Friday, March 29, 2013

i am (Poem for Good Friday)

i am


small - Unimaginable

insignificant - Valued

limited - All Powerful


seen - Invisible

cursed - Perfect

broken - Creator


childless - Father

adopted - Son

man - Spirit


carpenter - Maker

fisher - Healer

teacher - Revealer


shepherd - Gate

bread - Vine

wine - Priceless


beaten - Humble

pierced - Crowned

cross - Throne


payment - Good

painful - Love

pauper - King


Sleeping - Way

death - Truth

resurrection - Life


Begotten of God

Light of the world

I am that I am


Jesus - Christ






Jeremy K.




Thursday, March 28, 2013

It is what it is...

I originally started writing this for the blog - but - for whatever reason - late last night I decided to post it on Facebook.  Since then - it's kinda taken on a life of it's own.  Definitely not what I expected.  In fact - I didn't think anyone would read it because it's so long.  Shows what I know...

I think the snarky intro suckers people in - haha.  I thought it was funny...

I wrote an earlier blog called "What a Miss" that relates pretty well to this post.  In some ways - I don't say as much as some conclude.  And in other ways - I am saying something that many miss.  It's actually kinda funny.  And so fascinating!

But - whatever - I don't have any control of how people read things.  As one of my friends FAVORITE sayings goes "It is what it is."  Guess that applies here...

Jer

_____________________________________________________________


I don’t often state my opinion on here - but - what the heck? - I’m jumpin’ on the bandwagon...

I stand for traditional marriage - biblical style. Marriages should be between a man and a woman. And marriages should be arranged by parents - like in biblical days. We most definitely need to bring back arranged marriages. Forget about women’s rights too - women are property! You know - like they were in Jesus’ day? And - if you’re super rich - you can have multiple wives. Polygamy is where it’s at! Well - actually - amend that - only if you’re a ruler or something. And, if a man dies while married, the woman should be passed on to the brother - and they shall become married. Just like in the Bible. Yup - I am totally for traditional biblical marriage! haha

On a serious note. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Jesus. He is incarnation of God - one part of the trinity - our salvation - all that. I affirm the ancient creeds. Easter!

But what does my faith have to do with State and Federal laws? This is a secular country governed by a ton of laws that are not biblical. And - seriously - how does gay marriage threaten my faith? It doesn’t. Now - if the State were to force a Faith institution to perform what is against their beliefs - that would be a different matter. That would be a fight. But come on. A judge - a captain on a ship - almost anyone - can marry people. I’ve officiated weddings - and I got my certificate online for free by signing up. Really? Is this the ship some people are gonna sink on?

And - if you’re gonna quote the bible on this issue - please don’t embarrass yourself. First off - Jesus isn’t an “issue” - He’s a person. Don’t belittle Him by using Him as your celebrity endorsement. Context people. Second - within your particular faith tradition - you don’t have to support gay marriage. You may have some good reasons for not supporting it. But - this country is NOT your faith tradition. It is a country of christians, jews, muslims, atheists, agnostics, mormons, secularists, buddhists, hindus - and everything else you can imagine. I bet there are witch doctors living in america. Point is - they’re american. And they’re not in your faith tradition. It’s a melting pot.

You may make the mistake that I believe our State and Federal rights trump God. That would be the stupidest conclusion on the planet. haha. And that would be a lack of understanding my relationship with Jesus.

My point above. “biblical” is often taken out of context to support an argument. If you were misunderstanding my sarcasm - my attempt was to put a bit of context back into the “traditional” marriage argument. Biblical marriage. It’s not as black and white as people make it out to be. And that irks me sometimes...

I think of Donald Miller when he said, "Great characters engage conflict." haha. God and politics. wow. good times...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Boredom

There are moments when I don’t really know what to do with myself.  What I mean is, I have moments of free time and can’t think of anything creative to do.  I could read, but I read a lot.  I could watch TV, but that gets really boring.  I could write, but I seem to write all the time.  I could play guitar, sing - and write songs - but that can be frustrating if I’m not in the mood.  There’s always the ps3 (the great time waster) but that gets old as well.  I could exercise - but after that - what?  
Sometimes I want to go on an adventure.  But adventures can be too disrupting.  I could hang out with friends - and I do all the time - but there’s coordination - all that.

I’m talking about when all those options are off the table.  What then?

I think boredom can be a great motivator.  It doesn’t happen often, but when I get super bored - I clean.  I end up being productive when there’s no options.  When my life is chaos (which is most days) I have no time for that kind of thing.  Boredom also forces me to think outside of the box - grasping for anything to fill my time.

When I was a kid during the summer, my mom would send me outside outside to play.  If I came home and said I was bored - she’d say, “I have some work you can do.”  I’d always find something to do.  But - this was actually really awesome.  I learned how to take apart a bike and put it back together.  I explored all over my neighborhood.  I learned how to make a bow and arrow from the bushes - using blackberry stalks for arrows and a strange type wood from a bush as the bow.  I guess I could have ended up doing really stupid stuff too - but I didn’t - for the most part.

And when I was super bored in the summer, I actually started to look forward to school.  The very thing that I dreaded became the thing I began looking forward to.  A strange type of motivation for sure.  But no less real either.

Hmmm...interesting thoughts.  

Alright - off to clean...lol

Have a great day!

Jer

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hijacked!


Sometimes ideas take a turn.  I have a direction I might be writing, but then it goes a different way than I was intending.  I can’t tell you how annoying that is because most of the time, it goes the wrong way.  Once in a blue moon - it actually goes a better way.  But most of the time - total left turn.  And often, the original good idea is hijacked by some other random idea - and that becomes the main thrust of the writing.

I always thought that writing would be easier than it is.  I thought it would be like traveling from point A to point B.  But it’s not like that.  Often I find myself in a strange town with people I don’t know.  I have this internal compass, but it usually just tells me “you’re not in the right place.”  I wonder if I’ll ever find the right place...

I find that poetry is the opposite.  When I write poems, for some reason they tell exactly how I’m feeling.  They’re usually short and to the point.  And they often reveal directly what I’m trying to convey.  There’s a couple problems with poetry though.  First, most people don’t read poetry.  haha.  Second - poetry has hidden meanings.  Some people just don’t get it. 

I don’t know why I have this need to explain things - like in essays.  But I don’t with poetry.  I just let it be.  There’s a freedom with that.  

I’ve never really tried stories.  I mean, when I was in 5th grade, I got selected to a writer’s conference for a short story I wrote.  But other than that, I’ve focused on thoughtful pieces.  Theology is often a topic I write about cuz it's what swims around in my head.  I’ve written memories down too - and they’re story-like.  But I haven’t even tried just a story story.  

I just get nervous with story because of the time involved in creating one.  But I am interested.  I think I might try my hand at it.

K - see?  I went from ideas veering in different directions - to writing stories.  That is exactly what I’m talking about.  Somehow this blog went from trying to control the writing process to the possibility of writing stories.  hijack!  Every time!

But I do want to try my hand at storytelling.  haha.

Have a great day!

Jer

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Music #6

The first concert I ever went to was at the Fillmore in San Francisco - and the band I saw was The Fixx.  It was awesome.

That trip was also the last time I got to see my Grandma before she passed away.  She was the coolest Grandma anyone could ever have.  She had a really thick Scottish accent and was one of the funniest people ever - she was super witty.  Every time we went to visit her, she'd have chocolate chip cookies and (Lipton) Earl Gray-ish tea ready for us.  Ohhh - and her Chocolate Cream Pie!  Yumm.  She was the best.

I always remember my Grandma when thinking about that concert.

This song by the Fixx is one of my favorite songs of all time.  Don't ask me why - it just is.

I remember when I started writing lyrics, I found the freedom to write nonsense because of this song.   The words didn't have to make sense.  I realized that I could write anything I wanted - anything at all.  It was incredibly liberating.

The first couple songs I wrote had a "first thought" random mentality to them.  Nonsense songs.  What I found out was that sometimes something deep inside came out onto the page.  There's probably some deep psychological thing behind all that - but it's what I discovered.  Often those "first thought" lyrics or poems ended up being the best ones.  Weird.

This song may have some deep meaning to it.  I don't know.  But it's probably more to do with a drug induced hallucination.  haha.  Or maybe not - I really don't have a clue.  But - I like it regardless.  In this constant pursuit of meaning, it's nice to surrender to mystery sometimes.  ha!

I love things that give freedom.  This song did that lyrically and poetically.   Plus - good memories are attached to it too.  It's also got a cool sound.  Enjoy!

Have a great day

Jer




 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What a Miss!


What if I said, “I don’t like eggs for breakfast” and then you made the leap that I didn’t like breakfast.

Or

“That episode of Seinfeld was stupid” and you jumped to the conclusion that I don’t like the Seinfeld (even though you knew I owned every episode).

Sounds crazy - but this type of “logical leap” happens all the time.

Often, when I attack an idea about something like “sin” or “hell” - there’s this strange leap from the hearer that I don’t believe in “sin” or “hell”.  haha.  It’s kinda funny.

I’ve had conversations with people, and when I bring up the idea that sin is not separation with God - the response I get is something like, “So - you don’t believe that sin is bad?  You don’t believe in hell, either, do you?  You’re one of ‘those’ people.”  

Wow.  Talk about a miss.

Even with “substitution” - in regards to atonement.  It’s such a unquestioned “truth” that people feel personally attacked when the idea is questioned.  I just think it’s a dumb word for what’s actually going on.  It’s too transactional and formulaic.  And there’s no transformation at all with substitution. 

A + B = C.

The gospel isn’t a formula.

My attack is not about sin or hell or substitution.  It’s about the dumbing down of the gospel.  

I even see it in atheist and agnostic circles.  People reduce the gospel (that was revealed over thousands of years and through many different people) to a cute little sentence - and then mock the sentence.  The ignorance witnessed is almost palpable.    

But, in their defense, they’re just following their Christian counterparts.  Christians reduce the gospel all the time.  It can be cringeworthy.

Don’t get me wrong.  In some ways, the gospel is very simple.  In fact - I’ll share what I think it is in a second.  But - these ideas are wayyyy bigger than these sentences.  These ideas move deeper and deeper - we couldn’t even begin to get to the bottom of the depth of God.  But I do affirm certain truths.  Here they are...

I agree with the ancient creeds (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) I also hold onto these truths (these are my faith anchors):

God is good.  God is love.  God is King.  

And God revealed these three things most clearly and directly through the completed work of Jesus Christ (which includes the foreshadow writings of the Old Testament and the reflection writings of Paul and the New Testament)  

In fact - to make is REALLY simple - Jesus Christ is the Gospel.  The “gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John” - is Jesus.  But - wow - that is so much bigger than it appears.

Who is Jesus?  What does Christ mean?  What’s He like?....And on and on and on...

I also want to affirm mystery.  There’s a lot of mystery going on with Jesus.  For some reason, many people want to clean up the gospel and turn it into perfect little answers.  Mystery is often dead within the church.  It’s a shame.

We can’t “know” everything.  But God did reveal Himself - and His gospel.  

Go discover the gospel.  He is amazing - better than you think.  And He’s not small - He’s not a small idea.  Resist the temptation to turn Him into a slogan. 

Have a great day!

Jer



Friday, March 22, 2013

Capturing an Idea


Capturing ideas and putting them into words is very difficult.  Trying to add humor as you go is also just as maddening.  

Very rarely - it just happens.  The idea comes out on a page and I’m done.  Sometimes I can get that chuckle moment in there too.   

But more often, I just stare at a blank screen.  Ideas eventually come - but sometimes there’s a lot of staring.  I can sit for a half hour or more and - nothing.  This makes it pretty difficult on busy days.  Sometimes there aren’t half hours (or longer) to spare in a day.

There are other times when an idea rears it’s ugly head and it’s just too big for one page.  Those are the worst!  I have this frustrating problem.  I need to finish an idea before moving on to the next.  I literally get writers block until I can finish the thought.  I seriously hate that.

I recently wrote one of those big ideas down - and it took forever.  And it was far from perfect - the ideas - the thoughts.  But I was blank for days before finishing it.  I’d stare at my screen and nothing.  I avoided the original idea because it was too complex, and way too long.  And I knew it wouldn’t be perfect.  But, I knew I had to go back to finish the thought or I'd just keep staring at a blank screen.  I really didn’t want to.  I wanted to move on let it go.  But I finally buckled down and finished it.  

What’s funny is that my writing doesn’t even have to be good to move on to the next idea.  It just needs to be done.  And as soon as it's done - everything opens up.  I can write again.  So weird.  And annoying.  This happens with song writing too.  I don’t get it.

And now - I’ve written four blogs in this one sitting.  Four!  And two yesterday.  I couldn’t even start a sentence of a new blog before finishing that other monstrosity.  So lame!

But interesting too.  Guess I’m learning more about how I tick as I go along.  Self discovery is always a good thing - I suppose.  Let’s just hope I don’t hit another one of those “big” ideas for a while...  

Have a great day.

Jer  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Green Light Go!


Sometimes I forget that there are no rules in life.  

I mean, we have self imposed rules to help society move along.  But, those are there to help with safety and structure.  And there’s morality - I get that.  But there’s no real rulebook about how to live life.

Some of the rules we place upon ourselves are kind of silly too.  I work at a school, and everyone’s controlled by a funky sounding bell.  When the bell rings (a random loud noise) - all the class doors open and there’s tons of movement.  When it rings again, everyone is in their classrooms.  How strange is that?  It’s so normal to us that we might not think it’s strange - but think of it.  A bell.  Ding Dong.  Movement.

I observed this walking to class the other day.  Everything was silent as I was walking and then the bell rang.  A second later kids poured out of the doors and into the hallways.  It almost felt like chaos - noise, voices, movement - everywhere.  Five minutes later, the bell rang a second time and the halls were silent once again.  

I understand that there are consequences for not following these simple rules (tardy, late slips, detention), but it’s still control by a loud noise.  A loud noise determines behavior.  Strange.  And kind of funny.

But that’s school.  We don’t do this in real life, do we?  

Well - actually yes.  Our society is controlled by lights.  Lights!  Green light go.  Yellow light slow.  Red light stop.  Over and over again.  And thousands of people follow these rules.  And there are lines on the roads that we stay inside.  I get the rules - the lines - the lights - but isn’t it a bit weird?  Who determined that green was go and red was stop?  It even gets stranger if we were to travel to Europe because everyone drives on the wrong side of the road!  Well, they’d think we’re weird too - but still.

We create rules and structure to feel safe.  But some rules seem silly.

I think I do this in my normal life too.  I do what I’m “supposed” to do - stay within society’s norms and try not to look too weird.  Don’t get me wrong - there’s some good things about that - but I forget that there really aren’t any rules.  I could move across the country if I want to.  I can do whatever I want to with my life (within reason).  There aren’t any limits other than the ones that I place upon myself.

I’ve been thinking about that lately - what “rules” I place upon myself that end up being like a prison (of creativity, imagination, dreams - all of it.)  I don’t think outside of the box enough.  I don’t even know how to think outside of the box most days??  

But I know I’m limited.  Hmmm...

Hope your day is great!

Jer





Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Take the Money or I'll Blow Your F'ing Head Off!


Imagine this scenario.  

A man points a gun at your face while holding bag of diamonds worth millions - riches beyond belief.  He gives you a choice:  Either take the diamonds free and clear - or - get your head blown off.  It’s your decision.

In a roundabout way, this is how many people present the gospel of Jesus. 

How - you might ask?  Well, if you don’t accept God’s offer of Heaven - you’ll spend eternity burning in hell.  For many innocent people who hear this type of presentation - this is what they’re hearing!  Gun - or diamonds.  wow.

What a wonderful picture of our loving Father, don’t you think? 

Is this what God is like?  Is He there to offer countless riches - and if we refuse - eternal damnation in hell?  

This scenario definitely calls into question God’s justice.  Is this just?  Hmmm...  

Let me attempt to explain...

The scriptures make it pretty clear that we are sinners from birth.  And this led to the historical notion of “original sin.”  Original sin isn’t actually found in the bible, but is a way to describe our common human condition.  We all rebel against God.

And many add to this notion that the penalty of this sin is death.  They’ll often quote the verse from Romans, “The wages of sin is death...” to back it up.  Note - the verse says “wages” - NOT penalty - but the word is often changed to penalty to fit an arbitrary description of justice, with the rest of the verse being almost always ignored.  God's wrath is tied in there too - but rarely in context.

Another verse that’s used quite a bit is “all have fallen short of the glory of God...” again skipping the second half of the verse, but it’s used to make the point that we’re all in the same boat as sinners.  What’s stressed is that no matter what a person does, there’s nothing they can do to escape this penalty.  And ALL of us are guilty!  It's God's justice that we deserve this penalty of death for our sins - and ALL of us deserve it!

The next leap goes even farther.  Sin somehow becomes separation from God.  There’s rarely a scripture to clarify this description of sin, but the argument is made nonetheless.  When one is used, it’s often taken wayyyy out of context and almost always from the Old Testament.  But people eat this explanation like it’s the forbidden fruit itself.  For years - I ate it - but something always seemed a bit off...  And if a person dies in their sin? - they go to hell - which becomes eternal separation from God.

This really is a popular idea of God’s justice...  

The thinking continues, “I am a sinner and the penalty for my sin is death.”  I “deserve” death.  I “deserve” hell.  Justice.  Then Jesus comes along and lives a sinless life.  He’s totally innocent from any wrongdoing and is randomly given the death penalty.  On the cross - He cries out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” and at that moment - the sins of the entire world were placed on Him.  And when our sin was placed on Jesus - God turned His back on His Son (sin is separation after all).  Then Jesus experienced the penalty of our sin and died.  He took the “penalty” of death on Himself.  

On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave - conquering death.  Later, He ascended to heaven and offers us a choice.  Believe in Him, or go to hell (to be blunt).  He offered Himself up as a substitution for us and if we believe, He covers us with His righteousness.  If we believe...

In a sense:

“I am a sinner and the penalty of my sin is separation from God, and if I die in my sin then I’ll be eternally separated from God - which is hell - unless - I believe in Jesus, in which I’ll live forever in Heaven - and it will be awesome.”

God has a gun to our face and if we don’t like Him - it’s bullet in the face time!  But soooo much worse.  Eternal torment in hell.  Forever.  But, all we need to do is choose Him and we’ll get everything we’ve ever desired in heaven.

Church leaders push their members to share this “good news” to random strangers too.  Sometimes, this is the scenario that’s being presented to innocent people eating their lunch - in malls - at schools.  Amazing.

How are we buying this crap?  More so - how our we selling this crap?  This is a disgusting perversion of the greatest story ever told.  And it’s hardly ever questioned or critiqued. 

So - just for fun, let’s poke some holes in this way of presenting the gospel.  Good news - gospel - what is it?

First off.  Christ.  

Most people that I talk to WITHIN the faith community don’t know what “Christ” actually means.  I’m talking about followers of Jesus - most don’t know.  Don’t you find that odd??  Some think Savior.  Other’s think it’s His last name.  And yet they share the marketing style “evangelism” (you have a need, Jesus can fill your need, you’ll be happy) with people as if “Christ” has nothing to do with the gospel.  His name is directly tied to His gospel!  But it’s not the gospel I described above.  It’s the gospel of Jesus.  I’ll leave you to your own research, but “Christ” is super important - and has very little to do with substitution.

Second.  Justice.  

I’m not sure we’re capable of understanding true justice because we ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - and with that - we de-throned God.  Objective justice became subjective justice - justice that is a subject to our limited experience.  So there should be red flag warning signs when the cross gets tied too much to justice.  As eaters of the fruit - we have no idea what that really looks like.  We just think we do.

Just with the scenario above:

How do I deserve the penalty of sin when I was born with this condition?

I know I choose individual “sins”, but I didn’t choose to be a sinner.  I was born into it.  Why am I paying for my ancestor’s mess up?  This doesn’t make logical sense.  This doesn’t look like justice.  I’m not trying to be argumentative - just look at the facts.

How is God just if I receive a penalty for existing in this condition that I was born into?  Sounds kinda mean.  Definitely doesn’t sound loving.  It’d be like God sending me to hell for having skin.  I didn’t choose to have skin, but I have it.  So now I have to go to hell because of it?  huh?

Third.  Substitution.  It’s a word that theologians use, but is not found in the bible.  It’s a simplistic and formulaic way of talking about the cross.  It’s the “fire insurance” word that really dumbs down what God was actually doing.  While I won’t deny that God took on the curse of death - became sin even! - He wasn’t just a substitute for me either.  Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that at the moment of Jesus’ cry - all of sin was placed upon Him.  It’s simply not there.  He took on the “sinful” nature of humanity the moment He was born onto this planet.  Sin was conquered at his death - for sure!  But that "crying out" moment from Jesus on the cross was entirely different than the sins of the world landing on Him while He cried out.  It was more a declaration of Jesus’ gospel than a moment of pure sin.  Read Psalm 22 - God never abandoned Jesus!  God was there.  God was actually ON the cross!  Don’t take my word for it - critically look at the scriptures.  Use context in your search.  Seek!  God’s gospel is so better than the marketing gospel that our modern church has bought into.  

And there’s more.  God didn’t just cover me with His righteous life.  He birthed a new life inside of me.  When people believe God just became a substitute - often that person’s frame of mind is that the “old” person that we were (or are) is covered by His sacrifice.  The problem with this way of thinking is that the old remains!  That’s not good news.  We need to be remade - not covered up.  The scriptures point to a new life burgeoning inside of us.  Read 2 Corinthians, chapter 5 for a clear description on what I’m talking about.  Read John 3 - the story of Nicodemus - and not just the famous John 3:16 verse - the whole chapter.  It’s a different way of seeing the gospel than this “justice” type evangelism.

What’s my point?  I have quite a few - but two I want to throw out there to consider.  

One - don’t just take what people say as gospel truth!  Not even if it’s from a preacher.  It’s your responsibility to test and make sure you’re not being deceived.  Even with my ramblings - test those.  Don’t just believe me!  Discover for yourself.  Pray for God to guide you and give you seeing eyes.

And Two.  The gospel is sooooo much better than a gun to the head and an offer of tons of riches.  Jesus is so much better too.  God really is good.  And by good - I mean - GOOD!  The cross is so much more than "God's Justice".  Why do we try to make Him so small?  I wonder??

I don’t always want to give answers - I want to prompt discovery.  Go discover what I’m talking about.  Go discover God's gospel - what it really is.  Jesus isn’t a quiz show answer - talk to Him about all this.  Lay your doubts and fears at His feet.  He can take it - He is good.  He’s not scared of confusion.  And He’s always faithful even when we're not.  

The scenario described above about God’s justice (gun analogy) is the sin riddle - that’s what my poem was about in an earlier blog.   The answer to the riddle is - there is no God like that.  That god is an illusion.  The riddle starts off with the wrong premise - yet so many of us buy it!    

Yet - God loves His bride through it all.  He loves us while we spit our idea of justice into His goodness.  We are the adulterous whore without even knowing it.  And we often choose a lesser love instead of unconditional love.  We listen to the voice of the deceiver and think it’s God.  Our love turns into argument, rules, control, and manipulation.  And God loves on...

I’m throwing out bombs here.  haha.  I get that.  Maybe this is all a bit muddy.  But that's ok  - Jesus has been known to give sight to the blind from mud - cursed mud at that!  May He apply that mud on all of our eyes.  Me too!  I’m still so blind to so much.  May we see God's goodness together - as we walk this life.

Have a great day!

Jer




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mirror Blind - A Poem


Mirror blind
I cannot change
I will not look
I cannot not find

Mirror Blind
I will not change
Please help me see
Just who am i?

Mirror blind
I want to change
This life I see
Water to wine

Mirror Blind
I need to change
I can’t transform
What is not mine

Mirror Blind
Lord help me change
This life moves on
Is there a sign?

Mirror Blind
I am the change
Mud in my eyes
Love is so kind


Jeremy K.




Monday, March 18, 2013

What the Hell?


A couple years back - when Rob Bell opened up the whole "heaven and hell" can of worms that got so many hard-line christians freaked out - I remember hearing this funny story that kinda lightened the mood.  It was shared from the least likely of people too - an overly serious kind of guy that tended to side with the "all in" crowd - in regards to heaven.  He read it sternly too - making the punch line even that much more funny.  It maybe crosses the line a bit - but - what the hell?  haha - Laugh people!


________________________________________________________


The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different Religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I go out with you", and take into account the fact that I went out with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct . . . leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A."

_________________________________________________________

Bahaha!

Have a great day!

Jer

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Music #5

Happy St. Patty's day!

After writing my story the last few weeks - I thought of two videos that would help supplement some of what I was talking about.

The first is also an homage to St. Patty's day - U2 (Irish!)  They wrote a song about the troubles in Ireland (Catholics fighting Protestants - or the other way around) and it was somewhat of a protest song about the stupidity of war.  Lots of Jesus themes in it for sure - especially the last verses.  The situation in Ireland - in the 80's - was a great example of Christian hypocrisy and was one of my arguments against religion.  The speech in the middle of the song is pretty kick butt too...







The second is a great picture of how I saw the Church in High School (from the band Genesis).  It's a funny (and sadly accurate) characature of the televangalist movement that was more about money than it was about Jesus.  The line: "Jesus, He knows me, and He knows I'm right!" is a great depiction of what happens when following Jesus becomes a marketing plan - or an argument.

I don't follow a guideline - or a set of principles.  I follow a guide - an actual person.  Jesus isn't an argument.  Here's what can happen when Christianity veers towards "being right":






Hahaha!  So funny.  Love it!

Have a great day!!

Jer

Saturday, March 16, 2013

End in Sight

Two more weeks of every day blogs - after tomorrow.

I think I'm going to blog twice a week after Lent (after a week off!).  Tuesdays and Fridays will be my days - I think.  I can see the finish line.  It's kind of a good feeling, actually.

I will have written my 100th blog by then.  That's a milestone too.  Gotta think of something special for that one.

I haven't had a guest blogger yet - hmm...  I gotta think about that...

Anyway - short one for today.  Off to watch a scary movie.  Hope your weekend's great!

Jer

Friday, March 15, 2013

Midway Observations...


This project of writing every day for Lent is pretty dang difficult.  Every day is a deadline.  Some days are easy, and ideas come to down on the page without any difficulty.  Some days are productive and I write more than one blog entry in a sitting (I love those days - but it’s only happened twice so far).  But, most days are just drudgery.  Sometimes I have a few ideas, but can only write a few sentences for each - then I start writing something new.  Some days - there’s just plain nothing.  I just stare blankly.  I’ll wait a few hours - then do the same later.  I’ve had a few nights where I was only minutes away from missing the daily deadline.  It’s sort of funny actually.  It’s difficult to be disciplined in this writing endeavor.

Sometimes an idea is bigger than I can write in a blog.  I have one that I’m struggling with right now that just isn’t working.  It’s three pages so far - and isn’t getting any easier.  I’m trying to shorten it.  I tweak it here - cut a line there - but then I lose my way again and write four more paragraphs.  It makes me want to break things sometimes.  What’s infuriating is that it’s a good idea.  It’s powerful.  But the way I write it - ugh.  I think of the line from that Soundgarden song:  “The words I say never seem to match up with the ones inside my head.”  I’m gonna keep chipping away at it.  But - grrrr.

It’s pretty difficult to be funny too.  Sometimes I’m overly sarcastic in something I write, but it doesn’t come off sounding that way when I read it back to myself.  Sometimes I’m just being silly - but that doesn’t work either.  I do have my moments - but it’s more difficult to capture humor with just words.  When you speak - you have tone - and facial expressions - hand movements.  With writing - there’s just letters.  How do you convey emotion - or tone - with letters?

Picture painting with words is difficult too.  It’s so hard to place someone where you once were.  I see pictures in my head of memories - but describing them just doesn’t do them justice sometimes.  Occasionally, I get close.  But most of the time - I write, rewrite, and rewrite again.  And often it comes off lacking no matter how I try to say something.

It’s very difficult writing every day.  But, I do like it.  I’m getting a little quicker at it.  I’m seeing patters better and understanding my limitations a little bit more too.  But ideas are random.  I can’t always choose them.  Once, I was laying down to go to sleep - and one of those darn good ideas started swimming around in my head.  I was half asleep, but words kept coming.  I literally thought, “I better write this down right now.”  It was annoying.  The poem “Sin Riddle” came out of that.  I didn’t choose that time to write - it chose me.  How irritating!  Sometimes I ignore that voice and totally miss an opportunity to write in that space.  Even more irritating!  

But that's the nature of the beast, I suppose.  It's a love/hate relationship - writing.  

One last thing.  Since writing daily, I've also noticed something about other writers.  I follow a few blogs and they’re mostly hit and miss with their writing schedules.  They post whenever - it’s just kinda random.  Not all of the blogs I read are like this - but most are.  I actually get a little annoyed that they don’t write more because I want to hear their thoughts.  I like what they have to say.  But the unpredictability of posts makes me less likely to keep track of their blog.  I’m gonna think about that some more as I finish this Lent blogging every day commitment - because that was me before doing this... hmmm...

I’m thankful for choosing this task for Lent - even though I still have a few more week to go and it's quite demanding.  I probably won’t have much to say tomorrow - I'll stare blankly at this screen yet again - but that's ok.  haha.  I’ll do it anyway - even if it’s a one sentence blog.  I haven’t done that yet - so that'll be coming soon - for sure.  

Have a great day!

Jer 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time and Perspective


I looked at the calendar today and it startled me.  3/13/2013.  I graduated High School in 1992.  I remember thinking, at the time, “The year 2000 is soooo far away!”  And, at the time, it was.  But today I look at the year 2000 and think, “wow - that was so long ago.”

Here’s a random thought...In this wave of time we ride, isn’t it weird that in the present day we think fashion is so modern?  We never think that the past will look silly while we’re living in the present.  In the early 90’s, we all had mullets.  bahaha.  We didn’t call them mullets at the time, it’s just how we cut our hair.  It was normal - even cool.  Now it’s seriously funny.  I look at the musicians of that time - Poison, Motley Crew, Guns and Roses - and have to laugh.  Their hair!  And they were soooooo cool back then.  Wow.  

It’s strange to me that the year 2000 is already getting to be old.  2000 still seems “modern” to me.  But it’s not.  It’s over a decade old - it’s hard to believe.  I work with high school students and when I asked them recently where they were during the 9/11 tragedy, I got answers like, “I was at day care.”  Most weren’t even at school yet.  Crazy.

I spent the last day of 1999 with a group of friends up in Tahoe.  We celebrated the new millennia like everyone else - staying up really late and drinking Champagne.  We set our alarms super early the next morning to go watch the sun rise on this new century.  It is hell waking up at the butt crack of dawn after a late night - but we managed.  We got in Gregg’s suburban and drove to this strange rock formation in between Tahoe City and Tahoma.  We made our climb, trying to make it to the top of this unusual rock spire before the sun peaked over the mountains.  Our ears were cold, hands were frozen, and our breath was visible as we made our way up.

We got to the flat top of granite and beheld the beauty of the lake.  Snow capped mountains.  Stars still visible in the sky.  Tahoe Blue.  The light of the sun was growing brighter as the minutes passed.  

I remember having a hopeful feeling that morning.  I also remember feeling like there was no place I’d rather be than in that moment with my friends.  It was one of those few moments where I wasn’t looking towards the future or thinking about the past.  I was living in the moment - and that moment held hope.

A golden ray of sunlight peaked over one of the summits on the other side of the lake.    The stars disappeared into a blue canvas of sky as the biting cold felt the kiss of this new century’s sunlight.  Before long, the entire sun lit up the sky. It was a good day.  It was a very good day.

Hope remains, if we let it.  We tend to trade it in for worry or stress.  Or habits and the humdrum of life.  We forget to live in the many moments given to us throughout our day.

But hope remains, even when we can't always see it.

Jer 

    

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In and Out


Within religious circles there is often an “in” group and an “out” group.  The consequences of being in the “out” group are quite dire - eternal hellfire being one of the  big ones.  Yet those inside of the “in” group often toss out bombs of condemnation without even really thinking about it.  I’ve heard people say “this and that” group is going to hell.  It’s actually pretty funny how casually I’ve heard some people talk about this (funny in a “you’ve got to be kidding me?!!” kind of way, of course), but it’s a reality in some church circles.  What a beautiful loving picture of Jesus!  
This is also curious, no one in the “in” group is ever in the “out” group.  What I mean is, the people that seem to condemn others are completely safe from whatever judgment they are throwing at any particular group.  It’s that whole, “I’m right” mentality.  And if you agree, you’re right too.  But if you don’t - you’re out!  And the consequences of being out?...  

I remember one time listening to two people talk about baptism.  I was working for a baptist church at the time and these two adults were in a earnest discussion about emersion (a person being fully emerged in the water) versus sprinkling.  There was a seriousness that bordered anger as each adult made their case.  They were arguing about why their baptist group was more correct than some other baptist group.  I could actually see hair being split.  It was amazing.

Then they asked my opinion.  Oh boy.  I really didn’t want to get dragged into this “foundational to my faith” type argument.  So, I told them, “I don’t care” and walked away.  

But there are things that I do care about.  I recently was in a lively discussion about sharing faith with others.  Apparently, I have it all wrong.  But, I don’t back down in talks like this, and I didn’t back down in this case.  At the end of the discussion, I slightly laughed and said, “It’s ok that we disagree - we’re still on the same team.”  The response I got was, “I don’t think we’re on the same team.  You have to believe in ‘X, Y, and Z’ to be on the team.”

Wow.  I was in the out group.  I was outed.  

Jesus was in the “out” group.  He was condemned and sent to his death - a death on a cross.  And wasn’t He the most right person to ever live?  Don’t get me wrong - I’m not saying I’m anywhere half as cool as Jesus.  But, I know He can relate to the outsiders.  He was perfectly good and yet condemned to death.  He was even understood to be cursed by being hung on a tree.  He was the ultimate outsider.

Those that were in the “in” group of His day looked down smugly at Jesus as He died a criminal’s death.  And His response?  “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

It’s crazy how the church of Jesus (the ultimate outsider) now looks smugly down at the “out” groups of today.  It’s amazing how condescending christians can be.  Christian arrogance is one of the most unattractive attributes that I’ve witnessed within the church.

But when I look to Jesus’ response...  “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Seems I still have a lot to learn about love...

I do wish the church was more known for its inclusive, unconditional love rather than its angry condemnation.  There are many christians that do love like Jesus, but they're often quiet about it.  It’s the loud vocal group that seem to give Jesus a bad name.  

He doesn’t seem all that concerned about it though.  It's strange.  People have been giving Him a bad name throughout all of history and He lets them.  I always scratch my head at that.  But, I guess He probably knows what He's doing.  

And, like I said before, I still have a lot to learn about love.  

Have a great day!

Jer




Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Morning Music #4

Here's another one of my favorite artists - Martin Sexton.

I got lucky to see him on my birthday a few years back at the Miner's Foundry - a little venue in Nevada City (Thanks bro!)  All he had was his acoustic guitar and a microphone.   And - wow! Amazing.  If you get a chance to see him live - go!

Within the musician community - he's pretty well known.  Outside of the musician community, he's a hidden treasure.  Here's a fun one:





Jer

Friday, March 8, 2013

Success Through Failure


It’s interesting our tendency to only talk about our successes.

I often experiment when I’m trying out new ideas.  Over the last 20 years or so, I’ve led many youth groups, from Young Life to the church, and I've constantly learned and evolved as the years have gone by.  Much of my learning about leadership was gained through trial and error.  I’d try and fail, then start over again.  Looking back, I can see that my failings far outweigh my successes.  Yet I’m able to talk about my successes only through the lens of my many failures.  Leadership is almost second nature now, but that wasn't always the case.  I've learned a ton along the way.  And much of my learning has been through my failures.

But I don’t often share about my failures.  I tend to only talk about my successes.  I think that's interesting... 

One memorable experience was with a group of untrained leaders from a church I worked with a few years back.  The team was pretty green and there was only a handful who had any experience working with kids - and that was from chaperoning a few youth events - no actual training.  They seemed to believe they knew everything they needed to start a new youth group.  It's always a bit difficult to teach a bunch of know-it-alls - haha - but I was with them.

For whatever reason, they thought it would be super easy to start this new program.  I knew differently because I knew they weren't doing the basics of youth outreach.  We had about ten young leaders and we were starting everything from scratch.  Their plan was to invite kids and have a BBQ.  So our first event was just that: a BBQ in the park.  We bought a ton of hot dogs, brought frisbees - had games planned - and one of our leaders had a talk about God’s goodness ready to go.  The problem was - no one showed up.  Not one kid.

The truth is, I knew this was going to happen.  But I had to lead our team through this “failure” in order for them to experience a wonderful and humbling teaching moment.  After this dismal failure (and embarrassment), they had ears to hear.  I could finally ask the question, “Now, how do we actually get kids to our youth group?” - without any assumptions in the way.  Their perception was that kids would randomly just show up because of some fliers they passed out.  haha.  Good idea, but no.  Now that we had this experience we could really get to work.

The funny thing is that a couple leaders gave up after that crash.  People don’t want to live through failure.  And later, when casting a vision of sharing God’s amazing love to the local high school and jr. high, one leader, in particular, believed it would be impossible.  To be truthful, even the simplest tasks seemed impossible to him.  And his belief created his reality.  It’s definitely difficult working with a pessimist.  The irony is that when he finally decided to quit, our group grew.  And everything he said that was impossible - happened.  Go figure.

But that was almost a planned failure.

Some failures are unpredictable.  I don’t like closing the door to anyone - ever.  Years ago, I had a pretty great Wyldlife team (Jr. High Young Life).  The following year, I opened the door of leadership to literally everyone.  I had 20+ leaders on my team.  It was as diverse a group as you could get.  I wasn’t smart enough, or experienced enough, to lead a team like that.  I was barely 21 at the time.  The team imploded.  Opinions within the team created boundaries and walls that I didn’t know how to break down at my young age.  Let’s just say - it was a disaster.  

But thank God for that disaster - because I learned what not to do. 

Most of my learning is finding out what not to do.  I only learnt that from failure.  My marriage was an epic failure.  And yet it was another opportunity to learn what not to do.  I was a bone-head in a lot of ways.  But - I did learn - and will be better for the next time around (God willing).  

Failures can hurt - but I’m starting to understand that they are so dang important - essential for growth even.  Yet we fear failure like the plague.  Well, I do anyway.

I often read books that seem to skip over failure.  I mean - they point to it here and there, but they mostly camp out on success - success in life, in walking with Jesus, in relationships.  Success is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but most lives are lived with a ton of failures.  And some people want to give up because of it.  Failure can lead to discouragement and downright depression.  Books on success don't often talk about that.

I think the people who don’t give up and become successful are often the people that fail the most.  We just hear about their amazing success without the crashes and burns, or with just hardly a mention of it.  This isn’t always the case, I’m sure, but I’m betting it’s majority.    

How ironic is it that the majority of success is littered with multiple previous failures?  

And how encouraging too. 

Maybe we should start looking at our failures as the path towards success.  I wonder how different life would be if we looked at it that way...  

Jeremy Kerr



Thursday, March 7, 2013

3 and 7 - A Poem


Vision                           God
Dream               Maker
Hope           Life
Truth Breath
Spirit
Word       Way
Flesh               Love
Human                     Action
Jesus                                   Reality





Jeremy K.