Archive for June, 2014

sister o’dell

June 26, 2014 8 comments

When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”  Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch. (Luke 5:4-7, MESSAGE)

The exciting thing about deep sea fishing is the element of mystery.  Put your nets down deep enough, and all sorts of creatures can find their way into those nets.  All kinds, all shapes—a plethora of diversity.  That pretty much describes the Church.  And God loves us ALL!  Every single one of us.

Time to laugh a little, and unplug for a while.  Time for a needed break.  I’ll be back.  Sometime.  Enjoy your summer!

Peace out, Scout!



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in regards to his freedom

June 19, 2014 Leave a comment

If anyone is interested in an audio update of our life in Waco, I’d recommend you tap into the podcast from my message at Emmanuel Christian Fellowship last Sunday, June 15th, entitled Trinity Sunday (the link for the podcast is embedded in the sermon title). Yeah, that’s the latest scoop.

I promised to put the following up. It’s too good not to:

The Spirit works where he wills. The Spirit of God cannot be restricted in his operation by the Church; he is at work not only in the offices of the church, but where he wills: in the whole people of God. He is at work not only in the “holy city”, but where he wills: in all the churches of the one Church. He is at work not only in the Catholic Church, but where he wills: in Christianity as a whole. And finally he is at work not only in Christianity, but where he wills: in the whole world.

1100px-Heilsbronn_Münster_Marienaltar_RechtfertigungsbildThe power of the Spirit of God can pass through all walls, even church walls. It is true that the Holy Spirit has his dwelling and his temple in the Church, which he fills and which he governs. Here his power is especially revealed, since in the Church and through the Church the word of God is preached and his sacraments are administered. But, the Spirit of God, if domiciled in the Church, is not domesticated in it. He is and remains the free Spirit of the free Lord not only of the “holy city”, not only of the Church, not only of Christians, but of the whole world….

The Spirit is at work when he wills. The Spirit of God is not, of course, a Spirit of arbitrariness or apparent freedom, but of real freedom; he is a Spirit of order, not chaos; peace, not contradictions, in the Church as well as in the world. This is what Paul had to remind the Corinthians, who, proud of their spiritual gifts, had neglected order in the Church: “God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:33).

At the same time, God’s Spirit does not blow when he must, but only when he wills. No decrees of the Church, in doctrine or practice, can force him to act or not act at a given time. True, God is absolutely free, and is thus free even in regard to his freedom.

From The Church by Hans Küng

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can you say…

June 9, 2014 2 comments

“I’ll give you a new heart. I’ll put a new spirit in you. I’ll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart. Then you’ll obey my statutes and be careful to obey my commands. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!”  Ezekiel 11:19-20, MESSAGE

That being true, because we’re supposed to be different, can we say…

I LOVE YOU – An affirmation of how vitally important the relationship is to you.

I AM SORRY – It’s beyond a confession of guilt.  It is self-aware, and been dipped in brokenness.  It’s the whole message.  It is not followed with, “…but,…”  Possibly the hardest words we ever have to speak, because of our own stubbornness and unrepentant pride  (Romans 2:3-5).

PLEASE FORGIVE ME – It is a request for grace, but aware that it might not be granted.  We say it anyway.

I FORGIVE YOU – It’s a horrible lead-in statement, but best used after a problem has been discussed.

ARE WE GOOD? – We know when there is a problem.  It’s a invite for a necessary conversation.


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the dream that dreams

June 5, 2014 9 comments

Once upon a time, I lived in a tiny pond that was filled to the brim with hungry, serious, and dedicated young missionaries. My job was to pastor, steward, and mentor them as they forged into their bright unknown. Inside of the countless conversations with them, about “them” (their pasts, their plans, their pain, their disappointments, their plans, their hopes, their plans, their plans, and their plans), a seldom and select few would actually dare to ask about the things going on inside of me. It was about as frequent as a blood moon, but it did happen.  I knew my role.  There are no regrets.

Interestingly enough, when those few asked, their questions sometimes landed in the general vicinity of, “Do you dream anymore?” The inquiry was not about the dreams of sleep, but the dreams of future—the dreams of “out there.” I would always be taken aback by the question. If I remember correctly, I think I answered with, “I used to… a lot.”   But, that’s not really an answer, is it? Sadly, it was the best I could gather with integrity at that time.

I’ll finish these thoughts after you read the following passage. It’s extremely powerful! Try to let this sink in. It could be valuable to you.

“There is a dream dreaming in us,” a Bushman once told Laurens Van der Post. We are part of a dream, according to this, part of a vision. What is more, we can become aware of it. Although we are far removed from the Bushmen and their vision, it seems we can indeed come to a sense of being dreamed, being seen, being known. Our mind’s desire is to know, to understand; but our heart’s desire is intimacy, to be known, to be understood. To see God with our mind would be to know God, to understand God; but to see God with our heart would be to have a sense of being known by God, of being understood by God.

 If there is a dream dreaming us, it will be God’s vision of us, and if we have a sense of being part of that dream, it will be our heart’s vision of God. Nicholas of Cusa in his Vision of God, while speaking of our vision of God, speaks even more of God’s vision of us. He has it that our seeing God consists of our having a sense of God seeing us: to see God is to see one who sees; it is to have an experience of being seen. It is like looking at one of those portraits, he says, where the eyes are so contrived as to follow the beholder wherever he moves. No matter where the beholder stands, the eyes of the portrait seem to be looking at him. Or better, we could say, it is like feeling the gaze of another person, feeling the gaze without seeing the other’s eyes. Or it can be like meeting the gaze of another. Or it can even be like looking into the eyes of another and seeing there the pupil, the pupilla, the “little doll,” the tiny image of oneself reflected in the other’s eyes.”

 From The Reasons of the Heart by John S. Dunne

rubbleheapMy non-answer of the question, however, was true. I did used to dream a lot. But, if I’m to be honest and forthright, I must say that my dreams at that time probably had nothing to do with the dreams of God inside of me. My dreams were saturated with selfish ambition, conceitedness, and propped up with all the under-girding of an over-inflated self-ego. Slap enough religion on all of that, and you can hide most anything. All of those dreamed towers have to fall. And make no mistake, mine did. I haven’t sat in disappointment in a very long time, but if you pick through the rubble and don’t ignore it, you’ll begin to figure out that it had to happen. And, if you actually get yourself settled down in enough peace, you’ll begin to genuinely appreciate that God didn’t allow the thing to stand proud for too long.

The truth sets you free. Dig out from under a collapsed tower you built with your own dreams, and you’ll consider where you stand once another is built. There is another dream to consider—the dream inside of us that we didn’t manufacture. It’s the dream sourced from another realm that is dreaming for our purpose on this tiny orb. It’s uncluttered with the expectations of man’s ego and influence of what “might sell.” It’s something totally different. That’s the one I’m still waiting on. That’s the dream I want to tap into. I’ve done my shallow waters dreaming. I want the one He is dreaming. The deep.

I don’t believe you can take this one by force. I think it evolves as you evolve. I’m praying for more grace, in order to make the transformations. I am dreaming for the divine dream that dreams. It’s a good place. The right place for me.

Love you all!


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