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The Shocking Intolerance of Les Miserables

*Originally posted in 2013. I finally saw Les Miserables. I don't really know that much about this show as it is French, and apart from their toast, I have a general distaste for all things French. However, I was surprised by a few things in this movie. I had no idea that Wolverine was that much better a singer than the Gladiator. Perhaps those mutant genes helped. More surprising was the shockingly intolerant message of this movie. Much is made these days about the intolerant idea of heaven to which many Christians cling. It is thought to be a bit regressive to still view eternal life in the presence of God as something reserved for a select group of people. Much more popular among the highly educated of our society is the understanding that a place like heaven would never be exclusive. The most brilliant among us generally conclude that heaven is for everyone. How shocking it was for me, then, to discover that Inspector Javert was absent from the final "heaven&quo

FAITH is Focusing on Gods Authority Rather Than My Own Ability

We get in the way of our own faith when we are focused so much on ourselves that we can’t focus on God: We focus on our material needs instead of our spiritual needs  We focus on what we want from God instead of what God wants from us  We focus on what we are capable of accomplishing instead of what God has already accomplished  We focus on our own righteousness instead of Christ’s righteousness in us  Jesus told us to focus on our Father’s authority instead of our own ability: “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t w

5 Questions That Make Church People Uncomfortable

1. From what SPECIFICALLY did Jesus save you? A while ago, I talked to someone after church who was convinced that salvation didn’t necessarily bring life change. She was already a pretty moral person. If you don’t know what sin Jesus saved you from, you don’t know why you need salvation. Besides, we don’t like thinking about our own sinfulness. 2. Whom did you invite into relationship with Jesus this week? Even though this is the prime directive for Jesus followers (see Matthew 28:19-20), Christians (self-included) only find time for this activity on very rare occasions. 3. What needs do you have? Church people are pretty famous for not having any problems. We like to show up looking our best, and behaving our best and saying “fine” about thirty times when people as how we are. It’s strange that the one place on earth where we should wide open about how broken we are is the one place where it is socially inappropriate to admit neediness. 4. How can I pray for you to hav

Everyone Should Be Part of a Braid

  Who are the other strands in your life's rope? Into whose life are you closely braided? Does this principle describe your family life?   Posted with Blogsy

The Four Stages of Generosity

We all want to be generous people, but generosity is not something that we acquire overnight. We are by nature self-centered, and so it is counter-intuitive for us to be generous. Below are four stages we can work through to develop generosity in our life. 1. Satisfaction. "I don't need anything else in order to be happy and fulfilled." Adam and Eve had everything they needed in the garden, but they wanted more. They wanted to be like God. Rather than be satisfied, they instead chose to covet. We can never be generous if we aren't first satisfied. 2. Contentment. "Even if I lost everything, I could still be happy and fulfilled." This is a big step up from satisfaction. Job experienced loss unlike most people could ever imagine. Yet he realized that his joy and his fulfillment didn't come from anything he owned or any relationship he had. They came from God. As long as Job was able to focus on God's character and promises, he was able to be

Before You Slumber. Take a Moment...

Breathe out. Breathe in. Exhale the carbon dioxide in your body. Inhale the pure oxygen your lungs are craving. As you breathe out, let go. As you breathe in, embrace. Let go of the day’s pain and trouble and disappointment. Embrace tomorrow’s joy and possibilities, and excitement. Let go. Embrace. Exhale. Inhale. Breathe out. Breathe in. Sleep well. Posted with Blogsy

Discovering the Joy Filled Life

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. (Psalm 1:1 NLT) Other translations begin this verse with "Blessed is the man..." I like the phrasing of the NLT, "Oh, the joys..." This is a good reminder that the blessed life is a life of joy. Blessings do not necessarily come in the shape of material or financial gain. Blessings are not always related to our circumstances. Blessings do not have to be us receiving something really wanted. However, the blessed life is always a life full of joy. JOY IS NOT RELATED TO OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. ( Here are some other thoughts on "joy" ) Interestingly, in Psalm 1, the author first points to what does NOT bring the joy-filled life (He will use verse 2 to explain the source of the blessed life). Here is the conclusion. Joy is not found in the coalitions you create for your own benefit. I know it maybe doesn't exactly say this, but let m