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'Thank you Card' photo (c) 2011, Jon Ashcroft - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Today’s the day.

If you read my Farther’s Day post, you know something of my childhood story, and my struggles as a dad. You also read of how you could help me become a better man.

Many of you have stepped up this week, made sacrifices for me, and taught me a lesson about community. Whatever the final outcome, I will be forever grateful for your kindness and generosity.

I wrote yesterday of what all of this has meant to me. I stand stunned into silence by all that’s transpired this week.

But now we are coming down to the wire. Never before have I appealed to you, my readers, for anything (excepting, of course, your attention). This blog exists as a labor of love, and you have shown me what it–and thus I–mean to you.

We are almost there. At last tally, we are $70 short of our goal.

Can you help push us over the edge? If you can’t afford to give, will you pray?

I feel like a fool coming to you this way.

I’ll tell you how it is for me: I feel like the woman told about in Scripture, the one with the issue of blood. Like her, there is a crowd–an obstacle that must be overcome–standing betwixt her and Jesus. “If I can but touch the hem of His garment,” she says to herself.

That’s what this is to me: my “hem of His garment” moment. I put this out there for all of you to see, not knowing how it would be received.

And you have overwhelmed me.

And I am–we are–almost there; the hem of His garment is nearly within reach.

Anyone who gives any amount will be entered in both giveaways I put on this week:

Kindle copy of Tosca Lee’s Demon: a Memoir

And:

Jeff Goins’s You Are A Writer

If you are unable to donate, you may still enter to win one, or both, of those books by simply commenting in either, or both, of those posts. I will accept entries through midnight tonight (Friday, June 22nd, 2012). Winner(s) will be selected via Random.org.

So there it stands–we are down to the wire. I have until midnight to register with Ransomed Heart, or I forfeit my spot.

Please click the button below to be directed to PayPal. Thank-you very much! Many, many blessings to you!

–Chad





>Halesowen Church detail 2photo © 2009 Tony Hisgett | more info (via: Wylio)

Over the years, I’ve had a rich and varied ecclesial experience–having attended, or belonged to, many different churches since Jesus found me in 1988.

Such as:

Charismatic:

Where they once prayed over me to receive the gift of tongues. Not, mind you, because of its evangelistic potential, but rather because it–tongues–is the initial evidence of the indwelling–the very presence of God in my life. Proof that the Holy Spirit was indeed in me.

Think that over for a second with me, will you? They were asking God to prove that He was living in me. Because, apparently, He’s in the business of showing signs and wonders to sinful men. Proving Himself as if He were a man. But I digress.

Anyway, since the rapture didn’t happen last month as (so errantly) predicted, I highly recommend those of you wanting to try to experience this gift–put it on your list before October. Because apparently, according to Harold Camping, that is when the real judgment is going to occur. Or something. So get it on your pre-flight checklist. Also, if they sit you down in the middle of sweaty middle aged men with yellow underarm stains, even better. Apparently those guys are prayer warriors. At least they smelled like it. And I thank my God that I speak in tongues more than you all. 😉

Nazarene:

Where the people were loving, the songs were old… or, wait, was it the people that were old? Everything smelled like mothballs and Vicks VapoRub–even the hymnals. But, truly, the people were largely kind, and they sure knew how to eat, too!

I could go on, but the point is that there is no perfect church–because if there were, I blew it for them by darkening its doors. I’m just as much a misfit as those I described above. And so are you. We are all alike in our need for God’s grace.

So let’s share some today. Now pass the tater salad, will ya?

>Diapers in the trashphoto © 2007 Inga Munsinger Cotton | more info (via: Wylio)

Embracing the Controversy

Yesterday, I stepped into a little offline controversy by asking the question “Did Jesus poop?” Folks online were supportive, but people I know personally were a bit put off. I understand where they’re coming from—Jesus is holy, and as such we should revere Him. I wholeheartedly agree. Jesus, as our savior, should be venerated, sanctified, lifted high. My point yesterday—if I had one—was simply to put forth the notion that we don’t serve a distant Lord. He has been here, was born as a baby, lived, breathed, walked among us—in short, experienced everything it is to be human. And all without compromising His divinity. So I guess I don’t understand how pointing out that He had bodily functions like ours somehow besmirches His reputations, is in anyway irreverent? On the contrary, I think this makes Him all the more accessible to us. In any case, that was yesterday; today, I’m embracing the controversy.
Imagine with me a world (a place and time much like today) where the savior has just made his entrance at a truck stop. Some—his parents, those looking for his arrival—recognize him, most don’t, and others want to make a fast buck. It is with third group that we are here concerned today.
After Mary and Joseph have settled in Podunkville with their new baby, some folks approach them with a generous offer: they will handle all of their baby’s soiled linens for them at no charge. Now, this young couple, having had to change their fair share of diapers already, readily agrees. It’s quite a burden off their shoulders. No muss, no fuss. Unbeknownst to them, these seemingly kind folks—having heard who their son is, but not really believing—begin selling the contents of the diapers as a salve to heal the world’s ills. “Deaf—put this in your ears. You’re guaranteed to hear.” “Blind, rub some in your eyes—you will see.” And so on. It is a wonder cure for whatever ails. It is Holy Sh*t. Problem is, it doesn’t do anything that it purports to do—it just stinks things up.
I wonder how much of what we as Christians, as the church of Jesus Christ, offer has much the same effect on the world today. Is it a sweet-smelling savor, or an unholy stench? Are we offering Jesus, or merely a stinky substitute? Does this make you uncomfortable to read? If so, good—it makes me uncomfortable, too. I want you to know that I write out of my own needs: to be authentic, to be real, to offer the real Jesus, to drop pretense, and live in His purpose. To drive the demons of Fakianity out of my own life. Today, I may have surpassed your comfort level by writing what I did, and I’d like to say I’m sorry, but I just can’t: the stakes are too high. The world needs real Christians, not diaper salesmen. What do you think?