Jesus

Nashville...

Nashville...

In a religious culture that taught me I was a worm, a wretch, a sinner undeserving of God's love, compassion, and forgiveness, I had no problem believing that, when God looked at me, all God saw was my filth, my brokenness, and my utter irreparability. I was shit, and despite my best efforts, that was never going to change. 

With us...

With us...

Waking up this morning, I felt broken, sad, and incredibly discouraged. Again, very common human emotions, ones that so many of us share. Thinking back to Sunday, to Easter, and to conversations I've had with my closest clergy friend, Paige, I couldn't help but remember how many conversations we've had about the Incarnation, about the reality of Jesus joining us in our fleshly experience. The act of God putting skin on is one of joining, of empathy in its truest form...

Embers 7: Separation...

Embers 7: Separation...

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Telephone Jesus...

Telephone Jesus...

Growing up, I was raised to believe that the Bible is the "inspired" word of God. More often than not, that meant believing that Bible in its current form is God's literal word. Perfect. Inerrant. Infallible. Now, it's been several years since I believed this doctrine. However, truth be told, I think I threw the baby out with the bathwater. In debunking Biblical inerrancy, I dumbed Scripture down to  a mere children's tale, an archaic history book that has become a means of obtaining power over the masses and creating mindless drones. But this is far from the actual state of things.

Uncaged...

Uncaged...

...I know, I know. Jesus never really left. What is it the fundamentalist Evangelicals say? "If you feel far from God, God isn't the one who moved." Well maybe that's true. Maybe God doesn't walk away on God's anthropomorphized feet. But since I decided to leave the United Methodist Church and its ordination process in the fall of 2012, God has felt anything but near (save a few exceptions). Recently, however, it feels like God has shown back up... or at least Jesus has.

Revisiting the Shack...

Revisiting the Shack...

There are days where I miss Nanny desperately. There are moments where the reality that I will never meet my birth father in this life sets in and I feel something similar to Mack's Great Sadness settle on top of me. There are times where my own brokenness is so tangible that I barely want to leave the bed. Yet in each of these instances, I somehow find God holding onto me, refusing to let go.

Pomp, circumstance, and loss...

Pomp, circumstance, and loss...

I lost the Jesus who is overly concerned with how people identify themselves, with labels or monikers, with inside or outside. I lost the Jesus who thinks that holiness is black and white with clear cut answers and definite rights and wrongs. I lost the Jesus who demands to be white and handsome and flawless. I lost the Jesus who is obsessed with being involved in politics when politics are more concerned with my rights than they are with your needs. I lost the Jesus who has little grace for those who, for one reason or another, find His story less compelling than that of someone else, say Buddha or Mohammed. 

Ashes 10: Give life...

Ashes 10: Give life...

Growing up, I remember hearing the phrase "Jesus came to die" over and over and over. Back then, I simply believed it, took it at face value. As I got older and struggled with depression and thoughts of self-harm, the idea that the person who was supposed to save me only showed up to die was pretty heartbreaking....

It had to be about more than death...

Ashes 9: Unlawful...

Ashes 9: Unlawful...

...what good is legalism, what benefit is there to blind faith, if it doesn't lead is into right relationship with God, with self, and with neighbor? How does self-righteous asceticism make us more like God? How does lording our "morality" over others evince God's love flowing into us and out of us? Often, to be on God's side means challenging the status quo, means turning the world upside down, even at the risk of our own lives. After all, doesn't Jesus teach us that the greatest example of love we can set is the willingness to lay down our lives for those around us...