Friday, October 31, 2008


I really enjoyed this flick the other night...worth a rent for a good man movie.

Native American political wisdom...LOL

An old Indian chief sat in his hut on the reservation, smoking a ceremonial pipe and eyeing two U. S. Government officials sent by the President to interview him. "Chief Two Eagles" asked one official, "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done.

"The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"

The Chief stared at the government officials for over a minute and then calmly replied, "When white man found the land, Indians were running it. No taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, women did all work, medicine man free, Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing, all night having sex."

Then the chief leaned back and smiled. "Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.

Viewing others with contempt...

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Luke 18:9-17

I want to end my relationship with the brand of Christianity that produces such heavy handed judgments and pronouncements as the kind that I have been receiving and reading from chrisitan brothers and sisters and pastors during this political season.

I do not believe its the spirit of Jesus...I think it's corrupt, deceptive, ugly, pessimistic, it's dark and filled with dusk, not dawn in its thinking.

I think its rooted in OT law, failures, types and shadows and not in NT accomplishments found in and through Christ. It uses language and methods that I find hard pressed to find in the way, truth and life of Jesus.

I believe this version of religion is at the very roots of our slide towards a Christ-less national experience. It cements our disdainful position in the eyes of our perplexed pre-faith communities as they look at the gospel Jesus and then listen to us, and gag.

I think is borders on a dark hue of fundamentalist induced mental illness that is preoccupied with destruction, evil and anger. It spawns and sparks the subculture of half cocked conspiracy theories, aliens and religious pulp fiction.

I think this stuff is the byproduct of the extreme end of the anti-study, anti-education, anti-thinking charismatic christianity. It's superstitious, rooted in fear and produces a bully like Christian subculture. It often presents itself as prophetic but in truth its abusive, phobic and guilty of chewing up sincere young minds and hearts.

My prayer is that the Lord would uproot this stuff out of my own heart first and foremost and empower me to live love in such a way, that the world would know that I am one of His disciples.

I am thankful for those of you who engage the issues, push back and forth, enjoy the serious work of reasoning, accept one another's differences and are able to walk with those who you choose agree to disagree with. I appreciate open minds, sharp wit, deep thought, sincere passion even if it is hot. I admire well thought out positions and value the perspectives gained by race, sex, age and background or culture even if I don't agree with some.

I am better because of you...keep reading, posting and disagreeing...but if you start busting blood vessels and spouting stuff that is evil and are not welcome here...move on and go burn another persons house down with your angry words.


So true...

A third way...

I know that many reading this blog are focused on Mcain or Obama...but I am sure you are aware that there are other cadidates on your ballots, right? Like Chuck Baldwin & Darrell Castle; the Constitution Party nominees who are the only ones on the ballot endorsed by Ron Paul. Below are some quotes from various Third Party voices and founding fathers. These thoughts hit my "YES!" buttons and enflame my deeply held frustration with the Two Party system; that consistently marginalizes me more and more out of their camps.

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."
- John Quincy Adam

"When asked why they will not vote for a third party candidate, many people will respond by saying something like, "He cannot win." Or, "I don't want to waste my vote." It is true: America has not elected a third party candidate since 1860. Does that automatically mean, however, that every vote cast for one of the two major party candidates is not a wasted vote? I don't think so. In the first place, a wasted vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go. A wasted vote is a vote for the "lesser of two evils." Or, in the case of John McCain and Barack Obama, what we have is a choice between the "evil of two lessers." -Chuck Baldwin

"The issue is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself
or be ruled by a small elite."
-Thomas Jefferson

"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our country men."
-Samuel Adams

They who are willing to sacrifice an essitial liberty for a little temporary security will lose both and deserve neither.
-Benjamin Franklin

The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but then never can make him wise, virtous, or happy.
-John Quincy Adams

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. For years now, Republicans and Democrats have been leading the country in the same basic direction: toward bigger and bigger government; more and more socialism, globalism, corporatism, and foreign interventionism; and the dismantling of constitutional liberties. Yet, voters continue to think that they are voting for "change" when they vote for a Republican or Democrat. This is truly insane!
-Chuck Baldwin

"The big challenge, however, is taking on the establishment, and the process that is so well entrenched. But we can’t beat the entrenched elite without the alliance of all those who have been disenfranchised....Ironically the most difficult group to recruit has been the evangelicals who supported McCain and his pro-war positions. They have been convinced that they are obligated to initiate preventive war in the Middle East for theological reasons. Fortunately, this is a minority of the Christian community, but our doors remain open to all despite this type of challenge. The point is, new devotees to the freedom philosophy are more likely to come from the left than from those conservatives who have been convinced that God has instructed us to militarize the Middle East."

Where is it written in the constitution that you may take children from their parents and compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the folly of government may engage? -Daniel Webster

They are candidates that are consistently Pro-Life...and will withdraw from Iraq...unlike Mcain and Obama.

"Republicans tout themselves as being "pro-life." Yet, the GOP controlled both houses of Congress and the White House for six years and did absolutely nothing to overturn Roe or end abortion-on-demand. If the Republicans were really serious about being pro-life the could have already ended legal abortion in America. Obviously the Republican Party and most GOP politicians are not serious about ending abortion, but are, regrettably, simply content to perpetuate the issue to manipulate pro-life voters."
-Chuck Baldwin

Thursday, October 30, 2008

a powerful spirit of violence coming out of his spirit...?

Well, this email rises to the top of all the emails I have read from my fellow preachers...who claim "Now I'm not telling you who to vote for...but"
So this is what following Jesus looks like today in America...I really, don't know what to say anymore...I dont care who you choose to vote for but if this is the way we leaders are going to lead our people, or this is the way we are going to frame the discussions of politics, I think we are in for dark days is a selection of some of his most potent statements...

"God spoke to me that after George W. Bush, America would elect its most ungodly president ever....

I had a vision earlier this year. I saw Barack Obama in this vision. He was speaking to a large crowd and being broadcast on television. He was speaking incredible words of unity, peace, and bringing all sides together; the words were elegant, the words were comforting, and the words were inspiring.

But while he was speaking I saw all a powerful spirit of violence coming out of his spirit feeding into the spirits of those that were hearing him. That spirit of violence was directed at anybody who opposed what he was saying. Those who heard his words and received it had the spirit of violence being implanted inside of them. It was a rage like I have not seen before. It was the rage that would be unleashed against those who oppose and stand in the way of Barack Obama's agenda. We are already seeing the beginnings of this spirit manifested here in America.

We now see it with Joe the plumber. These people who are under the influence of this demon spirit of rage desire to completely destroy this man because he dared to question Barack Obama

I want to put this deep in your spirit. I am speaking as a prophet. The words I'm about to tell you are "thus saith the Lord". If Barack Obama is elected, the attacks against free speech, against those who believe differently than he does, and the systematic use of the government and laws to silence the voice of fundamental Christians will be unlike anything ever seen in this nation before.

I am only speaking the words of thus saith the Lord,

But I want to remind you, every word God has spoken to me over the last eight years and every word which I have prophesied about the American government and the elections has come to pass.

God does not give this prophecy to scare us, but to prepare us.

Now you may be asking, "Are you saying that Barack Obama, if elected, would be America's most ungodly president ever?" Yes!

Now I'm not telling you who to vote for. Some people want an ungodly president. That's their choice. I have watched throughout the world, Christians support political leaders who are blatantly ungodly. So again, this is the people's choice.

The door has been opened and the way is being made for a one world government system to overtake the world's economics.

as though they had no dealings...

So it is with voting. We deal with the system. We deal with the news. We deal with the candidates. We deal with the issues. But we deal with it all as if not dealing with it. It does not have our fullest attention. It is not the great thing in our lives. Christ is. And Christ will be ruling over his people with perfect supremacy no matter who is elected and no matter what government stands or falls. So we vote as though not voting. -John Piper: referencing those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Interesting article:
"For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. The state that she governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269. A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist."

Read the whole thing here.

The Baby Bump...

Crazy cool...I wish we would have done something like this...makes me smile. Oh and if your a mommy and are from the other side of the tracks if you know what I mean...the link on the sidebar is definitely worth reading. The lady who writes for the Being Born mag is least I thought so. This isn't your mothers motherhood magazine...unless your mom was Benny from George Lopez.

Which path....?

Ok, theres this vid that moves me...then there is this video, that doesn't...Why?

Blood on whose hands....?

Before you read this post...understand that I am attempting to use the art of rhetorical reasoning...I am not saying that Mcain supporters ARE fighting against God's plan. I am saying that based on the judgment and rhetoric that is leveled against anyone "thinking" about voting for Obama; the same kind of language or thinking, could be turned back on those who have stated these things. My point is it bites when the anti-God language is turned on your own position.

In light of many posts, I appreciate your concern, your reasoning, your prayers and your willingness to present clearly and boldly, your convictions and obviously your deepest felt matters of conscience (which most everyone else reading this is too chicken to do...I guess) :0

But, I must protest.

So far in many of the emails, links and posts that I receive and have read (I take the time to seriously read them), I have been told that if one votes for Obama:

-You are a baby killer
-You are morally responsible for the choices of free men and women
-You are like a person drowning kids in a lake
-You're as bad a Nazi sympathizer
-You're not obeying God
-You're not voting for God's chosen man
-You're guilty of any destruction that comes on America by not voting for a War man.
-You're deceived
-You're not heeding the "revelations" of the modern God(?) appointed seers and prophets
-You're in league with the God hating nations

Ok, now, that's a load of heavy handed Christian intimidation. No freedom to vote here...that's about as on the point of a religious sword as one can be with out it being on his neck!

Vote of else...

I understand that the end of the world is at hand and it rests on my small shoulders. I get, that a bloodbath is coming, millions of innocents blood is on my hands as I scribble a little black dot on a piece of paper. I feel the burning, penetrating stare of every wide eyed, sweaty browed, vein popping prophet with cheap Sunday morning coffee breath...gripping my shoulders and watching as I with trembling hands try to vote. The economy is crashing....the environment is about to burn up or melt grandkids are going to be paupers in a modern Dickens daughters will end up a whores, lesbians and using bathrooms with sexual predators, my sons will become black toothed, cancer ridden Canadian like sickies. I hear that God has got His hammer about to fall and it's first stop is my voting booth, depending on which fallen man I might chose to lead a passing away babylonian kingdom. I know I will bear the outrage, the disdain, the ridicule, the hate of my most loving brothers and sisters in Christ....that people will leave the church I pastor because I am in league with Satan. pressure.

But since I have attempted to honestly share my unfolding political path, fully knowing that I will be skewered, tarred and feathered for doing so...still isn't it fair to say that God hasn't always put the "good guys" in power?

With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. Now I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him. If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague, declares the Lord, until I destroy it by his hand. So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, 'You will not serve the king of Babylon.' They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish. But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live there, declares the Lord. I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, Bow your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live.-Jeremiah 27:7-12

What if this is God's outworking of His own plan of Judgement and if you don't vote for Obama, you are the one fighting against the plan of God? What if your prophets are the ones who are prophesying falsely? What if all the prophets of the 90's who have been saying for years, if you read their now 50% off book bin books...that God is going to judge America not make it better for her?

Maybe Mcain supporters are resisting the plans of God?

Now as some who hasn't voted...yet. How am I supposed to weigh all these modern prophets words..when each new book, or every four years the messages seem to be different? One moment God is happy, the next He is mad...God appears to be suffering from doublemindedness.

And as far as blood on someones hands due to the choices of someone else or your Bush voter's hands have the blood of over 1, 273,378 Iraq dead on them? Will God hold them accountable for thier deaths because they voted for Bush...twice!

Where does the search for blood end?

Am I guilty before God because I pay taxes and other men and women choose to use those taxes for purposes that are ungodly, unjust and possibly immoral? Should we stop paying taxes because of the moral liability before God?

And as for the issue of the poor...though that is not the only reason I have battled with my choice, but since it has been pointed out:

Here is God's word to those Sodomites that will surley be taking over, because of me...notice, nothing is mentioned clearly about their vile deeds of sex....but, something else is mentioned:

Ezekiel 16:49-50:
‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

And Isaiah 1:10-17 speak to Sodom and Gomorrah says:
Your hands are full of blood, wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong, learn to do right, Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

So I guess me and God care about some stuff that matters.

In the end, I want what you want...but...I think that RoeVWade wont be overturned by either men.
I know that John Mcain voted for two of the liberal Justices I guess he "might" do that again?
I know that people are free to choose God's ways or not and I will stand before Him for my choices not others.
I know that if RvW was would just go back to the states and abortions would continue.
I know that pro-life Americans are not adopting all the children that are here RIGHT NOW and need what is going to happen to all the children's if Abortion was think us sodomite like self absorbed Americans are going to adopt them...I doubt it.

If you are not working for life now...your votes are possibly slightly hypocritical?

If you don't have a child that isn't your own...your stance might possibly be hypocritical.

if you support killing in any fashion...your vote might possibly be hypocritical.

If you dont care about people dying somewhere else on the planet because you cant "see" them...your vote might possibly be hypocritical.

Arn't those fair observations?

Now hopefully I have shared this calmly, with no venom, but from a sincere place of seeking truth among all the God bullying going on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm a Dead man voting...

Babylon...has become a dwelling place place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird, for all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality...I heard another voice from heaven, saying "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues.- Revelations 18:2-4

Whatever political party you choose, as a Christian, you have to hold the above verse in tension with your political hopes, dreams, aspirations and expectations. Keeping prophetic clarity on the truth behind the realities we engage in, is a gift given to us through the prophetic scriptures. God so graciously and frighteningly pulls back the veils of this world and lets us see into the cosmos and the unfolding judgment that is piling up (Rev 18:5).

We are all required to be born again and wake up out of our own private Matrix.

Nations, Kings and Merchants...the commodities of this present world system are all drunk to some degree on the wine of worldly ambitions, sensuality, pride and demonic preoccupations. As negative and hopeless as that might appear, the truth is liberating, if seen from a Dawning Kingdom perspective. My hope isn't in a human king, kingdom or Economy...its in the ruling Kingship of King Jesus. I am presently living within, and expecting the continual coming of that king and His kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. I am living and looking for the Kingdom that is coming down to earth...I'm not looking to go somewhere else...I'm waiting for Him to return.

So as I live out my Kingdom citizenship among the kings and Nations of this world which are "passing away" (1 Cor. 2:6)...I vote with clarity that there are forces at work in "Babylon" that are unclean, drunk, inhabited, hateful, materialistic. It procreates a imprisoned life that is hopelessly cyclical in it's inability to really offer much more than a dim reflection of light, compared to the Sun that is dawning (Luke 1:78).

All the modern attempts to apply Biblical leadership scriptures to the political process, is in my view, a misapplication of Kingdom of God realities to Babylon. It's dressing up a whore in the Brides gown...and that is blasphemous at worst, and biblically ignorant at best.

Babylon is full of blood (Rev 17:6) and the evidence is all around us:

In the innocent casualties of international conflicts...

In sickness, disease and starvation...

In the threat of complete and utter annihilation...

In the perpetuation of bigotry, radical extremism and religious hate...

In the end, whatever King, we vote in, whatever policies they may vote in, repeal or's a outworking of a far greater wickedness than just one of those unclean birds, that gnaw on all that is good, righteous and holy. There is a "Mother" of these evil and unclean carrion...she has many offspring...including:
I pray for the day when God will finally judge the Mother of harlots (Rev. 19:2)..until then I am a stranger in a foreign land....I do not expect much from fallen kings and kingdoms.

I prayerfully wrestle with voting for a candidate...I do so with no stars in my eyes, or fear in my heart...I don't vote for a savior or a warrior. I'm not looking to the arm of man or the buck of the banker but to the Sovereign Hand of God to outwork His plans in and through the Kingdoms and Kings of this world. Sometimes He chooses Righteous Davids...and sometimes unrighteous Nebachudnezzars.

In the end...the spiritual truth is...

"the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!
(Galatians 6:14)

I'm a dead man voting.

The irony of that doesn't escape me.

Acorn...voter fraud?

Here is an article about the whole Acorn voter fraud allegations...some conclusions that might surprise you.

Waz Up...?

Now, even if you don't think Obama is the change this country needs...this is funny, and for some...way to close to home.

Moral dilemma...

My voting battle centers around the ethical and philosophical challenges of figuring out how the The principle of Double Effect, applies to my choices.

Here is an explanation of the Principle:

The principle that says it is morally allowable to perform an act that has at least two effects, one good and one bad. It may be used under the following conditions: 1. the act to be done must be good in itself or at least morally indifferent; by the act to be done is meant the deed itself taken independently of its consequences; 2. the good effect must not be obtained by means of the evil effect; the evil must be only an incidental by-product and not an actual factor in the accomplishment of the good; 3. the evil effect must not be intended for itself but only permitted; all bad will must be excluded form the act; 4. there must be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the evil effect. At least the good and evil effects should be nearly equivalent. All four conditions must be fulfilled. If any one of them is not satisfied, the act is morally wrong.

An example of the lawful use of the double effect would be the commander of a submarine in wartime who torpedoes an armed merchant vessel of the enemy, although he foresees that several innocent children on board will be killed. All four required conditions are fulfilled: 1. he intends merely to lessen the power of the enemy by destroying an armed merchant ship. He does not wish to kill the innocent children; 2. his action of torpedoing the ship is not evil in itself; 3. the evil effect (the death of the children) is not the cause of the good effect (the lessening of the enemy's strength); 4. there is sufficient reason for permitting the evil effect to follow, and this reason is administering a damaging blow to those who are unjustly attacking his country.

I hope that makes your choices more clear...yah, I know, me neither...dang.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Generously Angry...

Amina died..she was a little orphan in a Orphanage in Ethiopia that some friends of our are serving at, you can read about it here at their site. I am sure the death of this little girl is one more step away from life as it was lived before they came; to life as it will be lived in the days ahead. A path that wont be ascended without a trail of tears. I was thinking about this quote as I reflected on the tragedy of another child dying in poverty.

What is, therefore, the task of the preacher (or the church) today?
Shall I answer: "Faith, hope and love?"
That sounds beautiful.
But I would say....Courage.
No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth.
Our task today is recklessness.
For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature,
We lack holy rage.
the recklessness that comes from the knowledge of God and humanity.
the ability to rage when justice lies prostrate on the streets...
and when the lie rages across the face of the earth...
a holy anger about things that are wrong with the earth,
and the destruction of God's world.
To rage when little children must die of hunger,
when the tables of the rich are sagging with food.
To rage at the senseless killing of so many,
and against the madness of militaries.
To rage at the lie that calls the threat of death and the strategy of destruction...Peace.
To rage against complacency.
To restlessly seek that recklessness that will challenge and seek to change human history until it conforms with the norms of the kingdom of God.
And remember the signs of the Christians chruch have always been...the lion, the lamb, the dove, and the fish...but never the chameleon.
-Danish Pastor, Kaj Munk,1898-1944 (Danish playwright and priest, whose outspoken, passionately patriotic sermons during World War II led to his being killed by the Nazis. Munk helped revitalize the Danish theatre by his rejection of the naturalistic drama in favor of the more spiritually oriented plays. Dominant features in Munk's writings were his deep Christian faith and admiration for the strong-willed man of action)

When I boil with these issues of injustice, I think of Dickens who George Orwell reflected about when he said: "Reading Dickens I see the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry." (Orwell: The Life, 2003)

Fight the good Fight Daniel and Melissa...and anyone else who has taken on the spirit of Jesus.

Maybe my post is a reflection of the song I was listening to while writing it...

God is an American...?

I saw this video yesterday and felt it perfectly highlighted the growing frustration that I feel. An inner conflict that pits my red blooded Americaness with my claim to be a follower of Jesus. In this video I see an artist expressing the same conflicted frustration when he looks at us. Is God synonymous with American? And why does it seem that many of my deeply committed Christians friends don't seem to see or hear this issue? Why does it seem that to mourn the continual comparison or judgment makes you feel like you are somehow anti-American?

Francis Schaeffer said:" Christians may be at times, "cobelligerents" with the left or the right but never allies. "If there is social injustice, say there is social injustice. If we need order, say we need order...but do not align yourself as though you are in either of these camps:You are an ally of neither. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is different from either--totally different." (The Church at the end of the twentieth century)

When I receive these kinds of emails below, from sincere, committed Christians, I get concerned about wether we are really clear on what Francis envisions, or what I believe the Bible calls us towards:

"PSALM 2008-2012
Obama Is My Shepherd,
I Shall Not Want.
He Leadeth Me Beside Still Factories,
He Restoreth My Faith In The Republican Party.
He Guideth Me In The Paths Of Unemployment.
Yea, Though I Walk Through The Valley Of The Bread Line,
I Shall Not Go Hungry.
Obama Has Anointed My Income With Taxes,
My Expenses Runneth Over My Income,
Surely, Poverty And Hard Living Will Follow Me All
The Days Of My Life.
The Democrats And I Will Live Forever In a Rented Room.
But I Am Glad I Am an American,
I Am Glad That I Am Free.
But I Wish I Was A Dog
And Obama A Tree."

It's this kind of political rhetoric that I think disengages honest, level headed discussion and pushes the political debate into flaming posts and responses. I also think it actually pushes undecided voters into one camp over the other.

I seriously pray that a third way emerges for "Conflicted Conservatives" in the future. One that doesn't promise a political savor or a nanny state but a merging of the best of both dominant political parties at the present.

I pray it though, not only for us Christians struggling with finding a platform to stand on but also for America's place in the world and the churches witness before the powers.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 priorities for voting

I do not agree with everything that comes out of Jim Wallace's ministry but this article resonated with me as I vote this week. I think there is more that can be included but it nails the issue I am wrestling with...the narrowness of the platform I have most often stood on. The older I get the wider I long for it to be..not in a truth sense but policy...I know some people will hammer me as a liberal for wanting to see these issues reflected more in the Republican party but...if I am honest...I do.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Interesting stats on Abortion...

-Nearly half of all abortions in the world are performed in countries that have made abortion illegal.

-The lowest abortion rates in the world - less than 10 per 1,000 women of reproductive age - are in Europe, where abortion is legal and available.

-By contrast, in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, where abortion law is most restrictive, the regional rates are 29 and 31 per 1,000 women, respectively.

-These countries are also much poorer than the U.S. and provide fewer social services; and a larger proportion of their population lives in poverty.

-In Western European countries, in contrast, where more social services are provided and fewer women live in poverty, the abortion rates are consistently the lowest rates in the world.
(Source: Guttmacher Institute, "An Overview of Abortion in The United States")

Taken from Here

This was part of my reading, as I continue to study the positions, policies and plans of the prospective candidates. Abortion is one of the most critical issues in voting for a culture of life to me. So I want to read up on the issue from all sides. I have also felt that the issue is broader and more complex than most conservative voices present. It is similar to the issue of preventing pregnancy; I've never been convinced that the sole way to address the issue is "Just don't do it". I know that talking about this can become a lighting rod for some of you who read this; but I am honest in my position that I am currently a Conflicted Conservative.

I want abortions to end. I want children to be wanted and loved. I want to protect and move towards a culture of life in all spheres of American life. I'm an adoption pusher, I'm a pro-pregnancy preacher...just look at the back row and nursery in our church! But I also work in a poor, marginalized and under-resourced community...these issues have reframed the discussion in many ways for me. Living in and among this community is expanding the arguments in ways that life in my prior ministry world didn't. Not a judgment on that world but on me. This eye opening experience has been true in many areas, especially in the area of race, poverty, crime and education. My die hard Republican, conservative roots are getting challenged by the realities of where I minister and who I work with and the world I am becoming more and more aware of.

Some old answers no longer satisfy the questions for me.

I've posted in the past some critical points on Obama's record, here is an interview with him from the Christian mag, Relevant.

Here is another article that discusses the issue of Obama and reducing the number of abortions via policy changes and the rise of the "New Democrats"

Here is a Catholic attorney speaking on the issue...catholics are very prolife.

Do these articles answer all the moral, but it's a conversation you wont get a chance on hearing in most circles.

Nope I didn't...

Did You Know...this?
Wait for it to load...its interesting.

(lifted from Mike Todd)

Friday, October 24, 2008

A few thoughts that struck me...

The total spent on all poverty-fighting programs make up less than one percent of the entire U.S. budget.

"A family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States."* *Source: The US Department of Housing and Urban Development []

I know I'm Not Alone...

I watched this DVD last night and thought it was really, really eye opening. I know these are hot topics for a lot of people, but I think I will include it in our Faith & Film nights. I think there are a lot of people that wrestle with the issues surrounding the Iraq war, the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and the challenge to walk as peacemakers in this war torn world. Michael Franti is an artist that took a trip with a camera, his guitar and his heart...and what comes out is an excellent and honest look at US through their eyes, songs, anger, pain and love...I was moved, challenged, uncomfortable and glad I watched it.

Here is a music video based on the title of the movie:


This song is amazing from the band Thrice.

And I really love the lyrics to this song (Silverwings) from the same band, you can hear it here.

From tender years you took me for granted.
But still I deigned to wander through your lungs.
While you were sleeping soundly in your bed.
(Your drapes were silver wings; your shutters flung)

I drew the poison from the summer's sting,
And eased the fire out of your fevered skin.
I moved in you and stirred your soul to sing;
And if you'd let me, I would move again.

I've danced 'tween sunlit strands of lover's hair;
Helped form the final words before your death.
I've pitied you and plied your sails with air;
Gave blessing when you rose upon my breath.

And after all of this, I am amazed,
That I am cursed far more than I am praised.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kings without us...

This is Eyael she is 5. She has a brother Samuel age 12, Abraham 10, Hannah 7, and a baby sister Ruth age 3. Their mom died and dad couldn't take care of them. Eyael has HIV. This little girl is on my computer as wall paper and my cellphone wallpaper to remind me to pray and to act.

You see, God is haunting me through her story and picture...her smile, her need, who she represents...she is the face of HIV to me, in a way that no one ever has been for some reason. I confess, she is messing me up.

A couple friends of ours from our church are in Ethiopia bringing home some girls that they are adopting, they are also serving for three months in the Orphanage as well. You can follw thier journey at: These are some of the kids from the Orphanage. Unfortunately for me, or really, fortunately...their journey is colliding with mine, as God usually works...

You see, I woke up yesterday with this little girls face in my heart and on my mind. I opened up the bible to read and in 1 Corinthians 4:8 I read this:

"You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us..."

That verse shredded through all my calloused defenses, it tore through the materialism that has hardened my resolve to follow Jesus in a prophetic way. Like a flaming arrow it ignited in the dry places of my heart and like someone laying unconscious, I found myself shaking out of slumber like a knocked out boxer with a nose full of smelling salts. This verse reverberated in the dark, quite rafters of my soul, until the cathedral of my soul filled with the music of tears. Like rain drenching away a long drought of accumulating dust, the clogged drain of my compassion fatigued inner life. Once again living water pumped free flowing life from the inside of that deep well of love inside me, that too often gets stopped up in the work I do.

I stood face to face with those scriptures like a modern day David with the finger of Nathan stuck in my numb chest.

"You are the man!"

Those words blew over me and ushered in a wave of repentance for allowing mundane, pointless distractions steal from me the clarity that the way of love brings. All the drama, the agitations, the offenses, the meaningless arguments and pointless energy draining controversies were exposed for the smoke screen that they were. Like quicksand that was dragging me down with each attack, every complaint, every call, email or look...I was struggling in a quick drying cement of love hardening mirages. Guilty for wasting time on stuff that the enemy seeks to inflate around us to keep us beating at shadows instead of realities.

These verses came on like Sinai's thunderous boom. Two carved out of flesh commandments fell with a earth shaking thud before my weary feet. There they smoldered fresh from the finger of God...Love people.

Simple...and too often...forgotten.

We live in a dying world in need of awake people, who are wrestling with the fires of love within their burdened but alive souls. We need clarity that suffering and death bring. We need to hear the world we are profiting from rise up and expose us as fleshy kings that have built a world of comfort that has lured us into a state of disengagement from the call of Jesus.

This little girls face reminds me of why I am here, why I am a pastor, who God is weeping over.

I pray that I will faithfully respond to the demands of love in this day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yell Fire...

This Michael Franti & Spearhead's song is grooving me hard this morning...vocalizing the frustration in my conflicted political gut and brain.

Love it! Love it....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Make Your Vote Count....

Here is a voter's guide based on the issues.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Picking apples...


Here is some of us at GreenBluff picking Apples, the girl is Joselyn, Chrisitan's girlfriend.

Only in East Central...

LeeElla found these underwear outside in front of the church on Sunday after the service. They were not there before church.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Faith in action...?

I attended a "Faith In Action" presentation today hosted at The Union Gospel Mission and led by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. I appreciated the opportunity to hear her and the others that presented a series of talks geared at motivating people to engage in the political process in November, particularly the Republican political agenda. There were two Faith based speakers, one from Union Gospel Mission and the other from Life Services of Spokane. Then David Barton from an organization called Wallbuilders and the VP from Focus on the Family. The room was predominately fileld with people over 40...probably over 50. By the looks of them, they were a fair representation of the majority in Spokane...white, conservative, Republican, fundamentalist Christians. I was hoping for a good discussion and possible interactive opportunity to engage the issues or hear from my fellow Pastors and leaders about how they are navigating the political rough water. But instead I got a long string of heavy handed assumptions, presumptions and outright controversial statements that didn't get a rebuttal or a push back but most often a hearty Amen.

I enjoyed David Bartons well versed, high energy, multimedia presentation on how God has always been at the center of American Politics and that the early American preachers dubbed: "The Black Brigade" by the British were a major force in the shaping of American government. But his conclusions and broad sweeping generalizations left me scratching my head. He endorsed a full blooded American agenda of God Guns and Government. He presented the way of Christ as perfectly at peace with carrying a gun and a bible. He praised the Patriots who shot their enemies and preached from the pulpit. He lifted up those who found faith and Freedom synonymous with revolution, bloodshed and political power. I was amazed that nobody seemed to be wrestling with any of the Red Letters of Jesus in any of this?

Though I appreciated the man from Focus on the Family coming to Spokane sharing with us...I was a bit offended and turned off by his talk. He was approaching a caricature of all that I wrestle with coming from this stream of the church. (In my opinion) He belittled Lesbians and Homosexuals, he lifted up a time in early America when Abortion clinics were torn to the ground when picketing was not successful, it seemed to me that he joked about the looks of those people who didn't share his world view. He told us that if the liberals get their way; our bathrooms will be coed and sexual deviants are going to be getting access to our kids. He warned of the coming inability to preach the whole bible or hire straight staff members if the Homosexual lobbyists get their way. All in all he fear mongered, demeaned and presented a flimsy argument for supporting republicans. I was so grieved.

I hope to God that this version of Christianity gets an extreme makeover. I am seriously wondering if this is anything like the outlived faith of Matthew 5:3-10, 13-20. In my view this is "salt" that has lost its "taste"'s good for nothing other than being "thrown out and trampled under foot". I am growing more and more convinced that I am on the outside looking in. I looked around the room and seriously doubted that I fit very well in there....that disappoints me. How can we be so far apart and yet call each other brothers and sisters and claim the same Jesus as Lord and proclaim the same gospel. Maybe when it comes to justification by faith...but when it comes to what on Earth that faith looks like...I think I am worlds away.

All I can say is there was...major disconnect.

I snapped the above picture, after some man came up on the stage and moved the American Flag forward. It's hard to see in the picture but the "christian flag' was left in the one touched it. I left feeling that perfectly represented what I felt this meeting represented: America first....Jesus second.

I am not sure I buy into that.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Metal a crumbling man

Woe to him who increases what is not his--for how long---and makes himself rich with loans? Will not your creditors rise up suddenly and those who collect from you awaken? Indeed you will become plunder for them. Because you have looted many nations all that remained of the peoples will loot you -Habakkuk 2:6-8

Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon and the sins of Judah, all got the prophetic index finger with the above message from the Prophet Habbakuk. And the prophet Daniel also told Neb that if he was serious about the possibility of escaping God's judgment on his world dominating pride and escape becoming a grass gnawing Neanderthal, than he must: “Break away from his sins” and to “do righteousness,” to cease his “iniquities” and to “show mercy to the poor.” Daniel 4:27

As we wrestle as a country during these economic challenges, meltdown, collapse, crisis or whatever other words are used to mold and shape us towards some political end. I am reminded of the historical similarities, sins and cycles that are clearly outlined in the Bible. Remember that no matter what kingdom or ruler rises to power...they are still according to the scriptures part of a kingdom that is "passing away" (1 Corinthians 2:6). All these worldly empires are part of the statue of gold that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed would be struck by a heavenly stone, carved out without the hands of man; an act that would establish a Divine Kingdom that would rise and crush all other kingdoms and blow them away like dust, so complete that there was not even a trace of them found! (Daniel 2:35,44)

Daniel understood that no matter who was head of the political empires in the end it was a Sovereign God who held all power:

"He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars." Daniel 2:21

As we feel the crunch of Mammon's grip and are being lured by politicians and their promises, plans and pontifications; I pray that we would not be ignorant of the great place of peace that the Lord offers those who He calls to come out of Babylon. That we would refuse to bow down to an economic mentality that determines every vote or secures every position; by what it gives me. Revelations speaks of a time when men and women will be known as people who have 666 tattooed into their minds and hands...all they think and do, is motivated, controlled, determined and influenced by the spirit of mammon. A reviving of a Babylonian mentality that robs the poor, exalts materialism and militarism and continually prides itself as a World Power worthy of worship.

Worship is in the end something you do with your money anyway...where your treasure is, is where your heart Jesus put it (Matt. 6:21).

Let's remember that Daniel told Neb that he was going to be judged for his prideful empire building ego..."until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes" (Daniel 4:25) and that "your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules.(Daniel 4:26).

Heaven Rulz...I like that....put that on your Facebook and bumper sticker.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Crisis or a chrysalis...?

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. -Helen Keller

It amazes me that in light of the realities of the world and the immense privilege we have as Americans, that people can still spin themselves into a sense of purposelessness or fear. If you are daring enough to read through the stats below, spend a moment and think about how you could move towards acting in such a way that these sins are cleansed. Working for justice could alleviate ones sense of personal ambivalence. Extend a plan and act on that plan in your world for the sake of their world. Maybe losing it all will open the door to gaining something worth having. Maybe our crisis is more of a chrysalis that will make us more human, and more reflective of the community of Heaven, here on Earth. Our challenges are so far removed from the normal lives of most people on this planet. The incessant bemoaning of our economic woes must sound ridiculous to the ears of those who are reflected below. The sad thing is that the charity towards these major issues will dry up as we move towards saving ourselves. That means even more death to the marginalized and poor of the world.

1 Billion people in the world do not have access to clean water, while the average American uses 4 Hundred to 6 hundred liters of water a day.

Eveery 7 seconds, somewhere in the world a child under the age of five dies hunger, while Americans throw away 14 percent of the food we purchase.

Nearly 1 billion people in the world live on less than 1 American dollar a day.

Another 2.5 billion people in the world (More than half the world) live on less than 2 American dollars a day.

40% of the people in the world lack basic sanitation...while 49 million diapers are used and thrown away in AMerica every day.

1.6 billion people in the world have no elcectricity.

Nearly 1 billion people in the world cannot read or sign their name.

Nearly 1 hundered million children are denied basic education.

By far most people in the world do not own a car...1/3 of Americans families own 3 cars.

1 in 7 children worldwide (158 million) has to go to work every day just to survive.

4 out of 5 American adults are high school graduates.

Americans spend more annually on trash bags than nearly half the world does on all goods.

1 million people commit suicide every year.

Today nearly 4,500 people in Africa will die of AIDS

More than 17 million children will starve to death this year.

Every 14 seconds, a child loses her parents to AIDS.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is producing orphans on a scale unrivaled in world history. AIDS orphans are expected to number 44 million by 2010.

150 million children live on the streets because of poverty neglect and abuse.

10 million children are being sexually exploited.

In 2008 the US spent more on defense than the next 45 countries combined.

The superfluities of the rich are the necessities of the poor.
Superfluities: an unnecessary thing.

Read about Babylon: Rev 17:1-6 &18:1-24

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Can we really build it higher...?

" Old Testament (2 Chronicles 7:14) passage that many Christians love to pull out and dust off every four years. In case many of us don’t remember, some Christians have been invoking this passage for at least 30 years, and probably more. Like the boy who cried wolf, every four years Christians pull out this passage to ensure that the faithful understand that “This Election Is the Most Critical One Our Nation Has Ever Faced.™”

The passage in question:

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."—2 Chronicles 7:14

God speaks this to Solomon after the completion of the temple in which He would dwell.

Consider then that today God does not live in a temple constructed of human hands by flawed kings. Instead, He made us and filled us with Himself. We are His temples.

Consider also that we live under a New Covenant that is better than the Old Covenant.

Consider that the Kingdom of God that is better than any earthly Kingdom is now among us because the One True King has come.

Do you know how God heals the land now that the True King has come? That King told us how. He showed us, the temples of His Holy Spirit, the people of a better covenant, the ones who are a part of an unearthly Kingdom, how God heals lands:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
—Matthew 28:18-20

When Christians repent of their sins and distractions (including political distractions), when they humble themselves and cast off their mistaken notions of power, when they pray to stay true to the focus of the only genuine Kingdom, then God will heal their land through their sharing of the Good News with the lost and the making of disciples. When Christians live out the high calling of the Gospel before earthly kingdoms and shame those unworthy imitations with their service to the only True Kingdom, then God will heal their land.

But when Christians look to earthly kingdoms, when Christians take their focus off the Lord and put their faith in power systems rooted in sin and compromise, they will wind up off course, off message, off purpose, and ultimately disappointed. God does not heal the land through man’s elections but through Christians living out their allegiance to Christ’s unearthly Kingdom by concentrating on making disciples and serving the least of these no matter what government is in power.

The Christians in Rome understood this, but for all our supposed modern enlightenment, we do not. (from

In the much of the rhetoric in this season ends up sounding like more and more political hammers on one big tower of postmodern babble. The clamoring for a king is getting me nauseous....especially as I watch the economic tower of Babel rumble and crumble. I can hear the pleas for Caesar to save us....from our own harvest sown. In the end, one can't help but see ourselves reflected in the passages of Revelation's great whore (Revelations 17)

Monday, October 06, 2008

You can’t change the heart through legislation...?

"Now the other myth that gets around is the idea that legislation cannot really solve the problem and that it has no great role to play in this period of social change because you’ve got to change the heart and you can’t change the heart through legislation. You can’t legislate morals. The job must be done through education and religion. Well, there’s half-truth involved here. Certainly, if the problem is to be solved then in the final sense, hearts must be changed. Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart. But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also. So there is a need for executive orders. There is a need for judicial decrees. There is a need for civil rights legislation on the local scale within states and on the national scale from the federal government.
-Taken from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s address at Western Michigan University, December 18, 1963

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Christian unplugged...

My eldest son Christian, has been recording acoustic songs and posted them at here. I've been amazed to watch my older kids growing as musicians, their skills at playing various instruments, writing songs, recording and mixing their music and playing local gigs all before the age of 16...I couldn't be more proud. But I think the real joy comes from a deeper place. I've always prayed that my children would rise in the same spirit of King David. A man who was both a man of worship and a man of war. He was able to wield the musical instruments or the sword of Goliath. He knew how to delve into the mysteries of faith or the tragedies and joys of earth's dramas. He knew how to weep or how to shout with praise. He knew failure, sin and judgment but ascended to holy places that angels fear to tread. I've prayed for kids that would have their feet planted in the dust of common human realities but whose hearts and minds were captured by Heavenly things. I see this in my daughter Destiny and in Christian. I see honest pursuit and struggle. I am blessed to entrust them to God's grace as they wrestle into their own spiritual skins. I see how these arrows will fly farther and deeper than I've ever gone.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wednesday, October 01, 2008