Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Making God Attractive

Titus 2:10b

Show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teachings about God our Savior attractive.

God is awesome and worthy to be praised. He is everything beautiful. God is not in need of a makeover. Unfortunately, it is God’s human representation that makes him seem unattractive. By the way we carry ourselves and how ugly we act sometimes it can make people not want to come to God. Maybe that’s what Grandmamma meant when she said, “God don’t like ugly.” God doesn’t like when through our ugly behavior we make the teaching about God unattractive.

For this reason Paul tells Titus to teach men, women, children, and servants how to live their lives so that they make the teachings about God attractive. Today, how you carry yourself can determine whether or not people are attracted to God. We spend more time trying to attract people to us than we do trying to attract people to God. When we live right people will fall in love with the God in you and follow you to church instead of being repelled by the hypocrisy of religion.

This is how we make the teaching about God our Savior attractive:

1. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. Verse 7. Everyday of our lives we have to set an example for what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus. We can’t teach what we don’t know and we can’t lead where we will not go. We may be the only bible that people ever read so our lives must be an open book.

2. In your teaching, show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech. Verse 8. It is important to study God’s word so that you can show yourself approved. When you open your mouth be sure that you know what you are talking about so that the wise of this world will not be able to refute the knowledge that God has given you through his word. We must always be ready to give an account for what we believe.

3. Show that you can be trusted by not talking back, or stealing from the people you work for. Verses 9-10. Now Paul here was talking about domestic servants but in a real sense we are all servants of God. When we are employed by anyone we should show ourselves trustworthy in the way that that we submit and serve others. Calling ourselves Christian doesn’t mean anything if we don’t act like one at work.

Dear God, you are so beautiful to me, you are everything I hoped for and everything I need. Now help me live a life that is reflective of that beauty. In everything that I say and do may it draw people to the true and living savior. Your word is a light unto my feet and a lamp unto my pathway. Today, let me live out your word so that people in the dark can see how beautiful you really are.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Straighten It Out!

Titus 1:5

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

Have you ever wondered why you are still where you are? Sometimes it appears that everybody else is moving forward but you. It’s not that God has passed you but rather he has positioned you to straighten out the place where you’ve been assigned.

Many times when I go fishing my line gets tangled up. I can be on a roll catching fish and then my line gets in a mess. I want to go forward, move on down the lake but instead I must anchor down to get my line untangled before I can move on to better fishing spots. It takes great patience because to move forward with an unfinished mess would be very unproductive. What is it in your life that you need to straighten out before you move forward?

Paul told Titus for this reason I left you in Crete, to straighten out what was left unfinished. Your assignment where you are is to do two things:

1. Straighten out what was left unfinished. You can’t move on to something new until you take care of old business. The problem with some of us is that we keep jumping from one thing to the next without finishing what we started. There is an old proverb that states: never trade horses in the middle of the stream. You can’t jump from one thing to the other until you’ve successfully crossed over to the other side with the horse you started out with. Trying to switch in the middle of a river could get you swept away in the middle of unfinished business. No matter how much you dislike the horse you are on , your best bet is to get across the water before you try to switch. Before you leave Crete make sure you finish your assignment.

2. Appoint elders in every town. That is you must find people of character to raise up in leadership. You must reproduce leaders to ensure that the movement continues. Jesus told his disciples to go and make disciples teaching them the things he taught them. It’s not enough to be saved if you have not reproduced yourself in others. Look at the character traits of these leaders in Titus 1:6-9. More importantly please know that you draw who you are.

Dear God,

Give me staying power. Sometimes it gets hard to finish where I am because I see where I want to be. Give me the wisdom and discipline to be where I am so that I can finish what you have assigned for me in this season of my life. Show me the right leaders so that I can appoint them in the different cities where you are calling us to as we head in a New Direction with mulit-sites. Most of all create in me the right spirit because I know that I draw who I am. We want to be more like Jesus inside and out. Thank you for my assignment and I am determined to straighten out what is unfinished.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, June 28, 2010

You're Almost There!

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

There are times when we all want to give up in the midst of battle, in the middle of a ballgame, or in the strain of ministry. I remember there was a boxer who was getting beat so bad that the referee had to stop the fight. He didn't stop it because the fighter didn't have a chance to win. He stopped it because he had a mental meltdown, started crying and refused to fight back. The enemy wants nothing more than for us to have a mental meltdown and not fight back.

In spiritual warfare, it's the enemies job to make us feel like we are defeated when the fact is we still have some fight left in us.

1. Paul said, "I have fought the good fight." There were so many things Paul was fighting against to preach the gospel to the Gentiles: opposition from traditional people, opposition from haters, sickness, betrayal, loneliness, but Paul kept his eyes on the prize and kept on fighting. What keeps you fighting is what you keep your eyes on.

2. I have finished the race. He didn't say, "I won the race." he said, "I finished." this is an endurance race. I saw a young lady training to swim across the ocean. Her daddy trained her for six hours a day pushing her to near exhaustion, swimming against ocean currents to strengthen her legs, holding her under water to simulate the pressure of a free dive. Her daddy did this because he wanted her strong enough to finish.

Adversity is not always from the enemy, sometimes, it's your Father making you stronger so you will finish.

3. I have kept the faith in all that we go through, sometimes, it makes us feel like losing our faith. Instead, we must hold all the more. Don't lose your faith use your faith.

Dear God,

I'm holding on and I won't let go of your hand. Help me to finish strong and to fight the good fight of faith. I'm almost there and I refuse to give up.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Already Rich!

I Timothy 6:6 godliness with contentment is great gain

We’ve just come out of an era of excess, bling bling, spinners, gold teeth, mansions, and as the Lost Boyz sang, the coupes, the Lexus, and the Benz. We were hypnotized into believing in the “American Dream’ driven by capitalism and financed by debt that suffocated us into bankruptcy and foreclosures. We were like a hamster on a wheel chasing riches that eluded us because it is God who gives us the ability to get wealth. Even King Solomon, the wealthiest man of all times, gave good advice about contentment versus riches:

Proverbs 30:8-9
Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘who is the Lord?’ or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Paul follows Solomon up by telling young Timothy that godliness with contentment is great gain. We are already rich when we have God’s providential love for us. When people from third world countries or even neighboring countries like Haiti or Mexico come to the United States they are surprised at our wealth in even the poorest areas of America. Some of our ghettos are like the suburbs compared to their impoverished living conditions.

If we have food and clothing we will be content with that. I Timothy 6:8
Even when we were “poor” my mother always kept us fed and clothed. As a child I was rich with love because of my provision from my parents. We never knew we were poor until we grew up and was able to compare ourselves to the materialistic standards set by a capitalistic culture.

Today, thank God for what you already have; food, clothing, and shelter. If you have these you are already richer than the majority of the world.

Dear God, shift our paradigm to what true riches are. And if we are blessed to live beyond our daily bread and experience great wealth then let us follow Paul’s advise to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, we will lay up treasure as a firm foundation for the coming age. So that we may take hold of the life that is truly Life.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Don't Leave A Trail

I Timothy 5:24
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.

There’s a Dijorno Pizza commercial where a guy and some of his friends are eating Pizza when his wife walks in to discover muddy footprints on the carpet. She says, “Who did this?” the husband says, “it was the delivery guy.” The only problem is that he left the store bought pizza box in the trash and his wife made him scrub the stains out of the carpet. He left a trail.

How many of us are still cleaning up the mess of yesterdays miss steps? Sin is when we miss the mark; when we fall short of God’s standards. For some people it is obvious what their sin is, when they are belligerent offenders, criminals, prostitutes, murders, etc. But then there are those of us who look innocent but there is a trail that usually ties us to the crime.

The idea is not to cover up your trail so you won’t get caught but not to have a trail to cover up. God’s forensic skills are way better than Miami CSI. There is nothing done in the dark that will not come to light.

Don’t leave a trail:

1. Never say anything you don’t want repeated. One person always has to tell another person. What you whisper in the room will be shouted from the rooftops. Cell phones are megaphones for the enemy. Big brother is listening.

2. When you give don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. God is the only one who needs to see your generosity.

3. Always keep a clear conscious it’s your only alibi. A good name and reputation are worth more than gold.

4. Before you do anything ask yourself, “would I be embarrassed if this was on the front page of the newspaper?” If you see your mama passing out reading the article you should step away and make some other plans.

5. If you sin, confess your sins because God is faithful to forgive you of your sins.

Dear God, thank you for helping clean up my mess. Today, help me to walk with integrity so that I will not leave a trail of sin to discredit my name or bring shame to yours. Give me a clean heart so I can serve you. Thank you for keeping me even when I didn’t deserve to be kept. I love you Lord!

In Jesus name,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Age Ain't Nothing But A Number

I Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

God is raising up a younger generation who have a heart for him. This millennial generation is in search for meaning in all that they do but the older generation doesn’t want to relinquish their power with the excuse being, “they are too young.” When God has gifted you to lead through all of the experiences you’ve been through there is a no such thing as being too young. Sure you will have to mature for your position but you can’t let anyone look down on you because of your age because age ain’t nothing but a number! There are a lot of older people who stopped growing and a lot of younger people who are wise beyond their years. When you are young and gifted you must press forward into what God has called you into by setting an example…

1. In speech. When you open your mouth let everyone know how wise and mature you are. Sometimes, it’s better to be silent and be thought of as wise than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. When you are given the “mic” please have something to say because of the time you have spent studying prior to taking the stage of life.

2. In life. Your lifestyle is your résumé. People are always watching to observe the consistency of who you say you are. Your name is all you have so live in a way that protects your good name.

3. In love. Jesus said, “Anybody can love those who love them back” but it takes a spiritually mature person to love their enemies. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.

4. In faith. Always be ready to give an account of what you believe in. When times are hard don’t lose your faith use your faith. People would rather see a sermon lived out than hear a sermon preached.

5. In purity. Stay Gold! Protect your innocence. Bad company corrupts good character. Always check your motives and ask yourself why am I doing this? Is this for my own vain glory or is this to give God the Glory? Only what you do for Christ will last.

Dear God, empower this new generation of leaders to build where we have failed to finish building. Equip them to set an example for us as to how the Kingdom of Heaven should look on earth as it is in Heaven. Don’t let me be intimidated today by my youthfulness or lack of experience but help me to be inspired to lead as you have gifted me to lead. Give me wisdom to lead as you would have me. Age ain’t nothing but a number and greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Who Do You Work For?

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

Every day we go to work we have to find motivation for our work unless we are a part of the elite group of people you find meaning in work and meaning at work because they are working in their purpose. But there is a great majority not working in a place of purpose yet and they must still show up to work every day. Instead of faking it 'til you make it change your paradigm as to who you are working for. Look at your job as a mission field where God’s eye is always on you to see if you can help him expand his Kingdom through righteous living. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.

All my life I’ve had a drive and I never half step. If I’m going to do a job I do it with everything I got. Leave it all on the floor. Whatever God blesses you with work at it with all your heart.

Work at as if you are working for God not for men. If you work for men your work will be inconsistent because at some point men will let your down, anger you, or disappoint you but when you work for God your labor is not in vain. God’s benefits outweigh man’s any day. Jesus says, “come unto me all of you who labor and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For my yoke is easy and my burdens are light.”

Dear God, today I’m working for you because your retirement plan of eternal life is second to none. Your compensation of daily bread is fulfilling. The way you promote me in the presence of my enemies is gratifying. Thank you for letting me serve you and work in your vineyard. I wouldn’t serve any other! You are an awesome God and worthy to be praised. Thank you for my position and for my purpose.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Favor in a Famine

I Kings 17:14
For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: the jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day of the Lord gives rain on the land.

We’ve been in recession for about 2 ½ years. It seems this global recession is drudging on like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Every time I see the real-time footage of that oil spill gushing out, it feels like a painful reminder of how our money has been leaking away for the last 2 ½ years.

It’s been about that long for the prophet Elijah since it rained in Israel because of King Ahab’s disobedience in worshipping idol gods. Elijah pronounced a drought for three years. God sends Elijah to a brook for his provision. God made ravenous birds provide Elijah with meat. During this famine God sent unlikely sources to bless us. People whose very nature it was not to give had to bless us because of God’s favor, but then the brook dried up!

Now we are at the widow’s house begging for bread. She’s just as broke as we are but God sent us here. Elijah asks her for water and for bread. The woman is about to make her last meal and resign to death, her and her son.

Elijah challenges her to make the man of God something first and then her and her son can eat. This is hard because physically the evidence suggests she only has resources for one more meal but Elijah speaks spiritually that if she prioritizes her giving that she will go on living because the flour and the oil will not run out until the Lord sends rain on the land to end the drought.

When we are down to our last do we trust God to give to him first? If we are down to our last God ought to get his first because he’s the only guarantee we have left. God is so serious about providing for his people he says in Malachi 3:10 “prove me, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing you will not have room to receive.” God can’t lie. Prove him!

When the woman baked bread for the prophet, she went back in and made some for her and her son. She kept doing this until God sent rain to end the famine. Her favor continued through the famine because of her:

1. Faith. She believed what the man of God spoke to her even though in the natural she didn’t see it. We walked by faith and not by sight.

2. Hospitality even though she was strapped she still helped somebody out in a time of need.

3. Giving. She gave to God first by obeying the man of God in her giving him bread and water. God should be the first one to get our limited resources so that he can give us unlimited provision. That’s why Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Give us this day, our daily bread.”

Dear God, give me the faith of this, widow woman who believed the man of God even when there was no proof she was going to eat again. We speak life over this recession and proclaim an end to this famine. We end it by giving out of faith not hoarding out of fear because we need our favor to last through this famine. Thank you Lord for our daily bread.

In Jesus Name,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Time for a Reformation

2 Chronicles 15:2
Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

There hasn’t been peace in the land in over a decade. Since 9/11 it seems all hell has been breaking loose with enemies abroad and at home but the sad thing is that we have been our own worst enemy. We have exchanged our love for God with our love for money and dependency on oil. If I had to summarize it I would say our idol god is capitalism; making a profit for the elite while starving the masses with the false hope of getting what only a small percentage of rich have access to. From the TV evangelist to the Washington politicians we’ve all been dancing around the golden bull on Wall Street.

God is searching the earth trying to find a remnant of people who still love him wholeheartedly to make reform to redistribute the wealth of the wicked to the righteous. The prophet Azariah finds King Asa and his heart is ready for Reform. The prophet tells him, “When you are with God then God is with you.” Ain’t that good news? When we are with God then God is with us! The only shift needed is that we serve God with a whole heart and not with divided interests. If God be with us who can be against us? I believe it’s time for Reformation. Here’s how:

1. Tearing down idols. Anything that has been put up to make profits at the detriment of the poor needs to be brought down. Oil rigs in our waters, predatory lenders in poor neighborhoods, and churches that don’t serve the community. An idol is a tumor that takes but doesn’t give. An idol is something that takes God’s glory and doesn’t allow him to bless the people because it’s soaking up his worth. On a smaller level there are little idols in our homes that block God from getting our undivided attention. Anything that is detestable to God needs to come out of your house immediately.

2. Repair the altar where everybody can worship not just the elite. If the church is a hospital why won’t we let sick people come in to get well? Our churches should be ministering and serving the least of these not just the ones who can pay tithes. The strong (tithers) should be able to bear the infirmities of the weak (those who don’t have anything to give). Also we need to repair the altars in our homes. Each home should have an altar (prayer room) where the family comes together on a regular basis to pray.

3. Seek God eagerly so he can give you rest from your enemies on every side.
2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Dear God, we are ready for Reform. Anything that is detestable to you we are ready to remove it from our homes and our lives. We must reform our lifestyles to come into alignment with your Holy Word. Expose our counterfeit gods of capitalism, sexual perversion, greed, power tripping, corrupt religion and witchcraft. Anything that blocks us from seeking you with our whole hearts we are ready to remove out of our lives. It’s time for Reformation.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, June 14, 2010

What Are You Thinking About?

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true; whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

You’ve seen people with this glazed over look staring off into space. They become quiet and you know they are preoccupied with their own thoughts but what exactly are they thinking about?

Whatever we think about the most is what becomes anchored in our psyche. I believe it was Descartes that said, “I think therefore I am.” Whatever we think about the most comes to life in our actions. It’s important to be disciplined in your thought life. The Apostle Paul helps us by giving us a list of what we should be thinking about:

1. Whatever is true. Jesus is the truth. When you know the truth the truth will set you free. The devil is the father of lies. Don’t even think about the lies he’s spoken to you. Don’t waste time on lies.

2. Whatever is noble. Noble means superiority of mind or character. Think about or come to know that which builds your mind and character.

3. Whatever is right. Think about what is most ethical. There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

4. Whatever is pure. Always check your motives. That’s why Jesus told the disciples to observe the children and he said, “Unless you become like one of these you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

5. Whatever is lovely. Beauty that appeals to the emotions is something that God gave us to enjoy. There are so many beautiful things God has created for us to take in. Instead of racing through your day, stop and enjoy the scenery. Smell the roses.

6. Whatever is admirable. Whatever deserves the highest esteem think about those things instead of focusing on your flaws focus on your qualities and seek to enhance them.

7. Anything excellent or praiseworthy. Find something good in the news today and send it to seven people. Bad news travels around the world twice before Good news gets off the porch. Think about good news.

Dear God, watch my mind today. Let my focus be on good things not the negative. Build me up through my thoughts as I meditate on everything that is excellent and praiseworthy. Thank you for clothing me in my right mind.

In Jesus Name.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stand Your Ground

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand.

Everyday we enter into battle with spiritual warfare. We can’t afford to jump out of the bed and go to work naked. Have you ever had that dream where you are out in public with nothing on but your underwear? Psychologists would say that is your anxiety over not being prepared. What we as believers need to do is make sure we are prepared to stand our ground against spiritual wickedness by putting on the full armor of God so we won’t be naked. Paul says that our fight is not against people but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms and after we have put on the full armor of God we have to stand our ground. You don’t stand your ground by being argumentative or revengeful. That would be casting your pearls amongst swine. Neither do you argue with religious people but you let the light shine off your armor and your shield deflect the hits.

This is what your need to put on today: Ephesians 6:14-17

1. The Belt of Truth. Don’t walk around looking like a fool with your pants on the ground. You know what happens when you don’t have your belt on? You show your butt. The truth will keep you covered and keep you from making a fool of yourself.

2. The breastplate of Right living. Your breastplate covers all your vital organs. When you live right it protects what’s vital. Your heart is safe because you are living right.

3. Your feet fitted with the preparation of the gospel. Just do it! It’s important to do the word and not just read the word.

4. The Shield of faith. The enemy is going to try to shoot you with flaming arrows but your faith will diffuse and catch whatever he throws at you. What your enemy throws at you will not penetrate so long as you have your shield of faith.

5. The helmet of salvation. When you know you are saved, then you know that ultimately you are covered. You don’t walk around anxious because your head is protected eternally. What can man do to you when God has you covered?

6. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

7. Pray with all kinds of prayers without ceasing. Prayer is the key and faith unlocks the door.

Dear God, help me to stand for righteousness. Keep us covered today and help me to be victorious. No weapon formed against me will prosper. I will be productive today because I know you got me covered. If you are with me can’t nobody be against me! I feel it today. Let’s go get ‘em God!

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sharpen Your Ax

Ecclesiastes 10:10
If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened more strength is needed but skill will bring success

We waste a lot of effort by chopping wood with dull axes. Maybe you haven’t chopped any wood lately but you’ve probably used a knife that wasn’t very sharp and it took more effort to cut because it was dull.

It makes more sense to keep your tools sharp so that when you use them you can work more efficiently. The ax in this proverb is symbolic of us. We have to make sure we stay razor sharp so that when we are called upon we can be effective.

We’ve all heard somebody ask us while we were working, “you working hard?” There are usually two responses:

a. No I’m hardly working b. I’m working smart not hard
When you don’t spend time sharpening your skills no matter how hard you work you are hardly working. But when you continue to improve you skills you are working smart not hard.

How do I sharpen my ax?

1. Continued education. Whether you are at your house or Morehouse study to show yourself approved. You may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but don’t be the dullest either.

2. Read a book a week. There’s too much knowledge available for us to remain dull. Read something whether it be on the Internet, magazine, or newspaper. Reading is fundamental.

3. Staying current with world news. You want to make yourself aware of current events so you can be sharp in your dialogue with others.

4. Exercising 3 times a week. Get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Exercise keeps your body healthy and your mind sharp.

5. Praying/Devotion every morning. When you are spiritually alert it keeps you sharp and ready to defeat the enemy. The word of God is sharper than a two-edge sword. Stay sharp.

6. Practice your craft. The greatest NBA players have a regimen that is beyond what is expected. It’s been said that ‘practice makes perfect but instead perfect practice makes perfect.

7. Hanging with sharp people. As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. Make sure you hang with people whose gifts are as strong or stronger than yours to keep you sharp.

Dear God
Help me to stay sharp. Surround me with people who challenge me to do my best. Everyday give me the discipline to prepare my body to be an effective tool for ministry to be the sharpest knife in the drawer by preparing my mind, body, and spirit. Keep me sharp so I can be effective for you.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Who's Messing with your Genius Mix?

Ecclesiasts 7:5
It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.

1. a person with little or no judgment, common sense, wisdom, etc, silly or stupid person; simpleton

2. a man formerly kept in the household of a king to ENTERTAIN by joking and clowning; professional jester

I really like the genius mix on I-Tunes. It takes all of the songs you have in your music library and mixes the songs of the same genre. When I’m working out I love it when there is a consistent flow of good songs that inspire but as genius as these mixes are there are times when a song makes it into the rotation that doesn’t fit. Especially on the days when I’m trying to be inspired and a foolish song comes on. A foolish song is one with no substance, no moral structure, it is totally antithetical to where I’m trying to progress. Yes I have more music other than gospel. On my “Genius” mixes there is Hip Hop, Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Crossover Pop, Classic R&B, Quiet Storm, Dance Club Remix, Christian Urban Mix, Contemporary R&B Urban Crossover.

The older I get the more I’m conscious of what’s going on in my genius mix. It’s hard to be a genius when you are listening to the song of fools. Ironically, the person who was in charge of entertaining the King was known as the fool. He was hired because of his lack of substance, and how he could demean himself for the entertainment for the elite. The problem with some rappers, some singers is that their songs are the songs of fools because they entertain the elite at the detriment of your genius. They numb your sensibilities and insult your intelligence.

It’s better to listen to a wise man’s rebuke than to song of fools. We would rather continue on a steady diet of Hip Hop, Club, and R&B rather than a mix of Gospel, Scripture, and wise counsel. We love to be entertained by fools because they lack common sense.

Jay Z in his song “Moment of Clarity” says,

I wanna rhyme like Common Sense
(But I made Five Mill)
I ain’t been rhyming like Common since
When your sense got that much in Common and you been hustling Since
Your inception
Forget Perception
Go with what makes Cents
Since I know what I’m up against , we as rapper must decide what’s most important, and I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them

For a brief moment we get a moment of clarity from Sean Carter, aka Jay Z, as he wrestles with his gift. Does he rap about that which is positive and uplifting like Common does or does he continue with his tales of hustle and material pursuits at the detriment of his people? He concludes that making more money is more important than the substance of his lyrics but the caveat is that he helps the poor with the money he makes. To his credit he has helped the poor in Africa by building wells for clean drinking water but what goes further the wells in Africa or what he offers to drink from the stage of Life when he proclaims, “Jesus can’t save you and life begins when the church ends?”

In the movie Malcom X, Elijah Muhammad tells a young Malcolm that when he has the ear of the people he has a choice. He puts a glass of water on the desk that is pure. He says if you give this to the people to drink they will drink. Then he pours ink into the water to dilute it and says, “if you give them this they will drink from it because you have their ear.” Which one will you choose?

Dear God, I pray that I choose wisely who’s on my playlists. Give me wisdom over entertainment. I need enlightenment over entertainment. I choose wisdom over riches because a fool and his money will soon depart. In my genius mix I choose the gospel of Jesus, the mind of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God. Let the living Waters flow!

In Jesus Name,


Monday, June 7, 2010

In Too Deep

Psalms 18:16
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

Comedian John Gray said, “I will not go swimming in water where my feet can’t touch the bottom.” For those of us who might not be excellent swimmers, at some point in our lives we may remember a time when we felt our feet drift to the deeper end of the pool and found ourselves sinking in the deep end. This panic filled us as we fought our way back unsuccessfully until someone helped us back to our comfort zone.

In some area in our lives, we’ve all drifted in too deep. We had no intentions of drifting in too deep but the currents pulled us gradually or we went after others who lured us into a place we were not equipped to swim. You look around you with a quiet panic wishing you hadn't drifted this far and try your best to get back.

When my wife and I were in Hilton Head, SC, we noticed Lifeguards positioned all along the beach with eyes like Hawks watching the ocean front for people in distress. I can imagine this is what the beaches of the Kingdom really look like with poised angels who guard our lives on a daily basis as we find ourselves in too deep.

David was in too deep when Saul and his other enemies were pursuing him. David said, “in my distress, I called out to God and he reached down into the deep waters and took hold of me.” I’m glad we are never too deep that God can’t reach us. When you find yourself in too deep make sure:

1. You don’t panic. Many people drown not because they can’t be saved but because they panic. Some people will drown the people trying to rescue them by pulling them down in their attempt to save them. Participate in your salvation don’t fight against it.

2. Cry out to God. When you are in over your head cry out to God. When you’ve done all you know to do make your needs known to God and he will answer you in your distress.

3. Swim across the current. When under currents try to pull you down you don’t fight with the current, you swim across it. You have to be counter cultural by swimming across what is pulling you. People will not understand why you are coming out when you come out but it’s because you feel yourself getting in too deep.

4. Reach out to God. When God throws you a lifeline take it. God will always provide a way of escape but you can’t let your pride keep you in too deep. Don’t drown trying to impress your friends. If you can’t afford to stay in too deep take your exit now.

Dear God, thank you for hearing my despairing cry. When noting else could help your love lifted me. Every now and then I find myself far from the peaceful shores and sinking to rise no more but you, the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, now safe am I because your love lifted me. Thank you for being my Life Guard and giving me a chance to rise above my circumstances and overcoming my enemies and for placing my feet on solid ground.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Take the Bitter with the Sweet

Proverbs 27:7
He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

When I was a child, seldom did I remember being bored. Every few minutes my children come to me and bemoan how bored they are. They have television, basketball goal, toys, and video games. How can these kids be bored?! Too much honey!

We live in a dying era of overconsumption. We consumed so much that we couldn’t appreciate how sweet life really is. Growing up poor allowed me to really taste the sweetness in my bitterness. We would ride our bikes through the country roads smelling the flowers, eating wild blackberries, and tasting honeysuckles. How sweet those days were!

We’ve got to get to a place where we can appreciate the sweetness of life. The way we do that is by not being so full. When you are full you get sick of more honey and can’t appreciate the sweetness in life but when you are hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet. When I travel to Africa the people are so sweet, they have a 1/3 of what we have but there Joy is off the charts. They have learned to appreciate the little things that God grants them and find sweetness in what we would call bitter.

This recession has forced all of us to appreciate what we have even the bitter. We appreciate having groceries even though we can’t afford to go out to eat. We appreciate having a ride to work even though our car is down. We appreciate having our family together even though we don’t have our own home. We’ve learned how to take the bitter with the sweet.

We were talking about the acquired tastes of turnip greens the other day at lunch. Mayor Deberry was explaining to Derwin Sisnett from New York why Southerners like Turnip Greens. Derwin said they were too bitter. Mayor Deberry said, “yes they are bitter but when you cook them you have to add some sugar.” Black folks ate greens because we had to nobody else wanted them because they were bitter but because we were hungry we just added some sugar. When you are hungry enough even bitter moments become sweet. When we struggle we don’t become bitter we become better. When you are hungry you can make bitter moments into something sweet. Most of the successful people I know became successful and found their sweet spot because they were hungry.

Today learn how to take the bitter with the sweet:

1. Instead of complaining about something being bitter add some sugar to it. Sweeten up your environment with your attitude today. You get more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar.

2. Appreciate what is free; there is honey to taste when you are freed up to appreciate the simple things.

3. Maybe you need to fast so you can appreciate the taste of what you already have.

4. Don’t over consume, give some away so life can be sweeter, not bitter.

Dear God, how sweet it is to be loved by you! I’ve got so much to thank you for, so many blessings and so many open doors. I’m not getting bitter I’m getting better. Oh taste and see that the Lord is Good. God you get sweeter and sweeter as the days go by. I love you Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If My Homie Falls It Ain't Worth It!

Romans 14:21

It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

We live in a very liberal time. Our social mores have loosened to the point where we are not sure of what is right or wrong. There is a lot of talk of “boundary” issues because people keep moving the old boundary markers and people are stepping all over what used to be sacred or taboo. Some of our bold new moves are the result of laws that have been changed for our good and some to our detriment. In a greater spiritual sense there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and symbolically we are like Peter when God spoke to him on the rooftop about not calling anything unclean that he now made clean. Jesus gave Peter a green card to go eat with Gentiles to share the gospel. As a result of this freedom from the law as it pertained to food, there was great anxiety in the early church over what was clean or unclean. There was confusion over clean or unclean meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Mature believers who did not worship the gods, who the meat was sacrificed to, ate it and had no problems with their conscious but the weaker, more traditional believers still had hang-ups about the meat that had been offered to false gods.

Paul said neither of the two were wrong in their theological understanding in trying to live their lives out before God but the stronger in the faith have more responsibility to make sure the weaker-more traditional is not offended by his/her freedom. Whether it's eating meat, drinking wine, dancing, smoking cigars, listening to secular music, whatever it is if it offends those weaker in the faith then we ought not do it. In other words, you and God can have an understanding that what you do does not breach a Holy contract with you and him. It's not a deal breaker, but here’s the caveat. If it offends your homie/neighbor/friend/spouse then you have to give it up even though you believe it's all good. Paul says do not let your good be spoken of as evil. There are some things you have to give up for the greater good of others and the Kingdom.

The other reason you have to give up some “border line” offenses is just that, they are “border line.” When you waiver between your own viewpoints of it being good or not good then it’s probably offensive. If there is “cognitive dissonance” your conscious is torn, then that’s a good sign that this particular act shouldn’t be done until God gives you a ‘rooftop’ revelation that it’s okay. Look at verse 23 but the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats because his eating is not from faith, and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
If what you do causes someone to fall don’t do it.

Dear God, help me to be conscious of others and not just please my own tastes. Help me to be sensitive to my playlists while other people are listening. When no one is listening but you and me, help me not to offend you. In all that I say and all that I do, may it be acceptable to you and my Homies.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Don't Think About It

Romans 13:14
Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Parents seem to have this built in radar for their children. They can see your intentions way before you even know they are on to you. As a parent, you can see a toddler on their way to an expensive vase confusing it with a toy and you grab the vase in one hand and hold back the child with the other while saying, “don’t even think about it!” That child had no idea how much that vase cost or how much damage they would have done if they had broken it. It takes a caring parent to let them know that this is something you need to take off of your curious menu selection.

Our Heavenly Father knows us pretty well too. Our hearts are perverse and we constantly need to be re-directed from our pursuit of pleasure. Jesus said, “it’s not what goes into a man that defiles him but what comes out of him that kills him.” I’m preaching this Sunday about Iron Man Revealed. Tony Starks has a heart that he had invented to keep him alive. The heart is making his body toxic. He told his friend that the same thing that is keeping me alive is also killing me. When our hearts are set on the wrong things it can be deadly.

There was a season of immaturity where we gave in to our depravity to gratify our fleshly desires, debauchery, orgies, and sexual immorality but now is the time for us to wake up. It’s morning time! Everything that looked good and felt good is not good for us. It looks like a toy but it's really an expensive lesson that could cost us our lives.

Don’t even think about it!

1. Clothe yourself with Christ. To clothe ourselves requires that we first acknowledge our nakedness. Revelation 3:17 (New International Version)
17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. What we have used for covering is actually exposing our vulnerabilities. We must clothe ourselves with Christ by putting on the full armor of God.

2. Don’t think about it! This is the season to stop being pre-occupied with what is killing your anointing. Your focus needs to be on what is building up your spirit man and not what is toxifying your flesh. Colossians 3:2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

3. Be about your father’s business. We must work the works of him who sent us for the day is almost over, behold the night of God’s judgment is coming and when night comes no man will be able to play catch up. Romans 13:11 (New International Version)

11And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Dear God, thank you for waking me up to realize that I almost touched something very expensive that would have cost me a lot. You kept me from danger seen and unseen. It’s time for me to wake up and be about my father’s business. Today my focus is on you and your purpose for my life. I’ve wasted enough time on pleasure; the rest of my life is on purpose.

In Jesus Name,


Just Drop It!

Proverbs 17:14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

I can feel it, coming in the air tonight
Oh lord
I’ve been waiting for this moment, for all my life
Oh Lord

You can feel when an argument is getting ready to happen. It’s like a storm cloud rising in your chest. There is a little voice in your head saying, ‘run for shelter’ but your need to be right makes you keep running into the storm. The best way to end an argument is to recognize the warning signs before it even gets to that point and drop it.

The writer of Proverbs says that arguing is like breaching a dam. Breaching is a breaking up or disruption of friendly relations. It’s like taking a sledgehammer and knocking a hole in the wall of a dam. Nobody wins in an argument, everybody gets flooded.

He who loves quarreling loves sin. Proverbs 17:19 Arguing is becoming defensive. When you put up a fence or a wall you invite destruction. The higher the wall the more people want to attack it. “But if I don’t become defensive, then they will win.” When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord he makes even his enemies at peace with him. It’s more important to be in right relationship with God and others than it is to win an argument. Just drop it!

In the movie Fearless, Jet Li’s character watches his father as a little boy preparing for a fight. His father is getting ready to go settle a dispute with a rival the old fashioned way. They are using martial arts to settle it once and for all. The father tells the son to stay at home because he doesn’t want him to see this violence. The boy sneaks away and right as the father is getting ready to issue the deathblow he catches the eye of his son and stops inches of the man only to be defeated by the man. Saving his son’s innocence was more important than winning.

Even though you could issue a death blow with your words because you have the knowledge or information which could render your opponent speechless and humiliated, what’s the use when all you do is ill a friendship?! Drop it!

Proverbs 17:27 a man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even tempered.

1. You’re not weak for dropping it.
2. There is wisdom in restraint.
3. Overcome evil with good; do not be overcome with evil.

Dear God control my temper and help me to be a repairer of the breach. Today, I give up my right to be right, so that there may be peace. It’s not about me but about peace and reconciliation. I’m dropping it.

In Jesus Name,