We Have What We Need

No matter what happened to us in the past, right now we can take responsibility for working compassionately with our habits, our thoughts and emotions. We can take the emphasis off who hurt us and put it on disentangling ourselves. If someone shoots an arrow into my chest, I can let the arrow fester while I scream at my attacker, or I can remove the arrow as quickly as possible. In this very lifetime, I have what it takes to change the movie of my life so that the same things don’t keep happening to me. ~ Pema Chodron (“Taking the Leap”)

I love this teaching. This is the realization that we are stronger than we often think and we do not have to look outside of ourselves for strength to get through whatever is in our life at the moment.

Church People Say Some Dumb Sh*t

In recent blog banter with some Christians on Tony Jones blog there were some things said that just make me shake my head.

I’m not righteous Steve, only Christ was righteous (and because He took my sin, so am I by extension). ~Darius

Seriously, this guy said he wasn’t righteous and in the same sentence claimed righteousness. This particular blogger was calling out the evil actions of another which I said was pretty typical of people who claimed to be righteous. This was his defense. Now that’s some dumb sh*t.

I’d prefer that he preach THE Gospel AND live it out. That would be ideal. Second best is to preach THE Gospel and not always live it out (which is applies to pretty much every Christian). Third best is to not believe THE Gospel. Worst is to preach a false Gospel. ~Darius

This is in response to banter surrounding Jim Wallis where Darius had said he didn’t care if he (Jim Wallis) lives out the gospel, if he’s preaching the wrong one it doesn’t matter. For the original post go here. Anyway, I just think it’s crazy for anyone to claim to know what’s what when it comes to religious beliefs. It’s belief not certainty. The best you are doing is making an educated guess based on your viewpoint and limited (very limited) understanding. We are all doing the same thing.

It’s amazing how much church people are subject to their own language. But I’m know it’s a cultural thing. I work in IT and I know that we have our own internal language. Same goes for the people within varying industries and other professions. My teenage son says things to his friends and I am certain they are speaking a foreign language sometimes. But the difference with a lot of church people is they supposedly have a message that they want to proclaim to the world in a relevant way. It’s their mandate to proclaim this message to others. Problem is, it only makes sense to them. Now that’s some dumb sh*t.

Romans… and the entire New Testament is pretty clear on this point. That’s not to say that there aren’t other facets to the atonement, such as Christus Victor, ransom theory, etc. But those all stem out of PSA (penal substitutionary atonement), at least as it regards how one can be saved. In another sense, CV is the main component of the atonement since the Bible seems to state that God’s primary purpose in creating humanity and dying for it was to make Satan look bad in the end and show just how glorious God really is. ~Darius

Huh? Damn, maybe it’s not dumb sh*t after all. This guy sounds pretty smart huh? I guess I’m too stupid to be saved.

“You can’t miss it…”

“…when I tell you it’s there.”

That’s a quote from this talk from TED featuring Michael Shermer. He is the publisher of Skeptic Magazine and here he discusses “Strange Beliefs”.

UFO’s, Mother Mary on a cheese sandwich, tributes to Satan in music lyrics… all of these can be traced back to seeing whatever you want to see. The mind can be tricked easily and it’s really a shame if we don’t recognize that.

The church often takes advantage of these principles when presenting their weekly messages and music presentations. Weekend retreats and camps can capitalize on the phenomenon. The revival pastors of my youth made a living on “telling us it was there”.

This video is an entertaining and light-hearted look at the subject of “belief” and the ways we are actually programmed to see what we want to see, even if it isn’t there.

Stupid Never Stops

It’s been quiet around here lately. The real day to day action has moved to Facebook where we have a nice fan base and it’s growing. I am loving the Facebook connections we are making with people and I can see it only growing. So if you haven’t become a fan on our Facebook page, click the link on the left and join us.

So… stupid never stops.

Boycotts.
Pastors being obnoxious.
Wacky Christian Athletes.

and of course…..

Focus on the Family.

These are just some of the items we’ve been discussing over on Facebook.

I was watching a documentary on the legendary activist and historian Howard Zinn the other evening. One of the things they mentioned was how nice, kind and gentle he appeared on the outside, but on the inside was a burning anger when it came to the social injustices and “war politics” of the United States.

I can relate to that. It’s hard for me to explain my anger and continued frustration with the stupid things that church people do and say in the name of God. Extremists or mainstream… it doesn’t matter. Stupid Church People abound…. and the stupid never stops.

I’m Dreaming of an Honest Xmas

Santa doesn’t exist. What a relief.

This has been the first Christmas that our household has enjoyed being “Santa free”. It’s been the best Christmas ever.

We opened up our gifts last night. Yes, December 23rd. No more getting up at some God-forsaken hour on Christmas morning. It was more convenient for us to open gifts last night so we did. Today we will spend time with my girlfriend’s family and then the boys go to their mom’s to spend time with her. It’ll be my first Christmas day without the boys and I thought I’d be sad but I’m not. They get two Christmases and I get a weekend alone with the most beautiful woman on the planet. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Another thing, now I get full credit (or blame) for all the gifts instead of sharing it with someone else. That’s either a lot of pressure or a great relief. A weight bench, some socks and a wad of cash were the perfect gifts for Bryson, my oldest son. And for Grant, an ipod, some headphones and lots of candy did the trick.

My mom sent us some money to buy gifts so I bought “DJ Hero” and “Rock Band 2” for the whole family. Last night we set up our band and began touring. Our name is “The Sleepers” and we rocked the house. Bryson is on guitar, Grant on vocals and I’m on drums. Look for us in a city near you!

The other day, Grant asked me why we celebrate Christmas. I was actually proud that he didn’t know the “reason for the season”. So I told him the truth. The Christmas season is pretty much whatever you want it to be. For me it is primarily for spending time with your family and friends and sharing gifts because you love and appreciate each other. For Christians, they use Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Jewish people have Hanukkah that remembers the war they fought for their freedom. Other religions have different celebrations during the winter months, but Christmas is mainly what we hear about in America.

By the end of that two minute lecture he was bored and wanted to know if we could get something to eat. So we did.

Pigs Trough

From Farrell’s Ice Cream Facebook Page: Pastor Rick Warren stopped in today to meet Bob Farrell, founder of Farrell’s who was on hand for the Farrell’s opening in Mission Viejo. Pastor Warren wanted to meet Bob as he and his wife went on their first date to Farrell’s in Riverside, Ca. He said they had so much fun and 8 days later he proposed! Rick posed with… the Farrell’s Corp officals seen below. He also shared a ZOO SUNDAE with Bob Farrell.

I just thought this picture was hilarious… for several reasons. But first, if you don’t know Farrell’s it was a really big ice cream parlor back in the day, and they are trying to revive it. It’s famous for things like the ZOO SUNDAE and the most popular… the PIGS TROUGH. If you ate a “Pig’s Trough” you got to stand up in front of the place while they made a big deal about it and gave you a sticker or something that said “I made a pig of myself at Farrell’s!”

Anyway, back to this picture. When I saw it I immediately thought of many interesting captions (and comments) that could go with it, but I will leave that up to you. The one I placed on the Farrell’s Facebook page is the title of this post. I thought it was short, sweet and was the perfect mixture of sarcasm and double entendre.

So now it’s your turn.