Archive for the Entertainment 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.

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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.

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. 

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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.

What Christ Followers Can Learn From Comics

Posted in Christian, Comics, Culture, DC, Devotion, Digital, Entertainment, Fantasy, Geek, Jesus Christ, Leadership, Life, Marvel, Movies, Nerd, Real Talk, Sci Fi, Superheroes, The Church, TV, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

My top 3 movies of all time are 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, The Matrix, with Ultra Violet, Aeon Flux, and the Bollywood hit movie Bride and Prejudice all in a tie for third place (don’t judge me if you haven’t seen them).  But the super hero movies fromBlack Logo4V Marvel Comics are definitely edging their way into my top 10.  The Avengers movie from 2012, which grossed close to 2
billion dollars worldwide, was probably my favorite and sits nicely as my fourth favorite.  I went to see it with my son and some friends who were also comic book fans.  My son and I were the only ones who were actually brought to tears (yes, real tears).  Mainly because we were watching comic book heroes we were fond of brought to life on the big screen…together.

Although many of the characters appeared in movies of their own prior to the Avengers movie, seeing them overcome their differences and issues to come together for a greater cause to fight a common enemy made the movie hit home.  Marvel did the same thing with the recent hit Guardians of the Galaxy.  As a comic book fan I had a passing idea of the comic book group on which the movie was based.  However, many people who did not know the group still loved the movie.  Why?  Well (no spoilers for those who have not yet seen it), in addition to the great comedic factor, and the extremely awesome soundtrack (which any fan or child of the 1980’s will love), the movie again focused on bringing people together.  Individuals who each had different ideas of how to achieve a common goal put their differences aside to overcome a common enemy.  This hasn’t escaped the notice of DC Comics who are planning on bringing several superheroes together in the upcoming Batman v Superman movie and the Justice League movie.  Somehow Hollywood has taken notice that unity is the key to success.

Hero2So for those who have not quite caught on to where this is going I will ask the obvious question…why hasn’t the Church taken notice?  Today, depending upon your definition of the word denomination, there are close to 400,000 different denominations that exist on the planet.  These span the three major world views: Theism which holds that there is a God over all who made all; Pantheism which holds that God is all and everyone and everything is a part of that all; and Atheism which holds that there is no God at all.  Within the Christian denominations most hold to a common belief system:  there is one God who manifests Himself as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit;   that God the Father loved humanity so much that He sent God the Son to die for the sins of humanity in the place of humanity and then was resurrected; that evidence for this exists via God the Son sending God the Holy Spirit residing within all those who believe as the promised seal of God the Father.  Many denominations have different structures and ways of worshipping God.  But of the ones who hold the above in common, and who believe that the most important role of the Church, the body of Christ, is to reveal this truth to the world, the question still remains, why are they not coming together?

Isn’t there more strength in numbers? Yes.  Wouldn’t the Church be more effective at reaching people with this truth if they combined resources? Possibly.  Has coming together to achieve a common goal proven effective for more than just comic book heroes?  Most definitely!  No matter where one stands on same sex marriage it cannot be denied that the overwhelming accomplishment of 19 states approving same sex marriage has come about because those who are proponents of it have banded together, inside and outside of the church, putting their differences aside to achieve a common goal.  The same is true of the legalization of marijuana.  Proponents of the legal use of marijuana have banded together for a common goal and currently over 20 states have laws allowing either medical use of marijuana or use for recreational purposes.  I am not trying to be negative but if “potheads” can come together, surely the Spirit filled people of God can as well.

If the Church believes the message and truth of the gospel is a more important and more life changing message than that of same sex legislation or marijuana legalization then why aren’t they banding together?  Why aren’t larger congregations and smaller congregation sharing resources?  Why are disagreements over hymns and traditional music still being debated?  Why are there still predominantly white or black congregations in communities with diversity when we are all one in Christ? Why aren’t fundamentalists and charismatics acknowledging God’s Spirit exists in all true believers and coming together to share that good news?

Just recently, over 25,000 people came together for the three day Franklin Graham Three Rivers of Hope Festival in the city of Pittsburgh. 3 Rivers2  Hundreds of churches came together for a common goal and thousands upon thousands of people put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  How would our congregations benefit if instead of bringing congregations together every few decades when a member of the Graham family came to town, we brought them together every few months?  What would it say to our communities if they consistently and regularly saw various denominations coming together to worship Jesus Christ?  How much more would the message of true transformation be heard by those in our circles of influence if the focus of all of our congregations was on inviting people into our lives and into God’s kingdom instead of just into our buildings on Sunday mornings?

As Stan Lee, comic book icon, is quoted as saying, “With great power must also come…greater responsibility,”  Since the Church, the body of Christ is filled with the greatest power known to exist on the planet, the Spirit of the Living God, we BigPhatChecklisthave a greater responsibility to come together to see God’s purposes fulfilled through His Church.   Plan a meeting with your pastor, ministry team, and then with other local pastors and/or their ministry teams within your community to see how you can start coming together to plan a community worship celebration, a praise in the park event, a community Thanksgiving celebration or to meet a community need. #wearethechurch

Just Another Day In Paradise

Posted in Celebration, Christian, Culture, Digital, Entertainment, Fun, God, Leadership, Life, Pastors, Pittsburgh, Real Talk, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

I know many people think and joke that pastors only work one day a week, and on that day literally only 90 minutes. However, I and most pastors I know put in untold hours for the kingdom…or so I thought. I actually sat down one day and chronicled a regular Tuesday for me, which is a little different from most other days but not much….

Tuesday2-06:17 – Alarm went off. It’s normally set for 06:07 but I was trying a new app called Sleep Cycle to monitor my sleeping habits. I average about 5 hours of sleep a night.

-06:37 – Finished checking news and social media happenings, checked calendar and emails, posted an inspiring pic and started cleaning kitchen whilst listening to preaching podcast (today was John Ortberg).

07:20 – Began personal Bible study (studies unrelated to sermon or small group preparation, one chapter in Jeremiah)

07:27 – Stopped to take blood pressure (not good) and drink maté (an herbal tea with twice the kick of coffee and half the caffeine).

07:35 – Continue Bible Study (one chapter in Acts and one in 2 Kings)

08:20 – Prayer (I use prayer cards and straight conversation with God…He hears me and believe me I hear Him)

09:00 – Posted updates to congregational online group. Responded to emails. Scheduled some inspirational posts and tweets.

NOTE: The time I spend in prayer and Bible study are the most important things I do all day. The Bible study is not related to any teaching or small group study, but my personal time spent digging into and understanding the Word of God. My prayer time enhances my understanding of everything I study and allows me some one on One time with God.

download_20140326_12254109:15 –  Begin stretching to begin workout (gotta stay on top of that high blood pressure)

09:20 – Cardio workout (whilst watching and catching up on Marvel’s Agents of Shield…it’s called multi-tasking for a reason).

10:00 – Post workout stretching (and yes some Yoga…don’t judge me)

10:30 – Brunch with my wife.

11:15 – Updated a few items on my ToDo list for the day, checked calendar and emails, posted information regarding events for the week in congregational online group.

11:30 – Shower (I know some of you were worried about that).

12:15 – Began working on Digital Devotion for YouTube channel (editing, rendering, etc…)

14:00 – Lunch

14:25 – Update order and flow of the Sunday Celebration (this is documenting the prayerful consideration of what will happen in the Sunday Celebration: music, announcements, communion and any other elements; copies are provided to the Praise Team and the Tech Team)

15:30 – Bible Words With Friends Small Group preparation (prayerful preparation of items for discussion and study)

17:05 – Prepare and posting of a discussion topic in a chat room I moderate.

17:40 – Scrounge for pre-dinner.

19:07 – Bible Words With Friends Small Group

20:30 – Planet Fitness to work out with friends; this week: The Batman Workout (Google it or see the picture above, I’m at the Alfred level…a work in progress)

21:50 – Dinner with my wife (late I know but that is why we do pre-dinners)
NOTE 2: Sprinkled throughout the day is time spent checking texts, Facebook, Google plus and other online venues as I sometimes receive notifications, requests for help or prayer, etc…via these venues. In addition, I consistently view some online communities to review questions from people and to post answers to questions. The ones I frequent most often are ones regarding anti-bullying, anti-suicide, and theists and anti-theists conversations.

Note 3: In January my wife completed her degree in Diagnostic Sonography. However, she is still studying to complete  two of four total certifications that are required in her field (she has already completed two of the certifications, both within 60 days of graduating whereas most do so within 18 months). So when I am working from home she is sometimes at home studying. So also sprinkled throughout the day are comments from her whilst studying: “Turn the music down. Please stop talking to yourself out loud. Are you talking to me? Who are you talking to now? Do you have to sing out loud? How is dancing related to whatever you are working on? Honey, I absolutely love being married to you.”

 

Twas the Night Before A Pretty Geeky Christmas

Posted in Apps, Christmas, Christmas Party, Culture, Digital, Entertainment, Family, Fun, Holiday, Social Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

Christmas Geek

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house;

The geeks home was wired both inside and out.

The dropcams were hung, motion sensors were on,

To catch children peeking before Christmas morn.

And I on my nexus had just made some time,

To shop with the missus via Amazon Prime.

When up on the roof we heard something amiss,

We stopped all our shopping and paused the Netflix.

Whilst voice dialing the police who should appear,

But a young hipster Santa and digital reindeer.

Sup” he said smoothly as he swaggered our way,

Then he winked at the missus, nodded to me and said “Hey“.

He began laying batteries neath our digital tree;

Double A, triple A, some C’s and some D’s.

He laid out some chargers, wireless docks and some mats,

And spread out some gift cards to purchase free apps.

He gave the missus a smart watch and I with a gasp,

Accepted from Santa my first Google Glass.

Then he acknowledged the digital fireplace;

He said “It almost looks real.”

I said “It should, it’s 4K.”

In a flash he was gone but I heard him profess;

Merry Christmas to all! Peace out and God bless!

7 Things You Didn’t Know About The 1st Christmas Party

Posted in Bible, Celebration, Christian, Christmas, Christmas Party, Church, Community, Culture, Devotion, Entertainment, Global, God, Holiday, Jesus Christ, Real Talk, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

I realize for many we are still one Thanksgiving away from the start of the Christmas season.  However, for others it started with the first snow, the first Christmas present you purchased for someone this year (for some that was in January, lol), or the day after Halloween or the elections (depending upon your upbringing).   With the start of the Christmas season comes gift wrapping, gift giving to co-workers, gift mailing to our troops and far away family members, and of course, Christmas decorating.  But one of my favorite aspects of Christmas is the Christmas party or as I like to call it the Christmas Celebration.

Nov 2013 4Many people have gotten away from having Christmas parties because the parties have become more about the party than about Christmas (‘ll just leave that thought there).  However, Christmas parties used to be about celebrating the true meaning of the season with family, co-workers, friends, and neighbors more than anything else.  In fact, we can learn a lot by looking at 7 things you didn’t know or may not have known about the very first Christmas party.  A man named Luke researched the Life of Jesus Christ including His birth.  He captured his findings in what we today call the book of Luke or the Gospel (good news) of Luke.  From that we find the following about the first Christmas party:

  1.   It was God’s idea– In the book of Luke chapter 2 we read about the birth of Jesus Christ.  It was God’s idea to send His son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of humanity, but it was also God’s idea to celebrate that birth and have representatives of Heaven and Earth join in rejoicing about it.   In verse 9 of the chapter we read that God sent an angel to tell the shepherds about the very 1st Christmas party.
  2. It was by personal invite – Although God could have invited anyone and everyone, verse 9 also tells us that God sent an angel to provide a personal invite to some shepherds who just happened to be out on that particular night.  He didn’t invite the most popular people, the richest people, or royalty (not even the media made this invite list).  He sent an angel to personally invite local people from within the community to come and rejoice and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
  3. It took place on Christmas Day – Most people and businesses plan to have their  Christmas party weeks or days before Christmas.  There was a time when every week in December and every day of the week before Christmas there was a Christmas party being thrown by someone I knew that I would attend.  Verse 11 tells us that this first Christmas party took place on the day of Christ’s birth, although in the evening.  This is why many congregations used to hold a special service on Christmas day.  Most congregations have gotten away from doing that by switching to holding it on Christmas Eve.
  4. There was a whole lot of music – Verse 13 tells us the party started way before the shepherds got to the house.  I can remember playing Christmas music and getting in a happy happy jolly jolly mood before heading out to many a Christmas party.  This must be where that tradition started because verse 13 tells us a multitude of heavenly beings appeared and started celebrating.  The word multitude is used in the KJV whilst the Amplified and Complete Jewish Bible versions use verbiage indicating there was an army of heavenly beings.  The Greek word used is one where we get our English word plethora and it indicates there were a whole lot of angelic beings, a great number.  While Luke tells us that they praised God the word He uses for praise is a word commonly used for singing praises.  Luke’s verbiage paints the picture that most of us grew up with of a heavenly choir appearing and singing and rejoicing at the birth of Christ before the shepherds even got to the location where Jesus Christ was born.
  5. There were no gifts exchanged – Despite many of our traditions of exchanging gifts, or white elephant exchanges, there were no gifts given at this party.  The shepherds showed up empty handed because they were there to acknowledge humanity’s receipt of the greatest gift ever given in the history of creation: God giving His Son to us.
  6. There was only one party – Although verses 17 and 18 tell us that the shepherds left the party and immediately began telling others about it, we don’t read of any other gatherings or any other celebrations.  There was only one gathering, one celebration, in an un-decorated location that would make Martha Stewart cry if she knew parties were hosted there.  But people representing the community gathered there to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.   Verses 15, 16, and 20 indicate they went eagerly wanting to experience all that had been revealed to them and they left excited and happy and glorifying God.  The main reason was…
  7. It was all about Jesus – The shepherds went to celebrate Jesus, the party was all about Jesus, and they left glorifying and celebrating about Jesus.

This Christmas Eve many congregations will be hosting a Christmas Eve Celebration.  If you attend one you can put some of these things into practice by: Inviting a friend or neighbor or co-worker to go with you; invite them personally, not just by text or Facebook invite (although if you invite people that way, try to connect with them personally and let them know you really want them to attend); if you host a Christmas party or attend one somewhere else ensure you invite those people to attend the Christmas Eve Celebration with you and your congregation;  help get them in the Christmas mood before the celebration by taking them out for coffee, or lunch, or dinner depending upon the time of the celebration you are attending; but most importantly, let them know in advance that you want them to join you in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

From myself , my family, and the entire Church family of CrossRoads Community Church of Jefferson Hills, have a very merry Christmas and God’s blessings for the New Year.

Jesus Christ: Super Sports Star

Posted in Celebration, Christian, Church, Community, Culture, Digital, Entertainment, Fun, God, Jesus Christ, Pittsburgh, Real Talk, sports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

Pittsburgh Sports Fan Since living in the Burgh I have come to have a real understanding of the words faith and commitment.  Pittsburgh sports fans are extremely committed to their sports teams and are faithful to them even in trying times.  I often wondered what the Christian culture would look like if Christ followers took their relationship with God as serious as Burghers take their relationship with their sports teams:

If Christ followers were as committed as Pirates Fans: The church buildings would be filled every Sunday even after years and years of bad sermons.  Almost all of the Sunday Celebrations would end with happy people enjoying fireworks and good fellowship and families would line up after each celebration for hours to have their children run around the podium..

If Christ followers were as committed as Penguins Fans: Local congregations would tear down existing church buildings to build bigger ones and put screens outside so the tailgaters could enjoy the Sunday Celebrations as well.Real God

If Christ followers were as committed as Steelers Fans: People would stop what they were doing, even come home from camp early every weekend, just so they didn’t miss a big message on Sunday.  They would wave crosses in the air during the celebrations and lay them across cell phones and tablets whilst downloading or streaming sermons hoping for a good message.  They would train their children from birth to think, eat, breath, and live the gospel message of Jesus Christ (and yes, they would still bleed black and gold).

What would the culture of Christ followers look like if people in your city were like the sports fans in your city?

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