Archive for the Ministry Category

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?

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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Talk To The Animals

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Christian, Church, Devotion, Faith, God, Ministry, New Testament, Old Testament, Pastors, The Church with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

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Many theologians and atheists and people in general argue over which animals God is referencing in Job chapter 40 (the answer to which I’ll provide shortly #imho).  By focusing on the animals we miss the greater point that God is making.  God highlights the characteristics of a land and then a sea animal.  His point to Job is if you cannot understand or grasp the concept of why these creatures were created, if you cannot meet their varying needs, if you cannot see their role in the universe then how can you begin to question God and His purpose?  If Job cannot grasp what God is doing with and for these animals how could Job get and grasp what God is doing with and for humanity. 

We know God has just demonstrated what faith in God can do; not just to Job but also to satan (and by extension to us).  That same faith is what saved the Old Testament saints as they looked forward to the Cross and the New Testament saints and us as we look back to it.  As to the animals God is referencing? They could easily be ones no longer in existence in our day.  But the main point is they are identified as ones God created; ones He knows and created for His purpose.  The same is true of you and me.  God created us to know Him and more so than the animals to be recipients of His amazing love. Like Job, we just need to put our faith and trust in God even in the midst of the trials and tribulations of this world.

Upon Further Examination

Posted in Bible, Christian, Church, Country, Devotion, Digital, End Times, Faith, Global, Holy Spirit, Life, Ministry, New Testament, Old Testament, Real Talk, Supernatural with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

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I am literally dentisted-out.  Over the past few months I’ve had multiple dental exams, measurements, procedures, not to mention a dental surgery early last year.  It is my own fault for not seeing a dentist for the last 5 or 6 years.  At my last few visits I was told two different things by two dentists.  One said your teeth are fine but your gums need more checkups and more flossing. This was pretty consistent with what they had been telling me all along.  Another dentist recommended surgery and a possible bone graft.  How could they both look at the same thing and recommend two different strategies? 

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People ask the same thing about the revelation of God to humanity.  If God exists why are there so many different religions?  Even within Christianity why are there so many different denominations?  The religion question I can address in a different (and much longer) post.  As to the denominations it is the same thing that happened with the dentist.  We all see the same thing but interpret what we see through our own experiences.  We respond to what we see based on how we interpret it.  Neither dentist was wrong but each suggested a different approach.  And whilst I cannot speak for every denomination many read the same Word of God and experience His revelation of Himself to humanity and respond to that revelation and choose different ways to reverence and worship Him based on their understanding and life experiences.  The most important thing is that they do recognize His revelation and they do respond. 

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.

The Next Big Thing Is Already Here

Posted in Bible, Celebration, Christian, Church, Devotion, Digital, God, Jesus Christ, Ministry, Pastors, Real Talk, sports, The Church, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 11, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

You don’t have to be a techie to be familiar with the Samsung phrase “The next big thing is here.”  However, as a mild techie I am just becoming familiar with the Samsung brand of smart phones.  My wife is more familiar having had the Samsung Fascinate as her first smartphone.  She recently updated to the Samsung Galaxy S3.  I had the first droid from Motorola followed by the HTC Thunderbolt.  I recently updated to the Samsung Galaxy S4.  The S4 is supposed to be the greatest and latest smartphone on the market today…for now.

20130611_090812In some ways, people treat the Sunday Celebration like they do their smartphones: they’re ok for a while, until someone comes along with the Next Big Thing on how to do the Sunday Celebration.  It may be a more flashy music celebration, it may be adding dramas or videos, it may be changing the setting where the celebration takes place to an auditorium or a theatre or even adding locations via video.  In some cases, it is adding more and more liturgy.  But no matter what we add to the Sunday Celebration it does not change the fact that the Next Big Thing was already here…Jesus Christ.

When pastors and leaders remove the focus of Jesus Christ from the Sunday Celebration they are in essence saying there is something bigger and better and more important than coming together as the Church in the presence of the creator of the universe.  There is nothing wrong with having all of the things mentioned previously in the Sunday Celebration.  In fact, it is my personal opinion that the Sunday Celebration should be and needs to be the most exciting, vibrant, powerful celebration anyone attends.  Why? Because we are celebrating the Creator of the universe; we are celebrating everything God has done and will do in our lives; we are rejoicing that God loved us enough to send His one and only Son that we might have life and have it to the full, and we are doing it together…as the Church.  We should definitely celebrate that harder than any sports game, musician or music group, or anything else in existence.  It is our job as pastors and ministry leaders to remind people that the Next Big Thing was already, and still is here, Jesus Christ and the amazing saving grace He offers to us through His death, burial, and resurrection…definitely worth celebrating!

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