"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).

Monday, July 6, 2015

When Our New Thing Becomes The Old Thing

"As institutions age they tend to harden into intransigent systems and displace the simplicity of life in Christ for their own needs. Our two-thousand-year-old experiment proves that whenever we convey the life of the Spirit to an institutional arrangement, the institution wins—not always quickly, but eventually.

While I’m grateful for the good they have accomplished they don’t seem to be able to sustain a community of love nor display an accurate reflection of God’s character.

How many congregations, mission groups, and Bible studies began as a small group of people in a home burned out on the rigidity of their previous group, hopeful for a better reflection of his life and love? Soon they grow into the very organization they had fled with the hope that this time all will go well because they have better people in charge. What they don’t realize is that organizational needs shape its leaders, not the other way around. Many start out well intentioned, hoping to reform the institution and bring it back in line with the priorities of Jesus. That effort is usually short-lived as the needs of the institution to protect the influence and resources of the group require greater control in the hands of fewer people. The simplicity of loving one another will eventually get swallowed up in the process no matter how hard we try to resist. In the end, our institutions end up just like everyone else’s."

( Finding Church. Wayne Jacobsen )

Wouldn't One Religion Be Different?

"During my first trip to Israel, I was a little put off by some of the people on our pastor’s tour who were trying to convert our Jewish guide, Abraham. They kept making snide asides to him as to why he wouldn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah. On the last day we stood by the bus as we were waiting for others to bring their bags from the hotel. I asked him if he had been offended by some of the things said to him on this trip. He passed it off with a wave. “Not at all,”he answered. “I’ve been doing this for twenty years. Everyone tries to convert me to their religion—Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, Reformed Jews, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Muslims—everyone.”Then he looked up at me with a smile. “Would you like to know why none of them convince me?”“I would!”I replied. “Come with me,”he said as he led me around the front of the bus and onto the edge of the road. “Do you see that building down there with the Star of David on it?”“Yes.”“That’s ours.”“Do you see that steeple with the cross on it across the way?”I nodded. “That’s yours.”And then he pointed me toward the dome of a mosque on a hillside not far away. I nodded. “That’s theirs.”I smiled trying to imagine what he’d say next. “Take off the Star of David, the cross, and the dome, and underneath aren’t they really all the same thing? You would think if one of us were serving the Living God, it would look different.”He was right. Christianity doesn’t look any different from the outside."
(Finding Church. Wayne Jacobsen )

Monday, June 29, 2015

Unlearning.... More Than Learning

"Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place."

Good Hearted People Or Leadership?

"I trust good-hearted people listening to Jesus more than I trust any hierarchy whose perspective is so easily skewed by the needs of their institution orthe realities that let them hold on to power. The historic heresies have not arisen from simple people following Jesus, but from someone trying to gain a large following."
- Wayne Jacobsen

Suffering Beautiful People.......

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
(Elisabeth Kubler—Ross)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

It's My Journey.

"I think it's my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may." (Leonard Nimoy)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Poverty is like..........

"Living Poor is like being sentenced to exist in a stormy sea in a battered canoe, requiring all your strength simply to keep afloat; there is never any question of reaching a destination. True poverty is a state of perpetual crisis, and one wave just a little bigger or coming from an unexpected direction can and usually does wreck things."

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

Burn Down The Old One

"l was frightened but exhilarated. I had been only four years in the country but I had seen enough to hate the government and its timidities and in-efficiencies, the corruption of the police, and the shameless way the people were raped by the ruling families. I hoped that it was finally happening, that the whole poisonous and feudal system that enslaved the country would come crashing down. I had always dimly felt that when the people of Ecuador would gather together to topple the ever-changing but identical regimes that kept them slaves, that the terror would begin among the wild free Negroes of the coast, those men of spontaneity, vengeance, and emotion. If in their ignorance and their passion they would be unable to construct a new and fairly decent social system, at least they were capable of burning down the old one."
( Moritz Thomsen. The Saddest Pleasure : A Journey On Two Rivers)

Loneliness

"I stand at the window feeling the real beginnings of loneliness, or rather, feeling the beginnings of a desperation that I had anticipated and come looking for.  (Moritz Thomsen. The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey On Two Rivers )

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

House Without A Planet

"What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" #Thoreau

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trust..... Bust

"There is no respect between the souls of two individuals if their minds can’t trust each other and there is no trust between them if their hearts can’t accept the truth of each other."
Anuj Somany

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Free From Becoming A "Somebody"

"... what it would be like to be free, free from the need to be spectacular, free from my addiction to people's applause, free from the burden of being a somebody."

(Jim Palmer. Divine Nobodies : Shedding Religion To Find God - And the unlikely people who help you.)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Little Papacy Style Leadership

"During the last thirty-five years or so I have had the privilege of traveling to many countries and observing the church and it's leadership. As a result, it is my firm conviction that there is too much autocracy in the leaders of the Christian community, in defiance of the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and not enough love and gentleness. Too many behave as if they believed not in the priesthood of all believers but in the papacy of all pastors." - John R. W. Stott

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Strangling Brennan Manning For This One.

When I get to heaven, I am going to find this man, and I am going to hug him in my sure fishermans grip, so hard, Brennan will beg God for My mercy.

"Recent studies have shown that the average congregation on a Sunday morning can tolerate only fifteen seconds of silence before someone feels compelled to break it with an announcement, a song, a prophecy, or whatever.

Ironically, the church itself often impedes our efforts to reach inward and upward toward God.

As Parker Palmer notes: "Too often the church is an enemy of our solitude. Too often the church is one more agent in the vast social conspiracy of togetherness and noise aimed at distracting us from encountering ourselves. The church keeps us busy on this cause or that, this committee or that, trying to provide meaning through motion until we get “burned out” instead and withdraw from the church’s life. Even in its core act of worship the church provides little space for the silent and solitary inward journey to occur (sometimes filling the available space with noisy exhortations to take that very journey!)."

When the glory of the transcendent God is not addressed, our focus shifts to human behavior, the cultivation of virtues and the extirpation of vices, the qualities of discipleship, and so on. Personal responsibility replaces personal response to God, and we become engrossed in our efforts to grow in holiness. Our primary concern becomes our spiritual, intellectual, and emotional well-being. When other Christians ask us if we are happy, we automatically respond in the affirmative or brush them off with a benevolent smile even if we are close to tears."

(Brennan Manning. Ruthless Trust )

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bible Whisky

"Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results."

(Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Divided Because Of Our Shepherds.

"The reason we don't see one flock today is because we have hundreds of thousands of would-be shepherds leading people to follow their mission, vision, or program. Jesus said we'd be one flock when we have one shepherd. As long as we have thousands of men and women claiming to lead on his behalf and ensuring loyalty to themselves and their program, we will find ourselves in conflict with God's goal to bring all things together in him."

- Wayne Jacobsen

Why Speak of Brokenness In The Past Tense?

"The worst thing we do as a church is that we like to talk about our brokenness in the past tense."

- Jamie The Very Worst Missionary

Religious Obligation Enforcers

"The undercurrent to a life of obligation is the belief that God is not endearing, and life in him is not engaging. Until we see that the life of Jesus is the most engaging invitation we’ve ever been extended, we won’t find our way into its joy. Knowing him will make all he wants for us an
irresistible reality."

- Wayne Jacobsen

Churching The Church Right Out Of Me.

“I guess the church just sort of churched the church out of me.” (youth)

(Josh Packard. Church Refugees)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

O Divine Madman

"Fourteenth-century mystic Catherine of Siena is one of three women who have been honored by Catholic Christianity as Doctor of the Church, because of the depth of her writings on the spiritual life. She often began her prayers, “O Divine Madman.” When this brilliant, fiery Italian woman was asked to describe the God of her journey, she whispered, “He is pazzo d’amore, ebro d’amore”—he is crazed with love, drunk with love."

(Brennan Manning. Ruthless Trust)

As Big As You Will Ever Get!

"You won, this time. But you are as big as you are ever going to get. And I’m still growing."

– Sir Edmund Hillary (to a picture of Mt. Everest after his first unsuccessful summit attempt)

Painless Music

"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain."
(Bob Marley)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Human Failure Is Only Sure Church Thing

"Human failure is the only sure thing that happens in church."
(Paul Russell)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Source...

"Much of my growth in the Christian faith has been provoked from places far outside the Christian church."
(Tony Kriz. Neighbors and Wisemen)

Friday, April 24, 2015

What The Sun Lights Up Willingly

But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain; what the sun lights up willingly;.."
(Poem: Daisies, by Mary Oliver)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

By Our Sweat Rather Than God's Provision

Second Agers are prone to get stuck on “by the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread,” (Gen 3:19) rather than “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory .” (Phil 4:19)

(Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wilderness Is A Fountain of Life.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

(John Muir)

Take Off Your Religious Work Boots

"When we get faith formidable, we take off our work boots and put on our dancing shoes . Then we begin to rock and roll the world."
(Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)

Rediscovered Jesus Springs

What is more foundational that all this talk about the church suffering from a lack  "leadership" and "vision".  Those are the easy things....

<blockquoye>"Those who desire holiness must learn and relearn to play with God. God-pleasing and Godplaying replace goal seeking and vision casting. Does your church life revolve around goals? Do you go through a vision-casting process every five years? Or do you seek to be quick to fall on your knees and spring fast on your feet to be the people of God in every walk of life? Participation in God’s nature is the true goal of human life"
(Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)
</blockquote>

Right or wrong, and not suggesting that making plans is evil, but for a long long time i have felt the real issue is not lack of vision, nor lack of leadership from people like me, or a lack of leadership toward me from others...

There is something deeper, more guttural we are not addressing with the bows and ribbons we are constantly playing with... Well the bows and ribbons I played with for 15 years.....  Anyway, How do you measure transformation? The only thing Jesus said is "by their fruit you will know them."   How do we lead, and vision cast a people who lost their "spring" and their "fall"? - that Leonard writes about...

If they have a living "spring",  "fall",  and "walk" my experience is they have no lack of vision and no need of my leadership.  
The book of Collosians may have the only answer. When the people are off track, there is immorality, false teaching, a loss of love for others and  for Jesus.... Paul's solution in Colossians was simple... to unfold a greater revelation of the person of Jesus.   The only one who gives "springs", fixes "springs", and invented "springs"... no reason to spring without him. Can't  help but "spring" with him....

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Problems We Have Or Problems We Are?

"Jesus didn’t come just to save us from problems we have, but from the problem we are." (Myron S. Augsburger)

My Mark Our Our Music?

"Transitioning from making my mark, to let us make music."
(Andy Rayner)

Learning to Dance With A Partner

"Whereas a First Ager discovers his or her song and learns to sing it in the world, a Second Ager learns to dance with a partner and to make music within a symphony of voices."

(Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Explaining Away God's Beauty

"Exuding a brisk air of professional enthusiasm and a suffocating spirit of hubris, I expostulated so brilliantly on the mystery of God that after one semester, there was no mystery left.
When I heard an elderly and saintly friar in the monastery comment, “The older I get, the less I understand about God,” I assumed that it was his sincere attempt at modesty. Secretly, however, I pitied his shallowness. Looking back now, I shudder at my “profundity"
(Brennan Manning. Ruthless Trust.)

The treasury of a people’s memory is found in their songs

"The treasury of a people’s memory is found in their songs. If we want to teach First Agers to play with God, to play in God’s Garden, to “wake up” and go out in mission into the world for service in the “playing field of life,” then we must teach them the songs of our faith, along with their narratives and metaphors. These are the songs that make the lips quiver and the spine shiver and turn acts of faith into acts of art."

( Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)

Scripture to Precious to Be Left To Biblical scholars

"Sacred scripture is too important to be left exclusively to biblical scholars. Theology is too vital to be consigned solely to the province of theologians. To explore the depths of the God who invites our trust, we need the artists and mystics."

(Brennan Manning. Ruthless Trust.)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wanting It To Be Something Other Than What It Is

"God has a way to nudge you into life.....To know this, God is at work in the world, He's at work in your life. If you don't see it right now, it's not because he is not doing it, it's because you want it to be something other than it is. And If you relax into this, and let it be what it is, he will lead you into a bigger space than you ever dreamed of, or would ever find on your own. "
 (Wayne Jacobsen​ The God Journey​ Podcast, April 17, 2005))

Thursday, April 16, 2015

tell the stories that prove that the life of faith can be lived in every place

"Meanwhile there is Jeremiah, and the people like him who keep showing up in our homes and communities and churches, who go beyond the boundaries of what is safe and comfortable, learn new languages, discover alien cultures, brave hostility and misunderstanding, and who have the scars and tell the stories that prove that the life of faith can be lived in every place and among all peoples— must be lived in every place, among all peoples."
-- Eugene Peterson, "Run with the Horses"

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Walking By A Different Vision

For you who walk a different path, differently.
As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Common Sense Of The Morning.

"It sounds plausible enough tonight, but wait until tomorrow. Wait for the common sense of the morning."

(H.G. Wells, The Time Machine)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Crowds Lie, Make Us Spectaculars And Slogans.

Sigh..................      "In crowds the truth is flattened to fit a slogan.... The crowd makes spectators of us, passive in the presence of excellence or beauty. The crowd makes consumers of us, inertly taking in whatever is pushed at us. As spectators and consumers the central and foundational elements of our being human— our ability to create, our drive to excel, our capacity to commune with God— atrophy.
(Eugene Peterson, "Run With the Horses)
Thanks Karl Ingersoll

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Be At War With Your Vives

"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors , and let each new year find you a better man."
(Benjamin Franklin)

Misunderstood For Long Peroids Of Time.

"Entrepreneurs must be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time. (Jeff Bezos. Amazon)

Creative Tension Between Teligion As Requirements and Religion as Transformation

"The relationship between grace and law is a central issue for almost anyone involved in religion. Basically, it is the creative tension between religion as requirements and religion as transformation. Is God's favor based on a performance principle (Law)? Or does religion work within an entirely different economy and equation? This is a necessary boxing match, but a match in which grace must win. When it doesn't, religion becomes moralistic, which is merely the ego's need for order and control. I am sorry to say, but this is most garden-variety religion. Real love of God or neighbor is much too dangerous.

In Romans and Galatians, Paul gives us sophisticated studies of the meaning, purpose, and limitations of law. He says its function is just to get us started, but it too often takes over. Yet Paul's brilliant analysis has had little effect on the continued Christian idealization of law, even though he makes it very clear: Laws can only give us information; they cannot give us transformation (Romans 3:20; 7:7-13)

__ Paul says, "Israel was looking for a righteousness derived from the law and yet it failed to achieve the purposes of the law. Why did they fail? Because they relied on being privately good instead of trusting in God for their goodness! In other words, they stumbled over the stumbling stone" (Romans 9:31-32). Law is a necessary stage, but if you stay there, Paul believes, it actually becomes a major obstacle to transformation into love and mercy. Law often frustrates the process of transformation by becoming an end in itself. It inoculates you from the real thing. Paul says that God gave us the law to show us that we can't obey the law! (See Romans 7:7-13 if you don't believe me!) In several contexts, Paul even says that the written law brings death, and only the Spirit can bring life (Romans 2:29, 7:5, 2 Corinthians 3:6). This man is religiously dangerous, but it did not take churches long to domesticate him.

Ironically, until people have had some level of inner God experience, there is no point in asking them to follow the ethical ideals of Jesus. It is largely a waste of time. Indeed, they will not be able to even understand their meaning and purpose. Religious requirements become the source of deeper anxiety. Humans quite simply don't have the power to obey any spiritual law, especially issues like forgiveness of enemies, nonviolence, self-emptying, humble use of power, and so on, except in and through union with God. The Spirit in me awakens the only power that can obey the law or know its true purpose.

(Richard Rohr. Grace and Law, Part I
Sunday, April 12, 2015)

Friday, April 10, 2015

God Speaks Through Asses So Be Humble

"This is one of my favorite Bible College stories.

He said, "Class you will forget almost everything I will teach you in here. So please remember this: that God spoke to Balaam though his ass, and he has been speaking through asses ever since. So, if God should choose to speak through you, you need not think too highly of yourself."
(Rick Mullins)

The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men.

"What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use —men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer."

(E.M. Bounds)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

There are two kinds of people in the world—those who live the adventure, and those who read about others’ adventures.

Two Kinds of People In the World.....
"My brother and I were about the same age and of the same upbringing. But whereas I came home from that trip (a Safari in East Africa) lucky to have all my ļ¬ngers and lots of stories, my brother had spent most of the trip reading a novel about adventures in Africa!
We both had a great time, but only one of us came home with stories to tell (and, obviously, I still do). There are two kinds of people in the world—those who live the adventure, and those who read about others’ adventures. I determined a long time ago that I wasn't going to be someone who only read about the adventures of others. I would live the kind of life others would want to read about."
(Journeys To Significance. Neil Cole)
(Journeys To Significance. Neil Cole)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Your Body is Worth It........

He takes it beyond sentimentality.

"The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God's kingdom.”

(N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)

Good Friday Wisdom

"2,000 years ago one man got nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be if everyone was nice to each other for a change."
(Douglas Adams)

Into The Mazes.

"So, come with me now, down the Way and into the mazes."

(Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No Burden no Loss

"Not everything we carry is a burden, nor is all we put down a loss."

(Andy Rayner)