Myspace in heaven


They know us by the t-shirts that we wear
They know us by the way we point and stare
At anyone whose sin looks worse than ours
Who cannot hide the scars of this curse that we all bare

They know us by our picket lines and signs
They know us by the pride we hide behind
Like anyone on earth is living right
And isn’t that why Jesus died
Not to make us think we’re right

When love, love, love
Is what we should be known for
Love, love, love
It’s the how and it’s the why
We live and breathe and we die

They know us by reasons we divide
And how we can’t seem to unify
Because we’ve gotta sing songs a certain style
Or we’ll walk right down that aisle
And just leave ‘em all behind

They know us by the billboards that we make
Just turning God’s words to cheap clichés
Says “what part of murder don’t you understand?”
But we hate our fellow man
And point a finger at his grave

When love, love, love
Is what we should be known for
Love, love, love
It’s the how and it’s the why
We live and breathe and we die

By Derek Webb





Poor Ron...


Not an Ad Hominem attack...just funny
* Sex Addicts
* Lewd Women (lewd men are safe, I guess?)
* Child Molesting Homosexuals (Child Molesting Heteros are safe, too, huh?)
* Pot Smoking Little Devils
* Sports Nuts (this one I actually agree with...)
* Pencil Neck Weak Kneed Gutless Men (??)
* Rebellious Women
* Witches
* F se (false?) Religions
* Two Faced People
* ... and Mormons
Tat animation

I have never liked having long hair. When I was a kid I used to get ‘step haircuts’ which were popular in the early nineties and resembled the ‘bowl cut’ of my father’s era. It was short and rounded on the sides and longer on top. For a short while I even parted it in the middle (a stage I wish I could re-do…excuse the pun).

When I was 12 these missionaries from Scotland came to our church. After a boring service and slideshow (with lots of castles and few, if any, pictures that looked like the missions work), the missionaries came to my father’s office to fellowship (my dad was the pastor). With a very concerned look in her eyes the wife approached me. She asked me if I liked my haircut and if I had ever read anything in the Bible about it. No? Then she pulled a piece of paper out of her Bible like a gun from a holster.

It was an extensive Study on Leviticus 19:27. The verse reads: “You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.” The article, went on to explain the Scottish Druid practices of Rounding their Hair to mirror the stars and circumference of the sky for which they worshipped. According to the article, their practices (including haircuts like mine) worshipped false gods and opened them up to evil spirits… and here I was with the same haircut. Unbeknownst to me, I was opening up my heart for Satan. I could even be demon-possessed & not realize it!!! Who would have ever known (that must be where New Kids On The Block achieved their sadistic power over the young girls of America!).

I did not change my hair-style.

A couple of years later some wonderful well-meaning people came through our church from Singapore. They were Indian and had been saved from the Hindu Religion. The Woman had been a Hindu Witch and spoke extensively about her incredible conversion and God’s saving power. One of the nights, she got on this kick about “Power Beads.” She let us know that those practicing Hinduism believed in the supernatural power of these beads and opened themselves up to spiritual possession as a result of their religious practices. She was unnerved at the fact that similar looking beads were being sold all over America in Wal-Marts and 7-eleven’s everywhere, and young people were being manipulated by the Demonic world because they wore these power beads.

The problem, at least in my mind, was that the American Teens who wore them, for the most part, had No Faith in the Beads. They were not wearing them for health or wealth. They were not wearing them for religious practices. They were accessorizing! This was a huge jump in spiritual logic for me…even for a mystical Pentecostal.

I took my allowance out and bought a bead wristband the next day.

Now I know I’m painting myself as a rebel (which I was), but I was sincere in my action. I wanted to prove that this whole line-of-thinking was bollocks. I’m still a Christian today and I’ve never been more in love with Christ. I never got possessed as far as I know, (though I did get obsessed with woman-kind for a while…but that’s a totally different story). The Point Is: My Haircut and My Beads had Nothing to do with religious practices and what may have happened in other cultures never happened to me.

That line of logic, I’m sure you’ll agree, is absurd.

“Serial Killers like Gacy dress up as clowns, so If I dress up like a clown, I will become a serial killer.”

It doesn’t work.

If you look at this whole passage in Leviticus, it says:
“You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. ‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. ‘Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. ‘You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:26–31 — New American Standard

THIS is the main argument from a concerned Christian crowd against tattoos… that and “Graffiti-ing the ‘Temple of the Holy Ghost’.”

The Problem I see with this argument against tattooing is the same I saw with the bowl-cut hairstyle that’s represented in verse 27 directly before it.

I recently read about this passage and agree:

In this passage, God is speaking to His covenant people Israel. He is specifically telling them to stay far from the religious practices of the surrounding people groups. The prohibited religious practices in these verses include eating bloody meat, fortune telling, certain hair cuts related to the priests of false cults, cutting or marking the body for dead relatives, cultic prostitution and consulting psychics. All these practices would lead God's beloved people away from Him and toward false gods that were not Gods at all. In the midst of this context we find the word translated “tattoo marks” in verse 28. It is important to note here that the context of this passage is not one of body décor but one of marking one's self in connection with cultic religious worship. Bible commentaries tell us much about the eastern religious practices that God was warning His people to shun.

These prohibitions seem to relate to pagan religious customs which should be avoided, including pagan mourning rites (vv. 27-28) Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983–c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary: An exposition of the scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

The practice of making deep gashes on the face and arms and legs, in time of bereavement, was universal among the heathen, and it was deemed a becoming mark of respect for the dead, as well as a sort of propitiatory offering to the deities who presided over death and the grave. The Jews learned this custom in Egypt, and though weaned from it, relapsed in a later and degenerate age into this old superstition (Is 15:2; Je 16:6; 41:5). “nor print any marks upon you” (v:28 )—by tattooing, imprinting figures of flowers, leaves, stars, and other fanciful devices on various parts of their person. The impression was made sometimes by means of a hot iron, sometimes by ink or paint, as is done by the Arab females of the present day and the different castes of the Hindus. It it probable that a strong propensity to adopt such marks in honor of some idol gave occasion to the prohibition in this verse; and they were wisely forbidden. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. On spine: Critical and explanatory commentary. (Le 19:28). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

“Make any cuttings in your flesh” (v:28): the reference here is to the practice of making deep gashes in the skin while mourning the death of a relative. This was done to provide life blood for the spirit of the dead person rather than to express sorrow. On account of the dead: as indicated above, this describes the purpose of all the actions in verse 27 as well as verse 28. Péter-Contesse, R., & Ellington. (1992). A handbook on Leviticus. UBS handbooks; Helps for translating (Page 296). New York: United Bible Societies.

The “tattoo” marks described in Leviticus 19:28 were clearly related to false religious practices. The word translated tattoo in our English Bibles is the Hebrew word “qa aqa”, this word appears only one time in the Bible, here in this passage Leviticus. The word “qa aqa” means literally “to cut” but taken with the surrounding words indicates a cutting that left a mark imprinted in the skin. This could have been a form of branding, scarring, cutting or a process where ink was inlaid into the skin; there is not enough data to fully define exactly what this word meant. However we translate the word “qa aqa” though, in this passage, it is certainly used in the context of cultic religious worship. The prohibition against “qa aqa,” (translated tattoo) was to keep the Israelites from being involved or affiliated with cultic worship practices.

The tattoo of today is much different than it was for those who originally received the Pentateuch. Today tattoo is a decorative means of self expression and personal decoration. In our current culture people modify their appearance for beauty in many ways such as clothing choice, makeup, plastic surgery, haircutting and coloring, weight loss, body-building, and ear piercing. Some of these practices have a history in ancient ritual and false religion, but in our cultural context they do not denote a connection with evil or false faith. In the same way tattoos today do not link the wearer to cultic worship practices and is not generally practiced for ancient religious purposes, tattoos today are for ornamentation.

A further reason to believe Christians are free to tattoo their bodies is that New Testament believers are not bound by the Old Testament laws to gain or regain right relationship with God. If we were to obey the laws of the Old Testament we would also be bound by rules that would restrict shellfish and pork eating, hairstyles, wearing of clothes made from two different fabrics, even eating cheese on hamburgers (yes, it is true). Some also feel that modifying the body somehow defiles God's creation, but if this was true would it be right to pierce ears, correct a club foot, cut hair, clip nails, get a tan or use orthodontia? Each of the previously mentioned practices modifies the way we were originally created, some permanently. Getting a tattoo is a deeply personal choice that falls in the category of personal appearance and is vitally connected to the freedom of the believer. The Apostle Paul reminds us that the Old Testament Law was designed by God was to lead people toward Jesus. Now that Jesus has come and set us free, we are not under the law for our good standing with God. Our right standing before God comes from placing our trust in Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for our debts, not on following the Old Testament regulations.

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Galatians 3:24–25 — New American Standard

As New Testament followers of Jesus we are not under restriction in the area of personal décor.

Tattoo of today can describe images that merely please the wearer, or have deeper meaning to the owner. Many Christians today are tattooing themselves not in tribute to a false idol or anti-Christian deity, but with love for the one true God and Creator. Many today utilize this permanent marking a way of giving glory to God. Some find that Christian tattoos attract questions about faith and provide opportunities to give God glory by allowing the story-telling of His Love to those who aren’t convinced yet. (1)

So here’s the deal. What is a sinner? In the former Generation, a sinner was someone who drank, smoked, cursed, and had tattoos.

What happens when this changes? What happens when we realize that, although these things may accompany people who struggle with many sins in their lives, they may not in fact be sins in themselves?

The Problem I’ve witnessed is that, as culture shifts, the younger generation grows and accepts things the older generation did not…for which we are demonized, branded and socially tattooed… which is rather Ironic. Another random piece of information that is interesting to me is how Jesus is pictured as a Tattooed Warrior returning to earth in Revelation 19:16.

I’m not saying I’m going to rush out and get a tattoo like I did with the power-beads; I’m just pointing out the principle: we have to get away from this legalistic, labeling perspective. I believe we do more harm than good when we attack inanimate objects or neutral practices rather than true inward heart conditions. We run around like a housemaid cleaning cobwebs instead of killing the spider. There is a real issue is someone is a “cutter” and getting tattoos to ease emotional and spiritual pain in their life…but tattoos aren’t the problem…they’re the expression. We must, with the help of the Holy Spirit, address real issues and speak into the lives of the hurting and broken…not chastise them because of their outward appearance.

I could picture Jesus saying something like this, if He had a Blog: “Which is the greater sin? Tattooing one’s own body to tell the story of one’s life, pain & beliefs –OR- Tattooing our brothers and sisters as sinners socially and cutting their flesh with our teeth as a result of our own religious practices? Isn’t the second one more similar to the passage in Leviticus?”


Apparently beer is great for babies...puts em right to more crying!


Cocaine, as we all know has many medicinal purposes. Unfortunately it's only available today through street pharmacists.


Makes me think twice about the toothpaste and gum they recommend...

Tower of Babel

I never understood Babel until I began to pastor. I looked down my nose at these fools from history who ignored God's command to go forth and replenish the earth. Who did they think they were? What could possibly be more important than going out and changing the world - assisting God with the redemption of the world...obeying God's Commission...

In Downtown San Diego, where I pastor an incredible church community alongside my best friend and co-pastor Karl, People are alone. We are one of the leading cities in the nation per-capita for singles. With our cultures' emphasis on Individualism (which has heavily infiltrated the American church in my opinion), people have become exceedingly lonely. Karl and I decided early on that one of the most important things we could do to further the Gospel in our city (and speak counter-culturally to both the world and the church), was to foster a strong sense of Community within our group. Our mode is one of continually building missional communities. Not only is Community One of our 3 Core Values, we speak about it often and practice it with every aspect of our lives. But all this would still be valueless without prayer and God's pull on people's hearts toward community and His helping them realize their need.

That being said, Anchor Gaslamp has grown in an incredible love towards one another. People who witness this from the outside are drawn to the group the moment they see us interact. God is at work in a beautiful way I could have never imagined! It has grown beyond our dreams! One of our groups that meets at the pub on Tuesday's is so incredibly involved with each other's lives, they disciple one another, meet frequently throughout the week 'just because,' and help each other with issues in life...

It's beginning to look like the church of Acts...well, beginning to...and it's beautiful

Therein lies the problem...I don't want to do anything to change that threaten it's upset the balance. I don't want to multiply that group into more communities, but I know we need to.

See, our Values are 1. Community.... 2. Communion (how we relate to God) and 3. Commission. Commission is moving beyond our walls, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, preaching the good news to the poor and rich and everyone that will hear. The context for this is Community and the idea is growing multiple Communities that they will continually multiply and grow. The hope is that people have such a strong sense of Mission (the commission) that they move beyond comfort zones in every area of their lives to reach out and love people as Christ would.

We've outgrown the pub...

It feels like the time's approaching to multiply. But the feeling of community is so strong...the relationships that have been formed are so beautiful...I don't want to change anything for fear we'll lose something.

I want to keep building that community like Babel of old...

I desire Community more than Commission...I am not progressing...I am not obeying the Commission...

I am the king of Babel

I repent...

(*Side Note... do you think this could be why some institutionalized churches battle so much confusion?)
"Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love." -MLK Jr.

I stumbled across this statistic from one of our major news networks. Notice this is not Iraqi Militia or Terrorists. Civilians.

Deaths in Mideast
(*Click the Picture to view the whole thing)

Total Deaths for Americans in Iraq (at highest estimates today) is 5,000.
Iraqi Civilians around a Half-Million

Here's an up-to-date counter of Total Iraqi National deaths:
Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

This brought to mind another Derek Webb Song:

My Enemies Are Men Like Me

I have come to give you life
And to show you how to live it

I have come to make things right
To heal their ears and show you how to forgive them

Because I would rather die

I would rather die

I would rather die
Than to take your life

How can I kill the ones I’m supposed to love
My enemies are men like me

I will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
My enemies are men like me

Peace by way of war
Is like purity by way of fornication

It’s like telling someone murder is wrong
And then showing them by way of execution

Because I would rather die

I would rather die
I would rather die
Than to take your life

How can I kill the ones I’m supposed to love

My enemies are men like me
I will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
My enemies are men like me

When justice is bought and sold just like weapons of war

The ones who always pay are the poorest of the poor

*Doesn't the Gospel compel us to do something about this? God help me, I'm becoming a "Pacifist!" (Although I despise that term). I Just see the reality of true power, present in non-violent resistance. I see it crossing bridges in the face of unjust laws. I see it on a cross, by a man led like a lamb to the slaughter. I see it in the way Christ continually presses toward my heart, lovingly and persistently, persuading me to embrace His love. To me that's not passive at's the most active form of power and love. But if you want a label for me a pacifist. -Vince

The Lyrics of the song "I Repent" by my favorite poet, prophet & songwriter Derek Webb

I Repent

I repent, I repent,
Of my pursuit of America’s dream.
I repent, I repent,
Of living like I deserve anything

Of my house, my fence,
My kids, my wife.
Of our suburb,
Where we’re safe and white

I am wrong and of these things I repent

I repent, I repent,
Of parading my high liberty.
I repent, I repent,
Of paying for what I get for free.

Of the way I believe,
that I’m living right.
By trading sins for others
That are easier to hide.

I am wrong and of these things I repent

And I repent, for judging by a law,
That even I can’t keep, no-o-o.
Of wearing righteousness like a disguise,
Of seeing through the plank In my own eyes.

I repent, I repent,
Of trading truth for false unity.
I repent, I repent,
Of confusing peace and idolatry.

For caring more of what they think,
Than what I know of what they need.
Of domesticating you,
to look just like me.

I am wrong and of these things I repent
(Click the picture to see the full version)
Wonder Bread
I know this is a rather long post, but the thoughts within have altered my path so much I had to share them. let me know what you think.

Imagine a scene: Pharisees Debating theology….a somewhat heated argument…all the sudden it’s over. “You too have interpreted the law,” the one says to the other. Because although they may disagree with each other’s interpretation, they respect the fact that, at least, each other HAS an interpretation. They think along these lines because they have a healthy view of a singular principle. “God has spoken; EVERYTHING ELSE is commentary.”

You see, in their world, they don’t take pride in their interpretations of the eternal word of G-d. They have too much respect for Him…so much respect they won’t even speak or write His name, for fear they may take it in vain. This is a healthy respect, passed down through generations of a people who had experienced a tangible God and lived to tell about it. There is a sense of awe of a God who could part mighty seas for His people, then swallow their enemies with the same waters that moments before had been their own salvation. They possessed a fear of a God who would do anything, no matter how reckless, to pursue His people and show them the error of their ways…even if that meant allowing their captivity, or sending famine and pain to push them back towards true life. Their understanding of this God could easily be summed up in one word: Wonder.

A while back I had a visit from a young man who was exploring the option of moving to our city. He was a young idealist that reminded me of myself when I was his age. Knowing my potential for questioning and arguing everything under the sun in those years, I wanted to see where he was at in his theological journey. After I interrogated him over several topics, he turned to me and said, “Even though theology is important, right now I’m focusing on getting back to the wonder of God. I just want to stand in awe of Him and be wowed!” Honestly, when I heard this, my first compulsion was to feel sorry for him. Then the more I thought about it, the more agitated I got. I was thinking things like, “He needs to be grounded in his belief before he goes off chasing lofty ideas like wonder. He’s going to get confused and become a Universalist or something” I honestly just didn’t understand him.

The following month, 3 components came together to humble me and show me that I was so wrong and he was more ahead in the game than I.

First, I was reading a book in which Tony Compolo said, “All theologies are in a sense heresies…” This is because a theology is simply a view or understanding of God. It’s taking an eternal, incomprehensible being and describing Him in limited terms. Even terms like omnipotent or omniscient fall very short of God-reality. We can’t fit Him into our human constructs. Although we have valiant attempts, our finite minds just can’t comprehend an infinite God. Though some theologies may be more true or accurate than others, they all pale in comparison to the reality of God. Compolo went on to say, “the only true theology is wonder.”

Next, Brennan Manning’s masterpiece, “Ragamuffin Gospel” talks about our loss of wonder. He points out that a hundred years ago men still ran for cover and shivered with fear at nature’s fury manifest in thunder and lightening. But we have lost our sense of awe in creation. With science, we have broken down lightning to the chemical level and laugh at the notion that thunder could be God expressing his anger. The mysteries of the ancient world are now sentences in textbooks, and words have stripped them of their splendor. Knowledge is opposed to Wonder.

Finally, in “Confessions,” Augustine asks God where his soul was before he was conceived. He wonders if he was alive somewhere in heaven, or if he even existed. After asking this question (and discussing other people who ask similar questions) he says, “Let them…be glad to ask: but they may content themselves with the question alone. For it is better for them to find you and leave the question unanswered than to find the answer without finding you.” There are so many people who search for answers. What happens when they find them? What happens when they don’t? Does it lead them closer to God?

Proverbs 9:10 - "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."

Fear here is also interpreted Awe or Wonder

It’s the Beginning of Wisdom. In other words, the basis of wisdom/ theology is wonder. We mentioned that all theologies fall short of God-reality, but that doesn’t mean we throw out theology… It means we bathe it in wonder of a God of grace and His miraculous love, having all experienced His love first-hand.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: AND the knowledge of the holy is understanding. We still have a natural, God-given desire to understand God more! This is central to our development as Spiritual beings. God has revealed Himself more and more to us through the ages. I'll wager you understand more about God now than you did 10 years ago

I think I’m finally beginning to really grasp this concept for the first time! What does it matter if I’m more correct than all the rest of the world, and in all my knowledge about God, I’ve lost Him. What does it matter if I have the most established view on theology, but that view is a list of beliefs floating around in my head somewhere, never becoming action…never accomplishing what it was meant to accomplish – Life more abundantly! What if my Orthodoxy never leads to Orthopraxy – Beliefs never turn into Action! Sadly, that sums up a greater part of my life, growing up in church.

Our beliefs about God should produce delicious fruit in our lives. The more we see of God, the more we should grow. In the light of His glory, all our excuses should be confronted; all our poorly constructed choices and actions should change. In the power of his presence, the idols of our hearts should be toppled from their thrones. When we begin understand His goodness and His power, how can we continue to worship at the altar of fear and anxiety? When we begin to see how much He loves us, that true happiness only comes from God, and the fact that all resources are at his disposal, how can we still make materialistic decisions, hoping to find lasting joy by fulfilling our own desires? Doesn’t the truth of Who God Is confront the lies we believe that drive us to selfish pursuits time and again? As we walk in His light, the things that hid in the darkness of our hearts are exposed for us to deal with….it’s a life-long process

One day, finally, we will see Him as He truly is. In that day, when every knee bows and tongue confesses, all our lies, excuses and false gods will ultimately be melted away because of the confrontation of the revelation of God and the truth of who he is. In that moment we cant help but fall on our knees and acknowledge that He is God.

Until that day, we grow in wisdom, which has not only it’s roots in wonder, but entire life-source & environment.
I've known this song for quite a while, but never really "listened" to it.

The other night I was driving back home in the rain, hoping Nancy had made it home safely with the kids (she didn't have her cell). I was thinking about what life would be like without them: their ghosts that I would see in all the places we frequented, their laughter that lights up my life - silenced...I couldn't imagine it.

This is what came to mind as I drove the long drive home alone late at night in the rain.

Then this song began to play... listen to it as you read the words below.

And now the purple dusk of twilight time

Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb

Always reminding me that were apart

You wander down the lane and far away

Leaving me a song that will not die

Love is now the stardust of yesterday

The music of the years gone by

Sometimes I wonder why I spend

The lonely nights dreaming of a song.

The melody haunts my reverie

And I am once again with you.

When our love was new,
And each kiss an inspiration.

But that was long ago, and now my consolation

Is in the stardust of a song.

Beside the garden wall,
When stars are bright

You are in my arms

The nightingale tells his fairy tale

Of paradise where roses grew.
Though I dream in vain, in my heart you will remain

My stardust melody
The memory of loves refrain.

...The moment was haunted. I tried to imagine what the man who wrote it looked like. Was he a middle-aged musician, sitting at a piano, smoking a cigarette in a bar somewhere late at night... one glass of scotch closer to numbing the pain of his loss? What was the pain he was feeling? How many people have felt that same aching feeling? I imagined him taking a pen out of his pocket and scribbling those words on a napkin...

Anyway, the guy was talented. It's amazing how life's most devastating moments spawn its most inspirational and eloquent works of art. I don't think there exists a more nostalgic, beautifully put together song about loss. Your thoughts?
My Grandmother died today at 9:33am.

I loved her. The woman with a purse full of candy, and a glittery sweater. The woman who had lived tough life before I knew her. The woman I never fully understood.

I'll try now.

She was loving and quick-tempered, stubborn and merciful, wounded and blessed.

Her mother deserted her and her siblings when they were young, leaving my grandmother (age 12) to take care of them in the absence of my great-grandfather, the revivalist. The wounds cut deep and left bulging scar tissue on her soul. I think the pain closed in on her heart. With what capacity she had left, she loved as best she could.

It's painful to think about how my great-grandmother's decision to run away from her neglectful husband and sickly children affects me today. Pain, in the form of reactions to life that have been learned from parental modeling and passed down through my lineage, shapes my thinking-actions-habits to a large extent. I could give examples, but you are intelligent enough to understand what I mean. We all have our ways.

This is the fall. This is the casting out of Adam. This is the butterfly affect by which one man's sin made many sinners. This is the hell we have on earth now. One poor decision scars all involved and multiplies in it's affect. The affects are variables in themselves that multiply. They are a cancer of selfishness; They are mother parasites laying millions of eggs per day that, in turn, all become mother parasites who lay millions more.

The effects of that first selfish decision cast all of us away from the paradise we long for.

They have destroyed my predecessors. They have scarred my existence. They will wound my children and take their lives, just as all life has been taken.

Paradise is a distant memory in the fabric of our soul.

The following poem encapsulates the lament of humanity:

Adam Cast Forth

Was there a Garden or was the Garden a dream?
Amid the fleeting light, I have slowed myself and queried,
Almost for consolation, if the bygone period
Over which this Adam, wretched now, once reigned supreme,

Might not have been just a magical illusion
Of that God I dreamed. Already it's imprecise
In my memory, the clear Paradise,
But I know it exists, in flower and profusion,

Although not for me. My punishment for life
Is the stubborn earth with the incestuous strife
Of Cains and Abels and their brood; I await no pardon.

Yet, it's much to have loved, to have known true joy,
To have had -- if only for just one day --
The experience of touching the living Garden.

-Jorge Luis Borges

Time and effort would fail me to talk about our hope.
God's Kingdom. "The Anti-Curse..
...Death flowing in reverse" (1).
But there is hope if you look.
There is life if you find.
All you need do is die.

* (1) From The Very End by Derek Webb
Tell Me Something
OK, WARNING: This might get offensive.
I'm not trying to curse, offend, or hurt anyone's feelings here. If the whole point of this thing is speaking your mind (a scary concept) I gotta stick to the point.

We have a LIST by which ratings are given to movies, records, and games & labels are given to human beings. It's a list of cultural vocabulary that is frowned upon. Sailor language. Bad Words. Cursing.

My son picked up one of these from school the other day. We were driving in the car and he said, "Dad." "What?" I asked. "Fu-cker" he said in a high-pitched voice...then he laughed. I gently explained that if I heard him say that word again, he would regret it. Still, it made me think.

If you break down the etymology of the words on this list and their definitions, you'll see we often say their equivalents in our everyday speech. I'm not just talking about "by-words" either. I mean, is 'poop' a by-word?...How about 'number two?' But God forbid someone should say 'shit.'

Let's break down this 'shit' shall we? Isn't it a derivative of the Olde English/ Scottish word "shite," that commoners used to refer to fecal matter? Wasn't it during the Victorian Era that this word was demonized due to its "repulsive, vulgar" nature. Well Victoria is dead, and I don't wear a white wig. We say crap, poop, dookie, doo-doo, and all manner of names to refer to the same's even cute if Kids say them, but if I say "shit"...(Fill in your own conclusion)

Of course there are both tamer & wilder words on the list. Some are more offensive to certain people or in certain areas of the English speaking world. It's funny how I can say "Bloody" or "Bugger" here in San Diego, & most people could care less, but I would be highly offensive in a pulpit in London. Of course we have our own colloquialisms here as well.

Some are quite easy to deal with.

Ass = Arse = Butt = Rear-End/ Tushy = Glutious Maximous

Some are not.

Fuck = Screw = Have Sexual Intercourse (of some variety)

I know it's vulgar! I understand it's something that should never be on the lips of my 5 year old boy. I'm guessing he has no idea what it means...but does it even mean that any more? Hasn't it grown into just another expletive that people exclaim when being shocked or surprised, being angry or comical, trying to shock or surprise someone else?

It's funny to me that my devout Christian family grew up saying "Foot!" However, if someone would have said 'fuck' the picnic would be over due to thunderstorms in the area...know what I mean?

I'm not advocating for making curse words mainstream...or even saying they're ok. It seems like every culture has their variations of "bad words." I'm just questioning why we make a list in the 1st place.

Why? If it's the principle of the idea behind the words, the list should grow exponentially (we say words with the same meaning all the time)! If it's because of Vulgarity, the list should grow even larger (how about penis, fart, toe jam, fungus, boobies)! If the reason for the list is because, in some way or another, all these words are actually used to 'curse' someone, then the list would become gi-normous (we say idiot, moron, dork, nerd, stupid, hook you, screw you, jerk-off, get a job...etc. all the time... or at least a lot of preachers I know do)!

So, let's make a Talmud-like list (exhaustive in nature) of every word that offends, represents "lower" functions, or curses, then live according to that law as a society, culture, or Christian Bubble. Would this solve our problems? Would this insulate our young children from the evils of profanity? Would this isolate them further from the evil world outside the bubble? Or is the evil inside the bubble as well?...because we are in the bubble?...because we have evil in our nature and hearts, and if cursing was outlawed altogether we would come up with new slang to laugh at, new names to call each other & new words to shout in moments of surprise and horror?

See, to me (in principle) this is the same thing I see the early Christians struggling with...the thing Paul keeps combating in his letters. The sin drove them to a law, but the law was never meant to fix the problem of sin...only to shine a light on it (in my experience the law generally serves to entice it even more). So we, like the pendulum we invented (because it's motion mirrors our own), swing back and forth between legalism and lawlessness, and end up squandering the very thing Christ came to die for. "...that you might have life...more abundantly..."

I want to live by the law of Christ...the law of love...grace...learning to walk after the cause THAT....That's the shit!
I love to write. I'm just used to it being private.

A friend and I were talking recently about this phenomenon called blogging, and about how we used to write things in journals, meditate on them, and then express our feelings publicly through conversation.

"...I guess this means we seemed wiser...we only expressed the thoughts that mattered most and they were generally well thought know, the whole thing from Ecclesiastes, about a fool's voice being known by a multitude of words..." he said.

I agreed. "Being Succinct is a value our generation holds high, but some of these really popular blogs are so long...if I spoke as long as some of these guys write, people would get so annoyed, i would think."

He Agreed.

There went my ego.

I've resisted the urge to blog up until now has mostly been Bible studies, and sermons, and news about our church.

So here I go...I'll give it a try. Maybe my ramblings and private thoughts will connect with someone and give them hope...maybe not. Maybe people will think I'm a genius....probably not. Maybe I'll be a popular blogger in a way in hell.

Let's just do it.