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?
Click to Tweet

Continue reading “Dear Church Leaders: The Revelation Came from the Wilderness, not the Pulpit”

Maybe that Mess was People, Not God?

Did you ever visit a church and something rubbed your heart wrong? Or maybe you experienced something from someone identifying as a Christian–maybe it was gossip, deceit, or some form of oppression, or maybe flat-out hate, or abuse? Worst of all, it may have been done with the support of bible texts.

If you thought: This cant be God—and if it is I want nothing to do with *Him– you may have been right. Maybe it was People, not God.

Continue reading “Maybe that Mess was People, Not God?”

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.

Continue reading “A Rebel Christian Manifesto…or, Apology”

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”

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?”

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.

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

Sometimes We Need Mud in Our Eyes to See Straight [#LoveHateCountdown]

Why did Jesus heal blindness two different ways? One man was healed with a word, the other with spit and dirt. It was a mess, it didn’t make sense, but after a rinse a man born blind could see. The religious elite didn’t like it. They held an inquiry, interrogating and frightening the parents. They asked the man: “what did he do to you?” but weren’t satisfied with the answer. They insulted him to the core and then excommunicated him.

But like all freaks, weirdos, outcasts and misfits, Jesus seeks us out…

Continue reading “Sometimes We Need Mud in Our Eyes to See Straight [#LoveHateCountdown]”

3 Examples of God’s Gentleness to Help Break Our God Hate

Some people associate God with Might and limitless Power. One Pastor said, ‘we don’t need a God of Love, we need a God to be feared!’ #SayWhat?

But God’s Gentleness is easy to miss if you only experience angry voices hating with a bible in the hand. You catch this in some politics, at some funerals, and even in some churches. The world can easily question God’s Heart, and rightly so.

But glimpse these 3 examples of God’s Gentleness and repair the breach… Continue reading “3 Examples of God’s Gentleness to Help Break Our God Hate”

Who would you rather Rule? Jesus or a Pharisee?

 

It’s a questions all Christians could ask themselves: Who would you rather rule over you–or even the world? Jesus or a Pharisee? For those who don’t know what a Pharisee is, they were the religious learned of Jesus’ day. Those who studied, meditated on, and taught from God’s Words, and one would expect them to know God best.

But Jesus bumped heads with them regularly…

 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. (Matthew 23:27)

God was always more concerned with our inner condition than our words or actions. Yikes.

Religion, on the other hand, is easy. It skips the inner transformation and focuses instead on appearances, rules to keep, e.g. don’t touch, don’t taste… and God forbid you question or break a rule-Woe to you! 

Continue reading “Who would you rather Rule? Jesus or a Pharisee?”

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…”