where’s t-pain when you need him?

8 03 2009

i’ll be brief.  here’s the skinny… mary j. blige’s sister latonya is supposedly preparing to release a gospel album.  the first single has released and whooooooa bessie… apparently making a “joyful noise” unto the lord is much more a relative concept than i was aware.  i love me some mary j. and will readily admit that she’s not exactly the best singer herself,  but where i’ve got to give it up to mary is that no matter what she is singing, you feel her. i certainly feel this as well, but in a much, much different way.

latonya blige – “it’s coming (feat. mary j. blige)”

i’m not exactly sure what happened here, but it’s reeeeeeeeal special.  and i’m actually surprised that mary j. is actually singing on it!  more than that, i’m kind of shocked that mary would let her put herself out there like this.  then again, maybe they think it’s hot.  i appreciate mary’s verse, but dude… i mean, i love Jesus too and er’rything,  but, but…  the track is wack and this is just ………… and it all sounds about 15 years old to boot. (yes, “to boot”)

perhaps singing isn’t necessarily latonya’s bag… may i suggest a handbell praise album?  i’m going to need her to begin to operate in an auto-tune spirit expeditiously!   i’m just sayin’… i’m certainly not his biggest fan, but where’s t-pain when you need him?!?!  this is one gospel record i wouldn’t mind him jumping on.  stretch your hands and pray, saints… where’s my oil?

is it just me???

shout out to thafeedback.com for the 411.





kari jobe

11 11 2008

as i mentioned in my previous blog, i have started my own company.  that’s a long story, but the short version is… i have started my own company. 🙂

i am very excited to announce that one of my first clients is kari jobe, who i am now managing.  kari serves as worship pastor at gateway church in southlake, texas and has an incredible passion to lead people into the presence of God through worship.  kari’s new album will release february 10, 2009 and you’ll be hearing much more about her in the coming weeks and months.

kj_new-cvr_small2

you can hear her brand new single “i’m singing” on her website and also on her myspace. check it out!  for those of you who twitter, you can also follow her on her twitter.

i am currently back in dallas for a couple days of meetings with kari as we prepare for her cd release. tonight she led worship at a women’s event at covenant church in dallas… and it was incredible.  i stood there amazed as she and her band introduced the song “overcome” to these women, and i literally watched them go from generally not knowing the song to grasping the truth in it and pursue God with it… it was absolutely electric in that place tonight. so powerful…  everyone overcome!





disturbed

10 10 2008

i am disturbed.

first, there’s this.  louis farrakhan, leader of the nation of islam and silver-tongued deceiver of many, has gone as far as to hail barack obama’s words as the words of “the messiah”.  excuse me?  there are so many things that are disturbing about this.

the only thing more disturbing than that has to be this, a site dedicated to crowning obama as a deity. you must be out of your mind!

as i was reading all these things, this passage from the gospel of luke immediately came to me…

what sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds,
for their ancestors also praised false prophets. – luke 6:26

the niv translates it this way…

woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets

and the message translation says it like this…

there’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.

all this is disturbing on many levels and i can’t get away from it.

i know this isn’t going to make me popular, but i really don’t care.  but i must be honest and say that i have great concern, as a follower of Christ, supporting someone in this capacity who has the glowing adulation of so many who not only do not espouse my views and values, but many of whom have views and values at the far other end of the spectrum.

when i see so many people in morally-bankrupt hollywood practically foaming at the mouth to get obama into office… i’m not going to lie to you… i must ask deeper questions and wonder why.  i must question the motive.  what is lying underneath and driving this seemingly unquenchable passion that they exhibit and I must ask myself…

is my voice synonymous with those whose vehement disdain for anything of virtue is second only to their lust for power, money and greed ?

does oprah winfrey, who can’t seem to make up her mind exactly who it is she serves, represent me?

do i lift my voice in concert with those whose “art” vigorously decries the values that are central to family to say, “i’m with you”?

do these people who day in and day out push the envelope of godlessness, immorality and indecency on a global scale actually speak for me?

i’ll tell you.

hell to the naw!

EDIT:::  for the record, this is not necessarily an anti-obama post, but rather a look at some of the foolishness going around as well as a “people get it together and learn to think and make decisions for yourselves” blog.

just because someone has a hot song or a hot movie does not mean their political opinions carry any more weight than yours do.  find out the issues, get the facts, pray for wisdom, and vote based on your conscience.

which ever way you vote, it needs to be because it is the conviction of your own heart, not because diddy is fresh to def and says “obama”.  it’s wrong when it happens on either side, but i see a lot more abuse and irresponsibility of platform and status when it comes to the entertainment world waving the obama flag high than i do on the other side.  don’t think for a second that folks aren’t banking on the ignorance of the many who wont’ take time to educate themselves on the issues, but will blindly do whatever celebrities day do.  hell, burger king even has a ad campaign featuring diddy based on this entire premise.  “diddy says bk is open late” and the masses come running.  sure, it’s tongue in cheek, but there’s a thread of unfortunate truth in it that should not be winked at.

don’t be a puppet.

selah…





great peace in great sorrow

21 05 2008

Chapman family

“Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest child died Wednesday afternoon after being struck by a car driven by her teenage brother in the driveway of the family’s Williamson County home.

Maria, one of the Christian singer’s six children, was taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt Hospital, which confirmed the death, according to Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The 5-year-old was hit by an SUV driven by her teenage brother, she said. Police did not give the driver’s name.

The teen was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser down the driveway of the rural home at about 5:30 p.m. and several children were playing in the area, McPherson said. He did not see Maria in the driveway before the vehicle struck her, she said.” excerpt from The Tennessean

This family has been a symbol of hope and grace to so many millions, and now I pray that they would find themselves surrounded by ministering angels and wrapped in the incomprehensible covering of the peace of God that Steven has faithfully stood on and sung about for so many years. In the middle of what is undoubtedly great sorrow, great pain, great hurt, great confusion and possibly even great anger, we pray the covering of God’s great peace over the Chapman family.





i love people

12 05 2008

i am a people dude. i absolutely love people, love engaging people in meaningful discussion, love learning people’s stories, etc. as such, i also love movies about people… people’s struggles, people’s lives, the fight to overcome obstacles and the passion to live in spite of what life throws at them.

one of my favorite recent movies is lars and the real girl.

the film stars ryan gosling as lars lindstrom, “a lovable introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully embracing life.” lars has a delusion which is causing him to believe that his new “friend” whom he met online is real, when in fact she is a life-sized doll. what follows is an emotional, and quite funny, journey for lars and everyone around him as everyone in his life commits to going along with it in an effort to help lars get better. it is a powerful portrayal of the power of relationships in our lives.

i saw it twice in dallas last fall when it was in limited release and loved it! it is on dvd now and i recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. it’s quirky and fun, but most of all it just might challenge you to take a look at the people in your life and find creative ways to serve them right where they are.

has anyone else seen it?





jaded

11 05 2008

“this be the realest thing I ever wrote for sure, after this a lot of folks wont like me no more…” – lyfe jennings

the dictionary defines ‘jaded’ as “tired, bored, or lacking enthusiasm; typically after having too much of something”.

yep… i’m jaded, alright. this is going to be a mind dump, so bear with me…

“i wonder if the gospel of love has become the gospel of being right” … dan merchant (author/writer/director of ‘lord, save us from your followers’)

i grew up in a horribly dogmatic and legalistic abomination, i mean denomination. =) i spent the first 25 years of my life surrounded by people who had a warped view of the salvation experience and who were quick to send a lot of people to hell if a strict religious code was not adhered to. they were so concerned with being convinced they were “right”, that in the process they weren’t really loving anybody. i left that church a little over 8 years ago, but in a lot of ways, and for a lot of reasons, i am still coming to terms with various aspects of that whole experience and continue to try to reconcile it with where i am in my life today. religion sucks.

before i go any further, i want to say that i am not angry, and i am not bitter… but if you will indulge me being totally honest here on my blog… i am tired.

i love Jesus and i want my life to reflect the character of Christ to those around me. i want to be an instrument of the grace that I so desperately need every day of my life. the ‘body of Christ’ is beautiful, man! i have been blessed to travel extensively and have met some of the most amazing and beautiful disciples of Christ all over this country and all over the world. so don’t get it twisted… i love the church… but “church”? yeeeeeaaaah… i’m pretty much not feeling it at the moment.

i’m not the only one. i often have these conversations with a few close friends of mine who are also on the same page. “church” isn’t cutting it for our generation. we desire to be a part of a thriving faith community that is making a difference in the lives of those in our respective spheres of influence.

to be fair, i do know that there are churches out there who are doing it… they are doing exactly what I am talking about… they are the hands of feet of Christ, love and justice in action that is the heartbeat of Jesus. but sadly enough they are few and far between.

i believe that the heart of God is for real live faith, love and community in action. however, in my life, i have seen a lot of people whose lives revolve around the sunday morning experience as if it were the apex of what it means to be a christian in america… who are satisfied to be “church people”… but outside of their sunday morning gloriously euphoric spiritual expression, they are having zero effect on the world around them once they walk out the doors.

the great christian paradox seems to be this… that we are quick to go to great lengths to profess our christianity, but yet do so little or nothing to act on that profession. i must wonder, when did we trade in being disciples of Christ for being “christians”? when did we trade in talking with people for talking at them? when did we trade being the church for doing church?

i am not a pastor, a priest or a theologian. i am simply someone who loves Jesus and who legitimately struggles with whether or not my life is a consistent enough reflection of the new life that i have been freely given. i don’t have all the answers. in fact, by comparison i probably have very few of them. i’m just saying something’s missing… i love Jesus, i’m just not sold on all the stuff that we’ve put in between him and us… so yeah… jaded.

i just finished watching an advance copy of “lord, save us from your followers”, a documentary by dan merchant and it got me on this page tonight. it releases june 13, and i am sure you will be hearing a lot more about it very soon. i watched the last 30-40 minutes of the film through tears, thinking “my God, people are hurting, and we’re… in church…”

you can stream the entire film online for $6.99 now. if you are a pastor, show it to your congregation. if you are a parent, show it to your children. challenge those around you… get the dialogue going where you live. be the catalyst to get the people around you off their ass and into the real world… living, loving and looking like Jesus. part of me was a little afraid to post this, but you know what?  i’m tired of acting like i don’t really feel this way… tired of acting like i’m not tired.  so, let the discussion begin…





what are you afraid of?

4 05 2008

i traveled to jamaica this week with the group, and during our group devotions before we went on stage in montego bay we were talking about fear. 2 timothy 1:7 was referenced (“for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”). basically, if God has empowered us with this ‘power, love and a sound mind, why then do we still fear what it is that we fear?

after some discussion about the ‘fear factor’, the question was posed to everyone “what would you do differently if you didn’t have the fear barrier in your life?”

wow.

as we went around and shared about the fear in our lives, some spoke of public speaking and personal evangelism while others talked about things like family issues and bugs. =)

when i was asked the question, my answer was that i would act upon and make life decisions much quicker and easier, without fear of what the outcome or results may be. regardless of how it may appear, i am someone who tends carry things a little too heavy at times, and can tend to live in the ‘what if’ zone a little too much… ok, maybe a lot too much. i’m not there all the time, but sometimes it’s quite the struggle to stay out of that zone.

  • what if they disagree
  • what if it’s not popular
  • what if it doesn’t work
  • what if it ends up like last time
  • what if i fail
  • what if i am misunderstood
  • what if it looks bad
  • what if it’s not enough
  • what if i’m not ready
  • what if i am regarded with contempt
  • what if, what if, what if… all these what if’s!!!!

it is my experience that trying to move past these type of paralyzing thoughts without understanding where they are coming from is like spiritual shadowboxing, and we do a whole lot of ‘resisting the devil’ type stuff, but don’t focus a lot of attention on the fact that we have indeed been enabled and equipped with power, love and a sober, sound and vigilant mind… but we’ve got to use it. being able to move past this kind of fear involves a clear understanding of the authority and sovereignty of God in your life and being able to lean more on that than on the ‘what if’s’, and lean a little more every day…

i certainly don’t have it all figured out, but i am piecing it together every day… learning to stand more on the perfect love and security that Christ gives than on the false foundation of fear that is so easily focused on.

what is the fear factor in your life? what is it that you can see yourself doing if you didn’t have to contend with the fear barrier that you crash into with unsettling regularity? and what are you doing about it?