Click Delete

I deleted over a thousand emails yesterday.

The provider did not like it when I tried to delete more, they sat there staring at me. So it goes when I get the urge to purge the clutter. I can do only so much, and then life chimes in with these other important things I have to deal with, until I can’t deal with any more and I shut down. I can usually only maintain this level for one day and then I either don’t have the energy and motivation for extra crap.

I received just over 100 emails this morning.

Don’t get it wrong, I asked for them. I follow blogs, I follow comment threads. It just gets to be too much for me to process, so I haven’t deleted anything in a while.

I had a really hard time accepting that I had made so much progress and then the thing stopped working at deleting the messages I’d already dealt with. Everyone who knows what to do tells me what to do: Garden. I love my garden, but I hate all you people who can garden better than me, and even worse, people who tell me how to garden.

It’s a metaphor for pulling out the weeds in life, I get it. Pull the clutter when you notice it before it chokes the life out of life. But fuck you for telling me what I already know and wish I was able to do. Just like those sons of bitches telling me to “just” find another job that pays more, it’s not as fucking easy as you’re making it sound. It’s the same problem, gardening the job.  I can’t just fucking quit this one because the bills keep coming and I’m already barely keeping my head above water and the ass hole politicians want to give me a “raise” that’ll drop me back to poverty level.  FUCKERS!!

I can’t keep up, because I reach a point like yesterday when I am not able to pull any more weeds. I have to do it like a hurricane, dumping my potential energy like wind and rain, all at once, while I have the energy, and then resting and celebrating the calm when I’m done. I look back at my clean kitchen or my freshly vacuumed carpet or whatever, it looks great and I have a little tiny celebration in my head.

Then I try not to be discouraged when the kids tromp through bringing popcorn into the TV area and leaving their dirty dishes everywhere, including in the kitchen sink. I can’t say this to them, but FUCK!! (There!  Today I got there, couldn’t get there yesterday.)  Maybe my ability to give a fuck depends on the scope of the project.  For the world, too big to give a fuck.  For the house and my own family, I can get there.

I just wish life weren’t such an uphill battle all the fucking time.

But I’m clicking delete again today.  Maybe I’ll delete another thousand.  Maybe I can clean one section of the house and keep it that way.  I love my kids and my wife, but if I didn’t, they’d be homeless until they consent to clean up after themselves and participate in regular chores.

I replace the rolls of paper in the bathroom.  Every time.  They couldn’t be arsed.  (I couldn’t resist). They yell at me from their throne when I don’t, because they sat without fixing it or checking it was empty from the last time one of them reigned from on high.

I get to wash the dishes, unless Mrs M decides to play the martyr, “(Sigh,) I cooked the dinner and now I have to wash the dishes too, (SIGH, SIGH)” as she’s aware the children won’t.  I left the dishes in the sink this morning because I ran out of time before I ran out the door to work. (sigh).

Which reminds me I have to check the lint trap on the dryer so my family doesn’t burn the house down.

I wish I could just click a delete button on these tasks, or a move to other folder button, and put them in the kids’.  Sadly the kids weren’t equipped with remote controllers.  Neither was the wife( or OMG that would be SO MUCH FUN).  No, I’m the only one who seems to have a remote, that works on voice command, when I have the energy.

The on switch is “Sigh.”  The off switch is “I’m going to bed.”

FUCK ME!!

“I’m going to bed.”

Sigh.

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Too Average?

Today I am overwhelmed by the normal feelings I’m having. No, not normal-normal.  Just an anticlimactic average-ness.  I don’t feel the dangling over the cliff feeling, or the falling feeling,  I don’t feel the trudging through the pits feeling, or the climbing out by fang and claw feeling.  I’m just here.

I should feel something.

I don’t feel anything.

I  was watching “Bones” on Netflix with my daughter while dinner was on the table.  On taco night.  Salsa and blood and ground beef and whatever the fuck those flesh eating beetles are.  I’m too lazy to google that, but they sound really icky in real life, but very cool on TV.  I’m taking a bite of taco and they pull a chunk of something out of the corpse…  mmmmmm. Tacos!  I had to laugh.

I fell asleep sometime late last night or early this morning and didn’t wake up until 6.  I didn’t even fall asleep watching my Netflix friend “Dexter.”  “It’s time to make the doughnuts.” said the Dunkin’ guy.  (I wish I had a doughnut!)  I only had to do yesterday’s dishes.  I got them done and then had to immediately leave the house to drive to work.  I watched the bad news until my son turned it down when they got to the hijacking in Egypt.  It’s almost as hypnotic as those stupid reality tv shows, only the reality TV shows aren’t allowed to actually murder anyone.  On the news they glorify that gore all the time.

It was incredibly boring.  Because I don’t care about the murder, bloodshed, mayhem, bombings, war, hijacking, or even the national interest piece they did about the volcano in Alaska, or the fluff piece they did about honoring a great teacher.  I am horrified that a year-old baby girl was stolen in the middle of the night, assaulted and killed, but I can’t feel it.  That’s probably a good thing because I’d be really enraged by it.  If I were enraged, I might suggest the guards at the prison let the guy in the general population and have an unscheduled lights out.  3 minutes ought to be enough time.

I am horrified that some jackass shot a cop, just as horrified as I was when some jackass cops shot at unarmed guys for walking, or running, away.  I’m working up a little rage just thinking about it.   I am horrified that some ass hole decided to start shooting at Washington DC.  I am horrified that ass hole bombers blew up other people in Belgium, and several other countries recently, as well as power hungry rapist torturers and killers spread around the world, ass holes who just do mean shit to prove they are badasses.  I mean, what planet do we live on?  These people are acting like animals and they need to be put down.  But I don’t feel the horror.  I’m just mad.

I am horrified that not enough people have enough heart and enough $5 bills to take care of my blogger friend who needs help with her worthless relatives, her worthless third-hand car, her worthless donor who couldn’t be arsed to pay the legal child support required of him, her priceless child, and her priceless kitties.  Why?  Why don’t people care?  (Go on, click it.  Please.)  If I had the money I’d relieve him of duty.  And if I had the extra money I might hire some kind of “surgeon” to relieve him of donor capacity.  He doesn’t need to go spreading the indifference and selfishness around more; there’s enough right here.

I’ll check and see if it’s any better tomorrow.  I wish I could just go home and go back to bed.  Except there are more damned dishes to be washed upon my arrival  not to mention a whole damned house that needs a good cleaning and a bunch of clutter thrown out.  It’s as chronic as the news and the daily junk mail.  I just know it.

There’s half a v/t in the fridge because I fell asleep before I finished it and I only had one.  Half.  I must just be exhausted.  Or maybe I’m falling into my regularly scheduled depression and I don’t feel it any more.

And this is why I wish the world revolved around me.  If it did, I’d be able to fix it, and I would.  Free will is great except people are abusing the privilege, not to mention abusing other people.  I’m sick of other people doing mean shit to other people.  The law, even when “justice” is served, doesn’t fix shit.  The mean shit still got done, which means the mean people get away with doing whatever mean shit they wanted to.  And if I gave a fuck, I’d give it now.

I was seeing if I could work up a good solid “FUCK,” with maybe a few exclamation points, but it’s worthless to be mad at the world because I can’t fix it and it doesn’t want to be fixed.  It wants to be broken. If I tried, they’d level all their shotguns at me to make me stop.

So there it is.  Only instead of a good solid “FUCK,” all I have is

Fuck it.

PS.  I heard a song on the radio today on the way to work.  I’ll include it here.  If I were feeling anything my heart might break just listening.  I need some peace.  Maybe it would re-start my heart, because I feel nothing.  Heartless.  Peace-less.  I’ll check for a pulse tomorrow.  And today, my wish for you is that you can find peace.

/\____________________________________…

Why Is This Night Different?

Saturday I went to a special service at a church I don’t regularly attend, honoring the in-laws and their family tradition of having a blessing said over their Easter meal.  A deacon spoke a message about family, traditions and why traditions are observed.  He said that their religion is a religion of traditions, passed down from generation to generation and shared among family and friends and welcomed guests.  He then spoke a blessing on our families, our homes, and our food that we will share on Sunday.

I’m a proud protestant, and this means that I favor breaking tradition when it becomes religion done for religion’s sake, a litigious liturgy of lawful legalism, the letter of the law that loses the spirit of the law.  That said, there is nothing wrong with tradition, when tradition honors family and honors God.  And includes others in the celebration, allowing them to see for themselves and learn.  Life as a family is supposed to be a celebration (and yes, sometimes celebration includes alcohol.  It’s kind of my little joke, inasmuch as alcohol helps to relieve tension, because trust me, family is frequently tension.)

Back to honoring family and honoring God and including others in the celebration:  At its’ heart, the law of Moses does each of these.  Consider the first 4 commandments:  Honor God.  Love God.  Worship God.  Consider the fifth:  Honor your mother and father.  Love mom and dad. (I think it’s loving to wish that if your mum or dad are jerks that they would learn to be more loving, or at least leave you the hell alone, if you’re a kid with an abusive dad or mum they are probably ignoring six through ten.)  And, consider the sixth through the tenth- fully half of the commandments center around how to treat other people.  Or I should say, how not to treat other people, these commands say not to do bad things:  Lying, cheating, stealing, killing…all the things that caused country music.  (It’s a joke, ok? I LIKE country music.)

I have a high respect for tradition when it points people toward love of family and God and others.  And as a Christ follower I’m well aware that our Christian traditions have their roots in Jewish tradition.  Catholic and Christian traditions have both adopted something called Communion, which is rooted in the Jewish Seder, or Passover meal.

During the traditional Passover Seder the youngest child capable is given a scripted list of four questions to ask.  It’s tradition, educating everyone who attends and including even the youngest children with the capacity to understand the answers to the questions.  And the father answers the questions so everyone understands the history of the Hebrew people and how God intervened on their behalf when they were slaves in Egypt.

Exodus 13: 14 “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.'”

The ritual Seder meal is considered sacred, and guests who do not believe did not traditionally partake:

Exodus 12:43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover meal:

“No foreigner may eat it. 44 Any slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised him, 45 but a temporary resident or a hired worker may not eat it.

Similarly, in the Christian tradition, the Communion ritual is considered sacred, and guests who do not  believe and people with sin still celebrated in their hearts can watch, but are cautioned against partaking:

At the church in Corinth, they got it wrong, just amongst the believers themselves, so Paul set them straight in his letter to them.  See I Corinthians 11.   Did you read it?  It’s more than a little bit frightening.  People only think God in the New Testament is all love and no correction toward our behaviour.  Not so.  But He’s patient with us, since we’re just invited guests and not practicing Jewish people.  God really is the same God in the Old Testament and the New, but I think He forgives ignorance more than false piety.

Jesus’ first sermon was that people should “repent.”  If there’s no such thing as sin, and no such thing as any eventual punishment for sin, why would he bother to tell people to turn from their sins (toward him).

There are several elements of the traditional Seder meal that point toward Jesus, from the blood on the doorposts in the shape of a cross to the lamb that was cooked in haste for the meal, to the cups of wine and the traditional handling of the bread.  The unleavened bread is divided into three (representing God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.).  A third is hidden (Jesus in the tomb) and the children search for it, and everyone celebrates when one finds it.

If you clicked the link, you’ll understand.  The text from Luke 15 shows me that whoever finds the truth, a lost one who is found, whether an invited guest or one who should actually be a member of the family already, is celebrated.

Jesus was heralded as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  We celebrate his victory today.  Jewish families will celebrate the Passover in April, we Christ followers are a little early this year.  At Jesus’ crucifixion, it was the time of the Passover.

The letter of the law is rigid, impartial and a bit heartless.  It’s the truth, without love.  It excludes people, not just from partaking of the feast, but from attending as well.  And, it leaves you either hungry or sore. (Did you notice Exodus 12:44?  Ouch!)  The spirit of the law in the Old Testament was intended to make Israel stand out, special, different.  It was to protect them, too.  And, with the tradition, or law, of the Seder meal, it was to point them to Jesus.  The spirit of the law gives life.

Why is this night different?  Why is Easter special?  Because Jesus sets us free from sin and eternal death.

So here’s my open invitation to join me in my now explained tradition (that doesn’t necessarily require one to make a painful sacrifice):  “Look!  The Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!

“He is not here.  He has risen.”

Happy Easter!

What a Crucifix Means to Me

Rome killed
Thousands
On crosses
Some  still
Can legally
Crucify their “criminals” in the modern day,
Believe it or not, just as barbaric as Rome was.
But why was the crucifixion of Jesus so special?
Well, all the
Others who
Were killed
In this way
Remained
Dead. But
Jesus was
One very
Different
Victim of
The cross.
We fill our
Graves up
And they
Stay full,

But Jesus
Only rented
His grave for
Three Days.

Rain Rein Reign…

“Yeah so STFU, Deon.  You are a world class fucking idiot,” is what the voices in my head said today.  They proceeded to parade in front of my mind’s eye, imagination, thoughts, whatever the fuck you want to call it, all the people I know who are having a harder time than I.  I pray.  Really hard.  For myself and for other people.  And I fully, heartily agree that other people do have it harder than me.  There’s flooding.  There’s blizzards in Springtime.  There’s emotional turmoil.  There’s financial needs.  There’s politics.  And sometimes, these issues other people suffer seem to hold hands and dance in a blinding circle around the people I pray for, to thoroughly fuck things up for them in ways I can only imagine in my dark nightmares.

So my voices in my head remind me that others do suffer more than I.  And I fully accept it.  I pray for other people.  I pray for myself.  The prayers for me seem to go to the ceiling and then rain shit on my head.  The others go out the window and I haven’t got a clue where they go.  Perhaps they go where the good prayers go and angels are dispatched with answers.  Perhaps they go past the ceiling to el cielo (translated as the sky, or, depending on context, heaven.)

Tangent:  I learned when I was a kid there are three heavens.  John and Paul got sneak previews of the “Third Heaven,” the place where God lives. First is the sky, the atmosphere, as Deuteronomy 28:12 describes rain from heaven.  Second is outer space as Deuteronomy 4:19 describes heaven as the place where the sun and moon and stars are. And third is heaven as God’s dwelling place, different from the other two heavenly realms, as Deuteronomy 26:15 teaches.  Look that up, the Hebrews equivocated by name, calling them all “heaven,” in Deuteronomy, but enumerated them to distinguish, as any logical Jewish person would have until Paul’s and John’s day.

I wish I always got an answer when I prayed, but I don’t.  I know a lot, I’ve learned a lot, but there is still much to know.  Which means I don’t know the heart of Jesus, because if I knew I’d understand why he doesn’t answer sometimes.  I especially wish I could know how to pray in a way God would answer, because there are circumstances that break my heart, that other people have to endure, which must surely break the heart of Jesus.  I mentioned in a previous blog entry that a big part of being a Christ follower was having your heart broken by the things that break the heart of Jesus.  I only wish that more often than, and more completely than, I am able to intervene in some tiny way, I were able to intervene and amend the things that I felt needed amending.  I want to fix it, but something is yanking the reins of my capabilities, I can’t do anything, or I can’t do much, to help.

I hate you theologians, although I suspect you may be at least a little bit right, when you teach that I’d be taking away something either from someone else who’s supposed to intervene, or from whoever is enduring who is supposed to learn from whatever circumstances they go through, if I could just fix it.  I hate it.  I want people to not suffer.  I don’t want to suffer either.  Suffering sucks.  I read I’m supposed to “be joyful in suffering.”  (see verse 2 there?)  But I’m not.  I’m joyful when I can do something to help someone else in suffering.  Suffering sucks.  I will say it again.

Yesterday I had the radio on and a guy was talking about how Matthew (chapter 26) sandwiched the sweet story of the lady who poured out perfumed oil onto Jesus’ feet (verses 6-13), between the moldy bread of the chief priest’s plot (verses 3-5), and the moldy bread of Judas Iscariot (verses 14-16).  I cried.

I’m the whole sandwich.  In my heart of hearts I want to be the best Christ follower and give Jesus something worthwhile. I want to pour out the sweet perfumed oil from my priceless, shattered jar, as a blessing, onto Jesus’ feet.  I want to let Him reign as the king of my soul and my life. Then I realize, I am the failure, the chief priest and the elder who should know how to guide other people but I can’t even figure out a direction for myself.  I am a blind guide, maybe worse than the chief priest was.  And then I realize, I am also Judas, chosen by Jesus himself to be a follower and I fail him personally all the time.  I’m the worthless, bitter disciple who wants what he can get for himself.  I’m handing Jesus over for the world to crucify afresh, because of my failings- I hear the mockers:  “If you follow Jesus and act like that, well then Jesus must not be all that.  What good is Jesus’ gift of salvation if it leaves you like that?”

I’m certain that I’m here for a reason.  My delight is in encouraging other people. I love it when I can say something supportive or funny, or whatever, that helps someone who’s going through a hard time.  I don’t suffer a bully at all, for the same reason I hate suffering.  Bullies can eat my fist, or eat my shit, their preference, and die, for all I care.  Suffering is a bully.  I just want people to know I pray for them, especially when they’re going through hell, and if I can help I will dive right in and do what I can.  But there are things I can’t do anything about, that’s when I pray.

Rodney Atkins does a song about it, maybe you’ll comiserate and maybe you’ll take encouragement from it.  I’m sure the song was built around an old Irish blessing, something like this one: “May you get to Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you’re dead.” ~Irish Proverb

I’m the whole sandwich. I want to bring a blessing to you, but I can’t figure out how to get out of my own shit-uation. Maybe we’re just supposed to hug each other, and then lock arms and walk together through this Earthly hell, pulling each other along through everything. Maybe we’re supposed to tell each other to keep on going, keep on trying. To help each other see the light at the end of the tunnel, when we’re blinded by our situations. It’s not a freight train. Sometimes it seems like that must be true, but it’s a lie. There’s hope. But the devil is a very convincing liar, isn’t he?

We have to be here for each other. I’m here because I was put here for a reason. That reason is for me to be humbled and helpful, and where I can’t be directly helpful, to be prayerful. That’ll have to be my shattered alabaster jar. It’s all I’ve got. And I’m already broken.

Here, take my hand.  We can walk together.

OK, now I’m shutting up.

~DM

Façades? No, This is the Real Me

Follow the twists and convolutions of this article to the end and win a prize!! (I’m kidding, there is no prize at the bottom of this cereal box.  Or is there?)

Yeah I wasn’t pretending when I said I hate everybody equally. Well, almost equally.  Some I hate a little more equally than others, and some I hate a little less equally.  But what I really hate is when I see a friend suffering, in emotional or physical pain, or in need, and I’m basically helpless.  I don’t carry cash, I don’t have credit cards, I don’t go out to eat unless Mrs. M. armtwists or it’s a very special occasion.  Like our anniversary, we have to go out (I guess).  Or if we’re travelling, the opportunity for home-cooking is limited.  I have a limited scope of intervention, but I try when I can, to do something good for other people.

“I have called you ‘friends.'”   Savvy readers, or those who can follow the link at the left, will know it’s part of a quote from John 15:15.  I don’t get to call anyone “servant.”  And on the right side of the blog here, if I read your blogs, I have called you friends.  Maybe I hate you a little less than your average person, take it as a compliment.  I’m trying to follow Jesus’ example because I’m a Christ-follower.  But If you’ve read my blog you know I do it a little differently than most Christ-followers.  I’m the real thing.  And I’ve been given a special gift.

The gift is this blog nobody reads.  Well, nobody I know who knows me face to face knows I write it, because I hide in the safety of my bunker and write boldly, the thoughts I really think, the emotions I really feel, with minimal filters.  Or, occasionally, no filters.  I have a minimal online presence, I think.  No fakebook, no Tumblr, no Pinterest, no LinkedIn, no social networking other than this blog and a twitter thingy.  The cool kids have moved on even from fakebook, so there’s no danger of discovery there.

Here on this blog I get to do something I don’t really get to do in real life.  (Shh!  Don’t tell any of my offline friends!)  I speak in a tongue unknown to most Christ followers:  I speak a special language called “Profanity.”  What I mean is, I fucking SWEAR!  It’s quite possibly a sin, I mean,

Ephesians 4: 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Oooh, “unwholesome.”  It might be considered “unwholesome,” by other Christ followers.  Because they’ve decided swearing is a sin.  I don’t get to decide that, and it’s unclear to me.  Maybe it’s just communicating clearly.  Maybe swearing is a sin.  Maybe it depends on my heart in the moment.  Or, maybe it might be, as I prefer to think of it, a gift.

Acts 2: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 11 we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

If it’s a “tongue,” it’s certainly “seasoned with salt.”  Take that, nay-sayers.  I speak it because here on this blog I don’t really give a shit what people think of me personally, I’m inconsequential.  I’m here to share life.  If life is fucked up, that’s what I’m going to say about it.  I think it’s more gritty, maybe a lot more honest, to say something is fucked up and I’m praying about it, than to just say I’m praying about it.  If life is displaying the wonders of God, I’m going to talk about that.

Christ followers speak their minds in a lot of ways, bless their hearts.  But it’s just my humble opinion that many of my fellow followers are more pious and easily offended than they should be.  Some of my best friends, who wouldn’t read this blog, would be offended if they did.  Even my mum would probably be put off.  She doesn’t like it when I swear, so I don’t when I’m around her, or my wife, or the kids.

For the blog, I blame Tony Campolo, but read even further if you dare.  In 2011 he said this:

“I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 45,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 45,000 kids died last night.” I found the quote online, and then I found a video about the quote.

Watch, he’s all apologetic about it to all the tenderhearted Christ-followers:

I also blame Jesus for my salty approach.  Look at Matthew 15:

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’”

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”

16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Jesus (in addition to saying basically, “are you fucking IDIOTS?”(verse 16) which really cracks me up) says this:

God doesn’t really give a shit what a person eats, except as done to truly honor God, even if they don’t wash their hands before they eat.  Jesus says food goes in and shit comes out (paraphrased), and none of that defiles a person.  Jesus says the shitty things that are lurking in your heart, that come out of your mouth, make you unclean (paraphrased).  There were pious Jews back then who really did try to honor God by what they ate and didn’t eat, by what they said and didn’t say, what they did and didn’t do.  Just as today, there are Christ followers who want to honor God by what they do and don’t to, say and don’t say.  And some Jewish people were so high-minded they figured out “lawful” ways to get by with things they didn’t really want to do that they should have been doing.  Just as today, some Christ-followers choose to either ignore or sidestep things we don’t want to get involved in.  “I can only do so much, isn’t it already enough?”

The truth is, there was hypocrisy then, there’s hypocrisy now, and most of it is in the church because if you’re not in the church you already probably don’t give a fuck about what God says, now, do you?

I don’t know about the accuracy of Campolo’s statistic.  If he’s right, or even exaggerating a little, Christ followers, and indeed the world, needs to band together and change that. But he’s right about Christianity. It’s about being heartbroken “by the things that break the heart of Jesus.”

I think it breaks Jesus’ heart that Christ followers can’t communicate with the world, and tell them God fucking LOVES them, and wants them to turn away from their sins and follow Jesus the best way they can.  I think it breaks Jesus’ heart when Christ-followers justify not specifically praying for specific needs of people who don’t believe in Jesus (I’ve heard that shit and I strongly object to fucking hate that STINGY, lazy, or fear-filled heart-set).  I’ve even heard people who claim to follow Christ who won’t help people who aren’t Christ followers because they aren’t Christ followers.  I think it breaks Jesus’ heart when we don’t want to help other people unless they’re already “one of us.”  I think it breaks Jesus’ heart when we don’t concern ourselves with the care of widows and orphans in distress.

I don’t give a shit, personally, whether you agree with me or not about Jesus.  Don’t care.  But John, who knew Jesus, wrote about him saying the verse you all probably read on posters at football games:  “God loved the world so much He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him can be saved.” (John 3:16, paraphrased).  Paul wrote in Romans that “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart the God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, you shall be saved.”(Romans 10:9-10)  And Peter, who also knew Jesus, wrote that “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9)  A lot of complicated words meaning no one should end up in eternal separation from God, but faith in Jesus answers the whole sin problem and connects people to a much more pleasant eternity after death, and Jesus is waiting.  Possibly, for you.

Easter is coming, if you need clarification on anything I’ve written please feel free to comment.  If you don’t want to hear it, please don’t muddy the comments with your dissent, I get it, fuck me, that’s fine.  I told everyone going into my blog that there are tons of blogs out there FAR better than mine, so if you don’t like it, I still care in Jesus’ name, but in my own name, fuck off and read someone else.  But if you’re the least bit curious why I keep saying these things, I recommend finding a church that is teaching about why we celebrate Easter as Christ-followers, and going there Sunday to just listen.  I bet you 400 million dollars whoever speaks won’t swear, unless he’s been influenced by Tony.

I’m praying for, and intervening where possible, on behalf of people in need, because we should.  I’m trying to really follow Jesus’ example of honest truth and honest love.  And, my two-faced Christ-following dissenters will love this one:  Just because I love you in the name of, and on behalf of, Jesus, doesn’t mean I even like you in my own name.  But I confess, I’ve learned to care about some people through my own life’s experiences, and many of you might actually read my blog, so I have one last important thing to say.

It’s a double-edged sword, I caution you.  There is love, and there is truth, but they really can’t be separated.  With the truth comes understanding that God is still holy, which means God wants nothing to do with what He calls sin, we have to do our best to turn away from it and toward Him.  It’s not up to me to decide what sin is for you, but I learned from the Bible and from real life, none of us, especially me, are perfect.  So I leave it up to you to ask God whatever your sin is that He doesn’t like.  He gave us a conscience so we could figure it out, plus, if you’re really looking for truth, Jesus taught, “seek and you will find.”  Nobody’s perfect, but we can do better. With love, OK, even I can learn to care about other people, and believe me it’s not easy.

OK, it’s time, you’ll have to decide for yourselves if there was a prize at the bottom.

The most important thing I can say today is this: Please, understand, God loves you SO FUCKING MUCH that I can’t do justice trying to explain it.  You have to find out for yourself.  And the second most important thing I can say is, do something nice for someone else, no matter how small it is, it counts.  It won’t save you, but it counts.

The Quest for Relevance

Admit it.  You want to make a difference in the world.  You want to be somebody.  You see things that are wrong in the world and you want to fix them, but you ask yourself, and everyone else, “What can I do?  I’m only one person.”

That, reader, is a cop-out.   I know you don’t think you can, but I know you can.  We can all do something, no matter how small it is, and end up making a huge difference in the world, even if it only makes a difference to one person.  And because we can, we should.

If one of us were feeling suicidal, the community I know would rally around the person with supportive words, hugs, whatever, and we would beg them not to take that drastic action because that person matters.  If one of us were depressed, we would surround with encouragement and attempts to cheer.  If one of us were manic, we’d reach out, validating them in their experience of reality.  Sometimes it’s humor, sometimes it’s telling our own story in our own words.   We support each other and we care about each other, that’s what community does.

I could tell you my own tale of woe and despair.  I could tell you a couple of reasons why I’m falling faster into yet another depressed season of my life.  I could tell you how much a friend’s article about his personal irrelevance resonated with my soul lat week.  But this  isn’t about me.   Today I’m irrelevant because I’ve chosen to say something that’s more important than I am today.  I dare you to participate in this meaningful caring event.  I believe you can make a difference.  I believe you can be relevant.

One of my friends is  going through a hard time and needs some help.  I posted the link this past week, I hoped the situation would be resolved by now.  I’ve seen worthy causes go up on the gofundme boards and I’ve seen the need met within a day.  So when I saw my friend, one of us, put her heart and her need up, I prayed and hoped.  I watched some generous souls posting donations, and I’ve promised to give myself, even though I’m broke.  I don’t even have a credit card.  But I gave the friend (who’s already donated more than he could, or should have) $5.  He donated already, anonymously so I won’t call him out, but he writes a blog that encourages me, and he made a tangible difference.  I figured out something I could go without, and I’ve gone without.  And now, life as normal because I managed for a short time.  He said he’d deposit that and give it to my friend because she needs it, but if the goal is met he said he’d give me back my $5 for me to give to someone else.  Because $5 is a couple of cups of coffee, I got some at work and skipped a few out.  For some people $5 is ONE cup of coffee.  But it can go a long way if someone else needs help.

If I can scrape up five bucks, so can a few others.  So I challenge you to be relevant this week.  Make yourself count, even if just for one other person.  If you’ve ever heard of it, there’s this social movement people are all into called “pay it forward,” where you do something nice for someone and don’t tell.  You can be anonymous in your donation, I would rather have been anonymous but I’m tooting her horn because I don’t know where she is emotionally, and what’s important to me is I just want her to be encouraged, to know the community cares about her.  If you can’t donate, pass the link around to your twitter or blogger circles, and ask your other communities to pitch in.  $5, times 200 people who matter, or if you can give a little more, just please show her you care.  $10 times 100, and the goal is done.  She’s got about a third of what she has asked for.  We’re her community, and it’s what we should do, because we can.

If you like tooting your horn you can donate and put your name on it, it all counts.  If you like giving in secret you can donate anonymously and she’ll be the only one who knows.  She won’t tell if you don’t.  But she’ll be grateful.

It would be really wonderful to me if you make me give my $5, truly anonymously to someone else because you decided to make a difference, and be relevant to my friend, and make my $5 unnecessary to her.  I’ll let you know if I can give it to someone else, I’ll be so thrilled that instead of giving and someone (her) knowing who I am, if I can give it to someone else, and keep it my little secret.  At the risk of self-aggrandizement I’ll only tell you that I did it anonymously, I won’t tell you where it went.

Please, just listen.  You should know this friend is someone who writes brilliantly, whom I’ve never met in person, but she’s become an important part of my life because of her writing.  Because of her story.  She matters to me.  And so do you.

Here’s the link:  https://www.gofundme.com/5ttwc2x8.

Here’s her wonderful blog. https://morgueticiasmentalhealthmausoleum.wordpress.com/

Read her blog and you may even find you adore her as much as I do, sight unseen.  Don’t let her language put you off, fellow Christ-followers. (She swears sometimes… but then, if you already read MY shitty little rag of a blog, hers may be a bright spot by comparison) She’s smart.  She’s funny.  She’s interesting.  She cares, genuinely, about other people. She’s really quite special.  I bet you’ll agree.

Thank you for your help.