God’s tears.

sometimes, i hear God crying.

i hear His tears fall upon the pane of window seals
as if He is standing right outside, awaiting my total surrender.

i hear His tears slide down the backs of bruised beings who
refuse to leave the abuse of their desires because they fall so deep.

i hear His tears dive into the debris of terrorist attacks and
the puddles of pain from tornadoes, tsunami’s and hurricanes.

i hear His tears glide through the sky when my friends get high
and drunk and black out because they needed a quick fix and escape.

i hear His tears weep in the crevices of the cracks of the concrete that
earthquakes attack on repeat even after defeating a country that is slummed in poverty.

i wonder, what will make Him stop crying?
and then,

i heard His tears jump into pillows of joy when the remains of every sorrowful tear
were fetched into a bucket of submission to Thee because that was His highest plea.

for us to love Him more than life because He submitted and saved our life
from eternal damnation to be binded with Him, eternally.

if you listen closely, you’d hear His tears too.

Midnight Showing

I’m going to see Twilight: Eclipse, the midnight showing.

In preparation I realized that I had to get an outfit!

There is no way that anyone can go to a midnight showing of a movie like this without being dressed up. You’ll be the odd man out.

My goodness, people start to think that you’re not a real fan.

They question why you’ve come and what you were thinking for not dressing up.

In fact, your attire is a representation of your love for the film.

Yeah — it’s that serious.

And God Thinks So, Too

God has a number of things that He wants us to put on:

FIRST: Put On Christ! (Romans 13:14) And make no provision for the flesh.

1. Put on Christ! Trust in the security and righteousness that He gives you when you have faith in Him!

  • Jesus Christ lived a perfect life!
  • He died a gruesome death – and suffered indescribable spiritual torment – in order to pay for sins which He never committed, so
  • He could buy back those who trust in Him from facing a wrath that we could never satisfy (or, that would last forever) so
  • We could live, beginning with our lives now, forever reconciled with God, through Him, who satisfies every longing of our souls – who, in fact, completes us.
  • And! He dresses us in His righteousness so that every time His Father looks at us He sees the righteousness of Christ! Amazing! We are bought and kept by the free gift of God, His Son Jesus Christ.
  • Have faith, put on Christ!

THEN: Put On Christ! Wear His Attributes! (Colossians 3:12-17)

2. Look like the name you claim! Jesus didn’t just walk around any kind of way.

Just like the fans (the real ones, anyway) who don’t show up to the midnight showing, or  the game, concert, etc., without donning their costumes, jerseys, team colors, or t-shirts, followers of Christ are instructed to don their team colors – the evidence that they’re really repping for #TeamJesus now. Namely,

  • Compassion,
  • Kindness,
  • Humility,
  • Meekness,
  • Patience,
  • Forgiveness,
  • Love,

Always hiding the Word of God in your heart.

Become a fan, get the costume.

POWER. part 1. just an intro.

single art for kanye west ft. dwele - power.

“power” is an extremely interesting and sought-after word.

according to merriam-webster, “power” is defined as:

  1. the ability to act or produce an effect.
  2. a possession of control, authority, or influence over others.
  3. (a) a physical might (b) mental or moral efficacy (c) political control or influence.

now, kanye west has a new single featuring dwele titled, “power,” produced by texas’ own: (s1) symbolyc one of strange fruit project.

on first listen i was like, “eh” – mainly due to the fact that ye’s boastful lyrics and glorification of the “fast life” (which only lead to destruction) stuck out like roger clemens in a weight room. but upon listening to the song with my headphones in (which exploits the true essence of music), a few of his lyrics were literally jumping out at me, and i begin to meditate on lyrics such as:

  • “no one man should have all that power.” – a popular line from spike lee’s malcolm x film.
  • “now this will be a beautiful death: jumping out the window, letting everything go, letting everything go.”
  • “do you got the power to let power go?”

now before i dive into this series, if you haven’t listened to the song (beware of lyrics), peep it if you’d like, maybe once or twice, for the context of the lines mentioned, but listen to glorify God.

also, i charge us to read about Jesus’ power via the gospel according to mark, and to be on the look out for “POWER, part 2: no one man should have all that power!”

God is love. Jesus is God. The Holy Spirit told me so. and i pray that the power of Jesus’ beautiful death will not only be a mere fact to us, but the very pinnacle of our existence!

Are You Satanic? (Maybe) Pt.1

This has been on my mind and heart for a minute.

Often times in today’s culture and time we consider a certain word (or rather family of words) extremely “harsh/heavy”:

Satanic/ism & Demonic/ism

When words like these are used, images of bloody corpses, dead babies, goats, Jay Z, 666’s, & etc. are brought to mind- and while I wouldn’t disagree that these above things are/can be satanic and demonic, it’s more than that.

A BIT OF HISTORY

Satan is a fallen angel, a created being who in his pride aspired to be his own master, i.e God. In that proud rebellion, satan took quite a bit of angels with him as he left heaven, they too being enemies of God and rebellious as well. So when looking at the Biblical circumstantial definition, we see being satanic/demonic is not always just rocking all black, joining the Illuminati, etc., but rather being proud and desiring to be your own ruler, or i.e. God, like satan/demons.

If we use this definition, would you say that you are satanic/demonic? (I know I would.) If I were you say that you fell into this category, what would you say the answer would be? Let me give you a hint…

Ephesians 2:1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

A mouthful huh? Read it, and really check it out! Get back at me! Part 2 is coming soon.

Dogs according to GOD

Flickr.com

For all you dog lovers… I prefer cats, but dogs are cool too. I personally have nothing against dogs.

But you have to admit, a dog is a pretty lowly creature. A cat can keep itself clean, doesn’t need to be walked, doesn’t drool or lick you incessantly(in most cases)….but nevertheless, I digress.

Recently, after revisiting a poem i wrote about “dogs” ( which you’ll have a chance to read shortly), I examined my motivations behind writing such deliberately harsh verses. After doing a quick search at blueletterbible.org…I realized that God often refers to dogs harshly as well, and when He’s refering to dogs He’s often metaphorically speaking of the sinner….namely, US.

Here are just a few examples:

They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain. Isaiah 56:11

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” Matthew 15:26

And so I came to the conclusion that the following poem was once written in response to the memory of my doggish days.

Here it go.

–Untitled–
We were once doggish.
feasting on fodder in a low, dark place.
Let us focalize our lives of old!
And scream madly for furtherance apart from it!
We were a feral people, in a sad wild state,
roaming and muddy.
Our mouths…feculant.
Our bodies…shamelessly defiled.
The tongue, a whip for the flay of  human souls!
we, the dead.
we, the ash of the air.
we, a stench of  hatred, with a thickness of despair.
Laden with a load, we did not sit, nor stand, nor walk.
Our souls still, heavy with the paste of sin.
The muck of it. The disaster. Weighed down in
greasy, disgusting matter.
But lo, I recall these moments as in history!
For we were once as doggish beasts.
Our lives of old were lives of the caked crusts of hell.
Less than all things, no light, no rescue.
How then are we here?
In us there was no hardiness.
No correctness in the least, nor the greatest.
Recall yet,
How fluxuous the world can be!
While our doggish form still reigned in us,
master over our frames…
there has always been One with whom all rested.
And He poured over us a mixture
too delightful to comprehend!
Human foible has often tried to describe…
the Truth for all has been unveiled to all!
The fragrance of Life is harmonic with us now!
Blessed are we, His children.
Kneeling on the hassock before Him,
we cry Abba, Father!
Because now that fearsome dark has been overcome!
Our doggish drooling, turned to prudent pleading, passion for purity.
Hope is in.
We, the living!
We, the loved!
We, redeemed, and abiding in the aroma of Life.
Henceforth, let us recall our dog days as past.
For we are sheltered by Him, Our Master.
And never alone.

It’s impossible for a dog to be transformed into a man. Just as it is impossible for an innately sinful human to be righteous.  Jesus Christ made this transformation possible when He gave His life for us. To me this means I don’t have to run around acting like a dog anymore. I can walk and live like I was always meant to. I urge you to dive into the scriptures and seek to understand for yourself what this means for you.  With that, my prayer is that we would humbly allow Jesus Christ to reign in our hearts as Master over us. Remember, He paid the price for all our sins when He died on the cross!  Perhaps some might turn away from sin and chase after Him. God Bless!

“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Matthew 15:27

between two worlds.

i just typed an uber informative, awesome, post about my day today and trip lee’s new album between two worlds, and the entire thing deleted when i was trying to highlight one link and erase it, and then it autosaved an all white space. yes i tried to retrieve it but all it would undo was the measly link. first my favorite pictures i’ve ever taken in life, now this. sighs. let us pray …

trip lee's between two worlds.

now, what i was saying was that after going on a spontaneous lunch today at el torro, i went to best buy to cop trip lee’s newbie, between two worlds. it wasn’t there. tisk tisk. so i ended up listening to the listening party that reach records and trip lee did for the album. to say the least, it was awesome!

i’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs off of the album! twisted. trip lee ft. lecrae, pro, and thi’sl. peace!

*update*

good hope’s youth and young adult ministries will be hosting “hope for the tre,” with trip lee and tedashii in concert, on august 27th!

Why I Preach the Gospel and Why You Should Too

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the single greatest force for change that the world has ever known.  I grew up trying to figure out in which arena I could make the most change in the world.  I first believed that politics was the area in which wholesale change could be made in the world.  I believed that if you became President of an organization or President of the United States of America that you could enact changes in policy that would make sure that we conquered poverty, world hunger.  I believed that if good people were put into office we could change the world.  At some point, I figured out that politics at its root was filled with compromise and corruption.  I did not believe that real change could happen through a political system. I vote, but not with hope. My hope then shifted into the financial arena.  I saw that people who had economic clout could earn and buy power.  You didn’t have to be the politician who changes things.  You can be the person who supports the politician who changes things.  But I began to see that even money at the end loses its power.  Our school system is broke, but at the heart of it is not actually money.  It’s a commitment to educate children rather than train them to be monkeys who are able to regurgitate bits of information.  It’s a commitment to teachers who would spend the time to make sure that they are not just socially promoting kids.  Its about parents who will recommit their time to making sure that children have the support they need at home.  The problem is more than just money.  At some point, I figured that no matter how much money or power you had, the real issue was the heart.  That people at their core are wicked and deceitful and did things, even good things, to their advantage. People at the core just don’t want to do the right thing.

I began to see that the root cause of all poverty, disease, homeless, etc. was sin.  People are poor because rich nations don’t want to share with poor nations, because it is not in their national self-interest.  Approximately 3/7ths of the world’s riches reside in the United States of America and the rest of the world (well over 300 countries) share 4/7ths.  HIV is killing communities, but if everybody decided that they would have one lifetime sexual partner, we would eradicate AIDS within one generation.  But it is impractical, because sin exists, and people want to do generally what they want to do, regardless of whether it hurts God or other people.  No politician and no amount of money can change people’s HEARTS.

That is why the gospel (good news) of Jesus is needed – because when people believe in the good news concerning Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit regenerates them and transforms them into a new creature. John 3:5, 2 Cor. 5:17.  That person now has the ability to love God and to love people.  That’s why we need more people who will share this message with their loved ones with their neighbors and with everyone they meet.  Our communities can be one where the smell of brotherly love is in the air.  The early church communities experienced this, when there was need among them they gave everything they had, so that none among them would suffer want.  Acts 2:38-45.  They gave like this because God had transformed their hearts and radically changed their focus from temporal blessings to the enjoyment of their fellowship with an eternal God.  We need more preachers.  I’m not talking about Sunday talkers, but Monday walkers.  Share the message of Jesus living, dying, and being resurrected for your eternal life with God with all that you meet.  Live as if this is true in your life and watch God transform the people around you.

If you want to see more about how this message changed the world read the book of Acts.

how long must women wait for liberty.

The post Civil-War Womans Suffrage movement by its original leaders is inspiring to male and female alike. These women were pioneers who never got to fully see the fruit of their seeds of sacrifice; women such as Susan B. Anthony.

the silent fight for freedom.

The second wave of Women’s Suffrage leaders during World War I [such as Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Dr. Shaw, & Lucy Burns] would be attacked for the rights of others to live life. 168 women under the leadership of Alice Paul were unjustly imprisoned and tortured in D.C. These women picketed the White House day after day silently protesting demanding equality.

I would argue that America did not become a true democratic republic (by reality, not definition) until after these women were given the right to vote. The American society was seen as hypocritical in other countries to say “we are fighting for the right of Democracy worldwide” in WWI yet oppress people in their own country from living under the statutes they were “fighting” for.

Susan B. Anthony Amendment was the original name of the 19th amendment, post-ratification. These women fought for the law to be fulfilled to its maximum potential. The grace of God was truly upon them.

It is so great how God shows so much grace. Susan B. Anthony who said, “resistance to tyranny is obedience to God” was so correct. Following the example of her Lord Jesus Christ who set the captives free she was able to stand against the tyranny of the male dominated government. Just like Jesus stood opposed to the Roman empire these women stood against the American government; redefining a nation.

These women saw themselves as citizens under One God who deserve rights equal to men. Jesus Christ fought the establishment not with sword and shield but with meekness and a quiet tongue. Like a lamb lead to the slaughter Christ did not make a noise on the way to the cross. He was falsely imprisoned and severely tortured so others can have the rights to be adopted as sons & daughters of God. Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirement of the law within us setting us free from oppression of the enemy.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. – I Peter 3:7

Under Christ male & female are equal but play separate roles. We both are heirs of the throne yet physically women, more often than not, are the weaker vessel: It is the way God made us genetically. This does not mean that we all do not deserve the same rights, but that men should look after women in a manner worthy of the gospel they believe in. God takes His daughters seriously & men are called to protect their bodies & hearts. We must all fight for the rights as human beings while forgetting not the love of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.

our Father.

this goes out to those who believe they are among the fatherless crew. my heart and these words go out to you.

i’ve grown up in a fatherless home, no daddy around. just me. my mom. and my brother in the house. daddy walked out – left us cold. no letter, no hugs, he just had to go. sometimes, i’d cry. i wondered who would teach me how i was supposed to be approached by males. who was i to look at, mimicking a love between a woman and a man. where was i to go when my heart got broken. who would teach my brother how to be a man. who would teach him how to play sports. where would he go when he needed a man to man conversation. i always wondered these things. and my pillows were drenched in curiosity and anguish and lament for the longest. because i was branded a bastard. a child with no dad. just a kid made from a loveless sperm cell. nothing and no one more , nothing and no one less.
i could not fathom living another day with this burden i had placed upon myself with not having a father in our household. i wasn’t fully alive.
i never thought a day in my life that i’d be saying this … but my Father actually adopted me. my eternal Father … you know … your Father too … our Heavenly Father, God. He knew what He was doing when He allowed His own will to be done, by orchestrating our father’s out of our lives the way He did. by any Godly means necessary, He wanted us to fall down and call on Him, calling Him Daddy.
just as an earthly father would wrap his strong arms around his child in a quaky storm, our Heavenly Father wraps His strong arms around us through the good and the bad, eternally. that’s forever. that’s faithful. that’s Love. the Son of God gave His life up for you and i, why shall we continue to dwell upon what’s not, and what will possibly NEVER be here with us. we have Someone so much greater holding His arms out for us to come and rest in them. why must we continue to turn away?
we may have been left, mistreated, raped and/or molested by our earthly father … but now, we are adopted with love, grace, passion, and faithfulness by God the Father.  He has the remedy for the broken hearts.  our model of Love is demonstrated through the Son Christ Jesus and our Heavenly Father.  the Love we should mimic.  anything and everything we sought for in our earthy fathers, our Heavenly Father already has it and is willing and able to share it with us.
from this day forward, the word fatherless should no longer exist.  our Heavenly Father is not and will never be considered less than.  instead, He is greater than any and every father on this earth because He is the ultimate Daddy of them all – and He has graciously adopted you and i into His Kingdom.  there’s no reason to for any of us without an earthly father to be down and out on father’s day.  when in Truth, Father’s day is everyday because everyday is God’s day.

in the future, which will you choose to give your attention to?

Building A Time Machine (Part 1)

“Back, back, back, back, back…I can dream, it’s a simple thing, I’m building a time machine.”

– T.Pain

Observation: In today’s society, we’re always talking about going back to a time when things were better. Often times in movies, songs, etc., characters go back in time to change a crucial event, or a mistake that ruined their lives. Note that it’s almost always about going back to right a wrong for the sake of a better future.

Today, although we may not have time machines, we mechanize movements, thoughts, and societal ideals in an effort to time travel. We are all looking to go back to something old, and call it new.

In the black community, we have folk running to get retro Jordan’s, Jerseys and Jackets.

In the political sphere we have folk who want to go back to the days of Jim Crow.

In Christendom we have Christians who base their understanding of the world and God in a pre-fall ideal (meaning they look at Genesis 1 and 2 and want to get back to Eden, and live on top of the world).

Something Interesting to note:
God is a beast, and He doesn’t need to go back to rectify a wrong to improve a present day reality, rather He establishes something better than the old, something brand new.

Think about your life if God has saved you. He didn’t go back and change the bad situations you have had so your present can be better, He took your past negatives and flipped so that your present is good and your future is joyous in and through Him!

I have a lot more on the issue of time, but this is just part one, stay tuned for part 2!