Get Behind me Satan!

So how this has been working so far is I listen to a recording I made while preaching, take some notes on the sermon, and type an intro to get you started. So here you go!

I was listening to the sermon from 8-31-14, and thinking it was pretty good, also I can hear the birds singing in the background, very nice on a day when its 15 degrees and snowing.
I reference our “Celebrate” its the handout we have in our church that gives us our prayer and scripture readings for the day. This Sunday in August we had Mathew 16:23, where Jesus is telling Peter…. “Get behind me Satan.” What do you think that means in this context? I know that I think most of us get it wrong, is Satan a metaphor for the evil that lurks in all of us. Is Jesus telling Peter, you have to much of the world in you, here I am , right here and you still can’t see… you can’t see something transcendent standing right here, you still have it wrong.
The Bible was written by people trying to understand their world, they were writing to a Jewish audience, they were still Jews long after Jesus died, and they were trying to make sense of their world.

I think we are set on a course, a path, and when we veer from that path, our spiritual guidance system gets out of whack, we drink, get depressed, lash out. Some of us stay in that state forever,” be of this world, not in it”, we think its our normal “broken” state of being. I disagree, we have the opportunity to be complete, or at least move towards completeness every day. Some of us have been broken(incomplete) for so long we don’t know any better, we think its normal, we love the pain we think that’s normal too…

It’s not, Jesus calls us to completeness with God, that’s the message, that might be the entire message of the Bible.

I quote(I use the term loosely)John Shelby Spong, William Sloane Coffin, Deepak Chopra, and Adyashanti, pretty impressive mix even for me.
I get into more of my reoccurring themes “working to your highest best self” and hold on to everything loosely, we are wrong about most things….

Let me know what you think.
8-31-14

Threads and Tapestry

 

I speak to quite a few people in an average week, many of them just wanting to have someone listen to them, empathize with them, let them know they are not alone on the journey. I hear the same things over and over, one of those is that we are not complete, we don’t feel good about ourselves. So I enjoy showing people that we are part of God, and we are loved, there is nothing we can do to change that, if you think so , it comes from you, not God. I quote Genesis 1:26-28 “God made us in his image, reflecting his nature”, Acts 17 24:29 “for in him we live and move and have our being.” John 1 3-8 “Everything was created through him- nothing- not one thing came into being with out him. What came into existence was life, and the life was a light to live by. The light that blazed out of the darkness.” Beautiful.

We are not separate from God, and as much as we are told and think other wise, we are not separate from anything or anybody.  I get into some of my re-occurring themes, “hold on to things loosely”, we are wrong about most things. Ask yourself “are you working to your highest best self?” When I feel off, I try to have the “presence” to ask myself those questions. I also touch on EGO , edging God out, and Sin as missing the mark, much as a archer misses the bull’s-eye. I really think that what God gave us, or tried to give us through Jesus, was the way to our lives closer to God, closer to our true nature. Many of us Christians think our religion is life(death) insurance, something for after we are dead, I think through Christ, God tried to give “health” insurance, how to live our lives completely and full of joy and wonder in this life here on earth.

Also one of my pet peeves, how come so many people that can quote the Bible chapter and verse are so Damn mean? Ah, to the title of the post, I believe its from Rob Bell, we do ourselves a dis-service when we look at any one verse of the Bible as an individual thread, its so easy to take things out of context, be judgmental of others, or use the book to support our position. When we can pull back and look at the wonderful tapestry that God is weaving through the collection of books that are the Bible, see it from a higher vantage point, “see the bigger picture”, that when it truly takes on it full meaning.

It’s a love story on a level we can’t comprehend.

 

Here is the “tape” from 6-29-2014

 

Doug the Serpent Killer!

I guess you should always start at the beginning…..

The beginning…

I was reading the Genesis story,  I especially like in Genesis :1- “God created human beings God like, reflecting God’s nature.” … “lets make them in our image, make them reflecting our nature.” ….its such a beautiful story.  Then in one verse, we go from being God like… to the whole, “The Fall” thing, being tempted by a serpent, and putting a  tree there, tempting us at the start? That’s sounds like a something a immature human would do, setting your kids up to fail? Don’t we at least always try to give the kids a leg up, a head start, better than we had it, that kind of thing. I would hope that God is better than us, bigger than we are, new words need created to explain the love he has for us.

I got thinking this doesn’t sound like God. The God that created everything, every star,every black hole, every animal and plant– everything– the totality, no it sounded like Mad Daddy. The Dad you get when his day was bad. You know the one, you get when the boss yells at him, the traffic sucks, and the bill for the first set of  braces comes in as the company is talking layoffs?

That Dad, but God , not my God, my God is loving and light, and Joy, full of wonder, I mean look at it all, the totality of all the known universe. Beautiful.

That part of Genesis sounds like, well it sounds like a child trying to make sense of the world, how it was made, why there was pain and suffering in the world. Sooooo Dad must be mad at us because look how horrible the world is, look how we toil in the fields,  and anybody who has seen a child be born, let alone back in the day without  drugs of any kind, knows the pain. We all know pain don’t we? So God must be mad at us , hell he is downright pissed off at us, right. Or maybe, it’s how primitive man was trying to understand his world. Remember Genesis was written when the earth was flat, God lived right above the clouds, your neighbors might very well kill you for being different, I guess it not so much different from today, and hold that thought.

I think that many of the problems in the world stem from this thought of separation . If  you think God separated himself from us, humans, right there in the first book of the Bible, well then its ok to be separate from everyone else. The Muslims, the Jews, your neighbors, other Christians that don’t think the same way you do, the fat lady down the block, their all fair game- because God is separate from you , or at least separated himself from some of “them.”

But I disagree, God made us in his image, he was well pleased, he breathed life into us. Jesus says in John 10:34, referencing Psalm 82:6, “you too are Gods, did not my father say so.” Jesus also said ,you can do all I can and more, say to the mountain move and it will move.

You are loved Children of God, maybe a better way to think of it is as loved creations of God, when you start saying children then you get to God being the father again, see Mad Dad above. To me a very important distinction to make, here and now.

In the talk I also get into progression of the Bible, its a story written of its time and place, by people, for people of their time, trying to make sense of it all. Its a tribal story to some degree, and feeds into our our need to label everything. The beauty of the story is the thread of God that permeates the whole thing, that pulls the story forward, that’s always pulling the story forward! I believe we are incomplete so far, we don’t have it all put together yet, not by a long shot. A lot of stuff in the beginning of the recorded message comes direct from Rob Bell blog, he is a great Christian author and thinker, and sometimes its best to let the pro’s do the heavy lifting. The talk ends with my personal spin on it.

We don’t have it right, 2100 years after Christ death, and we can’t ever get along with other Christians, let alone people of other faiths. I feel compelled to move the story forward in my own small way. I know ” If you do what you always done … you get what you always got.”  That’s not good enough anymore, take a listen, help me move the story forward.

The sermon from 6-22-2014, for those of you following along.

 

The Party “Pastor”

So today I start adding my old “taped” talks, this one is from 5-25-2014, the day after a party I went to, and I realized what my mentor Pastor Bill Bruehl had told me years ago, people are hungry for God. I am at this party, and many of my friends know I now “Preach” 3 Sundays a month, so I spent a considerable amount of time at a “party” talking about GOD , beautiful .More importantly I spoke to a dear friend that night, and I saw the light bulb come on. I speak to him and meet with him regularly, but this is the interaction where I started to see “the change”. Its Beautiful, its also not a 1 and done kind of thing, the thing called spirituality usually comes in fits and starts, but usually once it starts it doesn’t stop. It can be painful, it can be trying, it can be exhilarating, sometimes all at once.
I spoke about moving yourself out of the way, letting more room for God in your life. We have been conditioned to be of this world( Jesus warned us about that), most of us see it as we are taught to see it, conditioned to see it, its a shame, to quote Don Ruiz we are domesticated to it like sheep. Not the beautiful, connected to God beings we really are. As with all things in life, its a choice how you choose to see the world, so choose wisely. We are called to live a great life full of love and peace and joy,its a gift from God ,and we do have more control over that than we believe. I start getting into worrying about the past and future , and present moment awareness, a reoccurring theme with me.

So give a listen, shoot me some comments, join the journey!

If you like what you hear, forward the link.

Peace

 

 

 

 

My “coming out” Sermon

Below is the first sermon I ever gave using my own material , and one of the only sermons I wrote(typed) out. It was some time in the fall of 2013. Please note this was my working draft, I used it as a jumping off point to give the “preached” sermon, so it might read a little more choppy than usual. That saying something coming from me!

I consider it my “coming out party” sermon, the one that wretched my heart out, it was at a turning point in my life— there was a lot of pain being released in that talk, I teared up at points and had issues finishing it.

I hope it can help others to know, there is more out there than the grief, pain and misery many people see in the world. You truly can choose Heaven here on earth! Come with me on the journey!

*************

This is not a sermon for everyone, but I hope its for someone.

So we are saved by grace now What? 

Seriously now what?

There is nothing you can do to turn God away from you, nothing-Not Sin, not being gay, not murder, nothing!

So now what do you do with your life if you’re a Christian?

I realized a few weeks ago that I was afraid my whole life, afraid to succeed , afraid to fail, basically afraid to breath. That’s a very hard thing to come to grips with- I cried off and on for days- it was great – was the most freeing time of my life, I am not sure you can understand that if you have never gone through anything like that, it was like opening of my own personal Pandora’s box of my life. My sister kept telling me I needed to read the 4 Agreement by Don Ruiz,I finally got around to reading it, and it changed my life.

Some how I kept thinking of the story about Michelangelo’s David, I read  Michelangelo looked at the block of stone and saw David in it waiting to be brought out of the block.

God has always seen me and you in the same way, we are there waiting to be brought out—- He has always been in us,

The problem was I couldn’t see myself

One of those forest for the tree’s thing.

I keep dancing around myself and around and around, nipping at the edges, but I couldn’t pull it all together.

Until recently when I realized I was to full of myself

I had filled myself with Stuff lots of Stuff… from our culture, society, my parents, friends, and most importantly – I was full of myself..

I was afraid- scared of success, failure, of life and death, but especially life- I remember my dad telling me once – son I am worried about your health – your killing  yourself.

I told him I am not afraid to die , I know where I am going when I die, I am afraid to live! But I said it as a joke- it took me years to get it. Like another 10 years, I am polish if you remember.

I had filled my life with stuff-

Trying to fill the void, the emptiness within me

you know that empty feeling you get when you lay awake at night-

why are things always worse in the middle of the night

the bible gives us a ton of metaphors about darkness and light

obviously there is something to it, but we can leave that for another time.

Back to that empty feeling________________

Is this all these is_________

There Nothing else____________

There has to be more-doesn’t there?

what’s my purpose in life?

I am a “good Christian” right

I even get up there and preach on some Sundays- I believe everything I said, but I was still empty on the inside ———– craving more.

living a shallow empty hollow life.

So what do you do with yourself now————–

You try to fill the void———

I worked really hard on filling it with stuff all kinds of stuff

I couldn’t get out of my own way!
Sure I had a great family( the most important thing)- more on that later

the big house

the Escalade’s

the beach house

the Rolex’s

and on and on and on

I also had the binge drinking

the mood swings

the depression, the stress, the anxiety etc etc etc.

I always wanted more—– but more of what, there is  the trick– of what

Mark Twain said if I had more time , I would have said less— pretty profound, especially for me.

Segway here      —-      fast forward to present time.

I have been listening to a lot of Deepak Chopra ( who knew)

27 of his CD’s to be exact!

He is the Indian spiritualist ( Lisa would say the dot kind- in case you don’t know him) you might have caught him on Oprah

Yes I now watch the OWN network- I have just bared my soul to you about my life, and I am embarrassed to tell you I watch Oprah!

Back to my man Deepak    _______________

he says those of us especially in western society i.e. US Canada, Europe etc.

are object referral  \ as  opposed to self referral.

what does that mean- let me tell you a story.

“There was once a man who had only two things that he valued in his life. One was his son, and the other was a little pony. His whole sense of reality came from referring to these two objects. Then one day the pony disappeared. The man was devastated because he had lost half of what he truly valued. He was in the depths of despair thinking about his lost pony, when the pony returned with a beautiful white stallion. Suddenly from the depths of despair he was in the heights of ecstasy. The next day, his son was riding the stallion and fell down and broke his leg. So from the heights of ecstasy, the man was now in the depths of despair. He was wallowing in misery when the government’s army came looking for all the young men to go to war. They took every young man in the village except the man’s son, because he had a broken leg. So from the depths of despair, this man was now in the heights of ecstasy. You can guess, of course, that this story of object-referral has no ending. By their very nature objects change, and as long as we identify with objects, we will never know our real essence. When we evaluate and understand ourselves through objects, or through the eyes of others, our life is like a roller coaster ride because the only constant about people, things, situations, and circumstances is that they change. If our identity is tied to these, then life is always going to be unstable. The opposite of object-referral is self-referral. When we are self-referred, we identify with our inner self, the unchanging essence of our soul. We feel wonderful regardless of the situation, circumstance, or environment we are in. And why do we feel wonderful all the time? Because we don’t identify with the situation; we are a detached, silent witness of the situation. We are secure in who we are, and we have no urge to prove anything to anyone. If we had the urge to prove this to someone, there we would again evaluate ourselves through the eyes of others. Self-referral is an internal state of joy, and this is different from happiness for a reason”

That’s what it meant to be object referral.

That describes my life to a  ” T”

I am sure some of you can relate, or at least I hope so, if not I am going to feel pretty stupid.- I know someone else need to hear this.

So back to Deepak and the self referral bit

our counter parts in the eastern cultures i.e. India , china etc.

They get it there, in our defense, they have been at it a lot long than us poor slobs in the west.

They look inward to get there reference, there focus, they look to family, they are very spiritual .

They are wired differently- there culture respects the process of life more so than ours, we are taught to respect the outcome more.

I watch a lot of cooking shows , when you see stuff for Japan, China, they tell of a family of noodle makers, that’s all they do is make noodles, they could be 10th generation noodles makers. That’s respecting the process , not living for the outcome.

I know you are think to yourself Doug’s gone off his rocker, so let’s bring this back to God.

God made us in his image

God in us

I truly believe when god says he is in us, he is.

He is in every Atom in our being —

There is a whole bunch of Quantum Physics stuff I could get into, but if you want to lean more– see me after class.

We are all made of the same stuff- the pews , the stars, you and me, all the same- God’s essence.

So back to me————

I was object referral for my whole life———

I knew I was saved by grace— —- Now what!

I was miserable and didn’t know why, most of the time I thought I was happy at least part of the time, or so I thought.

Now I know the problem, I was empty on the inside ,, where it counted.

So of course I tried to fill the emptiness with stuff— crap.

The bible says we should be of this world not in it.

I was in it full bore———– If you’re going to do it , do it right!

I was all in , I sure gave it one heck of a try.

So then I was in the weird funk, you realize you’re full of the wrong stuff- SOOOOOO now what?

now I  really felt lost

that took me a while to figure out, and believe me, I am still working on figuring it out

I went from being afraid, to being lost—————- a step in the right direction ,,,, right?

right, well yes, sort of

It was then, after reading the 4 Agreements and Love Wins by Rob Bell, that I realized I created my own Hell with a Capitol ” H” , right here on earth.

Lets look at Hell, our concept of it anyway

Its somewhere you go when you die, right, if you been bad.

The grim reaper comes in and carries you off to hell, which of course is in the center of the earth , and all that stuff we see on TV.

Right______

well maybe        or maybe not.

Remember me telling you a few months ago — what Rob Bell brings out in his book Love Wins— our concept of Hell from the Bible , historically is an actual place that’s was the local garbage dump, where they kept a fire burning to burn the trash and there were always animals there fighting for food scraps–with their Gnashing of teeth. Sound familiar

So maybe it not quite what we think it is this place called Hell.

So here is what I learned the hard way

We have the choice— right here on earth— to live our lives in heaven or hell.

We wake up every day and make choices, and they are choices , to live in Heaven or in Hell, today and every day.

I choose a hell of my own making for many years!

Worry, Stress, Gossip, control,  etc etc.

They rob you of your today’s Heaven ,In trade for the hell of re-living your yesterdays and robbing you of your tomorrows

So how often do you sit there, or probably lie there in the dark at night- that darkness thing again— and worry and stress and over think , about past mistakes, or something that might happen in the future.

Guess what it changes nothing- nada- zilch. I did it for years, guess what it changed————–ME, nothing else, except me for the worse — and those I drug into my living Hell

All it did was rob me of my today’s———– this moment, the only moment that exists____

There is nothing else. Learn to live for this moment, forgive the past, if you choose not to, you do so at your own peril, trust me I was an expert at reliving the past.

Funny thing about this Hell on earth———– you’re not there alone,

NO, if your there long enough and deep enough, you get to drag the ones closest to you down into your Hell.

That’s the part that hurts the worst–

That’s what we do to the ones closest to us —- Isn’t love grand!

But I now realize we all do the best we can– Everyday——–don’t we?

I know I must have said it a hundred times, I did the best I could, and that’s something to stand on isn’t it.

What I came to realize is sometime, a lot of times, my best is a pile of smoldering crap! That’s all I had was crap, for days on end, but it was my best—— at the time.

Here is the tricky part, learning to see it in your self is one thing—- the blessing is when you learn to see it in others.

Learn to see their crap moments, or hours or days or months or years.

Learn to meet them where there at, knowing that’s probably the best they have that day, maybe it’s a load of crap too.

It makes me think of that old saying …. until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes… we have no clue what someone else  might be dealing with— work problems, kid problems, health problems,  Deaths.

I had to learn to see and listen all over again– really listen, that’s hard, I realize we all put our spin on everything, all the time— teach yourself to really listen to what those around you have to say!

Meet them with love and light and grace, the grace from God that passes all human understanding!

Jesus said come to me, my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

And it truly is, it took me years to get it, or to get this far, remember we are all works in progress WIPS’s, we are all at different places in our lives and on our journeys with God.

Its all right there for the taking, he gave it to us all from the start,

So back to the beginning—–

We are saved by grace now what—-

Wake every day and choose heaven on earth — it truly is there if you look for it, it’s everywhere in everything if only you can get out of your own way, its freely given by God for all of us.

Wake and chose light and love and most importantly forgiveness

Remember we Christians are in the forgiveness business NOT the judgment business that belongs to someone else!

Fill your void– not with the crap of this world like I did for so many years, but the joy and peace and love God has shown us! Its there for each of us, if we can move ourselves out of the way.

Find your heaven on earth every day! Keep it simpler than I did!

It truly is a love story

God is there for each and every one of us .

 

 

My Spiritual Re-Cap of 2014.

I gave this talk last Sunday. It starts with the last of the 4 Agreements and finishes with what do we know for sure, what I know changes all the time, so I encourage you to hold loosely and love more.

2014 Spiritual Recap

What I know for sure: At least for today!

  • I know you are what you think about. So be careful with what you hold in your mind.
  • I know words are powerful, so be careful what you say, to yourself and others.
  • I know we are loved children of God.
  • I know we are part of GOD\GOD is part of us.
  • We are souls that inhabit a body\ not the other way around.
  • I know we are born complete, full of love and light and power- that we lose.
  • I know we are not separate from anything. This causes most of the problems in the world; we are all one with each other and God.
  • We create our own hells every day- it’s a choice
  • We can choose to create heaven – it is a choice. My new Mantra is “I don’t mind what happens.” Try living it, it will transform your life.
  • I know we are made to live life as a verb – with action. John Spong says “wastefully” – beautiful.
  • I know we are all the directors of our own movie – you choose the actors, locations and script, so choose wisely. Remember you might be a co-star in someone else movie, its not all about you.
  • I know the past doesn’t exist, nor does the future. Live in the present moment. It’s perfect.
  • HOLD LOOSELY, we are wrong about almost everything.
  • I know facts are relative. See above.
  • I know we get the chance to create our own reality – by our choices, every day.
  • I know happiness\Bliss comes from with-in, and not from outside us or outside conditions…PERIOD. The rest is attachment.
  • I know the only person I can change is me – anything else is madness – so don’t try.
  • I know you are not your thoughts, keep your EGO in check. EGO = edging God out.
  • I know that forgiveness begins and ends with you. You can’t forgive others (one of the most important things you can do) until you learn to forgive yourself – really forgive yourself.
  • I know that to truly forgive those you don’t think deserve it, is a path to heaven here on earth.
  • I know we are hardest on ourselves without a reason. Let go\let God. God loves us as we are – no exceptions and somehow its all is part of His plan.
  • I know that everybody wakes up to do their best. Sometimes it’s just not that good.
  • I know nothing anybody else does it about you, don’t take it personally or make assumptions- it’s the road to ruin\ hell fire.
  • I know that we need to work our religion with a 21st century world view, we don’t have it right, the beauty is GOD lets the children run the circus.
  • I know that we are loved in a way we cannot begin to fathom.
  • I know the most noise comes from the shallow end of the religious pool.
  • I know we only see/comprehend such a small part of the beauty and wonder around us, in this wide and wonderful tapestry of the universe.
  • I know we are part of something so large and magnificent its beyond words.
  • I know God works all too good in ways we can’t comprehend.
  • I know we hold on to the wrong “stuff.”
  • I know we would rather be right than happy – what a shame. Let go of your minds\ egos need for control.
  • I know we need a new word for God/Love – something more inclusive, expansive, wastefully, not human love…His love transcends all things – words are just pointers that fail us at this level.
  • I know that this life has the opportunity to be the best part of our journey – we get to love, touch, feel, experience, cry, weep, grieve, experience joy and exaltation.
  • The journey doesn’t end in death, we transcend death.
  • I know we are big enough to transcend our petty differences, when we embrace our new world view.
  • I know I am called to be bigger than myself, better than myself.
  • I know SIN, or the elimination of it in our lives, has more to do with us being happy in this life than where we go when we die.
  • I know all true religions are about God’s love to us – anything else comes from man.
  • I know we cannot die – the body dies, but we are Spirit, part of God.
  • I know if anyone uses religion to hurt people, put people down, empower themselves at the expense of others, it comes from them, not God. PERIOD.
  • I know God doesn’t change, but our understanding of Him does. Thank Him.
  • I know it’s a love story on a scale we cannot begin to understand.
  • I know Jesus got it and tried to give it to us – awareness\love\transcendence. A picture of God’s face on earth.
  • I know I am a work in progress, not a work of perfection.
  • I know I am grateful.
  • I know I am loved.
  • I know you are, too.

Peace