Archive for June, 2010

So, what are you doing in the year 2050? Plans on playing with your grandkids? Enjoying the twilight years? Appreciating the first Siamese twins as president… s?

Meh? If you said, “Raptured”, you would be right on according to a latest Pew Research poll. As the Daily Telegraph (UK) scribed, it seems more than 40 percent of Americans believe we are outta’ here by 2050.

Yours Truly in 2050... on my lunch break.

Also included in this mid-century pontification poll is:

  • 72 percent believe the world will experience a major energy crisis
  • 71 percent believe cancer will be cured by 2050
  • 89 percent believe a woman will be elected US president by 2050
  • 63 percent anticipate the demise of paper money
  • 61 percent say almost no one will send letters by 2050
  • 56 percent think the U.S. economy will be stronger
  • And 41 percent say Jesus Christ will return within the next 40 years

What’s funny is Gallup did this same poll around the turn last millennium and many folk thought we wouldn’t live to see Leif Erikson discover America. No, really.

Anywhoo… what does this poll really say? Are people viewing world events and the local news as (dare I say) “Writing on the Wall” or is this a bunch of folk seriously jonesin’ for the rapture?

Me? I think it’s a little of both.

That poll is a microcosm of why this blog was created in the first place. Oh sure, I wax snarky about current event and will put a fraudulent televangelist on notice faster than the IRS on the prowl for some cash, but it’s a sick world out there… and most blame God (or get God blamed) for it all.

Why? Because they are looking for the madness to stop and that’s when they decide to give God a chance.

Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out. But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows. (Matthew 24:32-36 MSG)

In other words, folk need to give God a chance… just a chance right now. 2050 could be here tomorrow. Where will you be? If you don’t know, you can know.

Take two seconds to ask Jesus in your heart and accept you as his child. Do that, and we will party like it’s 2050. And oh, what a shindig that’ll be.

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That sound you hear is millions of Christians staring at their Thomas Kinkade tchotchkey-du-jour in their house and hurling a plate of nachos at it. CRASH!

Thomas Kinkade gets his own picture - a mug shot

Looks like that 'light' is shining too brightly into his bloodshot eyes

Yes, it’s true. The great talent. The anointed vessel. The child of God Thomas Kinkade, affectionately known as “The Painter of Light,” evidently had a mind that went dark when he took the wheel while seriously under the sauce, thanks to FOX News:

Police initially pulled over the Mercedes driven by artist Thomas Kinkade in the city of Carmel last weekend because the car didn’t have a front license plate, Sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Richards told The Herald.

Police then detected the smell of alcohol and conducted a sobriety test during which Kinkade, 52, “displayed signs of impairment to the officer,” California Highway Patrol spokesman Robert Lehman said.

Doh! Seriously? What’s this dude thinking? I’m sorry but he’s a painter. Did he think “Don’t you know who I am” would work, because odds are if you must ask that question, they probably don’t know who you are.

MEMO to the Man in the Mug: You’re Thomas Kinkade, not some frat boy on a two-day binge. What are you doing? Yes, Jesus forgave you the minute you began sipping but there are many holders of your precious, illuminated artwork that may have forced them to forget you.

Toxicology tests are still pending, but take a gander at the beleaguered artist here. Although he appears a few fries short of a happy meal, this guy can throw down on a buffet, and that means he gets thirsty.

Yes, he was hammered. Yes, he will try to fight this. Yes, he will blame medication. And no, many folk won’t believe him.

Thomas Kinkade and a roll of toilet paper. Funny stuff.

Thomas' believes in the rock and his name is on the... what again?

In fact, in a Christian book store in my fare burgh, would you believe his art was “taken to the back for business reasons?” Yes way. Christian folk can be some of the most narrow-minded, yes? Too bad I love them. Many folk think I am a tool as well.

Kinkade’s art has now slid down the value meter and could end up as Exhibit A if he just ignores this ever happened… that is, until we get a nice discount.

God’s people are far from being perfect, but you have to be smarter than that to cover up for your own humanity.

Poor guy. What kind of picture does this paint for “America’s Most Collected Living Artist”? My guess it looks like a Picasso right now.

It’s no secret I have quite an aversion to Christian marketing “professionals” that can’t dream up ideas on their own. Instead, they steal pop culture references and logos, throw an ichthus on it and call it “divine revelation.”

Huzzah. Yeah, slow down Ad Council dude.

Much is life for megachurches as well. They have cash to burn because of the faithful giving of the saints; yet, there choice on couture leaves a little… well, a whole lot to be desired.

Solid Rock Church's statue of Jesus. Oy Vey!

Before...

Exhibit A: Soild Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio

This uber church thought it would be a good idea to have a statue of Christ so monstrous they figured, “Screw the man on the moon. We want this eyesore to be visible from heaven’s gates.”

The six-story statue dubbed ‘King of Kings’ was later called ‘Touchdown Jesus‘ by the locals, and the name stuck despite the cheesy advertising the church did along the highways.

And for the past few years, that statue – while intended to be a massive reminder of the love of Christ – actually ended up being the signature mark for the idiocracy of the Church. It’s a shame, but so true.

Evidently, God and Zeus were talking about vanity run-a-muck and mockeries one day. God has TBN. Zeus has the remake for “Clash of the Titans.” (woof!) And the argument got heated, one thing led to another and BAM!

Check the story from the Dayton Daily News for the outcome:

Now known as Touchdown Jesus

...During...

Charred remnants remained this morning, June 15, of the large Jesus statue iconic to Interstate 75 that was destroyed following an apparent lightning strike during a thunderstorm late Monday night.

The irony is divine, isn’t it? Struck by lightning! One day, those folk are oogling that edifice thinking God is surely pleased. The next, Touchdown Jesus is sacked by about 100,000 volts of possible hostility. Score!

Although God could not be quoted for this article, it makes you think…

Maybe, just maybe, the Lord is trying to get people to come back to him and not some frozen ice sculpture that stands taller than the Golden Gate Bridge.

Should our focus be on gaudy, unforgivable cardinal sins of decor or just the inspiration behind them? That’s not to say we shouldn’t have beautiful pieces of art depicting the sacrifice, life and love of Christ, but to make something like that just to one-up the other church down the block is a clear definition of lunacy.

No one can see God, but Jesus Christ is exactly like him. He ranks higher than everything that has been made. Through his power all things were made—things in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, all powers, authorities, lords, and rulers. All things were made through Christ and for Christ. He was there before anything was made, and all things continue because of him. He is the head of the body, which is the church. Everything comes from him. He is the first one who was raised from the dead. So in all things Jesus has first place. (Colossians 1:15-18 NCV)

Burning down the house from the Solid Rock Church

...and After

And if you don’t believe me, check the aftermath. And therein lies the rub.

You think the megalomanical pastors there at Solid Rock think that was a sign? Sure they do. That God would not be pleased with the Greek god’s humor and target practice, so it looks like there will be yet another scoring opportunity, according to the New York Daily News:

A pastor from the church, which sits along an interstate north of Cincinnati, said that artists will submit designs and estimates for creating a new statue in place of the original structure.

And just like the pipe dream of bigots everywhere concerning the South, “Touchdown Jesus” will rise again. Some people just don’t understand. You don’t need this awful attempt at false humility and worship to honor God.

How about build a structure like that in heaven with all the witnessing and outreach you do? Just maybe God will be pleased with that… and be thankful you left all that mortar and spackle for some home builder that wants to honor God another way.

You really can go home again

Here’s a name from the past: Steve Hill. Name still not ringing a bell? Think about a church service happening nightly with a line around the building.

Brownsville Revival, anyone? Oh, that Steve Hill.

If you think that he sure has been quiet since the glory fell in the late 90s, you would be right. But he has certainly still been active, as we see in this story from Charisma.

Hill has been a pastor in Irving, Texas of Heartland Church since 2003. This came as a shock to me because I – like tens of 1000s around the world – have been touched by his ministry. Then suddenly in 2000, he vanished like Elijah’s chariot visited the tropical state and swooped him up.

Before we touch on the cool thing he is doing now, a little about where he’s been.

Hill left Brownsville in 2000 and later founded Heartland Church. But since being diagnosed with a “vicious” melanoma in 2001 that has spread into his bloodstream, forming two tumors near his lungs, Hill has increasingly been using the Internet to evangelize.

Who knew? That is so sad considering all the lives he touched, and when he was sick, no one could touch back. Ah well, back to the story. Apparently, while the fiery evangelist realized talking wasn’t a big thing for him at the moment, he could still type feverishly, so he did.

Early last year, Hill launched ProdigalsOnly.com and, much like his brimstone bellowing in Brownsville, this net casting venture is catching quite the school of fish for Jesus:

Hill said God showed him there were 20 million prodigals in the U.S. alone, but the site has drawn visitors from 130 nations, including China, the United Arab Emirates and Japan. On the website, Hill shares his testimony of overcoming addiction and the parable of the prodigal son from Luke 15. He then invites visitors to recommit to Christ and share their stories with the ministry, which is working to help direct people to a local church.

As quiet as its kept, Hill is about to endure his third clinic trial at M.D. Anderson Center in Houston – considered one of the best cancer treatment facilities in the world.

In fact, at his church next month, Heartland is having a reunion service featuring John Kilpatrick and Lindell Cooley (That brother can blow on stage. Talk about anointed.) This service is going to be a fund raiser hoping to offset Hill’s medical costs.

Think about that? At one time, you were known as the world’s soul catcher. Then, once the glorious haze lifted, you disappear only to fulfill a call as a pastor in a city with so many megachurches anyway.

The one gift you have is quelled because of cancer. Do you quit? Nope. You speak through your fingers and reach 1000s more prodigals because that’s what you were created to do.

Talk about practice what you preach. Wall Watchers, let’s talk to God for him and for a healing. Peace be unto you.

Ever heard people say to plan for Christmas, you should begin in the summer? That phenomenon is already happening and raising quite the kerfuffle in the global media.

But for the ubiquitous festive stocking of the yuletide shelves that you would think.

Jesus ad campaign depicting the holy fetus?

So, what happens when this one says "Da-Da!"

First seen on KDFW in Dallas, by way of the UK’s Telegraph, it seems a British-based organization is not only interested in taking another ‘invasion’ but also doing with the Christ child taking a Polaroid… while in-utero.

ChurchAds.net has concocted what they believe to be a quippy ad campaign with the headline, “He’s on his way!”

Francis Goodwin, chairman of ChurchAds, said: ”This is the kind of thing proud ‘parents-to-be’ show their friends and family – passing round the scan of the baby, or even pinning it up in the office. Our poster reflects this new way of announcing the news of a new arrival and places the birth of Christ in an ultra-contemporary context.”

“Ultra-contemporary.” Sweet.

I agree the pregnancy became tangible when I got the print off in two versions of my first child – one, when I saw the full body and two, when I saw the close-up of his business. (What a proud daddy!)

But, do you think Mary would know that her baby boy would one day be posted on a sonogram-ish advertisement plastered all over the UK? Although this is good for the giggle, I feel you ChurchAds.net.

Here’s why:

Research has revealed that 85 per cent of people agree with the statement that “Christmas should be called Christmas because we are still a Christian country”. But it also shows that only 12 per cent of adults know the facts of the Christmas story in any detail.

Folk still pray to Santa-Baby-Jesus-Claus thinking salvation comes in a wrapped box. They’re not as ignorant as they are apathetic.

I applaud efforts like this because at least they are trying to wake folk up and make them think. Albeit, six months early, people are definitely thinking.

Parents? What do you think? The superimposed halo kinda’ throw you off? Don’t let it. Just think about it like this: Jesus really isn’t ‘away in a manger’, he’s warm and cozy in another kind of inn.

Merry Christmas.