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…

Continue reading “The Torch and Oven: A Christmas Story You didn’t Hear”

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.

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

Submissive God? 3 Bible Verses Exposing Mankind’s Freedom that May Blow Your Mind

If God really existed, why is the world so wrecked? And if *He is so “good,” how could He let those things happen to me…?
(note: I use He/His as pronouns for God but fully recognize God with male and female ‘identity,’ for lack of a better word, as evidenced throughout the Bible and the human race. 2-pt post here if you like).

Just one look at the suffering and oppression in this world –not just against people, but all creation– and it’s hard not to stumble on belief in a good God. But blaming (or denying) Heaven for all the woe ignores our God-Given freedom to destroy everything just fine on our own.

God is waiting for the miracle-save the world-justice-love-JasNotes-authorunknown

Hands can hurt flesh, and mouths can speak death, yet we rarely see God grab someone mid sentence, or mid swing. And if He did intervene every time we exercised our freedom, would we really be free?

Continue reading “Submissive God? 3 Bible Verses Exposing Mankind’s Freedom that May Blow Your Mind”

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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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?

Continue reading “Jesus: Homeless Refugee Moocher, Not Welcome in Today’s Church?”

Laughter, Joy and Power: The Nitrous Oxide Connection and Tips to Keep it Going!

This starts with a snail named Turbo who dreams of speed. When Turbo almost drowns in an engine filled with nitrous oxide–and my kids and I started getting nervous– I started to wonder: isn’t that stuff laughing gas??

Turbo snail engulfed in nitrous oxide.png

SNL skits and Steve Martin flashed before me, and I checked wiki to confirm: sure enough, the stuff that numbs pain and causes giggles is the same stuff that turns car horsepower into unicorn power.

Turbo Movie-Snail Speeds Away.jpg

I don’t believe in coincidences so what’s God trying to say??

Speed and Joy can go together like Slow and Annoyed, but maybe the connection runs deeper. What if Fun, Laughter, and Joy are some of our Greatest Weapons in life?

Maybe that’s why they’re constantly under attack…

Continue reading “Laughter, Joy and Power: The Nitrous Oxide Connection and Tips to Keep it Going!”

Choosing Law over Love: A Sad Example of Broken Families from Ezra

This post is part of the #GodsOneLines series–breaking hate and/or shame caused by people wielding bible verses. Instead I want to use single bible verses or events to encourage and reveal God’s Heart if possible.

This story starts with Tears– mine as I write, and Heaven’s one fateful day.

It starts with the return of Jews from Babylonian exile. Their repeated offenses, including refusing to set servants free, caught up with them despite divine warnings. Sure, they listened for a time, but soon after changed their minds, re-taking men, women and children into captivity (sounds like the Moses story with Pharaoh, right?)

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4 Important Words that Totally Lost their Meaning, and Hope for 1

Language is living. Social environment, technology, time and the freedom and individuality of every human being modifies our communication. But there are some words that should just stick and if they don’t we may need to replace them. Here are four that, in my opinion, have totally lost their meaning–they need to be spelled out before their weight or truth comes across.

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Labels were never meant to stick…

We have a “rule” in our family about name calling–namely, don’t do it.

I know people like to joke and call names in jest, little kids yelling, ‘come on poopy head’ or friends teasing, ‘hurry up slowpoke.’ But I’m pretty sensitive and don’t like any of it.

Especially when I realized it’s happening all over the place, not just as playful or derogatory, but as identifying labels

Gay, Straight, Beauty Queen, Jock, Vegetarian, Vegan, Republican, Democrat, Nerd, Rebel, Techie, Trekkie, Californian, Christian….

It grieves me that society makes us feel the need to label-up: “I’m Gay,” “I’m Straight,”  “I’m Bi,”.. “I’m …” etc.,  as if that’s someone’s identity.

Your life is so much more than your love preference, food preference, political preference….etc.

Do we dare ostracize others for any of these things? In a world so focused on the external, its easy to forget what really matters:
Kindness, Compassion, Honesty, #1Cor13 Love… Continue reading “Labels were never meant to stick…”

Transgender God, Part 1: What’s in a Name?

When I started this “Wild Kids, Wild God – 31 Days looking into God’s Heart” series, I had no idea how deep I’d go.

In recent posts of this series I started noting:

I use ‘He’ and ‘His’ as pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with both Male and Female  ‘identity’–for lack of a better word–, as evidenced by the human race and through the Bible…” Post coming soon!

This is that post, and the topic is dear to my heart. It may disturb, but can also encourage, and my desire has been, as best as I can, to put God’s Heart ‘out there,’ crazy as It may be.

So let me “come out” about this.

Continue reading “Transgender God, Part 1: What’s in a Name?”