Archive for the Pittsburgh 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

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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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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?

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.

Don’t Let Fear Steal Your Vote

Posted in Bible, Christian, Church, Country, Faith, God, Government, Jesus Christ, Leadership, Life, Pittsburgh, Political, Prayer, Real Talk, The Church with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

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Sadly, many people are going to go to the polls this week and vote based on fear: fear of decreasing income and/or fear of increased taxes; fear based on the race or gender of the individual voting and/or the race or gender of the candidate running; fear of a party losing political power or of a party gaining it.  Don’t let fear steal your vote!

I pray that we as Christ followers would go to the polls ready to vote based on faith, not fear: faith in the one who saved us, who provides for us, and who is able to, and has done, exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.  Praying that we as Christ followers would seek His face first and then vote according to the prompting of His Holy Spirit. #amen! #whomshallwefear

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.”

 

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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