Going Public with my Age

I come clean about my age. Read why it has taken me so long to do it.

peace symbolConfession

I am 61 years old. There, I’ve said it.

The Good

This means that I grew up in the ’60s. The music that I listened to in high school, my music, is now considered “classic” rock and is still being played today. We didn’t invent drugs, but we took their use to whole new level. And we also discovered that our parents and the authorities were wrong – smoking marijuana did not automatically lead to heroin addiction. We didn’t invent sex, but again, we took its use to whole new level. We didn’t invent being anti-war but we took its meaning to whole new level.

There are many things for which I am grateful that I was born in 1951.

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Grace vrs The Right Rules

We’ve all be told that we have to follow the rules. Do we have to follow God’s rules to get Him to like us?

Rules

Speed Limit 25 MPH SignI was brought up that there were rules that we HAD to follow. And I’ve always been fastidious in following the rules.

There were the 10 Commandments. There were the traffic rules. There were the rules that my Southern Baptist Grandfather made my Mother and Aunt follow when we visited his house. The school we attended had a unique set of rules.

Then I got “saved” and I got a new set of rules to replace the set I had had. Now, it seems that God had new expectations of me.

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. Jn 14:21 NIV

So if I am to show God I love Him, I have to obey Him – right? A friend of mine commented that “Patrick, we are just a bunch of control freaks who are looking for the right rules to follow.” That resonated with me.

Grace

Then I discovered GRACE!

Paul Zahl has the best definition of grace that I’ve found,

“What is grace? Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unloveable. It is being loved when you are the opposite of loveable. … Grace is one-way love.” [Grace in Practice p.36 affiliate link]

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Can Christians say “Ass?”

Can Christians say “ass?”

Singles Camping

I recent went on a camping trip with a bunch of my mostly Christian friends. We had an awesome time together.

One day I chose to wear a tee-shirt that some good friends had given me from one of their favorite coffee shops Bad Ass Coffee.

Bad Ass Coffee T-Shirt

 

Controversy

To say this generated some “discussion” would be accurate. Some brought up the Ephesians 4:29 Bible verse:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

It is part of the body; it is also an animal – that happens to be referenced in the Bible. There is also society of clean thinkers called the Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles which has “ass” as part of their code-words.

Question

Can Christians say “ass?” Is my tee-shirt inappropriate? What do you think?

 

To Be Known

A substitute preacher gives a profound message.

Our deepest desire & our deepest fear

Usually, pastors will take a few weeks off during the Summer. To fill their pulpits in their absence, they get a substitute speaker.

This “substitute” preacher gives a message that blew me away. (it is 33 minutes and you’ll be glad you spent on it)

Known and Loved | Jono Linebaugh from Coral Ridge | LIBERATE on Vimeo.

I listened to it twice today. I’ll probably listen to it some more later this week.

Yes – it’s that good.

What did you think?

Stuff

How much “stuff” do we just accumulate?

Where does this all come from?

How much “stuff” do we just accumulate?

shelves full of "stuff"
Not a pretty sight.

Sometimes I buy something, with great intentions of how I will use it, and yet … it never gets used.

Solution

The only solution I’ve found has been to either give it away to your local thrift store or to just toss it in the trash.

Tough love? Maybe, but it has worked for me.

What have you done when you’ve reached your “there’s too much” breaking-point?

On The Bench

What do we do when our “normal” routine gets interrupted?

Waiting

Have you ever had something side line you from your normal routine? Something like:

  • An extended illness
  • A car “challenge” that left you without transportation
  • Losing your job
  • Being dumped by your significant other

Our routine is interrupted; our lives are thrown out of sync.

Olln Hall Bench
Used under CC-by-nc-sa permission.

This Summer

This is kind of how I feel this Summer. I’m not where I was. I’m not were I had planned to be. But here I am.

So what can I do?

 

Redeem The Time

We can make good use of this time. We can be productive. The key is to be creative.

So, what I’ve done is to get very involved. I’ve stepped up my service in a number of areas. I’m serving a whole lot more in almost every organization to which I belong. I’ve gone to two, sometimes three, events almost every weekend. I’m continuing to be sensitive to when God speaks into my life. In the mean time, I’m having fun.

Question

Have you had a time when your “normal” was interrupted? What did you do?

 

Facing Fear

The Scream by by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch

Fears

We all have them.

Some we know about, others we discover as we go along.

They say that the most common fear is the fear of getting up in front of a group and speaking. Others are afraid of flying. Some are afraid of groups of people; others are afraid of being totally alone. I know some people are afraid of trying to do new things on their computer.

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The Real Meaning of Christmas

It’s a New Season

My divorce was final this week. It’s sort of a yipee.

I’m glad that I’m no longer in the seperated-status limbo. I can now get on with my life back as a single. I have started going to singles events like those sponsored by Echo Ministries. They attract a really amazing group of folks looking to grow in their walk and have fun too. I’m also getting more involved in service in other organizations with which I am involved. I’m becoming more active with folks with whom I’m already familiar.

The Christmas Hub-Bub

It’s easy to get tied up into all the activities of Christmas. There are parties, concerts, get togethers, drop ins, etc, etc, etc.

But I think the Charles Shultz character, Linus, does an excellent job of describing the real meaning of Christmas.

The Reason for the Season

With all the activity, it’s easy to forget, Jesus is the real reason for the season. I keep myself grounded in The Word and my prayer and meditation.

What do you do to keep your focus on Jesus?