My random, sometimes insightful thoughts on life, God, family, and everything else

Random thoughts

Impeachment, Christ-Likeness, and the Constitution

Okay, so here’s the deal, ya’ll need to stop! Seriously, stop posting, especially when you pelosi-trumppost in ignorance (def: lack of knowledge or information). Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is most certainly entitled to their opinion, but on some things its actually better to leave your opinion in your head:

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. – Pro 17:28

The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips. – Pro 18:7

So many of you love Jesus and want to be used by him, but your public rantings are literally alienating you from people that Jesus may want you to be helping. But, because you couldn’t resist posting something you will now not have that chance…is that really worth it? Do you think when you stand before God that he will ask you if you supported the impeachment of the 45th President of the United States? My money is on no!

As Christians we should be amazing citizens of whatever country we are born or chose to live in, of that there is no doubt. According to our Constitution, one of the most amazing human documents to ever be penned, your power rests in your vote, not on how many likes your Facebook post gets. You might think, “Oh I’m informing people”…no your not, you’re irritating people or getting people who think like you more wound up, how exactly does that advance the cause of Christ…just stop.

The people on the right scream, “The House proceedings were an absolute scam! They didn’t even let the Republicans call any witnesses!” The people on the left vent, “The Senate proceedings are an absolute scam! They didn’t call any witnesses!” Maybe your both right, maybe your both wrong, maybe you need to actually stop listening to what the other social media ranters are saying and brush up on the Constitution.

Here’s what I do know, you are called to act like Christ, so maybe you need to just stop!

PS – Here’s a couple other posts you can read if you are interested that might help:

5 Reasons I’ll ‘Never’ Preach Politics!

Donald Trump = Jesus 2.0 Right?

 


What did you want to be when you grew up?

We all remember what we wanted to be when we were growing up, a doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, fireman, etc… We all remember because it was really our first big dream. For some of us we wanted to be that because our mom or dad was one, or someone we idolized was. Others wanted to be that because we looked up to them, felt like they were people who made a difference, who made an impact in others lives.

I remember several years ago (1999) Monster.com came out with a tremendous ad campaign with children sharing ‘their dreams’.

At that point in time I was just 5 years removed from college and although I thought the commercial was funny, the power of the commercial was somewhat lost on me. Now, fifteen plus years later, and hundreds of conversations with people just like you I realize that this commercial isn’t so much funny as it is sad. To think about all of the people in our world whose dreams have become nothing more than a cherished memory of childhood, and thought of as a naive childhood fantasy. How incredibly sad!

The Bible, however, teaches that childhood dreams are not something to simply be dismissed, but to be celebrated! A child isn’t tainted with the disease of what we call reality and therefore can see things with a clarity that escapes most adults. By the time we are ‘grown up’ we know better, we are seasoned, we are more mature…we are cynical, jaded, and realists! Our innocence and trust has eroded away as the years slipped by, leaving us with the inability to believe in anything that we cannot taste, touch, feel, or see and our imagination, dreams, and faith dissipate into the vast nothingness of adulthood.

I think it’s time for us to rekindle our dreams and passions to pursue all that God has for us.  Jesus said;

I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. – Luke18:17 NLT

The Bible tells us that God has incredible plans for your life (Jer 29:11; 1 Cor 2:9) but those plans, although promised to you, will never become reality until you are willing to reach out, take them, and pursue them. Much like needing to have the faith of a child is necessary for salvation, believing that our Heavenly Father wants good and not evil for us takes a child like trust of our divine parent. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, the world will tell you that it’s unrealistic. Yes, it may take longer than you planned. BUT, Yes, God can be trusted!

So, what did you want to be when you grew up…it’s not too late!

Dave


How to Increase Your Creative Juices!

I have been blessed with having a wealth of people in my life who are and embrace creativity.  I personally love creativity, and love to watch people flourish and expand in creative environments.  But being a creative or an artist can often be scary and intimidating.  Even if you’re successful, the pressure then mounts for ‘What’s next’ and living up to your own success.

So, for all my creative, artistic, skinny jean, scarf wearing buddies out there, here are 4 things that if you constantly remember and pursue will keep those creative juices flowing:

  1. Believe God made you extraordinary, never stop discovering how!
  2. You are created in the image of THE CREATOR, He created everything from nothing, what can you create with all of your something?
  3. Fear of failure is the death of artistry! Embrace failure as a step closer to your greatest artistic achievement.
  4. Staying ‘in your box’ makes you square…I’ve never met a square creative!

Your awesome!

Dave


Zimmerman, Trayvon, and Jesus!

For some the decision was abominable.

For others it was justice.

Some believe that the whole event was simply and completely about race.

Others see it as a bad circumstance gone awful.

Here are the indisputable facts as we stand here today.  A young man is now in eternity.  Another man’s life is altered forever.  A set of parents will never see their boy again.  Justified or unjustified, Zimmerman will forever live with the weight of having taken another man’s life.  People on both sides of the issue, who do not have all the information (no one does, we weren’t there) are throwing out accusations at those who are on the opposite side of the issue.  The media, as always, are doing their best to profit from the lives that have been lost and altered.  And, criminals (yes they are criminals) are attacking innocent people in the name of someone they never met or knew.

Regardless of what you think about the event, the trial, and the verdict, I’d like to share a few things with you that, if you truly believe the Bible, we should all agree on.

Racism is a sin.  Did you know that the term ‘races’ is a modern word, and in the original language it isn’t even used in the Bible? Now, our modern Bibles have indeed used the word ‘race’ because it is commonly used today, but the best, most accurate translation would simply be ‘peoples’.  The Bible teaches very clearly that God created one man and on woman(Gen 2:20-25), and that from their seed every human being on the planet has their existence, and their sinful nature (Romans 5:12-13).  One of the largest reason I verbally, strongly, and vehemently resist evolution, is that at its core is racism.  Evolution teaches that the different ‘races’ are at different levels of the evolutionary development (Great article laying this out: http://www.icr.org/article/55/).  To discriminate against anyone because of the color of their skin is not only stupid, but it is outright sin.  The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world (Rom 5:8ff), that all mankind is loved by God (John 3:16), and that we are to treat everyone that we meet as ‘better than ourselves’ (Phil 2:3).  And I want to be VERY clear here, I have seen massive racism since this verdict was announced, and it wasn’t just from ‘white’ people.  Yes, racism is a two way street that is walked by all shades of skin pigmentation!

Politics, government, rallies, and benefit concerts will never end racism.  If racism is a sin you cannot legislate it away.  You cannot elect a politician who gives great and rousing speeches who will convince people to stop being racist.  I don’t care if you have a million people at a rally shouting “Racism is evil!”, you’ll have 10 million thinking racist thoughts as they watch them do it on the tv.  And, personally, if one more self-appointed, self-important, alcoholic, drug induced, narcistic, actress/actor/singer/songwriter/musician/entertainer gives their ignorant opinion on this I just might barf…was that too much?

The hope and freedom that Jesus offers is the only hope and true freedom!  You want to stop racism, to end violence, to shut the human trafficking and sex slave industries down, to end abortions, and every other hot button issue you can think of?  Then my friend, you need to start living like and start sharing Jesus Christ.  Jesus can take the grand marshal/pubah, whatever, of the KKK and turn him into an inter-city missionary married to a girl from South-Central Philly!  Jesus can transform a Black Panther into a suburban pastor married to a girl from Minnesota!  You don’t believe me, look at the Apostle Paul.  He had more hate in his heart for Christian and Gentiles than Farrakhan has for ‘white people’.  In Paul’s own words he called himself the ‘worst of sinners’ yet Jesus not only saved him, but made him THE missionary/apostle to the Gentile world.

My friends, our world will never change because sin reigns here.  Until the day that Jesus returns and restores, this world will continue to careen towards the abyss.  But that doesn’t mean we cannot be an influence for change in the lives around us.  Look at the people around you, who needs Jesus?  What role does Christ want you to play in their lives?  Your story is powerful, tell it!  Your life speaks of Jesus, let Him be heard!  You want to change the world?  Well, you can’t……But Jesus can!


You Need To Vote For…

Ha, fooled ya! I really hope that after reading my blog, listening to my messages, and talking with me that you know by now I’m not going to tell you who you should vote for. I will however give you a Biblical filter through which you can look at the candidates, decipher which one most closely resembles it, spend time praying and listening, go cast your vote, then thank God that you live in a country where your vote still matters!

Some of these I’ve not touched on previously so I will spend more time and flesh them out, others those I’ve given significant time to or even several blog posts to and I’ll just state them outright and allow you to go back and look at what I’ve previously written.

You should vote for whichever candidate..

  • Holds most closely to (publicly and privately) the morality taught in Scripture.
  • Gives our nation the best chance to be prosperous. I know that this may sound non-spiritual but listen to this: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” ~ Jeremiah 29:7
  • Teaches and exemplifies personal responsibility and accountability. No one else will have to give an account of your life, but you!
  • Has a biblical view of government. This was to be a blog post all by itself, but I just ran out of time. Essentially, here is what the Bible says governments role is:

To protect it’s citizens and wage war if necessary Romans 13:1-7; Proverbs 21:15
To establish just and fair laws Proverbs 8:15-16
To punish the guilty Romans 13:4
To reward the righteous 1 Peter 2:14
To allow us to live peaceable and quiet lives 2 Timothy 2:2
To administer unbiased justice Jeremiah 12:12; Leviticus 19:15
To uphold God-given rights of all mankind Genesis 1:26

  • Has by their actions, not just words, given of themselves and spoken for those who cannot speak for themselves. (Unborn, poverty stricken, destitute). “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” ~ Proverbs 31:8-9

Folks, your vote matters. Don’t waste it by voting for someone who does not line up with what the Bible teaches, don’t waste it by voting uninformed, and don’t waste it by not voting at all.


Top 10 Reasons I Took My Family To Chick-fil-A Yesterday

10. They make an amazing spicy chicken sandwich!
9. I totally love their waffle fries, especially with a little extra salt.
8. Their chicken nuggets are like sweet, golden-brown, deep-fried pieces of heaven!
7. I love it when their employees say, “My pleasure!” when they give you your drinks.
6. My wife is in complete love with their Splenda sweetened lemonade.
5. I personally enjoy sitting in long drive thru lines, it’s my thing.
4. Those cool “dip or squeeze” ketchup packets.
3. The brownies…need I say more?
2. I’m a sucker for cows.
1. I was hungry

After all of the tense conversations over the last few days I thought I would add a little levity to the conversation and encourage everyone to take a deep breath. Especially you Christians out there, we expect if from the world, but we’ve gotta remember that God’s more concerned about people’s hearts than where they get or don’t get their chicken.

Love God, Love People, Change the World!


“Smuggled” Video of Sistine Chapel!

Yes, I know that I was forbidden from taking it, but seriously, if you tell any man that he can’t do something, what is his natural reaction?  In fact, if you listen carefully, you can hear the Italian guards “shhh”shing us in the background and even hear their melodic “No photo, no video, keep moving”.  It’s almost as soothing as a Gregorian chant.


Gorgeous View!

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What I Hate Most About Going on Sabbatical

Well, I’m sitting at the Indy airport and waiting for our first flight out of the US through New York. As usual the plane is running behind, but I know that the flight will be easy and relatively painless. As we think about this incredible opportunity that you and God have afforded us we have talked a lot as a family about what we will enjoy most:
– The beautiful Greek Islands
– The gorgeous cathedrals of Rome
– Walking into buildings that have stood (or kinda stood) for thousands and thousands of years
– Relaxing as a family, and just enjoying each others company
– Being able to read books just for fun and not for school or a sermon

All of these we have truly looked forward to, but we did recently ask the question, “What will you like least about our sabbatical”. After a couple of quiet moments, we all agreed what we’d miss most are the people in our lives.
– Friends who we’ve spent hours hanging out with
– People who we’ve loved and invested in
– People who love and have invested in us
– Celebrating each week with Friendship Church
– Hearing all about what is going on in your lives

I’ve heard it said, usually by a very grumpy pastor, that ministry would be great if it weren’t for all the people. To be honest, I think that statement is just STUPID!! Was that honest enough? Yes, ministry to people can sometimes be tough, draining, and downright frustrating some times…BUT the reward is you get to see people make life altering decisions to follow Christ, help a family get back together, assist people in getting their broken lives put back together. No, ministry is great BECAUSE of the people!

We love you all, and keep checking back as we’ll try to keep this as updated as possible.

Dave


I’m not a Catholic, but…

Religious freedom is never taken away in large fail swoops, it’s taken away crumb by crumb until all you have left are, well, crumbs.  When Hitler began his attack on freedoms at the beginning of his totaletarian dictatorship he did not give a grandiose speech telling everyone in Germany that he was taking away their freedoms, no one would have voted for him.  Instead, he slowly made a group of people that were already looked upon with suspicion into enemies of the state, the Socialists.  Once he had them out of the way, he went to the next group, and the next, and the next, and so on, until he had no opposition left; several million Jews had been slaughtered, along with countless Christians, not to mention the millions of young men who lost their lives because of WWII.

I believe that German pastor Martin Niemoeller, describes the danger best in his reflections during this time:

First they came for the Socialists, and I
did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did
not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was
no one left to speak for me.

I’m not a Catholic, nor do I believe as Catholics do that contraception is wrong, however, I see a very dangerous and destructive pattern beginning to emerge.  If you listen carefully you will hear certain groups of people within the US being marginalize, criticized, and even demonized because of their beliefs, whether they are orthodox or not.  Now, we see our own government telling us what we can or cannot believe and therefore behave like, that is not okay, that is flat out wrong!

I’m not a Catholic, but I will stand up for their right to not be forced to fund that which is against their beliefs.  Primarily because one day it may be us Evangelical Christians who are being told that we must now fund “X” which violates our core beliefs or face fines/imprisonment, and I for one would like others to be there standing with us!

 


Week 2 Playoff Predictions (let the bashing begin)

I sat on the sidelines last week, still licking my wounds for being a Colts fan.  I haven’t felt this uncertain about my team since I was back in High School and Captain Comeback (aka Jim Harbaugh) was our quarterback.  I wasn’t a fan of the coach then (Jim Mora aka Playoffs?) and I’m not a fan of the coach now (Jim Caldwell)…hmmm maybe I just don’t like Jim’s?

Okay, so here are my predictions and my reasons:

Saints & 49ers: This is going to be the game of the weekend.  These two teams which are the yin to each other’s yang when it comes to style, will bludgeon it out.  The Saints will come out of this with the victory but, will not come out unscathed.  Winner: Saints

Broncos & Patriots: I hate the Patriots!  As a loyal Colts fan, it is a test of faith.  The Broncos defense is finally healthy again, and I believe that they will make enough plays (turnovers, sacks, tackles for loss) that will turn the tide for them.  The Patriots (Oh, how I hate them) will keep it very close  but Tim Tebow will have a game ending drive setting it up for a winning field goal in the closing seconds.  Winner: Broncos (did I mention I hate the Patriots?)

Texans & Ravens: I think that the Ravens are going to come out flat, and show their age in this game.  Texans will come out quickly and put up a two touchdown lead on them and never look back, which means that Ray Rice, there only hope for winning, becomes a non-factor. Winner: Texans

Giants & Packer: Okay, this game I could legitimately go either way.  I like the Packers because they went after history and made no bones about it (16-0), Rodgers has been playing lights out, and the defense often does just enough to secure the win.  On the other hand, the Giants have turned it on over the last few weeks, Manning has been playing near perfect in the 4th quarter, and the defense has looked like the 2007 defense that won them a Super Bowl.  In the end I think it comes down to which defense makes the biggest play, and in this I trepidatiously  pick the Giants to do just enough.  Winner: Giants

I’d love to hear both your thoughts and your picks!


Turn out the lights, the party’s over!

As I was driving the other day in the car I heard a familiar refrain from my teenage years come across the airwaves.  No, it wasn’t Bon Jovi or Huey Lewis crooning out some rock ballad, it was one of my favorite sports announcers poorly singing, “Turn out the lights the party’s over!”

Now, he was singing it as a close to a game that the home team had solidified with a winning basket, but my mind immediately connected a whole bunch of thoughts (minds tend to do that) and began to think about when I checked out of this life and entered into eternity.  Not in a morbid, brooding, foreboding way, but more of a I wonder what that will be like?  My mind then shifted to those I would leave behind, and I began to wonder what they might say or think about me.  Will they miss me?  Will they say I was a good man, a great man…just a man?  Then I realized that at that point not only would it not matter to me what they thought, but even if it did there wasn’t anything I could do to change it.  This next thought is what really made my mind come alive,

“What if I lived my life in reverse?  Start with what I want people to think about me, remember me for, and miss me for; and then live in such a way to achieve that end result!”

In other words, if you want people to remember you as a great husband/wife, start doing things that will make you a great husband/wife.  If you want to be idolized as the dad of all dads or mom of all moms, you better start spending a whole lot more time with your kids.  If you want to be remembered as a great spiritual mentor, you better start mentoring people…I think you get the picture.

The bottom line: Once the lights are out, the party is truly over.  And whatever people think about you won’t change, but as long as the lights are on there’s still time!


What is wrong with my car?

Several weeks ago I parked my car for a few days over the weekend. When I went to start it, it sputtered and died. I tried several times to no avail. My father I law, who is a shade tree mechanic, listened to it and came to a similar conclusion I had made, I had water in the gas tank.

I immediately went to my favorite auto parts store (they smile when they see me coming) and purchased two bottles of dry gas. I put them in my engine confidently believing that I had conquered my problem. I had not.

So, I asked my buddy John, he’s an engineer for Cummins, we both looked at the car and listened. We plugged in a cool little computer that is supposed to tell you what’s wrong. It said I should replace my engine coolant sensor. So, for a second time I confidently strode to my seat anticipating my work would pay off…nope!

Now, I went to the Internet and searched my tail off. This lead me to replacing the fuel filter, no change. Then the air flow sensor, bupkiss!

I say all this to encourage you (I’m getting there be patient) just because your first few attempts at fixing a problem are fruitless don’t stop trying. A measure of a great person is not what it takes to knock them down but what it takes to keep them down. Maybe you’ve given up on trying, try again. What’s the worst that could happen? You could eliminate another thing that won’t fix the problem which means your closer to finding the solution.

Oh by the way, I’m pulling my catalytic converter tonight..fingers crossed!

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When It all comes together!

“I Love it when a plan comes together” – Colonel Hannibal Smith

Yep, I’m happy to admit that as a kid I was an avid, possibly rabid, follower of the A-Team!  I always loved how each week they would go up againstunnumbered foes, drastically out-manned and under-gunned.  They would deal the bad guy a blow, then the bad guy would capture them, or trap them, or take a prisoner and threaten to kill them.  But, in the end you always knew a couple of things:

  • No good guys ever die
  • The underdog would always win
  • Hannibal would get to say his favorite line, often while chomping on an unlit cigar (way cool!)

Now, knowing these things was part of the reason I loved watching the show, I didn’t know how all these things were going to happen, but I knew they would.  What if you could go through life like this?  Knowing that no matter how hard it got, that in the end it would all work out.  Certainly you’d be a little worse for wear, but still it would end the right way.  Well take a ‘listen’ to what the Bible says about those who love God and follow his will:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28


Life Lessons From George Constanza

I absolutely love this post!

Life Lessons From George Constanza