Expulsion

When I woke up Monday morning I knew off top that I had eaten some garbage that did not sit right with my stomach. I absolutely hate being sick. My least favorite symptoms are (#1)throwing up and (#2)running a fever.

So refusing to be held back by some lil stomach bug I got out of bed, got dressed, and went about my business as usual. Not even 40 minutes into my first class and I started to feel real uncomfortable and uneasy. Whatever little bug was jumpin around in my stomach wanted out. I had to ditch my bag and fast walk out of the class room just so I could do least favorite symptom #1 in the nearest bathroom.

Part of the reason why I hate symptom #1 is because it makes me feel weak, I get uncomfortable, like I’m losing control of my body’s functions. In my mind I’m asking myself-what do I look like hugged around some toilet?

Expulsion. Spiritually we hold on to some serious garbage that I wish we would learn to expel. We need to expel the intentional garbage we consume like sexual immorality and pride, and we need to expel the garbage thats picked up internally like negative attitudes and insecurity. Handling garbage in our spiritual lives is uncomfortable. Its uncomfortable to address or tell someone about it, it makes us feel weak to even admit that we have  garbage in our spiritual systems. We try and get up and go about our business, pretending like its not there. Or for some odd reason we keep it in. Maybe we keep garbage in, never stepping out to address it because we hate the thought of losing control of our spiritual life’s functions, we hate to feel uncomfortable. We don’t want anyone to see what we’re expelling because we’re the good boy or girl and if we keep it to ourselves than we can handle it on our own. We believe that we don’t need God to send anyone along to try and help us out or feel sorry for us or attempt to hold us accountable, we’ll just take care of it on our own. Or maybe its not a control issue, maybe we keep garbage because we refuse to be humbled. Look at me, I rather sit through 40 minutes of discomfort than lower myself to a toilet. But some of us choose to live for years feeling spiritually uncomfortable rather than humble ourselves before the Lord or before fellow believers.

Man we sing all these great songs-mold me,make me, break me-but do we mean it? We compare faith to running a race. True, races can be fun, but theres discomfort, hard work, sweat, sometimes running a good race means pushing yourself to the limit, pushing yourself to a place that you’ve never taken your body before,  even if it feels uncomfortable at first.

As a health major, I’ve learned through my studies and from personal experience that once you actually do least favorite symptom #1, you feel much better, and recovery seems to come quickly after expulsion.Not only that but you build your immune system. You’ll be able to better handle that sort of bug if ever you should encounter it again.

The Love that Christ used to free you through His work on the cross, loves you too much to leave you where you are. Growing spiritually is a painful and frustrating thing but He is beautifying us because we are His masterpieces. Ask the Lord to chisel you, but only if you’re goingto make yourself available so that He can do his work.

Don’t say you can’t, cause He died so you could. Just Expel.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” Psalm 51:10

outreach III.

friday, november 5th, some of the young adults of the City sacrificed their time and helped to put together sack lunches to go out into the community the next morning.  it was a great experience between the fellowship and preparing to serve the community physically and most importantly, spiritually.  the mission was not only to feed the community with physically edible items but with the sustaining word of God.  matthew 4:4 reads:

But He answered,

“It is written,

‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

there is a such thing as perishable food items.  food that satisfies only for the moment.  ephemeral sandwiches that amuse the stomach for minutes, leaving ones body longing for more.  but there is hope.  there is eternal Bread that sustains and it comes from the mouth of the Lord.  how sufficient His grace is.  how faithful and just He is.  how He is crazy in Love with those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord.

thankfully, these young adults wanted to share this sustaining Bread with a community that may have never heard about, seen, or spiritually tasted the Bread of Life.  here are a few photos of the loving kindness exhibited by the young adult ministry at Good Hope Missionary.

we try to balance their meals.  sandwiches, chips, and a fresh fruit!


team work really paid off in the end.

doritos for DAYYYS!

these two were playing © Hasbro Jenga with sandwiches, competing for the tallest tower!

literally, doritos were flooding tables!


TRY GOD AND SEE!” :)


this was the attempt at a “silly face photo” … :\  they tried.
a very special thanks to Sister Tyson (photographed below) for donating 50 sandwiches and a case of oranges to the community!  Also, a special thanks to Shalonda Hurd and Mack and Jamil Joyner for using their gifts from God to supply gifts for the community!!!  THANK GOD FOR FAITHFUL AND OBEDIENT SERVANTS!

this is a photograph of the early morning crew!

the young adult ministry was able to feed 150 bodies physically while feeding more spiritually by sharing their faith in Jesus Christ!  it was a groundbreaking experience for each and every soul.  by the grace of God, words were spoken into some decaying souls and those God inspired words brought those decaying souls back to Life!  praise GOD!!!

Sweet Failure

Learning to accept failure has been hard for me.

Growing up I took a lot of pride in being a good kid.

I was rambunctious in elementary school, but always with a sort of nerdy catch. Like: I wouldn’t do my work in class because I was reading ninth and tenth grade level novels in my desk. Or: I’d be tardy after lunch because I was too busy discussing the differences between the Catholic and King James Bibles.

I was weird; but as I got older I turned these odd tendencies into the key pillars of my identity.

I took pride in:

  • my desire to learn
  • my appreciation of diversity
  • my ability to excel academically (if I decided to apply myself)
  • my willingness to embrace the odd and the old and the unpopular (I studied Latin for four years)

And for me failure was unacceptable!

I just knew that if I really applied myself, really exerted enough effort, that there was nothing that I should not be able to do. Nothing.

But all that changed!

In The City we walked through book of Romans and my own shortcomings were undeniably exposed:

10as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”

Romans 3:10-12

The book showed how both by my standards and by God’s standards I was an imperfect and rebellious creature.

If I was following my own standards – I never quite lived up to them. I always made little exceptions (like “I’m a good student, if I apply myself) so that I didn’t have to acknowledge my own lack.

By God’s standards – the fact that I had even created my own standards was a sign of my rebellion against Him.

And the reason I had created my own standard was because 1.) I knew that I couldn’t meet all of God’s standard (partly because by the time I’d actually sat down and read all of Leviticus and Deuteronomy it was too late – not that I was keeping up with 10 laws that I did know) and 2.) because I still had an understanding of what right and wrong was and still knew cognitively that I should be trying to do something at least kind of right (though I refused to even live up to my own lower standard 100%).

At that same time I was struggling with my classes, struggling with adjusting to the very different cultural make-up of the University of Houston (definitively situated in 3rd Ward, Texas), and struggling with applying all of the random knowledge that I had spent my short lifetime collecting.

It was undeniable: though I had prided myself on being a certain type of person and doing certain types of things I was unable to actually be  and consistently do those things.

If the true test of success was measured on a pass-fail standard, I had failed.

Thankfully:

Romans 3:21 – Romans 10 or 11 are about God’s epic plan to deal with our inherent failure through what is called the Gospel or Good News.

God understood that we all fail and He sent a Man who did not.

He gave this Man the punishment that we all deserve and credited all who trust him as Savior and follow him as their Lord with the perfect life that He lived on Earth.

He then raised this perfect Man on earth as proof that this Man is righteous and that we in him can look forward to an eternal Life like He now lives in heaven.

On top of that – God even provides the faith that we need just to trust and follow him.

He understands our insufficiency and made a provision to satisfy His own justice and show us loving mercy.

The 1st step though is acknowledging our own failure.

In our current study in 1 John on Real Faith the first chapter tells us this:

8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Basically:

An acceptance of your own failure is the first step to walking into the success of Jesus Christ.

And so, what has always been so bitter for me, has become a sweet reminder of the love that God has for me and his gracious goodness in spite of me.

the believer’s testimony (in a nutshell) according to titus 3:3-7.

we were foolish.
we were disobedient.
we were deceived.
we were enslaved to various lusts and pleasures.
we were spending our lives in malice and in envy.
we were hateful.
but the kindness of God our Father and His love for mankind appeared.
He saved us, but not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
this is all according to titus 3:3-7.
thank You triune God!

Come get your Ticket To Heaven!!

Preacher- Come ye! Come ye! Get your ticket to Heaven!!!

Me- ooo what is heaven?? Why do I need it? And how much is it?

Preacher- Heaven is a paradise that you can spend eternity with streets paved with gold and many mansions when you die! If you don’t get the ticket, you will spend eternity in HELL. Your soul will burn for eternity! Guess what……this is for the freeski. Your ticket has all ready been paid for!!

Me- oooo give me the ticket give me the ticket! I want paradise! I want many mansions!…..Hold on what is the catch

Preacher- There is no catch you just have to believe in………

Me- o it does not matter just give me the ticket I just want my ticket to heaven.

I know what you are thinking what is this man talking about???

The question that has plagued mankind forever is, “where do we go after we die?”

We finally get the answer when ever we go to church that we can get blessings, eternal life and heaven. We ,as greedy children, say, “Give me! Give me that and more!” Never really wanting to know the person who sacrificed their life for our lives.

We often do not care about what or even who can get us into heaven. We, as selfish humans, want all the good things and somebody to save us from our situation/eternal damnation.

I mean it’s a good deal.  You say a prayer and you get eternal life but, does God want people that just want to use Him for what they want?

Or does He want a relationship?

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)

Jesus is knocking at your door and He wants to dine with you. Yes, you and me too!  The same person that does not care about what He did on the cross for us because of our own selfish reasons.

You can not build a relationship with someone if you don’t know were they come from, what they have done or where they have been.

So, the question is who paid for your ticket to heaven?

Jesus The Christ. He came down from the paradise that the ticket gives us to come to a world that is fallen. He died on a cross suffering an unimaginable punishment for the wrongs that we selfish people commit on a daily. His closest friends abandoned Him. He was whipped with the whip of nine tails. His beard was plucked. He was beaten naked. He carried a 9 foot cross a mile and a half while His battered and bruised body was being spit on. He was stabbed in His side all while He was begging for God to forgive the people doing this to Him. But worst of all, He had to take and drink the full cup of God’s wrath (His hate for sin)!

Why? It is because God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, so whoever shall believe shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

God displayed all that love to humans and He wants you to get to know Him.

Question to ask yourself:

Would you serve God if the punishment for not serving Him was hell?

Do you really want to know the God that died so that you can live?  If so, let me know.  Just leave a question or comment.  Don’t be shamed!

laugh now, cry (tears of joy) later.

i peeped an old journal rant entry (subject to error) from this summer and it read:

the LORD visited sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to sarah as He had promised. – genesis 21:1.

for a little backtrack, God said to abraham in genesis 15:4, that his very own son will be his heir. verses 1-6 are a part of a dialogue between abraham and God. at the end of verse 6 … abraham believes what God says, and it is counted to him as righteousness (by faith).

genesis 17:15-21 describes what God said and what He promised right here – that they would have a son. abraham was 99 when he heard the news, while sarah was 89 (i believe).

is anything too hard for the Lord?

even though abraham and sarah both laughed (no really, they laughed at almighty GOD) when they first heard God’s plan, God still did what He said, and did as He promised. i literally read genesis 21:1, and immediately shouted, laughed, and #lowkey cried – in awe and in worship. my God is not a man that He should lie. let God be true and every man a lie!

if i believe in what God said I will be (conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ) and in what He promised (eternal life for those who believe in Jesus’ work on the cross), i will be an heir to His kingdom. what He has for me on earth, i have to believe it – because it is essentially only to build His kingdom.

when God called me to proclaim his gospel, like sarah and abraham, i laughed. i was like, “no way.” me? shy to speak in front of people. hating the voice that God gave me. i was basically in fear and fearing man. but i grew to finally believe what He said.

faith.

the Lord will do what He said (give me His Spirit to be a witness for Him) and He will do what He promised, which is build His church and bring salvation to the elect!

SOLI DEO GLORIA.

the ‘S’ word.

Sword: why have you been avoiding me all of your life?

person: because, you don’t know how to make me feel good. with you, i am sooo bored and sooo lonely.

Sword: you’ve never even given me a chance! you don’t know what i have to offer!

person: i’ve seen what it’s like and i don’t want to make the same mistake. back up off of me!

i’ve seen a lot of people reject the ‘S’ word because they’re afraid of the “loneliness” that travels with it. i’ve witnessed a lot of people reject the ‘S’ word, occupying themselves with frivolous relations to satisfy themselves, selfishly. i have witnessed a great amount of people reject the ‘S’ word to avoid the jealousy of others who have also rejected the ‘S’ word and are in those same frivolous relations they long to be in. but i’ve always wondered why? because i used to do the same thing without fully understanding why i rejected the ‘S’ word.

being in companionship with the ‘S’ word is socially and culturally incorrect and strange to the world. and that’s just it. the world can’t comprehend the divinity and the significance of the ‘S’ words existence. that’s why it teaches us to hate it. this forces us to crave relationships with the opposite sex that could potentially lead to detriment. we have been conditioned to be afraid of the ‘S’ word and refuse to acknowledge it if our lives depended on it. this is why our lives should be dependent on Christ and in our season shared with the ‘S’ word, we have the opportunity to offer our entire, undivided attention to He who saved us from killing and sending ourselves to hell. we create toxic soul ties with human beings because our souls aren’t completely tied to Jesus. the one who created each and every last human on this earth. they’re both the same thing, One is more promising while the other is spiritaully fatal.

the ‘S’ word in the context of the Bible is described to be one of the spiritual gifts God blesses some with. some, not all. the ‘S’ word in the context of the Bible is a great thing! our brother paul wishes that we could all be like him because the ‘S’ word’s goal isn’t to make us feel unwanted and/or alone but to allow us to totally exercise our faith and relationship completely with Christ. the ‘S’ word allows us to experience Gods calling on our lives fully without any division and/or obligations to our partners. the ‘S’ word allows us “to promote good order and to secure our undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 corinthians 7:35b). because of the ‘S’ word, we have the opportunity to be in FULL fellowship with Christ, with every filament in our bodies.

in Christ Jesus, there is no place for loneliness or incompleteness or boredom. in Christ Jesus, completeness resonates and He has created a game plan for each and every soul that believes in Him. in our season shared with the ‘S’ word, we have duties. we have an abundance of duties that we would possibly not be able to complete if we were married. our time would be divided and in this season with the ‘S’ word, we have the privilege to fulfill our responsibilities that Christ has assigned to us.

now, how much longer will we extract all of our energy into the cup of ultimate THIRSTINESS when it’s being emptied out to complete the tasks at hand assigned by our Lord and Savior? when will we choose to place that energy in the hands of God, in obedience, so we can make ourselves available for His use? how can we be instruments of God and be too busy for His use?
ladies and gentlemen, i introduce to you the unveiling of the infamous ‘S’ word, SINGLENESS. Singleness is a gift and in our seasons of singleness, we must unwrap it and let Him put us to use in it. why continue to let a gift from God to collect dust?

Irritation.

Google Image.

Man, the funniest thing happened to me the other day! I got a spider bite….well I didn’t know until went to the doctor. I woke up in the morning and my foot was a little puffy. I just thought I might have had one too many pork ribs the night before. SOOO I just left it alone even though it was kind of hurting. A week later and my foot was on Fred Flintstone! I showed my friend she said you need to go to the doctor. I was like……………… naaaa I’ll just walk it off. (Pride)

Soooo, amazingly the irritation got bigger (I was like, “would you look at that”) I didn’t want people asking about my foot so I just separated myself from my crew. They are always boosting things way out of proportion.

Does that sound crazy y’all????

I finally went to the doctor and he told me if I would have waited any longer, my foot would have had a huge infection and might have to be amputated. Your boy would have looked like Kunta Kente. I thought to myself, man how stupid of me. I could have addressed the problem and on top of that I ran away from my friends in embarrassment. I was almost cut off from the body of believers……. literally!

Have you ever let someone or something that has hurt, irritate or harm you just build up and not address the problem? Knowing it is poison to our Spirit and it is doing nothing but causing us more pain. As much as we try to hide it the irritation/problem just sits there growing in secret, poisoning our inner being. Robbing us of our happiness and joy. The problem will grow so big that we don’t want to talk about it and, we will eventually separate from anybody that wants to address the problem to help us.

What is the antidote when people hurt, irritate, ooooor let’s just say get on your dang nerves????? You could be like me and let a problem just build up or we can follow what the Bible says! Matt. 18……

15(A) “If your brother sins against you,(B) go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have(C) gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established (D) by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them,(E) tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church,(F) let him be to you as(G) a Gentile and a tax collector.

We have to address when our brothers/sisters hurt us in our friendships as the Bible tells us. If not, the problem gets worse and there might be a permanent separation from the body of believers.  In fellowship, we need each other to hold us accountable for growth.

And after you address the issue forgive your brother because, God forgave us of our sins through Christ even when we were enemies against Him.

In closing spider bites hurt and can build up into something as detrimental as amputating a ligament for the core of our being.  The same way, in the body of Christ, unaddressed quarrels can potentially cause one of our members to be amputated as well.

Jesus saves lives and ligaments.