As Simple as a Suit

07/07/2009   |      |       |    1 Comment

Last week, for the first time in over three years I put on a suit when I made a court appearance in Uptown Charlotte.  (No, I wasn’t in trouble but was supporting a dear family).  When I was getting ready that morning, I slipped into my closet and came out with a suit that I hadn’t worn in a long time.  Let me tell you, it brought back old memories of the corporate days when going to work was more about looking smooth than it was working.

Here’s what blew me away… My wife, Leslie, saw me and I could immediately tell that she was feeling what I had on.  Now, you know how I was feeling!  Aw’ shucks now… I knew what was about to come out of her mouth.  She said, “You look gooooood!”  “I reaaaally miss you wearing suits.”

I was blown away that simply wearing a suit would get that kind of response.

Heck, after that I wanted to wear suits everyday from that point on… What’s my point?  My wife noticed something about me and let me know how much she digged it.  This simple moment reminded me of how easy it is to take notice of your spouse and to offer encouragement to them based on what you see.  My wife blessed me and build me up.  I don’t know what your spouse looks good in but pay attention to everything they display before you.  It will go a long way in your marriage.  Word of advice – Go put on a suit!!!!!

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family living, masculinity

Questions… Questions… Questions…

03/08/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

Well we are about a week away from starting our new series “Ask Any Question.”  The questions keep coming in and I’m asking myself, “What was the Lord thinking when He gave me this idea?”  It’s going to take me months to answer all these questions… But guess what?  That’s what I want.

Who is answering your questions about life, God, marriage, sexuality, abortion, gambling, the Trinity, suffering, etc?  Oftentimes, we never ask that one question that if answered would catapult our faith in God.

I know when I was new to the faith or even like now, “semi-old” in the faith, I didn’t have a forum in which to ask what I felt were legitimate questions.  You see, many of us have questions but no one to turn to that can answer them…

Can you imagine a person going to church for 10-15 years and never know that Jesus is God?  Well, that’s why we are presenting this opportunity.  People are responding and we are organizing the questions.

Do you have questions that you need answers to?  Then submit them to us if you live in Charlotte or don’t live in Charlotte… We’ll answer them.  But here’s the caviate – you must live out the answer.  Don’t ask us a question that if answered won’t cause you to love Jesus more.  We aren’t seeking to be a “Bible Answer Man.”  We are seeking to give you Biblical and theological answers that would assist you in falling deeper in love with Jesus.

Ask your questions, I’ll answer them with the truth… If you don’t mind truth then we’ll have a blast.  Relax, it won’t be like this…

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church life, community, family living, growth

More Christian Than African-American

01/30/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

In a time when few people are discussing race and its response to the gospel, Kim Cash Tate shares her story of a real collision between her racial identity and a radical faith in Jesus Christ.  Here’s an interview with Janet Parshall’s America – Click (Select January 13, 2009 — Hour 3

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family living, growth

Preoccupation with what?

01/28/2009   |      |       |    2 Comments

Being over 40 has caused me to become a little more aware of my health.  I’ve been popping vitamins, walking on a treadmill, doing aerobic exercises, watching what I eat and doing a lot of research on the web about health/fitness.

Early this morning while I was reading I noticed that I was holding my breath.  I wondered to myself, “How long have I been doing this?”  I couldn’t believe it… I asked myself, “Is this why sometimes I feel tension in my chest?”  Immediately, I began taking breaths, feeling normal again.  As I reflected on what was happening and what I was reading, I realized that I was so preoccupied with what I was reading that I stopped taking normal breaths.  What was I reading?  “Living the Cross-Centered Life” by C.J. Mahaney.

I thought to myself, now wouldn’t it be “plum” crazy if I fell out dead in this closet with no one expected to wake up for hours.  Now, before I went into a full blown panic attack, I caught myself having realized how laser focused I was on the book.  Between what C.J. and my own chest was saying I said, “Is this what we do as Christ followers?” Do we become so preoccupied with what’s right in front of us that we miss the most important facet of the Christian life?  Isn’t the cross, central to everything?  Isn’t that where our focus and attention should gaze?  Or should it be on “being good”, “going to church”, “not disobeying the 10 commandments”, or “dropping a dollar or two in the offering plates as it passes.”  What is the Christian life all about? I’ll tell you… it’s about the cross.  It’s not our performance of spiritual duties; it’s the cross that Jesus died on for our sins (Romans 5:8-10).  His cross should have been our cross.  We should have died and been sent to Hell but Jesus chose to die in our place.  “He who knew no sin, became sin that we may become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus wiped the record of our sin away and gave us His righteousness.  We don’t deserve what Jesus did for us, that’s why it’s called “amazing grace.” We sing this song with “joy” because we are reminded that we didn’t do anything to deserve it.  What Jesus has done is the only basis of our forgiveness – not what we have done.

After getting up off the floor from reading I was more compelled than ever to make my affection a preoccupation with the cross (the place where Jesus died, being tortured like a common criminal so that I could be forgiven and accepted by God).  This reality has slowed me down today and has challenged me to make the “main thing” the main thing – the Cross of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:8-10).

Every time I breathe, guess what I’ll be thinking about?  That’s right, the cross.  What about you?  Every time you breathe, what are you going to be thinking about?  What are you preoccupied with?

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church life, family living, growth, meaning of life

John Piper Sends a Message to Our President

01/27/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

In the spirit of “Facing the Truth Before Our Righteous Judge” I have attached a riveting message from my friend to our longed for president.  Please pray for repentance and courage to stand for truth!  Be Courageous, Mr. President

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community, family living, growth, masculinity, meaning of life, parenting

Undeniable History – 1st African American President

11/05/2008   |      |       |    2 Comments

Personally throughout this rigorous, cynical and divisive presidential campaign, I’ve been silent regarding my political preference, whether it be Democrat or Republican.  I see my role in this era of endless and even circular arguments as a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’m not a political science major, politician, media guru, activist, humanitarian leader, religious/political preacher, nor deceived into believing that Jesus champions one political party.  My life has been made alive and redeemed by an effective calling from God and predestined to proclaim the only news that can offer forgiveness of sins, liberate and transform the human heart – the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We must respect the voice of America that was heard on November 4, 2008.  As an African American man, I celebrate Barak Obama on becoming the 1st African American President in this countries history.  I only wished my deceased father and mother were alive to see this historic moment.  Call it what you will, this man has had America engaged in a conversation of diversity, justice, hope and dreams that hasn’t happened at this magnitude since the foundation of this country.  Regardless of his views of inclusion and tolerance, we must all give him credit for his tenacity, consistency, call for unity and racial reconciliation, oratorical eloquence, technological savvy, intelligence and strategic exegesis of the perceived desires, needs and aspirations of so many in America. 

As Christians, we must allow the conversations of hope, dreams, equality and opportunity to lead people to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ not in an “atoning king” for the sins of America.  My challenge to American Christians is to not spend our time “hating”, “criticizing” and arrogantly politicizing what cannot be altered from the history books but to preach the gospel to a thirsty culture that is ripe for the truth of Jesus Christ.

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community, family living, meaning of life

Bigger than Halloween – Happy Reformation Day!

10/31/2008   |      |       |    0 Comment

While the western world celebrates Halloween, Christ followers celebrate what took place on October 31, 1517.  Martin Luther courageously nailed his 95 thesis to the church door of Wittenberg.  Through this event in history the Reformation was birthed and because of his dedication to the truth of Scripture we enjoy freedom in Christ today.  Click Here to read more.  Check this out as well… Click!

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Lil' Financial Hope from Dave

10/01/2008   |      |       |    0 Comment

Here’s some practical information that isn’t found necessarily on msnbc, cnn or abcnews.  During this time of uncertainty in our economy make sure you are digesting a balanced perspective that is detached from a political slant.  Check out what Dave Ramsey has to say about surviving in our economy. – Click Here

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family living

Lil’ Financial Hope from Dave

10/01/2008   |      |       |    0 Comment

Here’s some practical information that isn’t found necessarily on msnbc, cnn or abcnews.  During this time of uncertainty in our economy make sure you are digesting a balanced perspective that is detached from a political slant.  Check out what Dave Ramsey has to say about surviving in our economy. – Click Here

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family living

The Distraction of Celebrated Breasts

08/05/2008   |      |       |    1 Comment

Are women leveraging the power of their influence over men?  In a recent article, ABC News reports on the appropriate way for women to celebrate their breasts for their own benefit, even in the workplace.  Could our Christian sisters be subtly buying into the “dressed up” and unspoken messages of the drivers of fashion in our culture?  Are we allowing our body images to become our means of advancing ourselves or being perceived as striking and worthy of notice?  Has tight become right because it displays your competitive edge? 

Regardless of the reason, at this point our men are pleading for our sisters in Christ to be sensitive to our visual makeup.  We anticipate the onslaught from unbelieving women but not from blood-washed believers in Christ.  In my discussions with men, all they are asking for is that you pull your shirts up, put on a camisole (which is a sophisticated undershirt), and keep your body to yourself and your husband.  We are pursuing holiness for the King and we have “made a covenant with our eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman (Job 31:1)?” We are attempting to respect and honor you, while we guard our hearts.  We bounce our eyes, we pray, we avoid certain sights, we bury ourselves in God’s Word and we make ourselves accountable to other men to honestly talk about the struggle. 

Please don’t celebrate your breasts to our detriment.  We as men have too much wickedness in our own hearts to be enticed by things that could be avoided.  We love our sisters but really need them to understand the impact of their choices.  Let’s avoid unnecessary distractions to furthering God’s kingdom.

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church life, community, family living, growth, masculinity