Ode To The Common Heroes

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The earth is impregnated with heroes.

They love the land others think is cursed.

Their eyes aren’t on fortunes or fame, unless having to do with increasing their King’s, as His fortune is measured in souls and His fame established in grace. Grace that’s invited the sickest, murdering pervert among them to dine at the Father’s table – realizing they had all been branded the same for executing the Father’s son with their sin. Sick, murdering perverts who found grace.

They have the audacity to think they can impact their region; having themselves been touched by the life altering presence of God, they do not think it a stretch to believe that that same presence can change those around them.

They get frustrated with other Children of the Light who unwittingly mimic the lies of the Enemy over territory marked for the King, but remember they would be in the same depraved condition if it weren’t for divine perspective.

So they move in grace for the saved and the unsaved alike.

They are dispensers of mercy, not holding people to the fates they deserve; dispensers of grace, looking to give to people that which they do not merit.

Their culture is upside down. Unusual. Deliriously different and yet definitively divine.

They see their cities and towns and villages through heaven’s eyes, ever aware that there’s a better way to live for those struggling to feel better about the way they’re living.

They’re dreamers. Warrior poets. They make music with their inventions, create positions with their endeavors, generate monies with their pursuits, and forge converts with their humility.

All the while reminding the Enemy he only has control over regions of the earth where no Christ-followers live: if they aren’t there yet, Devil, they’ll be there soon.

You can attack them, frustrate them, discourage them, shove them, marginalize them and tempt them, but you can not defeat them. Because the epicenter of their earthquake causing, ear drum rupturing, heart stopping power is the Mercy Seat of Jesus Christ.

Kill one and you’ve invited heaven to your house, indeed doing God a favor in designating a place that’s in need of mercy. Kill them all and they’ll only be replaced by more; for the Creator has an endless supply of resources with which to fashion an army capable of representing Himself, embodying his love, and serving those in deepest darkness into light.

Their sleeves are rolled up. Eyes are on the horizon. Faces set like flint.

Yet they look common on the outside.

And this, the beauty of it all.

For when the Enemy least expects it, he’ll have lost another soul, another town, another nation to some unsuspecting vagabond that reeks of the divine, sounds like the crucified, walks with a limp, and has eternity in their eyes.

ch:

Color Palette Problem

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I was recently included in a Color of the Year Instragram mashup by Mike Kim (@mikekimtv).

I actually made the montage/collage twice. Once for my metaphorical face, the other for my actual face. (Some might even argue I’m the sock, too).

The honor is quite overwhelming.

But the presentation does beg the question: how did white people ever get stuck with the white color stigma? We’re much more pink than we are white. I mean, look at my cranium. It’s more like under-cooked chicken, or maybe pork ribs.

I’ve met a few albinos in my life. Now they’re white. Some are even translucent.

Black people aren’t actually black at all. Some are cocoa, and some are coffee (both preferred food beverages).

Asian people, like Mike, are olivey, much like Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Native American folks.

True Indians are like dark cinnamon buns. Probably from all the curry and chai tea they consume. That’s my theory.

Anyone else notice the food theme?

Humans have forever tried to classify things. Science. Emotions. Music. It’s part of how we’re wired. But sometimes we try and classify things based on fear, insecurity, and sheer ignorance.

Like race and skin-tone.

Like my wife, I was raised in a “colorless” home by parents who never differentiated between skin color or race. They had Christian convictions about such biases. And also like her, it wasn’t until I was an early teen that I discovered racism was still rampant in the United States – and the rest of the world for that matter.

Yet this spirit of racism is easily identified as a fraud, and something we as Christians must be the first to exterminate.

For one, the spirit of racism fails to take into account that all humans are made in God’s image. To prefer one over the other is to alienate and shun the likeness of God himself. Doing so is anti-human, anti-Christian, and anti-God. It was God’s fail-safe and the genius of making us after himself. To say you accept Jesus but you can’t accept all men is tantamount to not accepting Jesus. Be careful.

If you have a basis, fear, frustration or vendetta toward a race, you need to repent and ask for Jesus’ heart for that people group – because they’re his people group made in his image.

And secondly, this spirit of racism didn’t even get its color assignments right.

I’m pink, people.

What a scam.

ch:

Eat Your Words

Most of my posts are written in bed from my iPhone. One eye open, my thumb pecking out the words.

No sooner had I finished yesterday’s, than a knock was on my door. It was Luik, crying. “I spilled the milk.” (The punniness wasn’t lost on me).

What he meant was, he dropped and broke open an entire gallon in the kitchen.

One look downstairs and I was eating my words from my post:

“The grateful are never disappointed.”

I used 6 towels, 2 paper towel rolls, 2 different kinds of antibacterial something-or-other, and a mop. You can now eat off of the floor underneath the stove and the fridge. I found a missing iPhone, too. As well as my attitude. Did my best to sop up that rotten smelling thing.

What did Luik learn? Well, he’s suspended from making breakfast by himself for a while. But hopefully that – while dad was sure upset – he knew it was an accident and didn’t entirely lose his cool. There was cuddle time when it was all over.

What did dad learn? We need to be ready to mop up and eat our own words more often than we think.

Next time, though, I’m dumping a box of cereal on the floor and getting some spoons out for us. (Thanks Jason) ch:

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I’m Back

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Wow. 40 days is a long time when you’re in the middle of it. And really short when you’re passed it.

I really want to give a special shout out to all my incredible guest posters who held up my blog’s proverbial arms while I was away, and especially to my personal assistant, Debbie, who went from 0-100 on a WordPress learning curve. Hopefully you were encouraged and challenged by all they had to say. Feel free to browse back through their posts if you missed any.

So what did I learn from not blogging, Tweeting, FaceBooking, and [uh-hem] eating various foods for 40 days? Besides realizing I just used a few made up verbs in the previous sentence, all of which are–oddly enough–culturally acceptable, I learned more than I know. And more than I could put in a post. Unless transferring experiences in whole through the internet is possible.

Clarity. Extreme clarity, if you want a describer put in there. That would be the most profound word that comes to mind. I can think of no better word to describe my relationship with the Holy Spirit, my perception of circumstances, contexts, ministry insights (both personal and corporate), and relationships. It seems when all the other extraneous “stuff” gets removed, you’re left with less. Less stress, less distraction, less noise. To quote Kem Meyer‘s aptly put book title, “Less Clutter. Less Noise.”

The second word would be grace. I recognized a very palpable manifestation of grace upon my life, alerting me to just how much my body kicks, screams, and demands for what it wants, and just how much strength there is from the Lord to not only tolerate such behavior, but to put it in it’s place. (That little brat!). Likewise, struggles and temptations were minimized to their most negligible levels. Ever.

If I could derive an adequate resolution from this time, it would be to make the divine rhythms of withdrawing a lifestyle. Incorporating reoccurring seasons of fasting–both food and media–is not only good for all aspects of my health, but Biblical. And moreover, Christ-like. I feel I have new footing to teach from, and more experience with which to admonish myself in the pursuit of Christ-like maturity.

Thanks for all those who stood with me, prayed for me, and genuinely missed my absence from the interweb. ch: