Category: Maturing in Christ


Sometimes you wonder if you screwed yourself with that last jump

But then as quickly as you thought that, you realize its time to question whose building this thing called your life…. your fame.

Am I building my life & my fame? Or am I building God’s house & His fame?

Self Check number 1.

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“Why Me?”

One of the most loneliest places in the world is to feel ignored by those you feel or felt most connected with, the only ones your connected with.

Its been a long while since I’ve written, few weeks maybe but thats long for me.

One of my constant struggles in this new season of my life is feeling ignored or forgotten, by people in my life and sometimes by God. Now please, remember this one thing when reading my blog: God is big enough to handle my questioning heart.  So let me be honest here about what I mean:

I left one place and moved to another.

Now I’m almost 2 years on the other side of this thing and I still feel alone, not connected, by myself.

So instead of dwelling on ‘poor me’ and getting angry with people and refusing to work with them or make advances to be nice to them, I dwell on the eternal factor. Not the ‘why me’ of a victim mentality, but ‘why me’ as in what are you allowing me to learn through this.

I sit here today, a writter, encouraging you to ask the Lord ‘Why Me’ as in what can I learn from this.

Peace and chicken grease!

Its 11:21pm and I am sleepy.

When I’m sleepy, my ability to shut down my normal inhabitions is hard. So now I’m sleepy and honest.

Its been a rough day, somewhat of a rough week, but God is good.

and truthfully I refused to give Him that.

Well until I read LosWhits blog.

So here’s why God is good:

He’s good, because when I doubt Him – He doesn’t doubt me.

He’s good, because when I refuse Him – He welcomes me

He’s good, because when I’m hurt by Him and His inaction – I’m still His.

He doesn’t repay me with the lightening bolt I so deserve.

He welcomes me, loves me, cares for me, inspite of me.

so God is Good…

My heart was made bitter, and I was pained by the bite of grief: I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.

sorry God

We can always change.

We can always do better, give better, and listen longer. But are we willing? We want to change the world, my generation, yours, our peers and elected officials, all of us have found something in need of change.  My class on communication has me thinking heavily on Social Justice and Injustices. It takes me back to a conversation with a dear friend, where he quoted a Hillsong lyric simply stating,’ Now that I have seen, I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead.” So we want to change the world. We see a problem and only hope for better, but faith without deeds is dead.  As Christians we always go the road of ‘praying’ the issue away or waiting for the government to show up and fix things, but thats not what my bible says, and if its the wrong version, please tell me!

So what are the deeds? What are the mercy giving acts we can aspire to give in our time?
So again we can always change, but there’s “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.” Matthew 19:26

‘Now that I have seen, I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead. Now that I have held you, in my own arms I cannot let go until you are…..

I will tel the world, I will tell them where i’ve been
I will keep my word
I will tell them albertine’

– Brooke Fraser Albertine

Dark Night of The Soul Series: 3

Oppression…….

When the cares of life are placed on you, taunting you. When those things you used to do out of the love of your heart, now ‘darkens’ your loveliness. You are now hardened, and unlovable. You are in a dark night…. you want love… you want to move forward… you want the new opportunity…. but your scared of the jump.

The Woman – Kiss me—full on the mouth!
Yes! For your love is better than wine,
headier than your aromatic oils.
The syllables of your name murmur like a meadow brook.
No wonder everyone loves to say your name!
Take me away with you! Let’s run off together!
An elopement with my King-Lover!
We’ll celebrate, we’ll sing,
we’ll make great music.
Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine.
Everyone loves you—of course! And why not?
I am weathered but still elegant,
oh, dear sisters in Jerusalem,
Weather-darkened like Kedar desert tents,
time-softened like Solomon’s Temple hangings.
Don’t look down on me because I’m dark,
darkened by the sun’s harsh rays.
My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields.
They made me care for the face of the earth,
but I had no time to care for my own face.
Tell me where you’re working
—I love you so much—
Tell me where you’re tending your flocks,
where you let them rest at noontime.
Why should I be the one left out,
outside the orbit of your tender care?

and alittle while later, he silences her, proclaiming:
The Man – Oh, my dear friend! You’re so beautiful!  And your eyes so beautiful—like doves!

So she worked all her life, grazing and working the fields for everyone else, and now its her turn…..

What’s a girl to do when the king sets his gaze on her. What do you do when the king sets his gaze on you?

The Shulimite women, the one Solomon pursued in our lovers psalms, was too afraid of intimacy. Intimacy is thought to be easy by some. But the true meaning of intimacy is to be bare before another, nothing sheilding, covering, or cloaking you, just you and you alone , out in the open. For many of us in the beautiful dance of love be it relational with siblings, friends, or parents, physical love with a spouse, or the highest love with Father God we think we can truly love and have intimacy without nakedness. And then on the other hand some of us are find being naked and bare before Him until his gaze turns to us, and then we run and hide.

Why do we run and hide, what is it that we are feeling isn’t good enough or pretty enough to be seen before man, and more importantly our father?

What  vineyards you’ve been caused to toil – in  with the hot sun at your face?

I recently had a conversation with a friend, she was going through some changes and needed the change to be reflected physically so she “darkened” her hair. She began to explain the details of a relationship I knew all to well, because I myself experience something similar. She professed to me how she felt “dark”. It hit me in that point in time that another beautiful woman, waiting and yearning to be loved also felt that way.

Song of Solomon 1:6

Do not stare at me because I am dark,
because I am darkened by the sun.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
and made me take care of the vineyards;
my own vineyard I have neglected.

Maybe your set in the sun trying to plant seed for a harvest your parents forgot all about? Maybe your the caretaker whose been tricked into caring for everyone else’s harvest but your own.
even though circumstances caused me to have to set my “flock” or my heart or my body, my emotions on the side of the field that the sun would beat down on it. Somehow, someway we are all  still lovely, with our  “darkness”

This woman, who should have been a woman of leisure was caused to deal with the vineyards of everyone else, because she had to work those vineyards it darkened her skin as she toiled in the hot sun day after day.

From her toiling she identified herself and unlovely, and unworthy.

We’ve all been there, but its time to let go.

Friend,

I don’t know where you are, what is going on, but one thing I do know:

regardless of the life circumstances that have darkened the condition of your heart, your hope, your future, know that he finds you lovely because of who you are now and forever. He’s not turned off by the darkness that has invaded your life, but he desire to move in you and love you.

Receive that won’t you, and live out another year in the fullness of hope and love.

Bless you!

 

Honesty In Worship

What Makes You Worship?

The statement made by one of my favorite worship leaders, David Binion, was that Worship is simply love responding to love. As soon as he said it my heart was quickened to understand why we have such a hard time in worship.

If worship is simply love responding to love, what happens when you don’t know how to receive love nor give love?

My truth is:  I have a hard time trusting and I have a hard time receiving love.

Love makes me uncomfortable… its makes me cringe with embarrassment,excitement and euphoria all at the same time. Love causes me to trust, causes me to stop, causes me to exist. All my life, and our lives as humans we’ve been surrounded by conditional love. Surrounded by love that says give me 1 and I’ll bring 1 and then we’ll have 2. And if you take away your 1, I’ll take away my 1 and we’ll have no more love.

God’s love takes the first step, and stays there continually.

So this is Story of a broken worshiper pt. 2

Brokenness is the one of the most important things in our worship. I firmly believe that. In the most shattering places of my life, Earth shaking revelations, and simplistic times of a contrite and broken heart, when I worshiped, He ( God) moved.

He moved in my heart, my mind, my soul, my trust, and begun to heal. Unfortunatly, in our culture today, brokeness in worship isn’t very popular. Maybe the word Broken makes you cringe as it made me cringe at one time, so lets replace it:

How about Honesty in Worship?

I cannot tell you how many times, including this morning, I went before the Lord in our time of coorparate worship with a mask on, with a facade of “I’m ok” or “I don’t need you”. I’m just being honest here. But see in God’s word it was made plain to us that He would no longer accept nor seek the worship from our father’s mountain, from those wells they so easily dug, but he seeks the truth of us. The truth of our worship, our need, our desire for him!

“Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter – It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” – John 4:21-24

I count myself thankful to have experienced those situations listed in Pt. 1 of this blog. Thankful because it reduced me back to honesty. See that verse  24 says , ” God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”  What that says to me, is exactly what was said in the Psalms, that Deep calls to  deep in the roar of the waters, let all the waves and breakers wash over me. Then let Him, God, sing His song over me.

So my worship, my broken worship, must be my Deep, my heartbreak, my anger, my offended/disappointed heart reaching for His, God’s, heart. When I come before God honestly, broken, there’s an exchange that happens, a signal of trust.

Brokeness compells our walls to be brought tumbling down because the reality of our need overshadows the anchors of our pride.

Brokenness is the  anchor of trust.

For one to be broken with another, you must be able to trust. What we’ve failed to truely understand in the body of christ is that our brokenness to and with God is an anchor of what He can trust us with.  We hit a  plateau of what we know as success and happiness when we must be crushed to abosolute trust in the truth of God.

Thats where I am and where I’ve been for the last year almost.

I’ve been joyous, I’ve had ministry triumphs and financial ones, relational success, and everything in the world looking up and up! Then brokenness was called unto me.

Here’s the beautiful truth in this life, my willingness to be broken crushes every possibility of me turning into Saul or Absolom. Saul’s issue was the brokeness & humility knocking on his door was turned into bitterness and rage oppossed to  humble tenderness.

Humble… Tender…. Meek

Those words to some exude weakness, but to me they  shout strength.

Humble – is one who knows who they are , but bows to serve anyone no matter the other’s status

Tender – is a move that is gentle when you were made to crush

Meek – well they are the ones with huge power, but thy have it under contol.

I compell you dear one, run wildly into the wilderness and be broken with your beloved!

Matthew 5

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Psalm 42:7

Chaos calls to chaos,
to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,
sing songs all through the night!
My life is God’s prayer.

Aight peeps!

So here’s my deal:

I’ve had lots of changes this year.

Moved

Left my home church

Started traveling & working in a new ministry

Became an undergrad at Liberty U

Experienced a new level in my relationship with God

Started writing again

God started healing broken pieces of my heart

&

I split my time between Richmond & Chalotte, NC.

So, with all of these changes, all of these healings, all of these blessings,

its time for the temple!

So check this vid out from LosWhit

Ragamuffin Soul 30 Day Holiday Health Challenge from Carlos Whittaker on Vimeo.

Aight guys, so if you are interested click on this link to his sight: Carlos Whittaker

So here are my goals

Checking in from Richmond/Charlotte!

I’m so down with this challenge bro, its been on my heart big time to make some changes!

Physical – Drop 1 size in Jeans and Shirt! 12/Xl

Spiritually – Up early every morning to have a time of worship & prayer time with God!

Relationally – Meet new people! Get involved at church!

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Worship is simply love responding to love. – David Binion

What Makes You Worship?

I grew up singing the songs. Cuting my teeth on the padded chairs of the church, underneath the seats drawing, singing under my breath the latest Don Moen worship song, Clint Brown, Ron Kenoly, all of them. That’s how I knew worship. I knew worship to be the that thirty minute time frame before tithe where we sing songs, to whom I’m not sure, but we sing. I knew I was called to be a worship leader from a young age. I started joining my church youth group teams, and eventually started the worship team for my old college and career group. So as I led, I led us experimentally. I knew the sound, but had no direction. I knew there was somewhere to go, but didn’t know how to get there.

I can remember approaching our then worship leader, telling I knew God called me into worship, but I don’t know what to do. The response was simply join the choir, just because you think your called to be a worship leader doesn’t mean you sing up front automatically. He missed my heart, I didn’t want to sing up front, I just wanted to know where to go? What to do? What does God want from me if He is calling me into to worship?

So I joined the choir, singing on Sundays, Sunday Nights, Wednesday. I saw the politics, the control, doctrinal fights, and talents who were in no way living right. I saw everything, but worship. I simultaneously joined the church’s worship team b. Experienced rejection, as a team, because we threatened team b. I didn’t understand what there was so much confusion, as we all apparently were worshiping. If were worshiping what’s the problem. I got so fed up, offended, hurt,angry, that I quit. I quit leading worship, and I quit personally worshiping.

I cut God off, from the love He so deserved from me

I was so hurt… so hurt from not only the church politics I was now caught up in, but my past.  Hurt by the ‘cards’ dealt to me in life. Hurt by my dad. Hurt by my mom. Hurt by my step dad. Hurt. Betrayed by friends. Betrayed in relationships. The hurt turned from hurt, and wounds that would heal, into a spirit of bitterness. Bitterness toward God more than any one else. I always believed God was an all knowing, ever present, help in the time of need. But never understood why this loving God, didn’t love me enough to prevent my scars. Love me enough to stop those things which derailed my life. Here I was 20 years old, back in church, done with my former rebellion, and now bitter with God after serving Him and getting burned.

Thank God, He can handle our anger. Thank God, He can handle our bitterness. Thank God, He can handle our quickness to push Him, the lover of our souls, away.

tbc…

When I became embittered and my innermost being  was wounded,I was a fool and didn’t understand;I was an unthinking animal toward You.

Yet I am always with You;You hold my right hand.

In humanity, I inhumanly fight

I fight me

I fight to breathe

When I’m the one suffocating me

Snuffing out my own life

Trying to realize what is wrong and what is right

What is God’s and what is mine

But I’m not of my own making.

I’m an undertaking

Fashioned by the father

Birthed by a mother.

I came naked

Essentially me

and thats how I will leave….

-unknown

20090912-adam-eve-fresco

I will admit this one’s alittle different guys. But then again, I’m alittle different truth be told. No, to be truthful, I am alot different. I’m on a ‘Get Real’ kick, in my life right now. My desire is to be who God made me, unashamedly, ready to roll with His [God’s] purpose. This still goes with the theme of the blog for now, but its short. I hope it effects the purposes of God in your life, and causes you to take the perversion out and allow God’s truth to enlighten you – to you!

We’ve always been who we always were. Yet, when Adam discovered who he was [naked] he existed in shame. Sin perverts who God already made us. It makes us ashamed of what we’ve always been. We begin to categorize what is God’s & what isn’t. When the truth is, its all God’s. If you take out the perversion [ if you take satan out of the picture] , it returns us to our first existence, Freedom, wholeness, truth. The very you God created you to be. Stop falling for the enemies game, be OK with who God made you to be, no more shame, no more chains. Ladies and Gentleman, its time to be free.

There is nothing wrong with who you are, what you want, where you want to go. So stop fighting yourself. You are His, God’s child. So everyday, pick up your cross and kick satan out of the equation.

Fyi, the painting is not mine. Its a fresco of Adam and Eve.

I’m a procrastinator by nature. I tend to borderline having a rebellious behavior, prone to fit throwing, so basically I’m peter.

Well another flaw I forgot to mention is….. I don’t like waiting.

1893141861_b0e36b271d

I once heard someone say that life is a series of waiting rooms, which suck for me because I don’t like waiting remember?

Oh by the way, I don’t like hospitals, doctors offices’, waiting in someone office waiting areas, and umm guidance counselor offices…. having to wait without knowing the outcome.

Bingo!

Thats it, I don’t like having to wait not knowing the outcome.

So life is a series of waiting rooms huh…. I’m not sure its a bunch of waiting rooms, but I can agree there are certain times where its apart of the process for us to be in a waiting room.  Waiting fun stuff… not really, but its completely necessary. COMPLETELY!

Because if we don’t wait, well what we want and need will not be complete. God is a God of completion, so wait.

I’m not talking out of my head or bible here, although I am, but I’m talking out of a right now season.

I’m waiting

I’m waiting on God to move on somethings. I’m waiting for the doors to open up for my business. I’m waiting for the say so to pack up and move. I’m waiting for the full time ministry position. I’m waiting to finally go to Ghana. I’m waiting for my house. I’m waiting for my family. I’m waiting…. waiting… waiting on my life to start.

We are all waiting, but we are promised that those who wait on the Lord, shall renew they’re strength. Here’s the scripture:

Isaiah 40:31

Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

I don’t like to wait, nor do I know anyone who does it for leisure, but waiting is good. Its not fun, but its for our good.

Lets establish another thing…. I like food. I like food a lot, as you can probably can tell. But in the words of a dear friend named Jared,” I’ll wait for my fully baked cake!”

I’m waiting