Monday, February 28, 2011

Gays In My Life

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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I'm not gay.

That doesn't come as a surprise to my wife or anyone inferred in the KDs of 2/11/11 and 2/24/11.

I've never even been tempted to gay behavior; though, like many hot-blooded guys, there's always been this fascination with gayness in the other gender.

Anyone who disputes the last clause of the previous sentence cannot be trusted to conform to 1 John 1:5-10 not to mention John 3:19-21 (Oops, just did!).

It's like those scandal sheets at the cashier of your local supermarket.

If lots of people like you/me/them weren't buying 'em...

Be that as it is despite the protestations of posers, I've had, uh, opportunities; like when the Eagle Scout counselor at Camp Acahela near Blakeslee, Pennsylvania asked if I wanted to join him in his sleeping bag or have him come into mine. I asked if he knew I was the camp counselor for woodcarving merit badge. Then, and this one was really hard for a mainline pastor who's been used to prostituting himself to get ahead, one of my advisors for my doctoral dissertation hit on me and...

That was a close one!

Interesting.

No male biker has ever hit on me.

Anyway, I'm not gay.

That doesn't mean I feel any better or any worse in God's eyes 'cause I'm not; 'cause anyone who's been reading KDs for any length of time knows I've done and probably will do lots of stuff that's kinda antithetical to Christianity as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.

Trusting Lord Jesus as Savior has very little to do with being perfectly behaved in His eyes.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're supposed to give our best shot to Him in gratitude for His amazingly unparalleled kindness aka grace to not hold any of you/me/us against you/me/us; but as Bill Felmeth always reminded me in one of the few things that I remember from seminary, "God does not love us because of who we are, what we do, or where we've been but in spite of who we are, what we do, and where we've been! That's the Gospel of Jesus Christ!"

So I've never been able to jump on the wagons of the way left who have elevated gay behavior to next-to-Godliness or way right who think being gay is so much worse than the other stuff mentioned in the Bible that...

I just never get steif over gays from any direction.

Besides, and I may be wrong on this, I don't think God loses as much sleep over gays as He does over posers like people mentioned in the 2/21/11 edition, crazy religionists who chop off heads in the name of their phony sun-fried god, pewsitters/pulpiteers who agree with the last person they've talked to so as not to put their perks and popularity at risk, Democrats/Republicans/mainliners who are doing their best to destroy the gift of America, warmongers, and so many other purveyors of this world's meanness, madness, and misery.

While I've never been convinced being gay is consistent with Biblical revelation or even basic psychology/anatomy, I've also never been convinced gossip, hypocrisy, the backhand of Christian fellowship, and...

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That came to mind when I heard that Doug died about a week ago.

He was the Director of Music and organist of the first high steeple church that had the guts/stupidity to hire me.

Because I was still climbing to the top of the ecclesiastical ladder of success - only later to discover my ladder was leaning against the wrong building(s) - and too young/unconverted to realize what He had entrusted to me and left that church prematurely to go to a higher steeple, we ministered together for five of his more than thirty years there.

He was one of two gays on the staff.

He was "out" but never flamboyant while the other was "in" and celibate; and while some will have a hard time accepting this, especially those who have completely figured out God's business for Him, they were the most responsible, loyal, and productive members of the staff. They led more people to Jesus by their love for others to love Jesus than...

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As Paul Harvey used to say, "And now the rest of the story..."

The day after I was installed as homiletical meat in that church, two elders came to see me with my first assignment as - Sound the trumpets! - senior pastor.

Fire Doug.

I kid you not.

They said, "Because he's gay, you must fire him."

Their ignorance of our franchise's polity seemed irrelevant at the time; so I played along with them.

I asked, "How do you know he's gay?"

They said, "You know..."

I said, "No, I don't know. Have you caught him listening to Barbara Streisand songs in the sanctuary or something?"

They did not think that was funny.

I did not think they were funny; so I said, "I don't think so. If I fire Doug, I'll have to fire all of the gossips like you and then nobody will be left in the church."

We never talked about it again; and I survived five years until movin' on up to the next high steeple.

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Doug and I had an agreement.

As long as he didn't flaunt his lifestyle and as long as I didn't flaunt mine...

We became good friends and played lots of tennis together; which I'm sure caused talk except for the babes noted in the second sentence-paragraph of this KD.

I did fall in love with another organist at the wrong time for us and never did anything about it; which was the right thing not to do.

Speaking of being right, I don't get the obsession of some folks who always need to point out what's wrong with others as if they're...

It makes me think of Ted who also lived in Kansas City during "our" time together who often said to those kinda posers, "What's that I see in your eye?"

Remember that question.

It helps when you're with self-righteous Democrats/Republicans/mainliners/lefties/righties/etc.

It changes the focus to Lord Jesus as Savior; which, unless I'm wrong, is why He was/remains more about His grace to overcome the laws that are beyond our abilities/affections to satisfy.

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Blessings and Love!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grinding

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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My dad called last Friday with the news: "Do you remember Donna ___? She just died on Wednesday. Didn't you and Donna date or something?"

Or something.

"Yes," I replied.

The atypical economy of my response startled my dad as much as the news startled me.

It wasn't the time to tell him that she was my first grind-in-her-parents'-parlor-when-they-weren't-around girlfriend.

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My mom sent the obit to me.

Denial hit me first: "No way! For cryin' out loud! We graduated together!"

Then came reality: "Geez! If she can die at my age, I guess I can die at her age!"

Remembrances followed with a particular mind-warp related to the fifth sentence-paragraph of the preceding section and the preceding song that she liked to sing to me.

Finally, remorse: "Dang! She really loved me; but I was too young to appreciate that and moved on to another Donna, then Ruthie, then back to the other Donna, then back to Ruthie, then Esther, then Barbara, then back to Ruthie, then back to the other Donna, then Ann, then Debbie, then back to Ruthie, then Nancy, then Julia, then back to Ruthie, then another Debbie, then..."

Whoa.

What a creep.

I wanted to apologize.

Too late.

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The obit mentioned she was a member of a church; and while church membership and Christocentric/Biblical faith don't always go together like any believing pastor/person in a mainline denominational church will confess (click on the preceding KD), I remember she never did anything unless she was convinced which means I'll see her again.

Of course, seeing face-to-face already, she already has accepted my apology.

I just wish I would have done it before...

She's saved!

Yeah, I know I'm forgiven by her/Him, but, well, you know what I mean.

Why do we wait until it's...?

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Since I've been hanging out a lot more with Jesus and people who really love Jesus (click on the preceding KD), I've become a lot more confessional and repentant...and peaceful and calm and joyful at the deepest recesses of my spirit.

It's axiomatic.

Give it up and He picks us up.

I've been used in my life like I used Donna; though I must have felt something 'cause I feel something right now in addition to...

Heaven/hell, I'm a pastor.

I've stolen/shared affections, had affections stolen/shared from/with me, wanted to steal/share affections...

I'm going to look up her mom during my next trip to see my parents.

She's in a nursing home.

We may cry together or she may scold me or, uh, sigh, gulp, uh,...I don't know.

I'm kinda glad her dad's already there because he never liked me because he knew I was a Cub Scout in heat.

I just want to tell Donna's mom that Donna was better to me than I was to her and I'm sorry about that.

I want her mom to know Donna made a lasting impression on me and...

Anyway, five things came to mind as I digested my dad's special delivery.

First, I've been a real ___ on too many occasions in my life.

Second, since getting to know Jesus, I don't mind admitting that I've been a real ___ on too many occasions in my life.

Third, I can't thank Him enough for forgiving me for being a real ___ on too many occasions in my life; and working out all of that stuff in the end.

Fourth, I'm still grinding if you know what I mean; and if you don't, read Philippians 2:12ff.

Finally, I always need Lord Jesus as Savior 'cause I can still be a real ___ on too many occasions.

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Blessings and Love!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hot Lips - February 21, 2011

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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An older elder counseled/cautioned when I was a pup, "Some gotta go before the church can grow."

While studying in Rome back in the early 70s, Father Fachtna McCarthy confessed to me over a glass of Sambuca in his Vatican City apartment, "Some Cardinals are going to have to die before we can move into the next century."

It's like the hillbilly pastor of one of the South's fastest growing churches disclosed years ago, "Revival don't always mean bringin' people in but gettin' the people out who don't love Jesus and all His children."

As Jesus warned/urged, it's the problem/possibility of wineskins (see Matthew 9:17).

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The family of faith that I undershepherd comes to mind.

The Holy Spirit in the Name of Jesus is increasingly in control of our life and ministry; and that's because of breakthroughs related to the truths included in the preceding section of this KD.

I think of the nice guy who joined not long before I came who became an elder without really believing in Jesus in a John 14:6 kinda way who was increasingly uncomfortable with 99.99% of the church and me who do. Finally, I had to say, "Yeah, you really need to move on 'cause you're never going to be a real family member until you like the rest of the family; and that will only happen after..."

Then there was the elder who signed a five-figure contract with an architect before I came without the board or anyone else's approval who just couldn't admit her mistake and ran off because pride is a...

Then there was another elder who wanted to replace one idol with another and decided to leave when it became all too clear by observation as well as my constant confessing that I'm not up to it/him/Him; especially after a disclosing rap session prompted by moi: "You know, ever since we've met, you've always been telling me how awful everybody in the church is. I don't know if that's because you think it will make you look better in my eyes or what; but I do know, 'cause I'm hearing it from more and more folks in the community as well as church, that you tell them how awful I am when..." When she asked if I thought she should resign as an elder, I said, "Absolutely."

While I love all three of 'em more than they will ever entertain or appreciate in a John 15:12-13 kinda way and pray/long for the day to receive them back into the family in a Luke 15 kinda way, I had to exercise undershepherding ministry in a Matthew 10:16 kinda way if we were/are ever going to...

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While this may come as a shock to you, I talk and write a lot; and I know there are speck-inspectors (see Matthew 7:1-6) just waiting for me to mess up so they can decry, denounce, discredit, diss, destroy, and, uh, damn me.

I guess it makes 'em feel better about themselves like the elder mentioned in the previous section; or as I had to say to an associate pastor back in Kansas City who wasted so much time during staff meetings to tell me about the failures of other staff members, "I just figured it out! You keep telling me how awful they're doing so I won't have time to get around to how awful you're doing. Some people set fires in the backyards of others so we don't notice their homes going down in blazes."

Indeed, I only hear from some people via e-mail, snailmail, voicemail, or even inyourfacemail when they don't like something that I've said or written...

Isn't there something wrong with people who only have pejorative or even positive things to...?

It's, uh, unbalanced.

Come to think of it, I've preached, lectured, and talked at least 5000+ times and, uh, written so many articles, columns, and non-bestselling books and, uh, must say some folks are far more vigilant about how I've ticked them off than inspired/educated/enabled them to...

Just wait until I Just Wanna Ride (FTW) is published!

It's too real, raw, and redemptive for posers like the aforementioned.

Whoa.

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I've got sooooooo many folks sooooooo willing to tell me how I'm not measuring up to their standards of who they think I should be that I have no problem acknowledging Paul's disclosure applies to me: "Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think."

I know I need Lord Jesus as Savior as much as anybody else who knows they need Lord Jesus as Savior.

And I also know most folks really don't care if...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, "If I die next Sunday, there will be ham and cole slaw in fellowship hall in my memory that Wednesday, and then they'll elect another pastor search committee the following Sunday."

I've talked to predecessors/peers/successors in my line of business for four decades and no one has ever disputed the conclusion in the previous sentence.

And it's not just guys like me.

Look at what they just did to just retired USGA Executive Director David Fay!

After 32 years of faithful service in establishing golf as inextricably woven into the fabric of American life, the USGA annual meeting in early February (Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix) included only 98 words in tribute to him in the president's 2196 word speech about the state of, uh, golf; but he did promise a new hire in 45 to 60 days.

Geez.

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When you think about that, it's more liberating than depressing.

It means we may as well say and do our best as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture in praise and thanks to Him because He's the only one who really, really, really forgives our miscues in the meantime.

Reality frees us to be His!

Not only is He the only One who really cares now, He is the only One who really, really, really matters in the end.

While others hold 'em against ya, He says, in effect, "I never expected you to be perfect; which, of course, is why I came to save you from the damning consequences of those imperfections."

Before a church can grow in welcoming people who want/need His kinda love that doesn't include any expectations of perfection, it's gotta prune those who don't get it/Him; even while praying they do before it's too late for, uh, them.

I'm concerned about people who are so much better than other people in their own minds that they don't see that mirror's refection that...

Now back to the logs in my...

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Blessings and Love!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mules - February 17, 2011

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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I mounted my mule on Tuesday despite the freezing temperature and rode to my favorite HD dealership in Woodstock, Illinois.

Return, her appellation which you can interpret spiritually, is due for major mileage service.

Anyway, I always enjoy visiting my favorite candy store.

Management, sales, service, and everybody else employed/associated with the oasis are so welcoming, inclusive, and, geez, golly, gosh, loving.

Whenever I'm there or anywhere in the biker culture, I am reminded of how church would be if Jesus were taken seriously.

It's weird.

If a motorcycle can do that for bikers, why can't Jesus do that for churches?

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O.K.

That first section is a shameless lead to my search for a publisher who will take a risk on my edgy, raw, and redemptive book on biker culture as metaphor and challenge to the church: I Just Wanna Ride (FTW).

Unlike my other books, it's gonna sell.

If you'd like to know why, go to page 11 of the March 2011 edition of Thunder Press motorcycle magazine (www.thunderpress.net).

The challenge is conventional biker publishers shy away from the Jesus talk and conventional religious publishers shy away from authenticity.

Selah.

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While there are some posers riding mules, I dare say there are more posers in pews/pulpits.

Even authentic Christians who've never mounted one know that.

I've found more integrity in 1%ers and the other 99% than most mainline denominations.

Read Revelation 3:14ff. and you'll be reminded of what I'm talking about.

That's why I've got a big 100% plastered on the back of one of my vests just below the Rainmakers MC rocker.

Most bikers are 100% committed to their culture; unlike most mainliners who are not 100% committed to Jesus.

I know that because I feel great around most bikers.

No one can say that about sooooooo many...

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I'm reminded of what a little girl said to me on Wednesday when I interrupted our youth bell choir which I like to do because they know that's my way of expressing how much I love them.

She said, "You're sooooooo bald! Your bald head is soooooo shiny!"

I said, "That's because it gets oilier and oilier throughout the day."

She said, "Maybe you need to use body scrub on your head."

I said, "I do."

She said, "Maybe you need to take another bath."

I said, "Probably."

True.

Very true.

And as I walked away, I thought of how the church needs to get washed up and be cleansed of...

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Another conversation came to mind.

A man came and said, "I was baptized as a baby; but it didn't do anything for me. My parents didn't do their part. I never went to church. Clearly, Jesus wasn't a part of my life. But, now, I really know who He is and I think baptism would mean something for me now."

While my particular religious franchise aka denomination proscribes baptizing someone who was baptized as a baby, I asked a question that isn't asked enough in the practical application of faith: "What would Jesus do?"

Would Jesus say, "Absolutely not! You were baptized as a baby and that'll have to do!"?

I don't think so.

I believe He'd say, "Come to Me, all who..."

So I baptized him after saying, "I will baptize you because you were never really baptized."

Going through the motions doesn't make anyone authentic.

Bikers know that.

So do Christians.

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Here's my point.

Bikers - and owning a motorcycle doesn't mean you're a part of the culture - know authenticity requires 100% commitment if you're going to be an authentic, uh, biker.

Christians - and church membership doesn't always certify faith - know authenticity requires 100% commitment to Jesus if you're going to be an authentic, uh, Christian.

Authenticity requires return to reason for being.

Bikers understand it means returning to the ride to freedom.

Christians understand it means returning to Jesus.

I think of it as the need for major mileage service.

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Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CRAZY LOVE BOOK GIVEAWAY WINNER!!!!

Kathie here! Just wanted to pop in quickly and tell you the winner of the Crazy Love Book Giveaway! The winner was chosen using random.org.

The winner is:


SARAH BLODGETT!!!


Congratulations Sarah! I will contact you regarding delivery of your book.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and please keep checking back because I will be announcing our newest giveaway in the next few weeks!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Biker's Mantra February 14, 2011

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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Lots of bikers wear this patch on their leathers/souls: "Respect All - Fear None."

After nine of my best biker buddies got together to form Rainmakers MC (originals) - we picked that name because it always rains when we ride - my favorite 1%er cautioned me about other 1%ers who might take unkindly to us donning MC which some 1%ers consider private property like some denominations do with words like Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and so on.

IHOP (the pancake-not-peace-makers) suing IHOP (the 24/7/365 prayers in Kansas City) over that acrostic also comes to mind.

Anyway, I told my favorite 1%er to tell any other 1%ers who might be offended by our use of MC to remember we're part of the same culture and need to support each other, I'm always available to all of my biker brothers/sisters for weddings/funerals/counseling/baptisms, we're just a step removed from Wild Hogs with no business that could hardly conflict with theirs unless they're Satanists, and, finally, my respect for all authentics is notorious while my fear of posers who break our code of hanging together or hanging alone is about as real as my fear of mainline denominationalists whose connection to Jesus is often only coincidental.

While I can rage with the best of 'em if cornered or when I catch a bully preying on a weak citizen or even an owner of a rice burner, it's not that I'm especially tough or can work a blade or carry a piece. It's just that fear is less and less and less a part of my make-up as Jesus is more and more and more a part of my heart, soul, mind, and totality.

It's a 1 John 4:18 thing.

More Jesus = less fear.

Less Jesus = more fear.

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Getting back to the mantra, it's part of a biker's passion for freedom.

The roots reside in the realm of the divine.

God created us to be free.

It's when we're at our/His best.

Freedom doesn't mean doing whatever the hell we want to do.

It means being who God made us to be; and when we're who He made us to be, our freedom never inhibits the freedom of others.

Bikers rebel against control freaks in government, church, and every other segment of society.

Because Godly freedoms never conflict with other Godly freedoms and always complement each other in a rainbow-covenanted kinda way, bikers are among the few remaining Americans/churchgoers who understand any freedom removed is rarely restored.

That's why most bikers are patriots for God and country.

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Let me put it another way.

You won't find many bikers who are atheists, agnostics, communists, socialists, Maoists, Marxists, Nazis, Islamofascists, almost any kinda religious fundamentalist, way left, way right, or way anything that restricts the divine right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Though some don't know it - and I try hard to share this good news with my brothers/sisters riding chrome ponies; especially when asked why I respect all and fear none - bikers got it from Jesus: "If you follow Me, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!"

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Blessings and Love!

Friday, February 11, 2011

When I Confessed Committing Adultery

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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I'll never forget when I confessed committing adultery.

Though it was a long time ago, shivers still run up and down my spiritual spine when it comes to mind.

It was while meeting with another guy who had come to confess he had just committed adultery.

It was kinda like Bill Clinton going to see Jesse Jackson.

Anyway, as I was listening to myself telling the sorry sucker that God's into forgiveness especially when we admit how we've, uh, screwed up (confession) and then pray and labor to change directions from bad to good behavior (repentance), my pure-and-perfect-mask-wearing-I'm-better-than-you-at-least-in-hiding-my-sin hypocrisy became nauseatingly unbearable.

I felt an overwhelming compulsion to confess my adultery to him before counseling him to...

Then it/He happened.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, I reached down and took off one of my always super-shined Bass Weejun penny loafers, showed it to him, and then turned it over to reveal a gaping hole in the sole.

Immediately, he/we got the convicting metaphor; and recognized we had something in, uh, common.

We were/are sorry suckers in need of a Savior.

Then we confessed and covenanted to hold each other responsible/accountable for the future.

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It was a turning point in my life and ministry.

Instead of propping up myself as somehow above it all compared to others, I stepped down and began to share humanity as preface to praising God for His grace to restore relationships concomitant to the divine directions of 1 John 1:1-10.

Certainly, I have discovered confession is sooooooo good for the soul but sooooooo bad for the reputation; as some folks mirroring my self-description in the fifth sentence-paragraph of the preceding section actually invoked/invoke my own words to discredit me whenever it made/makes 'em feel better about being the sorry suckers that they try to hide from...

I've also learned how disarming it is to dump garbage before speck-inspectors dig it up; and it's kinda fun to observe their frustration when I pre-empt their dark lusts to damn.

It's so liberating to stop pretending being better than I'm not and acknowledge the need for Jesus as Savior as well as Lord.

It's also encouraged so many sorry suckers like me to come to me and allow me the privilege of pointing 'em to Jesus as Savior as well as Lord.

Since then, I haven't been doing very well with folks mirroring my self-description in the fifth sentence-paragraph of the preceding section.

Indeed, after a few seasons of finding refreshment in my witness to Jesus, they usually leave out the back door of the body of Christ - another really good metaphor - because they prefer church as pretend/masquerade.

Still, I'm noticing more and more and more people even including pastors who are hungry/thirsty to be right/restored with/to Him and don't want to play that game anymore.

Most of 'em are going to those so-called emerging churches that are being planted or, uh, emerging from the submerged ones because they really, really, really need church so much more than pretend/masquerade.

Pastor Gass' devotion for 2/11/11 (www.thevinetoday.com) is much better at explaining what I caught when I looked down at those penny loafers so long ago: "Under pressure, you falter. Now what do you do? Dismiss it: 'Everybody slips; it's no big deal.' Deny it: 'Fall? Are you joking? Not me!' Distort it: 'Don't blame me; it was their fault!' But there's another option - to deal with it honestly...Confession isn't just telling God what you've done. He already knows. It's agreeing that it's wrong and asking forgiveness. God can't heal what you won't reveal or cleanse what you won't confess...When your tears of repentance meet Christ's forgiveness, you lose your guilt and find new joy!"

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Whenever I admit I'm just like every other sorry sucker in the world specifically and unmistakably, I feel immediately relieved and immediately privileged to know Savior and Lord Jesus and share Him with other sorry suckers.

I think that's when authentic Christian ministry commences.

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The preceding was prompted as I read one of my favorite spiritual magazines: the 2/7/11 edition of Golf World; specifically John Feinstein's column on "Athletes, Fame and Accountability."

It's intense: "Shortly after the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the New York Jets to reach the Super Bowl, CBS' Jim Nantz interviewed Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger...'Ben, with all you've been through this year...'...Stop! Seriously, when will the media and world stop treating athletes who behave inexcusably as if they are somehow victims?...[Ben]...got himself suspended by the NFL...for acting like a fool...At best he's a boor; at worst he's a celebrity who avoided prosecution on a sexual-assault charge because he was rich enough to lawyer-up in a hurry."

He moves to golf: "Which brings us to...Tiger Woods...[Announcers keep making excuses for Woods not winning by saying]...'What Tiger's been through'...Neither Woods nor Roethlisberger has 'been through' anything. They have put people through hell...Roethlisberger should be applauded for his play - nothing more. When Woods wins another major he, too, should be applauded for his play. In neither case should there be talk about redemption overcoming anything."

Whoa.

Anyone familiar with Bonhoeffer's Ethics knows he was very concerned about people - and especially church people who claim Christianity - who confuse "goodness" with "success" - noting how the liberal church of Germany went with the Nazis because they were successful.

Feinstein: "Sports fans tend to make the following connection: If he's a great athlete/coach, he must be a great person."

O.K.

But if we're really into Jesus, we've got to come to two conclusions.

First, everybody's a sorry sucker in some way.

It's a Romans 3:23 thing.

Second, nobody's beyond the forgiveness/redemption of Jesus.

It's a John 3:16-17 juxtaposed to 1 John 1:1-10 thing.

So if that sorry sucker and I can be forgiven/redeemed for our adulteries, so can Ben, Tiger, and everybody else; including, uh, you.

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I believe admitting shared humanity in need of Savior Jesus would solve a lot of the problems in our world and even church.

People wouldn't get so po'ed when people mess up because they'd admit all people mess up every now and then.

People who know they mess up would be more gracious to people who mess up.

Or something like that.

All I know is it's a lot easier to deal with sorry suckers than folks mirroring my self-description in the fifth sentence-paragraph of the first section.

Luke 18:9-14 comes to mind...along with those penny loafers.

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Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Angela Davis II - February 9, 2011

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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I'm wary of people who love Jesus sooooooo much while hating everybody else.

I'm wary of people who boast personal peace yet always look so angry about something/someone.

That's because Biblical revelation notes over and over and over again that people who are authentically close to Jesus don't hate and don't always look angry.

Read Galatians 5:19-26 for proofs of proximity to Jesus.

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The previous section is ecumenical.

The next one is parochial.

The last one is...

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My denomination has a thanatos libido.

Increasingly, it allows/promotes insults to the holiness of Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture.

It has not had an increase in membership for almost as long as the Cubs' drought of winning a World Series.

It appears about to make a new rule to void an old rule that will accelerate the exodus from it.

Parenthetically, you can learn about the specifics by going to www.churchandworld.com, www.pcusa.org, or www.layman.org which do a much better job on that kinda stuff than I could ever do; and, besides, I'm not into debating any of those perpetually divisive issues anymore because there are so many more folks out there from the way left and way right who are killing our denomination who are far more erudite on 'em than moi.

I'm just kinda making a little prediction kinda like I did on the Super Bowl in the 1/27/11 edition of KD that I, uh, predict will be sorrowfully yet equally accurate.

If the new rule to void the old rule becomes the new rule, it will make the fall-out over Angela Davis way back then seem like Dolly Parton following Twiggy to the beach.

@#$%

Again, what I think of the unnamed issue at hand isn't that important; because, well, uh, again, there are many others from the way left and way right and even everywhere in between who can pontificate on it in a much more convincing way than moi.

That's why I've stepped back from the debates.

We don't need more fire.

Yeah, we could use more light.

That's old...but right on.

But what we really need is more love.

Now read the first section again.

One more thought.

I'm really, really, really hoping/praying God is really, really, really as gracious/forgiving as I've been preaching/teaching/counseling in the past decade or so; 'cause if He ain't, I predict infinitely more fire if you know what I mean.

Do you remember how I said in the last edition of KD that I often resonate with Paul?

Here's one more; probably the biggest.

"Maranatha!"

Either translation will...

@#$%



@#$%

Blessings and Love!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why I Don't Care About the Super Bowl Anymore February 7, 2011

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%



@#$%

I've always related to Paul in a sinful kinda way.

So much good that I want to do, I don't do; and so much bad that I don't want to do, I do.

His sense of providence resonates with my experience.

God works for good - sooner or later and definitely in the end - in the lives of people who love Him; and I love Him and He's always come through for me, uh, sooner or later and definitely in the end.

Paul preferred to be with Jesus for all time than continue in the meanness, madness, and misery of these times.

While I'd rather die and go home to Jesus right now because I know that'll be heavenly and I'm sooooooo weary of those 3 m's mentioned in the previous sentence-paragraph and don't think I'll ever pay off my credit card debt, I think He's still using me according to His, uh, providence; though I don't think too much about how He's using me or what others think of how He's using me.

As a friend said recently, I can be impulsive; which certainly explains that credit card debt and long list of girlfriends back in high school.

Yeah, I can be impulsive.

True.

Impulsively, I'll follow as I think He's leading; and while I feel good about the direction more often than not, I've got covenant brothers, elders, staff, church members, and, uh, my wife to tell me when I'm headed...

Yeah, I've always related to Paul in a very, very, very human way.

Maybe that's why two of my consistently best friends are named Paul - one back home with Jesus and one still living on the left coast who doesn't correspond much anymore.

Maybe that's why I wonder why I was named Robert; for if you look up the meaning, Paul seems to be a better fit.

@#$%

Today's been really different in a Pauline kinda Christian kinda way.

Impulsively, I sensed the need to get to some nursing homes and hospitals even earlier than normal.

I just had a feeling that something was going to come up that was going to be a big reminder from Jesus about something and that I better clear out a big chunk of the day for it.

So I went to a nursing home to see a farmer who's been defying the oddsmakers about when the roll's being called up yonder for him. I'll never forget when he explained farming to me: "You go with what you get!" It was a good reminder before...

Then I went to a hospital to see the matriarch of a wonderful family of faith who's a little confused for reasons that are beyond me; or as I like to tell folks, "I'm the kinda doctor that's not good for very much!" She loves me and I love her and I had a great time praying with two of her daughters who kinda like me even if...

Then I went to another nursing home to see a good old - and I mean old in age (94) but so much younger in spirit than so many others half her age - friend who left the church before I came because she didn't like something that a predecessor did which makes me feel better about people who left the church after I came; and though she has another pastor now, she says I'm also her pastor which rekindles hope for...

Then I went to the health center of another nursing home because another oldie but goodie in her late 90s had something really, really, really important to say to me: "Dr. Kopp, I want to go home to Jesus. I'm tired. I want you to pray that Jesus will take me home now." Her mind and spirit are sooooooo strong; but there's not much left to her other body. I honored her request; and will honor it. She reminded me that...

Then came the reason why that had to be, uh, done earlier than normal - today's really, really, really big reminder from Jesus.

@#$%

I'm one of five police chaplains for our community and county; meaning I get called when, uh, I get called for...

It's usually tough stuff - like homicides, suicides, explosions, gang bangs, and other tragedies that have made me so jaundiced about ecclesiastical meetings that accomplish so little for Christ's sake other than meeting to meet because clergy are supposed to meet even if it's just to meet with substance being coincidental to meeting.

Anyway, I was called to a residential fire only blocks from the church.

Everyone escaped...except for a four year old boy and his dog.

God knows He's made me into a pretty tough hombre; and most folks have misquoted me in a Scarface kinda way if you know what I mean.

I don't suffer fools gladly; and because of my ministries like some of 'em listed in the second paragraph of this section, the Scarfaced Paul in me comes out with those who assume I'm a target for trifling.

That's probably why I'm especially impatient with clergy who have nothing better to do than meet about, uh, next to nothing for Christ's sake.

Well, if you've been reading KDs for any length of time, you know what I mean; and if you don't, I can't explain it to you because it would be like me trying to explain why dogs like to stick their heads outside of fast-moving cars and why I like to ride my pony to South Dakota.

Be that as it is or I am, I won't go into all of the details because surviving members of that little boy's family may read this; but I will say the boy made it to the top of the basement steps where he and his dog died side by side.

Again, as my sons say, I can be a real BA as circumstances dictate; but I wept like a baby after I left the family in the hospital just a few hours ago.

A four year old boy and his dog died side by side.

It was today's reminder from Jesus for me...and anyone else who...

@#$%

Stop.

The Jets not making it to the Super Bowl doesn't seem that important anymore.

Stop.

Tomorrow's ecclesiastical meeting to discuss gays in the church and what kinda polity will work best for a dying denomination doesn't seem that important anymore.

Stop.

So much of what I think is important and maybe what you think is important seem so irrelevant/inane when compared to a four year old boy and his dog who died side by side this morning.

Stop.

We've got to stop anything in us or anyone around us that/who so selfishly forgets the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Stop.

Paul said that.

Stop.

He got it from Jesus.

Stop.

If we're really, really, really related to him/Him...

Stop!!!

@#$%



@#$%

Blessings and Love!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Giveaway Reminder!

WIN A COPY OF FRANCIS CHAN'S BOOK CRAZY LOVE!!!

Kathie here! I'm taking over the KD blog just for a minute to share some exciting news!

We here at Kopp Disclosure are so crazy in love with Jesus and about Chan’s book Crazy Love that we want YOU to have a chance to win your very own copy! All you have to do to enter is comment to this post by stating why you are so crazy in love with Jesus. Easy enough right? The winner will be chosen using random.org and will have 48 hours to respond. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends February 14th at 11:59 pm (CST).

There is even better news for this contest! I know, I know, how could it get any better, right? Well, I'll tell you how! You can have extra entries into the contest! How cool is that?!?! These are totally optional and not necessary to win. (Please leave a separate comment for each thing you do or already do…Make sure they are separate comments because each comment is your entry!)


Follow KD on blogger by clicking the Google Friend Connect button (over there in the left hand column). Make sure to leave a comment stating you are now following KD!
Follow KD on Twitter. Make sure to leave a comment with your twitter name!
Follow KD on Facebook Make sure to leave a comment with your facebook name.
Share a KD blog post by using one of the share icons at the end of the blog post. Leave a comment to this post with your name stating that you shared our blog with others!

That’s all there is to it! If you have questions, please email me, Kathie, at Koppdisclosure@gmail.com

Thanks!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Metaphor for Mainliners and Maybe Others - February 3, 2011

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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@#$%

Aside from the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day muses, I like February about as much as ecclesiastical meetings that accomplish so little for Christ's sake.

If you don't know what I mean, good for you!

Anyway, February 2011 really started off with a bad bang as my neighborhood joined about a third of the country in one of the worst blizzards in decades.

Empathy was ubiquitous.

@#$%

Actually, apart from my ___ and ___ about it, I like snow.

As winter wanes and spring beckons - especially in February - I find myself praying, "More snow, Jesus!"

It has more to do with metaphors than anything else.

@#$%

My earliest and warmest childhood memories revolve around holidays; especially birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

Just like I've never baptized a baby named Herod, Jezebel, or Judas - though I'm one of those Presbyterians who think some people need to be baptized again - I'm like most folks who aren't into Hallmark specials like Boxing Day, Earth Day, National Boss Day, Clergy Appreciation Day, and the like.

I don't even know what Boxing Day is supposed to be all about; which makes sense 'cause I'm having a hard time figuring out Canada.

Frankly, my memories have little to do with the stuff under the tree or in the basket 'cause there aren't many things that don't wear out, get thrown out, or become played out.

Mostly, I remember feelings - the warm and cozy feelings of loving and being loved.

@#$%

I know lots of folks don't get metaphors, poetry, homiletics, and deeper stuff.

They're like those process people who meet to meet without the need or even expectation of accomplishing anything for Christ's sake.

Parenthetically, just as @#$%s aren't profanities but only section-separators, "for Christ's sake" is to be taken literally; as in doing stuff, uh, for Christ's sake.

Geez.

And geez is a grunt not a nickname!

O.K., the preceding was for those too anal to recognize genre doesn't always respect the Gregg Reference Manual, Strunk and White, MLA, or even Turabian.

Friends, the world is painted by Dali and explained by Vonnegut so much more than the superficial who can't/won't dig deeply for treasures.

Go to the archives of www.bnnsradio.com and click on the 2/1/11 broadcast of Kopp Disclosure for some clues from "Pat the Poet" (that show's guest).

@#$%

Getting back to snow, snow has that effect of resurrecting warm and cozy feelings pour moi.

Whenever it snows, I feel great.

Snow feels like a holiday.

@#$%

Snow reminds me of God's grace.

As the leaves and life of spring, summer, and autumn wither, fade, fall, and die, snow comes along to cover the emptiness and barrenness of it all.

Snow covers holes, junk, trash, dead plants, scarred landscapes, and other unsightly and depressing things.

Mysteriously yet consistently, a layer of snow brings attitudinal as well as actual warmth.

It's the same with God's love.

God's love covers our emptiness, barrenness, holes, junk, trash, scarred landscapes, deaths, and other unsightly and depressing things.

February becomes bearable when it snows.

@#$%

Though snow melts and gets dirty and polluted by other elements, it always snows again.

It's the same with God's love.

God's love keeps coming back again and again and again after we get dirty and polluted by other elements.

@#$%

Snowflakes are unique.

God made each unique from the others; and He loves each of us as if there is only one of us to love.

God loves each of us no more nor no less than anybody else.

God came, lived, died, rose, and reigns in Jesus for everybody - the whole world - you, me, and even them.

@#$%

Snowflakes melt so quickly by themselves; but when they stick together, they can stop traffic.

I hope countries, communities, schools, businesses, families, and churches don't miss the metaphor/lesson in the preceding sentence.

Snowflakes are flavorfully unique yet inextricably interdependent by divine design for survival.

@#$%

I like snow.

It makes me feel so warm all over.

Some of the best loving in my life has occurred during the heaviest snowfalls; and when it snows a lot like it did on February 1, the depth of God's love comes to mind.

So I'm praying for more snow.

With all of this world's meanness, madness, and misery, I need regular reminders of grace beyond warrant or expectation.

I'm praying for His snow to heal hurt relationships, restore fresh passion for Him and His, prompt mercy-filled incarnations of Philippians 3:12-21, and use churches to model invitation, welcome, inclusion, and unconditional favor.

@#$%

I'd like to see more snow in our weary world, fragmenting America, and dysfunctionally divided churches.

Everyone needs His covering.

That's why authentic Christians, women and men who really try to follow Jesus as He described discipleship in Holy Scripture, are the real snowblowers.

@#$%



@#$%

Blessings and Love!