Monthly Archives: May 2010

NOW PLAYING: CHURCH SERVICE

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Tonight I had a long road trip back to NY from visiting my best friend…my brother in Christ. One of the things I love about driving is listening to the word of God via one of my apps on my phone. (Cross Connect) I listened to Acts and began to realize even more, the differences of the CHURCH in the early church compared to today’s version of church. The gathering, the assembling and the prayer services were so different from what we are used to today. They really took care of one another and yes there were problems that occurred in those days as well; with man there will always be problems but the difference is very relevant. I myself as most of you know have been in the institutionalized church for pretty much my entire life. I got really deep into “churching” in my mid teens to my early 20’s.

Well the thing I noticed is how much todays version of church is pretty much a good show; concert like. We are told to go to a building, sit as in a concert like setting (more value in the seats closer to the stage) and watch the show until it is over. Know when to clap, know when to stand, know when to laugh, know when to leave. I remember when I was a praise team singer singing for about 3 – 4 hours entertaining the crowd until the leader made his way in the arena onto the stage (church building onto the pulpit) Sometimes we would continue to sing for hours after the leader came to have more fun. The people would cheer and clap after every song and some of them would worship Christ as we had to cheer them on to do so. They reacted the same way with the leader was preaching… cheering after every word the man spoke (I was guilty myself), but not often would you hear ONLY the preacher speaking showing that people were listening and gaining information. It basically sounded more like everyone already knew what the man was preaching being that they were YESSING and CHEERING after every sentence. Sometimes if they are too quiet they get enticed to cheer again, “I DON’T HEAR YOU SOMEBODY” or “WHERE YOU AT CHURCH” are some of the things a preacher would say when the audience appeared to be low on energy with their responses to what was being said.

Positioned on the stage every Sunday I was able to see all of the faces and often put on a more energetic performance when I saw faces weren’t so pleasant. We were often told during rehearsal to make sure we smile with passion and be energetic because we are leading the people into worship. I have sang background for unbelievers and during rehearsal they would say be passionate and energetic because the people are responding you. When the show was over the leaders would go back to their waiting rooms or sit in their beautifully crafted chairs, the praise team singers would walk off the stage and hear responses like, “YOU GUYS WERE GREAT” or “YOU GUYS REALLY BLESSED ME”. We would respond as humble as we could to make it not about us. The singers would often get offers from people waiting for us to leave the stage from people who wanted to be on the praise team, people who wanted contacts that had nice vocals, worked in studios, wanted information on the preacher or just people who like singing friends in their circle.  I always ignored these similarities but the more I read the word of God, I’m able to realize that the Kingdom of God is supposed to be contrary to the ways of Mammon (the world); yet they appear to be so similar. The Church I read about in the “Book of Acts” absolutely looks contrary to the ways of Mammon. Every concert I have been to whether Christian or not had the same or very similar formulas.

The point is not that shows are bad… I enjoy a good show… I enjoyed going to “church” for the show when I was apart of it and when I just watched it, the problem is that the Church is not supposed to equate a show – its suppose to equate the Bride of Christ.

John 18: 36Jesus said, “My kingdom is NOT of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Matt 6:24 “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Matt 23 (Jesus is talking to the crowd about the teachers and Pharisees which can correlate todays preachers and pastors)  6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

Praise Jesus!!!

“A Good Show is a Good Show” – Omar Carter



Are You Who You Say You Are?

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Tonight I had an awesome conversation with a friend. We were talking about how Christians get aggravated with me because I am in their words “too loving”. I think they don’t believe it is possible and that I must be a mean person deep inside. Some people say they get mad at people like me because they see something in themselves that they don’t like. Whatever the reasons are, there really is no excuse for Christians rebuking others for loving too much. I was actually asked to REPENT for loving because Jesus did not come to bring peace. This is NOT what Jesus meant when he said that. Look I wasn’t always loving. I use to be quite rude and sarcastic. I use to be proud and did not often see the best in people.

Comments I made in this conversation when my friend about this issue, “you know some interesting people” I responded, “I don’t know them… that’s why i deleted them. If i know your loving and that’s what u show then i know u…. if I know your hateful and u show that then i know u but these people said they were loving but they show hate. I don’t know them

Lets go over love the way God describes it for us.

1 Cor 13 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (believes the best in all, there is no limit to her hope, and she will never fall – NSV)


THIS IS LOVE!!! If this is NOT what you are demonstrating then you do not have love.

So if you say you’re a Christian and you’re not patient with others, you’re not kind, your proud, rude, not believing the best in all people then you’re not being a loving Christian. We all fall short but you must recognize that and repent. I had to.

Mark 12 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Father, let those in the body of Christ exhibit love. This is my prayer.

Praise Jesus!


When I was Hungry, Did You Feed Me?

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Something that has changed in me over the last few years is not thinking about myself. I was one of those Christians that often thought about myself and what God could do for me. In the past few years I have encountered Christians who love people and put others before themselves. Some have even given up normal jobs to take care of the needs of others, such as the homeless. I know many Christians today do not really think about it as a necessary thing because we know we are not saved by works.

Eph 2 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

The thing is we see scripture throughout the word of God that say that works are important.

Matt 25

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

The Holy Spirit began to show me how these scriptures work together. That it’s not the works that will save you but when you truly have the Love of Christ, you will begin to do “works” for other people through that very same love. It’s more a matter of the heart. If you truly do have the love of Christ it will pain you to even see someone who is without.

1 John 3 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

I say this to you guys… help someone. Use your money to love someone, use your time to visit someone, use your relationship with Christ to love others.

Praise Jesus!

Here are pictures of my family. The homeless people I hang out with on the streets.


GOD IS MY GENIE?!

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So there is an apparent misconception of God today. In my Christian walk thus far I have witness and even been apart of the attitude most Christians tend to have with Christ. Most of you are very similar with it; the GIVE ME, BLESS ME, MORE MONEY,  A NEW HOUSE LORD attitude. I have come to the realization that God is a personal genie for a majority of the “Christians” of today. I remember I once did a little experiment on Facebook with the question for all my friends on my friend list. I asked “Why do you serve and love God”. The reason I promoted this question was because I had a feeling the majority of responses would based on what God does for them. Unfortunately I was pretty accurate. Out of about 50 responses about 2 people actually said “I serve and love God because he just is”. See the reality of the matter is that most of us have a conditioned love for Christ. We say we love him because we are psychologically trained to focus on how much we get. The more great things happen the better we feel about the relationship with Christ of course this has a negative effect because when things are not coming to us we begin to feel or relationship with Christ is stunted. We begin to think that we were doing something wrong, maybe not praying enough or going to a church building enough as a result to why the “blessings” decreased in our lives. We make God a conditional God based on our conditional relationship with Him. I can speak so well about this because this was me 2 years ago. I was one who saw God as my Genie. Good grades on a test because I prayed (not because I studied), won some money because God wanted to give me riches (God supports gambling right?), almost had a record deal because God wanted me to be rich. Those are some of the attitudes I had. What happened to contentment? What happened to the attitude I see in the early Church described in God’s word. What ever happened to seeing another day as being blessed?

Contentment

1 Timothy 6 6But godliness with CONTENTMENT is GREAT gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

This is the attitude God wanting for us. He wants us to be content. Not this always wanting MORE MORE MORE attitude that we have today. We think we are doing God a justice by encouraging people that God is giving us so much riches and such that it will cause people to want to know God for themselves. In one case you are absolutely right, you absolutely can gain people to the god that you express with this ideology. The only problem is, is it the most high?

Gal 1 6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all.

Just because you gain people to take the “Christian” title does not mean they are really God’s. This is the main  way God will say to many people I NEVER KNEW YOU. It’s because so many are and will be following a false gospel that does NOT have the power to save.

Matt 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

If your god says that you need to keep praying and God will bless you with more more more but God’s word says be content and to not worry about what you have then we have a problem. One of those conclusions are wrong and the one in God’s word will win in the end regardless.

Luke 12 22Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

What do you notice here? God DOES NOT want us to be concerned about more blessings. We don’t have to worry about it, it’s God’s nature to bless without us having to treat Him as a Genie. It does not always even mean you are in a better place with God because you are receiving blessings. The word says He rains down blessings on everyone. I know that aggregates us because we want to feel better than others… feel special in a sense.

Matt 5:45 In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust.

Gets me a bit disgusted at seeing so many Christians with this GIVE ME mentality toward God. I see it everyday and had to really learn to be understanding with love that this is just how many people view God. You can say everything you want to people and it’s not likely someone is going to want to stop getting everything they want from God if that is the god they were introduced to. Who would want to trade of a genie type god for a God that would rather you be content? I was lucky and the only reason I was able to reject that false god was because I noticed other things that were not accurate about God’s nature. It resulted me to wonder what else I was wrong about.

It really makes me feel so wonderful to meet Christians who do have the godly attitude for Christ. More like the early Christians like Paul and the others. I mean this dude actually boasted about not having anything. I mean are you serious? The dude actually interrupted a conversation to boast about how much he does NOT have. Today’s Christian would feel sorry for him and feel he needs to pray or make changes so that he can get blessings.

2 Cor 11

What anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about.22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS DUDE? I know that is what most of us think but this is a beautiful attitude to have with God. Most of us would NEVER EVER boast about this type of experience. Don’t have enough money to pay your bills; boast about it. Didn’t get the job you wanted; boast about it. Why, because you are content with everything. This is the heart of a man content with God.

I want you to really think about the way you treat God today and test, question even if your attitude with God is the attitude he is looking for from his family. Do you treat God as a Genie? Will you reject this and find reasons why it’s OK to treat God as a Genie?

Praise Jesus!