Monday, March 28, 2011


What The Deuce?!?

I can't help it, sometimes I get offended when I see people blaspheming Jesus. I try not to let it bother me and for the most part it doesn't. But every once in a while I find my self more hurt than I think Jesus would be when it comes to others making fun of God.....Didn't Jesus himself say “blessed are you when people persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

But truthfully, what bothers me more than the crude Jesus humor found in stores like Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters is the utterly ridiculous Jesus crapola that can be found in Christian stores everywhere.....take for instance the following....

This comic excerpt was taken from a 1970's bible tract about preparing for the rapture....

For reals though, I cannot believe this next one made it through the "Quality Check" at Christian-Craps-R-Us

If these ceramic figurines were sold at Hot Topic or Urban Outfitters I would be a little offended. But "Jesus groping kids" can be found at most Christian bookstores....
Have you seen any really bad Christian craps out there?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Double Dog Dare you

Dozens of times the authors of the Psalms cry out to God for help. Without fail they always report that God answered them. One of my favorite examples of this is Psalm 107:9-14 “In the midst of darkness and deepest gloom, while a prisoner suffering in iron chains...i cried out to you oh God and you brought me out of my deep despair....” (paraphrase mine)

God is always faithful to answer with help. The problem is that we don't always want the “help” he provides.

Below is a journal entry I wrote on Jan. 19th (5 years ago today) I had just quit my job, sold my car and gave away everything that I owned that wouldn't fit in my backpack. Inspired by Jack Kerouac's romanticism of life on the road I began hitchhiking across the US and was currently stranded outside of Santa Clara CA.

...The more desperate for a ride that I got the less I cared about what people thought of me or how I looked while I pleaded for rides. As my day long wait for a ride turned into dusk, and the thunderclouds loomed like a schoolyard bully breathing down my neck threatening to kick my ass as soon as all the parents were gone, I couldn't help but feel silly about the lengths I was willing to go to in order to find physical comfort. When it comes to temporal things like being stranded overnight in a rainstorm, I was willing to go to any lengths to find solace. I accosted old ladies, tried to bribe truck drivers and pleaded with members of horrified family vans in order to find relief. However in matters concerning spiritual comfort I will only sometimes humble myself before God, and never in the presence of others...”

When Jesus left this rock he gave us three things; Holy Spirit, Scripture and Church (community).

Don't hide your desperation, find someone you trust allow them to help and ask for a ride.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

number two

I had no idea that this blog would become such a phenomenal hit over night!! I only considered this whole blogging shtick as an online journal to catalog my thoughts. But now there is a bigger picture here. There is a lot more to consider than just my own dull musings. Maybe my true calling is to be an online pastor; DO THEY GET PAID? My blog is going to be so huge I will now be invited to guest speak all around the country.....yeah that's right Carlos Whittaker you can eat my shorts man cuz “A Whiskey Priest” is here to stay. Should I add a Donate Here button to my web page? Obviously droves of people will be willing to support me financially just so they can say they are associated with my ministry...and that's right it will be MY ministry! If Casey Treat can do it than so can I.

There are people out there who “follow me” SERIOUSLY!! they even clicked on a button to show their allegiance.(In the online world that is equivalent of a 'I heart Andy' tramp stamp on the lower back)

My words are like aloe to the sunburn of their souls, mint to their mentally unstable mojito........

But in all seriousness, it's amazing what selfish ludicrous thoughts can flow through my mind in an instant the moment I get a blog “follower.” Thanks Jake whoever you are for following my blog man. You helped me see how easy it is for selfish vainglory to jump out and bite me. I encourage you to take a moment and pray for your Pastor and other leaders so that they may be cloaked in humility and be discerning enough to avoid the entrapment of self-aggrandizing.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Organic Church

Last night was our home group. Man I love those folks. It is so reassuring and sweet to feel a sense of God's presence inside of community. Four months ago Ruthy and I moved to North Tacoma without really knowing anyone at all. Now we have peeps. Thank you Jesus. I pray for all you who read this today that you too would find a place you can call church. Whether it be inside a big brick building that meets Sunday morning, around a campfire singing kumbaya, sitting on the floor in a cramped apartment or with a group of people at a coffee shop. I pray that you find accountability and support as you share one anothers burdens.

On Monday nights this is our sanctuary

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Good Day!

Today is a good day, by that I mean that I got out of bed before 10am, was able to enter into personal prayer and petition for others without having to combat any of the 7 dwarfs of ministry mental mortification: mopey, queasy, pride, pity, grief, envy and regret. Finally, today was a good day because I didn't look at my bookshelf or scan through my podcasts of Christian authors and speakers and instantly resent or covet any of their teachings or other tributes of their neatly packaged copyrighted success. (Except for maybe Brennan Manning) Why does every sentence he writes have to be so dang poetically lyrical and soothing to my soul? Ugh...I hate him for that.

Most importantly today was a good day because I woke up feeling like I was indeed pleasing to God and that I was in fact living into the calling that he has placed on my life. You see in my line of work (technically it is unwork cuz I don't get paid for it) this doesn't happen all to often. Not because there aren't legions of people encouraging and affirming my wife and I. (And there are, and I am so grateful for your prayers and affirmation). Certainly not because I don't feel a burden and passion for my city and my choice of ministry but because I, like others in my field of work are so dependent on God's mercy and provision of “emotional daily bread” that we can literally slip out a stinky fart and be in serious doubt as to whether our lives are a spiritual “sweet smelling incense.”

I neglected to give my proper introduction...ahem, “Hello my name is Andy my wife and I are church planters.” For the past three months we have been working with a denomination to start a church in our little nook of Tacoma. It has been emotionally draining at the same time so positively reassuring and encouraging. Never in my brief christian ministry life have I felt so exited and content while at the same time so utterly insecure and close to failure.

The purpose of this blog is two-fold. 1) I want to look back one day at the entries I have posted and be humbled and amazed at God's provision for my life and what he has taught me and brought my family through during this season. 2) I want my writings to act as a self-reflective commiseration during genuine times of hardship while at the same time a kick in the crotch during my self induced mopey-moes.