John and Eve

... and he did eat.

… and he did eat.

If I have a pretty good feeling about a particular Catch I’ve just written, I will read it to Marti. If I’m not sure, I’ll have her read it herself, and then break the news to me. If it’s already out, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. My style of writing Catches is pretty scary that way. You don’t have much time to live with it, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

But yesterday I knew I had a good one, so I read it to her, and she was moved, especially by the last sentence. But she did have one problem. As you might guess, it had something to do with the Adam and Eve part. I made a point that we all had a crime committed against us because we were born into this mess. “Blame Adam. It’s all his fault. Or better yet, blame Eve; she’s the one who started it.” Up went the red flag. You can guess what was coming. Continue reading

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God offenders

th-1If I don’t forgive you, who will forgive me?

I don’t remember now who said it, but someone wrote me in the last few days since we introduced the delicate and dangerous subject of sex offenders, “Maybe we should just admit we are all God offenders.”

I think she is onto something. Continue reading

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Registered hypocrite

FullSizeRenderI am a registered hypocrite. I feed on the spiritually weak who need someone to look up to. I try very hard to be that person — to at least appear to be one who is spiritually strong. Because of that, you have to be careful around me, because I act like I know what I am saying when sometimes I do not.

I am a registered hypocrite. When I am around sinners I sometimes want to be like them — to be in their club — but I never can be, because I have spent my whole life trying to be holy, different, pure, set apart. I really don’t know what it’s like to be one of them because — well, I’m just not. I am blind to my own sin. As a registered hypocrite, I can’t just be a sinner; that would make me like everyone else, and would ruin my reason for being. Continue reading

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Registered sinners

th-8What would you say if I told you there was a church in Oregon specifically for registered sex offenders, so much so that they have a special service on Sunday afternoon so they can legally come to a church where no one under 18 is admitted? (Sex offenders may not legally attend church because of the presence of children.) The 3 p.m. service is also attended by former prisoners, a few gay and lesbian couples and the homeless. Actually, most registered sex offenders find this service by way of homelessness because who is going to rent you an apartment or give you a job after you have served time as a registered sex offender? And who will welcome you into church? Most churches can’t if they wanted to, except for Light My Way, part of the ministry of Sonrise Church in Hillsboro, Oregon. Continue reading

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Heralds of spring

th-6Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away;
for lo, the winter is past,
    the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:10-12

Well, spring has sprung. March Madness is in full swing; major league spring training is almost over; Easter baskets have shown up in the supermarkets; and hopefully you folks in the Northeast who got so much snow are starting to see the ground again. Are the crocuses up yet? That was one of my favorite things about living in New England — the coming of the crocuses. We had a cluster of purple ones next to our walkway right by the front door. I don’t remember them lasting very long. It was as if their only job was to be the first up — to announce what was coming. They were the heralds of spring. Continue reading

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Look and see

Look all around you and see what is real
Hear what is true and be sure what you feel
Touch someone near you in love if you can
Give all you have and be part of God’s plan

th-4Look. Hear. Touch. Give. This is a song of action. Each line starts with a verb. It’s about engaging with God, people, and the world around us. I understood very little of what this song was about when I wrote it, nor do I understand that much more about it now. It is a song that keeps reminding me of what I must do that does not come easy for me. It’s not that I have written what I know, but what I must know, and it doesn’t exactly get easier. It takes a conscious effort to stay alive to God, people and the world around us. Continue reading

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Touch someone near you

Look all around you and see what is real
Hear what is true and be sure what you feel
Touch someone near you in love if you can
Give all you have and be part of God’s plan

th-3These are the words to one of my first songs. I look at my songs as not necessarily a part of me. Some of them I scratch my head over. They come through me but they are not me. Like a mother who births a child and, years later, wonders who this person is that came out of her; God had a much bigger hand in who this person came to be than she ever had. It’s a little like that with songs. They have a life of their own. Continue reading

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A call to prayer

islamic-stateYesterday I included in our Catch a call to prayer by my friend, Doug Stevens. Last night we were privileged to have Doug on our BlogTalkRadio show and talk about some of the incomprehensible happenings in the Middle East prompted by the rapid takeover of people and land by a highly-organized, newly-claimed Islamic State or ISIS. We talked about how these people think they are ordained by Allah to establish a caliphate — what we might call the kingdom God — but to establish it by the sword and a reign of terror. We talked about how their sense of absolutism and total allegiance is capturing so many young, disillusioned men — even some women — who have been living without a sense of acceptance, guidance or hope; some even from this country.   Continue reading

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