Little-old-farm-couple-250x300 Judgment


We are all raised with prejudice, from our cultural education to our natural likes and dislikes.

How do we differentiate the book from the cover?

When I was in my late teens, I attended a number of churches and bible studies.  During one of those bible studies I encountered an elderly couple, very friendly in personality but not up to regular hygiene standards.  Their clothes were warn and they had that elderly unwashed odor.

After the bible study they invited many of us over to their home for coffee.  The “snob” part of me was reluctant but their kindness was alluring, so I tagged along with my friends.  When we entered their home, the first thing I noticed was all the cats, and the cat box smell.  The furniture was old and dirty.  As I walked in, flees began to jump on me.  There were thousands of them.  It was as if the rugs had become alive there were so many.  We all followed the old lady into the kitchen devoid of rugs, and she began to make coffee.  She opened the cupboard and took out some sandwich cookies.  They were the kind that you get 500 in the pack for 99 cents.  I was hoping for homemade but beggars can’t be choosers.

I had evaluated the situation and had made my judgment call.  I didn’t have any desire to return and chalked it up to a couple of kind and loving, but smelly, dirty old people.

She poured me a cup of coffee and I drank.  It was fantastic!  It was the best cup of coffee I had ever had.  I was stunned.  How could something so good come out of something that looked so bad.  I remarked to the old woman that I wished to know the brand of the coffee so I could make it myself. She told me the name and how she added egg shell to the grounds before brewing. I have never been able to match it, to this day.

I was so totally blessed by that old couple.  The torn sweater that she was wearing, his dirty overalls and the living floor rugs all vanished from my mind.  It was the kindness and hospitality that over rode my cultural indoctrination and snobbery.

When I think of this experience, it is held close to my heart.  Sometimes I get a little teary and am so thankful to have learned love from the example set by an elderly couple who offered me a simple cup of coffee, that became a major life lesson of the heart.

You can’t righteously judge a book by its cover.   “judge not according to appearance but judge righteous judgement.” John 7:24

Coming together as the bride of Christ, or maybe a whore?

54583d9bc3bb3-300x225 Coming together as the bride of Christ, or maybe a whore?

Over many years we have seen religious institutions build, split into other denominations, grow and split into other denominations.  We can argue over who came first, who gets the legitimate driver’s seat and who we think should be cast out into utter darkness.  This is typical for human nature to want to take control and be for the winning team.  There is one big problem.  We don’t make that decision, but instead submit to the loving will of God, through the crucified and risen Christ. If we are Christians, that’s the deal.  And we need to make sure that we adhere to the Gospel (good news), so we can share good news as opposed to news that no longer applies. I

I am seeing a new driver at the wheel and it isn’t anything that resembles holy, brothers and sisters.

I follow the Bible in as far as it applies to the “New Covenant”.  I may reference the former covenant as a reference, but I am not a Jew, (accept through genetic lineage).  I am a Christian and became a Christian because I wanted to be cleansed from the world and myself and selfish ways.  I wanted to be born of the Spirit or Born Again.  Being born again should not automatically put me into a cultural religious organization, but in fact give me a desire to share this wonderful and loving experience and find others who have had a similar spiritual encounter. That’s what religion is for.  It should be a gathering place where we can come together and share our spiritual life, not political ideology.

This is unfortunately not the case in some churches.  Some of us have lost our way and have been taught to put our own “wisdom” above the Christ, whom we call Lord, but displace Him through new ideas and ideologies.  I refer to this action as trying to take the Bride of Christ and dress her up to look and act like a slut. These new blends of ideology and political alliances fall in line with thirty pieces of silver.

Greed, power, can you believe we actually have lobbyists for the church to do our bidding?  I feel dirty just thinking about it.  Going to Cesar for favors when we should be seeking God as to how to love the world, not fondle it.  

Ever heard of Dominion Theology?  That ought to wake you up.

Within our own church cultures we make the decision to help the poor, not stand for the notion to help the poor, backed by some religious-political agenda that makes us feel good and look better in the eyes of our neighbors, when in fact we are standing around doing nothing.  Plastic flowers… Yes, the illusion that something real is in fact rubbish.

Now this is the deal.  If you want to live under the old covenant, become a Jew.  Hey that’s okay, but leave it out of the Church. Don’t be condemning others over religion, race, sexual orientation, or any other petty, ignorant, bigoted quasi-Judeo-Christian mess that you were taught to believe by a church that has corrupted itself with strong ties to the money and power of this world.

The enemy wants to divide us but we have a loving God, so let’s get back to sharing that news.

Law and Grace

maxresdefault-300x169 Law and Grace

Law and Grace

Why are some members of the Christian Church so confused?

We hear so many theories on the subject of balancing the law and grace. Unfortunately there is no balance. Their contradictory and fly in the face of each other, leading to confusion and destruction.

Imagine that you have purchased a home. You have a contract that discusses mortgage payments and interest. You are bound to this contract and if you don’t adhere to the contract you get penalized. You live under this contract for many years. You adhere to it the best you can. If you make a mistake and don’t make your mortgage payment on time, you have to pay the penalty.

One day you find out that a loving family member has died but had taken out an insurance policy on your home mortgage. The insurance company has paid off your mortgage in fall and you receive a clear deed to the property.

The law and grace are virtually the same kind of contract. Under the law you have responsibilities to adhere to the contract or covenant, and if you don’t adhere to the contract, the consequences are sacrifices to atone for your wrongdoing. But when the covenant is fulfilled, you no longer live under the obligations of that contract.  The debt is paid in full.  You cannot juggle the law and grace any more that you can juggle love and fear. You cleave to one master or live in double mindedness and confusion. We may use the term Judeo-Christian, but in reality they are a contradiction in faith and spiritual direction.

Too many Christians point to the past for direction, like the Jews pointing back to Egypt because they are afraid to trust that there is something too good to be true, ahead of them.

This is something we have to walk through but the apostle Paul indicates that it’s time to put away childish things.

As Christians we are saved by grace.

Choose Ice Cream, not Gender

191c3d8f99f02d65f5a7f86656cca8a0-300x199 Choose Ice Cream, not Gender

In years past there has been talk of “choice”.  When it comes to flavors of ice cream it’s great to consider the options.  When it comes to gender, we all better conform, right?  I don’t think so.

What does “choice” mean?  In the area of sexuality, some in the Church have barrowed the concept of “learned behavioral response”, and have really done an injustice to the human race.  Learned behavioral response is simply the act of learning to respond to an act or set of circumstances. Consider a situation involving your childhood.  You were never allowed to have friends over to your house because they might make a mess.  You grow up, get married, and your spouse wants to invite company over.  It really makes you uncomfortable and you resist.  “Honey, why can’t we ever have company?”, they ask.  You have long forgotten the rule of your childhood.  So, if you have forgotten, are you really making a clear choice?  Where is the free will?

Now let’s consider “genetic predisposition”, the way we are hard-wired genetically.  My taste buds like chocolate ice cream and yours like vanilla.  My optic nerve likes the color blue and yours likes red.  You like sports and I like sewing.  You like the opposite sex and I like the same sex, or dressing differently, or thinking differently, or loving differently.

Who did you want to be when you grew up?  There are some things we get to choose and there are other things, through creation, that are chosen by God.

Let’s support one another, exploring human issues and advocating the right to be honest with ourselves, with our families, in the Church and in the world.

It takes a lot of guts to be honest about the simplest things sometimes.  Do we share what we believe, or hide?  God is with us.

Divine Intervention

believe-300x188 Divine Intervention

Let’s consider original sin for a moment.  The apple was eaten, God enters the garden and  asks the couple why they are wearing fig leaves to cover themselves. Now it isn’t like God didn’t know what was on the minds of our two Eden dwellers but the dialog was to point out that something dramatic had changes from the beauty of innocence to a broken knowledge.  There was now a barrier between Him and them.  The barrier was the knowledge of shame.

Throughout the ages, the Bible reveals the hopes and corruption of the human race.  We are given instruction by prophets who tell the people that goodness is the goal, not wealth, not power, even wisdom can be twisted, but a relationship with the true and living God is the direction of fulfillment.

Now a man-god comes onto the scene.  Ordinary in appearance and contrary to the traditions of the culture he is to guide.  This part of God becomes man and moves among us.  After teaching us to love, he is murdered, just like the prophets sent before him.  As this man departs this earth, among other things, he takes shame upon himself and just like the shame revealed in the story of Eden. Jesus is separated from the divine as part of his mission, to restore innocence and a relationship. Now any person can come before God directly, without priests, or church or tradition.

Easter is the time we consider the actions and consequences of a God who restores divine relationship.