Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Confession is good for the soul.

That's what we've learned from Jesus.

Confession is bad for your reputation.

That's what we've learned from people.



Everyone decides who/which is more important: Jesus/eternal or others/existential.

Jesus said a lot about that.

Matthew 10:37-39 comes to mind.


Listen carefully:

That just about sums it up pour moi.


Some who have idolized me - primarily Kopper and a few old girlfriends - were stunned by the last KD.

Many who have demonized me - just about everybody else - were really stunned/saddened/emasculated by the last KD.

Those who get it/Him were neither.

Aside from learning from my predecessor/Anne/Donna/Jim/Rusty that it's better to dump your garbage in confession/repentance before those speck-inspectors dig it up to do you in, I don't really have much time to care what anybody thinks about me anymore for better or worse because I've got so much to be/do with people who haven't saved themselves along with learning from the cited mentors that it's hard for reprobates to inspect/infect/detect/reject ya if you beat 'em to spreading the bad news.

It's hard to deliver a fresh scoop of do-do that's already been dumped.

It kinda ruins the, uh, dehumanizing/demonic fun.

Besides, I've decided to follow Jesus.

I'm taking His hand and He's pulling me to heavenly living; and, as far as I can see, everybody else gets to choose for themselves if they'll embrace Him or go to...

I'm into amnestia (scroll down to the last KD).


You can be right about everything but wrong about Jesus and you'll forfeit existential peace and eternal opportunity.

You can be wrong about everything but right about Jesus and your worries will be much fewer.

Coupling that with loving Him by loving like Him as some kinda insufficient gratitude, that just about sums up the gospel as far as I can see.


Deciding to follow Jesus includes a long look at the cross.

I've been doing more of that lately.

I've had two recent apocalyptic moments.

First, His forgiveness must be the paradigm for our forgiveness: "Father, forgive them! They're ignorant! They don't know what they're doing!"

Second, I think one of the reasons why Jesus had to die is people are always looking for somebody to blame for what's gone wrong; and He decided to let everybody blame/scapegoat/substitute Him to save a lot of time/angst/whatever in order to get on with the show.

Or something like that.

I'm praying and laboring to do the first and second in my life and ministry.

It goes like this.

First, in a hyper-Calvinistic kinda way, I don't expect anything from anybody that's much good.

Second, when people in my life and ministry look for somebody to blame about almost anything, I offer myself.

The first frees me from false expectations and the second saves time/angst/whatever in order to get on with the show.

I don't care who's to blame anymore; and for those who do, I offer an easier target than the one in the mirror.

Again, take a long look at the cross.

Jesus knew we'd never be able to confess completely.

He knew we need a Savior.


You know yourself as well as others who can't handle the truth about yourself/themselves.

So somebody has to pay the price.

Somebody has to, uh, sacrifice.

O.K., that's a little our lives.



If we stopped thinking so much about ourselves and much more about Him, everybody/everything would be so much more more, uh, reconcilable.


Blessings and Love!

Visit and experience motivation to be/do someone/something better!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Jesus was right.

That sounds strange; except, maybe, to mainliners who are still trying to figure out just how, uh, divine He was/is.

Anyway, Jesus said, in effect, grudgeholders are gravediggers; and the only graves being dug are their own.

If you're a mainliner and need some help, try Matthew 6:12, 14-15.



I thought a lot about that during the middle of this week as I returned to the site of my last adultery to preside at a memorial service.

I was overwhelmed by the genuine affection and affirmation extended to me; not only by the deceased's relatives but also by the exceeding graciousness of my successor and old friends in the church.

Truth is I could have toughed it out and stayed.

There were only a handful of reprobates who just don't get the redemptive intentions/challenges/demands of Jesus.

Yeah, I saw one of 'em.

I went over to him, hugged him, and forgave him as I asked him to forgive me.

He couldn't look me in the eyes.


I had to go and track him down because he kept trying to avoid me like those folks who feel so guilty about their irregularities towards ya that they sneak around and try to avoid ya and...


Be that as it was and is and should be, I have some regrets about my sins but no doubts about His enlightening/educating/ameliorating providence.

It's a Romans 8:28ff. thing.


My successor said some really nice things about me to me; and I realized the minority who always hate their pastors for, usually, sick transferred unchecked pathological reasons should never be confused with the majority who know their pastors ain't as good as their mommies say nor as bad as the, again, sickos advertise.

I recalled some of our family of faith's pillars who embarrassed me last Sunday while greeting folks after our third service.

She said, "Oh, Pastor Bob, I'm so thankful that you're our pastor."

He said, "You're the..."

I won't complete that last line because it was really embarrassing and would/will be misinterpreted by one or two...

You know what I mean; and if you don't, you're probably one of those...

Parenthetically, those precious moments kinda make up for the "stories" of folks who are always sweet to my face and...

Getting back to the first sentence of this section, I called a pastor who is really feeling beat up at the moment by the minority of sickos in his/His congregation.

I said, "While it's too bad that your board won't take on the ___s, you'll survive if you want to survive because the overwhelming majority of folks really like you and appreciate you being their pastor. Yeah, I know just a few fleas can make a big dog itch; but that's no reason to cut and run. And if you need some inspiration for hanging in there, think about Jesus."

I don't know if that last line was very helpful; especially considering the, uh, crucifixion.


Speaking of crucifixions, a pastor from Long Island - that's the island next to the home of this year's American League and eventual World Series Champions for folks in Boston - wrote, "What does it say about America when we proclaim that a man who got kicked out of Harvard, was known as a boozer and womanizer, was negligent for not reporting the death of a woman drowning in his car after a night of partying and porking, was an advocate for the IRA, conspired with the Soviets to defeat President Reagan, would have never been elected if his criminally wealthy family did not run the Massachusetts mafia, and would have never been elected if his three older womanizing and boozing yet smarter brothers had not died tragic deaths in service to our country was one of the most powerful and influential Senators in USA history?"


Tell me how you feel!

Ted Kennedy is dead.


While I'm put off by the shamelessness of his party that's being exposed as they use his death to promote the health deform stuff coupled with the way left's idolizations, I'm not into demonizing him either.

I've always felt he was just a guy without any real principles who had a lot of fun who also proved Massachusetts is brain dead; kinda like Pennsylvanians who keep electing that Arlen guy and mainliners who keep feeding the beast with $ that ends up being used for stuff so antithetical to Biblical Christianity.


Getting back to Jesus which is usually better than navel-gazing, I've been increasingly struck by some of His last words from the cross, "Father, forgive them! They're ignorant! They don't know what they're doing."

That's really helped me as a pastor.

That's really helped others with me; as I discovered again when I went back to the site of my last adultery.

My favorite devotional writer in Oklahoma nailed it/Him/us: "Our God is a mercy lover! He is surrounded by an emerald rainbow, a symbol of the covenant of mercy...His mercy endures forever...Sadly, many people, even Christians, pursue revenge instead of mercy. They find great difficulty in releasing the offender into the hands of God, and hold on to the offense as if holding on would give them the peace and justice they desperately seek. They haven't realized the goodness of mercy or perhaps have failed to experience the freedom mercy delivers."

She continued, "Some people, even Christians, see God as an angry God who sees our every wrong act and is ready to execute judgment...But the mercy of God is limitless and always abounding for those who have a repentant heart."

Then she delivered the TKO: "We all need mercy, and we certainly all want mercy...Mercy frees us from condemnation and liberates us to walk in the fullness of His love. Jesus offers mercy instead of judgment, forgiveness instead of condemnation, and acceptance instead of denial...Be like Him...Be a mercy lover and ask Him who showed you mercy to help you offer mercy to those who hurt your heart!"




I've really been into offering forgiveness to and asking forgiveness from folks who can't look me in the eyes or try to avoid contact with me by sneaking around because of their continuing sins against me or inability to forgive me for my sins against them or, uh, whatever.

I confess part of my deal is a Romans 12:19-21 thing.

It's kinda fun.

I'm not perfect like some who pretend what's impossible.

But, prayerfully, it's more related to the first section of this KD.

Moretheless, I'm amping up the program!

I've decided to declare a personal program of amnestia.

I've already forgiven anybody who's sinned against me here, there, or, uh, anywhere else.

Go back to those words from the cross.

But I'm sure there are people who are convinced that I've sinned against them and they need/want/expect/lust to hold me accountable.

So here's the program!

I will be on line from 7:00-11:00 a.m. on Monday (August 31) for anybody to write to me at or to level their charges and give an opportunity to me to confess to them in a repentant kinda way and ask forgiveness and vice versa.

That should work for those who don't live within a few blocks or who can't look me in the eyes or...

For those who really want to get up close/confrontational/personal, I'm gonna camp out in the chapel on Wednesday (September 2) from 5:00-6:00 p.m. for anybody to...

I feel much better already.

As a buddy in street ministry likes to say, "You can't fix what you won't face!"



I just thought of something.

I'll probably have to do this all over again a lot sooner than later.

I guess nobody gets past the need for the Savior now or then and surely in the end.



Blessings and Love!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Thumbing through my other "Bible" - Harley-Davidson's 2010 catalog: Your Custom Starts Here - and getting past pages 322-461 that cause me to break the 10th commandment with more regularity than my, uh, daily, uh, never mind, my spirit got stuck on page 475: "Freedom and the right to ride are at the heart of motorcycling. We understand that unless we, as riders, take steps to be socially responsible, our right to ride and our lifestyle may be in jeopardy. Remember to ride respectfully."


That's pretty deep.

So many parallels.


What is freedom?

Here's an excerpt from one rider's thoughts that are included in a forthcoming book:

My young son and emerging biker Matthew says, "Freedom is when no one
bothers you."

Most would agree freedom happens when the chains that bind are broken and
you emerge from the cocoon like a butterfly to be who you want and were
destined to be.

Most would agree freedom is determining, designing, and riding to your own

Most would agree freedom is taking care of yourself by rules that you've
adopted for yourself rather than being taken care of by others who impose
their rules upon you.

Most would agree, to borrow a phrase, freedom is "being all you can be"
without someone dictating your potential and opportunities.

Freedom is choosing who you will be and what you will do and where
you're going and who will be invited to ride with you...

Biblical freedom, which I believe is what all authentic bikers and churchgoers
embrace, is not doing whatever the hell you want to do but rather being who
He made you to be which will never insult His holiness nor injure anyone else.

Biblical freedom encourages us to be His best for our lives with the thought,
time, talents, and treasures that He has entrusted to us that will always
honor Him and never hurt any of His as expressed and experienced.

The book, which should be published before Jesus comes back, looks at biker culture as metaphor and challenge to the church; and there's a lot in it about the very dark forces in this world and even church dedicated to limiting such freedom.



The USA and PCUSA along with the latter's used-to-be-mainline-now-on-the-sideline siblings come to mind.

All of 'em are going down the crapper quicker than Brett Favre's popularity in Green Bay.

While I may be wrong, I think it has a lot to do with their increasingly arrogant "top down" dictatorial inclinations seeking incarnation.

Simply, there's a striking parallel in their leaderships.

Again, I may be wrong; but I think they think people in the trenches cannot be trusted with self-determination because they know better.

Or something like that.

All I know for sure is I've never seen a removed freedom restored.


Why do some people want/need/thirst/try to control other people?

Yeah, I know there are some really sick people who need to be, uh, barred in an incarcerated kinda way.

But aren't most people pretty responsible and considerate and other qualities contributing to the welfare of all?

I think of the church; because, uh, that's where I hang out most of the time.

A very few seem to want to dictate everything; and they get away with it in too many instances.

And many people get hurt by them.

Yeah, I know some people look into the mirror and see Jesus.

But I'm wondering what you think about it?


What can we do about it?


I had an associate pastor in KC who was really incompetent.

He covered it up by telling me about the incompetencies of the other staff members.

I spent so much time with the others who weren't nearly as bad as he was that I never got around to him.

He lit fires in the backyards of others so no one would see his house burning down.

I think that's what Republicans are doing to PBHO.

They learned it from Democrats who did it to GWB.

I think that's what those churchgoers who were formerly in the mainline are doing to each other.

Jesus said something really helpful about that (viz., Matthew 7:1-6).



Do you remember the guy from Pennsylvania who wrote about death panels?

If not, scroll down to the last KD (8/19/09).

Anyway, my favorite newswoman in the South wrote, "I think we should have death panels for mainline denominations. As soon as the membership drops below a certain level and age demographic, the denomination should go into the panel and have to justify its existence, and perhaps if it can't, be put out of its misery. It's costing too much to maintain its existence."

As I said, so many parallels.

She got really, really, really personal avec moi about his comments about getting in shape: "When does your exercise and weight loss program start?"


I knew I shouldn't have included that picture on this site.


I'm president of a junior tackle football league.

A new coach who was meeting me for the first time on Saturday (8/22/09) said, "Hey, there's a boy on the roster of the team that we're gonna play whose last name is the same as yours. Is it your grandson?"

I almost suspended him on the spot.

Then an old friend caught my attention from the sideline, called me over, and said, "You've been doing a great job; but, man, you've put on a lotta weight since becoming president!"

I almost puked.

Then he asked/said, "How you been able to handle all them historically bad relationships? Everybody seems to be gettin' along really well these days. I'm stunned. You gots some real rough boys in that league."

"Hey, dude," I answered while still unglued by his sizing me down, "I'm a pastor. You have no idea how rough some kids can be."




Blessings and Love!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Now that football's poster boy of double-mindedness has signed and assured the Vikings of a pass to the playoffs through the weakest division in the NFL, it's almost time for KD's pre-season power ratings.

Here's a hint.

The only three teams with a chance to sneak past the team owned by the USA's ambassador to Ireland and slip on some Super Bowl rings are in the American Conference East (1) and National Conference East (2).

What do you think?



Providence has plopped really important ministerial matters into my lap.

That means I don't have a lot of time left over for ecclesiastical babysitting.

In other words, I spend so much time with folks with real problems that I don't have much time left over for folks who make up problems for themselves that usually plague others like worrying about their deodorant keeping 'em dry all day long or if I noticed that they're mad about something and scapegoating me or another staff member because it's too hard to acknowledge their mirror's reflection.


I do a lot of crisis counseling for folks in our community who aren't members of our church but are related to members of our church or know someone in our church or, uh, well, uh, me!

Maybe it's just because I'm free.

Think about that.


That song in the second section of this KD reminds me of the PK who's suicidal.

I've been meeting with him for quite a while.

He was swept away by a fine lookin' babe who he assumed was "the one" and you know what I mean.

She dumped him like Ruthie dumped me for Joe back in 11th grade; though it's understandable that I was dumped because Joe ended up as quarterback for the New York Giants and I ended up babysitting for grown-up pewsitters who can act even worse than fans in the Meadowlands during a game against the Patriots.

Being a PK, he's got some real hostilities toward the church that he's transferred to Jesus; though I keep tellin' him, "Don't blame Jesus for Christians!"

Parenthetically, if you're not a PK or drowning in the ecclesiastical fishbowl in some fashion, I won't even bother trying to explain that last sentence to you.

It's like PBHO likes to say, in essence, "You can't empathize if you ain't been there and done that."

Be that as it is and will always be because the minority who get it will never be the majority, I finally leveled with - uh, unloaded on - him.

I said, "We've been meeting for months and you're still thinking about killing yourself; and, today, you've told me that you've decided how you're going to do it. Well, aside from the selfishness of it all, it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem; but, of course, you don't get that because she was the one and there will never be another like her. Well, I've got some good news for you that may sound like bad news. She wasn't the one! If she were the one, she wouldn't be bonin' that other guy right now! If she were the one, she'd feel about you like you feel about her! So if you check out because of someone who isn't really the one, you won't be around when He has the real one cross your path."

Then I talked about Ruthie.


Finally, I said, "As far as I can see, you've got three options if you're still feelin' like endin' it all. First, you can kill yourself. Two, you can go downtown to the 4th floor of the hospital and get some happy pills. Or three, you can invite Jesus into your life and stop whining about how awful the church has been treating your dad and realize that Jesus is great and loves you and will deliver you from this depression and open a life to you beyond your imagination and expectations and..."

After he rolled his eyes, I ended, "If you kill yourself, people will be sad, at first, and then consider you to be a total chicken___. Getting some happy pills is O.K. as a bandaid; but you need some radical heart surgery for the long haul. So the only real way to get out this hole is to take Jesus' hand and let Him pull you out of this pit that you keep diggin' deeper."

Jesus is the only real "one" in the end; and He's the only "one" who can really deliver in the meantime.

Trusting anyone or anything else is kinda, uh, suicidal.



Some comments from a pastor in Pennsylvania on PBHO's health deform plans: "The more I hear about death panels, the more I like the idea. Let's save a few bucks...At the same time, let's add a few more issues that are being neglected in our national yelling match...The fact is that we already have nationalized health care. It's just that the hospitals cover the losses out of their profits..."

He goes on, "Another point absent from today's debate is any talk about what you are going to do to stay healthy. Please note how I am talking about you, not me...Given the clips I've seen of some Town Hall meetings, I understand why some of those noisy folks wag their fingers against any meddling with their health care. Many sure look like they're really going to need a doctor soon..."

"Can we address," he asks with tongue in cheek, "how we suffer from a vending-machine mentality? I sticks my money in...I want my candy bar. I want to get what I want to get and I want it now, whether from God or government...I expect my government to solve my problems. Why should I break a sweat solving them? That's your job. Excuse back hurts. Where's my disability check?"

Getting personal in a vocational kinda way, he notes, "We clergy types see this attitude in how we've sold the public on the screwy and inverted notion that God is some 'domestic butler or cosmic therapist,' a god who will soothe, fix, approve them. Little wonder many find religion ultimately disappointing: they don't find for what they are searching or get what they demand. 'God cheated me,' they say."

Really meddling, he bellows, "Teachers suffer from our vending-machine mentality too. When did students start thinking that teacher works for them?...A doctor I know feels this pressure everyday. What are you going to do when your patient is 500 pounds, refuses to stop eating Twinkies, sits around watching The People's Court, won't exercise, is diabetic, enjoys his handicap sticker and SSI, then blames Doc when his heart rebels? A death panel might be a good idea...This guy's a bum investment. Why bother? Yet he arrives at the ER demanding Cadillac care. Save me or I'll sue you! Why bother reviving him if he isn't going to save himself?"

He concludes, "The final missing aspect in our health care feeding frenzy is a frank and faithful talk about death. For it's O.K. to die. People do it all the time. I help them die. Those who have lived well tend to die well, even with pain. There comes a time when enough is enough, when fear of death becomes abusive. It's not about making a decision to cause someone you love to die, it is about recognizing the kinder decision that nature already has made. We can intrude with our tubes, drugs, machines. The death panel verdict already is in: there is no health care package good enough to prevent your death."

Not bad for somebody from Princeton.


Again, my dad said, "If the shot calls for a five iron but you can't hit a five iron, don't hit a five iron."

That's why I've dropped all of the long irons from my bag.

There's a parallel in there somewhere for the Vikings, PK, and maybe even PBHO.


Speaking of dropping long irons, a pastor in Maryland sent the next clip which is a reality check akin to the bytes from his peer in Pennsylvania.



Blessings and Love!

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Yesterday provided the last sign of the imminent end of American civilization.

Tiger Woods lost a major for the first time after leading one for 54 holes. He was 14 for 14. The streak is over; and the last symbol of hope for America's continuing dominance in anything has fallen to a nice guy from SK.

While the LPGA knows all about emerging SKs as superstars and declining Americans as also-rans, this is a hard pill for everybody else who has been used to America kickin' butt and finishing first.

Even the racists in our country are depressed.

Maybe if it were someone from Ireland or Germany or another Euro-something who beat our best...

Our fallen hero couldn't/wouldn't talk to anyone in the media after blowing the lead over the back nine.

He is a gracious winner.

Just like America.

The end.



Speaking of losers, Glenn Beck has been losing sponsors for his TV show quicker than PBHO has been losing credibility over, uh, well, uh, just about anything these days.

Sargento Foods, GEICO,, Progressive Insurance, Procter & Gamble, and SC Johnson have all pulled ads from Beck's show.

MSNBC is downright giddy.

While I watch Beck about as much as I watch Olbermann and that chick that's on before and after and sometimes during his show, we keep moving in society as well as church farther and farther away from a melting pot to a boiling cauldron.

Recently, I warned a peer who just moved to a new church, "Yeah, the chairman of the search committee thinks you're God's other son. But be careful. Guys like him will like you as long as you herald their bigotries. As soon as he finds something - and he's gonna keep inspecting until he detects something that he doesn't like - he's gonna drop you quicker than the Falcons dumped Vick."

It's the American way of life these days.

If we don't agree with our politicians, professors, pastors, and all of the rest about everything, we demonize 'em.

Well, at least Beck and PBHO have something in common that all can see.

They think America is their mirror.


Speaking of mirrors, I looked in one before worship a few weeks ago; and realized how silly I look in traditional vestments.

Yeah, I know all about the symbols and what they mean.

Dr. Macleod taught me all about 'em at Princeton.

But aside from the stripes that don't heal on the sleeves, they are as silly looking as people have been tellin' me for over three decades.

So if I'm gonna tell people to expand their wineskins...


Oh, I forgot.

Yeah, if I teach 'em about the meaning of those symbols...

Yeah, right.

Been there and done that.

It's like teaching people about sacred music.

While God may have inspired all of it, you've still got folks who know more about music than Him who...

I still don't know the difference between traditional and contemporary church music.

If God inspired all of it, who the hell are we to...?

You know what I mean.


Be that as it was, is, and will always be no matter what Dr. Macleod and I think, I'm gonna stop wearing a robe and tabs and most of the rest except for funerals in the chapel and weddings in the sanctuary.

I don't want to ruin the pictures.

While I probably won't wear a Hawaiian shirt on Sundays even though that guy on the left coast who is idolized seems to be getting away with it, I'm gonna make some room for fresh wind and fire.


I don't know if you've been keepin' up on Rick Pitino; but here are some redemptive reflections from a friend who also happens to worship with me on Sundays:

Your last KD reminded me about Rick Pitino.

I'm a basketball fan and a basketball coaching
fan; and I was a bit disappointed when the news
came out about one of my favorite coaches.

Politicians are one thing, but coaches!

Now, I'm not judging him. We have all made
mistakes in life. I have made some doozies.
And given that he's still married and his wife
must have forgiven him, who am I or anyone
else to hold a grudge?

But the CNN commentator said, "I think
Rick Pitino should have thought more about
the consequences. After all, he is the FACE
of Louisville..."

That phrase seems to be coming up a lot

Aren't we all kinda "the face" of something?

That's poorly written, but I know you get the
metaphoric sense there...

My goal is make fewer and fewer mistakes as
I get older. Usually about the time I think I'm
getting there, I trip up. And that's when I'm
reminded yet again of how thankful I am that
God's grace is not in finite amounts.

Not bad for somebody who worships with me on Sundays.

It's too bad that...



My dad's getting really ___ed off.

He wrote on Saturday, "Have you noticed how those in power are changing the meaning of language? For example, take a look at what they're doing to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life now means between the ages of 3 and 65. Below or above, you may be in a tenuous position. And if you're still in the womb, you've got a 50-50 chance at best. Liberty means if you agree with everything promulgated by those in power. The pursuit of happiness is taking a real beating since coined by our forefathers. Now they mean you will be told when to be happy and at what level of happiness you will be allocated depending on what side of the bed those in power...Of course, it all depends on what is is."

Apples don't fall far from the tree.


Go Tiger!


Blessings and Love!

Visit before we're put on the new enemies list!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 13, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


I'm spending a lot of time at our "church booth" at the Boone County Fair (Illinois).

The Boone County Beauty Queen rode by yesterday and waved to me.

She's very smiley; which is really good because she's the "face" of the fair.

While none of us would ever dare to claim being the face of our church because only Jesus is the face of His body, we are kinda the face of the church because we're who/what people on the outside see first; which means it's really good if we're smiley (i.e., invitational, inclusive, welcoming, and big on agape).



Have you seen that commercial for McDonalds that mocks a biker who gets caught in the rain?


I wrote about that in my book on biker culture as metaphor and challenge to the church: "While I've had as much psychotherapeutic education and experience as many shrinks who get megabucks for what I do as a part of my service to the church, I don't pretend to know for certain why bikers have an especially elevated status in the disdain of our purveyors of political correctness. I have two guesses: (1) the insatiable lust to control and compel others to conform to their way of life; and (2) jealousy."

You can read the rest, uh, when it's published.

Getting back to the commercial, I thought, "I'd rather ride in the warm rain on a chrome pony than sit in a cool cage of monotony."

If you've never ridden, you won't get it.


My dad likes to jingle change in his pockets and whistle while I'm putting.

He's taught many things about competitive sports to me.

Here's three more.

He said this about club selection: "If the shot calls for a five iron but you can't hit a five iron, don't hit a five iron."

He still says this as he gets older and I pretend to be younger by pumping my chest and asking what he's gonna hit after I hit a lot less club than I know he's gonna have to hit: "I don't give a __ what you hit! You hit what you need to hit to get the job done and don't worry about what I'm gonna hit to get the job done."

He always asks why I putt left-handed but play right-handed; and when I explain that I putt left-handed because I can't putt right-handed, he always declares after a few moments of silence after my response to his interrogative, "I've got news for you! You can't putt left-handed!"

I think he's drawing some analogies to Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.


Speaking of being/doing who/what He ordered for you, PBHO is catching everything but heaven these days.

Though he's become the, uh, face of whoever's ruining, I mean running, the show these days, he doesn't seem to be uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, getting much time to prepare for those daily speeches, press conferences, rap sessions, beer summits, and photo ops.


Be that as it is, did you catch his reassurances about the health plan that nobody in D.C. except the anonymous authors has read?

He said our government will make our health care as efficacious as our mail service.




I've been getting a lot of mail; and if it's especially nice or obnoxious, I relay it to you.

If you haven't figured out I have no need for people to agree/disagree avec moi, I'm sorry; but I don't.

I'm just trying to get people to think, expand wineskins, and stop embarrassing Jesus through some churches with connections to Him that are coincidental at best.

And considering how tired I am right now because of the fair added onto the rest of my life and ministry, I'm glad for the help.

Besides, KDers can be really nice or, uh, obnoxious.


Here's one that really got to me; because it's from a PCUSA EP in the near South; and for those who ain't Presbyterian by birth/choice/grace, an EP is kinda like a bishop with some/most of 'em being more or less like the RC versions.

He wrote, "I guess we've not run across (or over) one another before. I'm a fairly regular KD reader - linked first by Hans on Presbyweb...I appreciate many of the things you write and I wanted to share my recent e-mail to my family...My new daughter-in-law is an Army Germany...I really wanted her to read KD...She sent her Harley-Davidson to Germany...She is, much like her new daddy-in-law, one of the more conservative clergy from this particular franchise. I know she'll very much enjoy your thoughts...So will my other son. My wife will as well."

I'm blushing.

It's kinda nice to have a few fans; especially considering how many of the others are out there.

Then he wrote this to his family (excerpts):

Here's the link: Sometimes it's a
bit eclectic, but you have to read at it for a while.

I find him refreshing and I can't imagine how anyone can be
so observant. Sometimes he's a bit irreverent, but I like that,
too. I also think he's fairly brilliant.

So far so good!

He goes on:

I decided my new daughter-in-law should be aware of him.
As a pastor, she may resonate with him more than others.

He is a Presbyterian pastor in the heartland of America who
has at least one major indiscretion in his past.

Uh, oh.

He continues,

Who hasn't had at least one?

He was quite an "up and comer" in the church when
it happened.

His main task is to honor Jesus and he, quite frankly,
doesn't care whom he ___es off when he does.

Who says good can't come when someone has had
bad times?

I like his fundamentals. I like his theology. I like how
he wants to follow Jesus.

It's also really neat that he rides motorcycles and that he
plays golf and that he is a forgiven sinner.



After weeping the first time after reading it, I paused and asked God's forgiveness for thinking nobody was gettin' this genre.

I was wrong.

I am sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love even those of you who really ___ me off in a Christian kinda way.

After all, if He can do for me what this EP figured out, I know He's got some great things in store for and through you for Him and His if you'd stop being such a tradition-bound, jingoistic, anal, defensive, apostate, fainthearted, suck up to the ecclesiastical establishment, tight-___ed wineskin, general pain in the aspirations of anyone trying to love Jesus by loving like Jesus as explained in Holy Scripture, and...


I've gotta get back into character.


I've asked my favorite devotional writer in Oklahoma to write one of the forewords to my biker book; cautioning her that my summer summary sermon series on it is really tame compared to what's in it.

I said it's real, rough, raw, and maybe even redemptive.

She wrote back, "I, like you, walk in His grace and love! That's what redemption is all about! And, yes, I believe I know your heart - a pure heart that desires only that people would love as Jesus loves; and a heart that loves the Savior passionately and pursuantly."


I wish she'd talk to a few folks who hate me for enabling our third worship service to start nine minutes later.


Here's some feedback from Washington (state).

"Regarding tithing," he writes, "I have a couple comments and questions regarding and pertaining to recent KDs."

"First," he, uh, starts, "I appreciate that you don't know what individuals give or don't give. I don't know if that's by your church's bylaws or your personal sense of ethics. I always chafed against the pledge method often used because somebody at that church would know. I've always wanted to do this with complete anonymity and that's now impossible if I want the income tax credit."

I didn't know that.

Neither do most churchgoers...obviously.

"Second," he, uh, continues, "In these challenging economic times, I'm testing the notion as to whether I will really have enough if I continue to give as I set out to at the beginning of the year. I've heard other pastors claim that the requirement for the tithe was released at the point of the new covenant in favor of the freewill sort of offering; but then claim that a tenth is something many people should consider as a minimum figure. The NT definitely supports the idea of acting according to a personal decision; but I don't see a tithe emphasized there, just an offering. Curious if you had any comment about that."


He went on to make a nasty comment about the Yankees which I cut from this edition.

I'm the editor and I love the Yankees.


Somebody in Idaho has written to KD!

Until now, the only people who've ever written to me from Idaho were from a church's pastor search committee that wouldn't forgive me for what Jesus did (go back to the EP letter).

He begins, "If pastors are going to positively prepare parishioners to meet the Lord, they need to know if they tithe. Yes, non-tithers will be saved by the blood of Jesus just like the tithers. However, I wonder how often God wants to puke when posers - defensive and secretive non-tithers - defend the right to keep their disobedience in the dark."

No wonder I never got to...

He goes on, "The American Church needs to fire John Wayne who is America's heroic messianic symbol for personal freedom and independence and who has been used as the ambassador for private faith in America. I am sick and tired of parishioners telling me that their faith is 'a private matter' between them and God. There is nothing in the Bible to support that claim!...The American Church is going to hell because we worship privatized personal faithlessness with disregard to the Bible and God. For those who worship John Wayne and privatized religion, I wonder if God might say this to them as He sends them to hell, 'Don't talk to me about the blood of Jesus, you said this was a private matter between you and me. You lived as if Jesus blood was not necessary for you. Thus, I have decided to judge you as you are without the blood of Jesus since you wanted to do this as a private matter. Yes, it's a private matter between you and me and I am the Court of Appeals. Enjoy your one-on-one private time with Satan. Next!'"

He ends, "That felt good."


C'mon, just like you can't blame Jesus for some Christians, you can't blame John Wayne for some cowboys.

Or something like that.

Moretheless, I think I'm better off in Boone County.


And, somewhat finally, a word from a favorite non-biker in California on helmets: "To prolong your metaphor, you have to remember the drive for helmets is not about safety. It's about money. The insurance industry is engaged in a step by step campaign to reduce financial risk by legislating behavior. Seat belts, helmets, child car seats are three examples. Do we think the drive to eliminate transfats is just an altruistic effort by well-meaning legislators? It is insurance companies coupling with government to sacrifice individual freedom for the financial higher good. As SF Mayor Gavin Newsome would shout, 'Whether you like it or not!'"

"Jump," he jumps, "to Obama Care. The socialistic push to sweep all members of society into a massive mandated participation in health insurance is another example of subsuming individual choice. A large percentage of the so-called 'uninsured' in America are young people who know they are ridiculously healthy and have fractional need for major medical coverage. If they do not join the socialist program, the government will be given the power to literally take the money from their bank accounts."

"Oh," he injects, "and funding for's coming...just wait...whether you like it or not."

On that positive note, let me tell you about yesterday's scene in the surgery waiting room of a local hospital. People were ___ing and moaning about PBHO's health reform stuff. I'd never seen anything like it in a surgery waiting room. Everybody was involved! So as I passed by, I decided to chime in, "Hey, hey, hey! Don't worry about the costs anymore. Everything's gonna be just fine. There's gonna be plenty of money for everybody as soon as we zap all of the octogenarians!"

Nervous laughter followed.


Maybe I will try the Tilt-O-Whatever at the fair this year.



Blessings and Love!

Join one of my two favorite EPs and visit

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Now that the Yankees have the best record in MLB again after sweeping those beaners outta the really big apple, my hope for restored order in church and society has been rekindled.


Until folks see each other through the eyes of Jesus as, uh, ordered, that slow train will continue to speed up.



I've almost finished my manuscript on biker culture as metaphor and challenge to the church; and because my previous small market publisher did such a lousy job with at least one book - Golf in the Real Kingdom - that coulda, shoulda, and woulda in a Marlon Brando contendah kinda way, I've decided to look for an agent.

I've got three great forewords and a title that will provoke...

Anyway, it's the most real, rough, raw, and maybe even redemptive of all of my books; so much so that one guy who I really, really, really like said, "It's great! It's bold! I will sell it! But I can't write a foreword for you because it's too honest."


I think he's a Presbyterian.

Anyway, here's a mild excerpt from the last chapter on freedom:

Getting back to helmets, the bottom line for bikers is not safety.

The bottom line is freedom.

The bottom line is not yielding freedom to someone who thinks she
or he knows so much better that they can dictate your beliefs and

It's so anti-American.

That's why bikers are trying to hold the line on helmets as a
patriotic act; knowing it's a terribly slippery slope to state
control over every part of your life.

That's what pro-lifers have been saying for years. If any part
of life is devalued, it won't be too long before other parts of
life are devalued. Specifically, if you can devalue life in the
womb, it won't be too long before those in control will decide
for you that your life is no longer worth living...

My octogenarian parents and friends are connecting those dots to...

How about you?



There are two women in our family of faith who love Jesus, kinda love me though they'd never admit it because of previous idolatries while thinking I'm always thinking about 'em which isn't true except in a fond kinda way, and will always be among my favorites even when I've gotta afflict them for being too comfortable in their prejudices while always prepared to comfort 'em when they're afflicted by somebody else's prejudices.


Anyway, one is a die-hard Democrat and the other is a die-hard Republican; and both are always looking for something in what I say and write - Dang! You can always find something! - to prove that I lean one way or the other despite my constant refrain, "The Democrats and Republicans are killing America. The Democrats are not so crypto-socialists and the Republicans are weenies who have abandoned their moorings like that moron who ran for President while not representing them last time."


That's just it.



My buddy who is President of Victorious Ministry Through Christ - If you want to know more about that ministry, ask! - conducted some prayer ministry sessions just down the road.

He's also my predecessor in the church that's currently enduring me.

Well, a big part of VMTC is praying/helping/enabling folks to learn how to say to God and others, "I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you."

We agreed some folks who can't distinguish between themselves and Jesus - Do you know anyone else of national stature who can't utter those words and is in desperate need of a prayer ministry session? - can't utter those words because they think they're talking about themselves when they bring up His name (scroll down to the first section of KD's 8/1/09 edition).


O.K., President-for-Life WJC probably gave that little creep in North Korea a lot more than a photo op to retrieve the two journalist babes.

So what?

If RR were still President or somebody with some ___s, that never would have happened in the first place; and it's gonna continue to happen until those morons in D.C. - Yes, my two favorite partisans, I mean all of 'em on both sides of the aisle in all branches of government! - get some ___s and stop playing politics with the health, welfare, and security of the globe.



Here's my take.

I'm glad they're home.

I hope WJC was told by PBHO or whoever's really running the show these days to lie.

I hope we promised something really neat.

Now we need to tell 'em to confess, repent, or go to hell.

A review of what I learned with Kopper seems appropriate about now (scroll down to third section of KD's 7/30/09 edition).



Some salt about tithing in the last KD (scroll down again) prompted a pastor in Ohio to chime in:

Let me tell you what I do when people come to me and complain about
my preaching and teaching on tithing.

First, I tell them that I did not realize they were not tithers and I really
wish they had not shared this with me, since I don't know who gives
or how much, nor do I want to know. This is...a matter between them
and God, and if their conscience is clear before God as they choose
not to tithe, I guess it has to be O.K. with me and they don't owe
me an explanation.

Then, I tell them that...tithing is God's idea, not mine...

God gives us the free will to disobey His Word and the Bible tells
us that when we don't tithe, the money we keep that was His
that we spend on other things has been stolen from God...

As their pastor, I am deeply concerned for their spiritual

Tithing is something they make up their minds to do or not,
and God does not want them to give under compulsion. So
if you can't give freely and cheerfully, then don't give. And
don't let any preacher put a guilt trip on them to give. Settle
that matter with God.

Also, I can make two promises about tithing: (1) When
you tithe, you will have less money; and (2) It will be enough

How much do you really believe God?

Enough to tithe?


Not bad for a Presbyterian pastor.


Here's something from another Presbyterian pastor in Florida related to the pastor who wants to buy a convertible but may not because his church won't let him (scroll down to the 7/30/09 edition of KD): "What our brother needs to do is go back to the jerk who offered 'counsel' and tell him right up front, 'Unless you or the congregation plans to buy and maintain my car, shut the hell up! What could possibly make you think my choice of car is anyone's business but my own?'"

He went on, "Idiots abound! I'm trying to imagine someone in my congregation saying something so dumb to me!"

BTW, that pastor was a special forces and intelligence officer for our government.

Talk about ___s!


Here's something from someone who left the PCUSA because he couldn't find a local Presbyterian pastor who still believed in Jesus in reference to KD's 8/5/09 edition: "If people can read between the lines, this might be your most meaningful edition ever. So much to really think about. But do people really think anymore? Do people really care anymore? With Jesus, we are no longer part of this world. But the world sure seems to want to be part of our lives. Come, Lord Jesus!"

I've got an answer to his questions: "No."

Just look at the idiots - anyone who knows any Greek knows the synonyms for that are almost as apocalyptic as the picture and quote included earlier - who we keep sending to D.C. from both parties (the last three words, again, for my favorite partisans).

But my friend from Pennsylvania does know the answer.


Now back to the Yankees...


Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


PBHO's recent "beer summit" was symbolic.

The President had a Bud Light, the professor chose Samuel Adams, Blue Moon for the policeman, and a non-alcoholic brew for the VP.



When I was Like a Rock in Kansas City as an ecclesiastical boy wonder, Buffy (clue) said, "My husband Jim said I shouldn't bother coming to talk to you because you're not going to listen anyway."

Some people confuse listening with agreeing.




Buffy (clue) was a very rich lady with too much time on her hands; meaning she was a very rich lady because Jim was a very successful litigator which meant she had a lot of time to be concerned about things like whether her deodorant would keep her dry all day long.

She was very mad at me because I had talked about tithing and she was too rich to tithe.



People are buying guns in record numbers.

Andrew Arulanandam for the NRA (clue): "People worry the administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress will try to enact more gun control."



Gators coach Urban Meyer just signed a deal for $4 million a year.

VP (clue) says the economy is worse than they thought seven months ago.



Iranian (clue) President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was decreed, uh, President by Iran's (clue) "supreme" leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Noting Muslims and Christians often plant "holy kisses" on each other to symbolize affirmation, affection, and unity, the President only got to the raghead's shoulder and was rebuffed from anything near the tongue.



My last 24 hours included meetings, more meetings, caddying for my favorite Special Olympics World Golf Champion, being introduced by a friend to a woman with MS who has lost mobility and speech yet smiles contagiously and witnesses to her love for life, and trying to convince a young man who has recently been dumped by a paramour not to kill himself.

I thought about all of the above for all of the below (clue).

My perspective was restored.


Some people have problems.

Some people make up problems that become real problems for others.

Some people deserve our time and energies.

Some people demand 'em.

Perspective differentiates the important from incidental.



Blessings and Love!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 1, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


I spent a lot of time with a covenant brother, peer, and predecessor on Friday.

We empathized.

He said, "Our recent disappointments are the same. Sometimes even people who love Jesus cannot distinguish between His words and theirs. They begin to think what they say is what He would say. They become messianic. Of course, if you say that to them, they'll..."


It's a popular word and rare experience these days.



He went on, "They left because I was not spiritual enough for them. They said they were not being fed at the church anymore. It took a long time to realize something; and I want you to listen very carefully to what I'm saying, Bob. It's not about you. It wasn't about me. It was about their relationship with Jesus; and what I've just told you about their messianic complex."

I said, "I've been approached by two churches since coming back from vacation. They want me to interview to be their next pastor. I can't for many reasons; but the most important is I'm called to this one. But I cannot tell you about the pain that I've felt because I love them so much but feel so..."

"Really?" he asked.

"Sorry," I said.


It's a popular word and rare experience these days.


"The pain of betrayal never leaves," he said, "and as much as I am thankful for you inviting me back without feeling like some others do about their predecessors, the pain never leaves. But, Bob, I've been reading your materials very closely; and your readers and you are right on target. These are not good days to be pastors. It's worse than I've ever seen. When I get close to the church and listen to the pastors who come through my ministry, I'm glad I'm retired."

"As soon as you left," I said, "the good guys and the bad guys went at it. But, and this is what has caused me to tailspin over the past few months, people who said..."

"People say many things, friend," he said.

"Yeah, I know," I lamented even while repeating myself, "tough times don't build character but rather expose it."


It's a popular word and rare experience these days.


The last KD (scroll down) on Thursday sparked furiously empathetic feedback.

Missouri: "You have a way of telling people to go to hell in a way that they're looking forward to the trip. I want to get out of ministry so badly; but I'm 60 and, well, you know..."

I will never leave pastoral ministry because it's my beruf; and if it's yours, you will stay through the cross to the crown. Read Hebrews 12 or something like that. Get out your old Bonhoeffer books and MLK tapes. Spend more time in prayer than the practice of ministry so the practice of ministry becomes more efficacious. Or something like that. And, oh, yeah, buy your version of a convertible!

Kansas: "I checked out your website. Tell Kathie that she's doing a great job! That picture of you sitting on the bike and knowing how you look in the pulpit and knowing what you stand for is sort of an enigma...I think I know you well enough to know that you are a person of integrity who says what he means and means what he says; but that you actually got one blows me away. You really are a new wineskin."

I won't judge myself because there are so many who like to do that for me. Again, once you allow anyone else but Jesus to define any part of your life, they will feel entitled to define all parts of your life. I prefer Jesus. He loves me unconditionally; loving me just the way I am and loving me too much to leave me just the way I am. When we stop expanding the wineskin, it's time to order a memorial marker. Of course, when you allow people to define you, they've already ordered it for you.

Oklahoma: "Wow! You touched on some raw nerves in the pastoral arena in today's KD! Reminds me of a local pastor whose wife passed away after a long illness. He decided to get a chrome pony and it actually split the church. Seems the congregation just couldn't handle their pastor enjoying something that wasn't dignified!...Perhaps we should send a few of the hard-headed and hard-hearted saints to obedience school with Kopper!"

A friend in California likes to say, "We stay at churches until the minority who hates us becomes the majority." I don't spend much time suffering fools gladly anymore; because I really don't have much time to suffer 'em because most of my time is spent with people who want to kill themselves, think they're dying, are dying, think somebody's trying to kill them, or they're being killed by the meanness, madness, and misery in the modern world. If the minority becomes the majority where I am, that would be too bad because my call for the duration has been confirmed in a plethora of ways; but, heaven, I'm not too worried about that. I got two invitations to candidate as soon as I got back from vacation and I think one of my next two books will sell and... Truth is I have all the time in His calendar for people who are authentically addressing their lives; and almost none left over for people who are trifling and transferring... If I had some extra time, maybe... I am thinking about teaching a Bible study in a local nursing home because, well, those folks have authentic issues rather than making 'em up...

Pennsylvania: "What the hell is wrong with you pastors? Wimps! Tell the pastor in Ohio to skip the convertible and go straight for a full-sized yellow Cadillac and pull it in front of his church! You pastors don't realize that 99% of the people don't give a __ about what the other 1% are so obsessed about! We want you to tell the truth of Jesus and we'll protect you from the ___s. You've got to start trusting us."

O.K., sort of... I haven't been personally threatened by a church since hanging out with black folks in a really white neighborhood. Be that as it was, just one flea can make a big dog itch! Yeah, I know I'm secure; but it's not all about me. It's about those pastors, especially the young ones, who are forced to fit into the less than authentic images of people who want their pastors to be court jesters, good humor women/men, and agree with the last person they've talked to... If it were just about me, I would be just fine. But I can't stand what I'm seeing out there these days. I'm secure and still marketable; so I can get away with, uh, telling the truth, admitting when I'm wrong, and moving on. It's tough for some of the pups, pal! But I'm glad you're out there; and everyone, especially Him, is counting on you!

Illinois: "You said, 'When I die, they'll have ham and cole slaw in fellowship hall, elect another pastor search committee right after the interment, and then tell my family to get out of the manse in a month.' There are good churches/parishioners out there! It may be rare but there are churches out there who really care for their pastors and their families."

Praise the Lord! I agree with you! I'm almost in one! Because I know who you are, I have hope that people like you will look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for the anointed! Parenthetically, I've seen what happens to those who don't. Our Lord has a way of 'getting' those who go after the anointed. Check it out. I don't like to talk or write about it. But it's there. But even in a near perfect church like yours, I want you to keep this in mind. Your pastor said to me a few days ago, "For as long as I can remember, she would tell me how bad everybody else was in the church; but her, of course. Then I realized two things. First, while she was talking about everybody else when she was talking to me, she was talking about me when talking to everybody else! Second, the people who she said were bad when compared to how good she is have turned about to be among the best people who I've ever met in life and ministry." Jesus said something about that...something about wolves in sheep's clothing...


I've also received some pointed/prophetic words from two of my favorite devotional writers.

Oklahoma: "Read Job 23:10...Better days and greater victories lie ahead. This battle that you're going through won't defeat you, but will define who you are...a champion of faith...a conqueror of tests...a child of God!...The licks you've been taking have cut deep into your flesh; exposing your vulnerabilities and your dependence on Him. Once strong and mighty, perhaps you now feel weak and as helpless as a new-born babe. You have been kicked, bruised, shaken, ridiculed, and cast aside by others. But, as Paul Harvey, would say, 'Now for the rest of the story!' Soon, you are going to shine! This trial is sent by God!...He has sent this test to develop your faith and character, and to qualify you as one fit to share in His glory! He is stripping away all of the pretenses, the facades, the egotism that the old flesh like to parade around...Every time you've taken a hit for Him, He has deposited a little more glory in your soul!...Hold on!...Get ready!...Your time to shine is near!"

Pennsylvania: "My spiritual progress often seems like the old two steps forward and three steps back!...As the pendulum swings inevitably back from misplaced self-confidence to self-condemnation, I check my depression by recalling I am not the first and certainly not the last disciple not to get it...Read Mark 8:14-21...It's not about getting it. It's about getting Him...I am not going to fret over bread today...I don't even care if you've 'got milk' or not. But, do we have Him? Because with Him, all things are possible. If He can feed five thousand, He can feed five. If He can feed five, He can feed one. If He can feed one, He can feed you."




Blessings and Love!

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