When We Don’t Know What To Do


The truth be told here, this is at least 98% of the time.  In general, then, we really don’t have the right answers or know what to do.

Okay, some things are clear enough.  It is always right to feed hungry babies or that it is wrong to kill innocent people, but for most activities in our life:  we really don’t know.

No one is really sure if they should take this job or that one, or marry this girl or another or even should buy a particular car or not.  This is true for most things we do in life.

In fact, for most things:  I believe we have God’s permission to do as we wish.  Now this doesn’t mean we will make the wisest choice, but simply it’s no big deal to God one way or another.

Saying this another way:  say, we wish to buy a red shirt over a black one.  Doesn’t this really matter?

I don’t think God gives one big hoot which one in this situation, but I do believe God is concerned in reference to what we do with our things in life.

Rephrasing:  I believe God cares if we are selfish with our things, if our concern is for others or mostly ourselves.  These things I am sure God has a penchant for.

Yet, for those other choices:  No, we don’t know.  And yes, I know some will say a little voice in their head will assist them in choosing, but still…one here is operating out of faith and not true knowledge of circumstances.

Obviously from the beginning of this Post:  It doesn’t matter.

The truth is:  as Christians, all our choices and activities should be based on faith.  And in faith, we will not truly know.  Instead, our trust is placed on the Lord that all is well and that He will direct our steps and paths.  So then, the certainty is simply not here.  There is an uneasiness in our selections but a comfort in that God blesses us for trusting Him. However, unlike what we would desire, we will never really know:  and our actions out of humility is what creates that wonderful dependence on our Lord.  In Him, we live beyond simple knowledge or the wisdom of this world.  In Him we gather together the entire source of life itself and in that:  God knows it all.

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The Loud Voice of all The Things you didn’t Say.


From time to time most all of us have a tough time when we say the wrong thing at the wrong time.  The same can be said too of all of the things we didn’t say.

Truly, the sins of omission can run dark and deep.

Like the time as kids when we made fun of someone because of their looks.  Or another time when we hurt someone’s feelings because they made a mistake at school, or because of the clothes they wore or how they played a particular sport.  We can really sink in with our cuts when we truly wish to.

How about all the things we didn’t way when we noticed someone who walked by us:  they were obviously in pain and were upset and we simply walked right on past them…  Why didn’t we stop and elevate them?

Or how many people did we raise up when saw that they failed:  some even lost all their dreams because they simply didn’t make the cut.  They had hopes of college or that raise or job offer or that new home or that girl they had hoped to marry.

Yes, cruel thoughts can spin through our heads and we can go  along with the world without so much as saying a word.

There are those times when we failed to say thank you.  Times when we could have simply acknowledged another person even being alive.

Time after time when we could have introduced Jesus to others as our Lord, but we held our tongue.

And too, there were all those times when we ignored injustice, when we tolerated discrimination…or when we failed to root out the cheaters, the spoilers or those who took advantage of the odds.  Those times we were silent.

And those and so much more are our crimes.  Our loud voices, our stammering words that we didn’t say…the gentile words, the kind words, the forgiving words…all that we were muted when encountering our brothers and sisters.  These silent gestations thunder themselves out as marks and accusations against us…for there is no justice for silence against sin.

And it is indeed sin when all we had to do was speak a hopeful message to the world: during those times, when a good word could have brought so much joy. The crime here is not like the others for the crime is not in what we said:  the crime is that we

Didn’t.

What God Wants for the Poor, Hungry and Oppressed: Solidarity, not Charity


A good reason to give even more and ignore justification on giving.

The Portico

NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 23
Ephesians 2:11-22
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Prayer of the Day: O God, powerful and compassionate, you shepherd your people, faithfully feeding and protecting us. Heal each of us, and make us a whole people, that we may embody the justice and peace of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

It is Easter Sunday. Though thoroughly exhausted by the ordinary rigors of Holy Week and the extraordinary rigors of a funeral for a suicide victim and the hospitalization of a young girl tragically rendered comatose by a brain anyrism, I am nonetheless pumped for celebrating the resurrection. This is one of the few Sundays when the church is filled to capacity. The morning is clear, warm and sunny. It is everything you could ask for on Easter. Led by the choir, the congregation breaks into a chorus of Jesus Christ is Risen…

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And When You Pray


As any bible student of prayer knows, the scriptures teach us to pray continuously.  This is without exception.

Yet, the one praying might easily lose sight of WHY they are praying.

While we are praying with importunity, we must know we are not praying to change God’s mind. God knew our need or needs prior to the prayer. We are children, yes, but not little tykes who hope to wear down the Father in hopes of getting our own way.

That is far from the reason of praying.

In fact, the reason for praying is for us.  It is not for God except His desire to unite in fellowship the same as us.

However, the actual prayers are for us:  they are for us in order for us to remain in communion with God and to teach us the nature and ways of the Lord. Once again the focus here is on communion and embracing fellowship spiritually.

Spirit to spirit with God, we gain power and strength.  This is a maturation process that involves the transformation aspect of renewing of our minds.

So then, for that effect, for that purpose, it is all good.

At least one more aspect of prayer is that it is not so much an effort of requesting and giving thanks: and it is all of that and more: it is in an effort of listening. This quiet period in the presence of God is invigorating and instructive. It brings harmony and peace and a quietness that soothes.  As Jesus prayed at the garden we learn it was there he poured out His heart.  It was there He surrendered and abided by the complete will of His Father.

That objective is identical for us and is just as real and important today.  And it is in the exercise of praying that strengthens us to bring about the change for all of this to happen. It leads us back to the very words of Jesus, “And when you pray…”

Meeting Needs vs. Seeking Shalom — Fat Beggars School of Prophets


One of the main slogans publicized by our friends at The Lupton Center in their Seeking Shalom class designed to have us “rethink charity” states: Stop meeting needs; start seeking shalom. I belong to a church that offers this class to the congregation and embraces it’s teachings. Despite my protest against it, leadership there very […]

via Meeting Needs vs. Seeking Shalom — Fat Beggars School of Prophets

It just doesn’t Matter (Except when it does)


In the movie, Meatballs (1979), Bill Murray rallies his camping group with his famous chant, “It just doesn’t matter.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UZvIZAHjlY

The gist of Bill Murray’s speech was that no matter if the campers were to win or lose in the up-coming sport’s event, they would still be the same ‘little guys’ and the other team would be the rich, ‘big’ guys and because of their rich money would still get the prettiest girls and drive the expensive cars and everything else that goes with wealth.

And that is exactly how life is for sure.

It is the same for being a Christian.  Too, contrary to sometimes popular belief as it is sometimes taught, being a Christian athlete will NOT put Jesus as your quarterback.  Christian or not, the odds are still the same as before.

And even though the good guys should win and should go off with the cutest chicks, in reality it simply doesn’t work out that way.

Jesus and His apostles were ALL good guys and they were all killed and died violent deaths.

In other words, the good guys generally don’t win even though they should. This is opposite of what is taught for the Hollywood model is that the good guy will win in the end.

This doesn’t mean that the good guy always loses.  Sure, they win sometimes, but usually bad guys will win is that they will take unfair advantage of situations and turn it into their benefit.  This is simply the way of the world and how it is.  This is the dark forces of the world at work.

Yet, as Christians, it doesn’t matter at all.  And in the end, we will win as we will join Christ and His Father in Heaven.

Of course, I would lie to you if I said it didn’t matter personally.  It sucks to lose all the time and it sucks to see bad guys win.  Yet, sometimes our faith does cause us to win over the bad guys and during those times, it counts.

What counts more is winning with Christ. What counts is not falling into temptation to get ahead and to win over others at all costs. And finally, to really win is to keep Jesus always at the forefront and to follow His steps for our paths.  For that reason, we must redefine who are the winners and who are the losers.  A true winner is with Christ.

Spotlight on God’s Warrior


Spotlight on God’s Warrior

Fred Young

For Years in north Florida, Reverend Fred Young has brought his powerful message of the Gospel to those incarcerated within city jails, Florida State Prisons and even those unretrievable lost souls withering within the hopelessness among the dejected cell blocks on Death Row.

Preaching the ancient truths of his Bible, Fred Young advances without fear: his presence is known at: the homeless shelters: at Community Transition Centers: advisory board for the Juvenile Justice Center: Nursing homes: And person-to-person evangelizes to include the home facility of the church.

Fred’s vision for others maintains a constant focal point on God’s salvation for Fred believes in the ultimate Good of a Just God and reconciliation among a wayward people. To this end, Fred offers forgiveness as a message from a savior who gave it all on a Cross.

Fred ferrets out those in the streets, within our schools and in the homes.  He knows no boundaries or limitations when it comes to presenting his message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is willing to go anywhere for its presentation.

“Hope exists for everyone”, he says. “There is no need for anyone to be lost.”

It is this optimistic hope and promise that drives Fred Young and will continue to compel him to preach his message for each generation.  As a warrior of God, Fred knows he can’t win all his battles, but believes in victory for those who reach out to God for His divine Grace.  Eventually, it is God’s fight to the end, he believes, and in the mist of that great battle, Fred is intent in being in the middle.  It is nothing new, it should be noted, for Fred has been battling the forces of evil for many years that are evidenced by the spiritual scars on his face.  A face that continues to experience all trials, pain and even joy encountered in the spiritual battle between good and evil.

Hitler really wasn’t such a bad guy (He was only misunderstood)


For those who believe in behavior under the liberal social construct, we can assign Hitler’s bad behavior to an Oedipus Complex and his rejection from art school.  And for those who believe that God really doesn’t hate the sinner, only the sin, then Hitler really wasn’t such a bad guy at all.

Naturally, we should all understand that due to Hitler’s underlying inferiority complex he felt a need to rule the world and kill anyone who got into his way.

Never mind the fact that the Nazi’s killed millions of people, this was due to only a lack of counseling of the Nazi party.  There really were more or less like sweet little Boy Scouts, only misunderstood because of simple criminal elements of their surroundings.

So you see, we can dismiss the factor of evil or the consequent of sin and can attribute all the characteristics of a horrible fiend to psychological pathologies.  It wasn’t really their fault:  just a lack of education. WE should all realize they couldn’t help themselves.

And I insist that really:  God did hate the Nazis and He hated them because of their behavior and that His love fell from them because of their evil in which we call behavior.

And the same is true with criminals today: for we can explain away all that we want or wish, but the bottom line is that crime is committed as a result of deliberate thought and deliberate behavior, neither of which you can separate from the person.

In other words, ultimately, behavior is driven by the spirit.  And if you possess a sinful nature then that nature will produce evil and the opposite for goodness.  It’s as simple as that.

Was Hitler misunderstood:  Actually, hell no.  We understood him alright which is why we went to war against him.  The Jews understood as well and suffered from his hands and his regime.

As so, the environment did NOT shape these men as such: it was their own conscious decision to be bad guys.  The same is true all over the world.  Jesus knew that and realized because of that we needed a savior.  And to that end, if we want to do good it is not natural: and since it is not natural we have to take additional steps of conscious thought and action in order to perform goodness.

And in the end will we as Christians be understood for performing good?  No, we won’t be understood anymore than Jesus was in His day.  Yet, His product was the exact opposite of evil and was everything that could be good. And for every one of His actions, Jesus understood and knew exactly what he was doing.  In the end, so do we all.

Where was Jesus on the issue of the Social Gospel?


Oh, this is a good one for sure and an issue bound to cause some Christians to cringe.

And while this post is not a position against social justice, I do assert that the message of Jesus was not about social issues at all.  The message of Jesus was about SALVATION.

At least most Christians I think, if they were honest would at least agree that the church is not to be used as a political entity as it is a spiritual body and not one that should espouse itself with the struggles of power.

If history taught us anything, it was the abuse of power from the Christian church that reined at least until the beginning of the protestant movement. I will repeat.  Christianity is about salvation, not a social gospel.

This does not mean that Christians are not to intercede and to assist those in need.  It does mean that we are not to cross purpose our activities whereas we are involved with government or politics.

Wow.  I know there will be a push back on this: but I would suggest that prior to the push back that we consult our Bibles and see where we are to promote a notion such as a populist social justice program?  I believe this is properly left to the realms of government.

And thus, as a citizen our role is to be good citizens and voice our opinions, but that voice should reflect the citizenry and not the Christian. And yes, I believe there is a separation.

To this degree then we should as Christians announce behaviors only those that were endorsed by Jesus as it is His roadmap in which not only are we to follow: but is a roadmap specify prescribed by our Lord. Consequently, as Christians we don’t find ourselves positioned either on the left, or on the right but only enmeshed under the Cross for the Cross is our message. Good works and assistance to the poor and those with dire needs are our principal activities, but there is no need to coordinate our efforts or combine our interests with the government.  In short, there is no biblical basis for the Social Gospel at all.