Friday, August 24, 2012

Bars, Jesus and Beer 2

I turned 21 at the beginning of the summer, and I have learned a wealth of information from sitting and working in the bars.  I’ve also learned the power of a beer.  First, I shall speak of the almighty beer.

My first six-pack of age, I split with my older cousin.  We had always been close, but never anything more than surface level for the most part. 

As soon as we popped the first top, all vulnerability sprung loose and the tears began to flow.  She spoke from her heart and for the first time in her life, she realized that I wasn’t just a Christian, I was a human, and I loved people and their problems.  She realized that we were more alike than we thought, and that mistakes mean nothing in God’s eyes.

It doesn’t always work with liquor, but something about beer connects people.  It says, “Hey, there is no judgment here.  We’re just two people drinking beer.  Everything we say is one hundred percent accepted and connected.” 

That’s the power of beer.

It never fails.  Every single time I have a beer with someone, I learn a little bit about their deepest fears and greatest hopes.  Many times I don’t even have to mention Jesus before they start pouring out their beliefs and desires for the Lord.  They tell me the gifts they have that they don’t know how to use, and how their mother cut them deep right after Sunday morning church.

I think there is something magical underneath that old metal top.  It’s like the Holy Spirit fills the gap at the top of every bottle, just to ensure genuine honest conversation.  Quite honestly, I think they should put a warning label on each bottle.  Or maybe even use it as an advertising campaign. 

Want to really get to know your friends, try a crisp, refreshing bottle of Bud Light.  Guaranteed to bring spiritual revelation and human connections every time!

Then try putting this powerful little Jesus Juice bottle in a BAR!

Bars are what churches are supposed to be.  They are full of people who know they are broken.  They are full of people who are searching and hungry, not perfect.  Everyone is vulnerable and ready to be comforted.  
When you walk into a bar, you feel a weird way.  You feel loved by everyone inside.  As you pass through the doorway, people everywhere turn to see who you are.  They look at you, smile, nod their head in approval, and sometimes even holler out.  Then you get to the back where your friends are… 

“HEEEYYYY Buudddyyyyy!!!  WHAT’S UPPPPP???” They yell out with big fat grins and huge plans for you.  Then your best friend throws his arm around your neck and pulls you up a seat.  He tells you to wait right there while he buys you a fresh beer (on his tab of course.) 

While you are waiting for him, the other three guys at the table introduce themselves and instantly let you in on the running joke of the night.  They tell you how to play along and assume you are going to be their best buddy for the whole night, if not longer.

No one ever feels judged in bars.  No one ever feels judged with beer.  Put the two and you have the most awesome, vulnerable mission field ever heard of!

Story after story after story people pour out when they don’t feel judged.  I hear grown men say they wish they could be better fathers.  I hear women say they wish their mother’s understood.  Coworkers admit their deepest fears and everyone spills their opinion about the Jesus guy.

A lot of times when religion comes up, I hear hurt broken people.  They aren’t even angry at the church because they at least know they are sinners.  Yet the church people are angry because they don’t accept the fact that they too are sinners.  The openness sinners display towards everything, leaves room for a casual heart-felt conversation in the Spirit.

The bar and beer take away the judgment and stress of these conversations, while an understanding companion brings healing and love.  Tell me why this doesn’t happen more often in other places? ...especially church.

I always get the surprised face and excited comment, “You are so understanding for a Christian!  You don’t argue or judge.  That is so different.”

Tell me something people.  What’s wrong with this picture?

Again, I think Jesus would have been in a bar.

"..I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners."
Mark 2:17

(Please note, I'm not justifying drunkedness because that is obviously against the Bible's teachings, and I do have my views on drinking responsibily and biblically..this is just a post to share with you my perspective on bars vs. churches, and how the atmospheres of both should be flip-flopped.  Remember, this post is not labeled "to drink or not to drink."  That is not the topic here.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bars, Jesus and Beer

I wrote this post about a week ago.  I felt strongly when I wrote it, but then got scared as I thought about posting it.  People will think I'm nuts.  I will totally be judged for posting this.  I can't let anyone see this God...  Then two days later my friend messaged me this video.  It was complete confirmation that I needed to share this on my blog.  The next few posts will be the essay I wrote last week. Comments welcomed.

Us Christians have it all wrong, ya know?

I’ve spent my summer really listening to people.  Teenagers, old folk, twenty-somethings.  They all tell me the same thing.  They are sick of religion and they have tattoos to prove it.  At the same time, they crave the raw, real relationship their Father gives them.  They want love.  They want the Lord.  They want renewed strength from Jesus.  They long for a glimpse of his hair and a feel of his robe.  They want all this with everything they have in them, but they have all come to the conclusion that church is not the way.
At all.

And I get it now, they’re right.  Really, really, right.

At church people feel judged.  They scrounge around for hours looking for some form of 90’s button up apparel that makes them look like their grandparents dressed them.  They comb their hair over and straighten their back, closing their teeth and hiding their crap.

Then they panic, sweat, and breathe heavy as they try to walk through the front doors of the church, the holy dwelling place of God’s people.

What will they think of me?  What will they say?  Will they accept me?  Am I dressed too formal?  Crap.  Why is he wearing jeans??!

Many of these people walk out in the middle of the sermon, never to return again.  Others barely make it to the pew before some smart Christian slips a lip.

Others suck it up, die on the inside, and resolve to thinking that’s all there is.  They hide their sin, week in and week out, and live sad lives wishing there was someone, anyone, who understood.

Funny.  When I think about it, people reacted the opposite way to Jesus.

They fled to his garments.  They wanted just a touch of his hand, a glimpse of his eyes, and a piece of his healing powers.  They wanted to watch him cast out demons, raise the dead, and heal the blind.  They clung to his love and powers like none other.  They DESIRED him.  They didn’t feel uncomfortable, judged, or stressed.  In fact, they came just as they were…dirty, beaten, and bleeding.  Addictions, imperfections, and shortcomings were widely welcomed.  They knew he wouldn’t care.  And you know what, he never turned a judgmental eye, never turned them away, never thought twice about their character or hair style.

"The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters,
but a man of understanding draws them out."
Proverbs 20:5

"While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and 'sinners' were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the 'sinners' and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners'?"  

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Mark 2:15-17

Monday, August 20, 2012

Something New.

Many of you have been asking why I haven't posted in a few months.  My answer to that is: "The book will be published at a later date."  God is doing great things in our nation right now, and I am amazed as I watch his hand at work.  Welcome back bloggers.  Here is my new post:

I’m living somewhere new now.

I’m living someone new now too.

It’s funny ya know, how you can be so sure of your life, when at that very second…God throws you into the curve ball of the abyss.  THEN you fully understand, that you will never fully understand

The past few months have been the greatest and craziest adventure of my life.  I’ve finally learned to trust God and dance like no one is watching.

I’ve lived my deepest dreams and faced some of my biggest fears.
I’ve laughed in the face of Satan and sat on the swing of an angel.

I’ve been held and rocked by God through it all, learning and laughing at his big jokes.
Hippies, hipsters, and nomads have kept my company and taught me many ways of the world.  When I say ways of the world, I mean ways of Jesus that we call the world.  Like the way your heart beats fast when you look at the mountains.  The way your hair falls free when you dip into the unknown, and the way your life begins when you finally let go.

Life with Jesus is just so much more beautiful.

Life with the Holy Spirit, that much more.

God is my hero, my provider, my minister.  He leads me through the green, the brown, and the blue.
Sometimes I stop and see who I have become.  It makes me giggle with joy.  Other times I shake my head in disbelief, asking God what the purpose is.  Either way, I am constantly reminded of Romans 8:28 and that brings me comfort.

You can’t put him in a box!

You can’t predict anything!

You can never be sure of your plans!
He is king!

He is Jehovah! Now and forever!  His plans are supreme!  Bite into them!! J

"See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you."
Isaiah 42:9
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...