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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The Torch and Oven: A Christmas Story You didn’t Hear

Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweets, and Dutch “gezelligheid” – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly  ‘nice/comfy/friendly/cozy-ness.’

Some think of “baby Jesus,” others of making everything “just right”, and still others wish to fast forward through the season. Holidays can be painful for some who’ve suffered so much, and I want to share a verse I’ve never heard at Christmastime which may give hope, especially to the oppressed. Or maybe just more perspective beyond the baby in a manger…

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A Rebel Christian Manifesto…or, Apology

This has been an extra hard post to write and share. The danger in revealing something of your heart is it becomes open for ridicule, but it can also spark hope in someone– do people know how loved they are!? So I write knowing some identifying as Christian will dispute, just like I dispute the Nashville Statementplease don’t think that speaks for me, other humans, or those  identifying as “Christian”, or even God *Himself

Religion can steal/steel compassion and common sense, resulting in misinformed, cruel statements, actions, policies. But bible verses have always been used against fellow man, woman, child, even the environment.

Even the devil quoted scriptures.

 

 

(*I use He and His as simple pronouns for God but fully recognize God with male and female “identity” -for lack of a better word- as demonstrated throughout the bible and blatantly through humanity. Related post here.)

So for those not wanting anything to do with God or “Christians” because of those calling themselves “Christian,” and to stand (or, ahem, #takeaknee) with rebel Christians who’ve been persecuted and pushed out of churches for thinking, doing, or flat-out being something “different,”

And for every child, woman, or man that heard your voice doesn’t matter because of your age, skin color, gender, marital or parental status, anything external,  and for every creature and all nature that was abused under the notion that those made “in the image of God” are superior, this is for You.

REBEL CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO, or APOLOGY

Dear Children, little brothers and little sisters, You are the Mightiest Warriors of all.
Your heart, ideas, dreams and very life matter, not because of anything you do, but simply because: You Are. We are humbled by you. You’ve gone through fire because of the grave failings of our own adult hearts (Proverbs 17:3), and our grief is bottomless. (What are these tears God wipes in heaven if there are no more tears there? Maybe the ones we cry when we see just how much you’ve endured on our behalf…)

child heart - adult heart - as we grow let our compassion grow too
All heaven will bow before you. Thank you for your willingness to exist in this time with us.

Dear Women, Sisters, “Equal but with separate/different roles” was a lie spoken over you like “separate but equal” was spoken over those with darker skin color before you. You ARE equal to your brothers and your value rests not in your (in)ability to birth or raise children, to cook or clean… Your “role” was never meant to be defined by society, culture, the church, or anyone. God has always challenged our perception and understanding of identity and contrary to popular belief/practice, your giftings and talents were never supposed to be checked at the door when you came to a church service.

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Dirt & Hope Under America’s Rug & The Power of One to Heal (or Hurt)

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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Social Justice or Sodomy? The Real Reason Sodom Burned

When did two people getting married become a bad thing?
When did consenting adults committing to a life of love and faithfulness together become something to mobilize against– by people professing a doctrine founded on unconditional love??!

There’s much judgement and hate directed towards those with a homosexual or bisexual lifestyle, and those identifying as transgender have recently been called out of Armed Service, cruelly (e.g. via twitter), and without genuine cause, despite each of these people writing blank checks to Uncle Sam payable up and unto their very lives.

Secretary of Defense Matthis urging Soldiers across all Branches to “Hold the Line” as America gets it’s act together…

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The Last Wall

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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Racer X like Jesus [Part 1]: Love, Sacrifice and Justice, Speed Racer Style

I believe God can be found anywhere, from the breeze on your skin, to the wisdom of your kids. Sometimes He* makes surprise appearances in a theater or a Justin Bieber track (post coming!) and my latest encounter was during the Speed Racer film.

The more I watched Racer X, the more I thought of Jesus, and the more I watched Speed, the more I thought of myself. Racing is a great metaphor for life–tension, time,  passion, power— and every ‘Speed Racer’ can use a ‘Racer X’ in his corner…
[warning, spoilers!]

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Jesus: Homeless Refugee Moocher, Not Welcome in Today’s Church?

You know the story of the guest pastor who visited a church in shabby attire, unshaven and maybe even unshowered? Churchgoers sidestepped him and certainly didn’t seat him at the front, so imagine their surprise/shame when he got up to give the sermon.

It’s a good example of the authenticity of our Love, and while Love shouldn’t be swayed by sight, any flesh and blood wrapped in labels like “Refugee” -“Homeless” -“Foreigner” -“Moocher” -“Homosexual” -“Annoying Friend,” will test our hearts.

Do we love because we want to, or because we ‘must?’ If the latter, is that really love?

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Open Letter to President-Elect Trump, from a Democrat-voting, Bible-reading, “Christian,” with Love

Dear President-Elect Trump,

You’re probably not expecting any love letters from Democrats, but this will come darn close. Sir, you didn’t have my vote but you do have my heart, and I kindly ask to share 3 things with you.

Firstly, you’re a Winner–not because of any item you own or title you possess, but because you Exist. That’s a 10 to the 2,685,000th power odd, and for reference the number of atoms in the visible universe is just ~10 to the 80th power.

Secondly, I’ve seen you say and do things that shame and hurt others, and from my heart I wonder: Who hurt you? What bullies did you face, or who dared lay hands on you? Only you know your story of survival and truly none of us is a stranger to pain, rejection, or simply being misunderstood. But resilience is in our DNA and we find ways to cope–anything from food or drugs, to money or sex, shopping,  TV-watching, any thing. And every thing, from our own self-doubts to our possessions or fixes, seeks to enslave us.

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