Sep 202013
 

nurse-03No visitors allowed.

That was the edict I proclaimed too loudly and too stridently during my last hospitalization.

I was in bad shape, I was struggling, and no one would be allowed to see it.

There was no way I could divide my energies between trying to recover and trying to cover up how sick I was for others.

I would isolate myself and they could see me when I was well again.

Lately, I have been looking back on that crisis…with fondness.

I loved my nurses.

I loved my nurses because they were prepared and willing to deal with me the way I was and to help me get better.

When I arrived in the ER I had a collapsed lung and was struggling to breathe.

The lung had uncharitably collapsed before I had the opportunity to shower, comb my hair, brush my teeth, shave, or even get properly dressed.

They reinflated the lung before they put me in a room, so I arrived in mine appearing to be a wheezing, bloody, vagrant.

I was in tremendous pain and I was one as well.

No comments were made about my lack of hygiene or style…the nurses simply began the process to get me well.

They did so without mocking, without laughing, without blame or criticism.

They were there for me…when they asked how bad I hurt and where the hurt was coming from, they actually wanted to know the answers.

They used those answers to help alleviate the pain.

When they unintentionally created more pain they apologized profusely.

One night, about 2 am one even came in with a little kit to help me clean up, so I could feel more comfortable in front of them.

They were on my side, they were there for me, and they created an atmosphere of recovery that got my back on my feet.

Some of the doctors were not as careful or kind…but the nurses made it able to bear.

I never had to feel ashamed of my struggles on the road back to wholeness.

We like to refer to the church as a “hospital for broken sinners”.

I’m not so sure…maybe some more of us need to go to nursing school.

Make your own application.

Sep 192013
 

wordle-denominations21-500x300I started out my faith walk as a child in the Assemblies of God, then a Nazarene, the back to the Assemblies, to Calvary Chapel to Calvinist.

I was a hard core five pointer, now more of a moderate Anglican.

I’m still learning.

What have been the stops on the road on your way home?

Sep 192013
 

talk-like-a-pirate-dayThat’s today…yet another piece of pop culture that leaves me feeling like an alien.

I don’t get it.

If you do, I hope you enjoy it.

Sep 172013
 

links_image1Abortion clinics closing at record rate…

Syria…

This one should scare the hell out of you…

James McDonald…words fail me on this one…

The church still doesn’t understand mental illness…

Thinking about Genesis 1-3...

Must the sun set on the West?

How blogging and Twitter are making us smarter…

Bible glitches…

Big layoffs at Colorado ministries…

Thinking about Mary…

When the stars vanish…

What you must remember when your world comes to a stop… 

The delete button…

Rick Warren speaks about his son’s death…

Greg Boyd….

10 church diseases…

Can chaplains serve God and country?

Sep 162013
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. One of the biggest of the “online discernment ministries” wrote an open letter to their critics asking to be shown where they were wrong. I almost broke the keyboard in my excitement at being invited to skewer my favorite targets. It was at that point that I became as guilty of the sin I was writing about as those I was accusing. You see, I believe that they are loveless toward brethren who differ in doctrine and that lovelessness leads to attitudes of spiritual superiority which leads to division in the Body of Christ. Pot. Kettle. Black. Until I come to a place where I love them, that missive will have to wait. God doesn’t ruin all my fun, just most of it.

2. When I think about Syria, I wait for the great statesmen to act and speak…then I remember we don’t seem to have those anymore.

3. Now that the Vikings season is over after two games I have Sundays free to do other things. They were looking for an attractive, All American type to play quarterback so they drafted Marie Osmond. I kid because I care…

4. I had to remind the prophecy wonks on Facebook that God promised He would no longer judge by flood…

5.  I believe that the Gospel is most clearly stated in 1 Cor 15. Thus, if you believe that God became flesh, lived, died, and rose again for your sins and will return again to make things right, and you are trusting in that God for your salvation, then you’re probably family and I should treat you as such. We’re all going to get home with a suitcase full of error…the point is that we get home. I have no idea why this is so controversial. Some people must have an aversion to big families…

6.  I’m more than a bit tired of being accused of “hating the Blessed Hope” because I don’t translate prophecy by newspaper. I love and look forward to the return of Christ, but our ancestors who lived through the Inquisition and the black plague at the same time would laugh at the notion that we are living in the darkest days ever.

7.  I’ve recently watched a few prophecy conferences online and the audience is filled with gray heads…which is an indication to me that the younger generation of Christians isn’t going to consider the Rapture a primary doctrine.

8.  I heartily recommend Phillip Yancey’s new book “The Question That Won’t Go Away”. In it he deals with the question of where God is in the tragedies that beset a fallen world. The one thing he points out is that wherever in the world tragedies happen, the church is there and stays there to help clean up the mess and help people heal…and God is in them facilitating both.

9.  If you saw a person walking through a store punching himself , kicking himself, and spitting on himself, you would think him either sick or insane… yet that’s what we are doing when we hate another part of the Body of Christ.

10. I’m going to be a bit scarce…I have a book proposal and three chapters to finish. Thus, we will be relying more heavily on what you think than what I do. As it should be…

Sep 142013
 

thumbnail.aspxYou in our past: gracious,

steadfast,

reliable,

long-suffering.

You are a mouthful on the lips of our grandparents.

The hard part is you in our present,

 

For after the easy violations we readily acknowledge then come the darker, hidden ones:

aware that appearance does not match reality;

aware that walk is well behind talk;

aware that we are enmeshed in cruelty systems

well hidden but defining;

and we have no great yearning to be delivered from them.

Forgive us for the ways in which we are bewitched,

too settled, at ease in false places.

You in our present: gracious,

steadfast,

reliable,

long-suffering.

We in the shadows asking you to do what you have done;

to be whom you have been,

That we may do what we have never dared dream,

be whom we have never imagined … free, unencumbered, unanxious, joyous, obedient …

Yours, and not ours.

Amen.
Walter Brueggemann. Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann (p. 32). Kindle Edition.

Sep 132013
 

Happy Birthday JuliaYou have been a vessel of grace and patience and love in the Spirit to so many of us for so long.

We appreciate and love you.

Thank you for being such a good part of what we do here.

Happy birthday, my friend!

Sep 132013
 

I am a Christian.

I am a pastor.

I am a part of the church universal.

Because the first three are true, therefore, I suck.

That’s pretty much the consensus on Facebook and social media.

The unnerving part of that scenario is that it is the consensus opinion of other Christians.

I’m conservative theologically, therefore, I suck.

I’m not conservative enough theologically, therefore, I suck.

I don’t belong to the ” fill in the blank” group, therefore, I suck.

I will fellowship with those in “fill in the blank” group, therefore, I suck.

I don’t condemn ‘fill in the blank” group, therefore, I suck.

I don’t believe Jesus is coming back before my coffee gets cold, therefore, I suck.

I don’t mind if you do believe that, therefore, I suck.

I’ve actually studied church history and know that this is a lot closer to a golden age for the Gospel rather than the darkest days the church has ever seen.

Boy, do I suck for saying that.

I could go on, but you get the point.

For every pastor caught abusing his flock there are dozens more faithfully leading and loving a local congregation to the best of their abilities.

For every Christian out there condemning someone there are dozens more out doing anonymous works of mercy to make their neighbors lives better.

For every thing that we can and should be critical in the church about,there are many more that we should be celebrating.

The biggest threat to the church today isn’t the government,the gays,or the skeptics, it’s the critical spirit of division that leads us into self loathing of the larger Body of Christ.

We are not suffering from a lack of “discernment” but a lack of love.

Well, at least I am.

You can make your own application.

Sep 122013
 

1236118_652112688141151_1378803033_nAs some may be aware, Colorado is in a pretty serious situation right now. Massive portions of the state have been cut off from areas due to flash floods that the National Weather Service began referring to as “rain and floods of biblical proportions”. This is unique to Colorado. I have lived here most of my life, and I have never seen anything like this. Aurora saw an annual rainfall average hit in 12 hours flat. Longmont has been cut in half by two rivers. Boulder, the city where I work, is trashed. Jamestown and Lyons are cut off from the rest of the state, and efforts to get National Guard into those areas have been almost fruitless. Rescue helicopters are incapable of flying due to the weather. Colorado Springs is bracing for epic issues of mud slides and flash floods right now. The images and video flooding into news agencies are shocking.

The picture I posted is of a friend’s neighborhood in Boulder. The tree you see was uprooted and moved a ways.

This is happening, and it is getting worse.

 Posted by at 2:20 pm
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