Coming Soon: “Joy News”

Standard

Heads up, everybody! I am embarking on a new project to start reporting some amazing things taking place in the world around us.

I have noticed that generally what we focus on is what we tend to have manifest in our lives. On that note, I would really like to see ALL of us have wonderful things happen!

Starting this month, I am going on a hunt for the “gold”—wherever it may be found. I am searching out treasure in hidden places.

My vision is to cover topics ranging from miracles, beauty, good deeds, grace, compassion, wisdom, honor, noble things and just sheer occasions for joy. I want to promote artists whose brave creativity is making the world a better place. I want to find business people with honest hearts who desire to see everyone prosper. I want to find the ones who dare simply out of a firm conviction that God is good—and that everyone was created to be blessed out of their mind!

My first official article will cover up-and-coming artist and recent SCAD graduate Christine Burney’s recent art exhibition in Atlanta, GA. Be on the look out for this article! You will not want to miss.

 

 

Advertisements

Better Left Alone?

Standard

There are some things you can’t unsee.

There are those times when you feel this thing rise up in you. It’s distinct from a sort of bitter-anger that causes you to fall into a pit of depression mixed with deep resentment. It’s this kind of anger that moves on you to fight—to fight on somebody else’s behalf.

Even if they don’t think that they deserve it.

I have watched religion beat-up on the Bride of Christ like the proverbial abusive husband. Sometimes it’s physical abuse. Sometimes it’s verbal abuse. Sometimes it goes further.

It gets to the point where I go into a church worship service and hear the Beloved speaking absolute crap over herself like she’s some sort of horrible monster.

“God help me; I’m such a horrible sinner.”

The mantra.

What good, loving husband wants to hear his wife speaking that over herself? What good, loving husband wants to hear his wife call herself a worthless piece of _______? The Jesus that religion preaches is a far cry from the Jesus I know. The Jesus I know totally called me on my self-hatred and told me it was a load of bunk—and that I was WAY too hard on myself.

I’ve seen the scars and the bruises on the arms and the faces of women who have been trafficked. It isn’t too far off from the marks left on the hearts of the people who hear a message of “love Me or be tortured eternally by my sadist of a Father.” That’s the ugly face of religion, folks.

It isn’t the gospel.

Worship is not singing to the Lord about how bad and worthless of a person you are. That’s not worship; that’s spitting on the face of the Lord and denying the gospel. That’s taking the Lord’s name in vain—claiming to believe Him while spouting blatant unbelief in His ability to have accomplished a ________ thing on the cross. Pun-intended.

Worship more has to do with being overwhelmed with the goodness of God. Letting Him wash your feet and speak words of loving-kindness over you. Worship is believing and trusting in a Lover who treasures you beyond anything else in all creation. It’s about being thrown into a sheer ecstasy at the reality that God has forever joined you to Himself. Far from humiliating you, He has allowed Himself to be stripped bare in front of the whole of creation, declaring His love before the cosmos.

Selah on that, folks.

 

 

The Ecstatic Dance

Standard

Who needs a blast of joy today?

I am telling you, ladies and gentlemen, there is more than enough to go around!

Do you want to know what dearly frightens all of the demons of hell? Ecstatic joy exuding and pouring out from the bliss of knowing that you are forever and always embraced in the arms of your Creator, never to be parted!!! WooHOO!

So, today on the jolly blog, I am going take us back to the basics. If your grid for God has been derived from a bunch of religious guilt-trips and hating-on by haters, I have got splendid news for you: you got messed up on the head! God is the happiest Person that ever there was! (No matter how many times we forget that!) God’s a spinning dance of joy and love and community, and you are a dearly loved creation. Brilliant idea!

So, there’s this guy named Jesus, and He is really awesome. And I believe in Him. I believe in a God who is Three-in-One jolly happy dance and loves everyone. One of God favorite past-times? Loving on everyone who has been completely screwed over by religion! I believe that God is most clearly personified in the Person of Jesus.

You want to know what the cross was? You really want to know what the cross was? Well, that’s what you call spreading your arms wide-open for a hug, folks! Come at me, atheists! God completely loves you. You are amazing! Every time I run into one of you, I am reminded of God’s goodness. You want to know why? You help God deconstruct religious oppression. God doesn’t like oppression, so that makes you one of God’s favorites!

I believe that God wants everyone blissed out on the goodness of Jesus. No one excluded. I don’t care what the heck you call yourself; I call you loved!

Pro-Human: The New Wave of Feminism

Standard

“Feminist.”

What comes to mind when you hear that word?

Its meaning has seemed to morph over the years. There was the suffragette movement, “Rosie the Riveter,” and often confusing conversations about “choice.” Now, there are dialogues concerning the essence of femininity, masculinity, gender, biological sex and whether or not one wants to identify as an androgynous unicorn.

There are numerous little rabbit holes one could jump down on this subject, but I would like to focus on the one that came to my attention when I recently went to see DC’s Wonder Woman. 

So, Diana (Wonder Woman) grows up on this island where only women live, and she is raised on tales of how men went to the dark side under the influence of this wicked god named Ares. Under his influence, the outside world has had a good share of issues. Supposedly, this Ares was defeated, but suspicions are that he’ll be back.

Enter STEVE TREVOR, pursued by GERMAN SOLDIERS.

Apparently, the god of war is back, à la World War I!

Now . . . Diana has this quite unique understanding of the world that you see flushed out more and more as the film continues and her character’s true identity is revealed. Hers is not so much an “us vs. them” perspective. It’s not about the Allies vs. the Central Powers. It’s about a manipulative, conniving war god who must be taken down so that humanity is given the opportunity to be its best.

One such human who desperately needs a chance at redemption is a woman known as Isabel Maru, a. k. a. “Dr. Poison.”

When I looked at the character of Isabel Maru, I was struck by how much pain and bitterness the woman carried inside and how that internal pain came out and manifested itself as self-harm and mass murder. I was also struck by how her character paralleled an alarming trend I see in “feminism” today.

“He hit me first.”

How often do we hear that excuse come out of the mouth of little kids? “You hurt me, so I hurt you,” essentially. But, as adults, we don’t like to admit that this is actually what we are doing to each other at times; we are supposedly beyond our childish ways.

It might come out as “You hurt me, so I am going to hurt this child we made together—because this child reminds me of you.” It might come out as “You made me feel small and worthless as a I am woman; I am going to make you feel small and worthless as a man.” It might come out as “You abused me, so I am going to abuse you.” (Not so sweet a dream, eh?) However it comes out, it is what it is. Trying to come up with pretty sounding theoretical names for this hurt-induced behavior is nothing less than deceiving ourselves and making ourselves smaller than we actually are.

If we truly want to learn how to be powerful as women and heal, we must learn how to forgive. Forgiveness says, “I am not going to let what you did to me torture me any more.” Forgiveness says, “You are not allowed to do that to me anymore; you are better than that.” Forgiveness says “I want you to be healthy, too, and to heal from what hurt you and drove you to this.” Forgiveness says, “I want to empower you to be the person I know you truly are!” Forgiveness is also willing to admit when it messes up and forgive itself.

Forgiveness chooses love. Forgiveness believes the best about people.

Forgiveness recognizes that there is more at play here than flesh and blood. There are spiritual forces of good and evil at work. Forgiveness goes after the puppeteer, not the one being yanked on the string.

Forgiveness chooses love.

Even when forced to do battle, it will still carry honor in its heart for its enemies.

Salute!

 

 

Brave

Standard

It’s okay to be different.

Some of my most favorite people are the ones who challenge me to think differently—to consider a different angle, a different perspective. It’s as if I am being blessed with the opportunity to examine a treasure anew.

I may argue with them a little. For me, it’s a bit of a playful exercise. I want to grow—to learn. I am quite fond of the proverb “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Each person is a work of art, a masterpiece. As I study each, I grow in wisdom.

I am quite fond of the hidden ones, the ones who are at home in silence. As another proverb says “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter—and the glory of kings to search it out.” The hidden ones . . . wow. It is an honor when one of them chooses to trust you. Value that confidence. Do not think lowly of the quiet.

Be aware that not everyone is as they appear on the surface. Choose to look deeper.

Remember the stories of Saul and David.

 

Song of the Lioness

Standard

I hear the rumble;

I hear the roar.

It stirs something

in me,

draws me

to soar.

It’s the sound

of my King;

He calls me

“My Queen.”

He yearns to

hear

the bellows

of the deep.

Peer into

those fiery eyes—

in which

neither weakness

nor strength

are found despised.

Fierce protection,

perichoresis;

pardon me, now,

while I write

my thesis.

FREE!

My roar fills the air

as I leap  and I bound

and I dance for

my maned one—

called sometimes

“Lamb,”

called sometimes

“Slain one”!

Beautiful!

I see You

in rain, in sun.

I hear your

whisper;

I feel you

run.

We are not

so far off,

you and I,

for here

betwixt us

meets earth

and sky.

 

 

 

Prophets or Madmen?

Standard

Each culture has a certain set of what we call “norms.”

That means that in one culture a person who is considered “gifted” or even a “prophet” may be considered worthy of being medicated, institutionalized or even killed in another. It all has to do with these “norms” we put forth as a society.

What do our norms say about us as a culture?

Do we even want to look?

I have been thinking about how certain segments of society treat people who have been diagnosed with what is commonly called “Down Syndrome.” Extra chromosome, right? Maybe looks a little different, right?

Me, personally?  Some of the sweetest humans I have ever been blessed to meet!

And yet, how do we treat them? Pregnant women are frequently urged to have their unborn children tested for Down Syndrome. Why? Well, apparently if they do have Down Syndrome, we can simply flush the kid and try again.

Umm . . . this is okay, why???

What are we being taught about the value and the worth of a human being?

Is not perspective a blessing? Do we truly value diversity?

I think we see a truer form of mental illness in people who believe that it is okay to wreak havoc and destruction in the lives of others than we see in all these extraneous labels we are pumping out now-a-days. If you think that it is okay to hurt the innocent, oppress the poor, and rub the faces of the orphan and the widow in the dirt—-that, my friend, is real mental illness.