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unexpected smile


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6/12/12 It turns out the reason this video link kept going down is that its originally a coke commercial that someone else hijacked – it’s still cool 🙂

 

I’ve been sent this a bunch lately, I almost didn’t watch it. Thinking it would be one thing, it turned out to be something else & brought a smile to my face.
Sometimes security cameras catch something a little different.

blogosphere, Uncategorized

dark night of the soul


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When your faith has no room for doubt, then you are just left with—religion

 

The following is a excerpt from a post entitled “Why it’s good to doubt God”, it can be found in full here.

 

Sometimes things happen in our lives—it may be one big catastrophe or a line of smaller things that pile up—and you start having a lot of doubts. At first, when you have those disruptive thoughts, you try to push them to the side, hoping they’ll just go away, before God notices.

They don’t and he doesn’t.

So you feel your faith in God slipping away—and it is unsettling, disorienting, and frightening to watch that happen. You doubt that God cares, that he is listening; you doubt that he is even aware of who you are—that he even exists.

In such a state of doubt about God, you feel like there is clearly something very wrong with you.

“Maybe I’m not smart enough. Maybe I’m a faker. Maybe I haven’t memorized enough Bible verses. Maybe I need to go to church more often.”

Whatever it is, you’re doing something wrong. It’s all your fault.

And so we do the only thing we have been taught to do. We do everything in our power to get out of that state of doubt as quickly as we can. For some, if doubt persists, they live lives of quiet desperation, ashamed or afraid to speak up. Others simply walk away from their faith.

Surely, doubt is the enemy of faith, right?

To have faith means you don’t doubt, right?

Doubt is a spiritually destructive force that tears you away from God, right?

Wrong.

 

There is a benefit of doubt.

Doubt can do things spiritually that nothing else can do.

Sometimes we think of our faith as a castle—safe, comfortable, familiar. But what if God doesn’t want us to be comfortable and safe? What if comfortable and safe keep God at a distance?

Doubt tears down the castle walls to force us on a journey.

Doubting God is painful and frightening because we think we are leaving God behind, but we are only leaving behind the idea of God we like to surround ourselves with—the small God, the God we control, the God who agrees with us.

Doubt forces us to look at who we think God is.

If we’re honest, we all think we’ve God figured out pretty well. We read the Bible and maybe memorize some of it. We go to church a lot. Maybe even lead Bible studies or something.

We’re doing great, and God must certainly be impressed.

It is so very easy to slip into this idea that we have arrived—that we really think we’ve got all the answers and that we almost possess God.

We know what church he goes to, what Bible translation he reads, we know how he votes, we know what movies he watches and books he reads. We know the kinds of people he approves of.

God happens to like all the things we like. We feel like we can speak for God very easily.

All Christians who take their faith seriously sooner or later get caught up in that problem. We begin to think that God really is what we happen to think he is.

God is the face in the mirror…

 

You can read more from Peter Enns here.

 

There is a God we want and there is a God who is. They are not the same God… the turning point of our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is.

– Patrick Morley

 

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News, Uncategorized

2 years on: inside the numbers


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I’ve been informed my blog theme isn’t “click” friendly, meaning you can read posts without having to click your mouse lots.

Which is good for you, apparently not so for me.

You see, I’m informed that lots of “clicks” are a good thing, that there is a man (or woman) who counts all the clicks, categorizes & compiles them, to what end I’m unsure. I think I need a certain amount to level up or achieve global blogging dominance.

Here’s a look inside the numbers of the last year of blogging & life.

 

1) One is for Nike & Mike, say it ain’t over. The most read post over the last year. One is for December my best month, you barely beat out October.

One is for the first year I haven’t been involved in youth leadership for a while. It’s been incredibly freeing & life-giving

2) Two is for 2 years, happy 2nd birthday blog. Two is the amount of Stephen King books I’ve attempted to read.

3) Three is for funerals unexpected. I’ve been to more this year than the rest of my life. Death has a way of throwing things into perspective.

 

52) Fifty-two is for the only number from the counted clicks which caught my attention. People from some 52 different countries have visited this blog in the past year, some places I’ve never heard of.

That is humbling.

Perhaps the person who counts the clicks lives in one of those countries, my guess is its Moldova.

25) twenty-five is for “gladiator pills”. The amount of times that search term has led someone to this blog. It’s a sex enhancement pill. I guess if you’re counting clicks on a non-click friendly blog you have to find something to pass the time.

 

0) Zero is for 0%, the amount “clicks” motivate me. Zero is for the number of Stephen King books I’ve finished reading. In his book On Writing, Stephen says he writes for an ideal reader, that his ideal reader is his wife. My ideal reader isn’t my wife. Zero – my number of wives.

I guess my ideal reader, is me. Well maybe different versions of me, I write to the old me,  5 years ago me, 10 years ago me, know-it-all-me, fundamentalist-me, pastors kid me, dropped out of church me, searching me, knowing the rules but not Gods heart me…

or the me I see in others, the church raised christian schooled middle-class westerner with Sunday school smarts & clichéd answers, who knows about God without knowing, who can quote Jesus without ever following.

 

x) Unknown number is for the amount of people you influence each day, each week, each year, the amount of people you shine a little light on & share a little love with.

Where does your light shine?

 

Thanks for another year, thanks for reading, for the follows, comments & emails.

Love God, love people, follow Jesus.

 

 

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rules pfft!


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Every time the disciple started establishing rules – no children near Jesus;  don’t let the crowd touch Jesus; don’t talk to Samaritan women; don’t let people waste expensive perfumes – Jesus told them to knock it off, and His rebuke was usually followed by a lecture that said, “You still don’t get it! We are not substituting religious rules with our rules. We are substituting religious rules with Me!” Jesus kept saying “Follow Me,” not “Follow My rules.” Most of us have spent our Christian lives learning what we can’t do instead of celebrating what we can do in Jesus. What a tragedy. What a misunderstanding of who Jesus is.

– Michael Yaconalli

poetic, Uncategorized

Communion


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Some would say I have participated in a lot of communions but a lot of communions I’ve never really participated in.

Sometimes I’d connect with God, sometimes I’d be bored.

Sometimes my mind would wander – what’s for lunch? and who I’ll hang with after.

Sometimes I’d sit in silence, while on the inside I’d want to jump for joy for what Jesus has done for me.

 

Sometimes I’d just feel bad…

Bad for not feeling bad enough, for not feeling thankful enough, for not feeling anything at all…

sometimes I’d just feel numb.

 

It’s easy for communion to become stale & cold, a box to check, something to get through,  we do it less & less & when we do it, it is often preempted by a short emotive message trying to break through our hardened hearts to get us to take notice…

and years of sitting there head bowed in guilt-ridden reflection to do anything else would seem disrespectful, when maybe the most respectful thing we could do is to stand & raise our glass & say “Cheers!”, thank you Jesus for this life you have given so I may truly be living!

 

So maybe you’ll “ching” glasses with your neighbour,

maybe it’ll be a time of quite reflection,

maybe all you’ll manage is a, “God are you real?…   I need help”.

However you choose to engage with what Jesus has done,

let it be real for you,

let it be honouring of God,

I pray you have the freedom to engage with a God who came to set you free.

 

 

 

This is something I did for a communion I took recently.

poetic, Uncategorized

remedy


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I can help the poor,

only if i don’t have to walk in your shoes.

I can make ethical choices,

when i live in abundance.

Ethical choices make me feel good,

they do little to help you…

or my understanding of what you go through.

You don’t have enough money to fill your belly.

I overfill mine.

still i have money & energy left over, so much left over.

i’ll  remedy my excess at the gym.

 

what i really need is a remedy of the heart.

 

 

 

 

Some reflections after I successfully raised money for Oxfam by buying & consuming large quantities of brownies Mmmm… & failed miserably at the “live below the line challenge“.