TGIF

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18 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    I love you Cat Man….. I love how you see and explain the Gospel and Church Culture via Cat Applications…. I get it. All of Creation testifies to the Glory of God….
    Creation=my favorite church….Cats are some of my fave parishioners.

  2. Michael says:

    Paige,

    Much love to you, my friend…it helps me to know that people “get it”.
    Now if we could get people to stop acting like Miss Kitty..

  3. Paige says:

    I’m afraid that ‘shoot the wounded’ is a permanent attribute until Jesus returns. Sadly. I’ll stay in my culvert.

  4. Judy says:

    You’re such a good cat daddy, Michael.

    It’s hard not to love those little guys which is why I have four and I wouldn’t give up one of them for anyone!

  5. Kristi says:

    cat parables….. so beautiful….. and Paige re: #3….. I couldn’t agree more……

    thank you for these great illustrations……

  6. Michael says:

    Judy, Christi…thank you for reading and for the kind words.
    I’m lucky the cat can’t type or these stories might have a different twist… 🙂

  7. filbertz says:

    it has been a difficult road attempting to reintegrate into a church over the past months…very troubling to deal with people who are oblivious to their Miss Kitty-like tendencies–being territorial, hyper-wary, prone to double standards, and blind to their behavior, both its presence and its ugliness. I’m on the verge of taking my ball and playing elsewhere. The smugness of some of our ‘family’ members is nauseating. I fully understand the comfort of the ‘culvert.’

  8. Surfer51 says:

    filbertz,

    I am going to take a shot at your plight.

    Back in the early 90’s I started to go to a local coffee shop in the mornings.

    I went there every day for breakfast.

    The locals hardly noticed me for awhile, I was just another nameless stranger.

    Then one day a nice gentleman told me that I needed to stop sitting at the tables and begin sitting at the counter if I wanted to get to know the locals.

    So I took his advice and quit sitting at the tables.

    It was night and day.

    All of a sudden people started talking to me at the counter and I quickly found that what I took for ‘smugness and territorial’ issues was not the case at all.

    Most of them were a bit shy and others figured that the locals sit at the counter while others who are nameless just come and go sit at the back tables.

    It took a bit of time before I was one of the locals.

    My point being, give them some time to get to know you, it’s a two way street.

    It is a very basic principle that familiarity breaks down the dividing walls between people over time and soon enough your a ‘local.’

    It is always a sensitive and vulnerable position to be the new ‘odd-man-out.’

    The ‘culvert’ is so safe but has no sustenance or comfort.

    I would encourage you to ignore your seeming rejection, not everyone is smug or territorial.

    There are some Michaels in the midst who will be hospitable and who will be open to you, given time.

    You are not in an impossible situation that the God of the Impossible can’t remedy.

    Be determine to ignore the feelings of rejection and to do the time it will take for others to get to know you.

    Don’t just sit in the back, sit up front where everyone can see you and get used to seeing you.

    This place is much the same.

    I see some come here and no one greets them or comments on their post.

    They eventually fade away.

    ( I leave Michael out of this, because he does show hospitality often. )

    The impression some first get here is that there is a core group of commenters and that they are not open to others joining their ranks.

    Anywhere you find people associating with one another there will be a core group.

    And the only way to get admittance is by serving your time, time that it will take for them to get to know you.

    Your name has been around here for awhile and you would be considered one of the locals here.

    But it took some time.

  9. Nonnie says:

    The parable is, at the same time, sad and beautiful.

    Beautiful that the stray is being fed and finding comfort from the One who loves, but sad that others, who have found that same comfort and sustenance, will not welcome and embrace the wounded outsider.

  10. brian says:

    I had a long non helpful diatribe, please do me a favor, please pray for dear friend of mine, he is really a good guy trying to come to peace with some real pain. Please pray for this fine young man who is his fathers better, I ask that not being my father’s equil. God be with you all.

  11. Alexander says:

    Michael,
    Being a cat man myself, I love your lessons. How much cats are like ourselves.

  12. Bob says:

    Surfer

    After reading your note I couldn’t help but visualize this about the coffee shop.

    I walk in and see the counter almost full. There are men of many ages and sizes, all lined up, sitting on those little round stools bolted to the floor facing towards the kitchen. Behind the counter two servers were engaging each of them in conversation, laughing together showing various facial emotions as they share more than just a fresh cup of joe and a plate of steaming food with their patrons.

    I can’t see the faces of these pillars of the counter. I can’t share in their conversations and requests I see in the faces of the servers. But I can see shining brightly from each man whose back is facing me, as he enjoys his morning ritual, the “crack of dawn” so prominently displayed so many times.

    Maybe I’ll take that table in the corner and quietly read the latest news on my iPad.

    😉

  13. peter b says:

    When I read this, I thought about what John Fischer wrote in his book “12 Steps For The Recovering Pharisee…Like Me” – the 12 steps are:
    1] We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people.
    2] Have come to believe that our means of obtaining greatness is to make everyone lower than ourselves in our own mind.
    3] Realize that we detest mercy being given to those who, unlike us, haven’t worked for it and don’t deserve it.
    4] Have decided that we don’t want to get what we deserve after all, and we don’t want anyone else to either.
    5] Will cease all attempts to apply teaching and rebuke to anyone but ourselves.
    6] Are ready to have God remove all these defects of attitude and character.
    7] Embrace the belief that we are, and will always be, experts at sinning.
    8] Are looking closely at the lives of famous men and women of the Bible who turned out to be ordinary sinners like us.
    9] Are seeking through prayer and meditation to make a conscious effort to consider other better than ourselves.
    10] Embrace the state of astonishment as a permanent and glorious reality.
    11] Choose to rid ourselves of any attitude that is not bathed in gratitude.
    12] Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we will try to carry this message to others who think that Christians are better than everyone else

  14. So is John Fischer now the new Pharisee? Don’t live like you used to but NOW live the way I say you should live – have the attitudes I say you should have – because if you don’t, well … you have not recovered from your old Pharisee ways.

    A spiritual pox on him.

  15. John Fischer’s book is an excellent read

  16. Captain Kevin says:

    MLD, must you?! There’s a difference between stirring the pot and taking a crap on the kitchen floor. Sorry friend, it just gets old after a while.

  17. Captain – no offense taken. Some like it when modern guys come along and write lists of the “new and accepted” behaviors. I for one am not … some folks are.

    That’s why there are 31 flavors of ice cream 😉

  18. Captain Kevin says:

    Thanks MLD. No spiritual pox on you, then!

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