Monday, January 28, 2008

G: And so what happens Jeff is that the box, or the framework in which your allowed to operate in becomes increasingly smaller... at an exponential rate. It happened long ago in the work force, and we all recognized it then. We created managers who could problem solve for people under them, staggered pay, and staggered lines of authority. No one thought much of it then. You have people right now who are 3 times older than you, and you're solving their issues - no?
J: Yeah for sure
G: And these people don't necessarily have any less of an education, are not necessarily dumber - they just have been robbed of the authority to think.
G: Christian theology has done a good job of shrinking the box in which you operate. Your theology dictates your operational playing field, and pretty soon options that are fully possibilities from a different vantage point, are out of your view because you've shrunk the box. Static theology traps us into believing what God did rather than what God is doing. We build rules and those rules determine how we think, talk and problem solve.
J: Ya I'm gonna need an example....
G: Let's take a really practical one. Your worship budget. You say people won't take care of the equipment you buy, so why bother spending the money to get it.
J: Yup
G: So you've just shrunk the box one small step - you're now in a smaller playing field because you don't think the money you've been entrusted with should be spent
G: And the list goes on. We can't afford position X so we assume we shouldn't hire the person; rather than thinking creatively on how we can compensate for their time
G: Static theology is safe - a Jesus who desecrates sacred bowls by filling them with wine, who says that (insert your least favourite person here) is your neighbour and you are to love them, who says that God's kingdom is not of this world; is not. You know I could go on.
If we place our trust in the metaphoric "peg of theology" we become like a dog tied to the leash. Running around and around the same spot, doing nothing but wearing down the grass of our lives.
And most of us don't ever see the box getting smaller, we never see our own creative capabilities getting smaller and smaller.
G: I encourage you to blow that box of theology right out. Get down to love. Love, hope and faith, but the greatest of all these is love. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.

Monday, January 21, 2008

100% Guilt Free Church

Closed eyes, big lines, I get so tempted just to let it ride sometimes. Looks good, tastes bad. Makes me wonder where I buried all the dreams I had.

I have a dream. It's simple really, a Guilt Free Church - could you imagine? I can. Guilt seems to be a product of fear, which seems to be the antithesis of Love. Because fear is such a broad term, let's break it down. Expectation - think hard enough about it, and I think in a lot of manner expectation can be caused by fear. Fear of failing produces unreal expectations, fear of failing God, fear of salvation, fear fear fear, guilt guilt guilt. And it's not of Love.

The overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians can have lives characterized more by guilt, than by grace. The hammer of obligation beats down in churches more than the bells of freedom. So what would it look like if we ran under the guise of a guilt free community? If we looked more at what God is providing for us in the immediate, than what he is not. If we stopped wanting to be at a 100% and rather said that hey, maybe God can use us at 50%.

And all I see is a less-good version, of a man I don't want to be. All I feel is you tying me down to something that just isn't real
And all I need is some truth, God help me, before the devil buries me.

A fear perspective would say that this would turn into a church of the lazy. Maybe. But I think the first reason people walk away from Christianity is they realize that the guilt of believing in a man in the sky is just not worth it. So they walk. And so should they.

can't do nothing if I can't do something my way, well I must be crazy if I follow every word you say. When the shit comes down you'll be the first to walk away. Call the police, coz I've lost control and I really want to see you bleed

I look to a new year, a new set of possibilities, a new move of God (maybe?), before getting away with 'ideals' which can so often be driven from a 'fear context', I have hope that I can 'keep the palm open' so-to-speak. I think everytime we act out of guilt, we close the palm of possibility (pop?) just a bit- to move from an open plane to a bit more of a cup, and eventually a fist, in which we punch people not driven by guilt (sorry I had to finish the sentence).

I do pray that this year could be a guilt free year. I think we only have one example of someone who has done it (hint: he wore sandals and liked wine), and if you looked at how he lived, the words he spoke, the actions he did tried to speak to the world that guilt is gone, nada, not needed. Was he effective in it? you tell me. I pray that this year, I could be a part of a new guilt free movement - I know I'll fail horribly, at times, but nonetheless - that's one of the flags I want to fly.


Friday, January 18, 2008


My friend Bob Jones says 2007 was the year of discontent. I say that is too light of a term - it was the “Trial of Discontent.” It was a year of trial or test and God was using discontent as the line of demarcation to see who would act, speak, prophesy, or move before He did. Discontent causes us to look elsewhere for fulfillment and it seemingly seizes control of our soul (mind, will, emotions). When discontent hits us, we cannot think, or perceive the way we used to. You see discontent can be a driving force and only those who have God’s agenda can overcome their own – it is one of the great prophetic tests. Discontent is a trial and many have been found, to use an Old Testament term, “wanting.” They spoke too soon, acted too soon, and/or prophesied too soon. Those choices always lead to pain.

-John Paul Jackson

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


"I don't reject your Christ, I love your Christ. It's just that so many of your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

"Two thousand years ago God started a revolt against the religion he started. So don't ever put it past God to cause a groundswell movement against churches and Christian institutions that bear his name. If he was willing to turn Judaism upside down, don't think for a moment our institutions are safe from a divine revolt. I am convinced that even now there are multitudes of followers of Jesus Christ who are sick and tired of the church playing games and playing down the call of God. My travels confirm that the murmurings of revolution are everywhere. I am convinced that there is an uprising in the works and that no one less than God is behind this."
-Erwin McManus

Sunday, January 13, 2008


We played the flute but you did not dance

Our faith has somewhat of a persistent, graceful, defiant middle finger element about it
This week, that middle finger was able to be raised in dance.
I'm exhausted, I'm tired, I'm not in the mood.
I have problems, my stomach hurts, I'm confused.

Praise me, says God, and I will know that you love me.
Curse me, says God, and I will know that you love me.
Praise me or curse me
And I will know that you love me.

We have to hold to that truth that if God exists, if his word is actually true, then regardless of whether we believe it or not we can start by reading it, we can begin to sing it and hopefully we can then move to dance it. And for me, in my life, then I can start to believe it. In response to much of what I know to not be true, and know to be true -the best thing I can do is to start to dance, sometimes all I can do is raise my middle finger, but at least that's a start. It's an act, and one act can lead down any number of avenues.

To dance on troubles is not to ignore them, treat them lightly, but rather to put them in their place, under our feet. It's a proclamation, an active response.

This morning, driving to church with less than 3 hours sleep, an emotional rollercoaster of a 9 hour meeting the day prior, and no idea how Sunday morning was going to turn out; one of the last things I wanted to do was dance. But this infectious beat came on my ipod, and I realized, with tears on my cheek, that, that is what I must do.

"But we tend to forget the music of your spirit, and we turn our life into a gymnastic exercise;
We forget that in your arms, life is something to be danced, That your Holy Will is inconceivably creative and that all monotony and boredom is left to the old souls who play the wallflower in the joyfull ball of your love."

Make us live our life, not like a game of chess, where everymove is calculated, Not like a contest, where everything is difficult, Not like a math problem, which makes our head hurt; But like an endless celebration, where our meeting with you is contstantly new, Like a ball, like a dance, in the arms of your grace, in the unversal music of love.

Lord, ask us to dance."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

go fly a kite

As he stands on a rock, surrounded by a dusty plane, kite, like a wilted daisy flopped to his side, he sticks his finger out to the sky and hopes for the wind.
To the west he sees kids and adults running. Running is a generous verb - for by this point they're more limping. Confusing their own motion with a sign that the wind is behind them. Hopelessly throwing their kites to the sky, only to watch them come fluttering down when they run out of breath.
To the east he sees evidence of the wind. Like a mirage the grass bends slightly, giving way to small gusts. But he was told to stand there -for on that rock the kite would fly.
Some people, seeing the wind to the east try to chase it - but being so tired out from creating wind, their pace isn't fast enough and they make it to the east only to feel nothing but the dry, hot, static air.
He stands on that rock, feeling slightly less confident that anything will happen. But with the insight of other's follies, the case to move on is not too compelling.
He stands on the rock, surrounded by a dusty plane, kite like a wilted daisy flopped to his side - confused, anxious, patience forced only by knowledge.