Becoming A Red Letter Christian

Struggling to Live Out the Words of Jesus


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This year I have taken some hits. My reputation among some of my fellow Christian brothers and sisters has been called into question. I even met with one of them, discussed their concerns, shared my reasons for doing what I was doing, and even made myself available to help them in their efforts. But just as I suspected, it was not a genuine request. Although I have made myself available, they have refused to even acknowledge my presence in their meetings.

In the past 2 weeks I have come across a couple of churches that are more concerned with their reputation than they are about partnering with the greater Christian community. I don’t get it. The reason that I struggle with this stance is this:

Did Jesus ever worry about His reputation?

I read the words of the Gospels and I wonder why churches would worry. I have my own theory, but I welcome your’s.


Written by joeldiaz

December 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

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Seeing & Smelling Jesus

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“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.” -Matthew 25:35 (NLT)

“…when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” -Matthew 25:40 (NLT)

It was unseasonably cool this morning.  A student from the youth group I serve and I stood outside our local Salvation Army ringing the buzzer.  We were there to help serve breakfast to the men, women and children that had spent the night in the shelter and others coming in off the street.

The people began to enter the dinning room, and all I could focus on were their faces, hardened by their experiences. Their eyes painted stories of a people who were dejected, humiliated, broken, hurt, afflicted, and disheartened.  The odor of humanity struggling to survive filled the room.  It was at that moment that I realized what I was experiencing.  It was Jesus.

He was there.  He was the face I kept seeing.  He was the eyes that painted the stories of a broken people.  Yes we were serving the hungry, the thirsty and the stranger, but in doing so we were serving Jesus.  In my feeble imagination, that is what Jesus looks and smells like.

Written by joeldiaz

March 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Mother’s of Bullied Students on Oprah

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The mothers of Carl Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera will be on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Wednesday, May 6th.

Check it our here.

If you do not know who these young men are, refer to my previous two posts.

Written by joeldiaz

May 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Heavy Hearted

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My last post was about a boy named Karl Walker Hoover. A 6th grade boy that was bullied so much that he decided to commit suicide. Last night I was watching the news, and they were reporting on a boy named Jaheem Herrera from the Atlanta area.


My heart is heavy. Jaheem took his life this week because of the relentless bullying he endured. You can read the AJC story HERE. When will we (parents, educators, doctors, family, ect.) begin to pay acknowledge that this is a problem. Bullying is not some right of passage. It doesn’t happen to everyone. It’s not just meaningless words that kids brush off. It cuts to the core.

As a youth worker, these cases trouble me greatly. God give me wisdom when I encounter these situations.

Written by joeldiaz

April 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Bullying: “When Words Can Kill”

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I am getting sick of hearing students in our youth ministry verbally attack one another, and talk about other people outside of our community in a negative manner. I have come so close to reacting in a very negative way. It is only by God’s grace that I have not made a complete buffoon of myself in front of the students.

I don’t think they realize the power of their words. I was reminded once again while watching CNN’s AC360 this evening that…



My heart is broken tonight.

Read the full article here.

Written by joeldiaz

April 17, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Diary


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So, you can tell by my last post that I had good intentions. Then life happens.

The last few weeks have been absolutely Crazy (notice the capital “C”). Here is what has happened:

-We had a confirmation retreat and celebrated confirmation Sunday with 12 sixth graders

-Lisa saw the doctor and is scheduled for surgery Thursday

-Noah is leaving for a 10-day trip to Spain with my parents tomorrow

-I have been pulled in a 100 different directions

-I stopped reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan

-Read “Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning in preparation for a series of lectures he is going to be giving in Moultrie, GA (a town near Albany)

-Found out that Brennan Manning canceled all speaking engagements through May due to illness (remember him in your prayers)

-My computer crashed, and I spent 7 hours working to get it fixed (Apple has incredible customer service)

-I have now lost a total of 37 pounds since the beginning of the year (only 33 more to meet my goal)

-Traveled to the west coast with Mike Johnson and visited southern Cali, and SLC, Utah (yes, we skied)

I know there is more, but I am to tired to remember it all. Really looking forward to our trip to ATL next week to hang out with friends and family.

Written by joeldiaz

March 31, 2009 at 6:05 pm

crazy love

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i was captivated and challenged by francis chan this year at the national youth workers’ convention in nashville. he made it o.k. to acknowledge that there are many of us who think that there is something seriously wrong with the american church. i have walked around with that thought in my heart for a few years now. it was refreshing to hear someone ask about that in an open forum, and see so many in agreement.

crazy love

in response to that sermon and at the suggestion of others, i began reading crazy love by francis chan yesterday. i want to publicly journal as i walk through this book. i do not consider myself an academic, so please do not expect me to expound deep wisdom. nor is my purpose to review this book, i’ll leave that to the professionals.

my goal is to respond to the text as i sense God stirring within me. that is my prayer in this process, that God will stir up the passion for Him that i know is trapped in my soul. there is something that keeps me from shouting out His name, and i want the freedom and the boldness to do just that.

Written by joeldiaz

February 20, 2009 at 2:01 pm