Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reflections on a Blog

Creating and moderating a blog is sort of like throwing a big open-house party. As the host, it’s my responsibility to determine the theme of the event, to set the tone and atmosphere for it, to cater it, to make sure that the overall conversation remains lively, interesting, and moving in a positive direction, and to provide the music and/or entertainment for it. It’s even appropriate and necessary to circulate among the guests to have a little one-on-one communication, and to make sure that each person has everything that he or she needs. If I do my job as a good host, the guests will begin to open up and interact with one another on their own, and everyone will feel connected, and will have a good time.

Of course a blog is also a community, a think tank, a forum, and an idea exchange (among other things)…but it is definitely a party…at least this one is.

The evolution of BLOGINTHENOW has been very interesting to me, and I have learned a lot through the process of creating and maintaining it.

One thing that I find particularly remarkable (even though it could change today) is that after having answered a negative post a couple of weeks ago and seeing that turn into a positive thing, I made the decision to just go ahead and publish all negative comments from strangers in cyberspace and try to answer them. But when I made the decision to publish the negative feedback, all the negative feedback stopped! It’s so amazing to me how that principle works.

Anyway, I wanted to share something with you that isn’t about the blog, but it is in fact pertinent to what the blog is ultimately about. There is a gentleman who has visited our church on occasion, and he and I have just recently talked at length for the first time. He and his family attended CITN on Easter Sunday, and in the sermon that day I referred to something that he had said to me a couple of days before. Later, I worried a little that I might have offended him for calling him out in front of everyone like that, so I e-mailed him to make sure that I hadn’t.

Here’s an excerpt from his response…

_________________________


Hey Bishop Swilley,

I also enjoyed our conversation the other day. I sort of miss having those type spiritual conversations. I am very analytical so I really enjoy exploring the hidden things of GOD. You and I seem to share a similar theology which is neat for me...it's not as common for me to find "believers" that I can have an "open" conversation with. Some have GOD all figured out and have placed HIM in a nice neat box. Then there are those of us who are crazy enough to ask questions and explore the possibility that just maybe GOD and his/her WILL or PLAN may not fit in the box we have created for him/her. I feel fortunate and grateful to GOD for the gift of our relationship...friendship.

I am not uncomfortable with you referring to me in any sermon. There are preachers and then there are pastors/shepherds. Preachers preach out to a crowd(which is fine, GOD is in that), while Pastors/Shepherds shepherd the flock. When you come to the pulpit you come to Shepherd the flock that is in the house that day...It feels almost like we are having a conversation with you. Your style is very present to the moment. By the way, this whole preacher vs Shepherd revelation/concept I just received/learned by observing you this Sunday...thanks for the revelation!


_________________________


I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be a Shepherd the last couple of days, and I would like to say that this forum not only allows me to be the host of a party…it enables me to be a shepherd of a flock.

By the way, I’m perfectly fine with the way my friend used both gender pronouns to refer to God. As I have told you before, even though we use the masculine pronoun to refer to our heavenly Father, we know by the Spirit (and from the Scriptures) that He is as "female" as He is "male"…just as much our heavenly Mother as he is our Father.

Well now, that might start up some negative comments, after all. Could be. Could be not.

Do y’all need more chips and dip?

34 comments:

Scribe38 said...

Good Morning Family:

It is "ZERO dark Thirty", as the wee hours of the morning were so jokingly referred to during my time in the military. (Ha Ha) It wasn't quite as funny back then when you were asleep in a completly dark barracks and the drills came in and turned on all the bright lights in the buidling over your head and begin to yell "Get Up People"! Now, isn't this an Outstanding Day to be in the United States Army and a fine day to be a soldier? He then commenced to blasting the James Brown song " I FEEL GOOD" on His boom box, both singing and dancing with the song. (Just a brief flashback moment... we all have them from time to time.)

Anyway, BITN is a tremendous meeting place, inviting, uplifiting and peaceful to say the least.

As far as turning the negative feeback into positive energy, that can be referenced to what some old friends of mine used to call "Let your Haters become your Motivators". This can cause us to survive at all costs despite the hardships and adversities. Passion and Drive to LIVE and not Die even when we know that the odds are stacked against us, while so many would rather see you fail then fade away into oblivion, rather than to celebrate you. I suppose this is because they are either blinded by our light, or unable to SEE the light of GOD and prefer to stay trapped in darkness they've grown so accustomed to which has become their normalcy, whereas this is easier for them.

So, I say to everyone today, even when you feel like giving up, quitting, throwing in the towel and it seems there is nobody on your side but GOD- that is more than enough. Simply say "GOD and I make up the Majority". AMEN. Holding on to this truth and living IN SPITE of and just to spite the critics that would rather see you spontaneously combust can be invigorating. Of course it would do us all good to laugh sometimes to prevent us from crying, but THANK GOD that troubles don't last always. AMEN. When you say to yourself, I SHALL LIVE regardless- for I simply refuse to give them the satisfaction of seeing me die / fail, or even hear the report of me being found on the road dead somewhere! There's something to be said about TENACITY. Being tenacious always keeps us in a continual state of being works in the "PROCESS of PROGRESSION". (Food for thought)...Selah...

When we reach the place where we can just shrug off the opinions of the haters and critcs and choose to LIVE and NOT DIE- as the haters so desire, Flourish and not Fail, while standing to proclaim the Glory of the Lord in the Land of the Living, now that is progress. It may not "feel good", but its good for the soul and spirit- And these my family, are designed to serve as predestined CHARACTER BUILDING moments.... to live anyway even when you feel like you are dying a slow, painful death from the inside out. Everyone on the outside seem to think that everything is swell and "hunky-dorey" with you, especially as long as you can continue to facilitate them in their needs...

Yet the Word of the Lord says that one day we shall reflect back on these things and deem them as but "Minor Afflictions", for we glory in the midst of our infirmities, not because of our infirmities. In our weakness, His Strength is made perfect through us.

So, next time you encounter those critics that say " I wonder whatever became of you, I thought you'd never make it, or figured that all you've been through would have taken you out by now", just Shout Hallelujah ANYHOW! Guess what, I'M STILL HERE and doing better than I ever was before, so don't let the outward appearance fool you! GOD is my light and my salvation and whom shall I fear?

Love You All and I'll be back later. Hope that these tidbits of ramblings encouraged, inspired, and met someone in the place of their needs.

Continue to pray and intercede for me, my family... for I know that this "sickness", hardship, and difficulties are NOT unto death. HALLELUJAH ANYHOW!

Iz said...

Yes, please! Salsa!

Scribe38 said...

Thought everyone might find this snippit from OSWALD CHAMBERS daily devotional rather interesting...

Excerpt from Oswald Chambers Devotional entitled : "My Utmost for HIS Highest"

March 29

OUR LORD'S SURPRISE VISITS

"You also be ready..." (Luke 12:40)

A Christian worker's greatest need is a readiness to face Jesus Christ at any and every turn. This is not easy, no matter what our experience has been. This battle is not against sin, difficulties, or circumstances, but against being so absorbed in our service to Jesus Christ that we are not ready to face Jesus Himself at every turn. The greatest need is not facing our beliefs or doctrines, or even facing the question of whether or not we are of any use to Him, but the need is to face HIM.

Jesus rarely comes where we expect Him; He appears where we least expect Him, and always in the most illogical situations. The only way a servant can remain true to GOD is to be ready for the Lord's surprise visits! This readiness will not be brought about by service, but through intense spiritual reality, expecting Jesus at every turn. This sense of expectation will give our life the attitude of childlike wonder He wants it to have. If we are going to be ready for Christ, we have to stop being RELIGIOUS. In other words, we must stop using religion as if it were some kind of a lofty lifestyle--- we must be Spiritually REAL.

If you are avoiding the call of the religious thinking of today's world, and instead are "looking unto Jesus" (Hebrews 12:2), setting your heart on what He wants, and thinking His thoughts, you will be considered impractical and a daydreamer. But when He suddenly appears in the work of the heat of the day, you will be the only one who is ready. You should trust no one, and even ignore the finest saint on earth if he blocks your sight of CHRIST.

Amen.

Friend4Life said...

(Hey Every-1!)

(Scrible38)--This made me Laugh!
Yet the Word of the Lord says that
one day we shall reflect back on these things and deem them as but "Minor Afflictions", for we glory in the midst of our infirmities, not because of our infirmities. In our weakness, His Strength is made perfect through us.

So, so GOOD!! (HALLELUJAH)

I won't start the female/male thing. I'll just say; when I am missing a person in my life.(father, mother) God understands and lets me know he is there; and will always be.

Bishop, we(husband and I) use some of your words at home. I really do think we all are connected. Yesterday, husband was telling me, "Could be, Could be not." So, its funny today you use it.

LQQKing-4ward to tomorrow. To celebrate, the creator of this AWESOME,BEAUTIFUL (BLOG IN THE NOW)

Every-1 have a Blessed Day,
L.W.

famman87 said...

Just a real quickie for now. It seems to me that not everyone here is from Conyers. Isn't it amazing how some hear their shepherds voice, without the physical "hearing"?

Gotta go, the boy has got a championship b-ball game this morning.

See y'all later.

ronnielee said...

The yin and the yang! What a powerful thang!!! Love the nurtureing aspect of the many breasted one! Yes!

Ebony said...

I almost posted this morning when I first woke up, but any time is a good time to blog. Bishop to me, anytime a seemingly "negative" post is turned around into a positive, it's just confirmation that "ALL THINGS" work together for Good if you love God, and what others mean for evil, God can turn around and use for good. I have seen that come to pass in my own life. To hear an administrator tell me what an asset I am to the students and the school as a whole, always willing to lend a hand, when four years ago I was told that education was not the field for me, the latter is greater than the former. So, for those of you in a trial, don't lose heart, it's all a matter of whose report you choose to believe.

Hey Bish, how about a fruit and veggie tray?

ps: Fever broke last night!!

vaughn said...

Bish, you are a great host and a shepherd and your new friend is very observant. You are conversational and real and transparent, otherwise I wouldn't be here. I need someone to keep it real for my spirit, I can't take the fakeness! God is seeking people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth! Thank you for your obedience!

Like many of us here, I have seen the ugly face of religion with all of its oppressive tactics of control! I thank God for your life. You are truly a blessings! I pray for a real anointing tomorrow for your BD celebration and the full manifestationof the HS presence!

I also want to say that there are some awesome mothers in the congregation with a true anointing of wisdom and knowledge on them! The wisdom is beyond length of years and they are a blessing to the body.

All of God's blessings...

Avatar said...

Good Morning (I think its still morning--yes, it is) ALL. Fly Like an Eagle is On. Of course. Now followed by I See The Lord! And Let the River Run [am I crazy y’ALL, or do you hear Bishop’s voice start that one too?]

Before I forget, scribe38, I blurked your message last night. Since you were confident, at asking, that you had already received our prayers, I didn't blog my agreement, but want you to know now that I did. Good news [school and temp] Ebony.

Before reading today’s entry, I invested [I just changed that from “spent”] the morning perusing pictures from yesterday and reading the posts as a whole. Enlightening analogy today, Bishop. Like a Great party, the following days are filled with memories of conversations. [and like a Holy Ghost party no slow-me-down-can’t-think hangover!]

Another thing I'm lovin' about this party is the continual feast (past, present and future). Not only is it ongoing, I can go back and get the whole conversation--not just what made it into memory--and find something that I missed that was/is really cool and brings life. [memory brings back your BLOG acrostic, and I can go back there and find out it was the “E” quote that applies here!]

And, like one that WOULD produce a natural hangover, I look better here than I would in real life! (smile) I can rewrite a sentence. Add in a word change, go to Wiki with a “what was the name of that movie?” and appear really smart and quick! Any more of that Sushi left?

From your friends email I notice this: “ this…revelation… I just received… by observing… you...thanks!

Not that words are unnecessary, but we all know that a picture speaks a thousand words. Sobering and yet exciting to realize we are both a word and a picture to the world.

Mystic, word verification tongues--totally! Very funny!

Vangelis Jerusalem. I think today is the first time I've heard this one. New, Bishop?

Teezy313 said...

I know you have some steaks coming off the grill outside!!

Scribe38 said...

Here's a word for someone, perhaps a few people.

Written On: Thursday Afternoon
29 MARCH 2007! @ 1322 Hours

Be still and trust ME as GOD! I have NEVER failed you and will not do so now. I am the Lord of Hosts, so lift up your hands in praise, worship, honor, and reverence unto ME knowing that I alone am the same GOD yesterday, today, and forever more. You are in the midst of mine Perfect Will for your life. So, no matter who bangs on the door making demands, I am the Lord of Hosts and all things in your life are of mine Divine Timing. Timing is crucial, yet I AM NOT a slave to time. Time is mine creation and has to obey ME as well. I am not a man that I should lie, neither the Son of man that I should repent. No weapon formed against thee shall prosper and every tongue that rises up against thee, I have proven to be in the worng. In having done all that you can, simply STAND- knowing with all that is within you that I am either LORD over ALL or Master over NONE.

The earth and the fullness thereof belongs to ME. I am your SOURCE and Provider. Do not allow fear or doubt to dictate your actions or responses. I am your Faithful Father in Heaven and have not brought you thus far to leave you. Stand, STAND, STAND- for I have covered you on every side and from every angle. The enemy is a liar and the gates of hell shall not prevail over thee. I- the LORD thy GOD have not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, LOVE, and SOUND MIND.

LOVE covers a multitude of sin and I AM the Lord thy GOD! Therefore, the curse has no cause or place in your life and mine unconditional LOVE protects you and your household forever more. Let everything that have breath praise the LORD! I- the LORD of Hosts have never seen the righteous forsaken or mine obedient, faithful, humble Sons and Daughters out begging for bread. Rest in ME- dear child! Many are the afflictions of the righteousness of GOD, but I AM LORD JEHOVAH and shall deliver you through them ALL. Death, harm, destruction, calamity, or homelessness shall not befall thee.

STAND STILL! and know that you are not a captive, but an overcomer! Provisions of great magnitude subject to you and enroute suddenly and immediately! PEACE be STILL ! All needs are met and everything is provided for RIGHT NOW! I- your Faithful Father have already made ways for you and your prayers have been answered FAVORABLY- YES and AMEN.

Shout Hallelujah as your harvests flood in by the boatloads and shipyards. Deliverance is HERE and your change has arrived, bringing forth Complete RESTITUTION and Overflowing Recompense. YOur time, Oh Faithful ONe- is RIGHT NOW without fail, proclaims the Lord of Hosts. Amen.

Teezy313 said...

DJ Bish,
Song request on the playlist:For Every Mountain by Kurt Carr

LP in SC said...

OOOOOooooooo, Teezy... no you didn't ;p I'm with him, guys! Big, juicy, well-marbled rib eyes grilled to perfection with a gorgeous green salad along side! How 'bout some home-grown tomatoes tossed in, Avatar? Heavens, my mouth is watering! Perhaps because it is lunchtime, and I need to think about cooking.

If it must be chips, multi-grain Tostitos, anyone? Or buttery almond Crunch 'n Munch?

Love all the posts. Personally, I've taken de-stressing to a new level over the past week or so, so I'm not exactly brimming over with wisdom right now; I'm just enjoying yours. Perhaps I'll put my brain to use sometime soon and actually try to contribute.

In the meantime... Iz, how about a spitting contest in the backyard with the llama? Hours of continuous fun, don't ya know!

Iz/JOY said...

Scribe 38 - I haven't read that book, but think I understand the context.

The other day, somebody was rude to me in traffic. Outwardly, I had every right to offer handy gestures.

I called them certain body parts under my breath (not in a good way) & instantly felt/heard this gentle response: "What would you have done/said, if that was Me passing you in the other lane?

What if it was your favorite teacher? Your mom? Your grandmother? Your sister? Your daughter? Your son? Or anybody you truly admired or respected? Would you even treat your husband/wife/self that way?"

Aaaaaaack!!!!

Iz/joy said...

lp in sc - you bring the watermelon - lol

Avatar said...

Scribe38, talk about timing! I was reading your post and, no kidding, Power of Love is playing in the background. Soon as I got to "power" in your "but of power, Love" the song says "power of Love". God is soooo cool.

And, I've been away from my phone for a time, putzing about and this thought comes up. "I want to play. It's Saturday." And I remember, famman87 said "tag" last night. I'm receiving it!

So I come back to post and ya'll are playing. Yayyyy!

Tag, scribe38, you're it!

Erik said...

Hello Blessed Blog(gers),
I appreciate so much more everyday being a part whole community IT B-2 (In the Blog, In the Building – couldn’t make the math ‘squared’ sign ). Each day this week, I have been reading, and keeping nourished during unfolding of each day, the intimacy of life.

Among many aspects on my recent outing , the most … no words fit, I witnessed a wonderful expression of God, Love, tenderness, and clarity I ever personally had.

I went to LA for work, I was also going to see my cousin and some friends when there. Had some great work appointments and prospects, so looking forward to a really good week. I had no idea of the depth it would have.

Checking my messages after getting off the plane, my cousin had left me a voice mail, very shaken about a friend of hers. The friend, Jennifer, had overcome cancer a few years ago, and suddenly, without warning, lesions on her brain had been found a few days ago, and then over the weekend, she had collapsed, and was now given about 48 hours to live.

My cousin wanted me to take her to Bakersfield the next day, she did not think she could drive the trip back and forth. Of course I said yes. Now I had to figure out work. Then, my appointments for the next day cancelled themselves. So, Wed was now free.

Another friend came in from New York that knew my cousin and Jennifer, so we drove Wed . Both of them were extremely close friends to Jennifer and her family, a very culturally diverse group. Once we got there, I was completely glad to help my cousin, but I did not want to intrude on the family, no one knew me except my cousin, and she was very involved with the family, so was going to be there awhile. I excused my self and left , found a place for a few hours, worked from my laptop, etc.

I told my cousin, just call if anything needed. She did, food was needed, (of course). We went and got food for about the 15 people there. Now I was going to be there awhile, and I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to let me know what to do, I want to respect the family, not get in the way, etc. HS told me, Just Love, Connect, and serve, watch.

What I witnessed was the most intimate beauty , expression of Love, God’s presence, and Peace in one of the most raw realities of life, as Jennifer lay there dying, and the connections, partings, made from each family member and friend, the prayers of peace, the coming transfer, … I was awed to God to see something , to be allowed into this most intimate aspects of life, - passing on, with the time for all parting love, to be shared, the place glowed.

Conversations were of the greatness of God, the mystery of life, love that transcends everything, the truth that so much we worry about, have anxiety about, are so completely useless when seen in the clarity of dying, the transfer from here to…. Especially as preparation for the parting can be made.

I know I am repeating here, but it was so beautiful, so intimate, everyone sad to part, but at peace clearly aware of God’s glory in absolutely every single thing. In this situation, it was so raw, so real, Sooooooooo present, I felt it in so many levels, I fail at describing its depth. Still today, I am simply in awe that God allowed me to witness this, and be welcomed by the family at such a tender moment. Jennifer did pass yesterday morning.

The rest of the week I spent time with my cousin, another dear friend, working. We drove back from Bakersfield late Wed night , blessed. Turns out the meetings that cancelled Wed made way for better prospects Thurs and Fri.

The week for me was to see a deeper intimacy in every connection, to know that the intimacy I witnessed , was the same that is in everything, but with all of the silly covering removed, the raw real, no BS , connection. It is simple and mysterious, it is always connected.

The deepest peace came to me, when the Holy Spirit said, just Love, Connect, Serve.

Yes, Thanks, Praise God !

Scribe38 said...

Avatar:

I'm on a brief time-out right now, not for bad behavior, but for exhaustion. You think that you could take my turn this time around at being "IT"...? I'm going to sit this one out for a little while. Non-stop partying can take its toll. (Smile) Tag.. You're It! Or maybe we can Tag Bishop and get him to be "it". Besides, He's the Host of the party and the Holy Spirit is the Distinguished Person of Honor at this Party. Isn't that cool?

Erik said...

One thing I forgot to say, can’t believe forgot this part.
During the evening, when speaking to Jennifer’s uncle (great people of the Spirit in her family, the women especially strong) He and I talked about how exquisite the presence of God is, to be with the Lord every moment, just being in His presence, aware of His presence was enough. No promise of Heaven necessary, no saving from hell needed to Love His presence, the presence now, and every moment is enough. That said and true, even given the situation there, it was shared by everyone there, just the presence in each moment. No future or past necessary. I know more deeply now, how little I know of anything. I understand more deeply how I simply Love The Presence, no promise is necessary. Any promise , favor, etc is received, but all of it is a bonus. The Presence, Each moment, The Energy… Unconditional Love, Life.

Avatar said...

Erik, I've been honored to share in that way a couple of times. It IS amazing and I'm in awe of your description!

Sure, scribe38. I defer to Bishop, Tag, You're it!

VaughnEvan said...

Erik, thanks for sharing. I hope you will be back for Bishop's BD celebration on tomorrow!

Also, just wanted to share with my fellow/fella bloggers, to please check out Garden of Yve, it's my new blog home and I would love your input and please be gentle, it is my first run. Go to yveinthenow.blogspot.com. Let me know what you think, thanks a bunch. I used my pen name but most of you will recognize me (at least by the spirit and my writing) as I am a regular here on the bloginthenow and of course I am a CITNer

Thanks

vaugnevan said...

Bish, by the way, you inspired me to do my own blog, it actually is a forum I have been desiring to have engage in for several years now. It wasn't hard, just time consuming, which I am sure you can agree with. I have been assisting and consulting with people on a number of topics for a couple of decades now especially regarding nutrition, herbs and supplements. I find myself doing this as a means to help people or to meet the needs. I believe nutrition and alternative supplements are important for health for the "body". I just believe this will be a true tool God uses!

There you go again, Bishop, multiplying after your own kind (smile)

vaughnevan

peacemaker said...

Good God! Leave the computer for less than 24 hours and you guys have traveled to another sector of the Universe. I'm getting too old to travel this fast to catch up. (But I'll try). Bishop, I’ll have to use this post because I don’t think this group looks back. Thanks. BTW, cool exchange between you and the visitor. I think he’ll have a lot to say here in the future. As for the him/her thing, the ancients called God, El-ohim which is a plural pronoun of the Feminine kind. I know you know this but those looking for a fight might not.

Mystic...thank you for the compliment and putting me in the same category with DBA since I’m convinced, because of his timeless wisdom, he can’t be from this material realm. Your love is light revelation…Awesome!!

Avatar…put me under pressure, why don’t you. Not really. I’m flattered you think I know these things. Even it I didn’t know the answer, I’d lie just to make you think I did. Not really ;-} if I didn’t know, I’d ask Barney GOOGLE, with those googoogoogley eyes.
Ok, believe it or not, it’s possible for sound to travel at the speed of light. A pulse of High frequency sound waves moving in group velocity (a group of waves moving together) through the medium of specially conditioned water (there’s revelation in that too!) can travel at, or even exceed, the speed of light. In those conditions, In the realm of physics, I don’t know if sound becomes light, but in metaphysics… anything’s possible. Anyway, I liked your take on it better. Love at the speed of light slows down to become an action then becoming a word. Is that how we receive it now? Is it possible to evolve to a place where love just is…instantaneous?

Peace to All.
PM

PS.
Bish...You're going to Korea? Cool. What for? Are those two guys who usually travel with you to foreign countries going too? If not, they must be going on the Uganda trip then. You know you can't "girdle the globe for the gospel" without them.

Avatar said...

Hi,pm,be vewwy quiet. I think evwee one is taking a nap. Missed you!

LP in SC said...

OMG! OMG... and OMG! HUGE shout out to Vaughnevan! I checked out your site. Decided to post here, since you alerted us to it here. You have no idea how good it is to hear someone talk positively about holistic medicine, herbal supplements, etc! Don't know if you've been blurking for awhile and were aware of my recent health situation or not. I won't re-hash it all, and I feel certain that all is well, though I haven't yet been able to schedule a follow-up with my surgeon. But I have to tell ya, he and I had a little subtle 'go-around' at my initial consultation. I know that patients are supposed to alert their doctors of ANYTHING that they are taking, so I was responsible enough to do that, yet he seemed determined to convince me that "those things really don't work." Of course, I couldn't just let it rest :-} I said, "Listen, I'm telling you how I FEEL when I take them, as opposed to how I feel when I don't!" It works my last nerve when practitioners of traditional medicine REFUSE to acknowledge something beneficial just because it is not FDA approved. I think he felt a bit challenged and probably didn't like it too much, and I followed his orders and stopped taking them for the week prior to my surgery. But I found it very interesting that after my fast (the same night after my consultation until 9am the next morning), and after I had blood drawn for tests and got the results back... EVERYTHING was better than good! Chemical compounds were all within the correct ranges with one exception... potassium was 1/10 of a point low. Great cholesterol; I actually have slightly high HDL (good) cholesterol. So, go figure!?! I'm pretty good about taking care of myself; I make an honest effort w/out being a nut-case about it, but I'm relatively certain that I don't get everything my body needs from the food I eat, so I do take vitamins, minerals and herbals... and yes, they WORK!!! So, I'm glad to know of your site. I'm sure I'll visit and converse with you there at some point. Maybe you can answer a few questions for me, or point me toward the right resources. All I know is that I much prefer the natural route to the synthetic drug route unless the latter can't be avoided! Looking forward to chatting with you later.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks for the great stuff...don't have time to respond individually, but I've read everything...it's all good...10 new songs on the playlist...hope you enjoy...

Izumi/JOY said...

Great posts, Erik. Thought provoking today - other times, crack me up. Plus, you make the best s'hrooms, dude!

famman87 said...

Goog evening to anyone still around. I always get on so late, i feel like I've missed all the fun..., But at least I get to eat, and the food's always soooooooo good.

Spent the night watching the Nickelodeon Kid's choice awards...Anyone want the highlights? Jack Black hosted and started off by singing" I Was Made for Slimin' you" (KISS rip off)Lots of people got slimed, including Harrison Ford, who looked like he was not really having a good time with it...Miley Cyrus won a bunch and actually was the only person who thanked "her personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ", which I thought was amazing, and actually very uplifting. If being like a child gets you to heaven, Jack Black is going in a big way...

Now something of real import, at least to me...

Bish, if you're out there, I would like to thank you... I'm sure that part of being a good shepherd is unselfishness(don't think that's really a word, but indulge me, please.)and more than a little self sacrifice. What you have done with BITN truly fits both. I loved the one-on-one in it's original form. I was fed very well there every day. A lesser shepherd would have kept that type of forum just to feed his/her own ego. Instead you chose to open your own thing to all of us, and I gotta say that the entree is as good as ever, but the side dishes and desserts from everyone else make for a great buffet...You are truly amazing! I thank God every day that he led me to CITN, and your shepherding.

Can't wait to party with y'all some more in the morning!!!

Avatar said...

When does the Birth Celebration Party start? I'm ready!

Laura said...

I'll Bring the flavored water.
We can have a grand party.
Yo Shepherd Man
This sheep is ready to party.
How Bout You???
It will be an all Spirit showdown.
Tell you about it later.

el ojo y la luz said...

-Teezy...a steak sure does sound good right now...esp. on off the grill....but alas, doing the Daniel fast right now so I will have to agree with Ebony on the fruit and veggie tray! :-)
-Ebony...Kudos to you...not only did GOD use what was meant for evil, for your good, but you had the faith to stick with it for 4 years before you got your reward. Seeing a negative turned positive always blesses me.

-Ronnielee...El Shaddai...the breasty one...the GOD that is just too much. I love it when GOD is so full and HE/SHE needs to pour out on "US" as much as we need to be saturated.

-Avatar...Let me just say, I appreciate the way you acknowledge so many of your fellow bloggers when you post. You make me want to talk to you because I know you will respond and I look forward to "hearing" your insight on what has been posted. Thank you for helping create a welcoming environment! You spoke about remembering the party for a few days after and one of the quotes from the BITN acrostic said good conversation is as stimulating as a cup of coffee and as hard to fall asleep after (my paraphrase). BITN and CITN definitely keep my mind racing, thoughts and ideas churning. I look forward to hearing from you all each day and when I am away, I fondly recall exchanges we had and the music that was playing and if it was raining outside, every aspect of our time together makes me smile. This relationship with all of you warms my heart. Thanks guys. Avatar, one thing that you said really touched me and stood out..."We are words and picture to the world.." WOW...powerful...

-Joy...I am encouraged to find that I am not the only one who has had struggles with challenging traffic. Thanks for giving me a new way to think about the other drivers. And I agree with you completely...Erik's mushrooms are delicious!! Yummy!!

-Vaugnevan...As I was reading your post, I was thinking.."creating after his own kind". It’s funny that you said that too. Many of Bishop's sheep are creators of different kinds. We hear HIM (GOD) through him (Bishop) so well because we are his sheep and we share something in common with him. A part of the creative spirit that lives in Bishop, our spiritual father resides in each of our spirits. He absolutely creates after his own kind naturally and in the spirit.

el ojo y la luz said...

As I read the original post, I received the scripture John 4:29. I wasn't sure what that verse said so I went to biblegateway.com. The TNIV says, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?" At first I thought that it only came to mind because you recently talked about the woman at the well during a service. But the more I meditated about it, I felt like the one saying, "Come". Come join "US" at BITN as we reason together about GOD and life in the wonderful community. Come see the Messiah, the christ who lives in our bishop and the CITN family. Hear the word of GOD spoken in such a way that you believe that GOD, who knows you and all that you have done, cares and loves you enough to sit and chat with you. Come.

Anonymous said...

We all know that God is neither he or she but a Spirit. Yet, the Bible characterizes God in the masculine as a way for us to identify who He is to us. Is the purpose of referring to God as he or she a way to include everyone's view of who God is? This is not a debate I wish to engage in as I am sure you do not either. However, why refer to God as she when GOD or JESUS never does.

Avatar said...

Anonymous, are you still here? I've pondered your question often, trying to figure out how I would respond, assuming it is real and not a debate-starting question. I don't think referring to God as she is a way to include everyone's view. I think it is a way to begin to understand Him in all His heighth, length and depth. So here's my take.

How could "created in the image of God, both male and female" be true if the essence of God is not both?

I'm assuming we agree that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and we humans are not. So then, these questions come to mind.

God didn't change, but we no longer grind grain with a millstone. Is it desirable to return to it?

Amazingly, Jesus said we would do greater things than He. I think a part of that is to speak to more nations than those Jesus was able to speak to while He walked the earth, and that would include learning how to reach them in a way they could understand. But also would include opening their awareness to seek more of God. He told the disciples there was so much more, but they could not bear to hear it.

If a nation ONLY values sports, would speaking of art reach them? Would they be ready to hear of the joy of it?

If a daughter has been severely harmed by a father, could she hear clearly about the Love of the Father?

God is El Shaddai. How could "He" possibly be that if not also "She"?

Interesting question that you asked. I pray you hear the love in my response.