These thoughts and beliefs are not necessarily the thoughts or beliefs of those who attend The FUSION! My mind is off the wall and sprat-tic to some and may be under the influence of coffee! If you like comfortable and easy then this blog is not for you! If you like to challenge status quo and look outside the box and think what if and is that possible if I try then we will get along well! I love to call all into question that which is and ask the hard questions of why? P.S. No comments will be posted as anonymous! Get a pair!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Get Away From Me, Nag!

Who wants to be married to a nag? Not me! I don't need someone telling me what to do, how to do it, and then pointing out how I did it wrong! I've lived far too long with a nag in my life!

I don't know how I put up with it for so long...I guess I thought it was the norm.

Or why I thought it was a healthy just made me doubt myself.

I couldn't stay married to that nag. So I got away...and you can, too.

Religion has reduced God to a nag--a tedious rule keeper who lays on the guilt whenever we're bad...someone shaking his head as we're caught red-handed...someone who keeps a running tally of our every mistake. When I dedicated my life to God, everything started out great...but as time passed, we settled into our routine like an old married couple. And I guess I was the annoying one in the marriage because I was reminded regularly of how I was doing it wrong.

Maybe I was the mess up, maybe I was doing everything wrong. But apparently there were others who were doing everything wrong, too--everyone I knew at church struggled with the 2 a.m. vague panic of not measuring up.

Is that how we think God works?

Peter (the impulsive, down-to-earth, swearing fisherman) suspected Jesus was a nag when they first met. Sure, Jesus did a miracle right in front of Peter, that's pretty cool. And the miracle was an obscene amount of fish that helped Peter's business! But after the dinner and a show, Peter became increasingly aware of Jesus' holiness. And holy is awesome--as in stand-in-awe awesome--but without relationship, it translates into NAG. So all Peter could hear is "You're a dirty fisherman telling dirty jokes with your dirty language, you're not good enough, you lose your temper, you're not a religious man so WHAT are you doing with this HOLY ONE?! You should be ashamed!"

Jesus didn't say anything like that to Peter, but Peter looked at Jesus and said, "get away from me, I'm a sinful man". (Luke 5)

Holiness can be intimidating. It's like unknowingly tracking dog crap on someone else's pristine white carpet. No one has to say anything to you--you know what a dork you are and you feel ashamed of yourself even though you weren't even aware you were doing it! Then you spend the next half hour inwardly scolding yourself that you should have known better... Jesus didn't scold you. YOU scolded you!

We understand who's doing the scolding at that moment, but in the blur of our day we sometimes attribute that inward scolding to God Almighty. We humans know the difference between good and evil (remember, Eve ate the apple) and when we recognize we're in the midst of evil, we go to work on ourselves.  And every religious, persnickety, judgmental yuck we've ever had the pleasure of coming into contact with is more than willing to help us along.

But God himself says He dances over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)! That's how much he ENJOYS us! Simple ol' us! He's not dancing and singing over the perfect angels but over US! Probably as we sit on the toilet or complain about our job. (happy thoughts)

As Peter spent time with Jesus day after day, he began to see this unconditional love right in front of his eyes. And even after Peter impulsively denied Jesus three times, abandoning Him and betraying Him when He needed him most, Jesus still made a point to forgive Peter. Jesus once again performed a miracle that resulted in an obscene amount of fish for fisherman Peter. Peter and the other disciples were in a boat (newly loaded up with fish) and Jesus was just a vague figure on the shore. But when that miracle happened, Peter knew exactly WHO was on the shore and impulsively dove out of a perfectly good boat into the water because he simply couldn't get to Jesus fast enough! Isn't that what we do when someone makes us feel incredible, we HAVE to to be near them. That dirty fisherman was no longer ashamed to be around the HOLY ONE! Jesus' unconditional love made Peter comfortable with himself, occasional potty-mouth and all! (John 21)

Let God's unconditional love sink in! He's not busy judging you, despite what you may feel or what religion has told you. God's not a nag so go ahead and give that nag the boot! Give up all the shame and regret! And reacquaint yourself with your singing, dancing, unconditionally loving God!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

For Those About To Rock, We Salute You

I was listening to a little AC/DC and this song really struck me. I could see a crowd, excited and intense, cheering on their champion. The wild enthusiasm of the fans coursing through the athlete's veins. The thunderous applause feeding His adrenaline. And here He comes: Jesus, fresh from an annihilating beating. He's carrying His cross on His massacred body as he focuses all His might to put one foot in front of the other. He falls and people jeer and boo.

But all of Heaven stands up: FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK, WE SALUTE YOU!

Heaven and the Past and the Future celebrate the victory that is this Warrior's manifest destiny. He was about to throw down, leave it all in the ring, give it everything He's got, and hold nothing back. The air fills with that 21 gun salute and ALL the admiration and ALL the honor! Jesus rocked it hard on that hill called "The Skull" and then He wiped the mat with Death and the Grave until those fools were utterly red-faced defeated. His earth shattering victory is worthy of (rock) anthems and parades and celebrations--even 2014 years later!

I always knew listening to AC/DC was a spiritual experience.

All I can say is: Jesus, You ROCK and I salute You! With all my heart!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

N8's mind: Dark Horse Rising

N8's mind: Dark Horse Rising: History has some pretty interesting stories to tell. Stories about the dark horse who came from behind and no one saw it coming. We could t...

Dark Horse Rising

History has some pretty interesting stories to tell. Stories about the dark horse who came from behind and no one saw it coming. We could talk about people like Steve Jobs, Susan Boyle, Michael Oher, James Braddock, Erin Brockovich, Nelson Mandela, Kurt Warner and J.K. Rowling, just to name a few. We read their bios, cheer their teams on, or watch their movies just hoping to capture their unique brand of never-give-up and translate it into our own situation.
One of these dark horse stories is the story of Mary Magdalene. Maybe you've read this story so often that her strength and courage have been lost in familiarity, but take another look. Mary Magdalene enters the story of Jesus when He casts seven demons out of her. That life-changing moment transformed her world in a bigger way than any infomercial has ever dared to promise, sans ginsu knives! She went from Me, Myself, and Irene to Oprah Winfrey in one ecstatic moment.  Her purpose becomes singular: support Jesus at any cost. She becomes part of the entourage and donates money to the ministry. Her whole life revolves around her Savior as she watches Him day after day perform cataclysmic transformations on people, just like the one that wrecked her world. It was mesmerizing! It was heaven on earth!
And then it all went wrong.
Jesus died and Mary Magdalene’s life didn't turn out the way she'd envisioned it. The purpose she'd dedicated herself to, the cause she poured all her time and money into, the solid ground she had metaphorically built her house on all came crashing down in a landslide.
Anyone who's experienced that landslide gets a jarring welcome to the transitional land of Now What. The first steps into this monotonous territory question everything that led us to this place: I thought I was living a good life, I thought I was on the right track, I thought I had what it takes, I thought I had made all the right connections, I thought...
"But the landslide brought me down..."
For three days Mary Magdalene must have been in agony. Did she eat? Did she sleep? Did she feel like a fool? Those three days may have been an eternity, but Ms. Magdalene didn't give up. It takes courage to keep traveling a difficult road all the way to the end. You have to follow your gut and not your eyes. You have to follow your heart and not your head. Passion has to weigh more than the opinion of people. That's how legends are made. That's how world changers are forged.
Mary Magdalene followed her heart to visit the dead person who embodied her dead purpose. It's hard to give up a life purpose because, really: how do you find a new one? She was stumbling around Now What when she came face to face with the risen Jesus. Funny thing is, at first she didn't know Him. She was wrapped up trying to find that beat up Jesus. She was consumed with tying up the loose ends of her unraveled life. She was headlong in her hopeless cause and didn't even recognize the upgraded version of her Purpose.
Jesus Himself had experienced a cataclysmic transformation. For starters, He was no longer dead, but alive! Mary Magdalene recognized Him as soon as He said her name and her life was wrecked again, in the best way possible. Her purpose wasn't deceased, but it was drastically different. Her life's work wasn't over, it was just beginning! She doesn't go down in history as a failure: she is famous on Earth and in Heaven!

Life has many transitions and not all of them are pleasant.  But it's not all for nothing. It's not an embarrassing loss. It's not always going to be this way. Your future isn't going to look like your past. All those choices you made that brought you to where you are: they were the best choice at that time, with what you knew to be true at that moment. We do our best and sometimes it looks like a complete disaster, but keep going. Keep traveling that road and see where it goes. It may not make sense or be the popular choice. But if you travel the course that God has put before you, no matter how difficult and uncomfortable, you may end up being the dark horse to those who thought they knew you. The dark horse that was forged into a world changer!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's Finished?

Here's an idea to ponder: when Jesus said "it is finished", what was He talking about? Did He painfully labor to speak these words as He was dying on the cross to tell us the obvious: that His life was finished? Or was He talking about His requirement to pay taxes or that His job was finished...those joyful declarations might have been worth the excruciating pain. Heck, maybe He was talking about His laundry--that's never done till your dead-because He couldn't have meant that the work to get close to God was finished since we're still doing it!!!

We still have to work to get close to God, right? Isn't that why we try to act a certain way: to make sure our actions will show God we've earned the right to be loved? Isn't that why we have to say the right things: so our language won't send God away covering His delicate ears? Isn't that why we tell the truth and obey traffic lights and avoid arguments and read our Bible and prove fresh everyday that we are temporarily pure enough to hang out with Him (as long as we're doing something wholesome) until we screw it up by our own humanity. Are our efforts necessary?

Tell me this one thing: did you receive God's Spirit by doing what the law requires or by simply hearing the gospel and believing it? How can you be so foolish? You began by God's Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power? Galatians 3:2-3

Call me crazy, but I think Paul's saying that when we believe we have to do something to earn our right to be close to God, we're relying on our own power--not what Jesus did on the cross! 

I don't turn my back on God's gift of undeserved grace. If we can be acceptable to God by obeying the law, then it was useless for Christ to die. Galatians 2:21

This is so cool: “It is finished” translates in the Greek to an accounting term that means “paid in full.” When Jesus uttered those words, He was declaring the sin-debt owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever. Jesus paid our debt! There's nothing left to pay!

We aren't required to do one single thing to be in relationship with God! Most of us understand that we become acceptable to God because of Jesus' sacrifice, but that's also how we continue in this relationship with the God Of The Universe: because of Jesus' sacrifice! Not because of anything we do!

So, dear friends, this is what we learned today: Don't do ANYTHING to "earn" your right standing with God! Give religion the finger by only doing what you GET TO do! Because God LOVES LOVES LOVES you no matter what you do (or don't do)!!!

Jesus said,"It is finished". Let's live like we believe Him :-D

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Drunk on wine and loving life!

“Jesus turned water into wine—now that’s a God!” --Percy Jackson, Sea of Monsters

John 2 tells the story about Jesus’ first miracle: turning water into wine. I love this Bible passage for so many reasons! Jesus, the leader of our religious group, made about 180 gallons of wine to keep the party going because His mother, the holiest of women, told Him to. You just can’t go wrong with this story! I mean, this is the best spiritual story ever—I’m not making this stuff up! God isn't a prude—he loves to party! He’s not a moderate—He’s an extremist! This very important first miracle performed by Jesus should redefine holyf or those of us with a church background. Maybe holy doesn't mean to God what we think it means!

Jesus made water into wine and the church has been trying to change it back ever since.

Jesus’ holy broke many religious rules to give us a better look at God the Father. The water pots Jesus used were already filled with ceremonial water used to wash the body for religious purposes.  Jesus had the servants top off each water pot with more water so there was no room in the jars for any other liquid, and Jesus turned all that water into wine. The symbolism alone could get you drunk: what was meant for washing externally would instead be used to wash internally; rather than falling off the body, it would be consumed by the body; instead of an outward change, it would change a person from the inside out.  And all this changing and purification would be done not in some staunchy ceremony but at a loud, lavish party that had been raging on for days! Jesus’ holy makes us feel light and free with the intoxication of His love. His holy gives us glad hearts that no longer carry the heaviness of the injustices that can pile up in this life. He wants us to drink in His love until we are carried away in the BLISS of His extreme affection for us! The problem with wine is that it does something to us:  we lose control. The wine of Jesus’ love wrecks us and we’re never the same, He makes us holy.  Jesus started His ministry with wine and ended it with Passover wine—then he became the drink offering at the cross, spilling Himself out for us. Holiness isn't rigid and stoic and cold, it's the most passionate, loving ecstasy anyone's ever experienced! Beautiful!

“Drink your fill, O lovers!” Song of Solomon 5:1

Jesus goes to extremes for you! He can’t get enough of you! He loves everything about you—even your flaws are beautiful to Him! We are often instructed to love God, to worship Him, and that’s important; but today, take some time to pause and let GOD tell you how much He loves you just the way you are!

Think about that until you melt into your chair. Go on, get loaded!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What If

What if we quit looking at our flaws as flaws?  What if, instead, we saw ourselves as designed and crafted to do a specific function in this world? What if we quit thinking that everyone else is the expert and our opinion is inferior? What if we quit discounting our own unique knowledge, skills, opinions and perspectives that have been accumulated by our own unique life? What if we lived out the empowering "I was made for such a time as this" in Esther chapter 4? What if we quit discrediting the work of God in our own life and truly looked for our personal opportunity to impact the world around us? What if we "let no one despise or disregard or think little of you" like Titus chapter 2 says? What if we dismissed criticism as someone's harsh opinion of us that they formed due to their bad day? What if we dismissed our criticisms as a harsh opinion of others that we formed due to our bad day? What if we embraced all the freedoms, all the joy, all the BLISS that God has for us, that Jesus died to give us? 

My friends, what if THIS is a revolution?