The Cross

The cross reveals our problem: we're addicted to blaming others. The spirit of scapegoating doesn't care who's right or wrong. It's only desire is to redistribute hate, and keep finger-pointing alive.

The cross also reveals our remedy: He took our blame to end all blaming. He took the worst the world's powers could dish out, only to respond with forgiveness.

Taking up our cross is the way we become the remedy for the world.

By the Flowers of Spring

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Behold the hours,
In summer’s sun, 
Ephemeral flowers, 
There stained with love. 

The light descends, 
Late afternoon, 
The autumn’s hint,  
Impending ruin. 

Oh winter’s ruse, 
A hammering blow, 
The fatal bruise, 
Has laid us low. 

And dark goes the song.  The flowers are crushed.
And dark goes the song. The flowers are crushed.
And dark goes the song.  Our love’s been lost.

Sigh…

But, wait.  Listen...  
A thawing crack.
Snowmelt glistens, 
The sunlight’s back. 

And can it be?
Yes! Sprouting sprouts!
And shooting greens,
Release the SHOUT!

(Ha!) 
Winter’s anthem,
Has lost its sting
Finally vanquished,
By the Flowers of Spring. 

And bright goes the song.  The flowers are raised.
And bright goes the song.  The flowers are raised.
And bright goes the song.  Our love’s been saved!

The Non-Coercive God

If the Father willed the unjust death of Jesus, it's possible people who are in oppressed systems would also feel the Father willing their unjust punishment. I personally think that's off base a bit. 

Here's what I think God wills: love. Love will always lead us to give ourselves away. It was love that asked Jesus to give His life. 

Don't let people tell you God wants you personally, or your people group to continually submit to abusive, unjust, oppressive situations. You have the freedom to walk away. 

Now, you also have the freedom, once you are healed, and committed to love, to carefully step back into situations with the expressed purpose of changing things. Change almost always comes from the inside out, but just know, that it might cost you your dreams, and future. 

There's a difference between losing your dreams, and future over your voluntary commitment to love, and losing your dreams, and future because someone else coerced you. With God, either the world is changed by non-coercive love, or it's not changed at all. 

Life to All Cultures

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The Divine cannot be hired as spokesperson for the Evangelical sub-culture. The Eternal cannot be conscripted for national interests. The Truth cannot be owned by any one nation, denomination, or even religion.

All truth is God’s truth. 
All beauty is God’s beauty. 
All love is God’s love. 

He (or She) is the air we breathe, the ebb and flow of dark matter expanding throughout the universe, the ever-expanding Energy of Love. 

It’s the answer to every question leading to more questions. 
The paradox of every reality leading to more reality. 
The wound in every beauty leading to more beauty. 

I see all of this in the Embodiment of Love: Yeshua. I see it displayed in His birth, life, and particularly in His death. The death of Christ is the end of all old religions and the beginning of everything new. 

Christianity, in spite of what has been communicated, isn’t in competition with other cultures. It is the river running under, and through the substratum of humanity giving life to ALL cultures. 

You Have a Responsibility to Humanity

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I have three young men living in my house. I'm thinking my only real goal is to help all of them walk in love, and in doing so, increase the world's capacity to love. 

That the shooters and murderers in our society are so often men tells us something.

We've needed movements rallying around femininity to help us step into new days, into better ways of thinking, and living. Similarly, we need movements rallying around masculinity, but not masculinity as it's traditionally been displayed. Apparently (understatement forthcoming) men are motivated by the myth of redemptive violence. Our only hope is to help young men name those motivations and turn to a deeper, more substantive motivation... love. If you're a male, pushing late 20's, 30's, 40's, and on up you have a responsibility to humanity to get involved in your church, synagogue, mosque, local gym, local school, or wherever... and help younger men pursue self-control. Stop sitting on the sidelines. Influencing a young man in love, toward love is incalculable. And our only hope. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The Story of LQVE

I'm looking forward to being with AZ friends March 22! The Story of LQVE is an idea we had to help bring awareness, and raise some funds for the super important work that's happening through LQVE. My friends, Wallace and Rachel Fa'agutu, of One Thing and International House of Prayer fame will be with me. These guys are amazing worship leaders. Anyhow, I hope you join us. All proceeds from t/shirts, tickets, and artwork will go to benefit LQVE. Thanks to my buddy, Matt, and McDowell Mtn Community Church for letting us host the night there. Get your tickets at Eventbrite.com. 

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Preparing to Disclose My Favorites of the Year

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Since you asked, I'm going to be releasing some of my favorite books, songs, and movies of the year over the next few days at my Facebook author page. I don't pretend to be an art critic. I don't plan on becoming one either, but I do love art, and artists, and the creative process, and I have spent my life dabbling in some art form or another.  The world needs artists. I wish I could do more to encourage them. I wish I were a better one for I have a feeling the world may need prophets and poets more than preachers. The prophet critiques culture. The poet introduces beauty. Many of us modern day preachers seem to do little of either. We have almost become caricatures of ourselves. We are so marked by Babylon that we lack the credibility to do any real critique of Babylon, and as for beauty, well, in many cases it's non-existant on our list of priorities. We have ecclesiological machines to run (i.e., churches). Meetings, attendance, planning sessions, and oh, basically just figuring out ways to grow larger and larger occupies all our attention and all our desires. How could anyone possibly expect beauty from us? (That high pitched breathing sound you hear is me sighing.) 

However.. lest you think I've grown too cynical, I happen to know first hand how difficult the job of pastoring, shepherding, and leading can be. And, I also have great hope for the future. I know a few old folks who really care. And I know some young men (and yes, women!) who are going to be outstanding pastors. Can I just say to young people that this is a GREAT time to be thinking about theology and ecclesiology. I think you are growing up on the cusp of something special happening in our culture. I am very excited about the kinds of faith communities that are going to exist in the future. They will look very different from our current communities (because if they don't, there won't be any.) 

So, starting tomorrow, it'll be books, movies, and then music. I hope you're reading watching and listening... God is in all of them.