confidence or trust: growing sure in the goodness of our heavenly Father…
As a kid, I listened in earnest when this parable was preached. You see, I really wanted to be good soil. But I could do the math well enough to realize the odds were against me, cause 3 out of 4 soils suck.
It seems 75% of all soil is in for some bad news. But there was also good news, for 25% of us. And that was the gospel I was raised in.
A lot of those early formative prayers could be boiled down to “Dear God, I was bad soil again today, please help me beat the odds tomorrow, amen”
Co-Author of A Church Called TOV, Scot McKnight talks about his new book written in response to the abuses of power, sexual abuse, and spiritual abuse within the leadership of Willow Creek, Harvest, and sadly churches of all shapes and sizes.
We talked about TOV (which means goodness) and how when we practice empathy, compassion, extending grace, putting people first, telling the truth, promoting justice, and serving others, TOV emerges in the culture and we all become more Christlike.
I remember the first time I heard the term ‘deconstruction.’ While I grasped the metaphor, the word didn’t resonate with me.
I’ve certainly done some spiritual deconstructing in my life, but I am inclined to use a descriptor more in line with ‘reconstruction.’ This is partly because I’m a ‘glass half full’ guy; at least, I want to be. But also, my spiritual journey has been less about what I tore down, and more about what replaced it.
“Sometimes a story is written that changes everything. This book is an irresistible journey into transforming love. These are new and powerful thoughts from a modern day revivalist. Once they take hold they wont let go.”
Those struggling for identity will appreciate “Prone to Love” as a key to unlock and accept their true hidden self. Enjoy!”
I continue to discover that Acts 2:17 is true, dreaming is an old man’s game, but the older I get the more I discover that only children can truly play it. Dreaming is for children who have chased down vision, failed, lived through disillusionment, disappointment, loss, sorrow, and endless rejection, and still surrender their hearts to the wonder, innocence, kindness, and goodness of Love…
It’s His kindness that exposes our arrogance and hypocrisy, that knocks us off our high horses; the same kindness that violently knocked Paul on his ass exposing his elite violent unkindness toward God’s beloved. And it’s His kindness that exposes our ignorance, broken ideology, and oppressive theology, that gently reveals resurrection life; the same kindness shown on a road to Emmaus when God hid Himself so His beloved could discover union.
I think Jesus showed up as a stranger, so their limited ideas regarding the goodness of God wouldn’t cut them off from experiencing the goodness of God…so their limited ability to understand friendship with God wouldn’t cut them off from experiencing the friendship with God…so their theology wouldn’t undermine their ability to encounter the nature of Gods kindness…so their understanding of the reconciling love of God could be experienced without their belief in the retributive nature of God getting in the way…so the law would not cut them off from experiencing grace…so their understanding of mercy could bend the knee to mercy…so their thoughts on justice wouldn’t divorce them from experiencing justice
In measurement-based systems, God’s forgiveness, and grace, and kindness, and reconciling love are ultimately limited aspects of His nature, while we redefine wrath and condemnation as God’s eternal and defining attribute…
The young fella replied, “All these I have kept; what am I still lacking?”…“What am I still lacking? It’s a good question, a recognition that something is missing, an acknowledgment that something still doesn’t measure up, a confession of incompleteness. What am I still lacking? is the conclusion of living in the context of law instead of grace. What am I still lacking? is the beginning and end of every transactional approach to God.
I had the incredible honor of conversing with psychotherapist Kim Honeycut for her podcast.
Below is a synopsis of our conversation. It was a good one!
Jason Clark is a pastor, writer, producer, and many more titles. He is also a cisgender, white male who was removed from a church because he had different ideas about the Bible. This is his story about leaving and rediscovering Jesus.
..I believe Jesus is God’s thoughts regarding equality; that the definition of equality is discovered in a triune God stepping into flesh and blood. And I think Jesus, fully God and fully man, displayed this equality through His union, oneness, and intimacy with Father and Holy Spirit.
The romance is in the truth that God always loved me, before my co-operation or obedience. Long before I put my trust in Him, He was passionately in love with me. I have always been the apple of His eye! “I was in Him before I was in Adam!” And the incarnate Christ redeemed the glory that I already was!
What if Jesus doesn’t call us servants because servants can’t know what’s in the mind or heart of the master? What if, instead, Jesus calls us friends because in this union, this friendship, we can discover all the Father has revealed? (see John 15:15)
Love is how I address politics, religion, culture, the news cycle, nationalism, the United Nations, COVID, Vaccines, flat earthers, and misplaced trust in corporations and government…
I will forewarn you this email will be abundant with questions… Here goes nothing… Why do we believe the Bible, how do you view and read the Bible, why are there so many different religions that seem to have similar ideas, do you believe in hell, what is it, who goes there, why do some oppose your ideas and why don’t they see it the same way, who’s right, who’s wrong, what and who should I believe. How about psychics who believe in Jesus, aren’t they similar to prophets, what’s the difference, how about the LGBTQ community, are they sinners and why aren’t they included in the kingdom, and the list goes on and on…
Jesus, the Stranger, joins me on my journey; His reconciling love burns within me and invites me to recognize and awaken to the burning. Jesus’ love invites me into mystery and revelation until I am reflecting my redeemer, discovering and yielding to His image and likeness within me, so I would know union, that we might be one.
Jason introduces the book he is currently working on, Leaving (& finding) Jesus, which challenges readers to stop building their faith upon the broken foundations of a transactional view of God, and instead, embrace the powerful understanding of reconciliation and self-giving love that truly transforms our lives and our world.
Those men holding stones? They were participating in their death devotion; a vicious spirit of sin-focused retribution which is counter to the gospel of Jesus. Those men did not understand what spirit they were participating in; through stoning the woman, they condemned themselves to the same retribution because those who use stoning die by stoning… Because, in the paradigm of good versus evil, sin is our ultimate judge and all have sinned…
The Inheritance is the final sermon of the “Unspoken Sermons” series and a true reflection and summary of MacDonald’s thoughts. Abba, our Heavenly Father, is the beginning and end and everything in between…
But love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle and took him In!
That is the gospel of Jesus on a cross; that no matter the circles drawn to shut people out, Love draws bigger circles, Love says, “We all belong, we become!”
Sacrificial love is my guide. I know this love to be like Jesus on a cross, unoffended, forgiving, and reconciling all to Love. There is no “us and them” in this good news, we all belong to each other. With that in mind, here are some thoughts I have had through the years…
Dear friends, It’s been about a year and a half since I wrote A Family Story Newsletter. So, you know, not much has happened…
“Christian faith, for me, is no longer a static location but a great spiritual journey…what matters most…is not where we are but where we’re going.” This podcast is a gentle invitation to discover a way of faith defined by love. Brian and Jason discuss navigating rejection, stepping away from literalism, and inerrancy in our approach to scripture and faith, and their personal journey of trusting that God is better than our best thoughts about Him.
Brand, quietly at first, but then with greater conviction says, “Maybe it means something more, something we can’t yet understand. Maybe it’s some evidence some artifact of a higher dimension that we can’t consciously perceive… Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that even if we can’t understand it yet…”
An infinite love, the nature of revelation, a kindness that changes our minds, the joy of our salvation discovered as we awaken to the resurrection, the risen Christ within us, in this podcast Derek and Jason discuss how all creation is awakening to the transforming certainty of sacrificial love and resurrection life.
Austrian born in 1879, Franz Reichelt ended up in France. He died in 1912.
He was a tailor, a designer, and an inventor. And he had a vision. He was intent on helping aviators survive large falls should they be forced from their aircraft mid-flight.
Franz was a parachuting pioneer and today is occasionally referred to as the ‘flying tailor.’ He designed the first prototype, it was not like what we know today, no canopy above. It was a wearable parachute.
Patriarchy, authoritarian rule, the nature of power and privilege in America and the Church, the deconstruction movement, Christians in politics; in this podcast, Professor and Historian Kristin Du Mez, examines the impact of perhaps the most influential subculture in this country, white evangelicalism. This conversation explores how evangelicals have stepped away from the Jesus of the Gospels, from sacrificial love. “But what was once done, can be undone.”
Love sets us free to be everything God created us to be. Religion and shame have no power to accomplish that! So, speaking the TRUTH in LOVE is NOT shame-based. It’s NOT about exposing and confronting your brother’s sin! It’s about helping your brother or sister get a revelation of their true value and helping them see the truth about how our Father sees us! God is Love! Mercy triumphs over judgment!
“The bible, minus love, equals false teaching, false living, and fosters an anger in the soul of man.” Brian Simmons, author of The Passion Translation, talks about approaching scripture with a love theology, the oppressive impact of hyper literalism, women in ministry, equality, union, Jesus’ humanity inside the Trinity, the finished work of the cross, and the passionate, powerful, transforming love of God.
…The Kingdom is at hand, it’s within reach. But even better, the Kingdom is within you…
So, “Why couldn’t we do what you did?” And Jesus answered. “It’s because you have so little faith.” And at first read, in a world defined by measurements, that statement makes sense. If you were to ask me why your car stalled a hundred miles from home and I said, “It’s because you have so little gas,” you would think, “OK, so I just need more gas.” We read, “It’s because you have so little faith,” and our minds naturally form the question, “So, how much faith do we need? What is the measurement?” Good news, Jesus tells us! Even better news, it makes no sense…
Trauma, pain, empathy like Jesus, and healing for the oppressed, misunderstood, lost, or broken; in this podcast David Tensen shares how we are loved and not alone. Addressing how shame and condemnation are compounded by religion, the guys talked specifically about abortion and the LGBTQ community with an invitation to love like Jesus, through our union with God and reconciliation.
Healing, miracles, the power of God, evangelism through the gospel of inclusion, faith, and reframing repentance, Carlos shares about his journey of discovering that the miraculous, or a transformed life, is simply about discovering God’s love and our origin and union in Him.
“The two greatest myths that we, as humans, believe, are the myth of separation and the myth of scarcity.”
Grace, empathy, spiritual maturity, identity, destiny, purpose, and a sense of our eternal significance and worth; in this podcast, Randall Worley dives headlong into the measureless transforming and reconciling mystery of the love of God.
What if today, while I write, I am also in the “cloud of witnesses” cheering on myself, my family, my friends, and the sons and daughters of God as we awaken to love? What if, while you read this, you are also seated in Christ at the right hand of my Father? (See Heb 12:1 & Eph 2:6) What if we have been invited to live from the measureless omnipresent love of God that dwells within us? What if every prayer, every promise, every dream, every hope has its beginning and end in the measureless, retroactive, proactive, reconciling, omnipresent love of God?
In MacDonald’s sermon “Abba, Father!” he defines spiritual adoption as transformation. For him, as it was for St. Paul, adoption was not our familiar western version of taking a non-family member into our family, but an eastern one of a spiritual coming of age, a Jewish bar mitzvah. For us, it is a transformation from within of both an internal and external nature…
Sarah Turner and Karen Clark take the hosting reins to share their de/reconstructing faith journey and how, primarily through parenting, they began to rethink who God is and their approach to scripture, church, and ministry.
From Harry Potter and the college years to church life – the good, the bad, and the ugly, they talk about how parenting for connection and living an honest relationship with a loving God, is the most transformative thing we can do in our lives, our kids lives, and in ministry.
Identity, union, searching scripture through the lens of Jesus, and holiness discovered through community, Addison brilliantly describes that we are beloved saints.
But, when I address literal inerrancy, I am not juxtaposing inerrancy with error, I am juxtaposing inerrancy with sacrificial love and resurrection life, with Jesus. I’m not playing the game of good or evil, right or wrong, inerrant or in error; I’m simply writing about the authority of sovereign love…
He came and he walked beside us, He said, “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you; you are not alone, you belong.” When we discover this love, we are transformed and we begin to love like He does. On Palm Sunday Derek speaks about the cross and how we are invited to live surrendered and sure in love. He talks about laying down our loves, loving our enemies, and seeing the kingdom come.
What if control is a flawed word to describe God’s sovereignty? What if there is an infinitely better word, a greater revelation, LOVE! Through a fresh look at God’s sovereignty, Jason invites you into a transforming encounter with the love and goodness of our heavenly Father.
For years a literal, inerrant approach to scripture had me reading this story and wrestling with the nature of God’s goodness instead of the nature of man’s fallen thinking.
As though a good god is a god who would partner with the idea of child sacrifice to, in some way, test his kids. As though Abrahams’s demonic belief in child sacrifice is meant to define what God is like instead of what Abraham was like; what a fallen mindset is like, what we, humanity, are capable of attributing to the nature of God…
Navigating through loss with a good God, experiencing the presence of God as a loving Father, loving our neighbor, democrat and republican, and love answering every question that aches in the heart of humanity, Doug Crew shares on these subjects and more with insight and grace. Doug is the executive leader of Shiloh Place Ministries and a good friend of the podcast.
Mystery, faith, salvation and awaking to Christ’s likeness within us, adoption and sonship, being in the family, discovering the Word in scripture, and living from union, we discuss this and more with Matthew Hester in a passionate conversation around the love of God. Matthew is an author, pastor of Dominion Church (Greer SC), and founder of Hester Ministries and Present Truth Academy.
So how am I to deal with the good versus evil paradigm of the world that I still live in? Do I call it out? Do I expose, judge, and accuse those with opposing views and opinions? How do I involve myself in the fray without becoming frayed?
Harold and Linda Eberle share about the catalytic love of God that is transforming our western understanding of the church. They speak on victorious mindsets, kingdom thinking, the myth of separation, reconciliation through the death of Jesus, and salvation through his life; plus old elephants! This is a power packed interview full of profound insight.
This preacher drowns with the disobedient outside the ark, with the chariot armies of the Egyptians, with the lost tribes of Israel, and with us. He does not want to be the only righteous human while the rest of us, his unrighteous brothers and sisters, go under. His baptism is our baptism.
Brilliant, compassionate, and empowering, world-renowned neuroscientist and best-selling author, Dr. Caroline Leaf, talks about her new book, Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess. She addresses what happens when we don’t use our minds properly. Why mind-management is the solution to cleaning up our mental mess and how the science can help us transition from being aware of toxic thoughts to catching and managing them. In other words, she teaches us how to renew our minds.
Derek and Jason dive into our union in Christ and how that impacts everything from knowing our identity to loving our “enemies,” to evangelism, to navigating cross moments in our lives.
What happens when we search the Scriptures in search of eternal life? It’s not long before we start defining the words on the pages as “infallible” and “inerrant.” And in my experience, an inerrant approach to scripture is a slippery slope into idolatry.
In this podcast, Psychotherapist Kim Honeycutt addresses shame, blame the trauma of rejection. She brilliantly highlights our intrinsic worth, our identity in Christ, and the journey from rejection to acceptance.
Look, if a future punishment is the only thing keeping a person from hurting others, by all means, that person might need to keep believing in hell. But let’s not pretend that person is whole or free. And whatever we do, let’s not give that kind of thinking a pulpit in our lives.
Don Keathley touches on the goodness of our Father, Jesus as perfect theology, grace, our union, our identity, how to approach scripture, and the lie of eternal conscious torment.
God creates order from disorder and we have been invited to co-create with Him. In the midst of chaos, “we associate peace with answers. God associates peace with Union.”
“This is my body, broken for you! Boys and girls, you are not abandoned, I will not leave you orphaned…”
With humor and authenticity, Lloyd talks about the finished work of the Cross, how Jesus fixed the problem of separation, and our invitation to awaken to our union.
I have witnessed the church, my brothers and sisters on both sides of an American aisle that doesn’t exist in heaven, go to war with one another on behalf of their devotion ‘for or against’ a politician.
“Given that we start with God’s power…we end up giving God the kind of capabilities that make God culpable; in other words, morally responsible for not only causing but allowing bad things…I think there are good biblical reasons to object to that standard view of Gods power.” Thomas Jay Oord
Recently a friend sent a text suggesting that I do a podcast highlighting the ‘hard stuff’ in Scripture.
I responded back, “What hard stuff?”
In this first episode of season two, Jason and new host Derek Turner dive into the wonder of what Jesus revealed about our Father and humanity through the cross and resurrection.
Remember how they were joined by a host of raging superhero death angels shouting “Glory in the highest,” and “On earth, as it is in heaven!” while they committed acts of retributive justice that would make Quinton Tarantino blush.
Membership in a church does not automatically make me part of the Bride of Christ.
No matter how we package the metrics, the current model of the Church in the West is incapable of scaling Kingdom growth at a rate that can keep up with it…
If Facebook existed during Abraham’s day, I imagine he would have been angry at my thoughts about God’s goodness.
While many of us believe the sovereignty of God has something to do with control, Jesus revealed the true definition of the sovereignty of God in the power and authority of sacrificial Love…
The incarnation is the basis for healthy thinking. Therefore, the idea that I am not the expression of His image and likeness can no longer attach itself to my thoughts.
It seems the North American church doesn’t understand how trust works. You see, while trust is earned through faithfulness over time, it can be lost the same way.
Then we walked down the streets of JT Williams, a struggling community, to pick up twenty or so sweet kids. We took them to their local school parking lot, gave them a snack, told a Bible story, played games, and worked on a craft together. I loved it.
The idea that God rejects, abandons, or turns away is the most accepted heresy on the planet.
In this highly charged political season of us and them, we must not find our belonging or identity in a political party or persona. Otherwise, we become lost.
The goodness of God has been offending the sensitivities of man’s understanding since the fall, mine included.
Your completeness in Christ is not a remote goal but our immediate reference!
“…I felt that if everybody is saying the same thing then somebody is not thinking. Back then and now, my heart cry to the church I was a part of was, “Let my people think.”
Randall Worley talks about having a “beginner’s mind,” faith while embracing mystery, pioneering and the nature of heresy, the limits of language, approaching scripture through love, and the importance of remaining curious while understanding that God is not insecure or defensive when we raise hard questions.
You love me, but you don’t know who I am. Those are the words God spoke to Michael several years ago and it took him on a journey into measureless love, grace, and union with an always good, never leaving, no distance or separation, Triune God. With grace and joy the conversation dove into the two greatest lies on the planet, Penal Substitution and Eternal Conscious Torment.
Coins bear an image. You carry the image and imprint and poetry and signature of the divine, who has engraved you on the palms of His hands.
The “kill-baby-Hitler-to-save-humanity” time travel game doesn’t work because retribution is a distortion of justice.
In this podcast, Katie Skurga talks about discovering our humanity in the image of God, shame and behavior, grace and identity, paradox and spiritual and emotional maturity, freedom, and intrinsic authority.
Eric Johnson, the pastor of Bethel Church in Redding CA, shares generously, humbly, and with great insight on the goodness of God, navigating culture, Jesus and American politics, spiritual maturity, emotional health, and what it means to be alive.
Your completeness in Christ is not a remote goal but our immediate reference!
The parent-child relationship and our formative years greatly influence how we navigate everything, including our spirituality and faith. Often our theological deconstructions are the fruit of discovering a God with whom we feel loved, secure, and safe; where we move from insecure to secure attachment.
I was honored to have a conversation with Randall Worley about the goodness of God, the mystery of faith, the sovereignty of God and navigating the murky waters of offense in these unprecedented times.
From the traditional to a micro church model, Mark and Julie share their journey of pastoring.
Today, through Anothen Micro Church, they empower believers around the world to become influential spiritual leaders in their homes and communities.
While I think the prophetic has a noble and appropriate place, I think we are too easily led astray from the joy that is “today.”
Could it be that the lie of sovereign control is beginning to be exposed on such a grand scale that it has become harder to swallow? Is it possible this phrase is being so exposed in these unprecedented times that it is finally ringing hollow?
Approaching scripture, prayer, and our participation in the divine life, Father Kenneth Tanner explores a faith that is beautiful in its simplicity; God really loves humanity.
This is the gospel and we get to live it. This will change your world today! In fact this is the only way the world will be changed!
Scandalous multifaced fathomless grace, restorative justice, redeemed identity, our union with Abba Father and intimacy with our Triune God barely scratches the surface of this 40-minute power-packed interview with Dr. Steve McVey.
“The Jesus that reigns down pain and disappointment to teach you something about his love, the behavior obsessed Jesus who uses shame to manipulate you into doing what he wants, the abusive Jesus you have been describing to me for more than an hour, I think you should leave him.
The punishment Jesus endured on the cross wasn’t required by God.
With grace and insight, Mark speaks on the disorienting faith shift so many are currently experiencing regarding their thoughts about God, the church, and ourselves. We dive into Mark’s new book, Religious Refugees, and Mark encourages those who, because of a shift in their theology, have either felt a sense of not belonging in their home church or have even been rejected.
However, He shows it, God is squeezing as much love into us as we can handle.
“…Jesus defines eternal life as a relationship. My entire education had defined eternal life as believing the right ideology… All I knew was, God was better than I thought he was and there was no way I’m going back…”
The outrage that changes and saves this world is the outrage of love. And so I lean into His love, a relational grace; the empowering evidence of my friendship with Jesus.
…With self-righteous arrogance, Jonah determines it’s the will of god that he die for his sin. Instead of repenting, Jonah, with his sanctimonious gospel, preaches himself overboard as a sacrifice to his angry god. And worse, he makes the sailors complicit in his death religion…
Parenting, leadership, freedom through self-control, spiritual maturity, emotional health, the nature of our Father, and heaven and hell, Danny’s thoughts and gracious communication are empowering and transformative. It was an honor to discuss the unpunishing nature of God with Danny!
Heavenly Father, you have been revamping and rebooting my systems for years, bringing me into greater awareness of this wonder-filled life you have offered and accomplished for me! Thank you!
The Bible cannot be the foundation we build upon, the foundation is Jesus. Brian Zahnd talks on how to approach scripture, American Nationalism, Trump’s Bible photo Op during the George Floyd protests, equality, and contemplative prayer in this brilliant and transformative Podcast.
Though it has felt just the opposite during this quarantine time, this has been one of the greatest times of personal growth and Kingdom advancement for the body of Christ.
“Jesus has pitched His tent in our flesh… If I didn’t believe that Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit is inside every person on the whole earth, I would not open my mouth… But we are bearing witness to something that is real.”
Many long to go back to the early days of the church, viewing those first few years as the high-water mark of what a church is meant to be. They weren’t. Not even close!
“I am building bridges between my friends who are atheists, my friends who are fundamentalists, my friends who consider themselves progressive or any end of the spectrum. Because gratitude is the one place we all come together.” John Mark McMillan
Wth love, everyone is in! There are no outsiders! Everyone is included in this family…
Two thousand years ago, God clothed Himself in my separation—my lost identity. He became my sin, the distortion that so easily besets me. And in His beaten and bloodied body, He destroyed its power over me once and for all, making me brand-new, renewing all the potential and promise of which He had originally dreamed.
Jesus is my lens, my true narrative. His perfect love is my conviction. His goodness is my faith. Every question I have, every relationship or circumstance, every scripture, including the tension Job represents, is measured against the measureless revelation of Jesus.
“I no longer call you servant, I call you friend.” This is the invitation Jesus gave us. There is no servant master language in heaven. Obedience is the invitation to discover God’s heart until ours beats in rhythm with His.
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“Sometimes a story is written that changes everything. This book is an irresistible journey into transforming love. These are new and powerful thoughts from a modern-day reformer. Once they take hold they wont let go.”
Those struggling for identity will appreciate “Prone to Love” as a key to unlock and accept their true hidden self. Enjoy!”