Archive for living

#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

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Celebrate

Posted in Christian, Community, God, Jesus Christ, Life, worship with tags , , , on November 12, 2010 by BigPhatPastor

In our American culture we have become experts at acknowledging and celebrating. We acnowledged the sacrifice and hardships of our military and yesterday we celebrated. We acknowledge the importance of our independence and freedoms and every 4th of July (and some would add every other 1st Tuesday in November) we celebrate it.

But what would life look like if followers of Jesus Christ lived a life of constant celebration? I mean if the God of the universe, the Creator of all things has truly given us an abundant new life with Him through Jesus Christ shouldn’t every day be worth rejoicing & celebrating? Just as every other tweet & Facebook status reflected thanks & respect & love for our vets; & businesses & people went out of their way to show their gratitude for them for their sacrifice…

Why Your Church Should Be Listed On Foursquare

Posted in Christian, Family, Fun, Global, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Social Media with tags , , , , on September 11, 2010 by BigPhatPastor

This past week I had one of the toughest battles I have ever experienced.  I mean a knock down drag out kick punch and scream battle.  Our Family Advocacy Team Leader and I were engaged in a constant neck and neck battle for leader of the foursquare board.  After a week of up and down we were actually both beat out by another pastor in the area who blew us both out of the water.  He was even in the top 30 or 40 out of all of the Foursquare peeps throughout Pittsburgh.

I think every church should be on foursquare.  That doesn’t mean that every pastor or member of the church has to run out and start using Foursquare, but the address and name of the church should be listed as a location so that people that are using foursquare can check in.  I’m not saying this because it’s a cool geeky, techno, social med thing to do (although it really is); and I’m not saying this as a way to get your church name out or as a way of advertising.  I’m saying this because of the potential for opportunities for people to share their stories together.

Imagine…if just one or two people in your congregation are using Foursquare then they will likely check in to your church each time they are there (I listed several other churches I visited on Foursquare and have since seen several other people check into those churches).  It is likely that if they are using Foursquare then they may have a Facebook account and possibly even a Twitter account.  Each time they check in using Foursquare it is possible that their Twitter and Facebook accounts are being updated.  If those accounts are being updated then it is possible one or more of their un-churched or de-churched friends might see the status update.  If their friends see the update they just might ask (via text, Facebook, or Twitter) “What were you doing at church?”  That gives the person in your congregation a chance to respond (via text, Facebook, or Twitter) with  something like the following, “Hey, I’m glad you asked.  Wanna meet for coffee or dinner? Then I can tell you about my church, my life, and this man named Jesus.”

Just imagine it…it could happen.

Like Father Like…

Posted in Christian, Devotion, Family, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Life with tags , , , , on May 31, 2010 by BigPhatPastor

I am amazed at how many qualities of her mother and father my wife Christi reflects.  I’m not complaining about it, but whenever we spend more time with her parents I usually end up noticing another quality.  For example, I love commercials.  Some are interesting, others entertaining, and I can learn what’s popular and what’s not.  Christi hates commercials and always always mutes them whenever they come on.  I never knew why until I noticed her father do it.  Christi always likes to point out interesting things she sees or notices when walking or driving with someone.  I on the other hand will point out main touristy type stuff; Christi points out everything.  She says it’s because if it interests or brings her joy why not share it.  I noticed her father does the same thing.  The list goes on and on of qualities in Christi that I see in her father.  Her  mannerisms, her attitude towards certain topics, they all reflect some portion(s) of her father’s mannerisms and attitude toward the same topics.  Don’t get me wrong, Christi is definitely her own woman, but she is also, and always will be her Father’s little girl.

The same is true of our heavenly Father.  He has qualities that are reflected in those who choose to be a part of His family through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Many people may criticize or judge followers of Jesus Christ because of some of those qualities; but those qualities are a reflection of God’s Holy Spirit in us.  And it pleases Him when our attitudes, our actions, our choices, and our responses reflect His goodness, His kindness, His forgiveness, and His grace.  We may not always get it right…but when we do, oh how it pleases our Father and oh how it enables others to see the One True and Living God.

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