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We Live in a Good Friday World…

As Easter approaches I remembered an article in USA Today titled We are Easter People. I think it is worth a second look and here is a portion of the piece written by Diane Cameron. One of the lowest points in my life occurred years ago when I was living in Washington, D.C., at Easter time. My older sister had recently died and both of my brothers were seriously ill; my best friend was leaving town, and on top of that I was questioning my work. In my journal that April I wrote, “Am I depressed?” When I read those pages now I laugh and shake my head. “Depressed?” That I even had to ask. In that long year I thought I’d never laugh again, just as I thought I’d never again feel love, the joy of easy friendship, or the satisfaction of good work. I went to church that Easter out of both habit and desperation. I had grown up in
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Misunderstanding

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

The iTunes shuffle landed on a song by The Animals that brought back black and white memories. I remembered Ed Sullivan awkwardly introducing “The Animals” on his show many years ago. Fifty years if anyone is counting. After watching the clip again it was even more awkward than I remembered. The song is called “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and it produced a surprising time of reflection and prayer. Are you telling me that you don’t have your quiet times around songs by The Animals? The song is an apology and explanation to a love interest. The writer wants her (in this case) to know that he means well and sometimes he is just human. He makes mistakes. If I seem edgy I want you to know That I never mean to take it out on you Life has it’s problems and I get my share And that’s one thing I never meant to do Because I love you… Oh,
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LOVE Happy Valentines day card

Who Really Wrote the Book of Love?

Regular readers of my humble ramblings know that I love to link music of all types to spiritual thoughts. Recently a forgotten oldie caused the neurons to fire oddly in my noggin. The song “The Book of Love” was written and recorded by The Monotones in 1958. Here are some of the lyrics. Oh, I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, who Who wrote the Book Of Love Chapter One says to love her You love her with all your heart Chapter Two you tell her you’re Never, never, never, never, never gonna part In Chapter Three remember the meaning of romance In Chapter Four you break up But you give her just one more chance So there you have it. Before you get to Chapter Five you have already parted ways according to this version of the book of love. By the way, there is a little “boom” sound in the first lyric that is oddly translated “mmbadoo-ooh” above. The story
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Closeup of a baseball being pitched.

It Is A Simple Game!

Today you will see why I keep “Confessions of a Bad Christian” as my blog title. Recently the movie Bull Durham turned up on a cable channel. Hard to believe it has been over 25 years since it was released. In this article I am going to draw some spiritual applications from an R-rated movie. Gasp. In my early church experience real Christians didn’t watch any movie and most assuredly not an R-rated one. The really godly people did not drink or dance. The really, really godly people did not have televisions. They were a laugh a minute. If any of those folks were to read today’s post they would no doubt remove me from their fellowship that I used to call “The First Church Of Misery Loves Company But We Probably Won’t Love You”. Despite that risk of censure I press on. No baseball movie that I have seen comes closer to capturing the unique culture of baseball like Bull Durham. It has some rough language and sexual
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The stone is rolled away from the grave on Easter morning.

My Take on the Movie Risen

I have had a very mixed relationship with religious movies. I often find the acting or the story lines lacking compared to other movies. So I was a bit unsure how I would feel about the new movie Risen. I wrote the following about the improbable rise of these early Jesus followers in my book “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People” a few years ago. History records that several alleged messianic figures were running around during the time of Christ. It is possible that some of them had followers as impressive as the twelve selected by Jesus. Jesus took twelve guys of questionable attributes and built the largest faith in the world. Not one of the other would-be messiahs’ influence made it into the second century, let alone the twenty-first. So our calendar is dated by the birth of Christ. Does it not pique your curiosity that such a band of men could have such a global impact? No
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Concept of risk and crisis in business

Are Authentic Christians a Little Crazy? They Should Be!

Today’s Monday Musing was inspired by Alison Krause and Union Station. Alison Krause has a voice like an angel. She is an artist that I can listen to no matter what my mood might be. Today my iTunes shuffle landed on a song titled Crazy as Me. The lyrics are talking about a series of failed relationships. The lyric that Alison Krause sings that relates to me are these words. Some folks seem to think I only got one problem I can’t find nobody as crazy as me There are some drive-by readers that are pretty sure I have more than one problem but let’s put them aside for awhile. I laughed when this song came up because I often feel that way in my journey with Jesus. Am I missing something here? Does my messy walk with Jesus make me a bad Christian? Or does my willingness to be honest about my weakness give me a chance not to be
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Hands folded in prayer on a Holy Bible in church concept for faith, spirtuality and religion

We Have Strayed So Far…

A tune and a tweet dominated the morning walk and worship time. The tune is from Casting Crowns. I am amazed at the power of music and lyric to move my heart and soul. One or two lyrical thoughts can have more impact than a beautifully written article or book. The song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” has a number of those powerful lyrics. Jesus Friend of sinners we have strayed so far away We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing Ouch. How much damage has been done in the name of Christ by well-meaning or by just mean churchgoers? The toll is heartbreaking. Truly that sword was never ours to wield. The next few lines are just as powerful. Jesus friend of sinners the truth’s become so hard to see The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me Nothing breaks my heart more than the thought that
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