Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Cracks and Crap

"Accountability is worthless if you aren't willing to be accountable."--Gary Lamb

When I am struggling, depressed, lonely, at the end of my rope or battling with one of my myriad of messy issues what is the last thing I want to do?

How about if I tell you the first thing I want to do?

Eat dozens of Dunkin Donuts. Drink myself into oblivion. Do something irresponsible. Yell and scream at all of the wrong people for all of the wrong reasons. Pull away from the people I love. Crawl into a cave. Isolate myself.

What is the last thing I want to do?

Call a friend or call out to God.

Why is this always the last thing I want to do? I will expose my weaknesses. Share the real me and the ugly truth. My cracks will show. I won't look like the perfect husband, father, friend or Christian anymore.

This week I plan on exposing my cracks and crap to a couple of trusted friends. It's going to be hard. It will be a little easier with God. He's already seen all of my cracks and crap. I don't know how my friends will handle it but I know how God will deal with it. With open arms, He'll offer me love, mercy and forgiveness.

"And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." -- Luke 15:20

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lesbian Labels

We have lesbians that attend my church. I'm pretty sure that they consider it their church too. We have lesbians that are members of the worship team. There are lesbians that come to church and attend bible study. I'm pretty sure that I saw lesbians helping out in the church kitchen this morning.

What is it about lesbians in church that gets me thinking about my own issues? They help me see the labels I put on them and on others. I put labels on just about everyone except for myself.

How do I know that they are lesbians? They didn't give me a card that says, "Hello, I am a lesbian." They aren't wearing name tags that say,"Hi, I'm a lesbian." So I must be making assumptions or being judgmental based on what I think lesbians look like. They aren't holding hands or smooching on each other during services. They aren't working on cars in the parking lot. They aren't wearing Lilith Fair t-shirts. I guarantee that they don't have lesbian labels inside their shirts. I want to scream to myself, "Mike, they are people. Why aren't you looking at yourself instead of spending your time deciding whether or not you've got lesbians in your church!"

I've got problems with food, alcohol and depression. Those are just a few of the issues I deal with on a daily basis. Maybe I should pass out a card or wear a t-shirt to church. My card or t-shirt would say, "Hello. My name is Mike. I judge others based on appearance. I'm an alcoholic. I'd rather be drinking right now but I'm not. Don't ask me how things are going in my marriage. Ask my wife. She'll give you an honest answer. I tend to sugarcoat things. I probably won't give you an honest answer since I'm supposed to be "Mr. Super Christian Husband". Because I'm not drinking alcohol I'm battling even more with my food addiction. I take two anti-depressants a day. If I don't take my pills I can be a raging bastard or so down in the dumps that I've thought about ending my life."

I need some help though. I don't know what people who cheat on their spouses look like? What about men or women who are addicted to pornography or gambling? What do they look like? What does the man who abuses his wife and children wear to church on Sunday. The embezzler. The liar. The woman who chose to abort her baby. The man who left his family behind. The couple living together. What do they look like? How do they talk? What do they wear?

BREAKING NEWS: I've found a photo of a man who struggles daily with depression, alcoholism and food addictions. See photo below. It's me.

God, help me to put down my label maker. Instead, help me to look at others through the eyes of Jesus

Photo taken by my friend @Dana88

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rattlesnakes, religion, and rockabilly

What you won't see at my church this weekend.

Sorry. Not very seeker friendly is it?

Found this at the great blog: 22 Words

Monday, June 7, 2010

Anything Wrong With This Photo?

Is there anything wrong with this photo. Nothing? No big deal? So what? Is what you're looking at become such a part of our lives that we have become numb to it? Remember when we talked to each other at the breakfast table? Remember when we used to eat breakfast together?

You could have taken a photo that looks like this in my home.

I found this photo linked to this article, "Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price".

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Why Tweet In Church?

There are many opinions and articles about "Tweeting" in church. Go to Google and do a search for "Why Tweet In Church?" or "Tweeting in Church". You'll find a truckload of links to check out. You'll find links for TIME, The New York Times and blogs. I believe that Twitter is an incredible outreach tool. I've written two guests post about how and why the church should use Twitter. You can see the first one here and the second one here. One of my guest posts was discussed on a blog based in the United Kingdom. The title of this post is Why Tweet In Church? The great musical theologian Rod Stewart once sang Every Picture Tells A Story. The picture below tells a story. It's the story of 3 knuckleheads (my pastor @TomForPeace, my friend Russell @RussellNCC and me @MarketerMikeE) reaching out to others through Twitter. The picture below was taken today after church. It features tweeps that connected to First United Methodist Church in Port Orange, Florida through Twitter.

In the picture above you'll see my pastor, my friend Russell, @Dana88, @TheChef_, @PaganKelly and kids, @SeeJaneSell and @ChristieSays. I'm the scary bald guy in the back.

"Out of 132 contacts that Jesus had with people recorded in the New Testament, 6 were in the temple, 4 were in the synagogue, and 122 were out in the mainstream of life." -- Darrel Davis