Mike’s Rumblings – 06-16-23
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy‘s Friday rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider audience. You may agree or disagree with what he says, but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version or read it below.
1. The Church in Sardis is mentioned in Revelations 3. The text reads in part: “I know your deeds; you had a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up…restore what little remains…go back to what you heard and believed…repent and turn to me again …”
Sardinians had a story of God worth telling. Over time, they began telling a story about cutting God loose instead of walking with Him. God, always grace filled, implores them to choose life and gives them a blueprint to do so. How many followed that blueprint? We don’t know. What we do know is that Sardis is cited in scripture as being warned about their drift away from God and into spiritual indifference.
Each of us has a story to tell. My bet is that many of us know what it’s like to feel spiritually alive and then for one reason or another begin to grow apathetic towards the things of God. The Lord, ever faithful, implores us to come back home.
Not everyone listens. Some hear but just say no.
2. In 2017 then
Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse said in frustration: “It feels like this party I’m a member of, has gone post-Constitutional.”
Kind of prophetic, huh?
3. This is my riff off of an old Chuck Swindoll story.
The littlest angel asked Jesus: “What’s your plan for carrying on your work?”
Jesus smiled, in that way he does, and brought her to the edge of a cloud. From that vantage point you can see all of human history. You maybe didn’t know that but I swear it’s true.😀
Jesus pointed down and asked the little angel about what she was seeing. She replied “I see a bunch of people reading something.” Jesus said, “They’re reading Mike’s Rumblings.” The angel questioned Him saying “But I asked you about the plan to carry on your work.” Jesus chuckled. “Those people and many other ordinary folks are my plan.” The angel earnestly said: “What if your plan doesn’t work?” Jesus simply said: “It’s got to. It’s the only plan I’ve got.”
We are God’s plan. Let that sink in.
4. “Who am I really
A beloved child of God
And God is well pleased” ~ Anita Lustrea
5. As a general rule, you don’t get indicted if there is no evidentiary proof of criminal wrongdoing. And when a former president is indicted on federal charges (the one and only one), you can pretty much bet the bank that every ‘i’ is being dotted and every ‘t’ crossed. So, all the right wing commentators and politicians crying ‘foul’ and/or bellowing “what about Biden and Hillary” are beating the wrong drum. They’re trying to distract us because they know many citizens are easily distracted and as part of the distraction, they’re throwing in threats of violence. Lucky us.
Instead of diverting attention away from Trump they should be paying attention to exactly what he did and the cavalier way he went about doing it. And they should be reminded that, if he would have just returned the materials, instead of lying and then moving and trying to hide them, he wouldn’t be in the severe legal jeopardy he finds himself in.
These same loyalists are casting aspersions upon Special Counsel Jack Smith and his team who are only guilty of working very hard and honoring their oath of office, two things Trump had a very difficult time doing.
6. Is there such a thing as an essential faith practice? I once asked this question to my Franciscan Friar spiritual director. He said: “Be present to the Presence of God in the present moment.”
Thomas Merton advises: “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.” ~ Thomas Merton
7. Politicians all have a stump speech. They give it at most every stop. Reporters can practically recite it word for word.
I think Jesus had a stump speech. It was the Sermon on the Mount. I wonder how many times he gave it? My guess is he gave it every chance he could. It was the essence of everything he wanted humankind to know.
8. The question before the American church is this: Will Jesus be lifted up or will it be MAGA, with its Christian nationalism agenda?
Who is going to be brave enough to put this question on the table for their church staff and board to ponder and debate? I think it’s a question for all churches to deal with, liberal or conservative. However, to dare ask it opens up a can of worms.
Spend some time with it yourself but be aware that it is a far more challenging and nuanced question than it appears to be at first glance.
9. Did you know that at least 104 restrictive voting laws have passed in 33 mostly GOP-controlled states since the 2020 election?
So when the Supreme Court last week struck down Alabama’s redistricting map that was constructed to disenfranchise Black people and to insure that every district leaned heavily to the political right, my mouth dropped open and then I silently cheered. I hope you did too. Cuz there’s a good possibility that more of the 104 restrictive voting laws will be challenged.
I’m praying that not only will they be challenged but that they will be struck down.
10. I remember hearing a story about two towns,in big snow country, that were connected by a 15 mile narrow, dirt road, Every spring, as the snow melted and the road became increasingly muddy, each town put a sign up that simply said: “Choose your rut carefully. You’re going to be in it for awhile.”
Apply where and when necessary.