Bruh, Man up! (An introduction)

What I’ve been seeing…

No lie, I stay on social media, perhaps a bit too much. Whilst perusing the various facebook updates and tweets, I often will see complaints from women concerning “trifling ni**as”, updates and tweets from men justifying their behavior,  and then and still even more women applauding these men for their behavior.  So needless to say there’s a lot of confusion out there as to what really being a man is. In this series we’re going to see what manhood is, and yes reader, I’m sure you’ve read or heard at least 405 other sources about what being a real man is, but I can tell you the answer in this series won’t be self-improvement, money, extenze (that’s a sex pill if you didn’t know), a workout plan or education.

To open this series up, let’s start with

RESPONSIBILITY

Genesis 3:7 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, Where are you?

Giving context to the verse:

Adam and Eve were living and ruling in the Garden of Eden but disaster struck, Eve was deceived and ate the forbidden fruit, committing the one sin in existence for mankind at the time. Though it was Eve who initially sinned, God holds Adam responsible. Adam was the man and was created first to lead and cultivate (Genesis 1:15-16). Though this was His role when God asks Adam what went down in Genesis 3, his response is less than admirable. He blames God and then throws Eve under the bus.

The hard thing I don’t believe Adam understood was that though he did not commit the initial wrong, he was called to take responsibility.  Men, does this sound familiar? How often do we as the one called to lead and serve fail to do so, blaming others for our failure, including God? I can speak for myself and say there are many times where I want to blame-shift, not realizing that my call is higher, to be a servant leader in my community, my friendships, and when the time comes, my marriage.

Let’s peep what the 2nd Adam (Jesus) did. Although our shortcomings were not His fault, He took responsibility for them. How? On His Cross. He absorbed all the wrath due to us as the man, the leader, our Savior. (Romans 5:8)  Men, we are called to live this way, taking the responsibility for something that isn’t our fault (yes I know that sounds foreign!). Often times this will hurt, but  the answer for us as males is to submit to the only real Man, Christ Jesus. Let’s give up our small ideas of manhood and pick up what the Bible has for us as manhood (the Cross).

This is just an intro though!

We’ll be tackling these other subjects and their relation to this thing we call manhood:

LEADERSHIP

LOVE

COURAGE

SERVING

PLANNING

SUBMISSION

Concerning this series, like the Apostle Paul said “Roll with me as I roll with Christ” 1 Cor 11:1 (NGV), I think you’ll like it!

Grace and Peace.

part-time lover.

are you a part time lover?

you know, the kind that clocks in at 12 p.m.
on the dot every Sunday to get in a dose of
worship, and a shot of praise – making sure
when they get home, no silly questions are raised.

you know, the kind that flips through the scripts
and memorizes a few parables to recite as if they
were auditioning for a lead role in “The Second Coming.”

you know, the kind of lover that has all the sweetly
saturated biblical references to garnish their intent
with a mysteriously potent disguise to blind the eyes
of the already blinded eyes.

you know, the kind that says
i love You when things are going right.
but when things fall apart, they pick up a stone and
place it in the position of their once softened heart.

you know, the kind of lover that calls out the name of
the Subject they worship when they reach the climax
of a desire they’ve been longing to attain but
as soon as that fire is gone, the work of that Lover is
dismissed to a memory not worth remembering.

you know, the kind of lover that
accepts the wages given because
death is what they live in and they believe
they’re being promoted when they’re really
being demoted, but their double-mind won’t allow them
to realize the difference.

are you a part time lover, professing your love
for God day in and day out but not walking in
the Truth that you believe in?
the Truth that you are sealed in?

you can’t cheat the Clock that you must clock
into on Judgement day – why develop a bad habit
now when Jesus has offered you a time sheet for
hours you never had to fulfill as a part time Lover?

maybe it’s because i’m stubborn.

blessed are the poor.

june 2nd, 2010. russel de pena (left) and ronald bell sr. (right) each received their licenses to preach the gospel from the pastoral-eldership (is that the correct term? lol) at good hope missionary baptist church. it was a glorious evening. most to all of the sons of hope (ministry that serves the church to equip those who feel the call to preach) were present and in support of the brothers. it was great. the word of God was proclaimed. russ hit that acts 1:8. ron on that psalm 54.

daviddenniskathyzach, and i then decided to head to subway for a quick fellowship action. after the lazy workers closed the place half an hour early on their own will God sovereignly closed the subway off of scott early, we then trucked to the one off of ost by jack in the crack. we got our food around 9:50 (thanks zach lol). since the joint closes shop at 10 we decided to try to eat inside the dining area of jack in the crack. that was sovereignly closed. we then posted up outside and ate and chatted.

then came eric johnson. poor in finances but rich in spirit. he asked me and zach what our shirt said. we told him, “maGoh … it stands for man after God’s own heart.” eric replied, “oh i’m saved too.” was he. what started as a humble plea for help, quickly turned into practical preachingtransparent testimonyfamiliarizing himself with family, and an overall pure display of joyful joy that stems from God’s grace.

he preached a word to me, and the rest of us i’m sure, but i can only speak for myself, and i was convicted. he spoke of premarital sex. worry. God’s divine plan of reconciliation. patience. God’s creation. etc. the man PREACHED! without a license 😉

full of love. honesty. zeal. hope. patience. faith. peace. is the Holy Spirit that resides in eric johnson – and us too!

– pics by brother in christ david dawkins. check out his tumblr and his contributions to the city here.

outreach II.

i can’t express enough to a crowd of people how vital it is to reach out to the community we live in.  mission trips are not limited to traveling to a foreign country, instead they are vehicles we need to utilize to the people that are right down the street from us starving physically and most importantly, spiritually.

we got a chance to talk with these two men for more than 30 minutes about life in general.  it’s so refreshing to hear people speak to you about what they’ve been through and what they have been delivered from.

we came back a week later with the needs he asked for and his tone was filled with shock.  he didn’t think we would follow through, he said, “thank you for thinking of me.”  just a thought of someone is like handing them a big box filled with every answered prayer they’ve prayed to God.  to witness the reaction was uplifting.  the way God moves is so inspiring.

police officer rolled through wondering what was going on when he saw a crowd of people hanging on the corner doing a video shoot in remembrance of a 14-year-old high school male that was shot for an unruly reason.

after watching them shoot, i felt so intimidated.  i thought to myself, “these people are probably thinking ‘who do these people think they are trying to tell us how to live a good life when they don’t know half the stuff we’ve been through?'”  i held a heavy weight of fear and timidity, that is the spirit Christ did not give us.  He gave us a spirit of power, love and sound judgment to preach the Gospel with His confidence in an attempt to make disciples of ALL people. well, i didn’t feel it that day.

by the grace of God, the Good News of Jesus Christ did not go unspoken that day.  God spoke loudly through our brother Troy.  people were staring at him, wanting to walk away but were pulled in by the power God exhibited through him.  it was amazing.  i could not believe his boldness.  if you could feel the emotions and the sincere desire he demonstrated that day to complete strangers, proclaiming the Love Jesus has for each and every soul out there, you would not have walked away the same.

again, i cannot express to you all how important it is to reach out to your community.  let people know that you care.  let people know that there IS hope.  it is not about what people think or what people might say.  it is all about bringing people to the Cross.  salvation is crucial.  knowing where your body and soul will be once you are dead is so important.

if you are interested in going out to Cuney Homes on Saturdays at 12 p.m., please let us know!!!

thank you for being a “friend?”

mark driscoll with a classic, classic, classic sermon.

we tend to think that the person who confronts me, rebukes me, points out sin in my life, is really honest with me – they’re not much of a friend. proverbs says, “no, that’s foolish thinking.” the person that’s always kissing you, they may not be a friend, they may be a judas: he’s the one that kissed Jesus.”

proverbs 27:6 faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (esv)

The Great Rescue

I woke up & turned on Fox News, they began reporting that today was the day that the miners in Chile would be rescued. Fox News reported that being trapped underground had altered the miner’s bodies. Their eyes had become accustomed to the darkness and thier blood had thickened making them susceptible to blood clots. The guest expert on the show went on to say that upon rescue the miners would require special shirts underneath their clothes to prevent further clotting, a helmet in case any rocks were loose, and protective wear on their eyes as to not get burned by the light once they made it above ground.

At this point, I felt the evidence of my faith and the transformation that has occured in my life becuae I couldn’t help but see the gospel all up in this story. Here comes the HUGE ANALOGY.

I was once trapped in sin, buried underneath it, but for way longer than 10 weeks. I was dug out and freed by my Savior Jesus Christ. Now that I’m free, life is beyond great but its not always a walk in the park. I am no longer of this world, but I emerged back into this world as a new creation. And now that I have emerged as this new creature, I need a protective suit on my body to keep me safe from temptation, I need a helmet to shield my mind from rocks of depression & doubt, I need protective wear over my eyes cause I no longer let them watch what they used to watch.

In 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 Paul wrote about the miner’s physical situation and the believer’s spiritual situation, he writes, “we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life itself. (9)Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the very sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves, instead of on God Who raises the dead. (10) For it is He Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope that He will again deliver us from danger and destruction and draw us to Himself.”

Paul beautifully describes this great spiritual rescue. Later in Ephesians  He tells us that God’s power, that mighty power that saved you, you need to be strong in it, and the way you can be strong in it is by putting on the armor of God. We have to wear our protective gear of faith, truth, righteousness, self-control, and peace or else some of the sights of this world will burn our eyes, myths and falsities will attack our exposed minds. Now that we’ve emerged from the dark with this new life, how can we let the world damage that which He has saved. I look at myself and ask how can I disrespect His love by allowing the world to mess up my spiritual life. Enter the world daily with protection so that you will draw closer to Him.

Fox News reported that being trapped underground had altered the body so that the when the miners were freed, they needed to wear special shirts underneath their clothes to prevent blood clotting, a helmet in case rocks were loose, and protective wear on their eyes as to not get burned by the light when they emerged. HUGE ANALOGY I was once trapped in sin, buried underneath it for longer than 10 weeks, I was under for 18 years. But I was dug out, I was freed. Now that I’m free life’s great but its not always a walk in the park. I need a protective suit on my body to keep me safe from temptation, a helmet to shield my mind from rocks of depression & doubt, I need protective wear over my eyes cuz I no longer let them watch what they used to watch. The miner pictured here, clings to President Pinera thanking the President for saving him……thats how I wanna cling to Jesus becuase I know He saved me.

The miner in this photo clings to President Pinera thanking the President for rescuing him. I pray that we hold to Jesus in this same way becuase we know that He saved us.

low down dirty

Today as I was walking up to my friend’s apartment complex, we approached a young woman screaming at the top of her lungs to a young man. This young lady was yelling at this particular guy about what appeared to be all the wrongs he had done to her. Also with her was a group of her “friends.” they were there for support. Now, the guy started voicing his opinions about her while yelling as well. He and her had nothing good to say about the other. As I walked by the pair to enter into the complex I couldn’t help but think that this young woman was one of many hurt individuals and this little boy was just that … a little boy.

To be honest, once I passed the pair and entered into the apartment, I didn’t think twice about the incident until the car ride home. Once my mind shifted towards this particular situation I could not help but think that I should have approach this young lady in humility. I should have gone up to her and offered some words. I have been in this same situation too many times to have not gone up to her and say something. Many times, we women, in our immature minds, think that yelling at a dude will allow him to feel how hurt we are. Many times we, women, feel like getting even or getting “one up” on him will hurt him or some how equal our pain. But the fact of the matter is that no matter how loud we yell and how “even” we get, this boy won’t get nor feel our pain. Nine times out of ten, he, being the little boy that he is, will write this woman’s hurt off as being psycho or crazy. This same little boy isn’t going to think about your hurt, he is just going to think of better ways to of going about his wrongdoings.

So my only regret that is haunting me is that I did not approach this young lady, because I have been her before. I have been her way too many times to not tell her the truth of the matter. I, being in Christ, should have offered myself to her. So now I all I can do is pray that God helps this particular broken heart. I pray that she seeks Jesus, our Lord and Savior. I pray that instead of looking for another man OR women to heal/help her she seeks Someone of greater power. My heart right now is full of regret that I did not help this girl out when she was in clear need.

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life – 1 Timothy 1:15