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Where am I? Who am I? Identity Alert!!!!

I had some social media fun with the picture above helpfully proclaiming “YOU ARE HERE”. As if I could be anywhere else while I was, well, there. But as you probably already suspect that picture produced some musing that begat today’s blog. For years I wandered spiritually wondering where I was on my journey. Was I going to Heaven? Was I a good, bad, or indifferent Christian? Was I loved? Was I significant? The question of where I was as a follower of Christ and who I was as a person consumed and confused me. The always present Enemy answered the questions above on a regular basis. Probably not going to Heaven. Definitely a bad Christian. Not really loved or bad things wouldn’t happen to you. Totally insignificant. The following is a little excerpt on this topic from my latest book Waking Up Slowly. For too many years I believed the accusations, without considering the question that Philip Yancey asks.
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what if 2

What If?

Regular consumers of my humble ramblings (Bless your hearts!) know that I often find spiritual application from song lyrics both secular and sacred. Blame it on faulty brain wiring at the factory. This week I heard a snippet from Carly Simon’s haunting ballad “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” that triggered today’s musing. The song talks about the ideal of marriage. Her partner wants to marry and is convinced their union will be different. The lyrical response hit my heart. You say we can keep our love alive Babe – all I know is what I see – She had seen too many marriages start with fairy tale dreams and end in sorrow. That sad topic is another blog. What hit me on this day was how that principle of believing only what you see is true for us as followers of Jesus. We tell people we have good news. We tell people we have an eternal
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Men having discussion

A Gentle Assignment for my White Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Listen!

My heart has been deeply saddened by the racial tension that has surfaced recently with frightening intensity. Like many white Americans I rationalize that I am not a part of the problem. I have always condemned those organizations that teach hate toward my brothers and sisters of color so I felt like I was a spectator in this battle. Three friends have been helping me to see another side. My eyes began to be opened by my friend Kevin Butcher. Kevin is a white pastor to a predominately black congregation at Hope Community Church in Detroit. He told me that Black Christians want their White brothers and sisters to listen to their hearts and not offer excuses or rationales. They simply want to be heard. So I decided to do just that by seeking to hear the hearts of two Black brothers in Christ. I know Duke Barnett well. He is an amazingly talented educator, administrator and leader. He is
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be kind

Glen Campbell Had it Right!

Even in my rock and roll days I liked Glen Campbell. There was something about his smile and warmth that made him seem real. Glen seemed like the kind of person you could approach and he would be kind. You never know with celebrities so I was delighted to hear from sound technicians who worked with him that he was exactly that. Kind and approachable. His final gift before his death was a moving and deeply personal look at how Alzheimer’s affects a family in the documentary “I’ll Be Me”.  So that background makes this week’s musing even more impactful. One of my favorite Glen Campbell songs, “Try a Little Kindness”, is a message that we desperately need to hear and heed in our current societal climate. You got to try a little kindness Yes show a little kindness Just shine your light for everyone to see And if you try a little kindness Then you’ll overlook the blindness Of
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The Minefields of Marriage

Real and honest relationships are messy. Marriage is at the top of that difficulty list. If you take the chance to be known and get hurt it is easy to build a wall. If you take another chance and get the same result the temptation is to build an impenetrable fortress around your heart. And that is tragic. I see that happening with too many people around me. Sara Groves is a powerful lyricist with a great voice. That’s a very appealing combo plate. Her song entitled “It’s Me” is amazing. She captures the insecurities, old stories about our past and selfishness that leads to relationship meltdowns. And those moments seem to come out of nowhere. weather came and caught us off our guard we were just laughing and feelin’ alright had such a great time just last night we walked into a minefield undetected you took a tone and I took offense anger replacing all common sense oh run for you
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things you can't buy

Can Money Buy Love?

A new channel on satellite radio features songs by the Beatles. Today a song took me back to 1964 when I was an overweight nerd struggling to find my place in the world. What a difference fifty-three years makes. Now I am not overweight. “Can’t Buy Me Love” reached the top of the charts for the group. When asked about the deeper meaning of the song Paul McCartney gave this reply. “The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are all very well, but they won’t buy me what I really want.” Sing along with me aching Boomers… I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel alright I’ll get you anything my friend if it makes you feel alright ‘Cause I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love I’ll give you all I got to give if you say you love me too I may not have a lot to give but what
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Ready for a Better Way?

Even occasional readers of my humble ramblings know that the start of my faith narrative was mired in legalism. My first church believed you could not spell denomination without “no”. Starting from that faulty foundation led me to years of sadness, tiredness and performance bondage. I replayed my long and fragmented journey to grace and freedom as I listened to a song from Hillside United titled, “From the Inside Out”. One thousand times I’ve failed Still your mercy remains Should I stumble again I’m caught in your grace Everlasting your light will shine when all else fades I remembered day after day of agonizing self-loathing because I kept failing. I did not understand His mercy nor did I believe I could fall on His grace. I was taught that such an attitude showed a lack of obedience and a dependence on “cheap grace”. Somehow I missed the message of Jesus to the religious hypocrites as I was influenced by the
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