Monthly Archives: December 2015

Is Your Fork Where Your Mouth Is? His was!

fork in mouthWilliam “Buddy” Christopher did something impressive this week; he put his fork where his mouth was. Yes, I said fork. I know…the phrase is “money where his mouth is,” meaning one proves what one believes. But when Mr. Christopher puts ‘fork to mouth,’ that is exactly what he is doing!

You see, William Christopher is a health inspector at Boston’s Inspectional Services Department. And he was eating at the Cleveland Circle Chipotle, a restaurant that was reopening after a norovirus outbreak. With Chipotle’s recent 9 state E.coli scare and this norovirus event, many are cautious of eating there.

So when William Christopher puts his ‘fork where his mouth is,’ he means, “this place is clean!” Experts can say something is clean. But what better way to show that then eating there? Did you know that Jesus did the same thing?

Jesus knew that the people had been unduly burdened. They were labeled as “unclean” by the religious elite of the day. No one would help them remove their sins. Many religious people would not eat with, or even come into contact with, these “sinners” for fear of becoming “unclean.”

But Jesus came to show compassion. He knew that we should not call unholy that which God has cleansed” (Acts 10:15). Jesus touched the untouchable (Luke 5:13), He spent time with undesirables (Luke 7:34), and most importantly, He put His fork where His mouth was (Mark 2:16-17).

By doing so, Jesus proved that we are loved by God and can be made clean by faith in Him. His example challenges us today. Jesus proved His Words by His examples (Acts 1:1).

Jesus died to make us clean. But if I look down on certain people or treat some better than others, my example calls them unclean. We know Christians should love others, help the poor, feed the hungry, visit in times of affliction, etc. But is our fork where our mouth is?

Let’s put fork to mouth and prove our faith by our actions (James 2:18).

Easy Beats Better? Not In My Book!

pizzahutboxcarApparently, Pizza Hut isn’t doing well. Sales are down 3%, and they are 2 minutes slower than Dominos in delivering pizza. Their parent company, Yum! Brands wants to change that though. How? CEO, Greg Creed, has a plan…a little something he is calling: ”Easy” beats “Better.”

Easy beats better? Is that right? Yep, I checked. He said that.

In a meeting with investors, Creed claimed that better quality food was “once the best way to beat the competition.” But times have changed. Creed says that now, “Easy” beats “Better.” According to reports, Creed says that Pizza Hut should “shift its focus from serving better food than rival chains to being more convenient for consumers.”

Now, I like to get my pizza fast too. But I don’t want quality to suffer! In the pizza world though, it seems that fastest and easiest wins. Pizza is pizza.

Sadly, some churches are heading that way too. After all, many churches sacrifice quality for ease and comfort. And if there are no differences between churches, then why not go to the easiest and fastest?

But easiest and fastest rarely equate with quality! Perhaps Pizza Hut doesn’t mind sacrificing a little quality for speed, but how would you feel about that in other areas? Want doctors who are the fastest or the best? Want a degree that takes a day but won’t get you a job anywhere? Want to attend a church that is quick but can’t help you get to Heaven?

Want to attend a church that is quick but can’t help you get to Heaven?

Now, to be fair, coming to Jesus is supposed to be easy. The path to Him should not be hindered (Matthew 19:14), and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). But, with Jesus, ease is never in lieu of quality!

But, with Jesus, ease is never in lieu of quality!

In fact, everything about Jesus is better than the competition. He is better than: the Angels (Hebrews 1:4,6,8), Moses (3:3-4), Joshua (4:8-9), Aaron (7:26-28), the Old Covenant (7:22; 8:6; 9:12), sacrifices (8:6-10:18), etc. “Better” is “Better” when it comes to Bible.

“Better” is “Better” when it comes to Bible.

Many churches compete to be easier. “Just believe and don’t worry about DOING anything” is their mantra. But churches aren’t pizza! And if your church simply caters to a desire for instant gratification, the “Better” of Christ is probably suffering.

The call to Christ is easy. The ability to have sins removed is easy. But the Christian life is a marathon; it is a battle; it is a life-long struggle to maintain quality in worship, service, and dedication. And anyone selling anything else is just selling,…pizza.

Crime (Still) Doesn’t Pay

gator-crimeAs the old saying goes, “crime doesn’t pay…because you might get eaten by an alligator.” Not the way you remember that one? I admit, it may sound a bit unusual. But for one thief, that saying was the sad end to a series of poor choices.

November 13th, 22 year old, Mathew Riggins told his girlfriend he was going to Brevard County’s Barefoot Bay to rob homes along with another person. The police received several calls that night about suspicious men looking in homes. A few homes in that area were even burglarized. So police went to investigate.

As police entered the area, Riggins decided to take cover. Unfortunately, an 11-foot alligator inhabited the lake where he hid; it was a fatal mistake. When police found his remains 10 days later, an area resident simply commented, “he hid in the wrong place.”

Now, I don’t want to be insensitive to the obvious: a man has died. And I don’t rejoice in that or take that lightly. But we should learn a few things from his mistake or his death will be utterly fruitless.

First, remember that, as Paul tells Timothy, we cannot hide sins from God. “The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after” (1 Timothy 5:24). All sins will be revealed one day (Numbers 32:23).

Secondly, remember that there is only one place to hide ourselves that makes any sense – in the Lord. “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

Finally, remember, crime doesn’t pay. Ephesians 4:28 simply says, “he who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good.” Unfortunately, Riggins isn’t here to confirm this. But I imagine that, if he could, he would warn others against the foolishness of crime.

Trust in the Lord, hide yourself in him, don’t steal, and always…always, check for gators!

The Designer Baby

genomeIt’s called “Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9,” and it may be a game changer in genetic engineering. Although genetic engineering is nothing new, the Washington Times recently reported that CRISPR is an amazingly “fast, flexible, cheap way to manipulate the code of life.”

CRISPR is so “revolutionary – and unnerving – that hundreds of scientists, policymakers and the president’s science adviser” gathered this week to discuss the implications and ethics of using it on human genes. Before long, this technology could be used to rid genes of hereditary diseases. But, it might also be used for cosmetic reasons…and that’s an ethical dilemma.

They are calling them “Designer Babies.” Would you be ok with picking the eye color of your baby? Height? Would you make your baby stronger? Faster? What if you could plan a future for your child? What would you envision?

I imagine that most of us have ethical concerns about these questions. Yet, if we had the opportunity, wouldn’t we make our child faster, stronger, and give them every advantage in life? That’s why it is so amazing to me that, despite having the means and opportunity, God did the exact opposite.

The greatest designer baby ever was God’s Son in the flesh, Jesus. He was a part of the Godhead (John 1:1-2); He was the vehicle of creation (John 1:3); and, He was born into the flesh through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18). His coming had been announced since the earliest days of creation (Genesis 3:15).

Yet this baby was born of humble means (Luke 2:7). He was physically human (Hebrews 2:14; 1 Timothy 2:5). And He did not have many advantages in life (Matthew 8:20, 19:21).

Despite being God in the flesh, Jesus faced terrible hardships as a man. He experienced hunger, thirst, and pain. He bled and He died. His precious blood was shed in fulfillment of a plan that was laid before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20).

Yet, God had something greater in store. Jesus arose on the 3rd day, coming back to life as an example to all those who would believe in Him for eternal life. And God has something greater in store for you too!

Your soul is genetically engineered for eternal life…the only question is where you will spend eternity. Live faithfully in Christ today and have a home with God forever.