Archive for April, 2011

Pen Therapy

Posted in Blog on April 26th, 2011 by esolt – Be the first to comment

I loved Adele’s last project, 21, its still in pretty heavy rotation. I was listening to her single ‘Someone like You’ and for some reason the words just seemed to stick with me for a couple of days. The tale that her words told was sad, but it was real. Then I began to realize just how many times her exact sentiments had been voiced over the past few years. Check out the quotes below, these quotes are lyrics from a variety of songs from a very diverse cast of artists. Keep in mind that all of these artists are singing to an ex-lover that is either engaged, married, or has moved on with someone else:

‘Hoped you’d see my face and be reminded that for me it isn’t over’  -Adele

‘Does she know that you told me you’d hold me until you died’  -Alanis Morsette

‘Do you ever think of me?’  - Ne-yo

‘When you see my face I hope it gives you hell’  -All American Rejects

‘In my mind I’ll always be his lady’  -Heather Headley

‘What we had don’t need no words…I know I should be your lady’  -Jill Scott

Their words express regret, anger, sadness, curiosity, and a kind of sad persistence. And for me these songs go hard because on some level the artist has captured exactly the way I’ve felt at some point. And when you hear lyrics as powerful as some of these, you’re forced to wonder what happened in their relationships? Surely they must have been done really wrong, or they must have had something really special, so special that they just can’t seem to let it go or get over it.

I’m going to take a step out, and just express how I feel about these lyrics. When I look at these words, I see the result of someone giving too much of themselves over to another individual in the wrong context. And now, it hurts entirely too much to see that this person has moved on. So all we have left to do is grab our pens and proceed to therapy.

The first time the small box that I had put sexual immorality in was blown up, I was listening to Eric Mason preach on the subject. He taught that most Christians only put sex in their box of sexual immorality, yet in all actuality sexual immorality has a very mental and emotional aspect.

Man, we are so quick to attach ourselves emotionally to someone, we get off on the good morning texts and late night phone calls, not even considering if this person we are giving our emotions to will even be in our future. Because we aren’t observing this person as a long term fixture in our life, we’re observing them as eye candy, attention, or stability. The fact of the matter is we may have never been between the sheets with someone, but unbeknown to them, we’ve mentally worshiped them day in and day out, giving ourselves over to them in our minds. We even go as far as giving ourselves away physically. And when it’s all said and done, no matter how it went down, physically, emotionally, or mentally, we’ve given a piece of ourselves away, and when the beneficiary leaves, we never get that piece of us back and that cuts deep.

In my mind there was so much to say or ‘preach’ about these lyrics. I thought about saying something like ‘Guard your heart,’ ‘Date with the purpose of marriage,’ ‘Don’t think on impure things,’ and ‘How are you gonna give away that which belongs to the Lord.’ And while all of that is Biblically correct and needed, I think my sentiments can be best summarized in two commands- Love God. Love Your Brothers & Sisters.

We get so hurt by this so called love, failing to realize that our actions have completely neglected love all together. Love God. Love Your Brothers
& Sisters. Do we thirst and love after God enough to completely surrender our minds, body, and soul as a living sacrifice? Dow we love our brothers and sisters enough to not take and abuse their emotions with no true intention? Do we love our brothers and sisters enough to not take from them in the bedroom? Do we love God enough to honor our brothers and sisters?

Christ’s love was a love that put us first, it was love with long term intentions, He loved us with a purpose, His love can be tough, but it always aims to build us up. He’s a lover who gives more than we could ever repay. It’s only because of Him that we can love and it’s only through Him that we can give love. He is the perfect example of love, because He is love. Outside of Him, our ‘love’ is leaving mental and emotional scars and until we can understand that, our only hope is to find an understanding pen, a melancholy beat, and a listening page of paper.

#SoleSearch

Posted in Blog on April 25th, 2011 by joshua_gray – Be the first to comment

#SoleSearch is this Tuesday night! Under the Towers! 6-8 pm! DJ! Food!

Our goal is to serve the nations & love the less fortunate by recycling old sneakers to help change lives.

We want to build a ‘summit’ made of sneakers to donate to Soles 4 Souls & we need your help!

Bring, at least, one pair of your slightly used sneakers you currently have in retirement, along with $1 to offset the cost of shipping the shoes to @SolesforSouls!  Don’t have any shoes to give?  You can still play a key role in the mission by helping with monetary donations that can go towards the cost of shipping!

FREE FOOD for donors! That’s right, free sole food! (get it? soul food? lol)

instructions: wrap shoes with rubber bands if you can & make the poster your profile pic for 2 days if you’re coming!

#SendingTheSeventy

Posted in Blog, Video on April 20th, 2011 by e_mike – Be the first to comment

We love our community and we love Jesus and we desperately want both our loves to meet each other! We are believing that just as Jesus sent 70 people to share the Good News and heal the sick, He will also send out 70 of us (or more) into the Cuney Homes community to share the gospel and meet the needs of our community.

We will meet at the Center for Hope (3015 North Macgregor Houston, Texas) at 11:30 at the Security Desk. We will be both sharing the Gospel and finding out the needs of the community. No experience is necessary, just a love for people and a desire to be used by God. PLUS, ITS FREE! LOL. If you know some folk who are interested in coming out with us — please share.

Want to make a video like everyone has already? Yes! It’s never too late! Peep the instructions below!

“WHO TOLD YOU?” CONTEST…

Answer 1 or both of these questions in your video: When did you first hear the Gospel? When did you first share the Gospel? Share your story & experience in a short, 1-2 minute video.

INSTRUCTIONS:
(1) Upload your video to youtube.
(2) Tag it #sendingtheseventy
(3) Send the video link to godwithus@mac.com

Let’s get this thang viral! Check out the videos here and spread them on all of your social networks! Be sure to add #SendingTheSeventy! Let’s go!

when God was absent, part I

Posted in Blog on April 19th, 2011 by die_dd – 3 Comments

I often don’t feel God“, is a saying that ruled me for a few months.

I’ll be blunt and to the point … I took a hiatus from writing because I didn’t feel worthy to write for a blog committed to truth & the transformation of lives through the love of Christ. I began to doubt if I were ever in it for the right reasons & I began to fall back from accountability, authority, & admonition from others. You too may feel this way in some facet of your life.

I do apologize. My mentality was that sin was so rampant in my life that I am unworthy & I would have to fix myself up before I was worthy to write again. But God, being so rich in mercy showed me that I think far too highly of myself.

Absence made me feel as though God was so far from me & it would take time to rebuild our relationship & just when it felt like we were getting better … I would sin again. Sin being anything from illegitimately fulfilling sexual desires, pridefully asserting authority over others, cowardly avoiding situations to share the love of Christ, arrogantly being self-absorbed, guiltily blaming myself for the guilt of others, & not feeling as if God loved me as much as He used too.

I once felt like me & God were so tight & I thought He had my best interests in mind. I thought that if I followed Him I would be like pastor such & such & always feel joy overflowing. But God, being rich in mercy put my faith to the test. Left & right everything in my life began going wrong. I went from best worker to worst, good painter to worst, and a decent preacher to worst. I felt so condemned.

Every night I stayed up contemplating how to get closer to God … every night I prayed & prayed, but seemingly to no avail. My greatest fear became the idea that my sin became greater than the Holy Spirit living in me. I was scared to even pray because I didn’t want to be let down by God again. This was when things took a turn for the worst & I completely lost who I was.

When I hit rock bottom was when healing came.

I learned that,

  • like Cain all I can do is offer my best offering but be careful because sin is crouching at my door like a predator waiting to pounce (Gen 4:6-7)
  • I was saved by the Spirit so I should stop trying to be sanctified by the flesh & the law (Gal 3:1-3)
  • it doesn’t matter if I look stupid for Jesus (Phil 1:27-28)
  • there is a God who loves me too much to give me over to my idols (thanks Tullian)
  • people actually care about me & I don’t have to pull stunts to earn affection (ain’t got no proof but I feel it, lol)
  • in the midst of sin God can use you to reveal His righteousness (Jonah 1:7-16)
  • an alien righteousness resides in me apart from anything that I do (Phil 3:2-11)
  • I should risk the ocean, because there is only grace (Sometimes – DCB)

Frontline Movement – “U Rydin” (official video)

Posted in Video on April 14th, 2011 by joshua_gray – Be the first to comment

“U Rydin” – Reconcile, Corey Paul, FOE from Ronnie Lillard on Vimeo.

Artists: Reconcile, Corey Paul, F.O.E.
Free download here.

Photos from behind the shoot:

working to death.

Posted in Poetry on April 14th, 2011 by africansunshine – Be the first to comment

and he’s been working,
slaving and hustling to get paid
the wages that it takes to be
enslaved, shackled in chains.

back bent, bones brittle,
hour to hour he’s picking lustful
flowers and cottons coated in envy.
he works long, stomach empty
because he’s been missing out
on the Word that’s living.

while he’s working to do right and
to appear perfect on the outside,
he’s forgotten that, internally, his
body is expiring.

curdling and clumping like spoiled milk,
his body grows weary as he continues to
work his way to right standing with the
one he serves as Master.

little did he know, Master once was in
his place. Master took up those wages
and all the debts, He had paid.
Master was shackled in chains as a slave,
and had already picked all of his lustful and envious ways.

Master’s back was bent with brittle bones,
not to work Himself to death, but to pay the
wages of death – to put those wages to death.

Master did this to offer freedom to the people
like him, but to earn righteousness with the Master,
he didn’t see it as a sin.

“But I tell you, brother, the wages of sin is death, but
the free gift of Master is eternal life in Christ Jesus
our Lord.

Therefore, I declare you unemployed! You no longer
have to work, I AM giving you a choice!”

his guilt wouldn’t allow him to accept this
gift of Freedom – so he bore on his brittle back
all the wages death had promised and remained
enslaved as his Master watched over him saying,

“The debt, it’s already been paid.
Why must you continue to enslave
yourself?

#TheMorningAfter

Posted in Blog, Video on April 11th, 2011 by hearthali – Be the first to comment

#themorningafter from LEGS1015 on Vimeo.

We are all at the age where we’ve experienced “love,” waking up next to the wrong person, thought about getting married and being involved in relationships!  Tomorrow night will give us all the opportunity to discuss these relevant topics and to seek common ground and a solution on the issues that may arise from each experience.  Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions on The Morning After!

Hosted by Symone Parker and Andre Kohn with a panel of intelligent and opinionated individuals, this event should be one to remember!!!  Come out and share your experiences with others!

Date: Tuesday, April 12

Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Location: KIVA ROOM (on the University of Houston campus).
This room is located in Farish Hall, College of Education.

We hope to see you all and to hear what you all have to say on these topics!!! #themorningafter.

if there is a God, where is He during all of this suffering?

Posted in Blog, Video on April 5th, 2011 by e_mike – Be the first to comment

where was God when the earth decided to quake, subsequently putting a bloody red dot on a nation who has the 3rd-largest economy – giving life to an astronomical tsunami to further showcase everyone’s greatest fear: death?

where was God when the faults in Port-au-prince, Haiti decided to quiver, leaving thousands of Haitians dead while some lay on the street – while some cry on the streets – even while more live on the streets?

where is God now in this sick world? today, countless diseases disperse without our permission. to name a few: cancer, cholera, lupus, alzheimer’s, asthma, diabetes, ebola, polio, aids/hiv – all of which have no outright cure.

where is God in the family that is falling apart? where is God in the life of the individuals who are being raped, beaten, solicited, abused, trafficked for sex, neglected, ignored, taken advantage of, misunderstood, silenced, and most of all … unloved?

most will look around and observe the obvious sufferings of the world and quickly reason within themselves, “there is no God.” but some look around and see the sufferings of the world and say, “i can’t believe God suffered with us.”

the answer to the question, “if there is a God, where is He during all of this suffering?,” isn’t automatically, “since there is suffering there cant be a God.” the answer is simply Jesus Christ.

the answer is that God saw the world suffering because of our sin, and stepped out of His heavenly habitat and became flesh in the likes of a man named Jesus Christ. to suffer. for us.

the answer is that God in a “skin suit” (eric mason), Jesus Christ, left his realm of absolute perfection, where no suffering nor natural factors of this fallen world exist, and pitched a tent down here on earth for 33 years, and yet did not sin, so that he could rightly suffer. for us.

He not only remained perfect while suffering was all around Him, but Jesus Christ suffered himself, suffering the greatest punishment of all time; suffering the death we should have died while bearing all of the sins of those who believe – for those who caused Him to suffer, us. Christ suffered through our shame, guilt, wrongdoing and emptiness. for us.

the God of the universe. suffered. for us. pause.

the Creator has suffered greater than anyone in creation. so the next time it is asked, “if there is a God, where is He during all of this suffering?” the tense-transcending answer is, “He was on the cross. suffering. for us.”

Romans 5:3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.