Friday, December 24, 2010

T-Shirt and Jeans Day 2

12/18/10

      In the midst of relaxing and enjoying some rest, I miss how much time I've spent away from my girls and I realize how much of a blessing that teaching has been to me.  I have learned a significant amount about teaching and relating to students such as, classroom management, teaching the teks, and listening.  The question often rises in my mind is one of concern for many christians, is God for you?

      Is God for you?  We have heard how much God is for himself.  If God is for himself, then He is for you!  He cannot deny himself, namely Jesus Christ
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

T-Shirts and Jeans Day 1

     
       Let me begin with a brief explanation of t-shirts and jeans; I'm on a 16 day mission to be comfortable and wear what I consider to be ultimate comfort t-shirts and jeans.  I have a two week break from school, and that means a two week break from khaki pants, golf shirts, and yes the ever gagging tie. 

T-Shirts and Jeans Day 1 Monday 12/17/10

       School let out after lunch today and a huge sigh of relief fell over me, knowing that I could just relax and enjoy my family for the evening.  There was a community wide youth rally at the Civic Center, I encouraged my youth to attend; however, I was following God's plan and taking my family for a trip to see the lights in Marshall.
       I had several people ask about why I didn't attend the event; after explaning myself that I was following God's plan by not going and hanging out with my family, a look of confusion and dismay fell over their faces.  I wonder if I would have told them that I went and worshipped satan with my family instead of going to the youth rally if I would have received the thumbs up?  No, I would have received the same confused look as similiar to the one when I told them that I was hanging out with my family. 
       Ruach Hakodesh is the Hebrew term for the Holy Spirit, this is exactly who we are to be led by and not by our flesh.  We are not of the flesh, we are of the spirit.  Every one who showed up at that event was doing exactly what God had planned for them; God didn't plan a youth rally for me.  A book named , "The Law of Faith," by Norman Grubb states in chapter 1 pg 13, "It is my belief that in each member of Christ's body, from the time of the new birth, the Holy Spirit begins to develop some special characteristic through which God may be glorified in a particular way, some aspect of His grace and truth through which the whole body may be edified and enlightened."  I add this quote to tell you that the measure of faith given to you is not by what you muster up and provide for yourself but, the gift of the spirit is measured by the faith given to you is the faith of  Christ.  God is glorified by your response to his voice in your life and manifesting the measure of faith given to you.  The measure of faith not by the flesh, but by the Spirit.
       Being in the middle of God's plan was much more fulfilling than doing something I was not supposed to do in the first place, and I will rest really well at night knowing that my family is my gift of God.  Listening to the Spirit was just as much a worship experience as listening to a youth rally for those who went.  I went to the lights in comfort, wearing t-shirt and jeans with a orange vest with my girls and my beautiful wife.

t-shirts and jeans,

Jason

P.S. here is my favorite Christmas song, by one of my favorite bands "The Rhinetones" performing "O Holy Night"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Self-Hatred and Religious Idols

In depths of one’s lonely soul there is an abyss that seems endless and cold. The rope that leads to the bottom is an unforgiving drop to a cold slab where the only friend you have is self. Broken and torn in the soul is where God finds the rich soil to plant His strength in you. Francis MacNutt says, “If the Lord Jesus Christ has washed you in his own blood and forgiven you all your sins, how dare you refuse to forgive yourself?”


At the lonely bottom, self-hatred shows its ugly head out of the shadows and renders you guilty and shamed by the lack of forgiving yourself. Learning about self-hatred will cripple the soul and damage the heart unrecognizable until you forget about the reality of your identity. Identity is the major crisis of our nation’s Christian population and its cure is found at the end of the rope.

The end of the rope strategy takes its shape by you giving up on everything you know to be true and wiping the slate clean. If your concern is worship, then stop worshipping until the only thing in life you can do is worship. If your concern is prayer, then stop praying until the only thing you can do is pray. If your concern is Bible study, then stop Bible study until all you can do is study you’re Bible.

When the slab at the bottom is too hard to bear spiritually, take comfort in knowing that the idols in your heart are being destroyed. Worship, prayer, and bible study are all forms of idols. Idols such as worship, prayer, and bible study are never recognized as idols because those who have such idols have never tasted the goodness of God on the cold hard slab. 2 Timothy 3:5 describes these idol worshippers as having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power…then it says, avoid such people.

By our own fault, we lye at the bottom of the abyss trying to work out godliness in the attempt to show God the fruit of our labor and to no avail the arrow continues to miss the mark.

If you are mucking around in the pit of despair with no hope out of self-hatred, then take the pill and swallow the bitter truth that your only hope is in seeing the unseen. Paul Tillich defines the unseen as “the courage to accept acceptance.” What religious idols have a form of godliness in your life, but lack the power of God? Is your self-hatred to the point that you are ready to give the idol of “self” up? Join the journey with us in walking through the end of self and listen to our weekly podcast “Coffee and Conversations” found at www.teleoridge.com/podcast or on itunes under Teleo Ridge Ministries. Later, From Jason.
Monday, July 5, 2010

Colorado Trip Day 4

Today is July 4th, and I'm sitting on the front porch of this enormous home/lodge/envious spot I'd like to live...and I'm working on my opening session for FBC Oloh in the second week of December...I know I know, I'm on vacation.  You can't just sit here where I'm sitting and not think about God and His glorious creation...here is the view from my post

See what I mean, God just beamed a promise over me that dated back to Noah, a perpetual promise that is still with us today.


I stepped out and tried to film this chipmunk; however, I was highly unsuccessful and failed miserably.  Hey here is a shot of the upstairs loft; (the game room), and oh my my my...is it fine.

We all joined for an afternoon supper at Kathy's Uncles in South Fork and we had a great time, and then my batteries to  my camera failed so here is what I took before equipment malfunction happened...  more to come later.



by the way...worst pot of coffee I've ever made...highly embarressing look you can see right through it...


also, this was the first sign we saw when we walked into the house...hilarious and unnerving!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Colorado Trip Day 3 (Arrival)

Travel Day 2  (Arrival at South Fork, Colorado)

The trip today began with a couple of major important stops before we left Amarillo, of course you have to understand that no trip can be complete without a stop at Starbucks.. and Wal-mart..., and while in the drive thru I noticed that there where a brand name of cookies in the window by the name of "Lucy's" of course I had to buy them, here is a pic of the cookies.

Forgive my morbid sense of humor here, but you can't look past a sign like this and laugh...I know, I know, it doesn't say Dumois, it says Dumas...but check out the parady in this road sign.


We found a coffee mug today in the city of Clayton, NM, I will reveal the mug later on...I bought it for a friend in Tupelo, MS, Larry McClendon.    

here are many random pics of the Mountains, we've been studying the Hebrew language and it's pictograph's and the word for Mount in Hebrew is SaR,  samech Aleph resh (lean on God's humble servant) interesting one of ranges we drove through today is known as Sangria de Cristo (The Blood of Christ).  Here they are...



Random Pic of the day in Alta Mesa:



Here is a pic of us today at Raton pass, my girls are sitting on the same wagon that April, Brent, and I sat on in '81 or '82 or ever earlier...30 years later we found the same wagon, it brought a tear to my eye, here is this pic:



Here is the humble abode that we are living in for the week, it is quite spectacular and here is the view around the cabin:


As we embark on this week,  I look forward to hearing from God and what He is going to do in directing my life and walking in His grace.  I'm learning to trust in his voice alone and not make a move unless he directs it...and my selfish nature does not always respond, yet I find myself right in the middle of what he has for me.

more tomorrow!
Friday, July 2, 2010

Colorado Day 2

1st Travel Day:

Preparing to leave on a trip is always somewhat stressful, yet, the anticipation of leaving the norm is  welcomed and timely. 

We sat out today for the goal of making it to Amarillo, of course, the trip on map-quest said it would "only" take 71/2 hrs...ha ha ha!   This is our first official Jason Goodson family road trip...every time I think about going on vacation...Chevy Chase and the family truckster from National Lampoons "Vacation" comes to mind.  You just pray that there is no uneeded adventure other than gazing upon my girls pretty faces as they look at the Rocky Mountains for the first time.  "I can't wait to see their response..."  

This morning as we were pulling away from Mineola in family car and the Hainesville Aires trailer as if we were a traveling family band, we've had several strange looks today.

Those smiles well they didn't last long!

We began our journey and 31/2 hours later decided o.k. it's time to pull off and have lunch in Bowie, TX.  Just a comment before I go any further..."There is absolutely nothing to eat on hwy 287 west of Denton."  I was getting worried about the possibilities once we left Denton when nothing but tumble weed began running across the road.

Good ole Bowie, TX just north of 287 on hwy 81 we ran into a "Golden Chick" after circling the McDonalds that held only 14 people, smallest McD's ever!




Friendly people at the Golden Chick in Bowie...a little to far off the road however.

Here are some pictures post Golden Chick experience as we entered the vast Texas plains.


a sleeping goosters is a quiet van!on the open road,

isn't the scenery just beautiful, they don't come any better than KGood.


This our attempt at producing a video of mountains in TX, well that are just not mountains, ant hills more like it.



This is our attempt at artistry in motion


it was a cool looking tree...the only tree all day!


We finally made it to our destination in Amarillo, and we sure are tired; however, before the slumber,  "STEAK" at



The Mae Train went into shut down mode when she saw the moose head, then finally calmed down long enough to enjoy some excellent cooking.


I was meditating on this verse today for shabbat (or sabbath day) from Exodus, it says

Exo 14:13 And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.


Exo 14:14 The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."

What an encouraging truth in the midst of the junk we live in, I want to with my family this trip, is to be silent so that we do not miss seeing His salvation, that He will work for us as we glory in Him who is Adonai, EL-Roi.
Thursday, July 1, 2010

Colorado Day 1

Prep Day, Thursday July 1st:



I find such great pleasure in hanging out with my children; Zoe is 5, Lucy is 2, and Iris is 8 months old, each child unique in form and has personality to boot. I am on a mission today of clearing two of three girls out of the house, Zoe and Lucy. Removing the older girls out of the house allows Kathy to prep for packing the loads of junk we carry with us, especially, for our trip to Colorado.

South Fork, Colorado is the destination of our trip…here are a few photos of the girls here at our local coffee shop in Mineola, B&B Legal Grounds. This is our attempt at freeing the mind of mamma at home. This is Lucy my 2 year old before she ran out of real estate near the pool table and bumped here sweet face on the right corner pocket….she survived!

This is Zoe, my five year old; she is the calm, cool, and collected one of the bunch always mothering over the brood. This is such a beautiful quality she possesses, she is my oldest, and she is quite smarter than dear old dad.



This is my friend Neal Edwards, who is an incredible flat picker…Neal is singing old gospels and the presence of God is resting amongst us and honored we are to be in the presence of Elohim…the Almighty…beautiful.
  


No mountains yet, but who needs mountains when you have the glory of God in your midst in a little coffee shop in Mineola, TX.
Monday, May 10, 2010

Not Understanding The Cross

 Not Understanding the Cross

The greatest misunderstanding of the church today is not understanding the cross.  In viewing the cross, we often fail to see the greatest task ever worked out "The Death of Jesus."  The death of Jesus gives us a marker for looking towards the deity of Christ and not our flesh.  The cross boldly stands as the death of self, when one is drawn by God to the cross, the ultimate result is death so that life may be shown.

2 Co 4:10  We always carry in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that the life of  Jesus may be manifested in our bodies too.

oddly enough we do not believe that verse, because this verse is the interpretation of understanding the cross.  Without the death of Jesus their is no life for us.  Jesus' Death is the revealing life on our behalf within, the resurrection is the avenue by which Jesus gives another in the holy spirit by which we have union with God through Christ.

We do a great job as the body of Christ of missing the point, in Mark 8:34 we see a great example of not understanding the meaning of scripture:

Mar 8:34  When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Normally we hear the interpretation of this verse as a way of pointing others to "good works."  These good works are often translated in denying self as Spiritual work and  it has the face of religiosity.  The result of this is self-righteousness.  I grew believing that if I did not read my bible daily and pray that God would be upset with me!  This is a result of not understanding the cross; I turned the work back to self instead of resting in the finished work of Christ on the Cross and His righteousness.

Deny

The word of day is deny, the crucial part of understanding Mark 8:34 above; which is not found in what we see.  For instance, denying self is not looking to your flesh to find how you can rid yourself of sin.  Denying self is not looking to what the principles of the world says we should accomplish.  Denying self is not seeing and  listening to the voice of satan in temptation and fighting your way out. Denying self is not found in what we see in self and try to fix it.  The flesh, the world, satan, and what our eyes see is the deep meaning of self.  the description of denying self in its intended meaning is this ignoring what the flesh, what the world, what satan, and what our eyes see about self. 

This is the daily struggle, we can play the religious game and keep believing that our work for God will count in saving self.  On the other hand we can begin to ignore the false truths we have believed for so long and look at the cross as our final death stake.  Until we see the cross as final, we will never understand what it means to take it up. 

Taking Up the Cross

Taking up the cross is embracing its finished work, the finished work of the cross is embracing what we don't see about ourselves which equals faith.  Begin to practice the ignoring of religious self and you will understand what it means to embrace faith.  The cross finished the work, we carry around the death of Jesus in this flesh ignoring the details that cause sin because we can't fix sin.  Sin was fixed at the cross, you see the same cross that killed Christ killed our sin.  This verse in scripture just says it:

2Co 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
We embrace all the cross says about us which is the hardest thing we do as Christians because it removes the onus on self and finds rest in work of God through the cross.

Not understanding the cross leaves us with the terrifying aspect of wondering if we did enough!  I love the movie Saving Private Ryan, but it is a terrible picture of redemption.  The main character at the end is left questioning whether or not he earned it because he was told to by the man who saved him, "to earn this."  Is this not the picture we walk around with went it comes to taking up the cross?   Earning life does not find its rest in making self better, but in understanding that through the death of one on the cross, life was given, not so we could keep earning merit with our efforts of righteousness to gain life.

To understand the cross we must understand intimacy in a relationship with a loving Father.  Let these verses resonate with you:

Eph 1:7  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Eph 1:8  which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
Eph 1:9  having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
Eph 1:10  that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

Jason.



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Receiving

We can never be hard enough on sin to affect change in the world or church. We will never quit sin simply because it is wrong. God never created the new man to quit anything, The new man is only capable of receiving life. Any time we try to quit sin, it is only our flesh trying to be religious. When the receiving of His life swallows up the desires of the flesh then sin starts to disappear because the life of Christ is manifest in our mortal body. Our mortal flesh can never serve God, it can only manifest His life.
Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Real, Substantive, Eternal View of a Shadow

Defining Circumstances

Shadow defined is a function of—and constitutes irrefutable evidence of—the presence of light.
Thesis Statement

The real, substantive, and eternal view of a shadow is found in the light of knowing God intimately through the eternal picture of the earthly tabernacle.

What I Can Tell You Upfront
What I can tell you upfront is that I’m sorry that my knowledge of the Father is only finitely descriptive of an infinite reality. With sure notions of gratitude in my heart I come humbly now to script out a picture of what only the Holy Spirit can reveal internally. I often wonder if there is a particular science to writing about word pictures without it sounding East Texan to the reader; however, it’s what I are. I’ve been reading the Torah and have found great delight in reading these wonderful word pictures of Christ. I wrote a few weeks back about listening to the voice of God even when it calls for the strange, and cuzz, business is booming. What I can also tell you upfront is this, the earthly tabernacle no longer exist or the contents thereof, so be sure to mark this down in the imprint of your heart; everything written down about the tabernacle is a shadow of the real, substantive, and eternal relationship found in Jesus Christ.
The Real
About the time that Moses was stomping towards the wedding ceremony at Mount Sinai, the Holy One spoke to us (Israel – Chosen People which includes we grafted in gentiles) about two million in all face to face and guess what happened? We couldn’t handle the level of intimacy that our Divine Bridegroom was offering. We trembled at the sound of His voice. We shook in our boots (sandals, more like Chaco’s, and definitely not flip flops) at the majestic manifestation of His presence. We hid humbly (supposedly) in false modesty. We ran in immature fear. The real of this situation is that we could not handle the fact that God would dare to stoop to our level and actually want to have a face to face relationship with us. We instead insisted that Moses be our spokes person, because we feared that if God spoke we would die. It is funny how man wants to rely upon another man to hear from God.
God obliges us by showing Moses and Aaron (who by the way were eager to walk in to the presence of God boldly) on that mountain during a period of forty days and nights the exact details of what this earthly tabernacle was going to look like. The Holy One is prepared to reveal the glory of living in intimacy with His chosen people and to nurture this relationship, but since our fear caused us to pause; He gives Moses instructions on building a tabernacle that is to be a shadow of the real. God then could have rebuked us or even disciplined us; however, His response to our immaturity gives us a glimpse into His goodness and grace. The Holy One is the patience bridegroom who patiently demonstrates His infinite love for us; now that is real.

Substantive
Moses has a substantive experience on top of Mount Sinai by engaging in an intimate relationship God, who gives specific instructions on the earthly tabernacle. Much has been made by what actually happen on the mount that day; I’m not sure what it looked like, but it was much more than we can humanly imagine. God gives detailed words on what is to be the means by which God and man can experience intimacy in “show” form. The Tabernacle is a replica of an actual intimate experience that is available to us through Jesus. The tabernacle was never meant to be anything other than a replica! A replica of what though? The tabernacle is a replica of the real and substantive Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the tabernacle. Let’s look at the substance contained within.
The most famous substance in play is the Ark of the Covenant, John wrote in Revelation 4:2, ‘a throne, and someone sitting upon it’. The ark is the throne of the holy of holies which we have access because of the blood of Jesus. To boldly enter the throne with confidence the writer of Hebrew says in 4:16. It is atop this mercy seat that we find the holy one who sits eternally and is by this calling us in to his wedding chamber to experience a substantive face to face relationship with Him.
We are however, left to our flesh, still in fear that the Holy one would not allow this. The ark is not just a piece of religious art work awaiting for the person to first make themselves right and then enter in to the throne room. The ark is the center of gravity of the Kingdom of God; it is where we run to find mercy and grace in our time of need. The ark given to Moses to build was a shadow of what we have now in the present reality of Kingdom living. The substance of the ark is that God is drawing us into himself so that we may rest our lives in His presence.



Eternal
Moses step into an eternal state when he first gazed upon the father and received the instructions given to build this earthly replica of a real relationship. The eternal is not wrapped up in our concept of time. If we could measure eternity in what we know as time, then it would not be eternal. We live in a box of time, eternity is transcends time to where it does not exist. The present reality of the tabernacle is an eternal reality because Moses saw it on the mountain. Not only did he receive instructions and details about the tabernacle but he saw it in its eternal reality. What God asked Moses to build on earth was just a shadow of that reality; Moses gazed upon the eternal view of a shadow.
We can muster up all kinds of theology here to give credence to a denominational viewpoint but we all know that would be messy at best. That is why we in our flesh are finite, measured by time; we have a beginning and an end. The eternal make up of who we are is in the spirit. We must understand that we are eternal beings that our make-up is in Christ and not in this flesh we walk around in. The eternal reality is that the flesh has been crucified, and we are living eternal beings in the eternal Kingdom. The reality of eternity is life in Christ; it’s no longer just a shadow for us in time, but an eternal reality now.
What I Can Tell At the End
What I can tell you at the end of this article is that we tend to live in a here and now perspective and forget that the eternal view is a reality now. The replica of the temple is a reality in Jesus Christ. Jesus as led us into the bridal chamber through His blood and we have access to His throne. If you are living outside of resting in his lap, then you are living in the groan of the flesh, you are living in the shadows of what is temporal and doesn’t last. Resting in the lap of Christ gives us as John did (who placed his head upon his breast) the intimate reality of a lasting relationship. Crawling into the lap of God now is living in the real, substantive, eternal view of what the tabernacle plays out, which is just a shadow of us being drawn into the bridal chamber to experience intimacy with God.
Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shimmer, Shine, and Radiate

"We’re born to shimmer, we’re born to shine, we’re born to radiate..."
-Shawn Mullins

To shimmer, shine, and radiate is to reflect the purpose of living life that you have been created to live and if it is not driven by life, the purpose was never reflected.

Word of Introduction:

In the seduction of radio, there once beamed a tune in the early stages of my marriage with Kathy that still to this day causes my heart to retreat to the sights, sounds, and smells of the green Honda driving to Broken Arrow, OK or to Mineola, TX, or to Lake Forest Ranch for weekend retreats. The song “Shimmer” by Shawn Mullins. It is like “desperado” stopping Elaine’s boyfriend in Seinfeld to a halt when he heard the song quickly shushing her when she spoke. Kathy and I never shushed each other; we just sang heartedly, yes, Kathy can sing heartedly. What are you born to do? What is the exact picture look like? If you end up finding the purpose that you are born to do and then find out that you are not satisfied, did you miss the purpose or did you miss the life behind the purpose?

Shimmer















I love this picture’s depiction of the word “Shimmer”. Shimmer sets forth the reflection of light off of an object, such as the bench in the picture. Part of the purpose of light is to make aware that which has been hidden in the dark. Light exposes the junk, the imperfections, and the little spots of stains hidden in the deep domain of the abyss called life. We fight and struggle to find the purpose that will make us shimmer so we can reflect the intricate details that we have been shaped for because it gives us validity. Proverbs 20:25 reads like this when it comes to trying to invent the shimmer, “it is a snare to say rashly, “it is holy, “and to reflect only after making vows.” It is an aged process to shimmer the purpose of our life, because as we walk through the darkness of our junk, we begin to see the glimmering hope of the shimmer. Like this bench in the picture you may feel weather beaten and worn, people may sit, lean, stand, and trample on you but like the bench you will one day look back and see that your purpose was to provide rest for weary souls.

Shine









When the sun breaks forth from a cloud it reenergizes the landscape, it shines its light on the colors of the world giving deep distinction to the individual participants. I love to see people shine; it gives forth hope and anticipation to life and living. Distinguishing between finding a purpose and living out a purpose is somewhat complex and confusing such as: The Sun being hid by the clouds, we really do not know its full potential until the sun shines over the edge and reveals its purpose. The Sun has one purpose, it is to shine. When the sun is living its purpose, it is providing life to us through nature by bearing forth the fruits of the fields, trees, and power we need to produce sustainable living. Paul describes this shine in 2 Corinthians 4:6 by giving us a picture of its purpose stating, “For God, who said, “let light shine out of darkness, “ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The brightness of God’s glory shines in the face of Jesus Christ; therefore, when God’s presence is manifested it is the shine of Jesus that sheds forth light through us that gives distinction to His glory. The only reason we do not shine the life of Christ in us is because we are hid behind the clouds of guilt, shame, and doubt.





Radiate





This picture radiates, I love it, it gives us a clear distinction of how the sunlight beams forth its energy. The energy that permeates itself through windows, clothing, and food is the beam of the sun’s rays. The sun can be described as radiant or brilliant, it is bright, and it is infectious. To radiate is to reflect the life of the object. The sun’s radiance is its beams; it naturally produces beams of light because the source of the light is producing it. This analogy can be somewhat tormented in ministry because we often believe that life is found in the process of working for God. We’ve been called to radiate life in ministry. I’ve worked tooth and nail to try and produce a good feeling in depths of my soul’s chamber, and yet it never brought forth satisfaction. When God is producing ministry it radiates life. As a result, when I stand in front of a group of people and share scripture it is a result of life and not a means to finding life. I’ve wasted way to many days worrying about finding life in my works. My works are as filthy rags compared to the good works of God who has called us to do but one thing; and that is to believe. “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3).

Final Words



Shawn Mullins, at least in this ballad, shares a significant area of life in the words he writes, “we’re born to shimmer, we’re born to shine, we’re born to radiate…” It is in these characteristics of light that we are given hope by Jesus when he states of us in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Just as God led the children of Israel out of captivity by a pillar of fire by night which was leading to life, so we find life as we learn to shimmer, shine, and radiate the life of God as we grow in intimacy with Him. What is the work of God? Jesus stated it like this in John 6:26-27, and then they said to him, “what must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “this is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mary-Jane, Pop-Tarts, and Sex-Utopia

Q: why do we see teens running to the outside recourses of drugs, food, and sex for fulfillment? Is this a teen problem or a parent problem? Why would we sit back and enable such a lifestyle pattern to develop in the ones we love so much, namely, our children?
Inevitably, at some point in the life of a child, they will have been faced with a decision about Mary-Jane, Pop-tarts, and sex-utopia, what they choose will affect the rest of their lives.

Mary-Jane is a beautiful name if you think about it; I wonder how many Mary Jane’s there are in this world? (Forgive the momentary pause for reflection) Mary-Jane however, is the quintessential name for marijuana. Mary-Jane has affected the brain cells of millions of people world-wide. I was introduced to Mary at the age of 18 as it was being passed around in a circle amongst a group of people whom I’ve never before and never since have seen. We all have those friends that your momma warns you about, but you’re not sure why the warning was given until you see the doobie exponentially offered.
Teens that use drugs for the most apart, about 60%%, use it, specifically to shake hands with Mary-Jane. Once a teen has had their formal introduction with the Jane, a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinal commonly known as THC expels itself into the blood stream. THC is the sweet delight of the smile of Mary-Jane, yet this smile doesn’t look so kindly once it has taken effect. Symptomatically, Mary-Jane thrives itself in paranoia, anxiety, and dizziness; in fact, these are what teens would consider for themselves as deserving after a hard week of classroom study, video games, and text messaging.
I sat with students who have freshly finished a date with Mary-Jane and seen an emotional state that hit deep within, literally having life “in tune.” “Yeah man, I’ve got it all figured out, nothing can stop me…” I often wondered after hearing this type of statement what “it” means! “It” must be special, because in concentric circles of concern I’ve heard questions such as do you have the “it factor”? “It” must have something to do with Mary-Jane because “it” must be wrapped up in THC. Mary-Jane can only do so much to help one out, maybe ease the carnage of life if for a moment, relax the chaotic soul, cause deep introspection; however, Mary-Jane will never be able to fill the deep need of the spirit. The way, the truth, and the life are wrapped up in a free gift named Jesus, which does not contain THC, but life.
POP-TARTS
I chose pop tarts as the subject of my next point for the purpose that most children, teenagers, and adults can identify with food. Pop-Tarts are just good! I have a particular addiction to “S’mores” flavored Pop-Tarts with a nice Irish Crème latte. I’ve kept our local coffee shop in business with this particular order. I once new a particular set of females whom I worked with during my first summer at LFR who admitted to having that all nutritious breakfast of Mountain Dew and Pop-Tarts every morning while in college.
Pop-Tarts have no value nutritiously, in speaking of health, but if you want to smack down on some good old comfort, Pop-Tarts will do the trick. There is nothing kosher about a Pop-Tart, so you will not see a Jew or a practicing gentile of the Jewish tradition partaking of Pop-Tarts. God bless them because it would definitely be a vise for me that would consume me at first site; no will power. Pop-tarts do not provide that cover that I desperately am looking for when I give in to my flesh and try to hide like Adam and Eve did in the garden.
What do you hide behind when sin knocks at your door and you give in? We all have that addiction that grieves the inner-most being of our souls. Food proudly invades my space and is a cause for much of my malady; I’ve lived with food addiction for 16 years and there is not a day that goes by that I do not fight its calling. Adam and Eve when they sinned did not wait by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for God to show up and have a little chat over the situation at hand. No, they ran for cover, to hide and cloth themselves, to hide what was the cause of their shame. When I sin, food provides a momentary comfort that is fleeting from the time I begin to embrace it. For you, it may not be Pop-Tarts, it may be something else. Jesus by His compassion draws me from this hiding place when I try to play hide and seek from Him.
Sex-utopia
Utopia is a 15th Century word coin by Sir Thomas More, who authored the book Utopia in 1516. By definition in Websters it is described as an imaginary and indefinitely remote place, or the ideal place of perfection especially in laws, government (lol), and social conditions; an impractical scheme for social improvement. We dream in utopia dipping our fingers in and tasting the sweet savory flavor of the perfect life and then immediately interrupted by the ever antagonistic alarm. It is amazing how many of us think that utopia is not possible; have you heard of heaven? Utopia only exists in the realm that we do not find by human touch because of our lack of unbelief.
Sex-utopia is experienced widely over planet earth in front of the T.V.’s, DVD’s, movie screens, and computer screens of our lives. Look at these statistics:
In a Kinsey Institute survey, respondents were asked "Why do you use porn?"
43% - "because I can fantasize about things I would not necessarily want in real life."
* 42% of songs on ten top-selling CDs in 1999 contained sexual content, 41% of which were "very explicit" or "pretty explicit." Family News in Focus, July 2005
* 17% of all women struggle with porn addiction* 1 of 3 visitors to all adult websites are women* 9.4 million women access adult websites every month Internet Filter Review
* 38 percent of adults believe it is ‘morally acceptable’ to look at pictures of nudity or explicit sexual behaviorMorality Continues to Decay. Barna Research Group, 3 November, 2003.
“What’s this world coming to?” “Is there no self-respecting human on this planet anymore?” Why do we assume that the world is all of the sudden turned bad? Honestly, have you read the bible lately? None of these stats were present in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, there was no extensive research done find out what was corrupting the heart of man. God knew it simply as “depravity,” in fact, before the flood while Noah was building the boat, “man’s heart was continually on evil.”
So do not be surprised that we strange creatures of this earth try to meet our sexual needs in utopia when they are not met up to our standards physically. We play the blame game so much when our sexual needs are not met; therefore, it is easier to meet them in the realm of utopia instead of the reality of a relationship through Jesus Christ. The reality is that when our physical, emotional, and mental needs are found in Christ, exploring utopia just does not satisfy. Sex in any form can only fill the void momentarily.
Final Words
Ok so Mary-Jane, Pop-Tarts, and Sex-utopia are idioms for us homo-sapiens to use in meeting that God shaped void in our lives. We can try to stuff it with Mary-Jane, but she only pacifies the pain. We can try to gorge the void with Pop-Tarts, but it only comforts and covers the glaring reality of depravity. We can try to fantasize the void by escaping to Sex-Utopia, but you will find yourself heartbroken. Is it possible that God’s purpose is to meet you at your moment of need so that you will be satisfied in Him? Or will you continue to blame God because you are not running to Him? Maybe it is time for parents to reclaim the home and strike up a conversation with their progeny and actually play a part in the lives of their children as heroes of the faith. Do you actually think that God will leave you to handle it by yourself? Youth Pastors are not your child’s mother and father…I know only a few Youth Pastors who actually get the fact that their job is not to parent but to point to Christ; heck it’s hard enough to lead students when most youth pastors are dealing with their own addictions to Mary-Jane, Pop-Tarts, and Sex-utopia
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Declaration of the States of Steeples, Snot, and Poo

An Introductory Word

I suppose that it is not proper to stoop down to the level of the words that I'm about to use; however, I will not regret the use of them. Descriptive use of words such as steeples, snot, and poo are not the status quo when it comes to writing about life. If I were in preaching class, the only thing missing from this standard use of sermonology would be poo, simply because I did not high light the point with the S word, and I'm not talking swords.

Steeples

Under normal circumstances you do not see the steeples of the church as a part of article writing; however, I have seen many steeples. The thing you need to know about steeples is that they mark the spot on denominational preferences. Steeples are large, skinny, tall, short, stacked with bells, as big as a 3 story buildings, and some with the looks of watch towers. Steeples are not indicative of selling points, I mean when Jesus died on the cross, I'm not sure that he thought it would mark the spot for heretical worship across the globe. I heard it once said that there are 38,000 different religions in the world today, and I can't help but to think that these are 38,000 different ways we've screwed it up. Religion defined is man's way to God.
I once saw a steeple standing on the stage at our college chapel that fit perfectly from the stage to the ceiling, it served as a lightning rod for a room full of students who were forced to spend three hours a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday clinging to the superficial words of a predetermined guest. I'm not mad at steeples or disgruntled by the worship that exist underneath the standing symbolism of a horrible death; however, I'm concerned for those whose white washed American lifestyles are classified by what church they attend. For the most part, individuals in the church are deeply needy, deeply narcissistic, and deeply entrenched in tradition because it is what they learned growing up.
Have you ever sat in the Sunday school classroom and heard the same dribble over and over again? It is because that same dribble was taught to the Sunday school teachers of today and there is no distinction made outside the box because of the fear that they too might cast a shadow of doubt in someone's heart. People who lead Sunday school classes are not stupid people; in fact, some of the smartest people I know are leading small group discussions every Sunday morning in our local steepled buildings. I do believe that there are amongst those smart people ignorance produced by ignorance, produced by ignorance, and etc., there is something to say in removing filters and searching the scripture and that in them we may find the words of life and not the words of a steeple chaser.



Snot

I find it interesting that we as American’s all deal with snot, yet we would rather not display our techniques in dealing with snot to others around us. Snot is found in every corner of the world it is not prejudice to a certain class of people, race, or society. Snot drips itself through the nasal passages of Presidents, Dictators, Governors, Mayors, Pastors, Priest, Deacon's, and the Pope (whom ever he may be at the time). Snot is blown in dish rags, toilet paper, handkerchiefs, tissues, paper towels, hand towels (the rough kind you find in bathrooms that leave your nose red and chaffed), bath towels, spit cups, and empty Dr. Pepper bottles. Snot can be found in places such as pillow cases, sink drains, couch clefts, bathroom walls, sidewalks, front yards, back yards, and underneath the table when you no other spot to wipe it.
Why even the topic of snot has been brought up in conversations over the world about its color, bright green, yellow, white, and red (depending on the type of infection you have received per its color.). A friend was telling me the other day about a lady whom he saw in the parking lot of the local grocery store who just exited the building walking towards her car who was left to blow snot from her nose into her hand and then proceeded to swipe it in the air to rid herself of this while loogie substance that was as he described, "disgusting! It looked like she was spider man as it flew from her wrist." What we need to know about snot is that it plays some kind of role in our lives and much like spiders is never more than three feet from us.
I tend to believe that Jesus at some point in His life blew a snot rocket or two and felt relief by having it removed from his nasal passage. Snot is not something that you debate in Systematic Theology as if it had something to do with you eternal salvation because it plays no part in you being seated in the heavenlies. Snot might as well be the topic of most sermons we hear today because like most sermons, snot is a topical discussion and has no eternal impact of the believer who longs for intimacy with their Creator.

Poo

Advancing on with the topic of poo, I must warn you that there is no explicit description of fecal matter and how it proceeds from or produces itself. Don't get me wrong, I believe that people have a right to poo because we all poo. The places we poo are sometimes problematic because the public has to witness the transaction. We shake hands with people that poo all the time, we just hope they had enough common sense to wash their hands before exiting the throne room. I worked on work staff in the summer of '91 at Lake Forest Ranch in Macon, MS and I experienced poo in many different areas of the camp.
I was summoned by the director to go and clean the rec hall bathroom that was occupied by the boys of the camp. This particular week of camp left us short of water due to a busted water line and in these particular toilets there was no way flush it down naturally with loads of water. He prepared me for such a task by telling me to suit up with goggles, cleaning gloves, an apron, a clothes pin, and a water hose. Just for future reference, when someone comes to you and says that you need goggles, cleaning gloves, an apron, a clothes pin, and a water hose, respectfully decline and save yourself a mental picture that will never cease.
As a means of gross, this top the list in every since of the word, backed with the support of my fellow work staff who participated from afar, I entered the bathroom and discovered a toilet that was not overflowing from milk and honey, but was overflowing from the remnants thereof. I noticed a message was written on the bathroom stall that nonetheless came from the crafted script of the index and middle fingers of a young gentle soul who decided it would be funny to write (_ _ it happens). After the laughter of disbelief and finding humor with the situation at hand, the bathroom itself was restored to clean order and I prayed that I would never again see the words (_ _ it happens) again on a bathroom wall with poo.
I am glad that in regards to poo, my sin included, disgust me. You may need to see your sins in regard to poo, as disgusting before you understand the need of a Savior who steps in and cleanses the bathroom stalls of your heart. I don’t have a perfect handle on how to help you see the disgust of sin; sometimes it takes stepping over the edge with the use of poo type language to describe the condition of our depraved lives.

Final Word

In retrospect, the declaration of steeples, snot, and poo have given us a look at humanity. We see things through filters that cloud truth and reality, removing those filters takes a process of wading through the waters that struggle against what we know as normal. Begin with one filter at a time and it will be easier to remove the mask we so easily hide behind on a daily basis. The results will be amazing when you look back on life and find that during this whole process that God never left your side.
Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 2010 "Misfits"

Greetings from the heart of Texas,

I say greetings from the heart of Texas because in deep east Texas there is a growing community of eccentric people who are building a family that will last forever. Have you ever had some one stand up for you in your moment of weakness? Have you been backed into a corner by the rear ends of the world and your only way out is through the help others? When I tell you that in the heart of Texas a growing community of love and respect is building in unity, I'm not speaking of the golden era of pomp and circumstance, but of the here and now in the midst of the worst economic recession our generation has witnessed, a community is being built.

a meticulous laid tile floor covers the surface of our local coffee shop and the floor is as meticulous as the owner who is painted in terrible light amongst those who exist outside of the family within. He is particular about the people, service, and keeping every detail of his place warm and welcoming. He is determined to build community. He wants to see music and the arts succeed in this sleepy part of Texas that can sometimes be rigid and disgruntled.

"Misfits," "you know they just don't seem to fit!" Maybe misfit should be a class of people instead of a term used down grade. Declaring today that I, Jason Todd Goodson is a Misfit in the tallest order or shorter order if you are judging vertical status. The Misfits slide inbetween Lower Middle Class and Poverty, Lower Middle Class and Upper Middle Class, and Lower Upper Class and Upper Class. The Misfits reside in every category and looks just like you and me.

On any Friday or Saturday night you can enter the coffee shop and find those who are playing folk, Country, blue grass, and occasionally a karoake collage of all the songs you remember from growing up in the era of the '70's, '80's, and 90's. Just recently a young patron of the coffee shop who has a love for the theatre arts wrote an original play and pulled from the pool of misfits and created a masterpeice that should be made into a movie, the "flickerking" will be coming to a theatre near you as soon as he grabs the nerve to send it off.

When I first entered the coffee shop three years ago I did not expect to be received so well, I mean seriously why would this group of misfits accept a baptist minister into the family of community being built? Why would the meticulous owner of the coffee shop who is still struggling with faith be Jesus with skin to me and those who I grew up loving and were groomed by have nothing to do with me now? It's a mystery, maybe in the mystery God chooses to show up in the weak and feeble, those who are ok with not being ok, those who don't a grip on life, or maybe its just that He chooses to manifest himself through misfits.

I met a lady a month before Christmas who joined our Monday night meetings, who calls herself a Messianic Christian, practicing the Jewish tradition as a means for her to know God. The only thing I can figure about this sweet soul is that she lives to know God. She has no job, no money, no family to speak of in the area, she came by way of Pennsylvania because the camp she worked for fired her because she was to Jewish, that's right to Jewish, she's a misfit. One day she finds herself with a back problem stuck in the Heart of East Texas, and now I'm looking forward to her walking through the door at the coffee shop or at the house our Monday night group meets, why? Because she beems God! I want to know God! I want to know Him even if through the misfits of this world.

What is the local church afraid of when it comes to misfits? I think they are afraid of being a misfits and that they could actually learn from the weak and feeble. It's strange but isn't that Paul's statement to the Corinthian church when he says, that God's power is made perfect in weakness! The local church has created a facade, a masquerade party with hidden identities that are afraid to unmask and show the true self. Healing will come when the mask are removed and prentious smiles are turned into real life, real problems, and then will a real God show up and meet them at their need.

some thoughts from a misfit,

Jason

My Blog List

Powered by Blogger.

Followers

Contributors