I can now say I have traveled to a place, to do a thing, and my book was involved.
It was quite an experience.
I sat at a table, with the cover of my book blown up and printed on a canvas, inviting passers-by to come and chat…
It was quite an experience. I would be lying if I wasn’t a little nervous…
I was pleasantly surprised
I fully expected a lot of raised eyebrows at the site of my cover. I was anticipating angry retorts, disapproving nods and general disdain directed towards me. If there was any of this, I didn’t see it. If anyone was offended, they kept their thoughts quietly to themselves. What happened instead was just the opposite. Instead of divisive arguments, I found myself having constructive dialogue.
I was pleasantly surprised.
Mentally I prepared more for explaining a cover to someone who was bothered by it. I was prepped to answer questions of concern, and in doing so, I neglected mental prep for productive dialogue. The majority of people who came to talk to me were nearly all 20+ years older than me. They came to ask about the book but also to ask questions about millennials. Almost without exception, they desired to better know and understand a millennial perspective, especially in regards to what the church needed to do to reach them.
What I suddenly realized was that I had become in those moments a sort of generational ambassador for millennials. I also realized I needed to do more homework and mental prep to be able to have those constructive dialogues that were at the heart of why I wrote this book in the first place.
My first traveling excursion schlepping books to a place was a cake walk. All I had to do was drive down the road to the next city over with a trunk full of books.
Right now I am sitting in Arizona, visiting family. However, since I “did a thing*” my luggage looks a little different than it did the last time I was here. I wonder if travel will ever be the same. If you follow my Facebook or Twitter, you will know that I ended up packing a 100 books for this journey.
Now I doubt this will be the norm going forward. I don’t foresee future trips where my luggage is mostly full of hipster Jesus. The reason for so many on this particular trip is due in large part to a single order of 60 books. The person who ordered these books lives in AZ, so it made sense to bring them along for the flight. The other 40 are quickly finding homes in the desert as well. This trip was 100% about visiting family, but I suppose it is impossible to stop being an author, or a Pastor for that matter when you travel, especially when you and your wife have loving moms who have already presold your book to all of their friends.
So who knows, maybe I need to slightly adjust suitcase contents to allow for a couple of books to travel with me on all future trips. I do have a couple more travel plans where the sole reason for the trip is to speak about the book and as well as the millennial perspectives on the church.
I don’t know what to think anymore. I did a thing; people have thoughts about it, and now the TSA wants to have a closer look at my luggage. I can only imagine what they thought was in it when they were running it through x-ray.
I find it all quite ironic. Like I mentioned earlier, I am more apt to prepare for disapproving questions regarding my cover. However, what seems to keep happening is an increasing number of exciting conversations about how to bridge generations gaps. The discussions generally end up in dialogue about how the church can become more faithful in living out the Great Commission, especially in regards to millennials. My favorite moment of irony was being told by a sweet older woman, one who I thought I was about to be lectured by, that she loved the cover of my book.
God works in mysterious ways.
From preparing to defend what some have called a “blasphemous front cover” as one of my Amazon reviewers said, to having conversations where there is clearly a shared hope that one day church will be full of people who look like that same hipster Jesus, “blasphemy” and all.
Here’s to a hopeful future…
Until next time…
* When I first announced writing a book I started my announcement off by saying “well, I did a thing…”
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What is blasphemy ?
Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverenceto a deity, to religious or holy persons or sacred things, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable.
Would JESUS ever put tattoos on his face and piercings in his lips and nose when he said to be perfect in Matthew 5:48?
What does the Bible say?
The Word of God speaks for itself :
*[[Mat 5:48]] KJV* Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
*[[1Pe 1:16]] KJV* Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
*[[Heb 12:14]] KJV* Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
*[[2Ti 3:12]] KJV* Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
*[[1Th 4:7]] KJV* For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
*[[2Ti 4:3]] KJV* For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
*[[2Ti 3:2]] KJV* For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
*[[Mat 5:20]] KJV* For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
*[[Mat 23:15]] KJV* Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
*[[Luk 6:26]] KJV* Woe unto you, when all men shall speak WELL of you! for so did their fathers to the FALSE prophets.
*[[1Ki 22:8]] KJV* And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.
*[[Mat 10:22]] KJV* And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
*[[Joh 15:19]] KJV* If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
*[[Joh 15:20]] KJV* Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
*[[Tit 3:10]] KJV* A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
*[[Tit 3:11]] KJV* Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
*[[Joh 8:47]] KJV* He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
May the Lord God richly bless you, in Jesus name, amen.
Why Jesus said to be perfect:
*[[2Co 5:10]] KJV* For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
*[[2Co 5:11]] KJV* Knowing the TERROR of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
*[[Ecc 12:13]] KJV* Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
*[[Ecc 12:14]] KJV* For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
May the Lord God bless you. Amen!
Curious, it seems my reviewer has removed their “blasphemy” review on Amazon. How interesting…
*[[Luk 16:15]] KJV* And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
*[[Pro 28:23]] KJV* He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
*[[Job 32:22]] KJV* For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
*[[Psa 12:3]] KJV* The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
*[[1Ti 5:22]] KJV* Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.
*[[2Jn 1:11]] KJV* For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
*[[2Th 2:3]] KJV* Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
*[[2Pe 3:10]] KJV* But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
*[[2Pe 3:11]] KJV* Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
*[[2Pe 3:12]] KJV* Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
*[[2Pe 3:13]] KJV* Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
*[[2Pe 3:14]] KJV* Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and**BLAMELESS.**
*[[Act 18:6]] KJV* And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
May the Lord God bless you, in Jesus name! Amen. 😇