Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Church of Potluck

The Church of Potluck

  Isn't it ironic that we claim to follow the God of the bible with our words and yet our actions sometimes say otherwise. I'm well aware that we all do this from time to time, but what about when it is blatant? What about when we don't care? What about when we are ignorant of our own sin? There are times that we even believe that we are following God's word in totality, yet we are not, due to our lack of study or interest. As long as society, even the "Christian society" doesn't have a problem with it, neither do we. This is concerning to me. In particular there is one thing that is very troubling to me. The reason it is so troubling to me is that no one within Christianity is talking about it. 

  We constantly hear remarks on sexual immorality, divorce, wealth, hell, heaven, etc.. But how often have you heard someone speak on the topic of gluttony? That's right gluttony! It's spoken about in the bible believe it or not. Long before we decided to throw the topic of gluttony off of the spiritual buffet, God had some things to say about it. 

  The word "Glutton" is translated from the greek word gaster. Essentially meaning "stomach"or "bellies", so the act of gluttony finds its root in our appetite. Gluttony also is referring to a life of "waste and excess." 

Paul references gluttony when referring to the "enemies of the cross" in Philippians chapter 3 when he says that "their god is their stomach." 

Proverbs 25:16 says "eat only as much as you need." 

When looking at the topic of gluttony it's important to realize, just because your are skinny doesn't mean that you aren't a glutton and just because you are fat doesn't mean that you are a glutton. Gluttony is living in excess of what you need. Whether it is food or something else. Let me give you some statistics. 

In 2010 63.1% of Americans were obese or overweight. You can be skinny and still be obese. WebMD said that percentage was increasing and the only way to stop it was for the government and businesses to get involved. We outrank all other countries in obesity significantly. 

We throw away more food and waste than any other country. America produces roughly 250 million pounds of trash annually. Not to mention the amount of electricity and water that we waste. The numbers are huge. 

Is God pleased with this gluttonous lifestyle? 

Paul says in 1 Cor. 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, that you have from God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's". 

I know that in the context of 1 Cor. 6 Paul is referring to sexual sin, but does that truth not also apply to our eating and living habits? Is God pleased with a temple that we fill with toxic food and things that slowly deteriorate that temple? 

I'm still amazed that I've never heard a sermon or seen a publication over this topic within the church. Are we afraid we are going to offend people? Or do we love our gluttonous habits to much to speak against them? The problem with that, is that God has already called us out on it. 

Think about this. What if you were to attend worship service next Sunday and the preacher got up and said; "After services we will meet in the fellowship hall and we will be providing you with the opportunity to commit adultery if you would like. The wives will line up on one side of the room and the husbands on the other. You are free to choose your spouse, but you are also at liberty to choose another." 

That would be ludicrous! That would never happen, unless it was a swingers church. 

Yet a similar scenario often takes place within our own church buildings. The preacher gets up and says; "After services we will be having a potluck. Everyone has brought a different meal and you are free to load up as much as you want. There will be plenty so please, eat up!" 

I have been to potlucks where people eat 4 or 5 plates worth of food, including dessert. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with potlucks or having a meal together. I'm not against potlucks or anything like that. But, there is something very wrong with gorging ourselves and living in excess of what we need. 

I realize the first example is extreme and there are different consequences for different sins. But I have to think, "Sin is sin." Whether it is adultery or whether it is gluttony it separates us from God. And as a church are we simply not seeing the sin that is spread across the table in front of us. How tempting that must be for the person that struggles with gluttony? Again, I'm not trying to promote the removal of potlucks, it's just a thought. 

We live in a culture of excess and overeating. We eat fatty foods and throw everything away and don't give it a second thought. We don't recycle and we don't re-use. We don't eat in moderation and we don't eat healthy. Shouldn't we as disciples of Christ be different? 

Why is this sin swept under the rug?   

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The List

I asked my friend the other day, "What is one thing you want to do before you die?" Then I thought I need to make a list and make sure to get to work on it. 

The List

Life Goals

  • Change 1 Person’s Life For The Better
  • Help 100 Entrepreneurs Better Their Lives Through Micro-Loans [Kiva.org]

Fitness Goals

  • Run a 5k [2008]
  • Run a 10k 
  • Run a Half Marathon
  • Run a Marathon
  • Run a Duathlon
  • Learn Parkour
  • Get a six pack [i've only achieved a 3 pack so far] 
  • 100 consecutive pushups and pullups
  • 200 consecutive squats 

Travel Goals

  • Visit Every Continent
    • North America
    • South America
    • Europe
    • Asia
    • Australia
    • Antarctica
    • Africa
  • Go Swimming in Every Ocean
    • Pacific
    • Atlantic
    • Indian
    • Arctic
    • Southern/Antarctic
  • Travel For 1 Year Straight
  • Become Fluent In 4 Languages
    • English
    • Spanish
    • Mandarin
    • French [workin on it]
    • Italian
    • Esperanto
  • Obtain dual citizenship with another country.
  • Own a small place in two different countries. 

Minimalism Goals

  • Go without internet for a month [2001]
  • Sell my car and start biking everywhere 
  • Organize and Sell All My Junk in my Garage
  • Own less than 300 things
  • Don't buy anything I don't actually need

Adrenaline Rushes

  • Go Skydiving  [went in college]
  • Learn to Surf
  • Learn to Kitesurf 
  • Bike Across America
  • Do A Cross Country Road Trip 
  • Be a Part Of A Flash Mob
  • Hike the entire Appalachian Trail 
  • Mountain Bike Trail 401 [I started and had to stop] http://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/trail-401.html

Events To Attend

  • Bonnaroo
  • Participate in Tomatina
  • Running of the Bulls
  • Mardi Gras

Professional Goals

  • Start a company 
  • Put $100,000 in the bank
  • Give $100,000 away
  • Write a real book
  • Start a successful blog
  • Sale a painting for more than $5000.00

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

To teach is to fear.

     For me as a university minister one of my responsibilities is to teach the Word of God to students and adults. This responsibility strikes fear in me that is hard to put into words. To teach a text that at times can seem so complex and at other times seem quite simple. To teach words that were spoken by the Son of God and of God. To try and grasp the beauty and the whole meaning behind a seemingly simple statement, such as; "God is love." For me, to teach is to fear.
      When one studies the word of God they will find a vast compilation of commentary. Everyone has an opinion and at times they seem to be quite different. It is exhausting. I once read that, "God has spoken and the rest is commentary." I agree with this statement, but even the scholar who made that statement seems to give a lot of commentary without reference to what God has spoken. So as a teacher of God's word, where does one begin? How should it be approached? Is commentary valuable? Should human opinion even be uttered when it comes to teaching God's word?
       To teach is to fear. Fear of teaching what is untrue. Fear of giving to much commentary. Fear of the judgement. Fear of fear. Yet, in all this fear, I find much enjoyment in teaching. An enjoyment that I rarely find in other avenues of life. It is powerful. It is eye-opening. It is good news and it is exciting to share and discuss this good news.
       As a young minister, this is one of the day to day battles in my mind. Although I am a rookie in the field of teaching, I have reached a conclusion to this matter and I remind myself of it daily.

"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." (1 Cor. 2:1-5)  

        The conclusion of the matter for me is to teach nothing except Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected. May my commentary be limited and my opinions be brief. There are words on paper and the rest is blank space. Try not to fill in the blank space because you are confusing me.   

Monday, April 25, 2011

A blog about blogs: What is up with that?

Welcome to my mind. It is a scary place. It is a happy place. Most importantly it is a place filled with wrinkles and electrical signals firing off telling me what to write. If you are going to read my blog, let me preface by saying this. My grammar at times will be incorrect and my writing will mimic that of a fourth grader (a very intelligent fourth grader). Also, I am writing about things that I think about. Often times it will have to do with scripture and other times it will be completely random. That being said, you may not necessarily gain anything from reading this blog. But you will have a relationship with me on a level that didn't exist before. Welcome to "That's what Boo said!"

Every morning there are these two geese that fly directly over our house at precisely 8:00 am. I have seriously been out in the yard before when they flew over and couldn't hear myself singing because they were honking so loud and flying so low. It's as if they have a daily schedule that they follow and their daily commute is directly over my roof. What is up with that? They are quite beautiful and you can literally see the gleam in their eyes as they fly past. If anyone ever shoots them I will be very upset.

When I was about 10 years old my brother and I shared a room and a bed. We always seemed to get the haunted rooms in the houses that we lived in. I remember one of the houses we lived in on Bond St. in Mt.Pleasant, TN. There was a monster of some sort that lived under my bed, I'm certain of it. You may here kids say that from time to time and they may be lying, but I am not. There were times when I would be lying in bed and see something dart across my floor. One night in particular, I was woken up by a noise in the room. I was so afraid that I froze. Have you ever had those dreams where you are so afraid that you couldn't move? This was one of those moments, only I was awake. Right behind me was a chest of drawers and I was sleeping facing the middle of my bed with my back to the chest of drawers. I laid there for a moment frozen from the noise that I had heard. Then I heard the top drawer behind me slowly open. My brother was passed out in front of me and I tried to whisper: "Derrick. Derrick." But my mouth was dry and I couldn't make a noise. I heard something or someone rustling through the drawer and then something fell to the ground off of the top of the drawers. Then, silence. For close to 20 minutes there was silence. I laid there with my eyes clinched and tried to steady my breathing to pretend like I was asleep. After about 20 minutes I heard a noise that I will never forget. A giggle. Not like a little child giggle, more like a demon possessed Chucky giggle. "Hehehehehe!" But it was faint and not to loud and it was almost as if I could feel the creature's breath on my ear. I about lost it. I clinched my eyes and clinched the covers with my hands. My heart was racing and my breath was like that of a horse that had just won the Kentucky Derby. Yet, I still pretended like I was asleep. After that, I didn't hear anymore noises that night. I laid in bed with my eyes closed and my body frozen for hours until the sun came up. As soon as it did, I jumped up and woke my brother up and said; "Get up! Get up! Get up!" I explained to him what happened and he told me that I was a sissy. After a couple more hours I got up and asked my mom and step-dad if they had heard anything or had been in my room that night? They both said; "No." What is up with that?