After we’ve Loved our Hates

crucifixion passionWe say, Jesus died for our sins. It’s true, but it sounds so sterile. It might be better understood through the language of he died for our addictions.

Addiction, not in the idea of dying for the things we know we shouldn’t love (the inhibitions of being intoxicated, the euphoric ecstasy of sex outside of marriage, the other worldly buzz off a high) but…in the things we hate after we’ve loved our hates.

Sin is not the deed we’ve done, but what’s been done by the deed…

  • The gangrene that attaches to my soul from gambling away my paycheck.
  • The cancer that ravages my relationship with my wife because I’m bitter and demanding.
  • The alienation that barks at me from my children cause I was a workaholic.
  • The sting of acid in my open wounds because I cheated on myself by treating myself to another man or woman.
  • The Grand Canyon that I can’t cross because I’m trapped in choices that suffocate me because I’m too proud.
  • The disorders of detachments that I use to make excuses for my selfishness.
  • The bombastic noises that sit in my soul like dead silence because I exchanged the truth for my lifestyle preferences.

Those and a million other untold carnage from our soiled souls is what we mean when we selfie sticksay, sin.  The Cross is the Selfie Stick… “click”.

God proved his love for us because he died for what was and is killing us. Jesus saves us from our worst version of ourselves.

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Recalled to Life

Morning is coming. His voice will awaken the dawn. The underground cities of the dead cemetarywill be recalled to life. Time will die and the eternity that was sealed up in our hearts will be endless. We will learn to breath all over again because eternity will take our breath away.

Our experience will be as though we stepped into Narnia’s wardrobe and spent a lifetime away on holiday only to return in the very next moment.

Life is to be examined from the place it emanates from, not from where it was last observed by our squinting eyes as we looked backward through the eye hole.

I Am the Resurrection and the Life -Jesus

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Leadership is NOT the Limitless Pill

Everybody’s everything is leadership.

limitlessThe church has become one dimensional in our thinking and nobody seems to see it. We’ve boiled down “follow me” into leadership lessons.

We’ve lost the dimension of walking in love, listening to the Spirit, and living by faith. Everything is now a proven method, a step by step growth pattern, a technique. It’s become to clean and easy.

Give me the messy wisdom and failed experiences of sages and prophets over the
infomercial leaders.

Leadership is a by-product not a catalyst. Moses my servant led Israel through being humble. Joshua my servant led Israel by courage.

gandalfGive me back the development of Christian disciplines as a means of grace and the character of Christ as a portrait to follow and I will show you the leaders of his army.

But don’t give me leadership lessons. Enough of this trite life.

Give me the dimensions of Christ by the Spirit and you will be given leaders, apostles, fathers & mothers, prophets, pastors, martyrs, people who are gifted to be hospitable, givers, administers, comforters, healers, seers, prayer warriors, etc.

You will be given the full measure of the spirit of Christ in and through the whole Body of Christ.

Now do you still want to talk about just leadership?

Body of Christ Mind Map

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Clergy Clear Your Conscience Conference

I am thinking about providing a No Deceit – No Guile Forum for Pastors.

We don’t need any more leadership conferences.

This gathering doesn’t cost you any money, but it will cost you.

Super Soul Saturday…
(the Saturday of Super Bowl Sunday)
Feb 6, 2016
9-12 (lunch will not be provided, but fasting is recommended)

sleevexConfess your sins to one another

Tissues will not be offered so wear a long sleeve shirt

Pray for one another

Bear each others burdens

Love one another

Speak the truth in love

Bibles are not allowed, only the Word that has become flesh is spoken

Pour in oil & wine in open wounds

Bandage up the brokenness

Real wine and a single chalice is offered for your forgiveness and tasteless broken bread is given for wholeness

closet 2You won’t leave with a notebook of cool ideas to grow the church

There will not be a front of an auditorium, only a circle of chairs

No refreshments will be provided except for the soul

There will be no worship band to make you feel better only the stringed instruments of the heart will generate song

We haven’t rented out Bronco stadium, because we really only expect a closet full to attend

See you at the Tree +

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Best of December 2015

The prophetic voice of the American church has gone hoarse and now has laryngitis.

The prophets were drunk on God, and in the presence of their terrible tipsiness no one was ever comfortable. – Buechner

Life is a pendulum not a stop watch.

InceptionMorning is coming. His voice will awaken the dawn. The underground cities of the dead will be recalled to life. Time will die and the eternity that was sealed up in our hearts will be endless. We will learn to breath all over again because eternity will take our breath away.  Our experience will be as though we stepped into Narnia’s wardrobe and spent a lifetime away on holiday only to return in the very next moment.  Life is to be examined from the place it emanates from, not from where it was last observed by our squinting eyes as we looked backward through the eye hole.

Addiction is the demand for the things I DON’T need.
Fasting is the destitution for the things that I DO need.

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is that what one calls interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day. -CS Lewis

We live in the middle, but we understand at the edges.

I’m only human, I can’t handle the strategy of the tragedy. I’m a peddler of the divine, working for the Man turning water into wine.

A hand used in crime is an axe laid to the roots of worship. -Rabbi AJH

My body is becoming the stone ruins of an old Irish Abbey. As intriguing as 7-churches-bldgthe ruins may be, when you visit me, I hope it is the Ghost stories that inhabited my spirit that outlive me.

The broken people of this life have been teaching me how to speak Broken Gospel the same way others learn to speak in Broken English.

Renew the Church

If you are going to a church that is preaching every week, but not taking communion every week, then you remember Jesus for what he said not what he did.

I respect the religions of the world as much as Yehweh required Israel to respect the Egyptian, Philistine and Babylonian gods, and as much as Jesus paid homage to the Greek gods.

Remind me again how much time Christ and the Apostles spent on reforming the Roman Empire and building bridges with other Religions.

There is no such thing as a fast growing church. People grow slowly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best of November 2015

Sacraments

baptismal font 2The Table doesn’t discriminate who eats and drinks by judging whose clean or dirty, who’s done good or done bad. It presumes that all who are coming know that they are hungry and unclothed and only long to be fed and healed.

The enduring grace of your baptism is in confession, not in being re baptized. You don’t need more water you just need to keep recycling the water you were given. It’s not the water that needs to be new, it’s you. The ongoing confession of faith and confession of sin is the water treatment plant of your body, soul and spirit.

The Psalms are a call to whole life worship. A life that includes affection and affliction, pain and praise, intimacy and injustice. We cannot detach or attach our life to worship…our life is the act of worship.

Blessed are the pure in heart not the perfect in heart.

Fatherless

“I felt abandoned, I would like to have a father in my life, and I’ve been carrying that around for 20 years. That’s a long time. It does something to you. To a kid, especially.” -Michael Phelps, 18 time Olympic gold medalist (In you the fatherless finds mercy -Hosea 14:3)

On coming out of the Texas Longhorn locker room during his career… “To be able to have a father would be terrific.” – Earl Campbell, a Football Life

Recovery

Christians are addicted to moral and spiritual perfectionism (pretending MuseumSelfie #21and performing) because they are afraid to discover that they may not be very good Christians.

The Lie says…”I believe I should be like god”… powerful enough to be in control, perfect enough to be without fault, wise enough to plan out my life, etc. However, because I’m not a god, I am forced to live a life of denial, cover up and lies to pretend I am.

The Lord has trained my heart and hands for war. I love being a soldier. I love saving Private Ryan. I love being able to expose and ambush the enemy and save the person caught in the emotional, psychological, spiritual, mental warfare. I love opening up the wound of the heart on the battle field and feeling the raw nerves of human suffering and pouring in oil and wine. I love my calling.

“God does not give us overcoming life: He gives life to the man who overcomes. In every case of tribulation we take the step as though there were no God to assist us, and we find He is there.” -Oswald Chambers.

Renew the Church

Preaching is not pastoring.
Preaching is a street cop directing traffic to keep the peace.
Pastoring is a beat cop making an arrest to make peace.

Most Christians go to church to hear their preacher, not to know their pastor. Most pastors go to church to preach their sermon, not hear their people’s confessions.

Charis 4Have you ever noticed that Christian/Church promotions always are doing something…Big, Grand, Mega, Great, etc. we never promote Simple, Normal, True, Regular, etc.  Every conference, sermon, service, and event is full of some extravagant happening. Really?  People don’t live that way and not even God can keep up with your marketing campaign of mighty moves.

One of the missing elements of our modern day life and worship is the LAMENT…where we face the anguish of our adversity and the fight of our faith, but remain more deeply committed to Christ, forged through the fire with a greater weight of a burnished bronze of love and glory.

Social justice isn’t just an organized activity of the church. It’s the disorganized activity of its people in their everyday lives.

 

The best missionary is a good family.

Grace doesn’t provide the “right” to do what you want. Grace provides the “power” to do what you should. -D Patrick

Obedience is success
Wholeness is happyness

A non violent approach to terrorists does not mean non punishment. Judgement is mercy for them and the world.

Contemplation is truly an exercise in humility! But each interruption is yet another opportunity to return to Presence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best of October 2015

A good mentor introduces you to the journey! -Bsp Jakes
A good father walks with you on the journey. -Fr Michael

Recovery

happyAddiction is anything that I am using in a sense to try to cope in a way that ends up defacing or disfiguring the image of God inside of me.

What do we need to recover from? Not necessarily the things that we are addicted to. We need to recover the image of God that has been cracked and broken.

Trying to outlast or overcome the addiction gives all the higher ground to the addiction. But to set my sights on recovering the image of God in me through Jesus gives me the grace to be MORE than a conqueror. We discover the grace to not only be “free from”, but to be “free to.”

We say, Jesus died for our sins. It’s true, but sounds so sterile. It might be better understood through the language of died for our addictions.

Not in the idea of dying for the things we know we shouldn’t love (the inhibitions of being intoxicated, the euphoric ecstasy of sex, the other worldly buzz off a high) but…in the things we hate after we’ve loved our hates.

Sin is not the deed we’ve done, but what’s been done by the deed.Love destroys

The gangrene that attaches to my soul from gambling away my paycheck. The cancer that ravages my relationship with my wife because I’m bitter and demanding. The alienation that barks at me from my children cause I was a workaholic. The sting of acid in my open wounds because I cheated on myself by treating myself to another man. The Grand Canyon that I can’t cross because I’m trapped in choices that suffocate me because I’m too proud. The disorders of detachments that I use to make excuses for my selfishness. The bombastic noises that sit in my soul like dead silence because I exchanged the truth for my lifestyle preferences.

That an a million other untold carnages from our soiled souls is what we mean when we say, sin.

God proved his love for us because he died for what was and is killing us. Jesus saves us from our worst version of ourselves.

People in addiction are overly fixated on overcoming past patterns and behaviors rather than becoming their future selves. One pins you to your past and the other launches you into the present.

Don’t be addicted to recovery become obsessed with discovery.

Recovery leads to a previous state of being, but discovery leads to a new state of being…based on being created in the image of God and recreated in the image of the new humanity uncovered in Jesus, the perfect human one

harmonica-bluesMost people only encounter getting past their past, which is the beginning of Hope. But It also requires the practice of Faith to apprehend a different and desired reality. Together, hope and faith create a synoptic lens of an alternative and preferred life as revealed by and in and from the Love of God in Jesus.

We find our future self not by primarily focusing on our broken self (an ongoing inventory), but by seeing who we were meant to be in the life and teachings of Jesus in the gospels and in the church through the New Testament letters.

Christians are highly addicted people when they are trying to please (live for) God.

Grace isn’t given so you can strive and struggle to live a perfect life, but so you can begin to enjoy living your imperfect life.

Let God begin to rewrite your story. Invite him to show you your past through his eyes. Ask him to surface good memories you have forgotten. He would love to do it. There is healing to be had there. There is a replacing of regret with mercy.” -JE

God’s mercies are new every morning — not as an obligation to you, but as an affirmation of you.

Mental & Emotional Anguish

The elasticity of the mind is stretched out of shape, the cavity of the soul despair on tracksechoes a hollow reply, the emotional receptors of the control panel of the will are fried, the body exercises getting through a day by going through the motions of a thin membrane of muscle memory, the net worth of life is what you are not, the once deep, dense material of the mind is fragmented, they have moved the desert you wandered in to an underground cavern where your movements are restricted to a lonesome isolated shuffle, the years of being invisible and mute have suffocated your spirit, you clean broken glass but the window has become a wall, nothing works like it used to, the opportunities that have never been given outnumber my days, sleep comes easier now that it’s day.

You can’t rise until you’re dead. May the twitch be extracted like a thorn or sliver. No sense in pretending to die alive when you can seize a chance to rise again, as the living dead.

So that is why you dare not avoid the deep self. The wild beasts and the angels reside in the same wilderness, and it takes the Spirit to “drive” you there (Mark 1:13). You see why the mystics so emphasize going into the “darkness,” which can only be done by faith and immense courage. “It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield,” says William Butler Yeats.

The mental malaise of meager means mesmerizes and marginalizes your cave 26motivation. It’s a maze of madness that seeks to measure the mark you can make. It’s a megaphone to manipulate you into wanting more. It’s a mirage misleading you to middle of the night manic attacks. It’s a monopoly of making you think even for a moment that your Maker is not moved and is not mighty to make a way and manifest a method or miracle to manifest his mercy and your more than enough moment so that you can make it.

Renewing the Church

The entertainment value of a churches worship service is great to draw a crowd on Sunday, but it is not sustainable for your life Monday thru Saturday.

We worship sex because we don’t know how to worship God. But we will. -Eldredge

Evangelism is presumed to be the starting place of our mission, but what if it’s the outcome of making disciples, baptism and teaching?

The original mission may have been better understood as a lifelong conversion out from a covenant. Yet at times may also be experienced as a conversion into the covenant.

The American podium tempts a spiritual audience to reach out for a better life. The pulpit of the Gospel calls a body of imperfect humans to live Christ’s life.

The Church is also an object of faith. In the Apostles’ Creed we confess that “we believe in the holy catholic Church.” Whenever we separate our belief in God from our belief in the Church, we become unbelievers. God has given us the Church as the place where God becomes God-with-us. -Nouwen

To the greatest pastor in my life!

MD 4

2012

You loved me to health, emotionally and relationally. You gave me a consistent everyday example to gaze upon. You never failed to believe in me regardless of the situation. You were an unshakable foundation of peaceful righteousness and a tower of an unimaginable beauty that chartered our future.

You preached with your life and were the most faithful in the face of fear from my ungodly anger and in the darkest caves of my personal brokenness. I owe the last 30 years of my life to your daily devotion of undying covenant love.

To the pastor of my heart and our home…Diana Welchert

 

 

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