I don’t know if you watch The Office, but I love it. I don’t watch it every week for some reason, but when I do I find it one of the most amusing, hilarious shows that I have ever watched. I was compared to Michael Scott once by someone I managed on my team. This hurt my feelings immensely, as I don’t see myself in any shape, form or fashion as Michael Scott. There is one character, however, that I do see in myself.
Jim is sort of a wise-cracking, suffereing everyone else, doesn’t take anything serious kind of character. He is probably the most competent person in the office he works in (I’m not suggesting that I am the most competent person in my company). If you have watched the show, you know that he is the anti-Dwight.
Recently, Michael Scott has left the company, presumably to give greater attention to his burgeoning movie career. Sorry, got Michael and Steve Carell mixed up there. Will Ferrell played a character that was going to take his place, but was unable to due to continue due to trying a stunt basketball dunk. Eventually this leads to a search committee looking for the new manager. Jim Halpert is one of those charged with looking for the new manager. Everyone sees Jim as not taking this job seriously. Ryan, another character, tells him to lighten up on the Jim Halpert schtick.
That scene hit me between the eyes and has been gnawing at me ever since. Why? Because I am afraid that people get tired of my “schtick”. I saw it come out in a meeting the other day. It comes out in my tweets and Facebook posts. Yet, I don’t know if I can change it. I’ve been working on it and perfecting it for twenty-six years now. Twenty-six years ago, I walked into my job at Food City, a grocery store, and was greeted with a, “Hello Lawrence!!!” by Jay Setser. With an ultra-serious response, I said, “My name is not Lawrence!!!” I’ve been trying to not be “Lawrence” ever since. I have eventually evolved (can I use that word since I am a Christian?) into Larry The Deuce.
So there is a war within me. The lightheartedness comes out. The wisecracks are said. The offbeat humor is displayed.
And I hear someone say, “Lay off the schtick every once in a while.”
I was reading a Tweet a few days ago from a preacher. He quoted another preacher, C.J. Mahaney, in his Tweet. Pastor Mahaney was quoted as asking this question of several preachers: If I asked your congregations what you were passionate about, what would they say? The first thing that went through my head was how I would answer this about my pastor. I would ask you that are reading this how you would answer this about your own pastor. Please keep your answers to yourself. But there is another question that I would like to ask. What would be the answer be about yourself? What are you passionate about?
How you answer this, truthfully, will show the results of your possible relationship with the Lord. Between you and your pastor, it will probably also indicate the health of your church.
In thinking about this, there were three possible conclusions that I came up with. Read them and tell me what you think. I don’t have the corner on all of this.
1. If your pastor is passionate about the Lord and His Church and you (and everyone else) aren’t, you will be uncomfortable with the direction of what’s going on in your church and with your pastor.
2. If your pastor is not passionate about the Lord and His Church and you (and everyone else) are, you will be frustrated and irritated with what is going on with the church.
3. If your pastor is passionate and you (and everyone else) are passionate, the question is moot. You have unity and everyone is on the same page.
My prayer is that your pastor, my pastor, you and I are all passionate about the Lord and His Church. Oh, what a day!!!
What are you passionate about?
Here are some things that I learned recently in my Sunday School class about 1 John 1:5-10:
1. God is light. No darkness is found in Him. This is the message that John has declared to his audience.
2. We live in either Light or darkness. This is how John divides our lives. His opponents would say the division is spiritual and physical.
3. Followers of Christ walk/live in the Light.
4. Followers of Christ have fellowship with each other
5. We are cleansed from all sin.
6. We have all sinned and need forgiveness.
7. We are affected by God’s forgiveness and confess our sins.
This may be the last blogpost I write. Why? Keep reading.
Harold Camping made a prediction a while back that the rapture will take place on May 21, 2011. Evidently, five months later the world itself will be destroyed. I guess I will stay up late Friday night until the clock strikes midnight to see what happens. That being said, will this happen Eastern, Central, Pacific or Australian time? I really wish Mr. Camping had been more specific.
Those who adhere to the Mayan calendar predict that the world will end in 2012. That will be slightly after the U.S. presidential election and depending on who gets elected you might be inclined to agree. I thought the end was near when Bill Clinton was elected. It turns out we just had to endure the Monica Lewinsky deal.
Hal Lindsey wrote a book in the 1980’s entitled The 1980’s: Countdown To Armageddon. Before that, in the 1970’s, he wrote The Late, Great Planet Earth. The 70’s came and the 80’s came. I wonder sometimes if Lindsey writes a new book every decade and repackages the same stuff he wrote back then. I really don’t know.
The Apostles and some others stood on a hill after Jesus ascended waiting for Him to come back. They may have stayed there a long time if the angels hadn’t come and told them to get busy. Evidently they thought the end was near too. They changed the world.
The bottom line to what I’m saying is that every generation since Christ has believed that He would come back soon. Several have pointed to certain dates. Each loses their credibility when they make these claims without them coming true. Do you think this is the first time Camping has made this claim? Do a little research. According to him, this was already supposed to have happened in 1994. Evidently when you’re a false prophet, you can make the same wrong prophecy and continue to gain some notoriety.
To quote REM, it’s the end of the world as we know it. I feel fine. Now, it’s time to get busy doing something, like we all should. Maybe we will turn the world upside down.
Yesterday my blogpost was about the outrage over a TV show coming next fall called Good Christian Belles. People are signing petitions and trying to stop this show from airing on ABC. Those few of you who read my blog might remember that I really don’t care. However, while I was thinking and writing, another thought popped into my mind.
What shows are the folks upset about this watching? Are there quality, Christian TV shows out there that I don’t know about?
Seriously, what TV shows are there out that promote Christ? Which shows out there are neutral? Help me out, please.
You see, here’s my theory. While we Christians are fighting over this one show, there are others that promote things very anti-Christian sliding in that we aren’t talking about.
What do you think? Let me know.
ABC released its 2011-2012 TV schedule this week. One of the show that will debut at mid-season is Good Christian Belles. This show is based on the book Good Christian Bi***es. I’ll let you figure out the name from there. ( Notice that I put astericks in the right places. Not spelling this vulgar word is evidence of my godliness.)
Evidently this show is kind of a Mean Girls meets Desperate Housewives with a several “Christian” characters thrown in. Many people within our churches are outraged. Petitions are being signed at a high rate as I write this. As someone who often blogs about my faith and the Church/church, I knew that I had to respond with something that represented how I feel about this.
I don’t care.
Jaws are dropping. People are now outraged at me. The number of visitors to my blog will drop from highs in the 40’s to the 30’s. After all, I am a big time blogger. People care about what I think.
So, why don’t I care? Well, let me list the reasons:
1. Jesus doesn’t need me to defend Him. He’s been doing alright for 2000 years.
2. The Church doesn’t need me to defend it. The gates of Hell will not prevail against it.
3. When I get outraged and take stands against this type of thing, I become known for what I am against rather than what I am for.
4. Pagans are going to do what pagans are going to do. What do you really expect out of the TV/Movie industry?
5. I don’t think this show will last. I give it about 4 or 5 weeks.
6. I think it’s often the lazy way out for those of us who follow Christ to sign petitions, boycott and get outraged. It allows us to “standup for Jesus” without getting too close or getting our hands dirty.
7. When we Christians make a big deal about stuff like this we often give it more publicity than it would have gotten if we had just been quiet. Don’t you think the show runners will get excited about any controversy we create over this? People will watch to see what the big deal is?
How about this? How about we imitate Paul at Mars Hill? How about us using the opportunity these situations present to share the Gospel in love without the anger? How about us turning the philosophies of the world around and use them against them? Why not use the idols of the unknown god to show Who the one true God is? If people know you follow Christ, they may ask you what you think. Don’t act angry, upset or indignant. Tell them you don’t think it’s an accurate portrayal and why. Tell them that we all fall short of the glory of God, even after you become a Christian. Tell them it’s a process after coming to know Christ. Love that person. Share Christ. Glorify Christ.
I may be wrong about all of this. I may not. Either way, stay tuned.
My blog on Sundays is going to be a recap of what I’ve been learning in my Sunday school class. Right now we are studying 1John.
What would you do if you had a football team that was not performing well? What if the offense couldn’t move the ball, the defense couldn’t stop anyone, and the special teams weren’t so special? The best thing to do might be to stop trying to do anything beyond the teams capacity at that point and just return to the basics. You may have to simplify everything for the team. You may have to strip it down to the very core of the game.
In a sense, that is how John begins his little letter, 1 John. In the first four verses of 1 John, he takes his readers back to the basics. His “team” is under attack from a group of people teaching a heresy. This heresy is throwing some confusion into his “little children” (if you read 1 John you will see this is a term of endearment for his readers). What heresy is trying to infiltrate the church in this letter? It is a gnostic heresy that said that had some variations. Some teachers of this heresy said that Jesus did not appear in the flesh. They believed that spirit and flesh were not connected and that spirit was good and flesh was bad. They didn’t believe that Christ could ever be in the flesh at all. Also, you could do whatever in your flesh you wanted because it was not connected to your spirit.
So, what was John’s gameplan to combat this heresy? He took them to the beginning of the faith, what he had seen, heard and touched. He verified that he had walked with Christ, talked with Christ, seen Christ and touched Christ. He confirmed that Christ had come in the flesh. Then he referred back to his gospel by reminding them that Christ was the eternal Word. Through Him comes life and not just any life, but eternal life. This life was manifested to him and the other apostles. It was their job to proclaim this as truth.
So what lessons can you learn from the first four verse of 1 John? I think there are six basic things that need to refer to and remind ourselves of from time to time.
1) Christ has eternally existed with the Father
2) Christ was manifested in the flesh
3) Because of this we have fellowship with the Father and Son
4) This enables us to have fellowship with each other
5) This is the basis of true joy in our lives
6) We should seek for others to share in this joy.
Have you built a house lately? It will soon be three years since we moved into our home. We are still far from finished. We have an entire upstairs to complete. We have a lot of plans for this project. A bedroom, a bathroom and a huge area for a media room.
The other thing we have to work on is our curb appeal. We have done little landscaping. We have tons of ideas and work ahead of us. When will we get it all done? I don’t see the end in sight. There will always be something to do.
That’s way it is for us as believers in Christ, isn’t it? We aren’t ever done. There is always another addition to make. There is always an improvement that needs to be done. There is always some curb appeal that needs to be worked on, some landscaping to be done. A tree to be planted. An azalea to set out.
It’s much like Bill Monroe sang about over fifty years ago. I’m working on a building, I’m working on a building. I’m working on a building for my Lord, for my Lord.
If there is one question I am asked almost daily it is this: Larry, how did you become The Deuce? Does it have something with a card game? Did you roll 2′s time after time playing the board game Aggravation? Do you have two big toes? Well, yes I do have two big toes, but that has nothing to do with me being called The Deuce. Prepare yourself for some time travel. We are going to enter the Wayback Machine and travel to April, 1969 to see how I became The Deuce.
In April, 1969, my dad became employed by South Central Bell. Shortly after being hired some of his co-workers were attempting to back a trailer into a parking spot. These co-workers were having no luck in backing this trailer into the spot. My dad, the original Larry Carter, jumped into the truck and backed the trailer into the spot on his first attempt. One of the other guys looked at him and said, “Your an ace, aren’t you?” The name stuck and for the next thirty years (and I’m sure even now) my dad was called Ace by everyone at the phone company.
Since I was named after my dad (I am Larry Carter II) and he is the Ace, I became the Deuce.
And now you know the rest of the story.
Now, you may wonder out loud, “What does that have to do with anything? Where is your usual story about faith? I feel shortchanged now.” Sorry, let’s see how I can rectify that.
If you read Philippians, Paul will tell you that he is a Pharisee of the Pharisees, Hebrew of the Hebrews, from the tribe of Benjamin and zealous. Yet he considers all of that rubbish compared to knowing Christ. In other words, his origins are nothing compared to the One he follows.
While I may have just told you a charming story that I hold dear about why I have a name like LarryThe Deuce on Twitter, it really isn’t anything compared to knowing Christ.
How about you? What do you hold dear that really isn’t anything compared to knowing Christ?
Welcome to Twitter-like Thursday, where I try to blog about a subject in 140 words or less.
What is your definition of success? If you are reading this you are contributing to my blog being more successful. I used to be happy if 2 or 3 people would read each day. Now I am getting anwhere from 20 to 40 each day. Success, right? Maybe. Maybe not. If what I do here glorifies God, then it is successful. That is the measure of success. Can I know immediately if this blog is successful? Not really. Can I reach a personal level of success? Yes. Can I reach a measure of success in other’s eyes. Yes. But what I want to do is to please the Lord with what I’m doing here. I would love to know someday that the Lord was glorified and please with my views and rambling here. It would be great to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”