Category Archives: Jesus

Church Unity – Can’t We All Just Get Along?


Last week I read a blog on the subject of church membership in whether it was biblical or not.   The writer did a good job laying out the benefits. I scrolled down to leave my comment when I stumbled across another blogger’s comment.  He was ruthless.

WRITER BASHING. The commenter slammed the blog writer up one side and down another challenging him on his interpretation of the scripture.  It was really sad and it embarrassed me to be a believer and witness another so called Christian assassinate the  character of his brother.

TO COMMENT OR NOT TO COMMENT. I read numerous blogs everyday, and not all do I bother to comment on, but I felt a need to let the author know that I thought he did an excellent job proving the case for membership.

The author’s entire blog post had a single scripture to prove his case  in that membership was biblical.  Yes, the author could have used any number of other scriptures to prove his case.  But did he deserve to be demeaned? NO.

SOUND THE ALARMS – WHERE’S THE CHURCH? In the wake of the shooting sprees in Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona, Chicago, the alarms are sounding that  the church has lots of work to do – your church, my church, our church, the church down the road – ALL churches who witness Jesus as Lord.  The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few!

Folks, we do NOT have to argue over the petty things. That one scripture did NOT discredit all the other good stuff that was written.

We must be the light to a dark and depressed world.  How futile it is to spend time online showing us how smart you are as you gloat as being the self-appointed scripture watch dog.  Shame on you!  You know my position, “If the shoe fits…”

IS IT ABOUT HIM OR YOU? If the commenter had a heart for the kingdom, he could have comment on the subject at hand and added “I would have used this scripture to prove the point.” His backlash instead displayed his motivation in glorifying himself by demeaning the blog writer.

MY FLESH WANTED TO REACH OUT AND TOUCH. I must admit, I wanted that commenter more than a horse wanted hay.  Had I  been able to comment I would have certainly wrote out of my flesh. In hindsight I am grateful that I was unable to comment lest I had said some things and blown my own witness.

There are just softer ways to address people.  We need to be sensitive.  Let’s concentrate on the things that UNITE us and stop trying to prove to others that we are so much better than they are.

WHAT ABOUT THE DENOMINATION DEBATES?  You know what I mean .. the Methodist are better than the Baptist who are better than the Lutherans who are better than the Catholics who are better than the  Episcopalians and the list goes on. And let’s not forget the denomination of the Non-denomination.

The fact is, “We are all leveled at the foot of the cross.”

Unless we have a Jim Jones thing going on and we see where a person in power is trying to get people to drink poison or a David Koresh where he’s advocating people to be burned alive, or others who are trying to convince us of the date of the end of the world, let’s speak the truth, but in love.

MOST OF US ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. We all have work to do.  Let’s be the light and stop trying to snuff out other kingdom workers’ flame!

Me . . Left Behind?


I love Sci-Fi movies.  Some of my all time favorites include anything Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Jaws & Jurassic Park I, II, III, IV, the Matrix, Alien -you get my point. Well when I found a single DVD with 10 Sci-Fi movies on it for only $4.99, I thought I have hit the “Jack Pot!”

One movie I watched really got me thinking.  It was called, “Apocalypse.”  I sat back in my comfy lounge chair with the foot rest up and awaited Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, but soon remembered that movie was called, “Armageddon.”

Although I did not know these actors; there was a similarity between both movies  in that they both dealt with an  unwelcome guest – an asteroid that threatened the existence of man.

It was an ordinary day.  People were busy doing what they do when a small asteroid hit and destroyed an entire city throwing an entire population in a panic.  The movie centered around a mother and father’s quest to find their teenage daughter who was in another state before the next ‘giant’ asteroid headed to destroy earth.

To my surprise this movie was a film about faith, guilt, courage, rejection and  acceptance.  Honestly, I don’t know how this movie was squeezed in among all the others but to my enjoyment, I was glad it was.

In the midst of coping with the aftermath of the first asteroid decent which set off additional tremors, quakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and the mysterious disappearance of people, while on their adventurous journey, the mother attempts to witness  to her husband about faith and about the rapture.

REJECTION IN SPITE OF EVIDENCE. Like many others, the father vehemently dismisses and rejects her claims and desperately searches for an intellectual and reasonable explanation for the tragic events.

There was a point in the story where some one said, “Well, if you’re a Christian why weren’t you taken up?”  A response went something similar to this ” . . .God had taken up the ‘true’ believers.”

DO I MEASURE UP BY GOD’S STANDARDS? Wow! What a statement, ‘He took up ‘true’ believers.’ It left me thinking.  By man’s judgment, I am thought to be a ‘true’ Christian, but what about ‘God’s’ judgment?  Does He? hmm…..

PERSONALLY PONDERING. I have been reflecting ever since.  How is my relationship with God and His Son Jesus? Am I doing all I can? Is my worship for real? Is God really pleased with me or at this present state – would I be taken up or would I be left behind? hmm…..

PASTORS LEFT BEHIND? This movie was also very similar to the Christian movie, “Left Behind” starring Kirk Cameron.

What sayeth you that in this movie some pastors were originally left behind?

Why I Hate Religion



This video is really profound.  It was all over the Christian Network, Christian News, Christian blogs and now I can see why.  Take a look.  It has received well over 15 million views.  I noticed that the author disabled the ‘comment’ feature. Although over 15 million people viewed this video, 260,000 liked it and 39,000 disliked it.  I wondered how many of the 39,000 people are religious…. hmmmm….

Your thoughts???  If Jesus walked the earth in human form what would he really be saying about the church? Would He be proud or disappointed?

Atheist Ads: Don’t Need God – Can Still Live Good


 

Can you believe this?  Metropolitan buses with the message you don’t need God.  I must admit I did hear about this in Europe some time ago. I found it disturbing but the truth is I dismissed it – probably because it was over there.  Then a guest pastor who recently came to our church brought the subject up again .  He told us that he had seen an advertisement on one of the MTA buses that highly offended him. He began to set it up. This ad had no reference to sex, no reference to drugs or even alcohol; there also was no profanity or violence. We sat and listened, then what offended you so? Then he let the cat out of the bag and said he saw a photograph of a woman hugging on her child with a caption that read, “You don’t need God – to hope, to care, to love, to live.”  The sentiments of the congregation was utter DISBELIEF. 

The pastor began to tell us that there is a humanist group  that has launched an ad campaign, declaring that atheists and the nonreligious can live good, meaningful lives without God. 

The campaign is sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, an Amherst, N.Y.-based organization whose mission is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.  I went online only to find out that they are also targeting African Americans and ex-Muslims particularly – GO FIGURE! 

Their Motivation:  The president Ronald A. Lindsay said the ads are aimed at dispelling some myths about the nonreligious. “One common myth is that the nonreligious lead empty, meaningless, selfish, self-centered lives. This is not only false, it’s ridiculous,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, all too many people accept this myth because that’s what they hear about nonbelievers.”  He further asserts that  people can find meaning in a life that is human-centered, and that reliance on the supernatural is unnecessary.

Another myth that the group is looking to dispel – that the nonreligious are immoral, or at least that they can’t be relied upon to be as good as those with religious beliefs.

Washington D.C. currently has 15 of their Metro buses promoting these ads.  Indianapolis and Houston are also publicizing these ads.

Okay so here is the question –

What does this tell you about the TIMES we are in?  What is the responsibility of the church?  What role should we be playing in saving the lost?   Any other comments?

Church Easter Ad – BANNED! Too Much Jesus


Here we go again – you can say the ‘F’-word, you can dress like a common street whore, you can promote wild sex orgies, drunkenness and drug binges and violence at any extreme, BUT I Double DOG Dare  you to say, “JESUS.”

I MEAN NO HARM TO YOU REALLY, BUT IF THIS VIDEO OFFENDS YOU – YOU NEED TO BE OFFENDED!

IF THE OFFENSE GETS YOU INTO HEAVEN
THEN EVERYBODY WINS!

Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, Calif., created a 30-second ad to air for three weeks on 45 movie screens across Orange County starting April 1 to promote their Easter Service.  They paid more than $5,000 for their ad just like any other business would pay for an ad.  When the agency for the national theater learned of this ad, they were worried that their movie goers might get offended.   As a result, they banned the ad as it was and tried to get the church to edit the commercial taking JESUS’ Name out of the ad, stating then they would run it. The church REFUSED!  holding firm that, Easter is our most Holiest time of the year.”

 If that weren’t enough, the agency suggested they run the ad with the event basics: What, Date, Time & Location and throw in some ‘Fun bunny and eggs.’  How patronizing is that!?  And you still want me to give you $5,000+ for the ad? I would like to tell you what you can do with your bunny and your eggs!  Okay, let me calm down for a moment and think this through logically.  The Bible does tell us to be as wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove.  That being said, it’s good to know that negative publicity can be just as effective in promoting programs as positive publicity in some cases – like this one.  The church got free publicity from: the media, newsprint, local and national news, the Internet, my blog, my Facebook AND it did not cost them one copper coin!  Hallelujah!  We still win.

EVANGELISM: Pastors, this church took time to invest into the kingdom.  They reserved $5,000+ to promote heavily their Easter program.  They took the time to come up with a topic that would be sure to get people’s interest – Conspiracy Theory – ‘Just what did happen to Jesus’ Body?’  hmmm…  This whole project was carefully thought out, planned and executed – making sure it wasn’t just another Easter Service.  Even though they couldn’t have predicted that things would have ended up this way; I believe they will enjoy much success and people will be drawn to Jesus making Him the Lord of their lives. 

Isn’t this the Great Commission – and really what it is all about WINNING SOULS?

When was the last time you took time to really invest in an evangelism project?  When were you ever willing to pull out all the stops to ensure a great service?

Hot New Workout class: Pole Dancing For Jesus??


Pole Dancing (Pole FITNESS) for Jesus?

If I was your psychiatrist and said to you, “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say the words, ‘Pole Dancing’?”  I am sure you are not picturing all things Holy.’ If I further asked you “What comes to mind when I say, ‘Pole Dancing for Jesus’?” You are probably thinking the ultimate sacrilege [gross irreverence, blasphemy, disrespect].  I must admit this was my first thought as I saw the local news reporter sharing this story about a woman named, ‘Crystal Dean’ from Texas who was offering pole dancing lessons for Christian Women.

At first, I thought she wanted to teach married Christian women how to spice up their love life, but as I listened on, this dance instructor asserted that it was a great form of exercise for women. The dance class music includes “upbeat contemporary Christian music”.  Dean states that she is a devout Christian.  She attends church every Sunday.  She prays and has a relationship with the Lord.  She states she knows people have a problem with her and that’s okay, but the Lord does not.  Dean stated that she does not teach women to strip and explains that the class was designed to help women get into shape, to help women have a positive self-image and to celebrate the body God gave them.  Dean further states that she is hoping to remove the negative stigma attached to pole dancing. Her classes are free, she just asks that the women bring in a church bulletin.

Have we gone too far??  Could Dean have given it another name of a less sleazy frame of reference?

Some interesting facts about pole dancing

Legend 1: Pole dancing was said to have been originated as far back as the 12th century as a pagan fertility dance.  

Legend 2:   (Where all the stripping came from) Pole dancing roots can be traced back to ancient Sumerian times where a mythical goddess named Innana was known to have descended to Hades to find her lover Damouz.  At each of the seven gates of Hades, she removed a veil and a jewel.  The earth was barren for as long as Innana remained there but when she returned, the earth was fruitful and abundant again.

Do you remember the story with John the Baptist being beheaded? It is said that Innana’s dance lived on as the famous dance of the seven veils of Salome who dance for King Herod.  

What is Pole Dancing? It’s a form of performing arts combining dancing and gymnastics, involving a vertical pole. These athletic moves include: climbs, spins, and body inversions. Upper body and core strength are important to proficiency, which takes time to develop. 

3 Categories of pole dancing include:  

Exotic Pole Dancing – usually performed by women who dress provocatively for male entertainment.  This type of entertainment is mostly found in gentlemen’s clubs, strip clubs and is also accompanied by strip teasing, Go-Go and lap dancing. Originated in the 1980s from the strip clubs and girlie bars in Canada, of all places.

Pole Fitness – these are classes conducted for women in private studios or gym and the instructors are highly skilled and trained. Pole is used as a way to get fit and feel good.

Pole Sport – this is the competitive side of pole. The women and men involved in this category compete around the world. They display incredible amounts of athleticism, strength, flexibility, and control in their routines. Cirque du Solei have used Chinese pole acts. The first type of pole related fitness dated back to the 12th century in India with the art of Mallakhamb (meaning “man of power” or “Gymnastics pole”).

Did You Know . . .

  • The U.S. Pole Dance Federation (USPDF) exists?
  • The Pole Fitness Association (PFA) exists?
  • The U.S. Pole Dancing Championships exists?
  • They are trying diligently to get Pole Dancing (Pole Fitness) to be a part of the Olympics as a competitive sport?  Of course it will not include nudity or strip teasing!  Is this really so far fetched when we have the balance beam, the uneven bars and the vault? hmmmm
  • 

Your Thoughts on the subject?  Is Pole Fitness for Jesus more acceptable than Pole Dancing for Jesus??

Church Time Challenges


Many churches need to consider purchasing countdown timers. From experience, being a MC (Master of Ceremonies) is no joke. It’s harder than one thinks. You are not only responsible for keeping the people entertained as you move from one segment to another on the program, but your biggest challenge is keeping people within the time constraints. Have you heard someone say, “I know I’ve been given the time, but the spirit says…” ? We usually hear this sort of statement when the congregation is responding and publicly displaying their enjoyment with the speaker or singers.

I went to a choir anniversary not long ago where it was standing room only. It seemed that every choir that was invited came to attend. The M.C. politely addressed the groups telling them to sing a theme song and one song and to not sing too long as a sign of respect to the choirs that would be singing after them.

THE SIGNALS.  The M.C. further stated if he got up and clapped along that meant he was enjoying it and you were within your time. However, if he got up and began to subtly clear his throat that was the signal to wrap it up and bring the song to a close. The congregation and the invited choirs chuckled.

IGNORING THE M.C.  The program was going along well. Because we were all having a good time, it hardly seemed like we had already been there three hours. A group got up and began to sing. They sounded like professionals and were very entertaining. But they exceeded the time limit. The M.C. attempted to get their attention. In obedience (or so we thought) the group moved away from their mikes and slowly made their way down the center isle, but they continued to sing and their musicians continued to play. The congregation was thoroughly entertained by their showmanship; however, the MC after repeated attempts to get their attention was not amused.

THE FINAL CALL.  Finally, after three or four attempts to get either the choir or muscians’ attention and after being ignored, the M.C. abruptly called out to the musicians and told them that he felt very disrespected. This rebuke was negatively received by many members of the congregation. Some even said they thought the M.C. was ignornant and had no right to embarass them that way and got up and left in protest.  I asked the question, “But what about the M.C., what about embarassing him? The M.C. apologized if people were offended but stressed the value of being obedient and told the people under the sound of his voice, “In Jesus name, it just is not fair.”

THE ABUSE OF PRIVELEDGE. The truth is I have gone to countless anniversaries where groups have been asked to respect the timing and song guidelines and did not. I’ve seen them sing an extra song or I have witnessed them sing a chorus over and over and over again at the expense of other groups in the line up.  They call it “Following the Spirit.” This is mostly seen when the crowd is expressing that they are enjoying the performance. 

THE REAL PROBLEM.  The real issue for the M.C. is to maintain a pleasant environment for everyone and that includes the remaining groups on the schedule to sing. Everyone deserves an audience.  It does not feel good when the next group gets up to sing and more than three quarters of the church is leaving because the hour has grown late.   It is not fair to the remaining groups and it is disrespectful.

CONSIDER A COUNTDOWN TIMER. I have been saying for years that churches need to invest in a  countdown timer. Anniversaries, especially funerals, as well as other programs go on too long because people abuse priveledge.  In their defense, the truth is most people, without looking at their watches, simply have no clue when their two, 10 or 20 minute time frames are up.  Timer clocks would serve to remind them when time is up! 

Pastors, if you have this problem with people disrespecting the guidelines consider purchasing a timer countdown. More  churches than you think use timer countdowns. It helps us to raise the bar.  They are inexpensive and I agree with the M.C. in that there is a  value in being obedient for even the Good Book says,  “Obedience is better than sacrifice!”

RESOURCES. Here are some resources you may be interested in:
http://www.faithclipart.com/category/church-countdown-timers.html
http://churchcountdowns.com/
http://www.sermonspice.com (select ‘Countdown’ tab)