Postaday Challenge Complete

Wordpress extended a challenge I accepted at the beginning of the year. A post a day! You could set your own parameters, and chose to take the challenge of a post per work day. That would calculate to be 260 posts in 2011.

I have posted 267.


I hope it has not proven too overkill for you all. I hope that I have provided material you wanted to read and engage with. Never would I hope to run people off because my posts seem too incessant. Please let me know what you thought about the frequency, quality, and favorites of posts I shared this year. This helps me reflect on where I hope to write for the future here at


Top 5 Ragamuffinpc Posts of 2011

My Tops of 2011


Here are a few random lists of my favorites, my tops, and most enjoyed of 2011. They are all in random order except the first of each; that will be my overall favorite of the year.

Books - The Pastor by Eugene Peterson - Next Christians by Gabe Lyons - All is Grace by Brennan Manning - Heart of the Story by Randy Frazee - The Feather Room by Anis Mojgani

Albums - Ghosts Upon the Earth by Gungor - Aftermath by Hillsong United - Odd Soul by Mutemath - Bon Iver by Bon Iver - Barton Hollow by Civil Wars - Simple Math by Manchester Orchestra - Metal & Wood by Tyrone Wells - Young Love by Mat Kearney - Inclusions by Ben Sollee

TV (other than SNL) - Parenthood - Up All Night - Modern Family - Work of Art: next greatest artist

Poets - Listener - Propoganda - Buddy Wakefield - The Robin and the Lady Poet

Blogs (I discovered in the last year) - Life to Her Years - Barefooton45th - Malisa Price - Faith on Campus

God waits

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you...He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you." -Isaiah 30:18-19 God waits for us! It is nice to know and yet, at the same time, unnerving to know that God waits to be gracious to us. We are inclined to wonder, "What is he waiting for?" I mean, come on God; go ahead and be gracious to me.

John Wesley reflected on this "waiting" by saying that God "patiently expects your repentance." God sits and waits for our repentance. He waits for us to repent, but he waits to be gracious. He is already prepared for his response to our repentance. He waits to be gracious. He already knows he will "rise up to show us compassion and mercy." God waits!

God patiently waits...for us. he is prepared to be gracious and merciful to us. That is his plan...when we repent. He "will surely be gracious to us AT THE SOUND OF OUR CRY." The outcome is already determined; grace and mercy. The only thing missing is the action; our repentance.. We are promised that God will hear our repentance and answer us with grace, compassion, and mercy.

God waits!

Most important question

I am more and more convinced the very most important question everyone and anyone has ever been asked and needs to answer is "Who do YOU say [Jesus] is?" We have to make account for what we do with Jesus. It does not matter what other people do with Him. It does not matter what other people say of Jesus. What matters with a weight I cannot possibly measure is what do I do with Jesus Christ.

Who do I say Jesus is? Is he Christ, Messiah, Savior, and Lord? Not just the words, but who I, in my heart of hearts, know Jesus to be? 

At the heart of my answer lies salvation and peace, but also conflict and opposition to others. Before you answer that question, it is important to know regardless of your answer you will directly oppose someone. You either oppose people and the norm or you oppose the Son of God.

There are consequences to both oppositions. You oppose men and you will face ridicule, persecution, and possibly death. Oppose the Son of God, and you will face death (crazy, we ALL face this one), or the pain of Jesus being ashamed of and separate from you (Mark 8:38).

Suddenly one consequence seems far less horrible than the other.

Mustard and Mountains

When you talk about having faith, you will often bring up the concept of having faith as small as a mustard seed. Mustard seeds are some of the smallest seeds, and if we could muster even a small amount of faith we could move mountains. Figurative or not; move mountains??? I began to think about this mustard seed thing. I mean, should I be embarrassed that I cannot move mountains? All I need is a little bit of faith for crying out loud. Can I not even muster enough faith to equal one of the smallest seeds? What is God's exchange ratio on faith required to size of an actual mustard seed?

I began to realize something though. ALL seeds need to be cared for. All seeds need to be planted and taken care of...maintained...nourished...watered...fed.

I am not sure that faith as small as a mustard seed means just a little faith here and there will give you the ability to just move mountains. That faith, which begins as small as a mustard seed, if fed, nourished, and watered well has the potential to grow into something phenomenal. Perhaps eventually, if taken good care of, that faith can one day move a mountain.

My church had an organ

I grew up in a church with an organ. That is an old piano looking instrument that one person could play with their hands and feet. This was also a time when you went to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. The church I grew up in had an amazing organ player (would that be an "organizer"). His name was John; he was arguably the best organ player in the state of Indiana, if not the world, as far as I knew.

Every once in a while on a Sunday night, there would be no sermon. The worship leader would just stand up behind the pulpit while John was at the helm behind the organ. The congregation would have hymnals in hand and shout out a number. John, in all his splendor, would immediately begin playing the requested hymn. The worship pastor would wave his hands in direction. That would be the service for the evening. We'd sing hymns for the evening in awe of God and John as well.

The last few days I have been stricken by two different hymns I am pretty sure I'd request if I were back at that church with Organ John nights.




These two hymns have been ravishing my heart the last few days. I am amazed by the words written by people who have obviously experienced Jesus and gone forward to flesh out that experience on paper. These hymns have resonated within my heart as well. Call the hymns stale if you wish, but in many of them there is eternal refreshing experiences of Abba.

The Possibility of Closeness [a Christmas poem]

We all have a dingy chamberdarkening the deep stone walls of our broken hearts where behind the doubt encrusted bars screams a familiar voice

it screams louder than you ignore stronger than you can avoid it is your voice it is our voice

we are all wrapped up in a prison without a lock and we scream we moan and scream again for something for more for God

we are all born broken people with specifically aching hearts needing God to come closer

we need more than myths, fables, and fairy tales forcing God into a book we need someone real we need more than philosophy some god in outer space means nothing to us so we scream come closer

so welcome you and your locked up voice come on in welcome to the possibility of closeness

we do not pursue a generic god with a generic faith we will not be 'spiritual' in a generic way the possibility of closeness is not 'whatever it means to you, it means to you'

it is going to require a bit of faith and faith is pretty simple, really it is nothing you muster up it is divine illumination an operation of God whereby we stand on tipped toes extending twitching fingers for something we could never reach and God makes it apprehendable he makes it possible

faith is learning to trust a God giving promises he intends to keep promises to hear your voice promises to make possibilities of closeness

so today cannot be filed down to farm animal figurines atop your fireplace mantle today is not the hope of shopping God closer as if closeness to God tasted like 34th street miracles and credit card debt

no, today is the celebration of an explosion so silent it wouldn't wake a sleeping baby it is the arresting eruption of the reality God became flesh so ssssssstop for a second and soak it in

God came close as the skin and bone of your own forearm. God became flesh so the Light of the World could be seen as clearly as you see me

The possibility fo closeness is here and not one of our words contain his name the message is too majestic for our methods so he said, 'call me Jesus call me Immanuel, God with us"

the possibility of closeness is nothing more than seeing Jesus and responding to what you have seen

God showed up to shepherds because he goes to those who have time to listen the possibility of closeness is only closed off from those to busy to pay attention

God came close enough to be broken to be tired, weary, and fearing failure to catch a cold and a case of hurt feeling and your locked up voice is going to keep him distantly divine

but don't you listen to that

let God be as human as he was because if you do not let him in He cannot get you out

Christianity is not an ethic it is not a morality or philosophy of life it is a love affair the thrill of falling in love and being loved by Jesus Christ born to bring us closer to God

So today is for those who need God to come closer because Christmas is the possibility of closeness

* check back tomorrow for a gift

A love letter from a stranger

A love letter from a stranger means an awkward nothing to us

Even a tiny note from my wife means a world of love to me

Most of our dislike for reading scripture is just not understanding not being in relationship with the Author the One from whom the letters were written