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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

#GoodFriday

March 29, 2013 Leave a comment

I am grateful for the sacrifice of Christ.

That must be said.

What must also be said is that Christ’s death on the cross, while of infinite importance, is not the reason he came to earth—if of course you believe in this whole thing we call Christianity at all.

I don’t mean to promote non-belief in Christ, but I must acknowledge the truth of scripture. I Corinthians 1:18 calls “the message of the cross foolishness” to those who do not believe it. This is not a commentary or judgment on non-believers, but a wake-up call to Christians: Don’t go around trying to convert people; realize that it sounds like crazy talk to people until they’re ready to accept it (#Calvinists, please ignore that last sentence).

But if the cross (i.e. His death) isn’t the reason Jesus came, then what is? And what then is the message of the cross if not to tell people about it?

Jesus came not to die, but to live. If He came to die then He could have been a miscarriage and been done with it. Mary wouldn’t have had to go through labor, nor she and Joseph through raising the Child. Jesus came to preach the #Gospel. I don’t think that is a controversial thing to say; pretty standard. He even commissioned us to do the same.

But how many people have you mistakenly heard say that the gospel is “the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s all well and good, but that is hardly the gospel. How is it good news that some guy died a couple thousand years ago? Even if he did come back, so what? Besides, how could Jesus then preach the gospel (which Matthew 4:23 clearly says he did), if the gospel was his death? Imagine that:

“Hear ye, hear ye, I’m gonna die! Don’t you wanna be my friend now?!” –Jesus

No one’s going to follow that guy; no one wants to be “that guy!” So then what’s the gospel? That Jesus came to live. That’s what he preached and that’s what we should proclaim! The Lord and creator came to live, because He wants you to live; He created you to live. That is pretty good news!

So then, what is the message of the cross? All over time we tell people to look back to Calvary NOT because He came to die, but because He came to truly live and then gave it all up! When we look at the death of Christ in terms of the life of Christ the meaning is all the more crucial!

All over space and time (forgive me, I am a #DoctorWho fan), let it be said and truly believed that Jesus came to live and boy did He live. He laughed, cried, felt pain, learned, loved; He experienced the human condition!

So this #GoodFriday, take the time to look back 2,000 years on a Savior who came to live for you, and live with you! When you put it that way, this Friday IS pretty good!

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#thatssilly

April 6, 2012 1 comment

I want “the new iPad.” I’m sorry, I’m afraid that’s an understatement. What I mean is, I have called at least one Apple store every day for a week and checked the in-store availability online (give or take) 7 gazillion times per day (#nobigdeal). For those of you keeping track I did at one time own an iPad, which is why the #HTFT episode released on October 7, 2011 was #SentFromMyiPad. But that was a 1st generation iPad; I want the newest. I know what you’re thinking, #thatssilly. You are right, I mean one tablet is as good as another right? But the resolution of the screen is sooo cool; it has been dubbed as “Resolutionary” with 264 ppi (that’s #pixelsperinch for the #techspec lightweights)!  So I sold my old one and am in the market for the new one, but it is sold out everywhere. Now does it make sense that I’m so obsessed? No? You still say #thatssilly? So did I, that is, before I got my hands on it and decided that I needed it. Once I learned I needed it, it didn’t sound so silly.

But it isn’t just iPads.

Resurrection.

#thatssilly

I mean it is. Pure science tells you that resurrection is silly. At commencement, all things are in a state of decline. This applies to living things and non-living things. You buy the fruit and then they start going sour in the fridge. I’ll build the Ikea dresser, but it’s only a matter of time before #thingsfallapart (10 points to anyone who got the Chinua Achebe reference).  As soon as the baby is born he starts getting older and decomposing. Is this a dark outlook on life? Maybe, but it’s true. Death—we are taught—is inevitable, and once it is encountered, the story is over. Death is the end. It’s logic. It’s common sense. It’s science. It’s reasonable. It’s true. Call it what you will, it’s life.

So resurrection, #thatssilly.

I would agree. It’s obviously Easter season right now; on Easter Christians worldwide and across time have been celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But we have clearly established resurrection is silly. But Christians just keep insisting that this Jesus is what the world needs; what I need and what you need. I don’t think I need to even say it but #hashheads, that is silly.

So then why do I want to see Jesus? Why do I long to see his face? Why do I believe this crazy thing? It’s kinda dumb isn’t it? I mean I don’t know if you have ever seen it put to words, but I believe this: A Jewish religious teacher who said he was the son of God, healed people, preached love and justice, became an enemy of the state, was killed in one of the worst ways possible, came back to life, and floated away into heaven. I really do believe that. That is crazy talk! Only an idiot would believe that right? It’s pure silliness. Before you exit this page because of sacrilege and blasphemy, I am not the first to say that, the first was Paul in a letter to the church of Corinth. “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18)

Friends, today many mourn the death of our savior, and on Sunday (#SPOILERALERT) they will rejoice in his resurrection. I have experienced the living Christ. So this message that would be foolishness, this message that I likely should look at and say, “#thatssilly;” it is the same message that I proclaim today right here on #Hashtagfairytales: Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Jesus Christ and him arisen. Once one’s soul needs Jesus, the message doesn’t sound so silly.

This post was inspired by a tweet from @MarcoAmbriz

(Did I just compare an iPad to the resurrected Son of God?!)

(Does the comparison make me justified in stalking the Apple store? No? Thought I’d try though.)

#in_dependence

February 10, 2012 Leave a comment

(It’s my favorite time of the month where I shut up and you all get to read a REAL writer. That’s right, it’s #GuestPost time! Today’s comes from a loyal #hashhead called Emilio Bustos. You gotta see this…)

As I’ve continued to grow I’ve come to a realization: #independence is not what we think it is. My perusing around the interwebs and even the tube (and for you young folks, that’s that #retro thing called television…not YouTube) have called out a certain persona, theme, motto for independence: “I am what I want to be and what I want to do.” (Note: There is probably some more grandiose way of saying that, or even something to add to it, but I’ll stick with that for now.) So, why do I care? It boils down to pride and the status of being called independent. I will do what I want when I want if I want. I am my own master.

You may have an idea of where this is going and if you do, good, we’re on the same page, probably struggling through the issue of independence. And now for my daily dose of fun questions I ask of myself; what is independence? What makes me independent? Who am I independent of?

Well, as I ramble and blab on I hope you ask yourself the same questions. I am the product of a living couple who decided to get married and 3 years later have their first child, me. As any kid, I grew up, learned from my parents, depended on them, got in trouble, rebelled in my own way, learned my way didn’t work, and well, love my parents. I am currently 24 years old with no immediate plans of marriage or moving out. I don’t believe it to be my rite of passage just yet; I have so much to learn from both of my parents that I can’t see myself leaving the nest yet. Immature? I don’t think so, I think it displays the sense of maturity and relation I hope I have with God. He is in utter and complete control, I am dependent on Him.

So, why write this? There seems to be, as previously stated, a desire to be your own man (or woman if you’re not into that whole “Y Chromosome” thing). You want to do your own thing and not be accountable to anyone for your actions. This lifestyle, in my eyes, leads to nothing but chaos. And yes, I know #Joker would say, “The little thing about chaos…it’s fair.” But life in chaos is not life at all. Identity is not found in doing your own thing but in becoming subject to depending on another. It shows the best qualities in a person: humility, love, service, and so on. A seeking of being your own and doing your own without regard to others is simply pride. Pride ain’t no good… #yup.

The need to be your own is most realized when you are dependent on another (#dependonthat). It gives you a point of reference as to who you are and what you are doing. Now, who do you depend on to give you your identity? I put that trust in Christ, yeah, this may be the most preachy #HTFT so far, but I say, oh well… “speak what is in your heart” said the creator of said medium of thought and writing, and I believe I’ve done so.

I may have asked a lot more question that I answered… Good… maybe you can answer some and get back to me with a response. Well, closing my thoughts I point to the book of Joel, Chapter 2, verse 11… pretty much… one finds identity, purpose and meaning in being dependent of God. Dependence on Him is not cowardly or what have you… it produces might, valor, bravery. Paul says it best when he states: I can do what I want, but it ain’t all good for me… You have the freedom to be your own, but not always good for you. Live subject to God my friends.

In ending, my independence is not found in doing what I want or when I want to but having the self control to not do what I want when I want. I find my independence and freedom are best seen when I am in submission to, yes you guessed it, God and His will. Do I have the freedom to do as I please? Sure. Will I do as I please? Nope. My subjection to the sovereignty of God rests on His providence and good will… whatever He has for me is the better than what I could produce for myself. I find my independence: #in_dependence.

(JCH: This guy is the real deal huh? Emilio, how do you be so cool?)

Find out here:

Videos produced by Twelfth Wind (Emilio and the crew)- Arbol de Vida IDD

Find him on Tumblr- Emil

Follow him on the Twitters- @ebustos

#whereyouat

February 3, 2012 2 comments

This has been an #interesting week for me. You know when people say interesting, but they really don’t mean interesting they just use that word in a vague way? Yeah, this is one of those times. That is to say, I don’t know that my week was actually interesting, but I had a few conversations that really got me thinking. Monday, a few people from my church got together to discuss a book that we read concerning the way that people inside the church present the message of the Bible and the effect thereof on people outside the church. (For more information on the book feel free to email me.) I do not wish to belabor that topic, but it sparked some good conversation. The following evening, I had the opportunity to facilitate a discussion about religion at Patten University using that viral spoken word video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” as a launching point. Stimulating discussion, we got a bit off track though, the group was talking about religion as a whole, but I wanted to talk about the sweet Hello Somebody watch that the guy had on—it seems he wears them in a few videos.

Nevertheless, all of this brought up an interesting point in my mind #hashheads: The church is not a comfortable place. I know this is not rocket science but as a Christian, it kind of bothers me that some people (both those familiar and unfamiliar with the church) find Christians to be—for lack of a better term—yucky! If you the reader do identify yourself as a Christian, you too should be put off by the fact that people think you’re yucky. If you do not identify yourself as a Christian, I’d love to buy you a coffee and pick your brain a little bit; for the coffee I’ll wear jeans, for the brain picking I’ll wear gloves (#brainsurgery). Seriously, I want to know why it is that church, religion and Christ are such turn-offs. I mean it could be the antiquated thinking, but there are many liberal Christians. Maybe the belief in the supernatural, but there are plenty “rationalists” in different churches. Or I suppose that the argument could be made that the hefty amount of doctrines, creeds, and beliefs could be daunting for the un-churched mind, but there are some extremely intelligent non-believers. Maybe their problem is with blogs by Christians that continuously make fun of the innocent Orange-American population (#SorrySnooki).

Let me say this, I do not want to suppose that #Hashtagfairytales will answer all questions—hell, I can’t say I’ll answer any definitively—but I do have ideas and I believe they are worth exploring. The gentleman in the video above unabashedly proclaims that he hates religion and loves Jesus, and I think he makes a ton of interesting points (none of which I can truly say are unfounded). Although I think the frame for his argument is a bit faulty. I believe that he uses phrases like “religion is the infection” and “as for religion, I resent it,” simply for the sensation that they cause in the religious world as well as the non-religious world. This can strike a chord for both Christians and non-Christians alike. He uses artistic license for which I am in full support, but I believe the correct frame for the argument is not “Religion vs. Jesus”—these two aren’t at odds—I believe what he is talking about is “Religion” vs. True religion (#notthejeans).

“Religion” is not very good. I think that it’s “religion” that people find yucky about Christians (Sorry for using technical terms like “yucky,” I guess I just use scholarly language). When I say “religion” herein, what I mean is religiousness or religiosity; that is to say being overtly pious or “holier.” Notice I did not say holy, God calls us to be holy and that we should strive for, but God never once asked us to be holier. Now some might read that and say, “Well duh!” But I mean that we are not meant to look at ourselves as holier. As part of my #FinishList, I want to lose 20 pounds. Because of this, I been hitting the gym with my boy Jocxan (do yourself a favor, don’t try to pronounce it). We went to Safeway afterwards one night and he got an item that I told him he shouldn’t get; his will won over what was best for him, but on the other hand, I didn’t get “naughty food” even though I wanted to. I did what was “right” and he did what was “wrong.” Because of this I felt good about myself, but to put it honestly, I felt better than Jocxan. “Religious” people don’t feel good about what they’re doing; they feel better than what they aren’t. Their concern is being proud of themselves that they did better. They are not concerned with feeling good because of who they’re being, they want to feel better because of who they aren’t.  Their call is not—in their minds—to be holy, but to be holier.

As for true religion (with an apparent and intentional lack of quotation marks), James 1:27 describes it better than I can: It is to look after the widows and orphans and not let one’s self be corrupted by the world. Corrupted by the world. That’s interesting. You might say, “Jacob, isnt that a call to be holier?” To you I’d say two things, first, you forgot an apostrophe, second no. Corrupted by the world; one of the world’s biggest corruption is pride, from it stems greed. My #BFF C.S. Lewis once said, pride is not concerned with having, but having more than the next guy. I say again, pride is not being holy, but being holier than the next guy. What worse corruption is there that an attempt to be holier? What say we get all radical and focus on looking after those in need. I know, too crazy to work; but a guy cam dream can’t he?

Friends, I think there is one huge thing that separates the unbeliever—or the casual believer—from connecting with God or the church or however you choose to put it: Christ is invisible. Think about it, the Bible even clearly says, the message of the cross is foolishness to unbelievers (I Corinthians 1:18). It all sounds so silly. “Let me get this straight, Some magician died 2000 years ago and he became a zombie who judges you? And you say the zombie talks to you? Well, I’m gonna go now…” of course it sounds silly, as it should. We are talking to this invisible guy. These people come to the church searching, looking for Jesus and what do they find sometimes? Nothing, an invisible guy.  They sound like an old Boost mobile Commercial and they look for Jesus saying #whereyouat?! (#vintage) But they cannot find him.

What if though He weren’t invisible? That’d be easy huh? It worked for doubting Thomas. What if—maybe they don’t see his whole body—what if they just got a glimpse? Many would probably believe wouldn’t they? We believe Christ is alive; people who are alive can be seen right? If Christ is alive then He ought to be able to be seen; He ought to show Himself! I think He’s tried, but there’s something in His way. Me. You. We are in His way. He tries to show Himself every day, but we won’t let Him. What if someone could from the corner of their eye catch a glimpse of Christ in Me? They’d believe forever. I am not trying to say that there are no Christians who allow Christ to shine through—far from it—but I am saying that if as many as carry the label also carried the Christ this world would be a different place. I do not look down my nose at anyone; what if I carried the Christ as much as I do all this talking about Him? What if I was who God is calling me to be? What if I answered the #whereyouat question and allowed the invisible Christ to be visible?

(#Interesting.)

#inthenude

October 14, 2011 17 comments

(Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the very first #Hashtagfairytales Guest Post! This is the thing I was so excited about. Today’s Guest Post was written by Sick Boy McCoy of Bad Blood Bandits. Enjoy [that’s an order].)

Alright people don’t panic. It’s true, this post of #Hashtagfairytales is not written by the one and only what-his-nuts-that-publishes-this-blog but that doesn’t mean it’s not a #Hashtagfairytales approved articles so sit your happy little a$$ down and read the damn article.

Jacob C. Howard approves this message

Before I begin let me first apologize to all soon to be blind people and children.

So if ya know me (and by “me” I’m referring to Sick Boy McCoy over at Bad Blood Bandits) you’ve probably heard me say the phrase #ihaveatheory which is somewhat related to “Sick Boy’s Unifying Theory of Life” (#explicitwarning*) however mine are not always related to the great Sean Connery (#greatestbondever)

Let me begin this theory by posing a question: why the bloody hell do we WANT to see people naked?  For those of you who have seen naked people I’m sure you can agree that humans are not attractive people with their clothes off (and for those of you that haven’t, how do you live without a mirror?). I mean most of us aren’t attractive even with our clothes on. So what gives? Take any well-known, moderately attractive celebrity like a Kardashian; type only their name in a search engine and let it provide popular searches including that name. I bet you everything in my bank account that one of them is “nude”, “naked” “hot” or “sex tape.”

I wouldn’t have any bets. And if I lost, congratulations, you now have enough to buy a soda pop; #maybe (of course it doesn’t hurt if your celebrity has a pimp for a mother, severe daddy issues, and an affinity for marginal celebrities with huge…egos).

Why is that? Why do we want to see anyone naked? I mean, besides that primal urge, for whatever reason to see some normally hidden anatomy there’s really not a whole lot of incentive. Think about that for a second: it takes something as strong as the urge to reproduce for us to bring it upon ourselves to stomach the sight of another human being #aunaturál

So, if you havent heard, #ihaveatheory and my theory is this: the reason we want to see our significant other in their #birthdaysuit is because then we see them for who they really are: ugly. Nakedness is not pretty people. We are ugly. That’s why we put clothes on. There’s a reason Adam and Eve clothed themselves when they finally figured out their wedding tackle was showin.

#pause

I can just hear all the dedicated Oprah fans out there saying “I AM beautiful! Inside and out!!!

Naw kid, ya ain’t.

The only semblance of beauty we have is what we reflect of Christ. Anything other than that is a ghost; that something you can barely remember that’s on the tip of your tongue and you go your whole day trying to remember it. We pretend to be beautiful but we get caught up so much in the pretense that it actually becomes attractive for us to see the genuine article.

(#commercialbreak)

At this point, I’d like to give a #shoutout to my girl Flannery O’Connor who has made this post possible. All yous mugs need to go out and read “The Enduring Chill”…

…after the blog is over.

(#backtoyourscheduledprogramming)

So I may contradict myself here but the point I’m trying to make is that nakedness isn’t about beauty right away. It takes a couple steps to get there. To be #inthenude is about honesty, pure honesty, and to be honest is to unashamedly present the truth in all its glory and inglory. I’ve heard it said that “Art is about beauty and therefore it is about truth” (Francis Ford Coppola ) and it goes the other way: nakedness is about truth and therefore it is beautiful.

(Sick Boy Note: I still didn’t say YOU were beautiful, I said NAKEDNESS is beautiful. If you want a self-esteem boost go help an old lady cross the street)

(JCH: Wow, I didn’t know there’d be nudity! Next thing you know there’ll be comic book characters running around here)