Fashionista or Functionalist

home-juradoNo one has ever accused me of being a fashionista.  I’ve always preferred blue jeans over a three-piece suit; and, instead of wearing patent leather wingtips, I’d rather wear tennis shoes or boots.

This is why you might find it surprising that I took some interest in a fashion slide show: What People Were Wearing the Year You Were Born is geared more to women than it is to me, and it gives a visual history of what has been in style for the last 100 years.

While I do have my Sunday-go-to-meeting-clothes, I also have different sets of clothing that I wear depending on the occasion.  Instead of being a fashionista, I guess I’m a functionalist.  I don’t wear my Muck boots to church, but they’re sure handy when the snow is a foot deep and the temperatures are sub-zero.

When I read the bible, I think Paul was also a functionalist.  Instead of being worried about the fashion and style of his day, he instructed his cohorts to dress for the occasion:

In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armor so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray (Ephesians 6 ~JB Phillips).

When he wrote to the Colossians, Paul spoke of functional clothing for the Christian life:

Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (Colossians 3:12-13).

Before you leave your house today, you might want to look into the mirror to see if your clothing is fitting for your agenda:

The man who simply hears and does nothing about it is like a man catching the reflection of his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, it is true, but he goes on with whatever he was doing without the slightest recollection of what sort of person he saw in the mirror. But the man who looks into the perfect mirror of God’s law, the law of liberty (or freedom), and makes a habit of so doing, is not the man who sees and forgets. He puts that law into practice and he wins true happiness (James 1:22-25 ~JB Phillips)

Stephen Curry: From Nike To Under Armour

golden-state-warriors-adidas-stephen-curry-mvp-caricature-tee-white-will-ship-5-11-6The Golden State Warriors are fortunate to have a standout point guard in the person of Stephen Curry.  His athletic prowess speaks volumes on the hardwoods, and his ball handling, and accurate shooting skills have garnered him hefty contracts with both Nike and Under Armour making him the sole man.

Due to a faith-focused dispute with Nike, Curry walked away from their millions and negotiated a deal with Under Armour.  The new contract guarantees him the right to blend his faith with his signature shoe, the Curry One, and to promote it with the tagline: Charged By Belief.

Curry is more than a sole man; he’s also a soul man who has never been shy about his faith. This is why he wants 4:13 and I can do all things imprinted on the shoes.

According to Curry, “Philippians 4:13 says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ It’s also my mantra, how I get up for games and why I play the way I do.”IMG_8877-copy

When Curry wrote a column for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he spoke of his passion for pointing people to Jesus Christ: “I know I have a place in Heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top.”

The soulful dedication of Curry reminds me of Romans 10:15: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!

Keep preaching Stephen!

Blending In or Standing Out

01hunter-girl-buck-wear-realtree-pink-shirt-3I’m not sure how they have been success in doing it, but many retailers have convinced the consumer to pay high dollar$ to purchase their goods and then become a walking billboard advertising their wares.  The clothing  companies are a good example:

  • Under Armour: Earn Your Armour
  • Nike: Just Do it
  • Reebok: Because Life Is Not A Spectator Sport

On a recent trip, I noticed the many different messages emblazoned on the clothing of people as they walked past me: I noticed their behavior as well.

When I thought of the contrast between their messages and they were actions, I was reminded that Jesus said we are known by the fruit we bear.  He also said: “Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).”

Some of these walking billboards were advertising their faith.  Sadly, many of them were in violation of the truth in advertising laws.  Their shirts made bold statements declaring their allegiance to Christ; however, their words compromised the integrity of the message.

The incongruity between their walk and their talk, reminds me of James homily on the tongue:

It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!

My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you? ~James 3

One of the reasons people are so conflicted today is they’re more concerned with their reputation than they’re their character.  You may coast through life with a good reputation; however, character flaws made of sand eventually crumble like a weak foundation in a massive earthquake.

What’s in a Name?

nameThe marketing power of today’s professional athlete never ceases to amaze me. I was listening to a report on either ESPN or CNBC that detailed the earnings power of LeBron James, and they are seen in the table below .

james

While there is a lot of dollar value to the name, “LeBron James,” there is still no comparison to power of Jesus name; and, Scripture testifies of this fact:
• Philippians 2:9-10: God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth
• Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved
• Psalm 7:17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
• Psalm 9:10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
• Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
• Psalm 29:2 Give to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Even though LeBron just inked a new deal with Nike that is incredibly lucrative, I still think the name of Jesus has more staying power, and His name is good for all eternity.