Friday, August 31, 2012
We just finished and dedicated our expansion and renovation.
Of course, we're broke now; and I haven't been selling enough books to call Woodstock H-D and put a down payment on even a used Electra Glide Ultra Limited.
BTW, do you have any leads on night security jobs in...?
Anyway, if you've ever been in leadership of any kind in any kinda church, you know some folks in churches become rather, uh, naughty when the financial belt tightens.
I can be euphemistic as well as hyperbolic.
Be that as it is, there's a really, uh, uh, uh, interesting rumor circulating around the church these days: "Pastor Bob is removing all of the dishwashers!"
When my inlaws/outlaws heard about it, they got really mad too; because they thought I was getting rid of all the kind souls who wash dishes after church dinners.
I mean if my own family...
Help me, Jesus!
Well, apparently, I'm being accused with anger of removing all of the Kenmores or Whirlpools or whatever they're called to raise money so I can call Woodstock H-D and...
I was inspired/indigested to write about it: "Four Fresh Rumors at First About Pastor Bob!"
I sent it to some friends:
1. Pastor Bob must decide in 48 hours which new call
he will accept: Associate Pope, Chief of Staff for Obama,
or Secretary of State for Romney;
2. Pastor Bob has made his administrative assistant and
the church's financial secretary drain remaining reserves
so he can buy a motorcycle from Woodstock H-D. He is
sooooooo egotistical, selfish, prideful, controlling,
manipulative, and... Did I get all of 'em? Oh, I forgot
3. Pastor Bob is having simultaneous affairs with Sarah
Palin and Susan Sarandon. There are pictures to prove it!
Did you know he was also seen with the current Secretary
of State at Burger King? Or was it Alanis Morissette at the
chicken place that Chicago's Mayor hates? Did you know
he and Sophia Loren have a love child? He is sooooooo;
4. Pastor Bob just died and ___ threw a party because that's
been her/his cursing chant since...
O.K., now the truth.
The aforementioned is why he doesn't wear a helmet.
One buddy in the same business read the above and wrote: "That would be funny, if it weren't so damn sad. We all know it's the dues we pay for..."
Lots about it in the Bible that the mongers ignore.
They break one of the big ten; and breaking one of the big ten breaks the first few.
They break everyone; except for those who live by John 3:19-21.
Lion of Judah.
Blessings and Love!
Sunday, August 26, 2012
I've often wondered why people get so upset about stupid stuff.
You know what I mean; and I'm not cataloging lest I pick your/my/our/their favorite stupid thing that triggers so much...
With a world at war, nation in decline, so much meanness and madness and misery, and a Presidential election featuring a blowbag, buffoon, bourgeois, and boy, you'd think people would/could differentiate the important from the incidental.
Too many won't/can't.
Is it pride, prejudice, control needs, sick pathologies, or...?
Sure, all of 'em are a part of it.
But I've never felt any of the aforementioned was/is enough for people to go postal, apoplectic, irregular, irascible, and irreconcilable.
Then it hit me; and you can decide if "it" was inspired or indigested.
Lots of people freak out over stupid stuff because they can't handle the important stuff.
The stupid stuff is in reach of their pride, prejudice, control needs, sick pathologies, and...
"It" hit me after preaching today.
I mentioned how burying a 22 and 42 year old this week puts things into perspective.
A woman who I'd never met before came up and wanted to argue with me about a sign that went up, then down, and then up again as if the Kingdom rises and falls on such...
I just can't get that upset about...when compared to a young man who dies in a tragic car accident or mom of a 9 and 10 year old who goes home to Jesus after battling cancer for five years.
I can't even muster up any indignation toward the purveyors of the pathetic.
I just say nothing in a Titus 3:9-11 kinda way.
Expending emotions and energies on stupid stuff is, uh, stupid.
I know my lack of concern for stupid stuff offends some people; but stupid stuff just seems so, uh, stupid.
Stupid is a Biblical word.
It's often used to describe stupid, uh, stuff.
So if you've got a problem with references to stupid stuff being, uh, stupid, take it up with the Biblical authors and their inspiration.
I've been alive for as long as I can remember.
If that doesn't make sense to you, check out Revelation 3:1-6 before continuing.
It's a born anothen thing.
Anyway, I'll never forget Tony observing, "Some people pray, 'And if I die before I wake...' Some of 'em need to pray, 'And if I wake before I die...'"
People who are awake don't sweat the stupid stuff because they've got more important things to...
Granted, like that lady who accosted me after worship about the sign, there are people who think what I think is stupid is really, really, really important.
Buy or sell.
Maybe I'm wrong.
Maybe liturgies and signs and carpet color and oil or wax candles or organ versus Fender or vestments or gravy rags aka neckties or Robert's Rules or brass plaques or the inane bigotries of Sister-Bertha-better-than-you or...are really, really, really important and not as stupid as I think.
Maybe I should show more concern and spend more time and exhaust more emotions and energies on that kinda stuff than gospeling, visiting people in the hospital, spending time with the grieving, and...
The more that I scratch the surface of my relationship with Jesus, the more I believe I'm called to move away from that kinda religion about Jesus to a relationship with Jesus on matters that really, uh, matter here and now and, uh, forever.
Blessings and Love!
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Mike says staff at IHOP are allowed only three God-told-me(s) a year.
Every time I open the Bible and, uh, read/chew/ingest it, He says something to me.
He told me something last night.
Our intentions have not gone unnoticed by Him.
Those intentions to be His in time before it ends for us is why we will experience paradise after the last exhale.
However, because we limit the incarnations of those intentions, we have forfeited blessings/graces now before then.
That's why we are often so restless, anxious, fearful, cranky, irregular, and...
Fortunately, we have more time to...
However, the clock is ticking.
I've been meeting with some parents who have apologized to me for being "caught in the middle of their angers" toward each other.
Response: "I am not caught in the middle of anything anymore since I decided to follow Jesus first and foremost."
If you think that was just for you, click on the last KD about "Targeting People from the Pulpit."
Blessings and Love!
Monday, August 20, 2012
Harold is one of my best friends in the whole world; and that's even after we were undershepherds together for many years near Pittsburgh.
He left the mob and then another franchise because God told him to be on staff avec moi.
I think, talk, and write a lot about him; because, uh, God has used him so much to make and mold what I'm still becoming.
I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with F/S/HS.
Anyway, I expect him to join my covenant brothers and sons to preach at my memorial service; unless, of course, I preach at his first.
I'll never forget when Harold was confronted right in front of me by an angry woman: "When Dr. Kopp was away last Sunday, you targeted me in the sermon. You preached that sermon just about me. You embarrassed me in front of my family and friends and made me feel so guilty that I didn't want to come back. I can't believe you did that to me in front of everybody."
I've heard that.
Most preachers have.
Harold's response is the truth: "I'm sorry you feel that way; and I'm sorry you're so arrogant to think that I think about you when preparing sermons to help people get closer to Jesus."
People who feel targeted from the pulpit are so ego-centered; thinking it's all about them.
Then Harold added, "But if the shoe fits..."
People who feel targeted from the pulpit usually are; but not by the messengers.
That comes to mind as I think of people who already know everything and don't need Sunday School, continuing education, or...
Truth - Harold always told/tells it - is some people act like they already know everything about Him and what it means to follow Him by their absence from Sunday School, continuing education, and...
Some people are sooooooo arrogant.
Thesis 11 from Fifteen Secrets: "When you think you've arrived, it's time to start over."
If we're not moving closer to Jesus, we're moving away from Him.
If the shoe fits...
Blessings and Love!
Friday, August 17, 2012
Since spending a week with Eugene in Montana back in October 2011, I feel like I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus.
I feel born anothen.
I'm more excited about gospeling and undershepherding and so many other things even including participating in my franchise's stuff than, uh, ever before.
I'm reading the Bible with a freshness, fervor, and faith that recalls days before I was polluted in college, seminary, graduate schools, and parochial meetings/briefings/CE with books about the Bible/Jesus/faith; recalling my best seminary field education supervisor who warned, "Don't separate yourself from God and His people by degrees."
1 Corinthians 1.
I'm being led more than leading worship.
I can't get enough of...Him in a Psalm 42 kinda way.
Anyway, that's why I've started that series on scratching the surface of every book of the Bible to restore me to Him and maybe whet the appetite of...for...
So far, here's my greatest discovery; and you can laugh at me if you've already gotten this.
It's so simple.
People who really, really, really trust God - not just pose - are blessed and overcome the negatives of everything and everyone and especially the enemy in a Psalm 37:25-28 and Matthew 7:24ff. kinda way.
Axiomatically, more Jesus = more wholeness, happiness, joy, and eternal security.
While we'll never be pure and perfect in every way, never outgrowing our need for Jesus to save us or fill in the gaps between our depraved humanity and His incredibly and inclusively loving divinity, we can be "more better" and, therefore, experience more of His favor/graces right now before then.
Yeah, I know "more better" horrifies the grammar police.
Go back to 1 Corinthians 1.
Go back to...Him.
All of the above - get it/Him? - has given tons and tons and tons of "more patience" to me for people who really, really, really want to move from a religion about Jesus to a relationship with Him.
Conversely, I'm finding it harder and harder and harder to generate patience for people who say they love Jesus and then hate everybody else in a Christian kinda way.
I've dropped the drama in my response to 'em; but my yes and no and commentary always subject to correction by Him/His as confirmed in the Bible about 'em have become strikingly and starkly salty.
Case in point.
I live in Boone County, Illinois which has a wonderful county fair every August.
It's invitational, inclusive, welcoming, and loving.
In short, it's more like the Church intended by our Lord than so many churches pretending to...
Well, several folks came to see me after the fair to express a whole range of emotions/evaluations about somebody who left our family of faith for a variety of reasons unrelated to anything ever said by Jesus about hanging together as witness to hanging with Him. They were especially offended/outraged/miffed/saddened by how he would avoid them and just about run away from them by pretending to not see them and...
I was asked what I thought about him.
I said the difference between authentic Christians and posers is authentics know they're hypocrites.
Then it/He really hit me.
People who say they love Jesus but remain irascible, irregular, and irreconcilable need "more Jesus" and "less of themselves" in their conduct and countenance to confirm their claim of loving Jesus.
It's one of the really, really, really big lessons that I'm learning as I'm scratching the surface.
Simply, every problem in our world, nation, churches, families, and whatevers could be ameliorated by "more Jesus" in all of 'em.
Blessings and Love!
Monday, August 13, 2012
Scratching the Surface of Exodus
Have you ever wanted to escape?
Forget the past tense, how about right now?
Do you want to escape from someone or something?
Do you feel chained to alcohol, tobacco, weed, nose candy, caffeine, pills, job, debt, taxes, porn, plastic, memories, fantasies, relationships, religion, government, or ___?
Everyone has someone/something to fill in that blank because it's human to want to escape 'em.
Though we're gonna get to him later, the Psalmist, who often captures how we feel about a lotta stuff, dreamed, "I wish I was a bird and could fly away from..."
Unless your doctor has prescribed a little helper to anesthetize your brain, everybody's trying to escape someone or something because someone or something has control over us.
We want to be free from...
It's the collision of two opposite instincts.
We want to be free.
Someone/something doesn't want us to be free.
This book is about that struggle.
It's about our desire to be free, the aforementioned stuff or Pharaoh(s) in our lives that don't want us to be free, and God who is divine enough to enable our escape.
Let's look at our instinct.
We want to choose who, what, where, when, and whatever for ourselves.
No matter the Pharaoh, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said among his last words on the night before being murdered for being one of God's voices of freedom (4/3/68), "The cry is always the same - 'We want to be free!'"
Let's look at Pharaoh's instinct.
Pharaoh wants to control our thoughts, words, and actions; enslaving our identities and aspirations to his agenda.
While Pharaoh will say he's looking out for our best interests, it's just a smokescreen to distract us while the cuffs and chains are being fastened to our bodies and souls.
Fortunately, God is the main player in His story.
That's what the whole book is about and Exodus builds upon Genesis as God's character expands from Source, Starter, and Sovereign to Savior.
Because He is Who He is as Source, Starter, and Sovereign, God's original design of making us for Himself cannot be changed by anyone/anything less than Himself; and that includes Pharaoh.
Unlikely voices like Moses arrive on the scene with God's command, "Let My people go!"
If Pharaoh refuses, God plagues 'em until Pharaoh lets up or gives up or is put down; and then the emancipated sing like King did on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (8/28/63), "Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
Of course, our freedom from God is for God.
Simply, we are free to be as God designed us to be.
As we learned in Genesis, He made us for Himself.
He created us; and as we read in Genesis and as we read in every book of the Bible, we'll always be just fine as long as we pay attention to Him.
Just to be clear, let's take a quick look at what He means by freedom.
Freedom does not mean doing whatever the hell we want to do; for doing whatever the hell we want to do brings hell into the lives of others and disrespects God Who loves everyone equally.
That's why He gave those Ten Commandments to us; which, basically, show us how to get along with Him and how to get along with everybody else.
Indeed, we can't escape the fact that God's book reminds us over and over and over again that getting along with everybody else is, more than less, how we get along with Him.
We'll get back to that/Him/them as we scratch the surface of the other books.
Simply, Biblical freedom is being exactly who God intended us to be; and when we are exactly who God intended us to be and others are exactly who God intended them to be, everyone gets along just fine because God is not double-minded and does not give freedoms that conflict, collide, contradict, inhibit, or anything else destructive to relationships.
Problems start when we look in the mirror, like Pharaoh, and see God.
That's when the attacks on freedom begin - when humans start thinking they're a tad too divine and entitled to control other humans no matter how they've been designed by the one and only and real God.
The solution is staying focused on the Source, Starter, and Sovereign Who will always be our Savior to escape the controls, chains, and captivities of life's Pharaohs.
Every episode in Exodus explains the simple equation of freedom: obedience to God = freedom to experience His best for our lives and escape anyone/anything up to no good in our lives.
While we'll discover His story climaxes at the entrance of His incarnate Self in Jesus as ultimate Savior to help us escape death - the ultimate Pharaoh - and do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, Exodus refreshes us with the good news that every Pharaoh who shows up at our doors is no match for people who acknowledge, accept, and adore God our Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior.
This book is about God doing that for us right now as well as forever.
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!
Friday, August 3, 2012
I don't know whether you'll read this before or after our mandatory ride to South Dakota; but apart from the parousia or some major crisis, Rainmakers MC throttles off at 5:00 a.m. on 8/4.
Parenthetically, Scratching the Surface (check out the preface and Genesis by clicking on the right column archives) begins big time when/if I return.
Moretheless, trying to explain why we ride is like trying to explain a relationship with Jesus to someone who's never gotten beyond a religion about Him.
Tinklin' in the wind.
Be that as it is, you can still find out more about it by picking up a copy of I Just Wanna Ride (FTW) or hooking up avec moi on Sundays in Belvidere's FPC at 7:30 or 10:00 a.m or via www.bnnsradio.com or placing any of the following dates listed below on your calendar.
Be that as I am and look for the new salty wrist bracelet after 8/4 if you're into incarnational stuff, I came across "The Biker's Creed" in the July 2012 edition of Thunder Roads Wisconsin/North Illinois that's not bad in helping those who don't get it to...
With thanks to the "anonymous" author and apologies for taking advantage of that anonymity for anything that offends her/him, I've modified it a tad with italics to include a few inspirations/indigestions from someone who's just scratching the surface of his relationship with Jesus.
I ride because it is pure fun; and I don't read anything in Holy Scripture that says He's the Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior of being cranky, contentious, creepy, or the death of the party for Him.
I ride because I enjoy the freedom I feel from being exposed to the elements, and the vulnerability to the danger that is intrinsic to riding; which is part of the skull thing and reminds me of two billboards: "Think Before It's Too Late" and "Wake Up and Smell the Tyranny."
I do not ride because it is fashionable to do so. I ride because it is natural and is what I have done all my life; and bikers really don't care what you think of 'em/us because you don't define 'em/us and you can/should read more about that in the book mentioned all over this website.
I ride my machine, not wear it. My machine is not a symbol of status. It exists simply for me, and me alone.
My machine is not a toy. It is an extension of my being, and I will treat it accordingly, with the same respect as I have for myself; reminding me of an exchange between Jung and Freud. Jung: "Sigmund, you've said cigars are phallic symbols." Freud after taking a draw on his stogie, "Yes, but they're also cigars."
I strive to understand the inner-workings of my machine, from the most basic to the most complex.
I will learn everything I can about my machine, so that I am reliant upon no one but myself for its health and well-being; or as Jeff and I like to say, "Until we find someone who will care for our mules like we care for 'em, we'll care for 'em."
I strive to constantly better my skill of control over my machine. I will learn its limits, and use my skill to become one with my machine so that we may keep each other alive. I am the master, it is the servant. Working together in harmony, we will become an invincible team; which sounds kinda sick unless you're, uh, a biker.
I do not fear death. I will, however, do all possible to avoid death prematurely. Fear is the enemy, not death. Fear on the highway leads to death, therefore I will not let fear be my master. I will master it; which brings up the skull thing again concomitant to John 14 and 1 Corinthians 15 and...
My machines will outlive me. Therefore, they are my legacy. I will care for them for future bikers to cherish as I have cherished them, whoever they may be; bringing to mind that bikers can be as weird as anyone else.
I do not ride to gain attention, respect, or fear from those that do not ride, nor do I wish to intimidate or annoy them. For those that do not know me, all I wish from them is to ignore me. For those that desire to know me, I will share with them the truth of myself, so that they might understand me and not fear others like me; which explains the acrostic in the aforementioned book.
I will never be the aggressor on the highway. However, should others mess with me, their aggression will be dealt with in as severe a manner as I can cast upon them; which goes back to the skull thing and Ephesians 6:10ff.
I will show respect to other bikers more experienced or knowledgeable than I am. I will learn from them all I can. However, if my respect is not acknowledged or appreciated, it will end; in a Golden Rule kinda way.
I will not show disrespect to other bikers less experienced or knowledgeable than I am. I will teach them what I can. However, if they show me disrespect, they will be slapped; however, that slapping is His prerogative not mine.
It will be my task to mentor new riders, that so desire, into the lifestyle of the biker, so that the breed shall continue. I shall instruct them, as I have been instructed by those before me. I shall preserve and honor traditions of bikers before me, and I will pass them on unaltered; which is another way of saying "we're" always just one generation away from extinction.
I will not judge other bikers on their choice of machine, their appearance, or their profession. I will judge them only on their conduct as bikers. I am proud of my accomplishments as a biker, though I will not flaunt them to others. If they ask, I will share them in a Romans 12 kinda way.
I will stand ready to help any other biker that truly needs my help; and read pages 103ff. in the aforementioned book for a revelation on that.
I will never ask another biker to do for me what I can do for myself.
I am not a part-time biker. I am a biker when, and wherever I go. I am proud to be a biker, and hide my chosen lifestyle from no one. I ride because I love freedom, independence, and the movement of the ground beneath me. But most of all, I ride to better understand myself, my machine, the lands in which I ride, and to seek out and know other bikers like myself. Absolutely! Romans 1:16-17 comes to mind!
If I've gotta explain that to you, you wouldn't understand anyway.
Having eyes and ears don't guarantee seeing and hearing spiritually.
It's not about religion.
It's about relationships.
Blessings and Love!
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame
999 Main Street
Sturgis, South Dakota
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
"Give a Pint to Save a Life!"
Book Purchases/Signings Optional!
Rock River Valley Blood Center
2050 S. Eastwood
Ida Public Library
320 North State Street
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