Saturday, August 29, 2009

Exit 2 West Side Hwy Fringe Jesus

When my theater critic friend called wondering if I was interested in attending any of the FRINGE NYC theater productions, I jumped at the chance to be cool once more and I lit up the mood speakers in my Kia Soul ! and headed to the city.

I felt God smiling on me as he provided free parking and what do you know – right in front of St Anthony Padula, the official NYC patron saint of parking. Oh glorious day.

Tucked between SoHo and The Village, I was happy to find that Sullivan Street still hadn’t succumbed to corporate America as there wasn’t a Starbucks in sight. Instead there were three coffee shops all within a half block radius: Local, Once Upon a Tart and The Jean Claude CafĂ©. I chose my fair trade java at Local. After all, Grub Street NY reviewed, "Even people with hairy, unattractive babies can enjoy Local." So Local won out over Once Upon a Tart though O.U.T. had some really cool miniature Eiffel Towers on display. I think they were mocking Jean Claude but I couldn’t be sure.
As I made my way to the theater, I found this postcard: I just knew things were going to be all right. And showing at the theater? Billed as 100 years of Hollywood and 33 films starring Jesus…."Jesus Ride".

The first few minutes were promising enough with informative snippets from a variety of films ranging from The Greatest Story Ever Told to Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter to The Passion. Then the actor/playwright spent the next hour or so 1) bashing The Trinity Broadcasting Network, 2)portraying Christians as people who believe Jews are bad because Jews killed Jesus and 3) moaned and moaned about working for a Christian director/dictator from TBN. Gosh, if I wanted to hear someone complain for an hour, I could have just gone to my day job.

Numbers 11:1Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Exit 9 New Brunswick Jesus

New Brunswick was first settled way back in 1681 as Prigmore’s Swamp and was later renamed in 1714 after the city of Braunschweig, Germany. Now the Duke of Brunswick later became King George I of Great Britain and the street, which bears his name, cuts through the heart of this college town.

Here on George Street you’ll find The Blingdom of God, perhaps the largest collection of gold Jesus heads in the state supplied by the Gangsta Gold Company. Go figure.

As I stood on the street soaking in all the Jesus bling, the owner came out and asked if I was interested in a Jesus Piece. I quickly accessed my portable Urban Dictionary to find Jesus Piece:
Oversized platinum, gold or silver pendant sometimes encrusted with diamonds and other gems made in the likeness of Jesus. These pendants are worn on a heavy rope style of necklace.

The Jesus piece, and other styles of large pendants worn with rope style jewelry have been a staple of hip-hop youth culture for nearly thirty years. Presently, hip hop artists and fans alike use the Jesus piece as a symbol of being "hood" or keepin' it real and being extravagantly wealthy at the same time. The Jesus piece testifies to the fact "you can take the man out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the man."

Well that got me thinking of the other type of Jesus Peace and ya know, that Urban Dictionary was all over it:

Giving advice to walk away -Ay man throw up that Jesus Peace and walk away man, its not worth it.

Or a greeting-Ay My Dude! Jesus Peace, wuzup?

Luke 7:50: Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Acts 17:29: Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Exit 11 Woodbridge Jesus

Dave Ramsey, the personal money management expert, extols the virtue of the 7 baby steps to financial peace. Step 1: $1,000 in emergency fund; Step 3: three to six months expenses in savings; Step 4: invest 15% of income; Step 5: save for college. These steps all involve some form of saving while Step 7 involves quite the opposite…giving.

Now I’m a hands-on, visual kinda guy so while wise old Dave provides wonderful web-based tracking documents galore, I’m so old school that I’m thinking of my savings more on the lines of a piggy bank.

Then as fate would have it, I stumbled into that mecca of all things crappy retail, Spencer Gifts in Woodbridge. As a meandered through the toxic air of over-sized rubber boobs and every body part known to man and woman, I found my Jesus-inspired piggy bank.
I’m savin’ up for Jesus! Now that motivates me. There’s just something about a large coin hitting the bottom of tin that excites my savings gene. And every time I drop a dime I’m reminded (photo) Jesus Saves Me.
While I may not be able stuff all of Dave Ramsey’s baby steps into this tin canister, Step 7 is written there right on the side. When this bank is bursting with blessed cash, be sure to hand it over to your favorite nun or priest.

Baby Steps 1,3, 4 & 5: Hebrews 12:11 "No discipline (savings) seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

Baby Step 7: II Corinthians 9:7
"God loves a cheerful giver."