Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Poem - Love is the Reason - by Jeremy Kerr

love

is the reason

to live

and exist

to be loved

and give love

and learn how

to see it

not romance

nor lust

nor want

or illusion

Love is

the anwser

unseen

'til you see it

Sucker Punch

Long ago, I remember feeling horrible grief after my girlfriend and I broke up. I sat down next to a beautiful lake and put my feet in the sand. It was as if I had been sucker punched and I barely had air to breath. As I sat there contemplating how awful my life was, I noticed a few birds flying in the distance. The thought that came to my head was, “Those birds have absolutely no idea the pain I’m feeling. And they’ll never know.” Truth be told, there was no one at the time that felt or knew the pain I was going through. Not a single person in the entire planet. The world was going to go on whether I felt grief or not.

I remember another time driving up to Canada from the center of California all by myself. As I drove up the lonely interstate (I-5), I realized that I didn’t know any person at all on the entire drive up. There were thousands and thousands of cars passing me by in a flash and not one familiar face. For some reason – it randomly occurred to me that there might never be a person in China, or India, that would ever know that I existed. Like I said, random. Those countries have more than two billion people living in them. Two billion people on the planet at the same time as me – never knowing me at all – and I would never know them.

Two billion... Well, actually – to be more accurate - what about the entire population of the planet? Six billion people (and counting...) So many unknown people. I might know a few thousand people in my lifetime, if I tried my hardest. Maybe. But I could never claim that they would know me – or I would really know them. There are probably a few thousand people that know I exist, probably less than a hundred people that know me, and less than ten people that really know me. But only one person on the planet knows everything about me.

I think these would be incredibly scary thoughts for someone who doesn’t know about Jesus. Jesus (God the father – in flesh) really does know everyone on the planet. He is infinite, so no amount of people could ever surpass His personal connection to every person on earth – throughout all of history.

And His nature is love. Perfect unconditional love. Jesus is the actual walking definition of love. And He’s a love that wasn’t just words – He showed His love with His life. And His revealing nature has been witnessed throughout history. He is good – He is trustworthy, and His life gives our lives purpose. And He says something that no one on the planet can truthfully mean:

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5)

He can only mean that because He is God. God will never leave us because God is true love.

He's the one that really knows everything about me. He's the only person on the planet that sees me as I am and still accepts me. And seeing the good, bad, and ugly - He never leaves.

This is definitely good news. Especially on days when I notice birds flying in the distance – like today.

Have a great day!

Jer

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Perfection Problem

The problem (at least for me) with writing is the editing process. Editing makes me want to pull out my hair, punch myself, and strangle something. And those are the good days.

The quickness of blogging is a huge leap out of my comfort zone. When I write things that are not blogs - I can literally spend hours of writing, rewriting, and rewriting the rewriting – again and again and again. Sometimes I will rewrite the rewrite over a period of days. And sometimes it’s just one paragraph. And even after that – after all that work – there’s the delete button. Truthfully, the way I just pictured it actually sounds simple compared to what actually happens. It’s more like this (kind of): write – read – read again – fix – read – rewrite – read – read previous paragraph – read again – write – reread (3 times) – fix – cut – read again – write, ect. – over and over and over. Ugh.

The discipline of blogging just makes me put what I’ve written out there – with little or no editing. (That’s not totally true – I’ve already reread and editing this piece at least 20 times.) I think – in some sense – this is why I need to blog. Writing and editing can be maddening.

I have to admit that on one level, though, I really like to write. It’s like putting together a puzzle – trying to find the right pieces to create a good picture. And when that picture is good – there’s a great sense of accomplishment. (The funny thing is that the accomplishment isn’t that there’s a good picture, but that I’ve finished with whatever I’ve been working on – and can move onto the next idea.)

For me, the process of editing is like finding out that most of your puzzle pieces don’t fit correctly – and your picture is really quite wrong – and ugly. Or at least incomplete. Quite infuriating! (And that’s just me editing myself – not handing it over to other people to just start that whole process over again – with someone else’s point of view. Grrr…)

Blogging makes me say – “Oh well…”

I think a lot of my blogs will seem quite ugly – and even wrong. But I’m gonna put them out there anyway. And I’m gonna say – “Oh well.” May this rid me of worrying too much about perfection…

Have a great day.

Jer

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Church

I think that in our culture, there’s a lot of confusion with the word church. There’s a big difference between what the meaning of church was in the scriptures verses what we think of church in America. I’m not sure if this will help out on all the clutter out there – but I’m gonna give it my best attempt. Hope it helps… 

==============

The word church, in our culture, usually refers to an actual place. Church is a building where people meet on Sundays – and sometimes on Wednesday nights. A few of these churches have meetings most days of the week – and some never have a day off. To some, church is the sacred ground that is found within the “church’s” property lines. It is an actual place.

The roots of this understanding go back throughout history. Long ago, church locations were the center of town – a compass for all who lived within the town’s borders. Some ancient cathedrals were so giant and impressive that they were impossible to miss from any location for miles around. Today, many of these churches are monuments to the past and are virtually empty of life.
American church’s were toned down from the ancient cathedrals, but were still buildings at an actual place. The architecture was a lot less impressive and less ornate. The church became a simple building with a cross near the entrance. But it was not much different from the ancient cathedrals in that it was an actual location. This is a “less than good” definition of church.

Church. A place. A location.

Some use the word church when talking about their church’s CEO – the pastor (or leadership team). One might say, “I go to Pastor so and so’s church.” There are giant churches – small churches – leagues of churches – denominations – and so forth, and most are lead by a pastor and a leadership team of sorts (elders, deacons, committees, etc.). Many of these congregations (groups of people meeting for a singular cause) end up following the direction of their pastor. The pastor’s heart becomes the heart of the congregation. The pastor’s doctrine becomes the doctrine of the local gathering.

To some, the definition of church becomes a reflection of the shepherd. The identity of the church is so reflective of the leader that the church is actually defined by that leader. This, of course, elevates that leader to a place “higher” than that of the general congregation (at least, in the minds of some). The idea of church is connected to an individual’s (or a small group’s) personality. And this leads to confusion as to the word church.

Church. A personality. A leader.

Still, others use the word church to describe a particular belief – or doctrine (set of beliefs). A person might say, “our church believes A + B = C”, and if someone disagrees – or has a different point of view, that person falls outside of the lines of the church. In order to belong to the church – one must have “right” beliefs. The lines that are drawn are not property lines, but lines of “correct” thinking. This creates a very “us and them” mentality. To some, the lost are seen as lesser than those who “believe.” There is often a superiority – an almost arrogance – to those who hold onto this kind of thinking about the church. It also creates fear. Another “less than good” picture of God’s Church.

Church. Correct doctrine. Right belief.

So – what is the church?

The definition of the church within the scriptures is a follower of Christ. It’s a person who trusts God’s identity about themselves over their ideas that that they have about their own identity. The church is people – those whom Christ died for. The church is every man and woman who puts their trust in Jesus. Some might even go as far as saying all of humanity – including those who don’t believe yet.
The church is the bride of Christ: a beautiful picture of God’s marriage to humanity.
The Church is not a location. It is not a particular time – or day of the week. It is not a particular personality (in regards to humanity). It is not doctrine.

Buildings are dead.

Doctrines are not life giving.

And, pastor’s are only simple guides that hopefully lead people to Jesus – the life giver.

But these are not the church…

People are the church. You and I are the church – wherever and whenever we are.

So, next time you say, “Church is boring.” Or “I hate the Church…”

Remember that what you’re really saying is: “I’m boring.” And, “I hate myself.”

Have a great day!
Jer

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Poem - Love Arises - by Jeremy Kerr (me)

Freshly bitten

Darkness hidden

Made of light

Hidden tight

Held together

Life to sever

Indifference shrieks

Love Arises

Run away

Can’t obey

Puppet strings

Hidden themes

Warm embrace

Violent face

Indifference strains

Love Arises

Calm the storm

Must perform

Move the stone

Pheromone

Perfume anointed

Finger pointed

Indifference judges

Love Arises

Kiss of love

Betray above

Drink the cup

Whip the pup

Architect

Nailed erect

Indifference scorns

Love arises

Death to life

Man and wife

Hope is gone

All is wrong

Run away

Life’s dismay

Indifference snickers

Love arises

Night then day

Word to say

Crack of dawn

Break the con

Hope anew

White dove flew

Indifference weeps

Love Arises

Sex-u-al

Life is full

Curtain torn

Anger mourn

Lamb restore

Lion roar

Indifference dies

Love arises.

First Step

In order for someone to get better at something – one must practice.

One of my dreams is to write. But I have far too many excuses and distractions to keep me from actually writing. One of my struggles is that I want to arrive at the destination before ever actually going on the journey. And because I haven’t arrived (whatever “arrived” actually means), I never actually take any steps to get to my destination. I, essentially, remain immobile – imagining dreams while life passes by.

So – that’s why I’m writing this today. I want to start taking little steps towards a destination. I want to start living more on purpose. I want to take little steps.

So – one goal: Write on this blog 2-3 times a week. Even if it’s short. I want to try this for a year – give myself an end date so that I can look back on what was produced.

The date is April 25 – 2011. End date: April 25 – 2012.

Here's to taking the first step...