Monday, May 31, 2010

God Speaks To Me Through Pearl Jam

I haven't had the best week. I haven't been the best father. I haven't been a good husband. My relationship with my daughter isn't great. It's been a tough week in the marriage department. I admit I'm not the greatest at relationships. I beat up on myself when things aren't going well at home(See, I'm beating up on myself in this post). I place way too much importance on what people think of me.

I was at a party over the weekend feeling sorry for myself because everyone else was drinking and I wasn't(I've been sober for over 7 months). Suddenly someone who had too much wine mentioned a song from Pearl Jam. I didn't think about it again until just moments ago. I looked up the song on YouTube and found the lyrics.

God knows me like no one else. He wanted me to hear this song before I started my week. He whispered to me through the words of Pearl Jam: "It's OK. You know I love you anyway". You'll find the lyrics and clip below. I pray that as you listen to this song and read the lyrics you'll hear God whisper to you, "It's OK. You know I love you anyway".

Vedder to Crowd:
"I'm going to stand here with you. I'm going to give you a part, I say 'It's OK and you say 'It's O.k.'"

It’s ok…
Vedder and crowd -It’s ok!

It’s ok
Crowd: It’s ok

You don’t have to run and hide away

It’s ok
It’s ok

You know I love you anyway

This is my chance, this is my life,
This is my hope in an alleyway
This is my chance, this is my voice
There may be no more tomorrow
This is my plea
This is my need
And my time of standing free
This is my step
This is my day
And the world is never the same

It’s ok
It’s ok

You know I love you anyway

Its ok
It’s ok

You don’t have to run and hide away

It’s ok
It’s ok
It's ok ...
It's Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...

Oh It's kayyyyy"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hideous Puppet Says A Prayer

In my opinion there is nothing scarier than Christian puppets. Need an example? Watch YouTube clip below.

Person who posted this clip on YouTube said:

"Gotta love Christian doctrine coming out of the mouth of a puppet that looks like the spawn of Lucifer himself.. good way to get kids into the Bible! Scare them to death."

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm Sorry For Being A Christian

Warning for those with tender ears. You will hear the "F" bomb in the video below.

Update: My friend asked me a question tonight. He said, "Mike, are you bashing Christians, again?"

Watch the video below. Is he right? If I claim I am a Christian and post this on my blog am I bashing Christians?

I found this clip at the blog of Carlos Whittaker

Saturday, May 22, 2010

God Is With Us

The words in this song hit me right between the eyes today: "God Is With Us".

Please watch the music video below and tell me which words or phrases spoke to you or touched your heart.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Video: God Uses Pastor's Van

Tom Nelson, the pastor of my church First United Methodist Church, handed over the keys to his van to a total stranger. Watch WOFL FOX 35 story below. (May be brief ad at front)

Update: The van was found by Port Orange, FL police on Thursday night one block from the church. Other than needing to add some power steering fluid, Pastor Tom has his somewhat crappy van back.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grand Theft Auto Evangelism -- Update


What is the best way for me to understand sacrifice?

Watching movies about Jesus? I thought "Passion of The Christ" was powerful, gruesome, brutal, bloody and compelling but most movies about Jesus can be just plain silly. The actor that plays Jesus wears a clean, glowing white robe and he looks like he might have been a California surfer.

Listening to sermons about sacrifice? (Warning: Broad Sweeping Statement Follows) The pastor gives a sermon on "sacrifice" and "digging down deep" during the "new building campaign". Immediately following the sermon, the pastor and his family leave the church in a brand new, black, extremely shiny Cadillac SUV (I love the fact that my pastor has an extremely crappy old van but more about that later).

Watching "Jesus" flicks and listening to sermons dripping in "sacrifice" don't ring my bell like someone who is living, breathing and actually doing sacrificial acts. Yesterday I heard about a skydiving instructor who sacrificed his body for one of his students. Over the weekend in Florida, a plane crashed into a family's home while they were eating breakfast. The father made sure his family was safe and then rushed to the plane that crashed into his home to see if he could save the passengers. Another sacrificial act hit closer to home. This past Sunday my Pastor Tom Nelson played a living, breathing role in an extremely real reality show called "Grand Theft Auto Evangelism".

A stranger walked into church Sunday morning while Pastor Tom and others were preparing for services. The stranger asked Tom for cab fare. Instead Tom gave the stranger his van to use for the day. The verbal agreement was "use my van and bring it back when you're finished". Long story short that was Sunday and today is Wednesday. The stranger and the van have not returned. Pastor Tom's van is a clunker or as I like to say, "piece of crap". Even if Tom had a new, shiny SUV and God led him to do it I'm pretty sure that the story would have played out the same. Here is something else I know about my Pastor. He won't take one ounce of the glory. He'll give the glory to God instead.

God changes the hearts of men and then compels them to make sacrifices for others. Will you and I be obedient to His call or will we make Christ followers look shallow, selfish and comfortable? Many have heard the Gospel. Very few have actually seen the Gospel in action. What will you and I do today to show the Gospel to others through sacrificial acts? When we make a sacrifice will we give God the glory or put ourselves in the spotlight?

"You can learn a lot about a person by watching how they treat strangers."

"Christians love evangelism as long as someone else is doing it."
--Ed Stetzer

Pastor Tom's sacrifice made it to the Daytona Beach News Journal. Click here to read the story.

Thurs. May 20th, 6:50 PM. Pastor Tom just tweeted: "Police just called. Astro (the van) phoned home! A block from the church." Follow Pastor Tom on Twitter by clicking here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

From Crappy To Great

I decided Thursday that Saturday was going to be crappy.

On Saturday morning I ran into someone at the YMCA pool. I hadn't seen him in ages. He made the mistake of asking me how I was doing. I was bound and determined to invite him to my "pity party". I began my rant: "Well, it's gonna be one hell of a Saturday. I just left my group at church and right now my son is trying out to be a junior lifeguard. If he does well we'll need to drive all the way to the beach to sign him up for lifeguard camp and then I've got to take him to his "Annie" musical practice. I'll only get an hour break and then my wife and I are taking our son to his swim team banquet. The damn banquet is supposed to go on for 3 to 4 hours. Man, Monday is going to come and I'm going to wonder where in the hell my weekend went!"

The man I hadn't seen in ages stood in front of me and let me finish my "pity party" tirade. Then he looked at me and said, "Mike, the sun is shining, it's a beautiful day, you get to spend an entire day with your son and celebrate his accomplishments. You have a beautiful wife. Wow, you've got a lot to be thankful for. You are a very blessed man. It's good to see you Mike. Sounds like you've got a great day ahead of you. I've gotta go. See you soon. I can't wait to enjoy this glorious day!" He smiled, shook my hand and walked away.

God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. God spoke to me on Saturday morning through a man at the YMCA pool. Through him I heard God say to me loud and crystal clear, "Mike, be thankful for what you have and would you please surrender that negative attitude of yours to ME! I'll be glad to put it where the sun doesn't shine. That crappy attitude you're packing around is not benefiting you or anyone you love. One other thing. I love you."

On Thursday I decided that Saturday was going to be crappy. On Saturday I decided to surrender my crappy, negative attitude and give it to God. It's amazing. Something happened after I surrendered. Saturday wasn't even close to crappy. God showed me just how great Saturday and everyday can be if I simply take the time to remember all of the things that He has given to me.

See the photo below. That's my son after he received his award at the swim team banquet. That doesn't look crappy to me. It looks great!