All The World Is A Stage

Shakespeare penned those words, “All the world is a stage.” He was absolutely right. God is the Author and Director, His Word is the script, His Son is the superstar, your pastor is the narrator, you my friends are the cast, and the world is your stage. How well have you been acting? Are you studying and constantly practicing your lines? Are you giving an Academy performance or are you just going through the motions? Will you be honored at the ceremony? In other words, when the curtain goes down, will you hear your name followed by, “Well done good and faithful servant?”

Christ was beaten beyond recognition, crucified on a cross, and speared in the side on your behalf, get out there and break a leg!

What Can Brown Do For You?

browndeliver

Truth Hurts

I know you’re probably tired of hearing about my experiences with Megan’s studies, her math in particular, but it seems to have so many spiritual applications.

Math sucks––Megan hates doing it and I hate checking it (no knock on Tina but unfortunately I’m more astute at it than she is). Rarely does Megan ever get 100% of the problems right. Actually, the problems are already there for her, it’s the solutions that she’s tripping up on. I give the paper back for her to correct her mistakes. Inevitably, an attitude and argument ensues. Megan is no different than so many of us––she cannot stand to be wrong.

Sometimes facing the truth can seem more painful than accepting a lie. The fact of the matter is that when you are convinced that your answer is valid or that your way is right, it can be a real punch in the gut to find out differently. Make no mistake about it, though, the pain or disappointment of being wrong has no bearing on the truth of the matter; she can disagree with the truth that her answer is wrong until the cows come home but at the end of the day, her answer is no more correct than it was before, the only difference now is that she’s knee deep in cow dung.

This makes it easier for me to comprehend why some people get so angry or offended when you try to share the Truth of the Word with them. They disagree with you; their philosophy of the Truth is different; you’re telling them that their answer just might be wrong; that they may not have found the right solution. It’s sad but some people would rather sacrifice the Truth for being “right,” sometimes even if they are aware that it will only delay and intensify the pain. We can’t help that. Truth hurts but that doesn’t make it any less true. On that glorious day when Christ comes in the clouds, there’s going to be some hurtin’ people but He’s still coming nonetheless.

Fireproof

I was looking at the gun in my hand at the shooting range the other day and a thought came to mind: guns have safety features that prevent most, if not all, spontaneous firings. Without effort on the part of the operator, like me pulling the trigger, the gun is no more harmful than the monitor in front of you. But point it in the wrong direction, push the right buttons, or mishandle it in any way, and it can become a deadly weapon.

I wish I had some of the same safety features on my mouth. I’ve been known to shoot off at the mouth a time or two. I have learned that words can be as harmful to one’s self-esteem as guns can be to one’s life. Words have the capability to shoot down aspirations, hurt feelings, and kill the dreams of many well-intentioned people. And just like the gun, my mouth is harmless apart from my own actions. Don’t I decide what comes out of my mouth and what direction my words take? If I am as careful and responsible with the words I fire out of my mouth as I am with the shots I fire from my pistol, then no one should get hurt.

Here’s the great paradox: Words have as much potential to generate good as bullets have to create danger. They can be used to speak hope into hopeless, desperate situations; possibility into impossible circumstances; potential into powerlessness; victory in the midst of overwhelming odds; life into a miserable, mortal existence; and light into darkness. Words can be affirmative ammunition to penetrate and ignite a weary soul. Words have power, the power to butcher or the power to nurture; the power to annihilate or the power to stimulate. The power does not rest in the words themselves but in the people using them.

The takeaway:

Words don’t kill, people do. How will you use your words today?

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell . . . but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. ~James 3:6,8

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. ~Proverbs 18:21

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity. ~Proverbs 21:23

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. ~ Luke 6:45

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~Ephesians 4:29

No one will ever remember what you say or what you do but they will never forget how you made them feel. ~Unknown

What if we related the Gospel to people on the basis of how awesome they could possibly be in Christ more than how screwed up they presently are without Him? ~Pastor Steven Furtick

Eminem Takes a Fresh Step

p-kitty

In entertainment news:

  • New Recording Artist P-Kitty and Eminem get ovation at Grammy’s

  • Fresh Step Cat Litter signs Eninem to an unprecedented million-dollar deal in their first celebrity endorsement ever

  • P-Kitty’s debut single, MeowMix is set to be released in April

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Footnote: I saw this cat in an ad for Fresh Step Cat Litter in People Magazine and couldn’t pass up using it, especially after finding a picture of Eminem in a near identical pose. Hope you enjoyed my moment of madness.

Shield of Faith in One Hand, a Pistol in the Other

beretta-9

I don’t know how some of you feel about guns but as for me, they scare me a bit. With the economy in the chaos that it is, the crime stats are rocketing. More compelling than the stats, though, are the local accounts of criminal activity that is mounting. A physician in the practice I work for losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to identity theft. A growing number of home invasions, break-ins, and car thefts in the surrounding neighborhoods (and I ain’t talking the ghetto here; this is in middle to upper class communities). The house of another physician I work with robbed at high noon while he was at church one Sunday; they busted through the front door. On a separate Sunday afternoon as I was walking through the parking lot into the grocery store across the street from my neighborhood, the local police nabbed some looters during their getaway attempt. Armed robberies in broad daylight in populated parts of town. That’s enough to make someone rethink things a bit.

I decided that its far better (and a little less scary) to look down the sights of my own firearm than down the barrel of someone else’s. We have purchased and been trained to use a Beretta 9mm Semi-Automatic. We didn’t buy it because we want to shoot somebody, we bought it because we don’t want to be shot (as I once heard someone say). My hope is that I’d never need to use it (which beats the alternative of hoping I had one to use if needed.) I figure if my canine don’t get ‘em first, I’ve got my nine as a back-up!

Some might say that I am questioning God’s protection over me. Not at all. I’ve got great faith in God’s protection over me, He promises it all through Psalms. Don’t confuse protection with exemption. He wouldn’t have to protect me if I wasn’t going to encounter danger. With great faith and under the Lord’s protection, David used a carnal weapon of the day to take down the Philistine intruder. He didn’t give David some kind of Benny Hinn anointing to “slay” the enemy and He won’t me either. Faith is only part of the equation, without corresponding action, faith is useless (James 2:14-26). Let’s be real: there are some battles for which the shield of faith is just not enough. Spiritually speaking, it will stop the flaming arrows of the evil one but physically speaking, will it stop the force of a speeding bullet?

Heaven on a Plate

Thick, juicy Filet Mignon wrapped in a fluffy layer of tasty carbohydrate––that’s like Heaven on a plate. Tina and I went on a wonderful rendezvous last weekend to a fabulous restaurant. We chose the restaurant based explicitly on one particular menu item, Beef Wellington. If your a vegetarian, it’s no “misteak,” it’s more steak for me.

I’ll tell you what, nothing says lovin’ like the taste of something from the oven. If you want to grow in your love together, grow your waist together. Food is a direct path to my heart (probably figuratively and literally). It started off with delectable French Onion Soup, then the entrée, my first stab at Beef Wellington, with yummy Garlic Mashed Potatoes and flavorful Grilled Asparagus on the side. Then the finale: Creme Brulee for me and Chocolate Mousse Cake for my T-cup; with coffee of course, about a pot each I think. (Asparagus and coffee together––talk about stinky pee!) Food for a prince on a pauper’s salary is a rarity.

brulee

Compare that to the Gospel. It is satisfying, fulfilling, and downright good. The irony is that it has already been paid for, it is not harmful to my health, and there is more than enough to go around for daily intake of the Lord’s Word. It’s a Prince’s feast on a pauper’s salary everyday. If you really want to grow in your love together, forget about growing your waist, instead grow your faith together. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to eat some steak along the way. (Just make it cattle without defect and consider it an offering to the Lord.)

*No animals were injured in the making of this post.