Spirituality
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Are We Really Following Christ?
What represents Christianity today is a far cry from the Jesus I learned about as a child, the one who said to turn the other cheek, to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (pay your taxes), that if someone wants your cloak to give them your coat as well, and that what you do unto “the least of them” you also do unto me. He said to love your Lord your God with all your heart, to love your neighbor as you love yourself, and to love one another as I have loved you. I remember as a child not...
unexpected
Strange Places
“Follower of Jesus” is the new cooler way to say “Christian”, a word loaded with centuries of baggage that no longer seems very Christian. Yet, “follower of Jesus” sounds a little smug to me. It reminds of those church-goers in ancient Corinth who weren’t in the camp of Paul or Apollos; they followed Jesus. Smug. However, trying to figure out just what it really means to follow Jesus is something that merits careful consideration, especially, because it so misunderstood. Following Jesus in his day meant just that. That’s how the cream of the crop, the young people with the most...
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Give Up Your Good Christian Life and Follow Jesus
This post is a contribution to the August synchroblog.  The theme is “Follow” and bloggers are invited to share their thoughts and ideas about what it means to follow Jesus. My journey of following Jesus led me to a point where I had to completely start over. Some real life stuff came along and made me take a closer look at what I believed about God, following Jesus, Christianity, the Bible, the church etc. and I realized that most of the stuff that I had been so devoted to … attending church, listening to sermons, reading the bible, witnessing, maintaining...
following jesus
Two Words
Explain the two words spoken by Jesus—“Follow me”—in 1000 words or less? Hmmm. Maybe I should just stop right there and let you think this through on your own. My understanding of what it means to follow Him has changed over the years. Perhaps our understanding of “following” is supposed to change over time as our maturity in the Lord grows in response to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the ways we experience Him with others. Because I can’t claim to know everything about following Jesus, the best I can offer is to share some of the things...
sidewalk
Pilgrimage on the Pavement
I grew up with a fairly vague idea of what it meant to be a pilgrim. The only times I heard about pilgrims was each year at Thanksgiving. All I knew was that pilgrims wore funny hats and ate turkey dinners. Later on, I heard about the book “Pilgrim’s Progress” and concluded that being a pilgrim must have something to do with English history. I did not see that pilgrims and pilgrimages had anything to do with me or my everyday life. My life has become a journey, a pilgrimage. I am moving from a focus on attaining tangible results...
apathy
F*** Apathy
Recently, a close friend of mine was talking to a coworker about religion. During the course of the conversation, his coworker asserted “You know I’m a Catholic, don’t you? Well, not a practicing one.” My friend couldn’t shake that comment. He said it gripped him, in a good way. His only response was this: “Fuck apathy.” After he relayed this story to me, I asked him, “What would happen if we did?” “Nothing bad.” Exactly. What are we so afraid of? What if we rejected our indifferent, apathetic attitudes and actively pursued a life of purpose? What if we actually...
fiftyshades
Fifty Shades of Truth
I’ve been hearing about a book making the rounds, Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. Naturally, being a writer and voracious reader, I check out books that people are talking about. I hit up Google and typed in a search and up pops this description: Fifty Shades of Grey is a New York Times bestselling erotic fiction paperback and e-book by E. L. James. Set largely in Seattle, the trilogy traces the deepening relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steel and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of BDSM.1...
church sign crucifixion
Post-Good Friday Traumatic Stress
In my town, there are a lot of living nativity scenes every year. I don’t like them. I’ve blogged about before. There’s only one thing I can’t stand more than a living nativity. A living crucifixion reenactment. There are three in this county every year. I get my boxers in a wad about it every year. I want to drive by them every year and yell, “Get him down from there!” I hate to say that they “offend” me. Everyone is offended these days. It takes so little to offend the modern mind. So, I’m not offended. I just run...
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Platform for Ministry?
You reminded me of Joyce Meyer, she said. I didn’t wince. I would have, once, though.  I don’t agree with everything Joyce Meyer says.  Some of it is great.  And other parts…well, other parts are maybe not as great. But I have come to respect this lady’s immense skill at delivering her message when preaching.  Irrespective of some occasional question marks over some of her content, she knows how to connect with a congregation; she understands the importance of truth through personality when preaching. So I took this statement from an African-origin lady as a massive compliment in respect of...
publican
How Our Personal Pronouns Expose Our Beliefs
If you’ve been in church for any length of time, you’ve heard a sermon on Luke 18:9-14. A Pharisee and a tax collector (a terrible sinner, of course, are pictured in Jesus’ parable. The publican prays, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.” (ESV) Jesus, at the end of his parable says of the tax collector, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who...
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