Thursday, December 31, 2009

Satirical Motivational Posters For The Circus Church

Paul Washer has a descriptive phrase he uses to describe the foolish, unbiblical church leadership in so many man-centered churches today. It is “little boys trying to play church.”

Another phrase I have seen used by the blog team at Pyromaniacs is “Fad Driven” (I think they have a copyright on that moniker).

Whatever you want to call them, I think those leaders need their very own collection of Motivational Posters to encourage them and to inspire them to greatness.

So I have created, altered, customized, plagiarized, or otherwise assembled a series of approximately 50 Satirical Motivational Posters especially for them. It was the least I could do; I just want to be supportive and helpful.

Here they are. I proudly present:
Motivational Posters To Inspire The Leaders of
The First Contemporary,
Three Ring, Fad Driven,
Seeker-Surveyed, Evangelical,
Love Boat, Smorgasbord Church
of Your Best Life Now.
Click on any poster to view larger images.




Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sometimes Even Those Who Are Wrong Can Be Right

Hey, even a broken clock is right twice each day so it can happen.  Perry Noble is an emerging church pastor whom I believe is often wrong but in this recent "tweet" he's right.

"When a leader's most common tools are
intimidation and manipulation
he is headed for isolation (because)
no one will follow him!"

Perry Noble

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The True Meaning of Christmas

The Greatest Christmas Gift

Another busy holiday season is here and most people's thoughts are turned to family, gifts, goodwill, and world peace. And yet, have you noticed that there seems to be an ever-increasing aggressive and almost militant effort by a few to secularize this season and remove all references to religion in general and Jesus Christ in particular? That seems ludicrous to me; you can argue the pagan origins of a lot of our traditions but you cannot argue the reason for the season we call Christmas. It is all about the historic celebration of the birth of a baby who made the greatest impact on this world in all of human history. Without Him, Nick would not be a saint, Frosty would not be merry, Rudolf would have no purpose in lighting the darkness and the little drummer boy would have no reason to play his drum.

We are all somewhat familiar with the events around this baby’s birth as they are related in our traditions and recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. To some, He was a prophet, a teacher, a religious leader or a martyr. But He was much, much more than that.

In the opening verses of his Gospel, John reveals something very profound about the unique nature of this baby:
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…Everything that was made was made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made…In Him was life…And the Word became flesh and lived among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1

Have you heard the contemporary Christmas carol, “Mary, Did You Know?” Ponder these great words from that song.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered will soon deliver you…
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you’ve kissed your little baby, then you’ve kissed the face of God.

Think about that. The world loves the tender emotionalism around the birth of this innocent little baby. But that little baby is God and it is improper, if not irrelevant to consider His entrance into the world without understanding His purpose in coming. There in that manger was the Sovereign King of Creation wrapped in filthy rags and lying in a dirty feeding trough. He is the Righteous One of the Universe who opens His arms wide to wicked, sinful men. The Giver of Life, the One who Is Life was born to die. The One who made the Law; the One whose Word is the Law, and the only One who ever kept the Law; the Judge of the world came to offer complete pardon and mercy to undeserving men. The highest was utterly humiliated. In Him, poverty becomes riches, tears become joy, death becomes life, trash becomes treasures and sinners become saints.

And, by the way, the Christmas story, by itself, is a non-event. It is incomplete, in fact it is meaningless and irrelevant without the Easter story. Jesus Christ, who is God wrapped in human flesh, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect and sinless life, died a horrible death on the cross, was buried and then, three days later He rose from the dead according to the Scriptures. He did that all for me. He paid the penalty for my sins and perfectly satisfied God’s justice. Someone has described it like this: “I owed a debt I could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.”

I hope you too, know that your sins are forgiven and that eternal life is yours. If not, why not just ask Him to forgive your sin and receive God’s free gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?

“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” II Cor. 9:15

Merry Christmas to you all,

Happy Whatever!

The Patriot Post coined this word, "Christmahanakwamadan," a few years ago, in sarcastic response to the Politically Correct freaks, nuts and other assorted whack-jobs who demand "inclusive" greetings. They insist the word "Christmas" is too ethnocentric, or sectarian for corporate use, and that it would violate the phony "Wall of Separation" should a government employee accidentally utter it.


But even that word is no longer sufficiently inclusive today. Now there is a new fabricated holiday demanding equal consideration. It is called "Festivus." No kidding. It has been dubbed, "Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us." They even have a symbolic decoration to take the place of a Christmas tree. It's called a Festivus pole. That's right - an aluminum pole. Sounds like a beautiful thing.


Well, this year I decorated my car with a personalized holiday greeting (pictured) that is neither inclusive nor sensitive. My wife thinks it is rude and she is embarrassed by it but hey, it really is about Christmas so, "MERRY CHRISTMAS, ACHMED."


Needless to say, there at the Patriot Post, at The Oreilly Factor, and here in my world where PC speech is taboo, it's still "Merry Christmas."


"GO FISH" is one of my wife's favorite new groups for music for teens. This song echos that sentiment; It's Christmas with a capital C.




 

(12-24-09)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Claus Letter DISCLAIMER


Warning! Before you let your children send a letter to Santa Claus, you might want to protect yourself by prefacing his, her, or its letter with a Legal Disclaimer:


I wish I could claim credit for authoring the following disclaimer but I must give credit where it is due. It was written a couple years ago as a satirical piece for People's Weekly Brief by Mike Baker.


Mike served for more than 15 years as a covert field operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, specializing in counterterrorism, counternarcotics and counterinsurgency operations around the globe. Since leaving government service, he has been a principal in building and running several companies in the private intelligence, security and risk management sector, including most recently Prescience LLC, a global intelligence and strategy firm. He appears frequently in the media as an expert on such issues. Baker is also a partner in Classified Trash, a film and television production company. Baker serves as a script consultant and technical adviser within the entertainment industry, lending his expertise to such programs as the BBC's popular spy series "Spooks" as well as major motion pictures. In addition, Baker is a writer for a BBC drama to begin production in July 2007.


So here is Mike's suggested LEGAL DISCLAIMER:


DEAR SANTA,


The following letter to you in no way should imply that I believe in a mystical rotund man with a white beard who transports toys around the globe in one evening with the assistance of a team of flying reindeer.


Furthermore, the fact that I just referred to you as rotund should in no way imply that your weight is an issue. Everyone is unique and special, regardless of size. You could be thin for all I care. You might seem a bit less jolly, but never mind.


In reading the first paragraph of the legal disclaimer, it occurs to me that the reference to a white beard should be highlighted as merely a historical characteristic and is not indicative of any tendency toward ageism or in fact any prejudice toward hair color or indeed one’s preference to grow hair on one’s face.


The toys mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph one above may or may not have been manufactured in China, and I am not responsible for any stress, medical issues, or replacement costs in the event that you failed to properly test for lead content in said toys prior to transportation and delivery. It is important to note that the team of flying reindeer reportedly used by you are not harmed during the course of the one-night toy delivery operation. None of the reindeer employed by your corporation have been involved in animal testing, stunt work, or Pentagon-sponsored research and development.


The fact that I referred to you as “a man” in paragraph one of the disclaimer in no way diminishes the role of Mrs. (or Ms.) Claus in the overall enterprise. I certainly acknowledge the role of the woman in the development, maintenance, and performance of your work year in and year out. Should the two of you, at some point, decide to part ways, I wholeheartedly encourage her efforts to claim at least half of your property, assets, and future income.


In addition, the following letter is not to be interpreted as an endorsement of Santa, nor as a commercial or marketing vehicle from which you, your spouse, employees, service providers, subcontractors, or reindeer should in turn benefit financially. I maintain no financial interest in the corporate entity reportedly owned entirely by you. It is noted that there is a lack of transparency in the ownership structure and I cannot, at this time, confirm or deny the possibility of Russian shareholders.


It is not my intention to suggest that you are or are not magical, mystical, other-worldly, or bestowed with mojo, superpowers, or capabilities that make you any more special than I or any other shlump. As a public service, I remind all readers that, according to life as we know it, everyone’s special. Nobody’s average and there are certainly no losers. Even when we lose, we’re still special winners (Repeat daily and induce vomiting).


Finally, my reference to you in no way implies linkage to the holiday commonly referred to as Christmas. In the event a reader is offended by the reference to Christmas, Santa, Mrs. (or Ms.) Claus, toy delivery, reindeer, fir trees, ornaments, yule logs, Yul Brynner, chestnuts roasting by an open fire, glad tidings, or any other symbolic reference, I take no responsibility for said reader’s subsequent stress, anxiety, or inability to function normally.


Likewise, there are no indications that God endorses you, nor in fact created you in man’s image although you look a lot like Burl Ives. Nor am I suggesting that you are created in God's image. I don’t know what God looks like.



Disclaimer about the Disclaimer (or Secondary Disclaimer):


The previous paragraph is in no way an endorsement for any particular religious belief. In the event the reader is offended by the reference to God, please be assured I will probably suffer, if not in this life, then certainly the next. However, that does not imply a belief in Heaven or Hell, although it would seem wise to play the odds and be good for goodness sake.


With no malice of forethought, expectations of financial reward (toy or otherwise), and without any preexisting notions of what does or does not constitute the holiday season, the following letter makes no claim on Santa's future responsibilities or obligations. I exempt Santa from any future wishes and holds him, or possibly her, blameless in the event my child doesn't receive what he, she, or it would like this year or any other year in the future.



Monday, December 21, 2009

My Very Own Christmas Song

Ever since high school I have had a secret desire to write a really great Christmas song. The only problem is that I am not a musician, a song writer, or a composer. And I am not very creative so it is never going to happen. But I do have the title and I think it is a good one. It is "Mary Had A Little Lamb."


Come to think of it, that song has already been written but I thought up a good title for a followup work for the Easter season - "It's Fleece Was White As Snow."
It's a silly children's poem/song but it has profound theological implications.
"...Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29
"...a lamb without blemish and without spot," 1 Peter 1:19

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gift Giving

Do you enjoy giving gifts? Do you remember, when your children were young, how they looked forward to “the day” when they could get up early in the morning and open their Christmas presents? Do you recall their bright eyes, happy faces, and impatient excitement? Our children are grown and married and have their own families. So now that we have grandchildren, my wife and I experience those great times all over again.

She shops all year. She starts every year on December 26 and, by Christmas time, there is a literal shower of gifts for all our grandchildren. Giving good gifts to her grandchildren brings her a great deal of joy and she can’t wait to lavish her treasures on them. Years ago she started a new tradition where she gives each one of them a gift every day of December until Christmas day. That was cute when there were two or three of them but now that we have eight grandchildren - well do the math; that adds up to about 200 gifts. It’s a major chore but she loves it and can't be talked out of it.

I think our God is like that too. We don’t deserve anything from Him but yet He takes pleasure in giving good gifts to His children. And He just keeps on giving far beyond our wildest imaginations.



Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” II Cor. 9:15



Have a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Straight No Chaser

Some more great Christmas Fun. I love this video.

The original Straight No Chaser from Indiana University is back together again.

This hilarious new rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas, by the fantastic a cappella men's chorus, is even better than the first.

A Christmas Greeting

This is a hand-copied and embellished (by me) reproduction of the graphic design on one of my favorite seasonal coffee mugs. It is the work of Sandra Boynton. She is a creative genius with a twisted sense of humor. Click on the image for a larger view.

If you have a hard time making sense of this, try plunking out the notes on a piano while singing the words and see if that helps.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 14, 2009

I give Obama an A


I think He's a little too hard on Himself. He deserves an A, not a B-.

The grade He gets is determined by how well He performs the task. And for anyone who has been paying attention, His Majesty, the king of the world promised us that He would fundamentally transform this country. For doing exactly what He said He would do, I give Him an A.

So how's all that hopie-changie crap working out for all you who voted for Him?

Buy Endangered Feces to Save Endangered Species


Are you stumped about what to give that special someone for Christmas? Have you considered rhinoceros excrement.

That’s right, three-toed ungulate dung. Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like some good old Rhino Poop.

This offering came out two years ago from the International Rhino Foundation. They auctioned four pieces of dung from the endangered species in order to fund conservation efforts. Their slogan was, "Buy endangered feces to save an endangered species!"

The dung derived from four of the five types of rhinoceros: white, black, Indian and Sumatran. The Javan rhino is so rare that a sample could not be collected (eit
her that or he is just constipated).

Each piece is dried, mounted in a clear trophy case and marked with the type of rhino that produced it. (You know, as much as I like rhinos, I just can't visualize myself getting all excited about displaying a dried pile of poop on my desk.)

There are only about 17,500 rhinos remaining in the wild, and 1,200 living in captivity, according to the International Rhino Fund. So, they reason, if rhinos become totally extinct, we will still have something tangible by which we can remember them. It seems to me that a horn or even a nice head mount trophy would be a much more desirable but those are outlawed so I guess a nice stack of stool is the next best thing. The conservation whackos have gone nuts.


But hey, maybe they're onto something. We should do that with liberals. Rush Limbaugh says that we need to always make sure we keep a few of them around just as a reminder of how bad things could be. But instead, we could exterminate all of them and just keep some of their poop around. That way we would always be reminded of how much they stank but we wouldn’t have to listen to them talk.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Silly Rhino Christmas Greeting

Once again, it's time for me to drag out all my favorite "Holiday Ornaments" that I have collected to post here on this blogsite every year.
Over the next few days I will repost all of them - some humorous and some serious - and maybe some new acquisitions for your enjoyment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Finding A New Church

Thirty-two years. That's how long I have been a member of my church. And prior to this, I was a member of my former church for sixteen years. The only reason we left that one was because we moved from another county. So for the last 48 years of my life I have only been a member of two churches.

The point is that my wife and I are not church hoppers. We join and then dig in and support the local church with our time and our resources. Membership has responsibilities.

But the time has come for us to move on and for the past three or four months we have been looking for another church. I never thought finding a good church could be so difficult. Of course fundamental, biblical orthodoxy is of primary concern so that automatically rules out many of the churches in our area. Also, I am running a little gun-shy when it comes to church polity so I am always interested to discover if a church's leadership model is scriptural and if it has some system of organizational accountability.

I was talking to one pastor recently who was sharing some plans he was about to make for his church. I asked him if he had taken some time to consult with his deacons, discuss it , and pray about it. His response was surprising, "I don't need to discuss it with them. This is something I just really want to do."

I decided to take my search in other directions.