Is Hell bigger than Love?

The gospel can be cut so many ways. “Good news” for a woman begging is different than for a rich Westerner, or trafficked boy. But concepts like unconditional love and freedom keep me busy.

I’ve heard many Christians stress about people needing to “convert” or “be saved” to avoid hell. Was it similar thinking that sparked the convert-or-die theology of the Crusades?

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Playing ‘Hard to Get’ with God, or the Other Way Around?

Was ‘The Bachelor’ a jump start for ‘Secret Princes’ where royalty go undercover to find true love? These shows expose our longing to be loved for who we are, not what we have, do, or who we’re friends and family with.

Might it be the same with God?

 

 

Did Superman always walk around with the cape..?

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The Fourteenth Day: An Obscure Prophecy That Might Give Everything Purpose

I’m a bit bible nerdy and instead of skipping over peculiar texts, I sometimes dwell on them. It’s a quirk I’m trying to appropriate so here’s my take on a text you probably never heard preached in church: The fourteenth day.

It appeared during Moses’ instructions to Israel before the 10th and final, most gut-wrenching plague. Every first born was to be killed and this plague sparked the Exodus from Egypt.

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If God Was a Bear: “Brave” & Rebelling from Love

Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse sacrificial love and our divine identity, but Brave touches something deeper: the reality of our love-hate relationship with God.

Merida, a fiery and fun-loving princess who wants to live on her own terms (who doens’t?) runs up against traditions that oppress her spirit. Her mother tries to prepare her for all the ways and responsibilities of a princess, including arranged marriage, but the pair are losing their minds and each other.

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Dirt Under America’s Rug & The Power of One to Hurt/Heal

I started this post in Nov. 2016 before the first #MuslimBan, then #Charlottseville happened, and now #DACA (deporting children and young adults who grew up in, and contribute to America, because they were not born in the U.S.). Even now, the political developments are whirlwind-like.

The call to protect our people | our borders | our way of life | were fierce already before the election, but look at U.S. now…

sweeping-it-under-the-rug - People are Suffering

This election amplified aspects of America (and the world) that have been hidden from mainstream media’s eye. But festering wounds can never be healed with bandaids and as all things eventually come to Light, Love is mobilizing.
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“I Just Wanna See the Light” – San Holo and The Hope of Heaven

If you read #GodSingsBieber  or God Loves Drum & Bass, you know I think it’s possible to hear/meet God in places other than “Christian” songs and circles. Since my own religious lid has been lifted, I’m free to hear *Him everywhere…

Bumblebee and Samwitwicky
Transformers – Bumblebee spoke to Sam through a radio– why couldn’t God do the same or even more?

One morning my son requested San Holo’s, “Light.”  We knew the artist from a passionate track, “Victory,” so were eager to play our son’s request. Thanks to  #SoundCloud our car filled up with the catchy melody and tender lyrics–ringing like a longing in my own heart: “I just want to see the Light”

I guess I’m not the only one.

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#GodSingsBieber? Hearing God’s Heart on the Radio Aint Crazy

How can music banish a bad mood and transport us to a place where problems, cares, fear, sometimes even pain (and certainly time) don’t exist? For a moment there’s just that beat, or lyric line, or bass, or …plug in your own thing– it’s magic.  I’ll be feeling down but if a song comes on that rocks, something changes–and even babies know the feeling:

Melodies can spark our spirits, balm our hearts, mirror something of our soul, and sometimes floor us. Who needs Ecstasy when some tracks are flat-out orgasmic?

And Music also heals Socially…

Just think: when we rock to the same jam, things like Race, Gender, ‘Status,’ etc., disappear. Love takes shape in a sea of people grooving. Unity, peace, joy, no fear, no shame, No Problem.

Are these Holy Moments?

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Tower of Bible: All that “Law” but Where’s the Love?

How do we have the bible in every language and version (e.g. NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, …), study guides, teen/mom/soldier/woman/early reader styles, Comic Bibles…. and still miss the main message?

love-your-neighbor-as-your-self-even-if-they-are-lgbtq-or-refugee-or-muslim-or
Translation: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Jesus) “And if they are a refugee or gay?”… or Muslim or Mexican, or Republican….?  Jesus: “Is there something wrong with your ears?”

I didn’t know I owned so many bibles–granted, I’m a self-proclaimed recovering pharisee so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it wasn’t until a friend visited from a country where being Christian is a crime and her daughter longed for a bible, that I really got thinking.

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If People are like Trees, Here’s to All the Weeping Willows…

The world puts people in boxes: you’re female so you feel like this, you’re Christian so you think like this, you’re American so you act like that…

God likes to mix things up to help break the social/tradition walls we build between people. Just consider the movie Hidden Figures (based on a true story) where we see brilliant, computer-like brains placed in– not just black, but black, female bodies– in 1960s America. LOL, God is such a rebel…

Hidden_Figures_movie still
Still from “Hidden Figures,” based on the untold true story of the women nobody knew behind the NASA mission everyone knew..  “Genius has no race.. Strength has no gender…”

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The Last Wall: How Our Hearts are the Last Border to Break

Our lives have been marked by boundaries: the boundary of the womb, the boundary of the crib, the boundary of the skies…  and we push these walls, kicking against the dark in the uterus, climbing out of cribs, dreaming of flight and touching the heavens.

It seems like all boundaries–from the glass ceilings to the Berlin Walls, were meant to be destroyed…

Breaking Berlin Wall.jpg

But some of the greatest walls rest in our Hearts.

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Racer X Like Jesus [Part 2]: Life with Passion and Purpose, Speed Racer Style

(warning, movie spoilers!!)

In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.

But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled:

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Goodness Trumps Greatness Every Time + Two Other Life Hacks

God can use anything to get our attention, from a song on the radio, to a kids movie. As a recovering Pharisee (aka, avoid-anything-not-blatantly-God), this was hard for me to accept, but Disney’s Frozen blew my mind (5 Lessons from Frozen I didn’t see coming here).

I recently saw “Oz, the Great and Powerful ” (2013, with James Franco), and it was chock full of heart lessons. Here are three that touched me, and I hope you too. (Warning, Spoilers!):

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Totally Unsatisfied with God – How My Son’s Tantrum revealed Heaven’s Painful Secret

Today my son was cranky. Going out for breakfast with four children– three of them 4 years and under– isn’t easy or fast and my eldest was annoyed. “It’s too druk!” he protested (Dutch for busy/hectic), and I tried to soothe and encourage him. I shared about family from the perspective of The Incredibles (many God-lessons come from kids movies, like Frozen), noting that when they fought side-by-side they were the strongest. But my son didn’t want to hear, much less see me.The incredibles-movie-families can work best together.jpg

I suggested he walk ahead so it was like I wasn’t there, but he started to cry: ‘You are always there!” 

The world got quiet and slow and in an instant I had a heaven-flash…

Is this what I said to you, God? Is this why we can’t “see” You? Did I not want anything to do with You and, didn’t trust You had my best interest at heart, and, from eternity, was totally fed up with “Your Presence”??  Ouch.

One of the saddest glimpses into God’s Heart comes from this paragraph from Paul of Tsarsus:

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Igniting Heaven on Earth: Sound the War Cry in Your Heart

A picture with caption “true friendship” and heart dog emojis came on my twitter feed. Many replies read “awwww,” but my heart broke when I saw it…

homeless man and dog

Did people chose to overlook the life status of this pair? Maybe it wasn’t popular to burst the love bubble with, “But they’re homeless!” Whatever it was, only one of the many replies said: ‘I wish I knew where he was so I could help.’

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Did You Make God an Idol? 5 Signs and Tips to Quit

It’s possible to get so wrapped up in God, the Bible, your ‘quiet time,’ that you miss His Heart and religion creeps in. God becomes a mere idol and the effects can be devastating, especially if you’re in a family.

I have heard too many stories of people who got, or are currently planning divorce because their partner is getting in the way of their “ministry” (aka service to/for God). #SayWhat?!  If you or someone you know ever thought, “I could do so much more for God, go further, faster.. if they didn’t hold me back…” , or if you were willing to serve God at any and all costs, look out, this post is for you.

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