The Risk Of Being Real

It's hard to be authentic.  
Most of us normal humans spend more time struggling and wrestling with our flesh than we do shouting victorious mantras from mountain tops.  
When we do it, we reveal to people that we aren't as good, nice, moral, spiritual, strong, or committed as we would like people to think.
When people ask us how we're doing, and we give a gloomy answer, we run the risk of pushing that person away.  They might not want to be burdened with my problems, so I say, "I"m doing great!"  We throw some spiritual lingo in there so that people think our good status is directly linked to our superb devotional life.  


Top 10 Reasons To Stay in Your Normal, OK Church.

It's okay to leave your church.  It's okay to surrender your values.  It's okay if you want to freely do what you just plain want to do.
 
Why?  Because I am a critical person who lacks solid conviction and I have unrealistic expectations...  I have made a judgment and posted it on a blog.  My post was then shared on our Facebook page.  I am one of many voices repeating the same message.  We are changing the way you think.  We are normalizing your aversion to commitment.  We are melding your pliable sympathies with your spiritual terminology and giving you permission to do whatever you want.  We are telling you what to feel and how to think.
 
Guess what!  It's working.   Read more...


I Don’t Know How Jesus Does It

  • He pursues people and walks along side of them… and then, when they casually walk away as if it means nothing, He continues to love them and care for them. I don’t know how He does that.
  • He listens to so many phony prayers. He sees right through the words that people say so that they can fool themselves into believing that they are justified in something or another when in fact they are just deflecting from their real issue. Jesus knows their real issue, and yet, still wants to listen to them pray. He keeps on loving them. I don’t know how He does that.
  • His own children give Him millions of perpetual opportunities to be offended. He doesn’t get offended. I don’t know how He does that. Read more...


What Kind Of Church Are You?

You’ve seen these dumb tests on Facebook…  Answer 7 questions and you will find out whom, what, and where you should be.  After answering a few questions about rock bands and vacation activities, I found out that I’m an introverted, free-spirited boss that looks like (fat) Val Kilmer and I should live in Dublin.

 The introverted part is right…  Well, I’m a bit fat.  Whatever!

 As a pastor, I am continually thinking about church stuff.  With almost 15 years of history in our rear view mirror, I have much to dwell on from the past.  The present has many challenges that consume my thoughts also.  But it’s the future that really gets me.

  • What can we do to be a better expression of the church?  Read more...


Falling Apart Into The Grace of God

Here's the lie:  "As you get older and more mature, you will get better at being a Christian."

Maybe it's not a lie for everyone... but it is for me.  I fully believed this lie for years and years.  Logically speaking, maturity should lead to greater stability, stronger commitments, unmoving consistency, and mind-boggling spirituality.  Maybe it does for some people... but it doesn't for me.

I'm accepting the reality of my story.

  • As I mature, I am realizing how incapable I am of stability, commitment, consistency and spirituality. Read more...


I’m Fundamentally Evangelical

Suddenly, it's bad to be evangelical.  Suddenly, everyone is talking about being a recovering fundamental.  Suddenly, a bunch of Christians are bouncing along on one of the dumbest bandwagons to hit Christianity.

  • The demonizing of the terms 'Evangelical' and 'Fundamental'

Read more...



Dreaming Revelation

I actually woke up, having remembered a dream this morning.  It was a short dream about the 144,000 in Revelation.  I was looking in on a brief conversation with Jesus and some random person.  It was just a bit of dialogue, and I'm going to share it on this blog... but of course I have to throw out a disclaimer about this not being biblical or doctrine or whatever.  It was just a dream-  but I found it quite interesting:

Jesus:

"I'm Jesus.  I'm here to tell you that you are a descendant of the Hebrew tribe of Joseph.  I'm inviting you to give your life to me and serve Me, and I'll put a seal on your head and protect you from the horrible events which are coming upon this earth."

Read more...



Serving The Lover

I've always been taught I am supposed to love God.

I've always been taught, that my motivation in life, is to please God.

I've always been taught, that I need to be a servant who is obedient, who makes the best moral decisions and watches out for the needs of others.

To this day, I still believe these things to be true.

Read more...



You Might Need A Homeless Friend

After much discussion with several of my Christian friends concerning my previous post

(What If The Apostle Paul Was Gay)

, I realized, that my understanding might differ significantly from theirs because I actually have, and always have had, friendships/relationship with people who are gay.  When you take real human beings out of the equation, it's very hard to speak into a situation which intimately involves real human beings.

All too often, we want to address people issues on an intellectual level without actually involving real life people in the equation.

Read more...



What If The Apostle Paul Were Gay

In recent debates, I have found myself going toe to toe with my fellow Christian concerning their view, or more precisely, their approach on the homosexuality issue.  In response, I've written the following:

Christians don’t have the privilege of hate.  Sure, we fall back on that, “hate the sin, love the sinner!” thing.  But that’s part of the problem.  We want to qualify our token love for people so we can focus the bulk of our energy on why we hate sin.  In fact, all too often, we make the definition of sin our end game.

Recent discussion on homosexuality and the comments of Phil Robertson have revealed to many that I don't take a traditional-churchy stand on the issue.  I believe my stand is Biblical, but my approach is different.  For many, the end game of the topic is simply the definition of sin.  I think many Christians consider gay people a lost cause.  Instead of first approaching lost people who need the healing and salvation which is found in our gospel... we jump straight to the sin.  We say, "I don't agree."  We say, "Our values must be protected."  We say, "Hate the sin, but love the sinner."  Problem is, we aren't loving the sinner.  We expect unredeemed people to understand a spiritually discerned truth.  We argue and debate on the issue with people who have no real basis of even understanding our Truth.

Read more...