Penn and God(er)

I saw that video of Penn from Penn and Teller today, and now it’s rooted itself deep inside my brain. It’s playing again and again and I need to talk about it.

I need to talk to you about God.

I’m usually type to live my faith and hope it catches on – a habit I developed after being rejected by about 47 of my closest friends when I tried to tell them about Jesus back in my high school days.

But that’s crap.

The part that’s most striking in this video is when Penn says “I still think religion does a lot of bad stuff, but man, that was a good man who gave me that book.”

I never grasped before the anti-God I’ve gotten from people, but it’s suddenly so clear to me.

It’s not anti-God. It’s anti-religion. And we all know religion is a human thing – flawed and many times mistaken.

But I’m here to tell you that God is not a human thing.

First, you need to hear about his grace. It’s the most comforting thing you’ll ever know once you accept it.

When the world wears us down – grace lifts our tired souls off the ground and says “I still love you.”

I should also tell you I DO feel weak when I think of Him. Non-Christians are always telling me how weak religion makes me. How I must need a crutch to get through life.

Uh. Heck ya I need a crutch. And so do you.

Some try alcohol. Some try sex. Some try money.

None of it will ever work.

With God though, it’s all right to be weak because he’s not.

I also should share how incredibly amazing my work as a youth leader is. How it teaches me things I didn’t even know I needed to learn –  like how to spread faith, and what it feels like to inspire a student. And how I prayed for a chance to work with high school students and he gave it to me like a present on Christmas day. He handed it right to me and then dropped me in the deep end with a trust I didn’t even have in myself.

And I should explain how he makes me want to be a better person. How I love more, and care more, and act more because of His Word. And I should tell you that you can have him too. That you NEED to have him too.

He’ll save you.

I should tell you right now and then ask you beg you to come to church with me Sunday.

So this is me. Begging you.

Sunday at 9 a.m. I’ll be at the First United Methodist Church in Woodstock. E-mail me if you need a ride: Seriously.

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never go thirsty.'” – John 6:35

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  1. You might be interested in the writings of French literature professor René Girard, with his thoughts on positive and negative memesis, violence in religion, scapegoating, and why Christianity is different from all other religions. (His studies on religion led him away from atheism and caused him to embrace Roman Catholicism.) A good start is the WWW site “Girardian Reflections on the Lectionary” at I highly and wholly recommend you read his works.

  2. I just started a book that I think you would like. It’s called Crazy Love. I’ll let you know when I am done with it. I got it out of the library at church. You know, The First United Church in Woodstock, where I will see you on Sunday, if not before.

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