Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

Archive for March 2008

I still say be radical in love. Love beyond reason. If you have reason to doubt this, then read I John. Let me quote the last two verses—this is from the New King James Version…

I John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.


…I know that this was a common phrase used when I was a teen to inspire us to do more for Jesus. I generally interpreted it as being more radical about proclaiming Jesus at school. Going to the mall and witnessing. Standing up for Jesus…

If you get still and truly consider what Jesus did before the crucifixion: he ate with the tax collector, he mingled with the women and all others who were the outcasts. He generally befriended anyone who wasn’t considered religious.

In our culture we promote “staying with believers to remain strong”. Therefore, if I spend my time with Sissy-Sue and she is a regular bar hopper, and we go out, then there’d be strong questions about my commitment to the Lord. Right? Of course, because bar-hopping isn’t considered a religious task. 

Therefore let me throw out some questions…

  1. Look around at your friends…how many of them challenge your beliefs and make you dig for answers? Honestly, faith doesn’t come while warming a pew…it comes when you’re in the middle of a crisis and have no where else to turn.
  2. When was the last time you considered laying down your life for someone who doesn’t deserve it? (Now is a good time to reference what Jesus did for us.)
  3. When was the last time you got a friend (or was a friend to a family member) who was a non-believer or a believer in “sin” and just loved them because you love them–no strings attached?

Jesus gives us all the choice to choose him. He doesn’t reject us in the process when we stray. He doesn’t stop loving us or hearing our prayers because we are upset with him. He gave his life so we could have eternal life.

Therefore to be radical for Jesus is to be like Jesus, and be radical in love. Love beyond reason. Love without a reason. Love without getting anything in return. Love like Jesus loved us.

Grace is unmerited favor. It is love without conditions that is not deserved. It is a difficult love. It is a love that will bring criticism from our church fellows. However, it is a love that will free the heart of people and make you radical FOR Jesus and radical LIKE Jesus.


Here is a link to an Internet article about And You Invited Me In: . Hope you enjoy!

Spring is here finally after a long winter of mending a broken leg and various flu-like ailments associated with sick children in school.  I am looking forward to the warmer days. Thanks for reading the blog. Feel free to contact me anytime:

I just read that a certain actress-singer said that she was “not a woman, but a force”. It made me laugh because I don’t connect to her “force” through intellect, culture or significant traditions in my life.

There are all kinds of forces: global and local. Most of us understand the force of the bully—the people who force us to do something we don’t want to do. These aforementioned “forces” have a certain amount of power within themselves, but they aren’t the force that can change the universe. And atomic bomb can altar things, but it truly isn’t the most powerful force on Earth.

The force I am talking about in the title goes beyond tolerance. It goes beyond all the criminal acts thrust upon mankind. It is called grace. Remember what the Amish people did for the shooter’s family, and that is a picture of what Jesus did for us. It is His footsteps that we are to walk in through our daily lives. The pastor in Colorado did it when he called in the family of the shooter to meet the victims’ family. When you heard what these people did, weren’t you in complete awe of their actions and moved deep within your soul?

This is Easter. Remember your loved ones both family and friend, and become a powerful force in their lives. It is very easy to run off to a mission in Africa or India or China to show love, but what about your daughter you kicked out because she was sleeping around? What about your son who is gay? What about your crabby old neighbor (can you bake her a pie)? As well, maybe you’re the GLBTQ offspring who has been treated without mercy by your fundamental parents. Extend to them the love of Jesus.

Show these people the power of the Resurrection in your life! That’s the most powerful force on Earth.

As I pondered this blog for the last week, I encountered some job-related issues that have left me sad. In fact most people where I work are sad. In the middle of this sadness all kinds of emotions began popping like firecrackers. Maybe it is a number of hearts exploding because of the stress.

I don’t like those antagonized times that make my view of the world askew, upside-down or marred because of people, past experiences or a momentary situation. For example when I’m depressed I just don’t feel I have anything to offer. Or it might be because of a person—I once had a terrible principal at a school in another state. She made everyone tremble when she entered the building. If I only knew her as a boss then I’d think all bosses were like her. 

Have you ever seen the movie Billy Elliot? With a theme similar to October Sky, it is a movie where someone has a dream to accomplish something.  Soon the whole town embraces this dream as if it was their own. No one is cranky, no one is sad, and no one is out to make someone’s life miserable because everyone’s heart is too full of excitement about what’s going to happen once this thing happens.

When we’re in step with God we’re excited. We aren’t trying to make life miserable for others, but instead we’re simply in love with doing God’s will. I like those special spiritual moments.

Today I’m going to address the various fathers my book And You Invited Me In. There are the good fathers like Wayne Whitley and Tom Hamilton (and presumably Truman Johnson). These father are seens as an example of Christ: loving, forgiving, a giver of grace and mercy.

At the other end of the spectrum are the bad fathers like Bill Marshall. He’s an example of rigid legalism. Instead of drawing his family to him through grace, his rigidity held his children captive through fear and intimidation. In the book, Bill Marshall’s fathering painted God as the God of high demands and unyielding rules. On the other hand Samuel Phillips was a father who put career over family. He was about doing the biggest and best in the name of Jesus, and forgot the very thing God had given him to nurture and raise: his son.

My question is what kind of father makes your heart joyful? Are you looking at God through the donut hole of past experiences of a bad father or rigid family member? Has a religious person put demands on you that make your heart sad?

God wants us to delight in him. He draws us with grace. He loves us beyond comprehension. As we become givers of his grace (and at times it is very difficult) to those who are different from us we’ll begin to feel the total joy of serving him.

So why the title of this blog? If we look through the donut hole our total view of life will have distortion because of our experiences (and because we don’t see the whole situation like with Emily Webb in Our Town). If our father was legalistic like Bill Marshall, we view God as a judge who is always ready to bully us into submission. If our father was like Samuel Phillips, we were put second to everything else in the world. If our father was a Tom Hamilton, then we are better able to understand grace.

Grace is what Christianity is all about. It is what the world is crying out for….and that will be my next blog….

dsc_0826.jpg (Here I am being interviewed by GCN-TV)

I’ve just finished a very busy week. At times it has felt like I’ve crossed the US on a non-stop trip in a VW Beetle. We started with the National Religious Broadcasters Convention at the first of the week. I was interviewed on a couple of television programs. On one I followed someone who does interviews all the time and was quite animated. Oh well, at least I wasn’t like “The Culhanes” (the people on the sofa) on Hee Haw. It was fun being there again.

School days were full with many meetings. We’ve jumped into testing already. Thanksfully this week is Spring Break.

Hope you have a good week. This is Holy Week and next Sunday is Easter or Resurrection Sunday in my religious tradition. I’ll be blogging throughout the week. Blessings!

t1407600032_7958.jpg (my oldest tonight in the snow)

For the first time in years we have significant snow coming through. We’ve had a lot of “hope so” on snow, but this is the first big one since 2003. The only regret is that this isn’t happening on a Sunday night so we can stay home from school on Monday. Other than that we’ve had a great time getting ready for the long night of snow fall.

Just like waiting for snow, there are times when we’re waiting for an answer from God, and it seems like it will never come. Remember that God never gives you more than you can handle. Eventually things to swing back in your favor, and there is a time of sweet relief.

One thing my father conveyed to me is that there’s no problem too large to solve. Sometimes it takes a while to figure it out, but nothing is hopeless. Or, as a friend once told me: the Bible says that it “came to pass”. And all these problems will one day pass away. The answers to long-prayed prayers will be here….just hang on!

As for the fun…let’s get out the sled the snow has finally arrived.