Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



O.K., I got some folks with the tease to the last KD; which, uh, you'll have to check out in the archives if you haven't already read it.

The humor-challenged didn't like it.

I'm sorry.


Anyway, we've changed our Sunday morning calendar where I hang out; and 99% of the pewsitters are really into it!

Praise the Lord!

Of course, just one flea can make a big dog itch.

Read Luke 15 for the positive context.

Getting back to pests, here's an illustration of the 1%ers; and I ain't talkin' about my biker buddies...

Comment at lunch on Monday with a former pastor now attending worship with us incognito: "I started attending when you came to Belvidere. I didn't like that artificial separation of the so-called traditional from contemporary services. The origin of that separation is Satan. I stayed because I sensed you would submit to the Lord's designs rather than continue to pacify the prejudices of baby Christians. You did! The last month is what our Lord has in mind; if anyone is familiar with Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Something was missing in those other services. The body! I know Jesus is smiling on the church now as all of the musicians come together to help us worship Him. There's so much excitement now! So much joy! More and more people every Sunday! New faces every week! The church is about to really take off!"

Comment after lunch with a really good friend and officer with her/his ear to the pavement: "The ___s have left the church because they don't like the changes in worship."


I remember a delightful woman in New Jersey who attended services every week - sitting alone in a big pew with a big smile on her face - until, by the grace of God, worship was transformed from performance to participation and the church began to grow and grow and grow. I ran into her at a pizza shop on Raritan Road in Clark, New Jersey. I said, "Hey, I haven't seen you for a while. Have you given up on us or Jesus?" She replied without a smile, "Not funny! I'm never coming back. I loved sitting in the pew all by myself. Now there's all these new people showing up and..."

Holy ___!

Sometimes people prefer ___ to Spirit.

It's common in mainline churches where folks have pews all to themselves.



A pastor in Vermont sent his first edition of "A Pastor's Final Litany" to KD.

It's really obnoxious.

In other words, I like it.

Apparently, this dude is going to insert this into the bulletin on his last Sunday before cashing in on his pension credits:

A Pastor's Final Litany

Congregation: For stopping you on the way to a worship service,
to tell you that the Men's Bathroom is out of
toilet paper,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For telling you that we can't afford to give you
a raise, while trading in our three-year-old
Caddy for a new BMW,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For criticizing your children for talking during
Sunday School, when our children are
vandalizing the vending machine in the
youth room,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For assuming you really want to get out of
bed in the middle of the night to come and
get us out of jail due to public intoxication,
while we won't get up early enough to come
to officer training on a Saturday,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For bitching about how much we don't like
the new anything, while you have to glue
your office chair back together each week,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For listening to the whining of people who
resent you for telling the truth about what
it really means to follow the Word of God,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For begrudging your vacation time with your
family at a state park, while we request
excused absences from board meetings to
travel to Europe,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For wanting you to be in the office when I
come to see you unannounced, and
criticizing you, at the same time, that you
are not out in the community enough,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For calling the Personnel Committee chairman
to complain that you didn't visit me in the
hospital last week, even though I never told you
I was there,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For asking to speak about the Ladies' Tea
for 5 minutes in the worship service, 5 minutes
before the service is about to begin, and for
calling you selfish for telling me that I can't,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For calling you insincere because you don't show
enough emotion when you preach, and calling you
immature when you do,

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For, after several years of faithful service with little
reward, no respect, and lots of heartache, telling
you that we no longer think you "fit" with us, and
asking you to pick up and move your family yet

Pastor: Bite me!

Congregation: For all of these "character-building" episodes, and

Pastor: I work for Jesus; so BITE ME!!!!!!!




Mail time avec italicized personalisms!

Texas: "We used to know each other casually through Presbyterian renewal stuff and even had breakfast together at a Coalition meeting...I much enjoy your blogging...This true story for you prompted by presbyweb (www.churchandworld.com) today. Back when I was traveling around the denomination for New Wineskins, I was on a flight with a fellow who asked me if I knew you and then proceeded to tell me that, through your ministering to his relatives, God had used you to bring him to the throne of grace and to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The circumstance was either a death or ugly divorce. I cannot remember. What I remember clearly is that he told me that you did not shy away from sharing Jesus with him and sticking with it and ultimately saving a soul for Jesus."

I appreciate somebody recalling something good about me, friend! It doesn't happen too much in the church. I have been a real ___hole in many ways throughout my life and ministry; but God has always graced me to grace others because of His promise in Psalm 91:14-16. You have encouraged me to keep keepin' on!

Twitter: "Thanks for connecting. Tell me about your passions. I'm the author of Costly Grace - passionate about God and I try to be an encourager.

Excellent! You can quote anything that you'd like about my passions from the site! Check the archives! And if you don't want to quote me, that's O.K. As a professor as well as pastor, police chaplain, and author of non-best-selling books, I know plagiarism is cool these days. Just ask Joe Biden. And I remember that, uh, twit who said before singing with his praise band, "Now I'd like to sing a song that the Lord gave to me to fill your hearts with love, grace, and peace; and if you use it without paying royalties to me, I'll sue your ___ off!" I will buy your book about Bonhoeffer's understanding of costly grace - The Cost of Discipleship - because I am growing in my understanding of following Jesus by leaving the monastery (viz., the rubrics, rites, ceremonies, and religion of mainline, uh, religion) and going out into the world as a guy who wants to love Jesus by loving like Jesus.

Pennsylvania: "I have a friend who asked for a powerless vacuum cleaner to clean up around God's house. Upon my interrogation, he realized he wanted a cordless vacuum. It became clear to me that is what we Christians frequently accept and sometimes even desire in our churches...A famous preacher said, 'When people come to church, they should be wearing crash helmets.' Instead, too many want pillows and get them! Our churches appear to be powerless. Can it be that we are unaware of the mighty power of God? God filled a bunch of cowards in an upper room in Jerusalem and turned them into courageous messengers of the Gospel...They were not ashamed or afraid of what others might think...They were ordinary folks living by an extraordinary power...I believe this is what God desires for the church today. Being filled with the Holy Spirit to live out the Gospel...Loving God and neighbor with a pure and holy love, we can change the world! Then the church will be POWERFUL. We won't need a cord either."

Yo, dude, I still haven't gotten that cordless vacuum! But thanks for reminding me/us to stay connected to the Source of all transforming power!

BTW, I don't text, twitter, or Facebook; so it takes a while for me to respond. In other words, Kathie (click on staff of www.koppdisclosure.com) reviews 'em and then tells me to respond.



So what does this have to do with our sorrowfully superficial national observance of Thanksgiving?

Contextually, there's something radically wrong with a country that has to say Sparkle Season instead of Christmas and sees no intellectual inconsistency in demanding helmets, seatbelts, and no smoking while placing virtually no restrictions on the slaughtering of the unborn.

Be that as it so sadly is, here's the connection within the context.

Thanksgiving moves from superficial to authentic when we realize it's not about what's being stuffed down our throats by personal prejudices/religions/ideologies masquerading as Christianity.

Thanksgiving becomes authentic when we realize the true meaning of Christianity.

God loves us and proved that love beyond any doubt in Jesus.

True Thanksgiving is responding to His love for us by loving others just like He loves us: "I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly!"

A true observance of Thanksgiving is loving everybody like He does; replacing me with we which translates as sacrificing our wants that often inhibit the needs of others.

Let me put it another way.

It's O.K. to eat a lot on Thursday; as long as we know we're not supposed to eat alone.

Just as Christmas is about Jesus, true Thanksgiving is about giving life to others rather than taking life from them as thanks to Him for doing that for us.

It's about the whole being equal to the sum of its parts.

It's about all of the preceding illustrations differentiating authentics from posers.



Blessings and Love!

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