Matthew 12

Jesus is chillaxing with his disciples in a field and they began to pick grain because they were hungry. The Pharisees saw it and called them out, because it happened to be the Sabbath. A day of rest. I believe in the Sabbath. I believe you should take one day, atleast, a week and just focus on God and the things you love. rest. Be quiet. Listen. Watch and so on. But back in the day you couldn’t do much of anything on the Sabbath. SO Jesus calls the Pharisees out and hands them this scripture from the prophet Hosea, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”. A short sentence with huge meaning. The scripture says it all. God desires mercy over sacrifice. He wants us to love and forgive and keep loving no matter what instead of filling up offerings with ten percent of our income. He wants us to love the sick and marginalized instead of serving on consistory boards and attending countless meetings all of the time. (I do know consistory boards are important, I’m just saying a little prioritizing may be in order)

Jesus goes on  making the Pharisees really angry. He actually heals a man in quite a sneaky way which I find rather neat. Jesus was always on top of his game. The Pharisees are so angry they start to plot to kill Jesus, so he decides it’s time to move on. Matthew then tells us how all that we have witnessed was for told by the prophet Isaiah. The last sentence Matthew recites from Isaiah says, “All the world will find hope in his name”. I love that . All the world will find hope in his name. ALL, WORLD, HOPE. Awesome.

One more point. I find it very interesting that Jeus spent a lot of what I call his “angry” time directed at the religious leaders of the day. Religion is such a nasty word. And I find it disheartening that we have turned Christianity into a religion. I wonder how God feels about some of the “religious” leaders of today?

 

Shalom..

What are you really trying to say Batman?

I have waited as long as I could……Here we go.

Well I finally got the email that threw me over the line. And I will offend many people with what I am about to say, so for that I am sorry. Here we go…..I am so sick and tired of getting all of these anti Obama emails from people who call themselves christians. I actually question the fact they they truly understand what a Christian is or should be. This is ridiculous. SO here are my thoughts on a few of the points that have been tossed into my in box.

1. Obama is a muslim and how could we forget what muslims have done to our country.

Where do I start. The man has said he is a christian. Now, I would lie to you if I said I did not question the teaching that he was sitting under. I saw the same video and thought the same things. But that was one video. There may be two more, or five hundred more. I do not know. But I know that Obama has said he believes in God and Jesus is the son of God. That is from his mouth.  I believe him, he has done nothing to make me believe other wise. Now others around him may have, but he has not. Are you judged by your actions or the actions of the people you may know. Because I know some of the people who have sent me these emails and if we judge based on acquaintances then there are a lot of gays, adulterous, abortion supporting people sending me rhetoric about how Obama is not a Christian and is a muslim.

The second part of this is “how could we forget what muslims have done to this country?” Are you serious. You bring this to the table? Do I need to remind this great country what “christians” have done to the world? Ever hear of the crusades?  How about the Holocaust? If my history recollection is correct, weren’t these two atrocities led by Christians? Christianity is damaged more by “christians” daily than any muslim has ever dreamed of doing. We as a nation have hijacked a beautiful revolution and turned it into some kind of sickening religion where people are excluded for being different. We decide who is in favor and loved by God and who is also damned to hell. I don’t know what Bible these people are reading, but it can’t be the one I read. I am sick sick and even more sick of hearing about what muslims have done. Do you really think that God favors the good old U.S.A. over any other nation? Our nation that his so careless with our resources it is embarrassing some times to be an american.  Our nation that spends more on war, death, and destruction than health care, feeding the hungry, and giving the thirsty something to drink? Come on people. Wake up. The Bible says we will reap what we sow, and as Jesus cried for Jerusalem because they did not see what was coming, I too sometimes cry for America because we cannot see what is coming. When the debt is collected and we are held accountable I am relying heavy on the grace of God.

2. How can we support a leader who supports abortion?

First, I am NOT PRO ABORTION. NOT PRO ABORTION. I believe it is a horrible thing that happens. I believe it is a tragic event that takes place a lot of times because no one has taken the time to invest in these womens lives. I hate abortion. I hate abortion almost as much as I hate war. That being said, how can you be so against a candidate that supports abortion, but support one who supports war. People die when a woman has an abortion. People die when we drop bombs on schools thinking they are a weapons manufacturing facility. Death is death. And killing is killing. It does not matter how you package it. A child does not have a voice in an abortion. Neither does a child who dies because their house is destroyed by a bomb and it’s considered collateral damage. You will never convince me that there is a difference in the two. Both are wretched and horrible, and I support neither one.  Things that make you go hum…..

Point two on abortion. And I’ll make this quick. The same people who are saying that it is OK for the government to tell someone what they can do with their body are crying about a government that can tell them what to do with their money. Oh I see. It’s OK for the government to tell us we cannot have abortions, but when a candidate wants to share the wealth, “Hell no, our government can’t tell me how to spend my money”. Give me a break.

Maybe I will dive into some others later, or maybe I won’t. But I needed to get that off of my chest.

Expelled…………

  SoI just finished watching Expelled. Anyone else seen this? I am not sure what to think at the moment. I am trying to take it all in and process it a bit. It was a bit of a little information overload, but very interesting indeed. One thing that sticks out right now is how dangerous Darwinism can be. I never thought of it as dangerous per say. I thought it was a difference of opinion. But when you look at the similarities between Darwinism and the whole Nazi rule it is kind of disturbing. Anyways I am all for freedom of speech and thought. And I am all about science. I’m not saying evolution didn’t happen, but I do believe that something very intelligent, like God the father, created the first living organism. Now from there, who knows. Another thing that sticks out is how angry the people who were totally against intelligent design were. What’s up with that? Are they really that miserable? Maybe I would be to if I thought this one life that I have was it, that there was no other place to spend eternity. Who knows.

Shalom…

Youth worship leader by night, Truant officer by day!!!

                                                             There they were. Three kids. One on a skateboard, one walking slowly with mirror covered sunglasses, and one twirling an unlit camel in his hand. And there we were. On our way to lunch. Homemade Italian chicken soup and A and W root beer awaiting our arrival. I turn to Steve and ask him if these guys should be in school. He smirks and tells me to watch this. We pull over and Steve calls the one twirling the camel over to the car. “Aren’t you suppose to be in school today?”. “Huh?” ask the boy. “School, what school do you go to?” asks Steve. “Williams, why?” he replies. Steve says, “We happen to be truancy officers for the county and we are gonna need to see some I.D.” “I don’t have one. I am suspended for skipping school” was his very angry reply. In fact he was getting really angry. Steve continued to push the kid almost to his breaking point and then began to laugh. The kid got a very confused look on his face, which in turn had me laughing as well. We explained that we were not truant officers and began to introduce ourselves, but he said a few rude things and walked away. He didn’t think it was funny. I did.

Matthew 11

There is a  story in Matthew 11 that I constantly go back to. John the Baptist who spent his life on the out skirts of town telling people about God and telling them to repent is now sitting in prison. This is the same John who not only prophesied about the coming of God to earth, Jesus, but also baptised him. After baptising him he witnessed the heavens open up and heard God speak about his favor on Jesus. So from the get go this guy has got more first hand info on Christ than any of us do. He has seen things that he knew were coming, come to life.  But now, he’s sitting in prison. And beginning to wonder what the heck is going on. See he believed, like others of that day, that Jesus was going to be a king that was going to bring about huge change, or liberation, by political and military power. He believed God was coming in with a bang. But instead, Jesus, who again he witnessed several miraculous things with, came in a very quiet and peaceful and loving manner. Instead of screaming how the wretched will be destroyed he healed the sick. Instead of destroying the evil rulers, he walked around preaching “blessed are the meek”. Not what John was expecting.

First point. How many times have you thought that you knew what God was doing, only to have it flipped flopped around so fast, quick, and painful that you completely lose site of what is really going on?

So John, sends his disciples to Jesus to ask him one question. “Are you the one we have been expecting?” Ok. Here’s the deal. Even John the baptist questioned Jesus. Questioned his own faith and was sending a messenger to basically say, “Ok, here’s the deal. I knew you were coming, I prepared you a way, ate crazy food and dressed really funny but now I am sitting here rotting in prison and I kinda feel like either one, I got a bum deal or two, you ‘re not who I thought you were”.

Point two, how many times have we questioned God?

Jesus goes on to tell the messengers, “go and tell John what you have witnessed” and assures them that “blessed are those who understand what is afoot and stay on My narrow path”. He then decides to tell the crowd around him about who John the baptist really was. There was probably a huge misunderstanding about who he was among the religious leaders. And in telling them about who John was, he was then able to transition into telling them about who he must be as well. The savior of the world, the Prince of Peace.

One more thing about this chapter. Jesus says to the people that basically they cannot be pleased. He points out that when John was doing his thing they called him crazy. And now that Jesus is doing his thing they believe he’s a drunk sinner. He ends the conversation with this statement, “wisdom will be vindicated by her actions, not by your opinions”. Brilliant.

 

Shalom….

Matthew Chapter 10

This chapter happens to be what I refer to as a “loaded” chapter.  Jesus sends “the twelve” out with instructions. He tells them to preach, “the kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. What does this mean? I have heard a lot of preaching in my day. I have heard a lot of people who preach that the kingdom is at hand. And I have heard a lot of preachers preach that the kingdom is at hand and forget to do the things that Jesus instructed to do after you preach the kingdom is at hand. It does no good to preach the kingdom is at hand and then walk away. you don’t tell hungry people that Jesus is the savior of the world, died for your sins, and wants you to go to heaven without handing him a sandwich do you? In fact, we should be feeding the hungry anyway. No agenda or strings attached. I’ll never forget when I was younger seeing this “Sunday dressed” preacher telling a beggar that Jesus loves him and if he just had faith, he would be provided for. Only to walk away. Are you kidding me? What message is that? I think this scripture holds a very valuable lesson as to what it takes to begin to be a disciple. To actually bring the kingdom of heaven here to earth. That’s our mission. Jesus is all about restoration and we are called to help in the restoration of all things. Hunger, sickness, disease, the environment, marriages, relationships, the list goes on. To preach the kingdom is at hand is to show the power of the kingdom here on earth.

We must be as “shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves”. Be smart but gentle. Jesus was all about the third way, which I’ll jump into sometime later. This describes Jesus perfectly to me. Smart as a whip but gentle but nonviolent. He was all about judo moves, Taking someones aggressive offensive move and flipping it around to where he had the power. Not literally, but figuratively. Always be thinking ahead, not letting anyone take advantage of you, but as peaceful as possible. Brilliant!

Oh, on other thing that stands out. He also warns us not to be doing his work to get rich. i wonder if I know anyone like that?

Shalom..