friday throwback: connected

13 03 2009

this was the jam back in the day!  it’s actually on a couple of my ipod mixes now.  this is definitely one of my go-to jams from the early 90’s.

gonna get myself / gonna get myself / gonna get myself connected

and for those of you who want some sort of devotional thought to go along with today’s friday throwback…

ahhhhhh…welllll….

in john 15:5… (right!)…

Jesus said… (c’mon talk about it!)…

“i am the vine…” (yeah he did!)

“you are the branches…” (alright now!)…

“if a man remains in me and i in him…” (make it plain, make it plain!)…

“he will bear much fruit” (you’re talkin’ right preacher!)…

“apart from me…” (well!)…

“you can do nothing!” (nothing!)

somebody touch your neighbor and say, “neighbor!” (neighbor!)

get yourself connected! (get yourself connected!)

🙂

happy friday everybody!

(ps – sorry for the weird ‘new world order’ tag at the front and annoying ‘subscribe’ button on the screen. this was the only version i could find that i would embed in the blog.)

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got religion?

8 03 2009

i know these are a couple years old, but i just stumbled across them this afternoon.  funny, but interesting takes on being religious from a series of videos about “connecting with God without being religious”.  in my life, i’ve seen more division, strife and pride produced in the name of “religion” than anything.  ick.  i have yet to see where religion of any kind produces grace, and probably never will.  i dig these and can relate to them all.  you?  holla.





fear

14 12 2008

fear

when it comes to thinking about your life and the future… career, relationships, moves, life decisions, etc… i have come to realize there are two types of fear that are often encountered.

they are both rooted in “what if”, but they are very different.

the first is “what if it doesn’t…”, which can tend to have a paralyzing effect, keeping you tethered to the familiar.  the thoughts of it all falling apart keep a lot of people nestled in a comfort zone where, although not ideal, is consistent, predictable and safe.

the second and, in my experience, more powerful is “what if it does…”  this type can have an equally paralyzing effect, also hindering many people from cutting the proverbial umbilical cord, stepping into the unfamiliar and embracing the uncertain.  but here is where the road divides and the two are different.  rather than thoughts of it all falling apart, this type of fear brings with it thoughts of “what if it works and changes everything.”

i think it is the second type of fear that tends to be a catalyst to faith… when you no longer view your options as options at all, because quite often, options can be the enemy of faith.  when you realize that everything in your life could completely change and even though you have no idea what that might look like you are ready to embrace what’s next… that’s when things begin to happen.

some people have lived in a certain way or pattern for so long and have become accustomed to their particular situation.  they believe they have options and might do something different “someday”.  they believe that it is what it is, and fear of the waves keeps them on the shore.

then there are the kind of people who choose to shed the notion of options and embrace the challenge that comes with encountering the second type of fear, where the fear of the shore keeps them riding the waves.

i believe this was the kind of man Jesus encountered in luke 18.  how long he had been blind was immaterial.  when he heard Jesus was passing by, he knew his only other option was to continue to sit and beg… blind, and that really wasn’t an option at all.  surely he had built a lifestyle around his situation, one that catered to his particular disability, but he was tired of that.  staying the same was no longer optional, so he took a risk.    he called out to Jesus.

the bible says God has “planted eternity in the hearts of men,” and there is something about encountering that pivotal moment that connects with the eternal seed planted in each of us which challenges our limitations and dares us to do something we thought we could not do before.  something like… telling a blind man to see.

i love this piece by marianne williamson.  it speaks of the second type of fear… the fear that dares you to move, take a leap of faith and reach to embrace what has always been just beyond your grasp.  so, what if it does work and everything changes?  i dare you to find out.

our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. we ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? actually, who are you not to be? you are a child of God. your playing small does not serve the world. there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. we are all meant to shine, as children do. we were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. it’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

marianne williamson





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…





better love

13 05 2008

thanks to my good friend brewster, i was hipped to the blog of pete wilson, a nashville-area pastor with a refreshing take on life, the world and our place in it.

today, pete wrote a blog titled ‘sometimes i struggle with love’, and you should definitely check it out. in it, he quotes 1 corinthians 13:3-7 from the message translation, talks about the aspect of biblical love that he struggles with the most and challenges his readers to talk about what aspect they struggle with most.

i posted a comment, but also wanted to share this here. here was my response:

i was listening to a song called ‘i receive your love’ as i was getting ready for work this morning and was thinking about how hard it can be to receive perfect love when you’ve lived with imperfect love all your life. i probably struggle with most of these to varying degrees, but “love never gives up” might be the biggest right now. in general it can be a struggle to see everything that we call love and still believe God when he says “mine is better than that!” we want better love, but it can be difficult to comprehend what that actually is.

you should join the discussion at his blog. any thoughts?





potential

12 04 2008

from the outside, the processes of “burying” and “planting” look a lot alike, but they are not. you might see something and it looks like it was buried, but in reality, God is just planting it. (john 12:20-26)

as long as a seed remains in a protected environment, it’s potential will never be realized.





the gideon chronicles

3 03 2008

// becoming… what it’s all about \\

i think it is important to be able to see yourself in and relate to many of the people in the bible. in fact, the more you can relate to them and draw parallels between your life and theirs, the easier it is to see that God if used imperfect, flawed and broken people back then… then surely he can use me today.

i think more than any other person in the bible, i find myself relating to gideon most often. gideon was a man of valor and purpose, and he didn’t even know it. i love the account in judges where the Lord came to gideon while he was minding his own business, doing something very mundane and completely unaware of the untapped greatness that had been lying dormant inside of him. when God came to him, he called him a great and mighty man of strength… but gideon wasn’t trying to hear it. in fact, he had to get some clarity, asking “me?” two different times.

this is one of my favorite accounts in the entire bible and there is so much that i have pulled from this over the years. i love how God came to gideon and basically challenged his limitations… empowering him to do something that he didn’t think he could do. what he didn’t realize was the greatness had been hibernating inside of him, but no one had ever put a demand on it. when God came to gideon, he didn’t feel qualified at all… in fact, he felt horrified. nor did he feel equipped… all he had to work with was a call… ever been there?

so now i begin a new blog adventure… a journey to continually hear the voice of the Lord that would speak to us in the midst of our daily routines and continually challenge our limitations… empowering and spurring us on to become something greater than we are right now. the challenge is ever present, as is the reluctance to meet it… but for those that accept it, great things await…

i invite you to become with me…