Archive for November, 2010

rape of a nation

November 28, 2010 2 comments


Kinda takes the sparkle out of the jewelry commercials we see around Xmas huh?


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just another christmas?

November 26, 2010 4 comments

My dear sister Rose (Jon’s mom) recently sent this to me.  It was a mass email I sent to my people back in 2007.  I had forgotten about it.  I think it still works, so I’ve left it mostly intact and here it is.  Hope someone gets something out of it!   -MDP-

Good morning.  I’ve been up since 3:30am.  This is the third morning in a row that I’ve had the coffee on and brewing before 4:00am.  That’s too early….even for me!  Jimmy is preaching this morning, Paul next week, so I have some vacancy in my spirit which allows me the freedom to muse a bit.  Having a word to give away on Sunday can absolutely take up most of the bed you sleep in…if you get my point.  If you’re reading this, just know that I deem you an important and precious piece of fabric that God weaves in the tapestry of my life.  So today, I journal, out loud, to you.  I don’t expect this to flow.  Just go with the bounce would ya?  Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas!

I preached two weeks ago out of Luke 1.  We scream through the historical birth story like a NASCAR pit stop.  With tires smoking and a pit crew juiced on Red Bull, we pull over to pause and reflect on the “wonder” of those events in a very packed slot of time we called Christmas.  I love the words of the text… “To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” That kind of gets to “it” for me but, I’m a bottom-line guy.  This is the place I try to reside at Christmas, or at least visit at some point in December.  Traditions blow like a tornado out there.  Not the tradition of this text…but the tradition of our “Christmastide” culture.  I do not want to digress into a tirade of verbiage against the American commercialization of Christmas.  I could, but I will not.  Of course we see it.  Of course we’re caught up in it.  Of course!  But really, if we can keep the red letters above bouncing around in our heart, it takes us to another place in our spirit man.

I have rich memories as a kid around Christmas.  My parents and grandparents always lost their minds when it came to spending at Christmas.  It was nothing for me “alone” to get more in one Christmas than what my dad would have gotten combined in all of his Christmases until he was 20 years old!  It was craziness!  Patti and I also loose our minds at Christmas with the gift giving.  And, I can already see the writing on the walls, my kids have already shown their genetic and experiential leanings and are probably going to do the same thing to my grandchildren!  If we look at the stuff we give and the stuff we get, that’s exactly what it is:  “stuff”.  But, we do it anyway and if it really comes wrapped in “love” and not “obligation”, it’s all good!   Nothing worse than “having” to give a “special” Walmart gift set of fake perfume to someone you don’t  really know, don’t really like and really hope doesn’t have your own name for the workplace gift exchange.  Frikk’n torture!  “Where the heck is the real eggnog?  More Jack please!”

I stopped by the local BBQ joint Friday for a takeout lunch.  A woman was waiting for her order and her daughter (about 4 yrs old) was sitting next to her with a piece of paper and a marker pen.  She was putting the finishing touches on her letter to Santa.  This kid was absolutely beautiful!  Black skin, green eyes, and a very tight weave on top of her head.  So I started asking her about her list.  It was just little girl stuff and no biggie really, but then I ask her how she thought she was going to get what she was asking for?  When she looked up at me, her face looked like an angel.  Her eyes were absolutely on fire!  It took my breath really.  She said, “Santa is coming see me!”  Well, I’ve heard that before…in fact, that was the message I expected to get.  But, the fire in her eyes was a pure and innocent “faith” that had the essence of His mustard seed that can move a mountain.  In that moment, if felt holy to me that she genuinely “believed” in anything!   She could have said “Donald Duck” and it wouldn’t have made any difference.  Time will take care of the Santa thing for her, but the fact that she can and does believe; that is what our wind chapped world so desperately needs.  I pull back to the previous red letter words: “…because of the tender mercy of our God…” The Godhead determined that He would come solely for “our” benefit.  HE PERFECTLY DEMONSTRATED THAT HIS LIFE WAS NOT ABOUT HIMSELF! The Apostle Paul said it perfectly…

Phil 2:6-11 “…although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!”  (NAS)

He made His own life about you and about me.   How much better would our life be if we really could move to and live in the Kingdom village with a lifestyle of : “It really is NOT about me”? It’s not easy to get there, especially when most everyone around you isn’t geared up to go there.

This is my last little rambling paragraph, I promise…I think.  Ha!  I’ve wondered why Christmastime holds us the way it does.  It has to be more than the manger that does that to us.   I’m not saying that isn’t valid truth.   I’m saying, we take about 30 days and totally restructure our lives around themes of Christmas that produces flood after flood of emotional and sentimental actions that are tied to our past and entwined with our today.  Great themes of family, friends, love, and security give us all kinds of warm and pleasant feelings.  I’m not saying that any of that is wrong.  I’m not saying that we are being 100% honest in that either.  It is what it is.  Even the staunchest Grinch will give a try to meeting people halfway in reconciling some issues, especially around Christmastime.  But, I do pray that I really see beyond the sea of pretty paper and twinkling lights and sentimental “Christmas Cheer”.  The real truth, that never goes away, people are lost, people reside in the dark shadows, and people are hurting deeply.  There is some pain, that people carry, that actually increases during Christmastime!  A guy came into my office yesterday, sat down and cried like a baby.  This guy doesn’t show emotion of any kind, so I know the current of pain rages internally.  His teenage daughter, who died 7 months ago, won’t be at the table this year or forever more on Christmas Day.  In fact, another buddy used to tell me that when he lived in the shadows before he met the Lord, all holidays were a tormenting hell for him.  Even genuine acts of love extended to him felt like plastic hugs.   There was never enough Old Milwaukee to kill the empty pain and lostness he felt, while all along he lived totally surrounded by people who loved him.  Only God knows the real intent in our heart, but some how, some way, there is only One present that will satisfy what mankind really longs for.  Until they see it, until they receive it, I want to move to a place of “more grace” with where and how they live.  No one can see in darkness.  It doesn’t help them for me to cluck my tongue and point out their blindness!  Why the fat do I do that?  Jesus didn’t do that to me.  Even now, when I mess up, Father God doesn’t yell at me, cuss me, hit me or definitely doesn’t shame me.  He holds me!  Like a helpless baby He holds me, changes my diaper, bandages my wounds, and accepts me back in the very arms that I pushed myself out of!  Who else does that for us?  And yes…my sick little episodes may disappoint others and create all kinds of issues for me to live with, but God receives me right back into his bosom….again…and again….and again.  I think all I’m saying is this:  in a few days, the magical hold of “Christmas” will have lifted once more.  Will I, will you, come out of it empty, exhausted, and broke?  ; )  Or will I, will you, come out of it fully alive and freshly filled again with the magnificent wonder and awe that God “came” for each and every one us?  That is a sustaining truth that should rock our world 24/7/365!  Have a Merry Merry Christmas!

You’ve probably already viewed this video, but let me encourage you to take a couple minutes and see a real Xmas experience.  Watch it again…it’s worth it!!!: OTTO’S GIFT


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it’s about the Lover

November 23, 2010 3 comments

I totally enjoy my early morning quiet time.  It is my favorite part of the day.  Earlier this morning, I was reading Rohr.  He said something that Inormally would get thrown up on my Facebook as a “what is on my mind” entry.  It comes out of a talk the monk did on PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS.   Here is the quote:

“Much religion is using God to bolster our own self-image.  True religion is not attached to self-image, but to God.  Christian life has little to do with me doing anything right.  It has everything to do with falling in love with a Lover who does everything right.  What I love is that Lover and not my own accomplishments.”

This is evocative.  I know how eager some of us are to do some “thing” that draws attention to GOD…and ourselves.  We think not, but I wonder if we should think again?  Even after all these years of following and serving the church; even we who are seasoned and baptized in fire and water, must dial-in again and consider the amount of juice that is really being spent towards the LOVER.  Much like the slapping of the chest that we see all too often in most contact sports, this is not really about me.  Team is not about me.  Team is not about my accomplishments.  Team is not infatuation with who is the head, who is the point, who is the set man, what I preached, what I said, what I do, or what I did.

Thanks Richard.  It is about the Lover.


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new shoes

November 18, 2010 1 comment

Frik!  It’s too early to be crying this morning.  Look at this kids face.


With Xmas coming, our out of control appetites…we need the readjustment.  Thanks Nick for posting this.


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two for two

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

THE WORLD RACE’S Stacy Hume has hit it on the money, fat part of the bat, on the screws, out of the park, over the fence…again!

In my book, she’s two for two!  READ STAY’S HUME’S BLOG HERE!!!

Thanks babe!  This is why we do what we do!


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November 15, 2010 9 comments

Not too many of you are aware that I’m in a writing project.  I’m not sure that anything will ever really come out of it, but Patti thought I should share yesterday’s entry.  So, I’m taking her advice and posting this devotional.  Hope it is helpful!   -MDP-

“Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” Proverbs 14:4, NLT

“And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30, MSG.

Dr. Ryrie says, “There is no milk without some manure.” He said it much nicer than I would have said it, but you get the point.  I was romantically naïve when I first got into ministry.  I had a Bible verse for every problem, a nice little Christian antidote for everybody’s difficulty.  My insights were shallow and religious and it might be that they still are, but to coin a title from a book I once read, I’VE LEARNED A FEW THINGS SINCE I KNEW IT ALL.  It took some time, but the practical education of serving the local church is challenging to say the least.  As bad as it sounds, there were some battles fought that were not worth fighting.  The color of the carpet in the sanctuary or the administrative rule of the deacons or which Bible  version is legitimate or how much you pay the janitor is a ridiculous reason to have to shovel crap out of the church.  In a way, change and growth creates problems.  Reasonable stewardship has to cope with the increase.  It’s a good problem I guess, but it stands to reason that we have to provide more care, more facilities, a bigger mortgage and a bigger staff as the congregations continues to expand.  It’s just the way it is.  Where most of the problems begin in this context is that not everyone in the congregation is spiritually-minded.  They see the church much like they do their country club.  They pay their dues, vote their convictions and feel pretty much entitled to run things as they see fit.  Let’s call it what it is:  MANURE.   Now I remember why I was gray by 40 years of age!  Religious devils are still very much active in the church today!  I’m willing to shovel the manure, but I want to know it is for the right reasons.  Fighting with the “church” devils isn’t too high on the agenda these days.

Here is a truth that I will get into the sewer about:  When the winds of the Spirit blow, waves of resistance will come. When the life of the Spirit explodes and life begins to manifest with power, there will always be a push-back from darkness.  In fact, it is usually the measurement to know whether or not we are actually doing the business.  If you want it neat, if you can’t handle the mess, stay with religion.  If you want the real, if you want to see Him move with power, if you really do want God to do things His way and you desire to give the Spirit permission to move, WATCH OUT!  It’s going to get a little sketchy up in here!  Why?  Because the real stuff always exposes the fake.   Life is contrast to death.  Health fronts out sickness.  Light fills the void.  BLOW WIND BLOW!  COME SPIRIT COME!  But, go ahead and grab your shovel.

For Your Journal

See 1 Peter 4:12-14.  How does this relate to today’s topic?  Seriously, what do you want, nice comfortable religion or to do the business?  Are you willing to pay the cost?

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a hole in her throat

November 12, 2010 1 comment

This blog went viral this morning on Facebook.  This is for you people that don’t do Facebook.  This kind of brokenness is fairly common out on The World Race.  This kind of honesty about it…isn’t.  Thanks Stacey!  -MDP-

READ Stacey Hume’s Blog HERE!

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who is back there?

November 3, 2010 13 comments

My first ministry gig was a High School boys Sunday School class.  I had been walking with the Lord for about 15 minutes but because I was a teacher and athletic coach, the SS department supervisor thought I had something to say.  Patti loves to tell the fact that there were a couple of those minor prophets that I couldn’t even pronounce properly.  It wasn’t until another 6 years before I actually took a position in a church as the youth minister…another 2 years before I pastored a church…another 5 years to really wake up to the Holy Spirit…another 8 years to process what my real calling and anointings were.  Then 3 years of going into the wilderness and absolute obscurity, another 3 years to get out, then a couple more years of pastoring a very small congregation and growing up sons and daughters.  None of it made much sense while in the process.  It just unfolded.  I have gotten lots and lots of “words” about leading, ministering to leaders, touching a generation that might be the generation, blah blah blah, and to some extent I think I’m somewhere in the neighborhood.  But, one thing is for certain, Patti and I have gotten to where we are by doing what we had to do every frikk’n day.  Whether or not it gave us life has rarely ever been on the radar.  Honestly, some of the jobs we’ve had and the responsibility we’ve taken and the sheep we’ve had to steward, has sucked.  Sounds bad I know, but it’s the truth.

The people who study such things and then make a living by compiling and sharing the data, tell us that the biggest influence on the 16 to 19 year old kid is a 20 to 25 year old adult.  The biggest influence on the 20 to 25 year old adult is the 26 to 30 year old adult.  The biggest influence on the 26 to 30 year old adult is the 30 to 40 year old adult.  You get where this is going.

So you want to change the world, save the masses, touch the thousands, start a ministry, fulfill all those magnificent words you’ve gotten?  Good!  You should want all those things.  Now, turn around and see who is following you right now.  Who are you leading?  Who are you pouring into, growing the heck up, taking deeper into the revelation that you now possess?   Plan all you want, dream baby dream, but this is where it all starts.  You and a friend, on the deck, in a coffee shop, in a bar, in the Waffle House (that’s for you GA people), breaking bread, partaking of hope, sharing what you got about your life, really loving, really caring.  Take a peek.  Who is back there?


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