“Dallas Dope Monkey”

“The purple tinted evening of the Dallas horizon is all I have when I am dope sick. In the midst of opiate withdrawals I can never seem to reach God, but all that I need is a grain of hope. I am thru with that shit, again, for the hundreth time! As I start to reach the last limb of the withdrawal train, my God given sense of purpose slowly derives from this clarity in measured time, and when I say , “measured time,” it really means I have to acquire the virtue of patience…”     –Dallas Dope Monkey

Some of you who know me well know I have an older brother named Isaac who has led quite the “colorful” life. It’s been nothing short of “blockbuster movie” material, and I’m not even kidding. He has always been a talented writer, and we have encouraged him for years to start putting his life stories on paper…

After his most recent heroin relapse he grew more desperate for Jesus than I’ve ever known him to be. It’s nothing short of the miracle we have all been praying for him for over a decade now. He doesn’t know all the “Christian lingo”, and “appropriate” ways to act around other “believers”. He’s raw, gritty, real….and REDEEMED. After all, that is what Jesus is in the business of doing right…? I mean, I wonder if Jesus gets bored with all of us “pretenders” who walk around acting like we have it all together with the way we “talk” and “act” around each other – only to have a whirlwind of chaos going on inside of us. In our lies we refuse to LET Jesus’ work on the cross cleanse and redeem us daily.

Isaac’s whirlwind is on the outside, and it’s incredibly beautiful. He would make the average Christian uncomfortable with some of his “crass” comments and frequent cigarette breaks. However, one must not dig too deep to see the desperate hunger for God found in few of His claimed followers…

You see, as Christians we have, for far too long “measured” people’s “level of Christianity” (How “Christian” they are) by their outward works, gifts, and ability to “not screw up”. Now, is it my hope, and God’s hope that we all gradually come to a place where we’re so engulfed in who HE is and what HE did for us that we are far less prone to “screw up”? Of course. But, what would happen if we started recognizing people’s commitment to Jesus by the level of confession, repentance of sin, and desperation for God they walk in…? Woah.

When I start seeing THAT in someone I start viewing them more through the eyes of Jesus. I start to see them not for the sin they are prone to, but the Jesus that they know saves them. When Isaac tells me he desperately wants to know God, and raise his son to follow Jesus days before a fluke heroin relapse I get to see his heart – not the needle scars on his arms. When he is in tears communicating his desperation for being who God created to be I get to look past the “relapse” and speak life into him.

I do hope to see more and more fruit in my brother’s life, just as I hope to see more and more fruit in mine and my wife’s life. The fruit I want to see is the Fruit of the Spirit, which has and is becoming more evident by the hour. Oh, confession, repentance, and desperation make for a pretty good fertilizer in the “Fruit of the Spirit garden”.

I hope you’ll check out Isaac’s writings. Be careful, they will suck you in and leave you questioning how truly “fictional” these stories are. I can assure you they are far from imagination, but actual happenings from the life of Isaac Snow. I do need to throw out a “warning” as these stories are raw, gritty, and real. They creep up to the “Rated-R” line often. I encouraged Isaac to be real in his writings, and hold nothing back in order for the redemptive nature of Jesus’ work on the cross to shine through all the more. May these stories not only be redeemed as Isaac sprints after Jesus, but also as others read them and see the power of God displayed.

Beloved…

Not trying to be lame, and post other people’s stuff; Derek Webb is just so legit. I’ve listened to him for years, but the words to his songs are coming alive more and more as I listen lately. This song is called “Beloved”, and is another one of Derek’s “letters to the church”… (He is NOT writing this to a form, model, or institution. He is directing this at the people of God who make up His Church-keep that in mind as you read or listen)

“Beloved” – By Derek Webb

beloved these are dangerous times
because you are weightless like a leaf from the vine
and the wind has blown you all over town
because there is nothing holding you to the ground

so now you would rather be
a slave again than free from the law

(chorus)
beloved listen to me
don’t believe all that you see
and don’t you ever let anyone tell you
that there’s anything that you need
but ME

beloved these are perilous days
when your culture is so set in it’s ways
that you will listen to salesmen and thieves
preaching other than the truth you’ve received

because they are telling lies
for they cannot circumcise your hearts

(chorus)

beloved listen to me
don’t believe all that you see
and don’t you ever let anyone tell you
that there’s anything that you need
but ME

beloved there is nothing more
no more blessings and no more rewards
than the treasure of my body and blood
given freely to all daughters and sons

Again, Derek is speaking of unecessary things added, and ways we have been decieved. What do you think? What truths do you see here?