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Posts Tagged ‘Stuart Delony’

I could tell early on that Stuart wasn’t the average Christian blogger. Absent from his site are the worn and tired “fire and brimstone” rants frequently found on other religious blogs. Instead you’ll find the ramblings of an earnest man who follows his heart and genuinely cares about people – one who’s unhappy about how little of the Christ remains in Christianity today.

Awhile back I asked Stuart if he’d be willing to share his knowledge about Jesus the Man. He agreed, and offered as well to contrast how Christ treated people with how many of today’s Christians behave. Here’s what he wrote:

I was asked by Jerome to write a guest blog on who Jesus is to me. I’m a follower of Christ and I work in full time in ministry as a missionary that reaches out to youth in the Pacific Northwest. I’m not an expert and I only speak from my own experiences and my heart.

So who is Jesus?

I’ll start this whole discussion with an apology and an explanation. I believe that most of your preconceived notions about Christ are probably untrue. That’s not to say that Christianity hasn’t done its job to hurt you and leave a bad taste in your mouth. I’m not denying any bad experiences you may have had at the hands of churches or Christians. I want to make a distinction between who Jesus Christ is and what the church has become. I’m not saying that all Christians or churches are bad or damaging. I’m just saying that many of them are.

So, I am sorry. It should not be this way. I am sorry for those who have acted judgmental and pious. I’m sorry for their lack of compassion and kindness. I’m sorry for their arrogance and bigotry. I’m sorry that they were mean or hateful. I’m sorry because that is not who Jesus was or taught or advocated. It was not even close. Many of you have been wronged and that was never how it was meant to be.

Jesus was simply love. He was sacrifice, compassion, grace and forgiveness. He reached out to the broken and meek. He loved those that had been rejected by the world.

Jesus to me is my life. The first twenty-two years of my existence, I lived for myself.  I was raised in a Christian home; raised with plenty of religion. None of that meant much to me. I knew the stories about who Jesus was and I liked them, but there was this disconnect between the people I saw at church and the Jesus I read about in the Bible. He lived a life of passion and purpose. He was the son of God and followed the Lord with all his being. He came to save the lost, to free the enslaved, and to heal the broken. He loved us so much that he was willing to lay down his life – that life made sense to me; it excited me. However, that wasn’t the life I saw modeled by those at church. I lived a good life. Followed rules, went to church on Sundays and I was incredibly bored.

Then one day, I decided that if Christ was real, if he did indeed call me to follow Him, I had to take a step. So I prayed, telling Jesus, I’d do whatever he wanted. From that moment, my life has never been the same. It has led me on a journey to invest in people, to serve people, to love people. I have learned that my life isn’t my own. Through Christ,  I have found purpose and meaning. I have found joy and contentment. It has changed who I am as a husband, a father, friend, and a son. He has healed wounds that life has dealt me. I have known love I never thought possible. Life has become more of an adventure than merely an existence. Though, it has not always been easy, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I challenge you to read one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John in the Bible). Look at who Jesus was. Look at how he treated people. How he loved. Look at the story of God’s compassion for all people (not just a select few).

I’m not here trying to convert anyone (though if anyone of you are interested, I’d love to talk more with you about it). That is not my intent. I would love for you to see the difference between who Christ is and how many Christians act today. Jesus was and  is a revolutionary of love seeking to save the lost, the broken, the hurting, and abandoned. For me to follow His life is to take this message of healing and redemption to the world around me.

Thank you again Stuart. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share.

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you can have freedom or control.  choose one. Stuart Delony

Which is more important to you?

I’ve spent most of my life trying to be “in control.” For those who experienced trauma early in life, this behavior is often rooted in survival instinct – we did what we needed to do to stay safe in the moment. Unfortunately this pattern tends to endure even after we’re removed from the danger that initially triggered it, like a muscle that involuntarily contracts and stays that way. Controlling versus allowing, like the charlie-horse in your calf that wakes you from a sound sleep, is painful and counterproductive. Controlling is about being afraid – allowing is about trusting.

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Noteworthy! 

How good is your vocabulary? Play this potentially addictive word game and find out! For each word you get right, FreeRice.com donates 10 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger. (Thanks to Yvonne at Nemeton for turning me on to this.)

How to cope with Unreasonable People.

“As Above, So Below,” Christian style! How do we view the Kingdom?. (This post also partially inspired me to write this one.)

An interesting post on the symbolism of color in the Pagan traditions. 

Not So Noteworthy!

I usually respect T.L. Holladay for her in-your-face candor, but in this post she served up a helping of rant with a side of “twats and penises.” Not her best.

Darn those gays, and the unwed mothers too! They’re the reason our nation is so godless, and now they have their own Bible!

The ridiculousness of this post approaches parody, but it’s good for a laugh. Of divinations and the damned: Halloween’s deceit.

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Stuart Delony, a great guy who works with unchurched youth here in the Pacific Northwest, asked me to write post for his site about why I’ve chosen the Wiccan path. Apparently he’s worked with young people in the past who’ve identified as Wiccan, and wanted some insight as to why the religion may have appealed to them.

Though I’m aware Stuart is a Christian missionary, I agreed to write the post both because of the respect I’ve come to have for him as well as my conviction that there is more than one path to the Divine. Whether that path winds through the peaks and valleys of Wicca, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other religion/spirituality, it is equally valid provided it is walked with compassion. Stuart walks a compassionate walk, and doesn’t just talk the talk.

Love is at the root of all religions, though this truth is often obscured or forgotten by fundamentalists of all religious persuasions. Few would argue that we live in a time when more love is desperately needed. If I can help Stuart reach out to those he serves with a little more, I know we’ll all be better off as a result.

Mosey over and have a look. It turned out to be a good discussion.

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Stuart Deloney Delony is “a missionary working with unchurched youth in the Pacific Northwest.” I was led to his site by following a WordPress tag on circumcision – a topic I feel pretty passionate about, as evidenced by my response to his post.

I visited his site before my morning meditation today, and am grateful I did. He wrote a fantastic post that served as a wake up call for me in a couple different ways. In the post, called simply fear, Stuart reflected on how fear of failure can relegate one to a life of mediocrity if it’s given the power to do so. As I read his words, they struck a cord of truth within.

The first thing I felt was a connection with Stuart on a human level. By this I mean, he was suddenly no longer “just another Bible thumper.” The words I was reading reflected my own experience with the crippling power of fear – to read that he seemed to be experiencing the same feelings brought him down to the human level and sparked my admiration.

Further reflecting on the words, I was reminded that no one religion has a monopoly on truth – the truth of his words is not exclusive to those who follow a Christian path. Undoubtedly there are several others like me who will read and take inspiration from his words even though they don’t call themselves Christians.

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