Sunday, June 23, 2013


Is it just me or is the term Born Again used less frequently these days? I was part of that Born Again movement of the 70's when it seemed the Spirit was calling people to redemption at a higher rate, and calling many of those like myself that even church people had little hope for. 

How important is it to have a true Born Again experience and just what is it to be Born Again? Jesus said, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are Born Again." John 3:3. It appears that it was very important to Jesus. What is it? It is a supernatural experience that can't be found by simply being religious. You can go to church every week. You can read the Bible six hours daily, tithe half your an outstanding person who people look to as good and righteous, and not be Born Again.  

The best example of someone being Born Again for me is my mother. She was fifty three years old. She rarely missed church. She taught Sunday School and served on various committees through the years. She read her Bible and prayed daily. A faithful wife and mother, and to nearly everyone a good person who lived an extremely moral life.

March 20, 1975 I am led away from our home by six narcotic officers. As I was escorted out my mom was seated at the dining table wailing in the most awful torrent of tears you can imagine. She kept repeating, "Why...Why God..Oh why?

I can't recall if it was the next day or several days later. I was stumbling in my own lost world and wondering if I would be leaving freedom for incarceration. But later she would explain the supernatural event she experienced that changed her forever. She was on her knees by her bed crying and asking God repeatedly why. And then she heard his voice. "Bring all your burdens to Calvary." In that moment my mom changed from being a good church going woman to experiencing the supernatural. She was Born Again. Many like me experience this and fall away but not my mom. She loved more and judged less. She admitted difficult things about herself. She often told me, "I was too prideful. I thought I was better than others."

Maybe the most poignant thing I recall her saying was, "I taught Sunday School. I went to church. I served on committees but I had no idea who Jesus Christ really was." I believe my mom was a good believing woman on her way to Heaven but she discovered an intimacy with her father that she had never known previously.

As it turned out I did not go to prison. A year and a half later I would have my Born Again experience. A voice that called to me as I walked down a road with no destination. 

"Come and admit you are wrong. Come and sing my glorious song."

So is being Born Again important? I believe so.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gotta Serve Somebody

Many years ago I had a dramatic Damascus Road experience.  A whisper from God one night on a long dark road changed everything in the blink of an eye. I handled being Born Again poorly and made many foolish decisions as well as offending nearly everyone I came in contact with. 

Looking back, I can find one tidbit of wisdom that came to me. I told someone that the Bible speaks constantly of light and dark, but nowhere could I find where we walked in twilight. Many years later when I fell away in anger at my belief that God had failed me I tried to forget all this and think I could walk down the middle of the road.  

Isn't that the lie that we are sold? We are good enough. We go to church enough. We occasionally help our neighbor. It is fine that we do things wrong that society tells us is no problem today. Aw the Bible..that was for back then.. A flawed account written by men. 

Recently I thought about Bob Dylan and his Born Again time. I don't know where Bob is these days spiritually and it is not my business. That is between he and God. I do strongly believe he saw the light and the darkness. Remember the album Slow Train Coming? There were constant references to how he had been deceived by the darkness and embraced the light. And while it may have been far from his best song. The song Gotta Serve Somebody is as true a song as I think he can write. 

But in our society today with the exception of those who willfully embrace evil we don't want to think we walk in darkness because if we are then who is the king of that darkness? Who are we serving? 

This is not about seeing the devil behind every door. He is far more subtle than that. He is more devious with a wink than a sledgehammer. It also is not about being religious because that is its own form of lost. Remember the Pharisees when Jesus walked the earth?

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride.
 You may be a city councilman takin' bribes on the side.
  You may be workin' in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair.
  You may be somebody's mistress, may be somebody's heir
But you're gonna have to serve somebody Yes you're gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you're gonna have to serve somebody.