Tag Archives: Set Apart

Mini Burrito 3 – The Burrito Rises

Mini Burrito 3 – The Burrito Rises

Evidently, the inspirational fairy (That’s the Holy Spirit for those of you unacquainted) decided I needed to get aggravated at something else in my newsfeed. Just one of those scanning through type things after an awesome evening….and there it was. A picture of the prayer scene that ends each episode of Duck Dynasty. I should point out first, that I love Duck Dynasty…I’m fairly sure Jase and myself have the same brain structure in whatever area makes you talk. Regardless, below the picture was a caption, that I will put below:

The POS Liberals and Atheists are given A&E alot of problems becuase of Duck Dynasty family dinner PRAYER. They want that part taken off the air. Well A&E went to PHIL and ask if they would not do that again. Phil Told them if we cant pray to God on the show, we will not do the show. Well A&E do you want the #1 show on tv or you gonna cave in to those POS Liberals and Atheists. I’m sure another channel will pick them up. GOD – FAMILY – COUNTRY – TEA PARTY – AND GUNS


I honestly don’t currently have the time to point out the level of hate filled anti-Gospel in all of this text, but hopefully you can. If not, then reading my writing probably routinely causes feelings of anger and hatred towards me, but that’s cool, thanks for reading. Anyways…how bout some scripture?


A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. ~ John 13: 34-35



Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Devotional


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The Mini-Burrito II – The Burrito Strikes Back

The Mini-Burrito II –  The Burrito Strikes Back

Michael Jeffries will definitely burn in hell! Yep, I really saw that in my newsfeed today. Posted by somebody that will probably post some sort of Joel Osteen laced God wants to give you money tomorrow if you give Him money today ramble in the next few hours. It’s all a big ironic comedy. Especially since I have been preparing a sermon based around 2 Corinthians 3:18 and speaking on the Image of God. Some things people say never cease to amaze me. In the extended quote, Jeffries talks about “the companies that are struggling” and how they’re trying to appeal to everyone. Last I checked, Abercrombie & Fitch was shuttered and a cosmetics store took its place here in my hometown, so he may want to dive a little deeper there, and as far as the scripture is concerned, he may want to look in the mirror himself. Thing is though, we all should. We should realize that EVERYONE was created in the Image of God, even if you’ve had one too many burritos.


But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. ~ 2 Conthians 3:18

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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 Political Burrito

The Political Burrito

So, a question that just keeps on popping up these days…”Who do I vote for?” or yet “Who should I place my trust in for the next 4 years?”

Yes friends, its true. We are less than a month away from showing up at your local polling place to walk into a booth, behind a curtain, and make our finger smudge on a touch-screen of squares propped up on a shoddy, telescope-leg, makeshift platform. Of course, as we make our way there and on into the parking lot, we will be bombarded by hues of red, white, and blue. We will see images of the golden eagle, stars and stripes, and well dressed men with promises of a better tomorrow. It is very likely that we will hear all kinds of persuasive oral essays along the way telling us of equal rights, health care, secret taxes, wars, and the plight of a big yellow fowl from the land of colored screens.

I’m sure your respective social media feed has become an onslaught of similarly charged images and words sprinkled with shades of red and blue. Many a person of faith will tell you how their guy is the next person to deliver us from the evils of previous administrations and the level of wrong involved in the other guys particular rhetoric. All of these things are new and scary for so many, but it seems to me that they all hearken back to a previous time that was in a turmoil so similar to the plight we see here in our own backyards every day. In all of this confusion, a story long told can give us an awesome clarity as we approach these scenes of political chaos.

The world around them was in a state of absolute political unrest. They were watching people be persecuted for beliefs that differed from that of the current administration, and much of the rest of the world was in some way shape or form occupied by this great super power. There were debates of rights and values going on around every corner, and you could look in any direction and see numbers of politically powered military serving their country with an overwhelming pride. The news carried stories of war, people rebelling in the street, and even genocides.

In the midst of all this, a baby was born. The moment he was born, he was a refugee, on the run from the administration of the time. Somehow, this little baby boy was a threat to the empire, and as Shane Claiborne awesomely puts it, all he had done so far was cry and poop. Of course, as time pressed on and this baby became a man, people started noticing Him. He was hanging out with zealots and tax collectors, chatting with prostitutes and the same military guard that was oppressing his people. He started loving people, and helping them, and all of a sudden he had massive amounts of folks following his every move. Some wanted to learn from him, others simply wanted to catch him in a lie or doing something wrong so they could get rid of him.

It all culminated when one day he rode into a big city to a triumphant fanfare of praise. The people had decided that he would be their next leader, and he would deliver them from the oppression of the current administration. They just knew that an overthrowing of the current empire was coming. However, as they started to really pay attention, things didn’t make sense. He rode in on a donkey, not some sort of large flashy horse. He didn’t want a political office, or to start any sort of conflict. The same people who hailed him now cried out for his blood to be shed. In a further irony as he was arrested and one of his followers attacked to defend him he not only stopped them, but turned around and healed one of those persecuting him and went on with them peaceably.

After being tried, convicted, and sentenced by a hesitant government being pressured by the crowd of citizens, they dressed him in royal purple, marched him in a processional, and gave him a crown, all just like the political inaugurations of the current administration of the day. The golden eagle remained triumphant and in power, and so many of those who had hoped in this supposed new political leader were afraid they had been let down yet again. Of course, we know what happened next and how upside down it turned all of the expectations of our world in its wake.

What I see today is so scary, and eerily similar its absolutely remarkable. What we seem to forget though, is that the outcome of that political scandal still stands today. While every other effort before and since has fallen away with mere time.  So in the meantime and leading up to that day in November, remember that no one involved is truly your next best hope, or the one who will fix anything. Nope, all of that has already been here, and will be here now and forever, just choose to accept it, embrace, and know that what came from that time in 1st century Rome, is all you need in 21st century America. So wrap that up in your burrito for today folks, because it’s been here, is here, and will be here evermore.

One more Shane Claiborne quote to finish: “We are faithful not to the triumphant golden eagle (ironically, also an imperial symbol of power in Rome) but to the slaughtered Lamb.”

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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in General


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Boycott The Burrito

Boycott The Burrito

Ladies and gentlemen, how about a little controversy? Maybe you’re used to me by now, and maybe this isn’t as provocative of a position as I think it is, but based on my newsfeed from the past month or so, a whole lot of people are screaming about boycotting or supporting businesses based on positions they’ve taken on particular hot button issues. Now, I don’t have the desire to talk about the issues themselves for this post, so I’m not going to. The question today is a little more broad. Are we responding correctly?

Here’s what I’m seeing from both sides of the recent arguments. What we are doing is responding to what we are perceiving as an incorrect view with the same hate and vitriol that we are perceiving from the other side. Friends you are killing your cause by using the same tactics you are opposing. So, I have said before that we are called to be “Holy” which literally translates to “set apart”, I have even likened the position to being downright strange, but are we any different if we respond to hatred with hatred, or if we respond to immorality with immorality?

To put it extremely simply, If I didn’t shop, eat, listen to, read, play, or visit things/places that I don’t agree with, I’d be sitting naked, in an empty room, reading my Bible 24/7…I’m pretty sure that’s not what God has called us to do regardless of your side of the argument. To further this, if you call the other side wrong, or hateful, or anything to that effect, you’re not a part of the solution to all of this, you are a part of the problem. To put it in internet talk…YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. Do you remember those posts and emails flooding you a few years ago telling you to boycott gas for a certain day? How well did that work?

To wrap it all up in a burrito here folks, we are to go tell the world about Jesus, and along the way we are going to encounter things we don’t agree with, it happened to Jesus, it’s going to happen to us too. If our first reaction is fear and attack, pack it up now friends, because that “tolerance” you’re looking for, and that “love” you espouse with lip service and status updates, is about as far from your mind as it is from theirs, and if you’re both that far away from love, chances are you’re probably a lot closer to each other than you realize.

Zach is a father, husband, and social media addict that describes his approach to faith as being a “Charismatic, Evangelical, Anabaptist that loves Orthodox 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”.


Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Karis


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When you’re strange.

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in FGC


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The Strange Burrito

The Strange Burrito

Let me start my entry today by disclaiming something: I am not cool. Yep, I admit it, I am unabashedly, and down right completely uncool. I know this to be true because I have a 6 year old daughter that tells me this quite regularly. I used to be cool. I was the lead singer in a fairly popular local band, a top of my class student at my tech school in high school, I even traveled a lot and won competitions and had really unique experiences. Now, I’m a youth minister, a dad, a full time employee for an insurance company, and I enjoy eating all kinds of food and watching Food Network all day if I can find the time to rest. I’m pretty sure most of that stuff are automatic qualifiers to the land of the uncool.

The question I have today, though, is “Do we need to be cool?” I find myself reading a lot and so often in most of the stuff I am reading you see people searching for or trying to make God “relevant” or “cool” to today’s generation. I’m completely guilty of aspiring to this myself, especially in my youth ministry, but I’m finding more and more that I don’t think that cool is where we need to be. Nope, as a matter of fact, instead of cool we need to be “strange”. In the book of Romans, good ole Paul says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  I can’t speak for you, but I don’t hear any cool in that statement, but I hear a lot of strange.

Words like “non-conformist” and “transformed” usually not connected to cool unless your one of those cats that are into the whole “I’m a non-conformist just like all these other people” types. That’s a much more stereotypical cool I reckon, but not what I mean for all intents and purposes here. I guess though, people thought Jim Morrison was cool, but all he wanted to be was “strange”. I think being strange is great though. It works out to my advantage quite often, being cool only worked for so long.

We are called to “pray without ceasing” as it says in the Bible, and that is a GREAT example of strange. I pray all the time these days, though it doesn’t always resemble typical prayer. For example, I typically do my grocery shopping late Sunday night every week. I chose Sunday night because it’s a low traffic time in my grocery store and it gives me an opportunity to spend some time praying over the week ahead as I select our menu for the week, in addition to the fact that when I go by myself, I spend a lot less money. Now, inevitably some folks see me meandering down the aisles staring at the items and, in their eyes, mumbling to myself, they immediately assume I’m some crazy mental case that has wandered into the store so they leave me alone, thus allowing me to continue my shopping in peace, if I were cool these people would want to talk and totally disrupt the whole experience. Strange: 1 Cool: 0

Another great thing about being strange is that quite often, I find myself in the position where people that I interact with ask me questions about why I’m so “strange”. Of course, the first order of business in these situations is to explain that it’s all because I recognized my call to be “set apart” and be different. Everything else just falls into place conversationally from there. All I can do is be that strange guy mumbling as I walk down the aisles of the grocery, or the guy that actually enjoys watching all of those documentaries on Netflix, or the guy that decides to pay for the meal of the person standing in front of me at Subway without handing them a business card or a pamphlet, or the guy that always talks about burritos. Either way, I’m a pretty strange guy.

I recently put together a contemporary service at my church and in doing so, was very purposeful to not follow a set formula in the order of worship. At the end, I walked up to give the closing, right after playing a video making fun of the way everybody closes a worship service. My church is a small one, and virtually everyone that showed up, I knew on an extremely close level, and knew they were all saved, all born again Christians. The strange part? I planned on that being the case, and gave an invitation anyway. Most often at the end of a service, you hear the “Altar Call” but I borrowed a quote from Shane Claiborne and gave an “Alter Call” because I know that there are a lot of people out there that have already been saved, what I want to see is a whole lot of people who are ready to change, be different, and show that they’re “set apart”. I’ve seen what people look like when they’re cool, I want to see what people look like when they’re strange. So do we need to be cool in order to reach this generation, or will strange work all the same?

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 1, 2012 in Karis


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