Sunday, April 29, 2007

The End Is Near

Hey Everyone,

Well, after much fence sitting I have decided to take the D-Project where ever God and others will have it. After five years at my church my restless heart can take it no longer. I must do what I feel God has placed there. My resignation is an amicable one. I will still be attending our church and helping where I can. My passion is to speak and preach and train and so I finally give in. It's a scary place to be with a wife and three kids but God is faithful. I am trusting Him entirely. For more information on the D-Project please visist

There are always those who will hate you. For whatever reason. Every church has them. I got word tonight of a group of students and some young adults who have their opinion of me which is fine. There will always be those in the church who take up space and will by their own ignorance tear a church apart. They are the preverbial drunk driver who crashes and kills a family of 5 only to get out of their car unscathed while a fireball explodes in the distance punctuating their devastation. Every church has them. Meaningful, misguided, disobedient and pharisiacal parasites who seek to use the church rather than be the church because they cannot cultivate a spiritual life of their own. Paul was right when he wrote that the love of many would grow cold. It is this icy heart that keeps away the lost and allows only those of similar frigid existence to join them like ice cubes in a tray.

I write this to vent but also to detach from the negativity that seeks to bind me. I also cannot become too bitter for fear I would become like them and less like Christ. No, I shall do for them what they have refused to do for me , pray. This is not self-righteous it is self-preservation. To not pray allows the poison from the darts they shoot to travel quickly through my spiritual blood stream to my heart, my passion and my relationship with God. I will pray that God will teach us all and that our disagreements will not ever be desparaging and keep onlookers and seekers from experiencing this God of love and forgiveness we profess. To much our God resembles the monument made to the Unkown God in the book of acts.

And before you should ask me to get off my cross because we need the wood consider your own heart, your own hurts inflicted by those who would claim the name of Christ. I end this by saying Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!! I have the victory through Christ. Thankyou for listening my next post shall be a clearer, leass tainted, more informed and a more spiritually enlightened post but for now thank you for allowing me to share my burden.

Let the speaks fly.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Vaccum Gospel

God offered me a unique opportunity about a week ago. It ties in with my last blog about being religious or spiritual. I had gotten home from work and was scavenging aound the hosue for dinner when I heard the doorbell. I looked at my wife who sheepishly offered that she had invited the Kirby Vaccum cleaners (they had been working the neighborhood) people in to do a demonstration. Well, I was not thrilled. I wanted to sit down, eat some ham, and then watch some ham on American Idol, Go Blake!!

Anyway, here came two huge boxes in the door carried by a young man named Walter. Walter was a nice young man just trying to do his job. I said ok, "Give me your best sales pitch". I am alway intrested in hearing how others sell their products. At one point I even kidded him by saying I was in sales also. Well, he showed me the Kirby Vaccum cleaners many attachements and utilties. The coolest attachment was a paint sprayer. I kid you not. Reverse the flow of air and it would paint your walls. I also liked the extremely bright halogen light in the front. Toys!!

After talking with him some more I offerd my own sales pitch and began to talk about the Lord. I had asked where he went to church and how his relationship with the Lord was. You have to understand a few things. In Alabama everyone knows Jesus. there is not a sinner to be found. Every wino can sing half the hymnal and most businessmen are "affilitated" with religious causes. Tough area. What made Walter different was the fact that he was an African American and Catholic. It's rare to find a Catholic in Alabama, even rareer to find a African American Catholic. The Lord does have a sense of humor. If you don't know I was raised Catholic all the way through my Confirmation process and then started going to a protestant youth group. Walter and I had a few things in common. Walter offered the fact that he was good with the Lord but had not been to church in a while. Here's where I could have choses the religious route. I could have spent the rest of the night giving reasons why Walter should go to my church or disuade him to leave his church as some might, but I felt that would have been misspent time. Instead I wanted to serve Walter and allow him to have an encounter with Jesus.

Walter eagerly pointed out through demonstraton that my floors needed cleaning. With his special demo model he showed me the filter pads that picked up the dirt and dust. He began laying the round pads out on the floor in straight, narrow rows. It was about 8:30 now and I wanted to help this guy. I wasn't going to buy a vaccum cleaner but I wanted him to get paid. I asked, "Walter, how many of these pads do you have to show your boss to get paid?" He said, "100". My jaw hit the floor. 100!!? This will take forever for him to dirty up 100 of these pads not matter how dirty my house is. I quickly volunteered myself. I took about 25-30 pads from Walter qand went all over my house rubbing them on my floor, under my kitchen table, my bathroom, even the fireplace. Eventually we aquired 100 pads. We had a few moments until Walter's boss came in so I invited my new friend Walter to eat and drink with us.

Walter's boss eventually came by to "seal the deal". To his dismay I turned his slick, finely tuned pitch down. We also got to talk about the Lord while Walter sat quietly by eating ham and drinking Milo's sweet tea. Finally the slick boss man thanked us for our time and excused himself and Walter and I are together again. The sweetest moment came when I offered to pray for Walter.I prayed for his business and for his family and that he would get back to church, his church. He told me he was going to get back and talk with his priest that week. What a blessing.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Good Question

This past weekend our students participated in a 35 mile walk for missions. It's been a 10-12 year tradition and has become a rite of passage. I came up lame in the 7th mile. Somehow, my foot either received a stress fracture or some other quirky malady. I'm not sure yet. One of the things I missed in walking ( I was relegated to driving the van) was the conversation. Since our walk normally takes place during Easter many of our students carried crosses. Since I was driving I saw this from a different persepctive. At one point I saw a student carrying not only his cross but the cross of another. You could say he was double crossed. During the walk I heard things like "he pushed his cross off on me" or "he/she didn't want to carry his cross anymore". You can draw the parallels of the Christian life for yourself, no sermonizing necessary.

I had some boys spend the night at my house that night and in the car my son asked an interesting question, he said, "Can you be too spiritual dad?" I was taken back at the suddeness of the question. That this 12 year old who burps and farts with the best of them was thinking of such a question blessed me. It was a good question. My answer? I said no. I said, "you could be too religious but not too spiritual". I clarified that by saying spiritually connect with God, the God of scripture. Spirituallity has become a catch all for any postmodern expereince that that makes of feel whole or comeplete in and of oursleves and can leave God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit completely out of the picture.

The students in my car shared recent episodes where an adult got onto them about certain behaviors which were displeasing. In some cases it was just generational protocol a.k.a Grandma etc. in other cases it was just religious tallying. Did they are did they not fit the mold of a man made system of religion. Student long for Christ centered spirituality and contue to shun the score card Christianity.

Have you boxed in your relationship with God to the point where spiritual claustrophobia and checkpoint theology is choking off spiritual life and vitality? Good question.

Blessing and Peace,