Archive for the ‘emerging’ Category

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Have a happy and safe 4th of July

July 4, 2011
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Biblical obedience — may not be what you thought.

June 8, 2011

 
I often am amazed how many people do not know what the Bible actually states about obedience. People are taught that they must be obedient to serve Jesus. I get pastors (and others) who argue with me when I state we cannot be obedient as we have no obedience. These people tell me that Jesus enables us, or as Chuck Smith taught in a book I read, Jesus and you are lifting the table together… I see it as you look like you are lifting your end, but Jesus is lifting both ends. If not, then it is our works and not his work in and through us. 
The issue is the understanding of obedience. If we are to be obedient, (which we can’t) it becomes works. If we trust in the One Who was obedient even unto death, then we are in His Obedience and not our own. We walk in the obedience of Christ and not our own. The Bible seems rather clear on this matter in this simple statement:
Romans 5:19. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
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Thoughts of the eternal earth…

May 23, 2011

Ecclesiastes 1: 4 states, “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.”
I ponder over this as many who claim a literal reading might notice this appears to go against Jesus words later in the Gospels such as in Matthew 5: 18. “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”  One might ever bring up when Peter states in 2 Peter 3: 13 “new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”
One cannot build a whole case on one scripture, however if we read one clear scripture and it is contrary to others (in this case clearly) one should take notice. With that in mind I began to ponder the words and verses. Was Jesus saying that the earth will end someday? I believe that may not be the case, but rather this may be a case of reading into Jesus words what we have been taught. Often the bible and Jesus used contrasts. John’s gospel often does this when he states “light and darkness”, life and death and so on. Looking at Jesus word that way may show that Jesus was saying His words are eternal—just as the earth is eternal. “What?” you say? Jesus is saying that the earth is more likely to pass away than His words which will never. The earth is eternal and so are Jesus words. 
Now about Peter; he is not talking about the destruction of the planet, but the renewal of all things. This is a time when the old injustice of this world now is passed though the fire of purification and is restored. To further my case heaven and earth are thought eternal enough to take vows by in the OT. Old Testament people do not take oaths on perishable things.  OT people took oaths on things greater than themselves.
I believe the bible, but I also see that many do not grasp the danger of reading into it their own doctrines. If people like Harold Camping can teach us one thing, it is to beware of our own reasoning.
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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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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.
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Romans 12: 9-21 ; thoughts on the Just War theory.

March 1, 2011

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:9-21 (NIV)

War is never Just. I often wonder if the Just War Theory is just the Christianized version of Jihad…

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Ephesians 2

February 10, 2011
Source

 

Ephesians 2

 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
  
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (New International Version, ©2010)

Footnotes:
  1. Ephesians 2:3 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
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    Somewhere between us and them, we are made alive again in Christ Jesus. How we forget that those of us who have been found by God, once were as those who still do not know the very grace of God that saves us. We are quick to judge and condemn the already condemned and short on showing the love God showed us when God called us to be reconciled. Some proudly strut in arrogance missing the humbling point of Grace. No one is worthy of Grace. Not one of us could earn God’s grace. However, God shows his very character in the Person of Jesus who imparts his Life Giving Spirit into us as we humble hear the call and receive the message of reconciliation. All this was a gift from God.
    In some ways we Gentiles have it better than the Jew as we have come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus apart from the Law. However, there are those who still today attempt to shortchange those “saved by Grace” with teachings that compromise both the Law and Grace. In fact they turn to “principles” or “rules” or other ways to earn salvation as if Jesus was only the beginning. In fact Jesus is the beginning and the end. We are not called to be a people of principles but of the Living Word who is Jesus the Christ.
    It was through Christ that the Law that separated Jew and Gentile came down. The idea that some are chosen and some are not came crashing down at the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. Out of this destruction of the barrier of the Law came Grace that united both Jew and Gentile in Christ through faith by Grace. Through this Grace we became a “New Humanity” in Christ Jesus. Jesus offered himself as a peace offering so that those who were near God and those far away could now both enter equally through Him. Together all of us, who once were sinners worthy of death, now have been joined, Jew and Gentile as one people yet more, we have become the very Temple of God.
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    Radical Grace from a friend’s perspective

    January 29, 2011

    A friend on Facebook wrote this in a reply to a post I wrote! Cracks me up! I love it!
    “Radical Grace… The kind that makes real life changes? like the kind of change that could make Eskimos give up fur? or make a vegetarian barbecue hamsters? The kind that could make weight lifters take up ballet? Real life changes? YES!!! Bring it to Billings! Maybe people need to hear the real freedom forming truth! The ‘healing’ truth! We’ve been held captive to religion for too long!” ~ Marielynn Penning Shoen
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    I’ve got to ramble on

    October 14, 2010
    So once again I am taking a few days/weeks between blog posts. I could say I don’t have much to say, however I seem to have tons on my mind. The issue is that I am having problems organizing thoughts to better able write them. Why? Not sure. Could be new job with upside down hours—yet that was happening before then. I am done with school for now, though I want to keep going. I am not sure about the hours of work and being able to adequately do quality work that school demands. So, I am working, sleeping, and trying to regain health, which btw seems to be coming back well, though I still do not have the stamina I hoped to by now. I have lost about 60+ lbs since my gastric bypass surgery so in that way I am very happy. Clothes that were tights now hang loosely on me. I tried on one shirt that actually was tight that now hangs down on the shoulders!
    http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=iggyrocks-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0964729245&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrI finally finished The Shack… I know been a while since it was published. Personally I don’t see the big issue about it… unless one is so boxed into their theology they cannot understand a work of fiction! And I suppose that is what many have going on with them. I found it enchanting and a reflection of my own journey and conversations with God… I can understand those who use their theology to keep God at arms length would have much trouble sorting though the book, however I found many who have found rest and peace in the Grace of God embrace the book and understand what it is about. OK… I admit that this sounds a bit harsh… but sometimes I just want to toss out the truth for people as I see it.

    Sometime I suppose I will write a review on it, but there are many out there… and the negative ones, really… don’t bother…. They are simply unable to release God to be God and seek to use their theology to put people who the book is freeing in bondage to religion. As I realized on my new job when a person called and asked me to fix his account and while I was doing so go angry with me and cursed me and then hung up… you can only help people as much as they let you… you or I cannot control anyone else. In fact if you do, then you are being God in their life and usurping God from doing His job… in fact you are trying to create that other person in YOUR image instead of letting the Holy Spirit transform them into the Image of Jesus… think about that for a while… if you disagree, the really, may God help you realize what you are doing.

    For me, relationship is what faith in Christ is all about. If a relationship is based on anything but love, then there is no REAL relationship. If someone is bound to another by Law or doctrines or religion and it is all about rules, the it is not about relationship with the Creator, but about relationship with the Law, religion and rules. (Go back and read that a couple of times before you post a comment in anger.)
    http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=iggyrocks-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1453650741&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrMeanwhile I am now reading The Saving Life of Christ by Major Ian Thomas… strangely while I have listened to hours of the Major’s preaching, I have yet to finish one of his books. It is not that he is a bad writer, but that it seems whenever I do try to read one, another book is sent for me to read and write a review on. Saying that, expect a review on Jonathan Brinks’ new book (you can listen to the podcast here) Discovering the God Imagination.

    If you want some great new music… try out Robert Plant’s Band of Joy album… some great surprises on that release… in fact been listening to it as I wrote this… it may become habit forming. http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=iggyrocks-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003NWS5AO&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

    Well, as you can see this is sort of a rambling post… maybe after this one, I can get more focused…

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Book Publishers as part of a Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”