______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Resurrection! April 7, 2012

We aren’t fixed, static beings — we change and morph as life unfolds.

This is true for ecosystems, food chains, the seasons — it’s true all across the environment.  Death gives way to life.
– From “Love Wins.

———– ———– —————-

[HEY! Don’t read this while you’re trying to watch the video! It’ll still be here.]

“Some have taken Jesus’ cry that his Father had forsaken him to mean that at the darkest moment, the Father had to turn his back on the Son. God cannot bear to look on sin, they argue, so that when our sins were laid on him, God had to turn his face away from his Son.
God has never run from sinful humanity. He didn’t hide from Adam and Even in the Garden. They hid from him as he sought them out. It is not God who cannot bear to look on sin, but that we in our sin can’t bear to look on God. He’s not the one who hides. We are. God is powerful enough to look on sin and be untainted by it. He has always done so. He did so at the cross
When Jesus asked people to “repent and believe” the gospel, he was not asking them to be sorry for their sins and embrace an orthodox theology.  It is not whether we want to go to heaven or hell, but whether we want to trust God or continue trusting ourselves. ”
– From “He Loves Me.
Jesus did not die on the cross to satisfy God’s moral rage at your sin. He died to save you from the beast of sin.”
– From “The Misunderstood God.
“If the gospel isn’t good news for everybody, then it isn’t good news for anybody. And this is because the most powerful things happen when the church surrenders its desire to convert people and convince them to join. It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return, that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display.”
– From “Velvet Elvis


God Is Not Rude February 26, 2011

— by Darin Hufford —

The teaching today in American churches to “respect the man of God” demonstrates a rude or unfinished mentality. It’s used to get people to do what the religious leader wants. Unfortunately, the work of Christ is denied by implying that there are some Christians who are men of God and others who aren’t. All men and women deserve our respect equally.

We have built our theology on a rude God who says, Do it because I said so.” Once the verse has been read, if you dare to ask why, your entire faith is on trial.

Truthfully, I believe that quoting Scripture is the escape route for thousands of pastors, evangelists, and authors today. It’s something we have all learned to hide behind.

God will never talk down to you or treat you as anything less than an adult. God respects your opinions and decisions.

God never intended our relationship with Him to be like a soldier mindlessly following the orders of his commander. If you ask “why,” He will help you understand. If you need time to get it, He will patiently teach you until you do.
A relationship is a dialogue not a monologue. Our present-day view of obedience terminates the possibility of a two-way conversation.


Taken from “The Misunderstood God.”

You owe it to yourself to Read This Book.

For more info: Click HERE.

I love the sacred scriptures. 
But honestly, the way many, if not most, wrongly approach the scriptures,
misunderstand and misinterpret the scriptures,
and use the scriptures as a weapon against others, well…
I think a lot of Christians who have a Bible would be better off without it.
Or at least the rest of us would be better off.
— df


The Misunderstood God September 19, 2010

On the cover, Wayne Jacobsen is quoted as saying:
“Be ready to have your spiritual world rocked.”
OK, Mr. Jacobsen. Exaggerate much?
Look.  I’ve read an awful lot of books these past years.  I’ve been challenged, encouraged, strengthened, entertained and enraged.  I’ve been taught, stretched, and had many things, already in my heart, confirmed.  But to say that a book would “rock my spiritual world” is a pretty bold statement.  I assumed Wayne was being a bit generous toward the author.
He was not.

Darin Hufford’s
“The Misunderstood God: The Lies Religion Tells Us About God” is, in fact, a world-rocker.
It takes the simplest, most basic premise, “God is Love,” and turns it into something more profound than I could have possibly imagined.
I had to stop reading many times to just consider the enormous ramifications of what was being said.

This book not only attacks, but completely slaughters more sacred cows than…
than something that attacks and completely slaughters a LOT of sacred cows!
As one reviewer has said,
“Though it sounds like a basic, Sunday School lesson, the results are profound and often disturbing. If he is right, some of the common characteristics we have clothed God with are full of holes…Though I wished I’d read through his chapters unscathed, I found that many of the thoughts, beliefs and actions he confronts are ones that I’ve heard, accepted and repeated myself.”

Mr. Hufford declares that many of the traits we have attributed to God are not only false, they are actually the very traits of Satan himself.  Religion has created a false God; one of true horror, and shoved this concept so deeply down our throats that to even question it is often labeled blasphemy.
In these pages, the often unquestioned lies we have been taught about God are torn apart, piece by piece, and replaced with the Truth that sets us free!

Early on, he relates an incident where he was speaking to a group of about 100 pastors. When asked what would happen if they found Buddhists, Hindus, and homosexuals walking around with Jesus in heaven, they were unanimous: they would all be angry. [This sounds an awful lot like some workers hired early in the day, getting angry at the generosity of their employer. Then these same kinds of Christians have the nerve to say they don’t earn their way to heaven. Please.]

Darin goes on to cover the proud God, the offensive God, the needy God, the angry God, and a host of other views of God that we have created in man’s image.
The chapter on “Trust” discusses not only how we have misunderstood what it means to trust God, but completely missed the point of how God actually trusts us.
Darin’s discourse on God’s protection shines a beacon of light into an often dark and desolate place in our hearts. It could forever change the way you judge others, yourself, and God. (If you tell me you’ve never judged God, I won’t flat-out call you a liar. I’ll think it, I just won’t say it.)
Later, our false definition of “hope” is contrasted with the biblical version. Truly, hope is an anchor, not simply wishful thinking.

The whole book leads to the final chapter, where Mr. Hufford brings it all together and applies it to our lives. The conclusion is simple profundity. We often miss the depths of truth because we think we already understand it. That could easily happen with this book, unless you determine to see and hear beyond the surface, deep in you inmost being. The truth is both more simple, yet infinitely harder than all the religious sewage we use as a substitute.

Obviously, I enjoy all the books I recommend, and they are many. They all add something special to the conversation, and to our relationship with God and each other. Often, the best one is whatever I’m reading at the time. But I think THIS BOOK will permanently remain one of the most important.
I give away a lot of books. A LOT of books. (also some CDs and DVDs). When something has a profound effect on me, or I just really enjoy it, I like to share that with others. However, this is the FIRST time I’ve started handing out copies of a book before I’ve even finished it. This book is that good.
If begging you to read it will help, then this is me begging:
“Please read this book.”
– df
Buy the book HERE.

     Some Other Reviews:

“If you are willing to set aside what you think you already know about God, this may be one of the most important books you’ll ever read.” – Jim Palmer

“Darin Hufford has hit the nail on the head. I am savoring it, there is teaching in this book for everyone. A+++ reading.” – Philip A. Liszewski

“This book will help you get that heavy pack of religious assumptions and misunderstandings off your back, because you were never meant to carry that.” – Jim Robbins

“If you let it, it’ll blow apart the lies you’ve been told about God…
I gave this book a 5 star rating only because I couldn’t give it a higher one.” – Aida Calder

“I have often remarked that God must look down upon His creation, shake His head, and say “That is not what I meant!”.
…we are portraying a God Who is the antithesis of what the scriptures say He is!” – mbw

“If you have ever struggled with the schizophrenic, seemingly contradictory notions of how this God of love is often portrayed as an angry taskmaster, full of rules and judgment, THE MISUNDERSTOOD GOD will make refreshing sense out of all the religious nonsense. This book scratches where The Shack caused you to itch.” – Brad Cummings
Buy the book HERE.

     And Some Quotes

“‘Do you love God?’ My answer was no. I didn’t even like Him. ‘What’s there to love?’ I thought. He’s never satisfied, He wants all the glory, He likes it when we cut ourselves down, He threatens to kill our children, He wants all our money, and He’d light us on fire and feed us to spiders if we didn’t give it to him. What was there to love?”

“God is not impressed or more predisposed to bless you because you’ve come so far in your spirituality. He’s proud of you because you are His child.” “God does not bless us for being good little boys and girls. God blesses us because God blesses.”

“During the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, it was quite common to hear our nation’s pastors explain that this was a plague sent by God to punish the homosexuals. Every bad thing that happens in this world gets blamed upon God. We truly believe that God has the character and personality of the devil.”

“If Jesus Christ were walking the earth today in human form, I believe His message would be the same to us as it was to the Pharisees of His time: “You belong to your father, the devil.” This is precisely the point He was making two thousand years ago. The Pharisees and religious teachers had painted a picture of God that made Him look like Satan himself. They had made it impossible for the people to have a relationship with God simply because they were terrified and repulsed by Him. We are no different today.”

Buy the book HERE.

“The wrath of God should never scare you.” “The wrath of God is never pointed toward His Children. It’s used on behalf of His children.”

“I saw a bumper sticker that read ‘God is Love.’ That made me laugh out loud. ‘If that were true,’ I thought, ‘it would mean that the entire Christian religion is wrong.'”

“Today, in the minds of most Christians, Christianity is a religion about not sinning.”

“We now believe that Jesus had to die because God was ‘gonna bust a cap’ in someone’s head over this sin issue.” “Jesus did not die on the cross to satisfy God’s moral rage at your sin. He died to save you from the beast of sin.”

Buy the book HERE.

“God does not delight in fear tactics. Love simply never thinks this way.” “The kindness of God leads people to repentance.” “Threats of hell were never meant to be the argument that drew people to God.” “God didn’t create men to save their souls from hell. He created men and women to have relationships with one another and with Him.”

“God’s vengeance is never on people; it’s on the devil. God does not delight in getting revenge on people, and He never participates in it. God delights in forgiveness.”

“I’ve seen people actually get excited when they think God has gotten back at someone on their behalf.”

“Religion doesn’t rejoice in the truth about Christ. Religion hides it.”

Buy the book HERE.

“God did not delight in that torment you may have endured, nor did He cause it. He did not even plan for it to happen. In the midst of it happening, however, He used it to strengthen your ultimate purpose in life.”

“If you are a Christian and you don’t believe you are secure in Christ, you have no hope. All you have is a wish and a dream.”

“We’ve created a remote-control god who jumps into action the moment the right buttons are pushed, and many people spend their entire lives trying to figure out the correct code to punch into the God Keypad so they can get what they want.” “We quote scripture to God in an effort to ‘legally’ force Him to follow through with what He said He would do.” “We say ‘If it’s in His Word He has to do it.'” “I call it a ‘vending machine’ god.'” “We come up with hundreds of little ‘tools’ that supposedly provoke God to act on our behalf.”

“The bottom line is that when people say they know He is patient, kind, protective, trusting, and all those other things, when push comes to shove, they don’t believe a word of it.”

“The word ‘revival’ is not even in the Bible. It was never the intention of God to have a religion that routinely suffered from heart failure.

“Relationship with God to this generation of Christianity is all about reading the Bible.” “We have even exchanged God for the Bible, attributing all the attributes of God Himself to it.”

“His love never fails.”

Everything from Bible reading to church attendance to the way we pray has been affected by Old Testament thinking. Popular teachings on worship, generational curses, fasting, tithing, receiving blessings, and even hearing the voice of God have all been poisoned by our lack of accepting and standing upon the substitution of Christ’s death in place of anything we could ever do.

The purpose of the Old Testament is to point the way to Christ …
the church continues to run back to the Old Testament principles…
They prefer to embrace the comfortable rules of religion rather than the confusing, difficult freedom of relationship.

When we routinely act and behave as though the Cross has provided nothing of any value, we are literally giving ourselves to an anti-Christ spirit.

The way we know the truth about God’s limitless perseverance is when we accept grace and leave law-minded thinking.

Buy the book HERE.

[And in a completely unrelated manner, check out this:
Tribbles vs. Labels


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