Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

First of all Easter is never really over because Jesus is Risen. That being said, the day we celebrate the Holiday has passed, so now what? Well for Christians the answer should be obvious. We take what we’ve been given and we share it. That’s what this image represents. We take the light that is in our hearts and we reach out, using our gifts to bless others and our lives to encourage and comfort others. The hand reaching down represents reaching to help someone else up. Then finally the hand pointing to heaven is to remind us that with all we do, we are supposed to point to the One who came to set us free. This is a major part of what it means to follow Christ.

I finally got the chance to put all the great photos Donna Parcell took of A Night AMOK and put them into a promo video for the new A Night AMOK: Pix of JC page here on

Pix of JC is an evangelistic presentation, A Night AMOK: Pix of JC (Pictures of Jesus). This hour and half long program is designed to introduce people to Jesus and inspire and encourage people to “paint a better picture of Jesus” with their lives by representing Him well and using their God-given gifts to serve God and others. To bring A Night AMOK to your church, contact Dave Weiss at

Photo Credit: Donna Parcell, Indian Creek Church of the Brethren

Been there? Done That? Get the T shirt!

Been there? Done That? Get the T shirt!

There are a lot of labels we slap on each other in the church. I’ll admit, I’ve never considered myself a liberal. I used to think I was a conservative until a conservative told me I wasn’t one. He said instead that I was an evangelical. I thought all Christians were supposed to be evangelical (Isn’t that what the Great Commission is all about?) When I heard my denomination had started a progressive group, I was excited. I’ve spent my whole ministry trying to create new ways to share the unchanging message of the Gospel. Isn’t that what progressive means? Evidently not. Just another way to advance a political agenda and I’m not much for politics anymore. We call ourselves pacifists, but for pacifists, we sure fight a lot and the countryside is littered with our denominational splits and while I love the people in my denomination (all of them because God said I had to and Jesus prayed that I would), there’s part of me that wonders if a denomination is just another label.

I mean I remember driving with a friend talking about God and the church, and when I told him my denomination, he said, “Oh, you guys are real liberal.” I thought about my little church in the corn field in Pennsylvania and thought, “How could he say that? We make Rush Limbaugh look like a liberal (or at least a moderate.) That’s the thing about labels, one size doesn’t fit all. The Bible speaks of speaking the truth in love but when we begin to separate behind labels it becomes either or, some having a problem with truth, others having a problem with love. A label is a litmus test. It stops being about Jesus and starts being about passing your groups litmus test. If you don’t believe me look at our government and ask yourself are they making their decisions based on what’s best for the people or the party. The party is the label and their decisions are how they pass the litmus test. Our Christian “labels” do the same thing. They divide what Jesus came to unite. When He prayed that we might be one as He and the Father are one, He meant you and me. I want better than division and dispute for my life, how about you?

I decided a long time ago that I reject all labels and the only litmus test I care about is the one given by the only one who won’t reject me when I fail to pass it. He told me to love everyone, even my enemies (if I had any, which I really don’t, largely because I really try to love everybody), stop being selfish, take up my cross DAILY and follow Him. We need to throw away our labels and pick up our Bibles. We need to forget our litmus tests and start following the doctrine set up for us by the Word of God. Should we leave the church? No, the Bible FORBIDS that. Do we dump our denominations? I don’t know if that’s necessary either. There are different denominations for the same reason there are different flavors of ice cream. Different people respond to different things and are reached by different things and God wants everyone to be reached by His love and the truth of the Gospel.(Speaking the truth in love, remember?)

What we must do is come together around the Word of God and in prayer and bring the church back into obedience to God and we have to start loving each other and the people in the world around us. I don’t have to agree with you to love you. I can disagree with you vehemently and still love you and you can fail my unintentional litmus tests (none of us should have them but we all do) and I will still love you. That’s what it means to follow the One who sacrificed Himself for the people who killed Him. I have many titles that tell you who I am, husband, father, man, pastor, speaker, artist employee, etc. and I’m okay with that but I reject all labels but one…

Been there? Done that? Get the T-shirt!

Done with glow paint and a black light, this presentation is extremely cool.

How could you adapt this to your situation?

I haven’t posted a message of the week in a while, but I felt pretty strongly led to post this one, so here it is.

It’s the last message in my Dear Galatia Series, it deals with how to use our freedom in Christ and how to function as the Church and the Body of Christ. Check it out…

Did you ever wonder if people who live in places where there are a lot of real terror and real horrors are as enamored with horror movies as those of us who live in relative peace and safety.

Did you ever wonder how people who live in nations where tribulation is already occurring feel about the pre-trib rapture?

Christians hold diverse opinions on Halloween. Some see it as Satanic, some see it as harmless and most of us are somewhere in between. I would be one of those people. On one hand the fascination with horror, gore, death and demons is particularly troublesome to me, on the other hand, it is the second most popular “holiday” in the U.S. and that seems to me like an opportunity to do some good for the Kingdom.

Halloween has it’s origins in Christianity. A day for remembering loved ones gone before as well as all the saints and as such maybe it’s not a case for coming out against it or ignoring it, but rather an opportunity for the church to reclaim and redeem. Leave that to your conscience, convictions and what the Holy Spirit (the only Spirit worth listening to) tells you to do. Follow your convictions and do what God says.

What inspired this post was something I heard a good friend say yesterday. She said Halloween is her favorite holiday because she gets to try being someone else. Now some of you may find that cringe-worthy, but I get it. I had a day like that, but it wasn’t Halloween, it was the day Christ came into my life. The Kings James Bible says “If any man be in Christ, He is a new creature…” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Christ came in and made a radical transformation in my life for the better. Of course there are major differences between my experience and my friend’s with Halloween. Her change is temporary, trying on an identity for a short period of time, all in fun, stretching her creativity to explore possibilities (that is the best side of Halloween, isn’t it?). In my case, I hated who I was and what I was becoming and needed a change that would be for good in both senses of the word. The old me needed to go, and I needed to become a new creature. The following two videos are explorations of what it means to be a new creature. Check them out and regardless about what you think and feel about Halloween, use this day to glorify God.