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Mini Burrito Part One

Mini Burrito Part One

Have you ever sat back and marveled at the stuff He shows you? I mean, like when he supplies for a need you didn’t even know you had? Yeah, prior to tonight I never saw that happen either, but it did. I walked in to church for a monthly event, expecting the usual, you know food, hang time with my youth…which unfortunately is a singular term currently, but she’s awesome, and we’re preaching together next Sunday, so no big there, regardless – I sat down, and then it came. A check to go towards my homeless ministry that me and the Burrito Brothers have been doing. It just so happens that one of our homeless friends is taking a bus to Texas to an area where more services are available and he can have housing and better medical care, and he’s leaving in two days, and we already made sure he could afford the ticket, and got him a backpack to travel with, and now we get to get him some fresh clothes and some snacks for the long trip. How bout them apples? Or maybe a Burrito? Or like…some nabs and chips and stuff…those will probably keep on the bus better.

So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. – Matthew 6:8

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Devotional

 

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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 – Part II

The Responsive Burrito – Part II

So here we go. I have had enough pokes in my inbox, comments on my statuses, and insanity in my newsfeed to warrant that I write. Evidently that’s what it takes these days, because it has again been quite some time since I posted. We sit in the midst of yet another battle of “The Culture Wars”, and I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with the term.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the base of my faith convictions, being Anabaptist, so I will start with my unease with that term. In the foundation of Anabaptist tradition, most denominations are known as “historic peace churches”, meaning that we are quite often at odds with folks going into battle. In fact, many members of Anabaptist churches were considered to be guilty of treason in the Revolutionary War way back at the start of our nation, simply because they didn’t want to fight. I think that it’s probably a good thing I live in today’s world where I’m not faced with that choice, because I feel confident it would be a struggle for me. That being said, this culture war, claims casualties on a daily basis on both sides of the issues, and I am convinced that quite often it’s simply because we are approaching it as an actual war, than perhaps a simple conversation.

So, in the framing of this culture war, as I scan through my newsfeed at the red, blue, and various other colors, I see provocative statements attached to many of them. In a lot of cases, I love provocative statements because they can start great conversations, but it is increasingly evident that those making these statements aren’t interested in the conversation. They just want to state their viewpoint, and have people agree with them. In the responses that follow, I see all kinds of battle; from name calling, to intimidation, to outright accusation and hatred. There are beacons of light on both sides, of course, but in the meantime, both sides are shooting themselves in the foot, rendering the valid points moot.

So to directly speak to the issue at hand, I think Tony Campolo pretty much sums it up well in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post (here) as well as addresses in many of his books. The basics are found in this quote from the article though. “I propose that the government should get out of the business of marrying people and, instead, only give legal status to civil unions. The government should do this for both gay couples and straight couples, and leave marriage in the hands of the church and other religious entities. That’s the way it works in Holland. If a couple wants to be united in the eyes of the law, whether gay or straight, the couple goes down to the city hall and legally registers, securing all the rights and privileges a couple has under Dutch law. Then, if the couple wants the relationship blessed — to be married — they goes to a church, synagogue or other house of worship. Marriage should be viewed as an institution ordained by God and should be out of the control of the state.”

It should be that simple right? Well, not so much evidently. When it comes down to it, what you see in the root of all of these things is taxes – that is money. Now, I’m all for “rendering unto Caesar…”, but it would appear some folks aren’t. So what I’m really looking for, is an honest, and caring conversation. I can respect any viewpoint I disagree with, as long as it is presented properly and caringly, but wrapping it up in a burrito for the moment, I have to ask: What happened to the conversation?

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in General, 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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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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Video

LEAP

My first video message for http://www.followgreatcommission.com

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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