Dear Church Leaders: The Revelation Came from the Wilderness, not the Pulpit

Crap, another friend shared about getting kicked out of church. Arrgh. It’s painful, but sadly not rare– I have my own stories…

People can have different ideas, or giftings that don’t fit traditional parameters (e.g. gender/marital/parental status, etc.), and misunderstandings can be easy. But should talents or abilities cease the moment someone enters a church? Can we, especially those in church leadership, listen to someone if they aren’t preaching from the pulpit?

God has used a whale, worm, donkey and various plants to communicate throughout the Bible. How much more a fellow human?
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The Torch and Oven: A Christmas Story You Didn’t Hear

Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweet treats, and Dutch gezelligheid – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly: nice/comfy/friendly/cozy- ness.

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

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

Don’t Make God a Bear: “Brave” Rebellion from Love’s Heart

Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse our divine identity and sacrificial love, but Brave touches on the reality of our love-hate relationship with God. (Warning, spoiler alert.)

Fiery and fun-loving Merida wants to live on her own terms, like most of us, but cultural traditions oppress her spirit. Her mom tries to prep Merida for the way of a princess, including arranged marriage and great authority, but the mom and daughter are losing their minds and eachother.

Continue reading “Don’t Make God a Bear: “Brave” Rebellion from Love’s Heart”

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.
Continue reading “Dirt & Hope Under America’s Rug & The Power of One to Heal (or Hurt)”

When Hate is Acceptable and Love becomes Laughable– Do We Know God? [Biblical Danger Zone]

Remember Claude Frollo? That gypsy (foreigner)-hating, child-manipulating and emotionally-abusing, lust-possessed, uber-religious Judge from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame? That man prayed. A Lot. Remember him pouring out his heart in the dark song “hell fire–desire”? (Yes, not all kids movies are for kids).

How many Frollo’s, to varying degrees, do you know? How many have we caught glimpse of since the US election?

Going to church doesnt make you a christian like being in a garage makes you a car

If this election has done anything for us, it’s certainly put a magnifying glass on the blinding hate that can reside in hearts of those who wear crosses or call themselves Christian.

Maybe that’s why Jesus Himself is getting a new name (Revelation 3:12), and why he was the angriest in a Church, NOT some city square (Matthew 21:12).

Before the US election, I heard many Christian-identifying Americans say: “this is a difficult decision…”

Difficult?  Do we know God?

Continue reading “When Hate is Acceptable and Love becomes Laughable– Do We Know God? [Biblical Danger Zone]”

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”

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:

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

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!”