Death to Your Darkside

It was kind of fascinating but scary at the same time. It was a FOX26 special on spouses who cheat using internet networking sites. Divorce lawyers have begun to utilize facebook and twitter as sources of evidence for infidelity. They can tell of countless stories of spouses discovering horrifying facebook inbox messages, and heart wrenching direct messages sent and received from their spouse’s FB or Twitter account. That was the scary part, the fascinating part was how people had created completely alternate personalities and lived secret lives through these sites. We saw the same thing with the whole Tiger Woods situation. Tiger had maintained such a professional, upright and clean cut image, yet we would later find out that Tiger led a very different private life.

And although we’ve never had to own up to our secret lives on national television, we all have to admit that at some point on some level, we allow ourselves to have a private life apart from our ‘Christian’ life. The experts on the FOX26 special said network sites are the perfect tool for doing and becoming whatever we want without shame due to the high level of secrecy that is provided. Think about the secrecy that we are provided in life. She’s your Christian girl by day sending explicit text messages by night. He’s your usher on Sunday, but a porn addict in his bedroom on every other day. And without access to her phone or his computer, no one will ever know. That’s the power of technology’s secrecy. On the outside we are presentable but it’s the sinful desires on the inside that we express in secrecy that are so damaging.

In Mark, Jesus explains to the disciples that it is the “vile things from within that defile us” (Mark 5:23). Our sin problems reach deeper than the surface. In the 23rd chapter of Matthew Jesus drives home the issue of sin on the inside when he says,” Hypocrites! For you are careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy-full of greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25).

Jesus hit the nail on the head. How often do we do the things we do in the dark out of greed and self-indulgence? I think we all could point out a sin that we do on the low and say yes, I do this and I would be ashamed to admit it in public, it isn’t necessary, it doesn’t enhance my life in any way, but I do it because it’s just a lil sumthin sumthin that pleases me and makes me feel good.

Man, when we sign to team Jesus, never in our contract does it say that this life is about bringing ourselves pleasure, fulfilling our desires. Matter of fact, our contract says that we just might have to suffer for His name’s sake, that this life is about bringing Him glory; our aim is to please Him, not us. That’s why in Romans 12:1, Paul calls us to present ourselves as living sacrifices. It sounds like an oxymoron because sacrifices usually involve death, but Paul says we are living sacrifices. When you allow Christ to be the ruler of your life, offering up your inner desires, your secret indulgences, and sacrificing your secret pleasures, you will actually gain life, you will be given the opportunity to experience a better more fulfilling life. Watching friends go to a place you know you don’t belong at, refraining from certain behaviors, and denying yourself of certain worldly pleasures may feel like it’s gonna kill you, but isn’t that what a life in Christ is all about? Killing you, your flesh so that you may live an enriched, enhanced life through Christ.

Lay it all on the altar, every part, so that you can experience the power of life through Jesus Christ in every area of your life. In the next verse in Matthew 23, Jesus says,” First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean too.”  Acknowledge that there is an internal sin problem. God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still creeping in the dark doing our dirt, He sent His perfect son to die on the cross and bear the filth of our greed and self-indulgence, giving us His white robe of righteousness to wear instead. The work He did on the cross can wash you clean, it has the power to make all things new if you trust and believe in Jesus Christ. Let Him come in and clean things up and the evidence of how He has cleansed you on the inside will become evident on the outside, in your public and private life!

drip of torture.

and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.
_proverbs 19:13
wife: baby! why you don’t take me out to eat no mo’? kiki and her husband ALWAYS go out!
husband: uhhh … His grace is sufficient.
wife: boo! why you don’t pay me attention all the time like you used to? you don’t wanna watch ME?
husband: because … i … uhh ….
wife: *insert male name here* WHY YOU DON’T SPEND TIME TALKING TO ME ANYMORE!? do you hear me talking to you!?! you pissin’ me OFF!
husband: *no reply*

all the husband hears is this … CLICK HERE.

*yes, ladies when we constantly nag our spouse we sound just like a leaky faucet annoying, huh?* the sound of a leaky faucet, personally, has surpassed the adjective annoying. its constant drip equates to torture. drip after drip after drip … after drip. a man not being born with the hands of a plumber cannot fix a leaky faucet. just as it is impossible for him to fix the tangible faucet, it is impossible for a man to restrain her contentious hound … in the Bible, this is compared to attempting to restrain the wind or grasp oil in your palm; impossible. the man was not given the power to alter the nagging woman. he is not in the position to change or fix the woman from her immutable badgering, only Christ can. to be in the presence of a woman who constantly nags about nearly everything is like a plague manifesting in the core of the mans heart; eating away the love which was assimilated prior to his knowledge of her abusive nagging. it is the epitome of torture to the ears of a man. it will, literally (and biblically) run the husband out of the house to live on the corner of the roof. drastic? i beg to differ. think about it, if the husband stays and endures every last bark exclaimed by his wife, his immediate reaction may result in extremity which will cause him to act out of his Christ-like character. his flesh has been put to eternal sleep, why would you even attempt to awaken it? why, as a wife, would you want to be a stumbling block for you husband? why place your energy in meaningless nagging rather than calming conversation that leads to addressing what ever it may be that could possibly spark your nag-gag? why stunt the growth of your relationship/marriage because of your constant complaints? *there is absolutely no valid reasoning to justify why we would want to be the deterrent in the relationship/marriage God, Himself, has ordained for us.*

paul desires for the men/husbands to pray, lifting their hands in complete holiness without anger or quarreling. how can a man willingly and peacefully fulfill paul’s desire from Christ if he took, in his hand, the hand of a quarrelsome woman in marriage? *ouuuuch* following paul’s desire, he mentions how the women/wives should adorn themselves respectively in their apparel, with modesty and self-control. we do not need to be jeweled up and diamond studded out. and self-control includes our tongue. pray and be slow to speak. to receive complete satisfaction, we must seek first God … for He has all answers. seek the Father first to answer you, not the father of your first seed.

wife: God, why doesn’t he take me out to eat no mo’!? kiki and her husband go out ALL the time!
God: psalm 34:10.
wife: God, why doesn’t he pay attention to me like he used to!!?!
God: colossians 3:5.
wife: GOD, why does he not spend time talking to me anymore!? why does he not hear me?! i’m unhappy!
God: 1 thessalonians 5:17.

sisters, ladies, women of God … let us be mindful of the men we love and potentially could be our husbands. let not your words be the predator of the man God has chosen for you. if your lips are the downfall of your relationships, by all Godly means necessary, cut them off. be slow to speak and fast to pray and think. *i am still learning myself, by the grace of God, He has chosen to work on my leaky faucet.* if you fear being a miss or ms. forever, DO NOT BE A LEAKY FAUCET! i repeat … DO NOT BE A LEAKY FAUCET! do not allow your complaints to consistently drip inside of your spouses ear canal. he will flee to the roof from temptation — temptation of beating your lip to permanent mute in the name of love outside of the real name of Love. let us lead and keep our men in Love in the name of Jesus. do not shame our Heavenly Father with your insufficient words full of clamor. let it be a sweet sound to the ears of your husband and the ears of Lord Jesus. *even if the sound is silent. silence is golden.* :)

*note; words in color are clickables*

there is hope for the tre!

good hope will be hosting a hip hop outreach-concert called hope for the tre on friday august the 27th! tickets are $12 and you can purchase them (for yourself or for someone else) at the church bookstore during sunday service times or here!

below are interviews from the 2 artists that will be featured: tedashii and trip lee!

tedashii being interviewed concerning his song make war. circa 2009.

Pastor Tim Interviews Trip Lee from Re:Sound on Vimeo. circa 2008.

can’t wait to see you there! *walks out jamming twisted*

why creation matters. part 1.

When it comes to creation mankind separates. Some believe in Darwinism, some Creationism, some Intelligent Design, & some understandably do not care. There are even those who believe in the oxymoron of evolutionary creation & God choosing to call a single evolved homosapien “Adam.”

To be honest, I usually don’t care because I love talking about Jesus, but the more I grow in Christ, the more creation comes up.

Amongst Christians, this issue is often disputed. Some say that if we do not accept the “overwhelming evidence of evolution,” Christianity will be a little more than a cult. Some also say that each day God speaks of in Genesis is an expanse of time to account for the calculated age of the universe. Scientist will say, as of today, the earth is 4.54 billion years old & the universe is 13.75 billion years old. Why does this matter?

Why science kinda matters.

Creation matters because to fully grasp the redemptive history of God & how to interpret the Bible, we must follow what God said, and not man.

I have decided to adopt a 24 hour calendar creation account, whereas most intellectuals will not. I unashamedly believe in Sola Scriptura, a fancy Latin word that simply means the Bible is all we need for salvation & holiness, but doesn’t deny the authority of other beliefs as long as they are tested & corrected by scripture. In other words, may God be true & every man a liar.

Essentially all people place their “faith” in what someone else told them about creation, or adopt the most logical conclusion they believe explains creation.

Adopting the “old earth” theory because science says the earth is old would also mean we would have to adopt their view of the person of Adam. To them, Adam is, in essence, the meaning of his name: “mankind,” and not a man.

Why Adam matters.

In a 24 hour creation account, Adam as a singular representative of the human race deeply matters. It matters because Jesus & Paul (by inspiration of the Holy Spirit) both call Adam a singular person in God’s redemptive history.

Think through this with me. God immediately made Adam a grown man who seemed to have aged. Therefore He did that for all creation as well. A tree would have the rings for each year but appear instantaneously as God spoke it into existence. So the universe could appear billions of years old. But in staying true to the text, this means that human existence, according to some biblical scholars, is 7-15,000 years old. This also means that God made the universe in a 6 day period.

But God, through His redemptive history created a person in His image who decided to be tempted & sin. This person, Adam, was created to be supremely God-centered & devoted to be fulfilled in God. Adam chose to disobey God, causing calamity.

but God used evil for good.

Why Jesus matters.

Another reason why we cannot place our faith in science alone is because if you ask about the truth of Christ’s resurrection they’ll laugh at you. In God’s redemptive history Christ’s resurrection is unadjustable because the spiritual death through Adam is put to shame by the life after death of Jesus.

Through Adam all died but through Christ, those who repent & believe will have everlasting life. Adam’s sin was ingrained into his DNA & all people in his lineage are born sinners because of Adam’s disobedience.

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. – Romans 5:19

Here is a great resource for those who would like an experts opinion

[In part two we will discuss why the church of america is neo-darwinian orthodoxy & why it is more acceptable for others to stand on their soap boxes while Christians are scared to even utter Christ. stay tuned.]

Next Level Chase

Check it out…Check out my new necklace, pictured above. I’ve wanted this necklace for a long time. I’ve looked in online stores, stores around town, and multiple over-priced bead shops and no dice. I can’t say why I wanted it so bad. It’s really not that cute, but for some reason the necklace just has swag to me. Maybe I thought the necklace was that one piece I needed to add a lil something to my wardrobe, I mean c’mon throw it on over a v-neck and let’s go! Well, last Saturday morning I rolled to church to help out in our Hoops for Hope basketball league. One of the guys playing walked by me and I noticed he had on the necklace I’ve been looking for. I stopped him and told him I’ve been looking for one everywhere. He said, “This thing? Man I got this for two dollars at Valero (gas station). You could have it.” And just like that he took it off his neck and put it on mine. I couldn’t believe it. The very thing I’d been chasing had been so easy to access all along, it was right under my nose! There’s probably five Valeros within a ten mile radius of my house, I always go to Valero, it’s the cheapest!!

Conviction over the chase…I was holding my new necklace in my hand when I began to feel convicted over the way I chase things, not just physically, but spiritually. We live in such a chase everything, climb every mountain type of culture. We are always searching for whatever is gonna take us to the ‘next level.’ Its these type of mentalities that drive us to chase materials and statuses that we think will add a lil something extra to our lives whether its money, fame, approval, or love. We chase things thinking they will complete our image. It’s crazy cause all things outside of Christ are fading away. We build ourselves up upon things in this world that are only heading down.

Did we forget our identity…Colossians 1:15 calls Jesus the “image of the invisible God” and Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the “exact representation of God’s being.” We receive salvation by placing faith in Jesus Christ. We receive salvation through His work on the cross. He is the cornerstone of our faith. And if we follow Christ, we are the stones that come after the Cornerstone. In order to build efficiently, all stones or bricks used are symmetrical, meaning if we are following Jesus our cornerstone then as stones we are being chiseled and sculpted into Jesus’ image and He is the image of God. Through Christ our identity was revealed, it is Christ’s image that we should be chasing after.

Much like I chased after a necklace because I thought it was that little something I needed to add to my wardrobe, we chase after things of this world thinking that they will add that little something extra to our image or our persona. But we have Christ, and He gave us the image of the living God and that image is supreme and sufficient. The search should be over, Christ gave us an identity that needs no add-ons.

For satisfaction and an identity with true purpose, Jesus is the answer and he made himself easily accessible to all. You don’t have to look far or wide or run through multiple places checkin for Him. He’s been in front of you all along, waiting for you to surrender to Him so that He can show you that He’s all you need. In Christ alone all hope is found.

He’s working on me.

just a lil’ bit …

my brothers and sisters, let’s remember that it is God who is indeed working on us (phil 2:12-13). let’s remember that faith without works is dead as well (james 2). if i have to forgive someone, i must make an effort. i can’t ignore my phone. i can’t ignore the person when i’m in their presence and then say in my head, “he’s working on me,” to justify my hateful cowardness (is that a word?) and timidity. i say to myself “he’s working on me” too much in attempt to justify my sins. um, eric, no. for instance, i must stop watching sexual movies/videos and listening to music with sexual connotation if i am really determined to kill my sexual desires. most of all, i must reflect on God’s love so that i can love Him more, which only leads to loving others more, which only leads to light. Jesus. my fellow saints, let’s get to work. sin killed us, and because of sin, God chose to kill Jesus on the cross for us, instead of us, and at times we still let sin temporarily kill us. we have been set free from sin, therefore being set free from spiritual death (romans 6). those who believe in the perfect life, horrific death, and glorious resurrection of Christ, and cling on to that hope and truth, have true life.  and by His grace, in my best club mc voice, we can “WORK” – out the gift of salvation that has been freely given to us by stepping into the works prepared for us.

as dear friends, you always followed my instructions when i was with you. and now that i am away, it is even more important. work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. for God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. – philippians 2:12-13 (nlt)

the Truth.

a joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit.
proverbs 15:13

i’ve met many faces that hang lower than the sun at dusk
saddened spirits lingering all through the streets
feet old, weary and tired, hoping to meet destiny.

i’ve watched them carry groceries in their hands
while being brutally beaten by houston’s hot sun
sweat beads the size of a bullet – just trying to get home.

i’ve seen one , body jerking, eyes closed, on the corner
seated on a bucket in torn clothes, under the influence
of a drug – him being the slave, it being his master.

i’ve seen a mother and her child walk miles and miles
exhaustion haunting her telling her she can’t go any further
unless she sticks her thumb out, to get a strange ride.

i’ve seen  it.  all.  smothered in my eyesight.  and i felt
there was nothing i could do to bring Joy into their lives.
to bring hope inside their mind.  to put love inside their heart.

but God felt differently.  because all He sees is victory.
and He no longer wanted the enemy to punish me. or you.
He longed for us to see, hear, and speak the Truth.

the Truth is what brings joy into lives saturated in sorrow.
the Truth is what brings hope into minds and love into hearts.
the Truth is what lifts heavy faces up and coats them in cheerfulness.

the Truth is what frightens the broken spirits and
reverses all curses and corrects in Love and gives
those suffering spritual hugs – it’s all the Truth.

and the Truth is the needle filled with strength
from Christ injected into those we see that look
helpless and hopeless – it’s Jesus aka the Truth.

and He’s been waiting for you.