Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Even Deeper Deep Sea Diving into God's Word

Lest I get too cozy with God's extravagant patience, understanding and tolerance of my frequent temper tantrums in His royal court while the watching angels and living creatures surrounding Him cringe and marvel at my ignorant audacity...

Lest in my presumptuous state I begin to make up lame excuses for my pitiful condition as His image-bearer and ambassador to this world, clinging to my favorite,

Well, nobody is perfect, you know... we are just humans...

Lest I skew the Word of God to make Him fit my personal preferences, opinions and agendas...

I turn to the Gospels where I plow into Jesus, front and center, flesh and bones, hair and blisters, always there like a brick wall of down-to-earth holiness, simplicity and clarity of vision, who seems totally unfazed by the insurmountable limitations of my wretched humanity, calling me with the voice of carefree authority to be and do the impossible...

You are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect...

So deliciously politically incorrect...

Unless your righteousness surpasses that of theology students and Christian workers there is no way you'll go to heaven...


Don't give what is holy to dogs and don't throw your pearls before pigs... (Did I just hear Him calling people names?!!!)

But, of all Jesus' many, many outrageous statements, I find by far the worst the following:

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you... Rejoice and be exceedingly glad when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me...

I look, and look, and look for just a little wiggle room here...

For a tiniest little loophole... And I find...


And I ponder, and ponder, and ponder who is crazy here....

The world I live in OR Jesus?

Am I crazy?

Or, is Jesus the crazy one?

And I wonder what kind of psychiatric medication and at what dosage would my psychiatrist prescribe to my Lord to help Him chill out....?

Suddenly the seriousness of my religious calling hits me like a ton of brick.

For I am faced with a choice...

And the choice...

The choice sits like that ton of bricks in the pit of my stomach. For I find myself simultaneously irresistibly drawn to this strange Person depicted in the Gospels, and equally terrified of His proximity and Presence.

And even though He could easily overpower me with the slightest breath out of His nostril, He actually simply stands and waits for me...

to make that choice...




no bribe

no manipulation...

A free choice to say 'yes'

or to say 'no'

Knowing that the answer to this question will determine the course of my earthly life and my eternal destiny.

Deep Sea Diving into God's Word

The best way I can describe my approach to reading God's Word is going...

Deep Sea Diving!

My favorite entry points are Proverbs, Psalms in the Old Testament and any one of the Gospels in the New. Sometimes, I just stay there and dive under, for any of these books offer ample room for going as deep as you wish.

I love the fact that in Proverbs I am oh, so matter-of-factly reminded every day how stupid I am and how much I need God daily to give me ample supplies of common sense, which doesn't seem to be so common after all. For, there appears to be a world-wide shortage of this commodity, if I might add, especially among those who call themselves God's people.

Another word for common sense is wisdom... and it is often associated with old age. Sadly, just because somebody is old doesn't necessarily mean they are wise either.

If I had to choose my favorite book of the Bible (I know, I know, it's like asking a parent which is his or her favorite child...), I would go with Psalms. I think there is more passion packed inside these poems than all the early afternoon soap operas of the world combined. Love, hate, hope, despair, loneliness, stabs-in-the-back, rest, joy, depths, heights, freedom, bondage, ... you name it. What Psalms tell me every day is:

It's O.K. babe, God loves you just the way you are. You can be real with Him. He already knows it all anyway. Don't fake it. Lay it all out before Him, He can handle it. He knows and understands you better than you know and understand yourself. And with Him it's always safe to be real... And that's the only pathway to true growth... Stepping out of the shadows of pretense and hiding and coming out into His light....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who Wants a Drunkard as a Surgeon?

Dear His Writer,

How is it possible that the same words from the Bible can in some instance bring hope and healing and in another discouragement, depression and hopelessness?

Scratching my head in Seattle...

Dear Scratching-Your-Head-in-Seattle,

I am not sure whether this is going to help or not, but check this out:

Like a thorn which falls into the hand of a drunkard,
so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Proverbs 26:9

The Word of God is spoken to us by God Himself only and always to bring His redeeming grace and restoring truth into our lives. However, because of our rebellious condition, sometimes He needs to use it as a surgical scalpel in the hand of a skilled Physician to cure deadly soul disease - our willful independence and indifference towards our Creator and Redeemer. The Holy Spirit is the Physician and He alone knows what we need and when we need it. So, when the Holy Spirit speaks His Word to our hearts, even if it hurts, the Word also brings healing, hope and genuine growth in our lives.

Sadly, based on the above Scriptures, in the fallen world we live in, many fools take upon themselves to play the Holy Spirit in our lives (been there, done that, never-ever want to do it again!) , and rather than using the Word as skillful Surgeon, they resemble more an out-of-balance, out-of-control intoxicated alcoholic.

Needless to say, there is a huge difference in having a scalpel in the hand of a skillful Surgeon and in the hand of tottering drunkard. If I need a surgery, guess which one I would rather go to?

As if this is not horrible enough, there are people who actually hire fools and give them power and authority to carry on their destructive mission. I guess most job interviews don't screen applicants for their wisdom vs. foolishness quotient. A fool can be smart enough to fool even the most intelligent individuals by their deceptive words, especially if they carry themselves as experts and authorities in any particular field, religion being the most dubious field of all. This is why I wouldn't be too severe on the employers of the fools, although they certainly bear some responsibility:

Like an archer who wounds everyone
so is he who hires a fool or he who hires those who pass by.
Proverbs 26:10

As you can see, we live in a treacherous world where God's Word, meant to be used as source of life, salvation, truth and grace is often turned into an assault weapon in the hands of fools. You and I need to be aware that God's Word is never spoken in a spiritual vacuum. The Enemy of our souls who very much alive and active, knows the power of God's Word and will stop at nothing to thwart God's children in knowing this and appropriating their rightful place in the spiritual battle. For, according to Ephesians 6:10-18, the only offensive weapon given to the child of God in this war is the Word of God. Our capacity to stand in the evil day will be in direct proportion to our knowledge of the Word of God Himself.

Hope this relieves at least a little bit of that itch on your head. I am sure it has opened up other, perhaps even bigger area of itching, but keep always in mind

You are from God, little children,
and have overcome them:
because greater is He who is in you
than he who is in the world.
I John 4:4

The Enemy is a defeated foe, who knows that his clock is ticking.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dangerous Discipline of Bible Reading 101 Indeed!

Of course, I would be a liar if I didn't warn my readers that reading your Bible with the help of the Author Himself is anything but an innocuous activity.

In fact, I would say that turning haphazard, random, periodic, unsystematic Bible-reading into prayerful, consistent, intentional, faithful, Author-seeking adventure may actually invite a host of troubles your sleepy, self-satisfied, distracted, haphazard, self-sufficient, independent Self knows nothing about. The trade-off is well worth it, but quite beyond the grasp of self-indulgent individuals who only want what they want, when they want it, in the exact way they want it - and all this applies not only to their drive-through burgers and fries, but also to the Almighty God. Neatly packaged, like an Advil PM... called upon to mainly treat the unpleasant symptoms of life's tragic journey, rather than addressing the deadly disease buried under the surface.

Perhaps this is why Jesus says in the Gospel of John,

He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

I would be an idiot if I didn't realize that there is a rather severe competition for our time and affection. God is not helping the matter in the way He presents Himself to us. He is sooo... how shall I put it???... so unimpressive, and unobtrusive, so.... humble, that it is really easy for us to ignore Him, avoid Him, mock Him and completely miss Him!

When you look over my bookshelves, nothing sets the Bible apart from any other book. Every morning, I have to choose to ignore hundreds other books and choose His Word instead. Every day, I have to choose from a gazzillion opportunities knocking on my door, promising health, wealth and prosperity, and ask God:

What about You? What would YOU like me to do today?

It's hard to be constantly barraged by so many good offers and not be able to just surrender to the torrent that everyone else is surrendered to - bigger, better, faster, more hi-tech, easier, quicker, pain-free, have-your-cake-and-eat-it, and on, and on, and on...

Sometimes I wonder am I the last fool remaining on this planet that's going down the tube - admittedly fancy, impressive tube, but down the tube nonetheless... But, then I remember all the other fools the Bible talks about - Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, David, Job, Peter, Paul, or ... or even JESUS???? And I find myself in a dran good company!

For I would much rather be counted a fool with these guys than win anything this world has to offer, no matter how alluring the promise may be.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dangerous Discipline of Bible Reading 101

Isn't reading the Bible on your own dangerous? My spiritual authorities tell me I need help understanding my Bible, since it is such a difficult book to understand.

Yours truly,


Dear Confused,

Thanks for bringing this important issue up. Like with any other book, you really need to understand the intent of the author in order to understand the book he or she wrote according to his or her original purpose. Despite the fact that the Bible was written by many different individuals over the span of many centuries, the real Author of this book is God Himself! I think this is incredibly cool!

And, if I can be bold in stating this, fully aware that I am not God nor do I know all (or much at all, for that matter!) that is in God's infinite mind, He wrote this book as a self-revelation and invitation to His straying humanity to come to Him and know Him in a personal way since He Himself is a person.

Now, there are many other bonuses that come as a part of the package, but we need to keep the main thing, main thing - all the time!

So, in a sense, I agree with your spiritual authorities that we need help in understanding the Bible. But, the help we need to seek is from God Himself, not necessarily or exclusively from so-called spiritual authorities (there is a reason to this I hope to get to in subsequent entries).

Coming from decades of daily experience (I guess I am appealing to you through my 'spiritual authority'), may I suggest a good way to read your Bible? Here it is, the spiritual atomic bomb unveiled for all to see:

Dear God, How amazing that You desire me to want to know You! Please help me understand Your written Word in such a way that it enlightens my eyes and my heart so I can know You indeed and love and worship You as You deserve. Help me not to get bogged down by things I don't understand about You yet.

In the name of Jesus, who revealed You to us by His Word, His life, death and resurrection perfectly,


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blast from the Past - Bible, Important, Boring and Irrelevant

For the sake of continuity, I feel like I really need to share here an older post that depicts my earlier manner in which I used to read the Bible. As they say,

Confession is bad for reputation but it is good for the health of one's soul,

and since I care much more about my heart's health than about my reputation, here's a rerun of the post originally published on April 10, 2012 as a part of a larger series on Intergalactic Communication

Bible - Important, Boring and Irrelevant

Judging by the number of copies of the Bible I have in different translations, including some that showcase the languages I don’t even know or recognize, one would think I am quite an expert on the subject of listening to God. But, my 'expertise' has been largely focused on ferreting out a single verse, ripped out of its context that ‘speaks’ fireworks into my darkness. The same God who spoke Light into darkness, I gather, aims this little laser at me, fires it, and, Ka-boom! - the light switch is suddenly turned on, my ears tingle and I am mildly dizzy from the intensity of the revelation.

Wow! That was soooo COOL! Do it again, God!

Now, I am not saying that God can’t or doesn't speak and encourage us through this laser gun approach in communicating with His children. In fact, sad as well as embarrassed to admit it, but most of my Christian life has been sustained through such fireworks display. The array of verses has grown over the years, of course, but they read more like a Webster dictionary rather than a compelling, intriguing, heart-wrenching and sometimes hilarious true love story. If watching 24 doesn't seem like a lullaby in comparison, and Jack Bauer's life doesn't illicit an occasional yawn, could it be that there is something terribly wrong with the way I approach God's Word? Could there be a better way to listening to God speaking instead of playing this celestial laser-tag?

Glad to inform you, Mrs. His Writer, the answer to your question is unequivocal,


Friday, June 22, 2012

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 11

As Oswald’s piercing words about the apparent lack of evidence of sainthood in my life still ring in my ears, I gulp the rest of the coffee down to the dregs and stumble into the kitchen for round two.

Having the last shred of excuse clobbered out of me by Mr. Chamber’s uncompromising dedication to the Lord Jesus and to my becoming a saint (whatever that means), I find myself suddenly rather awake and wondering what on-line Webster would say about the meaning of the word ‘saint’... or Wikipedia... or perhaps, even Vine's Dictionary of New Testament Words... I know, I know, I am nuts about words... it's my background, guys! C'mmon, I am a literature geek!

However, instead of being distracted by my perpetual curiosity and running down the rabbit trails the life so aptly affords me all the time, I write the word down on my mental chalkboard for future further exploration. Even though in my humble opinion it is quite antiquated, it seems rather important in the economy where Oswald Chambers lives and operates. Over the years I've learned, if it is important to O.C., it'd better be important to me

My ego thoroughly bruised, my second cup of coffee in my hand, I know I am ready for the real thing. So, I turn on the shiatsu massager for my soul, AKA as The Holy Bible and crack the book open where I last left it off.

I must admit here that for quite a while I wasn't accustomed to doing this. In fact, I used to have a shot-gun approach to reading the Bible.

But then I heard a story about a man who is asking God to reveal His will to him through reading the Bible and the first verse that his eyes fall on after praying and opening the book were,

Judas went and hang himself…

The man is shaking his head, thinking,

Lord, this must be a mistake! So, he closes his Bible quickly and reopens it again, and the next verse he sees is,

Go and do likewise.

By now the man is shaking in his boots and with his trembling fingers, he tries it one more time.

His misty eyes fall on the words,

What you do, do quickly!

I may not be the sharpest knife in a drawer, but upon hearing this story I started wondering if perhaps there could be a better approach to reading my Bible than this random 'shot in the dark' spiritual roulette.

Mercifully, during that time I also learned about the importance of reading individual biblical passages within their immediate context (chapter/s, entire book), with view of the audience (who is it addressed to) as well as the writer’s intent and purpose for writing (why is he writing to this particular audience). This approach involved a bit more work, but it was well-worth it.

Then I also heard somebody talking about the importance of continuity as we read the Scriptures. And that simple word, continuity, seemed to forever change the way I read my Bible.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You Can't Change the World Without Causing a Little Trouble!

We interrupt our regular programming to bring you
this important message

Dear faithful, wonderful global readership of Second Cup of Coffee,

First of all, thank you for your interest in my spiritual 'ramblings'. Your curiosity to hear what this fool has to say brings great joy to my heart. I always pray that whatever you see and hear through this blog would wet you appetite for more of Jesus and more of His amazing, unparalleled Word, both of which you can (and should if you already are not - I am a mom, I am entitled to giving advice!) pursue on your own and with other believers around you, in every area of your life.

I never want to be a competitor for the time and attention the Lord Jesus deserves, and heaven knows, there are a lot of competitors. Even this blog, no matter how much 'good' it serves, can over time turn into a competitor. Plus, if I encouraged you to only consume regurgitated food somebody else has digested for you, I would be neither your nor Jesus' friend.

Having said all this, I want you to be aware of a very interesting opportunity (you can call it an experiment) that I have been considering for a while. It's so wild, and crazy and counter-intuitive that it fits me like a glove!

Anyway, I want you to know that effective July 1, 2012 Second Cup of Coffee will become a private blog. This means I am still around, writing and posting and getting in a little bit of trouble. As my son once said,

Mom, you can't change the world without causing a little trouble!

So, if you care to stay in touch and keep sampling the 'fresh out of the oven' goodies, you will need to sign in/sign up/subscribe, or whatever 'right' techie term you want to use. I want to assure you that this is not a scam, but I will leave it up to you to decide what you want to do. If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them as much as I am able.

Yours for enjoying the ride, no matter what twists and turns might come our way,

Sincerely always Yours and His,

His Writer

Saturday, June 16, 2012

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 10

Will Not - Believe Not

Why are you not a saint? WHY?

The tone of O.C.'s roar is a mixture of desperate love song, passionate appeal and murderous threat. In the moment, all I can do is repeatedly blink, wondering if he actually expects me to answer the question. My confusion is relieved, or rather aggravated - it all depends how you look at it - when he gets me off the hook and graciously answers his own question.

It is either that you do not want to be a saint, or ...

I close my eyes tightly, shuddering with expectation for the next blow.

... Or that you do not believe God can make you one.

I cautiously open my eyes, wondering if he is done or should I expect another swing of the mallet. Feeling a bit dizzy, I am somewhat surprised that I am still alive after all this pounding. It's not just my head that hurts... I feel like my entire body has been pummeled and battered. But, despite the pain, deep down I know I got exactly what I needed, if perhaps it wasn't quite what I expected or wanted.

Having accomplished his God-given mission for the day, O.C. slowly sets down the mallet, looking ablaze from the inside out as he stands in the morning light. Then he crawls back onto the top of my nightstand, makes himself comfortable, and peacefully goes to sleep.

So far, I've only taken a sip or two out of my first cup of coffee. And I feel quite awake, thank you very much... in fact, perhaps more awake than I ever care to be at such early hour of the morning.

Friday, June 15, 2012

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 9

Watch Out for Deranged Lunatics
Lurking Along Lonesome the Rabbit Trails...

To continue where we left off... The daily devotionals can play an important role in the development of our spiritual life. Here's for example how it works for me:

Before I begin, I want to assure you that my husband has no objections to this unorthodox arrangement. In fact, given the passionate nature of our relationship, he may even say that Mr. Chambers has saved our marriage many times, except that we know that there is only one Savior, and Mr. Chambers, wonderful as he may be, is not Him.

As I was saying... I have brought my friend Oswald into our marriage, since I've known him before I met my husband. Having been such a wonderful friend to me all these years, he has earned his place where he mostly snoozes on the top of my bedside table, next to my Bible. Each morning, however, I reach out and grab him, drag him into our bed and throw him and my Bible on my crumpled-up pillow. Then, I stumble into the kitchen and fix myself some Turkish coffee. While I do that, my friend O.C. (not to be confused with OCD) strips down my cozy, fluffy spiritual blankets and, once I get situated with my first cup, he grabs a bucket of ice-cold water and splashes it into my sleepy face.

Woo....Hey! What was THAT all about?!!! I cry out, all the sleepy cobwebs strung around my dripping shoulder.

God writes the new name on those places only in our lives where He has erased the pride and self-sufficiency and self-interest. Some of us have the new name in spots only, like spiritual measles. My friend responds to my yelps for help cheerfully, reaching for something behind his back. I am not sure what is more offensive to me in this moment - the insulting implication of his words or his cheeery tone.

I... I have no clue what you are talking about... I stutter, shaking my head like a wet dog, trying to get rid of the dripping droplets and ice-chips.

Sure you don't. This is exactly why I am here! I have something that might help you understand it better, he says while pulling what I finally recognize as a rubber mallet which he swings and lands on top of my head once, and then again, and then one more time:

Pride is the deification of self, and this today in some of us is not of the order of the Pharisee, but of the publican. To say "Oh, I'm no saint," is acceptable to human pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. It literally means that you defy God to make you a saint, "I am much too weak and hopeless, I am outside the reach of the Atonement." Humility before men may be unconscious blasphemy before God.

I rub my head in the spot where the mallet has repeatedly hit me, dumbfounded by Oswald's passionate words. In fact, so dumbfounded that for a split second, I, my ever-talkative, ever verbal I, is left utterly and completely speechless. He takes advantage of my silence and hits me one more time on the top of my head... The sound the mallet produces is not much different from the one created by the last nail when pounded into a coffin:

Why are you not a saint? WHY?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 8

Rabbit Trail

Having said what I just did about daily devotionals, I must add, "Not that there is anything wrong" with daily devotionals, of course...

For I admit that I myself am somewhat addicted to one (Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest) which has been a part of my reading routine almost daily (see, I am a failing sinner just like everyone else!) for the past twenty or so years... One would think, having read through it at least twenty times, I must have it memorized by now (which, at least portions, I do). However, it is quite amazing and even more humbling to be daily confronted with the fickle feebleness of your own mental capacities that forget and keep on forgetting...

Besides My Utmost for His Highest, there are also few other 'daily spiritual crutches' to help us get out of bed that I would actually recommend, but most of those are unavailable on-line or as downloadable apps since they are way too old for most young folks to bother.... I guess such historical amnesia simply goes with the territory for the rootless generation (to borrow Henri Nouwen's term) that considers events that happened 23 minutes ago 'ancient history'...

I do admit personal bias here, for I come from a country that considers centuries old stuff which is tucked away in the dusty musty basement as 'grandmother's junk', while in the country I live in the same junk is viewed as priceless antiques for which people are willing to pay big bucks on eBay. But, to each its own... It's all just perishable stuff anyway...

Anyway, as I was saying... the daily devotionals can play a certain role in the development in our spiritual life. Here's for example how it works for me:

Monday, June 11, 2012

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 7

Somebody, Please, Wake Me Up from My Spiritual
Sugar-Overdose Induced Comma!

As I reflect more on all this, crazy as it may sound, I deeply believe that it is NOT Jesus' words that are giving us spiritual indigestion. Not at all! A little thought actually crossed my mind that, perhaps, what is giving all of us some serious digestive trouble as we take in God's Word is ....that our stomachs might be a tad too accustomed to:

  • Spiritual sugar-coated sweets also known as Scar-Pain-Suffering-Free Gospel, which is not the Gospel of the Crucified and Risen Savior at all, but only a cheap imitation of it;

  • Highly processed spiritual milk at best and junk food (perhaps even poison) at worst, served to us in many unsuspecting ways and many forms, sometimes even through sermons proclaimed from the pulpits and places of recognized and 'approved' spiritual authorities around the world (I am not naming any names here, you know who you are);

  • Predigested spiritual 'food' substitutes readily available in the many daily devotionals of the type You-Too-Can-Be-Holy-(and-HAPPY!!!)-In-Just-Five-Minutes-By-Following-These-Three-Quick-And-Easy-Steps

All this, coupled with our own






I-want-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-RIGHT-NOW!!! flesh makes it almost impossible to resist avoiding God's Word as a plague.

Add to all that our


ever-agile and

on-high-alert Enemy who simply wants to keep us asleep in our artificial-spiritual-sweetener-induced coma...

... and you get a perfect recipe for keeping the status quo- well, same-old-same-old.

C.S. Lewis wrote about this much more eloquently than I ever could in his book The Screwtape Letters. If you have it on your bookshelf collecting dust, I would warmly recommend you dust it off and crack it open... well, maybe not! Most of my recommendations to my readers are quite dangerous and should always be followed only at your own risk!

Considering all this, no wonder one needs to search for a true follower of Christ under a superpower microscope. Or as a famous Greek philosopher used to do, carrying a candlelight in broad daylight.

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 6

Not for Babies or Weak-stomach Vegetarians or Vegans

Having pushed a pause button for a few minutes, exhaling and inhaling several times until I feel my breathing is slowly returning to normal, my brain is once again thinking somewhat clearly, I assess the passage again. I have found that my worked-up emotions tend to interfere with my ability to discern and understand the truth, so whenever I sense them bubbling up, I know it's time for 'pause' button.

Giving the passage the second look, suddenly, I see... I see that there is a lot of thick, juicy red meat in this passage. No baby food, like milk and rice cereal. No one can tell by looking at me, but I admit that I love red meat... I am quite a carnivore, you know... I like sinking my teeth into a nice chunk of solid protein, pig protein being my favorite, especially when well-seasoned and thrown on the BBQ...

So, I start engaging my wild imagination and reflecting on what would life look like if those who profess to know Christ started actually living out His words...

The very first thing that comes to my mind (since I am a MOM!) is that this could downright dangerous!

Not to mention, CRA-ZY!

But the third thought actually surprises even me! Which is... that perhaps, just perhaps, this could also be






And, that maybe, it is not Jesus' words that are giving us spiritual indigestion. Not at all! Perhaps what is giving us all this digestive troubles as we take in God's Word is ....

Thursday, June 07, 2012

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 5

Cavorting With Enemies

I believe that by now we have established that Jesus has made some pretty outrageous claims about filial relationships.

Surprisingly enough, having read the Bible through and through several times, I have never ever come across a place where He apologizes for His 'out there' claims. But, hey, I am not a biblical scholar. If there is one who has stooped down to read my writings, I would invite him/her here to share his/her personal knowledge of such apology. I would be happy to both give him/her my audience as well as a platform to share with us the results of their scholarly findings.

However, what I would like to share today is taking us in the direction of... hmmm.... How shall I put it?

Going off the deep end...?

Walking off the face of the Earth...

Losing touch with, you know, reality. C'mmon, you gotta be real, you know...

For, not only Jesus doesn't apologize for his statements about our nearest and dearest being our enemies. He actually brings it up a notch... or two... or several hundred decibels...

Listen to these - that is, listen, if you dare... and don't complain to me later I didn't give you a warning - word of Jesus:

You're familiar with the old written law,

'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion,

'Hate your enemy.'

I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to

love your enemies.

Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.

When someone gives you a hard time, respond with

the energies of prayer,

for then you are working out of your true selves,

your God-created selves.

This is what God does.

He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—

to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.

If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?

Anybody can do that.

If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal?

Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. (Matthew 5:43-47, Message)

I don't know about you, but these words make a bit... uncomfortable.

I feel...

I feel like I need to stop and take some time to digest...

Think about it a little.

This is not something I encounter in my everyday conversations with my friends, coworkers and neighbors... It's so... sooo out there, if you know what I mean...

Monday, June 04, 2012

CopyCat 007 No Scar? by Amy Carmichael

No Scar?

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land;
I hear them hail thy bright, ascendant star.
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers; spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned.
Hast thou no wound?
No wound? No Scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me.
But thine are whole; can he have followed far
Who hast no wound or scar?

Sunday, June 03, 2012

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 4

God's My Streetlight in a Dark Alley on the Wrong Side of Town

You turn the lights on,
You liberate,
You captivate,
You fortify.
Don't know about anxiety,
when You turn the lights on;
You fortify me.
You fortify me.
Don't know about anxiety.

God's a streetlight in a dark alley
on the wrong side of town.
He's my bodyguard -
so who's about to mug me?

He's my protection -
what's about to worry me?
Don't know about anxiety,
since you've been around.

Psalm 27

the street bible by rob lacey,
Zondervan 2003;
for more information, visit

Saturday, June 02, 2012

CopyCat 007 - Filial Relationships... The Many Faces of Love Part 3

All in the Family...

With the living and eternal God as my goal and guide
fear and anxiety preempt no place in my life.
All the evil in the world is not able to destroy Him,
nor can it destroy anyone within His loving embrace.
The very legions of hell lay siege to my soul,
only to be thwarted by a power far greater.

I have one primary and ultimate desire;
to abide within the love and acceptance of God.
Within His tender care I know I am safe.

Thus I shall stand tall
regardless of threatening enemies and the tyranny of evil.
I will counter the subtle voices of temptation
with exclamation of praise to my God.

My God does hear when I cry out to Him.
He does not ignore my needs,
nor is He indifferent to my desires.
He will not let me go
even if my very own family should turn against me.
He will sustain me and keep me on course
through the dangers and pitfalls of this life.

It is possible to know and experience God's love
in this uncertain, tumultuous existence.
Take courage,
step out in faith,
scorning consequences.
Let God have His way with you.

Psalm 27
(poetically expressed by
Leslie F. Brandt, Psalms Now,
Concordia Publishing House,
St. Louis, Missouri