Archive for October, 2013

The Importance of Romans 12:1&2

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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.

I grew up in the 90’s, in a seemingly normal family, in Texas.    I would even say that my parents made sure that I was brought up in a church with great teaching, doctrine, and a pretty good sense of community.  I was in a generation where internet started becoming popular to download songs and find what seemed like infinite amounts of knowledge.  The thing that I didn’t see was the filth which would be introduced into my life through friends.  A few of my friend’s brothers had stacks of pornographic magazines which filled filing cabinets or would be several rows deep halfway up the wall.  I had a beautiful sister,  and my parents tried to protect us from the world.  You can’t take every relationship with a person and go through their closet space, what they eat on a daily basis, or see what kind of tv shows they watch.  There are just some things you won’t be able to hold your children back from.I was a really skinny and short guy all my life, but I was willing to fight any bigger guy for my sister to be protected.  The same went for her! I remember her trying to hunt down this huge guy that almost broke my nose……. but we won’t talk about that.

The point of this blog is to say that if it were not for Christ…. I would be stuck in a mud pit of sin, fighting for things not of Christ, addicted, helpless, struggling with no hope.  When I became a believer, I started seeing differently.  Now addictions, head knowledge of scripture, fighting for what seemed right, and how I lived changed.  I was not a true believer til my early 20’s.  I was a long ways away from the first magazine I had seen.  I was unable to see a woman without seeing her as an object.  I developed having anger from my issues with lust.  I tried to have relationships with women which would be considered ” Christian” before I was a believer but it would always lead to a confusing struggle of dos and don’ts.

This is when God changed me.  I  became a believer in the Most High and Just God.  The Lord ridded me of a relationship that I could not handle and would not cause praise to be for His name.  The Lord would soon show me to my long time foe of lustful addictions.  Over half my life I had these things in my life!  I prayed for Him to take it away.  His answer was no.  He knew my struggle, but this was the way that I could glorify Him in the highest.  I soon started fighting with everything I had to get out of addiction.  This is when I realized the truth to Romans 12:1&2.  The same author that wrote, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” wrote Romans 12.   I started seeing the Lord would not just remove things from my life.  I was supposed to lay down my body for the worship of Christ.  I was no longer a singular individual, but part of a body of Christ and I no longer could think for myself. The Lord quickly put me into this battle which I found difficult because I never had anyone to keep me accountable.  Because of lack of true accountability He challenged me to love Him enough to lay down my ways to follow after Him.  It took months of taking steps, falling, feeling a cycle of inability to get out, more prayer, more reading, and meeting someone special.  The Lord knew that I was putting things in my life to get rid of lustful things.  I had put accountability software which blocked out anything questionable, would report all websites to people I knew, and would not let me on the internet if I tried to disable it.  I put parental control on my tv.  I started seeing the fruit that lust bore in my life.

The Lord made it evident that if I didn’t fight to get out then I wouldn’t get out.  My act of worship was giving everything to rid my life of the sin that was there.  I would either run away if I didn’t feel strong enough to handle temptation in some way or I would battle it head on when the Lord was showing me scripture to fight with.  I look back now and realize the amount of grace, strength, and power which He gave me during those times in which I was so weak.  About this time was when Joy and I started dating.  I had some issues here and there seemed to be the perfect woman introduced into my life.  I was in love with her from the moment I met her.  The most beautiful person I have ever met was standing in front of me and I had to offer nothing but a broken life of lust.  This is when I saw that if she was so beautiful, amazing, and worth fighting for then how much more is Christ worth fighting for.  This drove me to mad obsession of understanding how to worship Him through getting addiction out of my life.  Mercy  and grace (the free and unmerited favor of God) were shown to me through this.  I have never witnessed such a beautiful thing in my life and God was showing me that He was better.  This was the point where I realized I had to be willing to sacrifice that relationship to make sure I was walking with the Lord.

I hadn’t seen porn, or anything, for a couple months when images and dreams starting happening.  Images were torturing me in my sleep and I could remember (even after all this time) the first images I had seen in magazines.  I knew the giving of myself was for the church and me as worship. I had not realized the back part of Romans 12:1-2.  My mind must be transformed!  I started realizing that the battle was not ending anywhere close.  I had to meditate on scripture.  My thoughts,  words, and actions were all hinging on the transformation of my mind. I had to change from the mind of a slave to sin to the mind of a slave to righteousness.  This was weird at first because I would lay down to sleep at night and would pray before that the Lord protect me from thoughts.  It started off by me waking up from dreams and I could pray.  I would then realize that just asking God’s protection wasn’t all that needed to happen.  He called me to be led by the Holy Spirit in my dreams.  This can’t happen when you are focused in on sexual images from your past while you are in a comatose state.  Eventually in my dreams I was thinking of my own accord.  Images were popping up and immediately I would think about scripture and the God that I loved.  Images started going away.  Freedom was there at last… so I thought.

Now I am down the road and I realized that it was not just the start of a battle with lust but with everything in which God is not glorified.  SIN has to be cut out of life, Christ must be worshipped, and I will always have to battle.  It’s no different for everyone else out there.  If we are believers then we should had the Holy Spirit convicting us, walking us through battle, being strong in our weak points, defeating sin in our life, finding new sin, and starting the cycle again.  We should never stop presenting ourselves as individuals as a worship to the Lord.  We should never stop filling our mind with the scripture of God. In scripture it calls this “girding up your loins.”  We should be prepared and readying ourselves for battle everyday for the sake of the gospel.  We as individuals should be lifting up our lives as worship so that the community of believers benefits from Christ working in us.  If we do then we can see the will of God for our lives, our community, and speak truth into those around us.  I’m not worried about catching flack for a really long blog which describes my flaws in a very vivid picture because people need to know how to fight the good fight, have other people next to them to battle with, and to draw support from.  Where is the church?  How did Christ change your life and start destroying former sin?  Where are you now? Are you still battling?  Are you waddling in sin with an unrepentant heart?  Check yourself!  Are you finding new sin to lift up to the Lord to work through?  Here is a list of a few for me that I found once I had addiction to lust out…. anger, bitterness, fear, anxiety, jealousy, pride, attitude, laziness, and etc….  until Christ returns I will keep trying to be more like Him.  I challenge you to do the same.

My Everything

Posted: October 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

The last couple blogs have been about music and how artists relate to the gospel.  Today I wanted to post a video which can speak for itself.  If the gospel has changed our live’s what would our viewpoint be?  Would we want to see our live’s keep changing?  Would we just say that we were a Christian because there was this point where we said a prayer or did something that gave a time frame of when we got saved?  Would we be able to see that our life revolves around Christ in everything we do?  The first time I heard this song I wept.  I haven’t heard it in a long time and then it popped up on my playlist this morning. I sat still again.  By myself, sitting at my desk, just pondering if I lived out the abundant life that John 10:10 talks about.  I wonder if I live fully in the freedom that Christ gave me.  If Jesus is our everything then we can live in freedom, abundant life, caring for each other more than ourselves, reaching the people that are less fortunate, sharing the gospel with those around us, we would be full of courage, our fears would be defeated, we would be living lives that would always be challenged by the evil one because he would hate that we are all living for Jesus, and we would all be listening to the Holy Spirit.  How awesome would it be to see a world filled with Spirit led believers? What if there were people who loved the Lord in a way that they think of honoring Christ in everything they do?  How can we get this way?  Ponder with me as we listen to God in this matter.

Start Over

Posted: October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last blog I talked about Shai Linne and mentioned Flame.  Flame has been associated with Cross Movement and has worked with the 116 clique which includes the likes of Lecrae, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, and Tedashii.  All of these guys are well noted in the Christian hip hop/rap culture.  The cool thing about some of these artists are their push to learn more about scripture.  Some of these guys are graduating with a bachelors degree in biblical studies, graduating from seminaries, or under great teaching.  The first song from Flame that I will mention is “Start Over.”

I love the lyrics of this song:
Everybody’s got a blank page,
A story they’re writing today,
A wall that they’re climbing,
You can’t carry the past on their shoulders,
But you can start over,
Regrets, no matter what you goin’ through,
Jesus, He gave it all to save you,
He carried the cross on His shoulders,
So you can start over

This is good stuff!  Another one I like is from a previous album called “Captured” and is titled “Move.”

Hope you like the artists that I have put out there for you to check out.  If you have time take a look at some of the 116 clique members.  Here is one more artist to check out.

You keep with the trends
Cools your middle name
On your pants you got a chain
The juice like Lil Wayne
Youre tattooed in a Benz
Maybe youre inarranged
Ladies, you drivin crazy
Nothins crazier than your frame!

False Teachers

Posted: October 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

There are many “Christian” musicians out there which make good music but the lyrics do not show much richness in theology.  Some artists are making exactly that……….. music, just music.  They aren’t heeding to correct theology and can teach things which would hurt or impair the theology of people in the church if they are not careful.  I have noticed that many Christian rappers and hip hop artists are representing the gospel in ways that Christian rock, country, and gospel aren’t.  My focus today would be with one specific rapper.  Shai Linne.  He is dope! Is that the good descriptive word for that?  I don’t know!  I just know that Shai packs a beat with great theology.  In one of his songs he is warning against wolves in sheep’s clothing or false teachers.  He is warning people everywhere to look out and even reaches the point to call out some of the heretics on tv doing “ministry” and really only gaining access to wallets.  Check out that video…

Shai isn’t scare to call people out but most of all he is not scared to rhyme about what matter, the gospel.  He raps about God’s attributes, theology, the atonement, and more.  Check this other song out….

So yeah, this explains why I drive around town wearing a v-neck shirt and skinny jeans breaking the mold by jammin to hip hop.  There is so much behind this music which can lead us straight to the Lord.  His message can be shown to others easily.  So… watch what you listen to!  I hope to follow-up with some more musicians which we can enjoy with a great gospel message.  Here is a possibility which I may bring up later….

Jesus is my Homeboy…

Posted: October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

I used to wear shirts all the time that would have some sort of saying on it about God, Jesus, or something spiritual.  I remember wearing a shirt at one point that said, “I broke a rule, I prayed in school…. I’m a real menace to society.”  The day I wore that to See You at the Pole the newspaper actually wrote about it.  It made me feel so proud of myself. hahaha.  Let’s take a look at this video…..

I also wore a shirt that said, “Heavy Drinker” on the front with a bible verse which was not the most accurate in representing the gospel.  This video brings to life a good question that we, here in the south, can ask ourselves.  Is what message we are showing ultimately going to impact someone in a way that is glorifying to God?  If we revere Jesus as name above all names, King above all Kings, divine, righteous, The Christ, our Messiah, and Savior then wouldn’t we be careful with the message we put out there?  What good thoughts from Driscoll!