Posts Tagged ‘heaven’

Courtesy: Tulsa's NewsOn6.com

Wall Watchers who have been praying for Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, and have commented on the previous post that broke the news about his battle with lymphoma cancer, it is with a sad heart but a hopeful spirit that I post this.

According to the Tulsa World, Pastor Daugherty died after 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

From his obituary in the column:

In addition to founding one of Tulsa’s largest churches, he was founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute with about 900 campuses in 93 countries, and Victory World Missions Training Center which has sent 1000s of missionaries around the world.

His television show, Victory in Jesus, reached more than 100 million households in North America, in addition to satellite and internet distribution worldwide. He and his wife, Victory co-pastor Sharon Daugherty, have written more than a dozen books.

Daugherty was one of America’s best-known charismatic pastors, preaching an upbeat and sometimes controversial message that Jesus came to bring spiritual, emotional and physical healing, and blessing and prosperity to mankind. He regularly brought some of the top charismatic preachers in the world to Tulsa for Word Explosion, Victory’s annual summer conference.

In 2005, when Steven Wayne Rogers walked an aisle and hit Daugherty in the eye during an altar call, this pastor showed what it meant to stop preaching a sermon and start living one. People learned what compassion in action was all about when Daugherty visited this guy in jail and prayed for him – by himself, no cameras, no press release, no reason.

During that national imbroglio, I met the man behind the headlines while I was representing another client and never forgot his kind demeanor, his gentle spirit and his obvious exposure to Jesus Christ. Needless to say, he made an impression on me, as well as he did on the millions who supported and appreciated his ministry.

The Body of Christ lost a prince today, but rest assured he is with the King of Kings in paradise waiting for the rest of us. Billy Joe Daugherty will be missed but his legacy will live on in Tulsa, and in the hearts of those who had the pleasure to meet and know him.

He is survived by his wife Sharon and their children John, Paul, Sarah and Ruthie.

Peace.

Statistics have shown church attendance is on the decline. People are disengaged with religion. And evagnelism just ain’t what it used to be.

Something has got to be done, but what?

DogsGoToHeaven

Evidently Woof N' Worship is catching on

If you’re the Rev. Tom Eggebeen of Covenant Presbyterian Church, you realize church attendance is going to the dogs. So if you can’t beat it, join it.

So Eggebeen came up with a hair-raising idea: He would turn God’s house into a doghouse by offering a 30-minute service complete with individual doggie beds, canine prayers and an offering of dog treats.

He hopes it will reinvigorate the church’s connection with the community, provide solace to elderly members and, possibly, attract new worshippers who are as crazy about God as they are about their four-legged friends.

Really? Can you imagine. I suppose this helped most of the octogenarians that attend church, but was it really uplifting? And did we discover if all dogs really go to heaven?

Traditionally, conventional Christians believe that only humans have redeemable souls, said Laura Hobgood-Oster, a religion professor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

“It’s the changing family structure, where pets are really central and religious communities are starting to recognize that people need various kinds of rituals that include their pets,” she said. “More and more people in mainline Christianity are considering them to have some kind of soul.”

There are many people who believe dearly departed puppies will be at the golden gates when they arrive, but don’t we need to jump start the two-legged folk in church first?

Emma Sczesniak came to Covenant for the first time, lured by the promise that she could worship with her black Lab, Midnight, and her wire-haired Dachshund-terrier mix, Marley.“I don’t have any kids, so my pets have always been my children, so it does mean a lot,” she said of the dog-inclusive service. “I haven’t been to church in a long time and this may push me into it. I’m getting older and I’ve been thinking about those things again.”

I suppose whatever works, so good on Eggebeen for thinking of it. My only prayer is that after these aloof church spectators are “pushed into it” they discover the real reason of why they should be there in the first place.

However, in case Eggebeen needs other ideas to trick up service, here’s some suggestions:

  • Announce to the Presbyterian Church that “dogma” is hereby redefined. (Where’s that rim shot?)
  • Present your illustrated sermon series about the Church going to the dogs. Or perhaps “The Stench of Sin.” I think it may be more convincing than you think.
  • Since you have a church full of older people, I’m sure one of the gentlemen in attendance battles a case of the holders during your message. Now, he can have someone to blame it on. (I know, kinda gets ya’ right in the heart, eh?)
  • Petition Pope Benedict for a new assortment of saints that’s sure to get some news: Canonize Lassie, Rin-Tin-Tin, Toto, Duke from the “Beverly Hillbillies”, Eddie from “Frasier” and of course Fang from “Harry Potter”. It is in L.A. after all.
  • Have Snoop Dogg be a guest speaker during a morning homily. It makes sense, and never mind the whole Muslim thing. You’ll diversify your church for sure, my nizzle.
quetzalcoatl

Coming Nov. 13, 2009... I mean, 2012.

Later this month, you know in 2009, a blockbuster is going to hit global screens – 2012.

John Cusack is going to save the world from the “Q Dog” (much to the chagrin of my Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. ties) and the fact that it’s just a cheap marketing ploy three years early shouldn’t matter. I mean, it doesn’t to Hollywood folk.

However, one organization all this apocalyptic kerfuffle is bothering is NASA. Just ask one of their astrophysicists, David Morrison:

“Calendars, whether contemporary or ancient, cannot predict the future of our planet or warn of things to happen on a specific date such as 2012. I note that my desk calendar ends much sooner, on Dec. 31, 2009, but I do not interpret this as a prediction of Armageddon. It is just the beginning of a new year.”

Can we please stop with the end times theories? The Bible declares it; I believe it; and I wish that would settle it:

Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won’t go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died. With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

I mean, if anyone wishes this mess would stop is the Olympics. After all, in 2012, the Spice Girls are performing! Isn’t that enough of a reason for the half-dog, half-lizard to hold off for a few months?!

Back in November, the BarackStar was eagerly looking for a church home following his procurement of some sweet real estate in Washington D.C.

From Baptist to UMC to even MCC, all churches on the famed “God’s Avenue” wanted to have enough bake sales and homeless outreaches to attract the first family to their congregation.

Well, evidently those marketing efforts haven’t been that successful as the Obama clan have not yet found their sanctified home.

Church and StateQuestion: Does it matter, as USA Today’s Henry Britton ruminates?

The Constitution says there shall be no “religious test,” so perhaps Sunday morning should be the one day each week when the president gets to sleep in. He certainly works hard enough. But before he hits the snooze button, President Obama should return to the question of whether he and his family will join a congregation in the Washington area.

The article is a good read, but before you decide, ask yourself this: Any former or current waiters in the house?

Yes, okay. What was the absolute worst shift to work? Sunday brunch. Why? Christians (or mostly, those dunderheads who dubbed themselves as such).

Any person out there in need of trades? Okay, do ever shun from the plumber or painter with a big ichthus draped across the car? You bet you do, and why? Ethics.

Even though Christians should be the last group of people to have this dark cloud looming over their head, they are typically the first ones to be questioned about it.

So, if that is the stereotype, should it matter if Obama isn’t the church-going dude he espoused to be to all the sheep in America?

I know plenty of people who are truly skilled at their vocation, and could care less about salvation, stigmata or sanctification. Does that make them any less of an expert in their field? Not so much.

Yes, they need Jesus to wash away their sin. Yes, God’s son is the only way to heaven. But there is no way you can tell me without God, someone sucks at their gig. The difference is the Holy Spirit can make them that much better.

The president needs all the help he can get… and with that health care plan, now more than ever. It doesn’t look like the brother is going to church any time soon.

So, aside what you think of his politics, philosophy and utmost devotion for the teleprompter… if he is not a faithful “living epistle” for Jesus Christ, does it affect his means to do his job?

And if you exclaim “Yes,” I – along with more than 87 percent of this country (GOP and Dems alike) – give you George W. Bush as an example.

Any thoughts?

Rapture.

It’s a word that instigates much ado about something. People know what it means; yet it is literally nowhere in the Bible. For those scoring at home, “Rapture” is derived from the Latin verb: ‘rapere’, of 1 Thess. 4:17—”we will be caught up,” [‘to carry off’ – or ‘catch up’]).

In other words, whether you can read the word or not in the Bible, when Jesus returns… we’re outta’ here.

Except for the fact, if you see this awe-striking picture from – of all places – Google’s street view, you would swear twice on Sunday that you missed said rapture.

Just look at this thing:

Heaven in Brooklyn

Who ever thought heaven on earth would be found in Brooklyn? Yet, there it is… the Shekinah Glory stepping over the homeless, hot sewage and petrified dog poop.

Ah well, if you can make it there… I suppose even Jesus needs a test run.

(Big masonry shout out to David Weiner of HuffPo).