Archive for the Community Category

This Has Nothing To Do With The Duggars, Kardashians, or Jenners But…

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Bullying, Christian, Church, Comics, Community, Country, Culture, Digital, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Geek, God, Trending with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

I have to be honest it pains me to write this.  I was supposed to be working on the recording for my podcast for comic fans, techies, and geeks: The BiFrost Bridge Podcast, but instead I’m writing this (and I would so much rather be doing that).  I was also supposed to be putting together the agenda for the CrossRoads Community Church Board Meeting but instead I’m writing this (good thing the board doesn’t read my blog, lol). It’s just that I have seen such hatred and so many harsh words exchanged between people who were previously “friends”, or whatever that means from a social media aspect, and all over people that neither person has even met and over stories neither person has heard first hand from the people involved.

Hashtag

It doesn’t matter to me which side of team Jenner or Duggar you fall on.  What does matter is that every person in America has a right to express their opinion.  According to the U.S. Constitution, which I dedicated 12 years of my life to defending as a member of the U.S. Army, free speech is still a constitutional right.  That includes ones right to disagree publically, verbally or in writing, and on every social media venue they care to use with another person’s point of view.  It does not give anyone the right to bad mouth, trash, or belittle someone else because of a differing viewpoint.

How can anyone justify trashing someone else for sharing a differing view, when by trashing them for sharing their view you are doing the exact same thing you are trashing them for?  That makes absolutely no sense.  How can someone come down on another person for speaking what they believe when by doing so you are literally speaking for and about what you believe? Does that mean everyone has the right to come down on and belittle you? #HypocriteMuch

I’ve seen many posts saying “here is what I believe and you can delete me if you disagree.” I have yet to delete anyone although I disagree with a majority of people, Christians, non-Christians, atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, and a host of other people with religious preferences (yes, I have quite of mix of social media contacts and yes, I have at some point disagreed with something they posted or a stance they took).  I respect their beliefs, their right to express their beliefs, and hope they respect mine.  I’ve had aggressive conversations and exchanges with many of them but have not disrespected them because we disagree.

I seriously hope we can get back to what is considered one of the foundational principles our nation was founded upon: not just hearing one another but respecting one another.  If we can’t then, yes, feel free to delete me, lol.

Advertisements

National Day of Prayer

Posted in Apps, Atheist, Bible, Celebration, Christian, Church, Community, Country, Culture, DC, Devotion, Digital, Election, Faith, Family, God, Government, HIstory, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

NDPThis year I am torn more than ever regarding the National Day of Prayer.  I know it is a huge nationwide event that brings out people and congregations in droves to events all over the nation.  I strongly encourage people and congregations to gather publically and pray for their friends, their families, their communities, and our nation and its leaders.  However, isn’t that what the body of Christ is supposed to do anyway?  And do it daily?

I am torn because some view the National Day of Prayer as the only day to engage in prayer.  Prayer is one of the most valuable assets that the body of Christ has today.  If that is true then shouldn’t the body of Christ be gathering together, even across denominational lines, to pray for people, communities, and our nation…regularly?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for praying together and in public.  I  am just all for it more than just one day a year.  Why aren’t there monthly or quarterly prayer events going on across our nation on a regular basis?  Why is it usually when tragedy strikes that we see a call to prayer?  Why does it have to take a Tsunami, an earthquake, or a questionable action by a civil servant, or a city in mourning to bring the body of Christ together to pray?  I am not trying to be cynical, but perhaps if we held more prayer events than protests or more prayer events other than to pray against a politician all of our cities and our nation would be in better place.

As I write this, yes, I am trying and have tried to coordinate cross-denominational prayer events for the National Day of Prayer (for those who are wondering if I practice what I preach, lol).  And yes, I am aware that multiple congregations are already engaged in doing regular prayer events with their congregations and with other congregations across denominational lines.  But God help us, literally, if we ever get to a point where we feel like we are praying too much.  This year we are trying to add the following to our local prayer events and if possible perhaps you and your congregation can do the same if it is not being done already:

-Quarterly or regularly scheduled cross denominational pray events

-Public prayer events and prayer walks

That being said, what are you praying for and who will you be praying with for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday May 7th of this year?

What We Don’t See With Cultural Morality

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Christian, Church, Community, Country, Digital, Evangelism, Faith, Family, Global, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Leadership, Lent, Life, Ministry, New Testament, Old Testament, Pastors, Pittsburgh, Prayer, Real Talk, Spiritual, The Church, The Law with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

What We Don’t See With Cultural Morality
I used to talk a lot of junk and carry a pretty big Bible. It was a parallel Bible incorporating the KJV, Amplified, NAS, and NIV into one thick 3,000 plus page Bible. I stopped using mine because the print was so small, or I was getting so old I couldn’t see the print (toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe); that plus I had used it so much the pages were falling out. After getting reading glasses I began using my wife’s parallel Bible for my morning study time. As I was reading through 2 Corinthians chapter 5 I can came across some notes she had written in her Bible. They were likely 7 to 10 years old but they speak volumes about what we are seeing in the world today. I have reprinted them here, with my insights after each one. However, they are likely from a Bible study or a sermon she heard preached somewhere so I cannot take credit for them. The title she had over the notes: Dangers of Cultural Morality…
1. Not our commission-we have not been mandated by God. The we being Christ followers and although true some Christ followers have embraced cultural morality more than the Gospel.
2. Wastes precious mounts of resources – is a distraction by the enemy, Eph 5:16. If we are Christ followers then we should devote all resources (time, talent, & treasures) to doing what Christ has called us to do: share & show the love of Christ, invite people to be recipients of Christ’s love.
3. If you don’t change the heart you will redirect the sin. Only God can change a person’s heart. Anything else is merely a bandaid on an eternal wound: sin.
4. Fails to understand the kingdom of God, John 18:36. Just as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John chapter 3, without the Spirit of God one cannot understand the things of God. Cultural morality moves people away from understanding God’s overwhelming love for humanity.
5.

Lenten Lessons

Posted in Christian, Community, Devotion, Faith, Global, God, Holiday, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Lent, Life, Prayer, Real Talk, Resurrection, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

Although I do not participate in Ash Wednesday, as many did this past week, I do acknowledge the purpose of Lent.  In the 4th century the early Church believers wanted to dedicate a time leading up to Resurrection Sunday to focusing on what Jesus Christ did for us by giving His life so that we might have life.  They decided to start that time of focus 40 days before Resurrection Sunday since Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days before jump starting His ministry.

wisdom-black-letters

I get the people that give up things for Lent as a way of fasting and focusing on God’s love, goodness, and grace.  What I don’t get are people who just go through the motions.  I have talked to people who gave up meat for Lent and when I ask them why they literally just say “Because we are supposed to…aren’t we?”  Why would you engage in a 40 day long practice without knowing what you are doing or why you are doing it?  I’m not trying to judge, ridicule, or criticize anyone but here are a few suggestions,  #IMHO, to get the most out of Lent.

  1. DON’T give up anything for Lent if you don’t know why you are doing it.  That isn’t called fasting, it’s foolishness.
  2. DON’T give up anything for Lent without spending time that would normally be used engaging in what you are fasting from drawing closer to Christ by reflecting on what He gave up for you.
  1. DON’T spend the 40 days of Lent griping and moaning about what you gave up. That just shows you don’t really understand what’s going on.
  2. DO celebrate and rejoice in the fact that whatever you gave up pales in comparison to what Jesus Christ gave up for you and that He loves you with a never ending love. Rejoice in that for eternity.

Put A Bandaid On It…

Posted in Christian, Christmas, Christmas Party, Church, Comics, Community, Country, Culture, DC, Devotion, Digital, Dining, Election, Electronics, End Times, Entertainment, Evangelism, Faith, Family, Fantasy, Food, Fun, Geek, Global, God, Government, Health, HIstory, Holiday, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Leadership, Life, Love, Marriage, Marvel, Medical, Military, Ministry, Money, Movies, Music, Nerd, New Testament, Old Testament, Pastors, Pittsburgh, Political, Prayer, Real Talk, Resurrection, Sacrifice, Sci Fi, Social Media, Spiritual, sports, Superheroes, Supernatural, Taboo Topics, The Church, The Law, Travel, TV, Tworship, Vampires, Werewolf, worship with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

So a few months ago I pulled a tendon in my left arm.  It took forever to heal because I kept going right back out and doing the thing that caused the damage in the first place, #dagorhir (you’re going to have to Google it).  After weeks of it not healing I finally took a few weeks off from sparring and gym workouts to let it heal.  Then I gradually re-engaged in both #dagorhir  and gym workouts.  It took time but it healed. 

image

So what do you think I did when I pulled a tendon in my right arm a few weeks later (this was after a pulled abdominal muscle and a few thumb smashes…#dagorhir)? I went right back at it without allowing time for healing.  Of course once I finally took a few weeks off it began to heal; I am still in that healing process.

I look at our nation now and I see a nation that needs to heal, from wounds of lost loved ones, from wounds of lost trust and confidence, and from wounds caused by hatred and bigotry. This nation, we make up this nation, need time to heal.

Over the Christmas weekend take some time to heal.  Step away from the keyboard.  Don’t respond to any flagrant posts or tweets. Ignore the rants and tirades and spend the weekend with family and loved ones.  We all need time to heal.  #merrychristmas.

The Gift That Matters

Posted in Bible, Celebration, Christian, Christmas, Christmas Party, Church, Community, Faith, Family, Global, God, Holiday, Real Talk with tags , , , , , , on December 17, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

As we get closer to the day when we celebrate God’s greatest gift to humanity, the birth of His Son Jesus Christ, we tend to get busier trying to find, purchase, or make a good gift for others.  Whether you make it, order it online, or hunt for it in retail stores realize there is way more value in a thoughtful inexpensive gift than an overpriced last minute gift (a cruise being the exception…everyone loves a cruise).

Although our list of who to shop for may be long, have you taken a minute to consider what gift you can give to God?  Yes, we can give gifts to God and here are 3 excellent ones:

image

1.  Your Talent: although God has equipped each of us with gifts and talents many of us aren’t using those skills to build God’s kingdom.  This doesn’t mean you have to use your gifts and talents in the local church although that is the best place to start. You can also use your gifts and talents within a local organization within your community.  Using your gifts and talents that God has blessed you with and acknowledging those gifts and talents are from God is a great way to bless others and give something back to the God who gives us everything.

2. Your Time: You don’t have to have a special skill or talent to volunteer your time.  Every local church needs people to help out with numerous activities and ministries.  Local organizations in your community that are blessing the lives of others could also use extra hands.  And since we cannot earn that time back in any way shape or fashion it tops the list as one of the most precious things in existence; when you give your precious time to help others it is reminiscent of God giving His precious Son to us.

3. Your Presence (Not Your Presents): Take a little extra time to spend with family this Christmas season; hug them a little closer and a little tighter.  The overtime, the special projects at work, they’ll all be waiting for you.  All your family really needs to have a happy and blessed Christmas is you showing up, telling them you love them, and celebrating the birth of Christ with them.  Take the whole family to a Christmas Eve celebration and rejoice in the birth of Christ together.  #merrychristmas #tistheseason

We Can Still Give Thanks…

Posted in Bible, Christian, Church, Community, Culture, Evangelism, Faith, Global, God, Government, Jesus Christ, Leadership, Life, Prayer, Real Talk, Spiritual, The Church with tags , , , , , , on November 26, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

In a week that should be capitalized with a time of giving thanks and praise to God for His blessings we as a nation are again divided over human hurts.  If nothing else, the events of this week in our nation  confirm how much this nation and this world needs the peace that only Jesus Christ can bring.  We need that peace so we are not fearful of people because of their race, or what clothes they wear, or what position of authority they hold. We need that peace so that hate is no longer one of the most powerful weapons on the planet.  We need that peace because it reveals the truth that every single life is precious to God and should be precious to His people.

image

Now more than ever we, who are the Church, should pray for a spiritual awakening  across the nation: that the Gospel would be communicated across the full spectrum of American society and that people of all ages, races, backgrounds regardless of political affiliation or economic situation would be drawn to Jesus Christ and receive His life, His salvation, and His peace…and we should give thanks that we live in a nation that allows us to do so freely #givethanks

%d bloggers like this: