Inked ~ A Christian’s Life

I love this idea! And I know what I will be adding next. What do you think? Do you do ink?

Now I have to admit I don’t think anyone should go out and get a tattoo because they like looking at someone else’s, or because they are in love with a person, or even because it’s an accepted form of expressing yourself. Yet I do think that if you have really thought about having something permanently placed on your body AND you have the full & complete support of your parents, friends, community members, and children (yes, children!) ~ then do it. Do it in a way that glorifies God. Make a statement of your faith, belief and hope. And realize that you will be criticized by some, age will catch up to you one day, and gravity will take its toll. But I am STILL going to get that next one … 🙂

Tenn. studio offer tats for toys donated for kids 

In memory of Matthew and to the Glory of God

A Memphis tattoo artist is offering body art in exchange for donated toys for children in need.

Toys for Tattoos has become an annual event at Jay Guzman’s House of Ink. Guzman says it’s so busy that he doesn’t even count the number of people coming into his shop.

In exchange for a new toy worth at least $25, the donor gets a tattoo or a piercing of equal value, according to The Commercial Appeal.

The toys go to Agape (ah-GAH’-pey) Child and Family Services, a nonprofit that provides homeless services, Continue reading

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It’s another Monday …

Today has been a bit of a challenge for me as I mourn for my son, remember my brother, and feel the pain of betrayal from people who call themselves members of God’s church. So, what does that mean for me and the blog? It means: no inspirational story, thoughts or quotes for today. Inside my head it is too dark tonight.

Instead I leave you with this ~
Grief is deeper than any human thought and the betrayal of unconditional love excels  Continue reading

An Advent Lesson ~ Foolishness

The Ants and the Honey

There once lived a little ant that was no one very special. It was just one of those worker types that would go out from the Nest with the rest and join in the stream of ants, the Way. Like every worker it would find some choice little bits of food and then struggle with its load to carry back to the Queen.

Everyday from dawn to dusk the same.

Then one day the ant noticed something strange. It seemed as though while many were leaving in search of food as usual, fewer appeared to be returning as the day progressed. It shrugged this observation away immediately and went out into the Way with its fellow workers.

As it scurried along with its antennae waving about, out of the corner of its eyes it saw a huge tunnel appear from out of the sky, touch the ground to its left where several other ants had been scurrying.

Then it disappeared, along with the other ants.

In a panic it stopped several of its mates and said: ‘Stop! There is something wrong here.’

Just as the others were about to ask what exactly it referred to, several ants came marching up with golden droplets in their pincers.

’Wrong!?’ said the leader of this group. ‘Only a fool would say there is something wrong here. Look at all this honey we have. We have hit the Mother Lode! The Queen will be so pleased.’

‘But I saw something come out of the sky and the next moment a bunch of us were gone,’ said the ant.

However, no one stayed to listen; off went its companions to get some of that honey, while the others raced back with their sweet prize.

‘Well, maybe I was just imagining it,’ the ant reasoned to itself.

And off it raced to reach the honey.

Yet no sooner had it began, again it saw the tunnel from the sky come down and its shadow fall over another group of ants. And then the tunnel and the ants were gone.

With great panic the ant tried to stop the others racing ahead. Yet now the Way flowed with excited ants that Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday ~ “Stuff”

Golden Rule: Sermon by RevPat

A certain man once embarked on a sea voyage around the world. Partway through his journey, he encounteredLittle Island a terrible storm. His vessel capsized and was ripped apart, but luckily he was able to swim to a small island. After a bit of exploration, he discovered that he was the only inhabitant of the island. He also discovered, though, that there was sufficient animal life and vegetation on the island to support his life. So, in true Gilligan’s Island fashion, he built a new life for himself on that island.

Ten years passed. One day, the man was stunned to see a ship approaching the island: He was being rescued! Before long, a team of rescuers strolled onto the island, and the shipwrecked man met them on the beach.

They said: “We are here to rescue you and the others.”

The man declared, “That’s fantastic! …but there are no ‘others.’ I am the only inhabitant of this island.”

The rescuers looked confused. They said, “Sir, just ahead of us we see, not one, but three buildings. How is it that you live on this island all alone, yet have constructed three different buildings?”

The man said, “I will explain. The first building? That is my home. That’s where I eat and sleep. The second building? That is my church. That’s where I pray and worship.”

He paused. The rescuers prompted him: “Well, then, what is the third building?”

The man replied, “Oh, that’s the church I used to attend, until I got mad at ’em and moved my membership…” (pause)

This morning I am going to talk about the things that cause us to have stumbling blocks. We often call these stumbling blocks – Obstacles to Grace. They are “barriers to a relationship with God”.  We can say obstacles to grace are what the Bible refers to as sin. I am sure we all have an idea what sin is. From early childhood most of us were taught that sin is “all the bad things we do.” Sin is what separates us from fellowship with God, causes us to break fellowship with our neighbor and makes us forget that we are all born sinners.

The Bible shows us that “Sin is pretending that we are the center of the universe.”

Wanting to take God’s place at the center of the universe was the basic temptation of Satan that led our Fore parents Adam and Eve into sin in the beginning. Satan told Eve in Genesis 3:4, “For God know that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” and from that time on each of us has “wanted to be like God.” Sin – pretending that we are the center of the universe. Instead of being God-centered, we are self-centered. You and I both have been there, and perhaps, continue to battle that temptation even now.

The New Testament word for sin is an archery term that means “to miss the mark or target.” Sin is any obstacle that causes us to miss the target of God’s will for our lives, anything that would separate us from loving God and our neighbor as commanded by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’’

There are two primary types of obstacles to grace: those that hinder our relationship with God and those that hinder our relationships with other people. We were created to enjoy both of these relationships.

This morning we will focus our attention on the sins that cause a break with our neighbor.(page 1 of 4)

Social Networking May be Linked to Teen’s Apparent Suicide: N.Y. Police Open Criminal Investigation Into Bullying – ABC News

Police have opened a criminal investigation in the suicide death of Buffalo, N.Y., 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who was bullied online with gay slurs for more than a year.

The teen’s parents, friends and even Lady Gaga, who was his idol, have expressed outrage about what they say was relentless torment on social networking websites.

The Amherst Police Department’s Special Victims Unit has said it will determine whether to charge some students with harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes. Police said three students in particular might have been involved. Jamey was a student at Heim Middle School.

Jamey had just started his freshman year at Williamsville North High School. (Both Amherst and Williamsville are just outside Buffalo.) But the bullying had begun during middle school, according to his parents. He had told family and friends that he had endured hateful comments in school and online, mostly related to his sexual orientation.

Jamey was found dead outside his home Sunday morning, but Amherst police would not release any details on how he killed himself. (To read the complete story, go to: Jamey Rodemeyer Suicide: N.Y. Police Open Criminal Investigation Into Bullying – ABC News.)

Justice? Mercy? How does the church respond?

In just under two hours Troy Davis is scheduled have his sentence completed in the State of Georgia. Much debate has been promoted through the media, most of it opposing the use of the death penalty. People from all walks of life, ethnicity, and religious backgrounds are weighing in with their thoughts around this particular case. Prayer vigils are being held around the world to try to stop the execution. Clergy, politicians, retired lawmakers, and other dignitaries have been speaking publicly against carrying out the sentence in this case. In the meantime, who is speaking out on behalf of the victim, Mark MacPhail, in this case? It seems that it is only his family.

I am appalled, disgusted, embarrassed, and disappointed in my brothers and sisters in Christ in this moment. The family of Troy Davis needs your support in this time, but why Continue reading