Archive for February, 2009

Closing the doors

Hey everyone, if you’re reading this via my wordpress page, you may have been coming to see the “What If – Part 2.” But then again, you’re probably not reading this via wordpress because no one really reads my wordpress page. So, I’m closing the doors to czarthoughts.

I’ll post notes on Facebook but the blog is closing.

Its been over a year and its been a great run but, I think its time to close the doors. One person once asked”what would happen if you closed your doors? Would anyone notice? Would you be missed?” In the case of czarthoughts, the answer would be a resounding NO.

You can still hit me via facebook and email.

God bless – now go shake up the world.

“Out of business”

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What if part 1: But what if God doesn’t?

The entitlement of the American Christian aggravates me to no end sometimes. The “Me-anity” (well put Marco), we live is so not Biblical its crazy. We approach God with, not our requests but, our demands as if He exists for us. As if He exists to fulfill our will. As if God is there saying to US “Not my will but yours be done o humans.”  But what happens when God doesn’t answer our requests? And I don’t mean the “delayed but not denied” answers. I don’t mean the “He may not come when we want but He’s always on time” answers. I mean the flat out “God is not going to do that” answers. Can you trust His sovereignty in that?

I listen to some of these TV preachers that talk about “God wants to give you everything you want” and then I read the Bible and it doesn’t line up. What about in Hebrews 11 where it says “and they died WITHOUT receiving the promise.” And this was written to say they HAD FAITH! What about us? Would we continue to honor God if He doesn’t heal our child or bless our family the way we want? What if that family member dies of cancer despite your prayers? Is He still good? What if you lose your house even though you’ve printed all of the prosperity scriptures and posted them on your mirror? Is He still sovereign? What if your situation requires a miracle or life is going to get REALLY bad? Is God still sovereign?

Too many times I’ve seen people honor God for what they think they can get. They do the Christian rituals because they think God will change their situation. And then when they don’t get the desired result- out go the Bibles, prayers, church and Christian friends. Then, without fail, they say “I tried it and it didn’t work for me” as if the Christian faith was a diet or something. As if their Bibles came with a disclaimer that said “Results may vary.” 

So what am I saying? I’m saying let’s worship, honor and recklessly and relentlessly live for God not because what we want from Him, but because of who He is. Because even if He doesn’t move on my every beck and call, I recognize He is God – and I am not. The only REAL promise I have as I live this life is “In this life you will face trials and hard times. But don’t be afraid because I have overcome the world.” He overcame this world, so my final hope is not in this life. My final hope is in HIM and the eternal life He prepared for me.

Some recent influences

Recently, some people have influenced me in silent yet powerful way.

Matt Chandler has influenced me to have a greater love for the Word. Which is powerful because I CHERISH God’s word.

Mike Servello and Marco Debarros has influenced me to have a greater love for the local church. Which is powerful because I ADORE my church.

Leonce Crump has influenced me to have a greater love for my city. To me that is significant because I had struggled to find real, significant ways to serve Newport, RI in a secondary way. Secondary because the preaching of the gospel will ALWAYS be the primary mission.

Who has influenced you?

What to do…part 2 Ask yourself, “Do I Give a Crap?”

So, what should you do when you don’t know your personal purpose, feel the Spirit’s leading or hear God’s voice to do something? You should be lead by compassion. I know the idea sounds completely emotional and devoid of any spiritual depth – but it is probably one of the most overlooked spiritual indicators.

Compassion comes to us in English as a Latin compound word com meaning “with” and patti – meaning “to suffer.” So compassion literally means “to suffer with.” And this idea of suffering with others was the leading cause of many of Jesus’ miracles.

Jesus heard God’s voice at baptism and repeated what He “heard from the Father” when He spoke. He was “lead by the Spirit” to be “tempted by the devil” (look it up in Luke). But He was lead by compassion to do the miracles He did. Most of the things we marvel at that happened during Jesus’ ministry was the result of compassion. He rose the boy from the dead during his funeral procession because he was lead by compassion. Not because he was dead but because he saw the pain of the boy’s mother. There was no father in the picture and when He saw that woman’s pain, He identified with her pain – He suffered with her – and was moved to do something about it. He did MANY miracles because of compassion.

Go back and read the gospels and notice how many times He saw the suffering of others, identified with their pain and then moved in to action. So, instead of looking for some hyper spiritual experience to be moved to do something, take a look around, see the needs of others, identify with their pain and allow that suffering to move you into action.

You can do GREAT things for God’s kingdom. All it takes is a life dedicated to Christ and a heart that (bluntly stated) gives a crap about others.  

So after you read this, ask yourself “Do I give acrap?” If so, take that heart and do something for His kingdom.

What to do when you don’t feel God’s leading (part 1)

So much of today’s ministry is filled with the existential ideology of purpose and calling. WE wrap it up real nice with scripture and tell people that a life lived in our God given calling is the pennacle of all living. But what should we do if we don’t feel called? Pastors talk a lot about purpose and Holy Spirit leading , but what if we genuinely don’t feel any compulsion to do anything based on those factors?

Maybe you’re 17 and you don’t feel “called.” Maybe you’re 21 and you don’t know your “purpose.” Maybe you are 45 and you don’t feel the “Holy Spirit leading” you do anything.  Do these things mean we can’t live lives used by God and impacting the world? NO! Most people are clueless of their calling, purpose or even the Spirit’s leading until they embrace a little known act of true spirituality; it is the act of COMPASSION.

to be continued….

Pregnancy and promotion

Hey blog world. Usually, when I post a comment about my personal life its usually doom and gloom. Like this one or this one. But this time – good stuff.

The first one – in a complete reversal of the first link in this story – I got promoted on my job. More money and the chance to do what I do best – development and leading.

Second, in a complete reversal of the second link – I’m gonna be a dad! That’s right folks, my wife Nichole is 15 weeks pregnant!

Good times in the Patton household. Life right now isn’t perfect, but its been some pretty good news lately. Praise God!

Scientists say we are hardwired to believe in God

I read this article that says we are genetically hardwired to believe in God. It strikes an interesting converstion. Does this mean that science proves that God designed us to believe in Him? Christianity teaches this as does other religions of the world. OR does this mean we believe in God because of an over-complicated primal instinct that has more to do with our evolutionary survival than it does our spirituality?

What do you think?

Banned Super Bowl Ad – Obama and Pro-Life

NBC banned this ad from the SuperBowl. I would have rather seen this than that garbage GoDaddy ad ANYDAY of the week. Especially on SuperBowl Sunday.

Here it is. What do you think?

Head-lines on the Super Bowl

Here are some of my head-lines (remember, lines from my head) about the Super Bowl.

– We had about 50 guys from our church there watching the game. We watched it on the 52″ LCD we use as a screen during youth church. It was awesome!

– Being one of about 3 people in room of 50 routing for the Steelers was AWESOME! I mainly picked them because Pittsburg LB Larry Foote and I were in the same youth church when I got saved in high school.  Oh, and because EVERYBODY ELSE in the room picked Arizona. Gotta keep it fun, right?

– I don’t actually have much to say about the commercials. I only remember the “Chrystal Ball” commercial and the commercials for the GI Joe, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Fast and Furious (I only remember it because the teenagers got REALLY excited) and Land of the Lost movies.

– The overturned touchdown was some FANTASTIC officiating. I hated the call, but they got it right.

– The 100 pick-6 by Harrison was INCREDIBLE! That man is HUGE and he ran 100 yards off a pick in Super Bowl. That had never been done before. I guess that’s why he was Defensive Player of the Year.

– Not a Bruce Springstein fan. I never got it…

– WHY IS MATT MILLEN GIVING HALFTIME ANALYSIS??? HE ORCHESTRATED THE WORST FOOTBALL TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE! 0-16?!?! WHY DOES HE GET TO GIVE HIS OPINION DURING THE SUPERBOWL????? I don’t want to hear ANYTHING he has to say about football! Not how the game is being called, not how the uniforms look, not even if he thinks a cheerleader is cute! I don’t want to hear ANYTHING he has to say. John Madden already says the OBVIOUS stuff that happens during the game so we shouldn’t hear ANYTHING from Matt Millen. After creating the WORST team in football history, he should be banned from football for 2 years. The only way he should come back to football is if they let Michael Vick back in the league! Both of them are guilty of cruel and inhumane treatment. Vick did it to dogs, Millen did it to us Lions fans!

– That was the best fourth quarter of a Super Bowl in a LONG time!

– I didn’t know how long I could take the “Steve, you look like Mike Tomlin” comments or the “what’s the call coach?” Sigh….

– Congrats Steelers! Tomlin became the youngest coach to win a SB title. AND he’s Tony Dungy protege…gotta love that!