Archive for acceptance

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.

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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.

Welcome to the Family

Posted in Bible, Christian, Community, Devotion, Evangelism, Family, Global, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Real Talk, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

This morning I was reading about parents who adopt children.  Some parents adopt because they cannot give birth to children whilst others already have children but want to be a blessing to more children.  There are parents who adopt children locally, from other states, and from other countries.  In each case though, the parents are usually excited, jubilant, and ecstatic as they bring the new child home; a child that was not theirs before is now suddenly a part of their family, under their care, and their responsibility.

child-of-god            This is a picture of how God feels every single time a new believer steps across the line of faith, acknowledges how much God loves them, acknowledges He died for them, and becomes a part of the family of God…becomes a child of God.  The Bible tells us about the overwhelming joy that God experiences when this happens.  A man named Luke, who took the time to research the claims of Jesus’ deity, recorded Jesus talking about this very thing.  Luke documented a conversation Jesus was having with those that were separated from God and who society considered the greedy, lust filled, unloved and unwanted.  Jesus told this group that when just one person turns from the things that separates them from God and turns their heart and mind towards a relationship with God there is an atmosphere of joy and gladness that permeates throughout the kingdom of heaven.  It’s not just God who rejoices, but all of heaven celebrates every time someone becomes a child of God.  Take note, Jesus was communicating to those society deemed unloved and unwanted that God wanted them, loved them, and would rejoice to have them in His family.

As Christ followers we should pray that God’s will in heaven is done on earth.  Therefore we should reach out to, accept, and love on those who others might deem un-loveable and unwanted.  We should also let them know that there is a God in heaven who loves them and wants them to be a part of His family.  And we should definitely rejoice and celebrate every time someone steps across the line of faith and becomes a child of God.

The next time you are talking to someone who acknowledges they are a new Christian give them a big hug and say “Welcome to the Family!”

Don’t…

Posted in Bible, Christian, Church, Community, Global, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Prayer, Real Talk, Resurrection, The Church, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

This may seem like more of a rant than a blog but hey, just picture me on a soapbox if it helps.

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To the world and the culture…

Don’t judge me because I actually believe the Bible is real whilst others believe it’s the creative genius of Roma Downey and Make Burnett. Ask them, they’ll tell you it’s true. #TheBible

Don’t criticize me for preaching and proclaiming that we need to instill Biblical values in our kids whilst our kids are raping, shooting, and bullying one another, or just passively sharing, laughing at, and commenting on the videos of those events.

Don’t call me intolerant because I believe in the biblical concept of marriage because for you to totally be tolerant then you need to allow room for my views as well.

To the Church…

Don’t judge me because I actually believe the Bible is real and expect the radical changes God promised for my life and yours, which God  verified for me through the death burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus the Christ.

Don’t criticize me for not judging my success by the number of people that come into a building on Sunday morning but instead looking forward to the number of people that leave our Sunday Celebrations radically inspired to share and live out the word of God and transform their community.

Don’t call me intolerant because I believe what Jesus taught, proclaim what He preached, and celebrate and rejoice in what He did on the cross;  and for not believing the Bible is full of stories or allegories but Biblical truths that have transformed the lives of billions throughout history; and for believing that not preaching teaching and proclaiming these truth has significantly contributed to the problems we face in our culture today.

Don’t hate me for freely expressing my opinion whilst politely inviting you to express yours…would love to hear your thoughts…seriously!

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

Before You Vote…

Posted in Bible, Christian, Community, Country, Culture, Digital, Family, God, Government, Life, Prayer, Real Talk, Spiritual, The Church, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by BigPhatPastor

As you can probably tell many people are very distressed about the upcoming election.  I’m an independent but many people who are faithful to their party are literally up in arms.  If you are a Christ follower, regardless of your political affiliation, you have two responsibilities in this upcoming election: first and foremost to pray, and secondly, to vote.

But before you vote, there are 4 podcasts you definitely need to hear before entering the polls.  Because of the election, at CrossRoads we recently did a series called When In Rome: God’s Perspective on Political Hotspots.  The purpose was to let Christians know God’s perspective on many of the issues being raised by both parties in the upcoming election.   If you have time and the technical resources listen to these podcasts and pray like crazy before casting your vote.  Below is a highlight of each podcast topic and links to where you can get them in either audio or video format.

Podcast 1) When In Rome: God’s Perspective on Political Hotspots – This podcast laid out the fact that many of the issues being raised today have been faced before by people in other nations, specifically Rome, at the height of that nations place of power in history.

Podcast 2) When In Rome: Sexual Healing – In this podcast the topic of sexuality, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is looked at from God’s perspective.  Both parties claim to have the right perspective to how we should view sexual issues.  But before you vote, perhaps you should get God’s perspective.

Podcast 3) When In Rome: The Amazing Race – For obvious reasons, racism has become a huge factor in this election more than any other, including the one that put President Obama in the white house.  The issue is so strong that it is dividing our nation, homes, and even our congregations.  Again, if you are a Christ follower, whether you are dealing with the issue or just know someone who is, this podcast will help you immensely.

Podcast 4) When In Rome: God and Government – Each candidate and their party has a view of the role of government.  God has a view as well and I can guarantee you it differs from what you have heard from either party.

Access the podcasts by:

From iTunes – under podcasts, search for “At The CrossRoads” and look for the icon from this blog.

From our Website – Video and audio can be accessed or downloaded from our website at http://crossroadsofjeffersonhills.com/#/our-message

By email – If you are unable to access any of these features, send me an email and I will mail you an MP3 CD of all 4 podcasts, at no cost to you.

Customer is King

Posted in Community, Country, Culture, Dining, Family, Food, Fun, Life, Real Talk, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by BigPhatPastor

A short while ago I was talking with a relative who manages a franchise of a bakery-café.  She told me that one of the policies of this organization is to give the customer anything they want short of violating laws or corporate policy.  Then she followed that up by stating that in most situations they will sacrifice corporate policy to ensure a happy customer.  I couldn’t believe it, but I had to because what she stated provided clarity on a few occasions where I had seen this in action in my local branches of the bakery-café.

On one occasion I didn’t notice the sign indicating the credit card machine was inoperable so only cash transactions were being accepted.  I didn’t have any cash but rather than cancel the transaction the cashier offered my purchase to me for free.  I refused as it was my own fault for not paying attention.  On another occasion at another location, I was there until closing time and tried to purchase something after the register had been closed.  Again, rather than turn me away they provided me the beverage for free (yes, this time I accepted).  I could go on and on about my experiences and others I have witnessed.  Obviously the goal of the organization is not to go bankrupt by giving away free items, but instead to do whatever is necessary to make their customers happy.

Many of us can attest that the concept of the customer is always right is either totally gone or has been pushed down the ladder of priorities within most organizations.  But what would it look like for each of us as individuals, in our circles of influence and our daily life, to adopt the attitude the customer (whoever we are dealing with) is right and we are going to make sure they know it:

-At the Grocery Store:  To the cashier who is in training or the one who is just slow – instead of sighing and complaining about their delay, we would encourage them by name (they wear a name tag for a reason) and thank them for taking their time to do it right.

-In the Restaurant – To the slow waitress/waiter – instead of instantly deciding how much we are going to decrease their tip by, we would acknowledge that their busy day and we appreciate (state their name…it’s on their name tag) waiting on us.

-In our Schools – To the teachers and administrators – Instead of sending nasty grams of all that is wrong with the education system, we acknowledge what is being done right and ask how can we participate in making more things like that happen.

-In our Homes – To our family members – Just taking a moment to say to our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers, or fathers…thank you for all you do, how can I be there for you today.

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