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65 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Amen. Amen. So very true. Thank you…. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was a bit older than toddler-hood when I had to learn that lesson…. Now I’m surprised when things go well.

    My dear friend Rob Verdeyne has a sweet saying that has struck a very deep cord within me; “Life is hard. God is good. Never confuse the two”. Amen

  2. Alex says:

    Nope, life isn’t fair.

    Some are born extremely good looking, mentally tough, hyper-intelligent and charming….and some are MLD.


  3. Em says:

    good, good words here… encouraging words, actually… thank you

    that said, some of our trials do happen because we’re just – ahem – stupid – i know some of mine are and i swear that i’ve heard the Holy Spirit groan a time or two 🙂

  4. JTK says:


    True, true, TRUE!

    Tis not our life….

    Thanks for the perspective

  5. Nonnie says:

    I was reading John 15 with a friend today, over coffee. We talked about how Jesus said that those who bear fruit, the Father prunes. I know that so often the pruning is painful, but I also know that the Father loves and cares and, in the end, it will all work out for good.

  6. Jim says:

    God promised men a hard life. To expect anything else is childish.

    For me, the only healthy way to view adversity is to see it as a gift from God. I think that He wants me to have a soft/strong heart and an iron will. My heart and will are strengthened through adversity, like muscles are strengthened through exercise.

    You’re mileage may vary, but my rose garden waits in Heaven, and I’ll trudge through the swamp until I get there.

    Having said that, life is good!

  7. Anne says:

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” I was struck deeply by how true this is for so many as they age, being moved into facilities, losing their power of self-determination.

    Despite my lack of faith, I am almost always encouraged by your TGIF pages, Michael and look forward to them every week. Thank you!!

  8. Surfer51 says:

    Aw come on Alex…let sleeping dogs lie. 🙂

  9. Michael says:


    If I can write something that encourages you a little and keeps a little spark glowing, then it’s all worth it.
    Thank you for the encouragement, my friend.

  10. Nonnie says:

    Anne’s number 8……Wow!

  11. Imagine yourself being in your mother’s womb as an embryo. Stay in the position for a while. Ask yourself if you still wish to come out into the world with all the knowledge you have of what happened to you and how you affected others.
    – Yoko Ono

  12. Michael,
    You are the Yoko Ono of this faith community, an avant-garde thinker who uses unorthodox musings to enrich us all.

  13. Michael says:


    Thank you, my friend…I hope that is true.

  14. Paul A. Lytton says:

    Call me lucky, gifted or intelligent, but I know the answer to all question asked concerning very difficult matters. Of course my answer usually is, “I don’t know”.

    Once the question has been answered, move on.

    I tend to spend very little time thinking about questions that I do not know the answer to, be it questions others ask me or even questions I have myself. After all what is the good of having or knowing the answer anyway? The same answer is both right and wrong to different people involved in the same matter from different sides of the same equation.

    Alex said, “Nope, life isn’t fair”. I agree with Alex to a degree. However, I believe the bottom line truth is that life doesn’t always “appear” to be fair.

    Jesus said, “Follow me”. – If we follow Jesus we will be where He is.

    We think of how unfair a particular second, minute, hour, day, month or even year can seem to be unfair in a particular portion of an event without knowledge of the overall picture of truth.

    Jesus said, “Follow me”. – If we follow Jesus we will be where He is.

    Jesus never committed a single sin yet He died a horrific death.

    Jesus said, “Follow me”. – If we follow Jesus we will be where He is.

    Jesus will eradicate evil totally and is now in Heaven preparing a Kingdom for His children to live in for such an eternity without any evil.

    Jesus said, “Follow me”. – If we follow Jesus we will be where He is.

    Alex, I know of your pain and sorrow you endure in this life, but rest assured that just as your children have benefited from the love of their understanding father who suffered unjustly, so shall you benefit from your understanding father who suffered unjustly. You did follow Jesus and you will be where He is. God bless you.

  15. Paige says:

    That has to be the ultimate compliment. “Michael, you are the Yoko Ono of this faith community”.

  16. Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles and stole all of John Lennon’s money – she could have developed into a fine CC pastor had she put her mind to it.

  17. Jim says:

    And don’t forget… some people think that they hit a triple, when they were actually born on third base…

    No offense to arminians 🙂

  18. Em says:

    #17 … i”ll take my late grandmother’s observations on life over that reprobate female’s any day … but, if one thinks she is the best and compares Michael to what one finds the ‘best’ then i guess he should feel complimented

    she will take her place in history next to Wallace Simpson – and a bunch of personality pastors and gurus – in the reprobate opportunists’ hall of fame 😯

    never thought i’d have to chance to vent on yoko on the the Phoenix Preacher – thank you, G

  19. Surfer51 says:

    LOL MLD wakes up in fine form…

  20. Nonnie says:

    Michael….Yoko Ono… are we saying that Michael can’t sing? 😀

  21. JoelG says:

    lol Jim

  22. when I read the comment about “reprobate female” above all I could think of was this guy

    calling Buggs a “wepwobate!”

  23. …with wighteous indignation!

  24. Cartoons have redefined certain words forever

    “moron” is now “ma-roon”

    “Nimrod” –

  25. Papias says:

    Found out early that life wasn’t fair.

    What was a gut punch was when I saw the same politics and crud in the church. I thought that the church was supposed to be different?

    At least with the world you expect them to act reprobate.

  26. I’ve found that the value of humor & sarcasm in the midst of suffering invaluable.
    Like a former bandmate liked to say, “With all this horsecrap, there’s gotta be a pony here if we dig deep enough!”

  27. CHARLES says:

    I always loved how John called himself that, I also love the fact that he made a note that he outran Peter to the tomb.

    Some sons of thunder never change

  28. CHARLES says:

    Could I also ask for prayer for a woman that we are acquainted with who is in a coma after double brain surgery? Pray for her and her family during this time.

    Thank you.

  29. Anne says:

    To the best of my knowledge, no one, ever, has found a pony buried in a pile of poo. So I strongly advocate when stumbling across or into a pile of poo making one of three choices. 1. Avoid it. 2. Warn others not to step in it. 3. If one has the tools and the strength, clean it up, turn it into ferilizer. If you choose #3, odds are better you may be the first to find a pony in a pile of poo. Yes, Gman, I agree. There is great value in humor and sarcasm in seasons of suffering. Laughter is indeed good medicine!

  30. Em says:

    G, you making fun of me or Elmer Fudd? 😆

    you got my dander up so that i forgot the water was running in the horse trough… but i did find two ponies out there, so keep digging

  31. Em says:

    Yoko says, “if you find yourself standing in a pile of manure, spread it on the flowers and watch them grow – imagine! and if you see a wabbit eating your woses, don’t shoot it, call Elmeh…”

    that’s enough – but, i feel much better

  32. fyi says:

    Em, have to say this: since i first saw your picture yesterday, I cannot rid myself of the craving for an original Bob’s bib-boy! Why did you do that to me? 🙂

  33. Em says:

    fyi – 🙂 it’s been a while since i’ve had a really good hamburger now that i think about it

    that’s my photographer daughter’s Big Boy… she was taking it hiking in the Cascades… i’m using the photo for a gravatar because it stands out and reminds me that i post too much

  34. Yoko says, “if you find yourself standing in a pile of manure, spread it on the flowers and watch them grow – imagine! and if you see a wabbit eating your woses, don’t shoot it, call Elmeh…”

    Thus begins the inaugural edition of “Faux Ono Quotes”

  35. Anne, my former bandmate is a recovering addict, prone to overcommit to pony poo shoveling (she stayed in a band with me after all)

  36. Em says:

    “Faux?” OH NO! ! !

    please, God, help me to stop this – can i be banned for the rest of the week?

  37. Faux? Oh-no!”
    Brilliant! =)

  38. In the midst of all our struggles, this RDJr quote is quite helpful…

  39. Xenia says:

    Faux poo? Is that the same as Shampoo?

  40. “Faux poo? Is that the same as Shampoo?”

    Xenia scores one for Orthlandia!

  41. So, life can really suck, it can really be the sh*ts, but as long as there are stories like this one, of real people who go the extra mile, do a little more, make a difference, we’ll all be inspired…

  42. Surfer51 says:

    “Could I also ask for prayer for a woman that we are acquainted with who is in a coma after double brain surgery? Pray for her and her family during this time.”

    Charles @ 29

    I am lifting up this woman in the name of Jesus Christ for the healing and answered prayers of her family.

    Brain surgery is not an exacting art nor is it a guaranteed procedure, but we know that You Lord guide the hands of men and gift them with talents and skills.

    The doctors have done their finest efforts and now it is all in Your loving hands to bring this dear woman back into the land of the living to be what she has been created to be here on this earth.

    I ask in Jesus name for her healing.

    And I would also ask you for healing for Aimee.

    Perhaps some here would like to encourage and pray for Aimee also?:

  43. slowest work day I’ve had for a year.
    Thanks for the company.

  44. Em says:

    joining Surfer in lifting up Charles’ friend and Aimee and family to the Throne of our Father for healing, for grace and for mercies to be multiplied in the name of our Savior Jesus the Christ

    oh, and Lord of Salvation there is another woman in need … forgive my ridicule as i pray

  45. “With all this horsecrap, there’s gotta be a pony here if we dig deep enough!” I’ve got to adopt this into my repertoire of old sayings that I just made up.

    Y’all are killin’ me today. Faux? Oh no! Sham-poo, Bwahahaha!!!

  46. There have been times when the unfairness has caused me to question whether I want to continue following Jesus, or even continue living for that matter. But I’m reminded of someone’s wise words: “Where else would we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

  47. Michael, a brilliant and thought-provoking TGIF once again!

    Joining in the prayers as well.

  48. Bob says:

    “she could have developed into a fine CC pastor had she put her mind to it.”

    I have to admit I’m a sinner. As much as I don’t like all of MLD’s sarcasm, ridicule and sophomoric lack of whit, as soon as I read this I burst out in a laugh.

    I believe it was her husband John who wrote the lyrics, “Imagine a world…”

    Sad lyrics proven to be wrong. Remove all the religion from the world and people still find an excuse to blow up and kill each other. I would also wager they would actually find easier and more reasons to do so.

    “Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace, you”

  49. Em says:

    loosely quoting Tchividjian loosely quoting Pascal: all our efforts fall into an infinite abyss that can only be filled by an infinite God… earlier he noted that our search for happiness is unending – even in suicide…

    truthfully, God help us, we are a needy people and blind in enemy territory

    tonight i am happy, tomorrow i will be happy – what a wonderful salvation – Peter couldn’t sustain his walk on water in the storm, nor could i… but by God’s grace, i can now breathe underwater … 🙂

  50. Em says:

    oh we just had a 3.0 earthquake! a noisy rumble, a sharp jolt and a noisy rumble… thot maybe the neighbor was fooling around with a big old truck, but it was the ground shaking…

    God keep all close this night

  51. Em says:

    for the record, they just downgraded our quake to 2.5 – don’t want to be a scandalmonger

  52. Saw the brilliant Reza Aslan being interviewed by Jon Stewart. One of the things he pointed out is that it’s easy to focus on the negative things in religion and blame the bad of the world on it, but we really need to also give credit to all the good, all the sacrificial, all the noble things also done in the name of religion.

  53. Donna says:

    I needed this, Pastor Michael. Thank you.

  54. Paul A. Lytton says:

    Honest question. Where in the Bible does it define Hades as being a place of the dead before going to Heaven or Hell? I know about the story of the dead rich man requesting a drop of water but to the best of my knowledge that was not an actual event, just a story.

  55. Lori Pollitt says:

    Wish you had a LIKE button, Michael!

    Yoko Ono??? That made me laugh, but yes I see the correlation. 🙂 I just hope Michael can sing better than Yoko!

  56. Lori Pollitt says:

    Now I see a LIKE button, I just don’t have a Word Press account. Oh well. 🙂

  57. Paul A. Lytton says:

    I am also aware that when Jesus Resurrected there were others who have died previously who were seen to be alive again. This may surely bring up more questions but it does not define Hades as being some sort of Purgatory.

  58. Surfer51 says:

    Speaking of YoKo…John Lennon a Christian?

  59. Paul A. Lytton says:


    Thank you, but in all due respect the Bible verses mentioned in the Bible Encyclopedia just shows verses in the Bible where Hades is mentioned. My original question was where in the Bible itself does it “define” Hades. The Bible Encyclopedia may be extremely knowledgeable of what is in the Bible but so were the Pharisees and Sadducee’s.

    Do not get me wrong, I appreciate your honest attempt to enlighten me but my question is specific.

  60. Bob says:


    The bible doesn’t define Hades at all, it just mentions the inbetween life and resurrection in a rather non-descript and General sort of way. The most extensive imagery given is the story of “the Rich Man and Lazarus.” Howevr, to use that as a description of the inbetween, before Jesus death and after in contrast or any thing similar is to bastardized the the text and culture behind it.

    God purposefully does not record and preserve in the “official” text, the Bible, much about the time between this life and resurrection. What is clear is this life is what is important, so live it in a way that is thankful for His coming and looking forward to His return!

  61. Bill Kinnon says:

    Thank you for this, Michael. I needed to read it.

  62. Muff Potter says:

    Michael wrote @ # 14:

    “Thank you, my friend…I hope that is true.”

    It is true Michael. It’s what keeps an uncategorized and free thinking believer like Muff Potter returning to your blog.

  63. Alex says:

    Well, unfortunately, growing up in a Calvary Chapel Pastor’s home where he walked around naked all time in front of us as kids…”Bob’s Big Boy” takes on a whole different context.

    Don’t really care for that restaurant, the name brings terrible mental imagery.

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