"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)

"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)

It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Crocodile Tears Over The Churches Coffin

"THERE IS A NOTION ABROAD that Christianity is on its last legs, or possibly already dead and just too weak to lie down.

This is confidently believed in Communist countries, and while spokesmen for the West are too polite to say so, one can hardly escape the feeling that they too believe the demise of the church to be a certain if embarrassing fact, the chief proof of her death being her failure to provide leadership for the world just when it needs it most.

Let me employ a pair of mixed and battered but still useful clichés and say that those who have come to bury the faith of our fathers have reckoned without the host. Just as Jesus Christ was once buried away with the full expectation that He had been gotten rid of, so His church has been laid to rest times without number; and as He disconcerted His enemies by rising from the dead so the church has confounded hers by springing again to vigorous life after all the obsequies had been performed over her coffin and the crocodile tears had been shed at her grave."

A. W. Tozer

Not Lonely Nor Saintly?

"The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful "adjustment" to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints."

A W. Tozer

Lord Promoted, Self Neglected

"The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Saviour glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk."

A.W. Tozer

Loneliness Is So Few Share Your Inner Experiences

"The pain of loneliness arises from the constitution of our nature. God made us for each other. The desire for human companionship is completely natural and right. The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His Godgiven instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone."

A.W. Tozer

Walk Away From The Christian Crowd?

"There are times when to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our life we must walk alone, which goes contrary to our natural inclination. Sometimes we must walk away from the crowd, even the Christian crowd."

A.W. Tozer

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Murder The Peace Keepers

"In sixteenth—century Holland, the Mennonites were outlawed and, when caught, often executed. One of them, Dirk Willens, was being chased across an icefield when his pursuer broke through and fell in. In response to his cries for help, Willens returned and saved him from the waters. The pursuer was grateful and astonished that he would do such a thing but nevertheless arrested him, as he thought it his duty to do. A few days later Willens was executed by being burned at the stake in the town of Asperen. It was precisely his Christlikeness that brought on his execution."

(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

Crazy For Not Loving Earthly Things.

"... if we do not treasure earthly goods we must be prepared to be treated as more or less crazy. This is also true if we escaoe the delusions if responsibility and so are not governable by the opinions of those around us, even though we respect them in love."

(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

We Fear People Speaking Openly

"There us very little time and occasion for openness in most of our gatherings because we fear it. We think it may lead to confrontation, anger, and divisiveness. We are not open because we fear what others  will think of us and do to us."

(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

Pretty Words Faith And Pretty Words Scriptures

".... the beliefs we actually hold concerning reality.....  Lack of confidence in the Kingdom will force us to take the "pretty words" reading of the words of scripture. Many people simply put all of the scriptures and even religion as a whole in that category. Thus George Santayana once described religion as only "a lyric cry in the business of Life," a brief indulging in pleasant feelings.

The story is told of a man who lost his composure and cursed in the presence of his pastor. After an embarrassed silence, he looks sheepishly at the pastor and said, "Oh, it's all right, Pastor. I cuss a little and you pray a little, but neither one of us means anything by it."
The challenge to our faith in the kingdom is to mean something by our talk of it"

(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

When Its About Legacy

"Fund-raisers know that it is much easier nowadays to get someone to build a building for some social institution, such as a hospital or college, than it is to get them to endow the maintenance on a building You can name the building after the contributors or their family, or at least put up a plaque with their name upon it. But you can't do that for the maintenance of the building; no one seems to want their name on a mop or a broom."

(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

Friday, November 17, 2017

It Costs Us Everything We Have

"The economy of the Kingdom of God is quite simple. Every new step into the Kingdom costs us everything we have gained to date. Every time we cross a new threshold, it costs us everything we now have. Every new step may cost us all the reputation and security we have accumulated up to that point. It costs us our life. A disciple is a follower, an acolyte, a student, an apprentice. A disciple of Jesus is always ready to take the next step with Him. If there is anything that characterizes Christian maturity, it is the willingness to become a beginner again for Jesus Christ. It is the willingness to put our hand in His hand and say, “I’m scared to death, but I’ll go with you. You’re the Pearl of great price.”

~ John Wimber

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Starved Of Silence

“We live, in fact, In a world starved for solitude, silence, and privacy: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.”

- C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We Feel The World Through Our Skin

"Our skin is us to others. It’s what they see, and since our skin is able to bend and move, tighten and loosen, it is able to communicate hundreds of unique emotions, feelings, and thoughts. You can’t hide your skin. Most of our nerve endings are in our skin, so what happens to our flesh is usually obvious to someone watching us. We feel the world through our skin, and our flesh is the front door to our emotions.

(Hugh Halter. Flesh)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

It's Him, Not The Liturgies

“I'm extremely concerned that we've become experts at the activities of church - to the point that we can do them without God. No matter what our favorite emphasis might be: worship, the gifts, making disciples, the lost, the poor, social justice, liturgy, unity, theology.... There's one thing that’s vastly more important than all of those activities combined – it’s Him. Intimate relationship with Him; with the Father who is rich in mercy and loves us with a great and lavish love.”

~ Tom Zawacki

Friday, November 10, 2017

Go Home From Church

"Every day people go to church trying to substitute or compensate for not responding to the situations of their lives as they require. People walk into church thinking they are living a spiritual life when what they need to do is leave and go home, and start sensibly addressing the broken parts of their lives that are hurting others."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Religion As Bargaining With God?

"Religion has always been an avenue that people have used to bargain for God’s blessing. If we do our part, we think that God will do his part and grant us our desires. The world can sometimes seem like a random and frightening place. People turn to God and religion in hope of finding some measure of security, protection, and favor. I get that.

However, the notion of pleasing or obeying God in order to gain favorable life circumstances as “God’s blessing” is false. God is not going to change the fact that the world is characterized by impermanence.....

The reason why people are so caught up with seeking favor from God is that they wrongly assume that peace and happiness has something to do with better life circumstances,......"

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge )

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Church Of Last Hope

I fear we live in a similar time. Our culture is in danger of forgetting that God exists.

But God’s intention was that the church would be the sign that would help people never to forget. This is why some people talk about the church being “the hope of the world.” Technically, the church isn’t the hope of the world – Christ is (Col.1:27). But the church is the sign, the last hope for a world suffering from spiritual amnesia, saying “God exists.”

Michael  Frost. Australia

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Even Terrorists Love Their Own

" Loving those who love us and lavishing care and honor on those of our own group is something that traitorous oppressors, the mafia, and terrorists do. How then, could that serve to distinguish the goodness of someone born into God's family or the presence of a different kind of reality of life?
(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

Just Give Me The Bullet

"Laziness was another “mistake” I made on the path. Most people want a magic bullet. They are not truly willing to do their own personal work, and would prefer someone just give them the answer. They are hoping for a formula that promises that if they do ‘A’ then ‘B’ will happen."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

The Burning Rubber Of Fundamentalism

"In my case, I left Christian fundamentalism behind but managed to create a different fundamentalism around whatever my new and improved understanding of God became. During one season I even became a Universalist fundamentalist – “God loves everyone . . . dammit! Maybe if you would get your head out of your religious ass, you would realize this!” In other words, each step of my journey became the new “it” or standard that I judged others by. Essentially I poured concrete over my latest epiphany, and it became the new religion. I wasn’t necessarily nasty or belligerent about it but there was a certain insistence, silent pride, and arrogance to it......

It’s no secret that any person who feels led astray and betrayed by their religion is likely to become its biggest critic. A person lives many years under the oppression of religion. In reaction to this, they over-correct and become an Atheist. There are lots of options between a hideous concept of God and concluding there is no God at all, but when you over-correct, you skid by all the stuff in the middle."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Just Peel The Potato Spirituality

"Spiritual living is not thinking about God while peeling a potato. Just peel the potato, and know that this is spiritual. God and life are inseparable."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Practicing Quiet Noncooperation With Organized Religion

"You must now take full responsibility for your spiritual journey. Perhaps you feel you gave too many years of your life away in vain to religion. Don’t make the mistake of giving away more years in your bitterness. You have to move on. Stop railing against religion. It will keep you stalled on your spiritual journey, and feed your ego’s need to feel superior. Your ego is sneaky and would like nothing more than to distract you from your true Self by convincing you to forge an identity of being super spiritual or anti-religion. Instead, practice simple avoidance or quiet noncooperation with organized religion, but don’t waste time or energy being oppositional to it."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Questiong Your Leader Is Like Questioning God?

"It is a common characteristic of an abusive church or religious group to have an authoritarian and control-oriented style of leadership. The leader is typically dogmatic, self-confident, arrogant, and is the spiritual focal point in the lives of his followers. The leader assumes he is more spiritually in tune with God than anyone else. To members of this type of church or group, questioning the leader is the equivalent of questioning God."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Breakinf Free Of Religion Is A Difficult Thing

"Breaking free from religion is one of the most difficult things a person will ever do. It involves standing on your own two feet, taking responsibility for your spiritual journey, and escaping the groupthink mentality, which is the assumption that something must be true just because a group of people believe it and no one wants to rock the boat by questioning it."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

No Subtracting Abything To Have Relationship With God?

"The premise that we have to get somewhere, achieve something, change something, improve something, add something, subtract something in order to have relationship with God isn’t true."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Not Hired To Preach Grace?

“It's a great difficulty for leaders to preach grace when their churches have employed them to administer the law.”
~ Phil Drysdale

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Stop Putting Thing Over

"..... when I look back reflectively I realize that I contributed to the problem by making the following mistakes:

Putting church over community.
Putting orthodoxy over love.
Putting certainty over wonder.
Putting teaching over conversation. Putting polished over real.
Putting answers over questions.
Putting membership over friendship. Putting Christianity over Christ.
Putting knowledge over action.
Putting style over substance.
Putting appearance over authenticity. Putting functionality over beauty.
Putting religion over spirituality.
Putting numbers over individuals.
Putting holiness over humanity.
Putting accountability over acceptance. Putting Heaven over earth.
Putting meetings over relationships. Putting reputation over risk.
Putting charisma over compassion. Putting the Afterlife over the Herelife. Putting thinking over feeling.

Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge

Friday, October 27, 2017

No Place Where God Expects To Be worshipped

“There is no mountain, sacred place, or church building where God expects to be worshipped."

Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge

Jesus Freed From Religious Machinery

"Once you untangle Jesus from the religious machinery of Christianity, you discover a profound and inclusive significance of Jesus for all humankind and the journey of life. No person is excluded from that kind of transformation, regardless of one’s religious context. Every person has a religious context in which the significance of Jesus can be experienced because the Truth of Jesus is not bound to any particular religious system. Jesus himself had a religious context (Judaism), which he both honored and critiqued."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Holy Spirit Does Not Develop Our Theology

"Being led by the spirit of Truth that is inside you is not about constructing theology, but about living and being in a whole and complete relationship with yourself, God, others, and life. The spirit of Truth inside you is not there to lead you to correct concepts and ideas about God, but is there to guide you into the same truth that Jesus lived, expressed, and was."

Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Expensive Sheep Sheds

"My heart is one with the body of Christ no matter where or how or why they gather, but this never hinders me from recognizing the seriousness of the errors of the institutional church approach. I'm not into isolationism, but I'm also not at peace with a system that has marginalized Jesus, usurped His headship, turned the body into passive spectators, robbed believers of billions of dollars to build expensive sheep sheds, and a leadership that lord's it over God's flock."
- Tom Sparks

How We Decide Is As Important As The Outcome

"Deciding by consensus simply requires belief that unity, love, communication, and participation are more important in the Christian scheme of things than quick, easy decisions. It requires the understanding that, ultimately, the process is as important as the outcome. How we treat each other as we make decisions together is as important as what we actually decide."

- Christian Smith

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Religion Sends People Off To Find God

"Religion often implies that one meets God atop a mountain or in a temple. Still today, people often refer to a church building as the “House of God.” But Joshua ben Adam (Jesus) taught that we meet God in one another. God’s spirit comes to expression in people, especially ordinary people doing ordinary things. Religion often sends people out to find God in “sacred things” – a certain place or day, religious gatherings, rituals, and experiences, or in the presence of religious clerics or spiritual gurus. And yet, Joshua ben Adam lived and taught that the living image of God is on display in everyday life in and through us and our expressions of compassion, love, care, and friendship with one another."

Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge

A Better Jesus Than Christianity's Jesus?

"There was a historical Jesus before institutional Christianity got a hold of him and did their extreme makeover. He was a much better Jesus than the one Christianity produced."

Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Culture And Money

"True communication between cultures is a chancy thing especially where money is involved."

(Moritz Thomsen. The Saddest Pleasure: A Jorney On Two Rivers.)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Christians Don't Own Jesus

(There is a religion-free Jesus who belongs to all of humankind. Christianity does not own or have first rights to Jesus. His truth has universal significance. It’s often the case that you have to disentangle Jesus from institutional Christianity in order to uncover his Truth."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

You Are Not Any Smarter.

"Be humble. In your enlightenment you gained nothing, you attained nothing. You only saw the way things are and always have been, and will be."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bad Anger

"But there is nothing that can be done with anger that cannot be done better without it. The sense of self-righteousness that comes with our anger simply provokes more anger and self-righteousness on the other side."

~ Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Jesus Would Love The Nones

"If Jesus were walking our patch of planet earth today, he would be paying extra special attention to the “Nones.” They would feel as though he understands them. His approach to them would make the religious insiders nervous. Around him, they would feel like insiders, not outsiders. And soon, they would be loving him."

~ Ken Wilson

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I'll Stay Where You Want Me To Go

"Stay in Jerusalem" Jesus. Sometimes it's easier to "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord" than "I'll stay where you want me to stay"

(Leonard Sweet)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Take Peace With You Into Each Moment

"Both the enlightened and ignorant person has difficulties and hardships. The difference is that the ignorant person is attached to their circumstances for peace, happiness, and well-being and the enlightened person is not. Which is easier – striving 24/7 to get your life to line up the way you want it, or not being attached to a preference of how it must be?

You think that your peace, well-being, and happiness has something to do with your life lining up. That’s your spiritual ignorance. Wouldn’t it be better to take peace, well-being, and happiness into each moment, whatever that moment holds?'

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

You Are Spiritual Enough

"There is nothing to insert into your life to make it more spiritual. There is only the need for you to dissolve the line between “sacred” and “secular.” There is no such line; we just made it up in our head. God is inseparable from every moment of life and living."
(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Life Has Pain

"The human experience involves pain. That’s the way that is. If you cut your hand open while slicing an onion, there will be pain. No amount of transformation or enlightenment is ever going to change this. If you lose a loved one, there will be emotional or psychological pain. No amount of transformation or enlightenment is ever going to change this. If a close friend or spouse betrays you, it will hurt. No amount of transformation or enlightenment is ever going to change this."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Pretty Little Spirit?

‎"When the Holy Spirit shows up, He doesn't come to sit in the back room and behave Himself."

~ Randy Clark

Unzipped by God

"Our struggle with sin is so deep that it was not enough for God to forgive us, so he also unzipped us and got inside of us by his Spirit." 

(Paul David Tripp)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Things Change. That’s It!

"...... all things are characterized by impermanence and subject to change. Most people have to work through a lot of disappointment, suffering, and heartache to get to that realization, but once it happens, it is a profound shift in how we perceive reality and experience life.:

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

A Walking Titanic

"Likewise, you have a lifetime of experiences, circumstances, conditions, and choices, which makes you a Titanic-sized ship of habit energy that cannot be turned around on a dime. Your daily choices and responses are governed by deeply ingrained ways of thinking and being. You have a fixed and habitual mode of perceiving and understanding the world, and old habits die hard."

(Jim Palmer. Notes From Over The Edge)

Hell Is Earth

"Hell is a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement and where everyone has a grievance."

~ C.S. Lewis

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Worship The Strongest Thing In The World?

"It is only by believing in God that we can criticize the Government. Once abolish God, and the Government becomes God. The truth is that irreligion is the opium of the people. Wherever the people do not believe in something beyond the world, they will worship the world. But, above all, they worship the strongest thing in the world."

G. K. Chesterton,
Christendom in Dublin

You Stood

"You did not bear the shame
You resisted
Sacrificing your life
For Freedom, Justice and Honor"

From the German Resistance Memorial, Berlin