Archive for January, 2011

temporary king(s).

Posted in Poetry on January 31st, 2011 by africansunshine – 2 Comments

he was different, brighter than what i was used to.
sideburns long and thick, smile worth a million bucks.
he sang and danced to music he wrote to me saying,
“if i make you feel second best,
girl, i’m sorry i was blind.
you were always on my mind.
you were always. on. my. mind.”

but august 16 1977 A.D., his mind was buried
with his body and i escaped it and still felt
second best.

but then i met the king of pop who spoke
and sang to me differently.
he sang the most comforting words
a man could ever sing to me and made
promises no other man could keep,

“you are not alone,
i am here for you.
though you’re far away,
i am here to stay.”

but june 25, 2009 A.D. broke the promises
that he made to me and all his other lovers.
and i was broken until i met this king

who stood 6 ft. and 8 in. tall,
gave his city some raving popularity
and gave them a hope that seemed
supernatural, a hope based on his stats.
he said he’d never disappoint,
that he’d always do right by his team.
that he’d stay faithful to his city
no matter what others offered.

but july 9, 2010 A.D. came and
revealed his unfaithfulness, made him feel so rejected
and allegedly ruined his legacy, forcing him to ask himself
“what should i do?”
she fell in and out of love with
words that were faint and unfaithful.

then, she read a gripping love letter
written personally to her
by the King of all kings.
“my grace is sufficient and I will never
leave nor forsake you. I AM love and
be the branch, i’ll help you bear fruit,
simply hang on to Me, rely on Me and My words.
just trust in Me,
you will not search any further.
because My name is like no other,
I AM Jesus Christ.”
the difference between those three and this King,
they wore crowns of gold, He wore a crown of thorns.
He died for me.

Introduction to Genesis

Posted in Audio, Podcasts on January 28th, 2011 by chloe2dot0 – 4 Comments

Radio Reconcile

 

Radio Reconcile

Bruh, Man Up! (Love)

Posted in Blog on January 27th, 2011 by ZachNunn – 2 Comments

CAUTION: This blog may make you upset, but the ultimate aim is for you to see love in a possibly very different way.

F%^&%K LOVE”

I hear and read this quite a bit from my female peers. In loving curiosity, I have asked why these women would say that and it always goes back to a broken relationship with a guy, always. More specifically, this stance on love usually stems from a broken relationship in which sex was involved. You know, the guy and gal did the do and then for one reason or another, the guy left the relationship. The guy usually gets it in under some pretense of marital insinuation, and the girl is broken by the prince that never was. And while there is a large contingent of males young and old who harbor harsh opinions towards these women, they have neglected the fact that they own a large bit of the blame.

Peep This…

Genesis 38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death.8 Then Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother.10 And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also.
Let’s take a moment to add some cultural context. Back then, in order to preserve the family line, it was culturally acceptable for a brother to marry his deceased brother’s widow. Onan’s brother Er was wicked in God’s eyes, so God killed him. Onan then is called by his father to marry Tamar, Er’s widow. Onan is asked to “raise up offspring for [his] brother”. The thing is Onan would have sex with Tamar, but as the text says he would pull out. The text then says God kills Onan because “what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord”.

So if it was culturally acceptable for Onan to sleep with Tamar, why all the pulling out?

Onan wanted to get what Onan wanted, which was a nut (yeah I’m sorry, it sounds bad…but that’s what the text says). Onan just used Tamar as a receptacle for his selfishness.  When it came down to actually planting a part of himself inside of this woman, he pulled out. He didn’t want to cultivate, he wanted to copulate. This wasn’t love-making, this was extended masturbation. His act of wickedness was being selfish, and not loving this woman.

The text revealed that because Onan used Tamar as an object of extended masturbation, God killed him. This is a problem for us, because most of us guys are Onan’s. We literally get it in, and do our thing for 1, 4, maybe even 20 whole minutes (#wow!), but when it’s time for insemination what do we do? That’s right, we pull out (most of us get tired of pulling out and want to increase our chances of not getting the woman pregnant, so we just wear a condom, which is worse than pulling out really).

**And for the guys who are saying “well wait a second, I have a child and I raise them too”, I’d say good for you man, but 1. did you go in planning to have a child, or 2. did you just get caught up, or worse 3.  knew you’d get her pregnant and have an abortion and then she said she’s not down? You’re worse than Onan too. There’s good news for you too if you keep on reading.**

Men, we are willing to do it all, cuddle in bed afterwards, share a dog, pay for the food, buy the movie tickets, take her on a trip to New Zealand, but we aren’t willing to make a commitment. We’re willing to get as much as we can from them, without giving them any part of us.  It’s selfish, and certainly not loving–God actually calls it wicked. And like Onan, God has a punishment for your wickedness (death).

Good News

For too long we’ve followed in the marks of Onan, acting out of pure selfishness. We don’t want offspring, we want to get it in and get out. We’re not looking to produce, we’re looking to pollute. Thankfully, Jesus Christ died for this wickedness.  The Bible says “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8).” You see, Jesus Christ went all the way in for some folk who didn’t deserve it. He didn’t look for pleasure in self-preservation, He saw pleasure in being obedient to God and honoring Him. He looked beyond Himself. He died on a Cross, not because He was wicked, but because we were wicked.  After paying for the sin of all those who believe on the filthy cross, He was buried, He sowed His seed (which was Himself) into the ground. And He didn’t pull out early. He stayed in the Earth for three days. That seed did not lay dormant, it rose in new life. This new life represented the life that would be given to the millions upon millions of people who would place their faith in Jesus Christ. You see, His seed was not wasted, it went on to produce the biggest family ever. The family of God. And there are people born (again) from this seed all the time. I’m one of them.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

That’s love. That’s the kind of love we are called to live in and through and share to others men. Love that looks beyond ourselves and chiefly aims to honor God.

grace and peace.

a tragic dream.

Posted in Blog, Video on January 25th, 2011 by die_dd – Be the first to comment

I had a dream. A dream that people would stop wasting their lives chasing a dream. Sadly, it was just a dream.

[don't waste your life. - John Piper, life changing.]

There seems to be this slander of people who radically devote themselves to God. As if someone who gives everything to Christ is doing the most.

It disheartens me because this view advances the notion of a wasted life. A wasted life is the life that would be willing to appear before Jesus at his great white throne saying look at my knowledge of the latest fashions, hairstyles, terminologies, world news, movies ect … ect …

Now, there is a such thing as being missional. Missional is entering the culture & seeking to use the culture as a means of exposing the beauty of Christ in a dark world. Learning about the latest movies & such for the sake of reconciling the conversation back to Christ. But, this view can also be deadly if we fool ourselves to think we are watching a movie for Christ when we are actually watching it for self-gratification (I Cor 10:31).

We, & I truly mean we, are so infiltrated by the American Dream that we have no idea of how deep our idolatry goes. We place things before God & offer more time, money, emotion, & our very lives to attain these things. Even using God as a means to work for Him & expect Him to owe us due to our service of Him.

There are unevangelized, filthy water drinking, starving, persecuted, crying out for the gospel of the grace of Christ people in the world … while we waste our lives talking about them. Not doing anything. Talking about them.

Our job as disciples of Christ is to make Christ beautiful.

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—(Philippians 3:7-9 ESV)
Give radically & reap radically.  Give up your life for Christ & you will find your life. Where your treasure is, your heart will follow. Sow radically into the kingdom of Christ with service, monetarily, prayer & fasting. Reap spiritually blessings that would far surpass anything you’ll ever attain from the rubbish this world has to offer. Be found in Christ death on a cross, by faith, & find your life in his resurrection.
Know that your standing with God is based on Christ & His righteousness. So regardless of your giving your position with God is unchanged. But please, do not waste your life. Do not approach Christ as an additive to your life. Respect Jesus as Lord & abide in him as he abides in you.

Love, Lights, & Glory

Posted in Blog on January 24th, 2011 by esolt – Be the first to comment

Sometimes it feels like some people become unlovable. I’m not sure how it happened. Maybe we used to be cool, something happened and now we aren’t cool anymore and that hurts.  Maybe they just rubbed me the wrong way, or maybe it’s because I feel like they’ve done me wrong. Whatever it is, its just really hard to love them now. And if I’m honest as to why, for me, it’s because I get no glory from loving the unlovable. I get no glory from serving them. They’re ungrateful, they use me, it’s not like they even appreciate me. They don’t acknowledge me or what I do for them and thats angering.

The only thing more captivating then the way in which God revealed His glory to Isaiah (ch.6) is the way that Isaiah responded to His glory. In that moment where Isaiah encountered God’s glory, he was so overwhelmed by how lowly and unworthy he was. It’s like he was reminded of all the ways that he had fallen short and his need to be saved, and in turn he responded by offering himself up completely for the work of the Lord.

It’s hard to offer ourselves completely to the Lord’s service, which might include loving the unlovable, when we think we are entitled to glory.  But to think on the cross, all of His creation, the change He’s brought in my life, is there ever a moment where I should feel as if I’ve never seen the glory of the Lord? If not, then how can my response be to think that I deserve to shine?

Loving the unlovable has nothing to do with us, but it has everything to do with how we choose to respond to the glory of the Lord. Loving the unlovable has nothing to do with our ability to love, but our ability to respond to the love that He has given us.

When I strive for the shine, especially in my relations with others, I withhold love until I get the shine I think I deserve and my actions lose love when I’m striving to make sure no one enters my spotlight. And it’s not until I feel disgusted and as low as dirt about the way that these relationships have worked out that I realize that if I had the glory I would remain in this dirt. God gets the glory when we come to the realization that we need Him save us. God is the only one who would look on His majestic glory and choose to elevate us, the lowly.

If He is sufficient, I don’t need to shine. Faith is exercised when I choose to give it all up believing that God will cover me and replace it all with more than I could ever attain on my own. Theres more joy, more peace, the highest purpose and validation than my shine could ever bring. If I’m standing on the stage of life, the only way for me to love you is to choose to put the spotlight on Christ….and it’s a decision I have to make everyday.

Investors step on people like ants.

Posted in Blog on January 21st, 2011 by die_dd – Be the first to comment

I once heard it said that we step on ants without conviction because we realize that we are higher beings and there is no penalty for our actions. Likewise, we who have the power of the gods can step on the weak because the power difference is the same.

Ant-eye-view

In the corporate world this seems to be the perception from the higher ups. We, the lower beings, are to be stepped on to make it to the top. Recent examples of this is the Madoff investment scandal.

Madoff pulled off the greatest investment banking fraud in history; 50 billion dollars ($50+9 zeros!). Turned in by his own sons Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

What is more surprising are the aftereffects. His son, who turned him in, commits suicide on the  2 year anniversary. He sent off emails to his wife, lawyer, and others before he committed the act. The one to his wife read, “I love you” — and then alerted her to “send someone to take care of Nick,” their two year old son. His final goodbye was a love letter to his bride while asking that someone take care of his child.

God, the Greater Investment Banker, invested in creation making it perfect yet having the propensity to fall; while never removing his sovereignty. Through the sin of man all creation became corrupted. So Madoff is merely a product of a corrupted world, just as you & I.

God did not give up on his investment. God decided to re-up and put all his chips in the person of the God-man Jesus Christ. God invested all of the heavens & went bankrupt to buy back a broken world. The world saw the sacrifice God made on a cross & a great depression took place on a Black Friday, now known as Good Friday.

We who do not have a heavenly perspective could not foresee the sacrifice made by Christ; to us it seemed Madoff-ish.

God the Father made a mistake in his investment into creation? God the Son committed suicide?

God-eye-view

With our ant-eye-view we could not see the meaning behind the sacrifice. God did not make a mistake, but an investment towards redemption. God’s goal has always been the redemption of a broken world. I cannot explain the infinite & neither am I trying to simplify God but in the love letters left by the Son before he departed read, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” (I Timothy 2:5-6)

At the proper time Jesus made a ransom for sin & sat at the right hand of God. To us it seemed like suicide, but it was not suicide because suicide is the taking of the body that does not belong to you. Since Jesus is the Creator his body belongs to him & he can do with it as he pleased. It pleased him to give ‘it’ as an exchange for ours to appease the anger the Father had towards this broken creation.

The sacrifice Jesus made is sufficient for Madoff, but can only be applied if he repents & believes in Jesus Christ. If Madoff does not know Christ I pray that he finds him during his prison sentence. I pray that Madoff realizes that God became an ant & experienced the suffering ants go through so that ants may become the children of God. My prayers go out to his family.

bart scott preaches victory, God talks “trash” and backs it up, and He also has a foot fetish.

Posted in Blog, Video on January 20th, 2011 by e_mike – 1 Comment

in case you didn’t know, the patriots and jets have a crazy rivalry that has definitely been picking up steam in the past few years. back in 2008, espn reporter tim graham says that the rivalry between the two teams transcend games, and on sunday, january 16th 2011, bart scott basically aggressively affirmed the exact sentiments.

who could blame him though?

after a week of intense trash talk that culminated in wes welker kicking some comments regarding jets head coach rex ryan’s foot fetish, the jets avenged a 45-3 regular season whooping with a 28-21 away victory over the patriots en route to the afc championship game against the steelers.

it’s something about backing up your word that should get everyone riled up!

shameless plug.

in case you didn’t know, after the first man, adam, decided to disobey God, humanity and sin have been engaged in a crazy rivalry that definitely picked up after genesis 3 (pt will tell you this all throughout the genesis series lol). but after adam sinned, God (who has a foot fetish, being that he created feet and um, just look at verse 15), decided to do some “trash talking” of his own to the serpent that deceived the woman:

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring [5] and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” – genesis 3:14-15.

after thousands of years of “trash talking,” also known as the old testament, man God backs up his Word (double triple entendre) and avenges sin’s whooping up on man by sending his only begotten son Jesus Christ from heaven to earth, to reconcile the losers back to the only winner! Now that’s an away victory! And then afterward, being the living God that He is, He resurrected in victory!

After the game, a member of the team, the apostle Paul, who was acquired by grace through faith, got his bart scott on:

13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities [1] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. – colossians 2:13-15.

oh so now we are back in relationship with God and will one day see Him face to face for eternity?

“CAN’T WAIT.”

HIM vs him

Posted in Blog, Poetry on January 19th, 2011 by Taryn Nicole – Be the first to comment

I live in a world of hypocriticism

Socialism, opportunism, and injusticism

(I know that’s not a word,

But it fit my rhyme-isms)

We voted a man in because we wanted a “change”

But all that we’ve received is a darker face

Don’t get me wrong this poem isn’t about him

It’s about us,

And our relationship with HIM

Not the him in the  White House

But the HIM that’s our lighthouse

For HIM we sing hymns

Of conquered trials and tribulations, and most importantly joy

We teach the story of HIM to young girls and boys

In hopes that they’ll grow up the way in which we teach

Knowing that HIM’s within our reach…

Unlike the him seen vacationing on a foreign beach

And who sits behind a desk

Analyzing spreadsheets

Of war and terror

Confused about his next move

All the while, the other HIM is trying to prepare you

With the armor you need to succeed

Because the enemy of HIM

Will eternally experience defeat…

But we’re more worried about what him was wearing

Or what him’s kids were doing

If him will end up like the previous him

So we can ask who him’s been screwing

Don’t get me wrong,

I’m not trying to condemn

You see, I too am a victim

Of being caught up in the “exciting” world of him

When my focus should be on HIM,

HIM who saved me

HIM who raised me

And blessed me

But no, I’m letting the decisions of him/HIM stress me

Questioning

HIM’s existence

And relevance in my life

I’d rather listen to him

Or better yet, him’s wife

Because she’s a “strong black woman”

And she married him

So they must be legit

Can I get an Amen?

Wait, wait. What am I saying?

I’m supposed to be praying

To the Magnificent One

Better yet known as HIM

It’s so hard when HIM’s enemy

Is constantly trying to distract me

Unknowingly attack me

I don’t know it’s happening

Lies become as-a-matter-of-factly’s

But I’m living in excuses,

So let me take a step back and see…

Breathe. Inhale. Release.

Regather my thoughts

Go to my sword, the Word

HIM’s Word.

As I read,

Realizations appear

Now it all makes sense

I can comprehend

The “change” that we want

It comes from within

It’s refocusing on HIM

Put it like that and I understand

The phrase is perfectly relevant,

Yes We Can.

the viral addiction.

Posted in Poetry on January 18th, 2011 by africansunshine – 1 Comment

with one click,
i slip into your system
and i linger inside of you subconsciously
when you (ex) out of me.

eyes glued to the tube, sometimes
youtube, i know what you like to use
to entrap yourself with me,
quietly – secretly – away from the world.

i am the reason you can’t stay in
a healthy relationship because i set
the standards for you, i create an image
that, in your reality, is intangible.

but you don’t know this, i have consumed you.

i create an urge within you that cannot be
contained in public places which forces you to
rise out of your seat, dash into the restroom stall
to satisfy the infidelity that has become your master.

you are addicted to me, even though you know i’ve
injected within your system a virus that cannot be cured,
a virus that will never be cured because you refuse to confess,
this weakness to those you call your “friends.”

then you wonder why you can’t stay in a relationship.
i laugh, i giggle, i cackle at you and your denial because
i even know the cure that’ll deplete this wicked desire i’ve implanted
within you. i even know that you can’t get over me on your own.

you read His word all the time, even while you tune in to watch me
and He’s said to you, that you should put to death the sinful and
earthly things that lurk around you, to have nothing to do with sexual
immorality, lust, impurity and evil desires!

HE SAYS IT TO YOU, but you still give in to me. still, i laugh.
you’ve been washed clean and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus,
so why do you still give in to me? when all i offer you is
toxic relationships and selfishness and evil desires?

when will you quit me, for good?

yours truly,
pornography.

have an open mind, but a closed hand

Posted in Blog on January 11th, 2011 by die_dd – 2 Comments

As a human being we all have a thirst for knowledge.

We want to be known for knowing things.

Being honest, I have an issue with the thirst for knowledge. Now before you go running to the Proverbs & showing me verses about wise council, knowledge, & wisdom … hear me out.

[you can listen to this series on the life of the mind here, for free. I especially recommend Francis Chan's message]

I’m not saying that knowledge is a sin, but the thirst for knowledge being placed above Jesus is.

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? – I Cor 4:7

Everything we have is given to us. How can you expect someone to have something, especially the gospel, unless it is given to them?

This thought should drive you towards humility. That by the sheer grace of God you have anything. We should have an open mind to what others know & what we can learn from them. Eat the chicken, throw away the bone.

But, as G.K. Chesterson would say, “The point of an open mind is to close on something.” Along with having an open mind we need also close on truth. Some truths in a Christians life are closed handed issues. Jesus is one head of the Triune God (John 1:1, Isa 9:6, Titus:2:13), Jesus being born of a virgin (Isa 7:14), Jesus living a sinless life while experiencing every temptation (Heb 4:15), Jesus exchanging his sinlessness with your filth on the cross by grace alone & faith alone (II Cor 5:21, Rom 8:4, Eph 2:8-10), Jesus resurrecting from the dead promising to also resurrect you (I Cor 15:20-28), & Jesus being the only name that anyone can be saved by (Acts 4:12) are just a few.

It is not arrogant to close your mind on Christ because He is absolute Truth. Jesus being the only way is just as arrogant as a Jewish man saying YAHWEH is the only way to heaven or a Muslim saying Allah is the only way to heaven. An agnostic/atheist would say that there are millions of ways, but if we believe in 2 or 3 we are non-inclusive (when in actuality they are excluding us). Since Jesus is the one true God then we have every right to be closed to it.

Issues pertaining to salvation by faith alone, the person-hood of Christ, & the personified love of God are to be closed on. Close your mind around how God loves you. Look at the mercy being abundantly poured out on your life & know that God loves you.

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? – Gal 4:9

But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. – I Cor 8:3

It should be without question in your mind that God loves you. Christ-less-Christianity would say God loves you and has a plan for your life, but the gospel says that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you want a true reason to worship Jesus forever think about His love. His love that suffered the shame of a cross. His love that placed you above himself. His love that died in your place. His love that couldn’t be stopped by death. His love that saved you & is saving you. His love that does not quit because of your disobedience but pursues. His love that will one day put an end to hunger, disease, pain, tears, & sorrow. His love that empowers us to love others.

Think about Christ’s passion. Close your mind to Jesus’ love.

Be known for being known & loved by God.