Get serious!

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I’m getting close to being mad, but then again, that would be against everything I’m about to say.

Still I have a question: how long have I been holding forth in this little corner of cyberspace — questioning, suggesting, sometimes venting, sometimes screaming — and how long have you been reading what I write, and how much has the world changed because of it? How much have you been able to change the world? Don’t worry, I’m talking to myself as much as I am talking to you. It’s just that it’s time to get serious about being who we are called to be and doing what we were called to do.

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Healing and the new frontier

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There is a healing that needs to be experienced in all of our lives before we can move on to bigger and better things. God works with broken people who constantly need mending. We will never be perfectly complete in this life, but we will be better. God is the Great Physician and we all have insurance. Take advantage of it; bring your hurts, disappointments and diseases to Him.

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What would Grace do?

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Remember the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) movement? It was certainly full of good intentions. It was a way of remembering that we do not live for ourselves; we live for the one we serve, Jesus Christ. And since we are following Him and He is our example of following the Father, we could figure out what to do in most situations by imagining what Jesus would do in a similar predicament.

It sounds good, and in some instances it might work, but it’s also fraught with interpretation problems. Does the average believer really know enough about Jesus to know what He would do in most situations, or are we just assuming what Jesus might do based on the fact that He was perfect and holy and always did the right thing? Is the Jesus in our mind really the Jesus of the scripture, or just our idea of the perfect Christian? The religious leaders of His day didn’t think much of the real Jesus. They found fault with a lot of what He did. In other words, what Jesus did was open to interpretation. It wasn’t a given — an obvious consistent thing. Jesus was not “nice.”

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What America needs now

  It’s the hammer of justice                                                                                                                                         It’s the bell of freedom                                                                                                                                             It’s the song about love between                                                                                                                           My brothers and my sisters                                                                                                                                     All over this land                                                                                                                                                                              – from the song “If I Had A Hammer” by Peter, Paul and Mary

th-1Last Saturday night I had the privilege of attending a concert featuring the Peter and Paul version of Peter, Paul and Mary — Mary having passed away seven years ago last September. She was sorely missed — their signature sound being such a tight blend of three voices that together made one indivisible tonal experience. So as much as you tried to hear the old Peter, Paul and Mary sounds in your ear again, it was impossible, because there was a huge hole in the middle — the one that pulled it all together.

I can remember in high school forming a Peter, Paul and Mary group, only ours was Jim, John and Gail, and how hard it was to pick out the parts because their voices were so tightly woven and so complimentary to each other. 

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The real Charlie Brown

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Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other notorious sinners. (There were many people of this kind among the crowds that followed Jesus.) But when some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with people like that, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.”  Mark 2:15-17

It’s so easy to think that once you are a Christian, you are better, or at least you’re supposed to be. After all, isn’t that the point? Isn’t that why we go to church and why we get busy doing “Christian” things and hanging out with “Christian” people, so we’ll be better? We’ll be in a better environment? Isn’t that why we send our kids to “Christian” schools, so they will have better friends and not those scumbags that populate the public schools? Isn’t that the way we think? What’s wrong with thinking that way?

Everything.

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Jesus: Heaven’s Refugee

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“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20

We are stardust; we are golden                                                                                                                             And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden – Joni Mitchell

After the news about Pam Mark Hall being temporarily displaced from her home in Oroville (she’s home now, thank God, but not totally out of danger, so keep praying for that damn dam to hold), it got me thinking about refugees in the Bible; and when you start thinking about it, it’s hard to find anyone who was not, at least at one time, a refugee.

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What disasters sometimes force us to see

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I just found out that one of our MemberPartners and good friend, singer/songwriter Pam Mark Hall, is one of the evacuees of the town of Oroville where she grew up, and has, of late, relocated and is housing and caring for her mother who has dementia. She and her mother are in Chico right now, readying to return home today. She says they have changed the mandatory evacuation to a warning, which means they can return home as long as they are ready to pick up and leave again at a moment’s notice should the situation worsen.

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How 100,000 people suddenly became homeless

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Pray for the people of Oroville, California, 100,000 of whom are temporarily homeless today, and for how long, they don’t know. Imagine if you were uprooted from your home with no guarantee that there will be anything left by the time you returned there.

In case this story is new to you, there is a dam north of the town of Oroville in northern California that is currently having difficulty holding back all the water that is overflowing the lake it guards. There are two spillways that can be opened to let out water when the level in the lake gets too high, but in the flooded conditions lately both those spillways have sustained some damage. The concern is that if one of those spillways gives way, it will release a 30-foot wall of water on the town of Oroville down river. That’s a tsunami hitting a central California town. You just don’t expect things like this to happen.

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