Today we celebrate the cross. The highest form of sacrifice. Christ died on the cross to free us from all our sins.
That is certainly what we are told. For some of you it is what makes up the cross, and that’s a good thing.
That is not all that, the Cross and Good Friday this for me.
The God I knew the first 30 years of my earthly life, was an angry, angry with that blockade and disapproving finished God. I could never achieve what he wanted and rushed to her short of what would be enough to in order to satisfy him.
Then I came to Christ. Some call it born again I got to know him personally.
What I in the following 13 years of my life happened, is simply amazing.
The God that I met LOVES me. You may have heard this time, but we know what HE LOVES ME is really called? We live day in and day out, this truth did Plural? Most believers I know do not.
Most believers think deep in the back of their mind that God is still angry. You should wear a mask in order to make God happy. They live a perfect Christian life … No movies that are not allowed in our age, no soft porn, no swearing, no trips to Las Vegas, no Halloween, do not drink too much, determined to inhale anything and God has forbidden all other that would show that we are not totally and completely according to his word. (For the books. This is not my list, even if you do these things, God loves you … still think of the story of the prodigal son.)
For me, the cross, the veil is torn. I am no longer separated from God. He is my best friend, my dad. I have full and complete access to my dad. It is similar to one for all existing ticket to the back of the stage, where the party is going with a really good content.
Let me give an example. Bob and I are business partners. I am the more emotional in our relationship. Bob is the rock.
Sometimes I am pissed off and frustrated. Bob knows my heart. He knows my hopes, my dreams and he was with me through thick and thin.
Sometimes I need a valve. And Bob lets me. I sometimes weaker, curse, throw manure … He knows that I finally ready to let my steam and we can talk about it. He lets me get rid of my soul, my frustrations and fears.
When Bob (and others in my life, including my wife and my children) I can take off my mask. If things are unpleasant, and I accordingly feel I can leave the ‘get out, without fear of a raised index finger must.
I’m sure some of you are itching in the fingers to write a comment that I would be angry as an adult not a Christian, to use a harsh language, or should have emotional outbursts. You the one, larger caliber ‘of someone expect who is on a site. Let me clarify a ‘CBD (Christian Business Daily) This is not about to have only right to be properly or fully. It is NOT about per-fection and certainly not a place for reminders.
The cross is about realism and about to take off the mask.
That’s what happened on the cross. Jesus allowed us to put our mask forever. We no longer need to look smooth and perfect. A make, fuss’ about our place in God, how much are we give, or what a perfect Christian life we live.
On the cross God is our best friend. He takes away the veil. The sacred space is now open to everyone. Including those that fester, will lose their patience advised frust-Ren, drink too much, too much to inhale, driving too fast, have in their heart desires … all that.
When I go out with my friends, I am not always shaved perfectly, my clothes is not always perfect, maybe I even forgot to brush my teeth and I have a hat on, so you do not see my uncombed hair.
And Imagine: I do not care. You take me as I am in the process where I am and they love me … without reservations. My dad accepted me so also.
A loving father allows his children to speak freely and to explore their feelings in a safe Ren, safe manner. He does his best to guide them, but allows you to make mistakes, to learn and grow.
That is what the cross means to me. Maybe it does not this just for you and that’s a good thing. Because this is a safe place to discover these feelings in a non-judgmental way.
It’s about the relationship with our father. And every relationship is very personal and can not be copied.
Hey, it’s been a while, Bob and I have been going through some stuff. This post is raw, and if you are offended by swearing or the thought of being angry at God scares you, do not read this post. Okay, you’ve been warned….
I will admit, the past few months have flat out sucked. It seems everything I do is a push up the hill.
You might be thinking with all my struggles that I missed God’s voice. That I’m going against his wishes. Thus the hardness of the struggle.
Here’s the funny thing, in the struggle I know it’s the direction he wants me pointed.
At the first part of the struggle my heart was filled with joy and hope. That quickly turned to sorrow, pain, misery, self-doubt and distrust of God. I pushed him away. I have felt like he’s led me down a path that is a retread of past struggles.
Why God do you take me down the seemingly same paths? Have I not learned these lessons already?
Then off in the distance I hear a voice. Do I see a man in the distance? Beckoning me to come closer? To keep going down the worn path?
I continue down this path and it comes to a bend in the path. The path before me continues up the hill, it is rocky but well worn. It looks like the way. But off to the left, I see the remnants of a path. It seems to go into a thicket with poison ivy and scrub.
I stand for what seems like a long time. Others pass by me on the path taking the rocky road up the hill, asking if I’m okay and encouraging me to continue on the way.
But there I stand. Listening…
Then I hear that call again. It comes from the unlikely path. I look around, no one else is there, it is just me and I hear the voice again.
“Come down the road less traveled.”
Others pass by.
The voice comes again.
I take the first steps, afraid of what will happen to me with the poison ivy, the brush and the thicket.
I move forward.
The path is hard to see and follow. Every few feet, I have to stop and listen for the voice. At times it seems like an eternity before the voice calls out and shows me the way. If only for a few feet.
Then I stop again… Each time listening for the voice. Sometimes seeing the man, waving me along the way.
When I stop and rest for the night, it seems like it’s the place to be. Then again up in the morning to go again.
Surely this path will lead to paradise, but it seems to lead me no where. At times I get angry at the voice and the man.
“Why doesn’t he just show me the way? Why do I have to keep struggling day after day, night after night. Just when things seem to get better, they seem to get worse. Am I hearing him correctly? Did I miss a turn in the ‘path’?”
My heart grows cold, cynical. I tempt myself by saying “There is no voice”. At times, I’ll go off the unmarked path only to find myself lost, or worse yet, on the rocky road up the hill.
I try the rocky road for a while. At first there seems to be success, but it is tiring. Then the voice whispers again.. ‘come this way’. A new hidden path shows up and off I go again.
This happens time and time again and it never seems to get better.
I feel like I’m in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’, where the same thing plays over and over again and again.
Now my family is with me… they get frustrated with me. Am I hearing the voice correctly? Maybe, I should just get off the ‘path’.
Isn’t there a better path with benefits just over the other hill?
I still my heart and the voice says one simple word to me… “love”.
Along the path, others appear from nowhere. Some are cynical, others are dejected and beaten. Most just look at you, nod and join you on the path. We all hear the voice. We have those who love us who tell us we are crazy, but we stay on the journey.
When night comes and there is no food, no water, no shelter and no fire, we huddle together. Some laughing, some cursing… yet we all laugh and chuckle.
The journey continues. Some fall out, but most stay. Some are called off a path in a different direction and they go off to success, while the rest of us seem to struggle. Envy sets in.. our condition seems to get worse, but the voice is still there calling us forward.
Is this the life? What about our hopes, dreams and the deep faith. Surely God will reward us for our undying faith. Surely we won’t struggle forever in this condition. Certainly there will be a simple house, with a warm fire and food in the cupboard.
But the journey never seems to end, the voice never stops calling us forward and the conditions never seem to get better.
This is the life for many Christian Entrepreneurs.
You reach a point after 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, where you realize your dreams may never come true. Your hopes and dreams may be on the garbage heap of life. And you are not cool with that thought.
Your heart gets hard, you curse God. You tell him to fuck off and go to hell. Vearing off the path, only to come back to the path and group more humbled, more in love and laughing at your situation more and more.
This is the journey folks.
I don’t know if your entrepreneur journey will be better or worse. I just know it’s a journey and that the money in your bank account, the kind of car you drive doesn’t mean you didn’t hear God.
Maybe the path you are on is for the next generation. Maybe it’s for your children, for the lessons they’ll learn from watching you.
Maybe it’s for nobody but you and your relationship with God.
That after years of hurt, pain, suffering, misguided steps, that you will try and love again.
My heart breaks for America. We seem to have lost the ability to hear the other side of an argument. We are so concerned with being right in our country that we have lost sight of the fact we might be wrong. Or that the other person might have a valid point.
Christians are some of the worst offenders. We are so determined to be ‘right’ in the name of Jesus, that we forget there is another human being on the receiving end of our position.
We protest abortion clinics but don’t love the woman who is hurting inside. We think out politician is right and the others are from the devil. That God must prevail because we are right and the other side are sinners. God will show them…
Give me a break.
Would a loving father really choose sides between two sons? Let’s say you are the father of Obama and Huckabee. Your sons are both running for President of the United States. Do you really think you as a father would choose sides? Sheesh, they are both your sons. Only a mean spirited, judgmental, wrathful father would choose sides.
A loving father would love them both and give them both wise counsel.
Paul writes that “He is bankrupt without love…. it never forces itself on others, Isn’t always ‘me first,… doesn’t revel when others grovel.”
Why then do we are Christians take inside pleasure when others who oppose our positions lose. Secretly we cheer when abortion takes another hit towards being illegal or same sex marriage gets shot down in California.
Christians should be leading the charge to love and not hurt. We shouldn’t be pushing a message of “I’m right and your are wrong.” We should be crossing the street to put an arm around the woman who just had an abortion. We should go knock on the door of a gay neighbor and invite em over for dinner. (And NOT invite them to church or draw out the four spiritual laws.)
We need to stop sharing that God is pouring out his wrath on America because we moved away from the Gold standard in 1930 and now have fiat money. How in the heck does that help push forward the teaching of Jesus?
People, if we don’t love unconditionally, who will?
This has been hammered home over the past two weeks for me watching the events in Wisconsin unfold. I come from a Union family. My family is highly politically active, specifically in the Democratic party. Born in the suburbs of Chicago, my father did legal work for the unions. My uncle was a Chicago Cop. My brother is a union plumber and my sister works as a professor in the University of Wisconsin system.
For the record, I don’t believe in unions. I think they served a purpose 75 years ago, but now they are causing America to slip. That is my opinion based on my reading, research, etc. Personally, I think what Gov. Walker is doing in Wisconsin is heroic. He is standing up to a bully, the unions. I watch the events daily in Wisconsin and secretly want Gov Walker to ‘give it to the unions and break em.’
However, on the flip side, my sister is in a tremendous amount of pain. She is going to experience a 30% reduction in her pay and compensation. What she has worked for her entire life, to be a college professor with tenure is being taken away. My heart breaks for my sister. I understand why she is in so much pain and so vocal on the subject. Can you see my conundrum?
If I am a judgmental Christian, I would take an approach that my God is going to vindicate me! “If God is for us, who can be against us” mentality. Folks this is a win/lose/ruin a relationship approach.
My sister and I have had a few harsh words on this subject. Shoving article on each other to prove our individual points. Joined upon by my other sister and one brother in defense of the unions. In the end, instead of fanning the flames, I’ve decided that love is stronger than proving I’m right. That “caring for others, more than self” won’t win me any accolades on TV, it won’t make my readership increase nor will it get me invited to the latest Christian conference as a speaker.
My approach now? Well, I still want to prove my point, but not in a forceful way. Not by imposing my will upon my sister. I’ve decided that to love her unconditionally in her pain, that is very real and difficult to understand. For I am not in her shoes. She has a right in America to speak her position, post articles supporting her point, to protest and be upset.
I, as a follower of Jesus (no longer saying I’m a Christian) have free will to choose to love her unconditionally. To not keep score, cheer when others grovel and never giving up.