Is it just me, or do you have Christmas lights that didn’t make it from last year? They were working when I took them down, at the end of last year, and now —nothing! My neighbor, and good friend, loves conspiracy theories and he sincerely believes that the lights are intentionally made, by the manufacturers, to last 1 or 2 seasons, at the most, so we will keep buying new ones.
Anyway, I had several strands of lights that only about half the lights were working. It was my job was to see if I could find the bulb that was either broken or blown-out, right? If I could find that light bulb, and replace it, then the rest of the strand would light back up, as a result.
It made me start thinking about some of my “lights” that are blown out and, as a result, causing me to live, certain areas of my life, in darkness. So, if my light bulb of patience is busted, then perhaps the light (further down the strand) of “loving my kids” can’t light up as well? You get what I’m saying, right?
What light might be busted on your strand? Right now I’m working on patience and health “bulbs”, so that I can get my entire strand to light up! Feel free to add a dimension to Christmas Light Theology! What happens if none of your lights light up? What is the fuse? Are the colorful blinking lights the charismatic lights and the white lights the Presbyterians lights? Have some fun with it! Make sure to join our mailing list or get The Ordained Barista delivers directly to your reader.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
If you haven’t heard of the Grammy nominated band Gungor then it’s about time that you do, and you’re going to thank me later! Their new album, Ghosts Upon the Earth, is Amazing. I am also a huge fan of their second album, Beautiful Things. Gungor’s music is hard to explain, but if you like bands like David Crowder and Over the Rhine—you will love Gungor! Click on the iTunes button at the top of the screen to check them out in iTunes.
The title, Ghosts Upon the Earth was somewhat inspired by the allegory by C.S. Lewis titled The Great Divorce, in which the “ghosts” of a grey town encounter a heaven that is astonishingly, even painfully, real. “Sometimes it seems like the most real thing is what we can see and experience with our senses around us- this life, the tangible,” explains Michael Gungor. “Ideas like love, like God, these things sometimes feel more disconnected and ethereal, like that’s the ghostly realm. But what if that’s wrong, and God and love is actually what is most real, and we are more like ghosts walking upon the earth, hoping to become more real?”
I hope you will give them a listen this holiday season—you won’t be disappointed!
I will be giving one random person a copy of both of these albums, in CD or iTunes form, if you post a link to this blog post on your facebook wall and tell me that you did so in the comment section below! Good luck!
Hey everyone! At the first of every month, starting in January, I am going to start posting a list of the top posts of from the previous month. But, to start things off, I thought I would just list the top 10 posts that I have all time! So, you can see below what my tops posts are and PLEASE still leave a comment on ANY of them. Just as a side note, my favorite posts of all time are “Colby Did It!” and “the note left on my car.” (which was #11 on the list)
As always, please take a moment to subscribe to the blog trough email or by getting it delivered to your reader by RSS feed. You can do that very easily by clicking the coffee mug at the top of the page or adding you email below. Thanks! You will never know how much it helps! Seriously!
Do you ever feel like a fake? To be honest with you there are times when my actions and what I say I believe don’t match up very well, and I feel like a fake. Most of the time this condition is the result of putting my will before the will of God. That got me thinking about what the Bible says about authentic faith, and how do we know when we are living out of a place of authenticity?
Disclaimer*** Here is what this post is not meant to do. It is not meant to be an “authenticity checklist” or an easy way to get (for you or another person) an “authenticity rating.” I am not going to give you 6 simple steps to the authentic life. (see John 10) This is a post about how my/our behavior is changed by the transformation of our heart and not merely by the modification of our behavior. The behavior should follow as a result of the heart being transformed.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:1-2
I love this verse! Authenticity starts when we understand the mercy of God! “In view of God’s mercy” (step one) we have the strength and desire to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice (step two).This is great! The bigger and more amazing the message of Jesus sacrificial death on the cross (the cross being the biggest example, of many, of God’s mercy to us.) becomes, in your life, the more you can’t help yourself to be transformed by grace-this free gift from God!
As we move into advent let me ask you how big is the cross? How big is the mercy of God in your life? How amazed are you that God loves you so much that he would send his son for you? I hope as we move into advent that God will reveal to all of us just how big the mercies of God are!
As always, please leave a comment. Also, feel free to join or email list (below) or get The Ordained Barista Delivered directly to your RSS feeder by clicking on the coffee mug at the top of the screen. You will never know how much it helps, seriously!
Just For Fun
Today’s post is just for fun, and includes one of my favorite, must see, coffee cartoon clips. I also included the trailer for the documentary “Hot Coffee.” The DVD release is this week, and it tells the story about the woman who successfully sued McDonald’s for 2.9 MILLION DOLLARS after spilling McDonald’s coffee on her lap. Most of the reviews I have read say that the section of the movie that deals with the woman and McDonald’s is really good, but the 2/3 of the movie deals with the issue of tort reform is a little dry. Don’t forget to sign up for my blog through email or click on the coffee mug at the top of the screen to get The Ordained Barista delivered directly to your RSS feed.
I need your vote in the comments section! We are a real tree family. Although, after our tree escapade this weekend I did contemplate switching sides. Let’s just say that the tree we have now is not the first one that we brought into the house. Anyway, people are usually pretty loyal to their type of tree—real or fake … “artificial”—sorry.
Ok, your turn! Real? Artificial? Why? What did you have growing up? Are you artificial but you wish you could be real? Are you real and you wish you could be artificial? (I’m beginning to sound like an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey…not that I watch it.) Is an artificial tree even really a tree? Please leave a comment and invite someone else to jump in the conversion through facebook. Also, if you’re not on our email list please sign up below, or get The Ordained Barista delivered directly to your RSS feeder by clicking the mug at the top of the page! Thanks, you will never know how much it helps!
”…Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!”
For those of us who are old enough, you probably remember the ORIGINAL, and vastly superior, television show The Incredible Hulk, starring Lou Ferrigno and the late Bill Bixby. Most of us are familiar with the story line, Bill Bixby plays scientist David Banner who is exposed, during a botched experiment, to an overload of gamma radiation, (I hate it when that happens) and now, whenever he becomes angry, he goes through a “startling metamorphoses” and turns into “The Incredible Hulk”, again played by the amazingly “jacked” Lou Ferrigno. The money line for that show, and one that got said at least once an episode, was when David Banner would turn to somebody, that was beginning to antagonize him, and wryly say, “__________, Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” Which, of course, sounded really strange coming from this little, mild, scientist dude.
The truth is that I am the Incredible Hulk. Most people know me as a pretty nice guy. And, to be honest, I am a pretty nice guy. It usually takes a lot to make me angry, BUT if you do make me angry—Watch Out!
Rachel and I went to the movies with some friends over the weekend, but when we arrived in the theater to take our seats the place was packed and only a couple of individual seats remained, so the girls and the guys had to sit apart. One of our friends, unbeknownst to me, politely asked a couple sitting in a row with 2 open seats (not adjoined) if they would mind sliding down one seat so the girls could sit together. The man refused and then rudely added several more comments to my friends, and my wife, including that, “We aren’t moving. You should have gotten here earlier.” (again, I am sitting with my dude friends in the next row and don’t hear any of this.)
So, at the end of the movie Rachel and my friends began telling me how mean this guy was and the comments he made, and I began to feel the “startling metamorphosis” beginning to take over. What I wanted to do was to go over to the guy and “strongly suggest” that he be nicer to people. It’s amazing when your 6’8″ 300+ pounds people tend to, but not always, pay attention to your “strong suggestions.” But, I knew if I did that, the night would not have ended well. So, I gave the guy “a look” and walked away to go get the car with my friend—saying nothing.
Do you get angry? I do. Anger is infections, insidious and very destructive. In the moment It can warm your body, but will eventually leave you cold as a stone. How do we make sure that the tensions that build up in us every day don’t rise to the levels of anger and rage? What helps you? I find working out, writing, and spending consistent time with God and family help me to keep a level head. You see, when we are immersed in the things of eternal significance those things that are not important become more apparent for what they are—a lie!
One HUGE byproduct of keeping our anger in check, by focusing on the person of Christ, is that you find yourself becoming more “angry” at the things in this world that break the heart of God—instead of the selfish kind of anger. Getting “angry” at hunger, injustice, abuse, and poverty bring us closer to the heart of a just and loving God.
What makes you angry? What helps you when you are angry? Please, leave a comment! And, remember to join our email list or send The Ordained Barista to your RSS feed by clicking on the coffee mug at the top of the page.
Colossians 3:8, 12-13 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
SICK Well, with six kids it’s bound to happen at this time of year. Yesterday Rachel took 3 of our 6 kids to see the Doctor, who were feeling pretty lousy, and she went 3 for 3 in the diagnosis department—two strep throats, one pneumonia, and a partridge in a pear tree. If kid-sickness was a poker hand she was dealt a royal straight flush, unfortunately my insurance carrier is not affiliated with Ceasars’s Palace. So, yesterday, instead of buying the Christmas tree and hanging up the lights we were plugging in humidifiers and handing out festive cups of Amoxicillin.
Collin was the first one up this morning, besides me, at around 7:00, and once we got downstairs and I asked him if he wanted some milk or toast he said, “no” in his sick, pathetic little 3 year old voice. Then he opened up his mouth, pointed down his throat and said, “hurt, don’t like it.” It was really cute and terribly sad all at the same time. He then proceeded to open up the freezer and point at the popsicles. So, I did what any good Dad would do— we ate breakfast popsicles together.
Are you a Black Friday shopper? Do you like getting great deals? The truth of the matter is that I’m just too darn big (6’8″ 300+ pounds) to be a Black Friday shopper. I’m always in the way, and imagine I would end up accidentally trampling a few unsuspecting senior citizens, which is never pretty. The only reason that I would like Black Friday shopping is so that I could get a cup of coffee and watch people be ridiculous over ONE “Suzie Talks A Lot Doll” (Thanks, Buddy—possibly the greatest Christmas movie ever!)
Well, with all the focus today on shopping, gifts, Christmas and giving I thought I would give you and I an opportunity to do some good on Black Friday. I have been a fan of World Vision for a long time and their 2011 Holiday Catalog is out where you can buy a gift, on behalf of a loved one, that will make a HUGE difference in the lives of less fortunate people around the world. You can buy gifts like cows, goats, chickens, a water well and more. Please check out the little video below and go visit the catalog!
As always, please leave a comment (What did you buy from World Vision? What was the best Black Friday deal you ever got?) If you’re not already, please get on our email list or click on the Coffee mug at the top of the page and get The Ordained Barista delivered directly to your RSS reader. Thanks!
I don’t have to worry if there are any diseases in this water.
I will probably not be one of the 3.5 million people that die, every year, from water born illnesses.
I didn’t have to walk 3-10 miles to get this water.
I didn’t have to carry a 50 pound jar of water on my head on the 3+ hour return trip home. (Where spilling it could be a matter of life and death.)
I didn’t have to decide if I should use this water for hydration or sanitation.
Nobody was going to try to rob or kill me for this water.
I didn’t have to ration this water between my children.
I can always get more water, whenever I want it, within minutes. (if not seconds)
As a parent, I am not faced with the dilemma of looking at a pool of dirty water and asking myself, “Do I want to watch my children suffer from dehydration or take my chances with water born illness?”
And, I’m really not concerned about drought or the affect it will have on my families food supply.
And yet, I find myself complaining when the only thing to drink around our house is water. Have you ever starred at your beverage options in the fridge and disappointingly said, “I guess I’ll have water”-*sigh. These days I am trying to be more thankful for the blessings I have been given and trying to remember people who have less—no matter if they live next door or half-way across the globe.
If you would like to be more aware about the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world, take a look at the ministry of Church World Service. One of their ministry focuses is “Water for All”, and they have produced an amazing video addressing some of the water scarcity issues facing the people of Kenya.
I have decided to make water (which I take for granted) one of my “prayer triggers”. So, every time that I have a glass of water I will try to remember to give thanks for the blessings I have been given and to also lift up the millions of people around the world whose lives depend on the daily search for clean drinking water. Will you pray too?