You Got the Nerve to Love

Nerved hand

When pleasure is no longer derived from external factors, you are more prone to find joy. You’ll find that your closest friends were in your heart all along and love you unconditionally. No matter how bitter you may find life, you’ll remember that you’re the star of your own movie. Direct it well; guard it through faith with your life. Shine the appropriate spotlights. Surprise! You’re now in the presence of God. Do you see God smiling at you?

The following passage comes from a verse my Dad would have me memorize as a child. It would help me whenever I felt betrayed or hurt by others:

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. 45 So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matt 5:44 ESV

Things to Discuss among yourselves:

  • How do you classify your enemies?
  • How practical is it to love those who intentionally do you harm?
  • NOTE: The King James Version has two additional clauses in verse 44: ‘bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you’.
  • What do you make of the phrase, “Kill them with kindness?” In what way is this benevolent? How can it be sinister?
  • How will you conduct yourself when faced with adversity?
  • Are you your worst enemy? How will you confront yourself?

Sikhing in Redemption

Looking Sink

Exploring Religious Text

FOREWARD: I do not speak Punjab and I have little exposure to Hindi. Learning Hindi was practical for me due to the nature of work I had to do in the past. The goal is to find Christ’s Immanence in all text; something that is easier to do within Abrahamic Religions than outside. The path of seeing Christ in all calls out to me as a deep longing I hold. I made this post public to invite those who are intrigued by such notions to join me in this Journey of Discovering Christ.

The following is an excerpt of the first Vaars of Bhai Gurdas ji. Vaars in this context is referring to literature within Sikhism and shouldn’t be conflated with the seven days of week in Hinduism.

Greetings to the Guru, Satnamu, the mantra recited.  (2-4-7)
The substance of salvation is absorbed out of the abyss.  (2-4-7)
ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਭੌ ਕਟਿਆ ਸੰਸਾ ਰੋਗ ਵਿਜੋਗ ਮਿਟਾਯਾ॥ (1-7)
Sansa, this is the world, suffering in birth and death.  (2-4-7)
At the feet of the Guru, the Sat Shabad is liberated.  (2-4-7)
Bhai Bhagat Gurpurab Kar Naam Daan Ishnan Dridhaya.  (2-4-7)
The seed has borne fruit.  (2-4-7)
At first, I was breathless, but I could not hear anything.  (2-4-7)
ਰਕਤ ਬਿੰਦ ਕੀ ਦੇਹ ਰਚ ਪਾਂਚ ਤਤ ਕੀ ਜੜਤ ਜੜਾਈ॥ (2-4-7)
The wind and the water merge with the fourth earth without hesitation.  (2-4-7)
In the Punch, the Creator of the sky is absorbed in the sixth invisible.  (1-7)
The five elements, twenty-five times the enemy, the friend, the body together.  (2-4-7)

NOTE: The numbers after the text looks like they belong to a musical system. There seems to be a common theme of salvation in Eastern Religions. If salvation is in Jesus alone, there needs to be more objective proof in words and deeds. The phrase, ‘In the Punch,’ I believe is more likely to refer to a place in India rather than some juice or action.  

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

When reconciling foreign cultures, it’s good practice to NOT conflate names and take note of titles. How can we find Jesus in the passage?

What similarities are there with the Vaars and the Bible? What are the differences?

What are the five elements being referred here in the poem? In what ways is such knowledge useful and irrelevant?

Ask, and it will be given you; SIKH, and you shall find, knock, and the door shall be opened to you. Matt 7:7 ESV Eisegesis added

READ BLOG ‘THE L.A.M.B IN ISLAM’ >>>

The L.A.M.B in Islam

Black Sheep with Lambs

The Opening

1In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

2All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (worlds)

3The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

4Sovereign of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)

5You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)

6Guide us to the Straight Way

7The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned

Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.

— Surah Al Fatiha, Qur’ an

Questions to Consider

  1. What does Allah mean? Should Christians be offended by the name Allah?
  2.  Can Jesus be found in this Islamic Revelation? If so where?
  3. How can Christians work to be reconciled to Muslim believers?
  4. Are there any Biblical Prophecies that speak to peace between Christians and Muslims? If so, where can they be found?

The D in KnowleDge

DareDevil Logo

Don’t be two # because people won’t appreciate it and will challenge you. You know I’ll be the first to admit I’m not too fond of the saying ‘Starting over from scratch’, because ‘The Devil is in the Details’. That was before I was acquainted with the whole truth and the nature of unity. The sorrows that knowledge brings is like an onion; a hard peel to swallow. You can relate to that feeling I’m sure of. 

If I speak openly, it’s in Defense of the Gospel and to offend the rulers who oppress others with lies. If I’m quiet, it’s in ambition to lead a quiet life and to let my faith spread everywhere so that I along with the saints and the Heavenly hosts need not say another word.

So to give another Devotional, we will answer a baseless claim as we rightfully Divide the word of Truth.

No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved. – Proverbs 12:3

ESV

If I could get a dollar for how many people have become rich by scamming others, I’d be a millionaire. Of course, this isn’t what this Proverb is really hinting at for these words are spiritual.

Two things we’ll do with the first clause so we can get the bigger picture.

1.) We’ll emphasize a word 

2.) We’ll add a word for clarity [ Known as Eisegesis ]

Dark Sayings of the Wise

No one IS established made permanent by wickedness, but and the ROOT of the righteous will never be moved.

Because on the way to the cross, Jesus took upon our infirmities, our weakness; our sins. And although the Beauty of the Divine was upon Him, he masked himself so that there was nothing to desire. There was much ugliness in his afflictions all the way to Death. 

He was beaten and bruised so that he would be the cream of the crop. Isn’t it strange that God would command his own beating? Talk about a hellthy dose of self-hatred.

Whip it. Whip it. WICKED GOOD. 

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Is 5:20

13When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Col 2:13-14

Or in other words, while you are in the middle of doing dirty deeds (although we shouldn’t be sinning willfully) Christ’s resurrecting life is at work in you in accordance to your faith in Him.

No De nada

What amazing truth to know that God sent His Son to die for us! How obscure is it to know that this was predestined and not fulfilled until the appropriate time. For orthodoxy believes that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. Yet he was not born until the days of Herod, in a manger and through the Spirit. Talk about abortion and pro-choice!!! Do we really believe that we should allow EVERY desire conceived to give birth? 

Article written by Jesuit Priest James Martin, S. J.

Sorry, but not sorry. I had to put it that way. Monists typically get the most flack when we put glasses on folks. People tend to see double and we like to avoid DVision. We gonna bond in this Aston Martin or no?

For those who are struggling with this notion of abortion as if Jesus said nothing about it we’ll take a D-tour so that it is abundantly clear that Jesus did speak of these things being Lord over PRO-LIFE AND PRO-CHOICE. 

It’s been said that those who believe in abortion are fake Disciples, but truly truly I say to you whatever a man leaves for my sake shall receive a hundredfold in the age to come.

The Dark Sayings of Jesus

I know the passage doesn’t fit the bill.

Pains me to give you an F in aching

The Doula IS-REAL

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealeD, or hidDen that will not be known. Luke 12:2

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine

Happy New Years ya’ll. Have you been able to crack a smile during the madness? For those who have been praying for me and my family, thank you. We’re finding more ways to be thankful and to walk in the joy of Christ. And to the parents behind making that Batman game, I apologize for the mess. Know that we received word to exit from Deus Ex.

 I can tell you as one who is relearning what it means to love again there are things that I must cut out in 2021. – The Prototype

N Unsafe Base

Any healthy relationship will have a give and take, an ebb and flow, ups and downs. Mutual humility and submission will happen within reason. It’s one thing to compromise for the sake of peace.  It’s another when you are compromised without consent. Do you know how difficult it’s been for me perceiving what’s been going on with my brothers and sisters? ‘Bee”ing able to empathize and make a deep connection with others is the mark of a true sensei.

Maybe it was reaffirming that God will eventually bring everything to the light. Maybe it was when I started posting letters I wrote to myself as a form of instruction. Perhaps it was when I openly discussed Black Ownership over social media. Whatever the case was, it drew so much unwarranted attention to me offline. I say offline because people typically didn’t react tangibly to my posts. When I first discovered that my emails were compromised, I suspected it as merely a spiritual thing. Of course, there are few of us that enjoy true Fellowship of the Spirit. I do not mind you peering into my heart as we share a bond that lasts forever. I love every one of you including you noble one, although you get on my nerves sometimes.

But once I found out my emails were being sent to government authorities, even to people I know within my circle – without my consent- that meant war.

So, if we will apply the golden rule to our lives (no not the capitalist rule) we would do well to treat others the way we want to be treated. No backbiting, spreading slander, or sabotaging. Do we have an understanding?

NR Peace

If I never experienced the oneness that Christianity speaks of in the Bible, I couldn’t be a Christian. And for those who would say that I should just blindly trust in God I’m going to humbly say that you lack prudence as many people have been compromised, taken advantage of, and lied to on the basis of ‘blind faith’.

 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Jn 17:23 ESV

A basic overview of the study of knowledge is that a belief is formed by perception and is tested and validated as it is referenced by others. While arbiters are used to distinguish facts from half-truths, even objectivity must be called into question when exploring possibilities. The truth is we are now in a world where we are heavily surveilled; there are few secrets, little to no privacy, and constant bombardment of stimuli to manipulate people. If you didn’t figure this out already Christian, we have been in Babylon for a long time.

Three Ways to Find Inner Peace

When the world becomes chaotic around you, it can be easy to become anxious, irritated, or depressed. Here are three ways to regain serenity.

Meditation
  1. Practice Meditation: Get to your safe place where it is quiet. Quiet yourself, breathe, pray.
  2. Be Content: Whether you’ve accomplished much or not at all, whether you’ve gained or lost things, be content with what you have. Be grateful and be detached from the world for many things in this life is temporary.
  3. Make works of art: Whether that is in music, dance, poetry, or illustration, art can bring you to a place of tranquility.

For us as Christians, we’re taught to find perfect peace in Jesus. He’s the ultimate source of all protection; our refuge, and when no one else regards us, he will.

This is important as we’re still wandering through the desert areas. And as we’re looking for the wedding of the spiritual church with it’s heavenly body we must prepare ourselves and put away everything that is not of His nature. This includes all heresies, false accusations, ungodliness etc. The united church can have denominations by name, but not in essence. The time will come when the Catholics and Protestants will be reconciled to Christ and no longer condemn the other for tenets that are partially true.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head. Eph 4:15

Electric Eels

Researchers say that 2021 will have a pandemic of mental illness. I would have to agree with all the trauma of the past 4 years – including the breach of Capitol Hill – will leave a dramatic effect on the psyche for years to come. We shouldn’t dismiss the fact that there are twisted minds out there that takes pleasure in seeing others suffer. And as the pandemic ensues and our Economy is shaken; as our Democracy is on the brink of failure, I exhort you by the grace of God to stay sober and keep your head above water. It’s too easy to drown in the cares of this world with all of its troubles and sorrows.

So, for those who have found themselves at their breaking point; who are lost and feel like there’s no point in return; for those who are at their last breath, at wits end; those who are cornered to the wall, if you feel like you have lost all hope please know that I have extended my heart towards you. I know it means little sense I am expressing my feelings through words, but I hope that you could accept them if they can bring healing. O Darling, can’t you see that there is a greater heart behind mine? God loves you with a Divine love; a love so powerful he would rearrange the heavens for you just so you know that he cares. A love so thoughtful that he would guide you and take care of your every need. Our hearts may fail and may be faint in feeling for now. However, I believe that as we heal, we will birth a greater power in pure love like never before.

D in EngravD

Certainly we are in dark times as death looms among us. Mercy seems to be lost as the death sentence looms in our country. Many are dying due to lack of sensitivity and care, not necessarily through political judgement. Nevertheless we’ve experienced relief in the defeat of our current administration – especially – in the recent ban of Donald Trump from social media. Now the banning of Donald Trump gives off feelings of bad precedents and with good reasons. May my insights in Hermeneutics and Deontology serve as assurance that banning Donald Trump was indeed the right decision.

Why Donald Trump and Trumpism ought to be banned

I’m no political expert so those pundits that are certified check the accuracy of my claims. The breach on Capitol Hill and the banning of Donald Trump are two big blows to our Democracy. It proved that laws in and of themselves cannot guarantee order any more than elected officials can guarantee justice. This doesn’t mean that we have the license to do as we please or give in to lawlessness, rather it gives us the incentive to be determined to make our world better and beautiful for everyone involved.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 1st Amendment U.S Constitution

People who tend to side on the opinion that speech should never be censored tend to look at this amendment apart from the whole Constitution.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Preamble U.S Constitution [Emphasis added]

My take on this if we will consolidate both passages is that freedom of speech and the press is designed bring about unity, justice, and peace. When we have perpetrators of those who undermine authority and the press (although fake news does exist), who illegitimizes government and the people it should serve, who favors the privileged while oppressing the unfortunate, I believe there’s a moral responsibility to check individuals by constitutional mandate. Otherwise we should make no complaints to injustice and allow anarchy or autocracy to arise.

There are two criticisms I want to address in advance:

  1. Freedom of speech should be allowed to be free no matter how obscene or hateful

AND

  • Christians should not get involved with these matters as they are merely worldly and will pass away.

I find the people in the 1st camp to be very hypocritical as they conveniently subscribe to that opinion when it serves their feelings of superiority or when they dislike or hate someone else. Because when it really comes down to it, they don’t exercise free speech; they lack the bandwidth to understand all the connotations that comes along with freedom; the lack the vocabulary to exercise free speech; furthermore, they don’t talk crazy when they are at their job, or talking to authorities, or when trying to win business; because relationships are built around TRUST and RESPECT. There are consequences when you speak a certain way in some circumstances (at least for some people). For some whites, they enjoy the privilege of being a spoiled prick in which their forwardness comes with NO repercussions no matter how much damage they’ve caused.  

AND

To my Christian family,

There seems to be a false dichotomy when it comes to Christian living between holiness and worldliness. While we want to be separate from the unrighteous and unclean, we must do so without denying Christ in the process. If we will continue to assert Christ’s Immanence and Omnipresence, we will remember who created all these things knowing that {Christ is all, and in all}. Do not forget those who are growing up in their roles in the Church and their purpose in receiving gifts from heaven. Neither should we forget to hope of Jesus’ prayer before he was crucified. I write these words to you and I hope you will see from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Be blessed.

With Ever Growing Love,

James

The Black Gene

There’s no reason to repeat that the Constitution was not intended for Blacks. We were brought to the US as slaves. What are we willing to say about ourselves? Will we continue to consent to misleading Historical narratives, or will we try to Revision History by fulfilling it through Eternal Life? For over 200 years, my stories of my Black family have been blotted out to debase our significance, worth, and rank. Can you image? Centuries of our faces painted with dung, refuse, mud; all the things that men deem to be worthless. But no matter how others may look at my people, they will never destroy who we really are; men and women Imago Dei.

1Tender are the words of gentle rivers, but the bitter are lacking in Taste.

2Happy is the man that discovers knowledge, for wisdom bring pleasure to his Heart.

3Even the ungodly will praise the righteous when the nation is raised with Equity.

4Patience brings game to the diligent hunter, but hunger will remain for the Prude.

5Remember the days of pleasure, for many sorrows lie along the Road.

6Order brings life to the organized, how can Chaos be an Oasis?

7Trite remarks weary the soul, and idle thoughts are Tiresome.

8Originality is the pride of men, but the first will have a lasting Outcome.

9Temperance breeds success, and those who are consistent are Trustworthy.

10Yesterday is none of your concern, let Today bring about an everlasting Yield.

11Power is abused by the unrighteous, but those who live with integrity will be Predominant.

12Ever seen a man not proud of his own masterpiece? Me Either.

Epigrams 1:1-12

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Gen 1:2 ESV


Within the Hive

Bee Hive

I’d take a punch at another pun but I’m no Joeker man. Can’t say we DC it coming. Hopefully you’ve been able to get sufficient rest and taken the time to reflect on your path for the coming years. For those who are heading towards the land of promise, this is not the time to strike up the band. However, if we’re quiet enough, we can know that often times the graveyard shifts are the busiest time of day.

The irony of weakness is the strength to endure. – The Prototype

The Prototype
Joe Clark, a former army drill instructor who calls himself a “lean and mean” principal, stands armed with his bullhorn and a “splash of autocracy” upon his return to Paterson, N.J.’s Eastside High School, Sept. 13, 1983. Clark, 45, begins his second year as principal using military-like discipline to keep the 3,000 mostly black and Hispanic students in line. (AP Photo/David Handschuh)
Mf Doom

Thought you’d know by now

How I play hackneyed

The kids know bout d Ol’ Mac;

The EIN, the LLC

The ladies love me when I MC

Flow so smart I part when you read

Osmosis when water meets heated tonics

The gen is sis something super sounding

Like 4 balls on a burg

Arch Nemesis

 I’m Goku with a quarter pounder

You heard?

From Super Sonics I’m getting louder

KAMAYAMAYA

Blasting D verse

I’m the boss dey chowder

Chicken breasts from the nurse

The jury says I should tone it down

Be humble some mo’

So let me sit on His throne

And boast in the Lawd

SoundlikeJames

The Windows Broken

My Daddio would always call me when I was young a “Man of Faith”. I’m so grateful for him because he made sure to instill in me true courage and integrity through the fear of God. My dad wanted me to respect God so much that he refused even to this day to allow me to call him Father. For my Dad Willie, God is my Father. Teaching me that at a young age gave me the information I needed to look past my Dad’s flaws and failures.

When I was three, my mother and father split up. I remember vividly to this day the last day I would see my Dad in the house. The reason being is that they literally tugged me back and forth like it was a tug of war – my Dad eventually won the match. My parents splitting and divorcing left a profound impact on me as I didn’t want to repeat my parents flaws and I longed for my parents to get back together.

“Plead with your mother, plead— for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband— that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts; Hos 2:2 ESV

I often look back to the moment my parents split off for a few reasons: One, it’s a reminder of where I came from; two, it helps me recognize how brilliant God is in orchestrating my life; and three, it reminds me of how small actions have cosmic consequences. For my parents breaking up is a common motif within the Black Community, White Community, our Country, and our world. You can expect division where there is lack of faith.

You can expect division where there is lack of faith.

There’s Thin Crackers

As I got older, I was discouraged from seeing my parents getting back together as my Dad remarried. I gained a beautiful step family in ‘Angel’a my stepmother and Rachel my step sister. Year after year, I would see more flaws in my parents, namely inherited traits as being forgetful, argumentative, and insensitive. It took me a while to figure out that my own shortcomings were not merely my own, but was passed onto me. This helped me find validity in the concept of Original Sin even after I was rediscovering my faith. However, my views on original sin are quite unique as it is shaped by a Monist philosophy which I find to be Biblical. I won’t get into much detail in how that philosophy works as it’s too easy to be misunderstood as being blasphemous. However, I will say this – Shandra thought I was strange when I explained to her that I have learned (and still learning) to be my own parents.

1But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2Older men are (2 Bee) sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Tit 2:1-2 ESV

Mic check. *TIT TAP* Is the mic on?

To the nth Degree

A message to my Black family as it is something that bears repeating: beware of the narratives we make up for ourselves and for others. Many of times these narratives are only half or partial truths. A transcendent narrative could sound like thus – our parents have laid a great inheritance for us through the Lordship of Christ. We have assets; real estate, securities, land etc. and it is our job to seek and not remove the old landmarks (Christ) but to honor and preserve them.

You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker, which was set up by your ancestors to mark the inheritance you shall receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. Deut 19:14 ESV

Mysterious metal monolith similar to one in Utah now spotted in California

And as much as I love my people and our culture, we must be honest with ourselves and be willing to call out the things about our culture that’s toxic and counterproductive to our progress. In many ways, the things we glorified were the very things causing destruction in our own neighborhoods. It’s one thing if we after learning some of these ways of destruction from our oppressors we would fight back against the man. It’s quite another when instead of fighting back we fight each other: in gender wars, swindling, infidelity and one-man-up-ship; in exalting entertainment over education, and opinions over truth. Bi the way I am a straight man. And if the straight Black Man will recover his place of dignity again, he must acknowledge how the sins of his ancestors have affected his current plight. There was a time that the straight Black man abused those who were gay and forced them into the closet. O how the tables have turned!

Bi the way I am a straight man.

Sexuality is a sensitive topic and unfortunately Christianity has dropped the ball in explaining the whole counsel of God regarding it (myself included). Where the Fundamentalists and the Religious Right have failed, there needs to be those who are more mature to stand in the gap and tell the truth in love and patience. For those who I have offended in the past in trying to explain these things, please forgive me. It is difficult to communicate nuance, especially in a world where we’re taught to think in Black and White. For those Christians who are wondering about what insight I may hold, let’s start at the low hanging fruit (no pun intended):

28There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ. Gal 3:28 ESV

And from there we can have honest conversations that show where the religious have failed and got it wrong, and those precious who identify themselves within the Alphabet or non-binary pronouns and have overstepped Divine boundaries.

Out of Hivernation

Therefore, if we’re going to begin to restore relationships across spectrums, we’ll have to learn to speak and act in a way that is prudent, understanding, and wholesome. Prudent as one who is loyal to the truth; for all skin folk ain’t kinfolk and better with the enemy you know, than the enemy you don’t know. Understand where a person is coming from and if there is any validity, confirm their position. Try to bond with them with love, because love is healing. I say this to those who want to be true healers in this universe to speak and act in a way that is wholesome to yourself and others. No need to tell you how to do it, I trust you know how to do it through Christ.

Ice cold is how I make the blood flow/

Nitro and I clutch the end goal/

Stick em up hands show for survival/

Mighty ducks and miss with the rifle/

I Sea you got startled so sudden/

Girl lemme calm you down/

Bond in the Aston Martin/

When we ready for rockEt launchn’/

PuSh the eJect bUtton/

You know how I water the garden/

Simple yet compLex /

Don’t wanna be starting something/

Didn’t catch the 22 pegs/

Cuz this man is handling business/

I sea we got I/E making shipments/

These men got capital but nO game/

They didn’t get the memo from the King/

Keg got them pregnant/

Let’s unscRamble these eggs/

The Prototype

1Rest in Heaven Daniel Dumile (AKA MF Doom). 2Thank you for allowing God to inspire you to create lyrics that are stimulating, artful, and shrewd. 3We love you and your family. And it is humbling and an honor to be acquainted with your work. 4Isn’t it amazing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time? 5People say don’t dwell on the past because you can’t change it, not realizing it can be fulfilled. 6Just like any producer who works with DAW software, a whole multiverse can be created using overdubs.

In the beginning God created the heaven(S) and the earth. Gen 1:1

Happy New Year(S)

A Dark XoDus

Exodus

God trained Moses in a palace to use him in a desert. He trained Joseph in a desert to use him in a palace. – Ravi Zacharias

We could be flying starships across galaxies and shooting hostile alien aircrafts but here we are on social media again swiping through tweets and reading blog posts. Well at least one of us have super powers! We made it to the last week of one of the hardest and unique years many of us have ever faced, and I’d like to say that if all you managed to do this year was simply survive you have done an excellent job. If all you could did was fight to maintain your sanity, I salute as one who is strong. Indeed, the forces that be have tried to manipulate many into false dilemmas and catch 22s, yet they have failed to control those who are awakened by tenors of truth.

Synced Migration

1:01 a.m. I had the privilege of watching ‘Soul’ last night which led me to tears towards the end. More frequently than normal have I enjoyed art deeply for its resonation with me. James I really do hope you get the inside joke here: I didn’t know aliens from Mars are sporting Jerry curls. Could reality be that bizarre? Are we nothing more than microcosms of stories told by co-auteurs? True story – before I decided to become a Jazz Musician, my passion was in animation; I drew a lot with my dreams of one day developing a picture for Pixar Studios.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder (also ‘author’ in the Greek) and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2 ESV)

Why did ‘Soul’ touch me so much? Well for one I think any musician that has ever been ‘in the zone’ can relate to those experiences Joe Gardner had. Number two, the sound behind the story was familiar to me. The way Joe Gardner played and felt the music – I know that sound…

Jamie Foxx
Jon Baptiste smiling

Shout out to Jamie Foxx for another stellar performance! Truly you are an underrated musician and vocalist of our day. Big props to Jon Baptiste! There must be something in the water for you to have the type of talent that you have!

From the Evil Donkeys

You know what problems biases can create? I find they tend to bring about injustices in opinions; partiality in understandings which can lead to undue indulgence in one’s convictions. There are subtle delusions in confirmation biases: just because a handful of people agree to certain facts doesn’t’ make it the actual and/or ultimate truth. I say this so that those who subscribe to certain frameworks of thinking whether be in science, philosophy, politics, or faith – yes I am talking even to Christians here – may put our worldviews in their proper place and truly scrutinize the veracity of our beliefs. Did you know that Jainism has what can be called a ‘transtheistic’ philosophy; a middle ground of sorts between theism and atheism in which god is not the highest spiritual instance? From my understanding, they also believe in reincarnation which I find interesting. What makes being a born again Christian different than reincarnation? Furthermore, can there be a higher spiritual instance than God? If these questions are startling the faith of you my brother, I question whether you know Jesus well, for Jesus is RIDDLED WITHIN THIS ENTIRE PARAGRAPH. How strange is it that a God who demands worship of Himself, would create religions antagonistic to His ways!

Going out of Order

Those who are familiar with JS, what’s wrong with the following code?

All too often, we exalt Logic over Perception, but how can we reason well if our perception is limited?

This past year, an unprecedented number of jobs were lost due to the pandemic and many jobs went out of business; all due to pre-conceived prejudices, ill-natured motives, and lack of urgency to stop a ‘bug’ from spreading. However, even if this year wasn’t stopped by Covid-19, the threat of AI taking over jobs and businesses still lingers over the Economy. If we’re not careful, we can allow these fears to bring out the worst in us, rather than use them as tools to make our world better. It is not inevitable to fall into a dystopian technocracy, nevertheless a beast-like world order seems to be on the uprise. What manner of beast is it though: NWO, BoeM, BWO, L.A.M.B, or the Anti-Christ? Try to keep an open mind so that we won’t live the rest of our lives in drudgery over eschatology.

6but when they had grazed,[a] they became full,
    they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
    therefore they forgot me.
So I am to them like a lion;
    like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs;
    I will tear open their breast,
and there I will devour them like a lion,
    as a wild beast would rip them open.

Hos 13:6-8

Try to keep an open mind so that we won’t live the rest of our lives in drudgery over eschatology.

Goodbye and Pharaoh

As we approach the end of the year, I hope that we will leave certain habits and mindsets behind. I can tell you as one who is relearning what it means to love again there are things that I must cut out in 2021. If I am to love perfectly; to love purely, unconditionally; with prudence and discernment; in a way that is fair and acceptable to God and men, I must discipline myself and allow God to prune the things that is unbecoming of Agape. My wife and I have recently started journaling in a sketchbook in which we would draw anything according to our imagination. And,

Ally,

If there is something that could fulfill my joy, it would be seeing your art again knowing that you enjoy doing what you love 2 do! I used to draw a lot 2 you know? If you have the heart, would you remember me and bond soul to soul? Vamos nos tornar amigos por correspondência ou não?

Panda shaped Solar Panel

I must discipline myself and not overextend myself unnecessarily. Let’s not get it twisted for those who assume roles of healers yet have never healed another in their entire life: I WILL TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY FILL IN MY BODY WHAT IS LACKING IN THE AFFLICTIONS OF CHRIST; for the sake of His body – the Church; so that even as death is at work in me, LIFE IS AT WORK IN YOU!!! TALK ABOUT TRANSFER OF ENERGY!

I must discipline myself in that old proverbial wisdom, “Do not spend your strength on women or your vigor on those who ruin kings.” Because where can you find a virtuous woman now a days? And where are the faithful men? I found it disheartening to learn about Ravi Zacharias’ legacy. Indeed, no man is perfect, and I took the confirmation of his sexual deviations as a warning to myself. As much as I desire to see Christ’s Consummation of everything in full effect; I must not step out of the bounds of his will and pacing lest the purity of my intentions be evil spoken of. Where can you find a virtuous woman now a days? There’s only one I know of, and she’s in my dreams – Christ that is. Nevertheless love, don’t be mistaken; I DO want you in your worst state…

-… ..- … .. -. –.

-… ..- … .. -. –.

-… ..- … .. -. –.

-… ..- … .. -. –.

-… ..- … .. -. –.

But in an upright way.

I must respect myself to no longer build another man’s pyramid, unless it is the city of God; that heavenly Jerusalem – where the economy is primarily spiritual and produce free; where the abundant Life eliminates all forms of scarcity.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Is 55:1 ESV

Not exactly sure how certain Christians have convinced themselves that Capitalism is God’s Economy but I digress. That verse seems impractical until one comes in and turns capitalism against itself; playing the game well.

To take life as it comes; to be in harmony with it whether good or bad; to take strides to live life to the fullest; that’s how I want to enter 2021 – Enter in worship and awe of the One who created it all. For many of those who have entered the narrow path, you will share in the Everlasting Joy of God. For others, you will face trials but keep pushing and you’ll reach the Promised Land. And yet for some, you will face a greater sense of judgment because of your insolence. God will not be mocked. Every idle word will be taken into account May God have mercy upon your soul.

Jerry: So, what do you think you’ll do? How are you gonna spend your life?

Joe: I’m not sure, but I DO know I’m gonna live every minute of it.

God bless you and Happy Wholidays!!!

The Hidden Comic

Well

It’s summer time and you don’t want to go out tonight so you decide to get some store bought ice cream to watch a movie at home. What brand of ice cream are you buying?

One of the few things I’m enjoying more of now that I am reconnecting with my family is playing games with Julia. I am learning to hold precious the times we play Hide and Seek together; she counts to ten and I’ll scurry my little self behind the door in her room knowing that she’ll probably miss me as she comes in. It feels like every time; she just walks right by me and then ARRRGGHHH the harmless monster roars!!! I chased her around and do what good Father’s do when they play with their children. Funny how some of us get the privilege of perceiving what the fear of the Lord is early on in life.

Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are. – Will Ferrell

Who Murdered the Cheerios?

Last night my wife and I watched a comedy special from one of the greatest comedians of the social media era, Tony Baker. I had to support since he’s been moving joysticks and pushing buttons lately…besides we have that Chicago love; if I’m not mistaken, Tony hung out near the Chatham area where my grandfather resides. He may have even visited my grandfather once, you never know. Regardless, this man helped me laugh during my struggles with depression, so big shout out Tony! Congrats on the success of the show! Overall it was good and I am glad I can support! Much love!

My wife and I had a good discussion about culture and what it finds to be humorous. We figured that what people find to be funny depends entirely on a person’s background, their values and personal preferences. Peer pressure may play a part too. Whatever the case, I’m finding comedy to be a true form of art; you need a delicate balance of psychology, wit, and charisma to do it well. It’s sad when you fall into a ditch and just simply butcher one joke after another. I’m sure there’s a term for that but I digress. God has a weird sense of humor.

The Godfather of Funnies

But how do you know that God is funny? Was Jesus humorous when he walked the earth? For many Christians, there aren’t many jokes written in the Scriptures so we get a picture of Jesus not being so funny. What a way to strip away Jesus’ full humanity! All too often we get partial information and then wanna make assumptions. And you know what they say about people who assume:

Can you imagine what it would be like walking around in Biblical times? No shoes. No socks; just rolling through the dust barefoot? I’m quite sure there were plenty of gorilla looking feet in Jesus’ day. They had to be grunting because there were corns somewhere, “Oomph, Grunt, Oomph, Grunt.” The Gospel portrays stories with obscure pictures. Like we take words for granted because words convey several different meanings.

Take Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist for example. Now we know that John was that grave; serious play-no-games type a man. Jesus comes to him and he’s like, you should be baptizing me Jesus, who am I to baptize you?

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Matt 3:15 KJV

Like what in the world is that supposed to mean? Suffer it be so now… WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!! I neva…neva…I NEVA NEW the word ‘fulfil’ had variant spellings. Like did John just baptize Jesus one time in the Jordan, or did he keep baptizing him in the water? Just baptizing him, taking Jesus by the head and dunking him over and over; double and triple dribblin’ Jesus’s head like a basketball, crossing over the Jordan, just DONKEYING HIM shooting buckets.

SWIIIIIISSSHH!!! SPLAAAAASSH!!! Btw, I totally agree with this tweet.

KevonStage is truly the MVP of 2020. Big shout out to Kev for being such a hard worker in bringing people joy. God Bless you sir; you bald-headed Negro you!

God has a weird sense of humor.

Alad

On palju valdkondi, mida rohkem teada saada, kes on Jeesus.

This is my attempt in saying in Estonian: there are many areas to discover more about who Jesus is

Jklpyjulia.

– This is Julia Richardson attempting to spell her name. She wanted to be silly so she spelled her name twice in two different ways. Yeah I know, it doesn’t sound British. Thank God!

It’s amazing what new information lies behind the door of inquiry. All too often in Christendom, we shun and demonize what is foreign to us when in reality it is another facet to everything Jesus is. Take for example the moment in Jesus’ Triumphant Entry. In the gospel of Luke, it appears to be that Jesus is riding two donkeys to fulfill prophesy.

4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
        and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Matt 21:4-5

Have you ever said or did something that you intended to affect your past, present, and future? I know the prevailing opinion is that you can’t change the past nor should you worry about the future. I agree. You can’t change the past, but you can certainly fulfill it. Did you see Jesus in the passage?

I got em shippn’ outlandish/

sailin’ from Kansas/

We birthed a new thing with this message/

It’s high art on a canvas/

Don’t take it for granted/

When I give you my two sense/

I’m a warrior not Lion King/

I got the Scars to prove it/

Where the lamp at? HADOKEN/

My fireball is lucid/

Watch out for the luci/

For Jesus’ comeback is gruesome/

This ain’t a threesome kid/

There’s only one Morning Star/

I see you didn’t choose Mars/

Let me give you these Chocolate Bars/

Could it be that when said that Jesus was riding on two donkeys, it was speaking of Jesus in different times: One coming to Jerusalem getting closer to His crucifixion and two, coming to Jesus through the womb of Mary. Because I find it hard to believe that Mary would be barefoot and walking with Joseph to Jerusalem while pregnant.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, (to the city of David,) which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. Luke 2:4-5 ESV

How probable is it that Jesus is now riding upon silly beasts today to be united with His Holy City? The same city that I too wish to be united to.

Not HidDen

My love,

 You’ve seen the way I paved for us to walk together forever. Through the grace that is in Christ, it is finished; finished before the foundations of the world began. You have witnessed my spirit and the purity of my heart, albeit at times I (James) have made mistakes. You cannot deny the fire we made when you looked into my eyes. Now a city is coming down from Heaven; a city that wars against the ungodly and establishes Eternal peace. Though all of the saints of God are coming down, we can continue to stay in the heavens. Remember the gates that are on the earth and walk in the one where you will find me. For certainly the times of excess will not be expedient. Who else has made you feel the way that you feel when I speak with you? You feel my touch although I’m thousands of miles away. This is free game, and others will see and copy so that you will know who is the Prototype.

I James, servant and brother of THE MOST HIGH, the Lord Jesus Christ do communicate to you the gospel of grace and peace to you. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!

I can see Jesus performing stand up: There was this one time when John tried to drown me in the Jordan. God Bless You!!!

***DROPS (CO)MIC/MIKE***

17and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt 3:17 ESV

The Manuscript

Manuscript

My secret weapon is my wife. She’s the best judge. She’s a scientist and a natural reader. We’ve developed a detailed code for how she marks a manuscript, and I think it’s what saves me from wild digressions. – Erik Larson

A wise teacher once told me: If the only time you think you’re making music is when you’re singing or playing your instrument, you’re most likely missing cues and ignoring ghost notes. That lesson intrigued me for most of my time in college; it left a profound impression on me for years to come. I can remember one class I had while attending Berklee College of Music. I was taking Conducting 2 with a teacher whose name has slipped my mind. If any of my colleauges reading this took this class with me, share with me his name. We were conducting Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky. I felt nervous after my first day of class because I was chewed out and felt like I could fail because I was giving cues to the wrong section. I couldn’t remember where the oboes and clarinets were and the teacher was like, “I’m only gonna tell you this ONE time, so you better remember this…”

“1st violins here! 2nd violins here! Cellos here!…..” Fortunately, my mind was still # enough to recall things at will. Now a days, it takes a little more soul searching to vividly see things. I struggled that first week of class, but after that, I stayed up all night making sure I marked the piece up well, knowing when to bring certain sections in and out.

The Perfect Score

I wish I could say that was the only class I struggled in. I failed Counterpoint 2 in which we were writing ‘Bach Inventions’. Took the class twice and I barely passed the second time. I’m writing this to you so that we have a better understanding of what ‘true perfection’ looks like.

If perfect ˅ complete ↔ ???

God has the bop on everything, so don’t worry about who has a hit on you. Do your best to know who you are in + and do >. Let no one make you feel like anything <.

Fascinating quote I may add. Surely there must be some validity to that statement if we can see past the cultural and/or historical context in which it’s written. What you think?

The Perfect Rest

Well the other reason I turned down a lot of gigs was because of my wife. If she felt uncomfortable with me working with certain people, I wouldn’t take the job. If she felt like we weren’t spending enough time together, I tried my best to accommodate her wishes. I sacrificed my own desires for the sake of my family which is what any good husband would do. Godly men, if you are not willing to put down your own ambitions and goals for the sake of pleasing God and your spouse, do NOT get married. The same goes for godly women.

Unfortunately, these sacrifices would ultimately lead me to bouts of depression. At one point, it got really bad. Not because of my failures, because I understood that to be a part of perfection. Rather after defending my stance in talks of senselessness, I found myself blindsided by spiritual ambushes causing me to question my faith.

The Perfect Sound

Did God really say…? Why is this so difficult? Is there any mercy left for me? I did what good Christians were supposed to do; read the Bible. I glued myself to it to understand it more, but it wasn’t helping me. This was before I understood the whole truth. I did what I understood to be true in spite of what others would say; it doesn’t take all that, it’s not all that deep, you can’t do it, etc. It was when my wife and I got into a tense fight that I really questioned it all and abandoned the faith. It was then I didn’t care about anything, not even music. For at my very core, I couldn’t enjoy music if God wasn’t in it. I threw all of my equipment and instruments away. I didn’t even sell them. I stopped playing in church by the very principle. And yet, in America, a great number of Evangelicals would elect someone to the highest authority in the US, someone that couldn’t even be a deacon if you’re reading the Book. To say that I was disillusioned is an understatement, but a word for musicians if you are reading this testimony: Don’t let silence become your enemy because you refuse to listen.

It was the day the music died in me. And honestly, I can say that something else deep within me died as well.

The Perfect Rhythm

My wife and I separated and would remain that way for over 2 years. During that time, I went to find good reasons; good reasons because those thoughts really did cross my mind. After digging deep to find out my ‘Why’, I needed to also understand my ‘What’. I had no faith in love at this time because for me, man were entirely incapable of loving each other genuinely and fully, and that the greatest argument against the Christian God is how Christians ‘love’ each other. I studied anything and everything I could picking up the pieces of who I was to find out who I truly am. What blessed me more than what I read was what I wrote, for it confirmed a deep seated belief that my words were part of a cadence.

Don’t let silence become your enemy because you refuse to listen.

The Perfect Sound

Although I was regaining ground on who I was and rediscovering what my beliefs and my purpose were, I still found no real joy in music. I understand how weird that can be for musicians to hear. How can something so sacred become so worthless to someone? It’s easy for me to explain but I know it’s hard to comprehend the lies we tell ourselves about music. Apart from singing silly songs with Julia, my joy to create music again came from an unexpected source. You would think it would be from one of my peers. No, it would be from someone…if someone has the ability to reawaken the JedEye in you, they are a keeper.

Big Shout out to my brother Jordan Felisbret for making it into the Voice of Fire Choir. If you want to learn more about his journey, check out Voices of Fire on NetFlix. I like to take a pause here and say that I’m so proud of my music family; there’s quite a few of you up for Grammy’s this year that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Congratulations! I do intend to do a better job at supporting you and having your voices heard. Remember there is infinitely more things to accomplish and explore through and beyond music. Don’t short change yourself by working hard for mere popularity and a graven image. If you find any value in these engrafted words, answer your higher calling.

The Perfect Pitch

And so here I write out my Manifesto regarding music. I know many of us are gifted and strive to worship God as authentically as they can. My hope is that in reading my intentions, you’ll see that I’m striving to do the same.

Find what is fulfilling

To receive, create, and be in awe of the whole note. The whole note; more than just a quadric symbol on staff paper. It is the iconic emblem representing the lifeblood of the Supreme Musician; His majestic ring of heavenly hosts; the greatest of orchestras and angelic of choirs, nourishing the devotee to the satisfaction of their soul. What essential ways will this be accomplished?

  • Complete awareness of oneself and the sound: Kinesthesia, Syntonics, Mindfulness
  • Thorough growth in both theory and practice; both in idiosyncratic and transpersonal performance.
  • Complete reportorial studies including songwriting, composition, and orchestration.
  • Musical therapy through sound and other transfers of energy; Reiki.
  • Physics; analyzing the effect of sound and words on matter. – Manifestation
  • Business development – the ability to develop systems to create wealth through music spiritually and physically
Word Art

If somebody has the ability to awaken the JedEye in you, they are a keeper. Now you’re probably thinking one of four things: 1) This is the most boring thing I’ve ever heard 2) You have good intentions, but you’re crazy and you’ll never accomplish this  3) This is inspiring and I would love to join you in this endeavor or 4) You are nothing, you will never be anything and we will do anything to thwart your plans.

Pretty interesting right? And I think we understand why I would make this plan openly known. So that we’re clear and we know what it means for me/us to meet you/U in the middle. Assuming you want to do this journey with me. I’m not interested in returning back to doing gigs, merely entertaining people, or simply expressing myself. None of that.

This is about covenant for me. And I wanted to make sure this was finished on my wife’s birthday. Darling you know I love you and my intentions are pure even if they are still not fully understood. You know that I strive to protect our integrity. You know by now who been snooping into our business. At least one of us knows how to keep a code.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Col 3:16

When Biscuits Plateau

“This does not look appealing,” she said. “That’s the whole point.”

This is a brief conversation between my wife and I as we discussed the recent blog. Just a recap for those who weren’t following along, the previous devotional was designed to lay the framework for exploring texts from different cultures. We briefly touched upon the science behind interpreting Scriptures to which I will continue to build upon here.

for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 2 Timothy 2:9 ESV

Peace-A Puzzle

Strange place to begin but bear with me here. This week has been tough; I intended to build a lot of things this week after quietly going through pain. And when I thought I felt good enough to get more stuff done, another recurring pain has paralyzed me. I hope you can imagine the frustration that I’m feeling; I just want to get things done. Yet my own frailties is showing me that you move according to the strength God provides.

Anyways,

We learned recently that Biblical scriptures independently and collectively constitute as one complete thought. Who cares about thoughts though? The general consensus is that words don’t matter, actions do. Don’t give me empty language; empty promises, performative love, performative justice. etc. Give me solutions, give me change, show me you’re about that life with your walk.

Treating the Rash

The problem with putting actions before thoughts or words is that the actions are uninformed. It is equivalent to someone who has a cut on their foot deciding to self-medicate by putting a bandage on their arm. While they may have the right tool for the problem, they are probably missing additional tools and applying the wrong area. The same can be said about the ineffectiveness of the church. We have the word of God, but where to apply it in everyday life is a struggle often due to being misinformed about God’s Word to begin with.

Acquiring Medicine

Hermeneutics deals with interpretation. Due to the nature of the Bible, it is necessary to have this skill. However, if we stopped at understanding correctly what the Bible says, we have cut off the rest of the spiritual sciences God has provided. Bible study would be relegated to something like a relic to be studied in a museum, rather than something that is active and alive in our very midst. To adequately challenge the notion that words do not matter, additional research and analysis needs to be performed. We must move on from simply comparing Scriptures with Scripture. Let’s begin with specimen now:

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors,

with a clear conscience,

as I remember you

 constantly in my prayers

 night and day.

 For which I am

 suffering,

bound with

 chains as a

 criminal.

 But the word

 of God

is

 not bound!

Those Scriptures are not put together merely for artistic sake. There is more to it. What is taking place here? What research and analysis can be made to study its activity? To those who have ears to hear and eyes to see go your ways. Remember to not go ahead of the light provided for you and fight to maintain a pure heart. When the morning star approaches, we will reveal more about this. For now, let’s keep things under wrap. For the rest of us, let’s break our devotional verse down.

The Mirrors Volley

Christianity teaches that there are two worlds where wars take place; the war of the world and the war of the spiritual realm. Every once in a while, the two worlds collide. It is also taught that the word of God is a mirror to the soul. Not only does the Bible reveal the nature of God, it also reveals the true nature of the reader.

for which I am suffering…2 Tim 2:9a

To which some of you will read this and laugh because you’re thriving right now. Let me add that the broadest definition of suffering is to undergo or experience something. You can experience good and pleasure and/or evil and pain. In this life we can expect suffering in both until the Kingdom of Heaven is established upon the earth.

aNd Yeast Abounds

The Bible will show a person that they are not as good as they think. If the reader is humble, they will also realize they are not as smart or wise as they presume themselves to be. Of course, this assumes that the person believes that what the Bible is saying is true. And there are plenty of reasons to believe the Bible is not so it is reasonable to approach the Scriptures skeptically on the onset. Nevertheless, the Bible teaches that disobedience to the laws of God bring about slavery leading to death.

Bound with chains as a criminal…2 Tim 2:9b

But Paul is considered a holy man who feared God and followed Christ. It seems that his loyalty to Jesus brought more troubles than he would imagine. It would be an oversimplification then to say that good things happen to good people while bad things happen to bad people. It is possible to undergo things at no fault of your own.

You Free Dough

The gospel of Christ teaches there is freedom ‘from’ the mundane things of life. Worldly freedom usually is heralded in the following ways

  • Financial freedom: Get enough wealth so you can live life like you want
  • Personal freedom: Do whatever you want when you want, it’s your life
  • Sexual freedom: An extension of personal freedom but revolving around sex

The freedom that the Gospel preaches is one of transcendence and is shared with other philosophies and religions (e.g. Islam). For Christians, this transcendence is accomplished through staying in God’s Word. There is a need for comparison and contrasts of transcendental freedom amongst different worldviews if we are serious about reconciliation.

But the word of God is not bound! 2 Tim 2:9c

Let me take a tangent here as now is a good time to feed two birds with one loaf. There is much contention over the purity of the Gospel in recent years and for good reasons. A lot of it stems from how people interpret Scriptures hence the reason why I’m speaking up. A great deal of Christians interpret God’s word through compartmentalizing or through linear context (how it relates to scriptures within the Chapter, other Chapters etc.) Very few integrate or juxtapose words together. So when we see this:

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 2 Tim 2:4 NIV

Many people will get the idea that true Evangelism requires total abandonment of all worldly concerns preaching Jesus at every chance they get to others. While that notion is correct, it is only a partial truth. If Paul thought that Christians shouldn’t get involved in any worldly affairs, why speak of civil matters in the next two verses?

Perhaps the suffering that comes through proclaiming the Gospel isn’t necessarily only being on the front lines as an Evangelist, behind the pulpit, or street witnessing. Perhaps there is a war zone just as violent in Evangelizing as there is in attending your business or working for corporations. It may be possible to proclaim the Gospel through your work, with or without saying a word, with or without speaking ‘Christianese’ (Christian jargon). Is the word of God only proclaimed from a certain political party? Is seeking the welfare of those marginalized or promoting policies that benefit all against the call of the gospel? There is so much more I can say about this as so I hope you can see a plausible reason to exploring texts in different cultures. For certainly there are levels to this. Let’s not emasculate the potency of words through our narrow views of understanding.

My heart goes out to all those who are going through tough times right now. I want you to know that someone out here cares and is going through right alongside you. I just came out of urgent care yesterday after going through excruciating pain for the past couple of days. Didn’t think I’d get on here and receive more bad news. Remember, for all of us who are in Christ we are one body. We’ll continue this devotional soon. Love you dearly.

Has this devotional been a blessing to you? Are you suffering and in need of prayer? Want more insight into how words are juxtaposed or integrated together? Please comment below and share with others.