Monday, February 28, 2011

God, Running, & Signs: Pt.2

In my last post I began telling about an experience I had while running not too long ago. I mentioned three brief points that I felt God was showing me during this experience. Yet I never finished the story (so if you haven't read the first post make sure you do:)
Finish Linephoto © 2010 jayneandd | more info (via: Wylio)

Part 2:

I ended the first post telling you that I had turned around and starting running back to the starting point. As I was running back I felt this urge that I should warn the folks going down the path, that I was just warned not to go down, and therefore had changed course. For some reason I was a bit hesitant, maybe I was afraid I would be ignored, or the fact that I obviously didn't know any of these folks. Yet, I thought, 'if this elderly couple warned me, I should do the same.'

So as I'm running, I'm warning people. Folks that are just walking, running, and even on bikes. Several acknowledged me, even thanked me, and yes a few honestly didn't even acknowledge me though they didn't even have earphones on! Interestingly enough though as I ran further and further away from the place that I turned around, since it seemed somewhat far away, especially for those walking, I stopped warning people.

Now, I'm just trying to make good time and finish my run, when I took a wrong turn! I didn't realize it until I saw that I had ran more than what it would have taken for me to return. In other words, I had run about 5 miles and turned, now I had ran almost 5 back and my car was no where in sight! I quickly realized where I was though, so I told myself, I'm going for it, I'm just going to run my first half-marathon.

I was really tired by now, had drank no water and remember had a rough start. I kept going and going, until praise God I saw the drinking fountain that is at the beginning of the trail, took a quick, small drink, looked at my phone and saw I still needed about a mile to hit 13.1 so I kept going and praise God I did it.

A few more lessons learned:

1. If you call yourself a Christian and know the saving power of the gospel of Jesus to change lives, along with the fact that Jesus is coming soon. What are we doing to let everyone around us that may be on the wrong path know the power of the gospel of Jesus.
2. Could it be that perhaps we just either consciously or sub-consciously believe that Jesus' second coming is not that close so as we run the race of life, we're not really warning anyone?
3. No matter what is happening in my life, your life we must persevere. Most Christians have heard the text, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13) Yet if we look at the context of that text we won't be tempted to abuse it as it has at times. Listen to what Paul says in verse 12, "I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." In other words Paul says no matter what I'm facing in life I can get through it all with Jesus. We can persevere with Jesus. Keep running the race of life, you're not alone!

I don't know how soon Jesus is coming, but I believe that it's soon. Even so, regardless of time, God has reminded me and hopefully you that we must persevere in our efforts to tell people that Jesus really, really, loves them. He died for them, resurrected and is alive today ever ministering on our behalf in more ways than we know and He's soon to return. Jesus has called us! People who have repented and turned from our wrong paths, to tell others that through the grace of God they too should turn. No matter what it may cost they can trust that through Jesus they can do all things, for He is the one who will strengthen them.

As you are running the race of life are you remembering to live out loud for Jesus? Remember the finish line is closer as the pace of every moment of life comes and goes...I can't wait to see Jesus face to face at the finish line! Until then I run...


Saturday, February 26, 2011

God, Running, & Signs: Pt.1

From the start it seemed like I should've just turned around and gone home. I had set out to go for a long run, it was in my mind to run a half-marathon (13.1miles) this particular morning. I wasn't sure if I was going to go that far, nonetheless I was going for at least 10miles.
Runners set records in 25th Army Ten-Miler 091005photo © 2009 U.S. Army | more info (via: Wylio)

One mile into the run my earphones started falling off, to me this is very frustrating as it breaks my stride and focus. This had not happened in some time but a few minutes after the first time it happened again! Then if that wasn't getting to me, my side began to hurt. Now I was really upset. I had eaten breakfast several hours before to make sure this didn't happen and had not drank a lot of water either. Nonetheless the pain began to get worse and I was now only on mile 3.

Something overall just seemed to be telling me that I should stop, turn around and go home. I persisted though, fought through the side ache, made sure my earphones wouldn't fall off again, and tried to stay focused. Things seem to improve, especially the side ache as I pressed on, when....

An elderly couple walking along the trail yells at me, 'Be careful there is a herd of dogs down that way!' Even though I had my music on, I heard what they said and thanked them for telling me. So now it was decision I continue and risk being chased, bitten by dogs? Or turn around as I've been feeling for some time?

Captain, My Captainphoto © 2008 Josh McGinn | more info (via: Wylio)

For a moment I decided to continue, until? Well...I saw one of the dogs (looked like a pitbull!) in the woods about 60-70 yards away. I told myself, enough, I'm turning back! I had ran close to 5miles by now so it would be close to the 10 I would have been happy with.

Some points I ponder in this experience:

1. Many times I believe God is trying to speak to us, tell us something and we are so focused on wanting to accomplish what we want that we are not listening.
2. I believe that God in one way or another was trying to get me to not go down the path I was going through. I seem to ignore all the signs He was trying to give me. Then this wonderful couple clearly spoke to me about the danger of going down that path. God is so gracious that he sends us warnings, that if we will listen to them can change our lives
3. God ever looks after us. Now this one is a bit tough. Why? Well because so many things have happened to people that pray and love God and they may wonder, 'well was God looking after me?' I can't answer that question and perhaps no one really can. Nonetheless I have seen God's hand in so many ways in my life. If I would have gone down that path on the trail, that 'herd' of dogs could have easily gone after me and I would have had no where to run. God ever looks after us!

Are you perhaps going through something right now that God is trying to tell you something? Are you ignoring all the warning signs? Remember God truly cares about every aspect of our lives!

Stay tuned for part two: The rest of what I believe God was showing the way the elderly couple, as I turned back and passed them said, 'yea I believe one of them was a pitbul!"


Monday, February 14, 2011

Southern Adventist University: Flash Mob & Blue Hair (video)

image from:
Recently students from my alma mater, Southern Adventist University were trying to raise funds for a project to fight illiteracy in El Salvador called No More Thumbprints. One important note was that the Universities president Gordon Bietz got into the mix by saying that he would dye his hair the color of the team which raised the most money.

President Bietz is much loved and respected by the students and this is another good reason why. He's friendly, down to earth, and shows his human fun side to all of his students. At the same time as mentioned he's highly respected and looked up to. I love that he did this and the students had a blast!

Check out the video below for the results! It's been making it's way around Adventist circles.

So what do you think? If you were president of an organization would you do this?

UPDATE: After posting the video the owner has disabled sharing, to see the video on YouTube click HERE.


Be His Valentine

I remember in grade school making Valentines cards as part of art class. We used construction paper to cut out our heart shaped cards, then we had to 'accessorize' them by drawing something on it, usually it was more hearts of different colors, we would also add glitter, (art class back in my day wasn't art class without glitter:-), and lastly of course we would add our 'Hallmark' words addressed to: mom!

Honestly I hated these art projects. I wasn't much of an artist, even today I claim no drawing abilities. I always loved to see some of my classmates draw their perfect hearts, while mine looked like it had a heart attack. Yet I knew what I was doing was for my mom, I loved my mom, so even though art wasn't my best subject, I tried, did my best, in hopes that she would like it.

Of course like a great mom that she was and is, she loved it. She always gave me a hug, a kiss and told me how beautiful it was. I don't know all the psychology to it but even as a kid to hear mom say that she loved my drawing and knowing I had tried my best and done it with all my heart, frankly I didn't care if I wasn't artistically inclined like many of my classmates. Mom loved my Valentines card, that's all I cared!

In this post though I'm not going to get into the history of Valentines, where it came from, or should you celebrate it. I'm not going to ask you, have taken your significant other out to eat, bought them flowers, chocolate, or even've bought them/made a card! And, yes, I know what some say, 'everyday should be  Valentine's day with our significant other', reality is for most it's not.

Here is what I will tell you, our lives everyday, particularly those of us who call ourselves Christians, are  Valentine card's to God. Everyday He says, 'be MY Valentines' I love you. Our lives are those construction papers, that God is forming into beautiful hearts. You see as we respond and fully surrender our 'construction hearts' to God. We are assured that He will receive them with embracing arms, sure some will be really rough on the edges and some won't look so bad. Yet be assured that our God will take them all, and with great love will construct for us a new heart.

I praise God, for I am His Valentine now and forever. He loves me! He accepts my terrible drawn heart and says, "come I will show you how to draw."

Will you be HIS Valentine?


Friday, February 11, 2011

Awkward Questions about Jesus: Video

3D Character and Question Markphoto © 2010 SMJJP | more info (via: Wylio)
As a pastor I have definitely had people ask me some interesting questions about Jesus. The video below though will make you laugh and possibly even make you think about the awkward questions given by the cute English kids...

I came across this video through a blog that I read and thought I would share here at Bathos. The video has gone viral it's been seen over half a million times.

Thanks again to Todd Rhoades for posting first on his blog.

So what awkward question about Jesus do you have?


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Buy From A Christian: The Christian e-bay?

Many churches are always trying to find ways to raise funds for different projects and missions. Of course since the inception of e-bay in the mid 90's many forgo having a yard sale for simply putting items on line in order to do the same without the hassle of setting everything up and then taking back what doesn't sell.
Ebay Frontphoto © 2007 Ryan Fanshaw | more info (via: Wylio)

With that in mind  here's a website that essentially does the same thing e-bay does but with a purpose as the website states. In looking through the site, it essentially has the same basic idea as e-bay but it definitely looks more appealing to raise funds. Here are some points that I found in reading through the site that really seem beneficial for a church as is the purpose of the site.

1. To list an item that is not an automobile, real estate, motor, or marine it's only $1.
2. You can list the item until it sells for just that $1. Though after three months they will notify you that the item will be removed unless you let them now that you still want it listed. There is no extra charge.
3. will GIVE 10% of it's collected fees from the item you list to the church of your choice!
4. Listing real-estate is $20 and an automobile, motor, or marine is $10 to list. (they will give 10% of those fees to the church you list also)
5. Garage sales: This feature seems like something many churches would be interested in trying. One that our church might try. will let you host a garage sale for your church, listing whatever items you want and they will NOT charge ANY fees! 100% of what is sold goes back to the church.

The one down fall that I see at this time if you list an item yourself it obviously won't get the web traffic that e-bay has thus the item may take longer to sell, if it sells. Though the 'garage sale' feature is one that again seems really helpful for any church even if it doesn't have the traffic e-bay has. E-bay also obviously has a lot more fees. Also there is no bidding on the site, you set the price and that's what it is, unless you change it.

Some though have questioned the websites name: 'Buy From A Christian' in the video below, that is also found on the website, the creator of the site gives an explanation and a history on how the site got started. The site obviously doesn't hide that it's Christian, it's intended purpose and at the same time makes clear that anyone of any faith or no faith can sell on the site.

I've listed an item to see how it goes and plan on having a 'garage sale' with my church on the site.

So what do you think? Will you talk to your church about doing a 'garage sale' on Would you post an item or buy something you may want?


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Catholics Come Home

Recently as I was writing a post I came across this website called, 'Catholics Come Home' I had heard about this campaign some time ago, perhaps a year ago (give or take) honestly though it wasn't until now that I actually checked out the website. I must say that Tom Peterson the founder and president of the campaign has done an excellent job on the site and for that matter its initiative.
St. Peter's basilica facade - Romephoto © 2009 budget travel accommodation | more info (via: Wylio)

As I mentioned the campaign has been going on for some time, here's an article written by Christianity Today (it's actually an opinion article) you may want to read regarding this Catholic evangelization campaign.

In looking through the website I found interesting their top 10 reasons Catholics come back (or should come back) particularly numbers 5 & 1 here's is what each says as taken from the website:

5. Many of us who leave the Catholic Church are blessed by the experience of worshiping for awhile in various Christian denominations. But some people come back when they realize that Catholicism has the fullness of truth and grace. The Catholic Church was not founded by a single reformer or historical movement. It is not fragmented by individual interpretations of Scripture. There are thousands of Christian denominations, but only one Catholic Church. This Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit and protected from teaching error on issues of faith and morals from generation to generation for some two thousand years, as Our Lord Jesus promised: (foretold Isaiah 22:15-25) Matt 16:13-20; Matthew 18:15-18 (in this verse the word is church, not community); 1 Tim 3:15.

In their evangelization it's interesting to note that nothing is held back. The comments above clearly state the position of the Catholic church which claims to have the 'fullness of truth and grace', it's not 'fragmented', and 'protected from teaching error on issues of faith and morals from generation to generation...' really? Again, it's interesting to see that they are straight forward with their claims. I found personally interesting the aspect of having the 'fullness of truth and grace.' 

Here's their stated number 1 reason:

1. Many people come back to the Catholic Church because they feel an intense longing for the Eucharist...They describe it as a deep hunger for the spiritual nourishment that comes when they receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

The number one reason given is that former Catholics long for transubstantiation, the belief that in taking the bread and wine it changes into the substance of the blood and body of Jesus in the Eucharist. 

The site goes on to even talk about the sexual abuse issues the church has and is facing, stating that it shouldn't be an excuse for anyone not to rejoin. Here's what the site says:

We do have problems, but using the crisis in the Church as an excuse for not being a practicing Catholic or, for non-Catholic Christians, not becoming a Catholic, is no excuse. 

I don't know about you but that's pretty bold (go to the site and read the rest!) they are really trying to bring them back into the church. 

The message, mission, and intention of the website is certainly to be respected. They are doing it seems everything they can to either bring former Catholics back 'home' or to evangelize new Catholics into the fold.

For some who read this, it may not be 'new' news, perhaps you had heard about this initiative but with this post you've become more aware of what it actually is. Either way it should spark something in all of us who are a product of the Reformation.

What it should spark (maybe you're already lit up:-) is a continued desire to evangelize all those around with the truth, grace, and fullness of scripture. We should always remain respectful and loving to all to whom we disagree, and as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian I obviously disagree with a lot of the beliefs of the Catholic church, nonetheless as I stated above I respect their evangelization efforts.

So I will conclude this post by saying that, we who call ourselves Christian need to know what we stand on, being ready in season and out of season, to spread the truth as it is in Jesus. Isn't this what Jesus called us to do first and foremost? Go ye therefore...

What do you think of this ongoing Catholic Come Home campaign? What are you doing to evangelize those around you? 


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl Sunday: Passion

Well it's superbowl Sunday. The day in which some 100 million plus people will sit in front of  their LCD, LED screens, or well, perhaps just an old tube t.v.! Many won't even be fans of either team playing in the Superbowl but are football fans, sports fans. Some of course will simply watch for the commercials, and there are even those who could care less about football but always love a good reason to get together with family and friends.
SUPERBOWL XLV TROPHYphoto © 2004 Bo Riser | more info (via: Wylio)

The superbowl an American tradition we love.

Yet I have to say I would love to see that same passion and enthusiasm that is given to one game that last a few hours, be shown for the things of God, be shown for His church. Now don't get me wrong there are those who do have it and show it, yet shouldn't we have more?

The American church in general is struggling, sure there are some good things happening and those shouldn't be set aside. Generally speaking though, again, there are some major issues.

I don't believe there's anything wrong per se in watching the game with family and friends and having a good, clean, fun time. I'll be watching.

Yet I pray, at least for myself, can't really speak for anyone else. That my passion, enthusiasm and desire will always be higher for Jesus than any game no matter what sport/event.


Jesus thank you for the fun moments in this life. Lord I pray that Your passion will always be my passion. God help me...

Are you honestly passionate for the message and mission of Jesus Christ for a dying world more than anything else?


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Adventist Superbowl Ad: Follow Up Post

Back in a September post  I mentioned that Pastor Leo Schreven was trying to get a Superbowl commercial for this Sunday's game that would remind people that the Sabbath is still the 7th day. I recently got an email update from  that is Pastor Leo's website and in case you're interested here's his YouTube site.

First I must say that it's nice to see that he's using and trying to use every means possible to proclaim God's word. So though I don't know Leo personally I give him much credit for his intentions and use of technology.

According to his email, the petition is close to getting 10,000 signatures so obviously the ad is not going to run on Sunday, though he hasn't given up and hopes that maybe next year it can happen. Yet Pastor Leo is once again using social media to get the message out regarding the Sabbath. He's asking people to donate if they wish so that the ad above could be displayed through Facebook ads. Whether you agree or not I must say that Pastor Leo is persistant and doing what he believes. Check out the info in detail HERE.

Some Adventist blogs and websites have and are speaking up against what he's doing for several reasons. Some of them are because it's not the right time, why provoke people, and that perhaps funds could be used in a more productive manner.

To a certain degree I understand some of the objections. Yet at some point in time the Sabbath is going to be a question that those who call themselves Seventh-day Adventist will have to answer. Many Adventist churches send out the traditional handbills with pictures of beasts, at one point the twin towers being hit was a picture that was used, and also that of many dictators and so on...It's a way to get people interested or who are interested in prophecy to come and listen. In one sense this is what Pastor Leo is attempting to do.

I live in Mississippi and have met some wonderful, incredible people of different faiths/denominations which I respect, love, and see Jesus in their lives. Recently I've been looking into running a 5K or 10K around where I live in Jackson, MS and every single one is held on Saturday, my Sabbath. Now having been raised in Los Angeles and lived many years in Miami, FL I'm sure that in those cities I could find a race to run on Sunday. In this area though in a state in which 67 percent of folks in MS go to church at least once a month it's no wonder why nearly every race is on Saturday. People go to church on Sunday is the statement that is being made so we'll do the races on Saturday. Though I'm not saying there may not be other reasons.

Chick-Filet-A a popular fast food place mainly in the South is closed on Sunday so that employees can spend a day with their families. Chick-Filet-A around my area is to some degree known as the place where all Christians love to go (and of course anyone of any faith). Let me tell you the people that work at Chick-Filet-A are awesome, they are extremely nice and attentive. Once again Chick-Filet-A has made a clear statement and has made public headlines in the past because they close on Sundays.

So honestly I'm still processing everything on both sides. Yet this I know sooner or later, everyone will have to make their own statement.

So what do you think of the Facebook ad? Regardless if you keep Saturday or Sunday do you think these are viable and acceptable ways to proclaims God's word?


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