Archive for the ‘God’ Category

I really dig quotes and I’m hoping you’ll like these too. This is the first of what I imagine will be many. I also dig having multiple parts to blog entries. Don’t be afraid to comment or add your own favorite quote in a comment.

It starts out as a bit of a Bono-palooza but moves on … some of my favs are at the bottom.

 

Bono, Singer, Philanthropist & HERO!

“I love the bit when Christ asked for his greatest hits and he says, ‘OK, love God, and love your neighbours as yourself.’ Christianity is not complicated, that’s what it is.” -Bono

I was born, I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice from the womb
My first cry, it was a joyful noise, oh, oh -U2, from the song Magnificent

“Isn’t equality a son of a bitch to follow through on. Isn’t “Love thy neighbour” in the global village so inconvenient?” -Bono

I often wonder if religion is the enemy of God. It’s almost like religion is what happens when the Spirit has left the building. -Bono

“I am a friend to God, a sworn enemy of the saccharine and a believer in grace over karma.” -Bono

“At a certain point, I just felt, you know, God is not looking for alms, God is looking for action.” -Bono

“To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.” -Bono

“It’s not enough to rage against the lie…you’ve got to replace it with the truth.” -Bono

“But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.” -Bono

“But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep shit. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace.” -Bono 🙂

“I’m not doubting. I don’t doubt God. I have firm faith absolutely in God. It’s religion I’m doubting.” -Bono

“You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.”  -Bono

“The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt. So the blues, on one hand — running away; gospel, the Mighty Clouds of Joy — running towards. And later you came to analyze it and figure it out.” -Bono

“If I could put it simply, I would say that I believe there’s a force of love and logic in the world, a force of love and logic behind the universe. And I believe in the poetic genius of a creator who would choose to express such unfathomable power as a child born in “straw poverty”; i.e., the story of Christ makes sense to me.” -Bono

“I will admit that we are attracted to issues that unify people rather than divide them.” -Bono

“As an artist, I see the poetry of it. It’s so brilliant. That this scale of creation, and the unfathomable universe, should describe itself in such vulnerability, as a child. That is mind-blowing to me. I guess that would make me a Christian. Although I don’t use the label, because it is so very hard to live up to. I feel like I’m the worst example of it, so I just kinda keep my mouth shut.” -Bono

“I love the bit when Christ asked for his greatest hits and he says, ‘OK, love God, and love your neighbours as yourself.’ Christianity is not complicated, that’s what it is.” -Bono

“But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths, all ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and the poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house… God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives… God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war… God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.” -Bono

alright that’s enough Bono for a bit.

“There’s none to poor, too dirty, too broken. Too naked, too stupid, too drunken, to be thrown outside His love!”
—Aaron Strumpel,  from his song, “Give Me Your Hand” about the Love of God

“I want to know a person like you. Who’s not afraid to love the wicked and the poor.
I want to know a person like you
Who’s not afraid to touch the crooked and the whore”
—Aaron Strumpel, in his song “Dove” and he’s talkin’ bout Jesus

A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. -C. S. Lewis

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. -C. S. Lewis …think “Awesome”.

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may just never be enough;
Give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it’s all between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway. -Mother Teresa

KillI saw this saying on a bumper sticker on a car yesterday and it made me laugh. I’d seen it before but it’s pretty much funny every time. It also got me thinking about something Jesus said in Mathew chapter 5 verse 21&22:

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,  you are in danger of the fires of hell.”

He also said in Matthew chapter 5 verse 27&28:

“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

So, like the bumper sticker says, if there weren’t laws we might kill. I know I’ve been mad enough. What kept me from it. My goodness? Nope … fear of jail and trouble. 🙂 Would you cheat on your wife or girlfriend if she wouldn’t catch you, would you take a thousand dollars that isn’t yours if you knew you could never get caught? Jesus was saying that these things are all heart things. If you would do it but you don’t want to get in trouble it’s all the same.  Do you think you are above all this cheating, stealing and hating? Do you drive differently when a cop is behind you? Have you ever slowed down from speeding when you see a cop? So why do you follow these laws? Cause you will get in trouble if you don’t. So when you do follow the traffic laws because you don’t want a ticket are you good or just subdued?

DISCLAIMER: I used “quotes” when I quoted things Jesus said even though I am almost completely sure He wasn’t speaking “New Living Translation”, everyone knows they all spoke King James Translation. 😛

paradigmshift

It's really been less than 5.

My mind keeps having to change and it is becoming more open. I really believe that as a follower of Jesus there should be a bunch of paradigm shifts (A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality) I think I’ve spoken of this before but heck I’m 43 now and my memory isn’t the best so I’ll go over it again. Once again we should have serious mind changes. You see we don’t have it all figured out and if we are becoming better then we have to change our mind. I’m different than I was 5 years ago and I’m different than was 5 weeks ago. So here are some things I have heard in the last few weeks that changed my mind …

I’ve been chewing on this one for a while. Churches I have been a part of have often really been down on people with obvious sin in their lives. I don’t think God really quantifies sin like we do. We have real problems with specific “sins”. Sexual sins always cause the most anger. So if you have an obvious sin in your life we are likely to think less of you. So the less obvious sin in your life the more the church exalts you and you can serve and move into leadership. So does this mean you don’t have sin. No! You sin and if God doesn’t quantify sin then should we? No. So imagine that society has told you all your life that it is ok to live together before marriage. What am I going to say to you that will change your mind? Nothing. What might happen if I beat you over the head with my beliefs? I will be less likely to be able to introduce you to the real God. Not the one we have made up. So imagine you are Homosexual. Society has, once again, said for your whole life that Homosexuality is acceptable. What could I possible say that could make you no longer gay? Nothing. Could I beat you over the head with my beliefs and lose the opportunity to show you what Jesus was really like? Yes. Which is more important? Proving you wrong or representing God correctly. We should introduce people to God and then trust Him to change the things he wants changed. He is working on plenty of things in me and I don’t have time to fix you. I can’t anyway. This doesn’t mean I don’t care or that we shouldn’t try and assist each other but it does mean that you had better really love someone before you try and correct them.

Walking toward God is walking away from sin.

We Don’t want to try and teach people how to “Act” christian we want to introduce and foster a relationship with the real living God.

I’m not talking about moral relativism. Truth is truth, if it is true for me it is true for you but I am talking about allowing people to discover truth at a different pace and in different time frames.

You cannot squeeze a caterpillar into a butterfly mold and make it fly. That kind of transformation happens from the inside.

Supposing We Really Found Him – It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. ‘Look out!’ we cry, ‘it’s alive’. And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back – I would have done so myself if I could – and proceed no further with Christianity. An ‘impersonal God’ – well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads – better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap – best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband – that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (‘Man’s search for God!’) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us? – C.S. Lewis from Miracles
Supposing We Really Found Him – It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. ‘Look out!’ we cry, ‘it’s alive’. And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back – I would have done so myself if I could – and proceed no further with Christianity. An ‘impersonal God’ – well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads – better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap – best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband – that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (‘Man’s search for God!’) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us? – C.S. Lewis from Miracles
More soon …

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Almost Everything Changes pt 3

Posted: March 6, 2009 in God, ONE
Tags: , , , ,
Faith !?!?

Faith !?!?

It really is crazy how God works sometimes but I’m way ahead of myself. 😛   So I left off with a pretty size-able rant about the church but if you know me you know I can be pretty passionate about something I believe in and I sure believe christians misrepresent God. Before I go off again we should continue on with the story … (I had updated this already but I lost it. backup, backup, backup!) So heck, I don’t even really know where I am in the story but  know it keeps getting bigger. Paige and I really kinda headed out on our own. We have some friends that are coming along side of us but most day to day decisions are us and God. We still didn’t have a place to meet so Paige saw another building pretty close to us, it was huge. I, being the Giant-of-Faith that I am, discouraged her from calling, this place was huge and nothing we could ever afford. We were still praying that God would make a way for us to get into the other smaller place. So she ended up calling the Realtor and they said it was 2900 Square feet and that it was $100,000. Now this isn’t much in Los Angeles or even Boise, ID but it’s a chunk of change here and more than we’ve got or want to borrow. So we forgot about it. A few weeks later, Paige got a message from a guy asking her to call him back. Fortunately, we are able to pay our bills so we had no fear that it was a creditor, mad at us. So she called him. His name was Richard and he was the owner of the giant house and he was just checking in to see if we were interested in the house. Paige told him that we were, and why we wanted it, and that we couldn’t afford it. He asked what kind of money we were working with.  She told him, little to none. He thought it was strange to be looking for a place with no money. She told him again that we were looking for a place for our church

Church!

Church!

/ ministry. He didn’t really say anything. So after a lull she went on. She said that she thought that God was going to put us in the place He wanted us in and that we were just trying to go where He wanted us. We know that this sounds crazy, we sound like lunatics, it is crazy, but it’s also true. Another lull as we imagine Richard getting ready to hang up the phone. He doesn’t. He just says that he thinks God may be behind the call. 🙂 See it is crazy!  Crazy but true. He says he wants to meet with us to show us the building.  CRAZY! So we set up a date a few days later. We can’t believe it.As the day gets closer both Paige and I begin to think something crazy is going to happen. We don’t know exactly what and we are afraid to get our hopes up too high, even though we trust God. Sometimes, most times, He has a different timetable that we do. Thankfully, He always has a better plan, and timing plays into that. We are afraid even though we trust because, unfortunately, we are human, which turns out to be the best option on earth (unless you are one of our Chihuahua’s). He knows we don’t have money but want to meet with us. Odd.

So the day arrives and we go to meet with Richard. We’ve prayed quite a bit about and for this moment. I’m afraid of what he is going to think of me. I’ve got a 5 inch chin,beardy thingy. I can imagine we aren’t what he expects. He’s cool right off the bat, he’s older, but he says he didn’t expect anything so he wasn’t disappointed. He warns us that the place isn’t perfect. We weren’t thinking it was. So he takes us on a tour. It is huge. I can’t even tell you how many rooms there are. They are everywhere. The floor is mostly hardwood and is beat up but mostly with a little cleaning and some varnish would be wonderful. I didn’t really have enough time to plot out how it could all work but I can see it. There is even an semi-finished upstairs. It’s all framed out to add more rooms but doesn’t have sheetrock yet. It is even set for plumbing. Cool. So we get done and he asks us what we think. We love it.

to be continued …

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ONEchurch!

ONEchurch!

ONE from Space!

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the_body_of_christ

Body of Christ : a mosaic of photos

This all took places over a series of months, I wish I had blogged / journaled it as it happened but I didn’t so I’m trying to remember it all as accurately as possible. So we were visiting other churches and began to really like the idea of the whole church, the big “C” Church, the Body of Christ. I’ve been part of churches in the past that were really internally focused. If you didn’t go go to that specific church it was unlikely that you were going to heaven. During this period I was reading a lot of books (Blue Like Jazz, Unchristian, etc.) and listening to sermons that were really driving the idea of one Church home. A friend and I began talking about doing our own Churchy-thing. We didn’t know what it would ultimately look like but we wanted to try something different. I was thinking about a para-church youth group thing and he was more interested in adults. He knew someone that he had met in California who was a Pastor in Charlotte that was interested in getting involved. Housing is fairly reasonable here in North Carolina and it had always been my idea to have church in a house. I was still thinking High Schoolers at this point. We got together with the Pastor from Charlotte and I kinda pitched the ideas that I had. He was leading his church’s College Age / Young Adult ministry and asked if we wanted to see their building. It was really cool because it was in a small house. It really was exactly what I was looking for. So then the vision, His vision, shifted. My friend could have church for adults and I could work with the Young Adults. I started looking for a house and we found the Old Rural Hall House, (click here for pics and info), We started praying because we don’t have what they wanted. (30K) Paige even called and asked if they would consider donating it. We were on our way to becoming a Non-profit organization so thought they may consider it. After a long time of waiting they finally said no. We were undeterred knowing that God is big and we really just want what He wants anyway. We drive by the Old Rural Hall place almost everytime we leave our house so we pray that God would work out the details on a place. Somewhere along the line my friend and I realized that our vision was too different and we decided that I would go on my own. BurnedByChurch.org was birthed during this period as we realized how much damage people who claimed to be christians do to people who aren’t christians or heck even to christians. I’ve done it myself. There are certain things that I believe you have to do / believe to be a christian, but this didn’t stop me from making another big list, just like the Pharisees back in Jesus’ time, that you had to do or not do to be a christian. If you’ve met christian you’ve probably met: Hypocritical, Holier-Than-Thou, Arrogant, Pushy, Closed-Minded, Self-Righteous, Judgmental, Intolerant, Fanatical, Homophobic, Republicans. Turns out, Jesus isn’t anything like that. So I needed to change first. I don’t want to judge you. I think the views on homosexuality, premarital sex, drinking and other hot button issues are something I can’t just give you an answer  and you’ll change you’re mind, we have been taught by society for our whole lives that some of these things were ok. As christians we know what God says but why would we expect someone who doesn’t know Him to believe Him when republican_jesus1His representatives often behave so badly. See the previous stereotypical list of christian behaviors. It stings. I thought to be a christian I had to think Bush was almost the messiah. I don’t have to be a Republican. I’m sure Jesus isn’t. I found that I looked down on people who drank and smoked. OK, so which is the sin, having a drink or looking down on someone who does? I think Jesus wants us to love people. He talked about it a whole bunch in the bible. He took the 10 Commandments and broke it down into 2. LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE. The Jews took the 10 and made them into 613 Commandments. We want to do the same thing. I’m not saying that there isn’t sin but I’m saying you are you’re problem and everyone else is God’s. I’m also not saying that you should never try and help someone with a problem  but I am saying you better be doing it from a place of love.

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to be continued …

Trust pt 3

Posted: February 20, 2009 in Chihuahua, Chihuahuas, God, Music, trust
Tags: , , , ,

Wow, Almost Everthing Changes pt 1 ended pretty droopy, things are going so much better than that. It was a tough in_god_we_trusttime. We lost a lot then and losing Meshach was really rough. He was really sick but we were praying and had taken him to the Vet and really thought he was going to get better. When he died it hit us really hard. As I said before it is some much easier to trust when you understand. God taught me that I sure don’t understand everything but I have spent enough time with Him to trust Him. It can be hard and sometimes I falter. It’s so much easier looking back, I can see His hand in all of it, teaching, training and loving us through it. It helped us realised even more that God is really there and tuned in to us (and you). We had been going for some time to a Saturday church service at Reynolda Presbyterian called Verge748 (click text to go to it’s website) when Meshach died we didn’t think we were going to go, but we know that it really is the best place for us when everything goes wrong. The enemy (and no he’s not red with horns and a tail, but real nonetheless.) will do whatever he can to keep you from getting the help you need. If he finds out a headache will keep you from church, you should expect a lot of them, especially right before church. So we decided to go, the music is always especially good. Gene the worship leader sang a song that I don’t remember hearing before but we knew that it was God talking to us directly. I know why the devil didn’t want us to go. Here is the song:

Centuries

by Aaron Strumpel

You will turn your ear to me
You will hear my cry for mercy
You will loosen things unseen
What can  man do to me?

I’ll sing for joy in Your place of rest
I’ll sleep in peace resting on Your chest
And Your voice will sound like a thousand waters
Your song will rush for ten thousand centuries

You will be my help in trouble
You will be my place of refuge
You will cut these bindings free
What can  man do to me?

Now most of this song really speaks to our situation, from hearing our cries to other parts I’m not going to cover here today, but when he got to:

I’ll sing for joy in Your place of rest
I’ll sleep in peace resting on Your chest

we both broke down. Now if you don’t have a relationship with God, this is going to sound very strange, I believe God does speak to me, but not in an audible voice. He’ll use people, books, tv, songs and even other things. I heard a Pastor named Bill Hybels talk about whispers. God speaks in whispers and when you are in relationship with Him you learn to hear these whispers. Through that song that we almost didn’t hear God told us that He knows about us, He feels the things we feel, and He loves us, you see Meshach had died on Paige’s chest while she cuddled him. We knew he had a plan even if we didn’t get it. He also gave us a peace about the whole thing. Now if this whole whisper thing sounds weird to you, it is.  God isn’t exactly like us, there is much more to Him than to us. He is not natural. He is supernatural. I can’t explain it better than that, If I were you I’d ask Him. He is there. He cares and He’ll listen and He may even whisper it to ya.

Dr. Vievil

Dr. Vi-evil

As I said looking back it’s easier to understand. ViVi is such a blessing to us. She’s not a replacement for Meshach but she’s pretty special. She is such a girly girl but tough as nails and best of all she’s a Papa’s girl. I still miss Meshach but I know where he is. He’s in good hands. love ya’ll. mike





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Shadillac’s

-and-

ViVi’s

It has been way too long since I blogged. It has been so long that almost everything has changed. One of the only 27634change-postersconstants is God. I’ll start about in the middle, heck I don’t know if it’s the middle but I do know it isn’t the beginning and I’m even surer it isn’t the end.

In September we left the church that we believe God brought us to here in North Carolina. I had been on staff for about a year and a half so it wasn’t an easy decision and it certainly wasn’t made quickly. We believed as we do now that we were supposed to do something else. I learned so much at Calvary Chapel of the Triad. It’s the place I learned that I love Junior and Senior High students. I learned I had a heart for them and a gifting as well. I learned how to tell people tough stuff, even when it hurt. I learned to speak publicly. I became a Deacon and it was the first place someone said that I was going to be a Pastor. I met a lot of friends and some people that I thought of as family. It was tough on both Paige and I. We really weren’t sure what we were supposed to do. So we went to church somewhere else. We lost Meshach in this period.

to be continued in part 2 …