God is NOT Like Us and It Is OK!


Confession time. I have been saying and teaching something for years and it isn’t true. In fact, pretty much most pastors have been doing it. Is it an evangelical Christian thing? Eh...no, I don’t think so. “Buddy Jesus” seemed to come out of the progressive side of the Church.  Does it really matter where it came from? No...

Here it is: You can’t have a personal relationship with God like God was your friend.

God is not like us.

I have been thinking about this since I produced a recent video entitled “How to Know God” on YouTube and taught about Gary Thomas’s 9 Spiritual Personality types in his book, “Sacred Pathways.” We can know God, just not like we have been led to believe.

God did make you unique AND God really, really does like you and me, and loves us!

But God ain’t like us and we need to get that out there.  And I confess, I have felt so impressed upon to make God “real” to people that I have many times forgotten just how important it is to remember God is God (and in the most basic Christian theological understanding of God - it ends there, though some will want to ask about where God comes from but that is philosophy and not Chrisitan theology or Christian spirituality.  In the beginning, was God - no other being(s) (Genesis 1 and John 1)).

These words from Numbers 23 are foundational to this understanding God isn’t like us at all...

God is not a human being, that he should lie,

    or a mortal, that he should change his mind.

Has he promised, and will he not do it?

    Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19 NRSV)

God has revealed himself not so much in the Bible as God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ (so the whole New Testament unpacks this idea. Jesus is both GOD and human.) and then, shared with humankind, the very presence of the Divinity in the Holy Spirit.  Even more, God offers to be present with our spirit as we journey this life IF we want. 

For me, I don’t want a God like us. Oh, man! No wonder we all have such issues and hang-ups with God - if God was really like us, how terrible would this God be after all. I have come to understand if I really understand and comprehend God, then maybe it is me who has created this God in my image.  God has made you and me in ways we can know God but not like we think; not like us.  This is good.  What is far more important is to know God knows us and “...even the hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30)” 

Prayer is not like talking to a friend. Listening to God involves so much more of our attention than we are willing to give most days! Spending time with God doesn't mean we're sitting in the deer stand together swapping stories or taking long walks on the beach. These and so many more practices point out this relationship is DIFFERENT. It is NOT a bad thing just a different thing because GOD IS NOT LIKE US!!! So let us stop treating God just like a buddy, stop ghosting on God and take God at his word - God is not a human being...thanks be to God!

Do No Harm, Do Good, and Stay In Love with God Jedi Pastor Ken

Four Things To Do To Get Unstuck

How do you get going again when you feel stuck?  I have been reading and ruminating over the past few years.  I have listened to TED talks, articles and books.  I kept finding they all said the same things over and over again.  

Here is the truth:  We are NOT the same!

Yep, you and I and everyone else is different and when you or I get in a rut, we don't need to do what everyone else is doing.  Look at this blog and my writing.  I have been stuck for a while, and now it seems, I can write again.  What happened?  I really have NO IDEA!!!!  Still, as I look back at things, at my life these past few years, I think I can say I've learned a little bit about getting out of the rut I've been in.  Here are my four things that have helped me get unstuck.

1.  Be Patient.  No one seems to say this because, I think, folks just are so wrapped up in being busy, they think they just have to be doing SOMETHING!  I think this is just BULL!  You need to be patient.  Don't try and put an end date on it because you really don't really have control.  Remember, patience is a virtue and it will help you get unstuck.

2.  Do Old Things.  Do what brought joy in the past.  Find some of those old books you love.  Go on a walk you enjoyed or visit a place that has fond memories.  Look at old pictures.  Call up an old friend.  Do things you know, in the past, inspired and helped you find meaning.

3. Veg A Little.  Kinda like being patient again, ya know, wash - rinse - repeat?  Seriously, waste some time intentionally.  Do some things you "shouldn't" do because, well, you shouldn't.  I don't mean illegal but, ya know, eat dessert first for a change.  

4. Add Some Flavor.  Now, start doing new stuff, start trying to move forward.  Don't do a lot.  It is like my wife, Lauren, says about salt when cooking, "Add a little.  You can always add more but you can't take it out!"  Don't try to do too much, just a little and see what happens.

I am FINALLY done with my first draft on my new book on Breath Prayer.  It has taken a long time since I started and looking back, this is the pattern I followed without even knowing it.  You know what?  I am ready to start writing my next book already!  I know, crazy, right?!  And you know what, it isn't just about writing, it is about my relationship with God.  It has been personal in other ways too.  Whatever in your life that has had you stuck, you can move forward but don't just listen to the experts. Take some of the pressure off and try these four things that have helped me get unstuck.  They may just work for you too!

Let me know what you have tried to do that has helped you!  I'd love to know what has you stuck too.  Share below or send me an email!

Do No Harm. Do Good. Stay In Love With God - This is the Way!

Jedi Pastor Ken

A Tale of Two Crabs or "It Is Me O Lord, Standing in the Need of Prayer"

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

 “Why in the world do you walk sideways like that?” said a mother crab to her son one day.  She had seen him do this his whole life.  “You should always walk straight forward with your toes turned out.”  “Okay, mom, show me how to walk correctly.  I want to do it right,” replied the little crab.  So, the mother crab tried and tried, and tried again to walk straight forward.  But of course, like her son, she could only walk sideways.  When she did try and turn her toes out, she then tripped and fell.

There is no shortage, it seems, of people telling others how to live and seeking to justify a point of view.  I was reading this week about the ongoing investigation of the late Ravi Zacharias’s ministry and how it concealed and enabled his abuses.

(https://frenchpress.thedispatch.com/p/you-are-one-step-away-from-complete).  It is, of course, one more reason for people to dismiss Christianity and most certainly hastens the collapse of the evangelical moniker of the church.  It has been “par for the course” for Christianity for centuries has it not?  

What are we to make of this?

As we come to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, the words echo from the ye-olde-english: “Rend your hearts and not your garments... (Joel 2:13).”  It is time for the Church Universal to come to grips with its many failings and faults.  More importantly, it is time for you and me to do the same. 

I think it is most easy for us to do just what I did...hide in “group” and make “straw-Groups” as opposed to “strawmen.”  I do it when I write many times and have to check myself.  It is easy to cast stones at “Those people,” or “them,” or “they.”  I can right about “us” and “we” and that tends to be easier than saying what is really at the crux of the problem…

Me.  Just me.  I did.  I did it.  I do it.  I fail.  I fall.  I sin.  

The words of Jesus apply to me, first.  When I read them.  When I reflect on them.  As I prepare to preach them...

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:17-20, ESV

But how do I really handle it?  I think we have to go back to some of the other ancients of the early centuries.  As Dr. Roberta Bondi, who has written extensively on the Desert Fathers and Mothers, “they saw judgementalism as just about the greatest sin.”  Bringing the ideas of cancel culture into the church is so deadly.  There is no justification for it in the Church and both the so-called “left” and “right” should be listening.  Classical Christianity as John Wesley saw it, could not pick sides in these arguments. The idea such division was abhorrent to Jesus in his mind. 

Like the mother crab, it starts with me - I cannot tell another to do something unless I can set the example.  And, we must also listen to the words from the mouths, even from Balaam’s donkeys (those unlikely prophetic voices) that challenge us to “rend our hearts,” for you and I are sinners.

5 Things I Learned In 2020 (and still apply in 2021)


Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

Nobody has time for a big intro here.  The title kinda sums it up doesn't it?  Let's dig in then...

  1. Be Present.

This is kinda fresh on my mind because of The Upper Room Daily Devotional yesterday.  Still, when Jesus saw people and talked to people, he was right there - present with them.  I get distracted.  I start thinking about what I need to do next, heck, I even forget whether I told someone something and think that I did!  Maybe I am just getting old but I have learned how important it is to be present with the person in front of me. 

  1. Actively Listen.
    This goes with the first one but it goes a bit deeper.  Do you actually process what you are hearing???  I think about cooking.  All those ingredients are fine on their own but when you put them together, something totally different comes out and if not done correctly, we get something else altogether.  When you listen to someone else in an active way, you don’t add stuff that doesn’t belong but just what you get.  Then, you confirm, in your own words, what the person said they can confirm you got it or if you missed it.

    Throughout 2020, there has been a WHOLE lot of talking and not enough listening.  Ok, it isn’t just 2020, I’ve observed this happening for a long while. 

  2. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

My mom taught me this one long ago and it seems pretty clear, some of us have missed the lesson or forgot it.  In 2020 it seemed like no one could come up with anything nice to say about anyone.  So far, 2021 isn’t fairing much better from what people keep saying on TikTok.  This doesn’t go for just political posts but religious ones and most certainly Covid.  There is another saying that is much like this one...two wrongs do not make a right.

  1. Corporations are not people and neither are political parties.

Yes, this is a political statement.  In my opinion, if one is true, so is the other.  Joe Biden won 81,283,098 votes and Donald Trump got 74,222,958 votes.  Those are a lot of people who  voted for the winner and the loser of this election.  These votes are people and if you paid attention to first two things, you might recognize the many voices and the many reasons people voted as they did.  There is no doubt things will be different in the United States when it comes to voting in the years ahead but how “we the people” get along is up to us.

  1. Remember Three Simple Rules

They go like this

One: Do No Harm,

Two: Do Good,
Three: Stay in Love with God.

When John Wesley introduced those three simple rules, they weren’t intended to be the end all for the journey of faith but a minimum reminder; the starting place where a follower of Jesus can find their footing.  (David Watson has a great blog on the topic here: https://davidfwatson.me/2016/12/05/wesleys-caution-about-the-three-simple-rules/).  These outward signs should be experienced in an inward transformation.  That “Stay in Love with God” is a good reminder of what should be happening in us.  Really, that meme isn’t wrong, because if your religion is teaching you to hate, you are doing it wrong.  And it ain’t Christianity if you are being taught to hate.  That doesn’t mean Christianity is all about rainbows and unicorns and Kum-ba-yah, Jesus actually does challenge us and convict us regarding hate and all kinds of other nasty stuff in our souls.  Dealing with it isn’t easy.


If there is one thing 2020 taught me and 2021 is encouraging me to continue it is that God doesn’t turn away from us because we are a mess.  God’s grace is more than enough!

  © Blogger template Webnolia by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP