I don’t Care What the Bible Says?

Danger! Sarcastic Pastor on prescription medicines, on a rant, with a keyboard.
Enter at your own risk!

Come, Follow Me

Danger_Enter_At_Your_Own_Risk

God almighty is seated on his throne in Heaven and he has a plan. He invites you to join that plan. Get it? YOU join God’s plan.
As Christians we yield to Jesus’ words, “Come, follow me.” He does not yield to us.

COME

“Come” means you are leaving somewhere. It may be geographical, spiritual, emotional, financial … But something is going to change. I know you probably don’t like change. That very fact is why I see people post over and over that, “people are leaving the church.” I’m not seeing people leaving the church. I’m seeing people leaving institutions run by people that have no apparent desire to move forward and grow spiritually. I’m seeing people leaving institutions that want to tell the exact same story, the exact same way, with the exact same reaction, singing the exact same songs. Like God himself froze time in the 1700’s.

FOLLOW

“Follow” means you aren’t in charge. With the democratization of the church in America it is amazing what people call structure and organization. “If I don’t have a say on what color the hinge bolts are on the toilet seats in the ladies bathroom, well then I’m gonna find a new church.” Or, “If I can’t use my gifts my way and be in charge then I’m clearly not wanted.” Following is a hard thing. Everyone isn’t gifted or called to do the thing they may want to do. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a part. To follow you have to submit, and let’s be honest, we don’t like that do we? Somehow we think that the church is supposed to have or be, a House of Representatives and that isn’t even biblical. It’s sad to see people going from church to church, leaving wreckage in their wake, and yet taking little to no responsibility for what THEY are doing. I’ve always told church planters, “if they come in mad, they will leave mad.” It’s been true 100% of the time so far.

ME

“Me.” One of these days we will capture the idea, the philosophy of ministry, understanding the truth that the Gospel IS ALL ABOUT JESUS. Not you, not me, not what I want, but it is about God’s plan and HE expects us to be faithful to his words. Your life, your money, your “plans,” your children, your relationships, your expectations, everything about you is supposed to be surrendered to Christ when you become a Christian. EVERYTHING. But as Christians I still see the, “God’s about to bless my every waking moment” theology being “meme’d” to death. What part of Jesus’ disciples life and death shows you that being a disciple of Christ is getting the big house, the big car, the new jet, the profitable job, the free education or anything else we can think of? (God could do that, but it comes with great responsibility to invest back into the Kingdom
of God.) That wasn’t the example of the disciples though was it? Boiled in oil, crucified upside down, beheaded, exiled, imprisoned, stoned, shipwrecked, losing homes, lands, spouses, children and whole families being imprisoned.
And we have brought it to the idea that it is all about me. God has a plan for my life because my life is the center of the universe?
Seriously? And you don’t have time to witness to your co-worker, your family? When was the last time to prayed for a stranger, invited someone to church, shared the gospel? When did you last fast or pray for more than a moment? When did you sell everything you have give to the poor and then take a new turn in life. When was the last time you asked God who you could give TO rather than gi’me, gi’me?

Jesus was crystal clear

Jesus was crystal clear. Come, Follow ME.
Look around you today. All these Facebook posts about the toilet apocalypse, the end of “my” politics, the love of most growing cold, it’s all in the Word. But then, we’d have to read the word wouldn’t we? After that Jesus expects us to obey that word doesn’t he.
Crazy how many people say God is dead-serious about homosexuality (and he is) but those same people make all kinds of excuses and reasonings AGAINST Jesus’ specific words to LOVE YOUR ENEMY. Crystal clear. Needs no interpretation.

I don’t care what the Bible says?

Maybe, just maybe, your life and your church hopping, your messed up children, your loss of marriage, your upside down finances are actually a result of you following your made up God. Maybe, just maybe, when Jesus says “Come, follow me” he really expects that and when you meet him face to face, that is exactly what he is going to talk to you about.

One of the saddest moments I have experienced from a Christian was years ago when he demanded that I preach that alcohol consumption was a sin. In the course of our conversation I said I couldn’t preach that because the Bible doesn’t say that. His exact words, that he blurted out in the frustration that I wouldn’t do what he asked were, “I don’t care what the Bible says, …”
(Deep breath, let it out slowly) there in lies the problem.
What about you today?

You waded all the way through this. What is God asking of you today?

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Peace be with you

feet of JesusThe “Butt-inski”

As two of Jesus’ disciples walked along on that very first easter day, they were met by a traveler. A guy. A man headed in the same direction they were going. He walked along with them for  a while as they were headed to a town named Emmaus. This man walked up into a conversation they were having about Jesus himself. They were disturbed by some things that the ladies had said to them, and honestly, based upon this description of the conversation, I would say they appeared to have serious doubts.

He hears their doubts and challenges them

As the stranger interacts with them, they end up kind of incredulous that he appeared to be uninformed about the weekend events. In true hospitable fashion they take it upon themselves to inform him. So they tell him all about Jesus, what he did, the miracles, how he was arrested and killed, then buried. I’m sure they told him what Jesus meant to them personally. This guy, this stranger that walked with them, listened, interacted, asked questions and heard them. The stranger hears their doubts. He then challenges their doubts and unfolds the scriptures for them. When it is all said and done, He ends up at their supper, breaking bread with them, and it is only then that they realize Jesus has been walking with them all along. Immediately Jesus disappears.

Out of their element …

They were walking and lamenting the loss of their leader, their lord, their friend, and there was no way that they were going to believe he was right there. I have often asked myself why Mary at the tomb, and these guys here on the road, didn’t recognize Jesus? Then I remember all the times that I have been somewhere and someone comes up to me, or I go up to someone, and realize who they are.  Out of their normal element or relationship, I do not recognize them. Then it hits me, this is “Bill!”

I think that is exactly what is going on here. They saw Jesus buried, he cannot be here, so that doesn’t even enter their minds. I don’t know what a post burial, resurrected, but pre-ascension body looks like, but they certainly saw him when he broke the bread, when he was “In his element.” Handing out communion he was Jesus again, and Jesus alive!!

What about you?

I wonder how many times we miss God in our lives, miss Jesus doing a work, miss the Holy spirit because he belongs in Church on Sunday morning. Here we are going through our week, maybe we have a spouse and we are doing our daily thing, chasing kids, a quick kiss before we leave for work, maybe a fight and we are immediately in a tension. A flat tire and the day feels wrecked, or work is just piling up and we don’t feel appreciated, no one cares so we melt into the old pit of wallowing; no one likes me, no one notices, I’ll never get ahead. God where are you?

“… and I know that there are angels all around …”

It is at times like these that we miss seeing God in our lives. We end up so focused on our want, our need or our loss, or our problems, that we don’t lift our eyes up and look at who is walking around us. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Look!

The Kingdom of God is here. Jesus said it is near, it is coming and it is in you. Jesus is in the Kingdom, so Jesus IS here. The Holy Spirit is in the Kingdom, so the Holy Spirit IS here. Angels are in the kingdom, so angels ARE here. I want to encourage you to lift your chin and look around. God is here in your midst. In the middle of your daily struggle, in the middle of your need to make a decision, in the middle of your fight with your spouse. He is here at work. He is here in your doubt and despair.  He will never leave you alone, but we may be choosing not to believe he could be here.
Cry for nigeriaAs you travel on this road to your Emmaus, that stranger, that song, that group pf people, that church, that co-worker, God is using them to speak to you, to support you, to love you, but you have to open your eyes and believe. Stop what you are doing right now and ask God to open your eyes.

 

Why are you so surprised?

beggar's hand

In Acts chapter three Luke opens with Peter and John on their way up to the place of prayer. It is three in the afternoon and they go up they pass a beggar on the street. He is a crippled beggar. He was placed there every day by his friends. He was crippled from his birth and this was his everyday life. No fancy engineering made him a motorized wheel chair. He was hand carried everyday to this spot. It is awesome that he had friends, and that he had friends that would do that for him. Every day he sat there and needed a hand out and as Peter and John approached, this was just an ordinary day, they were just two guys heading up to the Temple, to the place of prayer. He launched into his spiel: “Hey buddy can you spare a dime?” “Hey man could you give a guy a hand up?” “Sir, could I bother you for some change, I’m so hungry?” Peter and John stopped, Peter called to the cripple, “Look at me” he said, and then, in the name of Jesus Christ, he healed the man instead of giving him what he was expecting. Changed the whole course of this man’s life! Of course this caused an uproar in the community, and with the newly healed man clinging to him physically, they entered the Temple gates. The crowd was growing and talking and jabbering and Peter shushed them all and spoke: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you?”

 There’s the question

What a powerful question. “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you?” I am so surprised to read Peter asking this question. What do you mean why does this surprise us? It’s AWESOME!!!!!! It’s fantastic, nobody did this yesterday, or the day before, but today this guy was healed and it is awesome. And yet, Peter is caught off guard and asks the question. I think Peter is at a place where this is pretty common. I wonder if like John (who wrote the book of John), Luke could say of the disciples,“[they] did many other things a well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” Peter is used to this kind of thing. Jesus told them they would do what he did and even greater things than this, and he meant it. (John 14:12) So, to them these greater things were “normal.”

LAST WEEK

21 martyred

Last week 21 “Christians” were killed because of their faith. I do not know, nor do I judge, the truth of their faith, I take it at face value. In those parts of the world the word Christian can be as much a political term as it is a testimony. They were definitely killed it would appear. Facebook was in an uproar. I also posted the names of these men on my own site as means of recognizing and honoring their faith. As I watched all the people that say they themselves are Christians post their posts, some Christ centered most political, I wanted to post Peter’s question. “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you?”

Jesus made a statement that told us of things that were to come.

Matthew 24:9-14 (NIV)

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

He also said in

Luke 21:16 (NIV)

16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.

“Men of [the church], why does this surprise you?”

These days are unfolding upon us and even escalating around the globe. And it appears that we have been more interested in gaining a gospel of comfort, a gospel of convenience, a gospel of prosperity, rather than a gospel of sacrifice. We all want revival, but we want it on our terms, with more stuff and bigger houses and jobs and wealth. Jesus said the invitation was to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him. That’s a hard teaching.

10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 

Many will reject Christ outright. His gospel isn’t comfortable. They will fall away because of the cost, and yet these 21 men stayed faithful until the end. Our lives are temporal upon this earth; it is not our home. We are renters, sent as ambassadors, to share the truth of our King, regardless of the cost to us. He is the Prince of Peace: of Peace the Bible says.

“Men of [the church], why does this surprise you?”

These 21 sacrifices should not surprise a real Christian; our Lord said it would happen. It should make us sad, reflective, but God help us, it should cause us to consider their sacrifice and get to work. We are so busy fighting over the stupid stuff of life instead of sacrificing for the kingdom that the enemy doesn’t have to do much to thwart “christian” people from their mission.

“Men of [the church], why does this surprise you?”

Hebrews 10:38-39 (NIV)

38 And,“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Will you live out your life for the kingdom so that this is the question you ask of the world : “Men of [the church], why does this surprise you?”

Will you live out your life for the kingdom so that this is the question you ask:

“Men of [the church], why does this surprise you?”

We should be busy enough that the world does this to us as well. What excuse do we have who know no persecution in this country, to be amassing wealth that will not go to heaven, at the expense of the people who could be: but for our invitation?

50 Shades of “What the heck is going on?”

grey wall

Let me join the fracas

Let me join the fracas as if there isn’t enough noise out there already. I am astounded at the number of Christian people that are defending the writings, as well as the movie, “50 Shades of Grey.” “If you haven’t read it then you don’t get to talk about it”, I believe was how one FB post read. Well, I haven’t read it and I will share my opinions on it. There have been enough movie trailers and excerpts from the book posted on line as proof of it’s theme and purposes, that one does not have to read it to see what it is, and what it is about.

 What’s really going on?

The bigger picture as I see it is our comfortableness with immorality. Having been raised in an home where pornography was accessible and almost celebrated, I will be aware of it and have to stand against it the rest of my life. I cannot tell you how disturbed I was, when a trusted friend of mine forwarded an article that had a half naked picture of a movie actress, under the pretense of ranting about the horrible way Hollywood objectifies and demeans women through body types. Un-followed!!! Why did they think that was ok to post this so it would come across my feed? What about any children of their vast number of friends who may have been subject to it? Not cool!

 The struggle is real!

I’m no prude, anyone that was raised in my house will tell you that, but sexual sin, including nakedness, is the only sin that I can think of readily where God says to “flee.” Don’t stand and fight, don’t take up arms, don’t linger in the battle, FLEE! Run away, get far from it. As you skim through the Law of the Jews you will find verses that say, don’t get people drunk so that you can look upon their nakedness. (Habakkuk 2:15) I share that just to show how serious God is about it. Jesus said to look upon a woman to lust after her is to have already committed adultery with her. So we see again how serious God is. To be fair Jesus rendered everyone guilty when he was speaking on the judgmental spirit that comes from religious people pointing fingers. Same thing he did when he was dealing with the woman caught in the very act of adultery, first he made everyone guilty, then he invited the woman to leave her life of sin.

I guess I am a bit surprised at the whole group of men or women that will defend a movie, any movie, that has nudity in it and then turn right around and sit in my office telling me about the struggle they are having with porn. How many of you are watching Game of Thrones? What about Vikings? Nakedness, Biblically speaking, is porn. How do you weigh out your entertainment choices? If it’s a “fun” movie, or, “good book” (I guess we should include music in that as well) then it’s ok. Women scream about the objectification of their gender and where this particular book and movie are concerned turn right around and defend it. This particular book, at the least the excerpts that I read that were posted, were pure, scintillating, porn in prose. Every detail, every thought, painting as detailed a picture as possible. I have to say I was glad they were short posts. They are posted to give the reader an understanding of what the theme and story was going to be like. it’s interesting how many women will come crying about their man’s porn issues and yet …

 Mennonite reformationWhat about dying for the cause?

What about guarding our eyes? Psalm 101:3 What about cutting off our right hand if it is offending us? Matthew 5:30. I’m not suggesting that we go through life maimed, but Jesus was saying get radical!! Wasn’t it the radicals of the 1500’s that brought about a reformation? They stood against religious tyranny and shouted that they wanted to live out the words of Jesus even if it meant death. They wouldn’t be quiet even when they were being burned at the stake, quartered, hung, drowned, pieces of their flesh including their tongue and eyes were pulled from them with hot tongs, or they were tarred and burned alive. Today we’d be lucky to just get some of the church goers uncomfortable so we can get them to grow. We are more interested in splitting over women in leadership, worship wars and who’s allowed in to the church, then actually reaching the lost. When was the last time you invited someone to your church? Why aren’t you in a small group, or life group, or what ever your church calls them? Where do you serve on sunday morning? Here’s a biggie, Why don’t you tithe to your local church? (don’t tell me Jesus didn’t address it, he did. If not it would be the only thing he addressed where he “lowered the bar instead of raising it, and that just isn’t Jesus)

 BbileWhere is the church: are you in there, hello?

I think the church has become a little lax in it’s interactions with our culture. We may be a little more OF the world and not just IN it. Maybe it’s just apathy. I’m talking about actual Biblical issues, not preferences. I’ve seen what people do with preferences. I have actually had a religious man tell me that he didn’t care what the Bible said about alcohol, we have to preach that it is a sin. When he said he didn’t care what the Bible said he lost me. I do care. Same guy teaches people to kill their enemies even though Jesus said to love them. I sin, please don’t get me wrong. Don’t ever listen to a preacher that tells you he doesn’t, that man is liar. As God is my witness! The issue is when we set our lives up to live in sin. When we rationalize it to the public so that we can indulge our natural man. What ever happened to being ashamed of our sin? I am ashamed of my sin. It bothers me this sin that put Jesus on the cross. What ever happened to, “it was for my sins that he died?” Maybe what’s really happening is that Jesus isn’t as important to us as we want everyone to believe he is. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 wanted everyone to believe they were really holy and “ALLIN.” They wanted it so much that they lied to the church about the price of a piece of property they sold. They died of the Spirit that day. I have often wondered why God is so patient with me and yet they dropped on the spot! I have no answer, but God I am thankful.

but there is a fire growing

In the midst of all this crazy negativity about sin and culture I am meeting young people that show me God is up to something. They are concerned about their purity, their witness to those around them. I even hear them speak of pride issues. Wow. These are some class people. They are graduating college and then not entering the fields of study they have  degrees in. No, these young people are heading into ministry. As I relate to them they can’t stand the idea of not telling people about Jesus. They can’t stand not getting involved. They believe the message of the Cross and of Jesus at his ascension. They NEED to lead small groups, and disciple people on a regular basis. They can’t give or serve enough. These are people that will be changing the world. It is so exciting to interact with them. Our church is filling up with older people that have the same heart. These more mature believers are pouring into these young people and it is changing our town.

This FIRE is contagious. This Fire comes from people who are willing to come away from sin, sinful lifestyles, and are hungrier for the love of Jesus and his teachings then they are religious. It comes from being hungry enough to let go of preferences and wrong ideas of spirituality. It comes from letting go of preconceived notions about Jesus and choosing instead to determine what does the Bible say about what the Bible says. These are radicals. The world will be changed by radicals. You can be a radical and you can change the world!!

It is going to start with you and I confessing our sin and stepping away from what this world says is ok. Christians have to be the ones to lead the charge on purity, sexuality, honesty, justice and integrity. Listen, it is our job to introduce the world to Jesus and if we do not have any integrity in our walk, if there is no purity in our lifestyle, if no justice for the oppressed in our hearts, what do we have to offer a dying world? A drowning man cannot save a drowning man.

I want to SOAR this year and SOARING means leaving the common ground, going where the average doesn’t go and doing what the normal doesn’t do.

I HAVE TWO DOGS BUT ONLY ONE GOD

I HAVE TWO DOGS BUT ONLY ONE GOD

Anyone that knows me has to know I have two dogs. I love my dogs, they are amazing creatures and loyal friends. They are funny and fun, crazy and at times they can be very frustrating, but they are always there for me.

Birthday love 3

AVA and BOOMER

My female Rottweiler’s name is Ava and my male is named Boomer. They both came from a wonderful kennel out in California. Not litter mates but kennel mates two years apart. Bred for disposition, beautifully encompassing the AKC standard of a “Rottie,” they are an incredibly misunderstood breed. They are great family members and very friendly dogs. Ava has attained her Canine God Citizen Certificate and Therapy Dog would be next, she also pulls a cart for exercise and fun. My grandchildren love to ride in the cart up and down the street. Boomer, the big goober, is one good left turn from completing all the requirements for the “CGC” certificate. He is young and that’s another topic we can learn about, but later.

Ava Carting

I can learn a lot about God from my dogs.

Through the years I have learned a lot about God through my relationship to dogs. Like the time I was trying to process hearing the voice of God. Like a puppy, we run to our master and we are excited to be near him in worship, prayer time, but we don’t really have a clue what he is saying or what he means. Then over the years of being in his presence, we come to an understanding: his voice, his unction, and his gesture. You can talk to a grown dog of yours and based upon your gestures he will respond. Based upon your voice inflections the dog will or won’t respond. Based upon volume your dog will or won’t respond. Our relationship to God is like that. The more we get to know him, the more the little nuances of his person communicate his intention to us. The easier it is to understand the voice we have been seeking. As a puppy, not so much.

When I am trying to understand obedience.

IMG_2086

Ava likes to chase a red rubber ring, Boomer on the other hand only chases Ava. Boomer will chase a green tennis ball, but Ava will only chase Boomer after he gets to it. Eventually they both will bring me their individual toy with the other in tow. The nonsense starts when they go racing to the bottom of the hill full tilt and then smell a rabbit, or have to pee or what ever and then they forget where the toy went. They are dogs, I throw the ball, and they fetch it, that’s how it works. It all falls apart when they don’t listen. When they won’t bring me the ball or the ring. I do that to God sometimes too. He sends me to do something and I get distracted by the world, fame, importance, and material possessions, really I am as susceptible as anyone else to the things of this world. I get distracted and forget what he sent me to do or fail to remember where I put God’s ball. Then one time Boomer went after the ball, got half way back and remembered he had to pee again. So he dropped the ball, which rolled down hill and he promptly peed on the ball. Well I can assure you he wasn’t going to do his job with a soiled ball in his mouth. How many times have I peed on God’s ball and then complained to God?

If they aren’t going to be obedient then the party is over

Dogs are pack animals and they need to be family members. They understand the concept of hierarchy but they will fight for position. They can learn quickly where they fit and what their role is, but if they aren’t going to engage, then the party is over. They will thrive when they are encouraged and praised and feel a deep sense of accomplishment. The very first time I put Ava in a harness and hooked her up to the cart it terrified her. That thing behind her was rattling and bouncing and following real close. But once she realized that I put it there and it was a good thing she pulled it famously. When we were all done ( 20 minutes worth) I praised her lavishly and she was beaming. She did it. She was so proud! That obedience, even when I don’t understand the new thing God is doing, that’s the party! Disobedience means the party is over. We need to understand that with God obedience is not an option. He expects us to bring back the ball. He expects us to pull the cart. He expects us to do our part and when we do, life is in rhythm.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

God is the master; he isn’t yielding his throne to anyone else. God and God alone. So, what is it that God is asking of you? Did you drop the rubber ring? Did the world distract you? Did you pee on God’s ball? You are not too old, too young, too short, too tall, too male, too female, to be in the game with God. I want to encourage you to reengage.

CAN I GET A BREAK?

Man what a day this week is turning out to be.

The truck is in the shop so my wife and I have been carpooling. It’s amazing how much we do not do together that I wasn’t aware of. She doesn’t go to the City council Meetings with me. She didn’t use to go to the coffee shop with me on Wednesday mornings because I go so early. And she certainly doesn’t go to Indianapolis with me when I go to get Ava. Thankfully my son in law was available and has a truck. Also good because my dog doesn’t fit in my wife’s Miata and even more so when I also am in the car with my wife. So, a 7-hour trip later and my Ava is home from the kennel, a little worse for the wear but she will heal.

What about you, how has your week been going?

At church a couple weeks ago the message was about SOARing. 2015 is for SOARing. But in order to SOAR there has to be some flapping. You certainly don’t get to fly let alone SOAR if you aren’t willing to flap.

Flapping isn’t for sissies,

FLAP

it’s hard and frankly we don’t like it. Trucks break, people let you down, money has to be spent, relationships are strained, jobs are lost, and marriages end, children struggle and you have to keep flapping if you want to SOAR. Frankly sometimes we don’t want to flap do we? We just want to lie down and scream and yell and ask God if he has a clue. Even as a pastor sometimes I just have to walk around and ask God, loudly and vehemently but respectfully, if he is aware of what the heck is going on!

We don’t like to be inconvenienced as a humanity. We have a drive-through for hamburgers, for medicines, for tobacco, for snow cones, for alcohol; shoot we even have drive through for our donuts now. We just don’t have time to flap do we? And yet, that is where strength comes from, from the struggle.

I have a friend that used to have a bazillion ostriches, maybe not quite that many, I could be off by a kazillion. He had a lot of big awkward birds that laid “community omelet sized” eggs. Inside that egg at one time, was what was considered a very expensive baby ostrich. Sometimes they had a hard time hatching. I asked him if it didn’t make sense to him, to help the little guy out. I mean, can someone help a fella’ out, literally, of his shell? My friend told me that the struggle of the little ostrich to hatch, to peck his way out, was crucial to his existence. He told me that in the breaking free process was the conditioning that would allow the ostrich to strengthen and stand, to move around, to live.

God designed that ostrich. He designed it to struggle to hatch so that when it did, it could live. Our struggles are important to our survival whether we know it or not. When I stop whining and get to the flapping part. When I know that the flapping is important to the SOARing process, then the flapping isn’t as evil as I thought. Maybe, I think, SOARing will be a little bit easier and more glorious, because God was with me in the flapping; teaching me, watching over me and even shaping me, to be all I can be so that I can live.

Go ahead, thank God for the flapping, ask him to help you flap better, but FLAP.