According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Friday, September 28, 2012

Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening

















 
 
Cruiciform Worship, Service, & Living                        
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In Jesus, We "Can't Go Back" (by the Weepies)

I recently stumbled upon an Indie song that reminded me of our tortured quest for spiritual discovery and personal finality within the broader spaces of our daily lives. A quest driven by a spiritual hunger endlessly searching for Jesus in the life-and-light of this sinful world hungry for the touch of God that is too often marked by personal journeys of solitude made up of failure, indecision, hardship, and dead-ends.

But for those in Jesus, each and every human breast is filled with the restless desire to apprehend the life of Christ read about in the stories of the gospels. Or spoken about by men and women within the pages of Scripture. Each story telling us to be still and to know that we are not alone in this broken world of hopelessness and faithlessness. That our Father-God was there every step of the way in dogged pursuit and constant fellowship providing a host of like-minded disciples everywhere present around us as witnesses to this remorseless passion, this inspired dream, that has maddeningly driven us forward towards wholeness. Towards completeness. Towards spiritual healing.

Which holy passion can only be divinely sated through a fortitude of courage against the burdens braved within every human breast and heart. That would somehow find the faith to overcome the impossibilities of this relentless quest placed within us by our Father God for meaning, for purpose, for finality, for reconciliation. A quest whereby each supplicant would humbly discover the inner courage, or patient brokenness, to carry forward despite personal failure, defeat and sin. A faith that would forgive ourselves even as it would forgive those around us.

Mustering a courage to believe that God's forgiveness is meant as much for ourselves as it is for those He has placed around-and-about us. Who might glimpse with us the forgiveness that comes from the deep wellsprings of the Spirit's burden of love and guidance unquenched and unquenchable. Whose indefatigable presence sustains us when all else will not. Who is the touchstone of our being searching for the promises of truth and beauty within life itself, which substance seems to so easily elude our repeated, foundering grasp, to overwhelm our impoverished souls upon the rocky shoals of defeat and death. When our very hearts would give up on the insanity we cannot put away from within us, to be driven out of the depths of our haggard defeats and loneliness by the Spirit when we would so easily give up on our very selves. He who is ever faithful, our guide, counselor, and life itself.

And there discover a sacred space that we knew not existed until quitting all our schemes and consumptive pursuits. And in that space find that it was us, ourselves, that our Father God relentlessly pursued, and not us who pursued the everlasting God Himself. And in the discovery, belatedly find that it was the journey itself that made us what we have become. That would give to us the finality our being craved through its undying quest that God had benevolently planted in our hearts, minds, souls and being. Which hunger never ceased to rage in us that Jesus might reign as Lord and King within this feeble life of ours so tortured and cursed at times, so magnified with beauty and love.

This then was the completing fellowship that we sought. That we yearned for without understanding its passion and rage. Whose spiritual wholeness drove us to serve all manner of masters till at last the almighty God of grace and forgiveness persisted within our every step and breath of holy being, thought, and contemplation. Even as we beheld that very same hunger that drove Jesus from the wilderness of humanity's hopelessness onto the very cross of death and sacrifice itself. A cross that He willingly embraced, and courageously moved towards, at the hands of His Father, where both quest and destiny met together at Calvary's nob hill to there join His burdens with ours. Creating that sublime moment and mystical union as our Savior where we would be birthed towards wholeness and renewal begun by Jesus so very long ago. A journey leading towards sacrifice and healing. A journey only completed by entry into Jesus' previous fellowship of sacrifice and suffering leading to the bountiful lands of eternal life filling this life now of ours - even as it would find completion within the blood-stained corridors of eternity ahead.

For this holy union of sacrifice, lost, and even death, was ever ours to bear, and not Jesus' alone. Even though we - like our Savior - would cast it far from us. To be rid of its heavy burdens. Its sorrowing defeats. Its lonely trials and broken heartaches. Yet knowing deep within our being that only by willful sacrifice will all come right till embraced by redemption's brighter dawns of life both now-and-forevermore. And until that day, by God's grace and mercy, by the persistency of His dogged fellowship laid in the purifying foundation of Christ our Lord, and by the faithful guidance and mercies of His Holy Spirit, we "walk on, walk on, walk on" till that quest has come to its end. And our journey finds completion unto the very breast of divine fellowship we were created for. Longed for. Needed. Though denied it ever while we lived to our poverty and peril (Isaiah 52.13 - 53.12).
 
R.E. Slater
September 28, 2012
rev. April 10, 2013

*This prose piece is a form of "liquid prose" matching the
song's rhythms and tonalities that inspired its creation.
 

Psalm 139

English Standard Version (ESV)

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
 
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
 
139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
 
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
 
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
 
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
 
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.[b]
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
 
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts![c]
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting![d]




Can't go back now- the weepies
 
 



THE WEEPIES LYRICS

"Can't Go Back Now"

Yesterday when you were young
Everything you needed done was done for you
Now you do it on your own
But you find you're all alone, what can you do?

You and me walk on, walk on, walk on
'Cause you can't go back now

You know there will be days
When you're so tired
That you can't take another step
The night will have no stars
And you'll think you've gone as far
As you will ever get

You and me walk on, walk on, walk on
'Cause you can't go back now

And yeah, yeah, you go where you want to go
Yeah, yeah, be what you want to be
If you ever turn around, you'll see me

I can't really say
Why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
But in the end, the only steps that matter
Are the ones you take all by yourself

You and me walk on, walk on, walk on
Yeah, you and me walk on, walk on, walk on
'Cause you can't go back now
Walk on, walk on, walk on
You can't go back now.

 
 
 
 
Official Website - http://theweepies.com/
 
 
THE WEEPIES
 
Indie duo The Weepies have sold more than a million singles and half a million albums; their simple, direct songwriting has sent them to the top of the folk charts in a dozen countries. With more than 100 TV & media placements, they are one of the most licensed current musical groups in the world.
 
In 2001, a girl walks into a bar...
 
Her name is Deb Talan. She’s an up and coming singer/songwriter who has garnered tremendous word-of-mouth support and critical praise for her debut CD, Something Burning. Boston’s legendary music venue Club Passim has become her performing-home, but tonight she’s there to check out a new songwriter she’s been obsessing over, a musician from New York City named Steve Tannen. She’s been listening to his debut CD, Big Señorita, non-stop for about a month.
 
Guy walks into a bar...
 
His name is Steve Tannen. He’s at Club Passim in Boston to play a show supporting his debut release, Big Señorita. He’s been playing rock and roll in NYC dive bars for a couple of years, but since the release of his solo CD he’s garnered tremendous word-of-mouth support and critical praise. He’s nervous because Boston is a new town for him, but he’s even more nervous once he looks out at the crowded room and recognizes the pretty young woman down front as singer/songwriter Deb Talan. In a word, he’s intimidated; he’s been obsessing over her debut CD, Something Burning, non-stop for about a month.
 
Deb Talan and Steve Tannen began writing together the night they first met and soon formed THE WEEPIES. “We were fans of each other. When we met, there was an electric connection that made us both nervous. After the show, when everyone went home, we stayed up all night playing songs for each other, drinking a bottle of wine and trading an acoustic guitar back and forth in a tiny apartment,” says Talan. "That night has lasted ten years so far," adds Tannen.
 
A breath of fresh air for fans of songwriters, The Weepies features two unique voices and one unforgettable sound. With a self-released debut and three CDs on Nettwerk Records, the duo has become an indie success story, each release ranking among the top 10 digitally downloaded in the US. After a three year touring hiatus – during which time they got married, had two children and made two records - the band returned to touring in late 2010, playing 26 sold out shows across America. The Weepies now live in Southern California and are working on another album.