Hello! My name is Sarcasm

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Hello!  My name is Sarcasm
This issue has been on my mind for the last two weeks. Today it wrecked me!
I’ve been identified as funny, quick-witted, and sarcastic for the majority of my adult life. I’ve taken great pride in bringing people to tears with laughter. I’ve especially enjoyed occasionally catching someone off-guard after taking a drink of something and resulting in spraying the contents of their mouth EVERYWHERE. Classic.
Wikipedia defines Sarcasm as “a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark, a bitter gibe or taunt”.
Speechless!
This is what I’ve been proud of?! A tool of destruction, now a characteristic making up what others call “me”. Is this the ME I’ve wanted to be? Is this the ME I’ve been called to be? This response was followed by frantically trying to remember any time my words may have hurt or caused insecurity in someone. I was pretty successful, but as the minutes went by I realized something. Even if I had the ability to remember each instance and reach out to them and apologize, how many were able to mask their wounds until they escaped my presence? How many?
I immediately went to Ephesians 4 where I found the following verses.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29)
“Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes–these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.” (Ephesians 5:4)
Read them again and ask yourself where you think sarcasm fits into your life. How about your ministry? How about your relationships? I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now. It DOESNT! We know by these passages that our words are to be used to encourage others. The opposite is, as 5:4 states, “..not for you”. 
Now stay with me here.
 I AM THE WORST OFFENDER!
I have been in ministry for 7 years now. A worship leader, youth volunteer, and now a worship pastor. I have been sarcastic with students, adults, pastors; you name it. It brings me to tears to think that students may be afraid to confide in me because of my “humor”. To be apart of a ministry that promotes a welcoming and loving environment and then act the way I have, leaves me full of shame and regret, but here is the beauty in all of this. GRACE. I have the opportunity to be the change I seek; to stand and fight the social parasite I helped create.
Jesus did not come to earth to condemn us, but to save us. This truth and the love that we see through it applies to this situation as well. He used a tragedy (used, not caused) to open my eyes to an area of my life that needs to be brought to light and to be battled for change.
I have contacted many friends who I love and respect asking them to hold me accountable and to also partner with me in eradicating sarcasm from our ministries and from our lives.
Will you partner with me?
Will you too choose to stand and fight for change?
-Pastor Brian
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Shells & Starfish

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If you’re like me, then we have these two things in common: one – you’re ridiculously good looking…and two – you seem to always have a full plate; not in the second helpings-food lover way (I don’t eat very much), but in the sense that I seem to constantly have more going on than I know what to do with.
Maybe your full plate is portioned out evenly across obligations such as work and daily commutes, activities (soccer, dance, or softball games), family time, and eating & sleeping. Regardless, that plate is full. You’re maxed out!  Anything more slips right off the plate or clears another item or thing from its position. Regardless, both lead to the same outcome and that is that you end the day with a mess on floor. Alright, alright… you get the point with the plate. But hey, if you can honestly tell yourself you weren’t seeing the vast imagery of a loaded plate in your mind while reading this, then go ahead, I give you permission to stop reading (not really).
Back on point…
Now, did you notice that I left out not only time at church, but daily devotionals and prayer altogether?
So here I am. A fully loaded plate full of wonderful and God-honoring activities yet still lacking in the very things that keep me well connected to my God. Now I’m sure that most of us have pondered this and have wanted to do a daily devotional and to be in Christ-centered small-groups, LifeGroups, and bible studies, and to do as we are called; to pray without ceasing. But HOW do we fight for change?
It’s time to re-learn the word “No”. This simple two letter word begins to act as a buffer between good things and the great things. By saying no, we can reclaim time for rest, time for reflection on God’s word, and time for speaking with our God who has been patiently waiting for us to “fit” him back into our days.
I’m reminded of a story that has stuck with me for years now. A boy is walking on the beach with his parents collecting broken sea shells. His hands are full of the broken pieces when he comes upon a rock with a large starfish on it. Instead of immediately picking up the starfish and taking it with him, he simply stands there and looks discouraged. When his parents ask him what’s wrong and why he doesn’t pick up the starfish, he begins to cry, “My hands are full of sea shells and I can’t pick it up.”
It’s time to cash in our shells for starfish.
What are some things that you need to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to the more important things in life?
What steps can you take toward clearing some room on your plate?
Is God at the center of your plate or is he even on your plate at all?
– Pastor Brian