Loose Ends

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58 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    I love the opening.

    I like the direction.

    I am happy to be an exile. Even going back to a good CC was contrived. While I am still connected due to birth/lineage on all sides and life-experience for 3/4’s of my time on this rock in this current form…I don’t agree with toleration of abuse and corruption by the decent leaders in CC. It’s wrong. They can find all manner of justification to criticize and hold accountable bogeymen outside their walls…but cannot find the 1 Corinthians 5:12 in their bible, or 1 Timothy nor Titus 1 nor Matthew 18.

    It is telling of a bad System and a bad culture and I cannot support it and I don’t think it can be changed by an exile trying to work from within their halls.

    It is what it is and all you can do is call it out and warn folks of the dangers in that sect.

  2. Michael says:


    Trust me…that’s just the warm up… 🙂

  3. EricL says:

    Aren’t you glad that you are no longer in that master-planned community, now that you realize the “master” who planned its current make-up isn’t the Master you follow? Keep writing, my brother!

    That book needs to be written, as a balm to the injured and a thorn to those resting in a cushy bed of sin. Get it done, Michael. 🙂

  4. Michael says:


    If I can manage to survive while I finish, it should be done in a couple of months.

    I also have decided to go with your idea and have you publish the followups to “Make Your Own Application”.

    I’ve been busy with Mom’s doctors appointments and physical therapy and trying to keep the lights on…but we’ll get them done.

  5. Ixtlan says:

    “It’s all scorched earth…fire the person, eliminate the person, heap as much contempt on the person as possible.”

    We’ve lost all our social grace and are perfecting the art of being an asshole.

    Great opening, Michael. But where are the f bombs? LOL

  6. Xenia says:

    I see myself (along with millions of others) as exiles from the world but not an exile from the Church, organized and institutional as it is.

  7. Bob Sweat says:

    I teach English 1A part time at a local Bible College. The opening for your book is an excellent example of “setting the hook”. When will the book be available? I can’t wait to read the rest.

  8. Alex says:

    X, the “church” is so fractured and over-Sected that most of the Sects believe they are the only “true” church…and CC still thinks that in a majority.

    If you are exiled from CC you are still viewed by many within that Sect and semi-cult as being “out” of the church.

  9. Michael says:


    It probably won’t be available for a year.
    First, I have to get it finished.
    Then, my wonderful, long suffering, agent will try to find a publisher, then it gets printed.
    I want to get it right…

  10. Kevin H says:

    Love the book opening. But where are the cats? 🙂

  11. Xenia says:

    Alex, of. Course I don’t care what CC thinks about me. I got over that a very long time ago.

  12. Alex says:

    More important to get it right than to get it out just for getting it out.

    This direction is what I really believe you were called to do and is really a good use of all the scars and successes and frustrations and experiences over the years as the Phoenix Preacher.

  13. Michael says:


    The cats and the kid will have to stay in the other books… 🙂

  14. Kevin H says:

    Oh, so you think your city is too good for cats? I see how this works. 🙂

  15. Alex says:

    X, I know you have 🙂

    You are a strong woman and a much better example of womanhood than most of the women I witnessed in Calvary Chapel.

    You’re tough, smart, independent, but kind, loving and sincere and you don’t care about the things they care about (in leadership there) which is money and fame and power and ease and you aren’t like the women followers in that sect who generally act like sycophants and kiss-a’s who are more akin to cheerleaders than the great women of courage you read about in the bible.

  16. Michael says:

    Here’s part of Chapter 2…then I have to get busy.

    “I did not plan on moving outside the city.
    No one ever does.
    I had come there to start a new life because I had become “a new creature in Christ Jesus” and that required moving away from the places I once lived in.
    Gone forever were to be the old ways of wanton fornication, excessive use of alcohol and other such substances, and the pursuit of earthly gain and pleasures.
    These would be forsaken for the sake of the kingdom.
    Surely those who already dwelled here, especially those in authority lived as we aught.

    Or they didn’t.

    This was my second attempt to find a new home.
    I had been brought back to the Lord through the ministrations of another sect.
    Because I was a quite well known for my former sins it was assumed that I would become equally as well known for my ministry and I was immediately tagged as a future leader.
    A former life of sin was important to a “testimony’” and it was even more effective if it contained lots of drugs, alcohol, and sex.
    Based on these factors I could become a spiritual giant in the work of the Lord.”

  17. Alex says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    I don’t know how to do the thumbs up thingy.

    This is going to be really good…keep that direction and write it from that smoldering within you that won’t go out.

  18. Xenia says:

    Jeepers, Alex! (Insert “blush” emoticon here)

  19. Alex says:

    X, I call em like I see em. Wish my mom was more like you.

  20. The one thing I hope for in regards to Britt is that she see the sorry condition of her soul and spirit. She may have an attractive exterior, but she’s a mess on the inside. May she be shocked not by the fact that the video is spreading across the web, but by the realization that a person of such entitlement, pride and cruelty dwells within her skin. If she is aghast by her actions, and truly desires a change, its a win.

    As for the Reds manager, I remember Tommy Lasorda dropping a cargo hold of f-bombs in an interview. As a fan, I was simply saddened to listen to a grown man speak like a 13 year old.

  21. Alex says:

    X, you have character and integrity and care about the things that matter in life. That trumps any religious or philosophical disagreement in my personal view.

  22. Em says:

    haven’t read the commenters here yet… they’ve got to be good…
    couple of questions (presumptuous ones)
    is the book aimed at Bible-wise Christians solely?
    perhaps, when introduced up there, Laodicea could be described a bit? smug, self satisfied, rich or… some such?

  23. Em says:

    hey, are we, the exiles, dwelling in tents out here… after the manner of father Abraham 🙂 that’s good, isn’t it?

  24. Michael says:


    This is all rough draft stuff.

    My target?
    Good question.
    It is mainly those who have experienced the worst of evangelicalism.

    Bowden said that if someone could write, it was their responsibility to write as a voice for those who couldn’t.
    To not do so, or to seek to write only for profit, was a sin.
    I’ve always known this… Bowden gave me words.
    I want to return the favor to the thousands who have trusted me with their stories over the last decade.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You know, all publicity is good publicity – I have never heard of her before today … and now I have.

    Long live Tommy Lasorda – f bombing Kurt Bevaqua was a gift from God.

  26. Michael says:


    Yes…it’s good.

    “Those inside Laodecia tell us that there is nothing but darkness, separation, and loss outside the walls.
    They lie about other things as well.”

  27. Michael says:


    I agree…

  28. Em says:

    rabbit trailing a bit off of #26… i recall hearing that the Indians (Native Americans) said, with no malice intended, that the houses of the white settlers stunk… in a way, you are taking Luke 6 and applying it to the 21st century

  29. Anne says:

    Some of us that now live even farther outside the camp than you, still count you a dear & trustworthy friend, Michael! Grateful for your heart & voice.

  30. MLD, I really soured on Tommy after hearing that clip (which Jim Healy loved to play over and over again).

    I’m not looking for everyone to act like angels, but that was so over the top.

    As to Britt, I don’t judge her because I am well aware of the same swill that brews within me. But I hate it enough to want to drain the swamp that stinks up my spirit.

  31. Em says:

    FWIW, i think Michael has a message for the Church here, but i don’t think it will be read by those who need to consider the message unless he comes in the backdoor and makes his book a secular targeted expose’ of the weak underbelly of today’s influential Christians… is that ungodly? dunno

  32. Michael says:


    Thank you, my friend!

  33. Michael says:


    It’ll be read by a bunch of people looking for their names… 🙂

  34. Alex says:

    Michael said, “Bowden said that if someone could write, it was their responsibility to write as a voice for those who couldn’t.
    To not do so, or to seek to write only for profit, was a sin.
    I’ve always known this… Bowden gave me words.
    I want to return the favor to the thousands who have trusted me with their stories over the last decade.”

    🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you Michael.

  35. Michael says:


    Thank you…let’s just hope I can deliver the goods.

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I’m not looking for everyone to act like angels, but that was so over the top. ”

    LOL – they don’t call it locker room talk for nothing. 😉

    Lasorda had a similar discussion 🙂 about Dave Kingman’s 3 homers.

  37. Xenia says:

    I am probably not a member of the target audience since I am firmly planted within “a” camp, although maybe not the camp Michael is talking about. Still, I’ll read it out of curiosity and out of support for my friend Michael.

  38. Michael says:



  39. Kevin H says:

    Yes, but this was Tommy Lasorda’s greatest sin:

  40. I’ve had my share of experiencing locker room talk, as well as job-site talk in refineries and such. I’ve just never thought much of a person who’s vocabulary consists of a constant string of obscenities. Just me.

  41. Ixtlan says:

    I always liked Lasorda. He was pissed off over the loss, and a reporter caught him in a bad moment.

    As for Britt, that was vicious, vindictive, elitist, arrogant, presumptuous and filled will malice.

    Tommy gets the free pass, Britt needs a time out.

  42. Xenia says:

    I am so glad that my worst moments (and there have been many that were far worse than the woman in the video) were not caught on some hidden video camera and shown abroad for all the world to see, mock and judge.

    If guess if we no longer fear God we can fear the omnipresent camera and Internet.

  43. Nonnie says:

    Xenia, Amen to your 42!

    God help me! I know God hears every word I say and “think” but along with that there is also, the knowledge that , “I wonder if CCTV is recording me right now?”

    In any case, I know I am being watched continually…..by Jesus and by “the man.” It all keeps me on my toes. 😀


  44. Xenia says:

    “I wonder if CCTV is recording me right now?”<<<

    If you are in England, probably so!

    I never saw so many CCTV camera in my life as I did when I was there last fall.

    We have them here, too but I live in a small town and don't see it so much.

  45. “…they have no desire to become exiles themselves.

    Until, that is, some perceived violation of custom drives them out to dwell with me.

    Our city is growing…”

    Sounds like you’re building a City of Refuge!

  46. Em says:

    i have a tongue … when the spirit moves – trouble is that it is the wrong spirit

    most of the time i am a passive, semi-air head, but when angry, my aim can be deadly – not a gift from God, i don’t think… not sure tho 😆

  47. Alex says:

    Michael, you can deliver the goods. Make it happen. Be disciplined and stay focused and motivated between the fog of life and responsibilities you have.

    You have all the stories, you have already written the words many times over. Just trust that burning inside and trust that voice….and let it flow like a river and make time to do it.

    Chip away here and there until it’s done.

  48. Alex says:

    You’ve been so faithful over the years to stay the course with your blogging…you can channel that discipline and faithfulness to the book and I know you will.

  49. EricL says:

    Michael @4. Sorry for the late response, but I’m glad that you are ready to move ahead on the Make Your Own Application series too. Check your email for some stuff from me.

    Really look forward to your expose book coming out. Some of it might be hard to write, just like it was hard for CS Lewis to get Screwtape Letters written, but it is needed. Keep going!

  50. Jim says:


    No one doubts that you can deliver the goods. You’ve been proving it for years.

  51. Surfer51 says:


    I see you like Hemingway sitting at your old tired much coveted black Underwood type writer with all your cats sitting around you in different places and positions.

    Pecking away at the keys with the agility and speed of one burdened by to much knowledge and understanding of the nature of man.

    The words on your typing paper are very good thus far and beckon the reader to the next sentence with a subtle nudge from the revelation that is unfolded in their meaning.

    Just for grins try running you manuscript through this Hemingway app…


  52. Xenia says:

    Hemingway had cats, too.

  53. Surfer51 says:

    The app graded me with a twelve on the words I typed above.

  54. Surfer51 says:

    — he had 23 by 1945. (His first cat, named Snowball, was given to him by a ship’s captain and was six-toed; his former home in Key West, Florida, currently houses nearly a hundred descendants of Snowball, about half of whom are polydactyl — an inadvertent lab for inbred genetic mutation.)

    Hemingway’s niece, Hilary Hemingway, writes in the foreword to Hemingway’s Cats: An Illustrated Biography (public library) that the author and his fourth wife, Mary, called the cats “purr factories” and “love sponges.”


  55. brian says:

    Michael I truly love what you write, I wish I could see it that way. From almost day one, it was never preached from the pulpit or from books or songs but it was loud and constant. It was truly the worse thing one could ever need or do bar none.

    “I am a sinner saved by grace, in frequent need of grace.

    Constant need of grace.”

    Outside of the apologetic a true Christian never ever needs this, ever, they overcome, they deal with it and they move on, always. I just dont have the energy to keep up to be honest so I got off the train along time ago. I guess that makes me an exile also. I truly appreciate what you write.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Is it possible that the cats drove Hemingway to his suicide? 😉

  57. Jtk says:

    “The third thing…and the thing that will eventually devour us, is the refusal to offer grace.”

    I keep wondering what I would do if my Christian best friend had an affair, and was repentant. Or if my friend who is a senior pastor erred greatly.

    How would I support them, walk with them through what their struggle–without justifying any sins.

    I wonder about those senior pastors who’ve sinned big time and lost everything, did any of them have a loyal friend with integrity? Who wasn’t just a “yes man” but had integrity and still stuck with their sinning friend (who was TRYING to get it right).

    I’m walking with a falsely accused friend, which is tough enough.

  58. Em says:

    Jtk… you just said a mouthful – as we used to say – “How would I support them, walk with them through what their struggle–without justifying any sins.” because if we don’t, i think we bear their guilt also…

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