Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Atheist

This past Sunday was a great day.  

It was Easter.  

Time to celebrate the Love of Christ and have some candy too, 
because salvation is pretty sweet. (sorry bad pastor humor) 

It was a beautiful time to spend with family and quite frankly the weather was equally beautiful. 
Nothing like a spectacular Spring day on Easter, it just seems to fit. 

The most memorable part of the day was not so much church, 
but what happened after church.

My wife has a pretty cool blog and we were scoping out some sweet spots for taking pics.
We landed on Kelly Drive off the river in Philly, by boathouse row. 

As I was taking some shots of my wife and son, a man asked if he could take a picture of all of us.

Normally giving a stranger a nice camera to take your picture in Philly is probably not the best idea, but I had a good feeling about this guy.

He really took his time to frame our picture and make us look good. 
This gentleman mentioned he was a photographer and after our mini shoot,
he showed me some of his work on his iPhone.

He had some great photographs.

After going thru his mobile portfolio he asked what I do.

A question that I like, and sometimes do not like, because I never know how people will respond.

So I went for it, I said "I am a Pastor."

That was proceeded by a big chuckle from our friend, and he replied,
"Of all things a Pastor... just my luck, I am a card carrying Atheist."

I smiled and laughed too (I didn't know Atheists carry cards).

I introduced myself and my family and he told me that his name was Will.

We had a great conversation.
He was very kind. 

He actually talked about Jesus more than I did, and said that the only way he would believe in Him is if Jesus would be on the Larry King Show.

What made an impact on me the most was that Will used to believe in God,
until he got the heaven beat out of him.

Growing up Will was beat up by Christians, often.

Even as I write that last sentence, it brings tears to my eyes.

Will reminds me of my brother Jack, who was also beat up by Christians, often.

There was even time during Jack's college years that I didn't know if he would
believe in God from all the hurts he experienced.

I think every Christian has a path.
I think everybody gets hurt, sometimes even by Christians.

In my experience I have come to know a number of Atheists, 
and most if not all Atheists have had some experience in the church and not a good one.

Faith is not flawless.

It may be irony, or the beginning of bad joke, that a Pastor and Atheist would meet on Easter.

C.S. Lewis once said, ""Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but
when you look back everything is different."

I hope that one day when my friend remembers this Sunday,
he looks back and remembers an Easter.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Forty Days Without Facebook (Twitter too)

Hey everyone, it's good to be back.  I took some time to put the social media scene on pause.

I have been giving up something during the season of Lent for the past couple of years. (The year I gave up Starbucks was not fun.)  I am not Catholic although I think Protestants, like myself, can learn a few things from our fellow Christian brothers and sisters.  (I am still waiting to see Rick Warren cruse around in a Pope Mobile).

This years Fast of Facebook and Twitter began with a conversation with my wife.  Discussing what would be a worthy sacrifice, she joked with me about giving up the Tweet because my phone is always chirping.

Hey, if I can please God and my wife with the same cause, that's definitely a win.

In the beginning it was not that big a deal.

It was was nice to fly under the social radar for a change.

I find it interesting when someone who I have not talked to would comment later in a convo about my status as if I mentioned something to them face to face.  I guess that's where this social thing is heading.  As time went on things began to happen in the social collective conscious that I found myself wanting to join and add my two cents to "the cloud."

The banter and trash talk of March Madness left me locked in the lockeroom, however I don't think anybody had any brackets to brag about this year.  Shaka Smart is not just a new Spider-Man villain, and I always seem to pick Kansas on the wrong year.

Rob Bell happend to release a book that blew up the Blogs and the Pulpit.  It was nice to see Christian's get Theological for a change and not just try to have the Best Life Now. The topic of Hell was a hot conversation that seemed to have cooled off of late, as long as John Piper does not cast any one else into the nether-regions with another Farewell social smack-off.

When things get hot and bloggy, you need something light and fluffy to bring some levity.  During times like these with high gas prices and earthquakes our biggest dilemma will be, "Which seat should I take...?"

It could be that 2012 will be the end of the universe or maybe it could all end on Friday.

I wouldn't be surprised that if the Apocalypse does happen soon, Charlie Sheen might have something to do with it.

Despite all the interesting things or absolutely absurd things that have happened in the past 40 days here are the Top Ten things I have learned from my social media Sabbath.

1. Twitter is for friends and Facebook is for family.

2. Social Media can take up a lot of your time and you not even know it.

3. A real hand to hold is much better than virtual "thumbs up."

4. America still does not know what real music is.

5. Christians love talking about eternity much more than engaging it.

6. The best conversations are the ones face to face.

7. It felt good to have my first tweet in 40 days be about the Love of Jesus.

8. It felt good to have my second tweet be about the Flyers forcing a game 7.

9. Social Media is not a bad thing or a trendy thing, but it is all in how you use it.

10. Some of the best things in life are better left off Facebook & Twitter.

You might have noticed a different blog format and title.  There is a reason for that.  A lot has happened in the past 40 days, but you will just have to keep reading to find out all the interesting details to come.

Maybe I'll post on Friday or Saturday, but then again Sunday does come afterwards.

(Thanx for sticking around and reading.)