CALLED TO BELONG (Romans 1:1-7)

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1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—

OBSERVATION #1: If we belong to Christ, we are His bond-servants.

–Paul humbly calls himself a servant of Christ Jesus and an apostle (“one who is sent”). For a Roman citizen–which Paul was–to choose to be a servant was unthinkable. But Paul chose to be completely dependent on and obedient to his beloved Master. What is your attitude toward Christ, your Master? Our willingness to serve and obey Jesus Christ enables us to be useful and usable servants to do work for Him–work that really matters. Obedience begins as we renounce other masters, identify ourselves with Jesus, discover His will and live according to it, and consciously turn away from conflicting interests, even if these interests have been important to us in the past.1

For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. — 1 Corinthians 7:22

–Slavery was common throughout the Roman Empire. Some Christians in the Corinthian church were undoubtedly slaves. Paul said that although they were slaves to other human beings, they were free from the power of sin in their lives. People today are slaves to sin until they commit their lives to Christ, who alone can conquer sin’s power. Sin, pride, and fear no longer have any claim over us, just as a slave owner no longer has power over the slaves he has sold. The Bible says we become Christ’s slaves when we become Christians, but this actually means we gain our freedom, because sin no longer controls us.2

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. — 2 Corinthians 4:5

–The focus of Paul’s preaching was Christ and not himself. When you witness, tell people about what Christ as done and not about your abilities and accomplishments. People must be introduced to Christ, not to you. And if you hear someone preaching about himself or his own ideas rather than about Christ, beware–he is a false teacher.3

–Paul willingly served the Corinthian church even though the people must have deeply disappointed him. Serving people requires a sacrifice of time and personal desires. Being Christ’s follower means serving others, even when they do not measure up to our expectations.4

2the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.

OBSERVATION #2: If we belong to Christ, we are recipients of His grace.

–Here, Paul summarizes the good news about Jesus Christ, who 1) came as a human by natural descent, 2) was part of the Jewish royal line through David, 3) died and was raised from the dead, and 4) opened the door for God’s grace and kindness to be poured out to us. The book of Romans is an expansion of these themes.5

–Christians have both a privilege and a great responsibility. Paul and the apostles received the privilege of being called, but they also received the authority and the responsibility to share the message of God’s forgiveness with others. God also graciously forgives our sins when we believe in Him as Lord. In doing this, we are committing ourselves to begin a new life. Paul’s new life also involved a God-given responsibility: to witness about God’s good news to the world as a missionary. God may or may not call you to go to a foreign country, but He does call you (and all believers) to be Christ’s ambassador and to witness to the changes life that Jesus Christ has begun in you.6

6And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

OBSERVATION #3: If we belong to Christ, we are His holy ones.

–Paul says that those who become Christians are invited by Jesus Christ to 1) become part of God’s family, and 2) be His very own holy people, set apart for His service. What a wonderful expression of what it means to be a Christian! In being reborn into God’s family we have the greatest experience of love and the greatest inheritance. Because of all that God has done for us, we strive to be His holy people.7

APPLICATION: Recognize that belonging to Christ means being surrendered to Jesus through sharing your faith so others can belong by receiving His grace and peace.

Footnotes:

1Life Application Bible notes, Romans 1:1

2Life Application Bible notes, 1 Corinthians 7:22

3Life Application Bible notes, 2 Corinthians 4:5

4Ibid

5Life Application Bible notes, Romans 1:3-5

6Life Application Bible notes, Romans 1:5

7Life Application Bible notes, Romans 1:6-7

12 STEPS FOR THE RECOVERING PHARISEE

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1) We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people.

2) Have come to believe that our means of obtaining greatness is to make everyone lower than ourselves in our own mind.

3) Realize that we detest mercy being given to those who, unlike us, haven’t worked for it and don’t deserve it.

4) Have decided that we don’t want to get what we deserve after all, and we don’t want anyone else to either.

5) Will cease all attempts to apply teaching and rebuke to anyone but ourselves.

6) Are ready to have God remove all these defects of attitude and character.

7) Embrace the belief that we are, and will always be, experts at sinning.

8) Are looking closely at the lives of famous men and women of the Bible who turned out to be ordinary sinners like us.

9) Are seeking through prayer and meditation to make a conscious effort to consider others better than ourselves.

10) Embrace the state of astonishment as a permanent and glorious reality.

11) Choose to rid ourselves of any attitude that is not bathed in gratitude.

12) Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we will try to carry this message to others who think that Christians are better than everyone else.

[source]

::END TRANSMISSION::

PSALM 110: “Heaven Came Down”

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1The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

  • OBSERVATION #1: God the Son is seated in power anticipating His promised Kingdom.

–This is the most quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament. This not only points to its significance, but to the essential role it plays in helping us grasp the identity and purposes of God and His Messiah: Jesus. In the Old Testament when we read, “LORD,” it signifies God’s proper name, “Yahweh.” When we read, “Lord,” it signifies a title ascribed to God with reverential awe meaning “my Master.” To understand Psalm 110 is to embrace God’s overarching plan for His Son, and the ultimate progression of world history which culminates in Christ’s unmitigated rule of the entire world from His capital in Jerusalem.1

–Many people have a vague belief in God, but refuse to accept Jesus as anything more than a great human teacher. But the Bible does not allow that option. Both the Old and New testaments proclaim the deity of the One who came to save and to reign. Jesus explained that this psalm spoke of the Messiah as greater than David, Israel’s greatest king, in Mark 12:25-27. Peter used this psalm to show that Jesus, the Messiah, sits at God’s right hand and is Lord over all in Acts 2:32-35. You can’t straddle the fence, calling Jesus “just a good teacher,” because the Bible clearly calls him Lord.2

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. ” He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, ‘The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”‘ If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” No one could say a word in reply, and from that day no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Matthew 22:41-46

–The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians had asked their questions. Then Jesus turned the tables and asked them a penetrating questions: who they thought the Messiah was. The Pharisees knew that the Messiah would be a descendant of David, but they did not understand that he would be God himself. Jesus quoted from Psalm 110:1 to show that the Messiah would be greater than David. The most important question we will ever answer is what we believe about Christ.3

[see also: Psalm 2; Acts 1:10, 2:34-35, 7:56; Isaiah 63; Revelation 20]

2The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of your enemies!” 3Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning’s womb.

  • OBSERVATION #2: God the Son will conquer the world accompanied by Hi holy people.

–Later revelation helps us understand that Messiah will come back to the earth with His saints; He will not wage this particular war from heaven (Zech. 14:4; Rev. 19). He will fight against the nations that oppose Him at the end of the Tribulation. This is the battle of Armageddon (Dan. 11:36-45; Rev. 19:17-19). Following victory in that battle He will rule on the earth for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-10).4

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of Heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. – Revelation 19:11-16

–This scene provides a graphic display of the wrath of God. It shows God’s anger and judgment against sin and against those who have constantly rejected Christ as the means of forgiveness and reconciliation. God’s wrath exists alongside his mercy. In each generation, there must be balanced preaching and teaching about God’s grace and his anger against sin. In our day, however, teaching about God’s love and tolerance have become so predominant that God’s anger seems to be mythical. Such a portrayal of God hardly warns people away from sin. Teaching about God’s wrath may be watered down by some, but it is nevertheless real and will be terrible for those who have steadfastly refused him. In your study and teaching, do not emphasize God’s mercy to the exclusion of his wrath.5

–This title indicates our God’s sovereignty. Most of the world is worshiping the beast, the Antichrist, whom they believe has all power and authority. Then suddenly out of heaven ride Christ and his army of angels–the “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” His entrance signals the end of the false powers.6

4The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 5The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. 6He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. 7He will drink from a brook along the way, and so he will lift his head high.

  • OBSERVATION #3: God the Son exercises an eternal priesthood and will execute holy judgment.

–As a priest like Melchizedek, Christ will never abuse his divine position, and his reign will be forever. Jesus is more fully described as our High Priest in Hebrews 5.7

–By alluding to the ancient precedent of a priestly king in Canaanite Jerusalem, this psalm confers upon the Davidic king in Jerusalem a priestly title without usurping the prerogatives that belong to the Levitical priests.8

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High, – Genesis 14:18

–Who was Melchizedek? He was obviously a God-fearing man, for his name means “king of righteousness,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” He was a “priest of God Most High”. He recognized God as creator of heaven and earth. What else is known about him? Four main theories have been suggested: 1)Melchizedek was a respected king of that region. Abram was simply showing him the respect he deserved. 2)The name Melchizedek may have been a standing title for all the kings of Salem. 3)Melchizedek was a type of Christ. A type is an Old Testament event or teaching that is so closely related to what Christ did that it illustrates a lesson about Christ. 4)Melchizedek was the appearance on earth of the preincarnate Christ in a temporary bodily form.9

For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.'” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.–Hebrews 7:17-25

–The law was not intended to save people or to make them perfect, but to point out sin (Romans 3:20, 5:20) and to point toward Christ (Galatians 3:24-25). Salvation comes through Christ, whose sacrifice brings forgiveness for our sins. Being ethical, working diligently to help others, and giving to charitable causes are all commendable, but all of our good deeds cannot save us or make us right with God.10

–Jesus has a permanent priesthood. He should be everyone’s ultimate authority for spiritual life. In our culture today, however, many people have advisers and counselors whom they elevate almost to the role of priest. People look to political leaders, lawyers, physicians, insurance agents, and financial advisers to provide hope, long life, and security against all disasters. Many Christians regard the advice of priests and ministers, Christian friends, and even pop musicians before they consider the words of Jesus written in the Bible. Make sure your first allegiance and priority is know and follow the advice given by Jesus.11

–No one can add to what Jesus did to save us; our past, present, and future sins are all forgiven, and Jesus is with the Father as a sign that our sins are forgiven. As our high priest, Christ is our advocate, the mediator between us and God. He looks after our interests and intercedes for us with God. The Old Testament high priest went before God once a yea to plead for the forgiveness of the nation’s sins; Christ makes perpetual intercession before God for us. Christ’s continuous presence in heaven with the Father assures us that our sins have been paid for and forgiven. This wonderful assurance frees us from guilt and from fear of failure. If you are a Christian, remember that Christ has paid the price for your sins once and for all.12

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.–Romans 2:5

–Although God does not usually punish us immediately for sin, his eventual judgement is certain. We don’t know exactly when it will happen, but we know that no one will escape that final encounter with the Creator.13

if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.–2 Peter 2:9

–Just as God rescued Lot from Sodom, so he is able to rescue us from the temptations and trials we face in a wicked world. Lot was not sinless, but he put his trust in God and was spared when Sodom was destroyed. God also will judge those who cause the temptations and trials, so we need never worry about justice being done.14

  • APPLICATION: Put your faith in Jesus and His coming kingdom on display so all will repent in belief before He returns.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Footnotes:
1Nick Bank, sermon notes

2Life Application Bible study notes, Psalm 110:1

3Life Application Bible study notes, Matthew 22:41-46

4Dr. Thomas Constable, Commentary on Psalms, “Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable”

5Life Application Bible study notes, Revelation 19:15

6Life Application Bible study notes, Revelation 19:16

7Life Application Bible study notes, Psalm 110:4

8Zondervan, NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, Psalm 110:5

9Life Application Bible study notes, Genesis 14:18

10Life Application Bible study notes, Hebrews 7:18-19

11Life Application Bible study notes, Hebrews 7:22-24

12Life Application Bible study notes, Hebrews 7:25

13Life Application Bible study notes, Romans 2:5-11

14Life Application Bible study notes, 2 Peter 2:7-9

Good Friday Brain Droppings, 2020 Edition

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jesus-crucified-1215945

If Jesus’ demise is construed merely as a death — even as a painful, tortured death — the crucial point will be lost. Crucifixion was specifically designed to be the ultimate insult to personal dignity, the last word in humiliating and dehumanizing treatment. Degradation was the whole point.

Crucifixion as a means of execution in the Roman Empire had as its express purpose the elimination of victims from consideration as members of the human race. It cannot be said too strongly: that was its function. It was meant to indicate to all who might be toying with subversive ideas that crucified persons were not of the same species as either the executioners or the spectators and were therefore not only expendable but also deserving of ritualized extermination. Therefore, the mocking and jeering that accompanied crucifixion were not only allowed, they were part of the spectacle and were programmed into it. In a sense, crucifixion was a form of entertainment. Everyone understood that the specific role of the passersby was to exacerbate the dehumanization and degradation of the person who had been thus designated to be a spectacle. Crucifixion was cleverly designed — we might say diabolically designed — to be an almost theatrical enactment of the sadistic and inhumane impulses that lie within human beings. According to the Christian gospel, the Son of God voluntarily and purposefully absorbed all of that, drawing it into himself.

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And now a perspective from the Phoenix Preacher:

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We in the church are faced with both the greatest crisis and greatest opportunity of my lifetime. We have the opportunity to demonstrate to a culture that has rejected us what the love of God looks like in action. We can drop our temporal political and denominational differences and represent Christ in our homes and in our circles of influence. We can work together to share the Gospel and alleviate suffering.Maybe…maybe…this pandemic isn’t a leftist plot to take down Trump, but a God ordained opportunity to build us up in one, holy, faith…maybe…they will know us by our love…I’m praying…

phoenixpreacher.com, “Things I Think”, March 16, 2020

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Obligatory Pious-Sounding Lent Post, 2020 Edition

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Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. The beginning of what we devout types refer to as Lent, the six week period leading up to Easter. Basically, a time of fasting and abstinence from something that’s considered important to them. Sometimes it’s something obvious, like chocolate, or television, or even avoiding the internet somehow. Nowadays, swearing off the internet for 40 days is equal to, if not worse than, swearing off sex for a perpetual horn-dog. I wouldn’t know anything about that later part.

“What are you giving up for Lent?” That’s a question that I’ve come across with less frequency than back when I was in primary and high school. But it does pop up every year. I’ve never really participated in the abstinence part of Lent growing up, despite growing up in a Methodist-based family. Later, after I began my ongoing post-Evangelical wilderness wanderings, my answer would be, “I gave up Lent for Lent.” Ha ha, funny. Pause for laughter. Such wit.

Personally, this year I believe it would be beneficial for me to instead use the time to study the Scriptures, expand my knowledge through books and studies, instead of “giving something up.” I’m doing this all the time; I just want to focus more on this during the Lenten period, rather than distract myself with other pursuits. That’s not to say that I won’t take the time to take in a movie or actually do something to enjoy life. I’m not pious, you know.

For others, to give up something during this time of reflection on the ministry of Jesus, His road leading up to the cross, His death and resurrection, would be beneficial. For me, what I detailed is what I’m going to be focusing on mainly during the next 39 days. Everything I’ve already scheduled to be posted won’t be changed–I’d hate to disrupt the ongoing 366 Days Of Metal thing–but I’ll definitely get back to things after Easter Sunday. Cheers, all, and don’t overdo it on the Cadbury Eggs…

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Darker Musings…

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Images flashing in my brain: Me placing the business end of a pistol in my mouth, chewing on the cold metal, tasting the oil and metallic tang; numb emotionally, pausing, savoring the eternity between now and when my finger rests on the trigger…one question remains, do I close my eye? Or do I leave them open to see what happens after my brains are splattered behind me? Sweet, instantaneous oblivion, or will there be a lingering couple of seconds as reality melts away from my sight? I shall never know…

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OBLIGATORY YEAR-END POST: 2019 Edition

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2019-2020
So, here we are, the end of not only another year, but another decade. They seem to go by so fast now, especially after I’ve made it over the hill, so to speak. May have something to do with the downhill momentum. Or something like that.
never mind
In case you’re wondering if I’m going to do that thing everyone’s doing on social media where they post a picture of themselves ten years ago, and one of them now, no. I’m not doing that. For one thing, I don’t have any pictures of me back that far (I’m not a picture person, though I’m sure someone from my family or friends have one), and really there’s no need to compare how I am now versus where I was ten years ago. Let’s just say, I’m not the same person I was ten years ago. Heck, I’m not even the same person I was five years ago. Or even a year ago, one could argue. Though some similarities remain from then. Ergo, the year end review. Because nobody demanded it.
new years resolution
I began the Year of Our Lord, Twenty-Nineteen, on a generally cautious optimistic mood: I had been back at work since the day after Christmas 2018 after several months on long-term disability due to a medical procedure needed done on my right foot. I spent New Years Eve like I normally do, by picking up the Admiral’s Feast from Red Lobster for takeout after work, then slapping it into “B” for “Boogie” and split back to my domicile at the Haunted Victorian to eat my seafood feast and call it a year in the peaceful dark solitude, far away from the crowds and drunken idiots on the streets.
darknoodle star wars fan
I had taken all of the music reviews and band-related interviews from this normal blog of mine (the one you’re reading) and posted them on the NECRO SHOCK RADIO blog. It seemed a better fit. From then on out, any music review and/or interview would be first posted there. In case you were wondering where all of them went to.
pearls before swine generation gap
Over the year, I watched a bunch of movies, either in the theater with the Exalted Geeks, or on streaming devices, or otherwise. Most of them I wrote a review for and posted. Others I recorded episodes of the newly-christened Movies+Beer Pubcast. Some still need to have a review written. I’m getting to those.
eek brain heart eyes
Also over the year, I read a bunch of books, mostly on the Kindle, some actual physical books. Some I’ve written reviews of already, some need reviews done. I’m getting to those as well.

I dreamed of eating kale. That was weird.

I took the entire season of Lent not posting any movie and book reviews, and focusing on study of the Scriptures and meditating on the purpose of the liturgical season. A vow I apparently broke in April. Me so holy.

The dream of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock died a horrible death before it could happen. Make your own application.
Baby-Yoda-With-His-Little-Cup-Is-All-of-Us
In December of 2018, I bought an Audio-Technica AT-LP60-BK turntable, so this past year has been big on me collecting vinyl records to use on it. It’s a very satisfying, if a bit expensive, hobby. Nowadays, I’m usually just buying a download of the MP3 of an album; if I want a physical copy, I check to see if it’s available on vinyl, or nothing at all. I suspect I shall be continuing this hobby in the years to come. Consequently, a new series on my blog grew out of this: Vinyl Confessions. My only regret is not getting the model that has a USB connector for easier playing through my laptop.

NECRO SHOCK RADIO is still a thing. I just haven’t been able to coordinate any further shows in the past few months that I’ve been relatively absent from the blog. And since we’re at this point…
a novel in french
On June 1st, I was readmitted back into the hospital, due to what ended up being the stints in my right leg’s artery failing miserably. This resulted in needing an arterial bypass on my leg, as well as 1/4 of my right foot amputated due to gangrene. Spent over a week in the hospital after the operations, learning a brand new definition of pain and suffering while trying to use the bathroom with even a smattering of self-respect. Since getting discharged, I’ve spent the rest of the year (as of this writing) recuperating at my parent’s homestead, my mother taking care of the daily bandage changes on my foot while it slowly heals. Meanwhile I’m focusing on my health, and trying to keep the crushing darkness and loneliness from suffocating me.
alice cooper steve carrell marijuanas
On the plus side, my eyesight was steadily getting worse and worse since last year, due to rapidly worsening cataracts that were detected in August of 2018. That’s not the “plus side” thing. That would be, since I was out with a bum leg and foot anyway, I decided it was a good time to get the eyes taken care of. At that time, I couldn’t see very well, even with glasses. It was like looking at the world with a thick film of Vaseline smeared over my eyeballs. So, I went in for the Lasik surgery. I’m glad I did, it was the best decision I made this year, bar none.
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That said, these past six months have been a constant, almost non-stop struggle against severe depression, suicide, bitterness, loneliness and feelings of abandonment and betrayal, with very few bright spots along the way. To quote Grave Robber, I struggle to believe that faith hope and love remain.

As we enter a new year and a new decade, I find myself in a pitch-dark place. I entered the year with cautious optimism; I end it unsure of the future, and not able to trust and believe anything from those I call friends. I wait for the other shoe to drop, to find myself once again without a church family. I don’t regret being honest and up-front about my struggles with mental illness; I regret having expected any other kind of reaction than the one I got. I only have myself to blame for all this.

I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.
garfield new years eve
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an Admiral’s Feast to pick up, before the drunken revelry gets too unruly. Until next year, I remain your humble servant Uncle NecRo. God bless, my wonderful freaks.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Dave Ramsey’s Got A Gun…

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dave freakin' ramseyI’ve always kind of had a twinge of something being off about Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey, even when I was taking the course with Kim back in 2013 (they offered the normally $150 course free for couple that are engaged to get married, which we were at the time). It’s rare that anyone doesn’t have any kind of dark underside that doesn’t get shown to the general public, especially in show business and things like this. But, here we are, with an article on The Wartburg Watch blog: Dave Ramsey Hates Gossip. Is It Because He Does Strange Things Like Pull Out A Gun During A Staff Meeting?

Apparently, this has been happening within the Financial Peace University and the Lampo Group (Dave’s business) for a while; the Wartburg Watch article references a previous blog post about Ramsey back in May of 2014, when this started coming out.

This is my shocked and appalled face. In which I mean, I am neither shocked nor appalled at this revelation. Mayhaps my jaded cynicism with American Evangelical Christianity (TM) prevents me from really being knocked asunder. Or maybe it’s the fact that I never really idolized Dave Ramsey to begin with; certainly not as much as my ex does. More the reason to trust in the Lord rather than putting faith in any person, I would presume…

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Eastertide…

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grave of the black sheep
So, here we are. Another Lent season, ending with Easter Sunday, has come and gone. For many, this was a holy time of reflection on their faith and what it means to them. For me…I have to be straightforward with everyone: I don’t really consider the holidays on the Christian calendar to be all that important.

Okay, okay, let me rephrase that: I don’t really consider the Big Two Christian holidays–those being Christmas and Easter–as special as any other day of the year.

Yeah, there’s just no way I can phrase this without sounding like some kind of curmudgeon. I assure you I’m not trying to rain on the celebrations of anyone observing the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Jesus’ victory over sin and death is at the very crux of my faith (pun very much intended).

As I approach my third decade as being a servant of Christ Jesus (as I told the youth group last week, I became a Christian at the age of 15, and it’ll be nearly 30 years in August; do the math), I find myself less and less enamored of any perceived “holy days” and holidays as I once was.

The reason for this, first off, has nothing to do with being sick and tired of having to put up with so many Actual Lee* types who want to nit-pick how un-Christian Easter really is and sucking the fun out of everything for everyone (although I’d be lying if I said they didn’t annoy me); nor does it have anything to do with slowly losing my faith over time.

The truth is, I find that the longer I walk down this path that Father God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit has me on, the less I feel the need to celebrate Easter**. At least, not as all-out as many of my fellow brethren and sisteren do.

Here’s how I see it: Remembering the sacrificial death and consequent resurrection of the Son of God is very important. But, I think, equally important is to remember that we’ve all been living in the Eastertide, the period after His resurrection and ascension. The work is finished. We should be celebrating this every day out of the year.

Shouts of “He is Risen!” Well, He’s always been risen. Do we need reminding? Probably. We are a people that easily forgets what God has done for us. We go about the rest of the year seemingly stuck in the Saturday before Easter, like He’s still dead and our hope means nothing. An empty passion play.

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[*= “Actual Lee”: a type of person who always wants to correct anyone about anything, interjecting their superior knowledge on any topic of discussion, often unsolicited, usually starting with the word “Actually” (“Actually, the Easter celebration has its roots in the pagan celebration of the spring equinox, and was absorbed by the Christian church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.”) SOURCE]

[**=yes, I understand that some prefer calling it “Resurrection Day” due to not wanting to associate with the pagan roots of Easter. That’s fine, I have no qualms with that. I call it “Easter” myself, and that’s why I use it in this post.]

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