Tag Archives: Peace

Christian Standards: Selfish Christian Mentality, The God and ONLY ME e Mentality

Hey Brothers and Sisters,

So this is a personal issue as all my post have been. it’s the issue of the selfish Christian mentality. I say personal because this is who I use to be. To get to the point, it seems believers today have this mentality that they are given the privileged to only think about themselves with the way they handle God. I’ve seen the popular sermon and sayings, “Keep people in your life who inspire, if they don’t remove them” or “Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.” Believers….. BELIEVERS, this is NOT from God… it’s from Oprah. This is not Jesus’s teachings and never was meant to be. We were never told to only be surrounded by people we can only be inspired by… we were told to be the light. Our focus should not always be on ourselves, in fact it rarely should be.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

It seems we have been conformed to think that this Christian walk is only about ourselves. That God can be conformed to be a God that only cares about our personal goals and dreams. Again this is contrary to the teachings of Christ. He actually requested that his followers leave their goals and dreams to follow him. It’s because our dreams and goals are most likely not going to be his for us. Paul was also very wealthy and in politics, he gave it up to follow Christ. I’m not saying you shouldn’t praise God for what he has done for you but again learn to make the focus toward others.

Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17:33

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.  Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple … So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27, 33)

“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.  Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Luke 12:31-34)

Most believe they can simply fill the baskets in church services and that is the only thing they should do for others, then back to ME ME ME. The statuses I see on Facebook and the tweets I see from some Christians are so bothersome because it shows this is exactly the mindset of many believers today. I think it’s why we think pastors are so much higher than ourselves. Because many of them are preaching things that give us more confidence in focusing on self.

Believers please learn to go back to putting others first. This is my request. This does not mean a weekly homeless feeding but let it be the way you live your life, the way your relationship with God is. I remember posting a status on Facebook asking the 3000 plus friends on my list why they Love God. All of the responses were “because of what he has done for me” type responses. Out of  many comments maybe 1 or 2 people actually said because he’s God. Let us be proud of what he has done for us but more proud of what he will do for others through us.

Praise Jesus


The Hypocritical Christian

Something that a Christian can always look forward to is being judged by non-believers and even other believers. We all experienced it I’m sure; you know, when someone points out a flaw in you that you may or may not have known about yourself. Sometimes the accusations are accurate and sometimes they are very invalid. I want to first speak to the non-believer that loves to find this faults to make their non-belief have more validity to them. Then I will reference those believers that have experienced this because we are handling it wrong as well.

I’m not going to come at you with any disrespect whatsoever. What I want you to understand is that “Christians” are not meant to be on this earth to show perfection. If you read the word of God you have many scriptures where the believers made it very obvious that they struggle with things that would appear to by hypocritical to what they want so much to achieve. When Paul talked about dealing with sin in his life, people for the most part weren’t running around saying, “YOU HYPOCRITE”. Instead a better understanding about how Christians are to handle sin was understood.

 (Romans 7 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!)

Unfortunately after the early believers passed away, Christianity became more of a judgment type of religion instead of LOVE but I want you to understand that the same contradictions and evil thoughts that go through anyone’s head is not exempted from believers… as much as some Christians would want you to believe.

Mark 7:21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

These things are things each human being has to deal with so you absolutely will see things you could call hypocritical in believers. In myself and even in yourself. The issue you have is that Christians today tend to act like they are perfect and don’t deal with these things. For that I apologize that we as a whole make you feel that way. Now there are situations where someone just feels a sense of self condemnation based on how someone else is living,  (e.i. “He thinks he’s better than us because he doesn’t curse), but I know that is not always the case. Many of you just want to point out something that makes sense to you. I know you can’t believe I, A believer would dare to announce that Christians show hypocritical characteristics. This does not mean believers should but for that matter it doesn’t mean that anyone should but because of the sin we all deal with… we will have these issues.  (1 Peter 4:18a “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved…) And even if you meet a Christian proud of their hypocrisy, understand that the human nature is not easy to fight…  because they can’t meet the standard of which they claim to live doesn’t add validity to the sin in oneself.

To the believers’, I want you guys to handle it better. Most of us get defensive when someone points out hypocritical traits in ourselves and try to either point out their issues or just completely dismiss the person. Depending on how the person approaches you about, you should first evaluate to see if what they are saying is valid and even if it’s not, explain to them with love why it isn’t true or apologize for that perception they got of you. We are to have a similar attitude Paul had when speaking to non-believers and believers. Which is to see yourself as the lowest compared to others. That humility will cause you to respect that opinion with love.

1 Tim 1:15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”–and I am the worst of them all.

I use to be so guilty of this myself… I would fly off the handle when someone accused me of being hypocritical but over the years the Holy Spirit taught me how to deal with it with love. There have been times when the non-believer was valid and many times when they were just looking for something to validate their sin but 9/10 times we leave from the conversation with a better understanding of one another. Love is patient, Yes? So be patient with your accusers, be loving with your accusers, and continue with the fight.

Praise Jesus friends.


The Haunting of My Hateful Past

Lately a young lady from high school has been coming to my mind, a girl whom everyone including myself tortured with our bullying and terrible mocking. I too was picked on and often times when you join the enemies cause you can relieve the bullying toward yourself for a short time. It’s a cycle that is created within itself. Well, one of the things I’ve been able to do in the last few years as the Holy Spirit has shaped love in my heart  has been to apologize and make peace with people I’ve hurt in any way. This was one of the last people I could think of from high school days but had no idea if I would ever come to see her again. I wanted to know how she was… how  that type of treatment affected her to whom she has become. I only hoped one day I would get that chance.

Yesterday, I was going to the grocery store to get stuff  for supper and saw a woman in the car driving the opposite direction. It was her… it was the young lady that has been haunting me for the last few months. I screamed her name and she looked at me saying, “I’m sorry but do I know you”. I said yes, it’s me Omar from high school”. I wasn’t sure what memories this would bring back for her but she actually seemed pleasantly surprised it appeared. We stopped our cars in the middle of traffic which I would normally never do but this was my chance. I was afraid she was going to have to go while all the people were beeping her but I pulled over and left my car running and ran to her car. I gave her my number and she called me right away interestingly enough. She couldn’t talk long because she was driving, so she then texted me minutes after. She couldn’t text long neither because of course she was driving … I was at the supermarket. She mentioned that she really does not like running into people from high school because it was the worse memories for her ever. I responded how was exactly what I wanted to talk to her about. I said, “I wanted to apologize for the part I played in the terrible treatment you received during high school.” I received no response back and got a little nervous. As I pulled into my driveway I received a call from this woman. She said, “Omar I just wanted to respond to your text with my voice and would rather have done it in person”. My heart began to beat fast because when you put yourself out there like this you have to take the response you get no matter what it is. The woman said, “Omar I FORGIVE YOU with the fullness of my heart”. She said, “I really thank you for your words and it really helps in my healing from that terrible past.” I began to smile and felt so wonderful, not for myself but because she said this would help her heal. We talked for a little while and had a wonderful conversation. It’s amazing because she was picked on for the same exact thing I was picked on for. For acting too white for the people of our culture. She mentioned that she always remembered I was a Christian back then, I corrected her saying PLEASE do not call me a Christian back then. If I could treat a person that way then I was far from a Christian. I was false. Finally I was free of this haunting feeling and hopefully she will be set free from that pain more and more each day. It has been almost 10 years now and it still is an open wound for her.

1 Cor 13 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

I discuss this with you guys because this is how sin works guys. It much more  terrible than we think … most of us only see the pleasures from it, such as sex, and other self gratifications, but we are blind to the circumstances that really come from it. The circumstances that could cause someone to be in pain for over 10 years, the circumstances that could cause someone to want to take their life.

The good part of it is that when you become a believer in Christ, and allow the Holy Spirit to mold your heart  you are able to compare who you were with who you are now. If your heart conflicts with your old self, you know your on the right track.

I spoke about judging yourself instead of other people and some past post and this is how you are to do it.

Gal 5 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Be encouraged Brothers and Sisters.

Praise Jesus!


Prostitute in the Mirror!

 

Image by Nirrimi

I wanted to share one of the most amazing stories in the Bible. It’s the story of Hosea and his wife Gomer. It’s interesting how many of us never really read about this or even realized what it was about. I just found out a few years ago from a friend of mine. Let me post the story for you guys and then I’ll discuss it so it makes more sense.

Hosea 1

2 When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD.” 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

4 Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.”

6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. 7 Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the LORD their God, will save them.”

8 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9 Then the LORD said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.

10 “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.

Hosea 3

1 The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”

4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. 5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.

I hope you guys are seeing what this real life story is symbolic for. God told Hosea to marry a prostitute… that’s right, a prostitute, knowing that she would continue to run back to other men. Well that’s exactly what happened. She did and guess what you see ended up happening. She went back to prostitution and ended up being sold into slavery. Hosea went to find her and PAID for her freedom again, simply asking her to not go back to that life again. Now there is a huge part that people miss here. To understand this one MUST understand some of the Mosaic laws. Some of the laws declared that if a woman cheats on her husband he has the right to put her to death. That is NOT what Hosea did though… he PAID for her freedom and that is what blew her mind. That is what caused her to not go back to prostitution. She most likely was thinking when she saw Hosea that it’s over for her… “he is about to have me killed”… but to her surprise he freed her and asked her not to go back to the other men. That’s Insane!

I hope you guys are getting the reference here. It’s amazing how God worked out these events to happen to keep Israel aware of what God was going to do. It is just as amazing how God worked out those events to show US believers what he did and is doing for us now. This story is not about Gomer guys, IT IS ABOUT YOU. As harsh as it sounds, YOU ARE THE PROSTITUTE, WE ARE THE PROSTITUTE. We are the ones that continue to run back to our old lovers (sin). Although we deserve death, God did exactly what Hosea did. He got us out of slavery to sin through Christ (Himself). What did Jesus say to the woman? (Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. John 8:11)   Now Jesus saying that is a whole other story I’ll explain another time being that he knows we deal with this sinful nature but I wanted to share this story with you guys.

I wanted you to understand what Jesus did for us and how to use stories of Israel. See many of us don’t understand how the OLD TESTAMENT works with the New Testament. Some of us are so confused that we try to fit in what we can into our lives with the old testament. The rest that doesn’t make sense to us or works for us we leave it alone. This post is not about living Mosaic Law as many of us think we still need to do (with some of them like tithing). No need to wonder why God would allow women to be killed if they cheated on their men, no need to wonder if God wants us to live the mosaic law from this story, no need to wonder any of the things the sinful nature wants us to get into… the things that confuse us.

Praise Jesus!!!


Instead of a Show!!

So my friend sent this song to me and said it was dedicated to me. This song is song powerful … it is called “Instead of a Show”. It’s about today’s version of “Church” and how they HATE it. Not only do they talk about why they hate it but then they give an answer to how the Church should be. It’s actually according to scripture. This is a fantastic find… Praise God the body is waking up.

Keep in mind that my website is barely about the hypocrisy of today’s version of “church”. Thats our nature as humans … I don’t focus on it and neither should you but the fact that it has been created into a show is a great point here. Today’s version of church is meant to be a show versus the early church. It’s really a definition change. How could we allow the term CHURCH to be redefined as it has been?


Brooke Fraser: Flags (Review)

 

Brooke Fraser: Flags (Review)

Brooke Fraser, one of my favorite musicians of ever. This is a woman who gave her life to Christ but is able to captivate the ears of a diverse audience. See that’s the kind of Christian musicians I like… the ones that don’t have to have a red stamp on them (Christian label) yet be able to reach and inspire thousands/millions with their messages from Christ. This is why Paramore will be one of my top bands.

This album Flags is one of Brooke’s best music clusters to date. I mean I love pretty much every song and in fact it is one of the first albums I have heard to date that the titled track is my favorite. (that song brings tears to my eyes each time) THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST!!!! I hope you guys understand just how powerful and real that is. (Matt 20:16)

Being that I am a photographer, there is another thing that makes me respect her that much more. That is the young lady she used to do her photos for this album; Nirrimi Hakanson. That young lady is AMAZING and such an inspiration to photographers, young and old.

If you really like meaningful music with such an incredible voice… you need to get this album… no get all her albums if she is new to you. YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.

Flags

You who mourn will be comforted
You who hunger will hunger no more
All the last shall be first
Of this I am sure

You who weep now will laugh again
All you lonely be lonely no more
Yes, the last will be first
Of this I’m sure

I don’t know why the innocents fall
While the monsters stand
I don’t know why the little ones thirst
But I know the last shall be first
I know the last shall be first
I know the last shall be first

MP3 Songs PreviousPlay allNext11. FlagsPaused Mute/Unmute
Song Title Time Price
Play 1. Something in the Water 3:03 $0.99 Buy Track  - Something in the Water
Play 2. Betty 2:58 $0.99 Buy Track  - Betty
Play 3. Orphans, Kingdoms 3:54 $0.99 Buy Track  - Orphans, Kingdoms
Play 4. Who Are We Fooling (feat. Aqualung) 4:25 $0.99 Buy Track  - Who Are We Fooling (feat. Aqualung)
Play 5. Ice On Her Lashes 5:44 $0.99 Buy Track  - Ice On Her Lashes
Play 6. Coachella 3:32 $0.99 Buy Track  - Coachella
Play 7. Jack Kerouac 3:25 $0.99 Buy Track  - Jack Kerouac
Play 8. Sailboats 3:18 $0.99 Buy Track  - Sailboats
Play 9. Crows & Locusts 5:47 $0.99 Buy Track  - Crows & Locusts
Play 10. Here’s to You 4:22 $0.99 Buy Track  - Here's to You
Play 11. Flags 4:46 $0.99 Buy Track  - Flags
Play 12. Flags (Acoustic) [Bonus Track] 5:18 Album Only

Christian Standards: Christian = Weekly “Church” Goer

Today most Christians have been conditioned to judge one another based on what “church” fellowship they attend. So often when someone finds out I am a Christian, the first question asked after that is “WHAT CHURCH DO YOU ATTEND”. My response is that I am part of the SAME church as them as the BODY OF CHRIST. (Really the only thing that divided the early church as the church was the cities they were in) This fact amazes me because somehow we have convinced ourselves that the early Church had the same standard. That they didn’t value the love that each other had but focused on who was sitting in a pew every week. One who reads the New Testament would find out they are extremely mistaken.

Let’s go to scripture and find out how to know if someone is a believer (Christian) or not.

1 John 3:17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person?

Here we have a simple one that simply tells us that LOVE will show us who is a Christian or not. We are given an example of what a Christian would do in a situation. I remember the days when I went to a weekly service and passed by the needy because I felt I had to use that money to pay my “tithes”. Sometimes I would tell them I wish I could help you but I only have enough money to pay my “tithes”. Did that mean I did not have God’s love in me? ABSOLUTELY!!!

The next scripture i’ll use is probably the most important way for us to know who has the Spirit of God (who is a Christian).

Gal 5 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Here we have very detailed understandings as to who is of God and who is not. What characteristics both sides of the spectrum would have. Notice one of those characteristics of those who follow the sinful nature does NOT say does not attend weekly Sunday or Saturday service. Also notice none of those characteristics of those who live by the Spirit does NOT say attends weekly service.

Another example of what will make a Believer is when Jesus tell’s his disciples what will happen when we go before judgement.

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. 35 For 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, 36 I 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? 38 When 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, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters 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. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I 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, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Again noticed we are not being judged base on attending weekly services. By now I hope you guys are getting that it’s about LOVE. LOVE…. LOVE!! Every aspect of being a believer of Christ is LOVE. See going to a church building is SO much easier than loving other people… even those who aren’t loving toward us. We Christians over the years have created so many standards that make it mentally easier for us to consider ourselves Christians. How many times have we heard someone define their Christianity by… I PAY ALL MY TITHES, I GO TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY, ETC. Not often do we hear… I LOVE EVERYONE WHO PASSES BY, I GAVE ALL MY PRECESSION TO TAKE CARE OF THE NEEDY, in fact, most of us can safely say we have NEVER heard that. (I have a few times now)

Then we have those who use the “DO NOT FORSAKE THE ASSEMBLY OF GOD” (Hebrews 10:25) as a scripture to condemn and rebuke those who do not attend those weekly services. It’s funny that a scripture is being used this way even though early Christians DID NOT meet the way we do today. This is what happens when MAN’s heart tries to use scripture for their own means. It is usually does with good intentions BUT is not used with the intent it was written. That chapter in Hebrew is NOT about going to a church building what so ever. It’s much deeper than that on a historical aspect.

How easy it is for us to take scriptures like Acts 20 7 (On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.) and use it to support what we already do.  Just because you use it that way doesn’t make it correct.

Now those who do go to weekly services, I don’t want you to feel like this article is against you. It is about those who feel they are superior because they go to those weekly services vs. those who go out and feed the needy, those who have home fellowships, and those who LOVE as Christ teaches.

Let us learn to grow as loving people who no longer judge one another based on silly human arguments. (1 Cor 2:13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words) We are going to have to learn how to let go of some of the things we have been conditioned to believe in order to do this.

Love you all,

Praise Jesus