Unless you live under a rock you’re probably aware of the polarizing media frenzy that got re-kindled last week about the legislation of same sex marriage.

gay marriage

Being a follower of Christ, I believe the Bible is the Word of God and the Bible is clear on this issue. However, I believe I feel different on this than most Christians do. I don’t think the government should push to keep gay marriage outlawed  as I feel that you can’t legislate morality. Slapping laws (or taking away laws) on issues like this has less chance of changing their heart than loving them does. I don’t think Gay marriage would ruin the perception of what marriage is any more than the Christians that divorce at close to the same rate (50%) as non Christians. If we (Christians) as a group hasn’t taken Gods word about marriage seriously, why should we expect people that don’t even believe in His word to take it?

If we try to push our own personal moral ways that we get from the bible onto their lives (who don’t believe in the word of God) it will only separate Christians from non believers even further than we are now. We are already against them in their mind and to many of them, it’s why they don’t give God a chance in their lives. They could open their heart to God if we weren’t so against them and just loved on them.

Jesus never tried to change the laws, or stop new laws being implemented that followed his beliefs. Given the playing field as it were, he loved everyone despite the laws. In fact if he were here today, I’m willing to bet my life he’d have a gay person as one of his disciples. Why not? He had a tax collector (Matthew) as his disciples back then which were even more polarizing than gay people are today.

There are a ton of ways to sin, so why are we so infatuated with legislation to keep their sin outlawed while we go on sinning our own sins?  All sins are the same, we are all of flesh and therefore sin which puts us in the same boat. Jesus made it perfectly clear that none of us are perfect and we all sin when he said “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. If the people that are spending their time and energy protesting and trying to keep gay marriage illegal used that same time and energy loving on people, and blessing others, I think that would do more good than they are currently doing.

Formula of the Week

Sin = Sin (they are all the same)

Question of the Week

I’d be curious to see if this helped you change your heart towards this issue or not? Drop a comment and let us know

The Dog Ate My…..Diploma

Posted: March 29, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

But Mrs. Churchill the dog ate my homework! It’s the oldest excuse in the book, and we’ve all probably tried it in one form or another through our lives. Did it ever work? Of course not. While going through my time capsule box in my garage recently, I found my college diploma.

2013-03-09_10-54-42_834

Nothing says $100,000 like a diploma eaten by your dog. My German Shepherd puppy Katie ate my diploma shortly after getting it before I had a chance to frame it. Now if I only could go back to my college professors and get my transcript updated after they finally agreed I wasn’t lying to them!

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses…..

Excuses are like your butt. We all have them and they all stink!

We all have our excuse as to why we shouldn’t or can’t follow Jesus right now. Some think they need to get right with God first, and clean their life up. Others think they don’t know enough to follow Him. First of all Jesus came to save the world, not judge it. Your life will never be totally clean. He takes us as we are, no matter what! Second, we don’t need to know everything, just take the step and go one foot at a time. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

No excuse is real enough to not follow him. Check out these extreme excuses that are all better than yours and see Jesus’ responses. Whoa….

Formula of the Week

Excuses = Lame

Question of the Week

What excuse have you been telling yourself  that has hindered your walk in following Christ? Drop a comment and let us know.

The License Plate Bookmark

Posted: March 22, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

We can all look back at things in our lives and remember why we made the decision (sometimes stupid) that spawned it. For some of us it might be a terrible tattoo. For me it’s license plates.

timthumb

2013-03-09_10-49-12_413

From top to bottom I can look at this and see my progression through the last 15 years of my life using these as a bookmarks. I can transport right to that bookmark and know what was going on in my life at the time.

I went from Living in Boston, to ’07 in Arizona (when my saxophone playing was in it’s greatest development), to ’11 loving the D-Backs and Baseball. Finally to Luke 9:23.

“23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

Dying to yourself daily doesn’t sound like a very fun or easy thing to do. Well, it’s not easy since we are quite hard wired to care about only ourselves. But the more and more we do it, and live for others, the more and more we feel that there is more to life than just ourselves.

Just by looking at this I can see my life transforming in front of my eyes through the history of these bookmarks. I use these as bread crumbs to see where I came from. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Formula of the Week

Others > Ourselves

Question of the Week

What in your life can you use as a bookmark to see how you’ve changed over the years? Drop a comment and let us know.

The Proud Plaque

Posted: March 15, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

Have you ever opened up an old box from the attic or the garage and felt like you entered a time capsule? I did this last weekend and the next few weeks will be a series about some of the items I found.

Have you ever noticed when you tell stories about your past and the longer it’s been since the actual events, the bigger, stronger, and better looking you were? This past weekend I found this in my time capsule box.

2013-03-09_10-37-12_657

I’m sure since it’s been a while since I received this plaque so I remember having hands like Jerry Rice, speed like Bo Jackson , and toughness like Ray Lewis. I have to admit, when I received this plaque, I was pretty proud of it. So much so, that I’ve kept it in a box for  19 years. I couldn’t find a picture of me in my high school football uniform since digital cameras weren’t really around yet, but here is an oldie but goody.

Burlington Football

It’s so easy to look at our accomplishments like this and feel very proud. However when our short life here is over, none of these type of accomplishments will matter. What will matter is the lasting effect and legacy that we leave unto others.

We reveal who we are by what we do with what we have

Time, talents, and treasures. How are you spending them? Jesus said “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Take a look at your at what you are spending your money on, where you’re spending your time, and what you are doing with the talents God has given you. Is it making a difference in other’s lives, or is it only benefiting yourself?

Formula of the Week

Life > Me

Question of the Week

Is there more to life than you? If so, does the way you live your life follow this direction? Drop us a comment and let us know why this is hard!

Don’t Be a Wuss

Posted: March 8, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

Ever wish you had a button that could teleport you out of a situation? C’mon, be honest. Like when your boss happened to be at the coffee maker the only time all year you forgot your favorite blend from home? Then he begins to tell you endless stories of how amazing Hunter, Tanner, (or whatever new age name his kid is) did great at soccer practice last night and how he is on his way to a scholarship? Yeah, you want the button!

Maxima_Arrives

News flash… If you’re human, you’re not perfect. We all have an Achilles heel. Most of the time the easiest way to combat this is to follow  what Jopseph did in Genesis when he was seduced by his master’s wife. Fleeing, or staying away from your Achilles heel works pretty much all the time. If you are a gambler, staying out of the casinos and putting internet accountability software on your computers will help you avoid your weakness. But sometimes this might not be an option. Like when your buddies show up to your house unannounced for a night of Texas Hold’em poker. Then what? Hiding in the closet isn’t an option unless you want your friends to post a picture of you on Facebook with a title called “Wuss of the Year”.

wuss

So how can we defeat our weakness instead of just avoiding it? It’s so simple, that we overlook it all the time.

Ask God to give you a way out. He promises to give us a way out. This is what he says in 1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Sounds too easy to be true? Test and grow your faith, after you watch it happen next time that avoiding your weakness isn’t an option! I bet you Mr/Mrs gambler that you’ll feel like you’ve been teleported away from your weakness even though it’s still right there in front of you.

This promise is your teleport button. Don’t be a wuss. Use it!

Oh wait…. I probably shouldn’t be betting anything with you should I? Or maybe I should so you can test Him and His promise. 🙂

Formula of the Week

Asking for a way out > Avoidance

Question of the Week

What have you asked for a way out from or need to ask for a way out from? What became of it? Drop a comment and let us know.

60 Worst Minutes Ever

Posted: March 1, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

Don’t ever sit in front of me on a bus or plane. You never know what might hit you! I get real motion sick when in cars, trains, and planes. I also hate taking any medication that makes me feel drowsy so my only remedy is to wear wrist bands that put pressure on a nerve that alleviates some of the sickness. It does make a difference but by no means takes it all away.

On the 13 hour flight home from Israel to Philadelphia I experienced the most uncomfortable 60 minutes of my life. There was a low pressure storm we flew through and instead of a normal 20 minute descent, this one was 60 minutes. It wasn’t just turbulence, it literally felt like you were on a 60 minute roller coaster ride. Denise has been a flight attendant for 17 years and even she said it was the longest and worst descent she had ever felt too. Having it be pitch black outside made it even worse since I couldn’t see any reference to the ground.  To add insult to injury they had just served what they call “breakfast” just a few minutes prior. One after another the majority of the plane was using the nice little white bags to let go of their breakfast.

air-sickness-bagSomehow I kept it down, but I probably should have just let it go. I probably would have felt better. While in the descent I was oddly teleported to my days of a growing up in the catholic church and said the “Our Father” non stop for most of the hour. It seemed to keep my mind off the roller coaster.

After we landed and got off the plane I couldn’t help but think that even though that was the most uncomfortable 60 minutes of my life, it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Jesus must have felt during his crucifixion.

In Jerusalem we had a chance to walk the “Via Dolorosa” (way of grief) which brought us by all 14 stations of the cross that Jesus walked while carrying his cross to the crucifixion site. Here is station 7 where he fell for the 2nd time from the weight of the cross.

IMG_2375

The biggest thing I learned from this trip is perspective. Perspective in history, cultural, world views, and in this case, discomfort. My worst 60 minutes ever didn’t even come close to what Jesus felt for many more hours than that.

Formula of the Week

Our Pain < His Pain

Question of the Week

What pain have you ever gone through that seemed like the worst pain ever, but when you compare it to the pain Christ went through for us, it doesn’t feel so bad? Drop a comment and let us know.

Israeli Safari

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

I’ve always wanted to go on an African safari, but the closest I’ve ever been is the “Out of Africa” wildlife park in Camp Verde, Arizona. That’s kind of like saying I’ve always wanted to drive a Ferrari so I bought a red Pinto.

1977_ford_pinto_cruising_station_wagon5

An unexpected benefit of our recent trip to Israel were the wild animals we saw while driving all over the countryside. We saw gazelle’s, Ibex standing in trees (mountain goats), and hyrinx.

hyrinx

We also saw herds of sheep among others. I somehow ended up with these pictures of a shepherd and his flock from the window of the tour bus while traveling 60 mph.

sheppard

I couldn’t help but think of how Jesus was called “The Good Shepherd”. The Pharisees were hating on Jesus because he sat and ate with “sinners” In Luke 15 he tells this great parable.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

I love how this image depicts how grateful Jesus is by taking us as we are. No one can be perfect, and he doesn’t want us to pretend to be. He wants us to realize every one of us is a lost sheep in some way, and that he came for us. We don’t have to try and be perfect to impress Him. In fact the opposite (being humble) is what impresses Him.

Formula of the Week

Being humble + asking Him to take us as we are > Appearance of perfection

Question of the Week

Describe the day when you were the sheep swept off your feet by Him.

The Lowest Point on Earth

Posted: February 15, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

Did you drink your 8 cups of water today? No? Then get sippin’! Now that we’ve talked about putting water into your body, let’s talk about bodies of water…

The Sea of Galilee has 7 springs that feed into it. It then flows down to the Dead Sea. One could say the Sea of Galilee flourishes because it both gives and receives (water). Now take the Dead Sea which is the lowest place on Earth at approx 1400 ft below sea level. Nothing lives in the Dead Sea due to it’s 33% salt level which allows it to be so buoyant that you can just sit up and float in it. I must say it was one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had.

IMG_1641

The trade off is a burning butt after floating for a few minutes. So much that I felt like Yosemite Sam bouncing back to our hotel afterwards.  Not only does nothing live in the Dead Sea, but the Sea itself is dying by dropping 3 ft per year. The sea receives water but doesn’t give any. Therefore it is dying.

Much like the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, we must give and receive to truly be living. If we just receive and don’t give, we might be technically alive, but we are truly dead, like the Dead Sea.

I love this one liner from Luke 6:30 –

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

What would our country look like if more people acted like this?

Formula of the Week

Giving > Receiving

Question of the Week

What’s the one thing that if it were taken from you, it would be hard not to demand it back? Drop a comment and let us know.

Tranquil Distractions

Posted: February 8, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

Have you ever been in the middle of a prayer or listening to someone pray when your mind gets brought to some random weird place? Like wrestling Sponge Bob Square Pants over a triple-decker ice cream cone. No? I’m the only one? Lord have mercy! This is a real type of spiritual warfare that manifests into our lives.

The high point of being all around Israel last week was the day we spent around the Sea of Galilee. This is where Jesus told Peter and others they would be fishers of men and to follow him, where he walked on water, calmed the waves from the storm, and many other miracles. It was the end of the day and we were asked to sit alone, and quietly reflect on what we saw that day as we watched a magnificent sunset. Seems peaceful right? Guess again!

IMG_1313

There was active excavating going on and a man on a Bobcat machine was moving rock right behind us and was making what seemed to be noises louder than a Metallica concert. The loud reverse BEEP–BEEP–BEEP was ear piercing, all while we were supposed to be reflecting on what God had showed us that day. As soon as we stood up to leave, the guy turned the Bobcat off. The timing was ridiculous enough to move me to laughter even though I was quite fuming.

Satan tries to mock everything God does. Everything in his kingdom is opposite from God’s kingdom. He gives fear instead of faith, worry instead of peace, death instead of life, etc. Satan is the “Master of Distraction”. He will try to distract us from our purpose. He tried to distract Jesus in the wilderness, what makes us think he won’t try to distract us?

Identifying those distractions and knowing where they come from should allow us to be prepared for when they happen so we can defeat them.

Formula of the Week

Foresight + Preparation > Distractions

Question of the Week

When was the last time you felt a timely distraction? What did you do about it? Drop a comment and let us know.

Trash Talkin’

Posted: January 25, 2013 in Wicked Pissah

With the Super Bowl coming up soon we are bound to hear a bunch of trash talkin’ from both teams. After my beloved Patriots lost last weekend one of the biggest trash talkers in the game (Terrell Suggs) from the Ravens didn’t disappoint his fans. He had this to say after the game. “We know you all had them (the Patriots) picked to win,” Suggs said. “Unfortunately, the bandwagon is full, and we want you all to come in two weeks and bet against us.

Denise and I are currently in Israel on a pilgrimage and we have already seen some great historic sites. Just today we saw the site of possibly the oldest trash talker in the history of man kind. Back around 560 B.C (over 2500 years ago) a prophet named Elijah battled 450 prophets.

Here are pictures of Denise and I on top of Mount Carmel where this happened and in front of the statue of Elijah.

20130124-131625.jpg

20130124-131715.jpg

He had both him and his opponents place an offering for their God and whoever’s offering burst into flames after calling to their God would prove to be correct.

Check out the full story here in 1 Kings 18:16-46.

Once his opponents were unsuccessful calling to their god, Elijah laid some Old Testament smack on them.

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or he is relieving himself, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”

Yup. Elijah basically said their god didn’t answer because he was too busy taking a dump. Nice! Take that Terrell Suggs!

Elijah obviously knew he could back the trash talkin’ up with action and that’s exactly what happened.

Question of the Week
What would our lives look like if we lived with that amount of faith?