Archive for July, 2010

Me [A Grown Man] and My Bloody Tampons

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31st, 2010 by ZachNunn – Be the first to comment

For A While I Was Comfortable

For a very long time I felt I was a nice guy. I didn’t lie (too much), cuss (too hard), steal (rarely), and generally I was a nice guy (to those who did something for me or were nice back). So yeah, I was an all around good guy, but still nobody’s perfect right? I felt like my good deeds (and my avoiding of bad ones) were like pillows, and I was resting on them, the more good I did, the more comfortable I was. I’d roll around, play in, and rest on these pillows. I really thought me and God were cool. I mean, Jesus is what’s up, but hey I got my pillows bruh, back up. So yeah all in all, for awhile I was comfortable.

Then I Understood the Gospel

See, the Gospel (not music, but the Good News of Jesus Christ as outlined in the Bible) makes it clear that it’s  nothing you do or have done that merits a relationship with God. In fact you did everything NOT to merit any type of closeness with the Holy One, yet God being so beasty in his love decided to send Himself down in flesh and drink the cup of wrath He concocted for those who dissed Him. Not only that but He gives perfection to those who believe in this work He did on a filthy cross. When I realized all of this…I was curious, what was it that I was so comfortable resting on for all these years? It wasn’t anything getting me closer to God, Jesus did that. It wasn’t anything giving me any merit in front of God, Jesus did that too. So, really, what were those pillows?

Isaiah 64:6
We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

When you peep the cultural context and the Hebrew, those words “polluted garment” are best translated as rags of menstruation i.e. bloody tampons/maxi-pads. Gross I know. Now, as gross as that is, it was hard for me to let go of my own righteousness. It sucks to say “God I can’t do it. I never did it. You did it all. You still do it all.” That may be the hardest part of Christianity, letting go of your maxi-pads and letting Jesus be your righteousness by changing your mind about your former life of sin and trusting in the payment on the negative balance that Jesus made as well as the deposit of perfection into your account. I can attest truly that Jesus is much better than those menstrual rags. I’ll end the blog with a question fellas and ladies alike:

Will you let your tampons go today?

Christians Gone Wild (1 Corinthinans 7)

Posted in Audio, Podcasts on July 29th, 2010 by chloe2dot0 – 1 Comment

Radio Reconcile

 

Radio Reconcile

F the Police

Posted in Audio, Podcasts on July 27th, 2010 by chloe2dot0 – 2 Comments

Radio Reconcile

 

Radio Reconcile

Faith in Flames

Posted in Blog on July 27th, 2010 by esolt – 1 Comment

The first 3 chapters of Daniel are so nice and speak to remaining faithful to God in a crazy world. Let me introduce Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, young men taken as captives from their home in Judah to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.

*Spark Notes*

Daniel’s story: Danny and his buddies being trained to enter the royal service were told to eat of the king’s food. Knowing the king’s food would defile his body, Daniel spoke up and asked to refrain from the king’s food, he was asking to go against the king’s orders. Daniel was committed to honoring God with what he put into his body no matter what country he was in and no matter the consequences. By remaining obedient, Daniel and his boys became stronger than the other men. Later, Daniel was given discernment and wisdom when he was able to interpret King Nebedchanezzar’s dream. King Neb was so impressed by Daniel, he was moved to glorify God, “Truly your God is the God of gods…” and Daniel was elevated to a position of authority.

S, M, and A’s story: These dudes enraged this same King Neb when they refused to bow down to his statue. They refused to bow to any other than the one true God. In consequence, King Neb ordered they be thrown into a fiery furnace. But when King Neb looked into the furnace he not only saw the 3, but a 4th man who had the appearance of a god. All 3 men were delivered out of the fire safely, not a hair singed, and again because of a great display of faith and great work of God, King Neb glorified the Lord of Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego.

Notice a pattern: Unshakable faith, God shows up and shows out, a pagan, prideful king was brought to glorify the holy and living God.

Having steadfast faith like these men had ain’t easy but there are some highlights that should bring you peace when you feel like you’re walking in the flames of the world’s opposition, trials, and temptation:

You’re Never alone…just like the faithful trio, find peace in the fact that we don’t walk alone. To those who believe in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit is within us to comfort, guide, and even pray for us.

He’s able…When trying to resist the world, God can provide deliverance from some of the hottest ‘furnaces’ or situations, believe that He can make a way. Have faith that He will make a way.

God will receive His glory…The faith that we display to the world should point them to a Higher Love. Has your faith ever brought an unbeliever to glorify God? In our faithfulness to God, refusing to go with the crowd and standing strong against the ways of the world, God will be faithful to us. And the manner and means that God will be  faithful to us can bring others to glorify Him.

Our Reward… We can find peace in the fact that God will reward our faithfulness. Daniel received wisdom and discernment and all four men were elevated to positions of power in a foreign kingdom. I’m not saying that all will be rewarded with power, money or materials, in fact my faith may not be rewarded in this life. But I know for a fact that one day all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ will be rewarded with an eternal inheritance. Let that sink in because if you know what that inheritance is and if you think about the implications of something that’s going to last for an eternity, those words speak peace.

I was so encouraged by the faith these guys had, faith in the face of flames and later Daniel would have faith in the face of hungry lions. For us, the world is asking us to eat of sexual immorality, to bow and worship the “good life.” Be encouraged to have faith that swims against the strength of the world’s current. I pray strength for my brothers and sisters…

author: die_dd.

Posted in Blog on July 26th, 2010 by africansunshine – Be the first to comment
Disclaimer – This post might be really long, but it is definitely worth the read!!!

Meet my beloved friend/brother/teacher/personal-pick-me-up-button, David Silas Dawkins. He is a writer here for the city blog under the alias “die_dd” which means to “die-to my flesh-daily david. A constant reminder for david to die and for Christ to live through me”. He is currently an art major at the University of Houston.

On first meeting David my freshman year, I was struck by his sense of music. His style appeared to be much different from those I had been so accustomed to seeing in high school. I was drawn to him and almost felt it was a necessity to get to know him, not understanding why. Later in my college life, I found purpose in my need to know him. Besides his cool swaggerliciousness and all the girls secretly craving his personality, there was a deeper call from his spirit to mine and I felt obligated to take heed to it. I had to hear what it was communicating to me.
Music made me lose control.
When asked what type of music he likes to listen to, he responded cleverly by saying, “Being that music was once a god for me, I dabbled in all of its facets. Now given the ministry of reconciliation, I love to listen to music to glorify God. My latest music playlist involves Commissioned, Paramore, Sho Baraka, Cee Lo, Stephen the Levite, hymns from old dead people, Floetry, Janelle Monae, Red Letter, Little Brother, Nujabes, Theophilus London, Shai Linne, Fred Hammond, & Mozart. Eclectic, but God created it all & it all stirs my affections toward Christ rather than pull me away.” Dawkins has a very wide range of music interest and I knew there was something special about him, something special in him that resonated, calling for more questions.
Hobbies in a lobby withtheology?
Now, watching David waltz around various atmospheres, he always seemed to be a sly kitten … okay, a sly fox. It never looked as though he did anything. He always wore a stoic face unless approached and tickled with jovial words. He was always walking in his own world, unmoved and unshaken. I never imagined that he had a hobby, but he proved me wrong. “My hobbies include contemplating on various aspects of God’s grace. Sounds churchy, but it’s what I do. I love theology, but even more so I love the application of theology. Correct doctrine & the practice of it is freeing & an eternal study of an infinite God”, says Dawkins.
Artwork, schmartwork.
I have been given the honor to purchase an original painting by David Dawkins. I never knew he was a painter until we actually became “friends”. And boy, was i blown away! The messages spoken through his paintings are voluminous. They have the power to grip ones heart, causing it to feel what he felt as he splattered multiple colors on a blank canvas. “My artwork is inspired by the concept of seeing the world through Christ like eyes. Seeing the hurt and need for sanctification I explore the reality that is life”, says dawkins. By entering the culture I use relevant subjects like secular humanism, race relations, & the sanctity of life for all people whom God is calling to come to repentance.”
The city blog. Why write for them!?
“I write for the city good hope blog because just like the prophet Isaiah I feel as though my words may not carry much weight in a sinful & adulteress generation, but written words leave a legacy. In Isaiah 6 He had an encounter with God where he decided to tell the world about the holiness of the One seated on the throne no matter the cost, but no one was ever going to listen. Isaiah recognized that he too was a sinner like everyone else by the power of the Spirit he was set free to tell others about the Suffering Servant. Writing allows me to collect my thoughts and hopefully leave a legacy that someone will stumble across in the sovereignty of Christ & be saved – like the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 reading the book of Isaiah.”

If you have not caught the message yet, in his spirit was the Spirit of our Heavenly Father chasing after me gradually, drawing me nearer to Him through him, David Dawkins. I never knew that this former hip hop head/black power activist/socially awkward man would allow our God, so sovereign, to use him to draw more to the Kingdom. And that is just what I have been witnessing. A young man minimizing his life in order that Christ is maximized in his own life and, more importantly, in others.
He is a vital organ to this Body of Christ and I thank God for placing me in his life. I thank God for using him through this community blog, drawing more and more people like us to Christ. A life lived for self is a life not lived at all. His life is finally alive, in Christ. And radiates to those surrounding him.
visit him at thou art and read his posts here on the city.

Rags to Riches

Posted in Blog on July 24th, 2010 by esolt – 2 Comments

Everyone loves a good rags to riches story. And I love em just as much, I really liked Lebron James’ “More Than a Game.” The film chronicled James’ life as a disadvantaged boy with a single mother and finished with him emerging as the superstar athlete we all know today. Rags to Riches stories reach further than just athletes. Oprah was impregnated after being raped before revolutionizing talk shows, Jim Carey used to live in a camper, working in a tire factory before becoming a successful actor, and J.K. Rowling was on welfare before hitting it big as the author of Harry Potter.

I asked myself, why do these stories interest and amaze us so much? And I think it’s because we give our pasts way too much power over our present, so we’re shocked that disadvantaged people actually made it.

We say….”You were raped? You should be scared, mistrusting, and unable to form normal relationships for the rest of your life. You grew up poor? Ok your options are athlete, drug dealer, or blue collar. You lost a parent as a child? You should suffer from depression, going through life making bad decisions due to a lack of guidance in your childhood.”

Based off their past, we label folk as damaged goods, in need of anti-depressants and an image coach…how could someone with that kind of past become successful? Sadly many allow these negative predictions that are based off their pasts to prevent them from finding joy, healing, and success in their present.

But to those who are in Christ……….     (“My, my, my!” cue the organ!)

You see, Jesus was the original rags to riches story. His ‘E True Hollywood Story’ would have Him being born in a cow’s feeding trough, literally wrapped in rags. They would follow Him as He lived homeless, persecuted, and rejected. Yet in the end, E would find Jesus glorified and elevated to such a position that He sits today at the right hand of God with all power in His hand (Hebrews 1:3).

The Bible says when we are in Christ, believing in His work on the cross and setting Him as Lord over our lives, then we become “a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new- 2 Corinthians 5:17”

I believe wholeheartedly that one of the things that passes away is your past, you become a new person. You are transformed by the blood of Christ, given a new identity in Him. He is your joy, your daily bread, motivating you to press on, and through Him all things are made new and whole. Through Him all things are made possible, even overcoming your past. You are a conqueror. Christ has given you freedom, why let the past hold you back in your present?

I don’t know what your story is or what you’ve had to overcome in life. It seems like on some level everyone has their own rags to riches story. But I do know that if you are in Christ, and He is in you, then His power is capable of taking you to places that you never imagined. If you are in Christ, be assured that you will be elevated to a place in heaven just as He was. Elevated to heaven!!! It’s that kind of power!!!

I know I’ve got my own story. And I’m not funny like Jim Carey, don’t have Lebron’s talent, can’t write like Rowling, and don’t have the people skills to run a talk show like Oprah, but I have Jesus and as long as I cling to Him, He can take my raggedy life and turn it into something that both He and I find rich. Trust in Jesus Christ and be transformed!

please validate me.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23rd, 2010 by die_dd – Be the first to comment

Early one morning I received a text, by a person I’ll keep nameless, that hit my soul.

The text simply said, “you are accepted by God.

That morning I wasn’t feeling so accepted by God. I was struggling with the idea of how God could accept a sinner like me. Also I asked, is it that easy for God just to accept me the way I am?

"Dear God, I wonder can you save me?" - Snoop

corruption.

I think it’s unanimous that God hates sin. In the old testament God placed men called priest to do three main jobs.

  • The priest lead people into worship & praise toward God.
  • The priest prayed on behalf of [fellow] sinners interceding for them.
  • The priest sacrificed an unblemished lamb & goat for people’s sins.

The reason God created this priesthood was because the first man with a priestly role corrupted the role of drawing near to God. Since creation, God simply wanted people to draw near to Him. Adam sinned and the continual drawing near, continual praise, & walking with God was negated.

Adam was accepted by God prior to His sin. Adam saw no need to cover up his nakedness because He was fully assured that God accepted all four cheeks.

dang-it Adam!

Through Adam the role was corrupted. Priests through the history of Israel had to give sin offerings daily for themselves and others. The priests were subjected to working hard by the sweat of their brows.

The temple of God was a shadow of the heavenly reality (Heb 8:5). In order to be accepted by God sinners had to draw near again by using the priest as a mediator. Only the priests were allowed into the temple; Only the High Priest was allowed into the Holy of Holies, which was separated by this gigantic veil.

The temple was where God met man on earth.

come see, go tell?

The old covenant temple was a come see God religion. If you wanted to see God you went to the temple to make sacrifices. In the new covenant it’s a go tell relationship. The Temple came to you & sacrificed itself for you. wha?

Jesus Christ is that heavenly reality of the temple of God. Jesus on earth called himself the temple of God. The temple on earth was the shadow of Christ.

  • Where Jesus went people praised him & drew near to him.
  • Jesus sits at the right hand of God interceding with prayer to the Father on our behalf. (Romans 8:34 – Hebrews 7:25)
  • Jesus sacrificed the last blood sacrifice needed for all time – himself as the perfect unblemished lamb of God.

accepted through Christ.

Jesus accepted you on the cross. The cross is the means by which God sees your sin and punishes it. Jesus absorbed your sin, and need for acceptance. Jesus earned Gods affection and acceptance for you. Just believe.

If we are honest with ourselves the way we dress, talk, ect… it all leads back to the need to be validated by another.

We are free from gaining people’s favor.

Everything we long for is found in Christ. Jesus tore the veil from top to bottom leading us into the Holy of Holies where only the High Priest was able to go. Now all who believe are free to draw near to God as He draws near to you.

Jesus loves you too much to give you back over to your idol of acceptance. Jesus was accepted for you, so it’s okay to be a “loser”. You are free to lose, life cannot beat a person who is free from losing. Because of the gospel you have nothing to lose or protect. Stop wearing masks when you are hurting within.

You are accepted by God through Christ, assured of this fact by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Now go & tell someone that you tasted & saw that the Lord is good.

Thoughts

Posted in Poetry on July 22nd, 2010 by ZachNunn – Be the first to comment

Thoughts accrue like condensation on the window pane of my mind
Specifically about my salvation
What a find,  or to be found?  To be found for sure
This God who loved me before there was time In the before times I was so self-righteous

Living in hypocrisy, living a life that’s lifeless
And life is what? I asked myself over and over
And over and over
And over and over
Somewhere between the legs I was between and the other obscene things
Jesus took over the starring role and crushed the antagonist of this spiritual scene
I couldn’t play any longer thankful for his work
9-5 ‘ing for so long, reaping nothing but death
Through Him I will live
With Him I will live
For Him I will live

inception.

Posted in Blog, Video on July 21st, 2010 by e_mike – 5 Comments

in case you don’t know, inception, written, produced and directed by mr. dark knight himself, christopher nolan, is currently the number one movie in america! this sci-fi thriller is definitely the type of movie to have you on the edge of your seat, yet with a face like, “did that just happen?”

inception is this: entering into the subconscious minds of others, via dreams, obtaining information that is difficult or even impossible to retrieve while awake, or planting a seed or an idea in the minds of others – therefore altering the future reality of the person who was dreaming.

inception is performed on an individual that has no idea as to what is going on. this person is not just a bystander, but the target, and is also the first one to be put to sleep. by a pre-meditated design arranged to imitate reality, the main dreamer is the next to be put to sleep. the mission to be accomplished is carried out through the designers dream at the expense of the bystander, who is being used either to be altered by an idea or to be stolen from. next, the other members of the inception team go to sleep to then share that same dream, working to complete a mission in the allotted amount of time that they have.

the danger with this inception thing is that if you go too deep within dreams inside of dreams (there are no words in the english language to explain this concept), you can lose sight of what you created in your dream and confuse it to be reality.

satan has a way of getting in our minds as well. he plants seeds and ideas of pride, bitterness, resentment, love for money, sexual immorality, sluggardness, deceitfulness, selfishness, gossip, etc, into our minds – and we think we are living a true life, confused as to if this is ‘reality’ because of our feeble attempts to design fantasies with our finite minds.

the thing is, we share that same dream with others who are spiritually “asleep.” we think we are living, but we are really dreaming, lost in a dream, and not sure if we are living true life. furthermore, we often opt to stay in false realities that can’t be escaped by our own powers.

in inception, while in a dream, i saw 3 ways to wake up from that dream:
1. fall (while you are dreaming) 2. die in the dream – which ends the dream. 3. hear a “kick” of some sort – provided by someone not in your dream but who understands inception, which wakes you up.

  1. fall (genesis 3). unlike the movie, the fall doesn’t wake us up, instead we “fall” into our dreams. adam already fell, being enticed by an idea that eve planted in his mind, which was first planted by the devil, which will be an idea handed down and carried out by everyone – it’s called sin.
  2. die in the dream. for us to “wake up” and live true life, we must die to our dreams. we must put our dreams aside and live this true life that has been given to us by God. the bad news is that we cannot do such because none of us have the power to get ourselves out of our own dreams. if we die, that’s it – simply because we have never experienced true life. we’re all natural dreamers.
  3. the “kick.” the kick is the gospel of Jesus the Christ! JESUS died for all of us dreamers out there. all of us who have been sleeping, living outside of God’s reality, or trying to live out a life that we’ve designed in attempt to complete our mission, have been relieved of the confusion of living a dream and have also been redeemed to live a true life: walking with God. while we were yet in our dreams, living this fake life, He died for us on that cross, so that we can be new people able to live the true life that He has for us, without any confusion (romans 5:8-9)! upon turning away from our dreams and believing in the only man who lived a true life, we can live now!

will you respond to the “kick” and live true life, or choose to stay stuck in a dream that will eventually destruct?

“the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – Jesus (john 10:10).

Your Sexuality is Tied to Your Spirituality 1 Corinthians 6

Posted in Audio, Podcasts on July 20th, 2010 by chloe2dot0 – 1 Comment

Radio Reconcile

 

Radio Reconcile