Wednesday, January 28, 2015

AC3 VB56 Mutiny - Media Follow Up



In this weeks VB Rick and Dan interview the Waldo's about their Mutiny against media done last week. Enjoy! :)

Anger?

I’ve been confronted with a spate of selfish acts recently. I don’t mean the low-impact stuff that all of us are guilty of from time to time like knowingly leaving dirty dishes in the sink for someone else to clean up or accelerating just a liiiitle bit so the guy trying to merge onto the freeway has to get behind you… 

Neither do I mean self-interest  those acts which wisdom dictates in order to preserve your life or enjoy it fully like keeping a retirement fund, or taking a vacation for examples. 

I’m talking about acts which exact a serious cost from someone else solely for the perpetrator’s benefit; acts like lying, theft, adultery, assault/abuse and abandonment.  

Frankly, I’m struggling with being angry about this stuff.  

There is a certain, appropriate place for anger when selfishness occurs. Jesus expressed this kind of Holy Anger several times: when confronted with the Pharisee’s harsh hypocrisy (Matthew 23), and of course everyone knows of Jesus response to money changers in the Temple (John 2). There are other, even more subtle and intriguing examples – but being angry is not the topic I wish to discuss – it’s what God revealed as I struggled with my anger: 

Justifications. (or the lack thereof) 

Lemme ‘splain. 

When we engage in selfish acts, we always have a reason for it which we offer up to explain why it’s either A) not REALLY selfish, just misunderstood, or B) maybe it is selfish, but there is an important reason why it is okay for us to do it – an excuse to be selfish.  These are the two categories of Justification.  But recently I have been confronted by selfish acts for which the person has offered NO justification.  

None.  

They simply state that they are going to do “this thing” because they want to, they know that it is selfish, they know the cost to others, and well…that’s it.  

Looking back, God showed me I had two responses in quick succession: 

First, I was dumbfounded. 
“People ALWAYS try to justify their behaviors!”, I said to MySelf, “What’s going on here?! Why don’t they try to explain themselves?! Don’t these people care?”  
What a stupid question, MySelf…ocourse they don’t care or we wouldn't be having this conversation…I mean they  are being SEL-FISH, right? Geesh. 

Second – I got angry. The lack of even an attempt at justification reveals a selfishness that has gone beyond the reach of even the most basic regard for other people. A depth of selfishness that resides at the center of the Realm of Evil. Evil makes me angry. 

Now, some might say, Not offering up excuses is a good thing, isn’t it? At least they’re being honest.”  

I say, “Poppycock.”  

Being honest is not supposed to be a virtue for which anyone gets credit. No one gets points for NOT lying. Truth telling is a given. Giving credit for “at least being honest” is like receiving a pay-check for NOT robbing banks. 

No - This “honesty”, this lack of even tortured justifications or lame excuses uncovers a nearly sociopathic worldview that is downright evil… (sociopath: “one who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” 

Actually, I should thank the “honest” selfish people because they laid bare for me the fact  that there are only three ways to carry out any truly selfish act. 

Cruelly: The perpetrator makes a conscious, deliberate effort to cause pain in others in order to enhance their own experience. An example of this would be the spouse who abandons their family and refuses to provide financial support, harasses their “ex”, spreads rumors, name calls or even engages in physical violence. “You are worthless.” is the message they send. 

Cowardly: The perpetrator either refuses to, or feels incapable of facing the consequences of their selfish act, and so they run, hide, deflect or all three. An example of this would be the drug addict or alcoholic who drains their family financiallyemotionally and relationally while casting blame on them; disappearing for days, months or even years, returning only when in need. “I’m not responsible for this.” is the coward’s message. 

Callously: This is the best possible means of carrying out a selfish act because it is the most simple. The perpetrator neither “piles on cruelty, nor completely avoids responsibility: they simply build a barrier, a callous if you will, between their needs/desires, and the needs/desires of everyone else. Not surprisingly, their needs/desires take precedence. It is a simple, un-adorned act that says clearly to everyone else: “I matter more than you do.” It’s the core message of all selfish acts. And perhaps this does make the Callous ones stand apart from the other two…because:  
“at least they are being honest”. 

So what's my point? I guess I'm encouraging each of us to pause in that briefest of moments just before  uttering the words, "At least I'm being honest..." and consider the idea that perhaps we are really justifying the callous, cruel or cowardly thing we have just done... 

Friday, January 23, 2015

First Fruits Co-Op...

Hello Everyone,
God is good------That statement just does not fill the HUGE space in my heart for what God can and DID do this year at the Farm--First Fruits. Can't wait to see what kind of harvest we have this year, most of which was given to Seeds of Grace, the AC3 Food Bank. First Fruits Co-op members also harvested food for themselves.
The key ingredient is "US", working in concert with our Creator to do his bidding in HIS DIRT!!!! I pray that you all will be blessed by God this year and renewed to come back next spring as we begin a new harvest year.
Peace and Gratitude, Jan Hayes 
Co-Op Manager

"The words above were posted on the AC3 website 5 years ago approximately and still apply today-with one little addition. GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD! :) He has blessed this Farm and the Land Owners and all the members abundantly these last 5 years and I'm so grateful for those blessings, good healthy food for my family and friends, new and WONDERFUL friendships, a loving family integrated into my life when their Land was donated to use for Gods Purpose, Our church AC3 grew for the Kingdom, souls that will follow our Lord - Mathew 25; 34-40. This is our path at First Fruits and Seeds of Grace. God be with you this year my friends. Come join us at the Farm this year, membership now opening for the 2015 year. Peace Jan


AC3 VB *Special* Mutiny - Stress - It's a Numbers Game



The final Mutiny challenge of this months series is to spend 1 hour a day with God this week. Don't think you can fit that into your busy schedule? Well, check out what Johnna has for you to chew on. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

AC3 VB54 Mutiny - Possessions Follow Up



This week we had a special guest join the VB to talk about how her week of the Mutiny Challenge on possessions went. Enjoy! :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

AC3 VB53.1 Mutiny - Possessions...Extra



Did you want more of this weeks video blog discussion on Mutiny?  Listen to how Rick and Dan are taking the challenge. You will be credited with "Extra Credit" for viewing :) Enjoy!  **Watch AC3 VB53 before viewing this one.

AC3 VB53 Mutiny - Possessions



IT'S A NEW YEAR! That means year number two of video blogs :) We hope you have enjoyed our first year of video blogs and welcome you to year number two! This weeks topic? Mutiny - Possessions. Join the Mutiny! :)

If you want more on this topic check out AC3 VB53.1 Mutiny - Possessions - Extra.