Archive for June, 2011


Defect vs Defective

As  I have journeyed through this life of mine my tendency has always been to have an unhealthy view of my mistakes and wrong actions. I have felt “I am what I do” so therefore if I have done something wrong then therefore I am “wrong” as a person. This has done many things to keep me from experiencing the love that is all around me.  What is somewhat funny is I can know this and still do it. Knowing the truth doesn’t stop the hard work of allowing change without being condemning to myself along the way.

I have come to learn and believe I am a courageous, man of integrity who is filled with joy and is included. This truth is a major step in moving forward to the life I want. It allows me to see lies as lies and not as the definition of who I am. It allows me to have the courage to tenaciously attack the lies that say I am “defective”. I have issues and problems and I want to journey past as does everyone.  Knowing who I truly am allows me the permission to really seek change. To not be insecure when I see a fault or defect within me because I am the Steve I was created to be with shortcomings not withstanding. This is so new to me and I don’t have it securely figured out but I do believe this is where the Spirit is leading me toward a more whole life.

Perfection cannot be the goal. It sounds funny to say that but how often have you demanded that of yourself and then hated yourself for not attaining it, I know I have.  Having love for myself is another major step  in this journey. Jesus said “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” The word is agape, the steadfast, unconditional love of God is what He wants me to have for myself and my neighbor. I never realized God wanted me to have steadfast, unconditional love for myself and this is an awesome gift. I am now learning how to honestly evaluate myself without the lies saying I am “defective” having quite as strong a voice.

While perfection is not the goal, living loved allows me to be perfectly Steve.

The What if the Church campaign culminated yesterday with a worship event that coincided with the World Day of Prayer. I don’t fully understand why I felt so awkward at the event. But I have some suspicions. I used to get so charged up for things like this. It was a real emotional high.

First off my observations and feelings are not value judgements on the event or those who orchestrated it. The Spirit blows where he will and I am not one to say he didn’t work in it. I do believe he is the root cause of my awkward feelings about it all.

The tone seemed to be worshiping the far off God who we should really only express awe for and no joy in. We decided to leave before the “Win One More for Jesus” song. The lyrics of which seemed like the biggest guilt trip and wrong placement of emphasis I have felt in a long time. Why has the evangelical church lost all sight of the reality of Christ in us and the Holy Spirit being poured out on all flesh to the Joy of Father? Speaking of the New Covenant in Hebrews 8:11 ” No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. ”  How come I have never heard a sermon on this? No guilt trip possibility?

I don’t know if I will be able to attend a rally like this again.  The seriousness on the faces seemed to indicate to me a lack of joy and understanding of the love and presence of God all around us. Also, it seemed so utterly forced. What this branch of the church is selling is not working. Those outside the camp as it were are more than likely more in tune with God than those who are “in”.

The serve event was an awesome opportunity and I know many benefited including those doing the serving. This is important to work together to harness resources. I was so intrigued by the idea “What if the Church prayed, served, and worshiped together” I am afraid I lost sight that that is the hidden reality behind the church universal. We are already doing all this in the same Spirit and it is not an event that makes it more evident to”the world” It is the love. I do hope and see the benefit in laying down those walls of separation.  What if we could lay down the walls between all people, not just the church. Here is another hope; what if the world could live from the reality of the love of God?

Once again just my observations, not a value judgement. 🙂

Love Wins Review

Sorry this took me a little while to get this written. I finished Love Wins by Rob Bell a little while back. Here are my thoughts.

I really enjoyed the book. He has a really good grasp of scripture and I found it a bit fun when he would bounce around the Bible with different verses that are seemingly contradicting. It is like the sacred cow of christians to not acknowledge anything in scripture that comes across as a contradiction. I think that is exactly what the Spirit did on purpose to keep us uncomfortable if we find our comfort more in the Bible rather than in the Word of God himself.

I agree with his point that heaven or hell  starts right here and now. Not just then and there. I have experienced this myself. I think what ticked people off was the idea that God would still extend love after death. (Luther shared this view) Well to me that makes sense. God is love. His character wouldn’t stop being just because of a lack of breath. Bell also acknowledged that without choice no real love can be present. So, if a person wants to choose the Hell of separating oneself from Love and being in themselves, God will not overpower their will.

The only critique that I have that is slightly negative is I think he was being more provocative rather than simply proclaiming the Good News that God was In Christ reconciling the world to Himself. If this would’ve been the main thrust of the book I wouldn’t have felt like he may have glossed over or ignored some of the uncomfortable parts in scripture on judgement. Because then I would’ve been able to recognize the lens in which he was interpreting  all of the scripture. My journey has brought me to beginning to understand the great dance I am in in the Father, Son and Spirit. I believe this is what has been missing in the proclamation of the gospel. Simply, Love has won. God has already poured His Spirit on ALL flesh. When you have always thought in your heart  “God knows/understands me  and loves me” that was the truth He put in you. Then religious christians turned it into you needing to do something to earn what you already have. Or you may have rejected the rules and moral ism because you or someone you love didn’t measure up to system they claimed was jesus. Good. This is the Gospel;  you are free to believe the Love poured out into you or not. Heaven or Hell, it is your choice but Love Has Won.

The book overall is worth the read even if it makes you uncomfortable. My favorite part of the book is when Bell asks “wouldn’t it be christian to hope God can save everyone” To that I wholeheartedly agree.

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