Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sorry, hubby! You're #2!

Not exactly how I picture my relationship with Jesus.
My relationship to my husband is very important to me but comes in second to my relationship with Christ.

I like to say this to point out how important Jesus is to me. I like to say it to show how intimate a relationship with Christ is. In m fact many times I tell Mark, “You’re my favorite...next to Jesus.” This idea, that I place someone (Christ) at a higher level in my life than I place my husband stands out in conversations with both believers and non-believers. It makes a point and it stands out. It is a good illustration about how Jesus should be a priority in the lives of Christians....But is it true?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Schism Sunday Vol. VII: American Identity---> Who are We? Who are You?

Every powerful resolute society has created its own calendar according to its own values. For many years Western civilization has utilized the Julian and Gregorian calendars which are largely based on the Roman Empire’s traditions (“August” referring to Augustus Caesar, and January referring to the god Janus, etc.) The United States’ civil religion uses this calendar mixing in its own set of holy days, such as the date of its inception (July 4) and its remembrances of human sacrifice (Memorial Day and Veterans Day).

In the United States we learn history by studying wars and violence; we organize it by the reigns of kings and presidents. In the United States we also are led to believe that every war we have fought, or are fighting is a war for “freedom”. We also believe that everyone who dies in these said wars are heroes.

Growing up I truly believed that the divine Hand of God was on America. I espoused a form of Manifest Destiny and held the patriotic belief that I would support my country right or wrong. “Love it or leave it Man!…Love it or leave it!!”

That being said:

1. Do you think the United States is a Christian Nation?
2. Do you believe every war the USA has fought or is fighting is a war for freedom?
3. Is every US soldier a hero…or is he/she just another person being paid to do a dangerous job?
4. Do you think uber-patriotism is a form of idol worship?
5. Could you actively fight, and kill people in a war you knew was wrong?
6. As Christians should we really be celebrating the festivals of the Caesars, war heroes, and presidents…or should we focus on more of biblical narrative?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Choice of Love

Everyone falls in love at one point or another. Some people are love sick, some people get puppy love, and yet others have been hurt by love. In all the stories of love, swooning, and heartbreak it seems that love is something that just happens to us. It is something that drops down from the sky, knocks us on our tuckus, and sends hearts floating around our lovely heads. I’m in love, we proclaim. I can feel it! I can’t stop it! It just is! Love happens to us, it takes our breath away, it makes life worth living.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do you have a Problem...Or is your problem Sin?

There are times when Christians are liken to Buddhist monks, in that they are afraid to scratch their heads least they should incommode their vermin. Now the vermin of which I’m referring here is: Sin! Addressing Sin is about as enjoyable as getting Roofied,- then waking up in a dark smelly alley just in time to feel the blunt force trauma of a well executed donkey punch.  Yeah, writing about sin sucks almost that much.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Schism Sunday Vol. VI: Animal Rights

That's me participating in a traditional Maasai dance
When I was in Tanzania I learned about the strict hunting laws they had in place to protect the animals. To be able to kill an animal you had to pay the government large fees and then hire a legal hunting guide to take you in their 4 wheel drive Jeep with your big guns to shoot old or injured animals. Then you take pictures with them and if you’re a big spender you might have the animal stuffed. But that is the extent of legalized hunting. Poaching is illegal and punishable with fines or jail time. The native pastoral tribes that are allowed to continue to live in the “conservation” areas are considered poachers if they kill an animal and feed it to their families. The Maasai, Tatoga, Hazabe and other tribes are allowed to continue to live traditionally if they follow certain mandates. They must send their children to school, they can only plant a 1 hector garden, they can’t burn the prairie grass, they can only herd their cattle in certain places, and they aren’t allowed to hunt. This pretty much means that these people are usually malnourished and struggle to survive. But we can rest assured that the animals are protected. We must save the animals.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hungering for Jesus...Pressing Up and Through

Insurance claim: Act of God?
Mark 2:12 (Amplified Bible)
And he arose at once and picked up the sleeping pad or mat and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and recognized and praised and thanked God, saying, We have never seen anything like this before!

I get that funny Ferris wheel feeling every time I read the above: “We have never seen anything like this before!” After that special tingle, I feel a bit sad because these words should really be uttered more within Christendom. If there is anything God is dissatisfied with, it is stagnant, same-old-same-old conditions.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Warm Fuzzies with Mr. P

Last week I wrote about how I’m not proud to be an American. While I still stand behind the points that I made in that post, I do regret the title I chose. I think that perhaps my harsh title caused some to read my post with a perspective that I hate America (I don’t). Instead of seeing the point that we shouldn’t be proud of the circumstances of our birth and that our identity should be in Christ alone, and not in our heritage, race or nationality. In the very stimulating comments section that followed I was accused of being a *gasp* liberal. The shame! (love ya Donald!)

I’ve spoken on my distaste of labels before and I’ve also commented on how I don’t claim any denomination. But I also have a disdain for being pigeon holed into a political corner, especially in today’s two-party farce of a democracy. The truth is I don’t feel that I can fall on either side of the fence that separates the right and the left. If I use the Scripture as my guide, I don’t believe I can agree fully with the democrat or the republican agenda. As Shane Claiborne put it, “The liberals call me conservative and the conservatives call me liberal.”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Schism Sunday Vol V: The Government and Your Diet

Is that a kids meal?

We all know that one of the most feared statements in the English language is: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” The reason for this fear goes without saying, considering today’s government looks more like a bloated and bankrupt Orwellian novel than a democracy and a republic. That being said, government expansion seems to be on the rise with a new target in its crosshairs: you and your families' fat arses!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spiritual Parasites

Christianity like most institutions loves its slogans: “It’s not a Religion; It’s a Relationship”. How many times have we heard this little gem? Now I’m not questioning the validity of the slogan, but I will say that Godly relationships are symbiotic and not parasitic.

I have met many people who call themselves Christians, but the truth is they resemble  parasites more than they do servants of the Living God. A parasite is only interested in having their own needs met and could really give two hoots about their host; to them the host is just another means to an end. These spiritual Bed-Bugs are interested in armchair enlightenment without the work, effort, or study required to show themselves approved (2 Tim. 2:15). They tend to view Christianity like a colonic lounge that comes complete with heavenly wisdom and a soothing holy-water enema. These are the same people that say they don’t read the Bible because it’s too complex and archaic for them to understand. You can usually find them in various church settings pissing and moaning that God never moves in their lives and how they are perpetually in the “valley”.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NOT Proud to be an American

I’m NOT proud to be an American

Stay with me here, folks, as I’m sure I’ve pissed quite of few of you off already. I am not proud that I’m an American. I’m not proud that I was born in the United States. Do I recognize that I am blessed or lucky to born in a wealthy country with many freedoms? Of course I do. But am I proud of something I did not choose? Am I proud of something I did not have any control over? Absolutely not.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just Sue ME!

After I became a Christian I learned that my obsession with suing people really had to come to an end. Previously, I was engaged in  bitter legal proceedings against my parents for having me circumcised as an infant. I mean who were they to deny me my bodily rights over the sacred gland-cover? But God showed me the error of my ways and I immediately dropped the lawsuit, even though lost my non-refundable retainer and a corpus delicti slam-dunk. However, to reward my obedience, God provided holy healing to the intense phantom foreskin pains I had been experiencing my entire life (which was totally awesome!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Schism Sunday Vol. IV: Mother's Day

Today is mother’s day. Everyone around the country is sharing lovey dovey, mushy gushy, warm and fuzzy moments with their mothers and their children. People are buying silly cards spewing words that are not their own, purchasing flowers that will die by Wednesday, sitting through vague sermons on the blessings of mothers followed by an awkward brunch where we try to make mom feel like a queen while she attempts to spoon feed her two year old and still enjoy her eggs benedict.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scourging the Money Changers

Scandalous and shameful!
The nefarious peddlers of the prosperity gospel are nothing new in the land of Christendom, and while most well grounded Christians smell the badger reek of these scoundrels a mile away- there are those who, out of ignorance and desperation, fall prey to this new breed of money changer. These purveyors of the “give to get” gospel are liken to a ministry wishing well, except they are really not interested in your pocket change, and they are not very pretty to look at!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Falling to Peaces...

Last week was a very difficult week for the three fold cord. Mark and I struggled with disappointments, betrayals, and family crisis. All before the end of Tuesday. Needless to say I was left reeling with fear and sadness. All this left me questioning the strength I profess to have in Christ. I wondered if I really did rely on Christ in all things, because I couldn’t seem to locate His gift of peace in my troubled heart and mind. Sadness had gripped my heart and it was something that I couldn’t shake. I expressed to Mark that I didn’t want to be sad, I didn’t want to feel this way, but I couldn’t even seem to choose my way out of this haze.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Schism Sunday Vol. III: The Death Penalty

Where do you stand?
There seems to be a pattern with conservative people in that they love their wars and they love the death penalty. Christians are often lumped in with the “conservative” party so I thought the Death Penalty would be an interesting schism to address.