The story of Naaman and Elisha falls on our ears like a simple Sunday school tale. Yet, it's far more tangled than that. Based on 2 Kings 5, this is the first part in Ronnie's exploration of Naaman's healing, the complexities that surround the story, and the implications for each of us today.
In the second part of his talk, "Sick and Tired" - which could be subtitled, "A Deal With the Devil," Ronnie talks about consequence, shares thoughts on divine punishment, and how we all come to a crossroads with the choice to wipe the slate clean. Legendary bluesman Robert Johnson is featured as well.
Visiting the man at the pool of Bethesda and connecting that story from the Gospels with Fannie Lou Hamer and how we all desire change, Ronnie talks about how we must become "sick and tired of being sick and tired" before real transformation is possible.
In this conclusion to his series of talks on "letting go," Ronnie talks about surrendering the future: "Make your plans - sure. Set some goals. That’s good. Use some common sense and apply some hard-earned wisdom. You’re going to need that. And then, when all your plans are made, your goals have been adapted to melodic slogans and website catch-phrases, and you have wisely and sincerely anticipated every possible outcome - make sure it’s all written in pencil. Nothing will happen as you think it will - and to say otherwise is foolishness. You can conceive, concoct, and contrive - but you cannot control. That’s your ego talking."
"One of the hardest things to let go of is the past, because surrendering the past usually involves forgiveness...Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what happened to you is now and suddenly, okay. It means that you are giving up your power to make it, okay. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that justice should not be sought. It means that achieving justice is ultimately out of your hands. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the past will never hurt you again. It means you have decided to stop hurting others - or yourself - for what has happened to you or what you have done to yourself. This is achieved - not by time - but by grace - because you can’t do this on your own." - RM
"God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!”
God might have said it - but now God is unsaying it. Or maybe God didn’t say it at all? Maybe we were just told that God said it. Maybe there is more fluidity to belief than foundation. Maybe there is more mystery and movement to our convictions than surety and certainty. Maybe keeping the faith is more about staying on the path - Jesus is the way, you know, a moving, traveling, always unfolding journey - than it is about stopping and settling.
PS: Yes, this is the infamous "three sheets in the wind" talk! - RM
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Find out what all these have in common in the fifth installment of Ronnie's current series, "Try Something Different: Surrender."
“Look at me…I am the captain now.”
That was the iconic and improvised line delivered by Barkhad Abdi to Tom Hanks in the film, "Captain Phillips." It is a line, an attitude, used by us all - not of personal autonomy or personal liberty. It is a question of control. We all want to be in the captain’s chair. Ronnie explores this theme in his fourth installment of the current series.
This is Part 3 of Ronnie's latest series: Try Something Different, Surrender. In this episode Ronnie confronts our "rights-driven" culture, in light of the self-limiting, self-surrendering Jesus. He concludes that to take the attitude of Christ, we must "give up on all we think you deserve...we stop worrying about reputation...about trying to prove something. We stop clinging to our place at the front of the line."
This is Part 2 of Ronnie's latest series: Try Something Different, Surrender. He answers these crucial questions: What is Jesus after from us? What does God want? What is it that we need to let go and surrender? The answer to all of these questions is ego and pride. Self-centeredness is the biggest barrier to our spiritual development; the biggest roadblock preventing us from following Jesus and being truly free.