Tag Archives: Clothing

Things to Do In 2019: Lose an “X”

Honesty Is the Best Policy

OK, I am going to be completely honest with you, dear reader, and the rest of the world – even Dr. Phil…

I’m overweight! 

If the truth be known, I could stand to lose 40 pounds and at least one “X” from my clothing. My current collection is 2 X’s, including an extra “X” for more casual occasions. Believe it or not, my first new suit in years had a coat size of 50R!  I should be in a 44, or less.

Needless to say, I am not as photo-worthy as the sleek version of myself in my header pic, that’s for sure. That’s why I haven’t changed it in the last 8 years!

Not My Temple

But the thing that is so hard to remember when I get a hankering for fresh-baked bread is that this body does not belong to me – it belongs to the Lord.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. – 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 

God not only owns my soul, but He owns this old (literally) body, too. My body is His temple, and I have never been given permission to build any extensions.

Therefore, it is my intention to restore the condition of this fleshly temple, making it more usable and more profitable for the One who owns it in 2019 and beyond.

To do otherwise would be a sin.

Literally.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin. – James 4:17

 

Oh, and I’ve got to average 83 views a day to break that 30,000 mark.

8 Comments

Filed under clothing, Food, the future

On Burning Burberries and Babies

Waking to the News

I don’t advise it, but it’s something I do often … I wake up to the news.

Honestly, the first thing I should do before rolling out of bed in the morning is pray or read a verse of Scripture. Yet, because my phone is my alarm clock, and because there’s usually a message that pops up right after I turn off the alarm, I habitually (may addictively) take a quick look (just a peek) at what’s happened overnight or the big news story of the day.

This morning, besides the incessant drum of anti-Trump rhetoric and the usual “Russian collusion” vitriol, there was a story about a clothing retailer that burned $37 million of its own over-stocked inventory.

And the masses rose up in protest.

Burberry Burning

Image credit: Wikipedia

Now, if you do most of your shopping at “off-the-rack” stores like I do, especially when items are on clearance, you’ve probably never even heard of Burberry. Again, if you’re like me, it is highly unlikely you’ve paid 3,000 dollars for a coat, so Burberry’s products are probably not hanging in your closet.

So, if you are a commoner like me (or just refuse to spend a lot of money on designer clothing), what Burberry does with their overstocked inventory couldn’t matter less in my mind. However, when the news came out that the British fashion label incinerated $37 million dollars worth of their clothes rather than let it fall into the hands of discounters or the “grey market,” a true meltdown ensued.

Many cried, “Why couldn’t they just give the clothes to the poor?” Others, like Sheena Raza Faisal at the website “Jezebel” wrote: “Let me be clear—the label literally burned fashion and cosmetic products carrying the Burberry trademark, because capitalism is a nonsensical loop of wastefulness.” Oh, the horrors of making a profit. Most just saw the whole thing as a waste of good merchandise – $37 million dollars worth.

Determining Value

But what are we really talking about? Are we talking about the burning of clothing that could have been offered to employees of Burberry or given to the coatless poor, or are we just upset that we didn’t get a chance at snatching up something for free?

Think about it, there’s something more offensive when we hear of expensive things being destroyed as opposed to inexpensive things. If Ferrari or Porche disclosed that it was going to reduce its inventory by crushing fifty $200,000 cars a month, you and I would be sickened. But if Ford announced that it was going to do the same with fifty of its units, each of which worth no more than $30,000, we’d barely sniff out a complaint.

The reason Burberry can charge so much for its products (i.e., $1,350 per coat) is because of low volume, high demand, and brand exclusivity (the very thing anti-capitalists complain about but love to wear). The $37 million dollars worth of merchandise equates to around 20,000 coats.

Had the same 20,000 coats retailed for only $50 each (like what I’d buy), we’d only be talking around a million dollars worth of merchandise burned. Sad, but not newsworthy.

Incalculable Value

But what of the worth of a child? What of the worth of an unborn baby? What of the worth of a human being with full potential? Who can determine it?

Burberry’s clothing and makeup products are expensive because of limited quantity, high demand, and prestige. However, very little about these products differ from similar products produced by other companies – only the label.

On the other hand, every human life (inside or outside the womb) has intrinsic value. In other words, each of us – including the unborn – are valuable despite anything else. We are valuable because of Who designed us, Who created us, and Who already set the price for us on the cross of Calvary.

People are up in arms because around 20,000 coats (and makeup) were destroyed last year. Yet, last year in the U.S. alone, around 600,000 or more babies (estimated) were destroyed in the womb. At least that’s down from a million in 2011. Yay. Woohoo.

And what do the “Jezebel”-like folk think about all THAT waste?

They “Thank God for Abortion.” (Viewer discretion advised)

Too bad we can’t stop destroying babies and just burn more coats.

6 Comments

Filed under Abortion, current events, politics

A Question of Dignity

Much is said about how people should dress, like “dressing down” and dressing for success.” But how should a minister, a pastor, a “reverend” dress? For that matter, how should a pastor behave in public? How should his position affect his demeanor? Ever thought about that?

It’s a question regarding the appropriate level of dignity exhibited by those in ministry.

Differences

Some of you may disagree with me on this, but I do believe that there is something to be said about the differences between pastors and the congregation. If you are Catholic or main-line Protestant this is probably a non-issue, but it is an issue in other circles, specifically in evangelical churches.

Many of us are well aware that Scripture teaches that there is no essential difference between one believer and another: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Furthermore, many of us treasure the biblical doctrine of the “priesthood of the believer” that confirms all Christians have equal access to God, not needing the intercession or mediation of an earthly priest (Ephesians 2:18, 3:12; Hebrews 4:14-16, 10:19; and 1 Peter 2:5). Some folk, especially many of my Baptist brethren, even refrain from using terms such as “clergy” and “laity” because, in essence, we are all the same.

anthony political

The “official” me.

However, if we are all the same, if there is no difference at all, no difference in expectation or qualification, why then do we have such passages as 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9? Why would Paul have instructed Timothy and Titus to ordain godly men to the work of “bishop” in the first place if there were no need for men of distinction?

The truth is that there is a biblical mandate of conduct for the role and specific offices of pastor, bishop, elder, teacher, and deacon. Those persons should be known as set apart, qualified, mature, devoted, and serious about the work (Titus 2:7).

I Struggle

I will admit, I struggle with this issue from time to time. You may not think it’s a big deal, but I think it is. The thing I don’t want is to be legalistic, prideful, arrogant, or aloof and never fun, accessible, down-to-earth, and humble.

But where does one draw the line? At what point can one say, “That [activity] is not appropriate for a person in that position” without coming across as elitist?

vbs ice cream head

The “ice cream” me.

Let’s face it, when it’s time for a fall festival or children’s activity, every one wants a pastor who is not afraid or too proud to look like a fool for the sake of a smile. It was Jesus who had little children running up to him, sitting on his knee, and enjoying being in his presence. The pastor who never laughs, never takes a shaving cream-pie in the face, or dresses up like a farmer for Vacation Bible School will never win the heart of a child.

On the other hand, the one dying in a hospital (or on the side of the road) wants more than a clown or a hip public speaker to kneel by his side or take her hand.

I struggle with where to draw the line, where being like everybody else must give way to the demeanor of one elected to lead. Sure, context is always going to make a difference, but is there no place for  gravitas in the modern church?

Grace and context. …Grace and context. That’s the only way I know to approach this.

I’d love to read what you think! Where do you see the line between dignity and doofus? 

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Maturity, clothing, General Observations, legalism, ministry

Shined Shoes

Several years ago (three, to be exact) a reader named Anne gave me a suggestion that got me to thinking. She said,

“More writing having to do with legalism, and the recovery process would be greatly appreciated!”

Then, I wrote the following post and saved it as a “draft.” I don’t know why I never published it, but I’m going to do so right now – 3 years late.


Thank you, Anne, for the call to refocus.

So, in an effort to encourage more debate on legalism, I am going to share a story with you. It is a story I heard from a really neat guy I met yesterday. His name – Dr. Shine.

Dr. Shine

Yesterday, I went on a service call in downtown Chattanooga (a client had questions regarding his credit card service). While waiting for the business owner to show up, I stood outside on the sidewalk under a shade tree, right next door to a shoe repair shop.

Dr. Shine (I don’t know his real name), who was also standing outside, was greeting people as they walked by. It didn’t take long for me to strike up a conversation, and before long I was invited into his shop to have my shoes shined. “C’mon in,” he said, as he led me to his specially built chair. “Jus step on up dare, and I’ll fix you right up.”

The great doctor did a great job shining my shoes, even though they hadn’t been polished much since I bought them. As he was buffing away I looked down and said, “Good-looking shoes make a difference, don’t they?”

That’s when he told me about a lawyer.

The Story

Dr. Shine told me that twice a week an attorney comes into his shop, climbs up into his chair, and pays to have his shoes shined. “Five hundred dollar suites don’t mean nothin’ if your shoes look bad,” the doctor said. “People notice.”

Evidently what happened is this lawyer had dared go to court all dressed up, but his shoes must have looked bad. According to Dr. Shine, the judge in the courtroom said, “The next time you want to bring your a** in my courtroom, you’d better shine your shoes!”

The lawyer has had polished shoes ever since.

What about Church?

Why is it that people will show the utmost respect for a judge in an earthly court, but so little for the holiness of God?

After talking with Dr. Shine, the shoeshine man, I thought about how many times I’ve seen people dress up for a court appearance, but dress down for church.

We talk “grace” and all, but what about respect? We talk about “entering into His presence,” but do we really mean it?

Clothing has nothing to do with one’s spirituality, so don’t misunderstand me. However, here’s something to think about: How would your shoes look if you were literally about to enter into the Courtroom of the Judge of all the Universe?

I’d shine my shoes.

3 Comments

Filed under legalism, Life Lessons

Honor the Court, but Not God?

The Courthouse

This morning I went to the county courthouse. No, I was not in any kind of trouble; I was turning in some paperwork needed for me to be a chaplain with our Sheriff’s department.

Unfortunately for me, I am having difficulty locating physical proof of my high school education! I have no idea where my diploma went, and I don’t have any transcripts. I mean, once I got accepted into college back in the mid 1980’s no one suggested that I keep all the high school stuff. Go figure.

Anyway, inside the courthouse there are several elevators (we have those in Tennessee). Inside the elevators is posted a sign which informs those going to court what NOT to wear.

photo (2)

The Church House 

There are many churches that have similar signs – maybe not posted where everyone can see, but implied and enforced. For example, when I was younger the following NO’s were common…

  • NO Long hair (as in touching the ears and especially the collar) on men and boys.
  • NO Pants on women or girls.
  • NO Wire-rimmed glasses.
  • NO Neon-colored clothing of any kind.
  • NO T-shirts with the names of secular OR contemporary Christian music groups.
  • NO Casual clothing of any kind on Sunday morning…or evening…or at Wednesday night prayer meeting…or on visitation…or to a singing…or to a revival…etc.

Yes, there were some strict dress codes in my earlier years, even up until my 20’s. But were dress codes really that big of a problem? Or was it just the fact that so many judged each other’s spiritual fitness by what they chose to wear?

As I see it, we have now gotten to a point when dress codes mean nothing, from the pew to the pulpit. Frankly, what seems to be the norm these days is that whatever would least pass the muster in a courtroom winds up being the most desirable fashion statement in a worship setting!

The Heavenly Judge

I’ve written about this stuff before in “What to Wear to Church”; what you wear to church or other religious gatherings is totally between you and God and your conscience. Your style of clothing shouldn’t be used as a gauge of your spirituality – that’s legalism.

However, should it not concern us when the world outside the church has more respect for secular courtrooms than where we meet to hear the Holy Word of the Heavenly Judge of all mankind proclaimed?

Just a thought. We have those in Tennessee, too.

3 Comments

Filed under clothing, General Observations, legalism

A Question of Dignity

Much is said about how people should dress, like “dressing down” and dressing for success.” But how should a minister, a pastor, a “reverend” dress? For that matter, how should a pastor behave in public? How should his position affect his demeanor? Ever thought about that?

It’s a question regarding the appropriate level of dignity exhibited by those in ministry.

Differences

Some of you may disagree with me on this, but I do believe that there is something to be said about the differences between pastors and the congregation. If you are Catholic or main-line Protestant this is probably a non-issue, but it is an issue in other circles, specifically in evangelical churches.

Many of us are well aware that Scripture teaches that there is no essential difference between one believer and another: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Furthermore, many of us treasure the biblical doctrine of the “priesthood of the believer” that confirms all Christians have equal access to God, not needing the intercession or mediation of an earthly priest (Ephesians 2:18, 3:12; Hebrews 4:14-16, 10:19; and 1 Peter 2:5). Some folk, especially many of my Baptist brethren, even refrain from using terms such as “clergy” and “laity” because, in essence, we are all the same.

anthony politicalHowever, if we are all the same, if there is no difference at all, no difference in expectation or qualification, why then do we have such passages as 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9? Why would Paul have instructed Timothy and Titus to ordain godly men to the work of “bishop” in the first place if there were no need for men of distinction?

The truth is that there is a biblical mandate of conduct for the role and specific offices of pastor, bishop, elder, teacher, and deacon. Those persons should be known as set apart, qualified, mature, devoted, and serious about the work (Titus 2:7).

I Struggle

I will admit, I struggle with this issue from time to time. You may not think it’s a big deal, but I think it is. The thing I don’t want is to be legalistic, prideful, arrogant, or aloof and never fun, accessible, down-to-earth, and humble.

But where does one draw the line? At what point can one say, “That [activity] is not appropriate for a person in that position” without coming across as elitist?

vbs ice cream headLet’s face it, when it’s time for a fall festival or children’s activity, every one wants a pastor who is not afraid or too proud to look like a fool for the sake of a smile. It was Jesus who had little children running up to him, sitting on his knee, and enjoying being in his presence. The pastor who never laughs, never takes a shaving cream-pie in the face, or dresses up like a farmer for Vacation Bible School will never win the heart of a child.

On the other hand, the one dying in a hospital (or on the side of the road) wants more than a clown or a hip public speaker to kneel by his side or take her hand.

I struggle with where to draw the line, where being like everybody else must give way to the demeanor of one elected to lead. Sure, context is always going to make a difference, but is there no place for  gravitas in the modern church?

I’d love to read what you think! Where is the line between dignity and doofus? Or is there one?

5 Comments

Filed under Christian Maturity, clothing, General Observations, legalism, ministry

Silent In the Face of Weird

Elf On a Bus

It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I have a sense of humor – and I don’t mind showing it. Yes, I understand it can be uncomfortable, especially for deacons and seminary professors, and hard to understand, but humor is a gift from God.

photo (8)Therefore, I hope it does not shock you to see me dressed as a green-haired elf. Before I drove my afternoon route, I put on a wig and vest I bought at Target, along with the little red collars we had on our dogs. Needless to say, I got more than a few looks.

Different Reactions

As you can imagine, a lot of people, especially little children, got a kick out of my outfit. But some of the reactions sorta surprised me.

The elementary-age children acted pretty much the way I expected.

  • “Why are you dressed like a clown?”
    I’m not a clown…I’m an elf!
  • “Why don’t you have pointy ears?”
  • “Where are your shoes?”
    What do you mean? These are my shoes!
  • “Can I touch your hair?”
    Why? Do I ever ask to touch your hair?

Adults were a mixed bag.

  • “I like your vest,” said a lady at the McDonald’s drive-through.
  • “Did you make that?” I asked, “Is that a positive or a negative?”

But it was the teenagers that really amazed me. They epitomized our multi-cultural, politically correct society by never saying a single word. They said nothing.

As a matter of fact, most would only glance in my direction, trying not to be noticed.

Fearful Acceptance

There used to be a day when a green-haired, red-cuffed individual would be stopped by the police. There used to be a day when kids would laugh at a person dressed the way I was. There used to be a day when grown men and women would simply ask, “What in the world are you doing dressing like a fool this early in December?”

Now-a-days, strange is normal. And what is worse, society has made every one so afraid of saying anything that no one will say what most people think: “You look like an idiot!” Free speech has been silenced in the face of weird.

Sad, isn’t it. 

3 Comments

Filed under America, Christmas, clothing, current events, General Observations, Humor, Life Lessons, World View