Archive for the Uncategorized Category

The Step

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2011 by religionsucks

Perhaps nothing novel to say this time apart from today was my last day doing plumbing. I’ve been doing it for about twenty years. Most of that time was very heavy work. It was rare I got to show my crack whilst under a kitchen sink. Rather I was trying to engineer ways to remove 800 pound radiators from multi-million dollar homes without making any scratches. I was hand digging holes six feet deep to repair old sewer lines. Needless to say my back took the toll. Pain medicines and muscle relaxers have been the norm. It was just too much. Sadly, I never minded doing hard work. It was a challenge for me. If it’s hard, it’s worth doing.

So today was it. I cleaned out my company vehicle, loaded my tools up and went home. Now  begins a new venture. A step of faith is under my foot. I will be attempting to speak to youth camps, colleges, churches, schools, wherever. It should be interesting to say the least.

Not Cool Enough For That Tattoo

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2011 by religionsucks

I believe I’ve mentioned it here before, but I do not have too many friends and I’m completely happy with that. I’d even be fine if I had fewer than I currently have. I’m one who does not need nor want a plethora of friends. Western culture cultivates shallow people and shallow relationships. I dislike both. My true friends have consistency. They understand there is more to life than what meets the eye and this often has come from their own burdened lives.

I’ve spent a lot of time in tattoo shops. Hanging out with friends, getting tattoo’s myself, or watching people acquire new regrets. I was visiting one of my buddies one day at a shop he worked at when he showed me a drawing of sweet Virgin Mary that he’d drawn up for a customer. And the customer was there. As I recall, she stood there, perhaps a little nervous about this new venture, this new ink, and looked at me as I told her something to the extent of  “You’re not cool enough for that tattoo”. I’d never met this lady before. Didn’t know her past, present or aspiration for future. Just another customer. Just another tattoo. No connection. I left the shop for my own venture.

I’ve spent a great deal of time in church. At times I would say “unfortunately”, other times I would say “thankfully” I was in church. Church has become typical for me most of the time. I would go as far as to say “devoid of the Holy Spirit”. There I often sit, trying to get some redeeming lesson from what the man up front is saying, more often than not wandering off into my own little Bible study of Colossians 1 and the supremacy of Christ over all. Church is viewed as learning from the pastor. Over the years though the greatest lessons I’ve been taught haven’t come from the pulpit but rather from the pew and often from the back row. The ones who don’t fit into church but love Jesus. The ones who know what “hard” means. The ones who have lived hard lives and don’t try to hide it. The ones who are beat up, drug around, kicked, laughed at. The chain smokers, the drunks, the tweakers, the bikers, the strippers, the forgotten ones. Unknowingly they have ministered to me. They have taught me what the pulpit could not.

When I walked out of that tattoo shop that day, I never thought I’d see that lady again. I have a knack for thinking incorrectly I would suppose. During that time, I was leading a small Bible study that was for those whom the churches have forgotten. Those years were difficult, but I will never forget them. None the less, in walks little miss Virgin Mary tattoo lady. Oh crap. I might also mention that my words often come back to get me and now I believed it was about to happen again. Pray to the Virgin Mary, pray to Jesus, pray whatever, I just knew she was there to give back to me what I dished out to her. I didn’t actually mean she wasn’t cool enough for the tattoo.

In the following months and now years, I would come to know Wendy. A young woman who has had her share of hell on earth. I would come to know her and the grace she gives to others. By the way, grace is giving something to someone who does not deserve it. Grace is what God has extended to us through Jesus Christ. The concept of grace has recently been taught to me through Wendy more than any pastor could have for the simple fact that she has not talked about it, she has lived it. I have watched from the corner, as I often do, as Wendy has given to others when she herself had nothing to give. She has extended love to the unlovely and compassion to those who hurt. Wendy is as tough as nails, but only because she has been forced to lay on a bed of such. To the heart though, she walks as a follower of Jesus. I’ve said that a follower of Jesus isn’t someone who just says a prayer and asks Jesus into their little heart, but rather someone who takes up their cross and follows him. That’s Wendy. Mere words do not describe how she has ministered to me and for that I am eternally grateful. I am honored to call Wendy “friend”.

Wendy, someday the wrongs will be made right by a good and just King. Until then we will continue to trod along through life, living to be a blessing to others and when the accolades come, we simply point to the cross. Thank you for being the friend that you are.

 

God, What Are You Doing?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2011 by religionsucks

This afternoon I got to meet up with my buddy Jason. Jason and his wife just lost their four month old son in an accident. In the ambulance, the paramedics got the baby’s heart going again. Hope arose. In the hospital they were told he would not make it. Hope faded. They were about to remove him from life support and the little guy started moving again. Hope arose. After multiple tests, the doctors said there was nothing. Their son was brain dead. We all prayed from the day of the accident on. Eventually, Jason held his son as life support was turned off and his little heart drifted off to nothing. Hope. Where is it?

The Necessity of Communism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 3, 2008 by religionsucks

The United States needs it. We’ve taken our freedoms for granted. We’ve become complacent with the things that matter most and have lost sight of what is morally correct. We’ve cried out to God, but only when tragedy struck, other that that, we’ve tried to sue Him. Jesus is still a name that is ignored and we’d rather look to horse shit for our way to peace. We are not to be envied, but pitied by all men for we put our greed before life itself and the beginning of life has been deemed “a viable fetus“, and that life is merely an option. Then, if that fetus is allowed to live, they are taught that a socialist is the best choice for president of the United States, while they learn about the dictators of Russia in their world history classes and they don’t see the parallels.

I believe that at the root of it all lies the Christian church in America. They’ve lost their first love. They’ve become luke-warm. They’ve compromised the truth for popularity, for money, for pride and fame.

Some addicts are treated for their dependency on a substance by taking all of their privilages away. The church needs the same. God, please pull the weeds. We’re killing ourselves.

Evangelism

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2007 by religionsucks

Recently, I was looking over a newsletter from a local Christian school. Being the end of the year, the handful of seniors were asked some questions like advice to underclassmen, choice of college, career, etc. One, under his “future” wrote that he’s “prayerfully considering evangelism”.

I would put this is the same category as saying, “I’m prayerfully considering killing someone”. There really is no option in either. We are commanded not to murder. We are commanded to go into the world and tell them of Christ.  Do people like this also pray about whether they should eat or not. The world needs to hear about Jesus like we have to eat. Without either, we die. If he knew that someone was about to die and could be spared by given the food he had in his hand, would he “prayerfully consider” giving them the food? I don’t want to trash this student. I’d much rather trash those who taught him this mentality.

When I became a follower of Jesus, I understood what John Wesley meant when he said he existed for two things: 1. to give glory to God and 2.to tell the world about Jesus. Perhaps this comes from how utterly screwed up I was before making Christ the center of my life. It was as though I had been given the greatest treasure ever and I wanted others to have it as well.

The Gimmick of God

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2007 by religionsucks

Gimmicks. They are intended to make something shiny so we’ll be more interested. There’s some guy on t.v. that is always yelling at me while trying to sell me something with Oxy something, something. “It will clean your toughest carpet stains, removes pet hair, and is fully biodegradable.” Just when I think my ears have had enough, “but wait, there’s more. Order now and get my newest invention, the Super-Oxy Really Dirty Dish Scrub Brush!!!”. I can’t stand that guy now. If I ran into him in the store, I’d more than likely start screaming in his face about how I don’t use his garbage, but rather just regular old Resolve carpet cleaner and Dawn dish soap.

Christians often feel like they need to make up gimmicks to attract people to God. One of the biggest jokes was the Prayer of Jabez written and utterly molested by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. He “skilfully” wrote The Prayer of Jabez, The Prayer of Jabez for Women, and The Prayer of Jabez for Teens, as well as other short books. Soon after the book came out, you could also buy Prayer of Jabez key chains, Payer of Jabez bookmarks, Prayer of Jabez Bible covers and my personal favorite, the Prayer of Jabez Hebrew prayer shawl. It must be kind of like an antennae that helps boost output transmission. I have to wonder what God thinks of all of this. I already know what so many non-Christians think about it. It confirms so many of their prejudices against “Christians”.

My wife and I have been helping to plant a church. During one of our core meetings, we were all talking about evangelism, how to reach the world. I still have to shake my head at one guy who said that “Jesus called us to be fishers of men. When you go fishing, you use bait. We need to figure out how to “bait” people into our church”. I thought if that’s the case, then strippers and beer ought to work great! Using his “logical” analysis of Christ’s metaphor, we should also use good hooks too, like double barbed ones, so they can’t get away. Then we should be sure that our fillet knife is sharp, so that we can cut them apart as soon as we get back to shore/church. It also would pay to call ahead to shore so that someone can get the fire ready so we can roast our catch as well. Part of the tragedy, was that only a couple of us in the group saw what he said as being ridiculous. The others were putting new line on their reels.

God needs no gimmick. He is the same one who toasted a soaking wet pile of wood with an offering on top while the other god’s slept. At one time, He parted the Red Sea so that thousands, perhaps millions of His followers could cross to safety. Another time, He walked on the water and called His follower to him. With single words, He spoke creation into existence and at His son’s death, that same creation shook violently. He was a friend of the damned and damned those who would not accept the outcasts. He took Job to the very edge of life itself, gave it all back and more and then explained how He is clearly in charge. He took my life that was lost in the world, searching for hope, and gave me peace that goes beyond any understanding. Exactly what part of God needs a gimmick to attract us to Him? I think that before we could answer, He would respond as He did with Job:

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? 8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? 12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, 13 that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? 14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment. 15 The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken. 16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? 18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. 19 “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? 20 Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? 21 Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years! 22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? 24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, 26 to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? 28 Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens 30 when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen? 31 “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? 33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth? 34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? 35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind? 37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens 38 when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together? 39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions 40 when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket? 41 Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?

About Me

Posted in Me, Uncategorized on January 20, 2007 by religionsucks

I know a lot about church. My parents were missionaries in Central America for over twenty years and pioneered a substantial amount of work through out Latin America. I’ve been to church ever since I can remember. I’ve watched from the corner as everything under the sun has occured in the name of Christ. I’ve heard the Bible preached front to back a few times. For a few years, I myself served as a youth pastor. I resigned because playing church got old. Churches in the United States are, for the most part, a joke. Now, a lot of “Christians” apparently find nothing better to do than criticize me because I would rather spend time with non-Christians than Bible thumpers. Many Christians just want to argue. I’ve usually already heard what their arguing about, so I more or less make fun of them. They spend a lot of time talking about what Jesus would do instead of just doing it and not saying anything in the first place. I’ve become very cynical towards so many Christians. At the same time though, my heart breaks for those, who Christians talk about “reaching out” to, but in the end, they never actually reach out to these that are hurting. Like the ten year old boy at the horse ranch I volunteer at who is a ward of the state. He’s really messed up. I’ve cried a lot for him. Or so many of the people I see come into the tattoo shop. They’re broken, empty, and trying to find reason in their lives. I mourn for my wife’s friend who divorced her husband because of his continuous homosexual audultery that still goes on without one sense of remorse on his part. Their children are so confused. I wonder if they will become like me? I believe that the first time, Jesus came to the earth as a lamb, who was to be slain for all of us. I also believe that the next time he will return, he will be a lion, of whom many will dread knowing that they denied the lamb. I love Christ, believe it or not. I just am not too fond of most Christians.