Author Archive for: ‘carlmedearis’

  • Jesus Seems out of Step!

    Recently I’ve noticed that Jesus and I aren’t alike. And all the books I read tells me I’m supposed to be like Him, not him like me. So if I’m being honest (which I also read about somewhere), I’d say that I’ve either made my personal Jesus look, act, talk and think like me – or I’ve just ignored actually trying to be like him altogether. Either way – I’m pretty sure that’s not good.

    A good friend of mine, and someone I try to learn from (Bart is his name), asked me once what my plan was to become like Jesus. This is like a year ago. “My plan to become like Jesus?” I asked, looking like a deer in the headlights. “Hey listen,” I responded quickly, “I’m the guy who writes stuff about Jesus – don’t be asking ME questions like that!”

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  • Jesus Plays Soft Toss

    About six years ago when our now 17 year old son Jon got serious about playing baseball we set up a net in the back of our garage. It’s about 8’ by 8’ and can stop a speeding baseball. Here’s what we do: I sit on a bucket five feet in front of the net off to one side. Jon stands directly in front of me – facing me – ready to swing the bat towards the net. I then take a pile of baseballs and throw them about two feet in front of me and one foot up in the air so it slowly arcs towards him. He crushes it. Into the net. He can’t miss. We do that 100 times a day. That’s called “Soft Toss.” Even professional players do this. It gives the batter lots of easy repetitions so they can improve their swing and strengthen those specific muscles.

    You’ve probably heard someone say “Wow that was a soft toss,” in reference to an easy question that allowed the one answering to give the best possible response. Let’s look at two soft tosses pitched to Jesus.

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  • Two Types of Criticism and how to Handle Both

    I’m sure there are a 100 kinds of criticisms, but that won’t fit into a blog (at least not one you’d read). So here are the two types that I get and how I am learning to respond.

    I simply call them Critiques from the Outside and from the Inside.

    “Outside Criticism” comes at me from people I either don’t know at all or I know, but am not “doing life” with. These are public critiques for me as a public figure. They are on Facebook, Twitter, comments on my blogs or emails through my website. Just this week I was called “a member of Al Qaeda” since I “loved Muslims too much.” That’s a classic “outside critique.”

    Oh, it still affects me. Hurts. So here’s what I do with outside critiques – I categorize them into three sections:

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  • Islam 101

    The Arabic word “Islam” literally means submission without question, suspicion or doubt (2:04), or finding peace of mind and joy through knowing, understanding and serving the only one God, Allah. Followers of Islam are called Muslims which simply refers to anyone who chooses to freely and unconditionally accept and follow Islam as revealed in the Quran and practiced by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad was the last messenger of God and the Quran refers to him as the “Seal of the Prophets” (33:40). Muslims pray five times every day in addition to other voluntary prayer services they do on their own in their attempts to follow the sunnah or practice of their Prophet Muhammad.

    On Fridays, Muslims gather in mosques for communal prayers led by their imams or religious leaders. Every adult Muslim of sound mind is required to strictly adhere to the arkan or the Five Pillars of Islam: shahadah, or creed which is basically a firm belief and declaration that there is no deity worthy of worship or service except Allah (Arabic for God), and that Muhammad is his messenger); salat, or prayer (five times a day, at prescribed times); zakat, or charity which is the giving away of a certain percentage of one’s wealth to eight categories of people as prescribed in the Quran(9:60); sawm, or fasting (during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims refrain from food, drink and sexual relations during the day); and hajj, or pilgrimage (all Muslims who are able are required to travel to Makkah once in their lifetime).

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  • …So a Pastor, businessman and youth leader went to a Mosque one day…

    It’s not a joke – that’s what happened last Friday. My wife and I and 27 of our friends attended the Friday prayers and sermon at the local Denver mosque with about a 1000 Muslims. Several things were interesting about this experience.

    Not sure if you’ve ever attended a Friday service at a mosque, but here’s what happens. (It’s a lot like church). About 10% of the people arrive early. They are the committed ones. They help set up chairs. They arrange for the lunch which is served afterwards in the fellowship hall. They chat, talk about their week. I heard one fellow telling another that he had a fight with his wife on the way…I’m not kidding.

    About 20% show up late. Rush in at the last minute only to find their are no places left inside so they have to go to the overflow room where they watch on the big screen.

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  • 5 Reasons to be Cautious about reading “Speaking of Jesus”

    The book’s been out for almost 11 months now. I think I have all the reasons why some have not liked the book (about 3% of all readers have been very critical). I have tried my best to listen and now boil it down to their main issues/concerns. Here they are in order:

    1. Seems like there’s no closure to the stories. You told great stories about conversations with people, but where did they lead? Why didn’t you tell us the outcome?

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  • Smoking Pot or the Cross?

    Today’s 4/20. And today at exactly 4:20 pm, all over Colorado, tens of thousands will gather to publicly smoke and toke weed. Why? Well, not sure to be honest – but they will….

    I’ll get back to pot, but wanted to tell about my day yesterday. It was a strange day.

    I’ve been in a challenging email conversation with three of my very favorite Muslim friends. All big-time leaders in their respective spheres. Saudi. Lebanon and one here in the States. Tons of mutual love and respect between us. Many times they press me on what I believe and why. This time it’s been my turn. I’ve pushed hard on the issue of the cross and resurrection of Christ. I think it only benefits them if they knew and understood what it meant then and means now. One basically agrees. One is being nice to me. And one is pushing back. Those odds are about right…..

    Also yesterday, I met a local church Pastor of Outreach. It’s a large and well-respected church. He’s had a bunch of people recently ask me about my book “Speaking of Jesus: the Art of NOT-evangelism.” So he read it. And doesn’t approve. He tells his folks not to read it because it’s dangerous.

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  • Five ways to make and keep good friends

    If you know me, you’ll know that making and keeping good friends is a top priority in how we do life. However, I’ve noticed something slightly alarming here in the States since we’ve been back from our 12 years in the Middle East. Many people are not good and making friends. So, how do you make a friend?

    First, some misconceptions about friendship.

    1. Friends don’t just appear. You don’t “just have” friends.
    2. Friends take work. They don’t come easy.
    3. A good friendship always goes two ways.

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  • Protected: The Bible

    There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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  • The meaning of Easter to my Muslim friends….

    On days like today – Easter – I think a lot about what others are thinking and feeling about Easter. I do enjoy it for myself as well (as we did today as a family), but I can’t help but think about all those I …

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