Birds and Cigarettes

The question of the day: What is wrong with the American Church?

Answer: Birds and Cigarettes.

Actually, the  answer is me. But, I did make you wonder where I was going.

I, and so many like me, are killing Christianity. I want to sit on my high horse(which is actually a quite uncomfortable stool) and blog about life and sin and candy like it is a trendy habit, which it is by the way. But, what about the sin that I don’t talk about? Why do I only point out a particular sin over another? Because I can. It’s easy to do sitting behind this screen.

The best believer is the worst sinner. What makes him/her the best believer is the fact that they know they are the worst sinner. But, in today’s Christianity no one wants to be a “sinner” so we spend our time pointing out other peoples sin. That’s why I am the reason for failing Christianity. I am so quick to point out how someone else has screwed up, or how I am so much higher and holier then they are. All while claiming to be a Christian. While claiming the teachings of Jesus. While writing a blog titled Birds and Cigarettes.

I am not blaming my parents, or Jimmy Swaggert, even though the lady with pink hair on TBN scares me sometimes. It is my fault. I have distorted the word of God to fit my sins and shortcomings into it. I am no better than the Pharisee in Luke 18(9-12). Would you honestly want to have anything to do with a people group that tear each other apart? I wouldn’t, but dangit I am. I think I am a ranking official actually. I should check on that. Maybe there is a pension plan.

I tweet about how holy I am and how awesome my blog is(see what I did there), but what is it all for? Now, I’m not going to quit tweeting, or writing exceptional blog post :), but I am going to try and bring something relevant to the table. Something that truly challenges the readers, and you know who you are. All 8 of you. I want my ramblings to stir you. To challenge you. And sometime, to annoy you, or make you laugh(whichever you prefer).

I don’t however want to be “better” than you. I don’t have it figured out. I am not that smart. But, I am loved and covered by grace and so are you. Let’s just love each other. In a strictly brotherly/sisterly love kind of way. And by that I don’t mean Arkansas brotherly/sisterly kind of way.

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Get Real.

I have been reading Plan B by Pete Wilson for several months now. I know what you’re thinking, “How big is that Book?” I haven’t really been into growing spiritually lately so it has taken me awhile to get to the middle of the book. Anyway, Pete (I call him Pete cause we’re tight like that) talks about authentic community. About not trying to make yourself seem more interesting so you can fit in. I have to be honest, I have always done that.

I have always felt afraid of rejection. Maybe that stems from a broken childhood. Being a part of a dysfunctional family can have some lasting affects on a kid. some lasting affects on a kid. Sorry about that.

Where does it start? More importantly: Where does it end?

I can’t tell you where it started, but it ends today. I want to live in the light that Papa has for me and I can’t do that by being dishonest. Not just with others, but with myself as well.

What will that look like? I have no idea, and I’m a little freaked out. But, I will try not to freak anyone else out. (no promises though) How bout this…

I am a crappy husband to my wife. I am a good dad. But, in reality those two can not co-exist under one roof. I have hidden my fears from my wife because I “have to be strong.” That’s a crook of bull(and I don’t me pot roast). That is an excuse that I have used to hold on to my fears and selfishness. If I was being strong for my family I would bring my fears and my crap to my wife so that we can work through them together(1+1=1). How is that authentic communication with her?

Side note: Communication, Communion, Community…coincidence? I think not.

I have robbed my family and friends of something far deeper than my fears have allowed, because I wasn’t genuine (Jump on it…).

How have you been robbed by your fears? Who have you robbed?

Rain?

I have recently realized that there are a lot of songs about rain. I find this especially interesting since we are in a drought in my part of the country. It is also interesting to me that most of the songs about rain are in the genre of either Country or Christian music. What is our obsession with Rain? I have a theory…

1. Rain is wet. After all, it is water. People like to be cooled down by water.  Whether they are drinking it, bathing in it, or singing in it, water is something that people enjoy(unless you have a crippling fear of drowning).

2. It makes the air smell funny. I personally like the way that rain affects the air just before it dumps it’s payload on everything in site. Sometimes it does carry a little bit of funk with it though.

3.It makes for dark and stormy nights. You know, the kind that ghost stories come from. Which reminds me, did you hear the one about the man who lost his big toe?

4.It is associated with being completely covered, or soaked by something. If you are stuck in a rain shower without an umbrella-ella-ella-ah-ah-ah(sorry) you will, by most counts, end up soaked.

I think our fascination with rain comes from the fourth point. If I am all mushy-gooshy in love I want to hear a song about being completely covered in that love. The same goes for when I’m broken hearted. I want to just be overwhelmed by that heartbreak, at least for a little while. That’s why I especially love the rain reference when talking and singing about Papa. What better way to describe the Spirit falling on someone than with rain? When the Spirit falls it isn’t a dribble on your wrist, or a drop or two on the forehead. It is an engulfing since of peace and love that pours over you. I hope that you don’t feel that the Lord is the dark and stormy type.

What do you think about rain?

What other song cliches do find interesting?

I wanna be witty!

After reading through several well done blogs I realized that I might be coming across too serious. Some of the readers out there know that I am a pretty easy going guy. I love to laugh and make others laugh. I am hereby making a pledge to be more witty (or is it wittier?). I should probably make an attempt at better grammar as well, but one thing at a time people. However, if you do want to read a great blog that is both thought provoking and witty, check out Jon Acuff’s blog @ jonacuff.com (I kinda wish that I could call him my buddy, but I haven’t actually met him, but I feel like we would get along fabulously) He follows me on Twitter.

So keep checking in with me for some hopefully challenging blog post, and maybe some that just lighten you day.

What happened?

Wow! a lot has happened since the last time I wrote on my blog. It is crazy to think of how much Papa has done for us in the last three months. It also shames me to think of how much I have thrown in his face in the past month. What happened?

Some of you that know me and read this blog know that my family and I recently moved back to Sarasota, FL (home of the newly ranked #1 beach in America). When it was time for the move Papa opened up some amazing doors for us to walk through. He promised me a job within the first week of moving back, and BAM!! it happened. He promised us an apartment, BAM again. He even showed up on the financial side to make the move and everything else possible, BAM!!! So, what happened in the last month that has made me a pain in the butt?

I stopped “needing” Him. I realize that I will always need Papa, but I wasn’t having to depend on Him for every little thing like before. Before we couldn’t pay our rent unless He showed up in a big way. And, yes he always did. Somehow, I managed to completely seperate myself from the one person who made everything that I have possible. I wasn’t desperate for a move of God. I wasn’t needing his provision as much because I have a job and a nice apartment.

I’m currently reading thru Pete Wilson’s book Plan B and it’s humorous to me to think that not too long ago I was looking at what Plan B was for my family. Now that Papa has opened the doors to Plan B, I am trying to close them in His face by trying to negotiate and traverse Plan B on my own. I have to stop or I’ll be facing another Plan B(which if you count how many times that I’ve uprooted my family for what I thought was a change in God’s will, we would probably be on Plan J by now).

What I have realized is that I am not truely happy without Papa at the Center of everything. Yes, I have a great job and a very nice apartment. But, my marriage is struggling right now, my finances aren’t any better than when I made no money, and my attitude stinks most of the time.

I need intimacy with my Savior. No one stole that from me. Papa didn’t just stop being close to me. It was my fault. I am the one who pulled away. I am taking responsiblity for my actions and moving forward.

So…What about you? Do you need to own your actions and make the decision to draw closer to the Lord? Maybe it’s time to act on what you know to be true.