Guest Post – I Am Coca-Cola

Today’s guest post, I Am Coca-Cola™ written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am Coca-Cola™

The “I Am ______” series continues but something’s different this time. In the past it has been people from the Bible, I am Paul, Mary, Thomas, Samuel, Peter, Adam, Judas, The Rich Young Ruler but this time it appears that I am a soda pop. Some of you may be thinking that your limited knowledge of biblical languages has excluded you from being a part of a small group of biblical scholars and therefore a carefully kept secret that Coca- Cola™ is a name in the original Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic scrolls that somehow is lost when translated into English. Let me assure you I am no scholar nor do I have inside information about some type of biblical connection to the name Coca- Cola™ all I know is I am Coca- Cola™.

1985 was not a good vintage for Coca- Cola™.

In response to a decrease in market share the make-up of Coca- Cola™ was reformulated to more resemble what was perceived as a threat to future sales, Pepsi™. It was a success for a short time with an increase in sales as predicted but it wasn’t long before the backlash started. They were messing with something that was fine the way it was to attract those who weren’t interested in it in the first place. The diehard fans of Pepsi™ weren’t going to move over to the New Coke™ and the diehard fans of the original Coca- Cola™ weren’t happy with it either. I am Coca- Cola™.

The Attraction Model years have not been a good vintage for the church.

In response to a decrease in market share attendance the make-up message of the church was reformulated to more resemble what was perceived as a threat to future sales attendance, the attractive messages of worldly living. It was and, in some places still is a success with an increase in sales in attendance as predicted but it wasn’t long before the backlash started. They were messing with something that was fine the way it was to attract those who weren’t interested in it in the first place. The diehard fans of worldly living weren’t going to move over to the new more attractive version of church and the diehard fans of the original church weren’t happy with it either. I am and many churches are, Coca- Cola™.

Changing the main ingredients to attract people only works if the ingredients are wrong.

The problem isn’t change. If the original Coca- Cola™ tasted bad, not as a matter of personal preference but truly tasted bad, it would need to be changed. It turns out the taste wasn’t the reason market shares were down but rather the brand needed to be better represented to the public. The attention garnered by the reintroduction of Coca- Cola™ under the name Coca- Cola Classic™ later the same year that the New Coke™ was introduced, breathed new life into the same old product. I am and churches are tempted to be the New Coke™ early 1985 when they need to be the Coca-Cola Classic™ of late 1985, same ingredients, new packaging.

The recipe stays the same it’s the way we communicate that needs to change.

Millennials don’t need a low calorie form of Christianity. Gen X and Baby Boomers don’t need a sweeter Christianity with new ingredients or at least new amounts of each ingredient. Each generation may need Christianity expressed in new ways with new music, language and styles of communication but the main thing is still the main thing. The ingredients and the importance of each ingredient does not change in an attempt to wow the world because we are worried that our market share is slipping.

I have no problem dumping the Christianise of the generation before or retranslating the Bible into a language that is more representative of the day. I have no problem with stylistic changes in music and messaging. To me the problem only exists when our desire to reach the world leads to a change of message to suit the world. When our worry about not being the “in thing” or the accepted belief system leads us to franticly look for a way to make the message like the competing message and our culture like the culture of this world. Out of fear I am New Coke™ when I need to be Coca-Cola Classic™.

Christianity has all it needs in the pages of the Bible. We can change how we communicate to each generation but we can never change what we communicate – the recipe stays the same even if the packaging changes.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Guest Post – I Am Paul

Today’s guest post, I Am Paul, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am Paul

Maybe it would be better to put it this way; I feel like Paul. I know my writing will never carry the same weight and although it is possible, I will most likely not end up in jail for my beliefs. I do not foresee public beatings, angry crowds attempting to rip me limb from limb nor do I anticipate martyrdom as the end of my story. Still, even more than my previous posts (I am Mary, Thomas, Samuel, Peter, Adam, Judas, The Rich Young Ruler ) I feel like I am Paul.

It has been a long road.

What seemed to be sure things evaporated. Opportunities that should have panned out turned into dead ends. The work I was blessed to be a part of was what I would call a success from a preparation and presentation standpoint but lacked any long term outcomes. It wasn’t failure but rather the fact that a clear path with clear outcomes seemed to be allusive. I am Paul.

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. Acts 16:6-7 (NIV)

I have tried to point out issues that needed attention.

It is tough to tell someone that their “baby” is not doing well. It is even more difficult to get them to listen. Unity in the church is to be the goal but not at the cost of Christlike behaviour and Holy Spirit inspired actions. Power struggles under the disguise of godly leadership declare war on those who would seek a better way, a truly Godly way that does not give into the bombastic to avoid the inevitable fight. I must speak but that doesn’t mean they must listen. I am Paul

My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.  What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:11-13 (NIV)

I have experienced the good and the bad.

Two and a half years of unsteady work preceded by an incredibly successful year of transitional work, preceded by unsteady work hampered by health issues preceded by a great run doing music, theatre, overseeing homeless dinner outreaches, preaching and many more ministry related projects. This long run-on sentence was created to say it has been a roller coaster, no wait, more like a plane hitting turbulence, out of control and unpredictable. With this wild ride comes all the financial rewards and woes something I wish on no one. Through all this I am learning to trust God, to be content, not quite there yet but the journey is closer to the end than the beginning. I am Paul.

 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)

There are days that I struggle.

All the messages I give from the pulpit, all the advice I offer to those who ask, all the writing I do and the content it contains, it all says what I think is the Godly way, the Christ honouring way. If you were to take all that I have said, all that I have instructed others to do and hold it up against my life, the way I live, I would be embarrassed. I know what is good, what is right in the eyes of God but I fail. No matter how hard I try I end up doing things I shouldn’t and not doing the things I should. I am Paul.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15 (NIV)

I say I am like Paul but can I say…

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes… Romans 1:16 (NIV)

Am I Really Paul?

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Guest Post – I Am The Rich Young Ruler

Today’s guest post, I Am the Rich Young Ruler, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am The Rich Young Ruler

For those of you who know me, every part of the “rich young ruler” title is a lie! First, I am not rich. I will however, gladly give you some of my debt. Second, I am not young. I proudly proclaim to everyone that I am a grandfather 4 times over so no matter how young I appear, I am not young. Third, I am not a ruler. The closest I have gotten to a ruler is the straight edge we used in school. The one thing I can brag about is my ruler. In Canada a ruler is 30 units long unlike the American ruler which is only 12 units. Still, after all this I must admit that I am The Rich Young Ruler.

I have no problems asking Jesus what I must do.

I ask for direction and guidance. I ask if I am on the right track. I ask how I can better represent Him. I ask how to be a better husband, father, grandfather, son, pastor… I ask for inspiration in my writing. I ask for protection. I ask and I ask and I ask, what must I do to be/have all these things?

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Matthew 19:16 (NIV)

I have given up many things as a follower of Christ.             

I am sure there are many more things I will need to give up over the years I have left to live (remember I am not young anymore). I lack perfection but I do not lack the desire to obey the commandments of God. I would even go as far as to say I am totally committed to the requirements that Jesus gave in response to the man’s question.

“‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 19:18-19 (NIV)

I’m a pretty good guy.

I would say that even though I have wanted to kill a few people, I have had teenage boy thoughts about women (see Matthew 5:28), I have taken a few things that weren’t mine, I have lied, on occasion I have been a little less than honouring to my parents and while I have to admit I don’t always love my neighbour, hence the wanting to kill a few people, I’m still a pretty good guy.

I am not sure that I would go as far as The Rich Young Ruler and say “All these I have kept,”… “What do I still lack?” Matthew 19:20 (NIV), but I would be tempted to say I am living a pretty good life and ask Jesus “what do I still lack?” I hope Jesus wouldn’t answer with, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21 (NIV)

I have somethings in my life I want to keep.

I am not rich, young or a ruler. I don’t have much money, energy or power. So if Jesus told me to go sell everything I have it wouldn’t be that big a deal. I would have trouble parting with a few of the things that have personal meaning and bring back memories but I don’t see them as stumbling blocks in my relationship with Him. My desire to keep them is not a desire to hold them in higher regard than my saviour. I don’t see them as being in the way of my eternal life.

I have somethings I need to give up.

I may not have much money, energy or power, but I do have things that get in the way of me totally surrendering to God. Like The Rich Young Ruler there are things that I can do that are pleasing to God, things that align with His commands. Like The Rich Young Ruler there are things that take importance over God, things that I rely on instead of Him. These are the things I must give up. These are the things that give me security and a sense of power and position when who I am, what I do and in what I trust should all be defined by God.

I am The Rich Young Ruler, I find comfort in what I can do and what I have. Please don’t ask me to give it all up and trust God.

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Matthew 19:22 (NIV)

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Guest Post – I Am Judas

Today’s guest post, I Am Judas, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am Judas

Not a name most would like to call themselves but I am Judas. You may be thinking I am the other Judas, not Iscariot but the one mentioned in John 14:22 but that is not what I am saying. I am Judas, Judas Iscariot. In case you have not been following the “I am _______” series (I am Mary, Thomas, Samuel Peter and Adam) I want to assure you that I have not suffered some sort of mental illness that causes me to think I am anyone and possibly everyone other than Dave. I am Dave Peever but for this post I must state that I am Judas.

I have been called by Jesus.                                                                                 

I entered Bible college all excited; I was going to be a pastor. I was called and nothing could stop me. I may not have been the best student or the best example of a Christ follower but that didn’t matter, I was one of them. Life had meaning and goals, all I had to do was finish out my 3 years of training and I would be able to fulfill my calling. No longer would I be a student among students but rather I would be able to make a name for myself. I was Judas.

Money and position were important.

Summer break came and it was time to work, time to make money. It felt good to have cash in my pocket and a place to contribute. I was needed at work and I was rewarded at work. Position and profit soon called louder than commitment and Christ following. It didn’t matter who called me or what they called me to do, I had new meaning in life and new goals. I was Judas.

I didn’t leave the group, just backed off.

I didn’t return to Bible college, instead I pursued a career that had nothing to do with my calling. I’m not sure what others thought. I figure many saw me at church and assumed that my commitment to Jesus had not changed just my choice of how to live it out. I lived one way when Christians were looking so as to gain their approval while living totally different when they were not around so I could feed my lust for money and worldly position. I was Judas.

The only one I was truly fooling was me.

Maybe others thought I was still a follower of Christ but I would have to say that as time went on people stopped seeing me that way. They may not have written me off but it was becoming apparent that I was not the man I tried to trick people into thinking I was. The truth is I am not sure anyone was falling for my act although they all treated me the same as before. I had sold my relationship with Jesus for money and the approval of others and somehow I fooled myself into thinking He didn’t know. I was Judas.

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Matthew 26:14-16 (NIV)

 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” John 13:27 (NIV)

I may not have handed Jesus over to be killed but it isn’t beyond me to kill Him off in my everyday actions so that I can gain wealth and the approval of those who do not follow Him. I am Judas.

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Guest Post – I Am Adam

Today’s guest post, I Am Adam, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am Adam

For those who are getting a little worried about what appears to be a continuous identity crisis, please remain calm. I understand that some of my posts could lead people to believe that I suffer from some sort of multiple personality disorder after all I have said that I am Mary, Thomas, Samuel and Peter. Do not be alarmed, I am Dave, I always have been Dave and I always will be Dave. That being said, I am Adam.

God’s creation was perfect until sin entered the world.

I must admit that based on my 52 year old body, I am not the “pre sin entering the world” Adam. Actually, based on the processed food, sugar based, fatty fast food diet that North Americans including myself indulge in and the sedentary TV/computer lifestyle we live, I must assume I was never physically like the pre or post sin entering the world Adam. Still, I am Adam.

I have planted a garden.

I have never had God plant a garden for me nor have I been forced out of that garden and told, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return…” Genesis 3:19 (NIV) but I have got a little dirt under my fingernails trying to grow food in my backyard. Still, I am Adam.

I have a beautiful wife and helpmate.

My wife has offered me various fruit from both trees and plants and although this fruit has never got me in trouble with God, it has got me in trouble with my weight. Okay I need to be honest, not all of the fruit I eat… let me correct that, very little of the fruit I eat is without additional flavour enhancers. This is a nice way of saying pie crust, shortcake, sugar, ice cream and many more complementary ingredients are why I eat fruit. I am sure that these additional flavour enhancers, these complementary ingredients that I consider the only way to eat fruit, were not part of the temptation that Adam faced when offered a piece of the forbidden fruit by Eve. Still, I am Adam.

I have blamed others for temptations I have given into.

I hate to admit it but I have blamed my wife for my bad behaviours. It isn’t that she is always free of blame but rather that I am ultimately responsible for my reactions. I am in control of myself and whether my wife has done something to provoke me that she should not have done or I am having a bad day and anything she does provokes me, I need to show restraint, self-control and not allow myself to respond in a regrettable way.

If a friend offers me an opportunity to do something attractive but wrong and I join them, notice I used friend not my wife because she would never lead me down this path, I can blame them all I want but it does not remove my guilt. I am responsible for me no matter how much I am tempted by someone else. And yet I have been known to blame the other person. I am Adam.

“…she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12b (NIV)

I have blamed God for being involved in the temptations I have given into.

I’m not sure I have been as blatant in my blaming as I have been with others but still I have suggested that God played a role in my failings. “You put me here God, what do you expect me to do?” “You allowed me to experience this problem, how did you expect me to respond?” “You know the future so you knew this was going to happen, why didn’t you take me on a different course?”

I understand that God desires me to live a life that is holy, that He is not out to trip me up. I know that He is perfect and wants nothing to do with evil. I understand that His desire for me made evident by His willingness to sacrifice His son is to have relationship not separation. Still, I am Adam.

The man [Adam] said, “The woman you [God] put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  Genesis 3:12 (NIV)

I am Adam, I blame God and others for my current situation when I should take responsibility for my actions regardless of what is going on.

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!