dramatic, critical times people more or less are in a fettle position.  We are vulnerable, child-like and fearful.  While we might desire the sound of comforting words, we are really paranoid, and distrustful over matters that sound ‘too human.’  You see, we want better—we want God.

So then, when visiting at the hospital or at funerals or during other moments of crisis, attempt to speak few words.  Instead, indulge your self to physically reach out and embrace your brother or sister. Here, the healing power of your contact is worth far more than simple words.  Here, your presence is a gift that soothes—that calls upon the forces of the almighty and whose influence eradicate the awesomeness of excruciating pain.

People can be a little Strange


In the past year, over 42,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. Another 40,000 deaths will occur in the United States as a result of auto accidents. And as appalling as these deaths are, what is even more alarming is that we are not particularly concerned about the deaths. Oh, no.  As a matter of fact, Americans will readily accept the demise of people, but would rise up in a heartbeat over so-called bad language.  THAT—is NOT acceptable. What a farce.

The funny thing about it: so-called bad words are arbitrary and more or less, subjective. Even though one could say that we stepped in Boo Boo and would not raise any eyebrows, the intent is still the same.  True also, all it really expresses are bodily functions of one type or another.

Some even describe anatomical impossibilities, but nonetheless, no matter how absurd…..remember, killing someone is acceptable, bad language is not.

So then, when one slams a ball peen hammer on one’s finger, one should only yell out, “All poo poo.”  Yep, that’s what we should do. NO other word or words will substitute for it without smacking of foul language.

I find this rather strange what we are willing to tolerate.  Death is okay as long as it’s framed within certain words.  It seems that for most people their entire reality is framed around a set use of words. And for all of that:  I think this is even more than a little strange.  I find this to be a whole lot of weird.

The Jesus Down Here (Yes, that’s You)


True enough there are many times in presenting the Good News of the Gospel that we need to introduce our Lord, Jesus. For some, it means pulling out the Holy Bible or else pointing a straight finger in the sky toward the heavens.  Here, or there, we say is Jesus.  We speak and preach of a Jesus from about 2,000 years ago.  This is all well and good enough in itself. Generally speaking this is the mainstay approach for presenting the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They might also throw in the fact that you are a sinner and need to repent, but Jesus, they say is in Heaven.

As a habit, whenever I speak concerning Jesus and want simple introductions of our Lord and Savior I will point to YOU.  Yes, that’s it.  If I want people to know our Savior, the Christ I point and introduce YOU to the world as the Messiah, the Savior of the world.

This is EXACTLY what we should ALL be doing.  As Christians, we are the church and as the Church possess Jesus via His Holy Spirit within us.  Collectively, we are the body of Christ and thus represent our Lord.  His spirit should be infused within us and by virtue of that process are ambassadors of Jesus and His Father who dwells in Heaven.

Just as Jesus spoke that if we had seen Him that we had seen the Father, so it also true that if they had seen us then they have seen the Christ.

At least we say this is all true.  We say it, but in practice we don’t really do it.  And even though we don’t actually do it doesn’t remove the truth from it.  No, It’s not like we are as if little Christ’s walking around, but yes, it is true in reference to the spirit of Christ and even the spirit of truth.  To that degree, we should be exactly like Jesus.

And exactly like Jesus means like his sole character:  his character of love and patience and forgiveness and kindness and tenderness and long suffering and ability to give and to share and to emphasize and to possess and have faith and so much more.

To this degree then Jesus is no longer way up there—no.  Jesus through us as Christians brings Jesus way down here on earth where He belongs with us.  Truly, our duty is clear.  Whenever I introduce Jesus—it will be to show them down here on this earth the simple and true character of You as a Christian.  There they will meet the fantastic qualities of our Lord.

When what you are really doing is just running your mouth


Don’t you just love all those who declare, “We just love you.”  “You are a member of our family.” Etc.

Some of these same people have no idea where you live, your friends, and neighbors or actually know nothing about you at all, but yes, they love you and if they really want to impress you, they’ll add—they agape love you.  Sure, that makes it so much more powerful and effective.

Probably most of these people mean well, they simply haven’t actually thought out what it is they are saying—in effect, they are just running their mouth.

To say that they love you means that it sounds good.  In times like that, they’ll call you Brother or Sister as if somehow we became elevated in status together.  And if they really want to score brownie points, they’ll refer to you as ‘Man of God or Spirit man’. We all know that spirit man is a current and popular term to describe those who belong and are special—in particular to God.

As I’ve actually written, many times before: these are feel good terms but in reality, they mean nothing. And they mean nothing because they are not rooted in action and in deeds, but are words only and maybe even be used for a glowing report on all the virtues of a committee.

So then, you are either trying to impress me with your words, or else you are providing service to God’s Children. Sorry, but I don’t see it any other way.

We have extensive libraries filled with good books written by ‘expert’ Christians.  In all of that, we should have many, many accounts on which to brag as it became revealed in action. The truth is: however, we are no futher down the line than before.  WE have been too busy jawboning our intelligence where nothing gets done and in the end, we are simply running our mouths

Reinventing the Wheel and btw, God loves you


Don’t you just love it as long as you are toting the party line and spit out whatever has always been doted out, that you are fine and without any confrontations? That is most definitely true for some bloggers and writers of Christian thought?

If all one is going to really do is write what has already been written, then why bother?  Why reinvent the wheel?  Why not simply find junk from others and spit out their garbage instead?

We see this from many preachers in their sermons.  Yes, they’ll change a word here or there but really, it’s the same old diatribe with a new coat of paint.

Day in and day out you hear this same old crap.  It doesn’t help and there is nothing new there.  Sure, they say it’s revelation knowledge but there is nothing revelatory about it.

And the reason this is all tripe is because it is not based on personal experience.  It is nothing more than an intellectual exchange that happened thousands of years ago.  What good is that?  Is this what we call leadership?

Is this leading by example?  Clearly not.

In presenting our message of the Gospel, it should be genuine, fresh and new. That is exactly how Paul did it and why he was so successful.  I’m not speaking about large numbers of church members, I’m speaking of God fearing Christians.

And if we want that, it will not be because we are repeating the doctrines of what we have heard, but because of our relationship of all the new with Jesus.  And when this happens, there is no longer a btw, God loves you.  We instead are engage in the active life process of Jesus full time.