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Monday, July 06, 2015

A contractor's thoughts on churches, chiefs and the confederacy.

It stands to reason, really.  There were only two kinds of people who hopped or were thrown on a boat back in the day and survived the trip to these bountiful shores:
  Those who couldn't live by the rules of their homeland.
  And those who wouldn't. 
With demographics like those, how could we not, as a people, prize and value independent spirits?  It's our legacy.  It's our common denominator.  It's our defining characteristic.  America has always danced to the beat of a different drum.  Its own.  We're the lone hippie at a hip-hop house party.  We stand in the concert of the world with headphones on listening to our own playlist.  We revel in our rebel image.  So much so that we still pride ourselves on a time when, having not been able to even stand our own rules, we thought it more expedient to slaughter six hundred and twenty thousand of our own people over the matter. 

Pride rules.  Any kind of pride.  We pride ourselves in the majority.  We pride ourselves in the minority.  We pride ourselves on our success, we revel in our outcastness.  We say we value team work and community but we turn the cameras upon and throw money at the bad boy, the salacious, the inflammatory, the rebel. 

It didn't take me long in the construction trades to realize that all of the owner operators have one thing in common, one over arching personality trait that binds them all together...
They cannot abide another person's rules.
They universally have a problem with authority.  It's why they stopped working for other men and started their own business.  'My way or the highway,' will be expressed in any number of phrases, but it's always credal. 

It took me a little longer to see this motto lurking behind churches.

Maybe it's a relatively new thing?  The church plant movement.  The independent church movement.  These have seemingly swelled in recent years.  But i doubt it.  We don't have denominations for nothing.  Even our denominations have denominations.  i suppose this is a good thing when the parent church has become heretical and needs reformation.  But that doesn't always seem to be the case, does it?  When we started using phrases like "relevant" and "rockstar pastor" i think we left reformation for holy purposes in the dust.  Part of me likes the phrase, "i wanted to create the kind of church i would want to go to."  Part of me sees Jesus in, "i looked around and i didn't see a church reaching out to people like me."  Jesus came for outcasts: lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, lame, blind, demon possessed, fisherman, the real dregs of society.  My denomination tends to look more like the successful and well adjusted members of society.  So there's a disconnect happening somewhere.  Possibly, it's in that little word, "look," but there's no denying that for all our efforts and well meaning, we have tended to create clubs for the "like me."

None of this is revolutionary.  None of this hasn't been said before by smarter people than me.  Most of whom probably had solutions and suggestions to suggest and solute.  i don't.  i just have a concern over the tribalism i see forming around every self-proclaimed chieftan, the clannishness of our people, the desire to follow any dynamic, charismatic rebel that walks in off the street with a tattoo and a stratocaster ready to rock you to heaven and rewrite the Bible in their own image. 

i just have two pleas.  Pray and Read.

Pray to see your own sin.  And don't stop at the surface.  Don't stop at the verbs, the lying, the yelling, the lusting, the partying.  Get down through the adjective layer, the selfish, the angry, the fearful and into the septic cistern of our souls.  The Pride.  The thing in you that makes you want to not just be a chief, but god.  See your sin so clearly that it breaks you, that it humbles you, that it makes you so distrustful of your own desires that you no longer are confident to tell another person much less yourself what to do or think or believe...
Except for what you have read and seen and come to know as the Truth in the Word that God himself revealed to us so we would know not what to believe or do or follow but Whom. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

stupid song

They saw us together
They saw a resemblance
They asked if we were brothers
And i had to tell them, “Once.”

Once,
once we had trust
we each spoke freely
once i knew him
and he, he knew me
and we loved each other anyway
another time, back in the day
Once

You went away
you changed your name
you tried to change everything
but you’re still the same

Once,
once we had fun
we were a family
i didn’t choose you
you didn’t choose me
but we loved each other anyway
Another time, back in the day
Once.

No one really changes
We’re all what we were at the first
the only real difference
is we keep getting worse

We still live together
sleep in the same bed
still wear the rings
but now you wish i was dead

Once,
once we were one
in spirit and body
once i knew you
and you, you knew me
and we loved each other anyway
Another time, back in the day
Once.

No one really changes
We’re all what we were at the first
The only real difference
is we keep getting worse.

Once
once we forgave
cuz we needed forgiving
once we knew dying
was the secret to living
Once we were blind,
poor, wretched, astray
But God loved us anyway
one dark morning, one good day
Once.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A conversation from the Pub.

"I fancy he thought that was a prayer," Seamus sneered.

I don't know why but I offered the following weak defense, "I s'pose with some men, God takes what he can get."

Seamus just snorted.  "A garbage disposal takes what it can get, lad.  A King takes what He damn well wants!"

Friday, January 09, 2015

i am Charlie, unfortunately, i'm also Kouachi

"The Law is a blunt instrument. It's not a scalpel. It's a club. If there is something you consider indefensible, and there is something you consider defensible, and the same laws can take them both out, you are going to find yourself defending the indefensible. " Neil Gaiman

See, this is where philosophy and reality diverge. Right here. Cuz what Mr. Gaiman says is true and rational sounding. But what happened is someone teased a bear and the bear mauled him to death and people are worried they will take away their right to tease bears. 

This is why we need something better than the Law. We need Gospel. You don't need laws protecting people's rights to do and say whatever the hell they want. If there's one thing we all can agree on, it's that people always do and say whatever the hell they want, a law doesn't stop that. We have laws that say you can't walk into an office and shoot people. That didn't stop anyone. We don't need to defend the laws or make new laws or talk about the laws. This isn't about the laws.

What we need are people wanting to do and say better things.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

a quote

"i want to love people, i truly do!
But then they open their mouths and say stuff and it's just easier to stuff the grenade in and pull the pin."

Seamus

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Just in time for the holidays!

http://society6.com/scruffymynxbane

Hi y'all,
Remember me?  No?  No bother.  All you need to know about me right now is that i'm poor, i draw and paint stuff and you can buy stuff with those pictures on them if you are so inclined.  Like a hoodie with this guy on it, or a clock with some other dudes on them or just a nice framed print of this of Captain Jesus...
So head on over to society6 and see what there is to see and if you don't see something you'd like to see, see me, or leave a message in the comment box telling me what you'd like and i'll see what i can do, see?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why don't he write?

Cuz Astrobunny!  That's why! 

Yes, i've been spending the month of October writing and illustrating a Comic over on my Rabbit Trails blog.  Check it out if you're not too sophisticated for Comics.