Friday, November 30, 2012

Pondering Politics & The Prince of Peace

Call me a "socialist" if you will, but I prefer to believe I'm simply trying to "follow" Jesus in this broken world.

 "All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’" (Matthew 25:32-45 NIV)

 I believe in paying lots of different taxes, because I believe that as we improve the quality of life for the less fortunate, we improve the overall quality of life for everyone. And, in trying to follow Jesus, I want to be with the "sheep" and their Shepherd, and not a "goat"! I also believe folks like Jarvis, Gann and the "taxpayer" associations are nobody's savior but their own; greedy, self-centered "goats". If you're posting, sharing and ranting negatively over taxes and call yourself a Christian in the same breath, better take a good, long look in the mirror . . . there's probably a goat staring back!

da Moose who wants to be a sheep

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Follow Jesus?

The truth is, most people don't want to follow Jesus. They're afraid, lazy or just don't want to be bothered. Oh, and there are those too who believe only a real "nut case" would do that anyway. Discipleship is spending time, intimate time, with those who want to be "bothered". Otherwise, just be His love and light, wherever and to whomever, He'll take care of the rest. Our task is to simply and humbly obey. And yes, that's a very tall order for this cantankerous old Moose.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Alternative Story

The Impact of Alternative Story - I'm not peculiarly fond of Ivan Illich's philosophy or theology, but I do agree with him in this; that neither violent revolution nor simple gradual reform can change society, only an alternative story can do that. And the best way to start is by helping individuals tell a new, better alternative story in their own lives. Stories are powerful, for both good and bad. Oral histories are developed and passed on from one generation to the next, and they shape personality and culture. It's no wonder that primitive cultures and contemporary third world societies place great importance on "talking story". It is the place of authenticity, vulnerability and simple fellowship, where trust is born and souls are healed. For me personally, finding that story requires meeting the Author of the greater story that our individual ones are all part of. One of my favorite little gift books is "EPIC - the story God is telling" (Eldredge). The love another that Jesus commanded includes helping each other discover that better alternative story. Dr. Larry Crabb after two decades of psychological counseling realized that all the "methods" paled in the light of simply sharing vulnerably with another. He says if we all simply followed Jesus example all the professional counselors would be out of work! And that is what Jesus had in mind with His Church, His "Body". I meet regularly with a brother who is finalizing his doctorate in psychology with an emphasis in "narrative therapy". Yep, you got it, helping others change their story, turn in a poor one for a "new model". This is, after all, the work (grace-filled service) we can do for each other. As wounded but healed healers, we can one another each other toward discovering that better alternative life-giving story our loving Creator has for each of us. So go, find a friend or stranger, a quiet corner, and talk story. God is near and I suspect He'll be pleased to join you. da Moose }:-