God is not some type of trickster, but we can certainly through our human eyes create great schisms through our view of God. Within Christian theology as well as other religions of the world, based upon our view, interpretation, experience and so on.
Let me tell you a short story.

God was walking through town one day and his left side was in the form of a woman, and his right side the form of a man. Later on, people at the local pub started talking about the goddess who visited the town. Others over heard the conversation of the group who saw the goddess and said no, no, it was a man.
Both groups grew heated and eventually began to fight forgetting why God may have came to visit them in the first place. 
When we act this way within our own faith system, let alone when trying to understand another, we never will be in unity.
I tend to beleive the best way to understand theology is to listen, and understand. Nobody has ever seen God, we can read about Jesus. We can say Jesus was this or that. We form groups called denominations and divide ourselves because we cannot allow our ego to possibly be wrong. 
Today as we head into this thanksgiving week let us be thankful for our differences. Let’s listen and understand one another. Maybe through our empathy others will also understand us.
The Backyard Preacher

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 In the East they call it meditation in the West it is contemplation. Regardless of the terminology I believe it is important to relax our minds. Often as Christians we pray with our lips without giving thought to our ears. How can the Spirit speak to us when we are filled with thoughts of “us”?  
We can take example from Jesus. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16. I highly doubt the Lord spoke all night during these times.  He took time to listen. He took time to remove himself from the cares of the world to be better prepared to accomplish his will on earth.  So if Jesus needed this strength, we do also! 
Take time everyday to pray, not with just words, but also with your ears.

To find the experience of direct conversation with the Spirit, bringing us closer to God, and in many ways equivalent to Jesus.  This is after all why we are called Christians. 
The Backyard Preacher

Nate talks about true, vs. false spirituality.  Specifically mind altering substances.  In Nate’s opinion the most spiritual people are those with or with past substance issues.  The people who are seekers of something outside of themselves.  Yet the substance method comes at a high price.  While True spirituality is found within yourself through natural means of journeying.

 I have heard it said “Be the hero”  Joe Rogan talks of your life being like a movie. If your life was a movie, be the hero of your movie.

The great Joseph Campbell states:  

“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heros of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known.  We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination we shall find a god.  And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves.  Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.”

Take a moment and read through this profound paragraph a few times. Let it sink in to your soul.

See here is the deal.  You are not alone on your quest. Billions of people have gone before you. It does not matter your position in life.  It does not matter if yesterday you lived your life as a dirtbag, or that you are lazy, unmotivated, filled with resentments, and just plain tired of life.

If today you woke up in poverty, out of shape and unhealthy, have addictions that are destroying your life. It just does not matter.

We love a good movie about someone who is down and out, then through their journey find greatness! Stop being down on yourself, stop saying I can’t, and realize you can!  As the great Joe Rogan said if your life was a movie, what kind of movie would you want it to be?

You have the power to change who you are. You can be the hero!

 Do not be the one. 

 When your days are done and your hands can no longer function, do not be the one who followed the rules, did everything you are told, and forget God gave you a brain to think for yourself.  Don’t do it!  Yes, being an obediant cog is probably the most safe way to navigate through life; only to end up just another gravemarker with little meaning.  

They say better to be safe than sorry. That’s a lie. It has always been the risk takers who have  made the greatest impact on our world.  As a Christian I can read the Bible and find it was the risk takers who God used. 

In human understanding faith and risk are very synonymous.  So what I am I trying to say?  I am saying chase whimsies, follow your bliss, don’t let anyone tell you “NO” if it is the desire of your heart. Seek it, keep knocking, make life happen. Do not let life happen to you!  

At the end of the day you may still become just an unknown gravestone. Yet you will be one who tried to defy the norm, who said the moon is to close, I am shooting for stars. On your death bed there will be no disappointment, only hope that those you leave behind follow the same path.  
The Backyard Preacher

Nate puts a interesting twist on the parable of the wedding feast.  Nate also talks about our mental health and gun control issues.

Many popular authors have reintroduced the practice of “living in the now”  This is not something new it is a practice of the wise, dating back to time immemorial.
It is a blessing every generation we find wise men and women to remind us of an often forgotten discipline.  It is needed now more than ever in our current society; which in my opinion is far too materialist, fast, and profane.
Everyperson is a star,  everyperson needs a place within themselves where all becomes nothing, and everything, complimenting one another in a dance of divine unity.
A place in which there is no knowledge of the daily agendas, no news, no obligations, stress does not exists, and only breath and divinity remain. It was the breath of God that created man.  So man was created in a state of divine meditation.
Today find a sacred place. A prayer room. A place to be alone. A place in which within its abode nothing matters.  Allow God to speak to you. Walk with God in the cool of the day.  Lay bare to Him who you believe you are, and find who you truly are.
Make this a practice everyday.

Have a blessed Tuesday my friends!

The Backyard Preacher

In life everything cannot be learned by reading books.  You may say but Nate. You put great stock in reading.  Yes, I do. Yet I also understand that a child in southern Florida can read every book there is on what snow is like.  To view pictures of snowmen, sledding, and other winter sport, but without the actual ecperience, the value of the knowledge is unrewarding.  

The same is true for many things in ourlives, both knowledge and experience can bring both positive or negative consequences.  We must choose wisely.  

As a Christian I can read the Bible all I want and have great knowledge of the text, but without the experience of God it is just another book.  

It is no wonder that Christian and Buddhist monks seem to understsnd each other while the priest of their religions (the ones who went to school) lack in agreement.  See the monks have not just read, they have experienced God. They knocked on the door of heaven and it was opened to them.  
Who do you want to be? 
Have a blessed Saturday my friends!

Now What?  There is always going to be someone to tell you no, your not good enough, don’t have enough experience, don’t have enough education, or they do not like the decisions of your past.  Are you going to let others define you?  Or, are you going to allow yourself be defined by your God nature?

Jesus said: “love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.”   
That is easily said, but in reality when a person becomes a Christian we assume that we know what to do.  Yet do we really?  
In my years of being a Christian, one of the most depressing questions that many face is, now what? 
It is said not knowing what is expected of you in the work place is the number one issue facing employers and employees.  Sounds like that should be a simple  fix. The fact is, it is not. The same goes for trying to figure out what is expected of us as Christians. 
Now you are probably wanting to know my insight.  Simple, stop trying!  The problem with  many organized religions is all the rules and dogma. They drain us both physically and emotionally. 
Many people leave the faith or are so disgusted with the hypocracy of Christianity they run from anything associated with religion.
You might be shocked to hear this, but it is time to stop worrying about sin.  Its time to stop worrying about right or wrong, along with how you must “act” as a Christian.  Because it is not an “act” it is real life.  The plan is to follow Jesus, but as Romans 4 points out, it is not your acting that does anything to please God.  
Christianity is a Journey, one that is most of the time unknown.  The supprising key to pleasing God is to understand this, and continue on even when we do not know where we will end up.  Why?  Because we are placing our trust in God.  We are not concerned with the dogma of our organized religions instead we follow the Spirit into all truth.  The “rules” did nothing but create disappointment and defeat. It is faith in the journey that pleases God!
Be blessed today!  Happy Friday!