Matthew 7:13-14

Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Because narrow is the gate and straight is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. ~ Matthew 7:13-14

Saturday, August 01, 2015


"Time keeps on ticking ticking ticking into the future." I know so many songs, so many songs, that drift in and out of my mind. Most of them are old songs from the 60s and 70s. The new ones are hymns and other worship songs. Many are music-only songs from John Tesh, which I get from my Pandora cell phone application. I have blue tooth in our new Honda CRV, and even with high gas prices it’s an incentive to drive one more time to Kroger’s (called Smith’s in Albuquerque) to get the popcorn I forgot.

Truth is, between all these stops to the store, replacing an old reliable Nissan Altima that was no longer reliable with a new beautiful car, and a new car payment, there is this fact: "Time is slipping slipping slipping into the future."

I am generally ok with this and yet, sometimes it hits me as I say to me, "I am not going to be here much longer."

I am torn between two worldviews. One says get as much done as you can because time is "slip sliding away, slip sliding away." Did you catch that?  I just slipped (no pun intended) into another song. "Though you are near your destination, Oh it keeps sliding away."

The other says, “What’s the rush? Slow down, you’re moving too fast. You've got to let the morning last … kicking down the cobble stones … just having some fun and feeling groovey."  Wow where did that come from?  Been so long since I heard that song I don't know if I spelled groovey right!  Does anyone know what groovey is anymore?  Did we ever know its correct spelling?

Getting back to time-travel and life’s journey, I just read Wendy’s take on a bike ride we took one weekend. Life is a bike ride. It’s hard, it’s boring, it’s stressful, and yet once Wendy figured out the bike ride as a living metaphor of life, the ride became fun. Good exercise too. Kind of makes you feel you can live for ... how long?

Our older cat Missy is twenty. Does she think about the end? I don’t think so. Truth is, until you and I die we really do not know what death is. Do we? We have, however from time to time, witnessed the end of things. We have witnessed the end of someone else. Those who have gone have not returned and that speaks to each of us. There really is an end.

I have facilitated many funerals and memorial services for those who have passed on. In every case without fail I have come to the following irony. To myself I say, "This is weird." This death thing should not be happening. This cutting-off-of-life thing should not BE HAPPENING. It was only recently when I thought this thought that I shared it with the mourners. For them I had an answer.

"This death thing was never in the original plan," I said. "Ok, ultimately yes, God had/has a plan and He knows all things before, during, and after they occur. My point is that humans by design are built to last forever spiritually, emotionally, and physically forever."

This final thought is the biggest irony of all. The answer also to our opening song too!  "Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future."

Death is the answer to life. Any of you who have seen death in a loved one have seen the decay of their body. Many have experienced this in your own body. Death is never pretty, only necessary, but God’s plan that we live forever is still intact.

Did you know that God is a learner. "Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered."

The body is what experiences the penalty of death. The human body feels the stress of bad moral decisions, selfishness, bitterness, un-forgiveness, murders ....  The modern hymn says, "… and the wrongs we have done and the wrongs done to us." The expression "God knows" goes from cliché to "real bread" in a flash of a micro-second.

The rejection of friends, family, the entire betrayal of mankind, was put upon Jesus’ Body. He experienced sin, yours and mine, in a personal way. He took the penalty and experienced it in His Body. He took it all, and if there were no “dead-line” we humans would never find life.

Of course this particular subject line is increasingly annoying. This Jesus stuff is to the mainstream media and world governments "obsolete." It is as if humanity can say moral things change when those who say this do not even know how we got here. Atheism has no hope. Try going to an atheist when you feel the loss of one you love and loved.

A mindset without the Jesus of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is atheism.

I have been reading through the Bible every year since March 28, 1994. I just read it over and over. It never gets old. In fact, it’s new. "His mercies are new every morning."

I have internalized vast portions of Scripture as an actor to allow Jesus to "play me" in churches. I have traveled 24 states and 5 nations in 15 years.

Please know I am not showing my trophies. I can say the same in another way. I am an unknown with little respect as an artist and only slightly more as a minister- theologian. I have been shunned and criticized. I am certain my future has in it more disdain than delight in the kind of art-ministry I do.

My point is before you study the Bible, go to church, or even see one of my Bible acting presentations, do this one thing. Go to your body and see it for what it is. It does not last, but you do!

Ironically your very worst moment can be your best. Don't believe all you hear. It has been said that atheists who take a lie detector test, when asked if they believe in God, when they say they do not believe, the test shows that they lie. The devil literally means slanderer. Lies are disguised as truth. This mendacity is not only in the world, it is in your body’s mind. It is in my mind. Kick it out. Throw the ring of power into Mount Doom ala Lord Of The Rings.  "Even demons believe and they tremble."

The trouble in the world, it’s terror, immorality, slander, it’s hypocrisy and more are all revealed in your body. How do I know? Because you are dying and you were not made to die. Something went terribly wrong. Jesus made it right but the disease is in your body still. Seek "…on earth as it is in heaven."

Before you read through the Bible or get yourself cleaned up and dressed up, learn this. You never have to dress up, but to dress down to find the God who "learns through suffering."

Be like the apostle Paul, a very bad man that became good by going down to ground-zero. That’s where he was when he said, "Oh wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death?"

It’s not only a substance abuser who does damage to his/her body. We all can learn from this. We can learn the addiction to sin and the inevitable death to the body.

It is here where we find life. It is here where we hear His Words spoken then, tomorrow, and very presently, especially if I, you, are dying at ground-zero. This is the place where "time keeps on slipping into the future." Ends.  The End!

It is shalom and a new beginning. Can you hear Him? Listen.

It's safe to continue the journey from here, too.

“The flesh counts for nothing. The Spirit counts for everything.”