Archive for August, 2014


Okay, I am beginning to get a bit pissed off at our culture as Americans! Specifically, those who claim to follow Christ but yet are the quickest ones to advocate for violence. I sometimes wonder if these folks have their hearts more wrapped up in the Constitution than what Jesus said and did?!?  Just for the record, Jesus’ wisdom far surpasses that of Thomas Jefferson.

I want to know who this “Jesus” is that these folks claim to love and worship?

Is it the Jesus who said ” Love your enemies. Do good to those who would harm you”?

Is it the same Jesus who said “If someone strikes you on one cheek, offer the other.”?

Is it the same Jesus who said ” If you seek to save your life, you will lose it.”?

Is it the same Jesus who said ” Love your neighbor as yourself.”?

Is it the same Jesus who said ” Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.” ?

Is it the same Jesus who said ” Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.” ? (While being executed)

I am becoming convinced that a great deception has been propped up as “Christianity”. For instance; it is interesting that Jesus says “You cannot serve both God and Mammon (money).” And not “You cannot serve both God and the devil.” It is amazing that our understanding of Christianity is so far removed from this because we are “saved by grace (which I believe)”. And That faith has become so personal and private that it cannot be questioned.  Could our faith have been propagandized to match our society? I fully believe so.

Why is self defense the most important thing to a lot of these believers? I believe it is because they are practical atheists who neither believe nor trust God to take care of them. It is so fake and sick. Yet most are blind to it. If you don’t know you have a problem you can’t do anything about it. This is a call out! Stop claiming the Prince of Peace if violence is in the forefront of how to deal with issues.  I know, I know, what about the cleansing of the temple? Jesus was pissed then, right? Well, consider this, he drove them out with non-lethal means! He did not brandish a sword and start hacking away!

I am okay with stopping the atrocities of violence with force when absolutely necessary. But only to protect the innocent.  There is evil in the world and unfortunately it can exist in the mirror without even knowing it.

This has nothing to do with God’s love and acceptance. That is the ultimate reality that holds the universe together. This is about change. This is about the fact most Christians do not resemble Christ’s temperament in the slightest way.  Here is a question;if you were born anywhere else in the world and came to know Christ, would your values look so American?

 

 

 

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A poem for those who believe in absolutes and blanket statements. Stereotyping is the use of blanket statements or beliefs, of which, we have all been guilty. Once a person adheres to an absolute on any of these they cease to see people as people but rather one of “them” . May we continually learn about the logs in our own eyes.

Not All But Some….

Not all Americans are arrogant but some….

Not all Capitalists are greedy but some….

Not all Socialists are against freedom but some….

Not all Republicans are heartless but some….

Not all Democrats are elitists but some…..

Not all Libertarians are selfish but some….

Not all Green Party are against economic growth but some….

Not all in the Tea Party are xenophobic but some…..

Not all Muslims hate Israel but some…..

Not all Buddhists are godless but some…..

Not all Hindus follow the caste system but some….

Not all Jews hate the Palestinians but some….

Not all Atheists are immoral but some….

Not all Christians are judgmental but some….

Not all Spiritual people are not religious but some…..

Not all addicts knew what they were getting into but some….

Not all Police are on power trips but some….

Not all urban youth are up to no good but some….

Not all recipients of help/charity/welfare become dependent but some…..

Not all people repeat negative family cycles but some….

Not all divorces were avoidable but some…..

Not all rednecks are racists but some….

Not all immigrants can do it legally but some….

Not all gun owners are cowboy wannabes but some….

Not all LGBT are promiscuous activists but some….

Not all children are loved and cared for but some….

Not all abortions were careless but some….

Not all law-breakers deserve imprisonment but some….

Not all boss’ are jerks but some….

Not all the poor are lazy but some….

Not all the 1% are predatory but some….

Not all patriots are idolaters but some….

Not all soldiers want to kill but some….

Not all vegans/vegetarians are smug but some….

Not all politicians are scumbags but some….

Not all religious people are weak-minded but some….

Not all social activists really care but some….

Not all Americans are spoiled but some….

Not all problems in life are self-induced but some….

Not all who disagree with you are right but some….

 

 

And of the “some” mercy, grace and love covers all of the above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend I finally went on a quiet retreat! In recent years I have come to the place of appreciation for the contemplative and mystic aspects of my Christian faith but it has all been abstract and romanticized in my mind.  I have never really unplugged. Ever. I have gotten away from it all in community at retreats and seminars that have truly been life altering.   Community is absolutely essential in the journey of healing. The solitude is a new thing for me, I like it.  I am coming to see the solitude and quieting is also essential.  To settle in on how loved I am and connected to all things is beautiful to pause and recognize. To stop talking and listen….

A friend and I went to stay for a a little over 24 hours at a Catholic Retreat (you do not have to be Catholic to stay at one of these places, Christ’s Peace House of Prayer Easton, KS) in the country. I had very little expectations for this experience so as to actually experience it. I was thankful that I had a buddy with me for this introduction to a quiet retreat. It was nice to see a recognizable face. We each had our own  simple, comfortable cabin. We went off on our own for the majority of the time.  Food was provided, it was simple and good. The director was very hospitable and kind.

I hiked a bit and sat at different shrines and relaxed in the moment. I discovered on my hikes that fear robs me of experiencing the moment. Be it a rustle in the forest, wasps, or ticks! It would snap me to self-preservation and draw me away.  The truth is; it is unlikely any of those things will result in my demise. Thankfully this was an awareness so I could respond  and not live in the fear reaction.  I returned to my cabin showered away the ticks and chiggers and relaxed a bit. Having little or no expectations allowed me to just be.  I read some and journaled a little. Mostly, I didn’t want to busy my mind. My focus was Jesus.

The director had a cool insight he shared when we arrived. The idea that contemplative prayer is not about spoken (thought) worded prayer but rather it is experiencing the feelings of praying.  The feelings that arise with the simple thought of Jesus. To allow the feelings to arise within at the contemplation of His wonderful name.  This is weird, I get it, but I don’t care. This insight is precious to me and allowed me to be present moment by moment to my experience. Did I get bored and restless? Not as much as I was afraid I would.  I imagine the challenge of boredom and restlessness would be more a challenge during a longer retreat.

Jesus is amazing to me. To become human and identify with humanity and the creation is beyond words.  For God to experience true suffering and identify with every aspect of human abuse and injustice is so beyond comprehension. The Vindicated Forgiving Victim who vindicates us all. The God who weeps.  The One who shows us what the Father is truly like.

This is the Jesus I love.

As I was spending my time alone I felt overwhelming peace.  I really was amazed by this peace. As my friend  would say “Shalom in da home”  I rested in it.  There was nothing artificial about it. Nothing worked towards.  Peace.

To recognize and feel peace

To recognize and feel love

To recognize and feel healing

To recognize and feel acceptance

To recognize and feel connection to everything

To recognize and feel Jesus…

The feelings of peace, love, healing, acceptance, and connection is the Love of the Father through Jesus being poured out by the Spirit.  Our minds can’t fathom it. It’s foolishness and I am glad. The fun of theology/philosophy can be adventures in the vanity of thinking about the God who is beyond thought.  To taste and see that I want more.

This was such a valuable appetizer and I am hopeful to engage in this practice for years to come. But in the everyday I want to choose more daily disconnection from technology and more connection to the real in all its forms.  May you disconnect and connect as well.

 

 

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