Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Which Came First - The Tie-Dye or The Cross?

This question was posted recently on The Hippie Christian Bulletin Board, here is my response...

It was back in 1969 when Jesus found me, I was 13 years old then. I had just started to grow my hair long, of course I was into all the great tunes and wearing cool threads but I was not into the drug scene.

My transformation from a nerd to a hippie was happening simultaneously with my becoming a disciple of Jesus, so I was never really one before the other. The roots for both were planted deep within me from my earliest childhood but neither was dominate. My parents had some bohemian views and were spiritual in their own ways, but they were neither born again christians or hippies.

My transformation was during the Jesus People Movement and it was quite normal to be a Hippie Jesus Freak at that time. I never thought that I had to choose one over the other, for me being a Hippie and a Christian were not mutually exclusive experiences.

Most of us don't like labels, but I have always considered my self to be both, never one or the other. I am a Hippie Christian, a Christian Hippie, a Long Hair Hippie Jesus Freak, whatever - I am just one of God's colorful kids!

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Autumnal Equinox

This week marks the Autumnal Equinox - one of the two times during the year that the sun passes the equator, when the days and nights are equal in length. Fall has always been my favorite season, fall is so colorful, the oppressive heat of summer has passed and I can move about without breaking into a sweat. Fall is the Father's way of allowing his creation one last burst of color, a giant tie-dye blanket covering his creation before the winter nap begins.

Autumnal Equinox begins the time of the year that the final harvest is brought in, a time of thanksgiving, a time of preparation for change. The cooler temperatures and longer shadows tell my sub-conscience that winter is coming and changes yet unseen hang in the air. The Autumnal Equinox is a marker, a signal of the passing of seasons. Fall has always been a time for change for me, perhaps it goes back to my childhood days, fall is the time the new school year would begin.

This year is no different, this week I start in a new management position at work. What perfect timing the Father has, he knows that I am more receptive to change in the Fall. Most folks want to make new beginnings around the first of the year, not me - too many failed New Year's resolutions.

Here are two links about The Equinox and Fall Equinox Celebrations.

I love the Fall and the changes the Father brings my way. I look forward to long crunchy walks with my wife along leaf littered streets beneath the sycamore trees.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ring The Bell

Friday I received an e-mail from my friend Bill asking if anyone would be interested in helping the Salvation Army. They needed someone to be a "Bell Ringer" in front of Wal-mart on Saturday morning. Well I don't normally sleep in, even on Saturdays so I said "What the heck, why not help out?" - besides what else would I be doing at 8 am, blogging?

Now being a "Bell Ringer" doesn't take much effort or special training, nor does it require any unique skills, but I figure it is a small way to help out those folks hit by Katrina down in the Gulf states. The local Kiwanis Club joined up with the Salvation Army by providing hot dogs and sodas to anyone who made a donation to the Salvation Army.

What was wonderful about my two hours of bell ringing was that I got to see the compassion and generosity of good kind hearted people, people who were glad to help others through their donations to the Salvation Army. An important fact is that all the money collected will be sent directly to the affected region.

After my two hour shift of bell ringing was over I placed my donation in the familiar Red Kettle and grabbed myself a BBQ'd hot dog and a cold root beer. My wrist was a little stiff from coaxing donations from Wal-mart shoppers with the little bell, but my heart gladdened knowing that in a small way I was able to reach out to those folks down in the Gulf states.

Salvation Army Website

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Should We Go Back To The Communes?

"Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:44-47

There were things going on after AD33 that forced the early faith community to pool resources and band together; i.e. persecution & famine. In the culture of their day there most likely was a stronger sense of community, something quite foreign to us here in America. It was natural for them to have a close knit communal group, not so natural here in our individualistic society.

Conversely though, why should we accept the dominant society's lack of community in the household/family of God?

I am not suggesting that we all live in a 60's style commune to be closer to the early faith communities. I'm talking about developing a stronger community that looks beyond the "church" building, one that embraces the concept of a family of believers called out from a life of sin and joined together with a common purpose of building each other up and spreading the Gospel.

Who knows, we just might be facing the same things here in America as a community of believers that those in the rest of the world and the First Century believers faced. Our faith communities may have to pool resources and band together. We may have to develop a stronger sense of community to deal with possible future persecutions.

You should check out the lyrics of RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA by Larry Norman the pioneer of Christian rock and poet laureate of the Jesus Movement. It is a song he wrote back in the days of the Movement and I think that it rings true today, his words are quite prophetic.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)