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The What If Burrito

The What If Burrito

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.  For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.1 Peter 4 12 – 19

A common internet meme in the Christian world these days includes the phrase “Haters Gonna Hate” and sometimes points to a portion of this scripture as well as a few others speaking to the persecution of believers. In getting right into the fat of that, it annoys the hell out of me. It’s definitely something that I have been struggling with lately as I watch some things unfold via facebook and some other places as well as in my day to day life. My Burrito Brothers and I have been discussing the concepts of false converts, “once saved always saved”, and what exactly a true “Christian” looks like in their walk.

Now, it is indeed something I have addressed before in The Un-Fruity Burrito, but there are some other things that I really wonder about, things that have poked and prodded me quite a lot lately. I’m talking EXTREME discomfort here from it lately. Maybe that’s because it pains me to think that there is even a SLIGHT chance that somebody I know and care about would have the chance of not knowing the real love of Christ that UI have been so heavily blessed with. What would you do? What does that conversation look like?

To jump back a bit and bring the scripture above into it’s relevance here, I’m focusing on mainly on verses 15 & 16 where it’s saying “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” How many times have you heard somebody talk about being persecuted? Believe it or not, I see a LOT of it, especially on facebook. Now, the thing that I see quite often though, and the thought that runs through my head is “Well you did just act like a TOTAL jackwagon in that last post you had before this one, so are you REALLY being persecuted for your faith?” So yeah, that whole “if you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal” piece there, I’m pretty sure jerk should be listed too, you shouldn’t suffer because you’re a jerk and claim that it is because of your faith.

I guess really, bottom line here, the question I’m asking is what do you see as the real signs of BEING a Christian? What defines that for you, and what about the people that hit that definition for about a week, and then turn into raging butt-munchers the next? Is that a “once saved always saved” situation or are they false converts? I have a feeling this is going to be a pretty spicy burrito, and it’s definitely already a big one, so join the conversation, and invite your friends along.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Ramblings

 

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The Responsive Burrito

The Responsive Burrito

It has burned in me for days now. I have been assaulted and insulted in a steady stream on my social media feed by folks whom I love. I have wept and avoided the opportunity to weep. I have prayed, meditated, and cried out for guidance, seeking His wisdom and waiting for a response. It seems that in the midst of all that continues to go on in my life, I have things laid to my heart on top of them. All I can think when reading any of it is “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!”

What I have seen in these posts to my various social media feeds, has both hurt me, and taught me. While it is hard to say that I would be shocked by anything that occurs in theis sin cursed world, I still can’t help but not understand why so many choose to politicize and polarize issues when such a heavy loss is accrued by real people. While I was holding and praying over my 7 year old daughter, others were decrying a call to defend. While I was weeping and asking questions to God others were jumping to conclusions and attacking the already-formed polar sides.

Instead of mourning, people were debating. Instead of praying, people were rallying and attaching an unnecessary cause. Where have we gotten lost from what is the most important sermon ever given, some two thousand years ago upon a hillside? How has our line of sight gone from blessing to cursing? Friends, I am a wretched sinner, and I fall short every day, and am constantly undeserving of the grace that I have been shown, but how can we not have our hearts simply break for tragedies?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When wronged in such a way, and reeling from tragedy, why are we crazy to believe that when Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” He truly meant we are to ensure that His will and His kingdom should be ensured and implemented now, and not only in the afterlife? When broken down to our core, how is it possible that we have such an earthly strength to see our own agendas and values to be attached to tragedy? When faced with loss due to an overwhelming evil that is ever-pervasive in this world, how do we NOT mourn?

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

There are beautiful lives that have been lost, and families that are forever changed, and forever broken from this. In the face of death, we are called to mourn. In mourning we can set our sights on things above, and be comforted. So why have we chosen to rally and fight?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

When we are attacked and damaged, there is not an opposite effect to our resolution in immediate terms. Through damage we are weakened. Once weakened we are called to be patient and submit, so that we might we healed. So how is our cause strengthened by these things?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

When hurting and asking questions, we should seek the answers that heal, restore, and regenerate. We are called to seek after the things we are missing. When covered in evil, we are most missing righteousness. So why do we seek to be filled up on things of material and egotistical comfort?

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

In an often used quote of an author unknown, we are told that Mercy is when you do not get what you deserve. Of course, in terms of punishment, we are oh so quick to seek justice, and more often than not, our definition of “what you deserve” is askew. So often, we are guilty, and of course in James 2:10 we are told that “Whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point becomes guilty of it all.” Yet it does not seem that we are given what we deserve for this. So why have chosen to hold others who simply disagree with us to a standard we ourselves are not held to?

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted, from one of his more memorable speeches, that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” In this quote we see that we are charged through this blessing to drive out darkness and hate, but in order to do so, we must be light and love, not different kinds of darkness and hate. So why do attack evil with evil, and hate with hate?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

We hear so often that in order to obtain peace, you must prepare for war, yet all we have done in our lives for so long is prepare for war. All of this preparation for war, has only brought us more war. So if we are to be peacemakers, why are we attacking and targeting each other?

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

In words no plainer we are told that when people do attack us and say harsh things to us, since we are His, these things are blessings. The verse even goes onto say that we should rejoice and be glad, because we will be rewarded greatly for this persecution just as all the prophets have been that have come before us. So why do we choose to retaliate?

In Jeremiah we are told of the story of Rachel, who wept for the loss of the innocents. In the Gospel of Luke, we are told of the slaughter of the innocents. In both of these instances, God was there, and was ready to restore His people. So, I ask you to please UNITE in prayer FIRST. I know that “Faith without works is dead” but works without prayer are worthless, and in fact, given some pretty harsh descriptive terms in scripture throughout the Bible. Once we pray, we can rest assured that we can then act and know that what we are called to do WILL ensure that His kingdom will come and His will shall be done. A faith wrapped, prayer marinated, action burrito, will ALWAYS taste that much better.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Ramblings

 

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One More Chicken Burrito…

One More Chicken Burrito…

Well, today is Thursday August 2nd and if you haven’t been under a rock, you probably have a severe distaste for what was once a delicious chicken sandwich, or a rabid hunger for them. I’m personally not a fan of waiting in line for a fried chicken sandwich or nuggets that I can (and have) successfully duplicate at home. Tomorrow is national same sex kiss day at Chick Fil A, where the LGBT community is planning to show up, ask for a water, parrot proverbs 25:21 so they don’t have to pay for it and support the organizations they protest, and then have a public display of affection in order to make the chick fil a folks uncomfortable.

Here’s a suggestion to Chick Fil A, if you want to walk the Christian values you espouse with your lips: Since you had “record breaking” income yesterday, hand them a free four piece nugget. If a man asks for your cloak, give him also your tunic right? Furthermore, since the Christian community had no problem showing up in droves to support Chick Fil A’s right to free speech and standing up for their Christian Values, then accept the challenge set forth by the emergent community: on September 1st, show up to a local hunger organization and volunteer. If you ate at Chick Fil A on Wednesday, and don’t show up on September 1st, pack up your bible friends and give up the cause, because you’re no longer serving the least of these, and the LGBT community are correct in their assessment of you as a hateful bigot.

As for the LGBT community, don’t think I haven’t seen your posts too. It’s time to see if you’re as big of a hypocrite as the folks you’re pointing your finger at. I challenge YOU to show up to the SAME organizations the Christian community are challenged to show up at and express the tolerance you’re yelling about and show that you give a damn about more than red states and blue states. I said in my last article – YOUR’E DOING IT WRONG. If we can stop arguing and responding to hatred with hatred, start a conversation, and do something about the problems in this world that affect ALL of us, then we’re on the right track, and Jesus is what we’re talking about. It’s not the Gospel of being right friends, it’s the Gospel of Love.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in General

 

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The Audacious Burrito

The Audacious Burrito

The Audacious Burrito

* Image credit to volpelino at Flickr Creative Commons

So, I’m not gonna be apathetic, what do I do now? Last time we talked about Apathy, this week, I’m going to the opposite end of the spectrum for another “A-word” and in this case, I want you to be ALL about it. I’m talking about Audacity today. You have to Inspire Audacity. Now, right about now, you may be thinking I’ve completely wigged out and gone against what I’ve always stood for here, but the definition of audacity I’m talking about today is “a bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints”. When looking in a thesaurus you will see a couple of different connotations, and depending on which connotation you take as your audacity mantra, you are either going to be doing it totally right, or completely wrong. The first one relates to courage, the second to impudence. The first one is about love, the second is about ego. Guess which one I’m leaning on here?

Now, audacity in our context means that you aren’t afraid to show that love and that energy that Christ has given you, regardless of your current scenario. You can’t shy away from proclaiming your Love and showing your Energy behind your faith. Again, these things are contagious and when others see that you’re not afraid, they’re a lot less likely to hold back as well. In the book of Romans in Chapter 1 verse 16 it says “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” That’s pretty audacious right?

Now, this also means that you are going to have morals or beliefs that don’t agree with everyone, brace yourself its going to happen, because lets face it, morals are VERY subjective and there are a LOT of people out there in that world to process their own personal take on faith and morals. Here’s where being audacious comes into play with that, DON’T APOLOGIZE! Yes, you don’t agree with them or vice-versa but as long as you love them for who they are, just as Christ has asked of you, then you’re on the right track. You should never be sorry for your beliefs, but you should also never criticize someone else for what they believe is different from you. You can always, however, be the person to show the error of a belief they’ve been wronged by, and we all know that’s a huge part of what we need to do these days, but if they’re wrong, you’re going to have to use more than words to get your point across.

Proof. You have to Provide proof. That doesn’t mean you have to show someone proof that God, or Jesus ever existed. You have to show them proof that they exist through you. Put simply in one verse, Galatians 3:11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith”. Have you connected the dots yet? You and only you, can show that you believe and The ONLY way you can really show you believe and get others to believe with you is to DO, all the time, but that’s not all of it. Augustine is quoted as saying “Preach the Gospel always, use words when necessary.” What this means to me is that we have to START, with our actions when we are trying to show someone the Gospel, but we also need to remember that if we’re not telling them it’s because of Jesus, then they really aren’t going to get the whole message.

Now I know that it comes down to the fact that we are human and make mistakes, but that is the beauty of it all.  That’s why making mistakes, and getting rejected is AWESOME. Yep, I know, you think I’m crazy again, but stay with me for a minute. Failure may not be the most tasty burrito on the bar, but without it, the perfection of the success burrito starts to become pretty bland. The thing about failing in front of people, is that you can share that moment and you will all grow, they will see you’re genuine, and you will learn how to possibly better approach the situation next time. On top of that, it’s not really a failure because they heard you, they just might not agree. Being heard is the first step there.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Thomas Edison “I have not failed! I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that do not work.” In other words, after you get that rejection, regroup, rethink, and try again later.When you make the mistake, don’t hide it. Get out in front of everyone and let them know what you did, why it was wrong, and the fact that all of that is OK, because forgiveness is the built in save-all catch-all clause of our salvation, plus that’s a pretty basic pillar of Christianity, you know, that repentance thing. My favorite book on leadership has a name for these that isn’t quite Ministry friendly, so for the sake of PC, we will call them OW!Ms, which stands for an “Oh, WOW! Moment”. Yeah, putting yourself out in front of everyone is tough, but the more you do it, the more you grow, and growing is the name of the game, whether it’s in your faith, or career, or just as an individual in learning. So what’s your next OW!M look like? Is it going to be because you were out there with Jesus, or is it going to be because you got cheese and salsa all over your shirt?

 

Zach is a father, husband, and social media addict that describes his approach to faith as being a “Charismatic, Evangelical, Anabaptist that loves Catholic tradition, or just a plain old ‘lover of Jesus’ for short. He is the Youth director at Poages Mill Church of the Brethren and hangs out with an odd group he calls the “Holy Burrito Crew”.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Karis

 

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The Apathetic Burrito

The Apathetic Burrito

http://www.karismag.com/the-apathetic-burrito.html

This week, I want to talk about something that drives me up the wall. It’s a quality in people that I truly feel is a cancer that can destroy every good thing someone has ever accomplished, Apathy. Apathy is defined as lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting. Now, when it comes to worldly things, like certain sports or types of music, or what not, apathy can be acceptable. Simply because no one expects you to be fervent about everything, however, when you take up a cause, such as proclaiming your faith, it should be expected that you act as thought it matters to you.It’s easy to see that myself and my family are avid Alabama football fans. This is obvious by looking at our car, the flag in front of our home, the hair-bows in my daughter’s hair, we even have cups, plates, and forks. That’s because we love Alabama football, and we are not ashamed to proclaim it.

The same is true of our faith. We send our daughter to a Christian school, we read her Bible stories, we frequent Christian clothing and book stores. We talk about it, were not ashamed of it. This is what truly following the cause is about.

Now, there are a whole lot of people that will say they are Christians at church or when they are around other people that share their faith. The hard thing is displaying it outward and openly. Ive said it before in other lessons but it has become less and less “cool” to be Christian. It’s our job to make it ok, and show that you can be virtually any type of person in the world today, and still be a Christian. now, as I ahve said before, we don’t need to be cool, we need to be strange, but in the long run, we need to show people that they belong and are accepted just as much as we are. People that are apathetic about it, go out and do nothing. Not that they consistently go out and sin or consistently trash the faith or anything like that, they simply do nothing. The thing about that is in a lot of cases, that is just as bad or worse than being one of the people that do go out and openly trash faith of any kind. The ones that are apathetic about it do just as much harm. Lets go ahead and go into a Bible verse and pick up to close. Its 2 Timothy 4:3-4

3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

As illustrated in the verse above, people, when it suits them, will follow a token of faith, when it doesn’t, they will find like minded people and follow that doctrine to suit that cause and feel better about the choice that they are making, and what is seen in a lot of cases, is they don’t want to be told to put action behind it. As a people, we’d much rather just sit around and do nothing.

So, the question lies, are you one to go out and be fervent, be a fan, or be someone that goes out and does nothing. Just remember Apathy accomplishes nothing, and allows anything to come and lay waste to what you have.

Zach is a father, husband, and social media addict that describes his approach to faith as being a “Charismatic, Evangelical, Anabaptist that loves Catholic tradition, or just a plain old ‘lover of Jesus’ for short. He is the Youth director at Poages Mill Church of the Brethren and hangs out with an odd group he calls the “Holy Burrito Crew”.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Karis

 

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