A Conversation

So we’re in the middle of this pandemic and, for someone as verbose as myself, I hardly know what to say.

Christians and atheists are kind of in the same storm and I find it fascinating and depressing all at the same time.

A Christian believes in a healing, loving God that created and perfected our amazing immune system. He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. He promises life to the fullest.

An atheist believes in natural selection, survival of the fittest. Our immune system that has kept us alive for millennia prior to the advent of modern medicine. The promises are that nature will decide who lives and who dies.

But our cries are the same. Don’t trust government on one side of the aisle, while trusting implicitly, blindly, violently, hatefully, the person on our side of the aisle.

Government save me!

We cry to the medical community to give us the shot, provide the vaccine, show us the way to survive.

We yell at our neighbors, wear our masks, lather on the sanitizer. We forget community, touch, love.

And we think we’re safer.

I don’t know how to advise an atheist.

I’m glad I believe in a God who loves me, who sent Jesus Christ to redeem me.

I believe His promises are true. And I want to act like it.

I want to not wear a mask and trust in a miracle working God. I want to spend my time in loving and serving others rather than holed up in my house (even if I have to wear a mask for their sake). I want to live for the only one who is worthy of my trust.

I think you do too.

“If we do everything in our power to sustain life to the furthest extent possible but leave people sad, lonely and afraid of death (that comes to us all), we will have failed and not lived up to our own potential.”

(Paraphrased from the movie Finding Normal)

Are You Married?

I have heard some interesting responses to the question, are you saved? I think I’ll switch it up.

Are you married?

I’m a good person. Better than a lot of guys.

Are you married?

I go to her house once or twice a week.

Are you married?

I believe she exists.

Are you married?

I think there are lots of women I could be married to and aren’t all women the same?

Are you married?

I deny the existence of all women.

Are you getting where I’m coming from?

Marriage is more than token acknowledgement, intellectual nods, silly blindfolds. It is commitment, passion, focus.

And God wants to be married to us.

So are you married to Him?

A Victimless Crime

Urgent need: Mom and new baby in Indonesia need help to get free. Trying to raise $2100 to pay hospital bill and airfare to get them out of the situation. Can’t share tons of details but they really need our help. Go to: https://donorbox.org/donate-to-unstoppable-love-international

I have often heard people say that pornography and even prostitution is a victimless crime. The women know what they’re doing. It’s a way they can make money. They like it. Things that infuriate me, even though I know I once said it.

Help!

That’s what I’m calling for RIGHT NOW! There is a girl who wants free. She has a baby that she wants to change the future for. It will impact generations if we let God move us.

Follow the link.

Thank you!

Holier Than Thou

I have been reading a lot of history, thinking a lot about marriage, considering “saints” and “normal” people

What I’m finding is I’m getting kinda peeved.

It’s not just the priests, nuns and saints of the Catholic church. There’s this hierarchy within Christendom that Jesus never addressed.

Single is more holy than married. Priest or pastor is more holy than layman. Paid clergy has God’s ear, speaks to God’s heart more than regular people. And saints!

Whoa! Saints!

They can do miracles, see visions, all that kinda stuff.

And I’m calling b.s. on the whole thing.

The privilege of sainthood is available to a factory worker, a mom, (gasp) possibly even a bartender! Miracles, visions, wonders come from a relationship with the Almighty and everyone of us can own that.

Oh but we like it the other way. The pastor prays, special people see miracles, evangelists and preachers are called to the higher standard.

I’m just me so set your expectations low!

The call to be holy is not a religious mandate set apart for a select few. It is for all of us.

But how can a potty-mouthed paper mill employee hope to be holy? I think so.

The first step to working this out practically is to remind yourself OFTEN that when people look at you they’re supposed to see Jesus.

And remember, you can never cuss at all and still be full of hate. You can go to church every Sunday and be arrogant and mean.

The trick is look at how Jesus acted and act that way. Pray like your Father is there and cares about being with you. Value others. Believe that you are called to be different, special, holy. And move like you have a purpose.

It’ll change your life.

God, call your people out to love and live miraculously. Show us how to cherish each moment, value each opportunity to let You be seen in us.

The Wolf

I have been blogs, seeing videos, hearing the stories of human trafficking.

Shout out to Secretangel and Unstoppable Love Int. There are more and they are huge heroes in the Kingdom.

Along with this, I am studying Scottish history.

Wait…. What? How are the two related? Well, let me tell you.

Men are horrible!

What we, as men, have done in so many situations is deplorable, despicable, inhuman, no words are adequate. Animalistic, except that animals wouldn’t do some of the things we have done.

So many have become predators, seeking the weak, the isolated, the vulnerable. We have become wolves.

Why does a wolf do what he does? In a word, survival.

I ask myself, by why the cruelty? Why the preying on the young, the innocent? Why is there nothing holy, no boundaries we won’t cross, nothing we value more than our survival.

That is where sin infects our need.

I have seen first hand the evil, the hatred, the horrible meanness, and known the men who acted it out. We would see them as monsters, and really, a few of them are. But most, and this blows my mind, are nice guys.

They are businessmen, teachers, pastors, priests, coaches, politicians, you name it. They are dads, grandfathers, brothers.

And the snake of pornography, the poison of the “high” lie to us and say what is good, what is tantalizing, what will fill my need.

And so the mechanisms of survival, food, shelter, love, are traded in.

As someone who has come out of an addiction to pornography, I can say with some authority that predators of this nature should be shot, hung, decapitated, emasculated or all of the above.

But since we can’t kill them all, and it would decimate the male population, can we choose rather to pray.

He trap of sin, that we all face, is deepest for the predator, the wolf. He knows what he is and cannot fathom any different way to survive. And the best way to save his family, his victims, is to save him.

Pray for his healing, that he would see himself through God’s eyes. And, that he would know he was made for something far greater, much more than what he has been told.

And pray against, pray binding and confusion and destruction over all the forces that seek to keep him trapped.

God bring your healing, your touch to these victims of sin. Bring life and freedom to those who are hurt and those who hurt others. We need You.

To the Loser

I have this friend. Great guy! Really nice person. Great worship leader. Great musician.

Super competitive!

His drive to win has probably helped him to be successful in so many areas.

My son has played basketball with him a few times and often played on his team. They both like to win and can actually help each other win.

I never get asked to be on anybody’s team. At basketball, I don’t usually help anyone win.

I’m a loser. I don’t have the drive or the confidence. I accept defeat pretty readily.

And I think that’s about to open some doors for me.

We all love winners. We love success and wealth, popularity, fame. The problem is there are a whole lot of losers and just a few winners.

And I think it’s time for the losers to step up.

We believe that winners can do whatever they want. If you’re tall, good looking, young (most certainly young), then the world is yours. If your old and ugly, short, fat, lame and broken, well…

But God!

Yeah, but God.

He’s calling me out. I believe He’s calling you out.

Do we really believe that miraculous things can happen because a loser acts according to God’s word? Do we believe that God can speak through those who are not eloquent, not charismatic, simply to show His greatness? Can I believe that my voice, my experience, my heart can reach those that the winners can’t touch?

I’m starting to think so.

“To the victor goes the spoils.” But when I look at our lost and dying world, the “spoils” of human lives, there is plenty to share with us losers too.

God, use us.

Use me.

Start a fire in my heart, a desire that burns, not with self confidence, but an assurance that you can use someone like me. Help me to silence the voices that say I can’t and simply believe in my God who can.

What A Ride?!

I feel like I’ve used this title before.  And yes, I know it has been a while since I’ve written anything.

Tough season.  Yeah, I’ve said that before too.

But this morning, after about five hours of sleep, I woke up to the question/challenge, “if I  am going to write, can I write like my life depends on it?  Will I say something like it’s the last thing I will ever say?”

Now part of the fun of a blog is that sometimes you are only writing for fun. But that isn’t sustainable.  When the only thing I am doing is speaking to hear my own voice, I probably should just shut up.

So here I am again.  I wanted this blog to show that God is in control and worth living for no matter where He takes you.  I wanted to face disappointment and confusion, doubt and fear with a shout of triumph because I know Jesus is all that matters.  I wanted to worship without regard for my circumstances.

I now work in a paper mill.  I make good money but it is hard, exhausting, sweaty work.  I work a lot of hours, sleep schedule ruined, no time for music, writing, anything.  I am about the oldest guy that I know of there (in my area), starting out, trying to prove myself to them.  I catch myself cussing in frustration.  I make mistakes and still can’t seem to do much right.  But God’s favor has been with me.

And there’s no place I’d rather be.

I hear the songs about dreams coming true.  I’ve seen the movies and read the books that seem to say that if we don’t give up, we can live the life we want, we can succeed.

And I think God puts many of those dreams inside of us (though certainly not all of them – yikes).

I just don’t believe anymore that I need to pursue them.  I need to pursue Him.  I don’t mean to trivialize this.  We all to often find our dreams and lose sight of our King.  That’s a tragedy.  If I never get to sing in front of a crowd, if I never get to pastor a youth group, if I die from heat stroke working in a paper mill, I will have succeeded because, despite the stupid things I’ve done, because I sit on His lap, in the presence of the Holy King of the Universe.

I hope that some of the guys I work with find Him because of the light that shines from me.  I hope that my children and grandchildren see that life lived for Jesus is worth it.  I’m not giving up on my dreams, though I am almost fifty-seven years old.

Jesus, hold on to me harder than I hold on to you.  This ride is crazy so I need you.