Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Marine Corps Ball

Welcome back to my haphazardly updated blog. Thank you for reading. Last night I attended my first (and hopefully not my last) Marine Corps Ball. My friend 1st Sergeant Owens, who I met through my wedding officiant business (www.YourCustomCeremony.com), asked me to deliver the invocation. As I understand it their Chaplain was unavailable and because of my desire to one day become a military Chaplain, he thought of me and asked if I would deliver the invocation.

Let me just say that this was a HUGE honor and was particularly special for me. I won't give you my military story in this post (I'm saving that for later), but everybody has an "I almost joined" story and I am no different. However I will say that I have loved the Marine Corps since I was about 20 years old, and I was days away from enlisting. Every day since I have thought about the Marines and what might have been. Clearly I am much too old to be a Marine now, but I believe that God has a plan for me and I believe that plan could involve becoming a military Chaplain. We'll see I suppose.

So being invited to the Marine Corps Ball was a big deal! This was like stepping into a time machine. I got to meet and mingle with a ton of Marines all in their dress blues, and I got to pray for and bring a message to those who needed it. If everything goes according to plan I'll join the Navy as a Chaplain and do all I can to go "green-side" and be assigned to a Marine unit. God willing, the Marine Corps Ball could become a regular thing in the future. By the same token, this was also a way of exploring what could have been. 1st Sergeant Owens is about my age and I hope that I would have had as stellar a career as he has, so this was like hopping into the way back machine with Mr. Peabody to see what my life could have been had I joined way back when. 

Anyhow, the prayer went well. I actually had to pause a couple of times to allow cheers to die down which was both unexpected, and pretty awesome. It was an honor to be asked, and a privilege to be there. I thought I'd write a quick post about it so that I can look back in a few years and remember the day. The next big event will be when 1st Sergeant Owens marries his fiancĂ©e Heather, and I'll be there to officiate. Happy 239th birthday to the United States Marine Corps. 











Leaving my house.




A packed house. 



Waiting to go up and pray. 





The program. 





My ticket.





Watching the ceremony. 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Preachers, First Ladies, and Swag... Oh My!

So I decided to check out that TV show Preachers Of L.A. and oh my goodness, where do I start? I know that a lot of it could be creative editing or the show's agenda, but let me just say that when working in ministry, it cannot or at least should not be about YOU. A sermon is a lesson or an opportunity to impart wisdom received from the Lord. When I was preaching, I would receive the word and I myself was convicted first, and THEN I shared what I had learned to the congregation. It was a WE thing, not a ME thing. I'm not saying that these guys don't do that, but a lot of sermons and arguments that I hear on the show are about what they personally have, and/or how they got it/did it.

Church isn't about possessions. Church is about people. If church is truly a hospital for sinners as they say, and not a museum for saints, why does it matter what car you drive or who designed your suit? I understand anecdotes and personal stories to support your overall message, but referencing your "Mercedes G Wagon" and your "Armani" suit is a bit much in my opinion.

And don't get me started on the "First Lady" thing. I understand that being married to a pastor can be a challenge. I also understand that a lot of Pastor's wives hold positions in the church that have their own demands and responsibilities. These women should be honored for performing their church responsibilities and duties, not because they are married to the pastor. Pastor is a job just like doctor, lawyer, and engineer. I don't see any doctor's wives getting special titles, seats, and honors. What do we call the wife of a Neonatal Surgeon (probably one of the baddest dude's walking the planet)? We call her wife!

What's worse is that these wives are holding concerts and events and putting themselves center stage. If your goal is to put on a gospel concert, why is the "First Lady" the main attraction? There are hundreds of gospel artists and bands that I am convinced would love to perform, and I am willing to bet that they are better than First Lady and the Hats.

Again, I don't have it all figured out, but my "spidey senses" (discernment) were tingling while watching this show. Pastors, we don't care about your car, your clothes, your gun, your anniversary, your thug past, or your vacation UNLESS it teaches us something about and/or brings us closer to the Lord. In case you forgot, that is your job. We don't want to see "The Pastor Show" featuring Bishop/Reverend/Pastor, the First Lady, and their kids. Production value, style, swagger, pizzazz, and whatever else you want to call it are all good, but that's icing. Where's the cake!?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fourth Year Freshman

This post is the relative beginning of my journey. Since 2005 I have felt the call to ministry. After a couple of false starts, I am finally moving forward with my plans. I am in school pursuing the elusive Bachelor's degree, which will act as a key to unlock the door to seminary. From there, who knows. My ultimate goal is full-time vocational ministry but I am not sure what that will look like. I am open to any and everything.