Live or Die.

A life of doing wrong is being as a blood-thirsty undead.

A life of doing good is being a servant.

A state of doing nothing … is where Death is.

This is what is below mediocrity and above suicide, though both mediocrity and suicide find themselves in the bottomless pit of nothingness.

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Trying to live a life without pain, sacrifice, joy and sorry, death and birth, disappointments and the unexpected is all that is made up this life that we have made for ourselves and that others have put in place for us.

Live or die.

No, this is not another version of the slogan of the God-less, “survival of the fittest. The strong shall live and the weak shall die”.

This is not survival, this is really living. Where character is born, where the innocent are rescued, where what is, “good”, is made better and what is better keeps improving.

“Ceux qui luttent, ne sont pas sûrs de gagner, mais ceux qui ne luttent pas ont déjà perdu.” Berthold Brecht, poète et dramaturge allemand du XXème siècle.”

Translation: Those who fight are not sure of winning, but those who do not fight have already lost”

However, a happy life never always means a joyful life, a life that God made you to live, which is the only form of Life there is. Anything apart from what God has intended to happen will always end up in misery and destruction.

Colossians 1:16-17 (KJV)

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Live today. Our LORD has made a call to us. He laid out our destinies before us and gives us the answer to His call, if we will choose to follow in it (Read all of it from Deuteronomy 30:15-20):

19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Heed His call now.

He says again in 2 Corinthians 6:2. “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

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Enough

How much is enough?

How much information does it take to convince someone of anything? I figure people see the answer to this question somewhat with the saying at the back of their minds, “time heals all things”. But that is just the thing no one can ever tell us. How much?

It is only logical that people know what is needed in any given situation to fulfil any given purpose. Similarly people look for the right amount of the, “answer”, to fulfil that purpose, that goal, that life even? compassion-open-hands-framed

But what is the “answer”? Rather, what is the question? Who formulated the question? Why was the question formulated? Are we looking for answer we’ve already come up with in our own minds… out there; in order that we can say, Yes! that’s it! Like one of my preferred musical artistes one said in a poem (im sorry for quoting you Prop), when deliberating over a similar dilemma, of an answer to a question in saying that the answer to a question depends on when and where the question was asked.

I figure this formula comes into play:

1. To set the right context for all other following questions stemming from this initial idea

The reason that why there is no successive 2. 3. 4. etc. is that what is, is. There is no personal interpretation based on subjective experience, to twisting to make what, Is, suit our context, to do what we want It to do. There is only The One. The Way. The Truth and The Life. (Seeing i’ve come this far it’s best i just say it).

Truth cannot be changed because God cannot be changed and since that is how It Is, or rather, that is Who God Is [not a convenient filler for occasional but the substance of all things (Col. 1:17) ].

The Apostle Paul reveals in Scripture that no man is without excuse (Rom 1:20) and that all men know the truth: Romans 2:14-16 :

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

And Scripture again dissecting the human condition revealing the ‘true’ heart and intents of man saying: Romans 1:18-25:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Man can blame neither God nor his fellow brother or sister for rejecting God’s Truth (Jesus) in all of creation around them and in all of His conviction within them.

How much information is enough? The answer is both humorous, simple and yet complex.  God; as revealed to mankind through His Word, Himself to mankind (historically and daily) and within man’s heart in all of its simple splendour and intricate, mind-boggling complexity is enough.

2 Timothy 3:16-17  – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

May we be like Paul and rejoice not solely in our ignorance (let us always press toward the mark – Philippians 3:14), but the sufficiency and promises of God (just to name two: Philippians 1:6, Jude 1:23) that He will make all things new in His Perfect timing and by His Wondrous Power (Revelation 21:5).

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Joy

Matthew 6:19-21

A proper dissection of the human heart and mind. The heart because of what the mind wants and the mind because of what the mind will do to satisfy its heart.

For a while now, i’ve found myself doing that i know i shouldn’t be doing. Looking for love in all the wrong places as they say. And this because i don’t want to go where true joy, love and peace lies. I feel like Hosea, running away from her one, True lover, ever pursuing her but she ever runs away to everything that she knew before she knew him as everything she should ever want.

The problem is not so much as lack of true joy that i run to false fillers as if i am comfortable in the false fillers (yet ever thirsty, dry, empty) that i don’t want to go anywhere else. According to C.H. Spurgeon, its like a pig lying in a pig-stye. The pig’s surroundings are disgusting to a human, but to a pig, it’s home. I find myself like the prodigal son, knowing that returning home will offer me everything i ever and could ever want, but because of pride and fear, i rather wallow in “my” mud.prodigal son

The difference i face in my mind is a need for my father to come find me and take me out of the mud and then for him to change me from a pig to a human so that i will not love the mud anymore.

This is not merely a metaphysical question, but one of literal and eternal life and death. It is not merely a taking out of the immediate surroundings that entice the senses to return to the deathly elements that once enslaved, but it is a removal of the desires for those deadly elements all together. When the desire is strong enough, no distance, obstacle or length of time can stop one from reaching a goal whether good or bad, which is why the goal in itself must change in order to change the pursuit of that individual all that he/she does with its life.

Life, not existence. Not breathing to die. Not waiting on the end.

Life, giving of one’s breath to others so they can do the same for others while enjoying the every breaths they take while doing this. Not mere vile enjoyment, but life producing enjoyment.

I long for the fulfillment of Beautiful Eulogy’s chorus of, “You Can Save Me” courtesy of C.S. Lewis’ fiction The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

My dragon skin was torn off

how my blood is thickening up

And i am longing! to be free…

…Only you can save me.

A better exposition of one’s need for this transformation can be found from Lewis’ writing can be found here.

Best lyrical description i’ve found yet for the hopelessness of this world and the only Solution to the Problem. Speed rap may be (hehe) too fast for most but the lyrics are in the description of the video.

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Is Christianity Optional?

A tough question for all the theologians out there…

When is Christianity optional?

I’ve been hearing that there are Christian rappers and then there rappers who are Christian, that there isn’t a music genre for Christians to call their own, and that gospel is a different kind of musical grouping from “Christian rap, Christian reggae, Christian rock, etc.

When was the gospel according to Jason found? Or when did Paul say that we should let non-believers come to us instead of us going to them?

Christianity is not optional. We cannot separate our calling from who we are. We are smeared, covered, drenched, we are to be soaked in the blood of Christ and whatsmore, we are to have His blood coursing through our veins until we are no more ourselves.  If this is the reality Christians are to live in, there is to be no separation between us or anything we do.

Evangelism and Sunday morning preaching are not separate entities. The only difference between them is the location each takes place in regularly, possibly the clothes they wear.  Evangelism is to be a constant reality in a Christian’s life. It must be present in the way we dress, our conversations, how we treat other people and even the way we look at others.

Music is a topic that always peeks my interest because, i love music. Not secular music though, Christian music. I’m not saying that people who are not Christian’s are not blessed with talent or skill (yes they are different) and even secular artistes can be more versed in their “artform” than many Christian artistes, but none of these realities means that secular music is edifying, encouraging, Christ-centered… good.

If i may quote one of my friends by his alias on a post he made recently on Facebook, Mr. Yannick Alexander posted this quote which reads:

“We have noted the powerful tendency in our culture to objectify everything and everyone around us-to make them objects that are to be arranged within our ordering of our world. We have also noted our penchant for then grasping those objects and bringing them under the agenda we have for the shaping of our work according to our own desires and purposes.” M. Mulholland. If we continue, the world would become a place that is dangerous.”

 I believe that the author of this quote is dead-on in his analysis of the agenda of many people (including myself) in our day. The frightening thing about it is that it happens with the most sacred of things and people too, and the most sacred of all, God’s Word and our calling so love, obey and serve Him with all of our hearts souls minds and strength. 

Colossians 1 describes the Christian’s position beautifully:

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

This is to be the daily life of a Christian: in need of God’s will, thanksgiving to our Father for His mercies, walking in the kingdom of His dear son and acknowledging that in all things, He has the preeminence.

Another passage that outlines our conversion from darkness to light is Ephesians chapter 2 as verses 1-9 show’s God’s abundant grace and our past works of the flesh and God’s regenerating power at work in our lives and what has been prepared for us to do as seen in verse 10:

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

And then all culminating in verses 19-22

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

I know, i may have just put the entire chapters of Colossians and Ephesians but if i did, it would have been inconsistent of me and inconvenient for readers if i had put the rest of the Bible to round off the point that our Christianity is not relational to the lives we lead away from Bible study, rather, we are to be a living study of the word of God and as a result, be as “the prince of preachers” Charles Spurgeon describes John Bunyan and

“Why, this man is a living Bible! Prick him anywhere; his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God.”

This sort of life is neither impossible for all Christians nor is it grevious but a easy yoke, a light burden and a place of rest for our souls (Matt. 11:28-30). I’m not saying that every other word we utter Jesus’ most precious name, but we are to represent the King in all things and be the light that we are called to be.

God bless you.

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The Seven Qualities of Perfect Teammates

The Seven Qualities of Perfect Teammates.

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Jesus is our Banner

I Am

 

“God himself and not the quantity of our faith is the decisive factor in flinging mulberry trees out of the way” – John Piper

This post, so it seemed, had been over-due for about a week now and it stems from the same issue. However, I thank my God for allowing me to go deeper into the topic to explore things that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

God please help my faith!!!!!!!!!!

Initially, last Sunday, i was in church and we were doing battle in praying for our nation of Trinidad and Tobago and Pastor Bachew made reference to the necessity of faith. While agreeing with the pastor who was leading us in prayer, i found myself fighting with the devil asking if i really believed what i was praying for, if it was really possible that Jesus could save and heal our land even through the bible clearly states in 2 Chronicles 7:14. For some reason in my mind, i believed that praying for one person or one situation would be nothing for God, but once it started to stretch to more than 10 people at a time, the effectiveness of my faith or God’s power would diminish with every increase of situations being addressed. Also, recently i was praying and again, i found myself asking God to PLEASE help my faith. So, apart from what I already knew of reading God’s word and praying (Not in any way downplaying those) i went to trusty (sometimmes) Goggle and searched for ways to increase my faith. That’s where i found that opening quote from John Piper and then i was reminded of what got me through and what helped me to overcome that initial prayer battle.

JESUS is our Banner.

Our faith is necessary but as John 17:5-10 says and expounded on by Pastor Piper:

“By referring to the tiny mustard seed after being asked about increased faith, he deflects attention away from the quantity of faith to the object of faith. God moves mulberry trees. And it does not depend decisively on the quantity of our faith, but on his power and wisdom and love. In knowing this we are helped not to worry about our faith and are inspired to trust God’s free initiative and power.

(See the whole article at => http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-jesus-helped-his-disciples-increase-their-faith)

Our focus for a long time has been us needing to go to the faith gym to bulk up, to be so packed with faith muscles that we burst at the seams. For our cars to be so filled with faith-stuff that the car itself is weighed so low that it’s now dragging on the floor. But we don’t recognise the danger of this. As i was speaking to a beautiful lady recently, we were speaking on the topic of Humility vs Pride and how, according to the rapper by the name of KB, “Pride has 2 main jobs: Comparing and bragging. And one main paycheck: God’s resistance!”, while Humility hides in the shadows thanking God and gives Him all of the Glory and attention.

Like being a faith-stud or having a faith-weighed car, we draw too much attention to ourselves and as Pastor Piper’s article shows and as i was taught last week, our strength doesn’t come from our own work, abilities or God-given talents, but from GOD Himself.

I believed that it was revealed to me by God that HE IS our Everything. HE IS the Great I AM. The Everything that we could ever want and Everything that we need. A popularly quoted verse but more and more i see the depth of this verse:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (KJV) – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Not merely time and time again but as The central focus of the Bible states:

Romans 11:36 (KJV) – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Our lives, this earth, our relationships, time, our food, Everything has been, is still and forever will be about Jesus the Christ and His Glory.

It is in Him where and when we find true and everlasting fulfillment, where all purposes are for the good of all, whee true world peace will be achieved, where the full definition and expression of Love is found and where Life is true.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

So when we ride into the heat of battle, when we give our voice in the crowd or classroom, when we give ourselves selflessly behind closed doors, know that we do it for and by the God of Psalms 33:6 and Revelation 1:18 ; our Strength, the very embodiment and essence of Power, the Creator of the Universe, Jesus The Christ. Know that we are not relying on our abilities but on the One who promised that those who wait on Him will never be ashamed (Romans 10:11), “…him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…” (Ephesians 3:20-21) “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37) and  “..thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…” (2 Cor 2:14)

I thank God for His word as it best sums it up:

2 Corinthians 3:5 (KJV) – Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Jeremiah 32:17-18 (KJV) – Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: 18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name, arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee

Be Blessed.

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En(title)ment

First of all, All thanks be to The Most High God Who reigns Eternity to Eternity. to Whom i owe everything and From Whom All good and perfect gifts come.

my Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the True and Living God, YHWH.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok. let us now begin

 

Juliet.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo.
[Aside.] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

Juliet.
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;–
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title:–Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

Romeo.
I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

Juliet.
What man art thou that, thus bescreen’d in night,
So stumblest on my counsel?

Romeo.
By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am:
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee.
Had I it written, I would tear the word.

Juliet.
My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of that tongue’s utterance, yet I know the sound;
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?

Romeo.
Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.

Juliet.
How cam’st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb;
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.

Romeo.
With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls;
For stony limits cannot hold love out:
And what love can do, that dares love attempt;
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me. – William Shakespeare

This is probably one of the few times that i’ll quote Shakespeare, and just to clear up, i am in no way telling anyone to deny or disobey their father and/or parents, i mean, just look what how Romeo and Juliet ended up because they disobeyed..but that’s another blog by itself.

Why i put this extract is because the lesson is exactly what i wanted. Self-Denial, Passion, Humility, Boldness…in sum, Servanthood.

So often in today’s society we see people striving to make it at the top, to be, pardon my slang, the Bawse, to be the crème de la crème, to be, the It that everyone looks up to. As one of my favourite rappers Amisho Baraka says, ‘Welcome to the culture where humility is not allowed/ They do it big if you don’t see that, you Shallow Hal’/

Firstly, that’s egotism, pride, greed, selfishness, and the list goes on. People want to be recognised for some apparent quality or possession that makes them stand out from the rest but the aim of this post is to show how in aiming for the opposite of these things you actually rise far beyond wanting to build yourself up.
Question: How does one raise himself up?

Do they build from under themselves first?

Or do they build up those around them so they can be brought up themselves so they can continue building up themselves?

You will notice that by only building up under themselves it creates a very thin and unstable structure and it would be almost impossible to reach any significant height as they have nothing to support them as they seek to go higher. Whereas the one who builds up around him first has no worry for stepping off his lot as others would welcome him to build as it will be so wide and safe for him and others would also seek to help him build as well.

People seeking entitlements and in that (literally) a title by which they can elevate themselves above those around them find themselves after a while alone and weak as their own selfish desires seek its own and eventually has nothing else to draw and build from.  As The Good Book warns of old:

Numbers 15:39-41 – 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them ; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41 I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.

And as it states emphatically and without substitution:

Luke 22:26 (KJV) – But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

Matthew 23:11 (KJV) – But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Like i heard a pastor say this past Sunday, the Title of Prophet, Pastor, Bishop etc. should not dictate the level of a man’s importance but he should be who God has created him to be and use his birth given name. The only title we should strive to obtain and be joyful in declaring, and more so our function on that role is that of being a Servant.  Our Obedience to God should reflect our operation in that position of serving Him and should always be enhanced to obey in the correct timing and with exceeding joy.

The aforementioned excerpt in bold highlights the rest of he excerpt, the position of a person should not determine the level of its action. A rose wouldn’t smell less beautiful because it grows in the dirt than a bottle of Chanel would because it’s in a store on the 50th floor.

Serving as the lowest level provides a safeguard from falling as you’re already at the bottom and the only way to go will be up. Strive not to be the title of the essay but rather a letter, word, sentence or paragraph that gives The Only One Entitled to ALL Glory, Honour and Praise the attention that He deserves.

(Listen till the very end of the video please)

You can’t be a Christian without Christ.

Be Blessed.

 

Proverbs 22:4 (KJV) – By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.

Galatians 1:10 (KJV) – 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:24 (KJV) – Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

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