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Woke Jesus.

“Woke Jesus” is a recent term which elevates the humanity of Christ over the divinity of Christ. The woke Jesus “movement” is promoted within progressive and liberal Christian circles and now even widely among non-believer groups on the left who characterize Jesus as a social justice warrior who came to earth to liberate the oppressed. It also serves to further their political positions with selective arguments gleaned from the very biblical doctrines of their believing opponents.

Pointing to the many scriptures and themes of Jesus speaking out against injustice and oppression coupled with clear expressions of His emotion like sadness, joy and anger, “woke Jesus” advocates for the advancement of the human side of Jesus over the divine side of Jesus as if the two are in direct conflict, with the human Jesus being much more palpable and humanly relatable. The fully-human-fully-God inseparability of Jesus as one person is too much to grasp and inconvenient to the politics of some.

Jesus being both God and Man is an inescapable truth but not a mutually exclusive one. Jesus the divine person is one of firm, timeless and unarguable moral absolutes, anathema to many non-believers who would much rather embrace the human Jesus as being more relevant to needs and issues in the world today (as if human needs and issues have become suddenly so disparate over just the past few decades over the entirety of history.) For them, a “woke Jesus” provides inspiration, guidance, compassion and a broader, more welcoming greyscale on the continuum of moral black and white. In other words, denial of many attributes of an absolute God made personal in Christ which are clearly biblical is one of purely personal and political convenience.

silenced reason

It will be very soon and not very long

Our cohort of voices all will be gone.

Six feet under and all out of time

A generation’s voice silenced as mime.

Tradition, convention, old fashioned beliefs

Stole by the grave and its myriad thieves

Sensible, logical, for centuries held

Replaced by such lies that all history’s repelled.

Who then will remain to defend common sense?

No remnant of voices to speak, and hence,

Very soon it is coming, and not very long

Our cohort of voices will soon all be gone.

So many whys.

I wander the streets with nowhere to go,

No roof or shelter from winds that blow.

With belly growls and hair of mange

I scour for scraps, I find loose change.

Just a young woman, lost and alone,

With dreams and aspirations entirely unknown.

I never thought I’d end up like this,

With no one to turn to, no one to miss.

Nights are frightening as dignities are sold

From doorway professions by others more bold.

Commuters rush by in their busy lives,

Ignoring my pleas and deaf to my cries.

Yet still I hold fast to a glimmer and cope

And someday I’ll find a messenger of hope.

To rise from the ashes of this daily despair,

And find some place to be loved and perhaps even spared.

But for now I keep walking these streets on my own

With hopes for someday a place to call home.

Until then I’ll fight to just stay alive

With dreams intact, yet so many whys.

May be an image of 1 person

It always rains on Mother’s Day

It always rains on Mother’s Day

Ever since she had to fly away.

No card to mail, bouquet to send,

No fragrant scent for my best friend.

Just a salty face that won’t erase

The void today, the empty space.

It always rains on Mother’s Day

Ever since she had to fly away.


Not everyone wants help. The longer they remain homeless the more adaptive they become. Life on the fringe hardens the heart and soul enough to buffer against any change.

But Sean is back. Says he missed a call from HopeLink I set up for him this week.

To those of us in this line of work, the drive to help is no trivial pursuit but until you can be trusted, you play their game awhile longer. At some point, words and actions stick like chewing gum to a shoe on a hot summer day and they’re forced to stop just long enough to consider the solution and the One who offers it.

And while some homeless people would rather remain that way than accept a hand up, it’s one of the hardest truths to embrace when it goes against everything you believe and work for.

But the higher value must always be for one’s autonomy and a respect for it. As with anyone, the first and best intervention is always and only to try to be a friend in a friendless world.

Meanwhile, here at Celebrate Recovery we are patient, knowing that while we aren’t God, we are each the pipeline to Him.

Pray for Sean. I think he’s close.

just a dream.

This time, I was in college.

Already working 40 years in my career field, getting my degree after the fact was merely symbolic. But on a campus that went for miles at my age now with no short-term memory for where my classes were held, every day was Groundhog Day, consisting of 5 long and aimless jogs, finally stumbling into the right classrooms out of breath at the wrong times. The dismissal bells marked my arrivals with no time to rest, loathing the next trek to another forgotten campus classroom. Anxious and under pressure, it would be a miracle if I finally got (not earned) my degree at all without keeling over from another heart attack beforehand.

We’ve all awakened from this dream at some point. Mine just happens to be at 3am on a Saturday morning, pissed that I missed the opportunity to sleep in but so relieved to have woken up when I did.

That this time I was in college and not junior high, and carried an extra 40 pounds, fully grey and wrinkled, God was obviously mistaken. This scene was a dream that belonged on nights decades ago when I wasn’t waking up four times to go pee. So why now? It doesn’t fit my season of life.

Or does it?

I made myself a strong coffee and sat down in this very chair prompted to type in I don’t know why that was the only website I felt compelled to consult at 3am this morning.

Let’s just say my benefit statement definitely won’t accommodate my retirement dreams. And the little bit of savings and investments I’ve accumulated since I swapped 8 of my prime earning years for 8 years of using drugs, on paper at least, my retirement years won’t be very golden.

I can only surmise that this poorly placed dream of constantly falling behind and arriving late to the game of life was connected to my own self-inflicted consequences of 8 years of bad decisions for which I’ve been completely forgiven.

Practically speaking, I’ll either need to die much earlier than planned or live the lives of all the struggling senior citizens I’ve met and helped in the past ten years of my employ. But I wouldn’t trade my 63 year path for anything.

My trek and experiences along the way have ultimately made me a very rich man in the things that matter most. Three wonderful adult children, three and soon to be four beautiful grandchildren, a few enduring friendships, and a faith that promises to deliver me to actual streets of gold once I’m gone.

My point? When you’re awake enough to realize you have what matters most of all in life, bad dreams, in the end, are just dreams. I’ve no time for fear or anxiety about my regrets, but I have plenty of time left to spend and bequeath riches upon those whose continued presence make life as close to heaven on earth as I can know for now.

Live for today, and let tomorrow worry about itself.–Matthew 6:34

And with that, I need a second mug of coffee. Happy Saturday.

sex can kill you.

All today’s big social issues have some primary sexual component at the core. Once gifted as the sole procreative means by which humans can continue to exist and thrive, it’s now such a reckless plaything that is quickly becoming a noose hanging around this new sexual frontier of pursuits and abuses and eventual self-annihilation.

Ironically, the very gift that should keep on giving life to all species may in fact become so openly and erratically employed that it brings about our extinction.

Humanity has a knack for corrupting good things, sometimes to its own demise.

out of a job.

As culture wars heat up, society breaks down, and the two camps fortify their positions, it’s harder and harder to find a little humor to lighten the load enough to make it bearable. Truth is, I’m not sure making things bearable is even a noble goal any longer.

Issues once resolvable are now polarizing and poisonous with little wiggle room for a giggle. And when mirth has been your worth and contribution over years of battles, today’s kings don’t summon jesters for comic relief anymore.

A coffee and pizza

Last night I called over a homeless guy with his shopping cart to have a chat. He’d been conversing with an invisible someone already so I didn’t feel I was imposing. Started off by getting him a black coffee with five sugars and two slices of pepperoni pizza. It was Celebrate Recovery night at my church where everyone carried in hurts, habits and hangups which–at some point in their lives or now–ruined the positive life trajectory they’d once lost and now sought to reclaim.

Christopher uses weed and meth when available but had a more personal reason why he decided not to partake in our recovery service beyond the offer of coffee and pizza. “It’s not the walking in that’s the problem, it’s the walking out,” Chris shared, “When it’s all over, I’m alone again.” He acknowledged he’s dirty inside and out and despite our Come As You Are motto, he was already predisposed to be rejected based on his complicated and very long history on the streets.

Having a place to return to and someone real to talk with, albeit a dog, helped me to understand his dilemma. While he genuinely wanted to join all of us broken people inside and make connections, in his world, it wasn’t worth the pain of the besetting loneliness once the lights are out and the locks are set for the night. Pushing his cart someplace out of the wind and rain was the only familiar ritual to which he’d been accustomed for many years.

I thought about him when I got home and again when I woke up this morning. Though I’d given him hints and helps about available community resources and I’d shared my own history of addiction, I still felt I had missed making the connection that might bring him out of his loneliness and into a better life. Sharing my experience, faith and recovery was necessary, but not sufficient.

I asked him to return same time next Wednesday so we might continue. He said he would and pushed his cart up the road and out of sight, but not out of mind, neither his nor my own.

(to be continued)


A stake through the hand

A spear to the heart

A crown made of thorns

Sacrifice for my part.

Envy the ones whose hearts yet untouched

Still aimless and blameless, unconvicted as such.

Those few who remain in wait for good news

Presented to pierce for a cause they might choose.

For the rest of us hearing whose pride dropped to follow

The voice of the One we’ve revered to be hallow

Whose life deeds and paths lead to life everlasting

For the souls of those who accept the recasting,