Thursday, December 22, 2011

Politically Correct Santa

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!?
The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows:
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose
And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.
Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...

"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

Author unknown. But, thanks for sharing Jennifer!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Who in the Heck is Mikey Geeze?

I work for the Federal Government in an agency that I would have to kill you if I told you. It isn't really that secretive. But, it sounds dramatic, right? They are opening up some of our computer networks to allow social networking at work. The reason is to provide better customer support since nearly EVERYONE communicates through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube these days. So, since they are opening up this wide and wonderful world to us (like I don't know how to social network-ha), we had to take "Social Networking" training. Actually, it was very enlightening and made me think. Here are some of the recommendations and highlights:

  • Don't use a full face picture on your profile. Someone could steal it and make a fake security ID.
  • Make everything on your page as private, or restricted to only friends, as much as possible.
  • Don't put where you went to school, where you live, or where you have worked. It gives people ammunition to impersonate you.
  • Don't utilize the "I am Related to You" applications. You may have your profile locked down. But, on cousin Susie's page there you are in all of your glory. Again, ammunition to impersonate you.
  • Don't utilize GPS tracking or "check in" to places. People will learn your patterns, could kidnap you or rob you as you are out. 
  • Don't let people know where you are going.
  • Don't post pictures when you are away from home, like on vacation. Again, they could break into your home.

These are just the highlights. It was a very thorough training. It was enough to make me think about my online habits and make some adjustments. So, I decided to change my Facebook profile name to an alias. At first, it really confused people. Michael Gibson became Mikey Geeze. His face was no longer in the profile picture. I can understand the confusion! I have gotten a lot of flack about the change. But, it is what it is. I have to change my online habits to protect myself, my family and my employer. Alas, what a small and insignificant sacrifice when you consider the people who really sacrifice for our country, the American soldier.

So, my friends. That is what prompted the invention of Mikey Geeze. Take what I have written and consider your online habits. I still need to clean up some of mine.

Have a great day!

Mikey Geeze

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Words of Compassion and Wisdom from Pauley

I am quickly becoming a Twitter-holic. I mainly follow close friends, health and fitness trends, a variety of news sources and a few celebrities. I am a fan of NCIS and Pauley Perrette plays one of my favorite characters, Abby Sciuto. So, I recently started following her on Twitter. I have grown to love and respect her "real" persona. This morning she posted the following feed. I want to share and direct quote it with you. I hope it makes you think and take action to do something to serve your fellow man. It brought both my wife and I to tears. 

Please read, meditate on it, and do something positive for those in your community.



Pauley Perrette (@)
Posted Sunday 27th November 2011 from Twitlonger 
PLEASE READ THIS From Me: I work with the homeless Always have They are a part of our communities & they are people that matter. I know their names Many struggle with addiction Many are veterans Many have faced medical problems or hardships you may not understand & they have stories. Brandon Lambert comes to my church homeless lunch I volunteer at & became one of my very best friends. I hang out with this loud mouthed funny scoundrel with a Irish brogue all the time. I've spent Thanksgiving & Christmas with him for years now in the parking lot where he lives & I love him & he makes me laugh. I introduced him to my family & he had to meet any guy I was seeing. Brandon is 39 years old. His problems started years ago when his son was killed & he started hitting the bottle & the pipe. He had gotten clean, not sober, but clean & was trying. He was always filthy & I always gave him handi-wipes, huge hugs, batteries for his radio etc. & always told him I loved him . He LOVED music & I'd play him my new tracks before anyone else heard them. Brandon was hit by a car & killed on Nov. 1st. I've spent weeks looking for him & finally got the news.#RIPBrandonLambert You were SO loved. You mattered so much to me & I will miss you everyday. You were just AWESOME to me & my beloved friend. Please consider actually talking to a homeless person in your town. You might make a friend for life. His life was cut too short. Love you brother. #RIP 

Monday, November 21, 2011


Four days ago I had oral surgery: three lower molars were extracted. I am a grinder. I am systematically and relentlessly destroying my own teeth. But, this blog isn’t about my oral woes. It is about some things I have observed since I have been “under the weather,” so-to-speak.  I am a pretty social person. And, I tend to speak, or type, what is on my mind. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes this is not so good. Never-the-less, it is how I tend to roll.

Over the past few years, I have been examining my faith and belief structure. I do not want to bore my regular readers with re-visiting earlier posts. Those of you who are interested can backtrack and catch up. But, during my recent recovery, some behavioral issues have stood out to me from some religious folks whom I have known, loved and respected for most of my life. I thought I would share some of these stories with you as I process through how they have made me feel. Perhaps they will also help you in some small way.

First, I posted an online article, Swearing to Make Your Point, I had read regarding whether profanity should be used, or not, in professional slide decks and presentations. I am not one to go around “cursing people out” when I am angry. However, I do believe there are times and places where it is acceptable to be a little freer with speech than others. For instance, I am not going to go into the gym and say, “Come on guys, let’s go work our hineys off.”  I’m going to say, “Let’s kick ass!” I don’t really care if you think “ass” is profanity, or not. Truth of the matter is ass=butt=glutes=hiney=hind end. Deal with it. However, someone condemned my tolerance and occasional situational use of profanity by spiritually condemning me while also telling me how disappointed my parents would be in my behavior. Really? I am 52-years-old and you are going to try to shame me by bringing my deceased parents into the picture? It was a bit ridiculous, unbelievable and hurtful all at the same time. Fortunately, I had a great relationship with my parents. And, they loved me unconditionally. The love and acceptance I received from my parents was not based upon my behavior. Just like the love and acceptance I receive from my Lord is not based upon my behavior. In all actuality, my parents would not be upset with me. They would be upset with the insensitive comment from the other person questioning their love and acceptance of their baby boy. I tend to think that the Lord might feel the same way.

Next, I have been watching a lot of shows on Netflix as I recover. An old favorite of mine was “Dark Shadows.” So, I posted the other night I was watching this old classic. The question arises, “Seriously? Vampires?” Yes, it is called entertainment and fiction. I tend to go through this every so often. Many Christians believe that shows such as Twilight and Harry Potter should not be watched by Believers. They genuinely believe there is a spiritual overtone damaging to one’s walk with God. My response is…it is FICTION! To think such a thing, people with this mindset must really still think Satan is red, has horns and carries a pitchfork like the Halloween character. That is how you would liken the appearance to a fictional movie, right? I tend to find Satan’s cronies look more like “normal” church-goers than vampires. Seriously, isn’t that how he rolls?

I have been trying to get back to the basics: love God, love man and share God’s love with all we meet. That is the entire foundation of the Gospel. Everything else is out of my control and is between individual mankind and their God. This past week, instead of having to argue or defend something as trivial as language and entertainment, a simple, “How are you feeling post surgery?” Or, “I’m praying for your recovery,” would have been so much more Christ-like and welcomed. I want to be the, “I’m praying for you,” guy. Not the, judging and condemning man that I, unfortunately, once was. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Search for a Church

My wife and I moved to a new community a year ago. In our old city, we attended a very popular mega church, Ginghamsburg UMC. We loved it for a variety of reasons. Probably one of the biggest reasons was we could duck in, worship, leave and not have to worry about the regular church drama.

I set some criteria I expected in finding a place to worship in our new community:

1) I wanted to attend church close to home. I did not want to drive across town to attend the trendy church. I wanted to drive 10-minutes and build relationships with Believers in my community.
2) The style of worship didn't really matter to me. As long as it was somewhat quality. I am a musician and I just can't sit through "bad" music: high church or contemporary.
3) I no longer wish to be yelled at. I want to be taught. I want to interact. I want my opinion to be respected. I will no longer sit under anyone who tries to change people. That is God's job, not man's. And, who is any person to think they are better than the next person and have the right to try to change them? That is pride personified  in the shroud of religion.
4) I have no desire to attend a "spirit-filled" church. That maybe a shocker to those who know me. But, I am over the drama that environment brings. My experience as a Spirit-filled believer is a real experience. However, it is not a requirement to have a relationship with Christ. I try to respect my Spirit-filled brothers and sisters in Christ. But, attending that circle of churches has no appeal for me.
5) I wish to be in a fellowship of people that are real, genuine and and non-judgmental.

I'm not sure, but I think we may have found the church. So, many of you keep my family in your thoughts and prayers. I thank you for that. And, please keep them up!

Many blessings,


Monday, August 29, 2011

Words of Wisdom from the Past

General Robert E. Lee
I am currently reading the book, "Leading Up," by Michael Useem. In it, the author discusses four guiding principles General Lee held that are as applicable to our careers as they were to him in he war between the states. They are:

  1. Keep your superiors well informed of what you have done, what you are doing, and what you plan to do.
  2. Regardless of how you feel about your superiors, display a respect for their positions.
  3. Avoid petty quarrels with your superiors in which you may be right but from which your reputation will suffer.
  4. Estimate your competitive advantage as precisely as possible, not only to avoid the twin dangers of overconfidence and overcautiousness, but also to sustain your superiors' confidence in your capacity for precise analysis.
Great words to live by, regardless of your career and lot in life.

Be blessed,


Monday, July 18, 2011

Engaging Brains

I want to pose a question for honest discussion. According to the below definition of Socialism from and the Gospel as recorded in Acts 4, was Socialism being practiced by the apostles in Acts 4? In your opinion is the answer yes or no? Why or why not?

Socialism: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

Acts 4:32-35
King James Version (KJV)
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It Ain’t My Grandpa’s World!

Last night, the New York Legislature legalized gay marriage. This is probably one of the “hottest potatoes” in today’s Society. People’s opinions are on extreme sides of the issue. There really isn’t much of a middle ground to have footing to stand on. The debate reminds me of many religious and social issues of the past: the roundness of the earth, bullying of Native Americans, women’s rights, racial discrimination, etc. During each of these intense debates, people utilized Scripture to justify fighting the new concepts. As time went by, Scripture did not change. However, understanding of the Scripture did. Many conservative Christians vehemently oppose homosexuality. They present it is both a choice and a sin. I believe more understanding is on the horizon on this topic, as well.

Over the past ten years, I have had the privilege of meeting many gay/lesbian people. I also worked with a transgendered person. At first, I heard all of the traditional well-churched warnings going through my psyche: “They are not born this way; they recruit and will try to convert you to their perverted lifestyle.” “They are sick perverts.” You probably know the drill. I was, undoubtedly, a bigot. However, over time I discovered that some people struggle with their sexuality for years. Same sex attraction was evident and strong long before puberty. People do not wake up one morning and say, “I think I want to be gay. Now, let me go recruit straight people to have sex with.” It is sometimes a long and painful process that people have to go through to come to peace with who they are. I no longer believe sexual orientation is a choice. However, I do believe that how we all behave sexually is a choice.

Now, let’s examine Scripture. Scholars make Scriptural arguments against homosexuality. Scholars also make Scriptural arguments that, as you delve deeper, Scripture does not condemn homosexuality but other issues being dealt with within the text. In the same manner, you can argue Scripturally that women should be silent in church, that women should speak in church, women should not wear slacks, women are free to wear what they want, you should speak in tongues, you should not speak in tongues, you should baptize in water, water baptism is not necessary, you should baptize in “the titles,” you should baptize in “Jesus’ Name,” you can practice polygamy, you should be monogamous, once saved you are always saved, you can lose your salvation, etc. More than ever, I believe there is no grace in law and no law in grace. I do not understand everything. I do know one thing, I love people: red, yellow, black, white, straight, gay, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, etc. That is what I was commanded to do. Oh, so were you.

The truth is we have same sex couples in our society. These couples have children. These families function as families just like straight families function. As a result, I believe they deserve familial rights. Unfortunately, there is still some bigot living inside of me. I do not like the term “gay marriage” for I believe the context of the term “marriage” is a union between a man and a woman. However, I believe that gay and straight families should have equal rights. As a minister, I do not believe that ministers should be forced to marry anyone they do not want to: straight or gay. The New York legislation protects those ministerial rights. Kudos, New York!

So, to my gay and lesbian friends, congratulations on your victory! To all my friends and readers, pray for and love all mankind.

For more information from Yahoo! News: NY Becomes 6th State to Legalize Gay Marriage

Monday, May 2, 2011

People's Hearts Show Today

Last night it was reported that Osama bin Laden had been killed. As an American, I am happy that he is no longer on this earth to cause more devastation to my people and my homeland. It is only natural that there is a myriad of emotions as people process this event. I have not been glued to Facebook, today. However, I have seen a few things posted reflecting attitudes about his death that caught my attention. I suppose this is my forum to share my thoughts:

Attitude 1: "Obama was a soul who died without the Lord Jesus. We shouldn't be rejoicing about someone being lost for eternity." 

Response 1: I have no responsibility over bin Ladin's fate. I never met him. I have clean hands when it comes to his eternity. Frankly, I don't give a clam where he may, or may not be, today. I am just happy he is no longer sucking air.

Attitude 2: "bin Laden is another face in hell."

Response 2: I seem to remember a little quote in the Bible that says not to judge. I don't remember a Scriptural caveat that we are allowed to judge anyone to hell: saint, sinner, Christian, Muslim, hero or terrorist. Is he in Hell? Not my job to decide. It isn't yours, either.

Attitude 3: "The credit of his demise goes to George W. Bush."

Response 3: George W. started the United States' war on terror. However, President Obama is the Commander in Chief who is now in the seat of authority over the military. President Obama is ultimately responsible for the final clearance to take him out. Another nugget: give credit where credit is due.

I suppose that is all I have to say on the matter. Truth is truth. Be balanced, be Christlike and be fair.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hope and Faith

Hope: to feel that something desired may happen.

Faith: confidence or trust in a person or thing.

Hope and faith are such interesting concepts. The whole of Christianity seem to rest upon their shoulders. I believe that sometimes we get the definition of these two words confused. For instance, if one has a disease and has the confidence that God CAN heal them, they are exercising faith. The feeling that the healing will occur is hope. To simply say, "I don't have the disease for I am healed," is a lie to both yourself and others. To say, "I am sick but I have the faith that God can heal me and the hope that He will," is truth.

My entire life I have been taught that the Bible, all 66 canonized Old and New Testament books, is..."verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct" (Assemblies of God). And, to validate that point, Scripture contained within the Bible is used as proof. That is a very interesting fact when you take the time to think about it. You pick up the book, read it, the book says itself is the authority and, by faith, you build your hope around it with no supporting collaboration. That is called circular thinking. If it is verbally inspired by God, infallible and authoritative, it will stand up to external scrutiny.

When I was a child, my Mom's relatives were mainly Pentecostal Democrats while my Dad's family were primarily Baptist Republicans. I remember VERY heated debates at both of my grandparent's home over religion and politics. It made me a nervous wreck as a child. I learned early on that most Pentecostals tend to look at the rest of the religious world as though they are living in an existence without total revelation of the Scriptures; there is more to God than what they have had "revealed" to them. Conversely, many of those who are not "Pentecostal" look at the Pentecostals as though they are loony tunes and are trying to recreate something from the past that is not meant for the present. There are many classic debates between religious entities which include eternal security, backsliding, speaking in tongues, word formulation used at baptism, mode of dress, women in the pulpit, and the list goes on.

How can such a vehement division exist in the Body of Christ amongst Believers? These are questions I have been trying to reconcile in my brain over the past couple of years. One of the things I have attempted to do is separate myself from "what I have been taught" and research the Bible, from not only inside itself, but also from outside itself. I have had a very rude awakening. I was always taught that the Bible was perfect and there were no inconsistencies. How can this be when we have so many doctrines? One can be 100% scripturally correct to say that women should be silent in church yet speak in church. One can be 100% scripturally correct to say that speaking in tongues is permitted in public worship yet it should not be done. One can be 100% scripturally correct to say that salvation is free and eternal yet say one can lose it. One can deduct that Judas hung himself to death or that he died by his guts being spilled to the ground. One can follow the separate genealogies of the Gospels leading up to Jesus' birth in the New Testament and see that they clearly do not match. One has to reconcile the fact that it is nearly impossible that the Disciples who walked with Christ actually penned the Gospels; they were penned generations after the events occurred. These are facts I was not taught in church. Yet, it helps me understand why there is such diversity within the global church. It does contain differences.

Does the recognition that the Word is not as cohesive as I once thought make me an unbeliever? Absolutely not! I know my Lord. I know His Spirit. I walk with Him. I talk with Him. He is very, very real and moving in my life! What does this latest revelation do for me? It increases awareness that I must err on the side of grace, not law.  It reinforces that God truly is Spirit and we who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in TRUTH (the whole truth and nothing but the truth). I can no longer condemn others for what I do not understand. That is God's job. I can no longer pass judgment on which doctrines are right or wrong when the Bible clearly teaches both sides of certain fences. What I can do is live my life for Him in peace and through humility of service. I can be a man of integrity, love and acceptance. If God so loved the world, I believe then so should I. It is His job to sift the chaff from the wheat. He is the judge, not me.

I want to extend my apologies to those whom may have been offended as I have very openly processed through my hurt, disappointment and disenchantment. I have certainly pushed the envelope through my quest for truth. Regardless of where you stand on the Spiritual spectrum, it is my desire to extend my love and grace. I thank you for taking the time to read what I write. And, I pray that God richly bless your life through His abundant greatness!


Sunday, April 24, 2011


Let me wish everyone a very blessed and happy Easter! Jesus is certainly my King. So, this is a very special day for me. It is also a day for family. This is where I get a little bluesy. Over the past several years I have lost my mother, father, only sibling, mother-in-law and step-father-in-law. I am the only person left from my natural family. When my wife and I married, we had a goal of having four children. However, through seven pregnancies we only had one live birth, our only child. He is a wonderful son and within the past year we added a daughter-in-law, whom we adore, to the family. They live in a different city and have work schedules that sometimes prevent us from spending holidays together. 

So, holidays are now bitter-sweet. I remember the old days where we had seven sets of living parents, grandparents and great-grandparents to try to visit on special days and holidays. It used to get rather frustrating. Everyone seemed to want us at their house at the same time. I used to grumble and get frustrated at the whole mess because it seemed like nobody was ever happy with the time we were able to spend with them. I now look back on those days with fond memories: all of those people, family who loved us, who wanted to be with us. What a blessing it was!

So, love your family. Even though they frustrate you, let it roll off of your back. Enjoy being in demand. Unfortunately, it does not last forever. Treasure every day because it is truly a gift!


Friday, April 22, 2011


This past week I spent three days in a required work intern conference. The conference theme was "Leadership." I will be graduating on May 14, with my Masters in Leadership. So, I spent most of the three days internally rolling my eyes while thinking, "How many times do I have to hear this 'stuff' repeated?" I am old enough to realize you cannot stay in that mindset or you will miss out on the occasional "nugget" that will be tossed for the open mind.

The most enjoyable segments of the conference were the key note speakers. Every morning, an SES greeted the crowd. For those of you who are not familiar with civil service, an SES is the civilian equivalent of a general or admiral. Yesterday, Mr. Jonathan Witter, SES, DFAS-Columbus Site Director, spoke. He discussed the fact that early in a career, one has great control over their environment. You are basically only responsible for yourself. As your career grows, you become responsible for things outside of your direct control. For instance, you may become a supervisor. You have limited control over your staff's performance. However, you have influence.

The example he used was reporting. Our site is responsible for producing high-level reports that float all the way up to the Pentagon. Many other sites and military service branches provide the data that is required for our site to produce the reports. Our site has very little control over other sites and even less over the military service branches. However, we have total control and responsibility for producing accurate and timely reports. Some branches were habitually late sending in their data which was creating lateness in reporting. This was totally outside of our site's control. However, as a leader, Mr. Witter had to influence the branches to get their data in both accurately and on time. So, he commissioned the development of a balanced score card. It showed the accuracy and timeliness of data submission. Amazingly, things became more accurate and timely once the indicator report was available and they saw their name in "red." A good example of having little control over others however, utilizing great leadership influence to get the job done.

As a result of that 30-45 minute session, I am determined to no longer let things outside of my "control" hinder me. I must be creative and "influence" the circumstances to accomplish my mission: personally or professionally. How about you?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Christian La-La Land

I have had a really bad week at work. I have experienced more than my fair share of miscommunication, blame, deflection, raised voices, misunderstandings ... and the list goes on. Friday morning I really would have rather taken a beating than to have gone to work. If you follow me on facebook, you know I am fairly transparent with my feelings. So, I posted, "Would gladly take a beating if it meant I didn't have to go to work today. And before you think I am not grateful for my job, please do not even go there." I put the "grateful" disclaimer because, inevitably, whenever I say anything rather than a positive statement I receive comments like, "At least you have a job," or, "Be careful about the words you speak into existence," or, "You are so blessed you should not complain," etc. Now, do not get me wrong. I am grateful for friends who are encouraging and are looking out for my own good. However, where do you draw the line of what is reality and what is not? 

I know the Evangelical Church, Pentecostalism and Christian ease. I have followed it, led it, served as pastor in it, loved it, hated it, tolerated it, run from it, run to it, lived it and breathed it. Since leaving vocational ministry nearly two years ago, I have backed away from it. I have thought about it, examined it, studied it, prayed about it and conversely ignored it. In taking a step "out of it," I see a lot of things clearly that I never saw while navigating "through it." I have come to grips that there is a sense of denial for most Evangelical Christians.  We tend to pick Scripture we like and ignore those we do not. We hide anything bad that is going on in our lives and only share the good. We sometimes judge and condemn those who are going through terrible situations with a self-righteous air that says, "If you were 'well-behaved,' or 'holy' enough, you wouldn't be going through this," whether directly, or indirectly. We lead people to think that, "If you would just go to church, nothing bad would happen to you." Bull Hockey!

The truth of the matter is the same things in life happen to everyone: Christian, other religion, Atheist, Agnostic, etc. The Christian faith, if not careful, sets people up for failure. We look for perfection in the Bible. And, we look for deliverance from our troubles from Heaven. We examine characters such as David and say, "I wish I had the passion for God that David had." Really, do you know the makeup of this great king? He appears to be a peeping Tom, possibly addicted to the porn of his day in spying on the nude Bathsheba; he was an adulterer; he was a murderer; and, many theologians conclude from scripture that he and Jonathon were possibly more than close friends. I have made the statement before that I would love to have the passion for God that David had. But, that may be a little too much passion for me. For, to have that level of passion for God obviously means that you have a lot of passionate internal battles to contend with.

We proclaim holiness. Let's be honest, the Bible is very specific in saying, even if loosely translated, "Without holiness nobody will see God." Although we need to strive to be Christlike, it is impossible to be perfect. David was not and Paul was not. Both of these Bible greats faced many earthly struggles which are recorded publicly in Christian history. The longer I live, the more I learn to live in Christ's love, mercy and grace. For, I truly believe the only true holiness I will ever achieve is through His blood, not through my behavior.

So, live for Him. But, also remember that bad days happen. It is alright to be honest about them. Bad things happen to good people. It's alright to be honest about it. Those who cast a condemning word at you for "being human" are struggling with things that are just as deep, if not deeper, in their own lives. They are just probably too afraid to show their lack of perfection to let you know about it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

God's Word Says It, I Believe It, That Settles It...Really?

The Great Smokey Mountains
I remember, it must have been 25 years ago, going to Cherokee Village in the Smokey Mountains with my wife and young son. We attended the drama "Unto These Hills," I believe it was called. They were talking about the God that the Cherokee nation worshiped. They did not call him "Jesus," nor the "Holy Father," and not even the "Holy Spirit." But, Donna and I left discussing the fact that their God sounded just like our God. Our minds went to the thought, almost simultaneously, if it just might be possible that God would reveal himself to different cultures in different ways. For instance, the ancient Cherokees probably never had the chance to hear of Jesus. Are we so narrow-minded, self-consumed and think that only the white, Judeo-Christian Western society who could read the King James Bible would warrant a relationship with the true God? I really have grown to doubt it through the years.

Now, I know Jesus. He is MY King. He is MY Lord. However, I cannot judge other people's, especially ancient people's, relationship with God. This brings me to the fact that I have recently been doing a lot of theological study. Not in the traditional sense. But, in the broader sense. I have made the comment which is the title of this blog in the past. I have friends whom I still hear say, or see post, "God's Word says it, I believe it, that settles it!" I have come to cringe when I hear, or read, that statement. I am convinced, more now than ever, that Christians pick and choose what they want to believe out of the Word. So, which part do you believe? Which part is settled? For, there are scriptural incidents that are not easily, if even, reconcilable. Here are a few examples:

  • Didn't Jesus provide wine to the wedding at Galilee? Doesn't the Word also lead us to believe that the patrons of the wedding reception were already drunk by the time he provided the miraculous better tasting wine? And, didn't the Apostle instruct us not to get drunk? Hum, perhaps it's OK to provide the booze as long as you don't consume it. Really?
  • It is theologically sound to baptize people in water using the words, "Father, Son and Holy Spirit." It is also theologically sound to baptize people in water using the words, "The Name of the Lord Jesus Christ." I hate to break it to my Trinitarian friends. However, every person mentioned between the lids of the Bible was baptized in "Jesus' Name." Also, historical records outside of the Bible support the fact that the early church only baptized in "Jesus' Name." So, unless you are baptizing in Jesus' Name, the "God's Word says it..." statement ain't flyin'!
  • Does the Bible forbid women to speak or lead in church? Yes. Does it promote women as leaders in church? Yes.
I could go on and on with these illustrations. These are just a few. Here is the point I am trying to make. It is because of these inconsistencies within the Bible that we have differing doctrines and beliefs within the Body of Christ. Who is to say who is wrong and who is right? 
  • Scripturally, is it OK to get drunk? I suppose you could argue so. Scripturally, is it forbidden to drink alcohol? I suppose you could argue so. 
  • Scripturally, is it OK to baptize in the titles of Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Yes. Is it OK to baptize in the "Name of Jesus?" Yes.
  • Scripturally, is it OK to keep a woman silent in church? Yes. Scripturally, is it OK to let a woman speak and lead in church? Yes.
I personally have decided to err on the side of grace, not law, in dealing with people, issues and the Word. With the menu of options we have to chose from in the Word, I find it somewhat hypocritical to hear, "God's Word said it, I believe it, that settles it." If so, you will have a lot of double-mindedness and bi-polar behavior to work through in your walk with God. So, let's stop judging others, stop fighting over which doctrine is "right" and which doctrine is "wrong," and do what our Savior, my Jesus Christ, told us to do, "Love God and love man." 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just a Break

2008-Undergrad Graduation
Dear Readers,

I should have posted this earlier. However, better late than never!

I just wanted to let you know that I am taking a short break from the blogging and social networking world to concentrate on completing my masters' thesis. It should be complete by the end of April. Then, look mind might explode in deep thought expression!

Take care and be blessed!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Falling Stars

Charlie Sheen
I only have just a minute to crank this thought out. So, here goes. Right, or mostly wrong, Hollywood stars yield more social power in our society than politicians or practically anyone else. This is nothing new. In the 1920's, Aimee Semple McPherson drew more of a crowd in Los Angeles than the President of the United States. With stardom comes bitter-sweet exposure. The news is full of reports about Charlie Sheen. I know we are all sick of hearing about it. And, the negative press is obviuosly warranted.

The other day my most wise wife made a good observation. The way the man is behaving indicates that he is a very sick man. Sick people need accountability through compassion. It occurred to me this morning that perhaps we Western Civilized Judeo Christian society should take a different stance than we usually do. When we hear about the rise and fall of Hollywood stars why don't we pray for them? Pray that God get a hold of their hearts, give them healing, wholeness and draw them to Him. What a concept...let's pray for Hollywood and their stars instead of gossiping and backbiting. Wow, isn't that different from our normal "churched" behavior?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The School that Stopped God

Antioch College Campus

It was a weekday luncheon. I entered Beavercreek Golf Course's Clubhouse for a Greater Dayton Sectional pastor’s meeting of the Assemblies of God. News had just broken that Antioch College was under tremendous financial pressure and would be closing its doors. A pastor made a comment to the effect of, “Now that ‘that’ place is closing, perhaps our Yellow Springs church will have a revival and God will be able to move.” At that time, I was a student of Antioch University McGregor (AUM), another college in the university’s system. Even though that pastor did not realize that I was a current student of AUM, quite honestly, I could not believe what I had heard. And, my mode of action was silence. If you do any research on Antioch College, you will find it was probably the most liberal college in the country. However, it had declined to the point of less than 200 students. Hence, that presented the need for it to have to shut its doors.

AUM Campus
 If you are a regular reader, you read last post about Joe from my pastorate. My experience with pastoring Joe was the beginning of my spiritual / emotional transformation. Antioch was a continuance of the process. My very first class was called Self and Society. I will never forget the first 30-minutes of that class experience. You know the drill. The professor introduces his/herself. Then, the students take turns singing their own praises. Well, I could not believe the diversity of people, backgrounds and beliefs represented in that classroom. And, the white, conservative, Christian (pastor, none-the-less) male was definitely in the minority. I remember thinking, “Mike, what have you gotten yourself into?” As the introductions continued across the room, one white lady shared her story. It went like this, “I am a lesbian pagan and my partner is a black lady.” I nearly pooped my pants. Her statement of being grated against EVERYTHING that had been poured into my psyche since birth.

Time passed. I learned to be more tolerant and loving of people. And, people learned to be more tolerant and loving of me. I remember one class in particular. Someone was ranting and raving about the stupidity of “conservative Christians.” I spoke up and proclaimed, “Why is it at this school anything goes and is OK except conservative Christianity? You are all hypocrites if you say you except anyone as they are but you do not accept conservative Christians.” I immediately got an apology. And, my days at AUM were the most wonderful and enlightening days of my life. It was amazing to see how people would migrate to me to share situations they were going through, get my insight and ask for my prayer; including gays, lesbians, pagans, atheists and agnostics. I would have rather been in that position than in any pulpit in America!

Didn’t Jesus say to GO into the world and teach His Gospel? He didn’t say, “Go build your churches and keep people out unless they are just like you.” I really, really think that if Jesus were in Yellow Springs, OH in the flesh, He would not have been at the local Assembly of God. He would have been at the campus of Antioch. He would not have been appalled at the lifestyle of people. He would have reached out in love and compassion. He would say, “Those without sin cast the first stone,” and, “Go and sin no more.”

Is God so impotent that He lacks the power to move in the midst of what Christians term different, or, what they consider sin? I am here to tell you that the God I serve is neither powerless nor impotent. He moves in the hearts of people who willingly trust, accept and believe in him.

Oh, remember the white lesbian pagan who was partnered with the black woman? She is one of the dearest people I have ever met. We are still friends. I adore her. To be quite frank, I would rather spend time with her than many pastors or “Christians” I have met in my walk of life. No, my God is bigger than any pastor, denomination, fellowship, church, or school. Just get over yourself and your religion and He will show that to you, too.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Beginning of the End; Or, Was it the Beginning?

His name was Joe. He came to church thirty minutes early and left five minutes before it started. Then, he would stay through the first five minutes of the service and leave. Next, he would stay through all of the singing. Then, he would stay long enough to listen to part of the message. Finally, he stayed for the entire service. I was not sure, but I suspected Joe was gay. Sure enough, he was. I had only been exposed to one other gay man in my life. Well, at least one other who had “come out of the closet.” I am sure my path crossed many others who had not been so bold. Statistically speaking, so have you.

The only other gay person I had known in any real capacity was a young man in the mid-1980’s at the church I was serving in Knoxville. He announced he was gay. In hindsight, I realize how brave of a move that was for him. He was immediately ostracized. Everyone was afraid of him, including me. I would not shake his hand. I would not stand next to him at the urinals in the bathroom. And, I would not drink after him in the water fountain. We were all afraid of AIDS. As could be expected, this young man left his church, his family and his home town. I never saw him again. I left Knoxville in 1989. I understand after a decade or so of hard living he came back home with AIDS; basically, to die. I understand he was welcomed with open and loving arms. And, he passed away.

Why am I writing about this topic? It was through Joe that my eyes were opened to God’s unconditional love. You see, when Joe started attending our church, people became angry. People within the church who I had personally won to Christ, tithing members of my church, came to me and said, “Either he goes; or, I go.” To which I replied, “I am sorry. But, he is not going anywhere.” And, they left. They were not going to attend a church where gays were welcome to worship. As a pastor of a Pentecostal church, no less, how did I handle this sensitive topic? When I taught what the Bible says about sexual sin, I taught that any sex outside of marriage was sin according to God’s word. This included ALL sexual sins: premarital sex, extramarital sex and homosexuality. I did not point my finger at any one person or circumstance. Through a series of months, Joe accepted Christ and was baptized in water. He had asked my wife, Donna, who was also a credentialed minister to baptize him. And, she did.

Joe's Baptism
So, unlike most pastors, or most Christians for that matter, my wife and I lovingly embraced a gay man. Our stand was that it is our job to love God, love people, teach the Word and let God do the rest. And, that is what we did throughout the entire time we pastored. I quickly discovered that I was a fish swimming up-stream. That was not the norm and it was not what most “churched” people wanted. Heck, it wasn’t what most of society wanted. Never-the-less, I was bound and determined to abide by my interpretation of God’s Word and my own convictions; even if it meant I was to starve. And, I nearly did.

I am going to share more about this journey of the heart in future posts. But, I felt it was necessary for you to get a grasp of who I am, first. I am a man who loves God, my wife, my family and I love people. After I left my last pastorate in June 2008, I decided to systematically strip away the traditions and influences that I had been exposed to my entire life. I have been on a quest to discover truth: the real truth with as little preconceived notions as possible. It has been anything but easy. But, I am making progress. I have lost friends. Those who I thought were good friends in the process. But, so be it.

The pendulum swings to both sides of the extreme during seasons of transition in life. It is important to treat people with love and respect as they find their way. My pendulum is starting to come back into balance. And, that balance is somewhat different to what it was at the beginning of my post-pastoring journey. I have shared with you many stories of the pastoring season of my life in the series “The Truth.” Now, it is time to begin sharing the next chapter.

Until next time, be blessed!


Friday, March 4, 2011

A Legend

Tuesday, March 2, Gospel legend Dottie Rambo would have turned 77 years old. In honor of both her work and her birthday, I thought I would share a live interview featuring Dottie, her daughter, Reba, and her manager, Larry Ferguson. I encourage you to carve out the time to watch all of these segments. If you don't know of Dottie, you will learn why her music literally changed the face of not only Gospel music, but music of most all genres. If you know Dottie, it is a great opportunity to learn about the lady behind the music. 

And, now, Grammy Award winning Dottie Rambo...

Dottie Rambo - Faith & Fame Interview (Part 1 of 5)

Dottie Rambo - Faith & Fame Interview (Part 2 of 5)

Dottie Rambo - Faith & Fame Interview (Part 3 of 5)

Dottie Rambo - Faith & Fame Interview (Part 4 of 5)

Dottie Rambo - Faith & Fame Interview (Part 5 of 5)

For more Dottie Rambo information, visit:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Early Days (Chapter 6)

Denny & Connie
My brother, Denny, and Connie married on September 4, 1965. They were both only eighteen years old. I lost my roommate. I remember mom and dad bought me a brand new bunk bed and bedroom suite when Denny left home.
In addition to my brother getting married, it was the first week of first grade. The first day of school I got on the wrong bus and ended up at the high school. When I finally got to the right school, I was put in the same class with all of my kindergarten friends for three days. For some reason, the school administration decided they needed to move some students around. As a result, they moved me from the classroom with all of my friends to another classroom where I knew no one. It was more than I could handle. I broke down in tears and they had to take me to the principal’s office. My best friend, Terry Bowers was the only one who could do anything with me. Dad had to leave work and come take me home.
The school kept to their decision and I remained in the new classroom. I never understood why that upset me so badly. Now, for the first time, I realize how much pressure I must have been under to be just five years old. My older brother had just gotten married and left home. I had to ride a school bus for the first time. It took me to the wrong school with a bunch of big kids. I was in new surroundings. And, they removed me from everyone I knew. That was a lot of pressure for a little guy.
I lived my early childhood during the early 1960’s. I listened to Chubby Checker and entertained my brother’s friends by doing the twist. I listened to everything from the Everly Brothers and Elvis to southern gospel greats like the Blackwood Brothers and the Statesmen. I watched black and white television when there were only two stations. I was loved unconditionally by wonderful parents, family and friends. I was sheltered and innocent.
Gary Gibson
Life has taken that sweet, unassuming little boy and toughened him up. Sometimes he’s nowhere to be found. Other times, he creeps into my behavior before I even know it. As I reflect on my life, I really do like that little boy I once was. I believe I will let him come out and play more often.
Several years ago I wrote the following song. Earlier, I talked about playing at my grandparents’ house with my cousins. Now, my generation has kids and even grandkids of our own. My cousin, Gary, died in the early 1990’s from cancer. Right after his death, I penned the following song. I guess this sums it all up:

Old Time Memories
Words and Music by Michael Gibson
Verse 1
Grandma in her rocking chair
Grandpa with his graying hair
Grandkids playing around the old coal stove
Family sits around and sings about
Heaven and better things
In my heart it makes me want to go
Old time memories seem so distant
I close my eyes and I am there in an instant
Friends and family some gone before me
But in my dreams I’ll always manage to hold on and see
Verse 2
Brand new times are sweeping through
The family has been made anew
Through children I can see memories of old
My mind goes back to simpler times
When life was taught in nursery rhymes
Watching life causing memories to unfold
© 1992 Michael D. Gibson (BMI) All rights reserved.

As I see the man I have become, I see the influence my family had on me. Sometimes, I am short with others and impatient. That is how my brother treated me, on occasion. I am a hard worker, just like my dad. Dad normally worked two jobs to support our family. I can be sweet, loving, but judgmental; just like my mom was. I can pen songs, sing and play the piano and organ; just like I observed my family and Sister Hume do. I can teach and preach, just like I observed Pastor Hume do. After observing the unrest of the early 1960’s, and being a teen of the 1970’s, I am not afraid to be who I am and stand up for what I believe in. All in all, I wouldn’t change a thing about those early years. I am learning to embrace them more than ever before.