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


NO, YOU ARE NOT A MISTAKE !

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


THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE TWO OF US; ONE OF US HAS TO GO!

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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