St. Patrick’s Day – A Religious Holiday?

You better believe it!

It turns out that St. Patrick’s day started off as a religious remembrance day for the patron saint of Ireland and then turned into more of an Irish cultural celebration. The story is actually quite interesting and goes a little something like this:

Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of the island along with Saints Brigit and Columba. The dates of Patrick’s life cannot be fixed with certainty but, on a widespread interpretation, he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. He is generally credited with being the first bishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland. When he was about 16, he was captured from his home in Great Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as an ordained bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

To learn more, check out the entire Wikipedia article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick

BUT for even more information, check out the clips at History.com: http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day

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The Obesity Epidemic vs. The Skinny Jeans Epidemic

Let me apologize up front for the “old-man rant” that you are about to read. Every time I try to go clothes shopping, it frustrates me to no end. Therefore, I thought I’d do a little “typing therapy” to help in my recovery. Enjoy.

In a country of obesity, skinny jeans should not exist.

(There. I said it.)

I’m not a big guy, but I’m not a skinny guy either. I’ve paid my dues to the “Golden Arches”… me and Ms. Wendy had a thing goin’ on back in the day… I’ve had an audience with the (burger) King a few times… and I’ve given in to a Bloomin’ Onion or two. I admit that (and possibly a little more), but it boggles my mind that “skinny jeans” even exist. Skinny jeans in a generally obese country?… How does something like that happen?

I understand that the current fashion trends for the youth of this country point towards “skinny jeans”, but reality sets in pretty good between 25 and 30 years of age. Beyond 30, you are definitely in acceptance mode of whatever “weighty” circumstances you are in. I have, in my old age, accepted the fact that I won’t be back to my high school size, so I won’t delude myself into thinking that I can hang with the young people and try to squeeze my old, aching, cracking bones into jeans not fit for man nor beast (not that I would ever try it anyway). At this point, it’s called “management” (i.e. – even if you can’t get any skinnier, try not to get any chunkier).

To me, skinny jeans have a timeframe to them just like diapers. Diapers work when you’re at a specific point in your life, but afterwhile you don’t need them anymore because the natural course of life dictates that you’re going to grow to a point where diapers won’t be useful to you anymore AND you’ll look crazy for wearing said diapers OUTSIDE OF THE PREDETERMINED TIMEFRAME. I feel the same way about old guys who get their hair “cornrowed”. Speckled gray cornrows are not cute. Why? Because that hairstyle only works between 18-24 not 50+.

Using that “predetermined timeframe” logic, skinny jeans are only for a specific time in your life. That time being when you’re actually skinny… which doesn’t quite fit into the general reality of being a U.S. citizen in the here and now. Reality, according to the CDC, says that “No state (in the US) met the nation’s ‘Healthy People 2010’ goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%. Rather, in 2010, there were 12 states with an obesity prevalence of 30%. In 2000, no state had an obesity prevalence of 30% or more.” In other words, reality is not consistent with what we tell the youth. They may think that their bodies are indestructable and will never gain an ounce of weight, but I guarantee that if they keep on living they’re going to learn things about their body, hear cracks and other unsettling noises inside their body, feel indescribeable little pains that magically disappear in 24-48 hours, test the limits of their waistline (possibly multiple times if they believe in on and off diets), and a whole plethora of other things that will make them say “skinny what?”.

(All my Icy/Hot, Aspercreme, and 500mg Ibuprofen users holler at me!)

So in conclusion… skinny jeans??? Yeah right. Nothing against those that that wear them, but in my current sphere of reality I call them “denim lies with an expiration date”.

What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.

Church Credit Hours

DISCLAIMER: Before you read this, please know that this is nothing more than a funny thought (at least to me anyway). Hopefully you all will get a good chuckle out of it too. Enjoy!

“She made us go to church all the time. Y’all don’t hear me. I said ALL THE TIME. I ain’t talkin’ bout no every Sunday. I’m talkin’ about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Bible study, prayer meeting, young people meeting, old people meeting, deacon board meeting, usher board meeting number one, two, three, four, five, robe committee meeting, building fund committee meeting. MAMA HOW MUCH STUFF IS YOU ON!?!?” –Steve Harvey

Did you ever feel like you were in church ALL THE TIME? Well, I was having a discussion on this last past Sunday with two members at my church and I told them about the very thing they need in order to track their time in church. I lovingly call it…

“CHURCH CREDIT HOURS”

Oh yes… if you’re in church on any other day aside from Sunday, then you’re banking “Church Credit Hours”. How do you calculate such hours? Glad you asked.

First you have to start off with the credit value:

Always measured in 100’s on a daily basis. Why 100’s? Because 99 ½ won’t do.

Next you go to the per diem:

Sunday – Scripture based credit hours (whatever the morning scripture is, look at the page number in the Bible and that will count as your credit hours for the day)
Monday – 100 (200 if you’re in a scheduled meeting)
Tuesday – 200 (400 if you’re in a scheduled meeting)
Wednesday – 1000 (but only if you show up to Bible Study, otherwise you get 0 for the day)
Thursday – 300 (600 if you’re in choir rehearsal)
Friday – 400 (800 if you’re in an important meeting)

Saturday (before 12pm) – 300
Saturday (between 12pm and 6pm) – 500
Saturday (after 6pm) – 1000 (because Saturday evening and Sunday morning means back-to-back church)
Saturday (all day long) – 2000

And finally, you get bonus points for the following:

Being the absolute last clap after a congregational applause. (100)
Putting a huge manila envelope into the collection plate with “$$$” written in on the front. (200)
Sending random music requests to the praise team (ex: “Can you all sing ‘Can’t Hide Love’ by Earth, Wind, and Fire because I just can’t hide my love for Jesus.”). (400)
Folding all the lap cloths into triangles. (600)
Asking for change for a $2 bill from an usher. (800)
Making up a song to sing on the way to church, then singing said song in church that day. (1000)

DON’T WAIT. GET YOUR CHURCH CREDIT HOURS TODAY!!!

Is Your Christianity Being Challenged?

Is your Christianity being challenged? A simple question with a complex answer for all Christians (myself included). In light of the recent events in Florida, tensions are high and patience is low… but let’s go back to December 14, 2012 when the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary took place… or back to July 20, 2012 when a mass shooting happened inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. According to an article found at http://www.thenation.com* there were 16 mass shootings in the US in 2012 alone ranging from domestic violence to racial motivation to just plain senselessness. Those 16 mass shootings do not include the number of individual shootings that occur on an regular basis all around the country. So again, the question remains “Is your Christianity being challenged?”

When things are going great (or, at least, pretty good), it’s easy to fall into a false sense of complacency, but what happens when evil rears its ugly head? Do you run to your thoughts and opinions OR do you run to the Word of God? It’s easy to run to thoughts and opinions because those can be justified, but it’s a lot harder to run to the Word of God ESPECIALLY when that Word says…

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” -Matthew 5:44a (NKJV)

…because we want to hang on to the Word that says…

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” -Revelation 21:8 (NLT)

…but we forget that while we are here on Earth, the Word also says…

“For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” Matthew 5:45b (NLT)

Everyday that we wake up and see the sun shining or the rain falling, we have another chance to get it right and that applies to ALL OF US. In fact, with the exception of Jesus (aka the Son of God, at all points tempted but without sin according to Hebrews 4:15, etc), the Bible is written about real people trying to get it right with God and with each other… much like many of us. What we need to remember in times like this is that:

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” -Eccleciastes 3:1-8 (NLT)

I’m not a theologian, but I like to think of this as the “Passage of Appointed Opposition”. There is a time for (blank) and a time for (the opposite of blank). I’m not sure where we are as a country in this passage, but as Christians living in this day and age we need to re-evaluate ourselves to find out what we can do to make it better and LOVE EACH OTHER like God loves us because that love begins in each and every one of us. No one ever said that it would be easy to do, but think about it like this: if it was easy, everybody would do it.

The bottom line is that we ALL need to pray for this country, we ALL need to pray for each other, and we ALL need Jesus to be our Lord and Savior continuously… each and every day… now more than ever before.

What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.

*Article Reference: http://www.thenation.com/blog/171774/fifteen-us-mass-shootings-happened-2012-84-dead

Thinking… It’s Critical

Are you a critical thinker? Do you know what a critical thinker is? The best definition I could find comes from a statement by Michael Scriven and Richard Paul (presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987): Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. That’s a lot of words to simply say “Hey… I thought about this for a little while beyond the commercial break.” I like to think of myself as a critical thinker. In my opinion, trying to come up with the possibilities that no one else thought of shows that effort is being put forth and that level of thought can oftentimes be invaluable depending on the situation (and as long as it doesn’t lead to “analysis paralysis”).

Here is a link to a YouTube video that talks about critical thinking as it exists in the U.S. educational system. This is Sir Ken Robinson and his viewpoint on the whole matter is interesting (to say the least). If you have the time, you owe it to yourself to check out the whole video.

What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.

 

Align With God’s Purpose

Just wanted to share this bit of wisdom that I picked up today. Enjoy.

“God’s not going to change his purposes. If God and I are out of harmony, guess who’s going to change? There’s only one option. I have to change… living out of harmony with God, especially if you’re a Spirit baptized believer, is painful… but how can we be in harmony? The answer is align with God’s purpose.” -Derek Prince

What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.

Good Advice Is Medicine For The Soul

I feel like I’ve been sick for the entire month of March (which is why I’ve been missing in “blog action” for a minute) so I’m glad to see April pop up on my calendar. For a while I was wondering if it was my imagination or not, but I felt like everywhere I went sounded like the waiting room at the doctor’s office. A cacophony of coughing. A symphony of sinuses. A composition of germy competition. Quite nasty… and the sad part was that I was a part of it. So while I did my due diligence in getting medication and more medication and more medication (to the point where my pharmacist was like “Back again so soon?”), the best medication I received was on Easter Sunday from an older relative of mine. She said “You need to slow down.” The premise was simply that if I continue at the pace I’m currently at, then my body won’t have any energy left to fight off any kind of sickness. I already knew that was true deep in the back of my mind, but hearing that bit of advice again was a great prescription for my soul. So, to everybody reading this… if you happen to be suffering from “Dotoomuchitis” (like me), then take the advice given to me… SLOW DOWN! You can’t fight the good fight if you have nothing to fight with.

What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.