Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami Relief Organizations

Over 170,000 dead... some where christian... most were not... many who need help are not... now is your time to show God's love.... click on the title and see where you can help.

or click here Tsunami Devastates Asia - Help Now!
or click here

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Life with iggy

You may or not have noticed that it has been pretty quiet on the iggy scene. Well not on this end of it! Life gives us much on the daily basis, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, and sometimes so far out of our hands we can either pull back into our shells and hope it blows over, or lay out naked and exposed and cry out to God. This year has had many ups and downs, which at times only God knows what it all adds up to.
TES and Fischer are doing well - but colds and flu and all do take their toll. We moved from Laurel to Billings. Our house hold still has my mother, TES, (wife) Fischer (son) 2 dogs and 2 cats!
The new house seemed so much bigger! Then we moved in and it seemed to shrink!
I have been working at a local Kia dealership which has consumed much of my time since last June.
November hit with a vengeance. We where moving and I was asked to do some promotional stuff as "Mr. Incredible" by our marketing company. It was fun signing autographs for kids (over 350) I even appeared with the Power Team.
Then it really hit. My "numbers" were not good enough so I was fired, then rehired as a delivery driver where I deliver cars to those who buy them out of town. I have gotten to be able to see more of this great nation. I travel Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota (can you find Pine Ridge on the map?) and Wyoming.
the pay is better, but I am often away from home 2 -3 days a week. As far as ministry we have had to stop and regroup as time is harder to come by. We will begin again in Jan - new year and new beginning.
My personal pursuits have been reading more on postmodernism and how we as a Church as a whole ( the Body of Christ for those who don't see it the same way) must change and grow to meet the challenges of the new era ahead of us.
Let's just say it all relates to new wine in old wine skins.
I do appreciate prayer in these areas:
1. finances
2. clarity and focus on ministry
3. health
4. renewed commitment to integrity

and #5 TES is pregnant! So pray for a healthy pregnancy.

All this to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

How would iggy change a light bulb

This is how iggy would change a light bulb.

iggy would pull up a chair and ponder the darkness...he would then question if there is only one way to change a light bulb...he would ask which is more important the changer of the changed...and also ponder if one really can change a light bulb if it does not want to be changed...he would then wonder if he should change it....if he is his own ability can not change himself, how could he change anything else? ..but with God all things are possible and if God wills to change the bulb, iggy decides it would be cool to be part of letting the bulb see the light. But, again, is it better for the light bulb to really want to change and seek to be changed on it's own, will it then with the struggle really understand it's own changing? iggy will go to discussion groups and argue and fight for the different views he has pondered and fight for the views that are valid Christian views about changing bulbs...he would bristle over some very conservative views he see's ridged and question why they thought only their view was valid. iggy would then get discouraged and go back to the burned out bulb...complain a bit that God has given him a certain calling of changing the bulbs....he makes phone calls and organizes a gorilla soup kitchen for latter in the summer. iggy then gets a chair stands on it and reaches out hoping the bulb will just be not twisted in all the way and will come on. iggy pulls out the old bulb....then exchanges it for a new bulb...iggy marvels over how the light shines. iggy thinks the light is good.....and basks in it's glow. iggy cries as he thinks of other bulbs that need changed and that no one will do it....then iggy goes into another room and sees another burned out bulb....he begins the process all over....but now wonders is it the process of changing the bulb...or the changing of the bulb and which is more important.... he thinks on this as he looks at the darkness around him....wishing for the light in the other room, yet iggy looks forward to the new light God has shown.

Now it is your turn!

How many.....

This is an take out from Wordofmouthdiscussions on which I moderate. This was of course all in fun.

We have been taking some of ourselves a little to serious lately..great discussions, yet I feel it is time for levity.
So how do you change a light bulb?
How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?
Charismatic: Only one. Hands already in the air.
Pentecostal: Ten. One to change the bulb, and nine to
pray against the spirit of darkness.
Presbyterian: None. Lights will go on and off at
predestined times.
Catholic: None. Candles only.
Baptist: At least 15. One to change the light bulb,
and three committees to approve the change and decide who
brings the potato salad.
Episcopalian: Three. One to call the electrician, one
to mix the drinks, and one to talk about how much better
the old bulb was.
Methodist: Undetermined. Whether your light is
bright, dull, or completely burned out, you are loved.
You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb.
Church-wide lighting service is planned for Sunday. Bring
the bulb of your choice and a covered dish.
Nazarene: Six. One woman to replace the bulb while
five men review church guide on lighting policy.
Lutheran: None. Lutherans don’t believe in change.
Church of Christ: They do not use light bulbs because
there is no evidence of their use in the New Testament.
Amish: What’s a light bulb?
(These two though not Christian are funny)
Mormon: Five. One man to change the bulb and four
wives to tell him how to do it.
Unitarian: We choose not to make a statement either
in favor of , or against the need for a light bulb.
However, if in your own journey you have found that light
bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to
write a poem or compose a modern dance about your bulb
for next Sunday’s service, during which we will explore a
number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent,
fluorescent, three-way, long-life, and tinted, all of
which are equally valid paths to luminescence.
Now the real question is how does a postmodern change a light bulb?
The Following are the answers to the last question and an addition to the Baptist statements.
Postmodern contemplating changing the Lightbulb......
Has it been revealed that it needs to be changed?
How do you know its actually out?
Who has received the truth that its burned out...?
It is subjective and if I dont change it I being rebellious?
If I change it and its not out....I am being anti-bulbical?
In the postmodern emerging church movement enviroment ie. ginkworld we no longer utilize lightbulbs.....they are traditional and very cultural.... we no longer need we .......
are shedding our OWN light on all who will take the TIME to listen to us OOZE.....
hehheh ehehehe
this is good stuff

Pastor HughesEast Mesa Baptist Church

Now the real question is how does a postmodern change a light bulb?<<<>
Since we are picking on everyone let me add this:
How many IFB Pastors does it take to change a light bulb?
None! What? Change? Never!
God BlessDr. David

Shalom Alechem...Barukh Hashem Y’shua! (Peace and Blessings in Jesus’ name!)

Answered by a IFB Pastor:
Been the same for nearly 2000 years! Why change?
David W

Answered by a Postmodernist:
How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb? how do postmonderns change a lightbulb? with great joy and in community - we love, accpet and embrace change :) pax jok

A Calvinist Pastor wrote to this:
But then you debate on whether you know enough aboutthe originalculture of the lightbulb to understand it :)

Which brought out this rebuttal:
well, only if there was a modern in the group :) wewould accept the fact that the buld was culturalybased - and we might seek to find a new way ofbringing light to the room :)paxjok

A Baptist added:
Baptist: At least 15. One to change the light bulb,
and three committees to approve the change and decide who
brings the potato salad.
This will never get done, there’s no Fried Chicken for that Potato Salad!!

To which I added these thoughts:
They gather together and go to their sacred space to meditate on the sermon illustration of the burned out light bulb.
They enthusiastically gather to change the light bulb but are suspicious weather the light bulb needs to be change for it is man made and modern yet believe God is the true source of all Light.
The light bulb has a right to it’s own view and we should respect it. For if God deems it that the light bulb changes He will change it.
Soren Kerkagaard, as the suffering philosopher was challenged as he contemplated the shallowness of the condition to the religious establishment and being a tortured soul pondered if salvation was truly obtainable without understand suffering. So to burn your hand on a lighted bulb a was type of suffering to which one could attain a knowledge of the sufferings of Christ. Yet, to let the light burn would not be as spiritual as to suffer the darkness, as Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. To suffer the darkness we participate in the meaning of the suffering Christ whom which we wish to understand.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Some people on these Postmodern forums are so freakin' smart

Some people on these Postmodern forums are so freakin' smart I have to get smarter to even understand what you are saying...hahahahahahaI see it this way. I have friends who see me as a liberal.... I don't see myself that way at all, yet they think even to dialog with a liberal makes you one. I am very conservative politically...maybe mostly out of laziness...or frustration over the political scene as a whole. Yet, as I am on more pomo discussion groups I am as conservative as they come to some here as my friend jok once said..."you are a modern"...and "you don't' get it".maybe I don't... in essence that is the core of my frustration with moderns and even some who claim pomo as their hill of glory.I see so many "Christians" just settle for what ever view is taught them, often without being told there are other views out there as valid. I have seen when these other views are taught they are vilified and taught as if they are apostasy....and that is just "pre, mid, post, tribulations positions", I was told I was not saved because I was "LOOKING" into the mid trib position. I see, to not allow one to question, limits the ability to test our faith and to grow in it...To me sin is sin...but often the focus is on the sin and we miss that the sinner is loved and redeemable though Jesus. I have found new freedom in my walk to not "be". For one, as I talk to someone like the Muslim I talked to yesterday, when I do reach a friendship level, I will tell him I think all religion is the scourge of the earth an to be "religious" out side of taking care of the widows and orphans, is an act of self delusion...unless one has a relational aspect to not ones religion but to ones faith...iow to not delude our self with self piety by doing our religions but acting out ones faith in real tangible ways that witness to the Grace and Mercy of our living God.It is like the dead is dead because all things flow to it yet is refuses to give of itself so others may live...I want a river of living water as my faith...flowing, causing turbulence when needed, peacefully flowing at times and raging torrents that can catch one up in it... I choose to live.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Reasons that there may be something wrong with your Church

Reasons that there may be something wrong with your Church

It is not growing.
The people are not growing.
You have not seen a young person for years.
All you see is young people.
Your children do not want to go.
Your wife does not want to go.
You do not want to go.
You have no visitors.
You have visitors but they never return.
Your members bring visitors… but only from out of town.
Even the visitors from out of town do not return
You have alter calls and no one comes forward.
You have alter calls and the same people from last week come forward.
You think you have no sinners in your Church.
All people hear is you voice when they are around you.
Your sermons do not seem to move people.
You do not see that you are changing lives.
You have to ask for volunteers every week.
You have to beg for volunteers every week.
You make the congregation feel guilty for not volunteering.
You make the volunteers feel guilty if they miss a Sunday.
You make the volunteers feel guilty for wanting to quit.
You make the volunteers feel guilty for quitting.
You feel burned out.
Your prayer meeting is not well attended.
People do not seem moved by your teaching.
Your giving is not much.
The congregation’s giving is not much.
You do not call on missing members.
You call missing member every time they are gone.

There is too much “you” in you service and not enough Jesus.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Letter to a friend

Jesus said , "the sick need a doctor not the well." As my uncle has passed away yesterday and I am faced with loss... not just mine, the loss of his children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and nephews, and of course his two sisters, one who is my mother. We are effected greatly. In the past I mentioned about suffering. Many ask if God is a loving God why does He allow it... I say so we will do something with His Love. We need to look beyond the sadness and death and sickness. We need to look to God who has all things in His hands. We need to learn to trust Him everyday and in everyway... especially when we feel He is gone or not in control. This is when we grow the most. Jesus said, "blessed are those who see and believe, but even more blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe." When we do this we shame the fallen Angels. We show them that even though we never see God, we choose to love Him... We condemn them more because they saw His glorious Face and choose to despise Him.
We are a center of a great story... think of Job. It is not about us.. it is about the Great and living God we serve. It is about the great story of a fallen creature, who chooses to love God for Who He is.
We must persevere... because it is the gift of Life that drives us. We must gain strength in our weakness, for it is in God's Living in us we have strength.
The time you have now, Charlie, is the weariness of Christ on the Cross. The pain you have in your heart is the pain Jesus had in the Garden and on the Cross. But, by His stripes we are healed. He is the Great Physician. We are to be broken again and again to be found later in His image... a reflection of His glory. Death has lost, we see it over and over and think of it as winning, but it has lost. It is scared. Though it seems to have a minor victory, Death is scared that one day He will be judged.
Rejoice Charlie, even if it is not in your heart. Not that phony rejoicing but with wails of tears... which in heaven will be wiped away by our Saviors hands! rejoice not in the present now, but in the Eternal Now! Lift up praises not to the seen but to the unseen!
You have blessed, you will be blessed, as you are blessing to me everyday,

Monday, September 06, 2004

I am tired.

I am tired.
I have called many ministries and tried to get support for Word of Mouth Ministries for about a year now…meeting people who get excited then never show up again.
I don’t care about getting money other than it would help with some of the pressure of supporting a family and being able to spend time to reach out to the community.
I now have been working at selling cars. At first it seemed to be that I would make an income that would let us pay some bills and get this “Church plant” off the ground. I guessed wrong, as I put in over 60 hours a week and have yet to make enough to cover a part time job. I don’t mean to complain, it just as I seek to build a community the ones I find are not ready for community or to grasp at the opportunity to get back into the “church thing”…. I understand, as my mission is to leave the 99 and seek the 1. I know this is the opposite of the “church” at large who seem to be overly concerned with just the 99 that they expect the 1 to just come to them... but they won't.
I would really appreciate prayer as I am about ready to give up this vision.
I have tried to get support from “emerging church planters” and have either never received any word back, or was told I was not Calvinist enough…. which to me was really strange as I know some of the major players of pomo/emerg who would never think Calvinism as “good theology”.
I guess I can only just share my heart here in hopes someone somewhere will see this spark that God has ignited. Not just in me but also in many who seek something real and are not willing to just play church anymore.
Really, this is not a money thing…. It is a heart thing.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Paul spoke of a great mystery.

The Bible teaches us to die to self....
We are the Church...
Is it then logical for God to want the Church to die to self?
God said it was not good for man to be alone... It was the first time God said, "It is not good".
We the Church are the Bride of Christ...He still does not want us to be alone.
Paul desire when we present ourself to the Groom we would be pure...
Is it not reasonable that we are to give ourselves in purity and sweet surrender to the Groom?

We are the Church, the Bride of Christ, made pure and holy by Him as when we honor the union of man and wife. Consecrated and set apart for and to each other... to die to others and for each other...
If we are the Church, then will we not die to self and give ourself as a living sacrifice... of pure love as a Bride without shame gives herself to her Lover the Groom.
Paul spoke of a great mystery....


the mad man screams out to chaos

Beyond our perception that one sees as chaos is God, to find God is like the calm of a great storm. to leave the center is to be destroyed, to live in the center is to live in peace as the storm rages. the turtles hide don't they, they see the storm and crawl into shells, can't see so no harm. Don't move and no hurt. But, I am damaged goods... the sick one in need of the doctor, my bones need broken to be fit right, my spirit to be broken to be healed and reconditioned for the weight of Truth and Grace. I squirm and wiggle and pray that no one steps on me. Maybe to be used to catch fish...a worm for the Greatest of Fisher of Men. I am laid low to be lifted up... as my savior was before me. To be beaten and to be stripped for all to see... No martyr complex, but a silent prayer to the One to calm my fear, to not run as Judas but to be restored as Peter. Both committing sin against God but differing in their self view of their sin... One who felt unredeemable and one who thought he never would need to be redeemed lifted up and restored to be Jesus' Rocky.So, do I leave the fighting of the former life... abandon the ones... or do I cause enough pain and torture them with their theology until they give up on me... in hopes as Jesus may have hoped that maybe, at the last supper, Judas may turn and say to Him, "what must I do to be saved?"

When is it the time of Salvation?... for God is Salvation.. so as God is, Salvation is....Now.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Point of View

I was recently told I am coming across very judgmental. I try to explain it is not that modern churches are right and wrong as such, but a different focus and values...(sound familiar jok? Check out She did not see it this way. I then asked her to remember what happened when we found grace and how legalism was everywhere. It was hard to find fellowship. As we grew in grace we then grew to be able to extend it.
I do feel at times like I am standing in a doorway and at first just looked in. Now I feel I have crossed the thresh hold and am looking back and seeing things very differently. I went on to explain that soon I won't be so judgmental as I focus on Christ and the new values He is instilling in me. I still may be more modern in thought than some, but understanding does not always happen all at once. Then that is part of doing my Blog is therapy. To blow off steam and to share in what Jesus is teaching me.


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Living an Abundant Life

Living an abundant life
Often I am shocked by some who focus on the "do's and don'ts" and miss the "who" when it comes to our faith. We all claim a faith in Christ yet then put laws and restrictions on ourselves or worse others. It is clear of the freedom and rich blessings we have in is clear by scripture we also "will not sin" as in it is all covered as we abide or as I say live in Christ. I see this concept like this;
I live in Montana, but abide in Billings. I live here in Billings. Yet this is were most people stop. I think the next step is "my very life depends on receiving the sustenance from this town.... for example I work, become involved in politics, have my friends, raise my children...
In other words my whole life depends on my relationship with this town and it revolves around this town.
This is how I see Christians should live, and I think is true. That to really live is to have Christ be the air we breathe and the food we eat, as this is also represented in communion service.
Many stop at Savior, some go to Lord and Savior, yet with out understanding what it means to have a lord. To have a lord is to have no life outside of his. You completely serve the lord. He owns you and can do whatever his will is with you, and you without hesitation obey. We don't like this concept in America, mostly because we are "rugged individuals" but in Christ there is no "rugged individualism" only Christ.
Now, lately I have been writing about something even greater than Jesus being Lord and Savior…but entering into Christ Jesus in a relational aspect. What I mean is this…. He is my life. He is my Lord… yes… but to quote Song of Solomon, chapter 7: 10. I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.
I see Jesus is a Lover of lovers… for He is God….and God is Love.
When I teach about Sabbath I teach the person it represents, Who is Jesus. I teach how it relates to Christ and how this in turn shapes our relationship with Him. I feel badly for so many who stay in the desert and see this only as a day...but as a friend pointed out...if it is a day to you, serve God as you have faith. I do not condemn anyone with this view but do weep for them as they do miss a deeper richness that is Christ and Christ alone.


Saturday, July 24, 2004

Authority or Relationship pt 2

In the last few months I have been really venturing out into new territory for me.
I have always put authority and then relationship with Christ in that order. But lately I have been seeing more and more that there seems to be a split or a difference in the two on how one approaches God.
I do give this disclaimer…none of this is set in stone…. though solidifying.
My friend Levi who I have come to really enjoy our exchanges of ideas in the last few months has kind of put me on the spot…. that is cool. This forces me to be more diligent in developing this Authority vs. Relationship thought I have begun.

In his Blog he brought up Ephesians 5: 21 which I wrote about in my last Blog. The verse is “21. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

I believe as I said before this is core to the understanding of the relational aspect of Christ. But let’s back this whole chapter up a bit. At Verse 1,2 and 3.

1. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
2. and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Be imitators of God… dearly loved children. Right off the bat Paul teaches this whole chapter will be about relationship. That we are to relate to God as His children.
My first child is six months old…I never thought at such a young age I would be such an influence on him…but even at this young age he will try to imitate me…one of the games we play is Incredible Hulk…. I take on the Hulk stances and go GRRRRRRR! Fischer laughs and squeals and in his own way goes grrrrr! It is more like gwierewber! But like any parent, we hear what we want to. Hahahahahaha.

My point is God wants us to be like Him…. not as the Serpent claimed, (bing equal with God) but in a loving relationship that gives us humans a model to grow into.

What is God’s character? Exodus 34:5-8

5. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.
6. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
7. maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."
8. Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.

These words stand out…. compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, and faithful, maintaining love to the thousands and forgiving...sin.
This is the Father character of God…but then we have the authority side.

But He does not leave the guilty unpunished…even to the point were because the wickedness which can go on for generations. God will give them all the authority they desire and sadly deserve.

Now here is the kicker…. I would venture to say this…. Moses had a relationship with the living God…Moses would argue and debate and challenge…. knowing full well who God was and is. Yet, He was allowed to do these things. Why? God loved him and he loved God.
Now here I will venture a bit out on a limb…this in a way goes contrary to all teachings I have been under…
Deut 11:22-23
I have read this but have not connected this verse in my mind to relationship with God.

22. If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow--to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him--
23. then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.

God tells the Hebrews to “love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him”
Love the LORD your God. Pretty simple command here…. but then He says this.

26. See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse--
27. the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28. the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

The Blessings have always been connected to the ordinances of God…. but in the context we have the blessings connected to “love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him”.

But the curse comes if they disobeyed God “commands”.
First I see here the pattern of relationship vs. authority.
If they love God and have a relationship based on this love…. God is pleased and blessings will flow. NOT BASED ON JUST OBEDIENCE! BUT ON LOVE.

The Authority and curses kick in when there is no fellowship.
So God says, I am setting before you blessings and a curse.
Relationship or authority.

Back to Ephesians 5. A superficial reading would give one the impression Paul is then teaching “do’s and don’ts”, but in fact he is laying out that as a believers character is developed and one becomes more like our Father…the sinful things of the world become nothing in light of our relationship and become out of character with who we are and are becoming. This is much richer that having a list of don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew tobacco or date girls who do also.
Paul simply contrasts that we are to be like our Father… compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, and faithful, maintaining love to the thousands and forgiving...sin.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Authority or Relationship?

For years I have struggled to reconcile Free Will with the traditional teachings of Grace and Eternal Security. The balance of the Freedom of Christ and the teachings of the Holiness of God and how we must be Holy. This only part of my journey to a "God centered" approach to theology.

I believe it revolves around the word Submission.
Submission is a very misused and abuse word. It has become intertwined with authority when I believe it was never intended to be as such.
I have come to see it has to do with relationship more than authority.
I do think many passages carry this authority teaching as when Jesus is dealing with demonic powers. (Luke 10: 20) yet I see a differing in the understanding of submit as taught by Paul in his epistles.

I see Paul writing how mans mind will not submit to God’s Law…not can it do so. (Romans 8:7) I see this as basically saying, “how can a mind of man who is so far away from understanding love begin to understand love”.

Now again I do see the word used in the sense of authority. But, as I look at these versus I began to see a different type of submission begin to emerge.
Ephesians 5: 21. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
To see submission in this context how can it be authority…how can we be under each other’s authority? It seems to be more saying “respect, care for, lift up, edify, hold each other up in high esteem….in other words relate to each other…to develop relationships.

The next verse 22, teaches wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord…
This has been set up as submit (build relationships with each other), so I see it continuing saying, “wives, as in your ‘relationship’ with God, have a rich and deep relationship with your husbands… I do not see this as the man has authority over you so you are lesser and he is greater.

Vs 23. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

Though here one would see it look a bit like authority, I see it adds richness to the foundation already set. To be saying, relate and function as one complete person, to have a relationship so deep you are connected. Just as Christ in His love for the Church has connected to the Body being made complete in one another and functioning as the human head would relate to its own body… all in relation and as a single unit. For to separate ones head from ones body would kill both. To see it as authority then to disconnect from Christ the Head…would then kill Christ. So if it is relationship we have a holistic harmony that Paul is showing.

Vs. 24. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Again this is a call to relationship…if the Church and Christ are united in a loving harmonious relationship, then man and wife should reflect this harmony also.

Vs. 25. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
26. to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
27. and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
28. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Here you see the key to the submission…love. Men love your wives. No power plays or authority but sacrificial and relational with the deepest of intimacy.
It is a call to relate to her as a holy vessel for she represents the Church and Body of Christ. It is the teaching that opposes the type of structure that was present in the Jewish thought and even much of the civilized world…women are property and man rules. It is the opposite of “authority” but Divine Love in action.

You see as Christ relates to us and we grow in our faith and understanding Jesus washes us and cleanses us. As in vs. 26,27. I love my wife and I hold her thoughts and opinions over all others. We have developed over the years a trust and intimacy that really no one else but us can understand. We have over the last 20 years shared our lives, thoughts, fears, and in a sense washed each other and purified each other by the fact we have set our focus on each other and our love and building of this marriage relationship. I love my wife as if she was a part of my own body. To loose her would be as if part of myself was lost or has died. We have a sense in our relationship that it has become a complete entity in and of itself.

Vs, 29. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--
30. for we are members of his body.
31. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
32. This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.
33. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

I know marriages have problems…but even through these times or especially at the hard times a man and wife must keep on developing their relationship. Continue to grow… to continue to care, as if ones wife was his own body…and also for the wife to grow to respect her husband…relationships are not easy…they take nurturing and trust and respect but mostly love, mercy and grace.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Will History Repeat Itself?

I am currently reading Harvey Cox's "Religion in the Secular City". In the book he quotes German Jewish writer Walter Benjamin who wrote and essay published in 1936 called the "Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction"...As Mr. Cox point's out the article is about art...but it can apply to religion also.

Benjamin states..."the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition”...then adds that this leads to, "the liquidation of the traditional value of the cultural heritage." Benjamin, called this the "decay of the aura".

When an artist is attempting to copy a master's painting, the one copying may get the technique of the original down to the style of the brush strokes...but it still does not capture the essence or "aura" of the loses the original artists intent and purity.

Bill H. and Rick W. are the genuine authentic originals...but something is lost when we copy...even worse when we copy a copy...the authenticity is lost.

I see nothing wrong with many of the teachers out there today...Rick states the essence of worship as "being a living sacrifice" and "worship" is not just music on Sunday morning.

The problem is that these truths are undermined and missed when put in the context of not "purpose driven life" but the copy that becomes the "program driven life". The truth is there...under the surface, just buried...Rick would be the first to say it is not programs but Jesus! But, that is the point...are we really listening? Just because Dan Kimball's "gathering" works for him do we copy it and make it work say here where I live in Billings because I am in a different culture...different people and different needs...Billings is not a mecca for run aways nor entrenched in subcultures inside subcultures. Nor does Santa Cruz have as large of a Native American culture as Montana. ( I am not saying Billings does not have the subcultures inside subcultures,just that in Santa Cruz these are more out in the open...Billings would not get the "Vagina Dialogs"...)
I have lived in Monterey and visited Santa Cruz many times by the way...

The challenge is not to set out a model that all can copy but to seek out your communities needs and culture and dynamics...and to stay pure in that with the message of Jesus Christ. If we do that, we can be a bit closer not to become like "modern" or "fundamentalist" but will be in each "Gathering" authentic.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Thoughts on the Priesthood of Believers

I have recently been in a discussion on the “Priesthood of Believers”. In the course of the dialog I have been able to really look at what I believe on this.
That is the beauty of Postmodern thought, that we can really break down what we believe and rethink it to see if it is something real.
Below are some thoughts that were my answers to questions posed.

I think of the "priest relationship" on the terms not that the priest or collective body of Christ are higher of more enlightened or more spiritual and on and on, but rather we believers are all equal...where once the separation of Priest and Layman was a division of Us and Them...where the true meaning is just US as in Believers in Christ and not divisions. Make sense? Equality as in we are all able to do as the OT priests and approach God.
A paid Pastor is one who is full time attending the Flock...he is the one who oversees the function of it as an entity. Again, it to me does not mean that the Pastor is on a higher plain of conscience than the congregation, but rather he is the main "servant" of the congregation.
As for a difference between paid and lay ministers.... of course money! Hahahaha
Really I see no difference just one is freer to facilitate.
I don't know if we need a "new/old" model. I see we need to be genuine. To have our focus be on Jesus and walking in the Kingdom on earth as if we were already in Heaven.
Jesus tells us that if we lift Him up He will draw all men unto Him. Only as people meet our living savior can one become real or totally human...authentic and genuine.
Again the measuring stick to me is not about a "model" but about a "Person" who is Jesus. To just follow a model means to me we missed the boat and are looking at programs and not the reality of Christ in us our hope of Glory.

Just some thoughts,

Monday, June 14, 2004

A funny thing happened on the way to the Blog

This is my response in a discussion on appearing judgmental as I sort the new adventure of postmodern/emergent thought.

It is funny you mentioned pulling your arms and legs off. I was
trying to work on my Blog about being a kid and pulling legs off spiders or the
wings off flies...the problem is I am the spider or the fly.
Meaning there are some things that I have allowed to become a part of a human
being... not a spider of a fly. I feel like I am pulling my own
wings off and seeing how many legs I really need to walk around. Most
don’t see the pain. Most only see that I am judging or saying that they
are wrong. But I do feel like I was walking in a darkly lit room,
and now the lights on...and all I am doing from my perspective
is saying ”watch out for that ottoman”...“hey there is a step there you might trip on”.
To the “blind” it is annoying I am sure. hahahaha.
To me it is annoying a bit also.

I want to just turn and leave it all behind and
maybe I will someday.

Yet, as of now I still see many who see dimly what I am saying and
can hear this faint call to authenticity and a genuine faith. I am not
against anything but where some seem to focus on besides Jesus...I
mean a rocking “worship” song is really cool and I can even get into the
musicianship and praise God for their talent and worship in song.
But,if all I do is focus on the worship team, I miss the intimacy that as a
collective Body can share when united in Christ in praise.


Sunday, June 13, 2004

Does God see only Black and White

"What is Truth." said Pilate as He stared at Jesus.
Black and White.
God is Truth.
Right and Wrong?
He is Righteousness.
Darkness and Light or Grey?
He is Light.
But on the human side? Things are messed up and sometimes we just don't know...Hebrews 11: 31. “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace”....yet she was a liar and a Harlot.... I understand how these reconcile...but some without understanding that God can fathom greater depths of right and wrong beyond black and white and gray can not reconcile this. God can judge in a rainbow of colors.
We often sit with a black and white judgment...
A woman who was a prostitute gave birth to a child. She sought help but found none. As her addiction became worse she began to sell her baby daughter to men so she could have more drug money. To man's eye she is beyond evil and not worth anything and should get anything bad that could happen to her.... But God sees her as a soul worth saving and even died for her...all she has to do is receive Jesus. And all is forgiven. Covered by the blood of Jesus and by Grace. By the worlds standard she should still pay for her crimes. But as a sister in Christ, she is as all of us, saved.
But where would most of us be... I confess I might be inclined to pick up stones...
But God's Grace is beyond our conception. It is infinite Grace...So if this woman is evil and God loves her... does God love evil?
I hope you say no.
Is there Black and White? Yes, But not "all" things are Black and White.
Truth is pure and undiluted when God lets it loose, yet as it is filtered through our finite sinful minds it get distorted... even for us Christians.
I believe instead of the labels of black or white, to walk in total dependency on Christ. To walk in His ways for they are not my ways.
This is beyond black and white. Beyond right and wrong, but becoming more like Christ himself.
I know some of you won’t get this but that is ok.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Looking for a good Church…

We are so market driven these day...I say this as I begin to go Church shopping.
I really don't have much choice in churches here in Billings. I mean I do, but I recently began thinking about the statement, "I am looking for a good Church."
Am I looking for programs for my child, or an entertaining sermon. How about the best worship band so I can do "worship". I wonder what I am really looking for...
I believe that people are looking for the True church or the Real church.
I believe people are looking for the Real Jesus and the True Jesus and the Real People that represent Him.
We are too busy playing "church" and not being the body of Christ. We are too busy representing our doctrinal stance and not representing Jesus.
We are too occupied with our "preferences" and "opinions" that we confuse them with Truth. We are too busy trying to be, when we already are.
We are the Church, the Body of Christ, and His beloved Bride.
We are "united" in Christ, not our preferences and personal beliefs.
I am not trying to be a Christian. I am a Christian.
I am not trying to live in Christ, He is my Life.
Again people want something real...and Jesus is real!
He is who we must lift up. He is the one who will draw all to Him.
We are only to receive them into the Kingdom and worship and rejoice.
I pray we stop playing church and be the Church.


Sunday, May 16, 2004

Today with a Friend

I went to visit a good friend that I had not seen in many years. We still hit it right off. We spoke of the contrast of Calvinism and Armenianism and had a good time just being silly. I must admit I had a good time. We talked a bit of values we have lost and how we as a Church have become Rick Warren wannabes and how programs seem to have replaced the Holy Spirit.

I know we share much in common and I love my friend dearly. Yet, I see things so differently now and without critisim, it interested me that he wanted input to his sermon. On one hand I see this is good..."Did I communicate clearly?" I see nothing wrong with that. Yet, again I pray that as a church his congregation does not pat him on the back and say "good message" but with tears and a changed life, he sees a community changed for the better and come to meet our Lord Jesus in an intimate way.
Pastor Les, I love you brother. You are a great friend. I wish I had been a better one and stayed in better touch over the years. Now, only 150 miles apart and not 1200 with 3 states in between, I hope to talk with you even more.

I see you as how Jesus will great me in heaven. Open arms, open heart, and a big hug.
Never judging me but gently nudging me towards the truth.


Saturday, May 15, 2004

Lessons at Burger King

A while back I was at Burger King. As I was sitting with wife and child, I noticed a homeless woman. A few minutes later another homeless man appeared outside. He looked in and decided to order…he did not have enough money. The woman noticed him and went after him, and I noticed her hand the man some money. I was a bit embarrassed, as I did not have any cash and very little money in the old account to buy his meal.
Yet, having a money problem did not stop the woman. She sat down as the man went and bought a burger. I was very impressed. I decided to tell her I thought that what she did was really cool, and she seemed very kind. She explained how she was homeless, and to not feel bad for her because it was her choice. I asked her name and I noticed her eyes when I did. She seemed shocked that someone cared enough to ask that question. She looked at my wife and me as if she was recalling it … she said “Debbie”.

She smiled and I really don’t remember what else she said. I did smell the alcohol on her breath and understood her choice…but she seemed different after I asked her name.

I pondered on this event a few days later and realized that there is one who knows our name. He knows much more than that. He knows everything about you and me.
In fact He has written our names in the book of life and will never erase it.

He promises to take care of our needs. To Him a burger is nothing when to us a burger is everything.

Debbie showed me something. She had compassion. She was were the other guys was, on the cold street. “If we give someone a drink of water, I will remember it”.
It seems so simple, compassion. Why is it though so hard to get up and put it into action?
That day God used a simple homeless woman to teach me and to shame me.
Not in a bad way…but to take notice of the things around me. To move when compassion has a moment to be done.

The question I have now every day is, “how will compassion take form today? And when it does what will I do?


“I walk the balance between Heaven and Earth
Sometimes I soar, often I slip - but I am never alone.
He caught me; reached all the way from sky to sea
He pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.”
Psalm 18 - The Message

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Blind and the judgmental

This is what I was told today.

Well, when you can dazzle with brilliance, you baffle with___________!
This is what I feel is done many times in answer to many posts in an
effort to appear, spiritual, intelligent, _______ ,(fill in the blank).

Also, I was told I am looking for the bogey man everywhere.

These were from "friends", where in one breath they say
"We love you, iggy" then in the next breathe insult me over the translation of scripture I use...oh, NKJV by the way. but not KJV "only".

I have these insane dialogs with these friends who tell me I am judgmental, yet when I say "who are you to inspect someone's fruit,especially if you don't know them", they condescend and say I do not stand on the truth of "rightly divide the Word of God".

Funny, when I seem to see much of their theology marginal at best. Usually out of context or understood through their particular pet doctrine. Too full of "correct doctrine" that I wonder if God still matters to them.

I am blowing off steam. I know it. It is just when I seek to have an enlightened conversation and we wallow in the mire, I keep hearing, "Don't cast pearls before swine".

I see so many Pastors so preoccupied with their pet doctrines that they forgot their first love, oh they mouth it, but deep down it is all about how good my sermon was, or the music was great, or we got 6 saved today! I would not even set foot in their church! "Oh, great a postmodern/emerging thing, those are cool. I am totally immersed in the Postmod thought, it is really 'in' right now. All you have to do is submit a business plan, meet with the elders, and we will see if it fits into our plan. It would be a great program!" As my last pastor stated to me.

I left that Church...

I want to hear, "God was great today, He was so awesome". "I was reflecting on what was said today and I think I need Jesus". "I am so glad this worship is not a once a week thing but a life thing". "When do we serve our community?", "When's soup?"

I just see these "friends" settling for less. As they sit inspecting fruit are so blind to their own judgementalism. Didn't someone talk about a speck and a plank in ones eyes? Lately all I have in mine are tears.

A day at the Lake

A day at the Lake

The other day I was at a local lake, well it is more a pond. The sign calls it a lake, so it must be a lake. The water was really smooth and I could not resist picking up a rock and tossing it in. As it hit the water it caused ripples. I tossed another one and caused another ripple, again and again until ripples were hitting ripples.

I stood there and contemplated the water as it became still again. I then tossed a huge rock in and watched the ripples go and still fade…

Then I thought well that was fun, it is too hot to just stand here so I jumped in and became totally submersed in the cool refreshing water. It just seemed to be better that way.