Friday, June 26, 2015
"Tell everybody everywhere about Me."
"He is like a kite. He soars where others fear to fly. While he needs you
as a lifeline lest he gets lost in the clouds, don't dare try to control him
with the earthly and ordinary or he will not be what attracted you
to him...and he will die...and he has never feared death."
While this will come as a great relief to many, I will be out of cyberspace between the next two Sundays as I ride Return2 to my outlaws and inlaws in Pennsylvania.
Shortly after that, KD's webmaster Kathie will be on vacation for a spell.
On top of that, my computer has finally been declared obsolete and I've been told I will have to learn how to use a new one on July 6.
Considering my technoignoramity and the challenges provided by cages on the open road, you may never hear from me again because I can't figure out how to get back in cyberspace or the prayers of my enemies have been answered.
Did you know ordained undershepherds in the PCUSA are expected to get permission from their primary judicatory aka presbytery to "labor outside the bounds" of their, uh, primary judicatory?
That means we're supposed to get permission before preaching or teaching or presiding at weddings/funerals or, uh, whatever "outside the bounds" of our, uh, primary judicatory.
Talk about control needs.
I learned the hard way.
A pastor and session in another part of the country asked me to help them to part ways in an irenic to redemptive way increasingly uncommon in churches.
Been doing it for years.
Well, get this, somebody in that church who hated the pastor in a Christian kinda way and hated the session and me in a Christian kinda way for working out a deal that wouldn't totally emasculate the pastor filed charges against me for "laboring outside the bounds" of my presbytery without permission to do it.
He wanted to hurt me for not hurting his pastor who he wanted to hurt; and because he could no longer hurt him, he transferred the target to moi.
Truth is that dude wanted to hurt not help by contributing to the healing of that pastor.
Happens all the time.
Anyway, I didn't get punished or anything; but I learned not to do anything "outside the bounds" of our presbytery without telling somebody important in our presbytery that I was gonna labor "outside the bounds" of the presbytery.
Since then, I do that...mostly.
I'm wondering if anybody expects me to get permission to talk about Jesus if I'm outta town.
Should I say no/sorry if somebody asks me to preach or teach or preside at the table or do a funeral or...if I haven't had time to get permission to labor "outside the bounds" of my presbytery?
Yeah, I'm into the "decently and in order" thing.
Buuuuuuut if presented with an opportunity or need to provide or do something that I've been called/equipped/trained to do, I'll be damned if I'm gonna say no/sorry if I don't have time to get permission to do it.
Very, very, very seriously!
Truly, sometimes ya gotta ask forgiveness if you haven't had the time to get permission.
I know it's a roll of the dice; but I'd rather fail for tryin' than fail for not.
BTW, for reasons not totally known to me, I talk a lot about Jesus wherever I am; especially when ridin' outta town on Return2.
He told me to do that.
I like to do that.
It's/He's good news.
So I guess somebody's gonna bring charges against me again because I'm not gonna stop...
"Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that
Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me
from harm so that it might not bring me pain!"
Blessings and Love!
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
"Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.
Whoever wants to be first among you must be
your slave. That is what the Son of Man has
done. He came to serve, not be served -
and then to give away His life in exchange
for the many who are held hostage."
"The Jesus of suburbia is a lie."
"You elevate traditions to the commandments of God. You don't practice what
you preach. You adore expensive vestments. You want to be called Doctor
and Reverend. You expect to be first in line for potlucks. You want to be seen
sitting up front. You've missed the point. Following Me is about serving.
It's not about being great. It's about being a humble servant; and I will
lift up the humble and bring down the arrogant. You wear religious
masks to hide no personal relationship with Me. You add people
to your churches who are twice as fit for hell as you've become.
You enable greed and self-indulgence because it yields the
perks, popularity, position, and prosperity that you covet
more than Me. I have wanted you to be close to Me
like a hen gathers her baby chicks under her wing.
But you exchanged Me for your reimagined
religion; and now you wonder why all
about/in you is so desolate."
It is considered among the most prestigious seminaries in the world as well as franchise.
After a lecture on pastoral care, the professor was asked, "Are there reserved parking spots for clergy at hospitals?"
The professor seemed stunned by the shamelessness of the inquiry.
Do you think Jesus would have requested a reserved spot in the church parking lot?
A year after undershepherding the church without distinction, I was asked to send a picture for its framed clergy collection posted in the library.
While searching for something appropriate, I stumbled upon a non-best-selling book that I had written on the Ten Commandments.
I did not send a picture.
When asked again, I said I could not find anything...appropriate.
I know brass plaques and portraits of pillars and pastors adorn many churches; but haven't we learned anything from the Reformation...not to mention...?
She was an extraordinarily able church business administrator.
She dragged me to the narthex because she was so proud of the tiles buffed to blinding perfection.
With a hint of sadness betraying something ignored because she signed my checks, she said, "Too bad it will be all scuffed-up after Sunday."
Museums and mausoleums are very...neat.
The women were so proud of the needle-pointed pew cushions featuring the disciples that they'd made for the front pew.
They asked me to urge the elders to rope off the front pew so nobody could sit on them during worship.
Museums and mausoleums are so...empty...of life.
Jesus said anyone can go to heaven.
He sighed lamentation over those who choose otherwise.
It's the part of John 3 that's been revised egoeisegetically.
Have you ever noticed how so many of today's clergy ordained/installed/compensated in the name of Jesus ignore, defy, and auto-suggest Him?
Have you ever noticed how so many of today's clergy with over 2K years worth of information about Jesus talk, walk, and look like anything but Him?
Have you ever wondered how so many of today's clergy can read those red letters with a straight face?
There's a lot more that I want to say; but I've got to stop because there's something in my eye and...
Blessings and Love!
Monday, June 15, 2015
Scratching the Surface
When Counseling is Effective
I’ve often wished I had more time.
Ultimately, I’m with Quoist’s prayer: “You know what You are doing. You make no mistakes in your distribution of time. You give each one time to do what You want him to do. But we must not lose time…waste time…kill time…for time is a gift that you give us, but a perishable gift, a gift that does not keep…I am not asking You, Lord, for time to do this and then that, but Your grace to do conscientiously, in the time that You give me, what You want me to do.”
Truly, there are more needs than time to fill ‘em.
I average about 70 hours a week as an undershepherd.
That’s more of a frustration than complaint; for I knew what I was getting into from the start with the help of my first mentor The Rev. Harold F. Mante. I’ve always known the hours would be long; and our Lord has always provided the strength for me to meet His assigned tasks.
Yet, I’ve often wished I had more time; for there are more needs than time to fill ‘em.
As the demands on my time keep increasing, I’ve had to become very careful with my calendar.
Yeah, I wish I could just put a jug of lemonade on my desk and declare, “Ya’ll drop in anytime…’cause I ain’t got much to do.”
Wish that were true.
But it’s not; and I have had to become a better steward of the time entrusted to me.
Actually, that has made me into a much better counselor; because I now turn immediate attention to the only One who can save here and now as well as in the end.
I think of a woman who called not too long ago.
She: “Do you remember me? You counseled my husband and me about nine years ago. We’re in trouble again. Can you help us?”
Me: “Where are you worshipping?”
She: “We’re…not…right now…but…”
Me: “The best way to begin getting your life and marriage and everything…well…begins with worship. So come to our first or second service on Sunday and then I’ll meet with you and begin…”
It’s a John 14:6 and Acts 3:1-10 reality about effective counseling.
Some things are sooooooo obvious.
I was playing golf with my favorite Special Olympian.
Me: “I stink at putting.”
Billy: “Maybe you should practice.”
It brings too many to mind: “I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing or where I’m going. My marriage, family, school, church, job, and world stink. My life is a mess.”
Jesus: “Abide in Me. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit. Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
Some things are sooooooo obvious.
There are more needs than time to fill ‘em.
Annnnnnnd maybe that’s not as bad as it sounds; for counseling only becomes effective when Jesus is the prescription.
Band-aids are helpful.
They stop the bleeding.
Blessings and Love!