Archive for April, 2011

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I believe… "It is good."

April 28, 2011
I believe I see that the bible speaks of Jesus as the New Man… and that we will be as He is. So being born of the Kingdom is spiritual, but not at the expense of the physical creation that was called “good”. God called us good… and it is up to us to believe in His value of us.when God created humans and said, “it is good” He meant it whether we agree with God or not. I see that even in the Resurrection we are reintegrated with our body… 
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Come with me were I’m going…

April 24, 2011
 
Which Jesus do you follow? I ask this question to help you think. Do you follow the Jesus who was a baby? He is not as intimidating as the babe in the manger; in fact He is mysterious and approachable. Do you follow the Jesus who walked and chose disciples? Do you follow the Jesus, who taught the multitude, fed the hungry, healed the lame and ill, drove out demons? Do you follow the Jesus who stood up against the religious leaders and made subversive political statements? Do follow the Jesus who was betrayed and then crucified? Do you follow the Jesus who died for three days? Do you follow the Jesus who rose from the dead? Do you follow the Jesus who ascended into the heavens? Do you follow the Jesus who poured out His Spirit, His Life, His Rightness, His all to  you, so He can live in and through you? The Jesus who will return and bring His righteousness of the Kingdom of Heaven fully to the restored earth? The Jesus who showed us The Father and how to be loved so we can love others?

Sometimes people want to separate Jesus from all He did, and when they ask, “What Jesus do you follow?”

I say, “I follow that Jesus, come with me were I’m going.”
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Divine Moments: …to the least of these…

April 20, 2011
 
I have had what I call “divine moments” when Jesus reveals Himself when I care for someone. These moments come in a flash when Jesus hands me a challenge. One of the first times I realized this was when I was walking out of 31 Flavors in downtown Monterey Ca. As I walked out a street person and friends started calling out to the small group of us stating, “That ice-cream sure looks good.” I smiled and continued to press by him when he added, “Can I have a lick?” I looked at the dirty, unkempt man who knew I would not rise to his challenge. However, it was just then Jesus revealed to me the need and desire of the man. It was not ice-cream, but to be seen as a human. In fact, not just a human but my equal. He/Jesus was challenging me to let the unclean eat with me… not just eat with me but share my ice-cream with him. 
Now I had two choices. 1. To just give the man the ice-cream. However that would be showing kindness, but not showing he was equal to me. 2. I could rise to the challenge that Jesus revealed and go forward. 
This was one of those “divine moments” when it was not about just feeding the poor, but seeing the poor and loving them. I can’t say I enjoyed this much. However, to the amazement of myself and my friends, I let him lick the ice-cream.
Again, there was a choice. 1. I could lick the other side or pick off the licked side and trash it. 2. Trash the cone. 
Or…
3. Eat the cone as if he was a loved one who licked it with no care.
In all honesty, if not for seeing Jesus in this man, I would never had done this.
The second (which was also the third after realizing it happened twice) was recently at KFC. I watched a man walk toward the restaurant pushing a shopping cart. He appeared quite impaired and as he pushed the cart up the curb from the parking lot he fell backwards on the ground. My first thought was, “How sad that a person gets so drunk in public.” I then decided that someone has to go help him get up. I went out (not sure I could help him with my hurt shoulder) and asked if he was ok. I then pulled the shopping cart off of him. This was harder than I thought as his legs were entangled in the cart. I then reached down to help him and realized he was not intoxicated but mentally handicapped. I then felt some shame over how I judged the man. It took a bit but I was able to upright the man. I asked again if he was ok and he stated he was. I then noticed the man had a board with his name and address attached to the cart. I then realized that this was there for him to remember his own name and address. He and I entered KFC and the people inside a said hello to him. He sat down and I went back to my family. 
I do not remember seeing Jesus, but that feeling was there. “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” I began to tear up. I know through life we have moments like this that happen and I do not see Jesus. I also know at times I am not only a goat, but a jackass. God open all our eyes to see Jesus in these situations.
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Love Wins

April 6, 2011

So much angry, pain, accusations, hatred, ignorance, idiocy, arrogance, and basic bullshit (which I believe is the first time you have every read me state that on my blog) came about over this simple book. I suggest first, ignore all the stupidity and read it. 
My thoughts on it are nothing has changed about Rob Bell. He has not change into a Universalist, though he holds to universal atonement as I do. I think the issue is many who read Bell and hate him are those so entrenched in their defined and narrow theological view, they cannot fathom that anything beyond their own understand might be right. They cannot trust God and face the challenge and cling to their own understanding thus remain static and never grow. 
The book is a very easy read. In some ways Bell does not go very deep yet in others if you understand what he is saying the impact of the words like “It’s the gospel of goats.” (p. 180) and how Bell unpacks that statement that make the book very much deeper than first glance might give.  I would give this book to people as a way to help them understand that God is not angry or wrathful but is love. 
Oh, about the hell thing…  my own opinion is that Hell does not save us God does. We cannot go were God is not. Hell is real and Bell broadens what both heaven and hell are. You might not like it, but it even fits the most fundamentalist of beliefs if only those who hold that style of belief understood what they believed. 
Bell opens the doors to possibilities and here is a huge hint. There may seem to be only two choices. 
1. Calvinism 2. Universalism 
But there is a third way. Here is a post I did a while back that might help you get where Bell comes from. And yes, whether there is a hell or not, Love wins. The Bible is clear on that one.