Tag Archives: Jesus

2016 trump clinton election banner

Trump Politics of Hate Vs the Table of Love

This election cycle has been filled with hatred. Donald Trump plays on people’s fears about the still-struggling economy in so many parts of the country. He blames people’s struggles to find work, any work, on immigrants and Muslims. He makes light of comments like rounding up all the Muslims to register them, and killing all the family members of terrorists. Us versus them. And he found an audience eating up all this hate speech.

I understand fear and joblessness. I have walked that terrible path. But I never blamed my Muslim and immigrant neighbors and friends. People’s struggles to find work and housing have so much more to do with bad decisions and wars under the Bush administration. Also, advancing technology independent of any administration is simply taking over jobs. We are united in our struggles, not divided. read more

grace, works, mercy, picture of hand on the Bible

Grace Works and the Journey of Mercy

God’s grace. A wonderful Christian teaching. If you are trying to serve, if you have mercy for the hurting but you make mistakes, God has abundant grace.

The journey to the kingdom of heaven is paved by works of the Spirit. We all fall down in the journey of loving others. We stumble as we learn to embrace humbleness over power and selflessness over greed. Grace covers our fall and gently helps us back on the path.

But the American evangelical church has twisted the definition of grace into a selfish, Me-first mentality. read more

fruits of the spirit

God Wants Religious Fruits, Not Religious Nuts

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

On my Facebook feed recently, I saw a church sign that proclaimed, “God wants religious fruits, not religious nuts.” This is so true. The fruits of the Spirit are things such as love, peace, and gentleness. But there are many religious nuts who lead lives of selfishness at best, and lives of dark, deadly hatred at worst. read more

dangerous love, two peace doves on Valentine's Day

A Dangerous Love: Valentine’s Day Message

On this Valentine’s Day 2015, I am meditating on the love of Jesus. The love of Jesus is a holy love, a love of astounding grace, a love that intimately knows all our sins, all our failures, all our darkness.

Two days ago, I read an article about Christians and Valentine’s Day. “No, Jesus isn’t my boy friend,” Juliet Vedral blogs in the Sojourner. She is speaking of the boyfriend Jesus, a popular saying in many of today’s “seeker sensitive” and Charismatic churches. I agree with her. read more

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014: The Government of Jesus

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

As I celebrate Christmas 2014, I reflect on Jesus and his wonderful kingdom. Look once again at this famous passage from Isaiah: “the government will be on his shoulders.” That is heavy. The government of Jesus is so unlike any earthly government we have now.

Jesus Experienced Humanness

Jesus came to earth as a baby. Just like all of us, he pooped his diapers and made messes. He cried a lot. The song Away in a Manger says “no crying he made” but Jesus was human, just like us. He cried as a baby, he wept as an adult. read more

Sydney siege

Sydney Siege: Jesus Answers Religious Terror

My Twitter feed this morning lit up with comments about the Sydney siege. I read the news with sadness:

CNN: With two hostages and gunman dead, grim investigation starts in Sydney

A Muslim man (I will not give him the honor of saying his name) held a cafe hostage for many hours, terrorizing innocent Australians who were just enjoying a morning cup of coffee. The terrorist ended up killing two people, young people in their 30s who should have had a long earthly life ahead of them. The man proclaimed himself to be a sheik, a Muslim religious leader. During the siege of the café, he flew a black flag in the window, declaring Allah and Islam as the only true religion. read more

where your treasure is

Where Your Treasure Is There Your Heart Is

Matthew 6:19 (NIV)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Privilege and Where Your Treasure Is

During a recent evening commute on a local bus, I was chatting with an acquaintance. He is an upper middle class white man, Baby Boomer age, solid in his job and finances. He will sometimes talk about very basic issues of power and privilege, but it is only an intellectual exercise for him. He has never known one day of need or injustice from oppression. read more

Tebow football

Tebow- Gains, Guts, and Glory- For Himself?

Nike lawsuit against Reebok stops Tim Tebow apparel sales

-Los Angeles Times

Nike and Reebok, two of the largest players in the sports gear industry, are embroiled in an unholy spat over who gets to make and sell products featuring the name of newly minted New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow…Through it all, we can’t help but ask: What would Jesus do?

This quote says it all. The Christians worship Tim Tebow, and he soaks it all up. Now Nike and Reebok have joined his mass of adoring fans. And they can’t play nice. read more

the life of a prophet, person holding globe

The Life of a Prophet

The Life of a Prophet is Hard

The life of a prophet is a hard life. You will speak the truth, but the world will hate you for it. You will be spit on, cursed at, trampled under foot. Still, you hold the world in your hands and your prayers. Your compassion is great because you move under the heart of God. You will constantly pray for your nation and the world. You will live a life of prayer.

You will be poor and homeless as your home and wealth are in heaven, not on this earth. You are truly a stranger on this planet.

You will have many friends and many more enemies, but few true confidantes. You will proclaim judgment over a nation in sin, but blessing over the least of these, the people you meet who are poor in spirit. You will cry many tears, just as the prophet Jeremiah. You will learn to find your joy in God alone.  Your worldly vision will dim as your heavenly vision sharpens. read more

christmas eve 2011, candles

Christmas Eve 2011: Jesus’ Message

Jesus is speaking to the church as we celebrate his birth this Christmas eve 2011.

A Message of Love

Jesus says,

My Father is not Santa Claus. He keeps no list of naughty and nice, no list of rights and wrongs. He loves the changed heart of a sinner, but he resists the proud. How is your heart toward the Father? Are you pursuing His kingdom of righteousness, or are you pursuing the fleeting gifts of the world?

I give you far more than cheap goods from the retail store. I came to the world to give everything for you. I long to heal you, but you must come to me with a repentant heart. A bruised weed I will not break, and a smoldering wick I will not stuff out. I love you. Are you following me with your own cross? read more