Apr 23, 2012

Sermon Responses

Hebrews 10:32-39

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
(The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran)

A farmer in the field sees the shadow moving across the land, the shadow is complexity filled:   hope-despair, fear-brave, but then the word became flesh.  As the dark purple cloud moves across his farm rising the dust up in whirling eddies he rests on his shovel.  He rested and all around him he heard the sound of dried wheat stalks swaying in the wind.   Dust tickled his throat.  He coughed.  He held onto his hat made of straw, he feared it would blow away.  All the land was thirsty, but his farmers almanac did not report any rain. The almanac had not said one word about banks calling in bank loans.

The farmer smiled.  He thought of all of the bank notices that were collecting on his kitchen table. The table was dust-filled, he had written S.O.S. in the dust, as a message maybe to a UFO or was it God?  He had borrowed on the banks in order to plant this year's crop. The year before all was wasted. By one hail storm! This year the drought! And still the banks called and called and called and called upon the isolated farmer.  The banks had lent the farmer money, and were now calling about the loan.   The banks not paid, sent yellow foreclosure notes. The official notes laid like a deck of tarot cards played by a psychic at the county fair.  The wood of the table held secrets from forgotten conversations.  Recorded in its wood so long ago.

The horror, of official visits from official representatives of the good old banks, was a serene nightmare.

The land had been with his family for sixty years.  His great grandfather had bought the land in 1866 a year after coming back to the Carolinas.  A year after killing his last soldier in blue.   His great grandfather hoped for a new beginning in Ohio.   A land of promise, a land that was fertile and ready for growing.  The land had been a stage of marriages, burials, and harvest festivals.   A place where one called home.  

The farmer knew his life here in Ohio was endangered. But still the farmer smiled. He joyfully accepted the plundering of his property for he knew what the bible declared, you will have a better possession an abiding one....He knew this land belonged to God. If God's will was to sell the land than so be it, no worries. Even if this meant working at a factory in Cincinnati, or in Cleveland.  He hoped beyond hope that he could move on from here.  But all he knew was the tending of the farm.  He smiled through the broken dreams and gutter swamps of his mind. Because he had an abiding possession that would never fade from Glory.

He looked at his hands and smiled.   Locusts played their legs. He wish he could have seen the sign of the times, he wish he could have seen the seven years of bad, and seven years of good.  He would have sold the farm the year before and have some change in his pockets.  But now all he had was faith in God and a smile that stated, "So be it!"

The wind scooped up the top soil.

Heretical Jukebox

Apr 18, 2012

Heretical Jukebox

I found this on the Merry Monk of Love's Blog: This rocks my world. Please listen.

We’re all born to broken people on their most honest day of living and since that first breath… We’ll need grace that we’ve never given I’ve been haunted by standard red devils and white ghosts and it’s not only when these eyes are closed these lies are ropes that I tie down in my stomach, but they hold this ship together tossed like leaves in this weather and my dreams are sails that I point towards my true north, stretched thin over my rib bones, and pray that it gets better but it won’t, at least I don’t believe it will… so I’ve built a wooden heart inside this iron ship, to sail these blood red seas and find your coasts. don’t let these waves wash away your hopes this war-ship is sinking, and I still believe in anchors pulling fist fulls of rotten wood from my heart, I still believe in saviors but I know that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single board washed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shores so come on and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach come on and sew us together, tattered rags stained forever we only have what we remember I am the barely living son of a woman and man who barely made it but we’re making it taped together on borrowed crutches and new starts we all have the same holes in our hearts… everything falls apart at the exact same time that it all comes together perfectly for the next step but my fear is this prison… that I keep locked below the main deck I keep a key under my pillow, it’s quiet and it’s hidden and my hopes are weapons that I’m still learning how to use right but they’re heavy and I’m awkward…always running out of fight so I’ve carved a wooden heart, put it in this sinking ship hoping it would help me float for just a few more weeks because I am made out of shipwrecks, every twisted beam lost and found like you and me scattered out on the sea so come on let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach come on and sew us together, just some tattered rags stained forever we only have what we remember My throat it still tastes like house fire and salt water I wear this tide like loose skin, rock me to sea if we hold on tight we’ll hold each other together and not just be some fools rushing to die in our sleep all these machines will rust I promise, but we’ll still be electric shocking each other back to life Your hand in mine, my fingers in your veins connected our bones grown together inside our hands entwined, your fingers in my veins braided our spines grown stronger in time because are church is made out of shipwrecks from every hull these rocks have claimed but we pick ourselves up, and try and grow better through the change so come on yall and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach come on and sew us together, were just tattered rags stained forever we only have what we remember

Men Beating Drums

This May Anger Y'all!!!! .... But I don't care as long as you think
on God's words Mt 5:21-26

I think it is time that we bury the hatchet on our phobias.   We need to know what is right and what is wrong! But when people turn to Christ they must feel the warmth of home from its believers.  I felt this hatred when I was crossing the street one day, I was age ten, and I waved at a girl, the girl said; "I can't talk to you for you and your kind are Christ Killers."   Now, looking back, I want to hug that little girl and tell her sorry that you feel that way; then I would tell her:  "I can assure you that it was God's plan to kill his only son, and that this plan was done because of all of our sins, and the fact that all of our sins were so grievous that we could not correct our own actions.  He loved us so much that he sent his only son to us as a gift of redemption."  

I ask that you watch this clip with open eyes, and child like minds. I know it is hard for me a heterosexual to look at two men kissing. I know it is hard to look at Jesus portrayed as a homosexual! I know it is hard to face your fearful pride! I know we must hold onto our principles, but don't let the principles harden the heart and we fail to love our brothers (homosexual or heterosexual). We must point like men on a hill to the love and righteousness found in Christs forgiveness for all sins.

We can not point when we are yelling at our brother for their behavior.   The child will ask, "Momy and Dad why are these people hated?" Don't bar the child from the love of Christ!

John Fuller vice president of Focus on the Family's Audio and New Media devision said.
All of us – including those with special needs, the elderly, the orphan, the preborn – have inherent worth because we are uniquely created by God for a purpose. Once we recognize this simple truth, we are inspired to offer a kind word and an understanding heart to those society considers outcasts. Once we see the dignity in each and every individual, we become willing to disrupt our “model” lives and embrace the beautiful mess of investing in others.
Listen to a sermon on 5:21-26 from Christ Church Berkley.

Apr 5, 2012

Experts on the Bible: Judges 19:21

Consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds. We have here the three great rules by which those that sit in council ought to go in every arduous affair. (1.)* Let every man retire into himself, and weigh the matter impartially and fully in his own thoughts, and seriously and calmly consider it, without prejudice on either side, before he speaks upon it. (2.)** Let them freely talk it over, and every man take advice of his friend, know his opinion and his reasons, and weigh them. (3.)*** Then let every man speak his mind, and give his vote according to his conscience. In the multitude of such counselors there is safety. - Matthew Henry Commentary on Judges 19.  

** Using rules of order, and a talking stick could help this step. 
***Voting by ballot or rules of order.  

EXFM Songs