Friday, April 29, 2011

Heavenly Visions

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Every once in a while, somebody suggests a book to me that surely horrifies theologians/religionists to the left who understand Him according to their gonads and theologians to the right who appear to believe God's been dead since the canonization of the Bible's last book.

The left pontificates as if it's the Holy Spirit and the right pontificates as if the Holy Spirit has stopped pouring better wine.

Books like In His Steps, The Shack, Joshua, The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers, Wild at Heart, and I Just Wanna Ride (FTW) come to mind.


Nobody's had the guts to publish the last one yet.

Be that as it is/was or would/could/should be, I just read another one: Heaven Is for Real.



It's the story of a 4 year old boy who almost dies during emergency surgery and spends 3 minutes in heaven during the process.

That's 3 minutes in our time but not His time if you know what I mean; and you will if you read it.

Anyway, the book is selling lots more than anything ever written by Barth, Moltmann, Pannenburg, Rahner, Kung, Obama, or, uh, me.

I guess it's because people are kinda curious about what happens after the last breath.



I liked it.

There's a lotta cornball humor in it; 'cause, I guess, the kid's dad is a Cornhusker and recorded the heavenly vision.

And, yeah, there's a lotta stuff that really comes off really supernatural, out of this world, and far out.

Kinda like, uh, the Bible.

Yet I didn't find anything that antithetical to revelation in Jesus and Holy Scripture; though I'm not that convinced that's Jesus' hair-do.

All I know is readers along with religious agnostics like those described in the first section of this KD are gonna be challenged in a Matthew 18 kinda way: "No matter what new tidbits he revealed, though, Colton had one consistent theme: he talked constantly about how much Jesus loves the children."

It's a quick read; and I couldn't put it down.

I didn't even start to doze; like I do when I read Barth, Moltmann,...

And after our Wednesday evening true discipling meetings get done with our current assignment, I'm gonna look at it for a few weeks because of this: "Another way Colton's story has changed us is this: we are bolder. We live in a day and time when people question the existence of God...It's the truth and I talk about it, no apologies."

Romans 1:16-17 comes to mind.



Speaking of heavenly visions, did you get a load of the spectacle on Friday, April 29?


Yeah, I'm sure that's what Jesus had/has in mind for nuptials.


"Samuel, Samuel, we want a king..."

Dang, the clergy were decked out in their finest; looking sooooooo much like humble suffering servants for...

Do the math!


God knows I've wasted so much $ on such frivolous things at the expense of Matthew 25 kinda stuff; so I'm not judging 'em.

Anybody who's been reading previous editions knows that's my constant confession, repentance, and...

I'm just asking if Jesus had/has that kinda, uh, stuff in mind when there's so much pain and poverty and...

Forget it.

Most will.

Eyes are sooooooo glazed over that they can't see the...

Heaven can't wait.



Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Parable of the Blue Blazer

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Except for weddings and funerals when I need to look pretty for pictures (former) and public protocol (latter), I just can't bring myself to wear outrageously expensive vestments to symbolize humble servanthood anymore.

However, vestments did serve another egotistical/vocational function - hiding my expanding waistline - which, I guess, is why I still wear blazers; unless, of course, the air conditioning ain't workin'.

Parenthetically, I remember teaching a D.Min. class on homiletics at Kansas City's Nazarene Theological Seminary back in the mid-80s and mentioning how vestments were/are/maybe intended to subordinate personal affectations to, uh, homiletics; whereupon a feisty grad student chirped, "We don't wear vestments in our denomination because we don't want to come off as being superior to..." I asked, "What do you wear?" He said, "We wear a dark suit, dark tie, and black shoes." I asked, "Do you wear the same thing every Sunday; and does everyone in your church dress like Mormons?" He said, "Yes, our clergy wear the same thing every Sunday and, no, our people dress as they please for worship." "In other words," I said, "you wear vestments that probably come off as..."

Be that as almost nobody really cares these days except for too many clergy who need to feel superior to..., a button popped on my blue blazer on Easter Day!

Fortunately, I still had another one in my study's closet because I hadn't given it away yet.

Really, how many blue blazers does one really need?

Jesus warned, "If you really want to be mine, give away what you don't really need" (a Taylor-kinda paraphrase).

Anyway, I walked into one of our adult Sunday School classes and blurted, "I just popped a button on my blue blazer! I guess it's a good thing that I didn't give away the other blue blazer yet!"

A few people in the class nodded agreement.

But then the Sunday School teacher said, "With all of the things you've been saying and writing about following Jesus by giving away what you don't really need, I fully expected you to show up in sackcloth and ashes today."


If you don't understand the Biblical/spiritual significance/symbolism of sackcloth and ashes, it's because it shows.

Regardless, which is how most clergy like me feel about it these days, I smiled and said, "I'm just not obedient enough yet; but when I really start taking Jesus seriously, I'm gonna stop worrying about what I wear and spend more time trying to be more like Jesus because that's what it means to follow Him. But, right now, I'm just not that close to Him to be that obedient. But when I get closer to Jesus, I will start..."

He smiled.

He got it/Him.

I'm trying/praying.

Jesus does not look at what's on the outside.

He's not superficial.


His are not that superficial.

He looks deeper.

His look deeper.

I'm reminded of the wiser old undershepherd who warned, "If you've got a problem with your watch, don't look at the hands! Look deeper!"

Looking pretty isn't the same as being...

Jesus was clear on that.

Matthew 23:27-28.

Whenever I read that, I feel guilty; and, uh, BTW, nobody can make you feel anything unless it's true.


Truly, I fall short.

Truly, He doesn't.

Truly, I need Him as Savior 'cause I often think/talk/act/look like He ain't my Lord.

I've got too many blue blazers in my...



Blessings and Love!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Morning After

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I've been a police chaplain for almost as long as I've been an undershepherd.

It started in New Jersey in the late 70s; and it's been a part of His call in my life ever since.

Anyway, authentic undershepherds who respond to needs rather than schedule 'em - trying to explain that is like trying to explain easy riders - know the weeks before Christmas and Easter are the two most challenging weeks in the church calendar; and, again, trying to explain that is like...

Well, this Holy Week has been, uh, normal in the, uh, typically abnormal dysfunctional kinda traditional way.

I spent most of Good Friday as a police chaplain called into a domestic dispute.

While the details are none of your business, the woman said, "We were so much in love with each other at the beginning; but now he just seems to be drifting away from me."

Over the hours with her and him through most of Good Friday, I thought of Him.

We were so much in love with Him at the beginning; but now we just seem to be drifting away from...


Have you ever wondered what Jesus thinks of the extra energies and emotions focused kinda on Him during the weeks before Christmas and Easter?

2 of 52.

What a % of fidelity.

You know what I mean; and, again, if I have to try to explain that to...


When Jesus rose from the dead on that first glorious dawn, everything changed for women and men who got it/Him.

Everything continues to change for women and men who get it/Him.

As Ernie Campbell wrote in Where Cross the Crowded Ways, "Death is prevails...Christ is here."

Even the worship calendar changed - a change that hasn't changed for over two thousand years.

Instead of worshiping on the "traditional" Sabbath (Saturday), people who got/get it/Him worshipped/worship on Sunday because the Bible says that's when Jesus rose from the dead.

Indeed, Biblical, historical, and traditional Christians see every Sunday as a "Little Easter" or time to praise God for His resurrection and what it means for everyone who loves Him by loving like Him as Lord and Savior.

Putting it another way that religiously posing churchgoers so obviously don't get, getting it/Him includes investing the same exuberant emotions and energies into every week of the calendar.

Truly, every day is "the" day for women and men who get it/Him to...

If you don't get that/Him, there's no way for me to...

However, it does betray your traditionally posing religion has yet to be converted to an authentic relationship with Jesus.



Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quick Hits

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



It's hard to play baseball anywhere around the Illinois-Wisconsin border in April.

If you don't know why, you don't wanna know why.

But weather permitting, my Pony League team plays its first game on 4/21 at 5:30 p.m.

Thaaaaaaat's right!

Maundy Thursday.

Separation of church and...

Be that as it is, I'll warm up the team at 4:30, go over the line-up at 5:00, give a pep talk around 5:10, return to warm-ups, sing the national anthem at 5:30, then turn over the team to the assistant coaches at 6:30, change quickly in the car on the way to the church, give the call to worship at 7:00, and then...

Render unto...


Speaking of quick hits, it's been a few years since last coaching a baseball team.

My hands/head have been full with football; and if you don't know why, you don't wanna...

Anyway, John, the dean of Pony League baseball coaches, met with the new head coaches and said, "Here's my first piece of advice. Don't ask your players and definitely not their parents when they want to practice. You decide. Or you'll go nuts trying to please..."

I sense ecclesiastical parallels.

Isaiah 53:6 comes to mind.


Really, being a baseball coach is kinda like being an undershepherd.

It's all about fundamentals, repetition of the right ways, admitting mistakes in order to get better, knowing no one's perfect though never claiming that as excuse for giving less than the best, being a team player, and recognizing that each game is not as important as the final standings.

Or something like that.

2 Timothy 4:6-8 is a good model for any pep talk.


"Sometimes," wrote my favorite devotional writer (, we forget why we do what we do...We forget Who we are doing it for...And when we forget, our service becomes a burden to be borne instead of a joyous offering to the One who loves us the most."

I told my players, "When you don't do your best with what He has entrusted to you, you're not only hurting yourself. You're hurting your team and insulting God."

Ella Jane: "God isn't interested in lip service or self-service or good deed service. He wants our love service...One look at the cross...When you know Him and His kind of love, you cannot help but serve Him with love and joy."

Isaiah 29:13 doesn't ring a bell.


The radio version of Kopp Disclosure via had lots of quick hits on 4/19: unvarnished, raw, salty, and, methinks/mehopes/meprays, redemptive.

It includes the origins of the "Blame Me" conspiracy, promptings for the great giveaway as noted in the Clergy Meology series, the harshest revelation to date, and my haunting conversation with Lloyd Ogilvie about 25 years ago.

Just click on, click on the tab for Kopp Disclosure, and then click on the replay for 4/19.

You decide if Matthew 5:13 comes to mind.


My wife spoke to our women's annual Lenten Breakfast on 4/20.

Cliff says I'm an Eldredge kinda guy; meaning I'm not one of those clergymen who are caught dead at women's gatherings of any kind.

Really, why would a clergyman go to women's circles, conferences, retreats, breakfasts, luncheons or...unless, you know, if they're kinda, uh, you know, uh,...!?!?!

Another subject.

Well, before my wife spoke, I asked if she listened to the 4/19 broadcast of KD on; and she retorted, "Why should I listen to you if you're not gonna listen to me?"

Fair enough.

So I sat in an adjacent room out of sight...and listened to every word.

It confirmed a few things: (1) why I wanted to marry her; (2) she's a gifted communicator of the Gospel; and (3) I don't really need to draft a pinch hitter if she's in the dugout and I'm on the road.

She should be an elder - a thought that brings to mind the mindless jackass who said Trump is totally unprepared/inadequate/ludicrous to be considered a viable candidate for President; prompting moi to inquire, "Compared to whom?"

Then something hit me about my wife that I'd forgotten: Matthew 19:5-6.


And I'm only halfway through Holy Week!

Extra innings?

Acts 2:17-21.



Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011

KD's Saltiest Radio Broadcast

The origins of the "Blame Me" Conspiracy

What prompted the great giveaway of stoles, books, and...

The haunting conversation with Lloyd Ogilvie

The harshest revelation to date

Why he doesn't text, twitter, or Facebook

Introducing Brian Phillips of The Grove as...

Station Manager Bill Villont
Co-producer Kathie Goymerac
put the host on the hot seat
for 45 minutes and what
happened will...

If you missed it live,
click on and then click on
the tab for
Kopp Disclosure
and then click on
the tab for the
show of
April 19, 2011.

John 3:19-21

Monday, April 18, 2011

Parable of the Pony

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



My pony is scheduled for surgery during this Holy Week; but because my favorite HD ranch is about 25 miles from our range and I'm kinda busy with pastoral and ecclesiastical babysitting responsibilites that seem to escalate before Easter Day, I rode her over last Saturday afternoon through a typical spring day near the Illinois-Wisconsin border: snow, sleet, gales, and...

A poser who likes to hang around authentics - happens at churches as well as HD ranches - who had just bought another advertisment to wear as if that turns posing into authenticity scoffed, "Didn't you check the weather channel before mounting your motorcycle?"

Response: "Yes, but you do what you gotta do; and, besides, if you don't choose to ride when the weather is bad, you won't know how to handle bad weather when..."

He shrugged; and I watched him saunter over to the clearance rack.

My buddy Charlie who really understands the culture said, "The ride over was great, wasn't it?"

"Absolutely," I responded with a smile.


I got into trouble for scolding a colleague, "Man up!"

He's spent years feeling sorry for himself because it's sooooooo tough being a pastor.

Yeah, you gotta deal with posers - snakes and wolves in sheep's clothing and other posers getting in the way of the authentic exercise/expression of Christianity as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture - but the authenticity of call is confirmed by His empowering to overcome the hellish.

Simply, if you're called to something and stay tight with Him to live it, He provides the wherewithal to withstand bad weather.

It's a Matthew 7:24ff. thing.


My pony works and plays.

She's cheaper than a cage.

She's more fun to ride than...

When we're together, I can't really tell if we're working because we're having so much fun.



O.K., I don't expect everybody to get the preceding parable.

Some folks are so spiritually dense that they don't hear or see or even sense...

Some folks don't tarry or hang out long enough with the Lord to hear or see or even sense...

I think that's among the reasons why Jesus used so many parables.

Even if you spell it out for some folks like an instruction manual for Nintendo, they still ain't gonna get it/Him.

So you tell a story that maybe they'll remember and maybe someday...


Maybe not.


The weather is getting worse in our world, nation, and even the church.

Some can't handle it.

They crash and burn.

But for those who know Jesus intimately, they keep riding through it all...

...with a smile.

When you're really called to it/Him, you don't know if you're working or playing.



Blessings and Love!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Clergy Meology, Iconoclastic Temptations

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I've been so blessed by people asking for what He has prompted me to give away.

Paul was right: "I consider...not worth comparing to..."

Some folks thought I was bluffing or playing games or something else that coincides with their estimate of my character.


I'm with Paul again as the chief of bad guys who don't practice what they preach.

BTW, I've still got a few more briefcases, books, and...


Of course, I'm still struggling to get this/Him right.

That was more than apparent when my pony started bleeding last Friday and I had to schedule an operation for Holy Week without the benefit of adequate health care ($); and that's not to mention the cage with a cracked window, bald tires, and plethora of other annoyances that mean I won't be able to trade it in for the truck to help geezers, young athletes, and...

Yes, there are times when I wish I hadn't sucked it up and stayed in one of those high steeples with all of those unGodly perks that make a mockery of anything remotely resembling simple, humble, suffering servanthood as exemplified by Jesus and expected of anyone daring to claim Him as Lord and Savior.

Yes, there are times when I'd like to live like the clergy who crucified Him.

Yes, there are times when I'd like to...

...betray Him for any amount of...


Aside from the pony and cage, those dark thoughts came to mind when I heard about the latest recipient of iconic Sir John Templeton's Prize for Religion.

The guy, a theoretical astrophysicist in London, was shocked to win; for as he admitted almost two weeks ago, "...since it wasn't clear to me that I did have the entry ticket."

Following recipients like Bill Bright, Michael Novak, Chuck Colson, James McCord, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Billy Graham, Thomas Torrance, Brother Roger, and Mother Teresa who have "made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimensions" (stated purpose from Templeton's team of judges for the prize), Dr. Rees the recipient has no "religious" beliefs but occasionally attends an Anglican service.


Let me get this straight.

A guy who's not religious by confession but dips a toenail sometimes into anesthetizing higher liturgies gets a million in sterling for addressing a big question that brings Bill Cosby to mind: "How large is physical reality?"

Help me, Jesus!

That's like the guy who got a Ph.D. in New Testament for a dissertation on kai.

Yeah, I know lots of "others" aka non-Christians have cashed in over the years; but this guy ain't even in the spiritual ballpark.

And I can't afford Band-Aids for my cage or an operation for my pony or...


Dark thoughts.


Of course, this doesn't come as a complete surprise to me.

Sir John Templeton made lots of $ for my seminary and its trustees and favorite sons over the years so they could exemplify the simple servanthood of Jesus for their flocks; and if I hadn't sucked up...

There's still some green in my brown eyes.

Quickly, before he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1987 for lots of really benevolent stuff, he was a poor American coming from a small town in Tennessee before discovering his really green thumb for making $ before making buckets of bucks for the PCUSA's pension fund (Excellent!) and the seminary and its imperial priesthood as a trustee for over four decades before renouncing his American citizenship in favor of dual citizenship (Bahamas and UK) to avoid US taxes before...

The chronology may be a bit off.

Truly, he was a benevolent man; including the imperial clergy who somehow have missed what Jesus said about...

Everybody makes mistakes.

For example, articulating years before what has become of his beloved seminary/denomination, he said this about spiritual progress: "But why shouldn't I try to learn more? Why shouldn't I go to Hindu services? Why shouldn't I go to Muslim services? If you are not egotistical, you will welcome the opportunity to learn more."

His motto: "How little we know, how eager to learn."

Sir John flirted with many religions and was especially enamored by the Unity School of Christianity: "I believe all religions are becoming obsolete, clinging to ancient concepts...The idea that an individual can find God is terribly self-centered...The question is not is there a God, but is there anything else except God? God is everyone and each of us is a little bit..."


Now I understand a little bit more about what has happened to...

As I learned years ago, you gotta be careful about who's paying for lunch.


Some people are limited in their understanding of prostitution.

They think it's just about selling your body for a price.

Biblically, it also includes selling your soul for a price.

Imperial clergy come to mind; and there are times when it's so tempting to sell out Jesus for...


Let me put it another way.

My first real pastoral mentor apart from my home pastor was John near the Delaware Water Gap in New Jersey back in the early 70s.

A very rich man in his church would often quote the Ten Commandments then boast, "And you know, pastor, I have never broken one of them."

Finally, probably after a bad day when too exhausted to endure such BS, John asked, "Jesus said to give what you don't need to the poor. You are a rich man. What do you think of that?"

The man said, "Jesus could not have meant that."

I think that's how today's imperial clergy are going through their lives and ministries.

Matthew 23 comes to mind.



Blessings and Love!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Clergy Meology, Continuum

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



If you're wanting some stoles, it's too late.

They're gone - shipped to a seminarian who will keep what he wants/needs and then sell the rest to other seminarians headed to ornamental churches with proceeds going to the poor.

I like that guy!

Actually, I have five left for weddings, funerals, and other occasions demanding me to look, uh, pretty for pictures: a purple one that Paul wore before he fell off a mountain on 8/17/1994 and went home to Jesus, another purple one from a pastor who loved now hates me, a green one that I'm wearing in the portrait that my wife demanded to be removed from our bedroom but has been claimed by my youngest, a white one for weddings that was made for me by a sister-in-law who will remain related by the grace of God, and a really neat one that sports the smiling faces of rainbow-colored children that Rosalie gave to me before she died and I urge you to read about her in Fifteen Secrets which I will send to you for postage or not.

But, really, you can have them if you ask.

Jesus told me to give away what...


I've got this really ridiculous-looking doctor's hat with a gold tassle that I'm supposed to wear at academic shindigs that you can have along with masters and doctors hoods with colors irrelevant to any university because nobody real really cares just like they don't really care when you use Hebrew or Greek to prove something that nobody really cares about either.

They're in great, great, great shape because I've only worn the hat about a dozen times and never wore the masters hood because I got the doctors one before I needed stuff like...

I used to have lots of books too because, you know, that's how you impress people with...

Even if you're not smart, people think you're smart if you have lots of books...and smoke a pipe with one of 'em opened on your...

Well, I gave tons of 'em to a NT Ph.D. candidate and seminary library not too long ago; but I've still got some sets that I don't need except for impressing people who are impressed by that kinda nonsense.

Parenthetically, what I need from 'em is already in the noodle or google or...

You can get sets by Schaff on Christendom's history and creeds with the latter being especially irrelevant 'cause who knows what most churches believe anymore, a set of Barclay's DSB, three gargantuan concordances, four multiple-set Bible dictionaries that repeat each other but still daunt the dumb, 60 volumes of McGee's ramblings that are even more tedious than anything ever written by Spurgeon, Durant's boring study of Western Civilization, 20 centuries of boring preaching, more study Bibles than necessary, Jerome, Dake, boxes of unsold books by moi, and...

You can have 'em all!

Jesus told me to give away what...



Big ones.

How many blue blazers do I need?


Ties; or, as originally intended, gravy rags.

Really, really, really expensive ones.

How many ties does...?

About as many as...

I've even got a neat traveling case for vestments that I don't wear apart from occasions demanding me to look pretty for pictures!

Please take 'em!

Jesus told me to give away what...


I used to think that getting/storing/stocking/hoarding stuff was the way to personal peace.

Then I started taking Jesus seriously; including His commanding counsel about giving away what's not needed to those who really need it.

And the more that I give away, the more I seem to get closer to Him which is so much more pleasurable than anything else that I ever got/stored/stocked/hoarded.

It's like Schwartz lyricized in Pippin:

I know the parables
Told in the Holy Book
I keep close on my shelf
God's wisdom teaches me
When I help others
I'm really helping myself
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land

And the more that I give away all of those former symbols of safety/security/pseudo-serenity, the more I feel...

Jesus told me to give away what...


Jerry was one of those mentors who I ignored along the way.

He'd always say, "If you don't know what to do, just do what God tells you to do in the Bible."


No buts...

Just do's...

Let me put it another way.

We can be whole, happy, joyful, and secure right now.

We don't have to wait until...

O.K., if you're ready for that/Him, read Matthew 19:16-30; and don't stop at what you recall.

Read all of it!

I know it's hard for imperial clergy to get into it/Him.

It's like rich folks who are just too rich to tithe.

But Jesus told us to give away what...


Do you ever wonder why so many with so much are so miserable?

Like Americans?


Jesus told us to give away what...


Matthew 5:1-12.

Psalm 62.

Matthew 6:19-34.

For starters.



I'm not saying I've got it/Him.

I still think and do and wanna think and do lots of bad stuff.

I will never outgrow my need for Lord Jesus as Savior.

It's just that the more I pray and try to follow Him more precisely, the more personal peace comes my...



Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Clergy Meology, Denouement

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Clergy Meology (4/1 and 4/4 editions of KD) has stirred up some...

You may want to go back to those CM editions and read the representative responses.

I think some raw nerves were...

Like mine.

Anyway, this personal letter really caught my attention:

Dear Saint Francis, I mean, rather, Dr. Kopp,

So you say you want to live like Jesus?

Prove it!

How about giving your motorcycle to me?

Or maybe you're still the same hypocrite who preached so
eloquently in those rich churches of yours about what
it means to be a Christian while living a life of such

So here is your chance!

Give your motorcycle to me!

Or how about your house?

I didn't think so.

You had it all, didn't you? And now that you don't,
you say you want to give it all away.


How about that motorcycle of yours?

You are such a hypocrite!

I rejoiced when you left ___!

___ you!

Obviously, he missed the KD on the "N" and "F" words (3/21/11).

Uh, maybe not.

Be that as it is or isn't, I'm glad he's not my bishop.



I wrote back:


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

I've sinned so much against Him and His in
my life, try not to sin so much now but surely do,
and will definitely sin more in the future.

I'll never outgrow my need for Lord Jesus as Savior.

Thank you for reminding me of my need for Him to
forgive my past, present, and future.

I also want to thank you for challenging my faith and
dedicated devotional desire to love Jesus by
loving like Him.

You caused me to consider the stuff in my life that
I want to keep the most: two Bibles, mule, golf clubs,
and truck concomitant to His call through Rick that
I don't have yet because no one will trade me straight
up for my 2001 wagon.

I'm not including my house or anything related to
being a husband and father. I'm not called to give away
what our Lord intends me to provide for them. It's like
I tell the faithful folks of First on occasion, "Your first
priority in giving is to take care of your children and
family. Then you can manage the rest in obedience
to His call in your life..."

Aside from that, you can take anything; because it
really belongs to Him anyway. I'm just the steward.

Though I discern you're trifling with me as inspired by
someone or something other than God, I will give anything
other than what God intended for my family to you if you
want it.

I have other Bibles; but you can have my personal favorites
if you'd like them.

My mule saves a lot of $ on personal psychiatric care and
has allowed me to reach more people for Jesus than I ever
thought possible; but, sure, you can have it.

I guess I can borrow clubs from my dad or children.

I don't have a truck yet to fulfill God's call through Rick
of using it as an instrument of service; but I have that
old wagon and...

Here's the deal.

I love Jesus so much; and I've been falling more and
more and more in love with Him than ever before and
really don't need anything or anyone but Him now or

Don't get me wrong.

I love my family and l really like having/using the
things mentioned above.

But after they're all gone, I'll still have Jesus 'cause
He's got me.

I'd like to talk to you about that/Him sometime.

I know we never talked much in seminary or after;
'cause I was so selfish, hypocritical, and caught
up in being an important imperial pastor.

I was a pastor for so many years before inching
closer to getting it/Him.

I'm not saying I get it/Him any better than anybody
else now; but I am inching closer and closer and
closer by giving up my need for anything or anyone
but Him.

So, yes, you can have it all.

He will supply so much more than I can ever give
away or have taken from me.

Same for you!

One more thing.

Please forgive me for any way that I have sinned
against you; and please help me to identify people
that I have sinned against because I need to ask
their forgiveness too. I was out of my/His mind.

Pray for me to be more faithful; for, yes, I have
been such a hypocrite for so long. Still am.

Blessings and Love!

Yesterday, I sent that to him.

No response...from him.



Blessings and Love!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Clergy Meology, Finis

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I met Julian while still a relatively innocent young pastor in New Jersey.

All I wanted to do was tell everyone about Jesus - His love for everyone and how everyone can love Him back by loving everyone like He does.

It was 1979; before I got my doctorate in order to get those two "calls" avec more obscene perks and higher pay stubs than any clergywoman/man who pretends to follow Jesus should ever...

With appropriate apologies to hyper-Calvinists, it was the purest time in my life and ministry; before prostituting myself for perks and pay and slithering around in all kinda inappropriate behaviors for someone who dares to claim Jesus as Lord as well as Savior.

Anyway, I'll never forget Julian, about my age now back then, interrupting another one of those rather insignificant clergy meetings being held on somebody's back porch by pointing to a caterpillar crawling across a railing and saying, "How lavish is God's creativity and care for all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, the Lord God made them all...He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell how great is God Almighty...Yes, Bob, He made all things well."

It brought Zeffirelli's Brother Sun, Sister Moon to mind; which I had seen seven years before meeting Julian.

It brought our Lord's Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to mind; which I had been reading over and over and over again since a child.

Today, I cannot get past that part about considering the lilies of the field and birds of the air...

How far today's imperial clergy have come from...



If Jesus can serve, why can't I?

Who's really "Lord" of my life?

Yeah, I know that line about those who lead also serve.

Yeah, I was trained to be a church statesman; or, more appropriately, a neo...

Yeah, I was told my call and gifting and training entitled me to more than...


I was told wrong.

I thought wrong.

I cannot know Jesus very well if I live like those who crucified Him.

If I need to be served by call and gifting and training, my master can't be Jesus.

Does any clergywoman/man in her or his or maybe His right mind really think we're supposed to live better than...?



I'm giving away as much as I can.

People come into my study, look at all of the stuff, and say, "I like that...That's cool...neat...I wish I..."

I give it to 'em: cups, Bibles, briefcases, pictures, and...

Some protest, "No, I can't take that..."

I insist, "No, you must...Help me be free...Help me know Jesus better...You asked...You receive..."

Watch the clip preceding this section right now.


Don't read another word until you watch that clip.


O.K., how strange that vestments to identify a clergywoman/man's call cost so much.

How tragically ironic that stoles symbolizing servanthood are so outrageously expensive; and how much more outrageous that I bought/got so many of 'em over the years.

They're yours!

If you're a high steepler or low steepler or whatever and into that masquerade, please write to me at 221 N. Main Street, Belvidere, Illinois 61008; and I'll send 'em all to you.


You must.

Help me be free.

Help me know Jesus better.

I'm keeping my robe with the stripes that heal that Grandpa Hayden gave to me back in 1982 and four liturgically seasonal stoles that were given to me by special friends; but I only wear 'em anymore for weddings and funerals and occasions requiring me to look, uh, whatever for pictures.

And if you're kind enough to include postage and a donation so I can fulfill His call through Rick to get my hands dirtier for Jesus - go to the 4/1/11 edition of KD (Clergy Meology) - I'd be genuinely thankful.

I've got a bunch of 'em from places all around the world - even the Holy Land. They're worth thousands; and I want you to have them or give them to...


Take 'em.



A friend who was part of a covenant group avec moi that almost made it before clergy meology got the best of us - makes me think of Wyatt's lament at the end of Easy Rider - chimed in about the stir caused by the KD on Clergy Meology.

He mentioned a charlatan who ripped off a church from a true brother.

I wrote back, "I haven't even mentioned the assistant pastor in ___ without any credentials who is getting 380K a year as a humble servant of Jesus! It's the same guy who ripped off megabucks from people in ___ and hasn't shown any repentance by trying to pay 'em back with any part of the 380K a year that he's making as a humble servant of Jesus!"


Other pastors in ___ worship him and want to be like him even while secretly turning another shade of green.

It's a vocational hazard with little to do with...Jesus.



Lord, I lost Your way.

Thank You for allowing me to be humiliated.

Thank You for taking away the perks and pay stubs.

Thank You for no compensatory raises in over two years.

Thank You for an empty wallet, low balance, and...

Thank You for helping/compelling me to understand Matthew 5:3; 6:19-21.

Thank You for the hunger to know You better by a renewed hunger to serve.

Thank You for people who want my stuff.

Thank You for compelling then gracing me to break those chains.

I can sweat, answer the phone, take out the garbage, sweep, clean toilets, cart and carry for others, eat modestly, eat inexpensively, dirty my hands, soil my clothes, and serve above self at home, church, and...

I can be better at...following You.

I would rather be a doorkeeper...

...for Christ's Whose name I pray.




Blessings and Love!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Clergy Meology

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I'll never forget it.

It happened while I was a boy wonder high steepler in Kansas City with more obscene perks and higher pay stubs than any clergywoman/man who pretends to follow Jesus should ever...

Anyway, during a fellowship hour between worship services, I saw the President of Hallmark serving coffee.

Aside from giggling about all of the Hallmark employees lining up for him to serve them, I was struck by the irony of one of the world's most influential men humbling himself before...

That's irony in a capitalistic/classist kinda way as opposed to a Matthew 16:24-28 or Mark 10:42-45 kinda way.

Moretheless, I think that's when I started to feel guilty about making so much more $ and having so many more advantages than 99% of my peers.

It's hard to feel close to Jesus when you're living like the people who crucified Him.


It started when I was in my first pastoral care and counseling class in seminary.

The professor had just finished a lecture on the do's and don'ts of hospital visits and asked if we had any questions.

One of Princeton's finest asked, "Do all hospitals have parking spots reserved for clergy?"


Have you ever seen those "Reserved for Pastor" spots in church parking lots?

How, uh, servantlike.

What about the handicapped and geezers and, really, anybody else falling under the "serve rather than be served" part of the call?

Here's my favorite: "I can't go see anybody in ICU today because it's my sabbath."


He said something about that too.

Another favorite: "We're not going to live in the community where the church is located because..."


He said something about that too.

Is it any wonder why so many folks are leaving churches with imperial clergy for churches with undershepherds who understand the difference between posers and authentics?



I lost my train of thought.

Something was in my eye and I couldn't see the screen.

And why do I keep thinking about Matthew 6:25-34?


I just got back from three days of seeing some aging inlaws and outlaws.

They used to help their children and now the roles are reversed.

While driving back from Pennsylvania to Illinois, I had a lotta time to think about that.

I'm also trying to figure out why visiting the geezers in my family provoked pet peeves about peers.

What's He trying to tell me?



I may have discovered His answer last night.

Before going home to see if Kopper was still alive after three days of care by our high school senior who didn't make the trip because of baseball games, we met an elder and his wife for dinner because he was leaving early today for a job in Montana. Still trying to sell their house in this wretched economy, the wife will follow in a few weeks.

Parenthetically, I'm starting to wonder what's going on in our government. How can we afford all of those bombs to kill people over there when we can't even pay our bills over here? Why are we spending so much $ over there to prop up incumbents/insurgents who hate us as much as they hate each other when...?

Remember those old "Bizzaro World" Superman comics?

Maybe getting back to the point, I reminded them that I had borrowed a dolly and hadn't returned it; whereupon the elder said, "I know where it is; besides, maybe you can help somebody who needs..."

I thought, "I didn't go to seminary to learn how to..."


That could be a big part of the/my problem.

I thought of Hallmark's President serving coffee, that first pastoral care and counseling class, parking spots in lots, sabbaths, geezers, and...Jesus.


Maybe that's why He moved me to stop wearing those expensive vestments in favor of something more, uh, common.

Maybe that's why I'm gonna try to trade the wagon for a truck.

Maybe that's why my youngest bought work gloves, get this, for me for my birthday.

Maybe that's why Francis kissed lepers.

Maybe that's why Bonhoeffer wrote The Cost of Discipleship.

Maybe it has something to do with Jesus.

Maybe it has something to do with Christianity's supreme symbol.

Maybe it has something to do with 21st century clergy acting like their 1st century counterparts.


I need to repent.



Blessings and Love!