aka “Fast Food” Jesus

Posted: July 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: aka My Jesus, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

What’s your favorite fast food fix? You know, your go to “heart-attack-in-a-sack.”

Mine is a double cheese burger value meal at McDonald’s. Unless it’s breakfast, then it’s a breakfast burrito meal with what they consider to be “hot” sauce. It’s crazy, but I love McDonald’s food.

Once in awhile.

To eat it everyday would not only get old, but be completely unhealthy (see the Super Size Me movie). Plus I always get the same thing, so after a few trips the the Golden Arches, I have to avoid it for a month or so in order to get the craving back.

Sometimes I treat Jesus like that, like a “Fast Food” Jesus.

I get a craving for Him because I love to talk with Him. To quote local Pastor Jeffrey Smith, “I love me some Jesus.”  In these moments I open the Bible to my favorite chapter (Psalm 27) for a minute or turn on Pandora to my favorite station (Skillet/Red/Bride). They’re my go-to spots that satisfy my appetite until I can get in some real quality time.

Now, is having a Fast Food Jesus a bad thing? Not in moderation.

While McDonald’s is food, and it can sustain you for quite some time (I ate it every day for about four years in my teens), it’s not what my body required to run properly. I need more than short bursts of Psalm 27 or turning on “Jesus Radio” while my talk radio is on commercial. In themselves, they aren’t enough to keep my spirit man healthy. There simply is not enough nutrition to be found through the window of a drive thru experience with Jesus.

Only having this type of experience with God can get you in a rut resulting in a mundane Christian life. Break out of the same old routines you have and try something new! There is so much of Jesus to experience and share. Comfortable is OK but new is adventure!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ” ~ Jesus of Nazareth

ANd yeah, you have to tell me what your favorite is. I wasn’t joking about that part.


Hand to the Plough by Sons of Korah

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Ever hear a song that’s so deep it haunts you? Enter “Hand to the Plough” by Sons of Korah. It hurts so good. If you don’t care to listen to this acoustic version from their living room, at least read the lyrics which I put in under the video. Oh, and you’ll have to buy the actual CD if you want the song as I can’t find it digitally anywhere. I guess the Outback is still catching up.

If it hits you like it hit me, please share it on facebook, we could all use a little more conviction.

 

Lyrics:

You say that you’re following Jesus
But I don’t think you know what it means ‘
cause all I can see is
you with your dreams saying,
“Jesus, won’t you come follow me?”

He gave you His life He gave you His Spirit
He gave so that you could give too
He said, “Follow me! There’s work to be done”
and “the workers have always been few.”

You say that you’re following Jesus
So follow and no looking back.

Hand to the plough
I’m tired of your talking
there’s no time to lose;
are you trying to hide?
There’s wind in the sails
But you’re still in the harbour
While the millions are drowning outside.

You say that you’re following Jesus
But you’re giving me reason to doubt
You pray, “0 Lord bring in the
blind and the lost!”
But you never pray, “Lord send me out!”

The harvest is plenty
but the workers are few
And the reason could
be that the worker is you
So test all your dreams
Your goals and ambitions
Do you really believe that the gospel is true?

Hand to the plough
I’m tired of your talking
there’s no time to lose;
are you trying to hide?
There’s wind in the sails
But you’re still in the harbour
While the millions are
drowning outside. (twice)

Imagine you’re a doctor
sent away to the war
Sent by the General to tend to the
poor wounded soldiers
in the battle out there
But all you ever did there
was treat your own wounds
care for your comforts
never leaving the room to go out
to the battle outside

Hand to the plough
I’m tired of your talking
there’s no time to lose;
are you trying to hide?
There’s wind in the sails
But you’re still in the harbour
While the millions are drowning outside.

You say you’re alive
but I don’t see you living
you say you’re a servant
But I’ve never seen you serve.
O where are the faithful;
the Lord’s precious few?
O where are the workers?
Does anybody know?

Words and Music by Matthew Jacoby


Sunrise or Sunset?

Posted: April 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | 3 Comments »

Sunries or Sunset

I took this picture a few months ago, and when I showed it to my daughter Laila she asked, “Is the sun setting or rising?” I replied, “It’s hard to tell, unless you know which direction I’m looking.”

Often, I can’t change my situation. Life throws a bag over my head, spins me around a few times, then lets me go. I’m left standing in a road, staring at the horizon with the sun barely visible. Is this a new day, or are darker times ahead? It’s hard to know unless I have a point of reference to show me which direction I am facing.

That reference point for me is God. If I keep my eyes on Him it doesn’t matter if the sun is setting or rising, I know that He will guide me. He will lead me through beautiful days where everything works out and I go to sleep with a smile on my face. And He will lead me into the dark places of the setting sun.

So, no matter which direction you find yourself facing today, know that if you look to God and let him be your guide, that He will never leave you or forsake you. He is equally with you through the good as He is the bad.

Today, the sun is rising.

Psalm 23

A David Psalm

1-3 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

4 Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.

5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.


If I Were The Devil

Posted: March 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Spirituality, Videos | 2 Comments »

This audio/video is a bit by legendary ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on  April 3, 1965. Wow if he didn’t hit the nail on the head.

If you want the transcript:

If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.”   To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”.  In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .

If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and  thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.

If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If  I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.

Paul Harvey, Good Day.

 


Time for a New World

Posted: February 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | No Comments »

Well, it’s the mark of another year gone by: Time for a new world at the Mooney house. Starting in 2005, every night one of the kids picks a country, and we pray for the people of that country to come to know Christ, and for “the people in cages.” (See my post “The People In Cages“) It’s one way we teach our children that what Jesus did for us affects more than just our town and our county, it affects the world. And in many countries, it’s illegal to even preach the Gospel. We remind them of this so that they never take our right to worship freely for granted.

One day we may not have this privilege, and just maybe they will remember all those times we prayed for persecuted Christians around the world and know that somewhere, in some distant land, in some other language, there are people who don’t know their name, praying that God give them the strength and grace to make it through each day. That in the darkest of dungeons, they can be a shining light that brings glory to God and sets captives free, even while in chains.

We support The Voice of the Martyrs, a group that helps persecuted Christians around the globe (click the map to get to their website). Along with that support comes a newsletter that tells of different people who are currently being jailed, beaten, or otherwise persecuted for their faith. Please consider supporting them.


Do You Believe? Prove It.

Posted: January 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts, Spirituality, Videos | 3 Comments »

I say I believe in God, that I believe in Jesus His son. I say that I believe so much that I would give my life for what I believe in, but do I really?

I ran across this video by Francis Chan and it made me really think. Do I truly believe, or are the words, “I believe” the answer I give myself so I don’t have to ask myself the hard questions? And if I do believe, what evidence is there in my life? If I took my “belief” out of my life, would there be a difference? Would anyone be able to tell?

If the answer is no, then I have some decisions to make.


Life is a Battlefield

Posted: January 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | 7 Comments »

Credit to Derk VennemanI love movies with huge open field battles. You know, like The Patriot, 300, and Lord of the Rings. It’s good versus bad times ten thousand. One side lines up on a hilltop facing the opposition who line up on the other, both waiting with weapons in hand, hearts pounding in unison so loud it shames even thunder. The commanders each raise their battle cries and it’s a full on run to trade blows. Blood and sweat mix as each gives everything he has not only to survive, but to conquer.

The musical score begins to slow as the battle fades into a few skirmishes until none are left standing save the victors, and the bad guys are turning tail and running for their mommies.

Here is the moment when the heroes, chests heaving from exhaustion, survey the battlefield. Tears of joy and sorrow fall.

Amidst the fallen enemies are their fathers, their brothers, their sons. Many lie dead, others maimed, but in the midst of their anguish is victory! Their losses are not in vain. For at least that day, evil is vanquished and the air carries the bittersweet taste of freedom.

Sometimes I look around the church and I see pain, sickness, and brokenness. I ask, “Why God? Are these not your people, your children?”

He answers, “Yes, they are. We wage a war against the incredible foes of the flesh and the devil, and many are wounded and crushed in the battle. But be comforted, because after their pain, after their sorrow, even after their loss there is victory. It has not been in vain. Though it may not be their lot to hold high the Banner of the Prince of Peace on the field of victory, their legacy is that they have made the way for those after them. They have shown that the cause is worthy and the price of their lives a bargain.”

So be encouraged, “This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15)”


Review: Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos

Posted: December 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Book Reviews, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

(Read to the end to learn how to win a copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos today!)

Buy Here

We’ve all watched monster movies and later that night held the covers close while sleeping with one eye open, hoping the beasts of the night will find other prey to appease their appetites.  In “Night of the Living Dead Christian,” Matt Mikalatos stumbles upon a mad scientist and some monsters during his neighborhood watch.  The ensuing comical mayhem results in Matt helping his neighbor Luther, a werewolf, find a cure for his lycanthropy before he is killed by Borut the monster hunter.

Mikalatos spins an incredible allegory as the unlikely gaggle of heroes battle various monsters and make allies en route to discovering there’s a monster in all of us.

Now, there are those who will see the words werewolf, zombie, and vampire and dismiss this title completely.  To those I say “a spoonful of brains helps the medicine go down.”  Sometimes the only way to confront the difficult questions in our lives is to see them from a different perspective, and that is what Matt Mikalatos offers in “Night of the Living Dead Christian.”  It’s a light hearted delivery system to some heavy-handed self reflection.

The end of the book has a couple of great features including a glossary of monsters and a Q&A with Mikalatos.

I highly recommend “Night of the Living Dead Christian.” I put his writing in the Jon Acuff section of “makes me laugh until I hurt, and it hurts most because he’s talking about me.” This is my first encounter with Matt Mikalatos’s writing, and it’s impressed me enough to warrant me buying his previous title, “Imaginary Jesus,” in which he is also a main character on a mission to find the real Jesus.

Here is Matt and his take on “Night of the Living Dead Christian.”

watch on tyndale.com

You can find Matt’s blog here: http://mattmikalatos.com

And on facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/matt.mikalatos

Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers who provided this copy to me free of charge for review.  A positive review was not required.

———————————————————————

Awesome! You’ve made it to the end of my review, and I hope it was helpful for you.  So, how do you win a copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian? There are two ways to enter:

a) Leave a comment about your favorite monster movie and what frightens you the most about it.

b) Share this post on Facebook.  (edit: My tracker is showing the number of shares, but not who shared, so please leave a note if you shared it. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

Each of these will get you one entry and you can only enter today (12/15/2011). Tomorrow I will put all of the entries into a hat (Yankees!) and have one of my kids draw a name.  Check back to see if you have won. I will post the winner on the blog and on my facebook page (facebook.com/baddogmooney).


It Hurts So Good 15 – That’s What I Thought Too

Posted: December 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Giving, It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts | 1 Comment »

So I have recently taken over managing the gumball machines and kiddy rides at our local mall and today I received my first check.  I pulled it out of the envelope and smiled and then thought about how I’m making 10% of the machine’s take, and how little that is compared to the 90% CTM makes. Imagine what I could do if I made the 90%!

Then God whispered to me, “That’s what I thought too.” Ow, that hurts so good.


A Light In The Darkness

Posted: December 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality, Writing | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

umm, yeah. Here’s a little ditty I wrote four years ago. Enjoy

I own a store called A Light in the Darkness. It’s a quaint little shop with thousands of different lamps, chandeliers, and the like. I also sell the bulbs for every model you could think of. Our shingle reads, “My light will free you from any darkness.”

When you walk through the aisles, every lamp is lit so you can see how brightly they shine and what type of light they cast. They scream, “Look how bright my light shines! I have what it takes to free you from darkness!”

The display lamps scoff at the others still in the package. They call them useless and tell them how dull and insignificant they are sitting boxed on the shelf. “See how much light I give off? And you just sit there doing nothing.”

All of the lights are in separate rows, so you can clearly see their labels and what each is good at. Sometimes you can hear them argue about who does their job better and why they’re so important.

It’s ironic how proud the lights on display are, because they are the ones that never leave the shop.

The lights that are still in the package, they are my greatest asset. They have the potential to be everything and more that the display lights are, but are content to remain where I put them. They wait for the day that I take them from the shelf and send them to be the light that frees someone from darkness.

And that is important, because I have a specific light for every need. And not everyone knows what type of light is needed for their particular circumstance. These customers are easy to spot as they wander around my store from aisle to aisle looking for the one that’s “just right.” I’ve had a few complaints that it’s hard to know which light to choose when they all say they are the best. So I help them and guide them to a shelf, giving them the light that’s just right for their need.

I wish the display lights could be used to help someone, but they are too busy trying to outshine the others and too afraid to leave the store. They fear that they might be unplugged and their lights cease shining. I try to tell them they will be plugged in again when they are ready to be used but their fear paralyzes them.

So I am surrounded mostly by display lights who give light to no one but themselves in a store that is already lit, while a handful wait patiently for me to send them.

So how can I help you today? Remember, my light will free you from any darkness.