Sunday, October 3, 2010

October 3, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



My heart and tooth ache.

I understand the tooth.

Gump: "It happens."

The heart is more problematic.

Jesus: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."


My mom's surgery, rescheduled several times after being told she'd have to have it or die, should be on 10/4.

I thought a lot about that yesterday; while visiting someone else's mom about 1000 miles away from mine.

Fortunately, I didn't have any gotta-be-here-or-the-kingdom-may-rise-or-fall-on-it ecclesiastical or other business last week; so I got to see her for a very few days.

Though nervous as everything but heaven because of the defining clause in the first sentence of this section, she kept saying, "Bobby, I love you so much and I'm so happy you're here and you'll always be your mommy and daddy's little boy..."



That felt so good; 'cause my vocation doesn't allow for much unconditional love.

I won't even bother talking about affirmation and affection.

It is what it is.

Anyway, as the very few days of being with my mom, dad, and sister and soaking up that unconditional agape began slipping away, my mom seemed to be feeling better about the whole deal; which was obvious to me when she started bugging me about wearing a helmet and told me on late Monday night that her pastor was coming to see me on early Tuesday morning.

I said, "Mom, I come here to see you, dad, and Sue; and maybe Sue's family if they've got time. I don't come to meet, entertain, counsel, or..."

My dad interrupted, "Janie, people who spend all of their time dealing with other people's problems don't like to deal with other people's problems when they're away."

With a sudden burst of energy/purpose, my mom blurted out, "Well, the least he can do for me is wear a helmet and visit with our pastor who wants to meet him."


How could I say no to meeting her pastor when she's my mom and facing...?


I told her that I'd wear a helmet most of the time - like when I'm riding in the rain or in the city or on one of the rudest roads in America (Route 90 between Madison, Wisconsin and the Indiana border) - if she bought one for me like the one that Jax wears on Sons of Anarchy.

BTW, if someone steps up to pay off my plastic, the same deal applies.

I guess everybody has a price.

Just ask Brett, LeBron, or Rahm.


I like my mom and dad's pastor.

He loves Jesus by name and believes mainline denominations would be better off not to mention faithful if they paid more attention to Biblical Christianity instead of the navel-gazing ideologies that have caught their fancies.

He helped us vent about medical care (?) that says you've got to have a particular procedure/surgery or you'll die and then postpone, reschedule, and...

He asked why less than 1% of a church's membership can paralyze a church from doing, uh, almost anything; prompting my hypothesis: "Because we're wimps and don't have the courage of our convictions which means we really have no convictions because convictions compel proactivity."

He liked that; and I liked him even more for liking that/me.

Then he said, "I don't know what I've done wrong; but everybody on the pastor search committee that wanted me to be the pastor has left."

I said, "That's a repeated refrain in our ghetto. From my personal experience as well as from counseling pastors who've gone through it, lots of pastor search committee members leave the church when they discover they didn't get what they thought they got; especially the ones who lusted for a champion for their agenda, best friend, or lover."

He liked that; and I liked him even more for liking that/me.

But my heart began to ache for him, peers, and, uh, me; especially as we discussed issues like membership and money.

I forgot about my tooth for the next two hours.

I just decided to love him; and even when we disagreed, I kept it to myself because piling on is a penalty in more than football.

Besides, it reminded me of something that I read in Francis Chan's Crazy Love: "Life is comfortable when you separate yourself from people who are different from you...But God doesn't call us to be comfortable."

We laughed between tears about mainline denominations spending most their time on what separates (navel-gazing ideologies) not unites (Jesus); recalling another line from Chan: "I'm going back to Scripture and seeing what the church was in its simplest form and trying to re-create that in my own church. I'm not coming up with anything new. I'm calling people to go back to the way it was. I'm not bashing the church. I'm loving it."

That's when I realized why my heart more than tooth aches.

I'm reminded of the first words out of his mouth, my response, and then his response to my response.

He showed up in preacher clothes.

I was in my it's-good-to-have-Bobby-home T-shirt and shorts without shoes.

He asked, "Are you trying not to look like a pastor?"

I said, "I hope so."

He said, "I get it."

Yeah, I like him.



The Lord is forcing me to expand my wineskin to make room for Him and His.

Decreasing self to increase Him and His is the most difficult challenge of life.

That remains a much too big part of why my heart aches.

I care too much about what I care too much about and sometimes it's only coincidental to Christianity as personified in Jesus and prescribed in the Bible.

As for the tooth, I think there's something more spiritual than sensual about it.

Maybe it's penance.


Blessings and Love!

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