‘What else more could a man ask for?’

I love this interview with Mark Spoelstra (below) that captures the heart and soul of an artist — an artist who supported his family with sixteen different jobs throughout his life and still managed to remain an artist, and remain a real honest-to-goodness believer in Christ. Mark works through a lot in this interview — how he avoided a formula expression of his faith, how he fought against making a living off the gospel, how he kept his faith alive when many were watching it go stale, how he refrained from hypocrisy and phoniness, and how, in the end, it all came down to love. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Because when all is said and done, only that which is done in love will last.

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‘Jesus Comin’ Back to Town’

Click on picture for a recorded version of “Comin’ Back to Town.”

This week we are going to get to know Mark Spoelstra. Mark is listed in Wikipedia as “an American singer-songwriter and folk and blues guitarist.” From his early days in Greenwich Village, New York, he periodically brushed with fame, but stayed mostly on the edges, endearing himself to those loyal folk music fans who were fortunate enough to find his music.

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‘Jesus, He’s my friend’

Jesus, He’s my friend.

He took me by the hand;

Led me far from this land.

            – Arthur Reynolds from the song, “Jesus is Just Alright

 

I got a friend in Jesus.

            – Norman Greenbaum from the song, “Spirit in the Sky

When we call Jesus our friend, we’re not being overly chummy. We are not being inappropriate about God. We are not understating or overstating the case. We are doing what He asked. “I no longer call you servants,” he said in John 15:15, “because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Jesus said it first. He called us His friends.

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Posted in discipleship, Friendship, Jesus, the gospel | 6 Comments

‘Jesus Loves You’ (but I think you suck)

There is a bar in my town that in pre-COVID days was a celebrated biker hangout every Sunday afternoon. There was always a live band playing and rows of gleaming Harleys on either side of the street, with people inspecting them as if they were in a showroom.

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Discovering Jesus

One of the things I love about Jesus is that He makes you search for Him even when He’s standing right in front of you.

(Warning: This Catch is going to be difficult for those who are mostly left-brained. My wife always jokes about having only one left brain cell. Well, for those with only one right brain cell, I suggest you get that cell out and start getting it to do some pushups to get it in shape before you read any further.)

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Revolutionary Jesus

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18

Why is this a revolutionary agenda? Because it announces that God is on the side of the little people — people with issues — people on the hurting side of life, those left holding the short end of the stick. Since when are we championing the poor, the captives, the blind and the oppressed? Since Jesus came.

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Posted in discipleship, Jesus, Justice, Poverty & homelessness, revolution | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Following Jesus 101

Love your enemies

Pray for those who persecute you

If someone forces you to go one mile, go two

If someone takes your shirt, give him your coat, too

If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also

Give to those who ask

Don’t turn away from those who want to borrow

Return good for evil

Do not judge others

Forgive those who sin against you

Get rid of the log in your own eye so you can help with the speck in another’s

Treat people the way you want to be treated

Don’t make any vows you can’t keep

Don’t worry about tomorrow

Show mercy if you want your heavenly Father to be merciful to you

You may be thinking, “What kind of teaching is this?” This, my friend, is Jesus’ way. This is true Christianity. If you must measure yourself, measure yourself by these things.

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Jesus was a refugee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20

We are stardust; we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden – Joni Mitchell

I’m only visiting this planet. — Larry Norman

 

The kingdom of God is made up of refugees.

When you start thinking about refugees in the Bible, it’s hard to find anyone who was not, at least at one time, a refugee.

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