typorama(24)

Politics and Jesus

Nothing like starting out the week by discussing two of the three forbidden topics: politics and Jesus. I used to be a rabid political guy. I once believed we could change the culture with the right political leaders. I was right to have the dream but wrong about the method. Even if I could get my “dream team” elected we would still have a problem in our culture. Sin. Politics and law don’t change that inconvenient truth (apologies to Al Gore) that we have an inherent human heart problem. Jesus gave us a perfect example of what it looks like to be a good citizen while recognizing what really changes the heart of man. The religious legalists (the Pharisees) were trying to trick Jesus to get Him in trouble with the Roman government. Nice try. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell
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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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Better-way-highway-sign

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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typorama(13)

Maggie’s Favorite Chapter

Here is a free preview of Chapter 21 in Waking Up Slowly. You can get an idea of how you can use these short chapters as daily devotionals to connect more fully to God, yourself, and one another. Maggie and I hope you enjoy! SOUNDS OF SILENCE Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God. Ralph Waldo Emerson I love to watch Maggie when she is overseeing her backyard domain. Sometimes she goes to the fence and lets out a couple of deep-throated barks to let some perceived threat know that she is on duty. Or she patrols every inch of the yard, sniffing as if it is her first and not her one-thousandth time to do this. Sometimes she stops to growl at a feral cat behind the fence. But the routine I love most is when she lies in the yard with head high, surveying her kingdom in silence. She is completely dialed in,
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Christmas shopping

What To Give Jesus On His Birthday?

Christmas shopping can be really difficult for my species. Many of us men give gifts to our significant others with fear and trembling. Humor writer Dave Barry relates the confusion most men deal with when giving a gift to their wife. He could tell by her reaction to the gift that she had not been dreaming of getting an auto emergency kit, even though it was the deluxe model with booster cables and an air compressor. Clearly, this violated an important rule, but the man had idea what the rule was, and his wife was too upset to tell him. Barry continues his thoughtful treatise… So why is the Christmas season so difficult for men? There are many complex reasons, by which I mean: women. The problem goes back to the very first Christmas. We know from the Bible that the Wise Men showed up in Bethlehem and gave the baby Jesus gifts of gold,frankincense, and myrrh. Now Gold is always
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redeemed

Monday Musing: Redeemed. Believe it.

One of my phone apps offers new music that I can redeem from the app. Recently I went to download a song and this message came up. Already redeemed. I had already acquired the song. There was no need for further redemption. It was mine. How I wish I could trust that for my relationship with God. A song by Big Daddy Weave called “Redeemed” sums up my struggle and encourages me to know that I am not alone in this battle. Seems like all I can see was the struggle Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past Bound up in shackles of all my failures Wondering how long is this gonna last Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son stop fighting a fight that’s already been won” That is the truth I have to remind myself just about every day. The fight has already been won. Yet I too often live as if my
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