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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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The Turkey Burrito

The Turkey Burrito

Day number eleventy-nine: I am thankful for vulgar amounts of food that I only eat about twice a year, and complain about having the leftovers for a week after. Also, I’m super excited that come midnight I get to stand in the cold and compete with people for super great deals on stuff I don’t need in the name of baby Jesus.

 That sting a little? I know it reeks of me and my family practice, and really it was covered in self-deprecation, but the fact remains that it is still true, and despite the fact that it kind of hurts my moral convictions, I’m probably going to do little to nothing to change it this year, next year, or anytime in the near future I’d imagine. So why poke myself (and a vast majority of America) with a post like this? Well, I don’t know yet. Maybe that’s something that will get hashed out as I write on. This is just one of those times that the Spirit has come over me and pushed me to start plodding away on my keyboard.

 I read an article last year referring to the holiday season practices of most of us in the Christian world and it convicted me HARD. It was called “The Most Wonderful Sin of the Year” and it came in one of the daily emails I subscribe to. We get to spend little time with our family in the manner in which we should these days due to self imposed hectic schedules and modern day scheduling idolatry and mammon worship, and when we jump into the holiday shift, schedules amp up to make up for the loss of a couple days for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, on those less productive days, we indulge in gluttony that is rivaled only by celebrations like Xerxes 180 day rager he threw prior to divorcing Vashti and starting up his own primitive times version of the bachelor reality tv show. We eat, we consume, we sleep, and then wake up and repeat, in some cases quite a few times over various 48 hour periods.

 Of course, all the while we do get charitable and run in hunger races and pack little boxes of toys for folks all around the world, and that’s great, but is the holiday season the only time we should do this? I don’t think so, but it’s freakin’ HARD to squeeze that stuff into the rest of the year isn’t it? All of that “loving the least of these” stuff is time consuming, emotion consuming work in a lot of cases. It’s just one of those things that continues to knock over tables and crack whips in the center of my brain. So where’s the burrito in all of this? I don’t know that I’m sure, but go ahead and grab a tortilla, spread on some cranberry sauce, throw some sliced turkey and dressing on, top it all off with gravy and wrap it up and enjoy the time with people you love, because community is still important, but remember, don’t even pagans and tax collectors love the folks that are closest to them?

 I’ve had some pretty awesome opportunities to write for some really awesome publications, but down to the original spicy and bigness of the burrito, this is still a blog. So, rambles like this will still show up now and again, but conversation can come from anywhere. So thanks for riding along, and feel free to tangent or drill down for the sake of conversation.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Ramblings

 

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The Soapbox Burrito

The Soapbox Burrito

I jump up on the soapbox this week. Comments/Feedback appreciated!

So, I’ve been active with my Ministry for about three years now. One thing I’ve learned through it all, is that there are so many divisions among us that it gets to be quite the minefield as you encounter other folks in Ministry. I’ve been called every name in the book as far as my approach and my basis goes. Heretic, liar, pervert, candy coated preacher, and then they start getting mean. In my question today, I guess I want to ask why we feel it necessary to do these kinds of things?

The most common question I get asked is why I don’t talk about sin enough. I guess when it comes down to it, I see my goal as a person involved in Ministry, is to follow “The Great Commission” and my goal as a Christian is to be like Christ to as many people as I can, as best I can. The term Christian translates to “little Christ” so I reckon that’s what we should aspire to if we decide to take on that label. So, let me go ahead and clear a few things up so we don’t get confused or agitated as I move forward: Sin is real, Satan is real, Hell is real, and without Jesus all three are what will consume us both now and in the ultimate end. Are we good with that? Great, now, here’s where my approach comes in, when it comes to sin, we’re ALL guilty. Yep, don’t care who you are, that is unless the big guy Himself is reading, you’re all just as guilty as I am, and vice-versa. Jesus broke it down pretty simple for me when He said that whole thing about not worrying about the speck in my brother’s eye, when I’ve got a plank in mine. I see my job as showing people that they are loved, regardless of the fact that they’re broken and imperfect, I am too, and it’s all because He loved us first.

It boggles my mind how so often we point out each others flaws so quickly before we can own up to our own. It seems to me that our greatest weapon in showing people that they can get on the same boat we are is that whole “boast in my weakness” thing, because if people know how broken you are, and you still feel good about your salvation, that’s awful enticing. I know Jesus points out in Matthew 18 that if a person keeps on sinning we should go to em in groups and so forth and end up “treating them like a tax collector”, but if you know anything about Matthew, you know, the guy that recorded that whole talk in the book, which is why it’s attributed to him, his name used to be Levi, and his vocation prior to hanging out with Jesus was tax collector. Seems to me that between Levi/Matthew and Zacchaeus, we’ve got a pretty good example that Jesus treated tax collectors pretty well when it all comes down to it. So, let me repent of my pride, and go ahead and let you know that this kind of thing really gets me going, and quite often leads to prideful/vindictive thoughts of taking these people who use this “point out the flaws” method down a few pegs. I’m only human, and sin is what we do, but thank God, He sent His only begotten Son to die on that cross, so I, and you, and you, and you can all be forgiven of those sins.

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 April 10, 2012 in Karis

 

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The Least Of These Burritos

The Least Of These Burritos

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

I love this scripture from Matthew 25: 34 – 40 and it is another core foundation to how we can be the influence to show people that we are here for the right reasons. What words here or concepts here jump out at you? For me personally I see Jesus telling people that, despite where a person is from, or what their background is, Love them, you have to show them the love that Christ has shown us. We hear people say a lot these days that us believers may be the only thing people know of Jesus, that we ARE Jesus to them. What kind of Jesus have we been though? What kind of Jesus should we be?

There are a LOT of different kinds of people, believers and non-believers of all kinds, and in a lot of cases both are at risk of being lost forever, it’s all going to come down to how a person of Faith treats them. If you come down the pike using Jesus’ name while you condemn and degrade them, then it’s going to be real easy for them to lump the rest of us in that boat, and unfortunately, as I’ve said many times before, a lot of people have already done that for us. However, if you are that ONE person that shows them understanding, compassion, and interest in them as a human being, then regardless of the past they have and the choices they made, they are going to know you are a good person, and the second you let them know that the reason you love them is because Jesus loved you first, it’s that much easier for them to listen to anybody else talk about their Faith. Kinda like that old cliche “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

In case you haven’t picked up on it, I’m a pretty big fan of Shane Claiborne. To me, I think he’s just really good at putting all the right words to what I’ve always been trying to say. I had the privilege of hearing him speak when I took my senior youth to conference in 2010 and during his talk, he said something that convicted me SOOOOO hard that it stays with me almost daily. Paraphrasing it went like this – When Jesus said “When I was hungry and thirsty”, you wrote a check to the local food bank and they fed me. He didn’t say “When I was naked”, you donated your old clothes to the goodwill and they sold them to me at a cheap price. He didn’t say “When I was sick”, you told me about the latest pill to take to make it all better. You see where this is going right?

So, are we “The Body of Christ”? Are we out there using our hands, feet, words, and actions to bring healing and reconciliation in Christ’s stead? Or are we simply mouths that babble on about love, forgiveness, and the sins that condemn while our feet only take us far enough for our hands to “drop off” the latest donation for someone else to take care of those that Jesus Himself cared so deeply for in not only word but deeds? That stuff is hard work isn’t it? It takes a lot of time and effort on our own behalf and there ARE organizations out there to do this kind of thing for us. If there’s a middle man why should we get our own hands dirty?

What’s the ultimate reward here? Isn’t it that Jesus Himself has told you, in this scripture, that if you can extend this love to another person, be they the lowest, then it is just as good as if you were doing it for Christ Himself? Let’s face it, how good is that going to make you feel? When YOU, are the difference in a person’s life. When you know that YOU were able to be Jesus to someone that hasn’t seen a whole lot of Him around lately.

Zach is a father, husband, and social media addict that describes his approach to faith as being a “Charismatic, Evangelical, Anabaptist that loves Catholic traditon, 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 March 12, 2012 in Karis

 

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