Garbage In, Garbage Out; The Root

Yesterday I wrote about the thrill of dumpster diving for donuts. Those days are over (probably) but today I wanted to address a similar topic that hits at the root of a huge issue.

We’ve all heard the term “Garbage in, garbage out”, most likely coming from the lips of a parent or a well-meaning relative. It’s not just some old idiom thrown out to shame children into making better decisions and choosing better companions; Jesus himself spoke on this very issue.

In Matthew 12:33-34 Jesus declares, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree it known by its fruit.” That verse always stuck out to me because it begs for a standard. Jesus was addressing the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, and calling out their hypocrisy. “How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” 

There is no compromise here.

Since boyhood, growing up around my brother’s friends and those older than me, I’ve always remembered verse 34 and sought to keep a narrow yet thorough opinion of people by their words. If we could hear people’s thoughts I bet we’d choose our friends with a bit more scrutiny. You become like the 5 people you spend the most time around. Who wants to hang out with someone who’s not like-minded and seeking to benefit from each other’s company? Even to benefit one another.

If garbage in, garbage out is true, then as believers what should our next course of action be? We must examine our lives and ask, “What kind of fruit am I producing? Am I benefitting those around me by what I say?”

Jesus, in a similar passage in Matthew 7 tells us that “you will recognize them by their fruits.” Though the context here is discussing false teachers, the message remains the same. “Every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” He then reaches the climax by saying, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire”(Matthew 7:17-19).

I believed it as a kid and I still exercise the same practice of measuring people by their words. We all say foolish stuff we wish we could take back. I do it constantly. But thank the Lord for grace in our moments of stupid.

“The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil”(Matthew 12:35). 

To avoid beating a dead horse I’ll end with this: we talk about what’s important to us. The lives we live are evidence of what that is. There’s only room for one throne in our lives. Who will we allow to occupy it? Do we confess Christ and live accordingly or do our words convince otherwise?

The root of the issue is this: garbage in will always result in garbage out. So choose your words carefully.

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The Coast Guard

The danger of coasting through life without paying attention to our surroundings is that we can often do a ton of unintentional damage. I learned that valuable lesson as mentioned in this video.

The other thing that happens is that we miss out on golden opportunities to shed light, give grace and spread the gospel.

When we zone out and coast on auto-pilot we often miss out on what the Lord has planned for our lives.

We all have a purpose and the tragedy is when worthless distractions pull us away from the ultimate goal: sharing the gospel of Christ in our lives.

It’s your life, you’ve got a front row seat. Don’t you wanna be apart of it?

Always be on your guard not to coast through and check out when you can be most affective for the gospel.

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P.S. For your enjoyment, the greatest example of bad driving that I’ve found. I still question how this is even possible hahaha

Our New Born Identity

The other night I was re-watching The Bourne Legacy. I’m a huge fan of the original Bourne trilogy with Matt Damon so this movie was right up my alley. I remember doing research after watching the third installment, The Bourne Ultimatum, and seeing what it would be like to be an FOO(Field Operations Officer) for the CIA. A lot of training, studying, background checking and waiting just to see if you even qualify for the program. Sounds like a huge hassle.

Still it would be cool to travel the world, speak multiple languages, know how to drive anything that moves, defeat assassins with no more than a ball point pin or a rolled up magazine. Having multiple identities/passports and a stash of secret cash in multiple foreign currencies at your disposal is also pretty gnarly.

During one scene in The Bourne Legacy Jeremy Renner’s character Aaron Cross is fleeing with Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) from her burning Maryland home. As they drive they’re being passed by multiple fire trucks and Cross tells Shearing “You’re June, June Monroe. Where are you from? Where was the last place you lived?” He’s forcing her to accept the situation and change her alibi in case they get caught.

Spoiler alert: they end up getting away but not without an epic chase scene at the end of the movie(as all Bourne films do).

It kinda got me thinking about how we’re often so quick to crumble under a little stress or to change our alibi when faced with a tough decision. When we’re up against the ropes it’s too easy to jump ship and claim anonymity.

And yet, the two characters had burned all their bridges(houses) and were on the run. They had no other option than to leave everything and flee.

To make a terrible illustration, we’re to give up any and all connections to our former lives before Christ. When we receive His redemption and are adopted as sons and daughters into His family (2 Corinthians 6:18) we must follow after His plan for our lives.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Luke 9:23-24

To be identified with Christ is to be given a new identity and new credentials because of Christ’s finished work on the cross.

I seriously didn’t think of this until just now but stick with me on this one, it’s great: we have a new Born Identity through Christ’s Supremacy which offers no Ultimatum but to follow in His Legacy.

*mic drop*

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Seriously though, if you haven’t seen these, do it.

220px-The_Bourne_Legacy_Poster

220px-The_Bourne_Trilogy_DVD_Cover

“MOVE YOUR *BLEEPING* FEET!”

Every metal, death metal, hair metal, metalcore, hardcore, mathcore, nintendocore, prog metal, djent, sludge, grunge, grindcore, “experimental”, screamo, “whatever-the-heck you think your band sounds Iike” band I’ve ever heard has a mosh call.

A mosh call is usually a one-liner command commonly filled with expletives that rings out over a dead silence in the middle of a song just before the big breakdown. The point of a mosh call is to amp up the crowd, causing them to come undone and tear the place to shreds. Then go buy t-shirts with said phrase printed on it in big block letters. Hey, mine did it too, minus the colorful language.

I won’t go into detail about some of the more memorable mosh calls I’ve heard but it certainly does cause a guy to wonder “what does he really mean?” Side note, I really love the bands that say something different every night to throw off their expectant fans: “Make this place look like a pile of bananas!” Chaos and confusion ensues.

Bananas? Really?

How can even a 5′ tall guy with a microphone have such a commanding presence and influence a crowd of strangers to go “bananas” and punch every living soul in the room in the back of the head? Why are they so willing to do what he says?

Why aren’t Christians as equally willing to step out and speak up in love? We know who’s talking. We know His voice. It’s a non-violent approach. It could get that way if we push the right buttons but we ought to do so anyways because the God of the universe says so. He’s not looking to sell t-shirts. He’s got one agenda: the rescue of sinners.

We are agents of the cause. We’ve got more than just a hallow one-liner to egg us on to doing something we don’t understand to hurt people we don’t know. We have the living Word of God to guide and instruct us to move our feet.

Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe  all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Christ is the truth and Christ is enough. Let us be ever willing to share the truth in love.

May we be ever vigilant to share the gospel and move our feet.

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P.S. As blasphemous as this may be, imagine Jesus as a front man. That would be a mosh call. He could make anything sound awesome and terrifying: “You brood of vipers!”(Matt 12:34)

What’s the best/worst mosh call you’ve ever heard?

 

Still one of my favorite band shirts of all time

Still one of my favorite band shirts of all time