Grace-What a Concept

posted by Jeffrey on Friday, June 30, 2006 at 4:31 PM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. [emphasis mine]" That's verses three through seven in Titus, chapter 3.

Titus 2:11 also says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."

Something drastically stands out to me in these passages...they're in past tense. "...has appeared...", "...kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared...", "...saved us through the Spirit...", etc.

Hmm, I wonder why? Actually, its more than wonderings, its personal speculations and inclinations at the moment, but both interesting and perplexing nonetheless.

Tags: , , ,

My Friend's Interview with a Friend (Who Happens to be an Atheist)

posted by Jeffrey on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 6:56 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

My friend Jim is a local blogger and author here in Nashville. He's the author of several books including the soon to be released Divine Nobodies:Shedding Religion to Find God (and the Unlikely People Who Help You).

He's posted an interview with a friend of his on myspace that I thought was really great! Here's a sample:

JP: What ways have you personally been offended or disrespected by Christians?

RF: I have been attacked 3 times by angry Christians. I have had guns pulled on me. My family was almost run off the road by an angry Christian truck driver (the big cross on the front was a give-a-away). I was almost assaulted in a parking lot luckily people gathered around to help. The psychological biggie, and it's so much, is that many Christians actually support a God that they call loving, yet this deity believes I'm worthy of being tortured forever. I find that disgusting and highly offensive. I hate it when a Christian tells me in anger, "God Bless You" as if that lessens the intent. I am also offended when a Christian says they love me because the Bible says they must. They cheapen real love. How can they love me when their God believes I'm worthy of eternal torture?

Good stuff! Read more at Jim's blog and myspace.

First Time Wakeboarding!

posted by Jeffrey on Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 2:47 PM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

We went out with our friends Rick and Heather, with their daughter Chelsey, last night on their boat to chill for the evening and I finally learned to wakeboard! It took me about 10 tries to finally get up, but here's some pics of it.

I know my form sucks, but hey, it was my first time!

I Am a Social Dictator

posted by Jeffrey on Friday, June 23, 2006 at 1:03 PM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

As a go about my daily life I find in myself that I am some sort of fascist when it comes to relationships. I seem to have a scale that tells me which relationships I value most, and then force all friendships to that end. What I value most are real, honest, deep, and intimate relationships. You know what I mean, those people who wrestle with me over difficult issues, with whom I speak freely regarding what I'm thinking or feeling (even if its about them), etc. The people who's spirits bear witness and seem to connect with mine in a way that is not of this world.

I find that I am wrongfully unsatisfied with the relationships I have that are not of such closeness. Despite knowing that it would be unhealthy, and quite impossible, to maintain such a large number of such relationships, I seem to constantly attempt to do so. My ulterior motive seems to be, secretly,  to move all more "surfacey" relationships to deeper levels. It is a strange and difficult process learning to value all of my friendships, regardless of how deep they may run.

I am a social dictator.


Spiritual Awareness

posted by Jeffrey on Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 7:02 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

I believe that there is an alternate reality, the ultimate reality, where it is possible for humans to live. It is the realm where we are constantly connected with and aware of the Spirit of God's voice, movement, and activities in and around us. This is a place I unfortunately visit only sporadically, and seemingly, for only brief periods of time.

As I mentioned recently, I have been so much happier this month as the opportunity to shift into a job that I love and actually care about has arisen. Since then, I have visited this desired realm more often than in the recent past. I, however, would not be as naive to say that happiness is the vehicle to this place. No, no, no, not at all.

So the question remains, what does allow us to enter this ultimate reality? More importantly to me, what allows me to live there?

Home Based Business--I Freakin' Love It!

posted by Jeffrey on Thursday, June 15, 2006 at 4:34 PM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

Week 1 of the Arbonne home based business is in the books. Can I just say that I'm happier than I've been in a long time! I am having more fun getting this business going with my wife than I could have dreamed.

A pleasant and unexpected result of such happiness has been a noticeably sharpened awareness of the Holy Spirit's presence and voice in and around me. Before I was set free from my 9-5 rat race, I filled every spare second of the day with meaningless activities. Such attempts were to numb my mind in hopes of just making it, once again, to 4:30, so I could go home and to the gym with my beautiful wife.

Now, I enjoy what I do and feel not the need to occupy my down time with such things of worthlessness. I have time to write (journal and blog), think, meditate, and addition to getting work done and a business started! What a pleasant surprise.

Tags: , , ,

Been Away for a While

posted by Jeffrey on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 9:40 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

Life is a funny thing. There's those moments when it seems that everything that's been happening for months and months on end come together in a culmination of unbelievable dreams. This has been the story of my life recently.

About two months ago Shaunna and I began learning about the toxins that we put in our bodies every day through the use of soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, etc. We learned about rendering plants and the other toxins and carcinogens used as main ingredients in many of the products we use countlessly throughout the day. As my wife and I are very aware and concerned about health and fitness on a plethora of levels, this troubled us.

Changing gears, we have recently discovered that our ability to dream has been dramatically reduced, largely as a direct result of our 9-5 rat race jobs. Neither of us have been designed to flourish in such environments. We are free thinkers and creative types who hate to be tied down and chasing the carrot dangled out in front of us. Only recently have we begun to dream, and dream big, again. Hey, here's a thought, what's the point of dreaming if you don't believe it can come true?

Anyway, just before Shaunna got out of school for the summer (she's a teacher, if you didn't know),  she had humored one of her co-workers by sitting in on an Arbonne presentation. She came home intrigued and shared some information with me. We then met one-on-one with a national vice president of Arbonne here in the Hermitage/Mt. Juliet area to discuss some more details and ask some pointed questions. Two days later, and after much prayer and meditation, we decided to start our own business with Arbonne.

I would never have believed we'd be a part of a network marketing company, much less that God would lead us down such a path. I've checked into around 10-15 network marketing companies in the past 4 years or so, and have been able to find something shady with the products and/or company in every single one thus far. Much to my dismay, at the beginning that is, I was unsuccessful in finding such problems with Arbonne.

Their products (weight loss, nutrition, skin care, cosmetics/color, aromatherapy, and anti-aging) are truly, as they say, "Pure, Safe, and Beneficial". ALLLLL the products are botanically based, pH balanced, not tested on animals, contain NO animal products or byproducts, and are far superior to anything on the market.

Well, the final kicker of the story is that 5 days after we signed up to build a business with Arbonne, I lost my job. To be honest, I laughed my butt off when this happened. We planned on our Arbonne business being in the place within six months where I could resign my previous job anyway, but I guess God just wanted to give me the opportunity to work our Arbonne business more effectively.

I'm not looking for another job because Arbonne, with it's incredible products and really incredible business opportunity, is my job now. We crunched the numbers and found that Shaunna and I can eat and pay bills on her check, so we can afford to both concentrate on Arbonne for the summer. God has been so faithful, as has always promised His children, to take care of us. We are so thankful for those friends of ours who have aided us as the Spirit has moved them. Our Creator-Savior cares even for the sparrows, thus there is no need to worry about food and clothes.

Too Much Grace?

posted by Jeffrey on Monday, June 05, 2006 at 8:58 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

Disheartening is the fact that many of us who call ourselves followers of Christ long for His judgment in place of His mercy. In recent conversations about some, well, um, hot button issues, this line of thinking has butted its way, once again, into the limelight of my world.

What compels some of us to be angered by the fact that some preachers, churches, people, yada, yada, yada..., are more accepting then they are condeming? "All they talk about is God's grace and forgiveness, never His wrath", they say. Pardon me, didn't Christ take all of God's wrath that was being stored up for the entire world when He made Himself the great sacrifice? Yes, He did. And if it were not all the wrath that He took, then it might as well have been none.

Now yes, for those who do not allow themselves to be consumed in the love of Christ and the reality of His forgiveness for all their sin, there remains judgment. But that is left to the God who will one day sit on the great white throne of judgment, NOT to men and women who long to thrust themselves there in His stead.

*WARNING: Do not proceed if raw emotion poured out in words offends you*

That said, who gives a shit if people don't talk about God's wrath enough? Is it real? Yes. Is it dealt with? Yes. Will many still suffer it? Unfortunately, yes (in the scenario described above). The scare tactics of hell are regrettably ingrained in so many of us from legalistic upbringings, but we must rise up and overthrow such evil tendencies. It it is the love of Christ that sets us free. He IS love.

Just like in any relationship, of course there are things we do that upset Him, disappoint Him, etc, but that will never turn His wrath back upon us. He lovingly reveals our mistakes, picks us up out of the dirt, and sets our feet back firmly on the path of righteousness. Sometimes I think He dusts us off Himself, sometimes He leaves it for us to do,  but one thing is for sure, this process is a vital part of being transformed into His image, and I will never again say otherwise.

Its for freedom that the God of love set us free, and I will approach the throne of Grace boldly and frequently, with all others who camp there as well. For those who have not yet discovered that this throne, not the great white throne, is where we meet Christ, I would love to show you the way. Its through love.

Tags: , , , , , ,