Archive for Holy Spirit

National Day of Prayer

Posted in Apps, Atheist, Bible, Celebration, Christian, Church, Community, Country, Culture, DC, Devotion, Digital, Election, Faith, Family, God, Government, HIstory, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2015 by BigPhatPastor

NDPThis year I am torn more than ever regarding the National Day of Prayer.  I know it is a huge nationwide event that brings out people and congregations in droves to events all over the nation.  I strongly encourage people and congregations to gather publically and pray for their friends, their families, their communities, and our nation and its leaders.  However, isn’t that what the body of Christ is supposed to do anyway?  And do it daily?

I am torn because some view the National Day of Prayer as the only day to engage in prayer.  Prayer is one of the most valuable assets that the body of Christ has today.  If that is true then shouldn’t the body of Christ be gathering together, even across denominational lines, to pray for people, communities, and our nation…regularly?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for praying together and in public.  I  am just all for it more than just one day a year.  Why aren’t there monthly or quarterly prayer events going on across our nation on a regular basis?  Why is it usually when tragedy strikes that we see a call to prayer?  Why does it have to take a Tsunami, an earthquake, or a questionable action by a civil servant, or a city in mourning to bring the body of Christ together to pray?  I am not trying to be cynical, but perhaps if we held more prayer events than protests or more prayer events other than to pray against a politician all of our cities and our nation would be in better place.

As I write this, yes, I am trying and have tried to coordinate cross-denominational prayer events for the National Day of Prayer (for those who are wondering if I practice what I preach, lol).  And yes, I am aware that multiple congregations are already engaged in doing regular prayer events with their congregations and with other congregations across denominational lines.  But God help us, literally, if we ever get to a point where we feel like we are praying too much.  This year we are trying to add the following to our local prayer events and if possible perhaps you and your congregation can do the same if it is not being done already:

-Quarterly or regularly scheduled cross denominational pray events

-Public prayer events and prayer walks

That being said, what are you praying for and who will you be praying with for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday May 7th of this year?

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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.
5.

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. 

We Can Support More Than Just Chicken

Posted in Christian, Community, Culture, Devotion, Family, Food, Fun, God, Life, Political, Prayer, Real Talk, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2012 by BigPhatPastor

It’s great that so many Christ followers showed up to support Chick-fil-A.  But there are many many other things that those who follow Christ could show up and support.  A showing like the one for Chick-fil-A  in these and other areas would send such a huge message of unity to the world since these are the areas where Christ followers tend to not show up in as many numbers:

 In the Voting Booth – although if you check any number of polls and statistics it will reflect that Christians vote.  Most of them will even tell you how often Christians vote and for what party.  The question is how many Christ followers are showing up to support their party versus showing up to vote the way God has instructed?  Think about what a positive and powerful message it would be to this nation and to the world if every Christ follower of voting age sought God first and then all voted in unison as prompted by God’s Holy Spirit.

In the Community – Most people that supported Chick-fil-A went to the one closest to their work or home.  What would it look like if Christ followers showed up with that same level of intensity to support projects in their local community?  How awesome would it be if all of the Christ followers living in the same communities got together, regardless of denominational affiliation and took on, one by one, projects or issues facing their community?

In the Sunday Celebration – I’m just wondering if record breaking numbers of Christ followers showed up to support Chick-fil-a, why are many polls speculating that at the current rate of closures more than 60% of local congregations will cease to exist in 10 years.

The Gospel According to Green Lantern

Posted in Christian, Digital, Fun, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Sci Fi, Superheroes, The Church, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by BigPhatPastor

With all the tragedy and hardship going on around our nation right now I thought it would be ok to bring a little light (pun intended) into everyone’s day.  As a huge huge comic book fan I am excited at the onslaught of DC and Marvel movies in and coming to theaters this year.  So I took a moment to share my joy with our worshipping community this past week with a message relating to Green Lantern.  My goal was to share how we can see God in everything…even comic books that have nothing to do with religion or faith.

The Guardians of Oa (planet Oa) are the beings who are the self-proclaimed protectors of the universe (and by this I mean the DC Comic universe…of course).  They have been around since the beginning of the universe.  The Guardians of Oa created the power battery and filled it with a great power.  The power when focused through a power ring (not to be confused with a Power Ranger…sorry, I couldn’t help myself) allows the ring bearer to shape that power into anything the ring bearer can imagine.  It is limited only by the ring bearers will.  The ring bearer has to charge the ring in a power battery, which is connected to the main battery on Oa, which would provide power to the ring for a 24 hour time period before having to be re-charged.  The Guardians took that power and provided it to select individuals throughout the universe.  Each individual who wore the ring then became a protector of their area of the universe and was known as a Green Lantern.  Each Green Lantern was considered one of the most powerful heroes in the universe because they were in possession of one of the most powerful forces in the universe.  When the Green Lanterns came together they made up the Green Lantern Corps, one of the most incredible, powerful, unstoppable groups in existence in the DC Comic universe.

As a pastor and a follower of Jesus Christ, I can’t help but see all the theological analogies.  God is the creator of this universe and He existed long before its creation.  He took the greatest power in existence, His very Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead and gave it to all those who would believe in and trust in Him.  Each person who does that then becomes a living walking manifestation of the very presence of God and has in them the single most powerful force in existence.  When those people come together they are known as the Church and when they step forward to do God’s will through the direction and anointing of God’s Holy Spirit they become the most incredible, powerful, unstoppable group in existence in this universe.

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