Been Awhile…

It’s been awhile since I’ve written last, or since the last time that I’ve written.

Nobody reads this, and that used to bother me, but not anymore.

The older that I get my need for validation has grown obsolete. I think that validation and recognition are sicknesses. I suffered from them both.

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Now I am comfortable saying that I can live my life free of fame or recognition. I am not the star of my life….

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I do believe.

I’m just looking for You in something. Not the generic everyday be grateful for what you have kind of way, but I’m looking for You.

I read about You every night before I go to sleep and I ask myself, “Can this be true?”

“Can He be true?”

“Is He who is says He is?”

My heart says yes. My soul says yes.

I am tired of hearing everyone else’s account of You. I want to know for myself. In a real and absolute way. I want to know that You are more than a character in a really old book. I need to know that You actually hear me.

I need to know You.

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This love is not based on what I give You. Or what I have to give You. I guess that would be what’s so amazing about Your love. You sacrificed so much when I gave you nothing. Sometimes I feel like I’ve robbed You. If I’m honest I could’ve done way more. But this love isn’t interested in what I could do, or what I can do. It blows my mind that You have chosen to love me, just for me. Not as a result of, or by any certain circumstance. You just love me.

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Ferguson.

I just wanted to write about this because I think it’s important. I wanted to write about that young man that very tragically lost his life. I wanted to right about the misrepresentation of justice shown by the authorities in that area. I wanted to write about the parents of Mike Brown. I wanted to write about how they must feel to know that the death of their son has caused so much unrest. How does it feel to know that their son’s death will be forever know as either a catalyst for a social awakening, or the last straw drawn before a great regional duress? Or maybe both? I wanted to write about how tired I am of people hating people just because of their skin color or belief preference. I wanted to tell you how much I hated that. I wanted to remind you of the sacrifices many great Americans such as Dr. King, John Kennedy, Maya Angelou, Abraham Lincoln made for a free America. An equal America. A thriving America. I wanted to write about the officers of that police department. How unfair it must be to put your life on the line day in and day out, but never get thanked for it. I wanted to inform people that not all police officers are bad. I wanted to write about how pointing the finger at local authorities won’t amount to anything but more unrest. I wanted to advise we hold the officers responsible accountable for their actions but not demonize all law enforcement in the area.I wanted to ask how far could gratitude take us in place of frustration? I wanted to write about the officer that shot down that young man. What happened? How could you be filled with so much fear? So much anger, so much ignorance that you would rob this boy of his future? I wanted to write about how this sort of situation is not limited to Ferguson it could happen anywhere. I wanted to write about the horrors of the US vs. THEM mentality. I wanted to tell my younger black brothers that we must not embellish the notion of vengeance, and retribution, but embrace the system of due process and trust justice will prevail in light of social awareness and peaceable unity. I wanted to write about how easily conquerable prejudice is…. I wanted to write about all these things that have filled my heart, but I just simply can’t seem to find the words.

My prayers are with the family of Mike Brown.

Nice shirt bro…

ImageI don’t think Jesus would wear skinny jeans, I think He’d be more of  a Wrangler type of guy. That’s just my opinion of course. At 5’10 (on a good day) 255lbs I tried the whole skinny jean scene…#nobueno. Let’s just say there was a whole lot of man in each of those pant legs. At the time even though I couldn’t breathe I thought I was super cool. Looking back now, not so much. It just confirms, the extremes that we will go to in today’s society to look hip, or be popular. I go to some churches and everyone looks spectacular. I can’t tell if I’m in church or on set for a Gap ad. Don’t get me wrong, I think looking your best for church honors the Lord, but I’ve been feeling like though we may look great, the people that we minister too may not be as fashionably aware as we are. I’m reminded of this when I’m in impoverished areas, or on some back roads in the country, and I’m talking with people who live in bad places. Some have, not showered or shaved in days. Their clothes are tattered and their shoes are worn. A lot of times, these people are only a few miles away from manicured church lawns and the cover worthy fashionistas that grace our aisles on Sunday morning.

 I believe vanity is the thief that has robbed the church blind. We place a great deal of importance on the appeal of the message but not too much stock in it’s content. When these fabrics wither, and these  buildings crumble no one will care about them. That awesome Diamond Co. shirt you bought, that Easter dress you wore last year, or those iguana green skinny jeans you wore last Sunday, that’s not going to matter to anyone. What will matter is who you helped, how you encouraged, what you did, what you said, and how you said it. I don’t ever want anyone God places in my life to feel like I’m out of reach.

I look at Jesus, and He was right there with the people He was ministering too. He was not in the latest designer clothes. He was not riding around on the newest model horse and chariot. He believed in who He was, and did not need to puff his image up with material goods. Let that sink in. I think about the sphere of influence Jesus had, from beggars to government politicians. He went from slums to the synagogues and was received in both not because of what he wore, but because of who He was. Who He was, was magnified by what He did, and how he did it. Who He was and what He did are what we are still talking about 2000 years later because of who He is.
 

Listen I am a fan of style and all things hip. I’m simply saying let’s not let our swagger separate us from the people were trying to reach.

“Your love is extravagant” Cover

Whenever I am given the privilege of leading worship this is one of the songs that I do often, because the lyrics are simple but I feel they are profound and speak to the very fabric of my needs and something that I need to be reminded of daily is Jesus love for me is extravagant. regardless of all the wrong I’ve done and said. He considers me a friend.

Kindness.

You know, I was writing a whole other blog. I was trying to be really deep and super spiritual but I couldn’t finish it. I need to write about kindness. Do not let that word fool you. Kindness is a force to be reckoned with. Kindness is not weakness. Often times kindness precedes the most powerful force on earth. For where kindness is shown you can be sure love is not too far behind. I felt an urgency to write about kindness because I am not kind. Isn’t that crazy?! Not really. I never claimed I had any answers so you shouldn’t be so surprised. Sure, I will open the door for an older person. Of course I use manners when I am speaking to someone for the first time. I don’t use first names when I’m meeting people out of respect. Unless your name is Mr. or Mrs. which would be super weird. Kindness is more than niceties and pleasantries. Kindness is defined as a quality of being. (yes I did just bust out a definition thank you dictionary.com #official) I want to be kind when no one is around, that’s quality to me.

 Honestly I can’t say that I have been kind. I’ve only thought of myself, and my actions have reflected my ideals. However, kindness is the cure for the sickness that is selfishness. I think that kindness is me doing the best I can for you even if it’s just for a second. Even if the best I can do for you is helping pick up the coupons you dropped in the toothpaste aisle at the market. Maybe my best is not responding to anger with anger, because I believe kindness can be shown in what you don’t do or say.
 

You know what I find that is interesting about us humans? We can’t give what we aren’t giving ourselves. I cannot love someone else if I do not love myself. I cannot be honest with you, if I am not honest with myself. I cannot be kind to you if I mistreat and devalue who I am. That wouldn’t be balanced. You can’t take something out of nothing no matter how cool it sounds to say it. I just want to be kind, to my wife. I want my sons to say that their father was a kind man. It times past I would’ve measured myself by what I’ve done for my sake. Now I realize that the true measure of who I am can be found in what I’ve done for others.

That’s why I love Jesus. I look at what He did for us. I look at the things He said. I think about the things He could’ve said. He could’ve really embarrassed the woman at the well. He could’ve called the man out who had been sleeping with the woman the Pharisees wanted to stone. He didn’t. He did His best for those people that needed Him even if it was just for 2 or 3 scriptures. A moment of kindness can change a life.