Tuesday, November 20, 2018

For Better or Worse

https://www.gofundme.com/mary-jane-cancer-treatment-fund
Where do I start?  Mary Jane and I first met around 1976 - 1977, in 1978 we begin our relationship and married in 1979.  The day of our wedding was supposed to be a dual celebration. We were going to get married, and on the same day, celebrate her mother, Ruby, and father Ed's 50th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately Ruby died prior to the wedding but we still wanted to honor them on Tuesday November 20, 1979.  

It was a small wedding, some folks were shocked we were even getting married as Mary Jane is a little older. Not that much and not uncommon in a lot of circles and certainly the longevity of our relationship and marriage has showed many of those people, wrong.  Now a days I feel at times older even though she is fighting pancreatic cancer. I have pains from years of sports like football, soccer, basketball, boxing, and the one that did the most damage to a never little boy, running. The pounding has me with a horrible back and the rupture or tear of an Achilles heel that never had surgery doesn't help.

Truth is, for the overwhelming majority of our marriage it has been great, there have been tough times though, like the stupid period of my life where a lesser woman with less love would have divorced me. Some think success is a way to build a relationship but I learned that success to the level that I was experiencing it was taking time away from my family which had me doing some pretty stupid things. Mary Jane though, while life has not been perfect has been as close to a perfect wife a I could ever have. While I have great regrets at times for my stupidity, in the end, I know how blessed I have been to have this mountain girl, coming from a Christian family and a strong faith in God in my life to help me recognize my weaknesses and keep me growing in my faith. Mary Jane has in essence, been my balance to keep me grounded and from doing stupid things.  I honestly don't know how I would have made it without her.

https://www.gofundme.com/mary-jane-cancer-treatment-fundIn my book, The Keystone Kid I write about some of this, my stupidity, my life which was miserable in so many ways and the way God used her to bring about a real love in my life. While I had the love of God in my life, although I still struggled with it at the time, I needed an example of what it meant to be a Godly. Because of the abuse I went through I needed a physical example of love. God used Mary Jane in a mighty way to show me physical love and real love from a human perspective.

Lately, it hasn't been easy. The cancer takes its toll. There are days that are not good, days that I resort to in some ways the person I used to be. I want her to live, I have fussed at her to do the things she needs to do to stay alive, to have a chance to beat this thing called cancer. In all of that, and in the times I reflect on the love we have had and still experience, I have shed more tears in the last months than I have in my previous almost 60 years of life. Some people don't understand that, they make judgments, all I know, is that as Mary Jane can verify, the doctors and nurses keep telling me to keep on doing what I need to do as whatever it is, is working.  It was only a few weeks ago that I was wondering if we would see one more Christmas? Would there be life that was recognizable for Thanksgiving?  Truth is, right now we think there is hope, we know for Thanksgiving, we are praying for continued progress for Christmas. And we are really praying for at least one last trip together with our friend The Praters to Lake Tahoe later this year.

https://www.gofundme.com/mary-jane-cancer-treatment-fundThere are still hurts though, hurts that drive me crazy like realizing the situation my wife is going through, after all, it is pancreatic cancer. There are those we love the most who have let us down, they still find reason to not be around, few of those reasons in my opinion are justifiable when understanding the situation Mary Jane is in. There are things I don't understand, things I can't accept because of the love I have for my wife and the sacrifices I have seen her make in life for others. She has made incredible sacrifices with little recognition of what she has done. From the mother she has been to her children, the unconditional love to her grandchildren, to the 39 years of teaching in public schools because that is where she felt God would have her despite her talent and ability to have been able to make it in the music ministry industry and world. She has given so much to the Mentally Ill, to develop appropriate race relations in the middle of a prejudiced world and then to providing so much for the homeless. We have housed prostitutes, prisoners right out of jail, misguided musicians, and I could go on and on, to sometimes housing just people having a rough spot in life. She has given literally tens of thousands of hours and dollars, she has put her pocketbook and calendar to the test of love. Yet, at the same time being robbed, being called names she didn't deserve and have others we have shown love to stab her/us in the back and never shown appreciation. We have had people living with us, helping them for at least 35 years of our 39 years of marriage, 40 years of being together. I challenge anyone to show that type of a lifetime of work. The most incredible thing though, she has endured and put up with me for 40 years. That contribution is not lost on me.

People say they have the best wife, I don't deny that as I think that God provides soul mates if we look for them, surrender to Him and then are obedient to the concepts of marriage as outlined in the Bible. People don't succeed because either they don't have a relationship with God, or they are unwilling to follow His guidelines. As an example, prior to my wife's illness, I still took her out on weekly dates, I still prepared meals for her, I still opened the car door for her and many of the other things you do in a dating, falling in love relationship. Many find excuses to not keep doing those things and then wonder why their marriages fail. I took seriously the scripture that I was to love my wife in the way that Christ loved the church. While I am not perfect, that command has a lot of weight to it.

https://www.gofundme.com/mary-jane-cancer-treatment-fundEnough of all of that, today we won't be able to go out on a date due to the weather and chemo, we can't go out to a restaurant and eat due to the possibility of catching an infectious illness, there is a lot we can't do, but, we can sit together, watch a movie while holding hands. We can share a kiss and say I love you. We can experience love outside of the physical way we have in the past because that isn't always possible with cancer either. I can do other things though like get up and fix her a bowel of cream of wheat which she is wanting for breakfast. Wait a second, I better get up and fix that cream of wheat, after all, it is our anniversary. 

To see Mary Jane's performing my original song, Dancing with Jesus, click on the following video or link.  Note the video will not be available until after 5:15 CST November 20, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfDmV_MHelI



If you would like to help with our ongoing medical costs and living expenses, check out our gofundme page a the following page link, or you can click on any of the photos:  

Go Fund Me
Check out our Twitter page at #dancewithjesus2

To subscribe to our Facebook Page, click here: Facebook The Movie Guys

To subscribe to our Youtube page click here: Youtube The Movie Guys

BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW CHILDREN'S BOOK, HAROLD THE ANGEL, NOW AVAILABLE  AT AMAZON, BOOKS A MILLION, BARNES & NOBLE AND OTHER MAJOR RETAILERS, OUR BOOK THE KEYSTONE KID IS ALSO STILL AVAILABLE AT MOST MAJOR RETAILERS AND IS A TERRIFIC READ.

The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me, there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.

Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid

You can also order the book at all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and so forth. It is available via e-book for .99 Cents or if having a way to download, can download the full audiobook at soundcloud.com and simply going to Mike Furches / The Keystone Kid. The audio version of the book is available for a free download.

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully, you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

The Movie Guys

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Caregivers Confession, Half of Me Wants To Live, Half Wants to Die


https://www.gofundme.com/mary-jane-cancer-treatment-fund&rcid=r01-154255786522-defcc4db471b414f&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w
There is so much going on in life right now that it has prevented me from posting in The Virtual Pew for awhile. You see, my wife Mary Jane is at stage 4 of pancreatic cancer and we don't know what the future holds. I have earned about being a caregiver and what is going to follow is a confession of sorts and a cry and plea for help and understanding in other ways.

I have found, that some of the only people who truly understand are others who have either gone through the battle with this thing called cancer, or those who have cared for them.  Others, often including family, have no idea and the support that come from some is life saving and the judgment from others that have one at times wanting to give up and just die themselves.

Here is the truth, something I have always tried to share, I find myself between the battle ground of wanting to die and end all of this, while at the same time feeling that way, and wanting to live. I find myself at times, doing so much that I don't care if I take my own medications and at other times, thinking I want to live to fight this thing and have some life of solitude when it is all said and done. I am afraid more times than not that the desire to just die is going to win out.

https://www.gofundme.com/mary-jane-cancer-treatment-fund&rcid=r01-154255786522-defcc4db471b414f&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_wMy last doctors visit was not good, my blood pressure was 187/128, everything that was supposed to be up was down and everything that was supposed to be down, was way up. In short, I am a walking heart attack right now. Little sleep, high stress, and everything else adds to my own issues. In all of this, I can't tell you the tremendous guilt I feel just sharing this as doing so makes me feel selfish, greedy, uncaring and more, in part, because I have seen and witnessed the judgment, judgment for things like, yes, yelling at my wife to follow doctors orders because if she don't she surly dies.  You see she has a chance to beat this thing and the doctors and nurses have affirmed I am doing something good in helping her and making her do whatever she needs to do, be that eating, drinking or whatever. I have seen the consequences and results of being transported by ambulance to the hospital because her blood sugars drop out because she is not eating, I have had to deal with Chemo Brain (a concept I never knew about until this,) things like pouring protein drink on her feet while she is watering her flowers, or so she thinks, times that she doesn't know the names of her children and can't think of my name, things like pouring vomit down the bathtub, and I could go on and on. Some of those most critical of course are among the very first to tell us, "If you need anything, let us know." Yet, when you ask them for help, to sit with her for a bit, or something else, they can't be found. I could go on and on here, but will leave it at that, but all of these compounded with everything else is, let's say, sometimes beyond bearable.

Right now, I want to live, this is a clue to that as it is a sort of crying out. I am reminded this Thanksgiving that there are those who do care, from a far, and some from close by, that have gone out of their way to see to it that we have a great holiday together as a family. A holiday together that could be our last. Yet, there are also those who do harm. I could say more, maybe someday I will, but my wife and I, both college educated with degrees and living in the real world together for 40+ years are not stupid, we have been observing the writing on the wall for some time.

https://www.gofundme.com/mary-jane-cancer-treatment-fund&rcid=r01-154255786522-defcc4db471b414f&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_wThen we know there are others, family and then some from around the globe that sincerely tells us they wish we were closer, we believe them because over the years we have seen their words put into action. For them, we are thankful, your thoughts and prayers we covet because we know the one you pray to and we know the sincerity of your hearts.

Bottom line, yep, it sucks being a caregiver, I sometimes think and believe it would be easier to be the one dying. Like the Apostle Paul, I truly understand the concept that to die is gain.  I know there are those who will say things like, "hang in there she needs you."  I know that, but she needs me more than ever because so few are willing to do what is necessary to keep both of us going.

Again, caregivers will understand, they have been through the depression, the loneliness, the feelings of being overwhelmed, the thoughts that the ones they love would be better off without them, the thoughts that they can't do it anymore, the judgment that is pressed upon them by those who have no idea, and I could go on, and on, and on.

https://www.gofundme.com/mary-jane-cancer-treatment-fund&rcid=r01-154255786522-defcc4db471b414f&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_wWhat will the future hold?  I have no idea, I am fighting to see what today will hold, what the next few hours will hold. I don't have that much time to worry about, or think about tomorrow.

I’ll leave it at that for now, other than to say, if you are a caregiver, I understand. If you know someone who is a caregiver, give them the support, the love they need. Try to understand and the best way to understand is to be there if at all possible. Otherwise, be cautious about being critical of those going through these tough times, as the old saying goes, "…..until you have walked in their shoes."

If you would like to help with our ongoing medical costs and living expenses, check out our gofundme page a the following page link, or you can click on any of the photos:  

Go Fund Me
Check out our Twitter page at #dancewithjesus2

To subscribe to our Facebook Page, click here: Facebook The Movie Guys

To subscribe to our Youtube page click here: Youtube The Movie Guys

BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW CHILDREN'S BOOK, HAROLD THE ANGEL, NOW AVAILABLE  AT AMAZON, BOOKS A MILLION, BARNES & NOBLE AND OTHER MAJOR RETAILERS, OUR BOOK THE KEYSTONE KID IS ALSO STILL AVAILABLE AT MOST MAJOR RETAILERS AND IS A TERRIFIC READ.

The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me, there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.

Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid

You can also order the book at all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and so forth. It is available via e-book for .99 Cents or if having a way to download, can download the full audiobook at soundcloud.com and simply going to Mike Furches / The Keystone Kid. The audio version of the book is available for a free download.

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully, you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

The Movie Guys

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Regarding Our Movie Review Page



Just a brief notice, we are going to be doing many more video reviews for the page. While there will be the ocassional written review, most will be video via our page The Movie Guys. I encourage you to check out the links below and subscribe to the channels. We are pleased to be working with Wichita State University and their Shocker Studio along with Teen View Magazine.  We will be filming the shows at the studios and Teen View along with staff from Shocker Studios will be assisting in the production of the shows. You can find out more about Shocker Studios by checking out their Facebook page at the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/wsushockerstudios/

You can find out more about Teen View Magazine by clicking on the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/TeenViewMagazine/

I certainly thank you for your support of this work over the years and as things grow and get bigger and better, we want you to know, we will continue to listen to you and appreciate your input and views.  We also encourage you again, to please subscribe to our other blog pages and our pages regarding The Movie Guys.

To subscribe to our Facebook Page, click here: Facebook The Movie Guys

To subscribe to our Youtube page click here: Youtube The Movie Guys

BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW CHILDREN'S BOOK, HAROLD THE ANGEL, NOW AVAILABLE  AT AMAZON, BOOKS A MILLION, BARNES & NOBLE AND OTHER MAJOR RETAILERS, OUR BOOK THE KEYSTONE KID IS ALSO STILL AVAILABLE AT MOST MAJOR RETAILERS AND IS A TERRIFIC READ.

The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me, there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.

Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid

You can also order the book at all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and so forth. It is available via e-book for .99 Cents or if having a way to download, can download the full audiobook at soundcloud.com and simply going to Mike Furches / The Keystone Kid. The audio version of the book is available for a free download.

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully, you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

The Movie Guys

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

Friday, November 4, 2016

Ranting about Pan Handlers



www.thevirtualpew.com
My rant for the day:

Okay don't take what I am about to say wrong as I know many will, but read through what I have to say first.

First, anyone doubting or not knowing of my love, passion, desire to help the down and out, the homeless, abused, hurting of this world, obviously knows nothing about me, or my past.

Yesterday I saw a post from a friend talking about giving a pan-handler money. Don't get me wrong, I have given to them as well in the past, but very seldom and to this day, very seldom do because I know, more times than not that money goes to support an alcohol and or drug habit, even if buying food, it allows them to use other monies to support habits. I seriously question the actions of some that allow one to continue in their addictions. I also know how much money pan-handlers can make, far more than I and or other working people. I also know, that in many cases, it is a scam and frankly, also in most communities, illegal.

Again, don't get me wrong I have given but I have to feel very strongly in my gut (for the non Christian reading) and strongly in my Spirit, (for other reading who are followers of Jesus.) 

Here is my concern, when we give in ways we don't know of how the gift will benefit the person, there is a high risk that we are doing two things, one is helping the addiction which keeps the person in need, and the other is taking away possible funding for agencies and people who are there to help people and frankly, need the finances.I challenge, if giving, find an agency making a difference and give to them so they can help in the best ways possible, but even here, check the agency out. I can name two specific agencies in my town who are themselves not using the money for the purposes they state and have areas of concern that would have me not ever giving to them. I also know of individuals, both Christian and not, doing a great job who could use the money, I would recommend to even give money to those individuals and private groups if having issues with larger agencies. Just remember, there are smaller agencies, like The Virtual Pew and Mosaic, along with many churches and others who are doing great jobs.

www.mosaicwichita.comThis hit home hard recently because the organizations I run, The Virtual Pew and Mosaic helps house individuals in need of housing, either the abused, the hurting, the homeless, or those seeking to come together to help grow spiritually with a focus, on helping with the above mentioned areas. This week I had applications for 3 persons to come into our program, one of them a couple who happens to be homeless.  Yet, we had to go on line again, to ask for money. We get very little from the church organizations, or Christians, or for that matter, even many of the providers who see benefit in a number of things, as opposed to actually helping some, obtain housing.  My wife and I have literally emptied our retirement and savings accounts to keep this program going, don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about that, but wonder, have we as a society gotten to the place that we see more value in helping people stay homeless as opposed to helping them get back on their feet and accomplish their hopes and dreams.

Matthew 25: 1 - 42 is a great chapter of scripture. Many who want to help others choose to identify with this passage, especially the 31 - 42 part, unfortunately we seem to all but ignore the 1 - 30 part.  The part which speaks about the responsibility of the giver and receiver.  I challenge folks to read that, with the understanding that 1 - 30 speaks specifically about the one receiving the gift, and 31 - 42 about the responsibility of the one giving th  Read it, again, think about it, and then, think about how you can best use your gift to help others who really need it, and will do with it what God would expect for them to do with it.

Matthew 25
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
www.thevirtualpew.com



1 The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten girls took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom. 2 Five of the girls were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. 4 The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps.



5 The groom was late arriving, and the girls became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, “Here’s the groom! Come to meet him!”



7 When the girls got up and started getting their lamps ready, 8 the foolish ones said to the others, “Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out.”



9 The girls who were wise answered, “There’s not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves.”



10 While the foolish girls were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The girls who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. 11 Later the other girls returned and shouted, “Sir, sir! Open the door for us!”



12 But the groom replied, “I don’t even know you!”



13 So, my disciples, always be ready! You don’t know the day or the time when all this will happen.



14 The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all he owned. 15 The man knew what each servant could do. So he handed five thousand coins to the first servant, two thousand to the second, and one thousand to the third. Then he left the country.



16 As soon as the man had gone, the servant with the five thousand coins used them to earn five thousand more. 17 The servant who had two thousand coins did the same with his money and earned two thousand more. 18 But the servant with one thousand coins dug a hole and hid his master’s money in the ground.



19 Some time later the master of those servants returned. He called them in and asked what they had done with his money. 20 The servant who had been given five thousand coins brought them in with the five thousand that he had earned. He said, “Sir, you gave me five thousand coins, and I have earned five thousand more.”



21 “Wonderful!” his master replied. “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!”



22 Next, the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, “Sir, you gave me two thousand coins, and I have earned two thousand more.”



23 “Wonderful!” his master replied. “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!”



24 The servant who had been given one thousand coins then came in and said, “Sir, I know that you are hard to get along with. You harvest what you don’t plant and gather crops where you haven’t scattered seed. 25 I was frightened and went out and hid your money in the ground. Here is every single coin!”



26 The master of the servant told him, “You are lazy and good-for-nothing! You know that I harvest what I don’t plant and gather crops where I haven’t scattered seed. 27 You could have at least put my money in the bank, so that I could have earned interest on it.”



28 Then the master said, “Now your money will be taken away and given to the servant with ten thousand coins! 29 Everyone who has something will be given more, and they will have more than enough. But everything will be taken from those who don’t have anything. 30 You are a worthless servant, and you will be thrown out into the dark where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain.”



31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. 32 The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.



33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. 35 When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, 36 and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me.”



37 Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, “When did we give you something to eat or drink? 38 When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear 39 or visit you while you were sick or in jail?”



40 The king will answer, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.”



41 Then the king will say to those on his left, “Get away from me! You are under God’s curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me.”



44 Then the people will ask, “Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?”



45 The king will say to them, “Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me.”



46 Then Jesus said, “Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life.”


The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me, there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.

Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid

You can also order the book at all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and so forth. It is available via e-book for .99 Cents or if having a way to download, can download the full audiobook at soundcloud.com and simply going to Mike Furches / The Keystone Kid. The audio version of the book is available for a free download.

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully, you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

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Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Being Challenged To Be More Like Jesus, St. Nicholas Cabasailas



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This one may be a little long so unless you are willing to seriously contemplate the thought expressed in this, the questions asked, don't waste your time, but, if you, like I, like to be challenged, this is a must read.

Last night I attended The Eighth Day Institute's Hall of Men.  A meeting that reminds me a lot of  J.R. Tolkien and CS Lewis regular gatherings to discuss theology among other things while enjoying their pipe and a cold pint, or two.  The event is largely attended by primarily Orthodox Groups. Catholic, Episcopalian, Anglican, etc..., so it can be understandably confusing that an unapologetic Anabaptist like myself would attend this gathering, yet, I find there is so much to learn, and I like to be theologically challenged at times, which this group does in a friendly, loving way.

Last night Fr. Benedict Armitage,the headmaster of Christ the Savior Academy, lead the discussion and provided some teaching on St Nicholas Cabasilas, a fourteenth-century Byzantine mystic.  There were several points that challenged me through the night, including into my dreams and still compel me to think aloud this morning as I discussed a couple of those issues and points taught/or written about by St. Nicholas Cabasailas and the natural conclusions those trains of thoughts can take one if they process it thoroughly.

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Point one I am contemplating this morning: The Scripture is clear in numerous places on concepts of putting on the full image of Christ, to chase after holiness, and that it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me, yet, so many like to follow the natural progression of man to areas of conflict, without love and regard of respect for their fellow human being. I find this especially so in today's political climate, there seems to be an attitude that we find it appropriate to behave, act, speak in manners other than the one which provides a representation of Christ. If it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, or if I am to be a representative of Jesus, am I really contemplating the relationship I have with my fellow human being I am commanded to love, even my enemies?  If I refuse to make this attempt then do I in reality have a loving relationship and respect for Jesus the Christ? This is not to devalue the concept of WWJD but it is much more than that, it isn't so much about asking the question of What Would Jesus Do, but going further and attempting to be an represent who Jesus was.

There was another interesting concept though touched on by St. Nicholas Cabasailas and as was discussed last night at the Hall of Men meeting, that is this, did you ever stop to think about the reality of why is it that Jesus after the resurrection kept the wounds of the cross, and as is presented in Revelation, carries those marks into eternity?  After all, He is God He could easily remove those and provide Himself a new body, yet, He keeps those marks of the crucifixion, as brutal as they are, even in Revelation appearing as a Lamb led to slaughter?  St. Nicholas Cabasailas, believed it provided two purposes, one is an eternal reminder that the Son of God, God Himself, chose to show us his love for us by being one of us. Dying is a concept not natural to God it isn't possible for God, yet it was through becoming part man, while fully God that Christ gave Himself up to be crucified on the cross. He keeps those scars for an eternity to remind us, just like he did Thomas shortly after the resurrection, that He did indeed die, yet He also conquered death. They are an eternal reminder of His sacrifice to become one of us, to die like one of us, and ultimately to show His eternal love for all of us. It will be an eternal reminder that was culminated on the cross, for prior to His coming to this earth, Christ had a Heavenly body, and was an eternal spirit, yet now, even though He is in Heaven at the right hand of God, He carries the marks of His earthly body and the sacrifice and punishment He took to show us His ultimate love and sacrifice provided for our salvation.

I can't help but reflect on these things today, they challenge me, they challenge me to seek perfection and holiness although I know I won't obtain it until I reach Heaven, but that does not negate the love of all people, even my enemies that I am commanded to have. It doesn't negate me treating Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or their supporters the way Christ Himself would treat them if he had a one on one sit down with them.  Of course, some are still so driven by the politics of the day that they forget the Savior, King they say they are committed to. Today, I challenge you, be like Jesus, and in the attempt to be like Him, remember, He carries the marks of the cross for an eternity to show us how much He loved us.  Oh yeah, another thing I can't help but think of this morning, "If you are to be my disciple, you must take up your cross, and follow me daily."  ~ Jesus


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The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me, there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.

Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid

You can also order the book at all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and so forth. It is available via e-book for .99 Cents or if having a way to download, can download the full audiobook at soundcloud.com and simply going to Mike Furches / The Keystone Kid. The audio version of the book is available for a free download.

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully, you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mea Maxima Culpa: The Cover-up of Sexual Sin In The Church

www.thevirtualpew.comI just finished watching the HBO Documentary, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.  Let me be clear from the start, this is a must view for all people of faith, especially those who believe in keeping the deepest and darkest of sins secret, but also for those who believe that wrongs should never be confronted publicly and directly. 

My own life of abuse has been chronicled over the years via television, radio, a movie and my book The Keystone Kid. I know all too well the reluctance of many, even within the religious community to confront the sin of sexual abuse. Silence in the House of God (SITHG) addresses sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and the massive cover-up they present goes all of the way to the top. They chronicle abuse that has gone on for going on 2,000 years among the papacy and yet, covered up. I challenge from the outset, abuse within all religious organizations, not just the Christian Church has been going on since the conception of religion and unfortunately, has been covered up, and/or not spoken about or addressed within those organizations since its origins. Unfortunately, that concept still continues as it is my observation from research, and personal experience, not just in the area of sexual abuse though, but in any area which has people from within those religious organizations encouraging others to not speak up, to let things be, and to let the sins of many go unpunished and dealt with between the individual and God. What these people and the organizations that have let this go on for so long have either forgotten about, or simply don’t care about, is the lasting damage within the lives of those impacted by sin. This is certainly true in the areas of sin that so drastically impacts the lives of the innocents, such as sexual sin. 

www.thekeystonekid.orgWhile this is not per say intended as a review of SITHG, I will say this, this is a terrific documentary and just as I begin to have some concerns with the twists of the documentary, as to if it is showing ultimate compassion towards the victims, we are hit with a hard hitting reality of the damages and impact on the victims in a powerful conclusion. Neither though is this documentary an attack on all religions, or even for that matter, The Roman Catholic Church. We see throughout heroes who have taken to the cause of listening to, believing, trying to help the victims, even within the church. We also see though a poison within the hierarchy of the church which for many years tried to prevent the knowledge of these abuses and refused to speak out for or understand the victims of abuse. Just as within all religious groups, and frankly, all walks of life even outside of religion, there are those who would prefer to keep ones “dirty laundry,” (a term I have personally heard within my own family), within their own inner circles. SITHG does a wonderful job at showing the heartfelt impact of this mentality and the ultimate danger that comes about because of this mentality.

One of the things I often hear from those within faith circles is the need to deal with things in a certain way, or to never address sinful acts face to face and head on, even in a public way. In this regard, I will willingly admit there is a time and a place to address sin. There are specifics within the church hierarchy of Christianity as outlined in Matthew 25. It is debated though within many theological circles as to how those directives apply and if they are in fact intended as a method of addressing conflict between Christians and Non-Christians. In this regard I will state that there should be little debate as to the need of the person engaged in sinful activity to turn from their ways, to if you will, repent which implies and requires a change of behavior, a 180 Degree turn. If that does not take place then there are certainly actions which should not only take place, but be done so in a public way.

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There are those who sometimes even have issues with the above mentioned methods, I will remind you, the Bible has numerous incidents of people being called out for their sinful behavior, some with specific names being listed in a scripture that is recorded for all of eternity. There is for example, no hesitation about calling out Ananias and Sapphira in Acts Chapter 5, then there is 3rd John where John addresses the attitudes and sins of Diotrephes.  These are but two of numerous examples of individuals being called out by name as to their actions and deeds. While we must make sure we are correct in our assessment and comments about others, there is a time, that if one is unwilling to walk in the correction of Christ, or in the ways of Christ, that we are to call them out, especially if what they are saying and doing is contrary to the nature of Christ and the faith of Christianity. I challenge, the lack of doing this is one of the reasons so many have turned from the church and the teachings of Christ. It is because we hide our own sin, and are so often unwilling to address the areas of sin. This should, especially at first, be done in a loving way, but it must also at times be done in an emphatic way.

One of the people I love from a historical perspective is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I love him in part for many reasons but one of my great admiration's of him was his willingness to accept the consequences of his actions, even if those actions meant spending time in jail that he was just and right to stand up for, even though it may have broken the laws of the day. We within the church and society must be willing to understand, that consequences for actions should be expected, even for those within the church or those presenting to be from the church, even in some cases, where repentance may have been made. An example here, which I write about passionately in my own book, is the consequences that come about for sexual sin.

www.thevirtualpew.comUnfortunately, in our society, in many locations there is a statute of limitations on certain aspects of sin, including sexual sin. This is sad to me because I know all too well of the lasting impact of sexual sin on an individual. Even though I am approaching 60 years of age now, the impact of the sins perpetuated against me in my very young life still linger.  They will linger in all likelihood for the duration of my life. Unfortunately, and ignorantly, many Christians say God will deliver me from those nightmares, those confusions and pains, it is my experience, that in many a God loving, fearing, and faithful people that does not happen in most cases. Yes, we get to the place we can endure, and even thrive, but that doesn’t mean the pain or memories mysteriously disappears. The thoughts and impacts on us are always there. Thus a reason to make sure that we address the sin, straight on and without compromise.  I think this is one of the reasons Jesus so strongly referenced his love for children.

There will always be something that causes people to sin. But anyone who causes them to sin is in for trouble. A person who causes even one of my little followers to sin  would be better off thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around their neck.
 So be careful what you do.
~ Luke 17: 1–3a  

So Jesus called the children over to him and said, “Let the children come to me! Don’t try to stop them. People who are like these children belong to God’s kingdom.  You will never get into God’s kingdom unless you enter it like a child! Luke 18; 16,17

www.thevirtualpew.com For me the question is simple; will we as people of faith stand up for the victims of such things as sexual sin? Or, will we let the sin continue giving ever justification as to why we shouldn’t address the sin, meanwhile allowing the pain and suffering to continue among the victims, even allowing the likelihood of additional victims? We can’t be afraid to call out sin! Yes, it must, especially initially be done in a loving way with the intent to help, but our first offer of help must be to the victim of sin. It doesn’t mean we don’t love the perpetrator, but they must be, no matter what the circumstances be held accountable for their actions, especially in issues such as sexual sin. Jesus was about showing compassion in many ways, thankfully He shows the hurting, the small ones, the outcast and I could go on and on, compassion when the religious community turned their backs on those individuals. How easy it is to forget the woman caught in adultery, the woman at the well, or even the multitudes around Him seeking to just touch Him. Jesus was all about compassion to the hurting, for many of us, it is that compassion that drove us to His wide open arms, unfortunately, many who say they love Him cast aside the hurting, and often times the victims of abuse. I assure those victims, the rejection often felt by many who say they love Jesus is not the act or heart of Jesus, He loves you, He cares, and many who have chosen to follow Him, even in the hard things, feel the same way. Just as in the movie SITHG, there are many of us who will huddle with you, join hands and fight alongside you the injustice within our society on this issue. We know, because we know and have experienced, that Jesus would have no one cast aside that small child we all become, and remain, once abuse has entered into our psyche and life. While there are those who would not address the issue, would prefer to keep secrets, some of us know a loving and caring Christ who would have us receive the glories of His love, and experience the consequences of our actions. It is high time that many within the church, realize, that being a supposed follower of Jesus does not give us the freedom to escape the consequences of our actions, especially when they are criminal. If we allow that mentality of not addressing and experiencing the consequences of sin, then we will continue to allow perpetrators of sexual crime and sin to continue to practice and continue in that behavior. God forgive those who would do harm to a child by allowing this behavior to continue.

The following is my recent appearance on the television show Real People, Real Life where I discuss in part my own abuse and also with a guest, marital rape.  Watch it and as always, feel free to share.

To see the video simply click on the vid, if the vid isn't working, click on the following link:

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjgccgAJ9iU


The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.

Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid

You can also order the book at all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and so forth. It is available via e-book for .99 Cents or if having a way to download, can download the full audio book at soundcloud.com and simply going to Mike Furches / The Keystone Kid. The audio version of the book is available for a free download.

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News