Archive for Family

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

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Twas the Night Before A Pretty Geeky Christmas

Posted in Apps, Christmas, Christmas Party, Culture, Digital, Entertainment, Family, Fun, Holiday, Social Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

Christmas Geek

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house;

The geeks home was wired both inside and out.

The dropcams were hung, motion sensors were on,

To catch children peeking before Christmas morn.

And I on my nexus had just made some time,

To shop with the missus via Amazon Prime.

When up on the roof we heard something amiss,

We stopped all our shopping and paused the Netflix.

Whilst voice dialing the police who should appear,

But a young hipster Santa and digital reindeer.

Sup” he said smoothly as he swaggered our way,

Then he winked at the missus, nodded to me and said “Hey“.

He began laying batteries neath our digital tree;

Double A, triple A, some C’s and some D’s.

He laid out some chargers, wireless docks and some mats,

And spread out some gift cards to purchase free apps.

He gave the missus a smart watch and I with a gasp,

Accepted from Santa my first Google Glass.

Then he acknowledged the digital fireplace;

He said “It almost looks real.”

I said “It should, it’s 4K.”

In a flash he was gone but I heard him profess;

Merry Christmas to all! Peace out and God bless!

#NOMORE

Posted in Bullying, Community, Culture, Faith, Family, Life, Love, Real Talk, Taboo Topics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

I had to go back before I wrote this and try to search how many posts, blogs, and tweets had come my way but I did nothing about.  Let’s just say there was an extremely embarrassing amount.  Every time someone sent me a tweet, or img_6747_bw_3posted on their blog about bullying I was angry about the act, but I still did nothing.  Maybe it was because my kids are no longer kids.  Maybe it was because even when they were they didn’t bully people or get bullied (my oldest son is a professional cage fighter so I could be wrong on this one).  Maybe it’s because I haven’t heard about any of the youth in our congregation being bullied or bullying others but for whatever reason I somehow didn’t think the posts, tweets, or social media groups applied to me…until December 1st 2013, the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

A friend sent me a text which I was only able to read part of at the time.  Our praise team was taking part in a community choir festival involving multiple congregations and musicians from various communities.  I didn’t want to be that guy reading text messages during the event (although I was that guy taking pictures and posting them during the event).  The only part of the text I saw was: ‘call Popeye, his daughter hun’.  I consider myself a pretty smart guy so I figured I could determine the full message by just what I read but nothing seemed to make sense.  And the thing that did make sense didn’t make sense…so I read the rest of the text whilst standing with everyone at the festival to sing Silent Night.  Unfortunately, I was right.  Popeye, a friend, part of a motorcycle ministry called Michael’s Marauders, had a teenage daughter named Faith.   Some of the Marauders and their family members had visited CrossRoads for a weekend in mid-September, their third annual visit with our CrossRoads congregation.  Many of the Marauders I knew from when we were all part of the same congregation in Northern, VA where they are based.  I had just met Popeye’s family including Faith during the September visit.  Although I did not know Faith that well, it was still painful and shocking to read the text in its entirety: ‘call Popeye, his daughter hung herself and died. I just got off the phone with him.’

FaithIt turned out that Faith took her own life as a result of bullying.  I can’t imagine how bad a teenage girl with a loving family and friends has to be treated to be pushed to the point where she feels she cannot live another day.  I cannot imagine what Popeye, his wife, Faith’s siblings, or her friends are going through at having lost someone they loved so much.  For me, every time I look at her picture my heart literally breaks with pain for Faith, what she must have went through, and for her family, what they are going through now.  But I have to be honest.  I also get extremely ticked off! I feel like I am boiling with rage!  All over the world children are dying from curable and incurable diseases, from hunger, from adults that want to hurt them and do unspeakable things to them.  They should not be dying because of the way they are treated by other children.  #NOMORE

One thing I have always felt strongly about and still do is that with all of the national and global resources available, no child, or adult, should ever have to die from hunger.  Now I can add to that, that no child should ever be treated in such a way that they feel their only recourse is to stop living.  So from now on, I will not just read, but will retweet and repost everything that comes my way that will help put a stop to bullying.  I will aggressively respond to those who feel bullied and even more aggressively call out children who do it, and parents and school districts who allow it.  This isn’t a church thing, this isn’t a race thing, this isn’t a political thing or a separation of church and state or separation of 99% and 1% thing.  This is a pure and simple “have some freaking decency and respect for human life thing”.  #NOMORE

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!”

Your Social Media Net Worth…IMHO

Posted in Community, Devotion, Digital, Entertainment, Global, Life, Money, Real Talk, Social Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 4, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

Coming off of Spring break many potential grads are going to be looking for gainful employment.  Ideally their employment would start right after graduation (or once they get back from the beach or wherever they go to celebrate graduating).  But here is a thought, and I am definitely not the first to think of it, but what would your net worth be if you could get paid for all those hours spent using social media?  This is not a sales pitch and I am not referring to the Social Media Managers that manage pages and accounts for a living.  I mean if you quantified your time on all your networks chatting, posting, pinteresting, tweeting, etc…what would your time be worth?  I came up with a 7 step process to figure that out:

Money

  •  First, note your current Klout score.  If you don’t know what that is then you probably should not get paid for this particular position.  My Klout score at the time of this writing is 60.
  • Also note your True Reach number.  This will come in handy later.  My True Reach number is 1,000.
  • Determine the number of social media networks used to determine your Klout score, the # of networks you have connected to Klout.  For me the number of networks is 4.
  • Divide your Klout score (60) by the number of networks used to determine your Klout score (4): 60/4 = 15. This is the equivalent of your hourly rate of pay.  For me, I am worth $15/hour.
  • Determine the average number of hours you spend online using social media each week.  For me that is about 60 (don’t act shocked).  Multiply that number times 52 (weeks in a year) to determine the # of hours worked each year.  60 hours/week X 52 weeks/year = 3120 hours per year.
  • Multiply the # you came up with in step 4, your hourly rate times the number of hours per year from step 5.  $15 per hour X 3120 hours/year = $46,800 per year.  This would be my average annual salary if I were paid for all my social media madness.
  • Bonus: since every job deserves a bonus, take 10% of your annual salary and multiply it by the # of networks used to create your Klout score.  For me that is $4,680 X 4 = $18,720.  This would be the quarterly bonus I would receive each quarter where I increase my Klout score by 10.  If I did that for only two quarters I could end the year with a salary of $84,240 before taxes.

Not such a waste of time now is it…of course I made all of this up so it could be…but in my world I would be getting paid for posting this so…

Either way, figure your net worth and share it in the comments.

7 Tips for Successful Gift Giving

Posted in Bible, Christian, Christmas, Devotion, Digital, Family, Fun, Global, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Real Talk, Social Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2012 by BigPhatPastor

Gift GivingIf you’re like me, fairly human, then you are still working through a lengthy list of people for whom you still need to get Christmas gifts.  For those of you who completed your Christmas shopping in August, God bless you; you are a special breed indeed.   What works for me, and may not work for everyone, are the 7 guidelines listed below that I use for giving any type of gift anytime of the year.  Check em out, they’re truly golden:

  1. It’s all about you – Don’t believe the hype.  When giving a gift it is actually all about you.  It’s about what you want the person to have out of the kindness of your heart.
  2. It’s all about them – Giving a gift is also all about the person receiving the gift.  It is you wanting them to have something special that is from you, but it is TO and FOR them.
  3. Cost is an issue – There is a difference between an inexpensive gift and a cheap gift.  Always, always, always lean on the side of inexpensive rather than cheap.  If you have to go cheap it’s best not to give a gift at all.
  4. Cost is not an issue – Although one should not put themselves further in debt to provide a gift, a gift has more value when it costs something to give it.
  5. Presentation doesn’t matter – I am the worst gift wrapper of all time, literally.  So, I lean heavily towards the gift bag.  In some cases, I have handed the person the box straight from Amazon and watched as the person eagerly opened the gift.
  6. Presentation does matter – The right gift given at the right time can truly overcome the lack of  a decorative covering.
  7. Shop Early – Although you may not do the physical shopping early, you can do the virtual shopping anytime of the year.  Make lists of things you notice about the person, their needs, their likes, what makes them happy.  And yes, there is an app for that…literally hundreds of apps for making gift lists.

Suffice it to say that all of the above is Biblically based.  When I think about the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s gift to humanity, it was all about God giving a very precious and special gift to us.  God’s gift wasn’t what humanity thought it needed, and some still don’t think they need God’s gift today.  But He gave His Son to us out of the love and mercy in His own heart.  And it was a gift that He determined we should have from the very beginning of time.

8 Simple Rules for Visiting New York City

Posted in Community, Dining, Family, Fun, Life, Travel with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2011 by BigPhatPastor

This past week I was in New York City to say my last goodbyes to my great aunt who passed away.  Although, as expected, it was good to be with my family it was extremely painful to say goodbye to a loved one.  However, as Christi and I drove into the city I realized it had been at least a dozen or more years since I had last visited New York.  As we sat in traffic for almost two hours trying to make our way across the George Washington Bridge I realized why.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love New York.  I was born and raised there.  But if you have not been there for a while or are planning on visiting, let me give you 8 Simple Rules for Visiting New York City:

  1.  1.Yield to all New York license plates.  Chances are they drive a lot better than you do.
  2. Expect your car to be hit or bumped in traffic.  This is usually by the people that do not drive better than you do.
  3. Expect to eat great food.  I really don’t care what history says, pizza was discovered and made famous in New York City.
  4. Plan on people watching.  You will see interesting, famous, and unique people all over the city, and at least one person from almost every culture on the planet.
  5. Expect to be greeted by everyone.  Everyone is going to say hello.
  6. Expect to be ignored by everyone.  I know this sounds like a conflict but both are true and I can’t explain why.
  7. Expect to fall in love with the city.  It is truly one of the most beautiful and amazing cities you will ever see.
  8. Bring at least $100 in cash for tolls.  Nuff said.
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