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Enjoying the Barbecue (by Peter Pollock)

Today is my friend Peter Pollock’s birthday. I give him a hard time, but in all sincerity, I will say he is one of the kindest, most considerate people I have had the pleasure of “meeting” here on the internets. I have also had the privilege of working with him on a very rewarding project this past year. In celebration of his birthday, I thought I would repost a guest post he wrote for me last year. Happy Birthday PP Bottle!:

Don’t get me wrong, I love ribs. BBQ ribs, when done right, are some of the most convincing arguments I’ve ever seen to the existence of God. Nothing beats ribs, in my opinion.

I also like chicken, carne-asada and tri-tip – (oh tri-tip, you’re so wonderful) but nothing, I mean nothing makes a good barbecue complete like burgers and hot dogs.

Maybe it’s just because when we were growing up burgers and ‘dogs were all we could afford, I don’t know. What I DO know is that I love my burgers and hot dogs.

Now, I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who will disagree with me. Many people don’t like either burgers or hot dogs. There are also people (like my wife) who like one but not the other.

I don’t understand it personally. I like just about every kind of meat, but burgers and hot dogs, despite their differences, just happen to be my favorites.

Do you have a meat preference? Do you have a meat prejudice?

As I was sitting here salivating over the thought of some great BBQ food, I started thinking just how different burgers and hot dogs are. Burgers are round and flat, hot dogs are long and fat. Burgers are made from beef, hot dogs are made from… other stuff that I don’t want to think about right now. Burgers are dark brown (or black if I forget and leave them on too long) hot dogs are a lighter brownish color. As for the taste… there’s really no comparison, totally different.

Yet both are foods, both are great when cooked on a barbecue grill and both have little or no nutritional value, which is not surprising when they taste so good!

This all reminded me of the Church.

I’m on a journey with the Lord, a journey to rediscover his Church. A Church that I thought I knew but I’m rapidly discovering I don’t know the half of.

We, the Church, the family of God, brothers and sisters born again into the family by Christ’s blood, are a vast and incredibly diverse bunch of people.

We’re as similar (and different) as burgers and hot dogs and, just like I love my meat both circular and tubular, I’m learning that I can love this big, crazy family and everyone in it.

It’s easy for us to say that we don’t like a certain kind of BBQ food and dismiss it as nasty and inedible and we often apply to same ease of dismissal to other Christians. We don’t like something that they do or say or believe so we distance ourselves from them and turn our noses up at them like they’re tofu-burgers.

That’s not what God created the Church to be. Yes we all need a little correction now and again and we all have some bad theology that we believe. None of us are perfect but we’re all God’s children – and Daddy just wishes that we would appreciate our differences and get along instead of hating our differences and constantly fighting.

Let’s all enjoy the huge barbecue that is the Church and appreciate the wonderful diversity that God has built into it.

To read more from Peter (and to wish him a Happy Birthday), check out his blog, Rediscovering the Church and follow him on the twitter: @peterpollock.

The ABC’s of crap in my purse: the saga continues…

Awhile back I wrote a silly little post entitled The ABC’s of crap in my purse where I mentioned that since the purse was a gift from my generous sister, I really had no idea how much it cost. That is, until I dripped white paint (occupational hazard) and went shopping to find its replacement. I was quite shocked at the price and decided that I could live with a little spot of white on the otherwise brown leather bag. Besides, the more I looked at it, the more I convinced myself a little imperfection added character to that otherwise high brow handbag.

And then another thought occurred to me. A question, to be more specific: Does the price of the gift matter? Would I have been more careful with that gift had I understood its value?

To find out where this particular rabbit trail took me, read the rest of the story over at my friend Peter’s place, Rediscovering the Church