Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What's an Xmas?

A good friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day that he was out getting some xmas clothes for his son. Well...needless to say...being the somewhat funny jerk of a friend that I am, I started razzing him about his choice of the word "Xmas" instead of typing Christmas.

I must admit....the exchange between he and me was quite humorous, but we do at times pick pretty hard at each other...but we have been friends for well over 20 years, so I think we can handle it.

In his defense, though I think it's a pretty flimsy one, he was in a store chasing around a VERY active and curious 1 year old boy, and he said Xmas was easier to type on his phone than Christmas.

That is true...Xmas is much easier to type, but it lacks something. It just looks like somethings missing. It kind of reminds me of a math equation....(you know, the whole X equals Y junk?) and anyone who knows me will tell you...I hate math!

The more spiritual or religious types may tell you that it is a shadowing of our lives. How so easily and conveniently we can leave Christ out of the conversation. I can see some validity in their argument, and I must mind did go there for a moment. Probably mostly due to my many years spent in a ultra-religious and judgmental state of mind.

However, I think for the most point....we just need to get over it.

Carlos Whitaker had a humorous post a few years ago that I wanted to share with you.

"Top 9 Reasons Why It's Ok to Say Merry XMAS!"
1. I love baby Jesus too but he didn't name Christmas…Christmas. We did.
2. If this offends you then I suggest you change your greeting to “May you have the most joyous season of celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. It is less confusing than Merry Christmas.
3. I find it more insulting that people get mad at Bart Millard for saying Xmas and have no idea that the pagan origins of their gift exchanges started in ancient Babylon when the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.
4. I’m thinking we should celebrate Christmas when it actually happened. More or less around September.
The shepherds were not tending their sheep in the middle of a Judean winter. I promise.
5. I’m not taking Christ out of Christmas when I say Xmas… I am giving more attention to the word “mas” which in the true language of God means “more”
6. I love Jesus. If you are concerned with people seeing a Christian take “Christ” out of the word “Christmas” let’s just say it Merry Jesusmas so that everybody will get it.
7. On twitter it is a much better way of saving your character count.
8. Let’s face it.  Jesus is the X Factor! What A Better Way To Say It!!!
9. I hate lists of 10 so I’m gonna stop at 9…Or really 8.
So....there you have it. I like it...I think I will start using that one myself. Right now as a matter of fact.

I hope you have a Very Merry Jesusmas!

What do you think of the whole XMAS vs. Christmas debate?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm Broken, And That's Ok!

The required fa├žade of belonging to the “I’ve Got It All Together Club” was all consuming and exhausting. It became too much to keep up with. The need to hide every emotion, hurt, or fear so deep within, was draining me, killing me, the real me, ever so slowly. I couldn’t let up, I had to continue on. It is what was expected of me after all. I could never let those I am ministering to ever know that I too struggle with the very same things they do. I too have fear, anxiety, and moments of doubt. I was too afraid to share my heart, too afraid to show my insecurities. My thinking was “who wants to follow someone who can’t get their act together?”

I remember that a pastor friend of mine used to always say to his church staff, “Fake it till you make it!” In other words, you have to have the appearance of “everything is alright”…even if it wasn’t. Every time I think of this my mind goes back to something that Dan Reeves, who at the time was the coach of the Denver Broncos, said in an old television commercial for an antiperspirant, “…never let them see you sweat.” This same sentiment had been echoed over and over to me in my 25 plus years of ministry involvement.
Now I understand what they are trying to say, and their intentions may be good, but when it comes to the things of Christ, it’s ok to admit we don’t have it all together. He can, wants to, and will use us WITH our deficiencies. “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Here it is, several years removed from that time. I am older and wiser (yeah…right) and I am still reconditioning myself, reprogramming myself if you will, to be vulnerable, open. I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have it all together. Let’s face it no one does. And anyone who has you convinced that they have it all together is probably just a better liar than most.

I read a the book “True Faced” a few years back and it helped me tremendously in recognizing just how much bondage I was living in. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend that you do so.
One of the authors of this book and my friend, whom I have never met in person, John Lynch, gives a beautiful, troubling, compelling message about “Two Roads, Two Rooms.” In this message he talks of how we are wearing masks, hiding who we really are, afraid of what others might think of us when they see our flaws.

Not only do we do this in front of people, but we laughingly try to do the same thing with God, when He knows everything there is to know about us. All of our sordid details, hidden fears, massive insecurities and numerous other things we think we have hidden within.

Well….to all of you out there that know me, and those of you who don’t, NEWSFLASH….I’m Broken…And That’s Ok!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Peanuts, Tree Nuts and Fish Gelatin

I love Ginger Snaps...I mean who doesn't?

Today I am having lunch with my beautiful wife and she begins to read the warning label on the bag of our beloved Ginger Snaps..."Made on the same equipment as other products, which contain peanuts, tree nuts and fish gelatin"....WHAT??? GROSS!!!

After sitting there for a while...pondering the implications of what I just read....I popped another one of those delactable Ginger Snaps in my mouth and thought...doesn't taste anything like fish gelatin....whatever that is!?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Revolutionary, Reformist, Radical, or Anarchist?

I have heard a lot of talk about being a revolutionary. I have read numerous blog posts and articles about the need for reformation. I have read books on how to be radical in your faith…but it seems I always come back to these thoughts….
  • Are we kicking against the status quo because it is cool to kick against the status quo?
  • Are we trying to be hip or relevant to today’s culture?
  • Are we following an urging in the Holy Spirit?
  • Are we experiencing unrest in our personal faith because of a holy indignation?
  • Are we complaining about the state of today’s “churches” because we see something that needs to change, or simply because we don’t want to go to “church”?
  • Do we really want to see and effect change in the world…or do we just want to talk about it?

If the only reason we are fighting is simply for the sake of fighting…then we have become as the title to an old James Dean movie…a “Rebel Without a Cause”. 

If all we are doing is railing to rile…then we aren’t Revolutionary, Radical or even a Reformist….we are an Anarchist.

I have questioned myself time and time again about my disinterest and dissatisfaction in today’s church culture and have come to a few conclusions.

  • I am not simply trying to kick against the status quo…I really want to see lives changed into the image of Christ.
  • I am not trying to be hip, current or relevant…I really do believe that God wants His people to live in community with each other, to care for one another, to share with one another, to know one another, to passionately love one another.
  • I will endeavor to no longer complain about today’s church organizations…rather I will speak the truth about what God wants to do in, through and for His people.
  • I will talk about God’s grace and His mercy and His deep love for us.
  • I will continually tout the simplicity of the Gospel and tell people about the Good News that Jesus gave all for them, so that they might have life abundant. I will always tell of how that this thing called Christianity is really a simple faith, though not always easy to walk out, but well worth the struggle.

I have been called a rebel, a non-conformist, and a malcontent just to name a few. And to those that have called me those things I say…thank you very much! Having read about the apostles and Jesus himself…I think I am in good company.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Preying On Instead of Praying For?

This past Sunday I was sitting in my living room after getting home and flipped on the television. While scanning the channels I ran across one of my favorite speakers Dr. Ed Young on Daystar Network.

I had to get up and help my wife with something and upon returning to my spot in the living room, noticed that Dr. Ed was no longer on. Now there was this guy talking about how that God's special blessings will only be poured out for a very limited time...right now....and will not be poured out again this year. He then paused, as if for dramatic effect, and claimed that he had felt that someone out there had made a lot of money from a big sale or settlement and needed to sow that into this particular ministry to receive God's special blessing. And....that it was only a limited time offer to receive said special blessing because it wont come around again this year (emphasis mine).   Watch Video

In my opinion this is prime example of preying on people instead of praying for them. Building kingdoms unto themselves. Who are they really helping?

This irritates me beyond belief.

What is your opinion?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Next Great Outreach Program?

Could Pole Dancing for Jesus be the next great Outreach program for the local church?

Believe me.....some will try it.

Click here to read the full article.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

So Glad.....

I am so glad that I serve a God that...cares for all my matter how small.

He cares what I am matter how trivial.

He loves me matter how many times I have failed Him.

Heavenly Father....I love you with all my is my desire to bring honor to you in everything I do.