you are who/what you retweet.

Twitter is an atmosphere in which one can enter the minds of people & celebrities (or actually their PR manager, but I can’t prove that) on a tweet by tweet basis. But, I see a growing trend in retweeting any vague reference to God that they submit.  That’s an interesting concept worth exploring.

The good.

Sometimes I see a celebrity tweet something about prayer & immediately people send encouraging replies. It’s encouraging to see people humble themselves & ask for help. Imagine people from all over the world praying to God petitioning, not manipulating, on the behalf of a humbled heart.

Also, social justice causes will have more publicity with a celebrity name attached #truth. If someone gets to have a meal on their table because @whoever pubbed for it, then so be it.

The honorable.

It’s honorable to see the transparency in some celebrities. Some people will come out & be real about how they feel about something, proclaiming truisms. Christian or not, you can have an opinion. We all push our thoughts on others, even when we tell others not to push their truth on us … we are inevitably pushing our truth on someone. The irony, think about it.

For instance, if someone says that we should not talk about religion & politics they are talking about religion & politics. What they are actually saying is, I have the truth & your truth is not welcome here. I can make exclusive claims to my philosophy on religion but yours are wrong & should be converted to my way of thought.

The bad.

The bad, in this subject of retweeting, is that people seem to retweet any vague reference to God that any celebrity tweets. This is reflective of ones own heart & their definition of justification. I call it the “celebrity-award-show-complex,” & it is very much extended to twitter. You know, when a celebrity raps/sings/acts about everything that breaks God’s heart & blasphemes his name by saying that he commissioned their work to do that. Self-justifying themselves by rap-praying on the last track, saying God (or at least Him) on a gospel-ish track, or doing a Christian-ish movie. They tweet about booty, butts, cheeks, & then a non-biblical God.  A non-biblical God tweet isn’t a God tweet but a god tweet; the god of themselves & their desire for justification.

Stop judging die_dd!

I am judging, & if you think I am judging you are judging me. Oh the irony, think about it. Or as Keller would say, “Those who condemn the self-righteous for the sake of self-discovery do so with ironic self-righteousness.”

The sad truth is that we all stand judged & condemned. We all have gone our own way & blaspheme God by self-justifying ourselves as if God backs our tweets. We tweet about every trending topic that captures our fleshly desires. Out of the abundance of the heart our fingers tweet. We are broken people in need to be made whole. That’s the bad news.

The honorable news is that your tweets are proof that you need help. Critically analyze your tweets & you will discover your idols. Another word for celebrity is idol.

God the Father follows no one but has two followers, the Holy Spirit & Jesus, and on twitter, the Spirit doesn’t accept follow requests unless you already follow Jesus. But, to follow Christ you must unfollow your other idols (repent & believe). Upon following Christ the Spirit immediately follows you & allows you to see the retweets of the Father God.

That’s the good news. The glorious news that Jesus entered the hypocrisy of the world & cut through it with love in the shape of a cross. Caring for us when we were ungodly, tweeting evil.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 #absolutetruth

3 Minute Devotional

Let’s eat:

Psalm 84:10-11 (emphasis added)

10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly

_______________________________________________________________________

The writer of this Psalm was a king. He had many many great things. Women, land, money, whatever. It was his. In light of that fact, he writes this. One day as a doorkeeper (a servant, a non ruler, a slave) in the house of God is worth more than a 1,000 days anywhere else. Why? Because simply, God is good. He’s the source of life and a simultaneous protector. His worth outweighs whatever the world offers thousands of times over. The writer understood the weight of God and His Goodness by way of a promise. For us that promise has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Is a day in and with Jesus Christ worth a 1,000 days anywhere else for you?

Grace.

#Pause …

Lamentations 3…verses 22-24 (emphasis added)

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.24 The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.

I read this, and it made me #pause. First off, peep the whole chapter. It’s so depressing. The author’s life is a mess. He’s a joke in his community. He’s hated. Nothing is going right for him. Then he says, “but I remember this, and it gives me hope”. The next verses are the ones above. Look at that. The love of God never ends. His mercies never end and are steadfast; that means faithful/ dependable/ reliable/ trustworthy. Not only that, but God’s mercies are also new every morning.

STOP

Why does God’s mercy have to be new every morning? Personally I would be happy just having some here and there, but God “steps His game up” and gives them “new every morning.” That’s a level of loving grace and care that blows my mind to tears. Then I remembered the mercy, peace, justice, love, power, righteousness, kindness, patience, humility, and everything else that is perfect and good, that rose one morning, Sunday morning to be specific. Our hope lies in HIM.

Thankful … thankful … thankful.

God is good.

Grace and Peace.

the 5th gospel: is the Bible actually reliable?

Yeah the 5th gospel, talking about that Apocrypha. Let’s dig in.

Popular books & media, like the Da Vinci Code, have created this conventional thought that the church has either altered or hidden unspecified books of the Bible. Many people that I know will “amen” a Pastor and talk about how the Bible is the word of life, but at the same time, have deeply rooted doubts about the Bible.

I was one of those people.

One reason I refused to become a Christian was because I found it hard to believe that a book could be preserved by sinful man. If God had something to say why wouldn’t He just tell us directly?

That statement is felt by many, but few admit it.

Through actually reading the Bible for myself, my questions grew exponentially. I would ask people about the Bible, but they would just give me a “ya jus’ gotta have faith brotha” (which isn’t so bad of an answer, but I’ll get to that later). That wasn’t enough for someone who had little to no faith.

So what is the answer?

Well, the truth about these so-called altered, or hidden books, is that they aren’t altered or hidden. Some will say that the Catholic church hid them when, when in fact, they are extremely open about these books, like so. Also the idea of them being altered is very hard to prove. The Bible is the most preserved book of all time. Peep this helpful chart I found:

Author Date Written Earliest Copy Time Span Copies (extent)
 
Secular Manuscripts:
Herodotus (History) 480 – 425 BC 900 AD 1,300 years 8
Thucydides (History) 460 – 400 BC 900 AD 1,300 years ?
Aristotle (Philosopher) 384 – 322 BC 1,100 AD 1,400 years 5
Caesar (History) 100 – 44 BC 900 AD 1,000 years 10
Pliny (History) 61 – 113 AD 850 AD 750 years 7
Suetonius (Roman History) 70 – 140 AD 950 AD 800 years ?
Tacitus (Greek History) 100 AD 1,100 AD 1,000 years 20
 
Biblical Manuscripts: (note: these are individual manuscripts)
Magdalene Ms (Matthew 26) 1st century 50-60 AD co-existant (?)  
John Rylands (John) 90 AD 130 AD 40 years  
Bodmer Papyrus II (John) 90 AD 150-200 AD 60-110 years  
Chester Beatty Papyri (N.T.) 1st century 200 AD 150 years  
Diatessaron by Tatian (Gospels) 1st century 200 AD 150 years  
Codex Vaticanus (Bible) 1st century 325-350 AD 275-300 years  
Codex Sinaiticus (Bible) 1st century 350 AD 300 years  
Codex Alexandrinus (Bible) 1st century 400 AD 350 years  
(Total New Testament manuscripts = 5,300 Greek MSS, 10,000 Latin Vulgates, 9,300 others = 24,000 copies)(Total MSS compiled prior to 600 AD = 230)

Back to the faith thing.

“ya jus’ gotta have brotha” isn’t a bad answer because faith is not an abstract idea, but a measurable substance. Faith is measurable by actions.  Faith is always directed towards something. Therefore, it is the validity of the object of your faith which is important. No validity, no faith. To have faith in something means that the object must have the power to uphold that faith. Like a belt buckle (object) and a strap (faith).

Kinda like Christ, right?

Jesus has the power to uphold our faith. No credible scholar would ever argue the existence of Jesus until this so called “post-modern era.” Post-modernism tells us to question everything & all truth is relative. This silly notion is fun to poke at, but I’ll stay on subject. The truth-statements by Jesus are astounding and worth checking out. Jesus said that he became sin on your behalf to pay the price for sins you committed, and if you believe in him you will have eternal life? Basically, Jesus said he wants to be your belt buckle.

If you are still a skeptic you can literally read the oldest known Bible manuscript for yourself here.

I don’t Feel like it…

If I did what I felt like doing, how would my day to day look? Let me give you some (not all) points.

  • I’d stay in bed all day.
  • I’d be looking at porn 24/7
  • I’d eat poorly. Really poorly.
  • I wouldn’t be waiting to get married to have sex.
  • Candis and I would be shacking up right now.
  • I wouldn’t be a preacher
  • This tumblr wouldn’t exist
  • I wouldn’t be a maGoh leader.
  • I’d have nothing to do with Christianity

See, there’s a difference between what we feel, and what we know. Feelings are deceitful, because they come from a wicked heart [Jeremiah 17:9]. Feelings are flip floppy, they can be in line with what we want, or they could be in line with what we need.

Jesus didn’t feel like dying on the Cross, but he made a choice to follow not His own will, but the will of the Father. Jesus made up His mind to do what it is God had in store for Him for the ultimate good of all. I’m not knocking feelings either folks, feelings are good. Feelings were given to us by God. Feelings are not meant to subject us, but more so for us to them to be subject to us. Do not be mastered by your emotions.

How though? Well….

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

How does transformation happen? Through Jesus [2 Corinthians 5:17]. He makes us new upon our repentance and believe in His work on the Cross, and even that repentance and belief/faith is a gift from God, not a work in itself by us [Ephesians 2:7-10].

Grace and Peace.

If You Know Better, You’ll Do…Worse?

*please forgive me for the length in advance*

I HEAR THIS STATEMENT ALL THE TIME:

“If you know better, you’ll do better”

Now, I realize I can come across as a jerk sometimes (probably because I am a jerk and Jesus is working on me), and so I try to be careful and correct with what I say when speaking to others. With that said, I have to respectfully disagree with this statement. First, let’s peep the scripture:

Romans 7:7  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires.

Okay, backing up and checking the context: Paul in this letter to the Church in Rome addresses core issues of Christianity and comes to address the issue of the Law. The Law was what God wanted us to know what to do right, however the author Paul says that with the knowledge of the Law (what to do right) came sin (doing wrong). Paul is saying when he knew better, he did worse. His (and our) own inherent sinfulness cannot do better, even when we know better. Perhaps I should say especially when we know better.


“Okay, so if when we know better,  we’ll do worse and not better, how do we do better?”

The issue is in the statement – the charge is for us to DO  something better in order to be better. But the text shows that we can’t be better…we’re evil. We’re sinners. Paul himself explains that he wouldn’t have known about doing bad until he saw what he should have been doing right. So it would seem we’re in trouble. We know plenty of good, but how good are we doing?

Wait…ah here we go.

But what about someone who was and is Good? Good as in perfect? Who lived a perfect life? Who is God in the flesh? Yeah! #Jesus! He lived the life we could never live and died the death we were supposed to die so that upon changing our minds about our sin and holding on to Him we could be saved from eternal punishment and given perpetual placement in His precious presence (whassup alliteration) by merit of Himself and everything He has done.

He (God) who knew better DID more than we could ever imagine. He died, under the wrath of Himself on a cross so that we may have His righteousness. Upon repentance and belief in this fact, He (God) dwells inside of us so that we may live a lifestyle of continually doing better not by our power, but by the power of Him who dwells within us (God).

So let me go out on a limb and say if you know better, you’ll do worse. However, God knows best. He knows you need a Savior, so He sent Himself (Jesus Christ) to save you.  You won’t do better until you know Jesus.

Do you know Him?

the Truth.

a joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit.
proverbs 15:13

i’ve met many faces that hang lower than the sun at dusk
saddened spirits lingering all through the streets
feet old, weary and tired, hoping to meet destiny.

i’ve watched them carry groceries in their hands
while being brutally beaten by houston’s hot sun
sweat beads the size of a bullet – just trying to get home.

i’ve seen one , body jerking, eyes closed, on the corner
seated on a bucket in torn clothes, under the influence
of a drug – him being the slave, it being his master.

i’ve seen a mother and her child walk miles and miles
exhaustion haunting her telling her she can’t go any further
unless she sticks her thumb out, to get a strange ride.

i’ve seen  it.  all.  smothered in my eyesight.  and i felt
there was nothing i could do to bring Joy into their lives.
to bring hope inside their mind.  to put love inside their heart.

but God felt differently.  because all He sees is victory.
and He no longer wanted the enemy to punish me. or you.
He longed for us to see, hear, and speak the Truth.

the Truth is what brings joy into lives saturated in sorrow.
the Truth is what brings hope into minds and love into hearts.
the Truth is what lifts heavy faces up and coats them in cheerfulness.

the Truth is what frightens the broken spirits and
reverses all curses and corrects in Love and gives
those suffering spritual hugs – it’s all the Truth.

and the Truth is the needle filled with strength
from Christ injected into those we see that look
helpless and hopeless – it’s Jesus aka the Truth.

and He’s been waiting for you.

our Father.

this goes out to those who believe they are among the fatherless crew. my heart and these words go out to you.

i’ve grown up in a fatherless home, no daddy around. just me. my mom. and my brother in the house. daddy walked out – left us cold. no letter, no hugs, he just had to go. sometimes, i’d cry. i wondered who would teach me how i was supposed to be approached by males. who was i to look at, mimicking a love between a woman and a man. where was i to go when my heart got broken. who would teach my brother how to be a man. who would teach him how to play sports. where would he go when he needed a man to man conversation. i always wondered these things. and my pillows were drenched in curiosity and anguish and lament for the longest. because i was branded a bastard. a child with no dad. just a kid made from a loveless sperm cell. nothing and no one more , nothing and no one less.
i could not fathom living another day with this burden i had placed upon myself with not having a father in our household. i wasn’t fully alive.
i never thought a day in my life that i’d be saying this … but my Father actually adopted me. my eternal Father … you know … your Father too … our Heavenly Father, God. He knew what He was doing when He allowed His own will to be done, by orchestrating our father’s out of our lives the way He did. by any Godly means necessary, He wanted us to fall down and call on Him, calling Him Daddy.
just as an earthly father would wrap his strong arms around his child in a quaky storm, our Heavenly Father wraps His strong arms around us through the good and the bad, eternally. that’s forever. that’s faithful. that’s Love. the Son of God gave His life up for you and i, why shall we continue to dwell upon what’s not, and what will possibly NEVER be here with us. we have Someone so much greater holding His arms out for us to come and rest in them. why must we continue to turn away?
we may have been left, mistreated, raped and/or molested by our earthly father … but now, we are adopted with love, grace, passion, and faithfulness by God the Father.  He has the remedy for the broken hearts.  our model of Love is demonstrated through the Son Christ Jesus and our Heavenly Father.  the Love we should mimic.  anything and everything we sought for in our earthy fathers, our Heavenly Father already has it and is willing and able to share it with us.
from this day forward, the word fatherless should no longer exist.  our Heavenly Father is not and will never be considered less than.  instead, He is greater than any and every father on this earth because He is the ultimate Daddy of them all – and He has graciously adopted you and i into His Kingdom.  there’s no reason to for any of us without an earthly father to be down and out on father’s day.  when in Truth, Father’s day is everyday because everyday is God’s day.

in the future, which will you choose to give your attention to?

Do You Know True Love?

Come close listen to the story
about a love more faithful than the morning
The Father gave his only Son just to save us
The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers broken heart
tears were filling heaven’s eyes
The day that true love died, the day that true love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, The day that true love died
Search your heart you know you can’t deny it
Come on, lose your life just so you can find it
The Father gave his only son just to save us
The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers broken heart
tears were filling heaven’s eyes
The day that true love died, the day that true love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, The day that true love died
Now, Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive X4
Oh, He is alive
He rose again
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, The day that true love died
Come close listen to the story

NAPPY ROOTS

So much of our sin is rooted in our failure to honor God as He should be honored in our lives

“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.”    Romans 1:21

For many of us we know God, we know the truth, and we know right from wrong. But we’re still sinning.

-We’re still having sex because we think it represents a deep love connection and we’re addicted to the passion

-We cheat on our time sheets just to make sure we have enough money to pay the bills

-We wild out with alcohol and foul language at parties just to fit in

Romans says the problem is not ignorance of the law, most know sex before marriage is wrong, lying is wrong, stealing is wrong, drunkenness is wrong, and most of us know that profanity offends God.

The issue lies with our  hearts.  We fail to honor God as supreme ruler over everything in our lives…

-If we honored God as our Supreme Lover and Closest Friend, who created the deepest love connection through His son Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t seek love and passion in sex. We would learn that our relationship with God the Father is deeper than any love connection sex could form.

-If we honored God as our Supreme Provider, we wouldn’t need to cheat on our time sheets in order to make sure the bills got paid, we would rest in His ability to care for His children

-If we honored God as the most important person in our lives, truly believing that His opinion is the only one that matters, we wouldn’t sin just to fit in at parties. We could rest in the fact that He chose us no matter what we look like or how ‘cool’ we appear.

For most of us we could trace a lot of our sins and find them rooted in our failure to honor the God we claim to love as He should be honored. If we say He is the ultimate, if we profess that He is our everything, then we have to honor Him in our lives as our ultimate. This means giving him the top spot in our lives, making Him our top priority. A lot of us believe in the power of Jesus Christ, but  how many of us step out on our faith and allow Jesus to be our everything??? How would our behavior change with God in the top spot?