Tag Archives: church

… and I cried tears mixed with blood.

I just needed to record this dream somewhere.

It takes place at my church. Most of the details are becoming blury, but I do remember that more and more people were coming to our church. However, within the leadership at the top, things were being handled like the mafia – you couldn’t get close to them and if you went against them you might get whacked.

For some reason people realized what was happening and suddenly rushed the church and were searching for the pastor. They were a violent / angry mob. Somehow I got into the leadership offices, and was searching for the pastor. When I found him he was crying and asked me if I was here to deliver him from this death.

I then remember becoming instantly broken-hearted and torn, I felt angry (but not violent like the mob) yet I also relized a DEEP NEED for mercy to be shown in that instant. I found myself leading him out and as I did so, I was weeping heavily crying tears mixed with blood.

–The End.

Sunday December 17, 2006 – 11:36am (CST)

The God of All Comfort

hummm….

Currently there is an uproar that our nation (and our world) is in right now when it comes to rights for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) people. I’m not even prepared to argue the pros and cons of the rights that they are fighting for: including Marriage, Hate-crime protection, and adoption rights; but I do want to address the topic from a standpoint that isn’t often heard:

What is the responsibility of the Church in regard to where things are today? Right now, much of the opposition for these changes in our laws and society is coming from Christian / Faith-based groups. However, I’m wondering if WE as the church are now reacting to the cries of GLBT people rather than responding the needs of hurting people that have been illigitimized and ignored for years.

What happens when we as the church DON’T comfort hurting people?

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. ” (NIV) 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Our God is the God of all comfort… as believers, he comforts us in all of the troubles of life… so that we can comfort others out of a personal understanding. I believe this to be a key part of our commission to the world… that we extend the love and comfort that God provides to a hurting people.

However, right or wrong, GLBT people have not been comforted (for the most part) by the church. Most of us have had the experience of ignoring something only to have it manifest in greater form later down the line. The fear, shame, and rejection that these people have faced in our society have forced them to organize, unite their individual power, and force their voices to be heard– by everyone.

It’s my belief that homosexuality stems from family and societal imbalances that as we grow up form in us a desire for the same sex. I believe that these are real and godly desires being expressed in ways that aren’t God’s intention for humanity. I believe that just as with anything else, we have a choice to act on those desires or not. But I also believe that finding healing and wholeness is a family and societal matter in much the same way that the issue originated.

When I read the Bible, I see God showing love and compassion for a hopelessly MESSED UP (read sinful) humanity… full of all kinds of situations that are less than his ideal for us. But just as we value our free-will, God upholds this gift in us but still gives us the option (through Jesus) to choose a different path– one leading to the original design. In his justice, he pays the price for sin through Jesus, and in his love he redeems us to our original design – the abundant, God-shaped life.

My hope right now is that we as the church take on the commission of compassion … that we be vigilant in offering hope and resources for two under-served groups: 1) Those who have same-sex desires, but believe change is possible or are seeking change and 2) for those who are self-identified as GLBT and are seeking to know Christ. I classify these groups differently even though some may fall into both categories. Jesus came to reconcile us to relationship with the Heavenly Father. If we’re going to stand in opposition of the rights that GLBT groups are fighting for, then we MUST provide alternatives and real support for those who these rights would benefit.

This isn’t a popular view-point, but it’s mine. One thing that I certainly have learned from the GLBT community is that it’s ok to be different and to speak your mind! (lol) So it’s my prayer that we begin to seriously consider how we can allow God to use us to reconcile relationships and restore people in the context of a society where GLBT isn’t going away anytime soon (at least not before Jesus’ return).

Agree or disagree, I hope to hear thoughtful response to any issues raised from this post. Thanks.

Friday March 10, 2006 – 01:23am (CST)

God is God

This has been a trying week… but in that a time to trust Him. Today as I was on my way to have my health checked, I was listening to this song.  In particular this line jumped out at me and brought light to my week: “…the questions without answers/ Come and paralyze the dancer …”

At the moment that I write this blog, there are many unanswered questions that challenge me greatly!  However, as I saught God in service today, he showed up and put everything in perspective– just as this song had been reminding me earlier today.  Check out the lyrics below.

“God Is God”
by Steven Curtis Chapman

And the pain falls like a curtain
On the things I once called certain
And I have to say the words I fear the most
I just don’t know

And the questions without answers
Come and paralyze the dancer
So I stand here on the stage afraid to move
Afraid to fall, oh, but fall I must
On this truth that my life has been formed from the dust

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God

And the sky begins to thunder
And I’m filled with awe and wonder
‘Til the only burning question that remains
Is who am I

Can I form a single mountain
Take the stars in hand and count them
Can I even take a breath without God giving it to me
He is first and last before all that has been
Beyond all that will pass

Oh, how great are the riches of His wisdom and knowledge
How unsearchable for to Him and through Him and from Him are all things

So let us worship before the throne
Of the One who is worthy of worship alone

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God

And that’s just it… IT’S TIME TO WORSHIP GOD!  I can only look at my situations and do so much about them, but God is God in everything and he is my everything.  So what worries could I have.

My health screening came back NEGATIVE!  I can rejoice in that!  God has sustained me this far… I can rejoice again in that!  I’ve been in worse situations than this… and have seen him deliver me out of them all… so I can keep on rejoicing in that!

I just began to worship and praise him in the service.  The whole congregation was overwhelmed in the Spirit of God.  lol… we tore up the church y’all!

So REJOICE in the Lord… and AGAIN I SAY REJOICE because GOD IS GOD!

the comment section is now open for testimonies and praise reports!

Sunday March 5, 2006 – 08:31pm (CST)

(Pentecostal) Church Vocabulary Lessons Here!

This is just some good fun… please comment and add your own words and phrases.

Church Vocabulary

1. Anointing: Used to describe any non-regular emotion (crying in the middle of a song when you forget the words, telling the church off (particularly when its over tithes and offering), doing the Olympic shout around the church (first one that hits the wall gets a white hanky tied around their neck!)

2. Trick of the Enemy: Used to describe anything that happens because you didn’t do what you were supposed to, like your car getting repossessed cause you didn’t pay the note, lights getting shut off cause you quit work to go on tour with the pastors choir, or your child repeating the first grade cause he missed the whole second semester to go on a 90 day/90 night fast and consecration.

3. Rhema Word: Any message from an out-of-town pastor or evangelist.

4. Prophetic Word: Same message from that out-of-town pastor, delivered 5 decibels louder, while the congregation is standing. Quiet organ music optional, but works better with silence.

5. Carnal: Used to describe a saint who goes to the movies. This term doesn’t apply if you rent the same movie from Blockbuster.

6. Didn’t God Move?: What saints say after a long service where the pastor doesn’t preach and they just shout the whole service.

7. Unlock Your Blessing: What preachers say after they’ve finished preaching, and they say you must give $50 to “unlock your blessing.” For a more dramatic effect, this offering can be started at $1,000 and worked down to $25.

8. He’ll Do It If You Let Him (followed by inaudible tongues): Round one of shouting; will begin in 5 minutes. Organist get ready.

9. We Got To Move On: What the preacher says when he wants shout time to start up again. Organist, turn up the volume on the Leslie.

10. We Have Time for One More Testimony: Not really, we’re just waiting on the pastor to come into service. If you’re called on during this one, when you hear clapping, just stop talking, cause the pastor has walked in and people are no longer interested in what God did for you.

11. We Can Never Pay for the Word: Get your checkbook out, the auction will begin omentarily! This phrase always comes before the offering is taken for the guest speaker.

12. God Has Been Dealing with Me on Some Issues: I’m still doing what I was doing before I got saved, only now I just put in an extra $5 in my offering when I do it.

13. Is He Worthy?: Of course He is; why ask a question like that.

14. Let Us Go To God in Our Own Way: This is what you say when they ask you to pray in church and you don’t know what to say.

15. Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready!!!: Don’t really know what this one means, but if you’re not careful, a shout could break out when you say it. It must be said three times to have real impact.

16. I Can’t Get No Help: Preachers say this when no one says amen in the spot they thought would get a lot of amens.

17. I’m Blessed and Highly Favored: Said when a fellow saint asks “how are you?” Memo to saints: you CAN be saved and answer “fine” when someone asks how are you.

18. Where The Spirit of The Lord is, There is liberty: Whenever you want to disrupt service and holler out when it’s quiet, use this statement to justify your behavior.

19. Get Ready To Go To The Next Level: This means the church will be hosting another revival in a few months.

20. Stand To Your Feet : This gives the illusion that the preacher is finished, but be prepared to stand up for at least 1/2 hour. May be cut to 15 minutes if the organist starts playing softly.

21. Give God a Shabach: Scream to the top of your lungs. Some church members may blow whistles and wave flags as well.

22. Every Head Bowed, Every Eye Closed: Quick! Everyone look around to see who’s getting saved again this week.

23. Secular: Any person, place, object or event that’s not in the church.

24. The “Yes Lord” Song: Signals the official end to shout time. Anyone still shouting when this song is over is considered to be “in self”.

25. In Self: Used to describe someone who acts alone in church. For example, someone who is shouting alone. Add two more people to this display and its called…

26. In The Spirit: When three people are doing the same thing in a church service at the same time.

27. Spirit of Confusion: When everyone is tired of those three people and another bunch of folks start doing something else. For example, three people shouting, and another three people start singing.

28. Demonic Spirit: Add a tongue-talker and a prophecy to the above act (all at the same time), and the preacher declares a demonic spirit.

29. Cast the Devil Out: The preacher is tired of this fiasco, and wants all of the above players to sit down.

30. All things must be done in decency and in order: Closing speech after casting the devil out. Everyone has crossed the line and must sit out two services before participating again.

31. Prayer Partner: Phone buddy. 5 minutes of prayer, 1 hour of church gossiping.

a few additions of my own:

32. Prayer Warrior: Anyone who prays really loud and for a really long time.

33. I’m Saved= “I pay my tithes”
I’m Saved Saved= “I pay my tithes and I volunteer time at the church”
I’m Saved Saved, Fire-baptized, Spirit-Filled, Anointed and Apointed= “all of the above and I can out do all y’all with my deepness”

34. “Is there a word from the Lord?”: Why do preacher’s ask that? I really means “I studied hard for this sermon so get excited!”

35. “I asked God what I should say to the people“: really means: I’m still trying to think of something deep to say.

36. “Mand of God” – This is usually said with a very strong tone, used to discribe the pastor or guest preacher and make it sound more spiritual than just saying “Man of God”

37. “Tarry for the Holy Ghost“: this ritual involves the most harsh and loud church members ganging up on anyone deemed not yet “baptized in the Holy Ghost” yelling in tongues and slapping the victim on the back until they spit up, pass out, or start yelling in tongues too.

38. “Backslider“: name given to any church member who’s absent without their name being on the “sick and shut-in” list.

39. “Come as you are” – means “yall know ya shouldn’t have worn those ‘street’ clothes to church… so come down to the front and repent or else!”

40. “Tomorrow is not promised” – somebody come down to the alter for prayer before I tell the ushers to hold the doors!

Bonus: “Ushers hold the doors!” — I know I preached too long but nobody is gettin’ outta here till somebody comes down to the front and gets saved again!

Sunday February 5, 2006 – 03:23am (CST)