Posts Tagged ‘redemption’

We’re back. A wheelbarrow full of concrete mix, lots of water and ready to get my masonry game on brick-by-brick on this amazing wall God has allowed us to build over the past year plus.

Although over the HOLY-days, religious news was scanty, I did locate one editorial from AOL’s “Sphere” that tickled my fancy and got my charismatic pants shuckin’ and jivin’.

In case you didn’t take two Tylenol PM on December 31, you may have ventured to a New Years’ Eve party (or two). Perhaps, you heard the hollow-throated Dick Clark on TV (so, so sad)? Either way, if you are an “open-air” street preacher, you would be hard pressed to find more of a bountiful harvest than one of those shindigs, as Steve Friess opines:

Yet these revelers did so both with great amusement and plenty of spite, reactions to a far more incongruous sight for the wildest party Sin City throws each year: A row in the middle of Las Vegas Strip of about 30 evangelical preachers waving gigantic placards warning of eternal damnation for the “porno freaks,” “baby killers,” astrologers, Mormons, Muslims, gays and “so-called Christians” in their midst.

Hell no. You will go. Read my sign. It's about time.

Let’s get this clear: I unequivocally admire street preachers.

I have often exclaimed that anyone can do what a megachurch pastor can do if the spirit is right. You know, the band is playing something smooth, a message has been shared about God’s redemptive power and then out goes the nets.

Trust me, with an atmosphere like that, an Atheist could reel in a fine catch of new souls for the glory of God.

Now, get that blinged out pastor on a dusky-hued street corner mano-y-mano and they become slack jawed troglodytes who can barely stammer their way out of Genesis. If you can win one soul in that situation, you are a pro at this Jesus thing.

That said, here’s my question: Does picketing the lost really do anything but harm to the greater good?

Look at the picture. They are smiling for four reasons:

  1. They are completely hammered on boxed wine.
  2. They read the signs and think the tools holding them are well… tools.
  3. They can’t believe Criss Angel gave them a dollar and made it disappear.
  4. Or… all of the above.

Either way, do those signs really plant a seed? I remember the days when I used to roam the streets aimlessly and not one of those signs outside a night club throttled my zeal to go inside and forget they were freezing their blessed assurance outside.

When Jesus finally got my attention, it wasn’t because of those magical seeds planted by Johnny Appleseed barking at me from a turned-over milk crate. I heard Jesus because of a still, small voice that shared love, care and change.

Don’t take my word for it:

Friendly is not a word most would use for the reception the posse of proselytizers received standing shoulder-to-shoulder outside the Mirage Hotel-Casino in a swarm of hundreds of thousands of partiers. The preachers took turns on the bullhorns, with a typical message coming from a fellow named Jeremy from New Mexico who shouted: “You’re on the road to hell right now. Hell is a place of fire and brimstone. Must you all go to hell before you understand that God is not playing around?”

Granted, the message is right. However, is the method? People will hate us completely. It’s in the Bible and we should expect it, but at least, let them hate because we are showing them God’s love.

How many times in the synoptic chapters do we read of Jesus encouraging his 12 eager ragamuffins to dollop some paint on a piece of animal hide and find the town floozie to make her feel bad enough to beg for forgiveness?!

Wall watchers, if there’s anything we need to do in 2010 is get real with God and encourage everyone – the lost and the found – to do the same. Lukewarm only gets you one thing in life and I’m in no mood to become one of God’s lugies!

If I see a transgression, I’m calling it out but I want it to stick. I want it to matter. Does picketing outside gay night clubs with completely inappropriate signs, “God hates fags” matter to anyone other than the dolt who wrote it?

The art of a harvest begins with properly planting a seed. If that seed is thrown on dirt, they’ll only get dusty and blown away. Put that seed in some soil, regardless how damp it is, and that thing has the potential to blossom.

I know we will all remain steadfastly committed to calling out the slack, the false profits, the riff raff and the scam artists. However, if we see anything remotely resembling a picket sign, call it out and teach its author how to make it matter.

Maybe if there are no more picket signs and no more hurling denominational malarkey, we can finally create a unified message of God’s reality and make more of them stick. Maybe then, they will read. Maybe then, it will matter. Maybe.

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Jesus is known for defeating the enemy, snatching the keys from the grave and rescuing us from hell. Thanks be to God.

For this week in video evangelism, consider the grave to be an eternal jail cell for Christ followers. So, naturally it makes sense that Jesus would endorse a few of his sentinel spirits as bail bondsmen, right?

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… because I can get out for at least 10%.

Amen.

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more about “Cross Eyed: Jesus Christ… Bail Bonds“, posted with vodpod

 

If you have to advertise it, will they still come?

If you have to advertise it, will they still come?

For any Wall Watcher that has ever dealt with the lowest common denomination… er, denominator and accepting someone as a result of “God giving them a second chance,” I give you the ultimate test of faith:

Meet Mark Hourigan of Louisville, Ky.

There was protest Thursday over a Louisville sex offender who will be ordained as a minister on Sunday. Mark Hourigan admits he sodomized a child, went to prison for it, and now wants to become a pastor. And members FOX 41 News spoke with say they’re okay with that.

Peter was an angry dude. Noah was a drunk. David had someone killed just so he could step that man’s wife. Paul killed Christians… for kicks. And I completely sucked growing up and didn’t meet the Lord until later in life.

Yet, somehow, God worked in all of our lives (and yes, I did just lump myself with those greats. Hey, if I don’t, who will, right?)

That said, would you go to this guy’s church? It’s not like his testimony is drugs or porn. It’s child abuse and sodomy, not quite the tandem you want to hear from a pastor during testimony time.

Imagine the folk at the church who say they accept their newly ordained pastor. It’s all good. He’s preaching the word and people are being edified. Then the announcements come, “Church, it’s time for Youth Camp!”

Since, this is a small church, guess who is camp counselor? Good ol’ Pastor. You still happy-go-lucky about your newest leader? GULP!

Oh yeah, and then there’s this… mind you, life after prison.

Hourigan says he was married but got divorced right before going to prison. Members of his small, pentecostal church say Hourigan has children and now also a gay partner.

That’s it. I’m out. I got nothing. Anyone? Bueller?

Fresh on the heels of reading about people “drifting away from God,” this week in video evangelism will teach a stirring message.

Fair warning: I cried when I first heard this not because of guilt or fear, but due to the lives roaming the earth who have no clue a Savior is coming, a truth is here and a decision needs to be made.

2 John 1:9 reads, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”

Everyone – whether they know it or not – are on a quest for destiny. The advantage children of God have is we understand what the heck we are doing standing aimlessly at the starting line.

For all those who would like to know, “I have so much but feel so empty inside. Why?” My earnest recommendation is invest five minutes in your life and peep this video. It’s more than a few minutes; it’s a message that will change your life.

Peace.

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more about “Cross Eyed: Run for Your Life“, posted with vodpod

Ah. Father’s Day.

Times of playing ball, going to the Zoo or having the kids sent off to the grandparents are typically conjured up for dear ol’ Dad. I did all three with my lil’ Wall Watchers. What about you?

Well, while you think about that, consider a different Father’s Day story from Santa Ana, Calif.

It seems this “dad” – 76-year-old Richard Cunningham – thought it be a good idea to take his 52-year-old son to church… and steal $3.1 million from it!

Kinda’ makes the tears just well up, don’t it?

Oh, did I mention both of these dolts were pastors?! Yeah, thought that would add a little pizzazz to the story.

Over five years, prosecutors say the Cunninghams stole from Calvary Baptist Yorba Linda Church and School bank accounts, and used the money to buy time shares in Hawaii and Palm Springs, golf club memberships and a Cadillac.

FathersDay_VaderI suppose being pastors helped, conviction and all, as they have both plead guilty for felony grand theft and fraud charges, as well as paid the total sum in restitution back to the church.

Amazing. In this economy, this dimwitted tandem decides to get nice and keep classy for a pimped-0ut Cadillac and some time shares. Nice.

Funny how it all comes to an end around Father’s Day because these two will be spending much more quality time together with three hots and a cot in the pokey.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the church Web site has been changed. Gotta’ love that technology. It even has a “financial manager.” For the church’s sake, I hope that’s a new hire. If not, homeboy needs to find a new line of work.

Just sayin’. Happy Father’s Day.