This is a journey

Intro:

I was born on March 21, 1989. I grew up in a family of 8. Mom, Dad, four brothers and one sister. I’m about in the middle. Two older brothers and two younger brothers. My sister was born between my two younger brothers. We grew up 10 miles north of Arborg.

I grew up in church. It was a pretty conservative close knit community, quite set apart from the rest of the world.

Stage 1:

My first memory is sitting in my bed in the middle of the night, crying. Because you see its so dark. And I’m alone and its scary. I feel alone.

At age 12 my guilt get the better of me and I knelt by my bed and said “the prayer,” the sinner’s prayer. It eased my guilt. For a while anyway.

A few years later, I imagine, I found myself once again reading from “The Scriptures.” I just wanted to please God.

Anyway, I found myself reading these words of Jesus,

“You can be forgiven for any sin, except one. If you blaspheme the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven.”

I didn’t really know what that meant, but to my horror I noticed the words slither through my mind.

“I blaspheme the Holy Spirit. I blaspheme the Holy Spirit. I blaspheme…”

-over and over and over-

And the more I tried to stop thinking it, the stronger the thought coursed through my mind. Terrified I rushed for the stairs to find my dad. Halfway to the stairway I again flung myself down onto my knees, “Please God, please God, please God.”

But I knew that it was probably too late. My soul was doomed to follow the devil’s bidding, straight into hell.

“You’re ok. Dont worry.” My parents consoled me, “If the Holy Spirit had left you, you wouldn’t be feeling this desire. He’s still here.”

I still remember the music I was listening to as I slowly drifted off to sleep. It was some kids music called “Psaltys.” Starting with the letter ‘P.’ Like Psalms. I could never enjoy that album again. And the horror of that night haunted me, for years.

I was baptised a few years later at about age 17 and became a member of the church.

Stage 2:

I started questioning.

Should we always be nonresistent? Surely there is a just cause for war, sometimes. Is rock and roll really of the devil? Always?

I quit my church, moved to a new church. A church that didn’t remain silent about the supernatural, the miraculous, the demonic. A church that didn’t demonize the rock n roll. Surely now I would feel at home.

I did, for a bit. But quite often, I still felt alone. Alone as the people danced around me in joy. What’s wrong with me? Why so reserved?

“Is this it?”

A pastor told me, you won’t always be alone. That was nice.

But I still felt alone.

“Maybe the focus on the supernatural is not the answer. Maybe violence is never the answer.”

I prayed.

While reading a book, now unknown to me, the author challenged me to pray.

“God, do whatever it takes. Have your way in me. Wreck me.”

So, I did. And God did. Bit by bit.

“Please God,” I prayed

Then I came to the conclusion. Maybe big church and explosive shows and explosive growth are not the cure. I quit my “Signs and Wonders” church, and joined a smaller conversationist church.

A small group, that will aid in feeling connected, right?

A while later I distinctly remember realizing, “I don’t trust God.”

Stage 3:

Shortly after, I was introduced to the work of Irish philosopher and radical theologian Peter Rollins, and the concept of deconstruction.

Then I decided, I’m gonna move away.

So I did.

In Alberta I remember a friend mentioning to me that sometimes she doubted God’s love. To this I responded with “great wisdom.” I noted that though I had questioned just about everything, but, God’s love to me had always remained a constant. An almost prophetic statement of what was to come.

Shortly after, I moved back into Arborg. But something had shifted. The radical deconstruction had begun.

“Who am I?”

“What is this?”

“Where are we going?”

“Who is God?”

It began by reading a rereading of the crucifixion. Brought it into a fresh light. It exposed me to my sense of alienation. Allowed me to acknowledge it. Jesus’ cry,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This opened me up to a new understanding. Jesus didn’t repeat the phrase, “I believe, I believe.” He didn’t pretend. Or attempt to put on a mask. Rather he openly acknowledged his sense of betrayal.

“Do I trust God enough to acknowledge that I feel like God has betrayed me? Or is my God too small?”

I chose to no longer run. Rather i choose to face the pain. The fear. The loneliness. The ‘what if.’ Slowly nihilism crept up to me.

“What is there’s no afterlife?”

“That means nothing matters.”

“If nothing matters why do anything?”

This was hard.

“Accept that you’re accepted, accepted by that which is bigger then you and the name of which you do not know” -Paul Tillich

Slowly some things came together.

“Even if you live in a meaningful world, but dont love, you will experience it as meaningless. But even if you live in a meaningless world, but love, you will experience it as meaningful.” -Peter Rollind

So maybe, “If we learn to love in each moment. Even if it were the last moment of our existence it would be meaningful. And if it goes on forever, but you live by love, it will be meaningful.”

This gave me great hope.

I still feel the loneliness from time to time. But slowly I’m learning to enjoy the unknown. The incoming unknown. And as I’m learning to experience both the highs and the lows. I’m experiencing a deep joy.

Sometimes.

I’m learning to breath. In the letting go.

I call this faith.

-Love and peace

The Stories by Bob I (A fictitious retelling of the tale)

Bob 1:1 There once was a human in a land far far away. He came to the people to tell them that everything was going to be okay. To tell them all that it was, better then we thought, everything will be okay. This human was said to be conditioned by the gods in some special way. A sort of anti-king was another swing, another thing that they would say. A king who dominates in liberty. A paradox I know, but what if it could be so? And three, He was also said to be, alikened to an emperor. But similarily so as to the notion of the “anti-king,” he claimed the dominant ought not dominate by violent means, but rather from their knees. In humble service and love to the other’s pleas. And he in humility he came to us and said, “Wash me please.”

1:2 Rumour has it that instantly following the washing of the man, the skies ripped open, as the god-as-super-being surrendered his essence and slowly it fluttered down in the form of a dove. The transition of God. Superbeing to Being. The giving up of superiority. God giving up his throne. The surrender of God. God with us. 

1:3 Immediately following the transition, the man is guided from within, into the wilderness. Pain is the quickest way to surrender, they say. 

1:4 After this episode the man arose and walked into town. The game is on! “Do NOT worry. Its better then you think! Love wins!” He would shout from the rooftops, in the religous buildings, in the hills. The dominion of love is just around the corner! Its here!”

1:5 “But remember, for love to win you have to fully let go of control. You have to fully face the hate within. For love to take over. It has to start with you! Then let it grow, let it grow. And, only then, Love wins!”

1:6 One day as the man and his posse got back home the man right away walked into his old church. Found the pulpit and just started preaching! Everyone was blown away! “Isnt he the dropout?” They pondered. 

1:7 Suddenly he was interrupted, “I know what you’re up to!” It was the town drunk. “Theres something special about you. Something. Different. You must be…”

1:8 “Hush up now!” the Man quickly interrupted. (We later realized he wasnt too interested in being placed on pedestals.)

1:9 Immediately following this interaction the guy just freaks! Went right into a seizure and started puking everywhere. The Man walked to the kitchen and came back with a glass of water. Placed it beside the man, the seizure had already stopped, and walked out.

1:10 After the seizure incident The Man and his posse walked over to have dinner at the house of one of the moms. When they got there they found out that she was sick. The man just touched her, and she felt better! Was this a physical miracle? Or relational? Or was it ‘merely’ emotional? After this, he again helped a lot more people.

1:11 Including a couple more drunks and loudmouths. But whenever they began to mention how special he was, he would quickly tell them to “hush up.”

1:12 Then he walked off again. Into the woods.

1:13 And people freaked. 

1:14 Instead of hanging around, the man left town. “Time to go,” he said “Time to continue the mission. The mission being the transmittance of my message to a lot of people. The message being that things are better then you think! That love wins, if you do your part.” 

1:15 As they were still leaving a young man approached from the shadows. “Do you have some healing left for me?” Without a second thought The Man wrapped his arms around the young man and held him for a long time. Finally he let go whispering, “You are accepted. Accepted by something beyond yourself. Accept this.” The young man with aids wept. “Go see your priest.” The Man smiled. “But dont tell anyone else.” The Man frowned, then continued walking. 

1:16 The young man told everyone that he’d been healed. Now crowds kept overcrowding The Man.

on hypocrisy 

PREWARNIG (im a little nervous about posting this, so um, dont take this too seriously. 🙂 ok cheers)

​I’m a bit of a hypocrite

That’s what I’d say if I was honest

(Here’s one way: hold on to your seats.)

I claim to be a follower of Jesus

And that Jesus is found in the incoming of the other

The refugee calling for relief from oppression

The homeless individual begging to be heard

But… I’m full of crap

When the oppressed come to me

Majority of the time, I push them aside

Then try to forget them

I deny Christ

Then put myself into hell

The hell of my selfhate

Then shun all, to save their souls, of course

But, I’d rather stay here

It’s easier then listening to another’s pain

It’s easier then opening up to the possible realization of my deep pain
And you know what’s the worst of all?

I’m saying all this, to show you what an amazingly humble person I am

I’m saying all this because I care about the hurting

I just want their pain hidden, out of my sight

(Please note: not all terms refer to literal notions)
Love and peace, and disruption

-brad

Our fantastic gods

We construct our fantasies

Then appoint priests to guard the gates

Thus creating our gods

Engineered to cut us off 

Refusing us entrance into our fantasy
We clothe our heros in clothes of glimmering gold

To convince ourselves that they are beyond us

We worship in order to excuse ourselves from the struggle

We stand in awe, precisely so that we dont need to become, aware
Becoming starstruck

We are saved from the horrors

Saved from the realization

That our gods are fantasies we’ve fabricated 

Drawing on our projections of self
Stand strong then

So that your gods can do the same

And reduce the risk of facing your harsh reality
Hold them, hold them at bay

And watch them with wonder

With dead eyes

Rescued from wander-ing

The moment

Hello. Welcome to this moment.

Not that I control the rights to this moment.

And besides, that moment is loooong gone.
Nonetheless. Welcome.

We’re talking about the moment.
This is all you get. 

This moment.

Right now.

And now.

And now.
Thats all you get.

The moment.
And…

Now that thats clear. 

(Polite laughter)

We can move on.
Unless this moment matters,

Nothing matters.

Right?
The past is nonexistant.

Our history being but a mere hologram, quickly dissipating. 
The future is not a thing.

Its a set of possiblities from this moment.
So whats up?

You can live like this moment matters.

And everything matters.

Because everything is derived from now.
Or you can live like nothing matters.

And consequently everything is veiled under thick splats of nihilism.
So.

This is great news.

Because under this persuasion,

The moment matters.

Each. Moment. Matters.

And as a result what doesn’t matter,

In this moment,

Is what happens next.

Because in this moment, 

What you do now, matters.
Think of it this way.

Say your existence will cease to exist in the next moment,

That’s nothing to fear,

As long as you make the most of this moment.
And on the opposite side,

Imagine that you are going to exist for the next million million million years.

Not a big deal,

As long as you live as if this moment matters.
Where your career goes, or your relationships, also loose a bit of their sting. How you treat them in this moment, well you get the picture.
Love says “I am with you always.”

And its always this moment.
So breath.

And sense that this moment matters.

Each interaction is powerful.

Each smile is huge.

Everything matters. 
Love and peace

-cheers

Mushy alert! 

Keep scrolling
If you’re still here, hi

Hello

So i remember being criticed for “thinking everything is a joke.” 

Hard to believe right?
Anyway i just laughed it off. (Of course)

However, it turns out i believed the criticism

Because now i keep catching myself

Taking everything too seriously.
So here’s the punch

Dont.

Dont heed the haters 

(of course im not advicing to reject advice)

But be yourself

Shine YOUR light

Only you contain this particuler glow

(So dont attempt to contain it)
-love and peace

Bonus!

So today’s special so I’m posting something special 

Just kidding, I just feel like writing anything, but also feel like posting something.  So here goes. This is a copy of a talk I did a bit ago.  Enjoy. I would love to hear some praise and worship and commentary. Lol jokes.  But seriously I’d appreciate some honest feedback.  Cheers. And love and peace. (Prefarewell)
​In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 

   Slowly matter formed. 

   The stars and planets. 

   On earth the land and the waters. 

   The air and the dirt. 

   The plants sprung up. 

   Animals too.

   Eventually humanity emerged.
??? And the superego (sigmund freud) spoke within the human. “Did God really tell you to not eat of all the trees in the garden?” 
Humanity reasoned back, “We can eat of ALL of the trees. all but one…”
                    All BUT one
Quickly desire took hold. (The death drive according to psychoanalysis) 

     “I cannot, therefore I MUST have it!”
(like a child when refused a toy in a toy store)
 And a vicious hunger arose. And we, humanity, bit deep into our salvation. 
But it was not. (The apple was rotten)

In fact, the hunger only intensified. (Anti-redemptive act)
     “But surely,” we reason, “With enough of this. Enough sex, food or religion! Surely this hole will be filled. This gap.” Surely we SHOULD fix this lack.
‘I believe it was French philosopher Jacques Lacan who referred to this hole as “the gap between our self identification and our perspective of the big other’s (God) perspective of us’
‘in traditional Christianity it is sometimes called the God shaped hole’
But back to the story

Its not working…

Our attempts at salvation
And humanity continues to listen to the ego. And wreak havoc.

Murder, genocide, rape, hate.

Thousands of years pass…
Till one night. 

One specific night. 
unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder
And the child grows. 

Nurtured by its mother. 

Eventually the child that grew into a man. 

And he spoke to the masses that surrounded him.
 In a gentle voice the man spoke of love. 

Of caring for the weak. 

Of standing up against institutions that take advantage. that oppress.  
“Live like the grounding of the universe is generous, to the slightest degree, and you can take on the biggest establishments. If you don’t give in, nothing can stop you.”
He spoke about taking the humble place. 

“Like this is greatness.” 

He taught them to imagine and walk in wonder!
Imagine. 

(Play wheat clip)

“Imagine walking through fields of wheat. 

 Wheat up to your waist.

Walking along with your finger tips grazing the tops.

In the distance you hear birds chirping

Soaring through the air

Just look at them!
They’re small.

But they’re free!

Nothing can hold them down

Listen to them sing

 Now pay attention! Those birds are worth hardly any money. Yet God cares about them. He notices when even one of them is shot down. “I love you more.” says God
luke 12:6-7 “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

 “Check out the lilies of the field. They neither toil, nor spin. Yet God has clothed them better then Solomon with all his riches. So don’t worry about a thing. ” I love you more.
“Stop trying to prove yourself. 

Give up the need to control everything. 

To know everything. 

To understand everything. 

The system tricks you into making you struggle, then, this struggle keeps you stuck.”
And he told them stories
         Fisherman vs businessman 

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. 

As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish. 

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished. 

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said. 

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. 

“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
And the crowds couldn’t get enough
Till the establishments of his day grew tired of this. 

So they grabbed him. 

Spit on him. 

And threw him around. 
D1: And he resisted not. As if to say, 
“Violence gets us nowhere.” 
And he died at our hands.
By this He further revealed the darkness within our systems. The darkness that lurks in the shadows of our norms.
D2: Even in his death he refused to raise a fist of self preservation.
Instead, he forgave his oppressors. 

Begging for them to see. 

To be freed.
Then. God. died. 
This is the most powerful becoming powerless. 

This is the defiant cry of our vulnerable God,        

       “You want me on a throne? 

This cross is as close as you’ll get me.”

       “You want me to wear a crown?

Ok! But I chose a crown of thorns.”

The ultimate shout out against the idea that greatness is displayed by dominating.
D3. Rather he stooped down to total vulnerability and screamed to the skies 

     “My god, my god. Why have you forsaken me?”
God is looking for god.
Even when Jesus is resurrected he continues the theme of humility.

And meets Mary as a gardener.

Then he instructs his followers. 
“Where two or three of you gather in my name. I am with you.” 

“In the midst of down to earth community drenched in love.”

“Now  get out there and let everyone know the good news! That God’s not angry!  He’s given everything, for you.”
He started to leave. But looked back again and said,
“When the weak, the oppressed, the cursed show up at your doorstep. Will there be anybody who will treat them generously? Will anybody live as if they believe there is a generous source behind everything? Will I find faith?”
Then he grinned that lopsided smile, and disappeared over the hill.
   Now. The takeout.

Both the place of “My God, My God why have you forsaken me” as well as the sense of “the Father and I are one” can be authentic places of forward movement in our lives. Because both places can lead us into a deeper place of surrender. Opening us up to the incoming call of the unknown.

So. Show some grace to that which you don’t understand. Peace.
— origins of fisherman story

“classic Brazilian story, probably also present in other cultures. Someone found the English version, but I could not identify the translator”

Check Luke 13 for more ideas