Archive for the Jesus Christ Category

Jar of Blessings?!?!?

Posted in Apps, Bible, Christian, Church, Devotion, Digital, Faith, Fun, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Love, Pastors, Real Talk with tags , , , , on January 6, 2016 by BigPhatPastor

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So I can’t be the only one who kept reading about the Jar of Blessings and thought “No one actually does this”, right?  I mean I’ve been in a lot of people’s homes and have not seen one jar sitting around.  So I thought it was bunk…until I tried it.  In January of 2015 I thought I’d give it a try…with a digital spin.  Instead of using an actual jar I created a notebook in Evernote and jotted down blessings throughout the year.  Since Evernote is cloud based I was able to jot down notes anytime anywhere.  Granted, I was new at it and probably missed jotting down multiple things but every now and then I’d jot something down and think how blessed I truly am.

Towards the latter part of 2015 I was feeling less and less blessed.  Just dealing with my own junk and extended family issues drew me away from focusing on blessings and caused me to focus on trials and issues instead.  But then recently as I was going over some lists in Evernote I saw the Jar of Blessings notebook and decided to look through it.  I was shocked at my perception of God’s blessings; little things that I was greatful for, tiny events that others might ridicule I was extremely ecstatic over.  And all the blessings I listed continued even in the times where I seemed to be focused on my trials.  It was amazing to look back and see not just how good God was but to see His hand of blessing even in times when I didn’t think I felt blessed.

So I started another notebook and began jotting down blessings for this year.  I’ll definitely be more active in recording things and way more active in referring back to them.  If you haven’t done so, start now and begin listing God’s blessings in your life, big and small.  And if you have done so ensure you make time to refer back to them regularly.

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You’re Doing It Wrong

Posted in Bible, Bullying, Christian, Church, Country, Culture, Devotion, Faith, Global, God, Jesus Christ, Leadership, Life, Ministry, New Testament, Pittsburgh, Real Talk, The Church with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

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Every time there is a disagreement between Christ followers and the culture people are quick to tell Christ followers to stop judging others.  They are quick to remind us that the Bible says not to judge others.  They post, tweet, & Snapchat Matthew 7:1, “Judge not that ye be not judged.” It seems everyone is fluent in King James when criticizing others.

The problem is they’re wrong because the Bible does tell Christians to judge others.  The rest of the passage in Matthew 7 is about using a right judgement and not being hypocritical.  In fact, John records that one of the times that Jesus was being criticized for living a Christian life that went against the grain of the culture that He told those criticizing him, who were being hypocritical by the way, to judge not by appearances but by righteous judgement.

We as Christ followers are supposed to judge whether something is right in accordance with God’s righteousness or not.  So please, if you’re going to keep quoting that verse at least read the rest of the passage and start doing it right. #RantOver…#ForNow

Passion

Posted in Bible, Christian, Church, Devotion, Digital, Evangelism, Faith, Global, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Life, Ministry, Missionary, Passion, Real Talk with tags , , , , , , , on May 22, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

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This past weekend I was blessed to be able to spend the weekend with some friends visiting from Chile.  They are missionaries who share the Gospel with people in Chile.  I’ve known Christian and Magaly since my first mission trip which was to their facility in Santiago Chile in 2002.  They, and other families and individuals, share the Gospel with children, youth, and young adults via week long summer camps at their facility.  They also put on large stage productions at their facility and in schools (yes, I said in schools, and I was with them as they did this in one school on my 2nd mission trip to Chile), communities, and apartment complexes in and around Santiago.  At the end of each production all of the cast and crew pick up a Bible and go out into the audience and shares the Gospel. 

Last weekend as they were visiting Christian shared with the CrossRoads congregation that we were created, called, and equipped to live with passion; and a huge part of that passionate life is sharing the Gospel.  For me, my passion, what gets me up and excited each day is sharing God’s word with people. Sometimes I forget what drives me.  Sometimes business, or lack there of can quench my passion and it takes someone else to inspire that passion.

So what is your passion?  What drives and pushes you each and every day?

What drives you each day?

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.
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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.

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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.

Blessings in a Bottle

Posted in Apps, Bible, Christian, Devotion, Digital, Electronics, Faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Life, Pastors, Pittsburgh, Prayer, Real Talk with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

At the beginning of every year people are always trying to list out new things to try and do for the coming year.  I don’t do resolutions but I do try to implement things into my life that will make it better and make me a better person.  This year I saw a post regarding a jar of blessings.  It may have been around for a while but this is the 1st year I took notice of it.

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The idea is to take a jar and fill it with little notes about blessings that take place in your life; little things that happen throughout the day and big things that occur on certain days.  Well, since one of my wife’s motto’s is “Let’s not put things on display, they add to clutter.” I decided that instead of a jar of blessings I would keep an online notebook.  This way I have access to it no matter where I am and no matter which device is nearby.  I can also look at the blessings that occurred within a given week, month, or other specified time frame.

To date, I’ve filled it with some funny stuff, some light hearted stuff, tiny things about people I’ve met and other things God has blessed me with; some pretty huge.

If there was an app that would let me tweet these things out that would be even better; if anyone knows of one let me know.  Until then I will just have to keep blowing up my notebook because God is blessing my pants off.

How about you?  Anything special God is doing in your life?  And when He does do something do you share it with others?

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