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St. Fred…Patron Saint of New Roommates (Repost)


Thinking new roommates? Here are some guidelines…

Originally posted on geezeronthequad:

If Facebook tells me anything this time of year, it says that it’s time to unload old furniture and roommates from the netherworld. Facebook sports blurbs like, “Does anybody need a fridge/microwave for next fall? Ours is slightly used. The tomatoes we exploded inside it are from last fall and should be dry by now.” Or “We need a third roommate to share rent as we live under the front porch of the Xi House. Cozy if you don’t mind a little noise.” Wouldn’t it be great to have some sure-fire way to know if that person you think would the perfect fit for next year doesn’t have some hideous secret life or might be wanted for insect genocide in Uzbekistan? Maybe we need a quick shout out to  St. Fred…the patron saint of new roommates? He voices the eternal optimism that the next one won’t be a loser…

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Hangin’ With the Yalees

“What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” Tertullian, a North African teacher in the late second/early third century said this. What does the Academy have to do with the Church? What does secularism have to do with Christian thought? What does Yale have to do with Clarion University ? What does filet mignon have to do with Krispy Kremes and Moon Pies? Sure Yale has former presidents, supreme court justices, Nobel and Pulitzer winners etc. But did they produce John Calipari and Kurt Angle? What does Dave Swartz have to stack up against the intellectual firepower of Yale? Well, unlike current students, I’ve graduated (2.42 GPA). Beyond that, I intend to find out with the next few blogs. The Yale Daily News annually publishes a great series of interviews in their Weekend magazine with current and former Yalees and Yale visitors. I will be hanging with them with the idea that they will be raising points echoing with Scripture which can be mined for profit for those who desire to know and follow Jesus Christ. My thoughts will be my own so don’t transfer from Yale in reading this.

Meet Charles Hill. He’s advised the powerful including Ronald Reagan and Secretaries of State George Schultz and Henry Kissinger. Anybody who can tell Henry Kissinger anything is somebody I want to listen to. They asked Charles whether U.S. national/political interests have hindered negotiations in the Israel – Palestine conflict. He didn’t hesitate; he said the U.S. has been indispensable to negotiations because the U.S. remains the only party that both sides will trust. With worlds, nations, cities, neighborhoods, schools, institutions, churches, and families in conflict, who can be trusted to stand in the middle? Who has genuine peace over their own storms enough to speak calm to the winds tearing everyone else up? Enter the Christian’s moment. Back in the days when a Roman emperor caught the notion that they were God, things got warm (toasty actually) for early Christians. Letters went out through the empire that Christians should be arrested, their property seized and sometimes executions. The kicker comes when we learn that many outlying provinces refused to do it. Not carrying out the orders of an emperor who thinks he’s God can be a poor long-term health decision. Why did they do it? All the infrastructures broke down; all local government function fell apart. The local Christians serving in various functions were the only ones both competent and honest. Some whack job in Rome can chase his fantasies but out there, the people had to survive.

As Apartheid gave way, Nelson Mandela came to Desmond Tutu because Mandela knew that politics alone could never heal South Africa. He knew that forgiveness had to happen and told Tutu that the Christians had to take the lead because they knew what forgiveness was, how to do it. II Cor 5:15-21 puts us Christians in the middle of everything to bring people together with God and with each other (reconciliation – evangelism and social justice). That’s why we have the roommates and live in the dorms or off campus apartments we do. It’s why we have the families and work the jobs we do. God puts us in the middle, in places where people who need reconciled to God and each other come together.

Hill says that it’s an American form of entertainment to blame everything in the Middle East on America and what we’ve done wrong. He goes on to say that’s not true. Reality in both world politics and faith is always more layered and nuanced. His expanded answer is quite profound. It’s also an American entertainment to whack on the church. While the church has many flaws all rooted in sin, the church also has many plusses. Many have been sadly hurt; some whackers just want an excuse since Jesus Christ seems a spiritual threat to their self-centeredness and a moral inconvenience to their lifestyle. But Christ’s church isn’t as guilty as some would like to make out.

Hill comments that education (and I assume he’s not omitting Yale) has lost real focus “Teaching about the way the world actually works was dropped in colleges. Education on international affairs turned to focus on issues, not on structures, not on history. A lot of ignorance…and frustration among students and puzzlement as to why what they have been taught doesn’t seem to have any actuality to it.” One thing the Bible does is tell the truth – about God, about people, about life. So how can we hear so much of it preached, taught and believed that doesn’t get into the bloodstream of real life – no power to penetrate real life nor transform the life of the one believing? Why do we not have more “doers of the word” and so many “hearers only” writing ugly chapters in American church life? Why do we hush up, disregard or accuse of unbelief those who wrestle with their frustration and befuddlement ? Is our faith sharp and strong enough to satisfy our deepest longings and engage the toughest life can dish out? Or is there a weird disconnect between belief and what is – not much actuality to it?

While Hill says much good about Yale, he says, “Your education has to come from you.” He tells students to not take classes because they will get us a good job. Take classes that will give you a good education. Required classes, free electives (and certainly our major classes) bristle with God’s fingerprints all pointing toward Him as He’s made Himself known in Scripture. Working the muscles of mind and integrating our faith with everything that Yale, Clarion or wherever we are can offer births both color and steel paying big dividends for the Kingdom in the decades ahead. And don’t forget the free stuff a lot of students skip – lectures, art galleries, concerts, planetarium shows, etc.

Charles Hill, you and I will have to do some cheese dogs. You could have been a Golden Eagle.

If you think anything here might encourage a college student or someone who loves them, then share, subscribe, tweet and all that social media stuff. If you already subscribe, maybe you need to take a look at Geezer 1, the Facebook clubhouse for It’s a mix of students, student ministry leaders, professors, administrators, artists, writers, composers, musicians, booksellers, broadcasters, business people, theologians, pastors, cultural entrepreneurs and thinkers and a ragged bunch of campus rats, old Jesus Freaks and goths who think that Jesus Christ thinks that the university is a special place. They are a sharp bunch and you will only make us better. Shoot us a request to join.

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Callings – Ah, Wilderness!

Originally posted on geezeronthequad:

bear-5q4iThe little piece of paper posted at the trail head said this was a Grizzly Repopulation Area, you know, where they release a male and female Grizzly and tell them to go make Grizzlets.  Twenty-five miles from the nearest pavement and almost knowing no fear, we plunged off through a mile and a half of meadow bristling with huckleberries (Grizzlies love them.) arriving at a mountain lake as pristine as when Adam took the family there for a vacation. It strained every muscle of hearing to pick up the soft breeze rustling the aspens and pines; otherwise the silence just roared. But wilderness beautiful at midday can turn deadly as the sun and the temperature go down. So we tore ourselves away and headed in.

In pursuing callings from God, He will steer us into places most people avoid whenever and however they can – places called wilderness. The biblical list is pretty…

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geezeronthequad: He Breathes Steel Into the Spine of Our Soul

“You don’t know her, do you?” Sitting there with ignorance on my face (I do this a lot; it’s a gift really.), I just said no. I sat with a couple from the church while one of their kids underwent surgery. A nurse walked up and I knew they knew her. But I sat there clueless. The wife just smiled, really savoring the punch line. “This is Cheryl” (not her name). My mouth doesn’t just drop open very often. Even in complete befuddlement, I manage to keep it closed. But not here. I hadn’t crossed paths with Cheryl in a while and didn’t recognize her. We first met through a street ministry in town where I would preach occasionally. Saying she was a train wreck would be an upgrade for train wrecks everywhere. She lived on the street with all its perils and pitfalls. But now she stood in front of me, a nurse coming off shift, thoroughly enjoying my surprise as well. She was off the street, gotten her health together, been to school, gotten this job. She was making it. Sure, I was glad but that isn’t what dropped my jaw. She glowed from the inside out. She showed music in her eyes and her laugh sparkled (Mixed metaphor, I know.) She had fizz. It’s a good thing my eyes asked, “What happened to you?” It sure wasn’t coming out of my mouth. She simply said, “Jesus.” She was thinking, “Jesus, duh!”

We throw the word “grace” around like confetti at a Stanley Cup victory parade. But for those for whom “grace” becomes medicine in the deep self-inflicted wound of their own sinfulness, it’s more. They find that in spite of their brokenness, coming to the Cross of Jesus Christ breathes steel into the spine of their souls. “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” (Psalms 3:3) Lifting the head shows more than the removal of shame; it describes the infusing of new dignity. Let’s look at a select group of people meeting Jesus.

Zaccheus, a tax collector shucking and jiving for Rome and lining his pockets with his countrymen’s money, was probably destined to be pincushioned with the long daggers of the Zealots. His people thought him scum and money never washes away the inside filth he carried – especially dirty money. (Luke 19:1-10) Leprosy doesn’t have that ugly ring to it when we call it Hansen’s disease. But ugly it can be. Parents tell their children not to look at us. Our own loved ones seem repulsed and ashamed. And forget any semblance of being touched, hugged or held. (Mark 1:40-43) A woman caught in the act of adultery dragged through the streets, gawked at, maybe wrapped in little more than a sheet. The stones crushing her would only cap the humiliation and shame, the guilt (Shame and guilt are not the same.) the hypocrisy and the betrayal ripping her apart. Would others be too embarrassed to even claim her body? (John 8:1-11) We have angels all wrong. Forget the Precious Moment cuties. While biblically they can take any form needed, in their element they are quite powerful, even terrifying. They don’t say “Fear not!” for nothing. But when all that power gets channeled into music, it’s better than Duke Ellington with Cat Anderson on lead trumpet. At the announcement of Jesus’ birth, angels beyond number cut loose with an explosion of music and praise unsurpassed by anything else laid down in space and time. And just who had the prime seats for this gig? Shepherds. The lowest of the working class, held in contempt as being dumb or ignorant. When we announce births, who gets on the short list? The most important people. When God announces His Son becoming human, who gets the first ring (And what a ring up it was!)? (Luke 2:8-20)

After World War II, General Bernard Montgomery wrote a book of biographical sketches of great political and military leaders in Great Britain’s history. He penned one about his former boss, Winston Churchill. When asked what made Churchill so great, so much the man for the hour during the war, Montgomery said, “There was something about Winston Churchill that could turn the lead of the common man to gold.” If Churchill made men gold, then Jesus Christ makes them platinum.

All these mentioned above and more grew a clean inch at the touch of Jesus Christ, not just because of the forgiveness, cleansing and healing He brings. He moves in, indwelling us through the Holy Spirit. He sees us as someone worth loving. He clearly envisions us becoming people we never would imagine and our lives spent alongside His to staunch the bleeding of a wounded world. The old clichés, “God don’t make no junk”, is true. We do that ourselves with help from others. But those just mentioned who saw themselves as nothing but garbage with feet always got swallowed up in the gaze of New Eyes rewriting the name on their story. Their own dignities, cover-ups and denials had to die. But something new remained tha would or could never drop their eyes in shame or guilt again. I listened to a new Christian talking on the radio about her faith. She said with unmistakable, yet gentle, force, “Understand that this isn’t something I ‘believe‘. It’s something I know.” You could hear the platinum in her voice.

If you think anything here might encourage a college student or those who love them, then please share, subscribe and all that social media stuff. If you already subscribe then you might want to be part of Geezer 1, the Facebook clubhouse for all things geezeronthequad. Geezer 1 is a mix of students, student ministry leaders, professors, administrators, artists, musicians, writers, composers, theologians, pastors, booksellers, broadcasters, business people, cultural thinkers and entrepreneurs as well as a few campus rats who think that Jesus Christ thinks that the university is a special place. It’s a sharp group; you will only make us better. Take a look to see what you think. These guys (I speak inclusively.) always make me look good. Maybe it will work for you.

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geezeronthequad: Jesus In Pursuit – Deeper Satisfactions

Every fall the Harvard Crimson publishes a feature entitled “The Hottest Freshmen of the Class of ?” A dozen or two of the incoming freshmen get classy photo shoots, sit down as a group at a fine restaurant and answer some questions. I feel bad for them on a number of counts. First, these students are just newly escaped from high school and are freshmen even though it’s Harvard. I don’t care what comprises “hotness” at Harvard (GPA’s?), they all now wear a label and labels never fully explain who we are. Second, all the questions fired at them sound more like beauty pageant fodder. Where will you be in fifteen years? One answer – “Happy and problem free.”  Wouldn’t we all like to be there, only in fifteen minutes or so?

What would it take to be happy and problem free? The usual suspects include money or wealth, fame, power and sex. They come wrapped many different ways. But do they deliver…really? A sad parable popped up in newspapers around the world telling the tale of actor Jack Nicholson. Nominated for more Oscars than anyone, a star with power, a glamour boy with younger women and enjoying luxury beyond imagination, he now sits alone in his Hollywood mansion. He lives almost as a recluse, seeing few friends and foregoing former pleasures like watching his beloved L.A. Lakers. Nicholson especially grieves that his womanizing over the years leaves him without a lasting love relationship and he fears dying alone with no one to take care of him. Sounds like Solomon in the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Eccl 1:2)

Happiness acts like the Roadrunner leaving Wile E Coyote in the dust. No matter how hard we get after it, happiness as a goal evaporates through our fingers. Nothing satisfies. While her head was attached and she was still thinking clearly, Marie Antoinette said, “Nothing tastes.” Jesus ran into someone who thought they knew what would make them happy and she was hard after it, desperately so. In John 4, the boys had gone to town to buy food leaving Jesus by a pool or a well. A woman came to draw water and Jesus completely disarmed her by asking for a drink. Since she was a Samaritan, that Jesus even spoke to her civilly shocked her since Jews and Samaritans hated each other (Religion fueled hatred is the worst.) Toward the end of their exchange, we learn she’s been through five marriages and now lives with someone. Widowed five times? Not likely. And divorces could be had more quickly than the blink of an eye. While today is different, cohabiting in Jesus’ day just wasn’t done. The Jewish and Roman cultures both embraced marriage, and while Romans looked the other way on adultery, Jews (culturally including Samaritans) regarded living together as a scandal and a disgrace.

Sure in her heart that the love of a man would make her happy, she moved through various kinds and degrees of rejection, disappointment and disillusionment until she became so desperate she would risk public shame and disgrace for what smelled like love even though it came with no commitment. That’s why she came to draw water now. Everyone else came earlier in the day to draw all they would need. By coming later, the woman stood a better chance of being there alone and of avoiding the looks and cutting remarks. Then it seemed like Jesus solved her problem. “Every one who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13)

“Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” No more hassles hauling water. No more taunts and shame. We too often reduce Jesus Christ to what we think He can do for us. We do to Him what we do to potato chips. We consume. We consume sermons, books, praise music and all the rest as if we walked into Wal-Mart. We get what we want for us and leave, often speaking to no one.

But think of it. Something that would satisfy our thirsts and hungers, the deep ones disappointed so many times. Jesus offers Himself as their satisfier. He blots out shallow hopes, makes our self-centered goals seems shabby and a waste of time. Our attempts to bend Him to our way melt like an ice-cube in the sunshine. Eugene Petersen (who compiled The Message ) said that our plans often wind up being trivial or small. God’s plans for us are always grand. She went home saying, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. (That can’t have been good news for everyone in that town.) Could this be the Messiah?”

Finding heartache and rejection in a series of warm bodies, this woman now meets another who knows everything she ever did. Most would have rejected her right there or made noises of love merely to be the next to use her. But He spoke to a woman inside her she couldn’t imagine. He spoke to the deepest places which were carved and fitted for Him. And once she found that, she would never trifle with the weeds of small hopes and empty dreams that would choke her again.

Did you know that college students all over the country churn out some pretty decent theological journals and magazines? Check out The Augustine Collective where you can visit them all individually and maybe think about doing one for your own campus.

If you already subscribe to, maybe you should think about being part of Geezer 1, the Facebook clubhouse for the blog. It’s mix of students, student ministry leaders, professors, administrators, artists, writers, musicians, composers, booksellers, broadcasters, theologians, pastors, business people, cultural thinkers and entrepreneurs as well as a few campus rats who think that Jesus Christ thinks that the university is a special place. It’s a sharp group and you will only make us better. If anything there helps keep your edge sharp, the fire God lit in you hot, your spirit from going soft and your mind from going to mush, we will all be glad.

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geezeronthequad: The Lures of Jesus – You Really See Me Like That?

When I first went on Facebook, I didn’t have any friends for six months. Then one day the message popped up. “Wandena Swartz wants to be friends on Facebook.” After six months of careful thought, prayer and fasting, my wife decided to “friend” me. Understandable since Facebook friending can be risky business and (unlike much on Facebook) she really knows me. All this to point out how unnecessary to the world’s concerns a guy with no Facebook friends can be. Nobody important to the survival of the West, the war on terrorism, pandemic outbreaks, poverty, sex slavery, balancing the federal budget or anything else ever calls me. Not Zogby, the Washington Post or NY Times, Brian Williams from NBC Nightly News or editors of Slate. I’m not trying to milk anybody’s sympathy. Actually I’m pointing out what good company I do keep.

Think of anybody mentioned in the Bible who was on God’s team in some way in either testament. If God in the Old Testament or Jesus in the New hadn’t touched their life, made Himself known and captured them for His purposes, who would they have been? Utter nobodies swallowed up in the yawning anonymity of masses of people and centuries of time – not even a dust speck. But taking their place in God’s economy and plan, nobodies become timeless and their stories live through all time into eternity. Want a piece of this? Jesus Christ wants it for us.

Jesus entices people with the unimaginable. Note that I didn’t say the impossible. I can envision myself becoming a pro wrestler or a goalie for the Montreal Canadians but at sixty-four, those are insane as well as impossible. Unimaginable goes beyond impossible but can include it. Peter was a hard-working guy carrying some good things. Boldness which could morph into courage on occasion. Loyal – when he gave himself to anything or anyone, Peter was in all the way. He was also a sack of broken cookies – a hothead with a temper always boiling under the surface. Impulsive – launching into action without much forethought. He could fold like a house of cards under pressure. This was a man who had probably already logged some big mistakes before he met Jesus. Some days it couldn’t have been much fun to be in the boat with him.

Then came Jesus Christ Who one day said, “Now I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” (Matt. 16:18) Jesus basically said, “I will breathe all my life (It’s truth, love, beauty, holiness and power) into your brittle clay and every good thing that sputters inside you now will become strong and every sin and failure wiped to a cleanness that will remain.” We don’t get offers like that every day. Not only did Jesus make an offer that high-priced motivational speakers say we can currently scrape up from inside our gall bladder or somewhere. He said, “I have plans for this new wholeness and heartiness. I will do something with it…I will build my church.” Jesus also did this with Peter and the other fishermen in Matthew 4:19,20. They would start fishing for men. They dropped everything and followed Him even though they knew nothing about where this was going.  Peter might have been entitled to a few questions. What did You say? How are You going to do that? Plans for me? Anything You’d like to share? What’s a church? Instead of asking, he followed. And things got interesting.

Jesus came at Nathaniel another way. Philip (another disciple) talked up Jesus to his friend Nathaniel (John 1:43-51). Nathaniel knew that Jesus came from a loser town that produced nothing but no-goods. But he came to check it out. Seeing him coming, Jesus said, “Here’s a guy with no time for dumb fluff. His ‘baloney’ detector is always set on ‘high’.” This, by the way, was a complement. How badly we need some “baloney” detectors (read spiritual discernment) today. “How do you know me?” “I saw you standing under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathaniel immediately said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus knows how to punch through the lines of a skeptic. We don’t know what was happening under that fig tree but Nathaniel knew that if Jesus saw that, He could see anything. And Nathaniel was promised he’d see more than he could imagine.

In heaven, I want to meet up with someone I remember (not sure) as Molly. In college, all of us in the Jesus Movement talked about Jesus to everyone we met including those we chased down and tackled. We went to country churches in groups on Sundays all over western Pennsylvania. This was rarely pretty. We weren’t sharp, mature or sophisticated. We just had fallen in love with Jesus Christ and blabbed and blathered about Him everywhere. One Sunday night, I (among four or so) talked about what Jesus was doing in my life. Afterwards a girl of early high school age came up and asked me to pray for her. She (Molly) said she wasn’t sure her sins were forgiven and carried a lot of guilty feelings. We talked about taking Christ’s death on the cross as more sure than our feelings. I prayed. She said “Thank you” and walked away. The pastor’s wife came over and said that Molly came forward every Sunday for prayer about this. I said I would continue to pray and we soon left. A few weeks later the pastor’s wife got back in touch with a couple of things. First, after praying with “that one guy”, Molly never came forward for prayer at another service. Instead, she radiated a soul-deep peace you could see on her face. Second, it seems that a time bomb ticked inside Molly; she suffered from health issues I didn’t know about and had died just before the pastor’s wife called.

Jesus Christ, the Lord of the cosmos and counter of sparrows, loved a sickness riddled young girl who dragged her prickly ball of emotion to the front of a country church every Sunday. One Sunday night, He simply said, “Enough.” His loves waxes so hot at time like this, He isn’t too picky about who He scrapes up to be the instrument. A strong hand with velvet touch slipped inside the shallow prayer of an immature spiritual punk and the surgery was done. Jesus implanted His peace to carry a sickly girl in His love through her last few days. Drawing off alone, I said something like, “I know this was You…but can I do more of this?” I wasn’t under the fig tree but He had me.

What fig tree might we be standing under that Jesus sees?

Next time at geezeronthequad. com; Jesus enticing us through richer satisfactions.

If you think this might encourage a student or someone who loves them, then share, subscribe, Twitter and all that social media stuff. If you already get the blog, then you might be interested in Geezer 1, the Facebook clubhouse for It’s a mix of students, students ministry leaders, professors, administrators, artists, writers, musicians, composers, booksellers, broadcasters, theologians, business people, pastors, cultural entrepreneurs and thinkers as well as a few campus rats who think that Jesus Christ thinks that the university is a special place. They’re a sharp group and you will only make us better. Check it out and send us a request to join.

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geezeronthequad: Jesus In Pursuit – Where Else Are You Going to Find This?

Not so long ago in a galaxy just prior to the holidays, I began to look here at the ways Jesus Christ plays to the heart and mind of those He pursues. We’ve just come through Christmas which says that God came in human form because our need was so desperate; nothing has changed about that. He came because He loved us so fiercely He couldn’t hold Himself back…and nothing has changed about that. Romans 1:20 describes how God’s craftsmanship so infuses the creation that no one will have any real claim to ignorance. Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say if, when he died, he discovered that God existed after all. He replied he would simply inform God that God had no business judging him because of insufficient evidence. Won’t happen that way – not for anybody. Every human being we can lay our eyes on simply teems with the fingerprints of Jesus Christ.

In John 6:44-66, Jesus freaked the people out. He did this often and still can when He thinks it’s needed. He said to some people who had never tasted ham or bit into a sweet pickle, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…” (v.54) They came more than a bit unglued – both some newbies as well as some who’d begun to seriously buy into Jesus’ message. Jesus just put it out there without explaining it. There was no “Come on, you guys!!! It’s spiritual!! What could you be thinking!?”. He could have turned away shaking His head thinking, “What a bunch of wooden headed doofuses!” He didn’t. Wooden headed doofuses are the only kind of people who get to hear Jesus. The more we become aware of our “doofusness” (our sense of sin and rebellion), the clearer the voice of Jesus gets.

Jesus swiveled the big guns and leveled them at the twelve. “What about you? Are you leaving too? Are you in or out? Don’t get back to Me in a memo or ask for time to pray about it. In or out?” Jesus didn’t explain any more to them than He did to the others walking away. In heaven, look Peter up and ask him if he remembers this moment…bet he will. Talk about being on the spot. Caught in the crosshairs of a strong question from Jesus, Peter helplessly blurts out the truth in his heart as his mind didn’t know how to answer. “Lord, to whom shall we go? Only you have the words of eternal life…” Only you…Only Jesus. We don’t get it but where else can we find somebody like You?

A university professor had put her soul into the metaphysical blender and hit the puree button. She suffered, not from MPD, but from MSD (multiple spirituality disorder). Depressed, chopped, sliced, diced, bruised and beaten, she took a hard look at Jesus in the gospels. Laying down years of rebellion, she simply said, “If You’re real, come and get me.” Skeptics still drag out the tired old horse that the early Christians just made the gospels up to make Jesus look good. Not possible. Neither they nor we could have imagined the Jesus of the gospels. When people make up gods, the gods always look like their creators. What in blazes could Jesus be a copy or replica of in space and time? Not only could we not imagine a god like Jesus, we wouldn’t want a god like Him even if we could make Him up. We create gods we can control, gods we approve of who never stick their nose into our business. We make up gods who fit inside our heads. If our god fits inside our head, that’s only place he exists. (Jesus does get inside our heads but at His initiative and not ours.) Intuitively we know that the Jesus of the gospels says to all, “Give Me the keys and slide over. I won’t be needing any directions from you.”

In Charles Dickens “The Christmas Carol”, the Ghost of Christmas Present says to Scrooge, “You’ve never seen the likes of me before!” Scrooge replies, “Never.” Jesus Christ simply plants Himself in front of our spirit radiating more than we can imagine of love, truth, holiness, beauty and power and asks, “Where else are you going to find this?” Where indeed? Jesus simply captures those He chases down by Who He is. Jesus Christ stands as the answer to every big question worth asking, the key to every lock worth opening.

Against much of the Christian tide, Mark Altrogge writes that worldview studies won’t save our children. I get it. Cramming our kids’ head with philosophical/apologetic studies doesn’t ensure they will walk in the faith of their fathers. In the Jesus Movement of the sixties, we encountered Frances Schaeffer at the dawn of his great work. We ate his stuff up much to our benefit. But we fell in love with Jesus first. Once we love someone, what’s important to them becomes important to us. We met Jesus; He dazzled us and we wanted to bring all our lives into line with whatever would please Him. The rest followed.

Jesus has many lures of the human heart which we’ll continue to look at next time. Meanwhile if you think this might encourage a student or someone who loves them, then share, subscribe, post, Twitter and all that other social media stuff. If we already subscribe here, then we might want to look at Geezer 1, the Facebook clubhouse for It’s a mix of students, student ministry leaders, professors, administrators, artists, writers, musicians, composers, booksellers, broadcasters, theologians, pastors, business people, cultural thinkers and entrepreneurs and a few campus rats who think that Jesus Christ thinks that the university is a great place. It’s a sharp group and you will only make us better. Take a look and ask to join. If the Facebook dog eats your homework (and he some times does), we will ask you to resubmit.

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