Mike’s Rumblings – 10-07-22
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. “Paul can talk in this paradoxical way about power and weakness because he meditated on the mystery of the cross. The one who was a failure became the redeemer. The one who looked naked and weak and like a loser became the ultimate winner. And so Paul sums it up in his beautiful philosophy, ending with the line, “It is when I am weak that I am strong” …
Let’s honestly admit almost none of us believe that. We think it’s when we’re strong that we’re strong. But no, it’s when we’re weak that we’re strong. It doesn’t make a bit of sense to the rational, logical mind. Only people of the Spirit understand how true it is. The Twelve Step Program made it the first step: We have to experience our powerlessness before we can experience our power.
Paul says he experienced God telling him, “My grace is sufficient for you. Power is made perfect in weakness” but the philosophy of the United States of America is that power is made perfect in more power. Just try to get powerful: more guns, more weapons, more wars, more influence, more billionaires. Everybody’s trying to get higher, trying to get up, up, up. While Jesus, surprise of surprises, is going down.” ~ Richard Rohr
Some call this the upside down Kingdom of God and until we reckon with its meaning we will be spiritually out of kilter. Our failure to admit that our relentless striving is getting us nowhere fast is sucking us dry – spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
2. “It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts: courage, compassion, and connection. . .
When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. . . .
There is a line from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” that serves as a reminder to me when . . . I’m trying to control everything and make it perfect. The line is, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” . . . This line helps me remember the beauty of the cracks (and the messy house and the imperfect manuscript and the too-tight jeans). It reminds me that our imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together. Imperfectly, but together.~ Brene’ Brown
What if God decided that only the perfect were deserving of His love? He’d be lonely. We’d be lost.
3. “Scott Dudley of Bellevue Presbyterian Church often tells his congregation that “if the Bible doesn’t challenge your politics at least occasionally, you’re not really paying attention to the Hebrew scriptures or the New Testament.” The reality, however, is that a lot of people, especially in this era, will leave a church if their political views are ever challenged, even around the edges.” ~ The Atlantic, Peter Wehner
Scripture is many things. It is convicting and challenging. It is also comforting. We like being comforted a lot. Being convicted and challenged not so much.
Our politics (right or left) can certainly endanger our faith. When we care about this or that candidate and/or issue far more than we care about our walk and talk with Jesus – well, that’s going to eventually bite us in the butt. It’s idolatry actually. When a church treats it as idolatry, people vote with their feet and walk away instead of dealing with it.
4. “What white Americans have never fully understood but what the Negro can never forget—is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.” ~ 1619 Project quoting The Kerner Commission, 1968
And 54 years later, we’re dealing with many of the same attitudes, policies, and behavior. What does that say about us?
5. Adrenaline fatigue is what someone called the weariness that afflicted those of us who were impacted by Hurricane Ian.
It’s real. Ian was relentless, slow to move, packing a punch like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I’ve been through epic blizzards many times. That takes its toll too. There’s plenty to worry about when 20 inches of snow comes at ‘ya accompanied by strong winds. But this hurricane was a whole different thing. 100 homes in our subdivision had substantial damage. We were fortunate not to experience the level of storm surge communities to our south experienced. Wowzer.
Can’t help but wonder about the role climate change plays in all of this. We’re experiencing a whole lot of extreme weather events. And there’s more on the horizon.
Sorry God, we’ve not taken creation care seriously at all. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
6. We did some grocery shopping the day after we returned home from our safe house (Brian and Laurie you’re the best). Our local Publix was very, very crowded. Its shelves were well stocked. The next day Anita went to pick up a few things we forgot to buy and she said the shelves were uncomfortably empty. Store personnel said they’ve never seen anything quite like it.
A couple of days later shelves were fully stocked. Of course, we’re grateful for that. Ian didn’t disrupt our stop on the supply chain. Other communities are facing shortages, however.
All this reminded me of the oh so many in our nation, who live in food deserts and people all over the world who don’t even know what a supermarket looks like.
It’s not just food either. Florida has a growing affordable housing crisis. Those with low or fixed incomes are struggling mightily to find a decent place to live.
So with all this in mind, please make sure you give to your favorite relief organization’s Hurricane Ian fund. We tend to go with the Salvation Army for disasters in our country. They are a reliable, cost efficient ministry that makes a habit of getting the job done. There are others of course. Pick one.
7. Why didn’t people evacuate when they had the chance prior to Ian hitting? Lots of reasons. A history of procrastination, lack of transportation, health issues, monetary concerns, a misunderstanding of the ‘cone’, stubbornness, a “God will care for us” mentality, didn’t know where to go, not trusting the authorities, thrill seeking … all this and more.
8. Election deniers are on the ballot in every state. They are, without question, a clear and present danger to the health of our republic. Please keep that in mind as you consider your vote. These candidates endorse the big lie and then spend their time making up more lies to prove that it’s true.
My considered opinion is that serial liars can’t be trusted to do what’s right for our nation. I don’t want to see power handed over to anyone who lacks conscience and virtue.
Across the globe right wing candidates are gaining more and more traction. It always starts with rhetoric that insists that elections are rigged. Of course, if those candidates do get elected they’ll change that tune immediately.
9. “Do not grow old.
No matter how long you live,
never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.” ~ Albert Einstein
It helps to remember that childish and childlike are two different things and curiosity implies that one is willing to ask questions and blow through the smokescreens.
10. “O Thou great Chief of the world,
light a candle in my heart
that I may see what is therein
and sweep the rubbish from my dwelling place. Amen” ~ African prayer – Morning and Evening Prayerbook/Jeanie and David Gushee”