How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life

10 things you might not know about Cinco de Mayo…

May 5th, 2009
Maximilian's bullet-riddled shirt

Maximilian's bullet-riddled shirt

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the defeat of French troops by Mexican troops in 1862.

Why is this a memorable day?

  1. Napoleon III decides to call in the debt that Mexico owes France by taking over Mexico! (Wow, USA better watch out for China!)
  2. 6500 French troops march toward Mexico City to capture the capital in 1862.
  3. President Lincoln is sympathetic, but isn’t able to send support because of a little skirmish going on North of the border.
  4. No problemo. 4500 much-less-equipped Mexican troops rout the French.
  5. This is good for the America because it stops France from continuing to supply the Confederate troops in the Civil War.
  6. Eventually, things go sour when Napoleon sends 30,000 troops and France takes over Mexico, anyway from 1864-1867, A relative of Napoleon III, .Archduke Maximilian of Austria, is made ruler of Mexico.
  7. Things go well again when the United States is able to help out with political and military support, and the French are booted out. Maximilian is executed by Mexican firing squad.
  8. Corona is first brewed in 1925. This is part of the rapid expansion in beer production in Mexico during the American prohibition period (1920-1933). Corona is the best selling imported beer in the world.
  9. The beer facts have nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo, but it seemed appropriate.
  10. Menudo, a popular hangover remedy, is a soup whose main ingredient is sheep intestines. This has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo either. It might have meaning for some people tomorrow morning, however.

The Worship Leader Mini-Sermon continued…

April 13th, 2009

I enjoy reading the blog, Stuff Christians Like. Jonathan Christopher is hilarious and spot on in so many situations. His latest blog has to do with Worship Leaders giving mini-sermons between songs or during an instrumental version.

The Examples Method- connecting to the message and theme of the day.

The Dictionary Method- break down a word from its original bible language meaning.

The Bible Method- Quote scripture that relates to the song.

Matt, worship leader from my tribe at LIFEhouse is all three types listed on SCL. I am fed whenever he speaks. Besides the mini-sermons listed, he will reiterate my message, at times just recasting the vision received from God for the community.

Rob, also on the worship team, gives mini-sermons on occasion, as well. He is a new Christian, and so what he does so well is speak honestly about how God has moved him through music, and gives mini-testimonies of his journey, in particular how a song he has written came about from the Spirit. Rob doesn’t speak often, but when he does, he really feeds us from the Father.

So here are 3 more methods to add to the SCL list.

Testimony Method- Speaking about how God has impacted your life, maybe even the importance of the specific song you are singing in your faith journey. Or if you know the story behind a particular worship song, briefly telling the story. This can also be a song you wrote. I remember worshipping when Matt Redman was the guest worship leader at Church on the Way, and he told the story of his song, “Heart of Worship.” It was amazing.

Theme Method – Expanding on the theme and message of the day. Can be used as an introduction to what is coming, or it is also effective after the message. This gives instant expansion of the key focal point, and it is a great example of how important the listener is when God’s Word is preached.

Vision Method- When the worship leader recasts the vision God has given to the church. The vision, as received by the lead pastor, becomes much more viral when it is recast by other leaders in their own language. This works well connected specifically to the song being sung; not simply an unrelated vision casting.

7 reasons why Easter is a tough commercial sell

April 7th, 2009

As we approach the Easter holiday, do you ever wonder, “Why is Christmas celebrated in our secular culture so much more than Easter?” Wonder no more. Here is why…



7. Snow. It doesn’t snow during Easter. Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer, Christmas snow globes- all Easter has is rabbits and eggs. ᅠ

6. Rabbits. Rabbits in fiction are kind of wierd. Bugs Bunny doesn’t have any pants on. Don’t get me started about “Frank” from Donnie Darko

5. Daylight. The actual celebration is in the morning. With Christmas Eve, there are the glowing candles- Silent Night, and all the rest. Also, Christmas parties and drinking go together. With Easter, you have sunrise services (can’t start drinking at 6 a.m.) and other services are done before noon. Nothing good for commerce happens before noon. Except Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast. ᅠ

4. Clothes. Easter outfits, especially for men. In the past, men and boys would wear a new suit. Now, besides so many people not going to church on Easter, period, if they do go, try to get a boy into a suit. For that matter, try to get his dad in a suit. ᅠ

3. Songs. You can name a couple dozen secular Christmas songs (Think: Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, for instance). Now, other than Here Comes Peter Cottontail and Easter Parade (you might not even know these as I may be dating myself), name a secular Easter song. Rock on… ᅠ

2. Sex. Try connecting Easter and sex. I saw an ad for a male enhancement product in the LA Times (nice revenue source) using Easter, bunnies, a scantily clad woman, and the product. About as bizarre as you can get. ᅠ

1. Body. Even secular people can appreciate a baby in a manger. Corpses coming back to life? Not so cute. ᅠ

Have a blessed Easter, anyway!

(See the first list on this blog!)

think again blog

August 18th, 2004

This will be a blog experiment giving me an opportunity to record what I am thinking about and see if this might be of any benefit to anyone else. Following the model of thinker, Bob Buford, I am going to use these four guidelines:

1. Build on the islands of health and strength

2. Deal only with the receptive

3. Only do things with a big kingdom payoff

4. Focus on what I am for, not what I am against

Let’s see how it goes.

How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life