Authentic


Some people consider me to be a food snob.  I come from a part of the country where food culture is king.  If it says Gina’s Kitchen outside the restaurant, it’s because Gina is cooking inside the restaurant.  Of all the great foods that Buffalo, NY churns out on a daily basis, none has caught on the way wings have.  Being from Buffalo, I am pretty picky about wings (food snob comments commence).  When I’m in the mood for wings, I want authentic wings.  Below I’ve listed a few things I look for on a menu to help determine if I should even try that establishments attempts to replicate one of the greatest culinary creations.

  • Wings – That’s it.  They are not buffalo wings, buffalo style chicken wings, hot wings, spicy wings or any other adjective.  They stand on their own merit simply as wings.
  • Boneless – Sorry folks, there’s not a bird out there without bones in their wings.  If they don’t have bones, they’re not wings!
  • Baked – Whoever decided it was a good idea to bake a wing was probably baked when they thought of it.  Deep fried is the only way to fly a real wing
  • Bleu Cheese or … – There is no such thing as bleu cheese or…!
There are so many other things that I could list.  I always ask what the base for the hot sauce is.  If it’s not Frank’s Original, I’m passing.  Breaded wings?  That’s a big “NO THANKS!”  I grew up on the real deal.  I want authentic wings.  Nothing else will do.
As a pastor, one of my top concerns when people visit The Lighthouse is their experience.  As a Christian, one of my top concerns is what do people encounter when they have spent time with me.  I want people to experience authentic church when they come to the Lighthouse.  I want people to have an authentic encounter with the presence of God when they spend time with me.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that is always the case.  A relationship with an” anything but authentic Christian” is as unenjoyable as wanna be wings… gross!
Much like the wing, there are a few things that we can look for in authentic Christians
  • Love – In John 13:35 Jesus tells His disciples the number ONE identifier of a disciple is LOVE!
  • Forgiveness – We are never more like Christ than when we forgive. Colossians 3:13
  • Grace – Grace is something we all want, but how quick are we to hand it out? Colossians 4:6
  • Mercy – If you want to experience the mercy of God, you must be an instrument of mercy Matthew 5:7

Again, like the wing, there are other indicators of authentic Christianity: joy; peace; patience; etc…  When someone tells me they don’t like wings, I always ask questions to qualify their statement.  More times than not, I’ve discovered they did not have authentic wings.  I’ve also found, too many times, the same to be true of people and the church.  When I meet someone with a negative outlook towards Christianity, I ask similar questions.  More times than not, it is because what they have experienced is anything but authentic Christianity.  Much like I want authentic wings, people are hungry for authentic Christians!  Nothing else will do!  Be authentic!!!!

Loving, Learning Living

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