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

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”

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”

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.
Continue reading “Dirt Under America’s Rug & The Power of One to Hurt/Heal”

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…

Continue reading “Social Justice or Sodomy? The Real Reason Sodom Burned”

God like Lightning: Are You Doing the Zig Zag Too?

Why doesn’t Lightning come down straight? It’s ferocious and 5x hotter than the surface of the sun, so shouldn’t it just, literally, charge down?

I never gave lightning much thought until I heard a Capital Kings track, Forever. One lyric line, “I feel Your Lightning in my veins,” touched something in my heart and I was inspired to find lightning wallpaper for my phone. As I admired it, I realized how much lightening looks like our veins…

Continue reading “God like Lightning: Are You Doing the Zig Zag Too?”

#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?

Continue reading “#GodSingsBieber? Hearing God’s Heart on the Radio Aint Crazy”

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]”

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”

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”

Love Needs “Limit” To Shine: Why We Won’t Trust God Unless He has a Last Piece of Pie

The garden of Eden taught some hard and sad lessons, including that we wouldn’t trust God without testing Him first. Parents warn their kids not to touch a hot pan, but don’t they/we ultimately want to know for ourselves?

Bieber had it right:

justin-bieber-ill-show-you

“I got to learn things, learn them the hard way.
Gotta see what it feels like, no matter what they say..”
(“Ill show you” Justin Bieber, Purpose album)

(Sure, some lessons we never want to learn firsthand, but maybe that’s because we saw the result in the life of another…) Continue reading “Love Needs “Limit” To Shine: Why We Won’t Trust God Unless He has a Last Piece of Pie”

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?)

Continue reading “Choosing Law over Love: A Sad Example of Broken Families from Ezra”

Open Letter to those Identifying as “Christian” in America

Dear “Christian,”

Whether you’re a Christian or a Christian from the “synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 3:9), don’t worry: there’s love here. Sorry to be blunt but with so many “Christians” holding bibles and speaking/doing hate, people need clarity. Luckily Love is the litmus test (1 Cor 13) and “a tree is known by its fruit” (Luke 6:44).

If your fruits are primarily outward like church attendance, wearing crosses, even big Bible knowledge, look out! It’s possible to be crazy about God, the Bible, and still miss His Heart–I’ve been there. Christians can even make God an idol (been there, Ouch).

Continue reading “Open Letter to those Identifying as “Christian” in America”

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]”