when i dip, you dip, we dip.

"when i dip, you dip, we dip."

gametime! lol.

let's go chiko! ... chiko! ... chiko! ... CHIKA!

congrats chiko ... i mean chika!

now now now, baptism doesn’t save us … it’s just an outward demonstration of an inward transformation! romans 6! identifying with Christ’s burial & resurrection! let’s go!

get her in the water quick! lol.

congrats kathy!

lol hey nina!

that. just. happened. congrats nina!

the infamous baptism get-up.

on june 26th, 2011, chika nwachukwu, kathryn simmons, nina imo and 2 other women (i don’t have the list or clear pics forgive me lol smh) demonstrated their faith in Jesus Christ via baptism! the city @ good hope is excited to say “congratulations!”

jason terry’s tattoo preaches.

do you see that? look a litter closer. it’s on his right bicep. yes, that’s the larry o’brien trophy that is awarded to the nba franchise that wins the nba finals. and no, he didn’t scramble to the nearest tattoo parlor in miami directly after the game 6, championship-clinching victory over the heat to get inked up. jason “the jet” terry got that tattoo before the start of the 2010-2011 season. in full faith, the jet basically guaranteed that the mavericks would be the 2011 nba world champions.

jason the jet terry > harold camping.

don’t miss this. jason terry believed the mavericks were going to win the championship. he then got a permanent tattoo of the prime tangible reward on the inside of his arm (the same arm responsible for lighting lebron up). and then after the job was done, inherited the reward.

13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [1] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [2] to the praise of his glory.

when we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ as it pertains to our salvation (that God created us all good, then we sinned and were separated from an all good God, then bad/corruption ensued but immediately after we sinned God, being good, promised a good savior through Jesus Christ despite the bad/corruption of mankind and the world to come, then God being good came down as Christ and was good for life but died for our bad selves and whosoever believes in Him shall obtain eternal life – #quick) – by grace it sinks into the depths of our wretched souls, only to liberate us from death, to life, upon belief. if we reject that, well, hell – no pitchfork.

after liberation comes permeation, in which the Holy Spirit of God literally takes residence inside of us, giving us life, just as it did for the one-time-virgin mary. this Holy Ghost not only powers us to be Christ-like, He seals us for everything that God has promised to us, including Himself! but this is no ordinary lick-the-envelope seal. this is a “once saved, always saved” type of seal …

sphragizo from sphragis = seal, engraved object used to make a mark – denoting ownership, approval, or closure of something normally done by pressing into heated wax usually attached to a document or letter) means to set a seal upon or to mark with a seal. To mark so as to certify that something is so. Seals were used to make something secure, to serve as a guarantee of the correctness of the contents, to indicate authenticity, to indicate ownership. Sacrificial animals were examined and sealed if perfect. Jars, sacks of fruit or grain were sealed.  To mark with a seal as a means of identification in Greek secular writings was used to mark all kinds of animals, so that the mark denoting ownership also carries with it the protection of the owner. – (http://preceptaustin.org)

i hope you didn’t miss that! those of us in Christ are permanently stamped, in a tattoo manner, with the promised Spirit of God, who is our owner (God that is). we are secure in Him and will inherit what He has for us, and this is not of our doing, but simply because of Christ winning, for us, the game of life that we couldn’t win! even believing in the Him of the gospel is by grace!

are you “tatted?” if not, just believe! after liberation and permeation comes celebration! thank you Jesus!

it is finished, you workaholics

“And it’s a shame, the way I want to do these things for You, yet don’t even cling to you, take time to sit and glean from You” – Lecrae

Work, work harder?

The day of a workaholic usually begins with the motive of proving their existence based on their ability to produce. The workaholic finds value in the quantity of quality products produced. The idea of rest is foreign & the notion of saying no is nonexistent. They are shackled to their schedule.

Is there hope?

I may be the worst person to write this, thus I’m probably the best person to write this. I am so identified with my work habits that if they die, I die; if they thrive, I live. One day I found myself so lost in thought, so hurt from past mistakes, so burdened by being a Christian leader, so obligated to produce work, so physically fatigued, and so dramatized by the expanse of work to be done that I broke down. It took everything just to hold back the tears in public. But, I found hope in a text message.

The conversation proceeded as such:

what is your purpose for serving?

Not sure, I want to say death in me will mean life for others.

There’s life in Christ not in you …

I was finding my identity in serving Jesus, but not Jesus. When Jesus shouted in victory, “τελείωσε” … it was all perpetually and perfectly completed. “It” being the defeat of sin, satan, death, the need for acceptance, the need to work, the desire to work harder, the shame from failed works, the guilt from failed future works, and the idea of finding identity in your work. Jesus did what was done on the cross, then sat down at the right hand of God. No assistance from man is necessary in Jesus’ saving work, as witnessed by the man on the cross next to him. Jesus said this day he would be with him in paradise apart from anything that he did, should’ve done, would do, or could do.

A helpful thought is that of Mary and Martha. Mary was awarded for sitting at the feet of Jesus gleaning from him, but Martha was told to fall back for thinking she had to work and impress Jesus. Be a Mary, not a Martha.

no work left to do?

The understanding of there being nothing for you to do is radical. We often feel as though we must pay God back, but Jesus said it is finished. Jesus paid it in full. “It” being the just wrath of God towards those who work when he said rest. God desires us to find rest in Christ’s work and see him as all sufficient. You will find so much joy by just sitting there meditating on the completed work in the death and life of Jesus. You will identify with Jesus so much that in his death, you die; in his life, you live.

how should we respond to osama bin laden’s death?

I decided to tackle this because i know it’s a tough and popular topic that will warrant discussion and edify the body, all while illuminating God’s justice, Christ’s death, & His grace.

Photo by Getty Images.

how should we respond to the death of osama bin laden? honestly, i can’t answer that question with a definite action, but i feel comfortable in answering the question, “before i react, what should i think of in response to the death of osama bin laden?

@2live4him tweets, “Osama got what he deserved, but before you start shouting, what if you got what you deserved?”

@pngwolo tweets, “According to God, I and Bin Laden deserve to be bunk buddies in Hell’s Oven. Rom. 3:10-19.”

proverb 28:5 reads “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.”

proverb 24:17 reads “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad … ”

proverb 11:10 reads “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.”

@2live4him prompts us to, before shouting over osama bin laden’s death, think of how it would be if we got what we deserved. Nat, knowingly or unknowingly, is addressing someone already in the wrong, for they are rejoicing at the sole fact that osama is dead, and from a vengeful view. the only person’s death we should rejoice over is Jesus (because He died for us), and that doesn’t break proverbs 24:17, because Jesus (who we were once enemies of) is not in a position of failure anymore; He is at the right hand of God (hebrews 1).

@pngwolo prompts us to look at the sinful state of osama bin laden and ourselves – which are the same. in God’s eyes, the only true eyes, eric michael ward and osama bin laden deserve to be bunk buddies in hell. sidenote: hell is such a lonely place (since we’ll be without God forever) that osama bin laden and i can be bunk buddies and not even know it because there is no community outside of God. PT’s tweets prompt me and others to see that we are no better than osama bin laden, and that we have sinned against God and deserve to be sniped by a bullet of eternal proportion from God’s golden gun (2 Thess 1). God’s righteous judgment is only right because His justice is just.

now, i don’t think we should be mad at someone not responding like us. the issue is deeper than celebration, but of the heart. some believe they are rejoicing in justice, but could be rejoicing in vengeance, which i agree is “contrary to the gospel.” see, most of us (christian or not), rejoice in the fact that bin laden has been killed, but not at the fact that it points to justice – which should ultimately point back to God, the justifier (it sounds like we can’t separate the two, but we can and do), being just and sniping Jesus instead of us. it sounds small when first read but that’s a ginormous [sic] problem. why? see, death & justice are conjoined twins, but some of us want to focus on just 1 head and ignore the other, which leads to either hyper-_____________ (insert view) or a mind controlled by vengeance.

i believe the gospel of Jesus Christ demands we focus on both death & justice, in addition to grace, not either or. those in Christ understand justice, we understand death (we’ll continue to grow in that understanding), and we view the two through a lens of grace. Christ’s death on the cross is something we rejoice over. why? because it should have been us on the cross! and because He rose! that’s grace! now, we rejoice in this because God’s plate of justice which was specifically prepared for you and i … Christ ate it … while He was on the cross! that’s grace by justice!

how should we respond? we should think of Jesus in all things before we react in anything, and that hopefully results in worshipping God. i rejoice at the fact that justice was served once and for all for me because Jesus became my due justice for me on the cross (2 cor 5:21). i can’t rejoice in Osama bin laden’s death, well, because he isn’t Christ and his death wasn’t for my atonement. i can’t rejoice in any man dying and not knowing Christ – because it seems by his lifestyle and devout belief that osama bin laden is away from God’s goodness: hell. that is no reason to rejoice. ever. bin laden’s death actually reminds me of the urgency to exalt Christ’s finished work since there are people dying without Christ as you read this blog. @2live4him & @pngwolo’s tweets prompt me to rejoice in the grace poured on my sinful self, as well as the death and the justice demanded by God, that I escaped because of Jesus. God the Son’s gracious death saved me (all grace). it’s weird i know, but i simultaneously rejoice in the picture of God’s justice, Christ’s death, and the subsequent grace – simultaneously. honestly, i can’t think of 1 and not the other.

what matters more? how someone responds to the death of osama bin laden, or how someone responds to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? let’s not eliminate either side because they both matter, but which really matters more – if one indeed matters more? can we view them apart from each other? i think the latter will effect the former. you? let’s talk.

here is how Francis Chan responds.

from the boombocks to the city.

i once wrote a blog that epitomized the ramblings of someone who worshiped their own thoughts.  it was titled, the boombocks. i had many followers. and i loved it. i loved when people saw how smart i thought i was. i loved when people complimented my choice of vocabulary, of which i usually forced just to let readers know that i read my dictionary. i loved it when i reached a thousand members in my facebook group for the blog. i loved it when friends and total strangers praised my mind. i loved the fact that i appeared to be righteous. i loved the feeling of being justified by my writing. i loved the attention that i got from my blog, whether positive or negative. i loved the way it felt to bash people that i presumed were unrighteous (like abraham did) because i thought i had a knowledge of self. i loved the acceptance that i received from the art world, mainly because i was spewing a somewhat gnostic, universalist worldview. i loved the fact that i was loved. people seemed to love me.

i loved it.

then i hit rock bottom and got rocked by the Rock.

do you see all of the “i’s,” “me’s,” and “my’s” in the first paragraph? do you see all of the glory i sought after and loved to steal from God? that’s a problem.

a friend who wasn’t in Christ at the time (fall back you know what i mean smh lol), but now a sister in Christ and writer of this blog, hali, sent me a facebook message that would literally point to Christ as the solution, point to my blog’s incredible shortcomings, and then point back to God, who deserves ALL the glory.

hali posted this on her tumblr one day. i was at work and it stirred me to write this on my old tumblr …

the best feeling in the world isn’t sex. it’s knowing that you’ve helped somebody.

even more so because you know that you can’t help nobody, because you can’t help yourself.

so God gets all the credit because it was He that helped you to help somebody.

so now the best feeling in the world is knowing that God chose to use you, who couldn’t help yourself, to help someone, that can’t help themselves … despite of your helpless self.

soli deo gloria.

so now, by the grace of God, from the examples i see all around me (zach, josh, chloe, candis, jasmine, david, pt, hali, taryn, nat, dennis, erica, taryn, ashley, and many other brethren in the faith), i do not write to point back to my mind – although i am often tempted to (pray for me). by the Holy Spirit that seals, i write for Jesus, who died on the cross so that God can commune with me once again, and subsequently write my name in that book.

writers and speakers, hear my heart: when you write and or speak the truth of the bible, that unashamed-loving truth that exalts the savior and not man, i hope man will not respond in praising you, but i hope that man will be moved by the Holy Spirit and revealed of their shortcomings and problems (conviction). now now, there is a prime opportunity to point to the glorious solution!

i personally love this blog and the gospel community God has placed me in. the writers of this blog aim not to show-off any individual person, except Jesus Christ! i am honored and privileged to be a part of this amazing project! i don’t deserve it!!!

For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. – 2 corinthians 4:5

temporary king(s).

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.

happy anniversary!!!

Google Image.

the city good hope celebrates its ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY as the New Year has rolled in. we thank you ALL for visiting us daily and taking time out to read, listen and watch the various posts that are submitted.

we would like for you to share your experiences with us from the passed year of 2010, anything you would like to share: testimonies, praise reports, prayer requests, etc.  we would love to read them and to pray specifically for each and every one of our readers!

also, if you would like to see more of something else on this website, offer us some suggestions! we know we need growth and you all are important in this process!!!  for example, a new writer – maybe YOU!!!  if you would like to submit a post, do not hesitate to suggest yourself!

we pray this year is full of Gods grace in your lives and that your eyes, heart, mind and soul remain focused on Christ and if it is not already, we pray that God leads you to the truth in His time!!! His will shall be done!

thank you for all of your support and please keep us in your prayers, that we may continue to provide a sacred way of reconciling culturally relevant subjects to our Lord and Savior, the one and only, JC (Jesus Christ)!!!

we love and thank you all!!! and always remember:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

House Rules

Home for the break.  I had about 8 family members fly in to my grandmother’s house for the holidays including myself, which makes for a total of 18 people between 3 houses. Things tend to get a little crazy, we all want to go different places, see different people, shop at different stores, and eat at different restaurants. And seeing as most of us flew in; it is a mad scrabble for who gets to drive the cars and for how long. When we’re all at home, there are house rules and annoying expectations like keeping things clean and helping out, things we’re not used to anymore. When I’m in Houston, I only look after myself, drive my own car, and stay out however late I want to.

But here’s the funny thing about all of us young adults and college kids comin home and fightin over transportation and complaining about rules. Not one of us paid for the cars we’re arguing over, not one of us pays our own car insurance, and while we’re home, we usually don’t get asked to fill up the tank. Furthermore, we aren’t paying for groceries, the light bill, rent, and a lot of us our still receiving financial help for school from our parents. Right about now, I feel useless; I feel like the biggest moocher, I feel like I am completely at the mercy of my parents. To make things worse, I never really hear my parents complain. It’s like they love us so much that they accommodate us and make sacrifices for us. After seeing and realizing this, I had an attitude change and newfound respect to honor their stuff, their plans, and their rules.

Grace & Mercy. Two words whose significance I might not ever be able to fully grasp. But I do know one thing, receiving grace and mercy ought to produce some sort of change in a person. My situation at home reminded me an awful lot about my heavenly Father. Take a deep breath and realize that you just experienced God’s grace and mercy. Move your legs, wiggle your toes, look around you, look up to see a roof, look ahead at your education, at your job, at your friends, consider the fact that He allowed you to understand the gospel. Grace & Mercy. Sometimes we roll our eyes at the demands of God, ask Him to compromise, or accommodate us. We selfishly fight over or take what’s His as if we have a right to it.

The grace and mercy that He shows to anyone who has put their trust in Jesus Christ ought to change hearts and attitudes. That love ought to produce a heart that is willing to obey. That grace and mercy achieved through the sacrifice of God’s son ought to make us want to sacrifice as well, sacrifice our own desires, our own will, our own lives. Realizing this grace and mercy takes our relationship with God from being about rules and selfishness to a relationship built on loving sacrifice and respect. Let God’s grace and mercy sink in this holiday season…it just might change your holiday tune.

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!


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!!!