Archive for the Spiritual Category

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.

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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.

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.

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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

Busy Busy Busy

Posted in Christian, Christmas, Christmas Party, Community, Culture, Devotion, Digital, Faith, Family, Fun, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Life, Prayer, Real Talk, Spiritual, Taboo Topics with tags , , , , on November 14, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

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Many are already planning to visit family for the holidays or are preparing their homes for family and friends to come visit.  The holidays present a time of high activity and hustle and bustle in our homes, schools, work places and in our communities.  But let’s not get so busy that we forsake our precious alone time with God.  It just might be the thing that gets us through the hustle and bustle.  “Time spent alone with God is not wasted. It changes us; it changes our surroundings; and every Christian who would live the life that counts and have power for service must take time to pray.” – M.E. Andross

The Bible

Posted in Bible, Celebration, Christian, Community, Culture, Digital, Entertainment, Family, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Real Talk, Resurrection, Spiritual, The Church, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

This week saw the launching of a new TV miniseries on the History Channel called The Bible.  The series is produced by Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett.  The series, which started this past Sunday evening, is set to end on the evening of Resurrection Sunday (Easter) with the televised depiction of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Many in the Christian community expect that the series will be a powerful display of one of the most amazing and best-selling books on the planet.  Obviously, a 10 episode mini-series cannot portray all that is in the Bible.  However, it can, and hopefully will, inspire Christ followers, Bible skeptics, and those seeking to know more about the Bible to actually pick up the book and read it for themselves.

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Unfortunately, in many congregations, the Bible is not actually opened.  When it is, it is opened  only by the pastor so the congregation doesn’t read the Bible and is only exposed to the opinion of the pastor or guest speaker.  In other instances liturgical elements may take up most of the time for the Sunday Celebration and the actual message from the bible gets a 10 – 15 minute spot in a 60 – 90 minute celebration.

This is a great opportunity for people to actually dig into the revealed word of God and read for themselves the spiritual and historical truths that have literally transformed lives.

What part of the Bible Series was your favorite?  Leave a comment below.

#thechurchisthenewnormal

Posted in Celebration, Christian, Church, Community, Culture, Digital, Evangelism, Global, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Real Talk, Social Media, Spiritual, The Church, Tworship, Uncategorized, worship with tags , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

If you are like me (which might not be as bad as one would initially think…in my humble opinion), you have probably heard statistics and read articles and blogs regarding the declining attendance at Sunday Celebrations; which some claim to be an indicator of the decline of the Church in general.  In fact, one article I read last year stated that within the next 10 years 60% of small neighborhood congregations within America would cease to exist.  I don’t know where those figures are coming from but I strongly disagree.

New Normal2Due to the explosion of internet television, podcasting, and live streaming Sunday Celebrations, it is impossible to get an accurate picture of, and chart the changing dynamics of, the Sunday Celebration.  While some are criticizing the use of these venues, others are doing what Christ did, taking the gospel to where people are congregating.  In this case it’s chat rooms, websites, and anywhere online or on a smart phone.

Personally, I am involved with several online chat experiences and social media communities for Christ followers, Geeky Christians, and even chat rooms where non-Christians and Christ followers discuss (not debate) their differences and their beliefs.  Many congregations are hosting online discussions, and like our congregation does, streaming their Sunday Celebrations so those seeking to know more about God can hear the truth of God’s word.  There are literally millions of virtual prayer rooms that exist online.  This allows people from around the world to literally pray for and with each other within moments of a prayer request being uttered.  Worship experiences are happening across social media platforms (search the hash tag #tworship on Twitter) and the International House of Prayer has an online 24/7 worship experience that can be visited both physically in person and virtually.

Is there more work to be done in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Of course there are always more people, more co-workers, more family, and more friends in our circles of influence with whom we can share the good news as Jesus commanded us to in Matthew 28.  However, it might be a little soon to proclaim the Church in decline.  It might be more accurate to proclaim the expanding and exploding venues through which we can now share the gospel and join physically, spiritually, and virtually together in worshipping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  This is not just a new way to share the gospel.  It is becoming a normal medium that can be used to share the gospel.  It should never replace sitting down with a family member or friend over a cup of coffee to share what God has done in ones life.  But it definitely should not be ignored as a viable venue for expanding God’s kingdom.  #thechurchisthenewnormal

The Church Is…

Posted in Bible, Celebration, Christian, Church, Community, Culture, Global, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Life, Real Talk, Spiritual, The Church, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 22, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

Black Logo4VTime and time again I find myself being reminded that the Church is not a building or a Saturday night or Sunday morning service.  Although the word isn’t used in the Old Testament of the Bible the concept of what the Church truly is meant to be is displayed there over and over.  The actual word used in the New Testament, first used by Jesus (see Matthew 16 and 18), defines a group of people called out “from” wherever they are, “to” a gathering that is meant to be a public display.

God’s intent is that when we as Christ followers publicly show up to love on, support, pray for, pray with, mourn with, laugh with, hope with, heal with, and even hurt with one another, the world sees this authentic community of extremely generous people engaged in doing life together in the presence of a very real God and understands that this thing, this living organism of passionately spiritual people….that’s the Church.

If that doesn’t exist in your congregation then you be the vessel through which God provides it.  Be the Church.  #thechurchisthenewnormal  #realpeoplerealliferealgod

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