Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

>Love Wins

March 18, 2011

>I don’t generally follow super pastors that lead mega-churches in part because I don’t think one person influencing that many people who often blindly follow is a good model.

I think a better model is one person leading a few. Sort of like Jesus did.

Anyway, Rob Bell is the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, a church that attracts 10,000 worshipers a week.

So when I hear that Southern Baptist pastors and others are calling Bell a heretic I think he must be saying something right.

Bell has a new book, Love Wins, that explores heaven and hell and God.

He explains the book here.

That’s the promo video, the cleaned up version.

Here he is explaining the book to his own flock.

It’s uplifting that Christians are finally beginning to understand that God and Christianity are about love. That might be hard to see when one considers that Crusades and slavery and James Dobson and such, but it becomes a very simple story.

And if God is really about love, then how can he send so many of the people that he created to everlasting hell and damnation?

So I don’t really believe in hell, and here is a writer and pastor that might have released a book that backs up my beliefs. I haven’t really made up my mind about heaven, but I can tell you that from my (sketchy) theological training that my understanding of biblical hell and heaven has more to do with suffering and poverty versus fulfillment in the current life than some mysterious afterlife. I think Bell explores this a bit in the book, as well.

I am going to purchase the Kindle version (I have Kindle on my laptop, not the hand held version). I’ll let you know what I think.

>For When I Feel Hated

October 17, 2010

>It’s the evening before Sunday, the day that many chose for worship. Or, as some believe, that God chose for worship.

Regardless of what you believe, you may sometimes call out to God, or the power above. You may feel hated. Here is a prayer for those who feel hated. I got this from my friend Michael at The Wild Reed.

A Prayer When I Feel Hated
By James Martin, S.J.

Loving God, you made me who I am. I praise you and I love you, for I am wonderfully made, in your own image.

But when people make fun of me, I feel hurt and embarrassed and even ashamed. So please God, help me remember my own goodness, which lies in you.

Help me remember my dignity, which you gave me when I was conceived. Help me remember that I can live a life of love. Because you created my heart.

Be with me when people make fun of me, and help me to respond how you would want me to, in a love that respects other, but also respects me. Help me find friends who love me for who I am. Help me, most of all, to be a loving person.

And God, help me remember that Jesus loves me. For he was seen as an outcast, too. He was misunderstood, too. He was beaten and spat upon. Jesus understands me, and loves me with a special love, because of the way you made me. And when I am feeling lonely, help me to remember that Jesus welcomed everyone as a friend. Jesus reminded everyone that God loved them. And Jesus encouraged everyone to embrace their dignity, even when others were blind to that dignity. Jesus loved everyone with the love that you gave him. And he loves me, too.

One more thing, God: Help me remember that nothing is impossible with you, that you have a way of making things better, that you can find a way of love for me, even if I can’t see it right now. Help me remember all these things in the heart you created, loving God.


Lots of young people feel hated for one reason or another. This prayer can be a reminder. Read some of the other recent posts on this blog if you need further encouragement.

Oh, and for the next two weeks the survey to the left will be available for readers to complete. Let me know a bit about you (anonymously) and what you want out of this blog. Now I don’t know that the blog will change as a result, but you never know!


June 8, 2009

>Billy Elliot won 10 Tony Awards last night including Best Musical but Hair won Best Revival of a Musical. We have tickets to see it when we go to New York.

Did anyone see the original Broadway production in 1968 (it ran for 4 years)? Remember this poster (and album cover)? Hair did not win a Tony back then, although it was nominated. (Hair premiered on Broadway in 1968, but too late to be nominated that year, so it was nominated in 1969, meaning this year’s award comes 40 years late).

During my early attempts at art I copied the poster in watercolor. I don’t still have it. Wish I did.

I also recall seeing the touring production at Boutwell Auditorium. Does anyone else remember it coming here. I know there was some controversy, but I don’t remember the details. After all, I was just a teenage hippie wanna-be wanting to see some anti-establishment, anti-war, free love kind of theater that featured nudity and an integrated cast. And I remember I wasn’t disappointed.

But I’m sure it had to do with the obscenity, the nudity or the desecration of the flag. There was a statement to be made back then.

And there’s a statement to be made today, too. I guess that’s why the current production is so successful.

Producer Oskar Eustis made a statement as he accepted the award last night.

“Peace now, freedom now, and [indicating his ring finger] equality NOW. Justice forever!” (Thanks to JoeMyGod for the pic and quote).

Here’s the cast of the Broadway revival on David Letterman. I don’t think I will be disappointed this time either.

>Net Loss – 60

May 29, 2009

>The Episcopal Church has ousted 61 priests that severed their ties and aligned with the Anglican archdiocese of Argentina over gay issues.

Jerry Lamb, the new Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin, called the decision to oust the clergy “heartbreaking.”

“But, the fact is, they chose to abandon their relationship with the Episcopal Church,” he said.

That is offset a little bit by the gain of Father Cutie (appropriately named, but pronounced KOO’-tee-ay), the priest that jumped ship from the Catholics after being photographed frolicking on the beach with a female cutie, and became an Episcopal priest (he must complete a little more training).

AP Photo

“I believe that I’ve fallen in love and I believe that I’ve struggled with that, between my love for God, and my love for the Church and my love for service,” Cutie said.

And from another source:

He quoted from the book of Psalms and said, “More than ever, I’m assured that God is love.”
He continued, “I have searched my soul and sought God’s guidance for a long time.”

I wonder if he believes that since “God is love” that all love comes from God?

>Happy Memorial Day

May 25, 2009

>As Memorial Day approaches, think about what our men and women have died for. Isn’t it for the rights and liberties that we all enjoy?

Well, most of us.

13 Love Stories tells the stories of 13 gay or lesbian couples who have not been able to enjoy the same rights as others in our country.

Here are Travis and Greg.

There are other stories, too. Watch Leona and Grace

OK, one more. I can’t put all 13 on here, but you can watch them from the link.

Cas and Ricky.

From the website of the California Supreme Court:

The California Supreme Court has announced that it will issue an opinion in three cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (Strauss v. Horton, S168047; Tyler v. State of California, S168066; City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078.) Tuesday at 10 a.m., the opinion will be available on the California Courts Web site at this link: .

So expect a comment about that on Tuesday, around noon our time. In the meantime, have a great Memorial Day and let’s remember what our guys and girls in uniform have died for.

And here’s Jason Mraz and the 13 Idol contestants, “I’m Yours.”

>Art, Love and Torture

April 24, 2009

>See some pictures of an interesting rose and more at Bessemer Science and Nature.

Lots to choose from for lovers of art this weekend. Today through Sunday is the Magic City Art Connection at Linn Park in Birmingham. In Bessemer, on Saturday, is Art at the Tracks at the Hall of History, from 9:30 to 4:00.

At Linn Park yesterday I was helping someone to set up, and we were near this guy building this. I didn’t get his name, but he says there is no plan to building this. He just does it.

Near the fountain is the art of Paul Cordes Wilm. Paul is a twin (the second), plays softball and likes abandoned houses and rivers. This is a series of his artwork. You can buy it. It follows the theme that I have been following. Love is love and is real and is significant regardless of who it is between and regardless of what detractors of love say. Thanks, Paul.

You might remember this cover from Black and White (February) that Paul did.

Jonathan Mann is writing a song a day. For this one, he took the lyrics directly from the “torture memos,” the legal justification for torture that the Bush administration used and for which no one has yet to be prosecuted. Thanks, Homer (and Jonathan).