Jesus is Love

By: Woodrow Lucas

If you’re looking for the real Jesus don’t just look in the Gospels.  Jesus was beautiful in the Gospels,  but he was not yet perfected in the Gospels.  If you’re looking for the real Jesus, open your heart to love, and then imagine the most loving person you can imagine and then look up to the sky and say, “Jesus please show me the real you.”  For Jesus is pure love in human form.  1 Corinthians 13 closely approximates the real Jesus, but this Pericope below which is a combination of 1 Corinthians 13 and original thought also approximates him to some degree.

 

Jesus is love.  Jesus loves you more than you love your self.  Jesus receives your worship and praise, not because he needs it, but because he knows that it is what you are created to do.  Jesus judges nothing about you, but he loves you exactly as you are.  Jesus will correct you, but it is always for your good.  Jesus knows all things.  Jesus believes all things.  Jesus believes in you more than you believe in yourself.  Jesus always serves.  Jesus always protects.  Jesus enjoys religions and viewpoints that do not believe in him as Lord and Savior, as he loves diversity and is not intimidated by those who do not see him in his fullness.  Jesus loves all creation.  Jesus redeems all things.  Jesus comforts all people.  Jesus rejoices not in suffering, but Jesus rejoices in your joy.  Jesus always reminds you of the best about yourself.  Jesus always understands . Jesus never fails.  Jesus will ensure that you make it to eternal wholeness and happiness.  Jesus died and rose to guarantee you an eventual place of rest with God.  Jesus is Love.

Jesus Paid it All

Sister Strugglin’, Can’t please your boss,

There’s a man they murdered in the street on a cross,

He died so you can know, and then go and show that you are loved and cherished from head to toe,

Sister Strugglin, can’t please your boss,

There’s a man they murdered in the street on a cross,

So that you can see, an eternal destiny, that Jesus gave us all so that we all could be,

At peace, always knowing of our father’s love,

At peace, always knowing we have help from above,

Sister Struggling, can’t please your boss,

There’s a man they murdered in the street on a cross,

He died not just for you and me, he died so that all would see the light of eternal peace for all eternity,

So here’s the guarantee,

There’s not a single soul who won’t make it to be happy and free,

Every one whose ever been and everyone who ever will be,

Will be in the bosom of the father blessed be,

So sister struggling, can’t please our boss,

Count the cost that Jesus paid, cause he paid it not just so you might make the light,

But he paid it so that you would truly be all right.

So join the fight,

And feel the power running through you, to you, for you, to be true,

Jesus won the victory and that victory is still in effect,

So when you catch wreck, just know it’s temporary,

For all of human kind is destined to the same eternal sanctuary,

Jesus made I so, it’s not changing,

So grab some other souls and start engaging,

Tell them the good news that every one’s gettin’ in,

Like Rob Bell Says, “Love Wins,”

The price for sin has been paid and just in case you fall,

Know this, your blessed Savior has paid it all!!!

Elisabeth Taron

By: Woodrow Lucas

Elizabeth, you were an eccentric mountain of a soul,

Way too big for this world,

Way too kind for this consciousness.

Elizabeth you were a behemoth light,

Trapped in a life that wasn’t worthy of you,

And so God took you home, so that you could be among like minds and like hearts,

But before he took you fair angel,

I fell head over heels in love with you,

The sincerity of your smile,

The vulnerability of your tears,

The softness of your heart,

I loved all of it,

And now you are gone,

I tell you fare soul,

Whatever I achieve in recovering from the madness that gripped us both,

I do in honor of my fare angel, Elisabeth,

The whirling wind, the shining star, and the memory everlasting in my heart.

Perfection

By: Woodrow Lucas

Two of my biggest faults are extremism and perfectionism.  I mean they really harass me in all ways.  To be a perfectionist in a world as imperfect as the one in which we live can be extremely painful.  But even in my perfectionistic afflictions, God has given me a Balm in Gilead.  Universalism, the concept that God is a God of perfect love who perfectly loves all of us, who perfectly gave his Son to die for us,  and will perfectly guide every single one of us to a perfectly happy and blissful destiny, is actually a perfect thing.  It is a perfect truth.  It is perfection.

 

It wreaks of the perfection of God. It is simple enough for a 3 year old to grasp yet in the way it is worked out, it forces us to embrace complexity, upon complexity, upon complexity, until we are operating with the mind of God.  This truth is so beautiful and simple and complex and mysterious and obvious, it wreaks of a better place than the earth.  I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is Lord.  But the truth of Universalism in my opinion is more important than the truth that Jesus is Lord.  Because Jesus could be Lord, but God the Father, a God of Wrath who is going to burn all homosexuals in effigy.  Because Jesus could be Lord, but God the Father, a God who mercilessly condemns all who don’t believe in him to eternal torment for his own twisted pleasure.

 

But when you tell someone that God loves them so much, that God made sure they have a place in heaven by sending  God’s Son to claim their souls and write their names in the Lamb’s book of life!!  When you tell someone that God loves them so much that no matter what mistakes they make, God will find a way to redeem them.  Then there is no mistake or confusion.  They know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves them, and they also have a very clear since of what love really is!!  Universalism is perfect.  And oh my goodness to find a perfect thing in this imperfect world, is quite a blessing!!

The Universalism Road

BY: Woodrow Lucas

Are you afraid of going to eternal hell?  Does eternal hell bother you?  What would you say if I told you that no one, anywhere, would ever go to eternal hell?  What would you say, if I told you that your ultimate destiny is bliss and joy, irrespective of what you believe.  Here is a road, called the Universalism Road, that I ask that you walk down with me for a moment.

  1.  When our children sin, do we punish them because they deserve it, or do we punish them because we want to teach them a lesson?

 

  1. In Luke 23:24, Jesus from the Cross states “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”(NRSV)

This declaration describes the human condition, wherein we really at the end of the day do not know what we are doing.

 

  1.  The condition that results when you don’t know what you’re doing is usually sin.  But Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, knowing that we were really just ignorant children who did not know how to find the path for ourselves.  I John 2:2 says, “He is our atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”(NRSV)

 

  1. Some say that you have to confess or give your life over to Jesus, “Our atoning sacrifice” before you die or you spend eternity writhing in hell.  But 1 Peter 4:6 states,” For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they having been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does. “ 1 Peter 4:6 suggests that if confession is necessary, you most definitely have a lot longer than your earthly life time to confess.

 

  1. Also certain scriptures like Collossians 2:13 suggests that it is more about Jesus’ Faith and his work of redemption and less about our faith that has redeemed us to a brilliant destiny.  Collossians 2:13-15 states, “And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh , God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands.  He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers an authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

 

  1. Jesus announced this victory and the redemption that came to all if he got the victory in  John 12:32 when he states, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”(NRSV)

 

  1. Bottom Line Jesus is Lord.  But whether you believe that he is Lord or not, you will eventually know bliss in heaven.  Because Jesus Died for you, and his faith, and his atonenment is sufficient to secure a happy ending for you.  Phillipians 2 speaks of the Happy Ending that awaits us all at the resurrection, where people from every religion, race, color, gender, and political orientation gather to see the lamb returned in Glory and are so full of awe at what they see that “Every knee bows in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

The Gift of Balance

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

God is about a lot of things.  God is about faith.  God is about hope.  God is about love.  But God is also about balance.  Often as we journey this walk of faith, we forget that although balance isn’t mentioned much in Christian scripture, that it is absolutely essential to well- rounded development in Christ.  I have often thought that many Christians who believe in eternal hell are loving in an imbalanced way, where they love God to the exclusion of their human brothers and sisters rather than loving God directly and through loving their human brothers and sisters.  I have often also thought that Christians who have a lot of anger toward God as a consequence of human injustice are loving their human brothers and sisters to the exclusion of God rather than loving their human brothers and sisters directly and through loving God.  The balance of horizontal and vertical love makes for the most fulfilling life.

 

Recently, in regards to balance, I have arrived at some conclusions about gratitude, performance, compassion, vulnerability, transparency, mumbling, grumbling, complaining, faith and presumption.  In the same way as loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others is a multidimensional scenario that requires balance to operate in appropriately it seems that to operate in gratitude, compassion, vulnerability, and faith also requires balance.

 

When we operate in gratitude there is often a temptation to perform and hide our ugliness from God and others.  But our ugliness is part of what makes us the beautiful creatures that we are and you can’t overcome something that you are constantly hiding.  So when we are grateful we need to balance that gratitude with a compassion, vulnerability, and transparency concerning ourselves and others.

 

But as we operate in compassion, vulnerability, and transparency then mumbling, grumbling, and complaining often arises against the powers that be who allow all of the suffering that we are embracing.  Acceptance, helps us to stay grateful even while we are embracing the suffering in our own lives and the lives of others with compassion, vulnerability, and transparency.

 

Lastly, when we engage in faith, that is “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen” there is often a tendency to also engage in presumption or assuming that things are true that just simply aren’t true.  It is very hard to walk the balance between faith and presumption, because part of faith is making assumptions about reality based on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  Because we all see as through a glass darkly and then face to face and because we all know in part, it seems as though presumption and faith are natural bedfellows.  But through praxis in honesty, humility, truth telling and truth receiving I believe that it is possible to walk in faith that has a dirth of presumption accompanying it.

 

The true balance that we seek as saints is to walk in gratitude and testimony without performance, to walk in true compassion , vulnerability, and transparency without mumbling, grumbling, and complaining, and to walk in true faith without presumption.  Oh what a gift balance is.

The Guarantee

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

In these 17 years of preaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, I have seen suffering that has tested the very limits of my consciousness.  And through these experiences, I am sure of just one thing.  We all will make it!!  It does not matter whether you believe in Jesus or not, although you will eventually believe in Jesus once you know who he really is.  It does not matter if you are a bad person or a good person.  It does not matter if you believe in the truth or in nonsense.  It does not matter if you have had an easy life or a hard life.  It does not matter how dark things become for you or how dark you make things for other people.  It does not matter if you have been exploited or if you have exploited others.  It does not matter if you have lost all hope.  It does not matter if you end your own life.  It does not matter if you believe in eternal damnation or that you believe the sky is red.  It does not matter if you are riddled with disease or if you are totally healthy.  There is a man who died for you, who has secured your destiny.

Yes, there are consequences for our actions and when you wrong others you will be held accountable to enough of an extent that you eventually repent of your wrongdoings and the attitude that led you to those wrongdoings.  But through all the mystery, fairness, and unfairness of this life, you have a guarantee from God that he gave you two thousand years ago when he sent his son to die for your welfare.  You have the guarantee that you will eventually make it.  You will make it!!! There is nothing that can keep you from this eventual blessing.  Yes, you may frustrate the process.  Yes, somebody else may make it seem like you will never be free or whole or happy.  But you will eventually make it.

You, no matter who you are and no matter where you are from, no matter what race you are, no matter what culture you claim as your own, no matter what your mom did, no matter what your dad did, no matter if you were given a silver spoon, no matter if you have experienced sufferings so unfair that you curse God and become a servant of satan.  YOU WILL MAKE IT!!! And the reason is simple.  It is not difficult to grasp.  The reason is that GOD LOVES YOU AND HE WILL MAKE SURE THAT YOU SPEND ETERNITY WITH HIM IN BLISS AND COMFORT.  You may endure many things before you get there, but you will make it to the promised land.

And this guarantee cannot be altered by anything that you do.  You have some free will.  You have some free choice.  But God loves you too much to leave your ultimate destiny up to you.  Someday you will know God.  Someday you will be free.  Someday you will understand the joys and sufferings of your life and you will be able to grasp the nature of your mistakes and the evil that you have done.  Someday you will celebrate your victories and the selfless acts of compassion that you rendered in this life, as angels celebrate right along with you.  This guarantee is what transforms what seems like a meaningless life of injustice and pain, into a learning experience of triumph.  This guarantee is what makes every bit of suffering that you have endured at the hands of people who did not understand worth it.  This guarantee is what ensures that the evil we see around us sometimes will soon be a distant memory.  I know that this guarantee sometimes seems too good to be true but it isn’t.  I know that this guarantee might seem unfair given all of the evil that some people do, but it isn’t.

And if you embrace Jesus as Lord and you embrace this guarantee while you are still living, before you pass on, then you will have the potential and opportunity to become something so powerful and so sublime that you can speak to tornados and cause them to cease.  And if you embrace Jesus as Lord and embrace this guarantee while you are still living and before you pass on, then you will have the potential and opportunity to be a force of love and goodness that truly brings people out of hell and into heaven, out of sickness and into health, out of anguish and into bliss, out of poverty and into abundance, and out of injustice and into equity.  But if you do not embrace Jesus and if you do not embrace this guarantee, then you will MAKE IT ANYWAY!!! Because that is the guarantee.  Because that is the Love of the one who created you.  And that is the reality that seems like a lie because too many lies abound.  Be blessed and when you get discouraged, just know that your bliss, your happiness, your wholeness, and your healing is a guarantee from God that can never be reversed.  And that is gospel truth!!!

The Bravery of Disability

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

When practiced diligently, bravery becomes a habit that you scarcely notice.  And it indelibly changes something in your DNA.  For the last 4 years, while striving to work and parent and achieve self sufficiency and independence, I have faced the prospect of torment every day that I have decided to get out of bed and face the day anyway.

Today, I took my youngest daughter to her winter league basketball game and found torment.  To say the least the day was difficult, but as usual God found a way.  As the day wound down, I heard a voice say, “Great is your courage!” And I thought to myself “Really?!  I thought that I was just being a good parent?”

My story is not unique at all.  Most people with disability wage a silent war against fear.  They face calamity and the reality of their symptoms every day, and they suffer for the sake of their recovery and functionality constantly.  Sometimes living like criminals as they juggle reality and perception, and their aspirations of functionality with the reality of their current capacity.

As Trump endeavors to cut funding for those with mental disabilities or “disabilities of the brain” please do not see these people as deranged, or dangerous, or blights on society.  Rather see them as what they are, among the most courageous people that the world has ever seen.

Namaste and God Bless!! Woody Lucas

 

The Beauty of this Life

By:  Woodrow Odom Lucas

The beauty of this life is like the birth of two children.

One who dies and one who lives.

And the one who lives, lives in honor of the one she lost.

The beauty of this life is like a man who loses both legs in a hiking accident,

And meets a woman who falls in loves with him.

And makes his life worth living again.

The beauty of this life is like a God, who sorrowed for the plight of his progeny,

And he suffered great torment, to embody sacrifice.

And he saved his progeny,

Such that now, all who live, no matter how tragic their lives may be, are guaranteed a happy ending.

The beauty of this life, is like the smile my daughter gets when she hears me say that I love Jesus.

And the smile that I get, when I consider the gift that both my daughters are to me.

The beauty of this life, is that no matter what, there is always hope, there is always tomorrow, and there is always triumph.

God Bless You