Archive for the ‘life’ Tag

Wingnuts Must Be Wingnuts!

Wingnuts Must Be Wingnuts!

Last year a couple of close friends of ours told us about an anarchist’s house in Richmond called the Wingnut House. As one might imagine, I was curious. I had to see it. The more we learned about the house the more I wanted to see it.news30_wingnut

The Wingnut house was a large home in the Barton Heights area of Richmond. It was an anarchist collective. The folks there believed in a variety of things… such as mutual aid, anti-authoritarianism, and direct action. The house was generally open to the public, it was a drug-free/ alcohol-free place where food, live music, community,  and, I’m sure, spirited debate were in ample supply.

At the core of anarchism is the belief that the governments of mankind are illegitimate and bring mostly oppression, poverty, and violence. There are actually a few tenets of anarchism that, I think, have a ring of truth about them. But anyway on with the story… you’re gonna love this.

So our friends got in the church van with us and began showing us the way to the Wingnut House. I was excited! So as we pulled alongside the house what struck us was that large portions of the house were covered in expertly painted murals containing various themes and messages relating to the care of humanity and anti-authoritarianism. On the front of the house there was said to be a mural dedicated to people killed by the State and I wanted to see it but there was a one-way street in front of the house and I didn’t want to drive all the way around the block so… yep you guessed it.

I thought, “What the heck, it’s an anarchy house so we’ll “stick it to the man” and drive the wrong way down the one-way street. (Since there was nothing coming in this quiet neighborhood) So picture it, we’re in the Richmond Grace church van, going the wrong way down a one-way street just to see a mural painted on an Anarchist Collective house called- The Wingnut. It is one of my favorite memories.

What happened next shocked me. (No we didn’t get pulled over by the police, that would not have shocked me) There were about a dozen or so people sitting on the front porch and steps of the house and as we passed by some began to shout at us that we were going the wrong way!

Can you believe it? The anarchists were upset that we were going against the signs put up by man-made governments. I began to laugh and then it hit me and I thought, “Be what you are.”

I must confess as we passed by the house going against the designated flow of traffic I was eager to receive accolades from the anarchists. I awaited my fist pumps and upward turned thumbs but… it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why my “anarchy” wasn’t celebrated but it got me thinking.

Do we, as believers, sometimes find ourselves unwilling to celebrate the achievements and freedoms of those who might not think and believe as we do? I catch myself sometimes grumbling to the Father, Son, and Spirit about the blessings and successes of those around me who don’t give nearly as much time, energy, and resources to the life of the Church, who perhaps don’t give God a second thought, and maybe don’t even believe there is a God.

As a Gospel preacher I know that “Jesus gives life and breath and all things to all mortals” (Acts 17:25) Notice that Paul distinguishes life from breath. The Greek word for life is zoe, meaning spiritual life. Yes Trinity and Humanity reader… Jesus gives you life with His Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and he gives it to your Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, or Muslim neighbor. The difference is, that when we begin to see and believe, our minds are transformed and we begin to recognize that Jesus is truly at the center of everything we do. It’s a Gospel fact, but much of the prevailing thought in our day would have us believe otherwise. Believing the Gospel in the world might just be a little like going the wrong way on a one-way street.

So our mission, as those who believe and especially at Trinity and Humanity, is to inform and educate every person in the world that they have been included in the Triune Life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Whether that message is popular or widely accepted is only an indication of how much work there is for us to do as “Gospel educators.” Sometimes, to get the message out, it’s okay to go against the flow of traffic or be called a nut… I’ve been called worse.

 

~Bill Winn

Personhood, Distinction, and Our Union with the Blessed Trinity

When my older daughter Faith was about 4 years old we all sat down to watch a movie together as a family. It was probably a Disney, Barbie, or a My Little Pony cartoon but I can’t recall. What I do remember is an event that bowled me over theologically. You see, at the time I was only one year into my “Trinitarian transformation” and the Father, Son, and Spirit seemed to have me on such a fast track that nearly everything around me appeared to shout some aspect of the Gospel of our Inclusion in Jesus.

As we prepared the movie, Faith asked if I would make some popcorn popcorn-stovewith “extra, extra, extra butter”. I agreed and off I went to make real old fashioned stove top popcorn like my grandma Mary Ethel Winn used to make for us on her magic stove.

As the movie began Faith and I sat close so that we could share our bowl of popcorn. Just moments into the movie I found myself staring, jaw dropped, and wide-eyed at my 4-year old daughter. She wasn’t levitating or quoting Shakespeare, she was eating popcorn. Yep, I can guess that right now you might be thinking, “That Bill Winn sure is a weirdo.” Well, you might be right. You wouldn’t be the first person to ever tell me they wonder how my brain works and frankly I don’t know either except to say that more and more, in the past 10 years I have tried to make my brain more available to the Holy Spirit.

What I had a front seat to that night on the couch with Faith was her personhood, she’d always had it but in her development as a child it was becoming more obvious.  You see I was eating the popcorn too, and the butter and salt content was perfect (if I do say so myself). I was enjoying the popcorn but Faith was too, why? She was enjoying the popcorn because it tasted good and, as a distinct person in the Cosmos, she liked it.

We are distinct persons given a place in the Triune God’s Universe. The great news of the Gospel is that we have been included in the life of Jesus with his Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and we will never lose our personhood. We will never not be us. Our inclusion and union must never be thought of like a droplet that gets included in a bucket of water. If we put a droplet of water in a bucket of the same substance it become indistinguishable from the rest of the water.

Our inclusion, our union, did not cause humans to disappear into God. No, our inclusion and union highlight us as persons so that we are more brightly shining as the Image of God than ever!

Humanity has been included in the Shared Life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Trinity and Humanity- in unity, but forever distinct persons.

Thank you Jesus that you love me and have included me and that you value me so much that you have ensured that I will always be me and someday… a more awesomely Christ-like me than I can imagine!

~Bill Winn

Can I Just Sin All I want?

 

Shortly after I was confronted with Trinitarian thought in 2006 (thanks to my good friend Timothy J. Brassell) I began to wrestle with many issues peripheral to the Gospel. One question that came up over and over was, “Well, If I am saved in Jesus and always will be, why can’t I just sin all I want? God will still love me right?”

Well yes of course, if you sin all you want God will still love you and (here’s the kicker) he will still like you too! But it doesn’t mean we should just sin all we want. In fact Paul’s answer to this question in Romans 6:1-2 is “certainly not!”

Let me explain by using one particular behavior that drives me nuts.pinocchio

It seems that in today’s heated political climate the practice of slandering and denigrating others has been taken to new lows. Every day we hear about some politician who said this about some other politician and then in turn that politician retorts with an equally derogatory statement.

Well what is “Bearing False Witness”? Simply put it is just that, telling a tale about another that is untrue. It isn’t just your basic lie or fairy tale; it is much more mean-spirited than that.

An example of telling a lie would be me telling you that I once caught a ten-pound Largemouth bass- no wait… that one is true. Let’s make it a 30-pound Largemouth bass… that would definitely be a lie.

An example of bearing false witness would be to intentionally, for some nefarious reason, make an accusation against another that is untrue. At its core, bearing false witness has the intention to do harm.

So what’s the big deal? Why not bear false witness and get ahead as a result? Why not spread rumors and make false claims against someone in the office in order to get that promotion instead of them?

Well here’s why.

The Father, Son, and Spirit have created us to share in their very life of love and community. Participating in the Triune Life of God is the specific and foremost reason you and I were created.

So when we read of some behavior that the Lord tells us to avoid, it is always because that behavior is eternally absent from the Godhead. There is never a time when Jesus bears false witness against the Father or the Spirit. The Spirit always bears truth about the Father/ Son relationship in the Life of the Trinity. Likewise there is never any betrayal, stealing, gossiping, cheating, etc…

Do you see? We are created for… and to share the very life of God!

So instead of asking “Why can’t I just sin all I want?” My question gradually became, “Why on earth do I want to sin at all?” And with this new question came a prayer: “Lord please help me remember who I am, whose I am, and teach me how to participate more fully in your divine Life of Love.”

~Bill Winn

You and Time

Have you ever thought much at all about what we call Eternal Life? Do you really want to live forever? I was once asked whether I wanted to live forever by a well-meaning street evangelist. I replied, “Depends on what the life will be like.” That is a factor to consider is it not. I think most of us would answer, “Yes,” when asked the same question assuming that our eternal existence will be a happy and pleasant one.

But have you ever considered how this is possible? In his book, Space, Time, and Resurrection, T. F. Torrance reminds us that time is in creation… creation is not in time. In other words, time is a created thing and the Father, Son, and Spirit are not limited to nor confined to time. We often hear rightly that God is outside of time. That is true but we must also keep in mind that He has also entered into our space and time in the person of Jesus Christ.Time

Therefore, that brings me to the main and final point. In the Incarnation, humanity has been brought into full and objective union with the Triune God of Grace in Jesus. Jesus became a human just like us! Therefore, if God, who is outside of space and time, truly entered into the contingent world of creaturely being as a human, then necessarily all of humanity is taken up into his unbounded freedom from limitation in space and time.

You see, you and I will live forever, not because something magical will be done to make our bodies immune to disease, resistant to aging and wear and tear.

We will live forever because we have been brought into permanent and full union with He who is outside of time. There is no time for us now. Sure, the overlap between our present selves and our glorified selves needs time to function and relate to the world around us but someday time will be but a memory.

Here’s to living forever and getting to know each of you in eternity!

~Bill

Taste And See That The Lord Is Good!

taste and see

In this Gospel Message, Pastor Richard Andrews of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ with a  message entitled “Taste And See That The Lord Is Good!” and asks the question “Are we ready to take that exhortation we find in Psalms 34 and make it something we LIVE BY, LIVE THROUGH and LIVE WITH?”

In this message we learn what trials REALLY represent and hear that:

  1. Our foolishness does NOT determine God’s actions towards us! There is no circumstance we can go through that is too big or complicated that can change who God is!
  2. No matter the circumstance, God invites us to open up our mouths and have an experience with him. God invites us to experience HIS presence.
  3. Our trials help us to taste and see God’s goodness. They make God REAL. The more we TASTE, the more we SEE, the more we TRUST!

Listen and be comforted knowing that God loves us too much not to let us experience HIM, and because of that there WILL be points of pain and trials.

Photo Compliments lizsarno.wordpress.com

Men And Women TOGETHER – Imaging God FOREVER!

 

image of god

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/15-04-26-men-and-women-together-imaging-god-forever-heb-1-gen-1-gal-3-eph-2-tah.mp3

 In this Gospel Message entitled “Men And Women TOGETHER – Imaging God FOREVER!”, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ who has taken up our humanity in Himself, sharing with us HIS life of union and communion with His Father through the Holy Spirit. He shows through the scriptures that all barriers between men and women and the dividing wall of hostility between all humanity has been destroyed, and our humanity renewed and healed, in Jesus Christ!

Hear in this message:

  • That Jesus Christ is the first image of God of man and woman together and is not just an after-thought. As women and men, we were always meant to be conformed to Jesus Christ’s image and what He made of our humanity in Himself. We understand that HE is the Reality, and Adam and Eve (and us!) are only the shadow of Him in this first phase of our humanity!
  • That because Jesus is the Image of God, it is best to think of men and women, male and female, as created in the Image of The Image of God!
  • That ONLY FEMALE AND MALE TOGETHER show GOD toward creation and how ONLY TOGETHER do we show creation back to God in the fitting response Jesus shares with us. This doesn’t always mean marriage between men and women, but it always means gender partnership and complementing each other!
  • The Good News of what IS superior about being female and male, and what is not! Learn how we ARE equal and how we are not! Understand our participation and roles as Kings and Queens of creation!
  • About The Great Grace that has been lavished on us as male and female in the person of Jesus Christ , and the Great and Loving Judgment against our broken humanity that compels us to reconsider and take part with Jesus as Life actually is!

You are encouraged to Participate with Christ, and in His shared humility, learning to admit your faults and receiving the forgiveness that leads to ACTUAL & REAL reconciliation and peace between human persons, plus LOTS MORE GOSPEL INSIGHT!

It’s All Good News In Jesus!

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/15-2-8-its-all-good-news-in-jesus-john-6-1-14-tah-guest-andrews.mp3

 In this Gospel Message entitled “It’s All Good News In Jesus”, Pastor Richard Andrews of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the Good News and shows through John 6: 1-14, that Jesus wants to share with you HIS perspective,which is ALL GOOD NEWS!

Hear in this message that:

  • When Jesus encounters you, your life will be flipped inside out because HE IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIGHT!
  • When we use our perspective, all we are used to seeing is what is right in front of us, which is all bad news!
  • When we understand WHO JESUS IS and who WE ARE IN HIM then we can understand HIS SOVEREIGNTY!
  • It is all about God’s GOODNESS. God who is Father, Son and Spirit CARE TO INCLUDE US IN THEIR LIFE!

Will you ENJOY and APPRECIATE  HIS SOVEREIGN LOVE?

photo compliments rockharborcf.com

The Trinity And Evangelism!

jesus relationship not religion

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/15-2-1-the-trinity-and-evangelism-mark-1-14-15-tah.mp3

On this 4th Sunday after the Epiphany in the Christian Calendar (The Season Of the God Revealed in Jesus Christ), Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore proclaims the Good News of Jesus sharing the Good News in Mark 1:14 – 15. It is followed up with a conversation about Evangelism from Dr. Baxter Kruger, William Paul Young (Author of The Shack), and Dr. Mike Feazell of Grace Communion International. The conversation is centered in the Light of the character of God: Father, Son and Spirit Himself and the implications of this discerned.

Specifically:

  • We discuss what evangelism is and what it is not.
  • We discuss how knowing God as Father, Son and Spirit should affect our approaches to sharing our faith.
  • We are reminded that The Father, Son and Spirit IS RELATIONSHIP and His dream and intent IS to draw humanity into His relationship so that it becomes as much ours as it is His!

Listen in and join the conversation!

photo compliments: the-trinity-group.net

Questions And Responses Regarding Baptism And Other Things!

baptism

 https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/15-1-25-questions-and-responses-regarding-baptism-and-other-things-matthew-3-13-17-tah.mp3

On this 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany in the Christian Calendar (The Season Of the God Revealed in Jesus Christ), Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore proclaims the last message of this series on Jesus and His baptism.  Rehearse how God’s baptism in Jesus is the GOOD NEWS that we can identify ourselves with Jesus boldly in our baptism, knowing God is SO GOOD that in Free Grace He has come to meet us in our rebellion, in our rejection and in our ignorance, CLEANSING AND LOVING US and bringing us into His relationship.

Hear in this interactive message the answers to these specific questions and more!:

  • Why was God was Baptized?
  • Why should we be baptized if Jesus was baptized for us?
  • In what ways is baptism performed? Why is sprinkling done in some circles? Why is immersion done in others?
  • Who is to be baptized?
  • How many times should we be baptized?
  • Does one have to be ordained to baptize others?
  • Is being “Christened” and “Being baptized” the same thing?
  • What if I was baptized in the name of someone other than Jesus or the Father, Son and Spirit? Should I be baptized again?

Listen in on this interesting conversation, and maybe hear YOUR question about baptism answered out of Who Jesus is as the Gospel!

Why In The World Was God Baptized?! Part 2

baptism

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/15-1-18-why-in-the-world-was-god-baptized-pt-2-matthew-3-13-17-tah.mp3

In this Season of Epiphany in the Christian Calendar, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore  continues with this Part 2 message in his GOOD NEWS Series entitled, “Why In The World Was God Baptized?!”  and answers with greater clarity the questions:

  • Why was God Baptized?
  • If Jesus was Baptized as my substitute, then why am I baptized too?
  • Do I receive the Holy Spirit only after being baptized?
  • Am I saved by baptism?
  • Can I be still be saved and receive the Spirit if I choose not to be Baptized?

Listen in and learn – SO THAT YOU CAN RECEIVE and SHARE GOD’S GOOD NEWS WITH OTHERS!

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