Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

Toe to Toe in the Ring

Posted in Blog on May 3rd, 2011 by esolt – Be the first to comment

It’s arguable which was greater, Muhammad Ali’s fists or Ali’s mouth. His trash talk was epic, it rhymed, it was dramatic, he name dropped, and most of all, he backed it up with colossal fists. His fighting became legendary and he was coined (mostly by himself) as ‘the greatest.’

I went through a week where I felt I was going toe to toe with The Greatest, the Divine Greatest. Let’s just say I had issued somewhat of a challenge.  And I expected Him to come at me like ‘the greatest’ would have. I was waiting for the trash talk, I was ready for taunting, I was ready for Him to drop me. With a challenge like this, I expected to get knocked out.

Life had been feeling like a fight lately. Not just for me, but for everyone around me, everyone around me seemed to be dealing with some sort of struggle in their lives, some sort of fight. So as we made our way to the ring I decided if He wasn’t in the taunting mood, I would get the ball rolling. ‘Don’t you wanna just knock me out? Yeah good things are still happening, I have Your peace and Your joy, but I’m still fighting. I’m gonna stumble, is that what You want? How bout I let it all fall to pieces? I have Your eternal satisfaction, but what if I told You I wanted something right now, something temporarily satisfying right now? What are you gonna do about it?’

I noticed He wasn’t putting His gloves on. ‘I told you to wait for Me, that I would show you that I am The Greatest, but not like this.’

There’s a span of Psalms from about the 27th Psalm through the 37th and even into the 52nd Psalm where the word ‘wait’ is used too many times for us not to notice it. David is the author of a lot of these Psalms, and looking back on his life, David is definitely someone who learned to wait on the Lord. And all the while he waited, David fought. He’d faced lions and bears in the field, he’d even fought a giant named Goliath. He was a warrior, slaying his ‘tens of thousands.’ He was anointed and chosen by God as the rightful king of Israel, yet because Saul the current king pursued David with the intent of killing him, He was forced into hiding. He lived in a cave, sneaking around, living amongst Philistines as a servant to their king and fighting in their land. He was always fighting. David was presented with more than one opportunity to kill Saul, yet even when the chance to do evil was right in front of his eyes, he held back. He waited for the Lord, knowing that when the time was right, the Lord would be faithful to him and he would be given his kingdom.

In the Psalms, the word wait seems to be tied to faith. To wait on someone, implies to be at their call in order to do their will, to wait for their direction. There’s a sense of Lordship. To wait for direction is to keep your ears ready believing that in due time a word will be spoken. To wait for someone is to remain steadfast in one place, believing that they are going to return.

I am fighting, I know I am fighting. And because of the faith that I have put in Jesus Christ, I am His chosen, an heir, you could even say an anointed one, but the kingdom has not fully manifested itself… so will I wait?

In the haze of the fight when I can’t hear anything, will I be steadfast in His word, believing that if I wait, He will speak. In my weak point in the fight, will I hold to righteousness, waiting for His strength, believing that I will attain His perfection when He returns. Will I wait on Him everyday ready to do His will even in the midst of battle, believing that He is my reward.

By the grace of God, I never made it to the ring that day. God is The Greatest, not because of the size of His fists or the level of His trash talk, but because of the size of His faithfulness. Because of the manner in which He backs His claim to faithfulness up. I had come to a point where I was struggling in my waiting, but I have a God who has always waited on me and even when I had dang near asked Him to stop being faithful to me, to stop keeping me and let me get a little beat up, He didn’t do it.  His only reply was ‘I am faithful.’ What else can He be?  For the believer there is nowhere else to turn, there is nothing else to lean on but His faithfulness. Turn to sin? He killed it in my life. Turn to sorrow? There’s too much joy in simply knowing Him. He took all of my suffering on the cross.  Let the anxiety of life consume me? He keeps on working it all out for my good. And He did and does all of these things because I’m so good at waiting for Him? No, but because He is faithful. God doesn’t want to fight with us, He longs to fight for us and through us. This isn’t even our battle. History has never recorded a fighter being K.O.’d before even making it to the ring. But God’s love is so piercing and humbling, it will lay you out. It’s supernatural. Great. Great. Great is thy faithfulness towards me.

Bruh, Man Up (Submission, part 1)

Posted in Blog on March 30th, 2011 by ZachNunn – 1 Comment

There’s a incorrect popular idea in masculine culture ,and especially even Christianity, that the practice and idea of submission is primarily the responsibility of the woman. The usual themes I see on Twitter, Facebook, college campuses, Sunday mornings,  Wednesday night Bible studies, etc., go something like this:

Woman Submits to Man, Man Submits to nobody. Man is King.

Let’s look at the story of a famous King and see how the popular idea of submission matches up.

So there was a man who God called to preach to a city called Nineveh; his name was Jonah.  After a crazy journey to get there, he finally preaches to the city of Nineveh to repent – to turn away from their sin and turn to God. This was the King of that city’s response:

Jonah 3

6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water,8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

The city of Nineveh was horrible, very much like the terrorist culture of Al Qaeda. They were known for torturing folk, pillaging other nations, and the worship of various false gods. The King of this city literally ran all of these things. He was the head. Nineveh was his world, or so he thought. However, peep the text and let’s peep what he does in light of the message Jonah preached:

1. Arose from his throne

The King of this mighty nation, the ruler of everything around Him, this man of renown and power, arose from his throne. This man had a seat of authority, influence, wealth, power, women, you name it. But in response to God, the King got off of his throne. This points to the fact that he was willing to give all of what he had up to be in alignment with what God’s desires were for him.

2. Removed his robe

The robe of the King was a public display of his position. This is who he was. Folk saw this Kings robe and knew who he was. This was his identity. Again though, this man was willing to give up who he found himself to be, as well as who others found Him to be in response to God.

3. Put on sackcloth and sat in ashes

Even without knowing the Bible, The King was able to understand God’s will to such an extent that He was willing to take off “everything” and put on nothing. In this realization, the King was able to put on humility- and to sit in humility. All in response to a message from God.

Keep reading the text. Look at how he took these steps in response to God, leading his community to follow suit. This is what Biblical submission looks like for men. Men are called to submit to God. They are called to get off of the thrones of their own hearts, take off the identity given to them by the world, and sit in humility- agreeing to the role that God has for them- which is always one of leadership in some degree, and always one that leads others to turn to God.

So we know what submission is, but the question is how do we do this? It’s hard to get off the throne of your own herd, take off your identity that the world gives you, and then sit in humility. I dare say it’s impossible. So how do we do it? Quick verse and we’ll wrap up part 1…

Philippians 4:12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The answer is Jesus. We need Him for us to submit … that means we repent -turn away from our sins and turn to Him, to believe in His work on His Cross where he paid the debt of sin against God that we owe. Through Him we can do this thing men. Next time we’re going to talk about another King who submitted so that we can really unpack this thing even further.

Part 2 coming soon!

grace and peace.

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.

Bruh, Man Up! (Courage)

Posted in Blog on December 30th, 2010 by ZachNunn – 4 Comments

*Hey fam, this is a series on Biblical masculinity. It’s been a while, so if  you missed the introduction this series called “Bruh, Man Up”,  peep it here: http://www.thecitygoodhope.org/?p=2798

Let’s be frank (help me Lord)


Candis and I were talking and she pointed me to a certain text that really troubled me (Yes I can admit the Bible bothers me sometimes, but that’s for another blog). This was the text:

Deuteronomy 22:23-27
23If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her,24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.25But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor,27 because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.

These verses bothered me y’all, no lie. It seems pretty… extreme, but then the Holy Spirit revealed some things to me (thanks for the Bible reading tips Emike). From reading the text I’m going to make some logical, non-leaping assumptions.

1.
From looking at verse 24, there is a righteous assumption made by God that if the woman had cried out in the city, the men would have acted.

2.
From looking at verse 27, men are expected by God to be those who seek justice in direct and confrontational action.

THE CITY
The text makes a differentiation between the city and the country. In today’s context, even the areas we consider rural would be cities back then.  The country at that time meant a largely uninhabited area, primarily uninhabited by men. In today’s culture, everywhere we go we are in a city.

CRYING OUT
The text illustrates a literal screaming out from women for help from danger, hurt and harm caused by men. Today women also scream out this way, but they also are screaming out through bitterness, long threads of “indirects” on twitter, ranting Facebook statuses, and/or inappropriate twitter and facebook avatar pictures. Women today are still crying out, and as we have asserted, they have been crying out all in the cities-there is nowhere else to cry out.

EXPECTATIONS
The expectation God places on men is one of justice seeker. In the text, the men were called to rescue the women from getting abused by men. This means the men had to stand up, confront the attacker and possibly strike him repeatedly, maybe even kill him for the sake of the women in danger.

Now, we know there are plenty of scorn and broken women in the cities. If one walked outside of thier house/dorm/apartment or even got on any social media, or turned on The View for 3 minutes, they are aware of this reality. Again, women are crying out and they are doing it in the cities. If this is true, then why are so few men stepping up for justice sake and stopping the abuse? Well, if I were to be honest from personal observation, it’s because most men are the abusers, and by definition won’t tell on themselves, and many more are cowards deciding to not “do the most” and “mind their own business”, all the while injustice is happening.

Hold on, before you x-out of this blog upset thinking I’m male bashing, hear me out ( and if you haven’t x’d out already, good for  you!).

In the recent words of a known speaker and ministry leader, “there is an epidemic going on around college campuses” and the rest of the cities. The epidemic isn’t “men running around getting girls pregnant and leaving them alone”; it’s sin! Sin produces cowardice. Sin doesn’t confront, sin cosigns. Sin doesn’t correct, sin cowers. It’s this sin that has our males (who call themselves men) acting this way in common society. Most of the men in a very real way are much like the man in the picture above.

I want us to see what God has called man to do, how we have fallen, and the state we are in.  The answer may surprise you, but it may not.

We gotta look to Jesus.

From reading Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we can see there is a victim/abuser relationship in place and that there is to be a person who is to rescue the one abused, in the name of justice and love out of the position they are in.

See, we all (men included) were abused and manipulated by sin. We cried out, but the difference is we enjoyed it, we were all following sin, indwelt by demons and loving the mess we are in [Ephesians 2:1-3]. According to the Law, in Deuteronomy,  we were to die along with the abuser because we were dishonorable and cheated on God, but in love and grace God stepped in and beat back then abuser sin, nay God crushed what was abusing us. Yet instead of killing us along with the abuser, God in perfect justice punished Himself as if He was the unfaithful one.

He punished Himself on our behalf in the GodMan Jesus Christ on a feces and urine covered Cross, delivering perfect love and justice.
Men have to look towards this fact (not philosophy or idea), change their minds about their sin and believe in Jesus. In that new life likeness, man is changed! Only from there can they move from abusers and cowards to advocates of Godliness and confronters of injustice.

Jesus Saves.

Grace and Peace,

Bruh, Man up! (An introduction)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 28th, 2010 by ZachNunn – 1 Comment

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.

Jesus wants the Rose

Posted in Video on September 13th, 2010 by ZachNunn – 3 Comments

This is a favorite clip of mine by a man of God by the name Matt Chandler.

The Rose

There are many of us who secretly feel unworthy to be in relationship with God. Many of us feel because of our past   (or current) mistakes, that we’re just too dirty to come to an immeasurably clean God and dare ask for a relationship. The Good News is that this immeasurably clean God came down and took your filth and gave you His cleanliness, if you realize you need Him and believe He can save you! Peep the vid and comment!

King James has nothing on this

Posted in Poetry, Video on August 11th, 2010 by ZachNunn – Be the first to comment

HOW MANY KINGS….

I was rolling in the slab (Buick Century 2002-step ya game up ya feel meh?) and turned on 89.3 and this song came on. At first I was cool, but quickly I broke down upon really listening to the lyrics. Check out the questions posed in the song and the declaration proclaimed.

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe after all weve projected
A child in a manger

Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliness hero, wrapped in his mothers shawl
Just a child
Is this who weve waited for?

Cause how many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn savior
All that we have whether costly or meek
Because we believe
Gold for his honor and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross hell suffer
Do you believe, is this who weve waited for?
Its who weve waited for

How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me

All for me
All for you
All for me
All for you

Lebron, Preach!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 3rd, 2010 by ZachNunn – Be the first to comment

*Note to Lebron James: when you read this, go ahead and preach it to your team. It’s okay, I won’t sue or anything. Your guys need to hear this*

Quick intro first…

Galatians 6:

1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

Eagles are amazing to me, particularly mother eagles. They hunt and can kill very large prey with their talons, carry it off and feed their young. With these same talons, claws and all they can dive down and save their baby chicks if they happen to fall out of the nest.  These same razor sharp talons that this mature, powerful beast used to kill a cow, can be used to snatch a baby bird from death.

Those who are spiritual, (those who are mature and stronger in particular areas of their walk than others) have the responsibility of gently and lovingly restoring their brothers who are in sin.  In the pride of  “correcting bad” , often times we dive off the cliff for our brothers and either hurt them with our talons forgetting the love, or in misappropriated zeal/misunderstanding our own flight ability, fall into the same predicament with the ones we want to save. Let us remember love, and let us be true to ourselves in that love.

Support your brother, be a team player!

Galatians 6:

2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load.

Does anyone remember the playoffs last year when Lebron James and the Cavs lost in the playoffs?

I am no NBA buff,  in fact I know less than the average guy, however even I could see that those who were on the team, the supposed leaders on the team, were not supporting one another. From what I understand, the “law” or rule in basketball is teamwork, but I just saw alot of Lebron and very little team throughout the series. It also seems that the other players, though doing very little on the court were gassing themselves up to be making such large contributions, but in actuality they scored, played defense, set picks, etc.. very seldomly.

In the exhaustion of Lebron carrying everyone’s load, the team lost, and it seems no one was more hurt than Lebron.

The team was not only not carrying one another’s burdens, the personal problems/conflicts they may have had, they were also placing their loads (their team role responsibilities) on Lebron, and though they seemed to be doing well for a time, they all ended up falling in the end.

In studying this chapter I could see how Gal 6:2, and Gal 6:5 could be seen as a contradiction. One says to carry one another’s burdens, and verse 5 says to carry their own load. However I believe it is important to look at the terms used between the verses. “Burden” and “Load”

A  burden is something that is something that one truly needs help/prayer/support with, i.e death in the family, major illness, etc. A “load” is something that we all have to bear, our daily responsibilities such as our job,  our team role, paying bills, classwork.

Let us remember to love, to keep in mind what our loads and burdens are, and in that what to share and what to pick up on our own. In humility and love and in servitude let us do these things, not in sinful pride of serving ourselves.In moving  in the Holy Spirit, let us remember these things.

Gal 6:7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Much Love in Christ Jesus