I Was a Stranger…

Recently, President Trump justified the use of tear gas at the border because those protecting the border were “being rushed by some very tough people”.

He continued to justify the action by saying, “”I do say — why are they there? First of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself — it’s very safe, the ones that were suffering to a certain extent were the people that were putting it out there. But you really say, why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming, and it’s going to be formed, and they’re running up with a child? “In some cases, you know, they’re not the parents. These are people, they call ’em ‘grabbers’ — they grab the child, because they think they’re gonna have a certain status by having a child. You know, you have certain advantages and things with our crazy laws that frankly Congress should be changing. You know, if you change the laws, you wouldn’t have this problem.”

I believe President Trump is correct in asking “why are they there?” If we are going to promote ourselves as a Christian nation, we should be concerned and working to address the oppressive, violent and dangerous living conditions those in the caravan are fleeing. I disagree with everything else he said after his initial question.

Rather than changing laws, we need to be changing hearts. Rather than finding ways to keep people out, we need to be finding ways to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, care for the orphan and widow…

So, let me get this straight…these are “some very tough people”?27xp-photo-articleLarge-v2

And, just so we’re clear, these are “some very fine people”?screen_shot_2017-08-12_at_7.31.44_am

Matthew 25:41-46- “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Pride & Arrogance

Warning: If you are easily offended by “bathroom humor”, this post is not for you!

“Pride comes before disaster, and arrogance before a fall.” ~Proverbs 16:18

Even in my weakest moments, I find my prideful arrogance convincing me that I do not need help. I can do things on my own!

However, life has a way of teaching us that we really do need one another.

One of the more embarrassing examples from my life would come shortly after having my wisdom teeth removed.

I had my wisdom teeth removed a bit later in life than most. When my friends were having their wisdom teeth removed in their late teens and early twenties, I was avoiding the dentist like the plague.

When it was finally determined that I needed to have my wisdom teeth removed (after having avoided the dentist for a good 16 years), I figured I would handle it like a champ.

I told the oral surgeon that I didn’t want to feel or remember much of anything during the procedure. I told him to mix up a nice cocktail that would have me convinced that, rather than having my wisdom teeth removed, I had been out for a nice stroll through the woods.

Let me say this, he mixed up a tremendous combination because I really don’t remember much of anything beyond telling him to knock me out!

After arriving back at home, I was an incoherent mess. My wife was fairly concerned for my well-being…and rightfully so!

You see, something you should know is that pain medications do not go over well with me. Anything beyond Ibuprofen makes me nauseous and irritable for days.

My loving wife went above and beyond the normal protocol of a care-taker. At one point, I needed to use the restroom. She asked me if I needed help and I proceeded to say something along the lines of, “I can do it myself. Leave me alone.” So, she reluctantly said, “Fine.”

What happened next, well, I only know secondhand because I really cannot recall the events.

Shortly after heading into the bathroom, the sound of a large crash was heard throughout the house. My wife rushed into the bathroom to check on me. What she observed was embarrassing, for both of us.

Apparently, while attempting to use the bathroom, I lost consciousness and fell to the ground. While I did not have an “accident”, some damage was done.

My wife discovered me lying on the ground, my pants undone, and one arm firmly planted in the toilet!

A couple of lessons were learned:

1) When others, especially those who love you, offer assistance, take it! They generally want what is best for you. They have your best interest in mind. They want you to succeed. They don’t want to find you lying on the bathroom floor with your arm in the toilet. You see, they just might be able to notice limitations that, due to your pride and arrogance, you simply cannot (or refuse to) see.

2) Sitting is always an option.

It’s Oh So Quiet

It’s been “oh so quiet” on the “Grabbing a Beer with a Pastor” blog and podcast. It hasn’t been for a lack of material to discuss and address. It’s been an intentional break to avoid drowning in the cesspool of my own cynical drivel.

So, “Grabbing a Beer with a Pastor” is back from a self-imposed break. There will be weekly (at least) blog posts and monthly podcasts.

Episode 4: Beer to Drink Music To, Politics, and the Appointment Season

On this episode, I talked about Dogfish Head’s “Beer to Drink Music To.” Find out more at the Dogfish Head website.

Then, I got on my soapbox to talk briefly about the political environment of the United States.

I also recommend two books, Shane Claiborne’s Jesus for President and Gutenson and Slaughter’s Hijacked.



Episode 3: New Corner Brewing with Sean & Darrick

On this episode, we talk about brewing and the upcoming expansion of New Corner Brewing Company in Muncie, IN.

We sat down with Sean Brady and Darrick Ayers to learn about their brewing process, their beers, and new things on the horizon.

These guys are making excellent beers. So, if you are in the Muncie area, be sure to stop by the brewery! And, be sure to order a pint wherever New Corner beers are on tap.

The brewery is located at 1900 West Mt. Pleasant Road, Suite G in Muncie, IN.

Like New Corner on Facebook.

Follow New Corner on Twitter.

Check out their website.

Learn about the expansion via the Star Press.


Episode Two: Rebranding with Matt Lipan

On this episode, we welcome Matt Lipan, pastor of Gateway Community Church. Matt is on the leading edge of church rebranding. He will share his story and the story of Gateway. We’ll also talk about beer, music, the Methodist church, and probably some other random stuff too! Be sure to follow Matt on Twitter (@mattlipan) and on his blog, In the Neighborhood of Holy.

We recorded this episode at the Broad Ripple Brewpub. This is one of my “go to” brewpub’s in the great state of Indiana. They offer delicious food, great beer, and a fun environment! Be sure to check them out! The Broad Ripple Brewpub is located at 842 E. 65th Street in Indianapolis.

In this episode, Matt recommends the app “Bands In Town”, which can be found on iTunes and Google Play.

Episode 1: Marketing Ministry with Ryan Gernand

On this episode, our host interviews Ryan Gernand, Senior Manager of Advancement for Impact 2818.

The two will discuss marketing and communication. Gernand will address the goals, audience and medium of communications. He will also stress the importance of peer to peer marketing.

The episode was recorded at The Heorot Pub and Draught House in Muncie, IN.

They enjoy a Wolves Head Brewing Imperial Red IPA.

One particular highlight is when our guest refers to one of his colleagues as being “Bart Simpson aggressive”!

We were sitting near the refrigerators that hold over 300 unique bottles of beer! And, if you listen closely, you might be able to hear a guy at the bar talking about how we are living in an alternate reality and that we are all just figments of some great rulers imagination.