28 March 2009

Crosseyed Blog & Webzine

I’ve been featured on a new site called the Cross Eyed Blog and Webzine! Their mission is to encourage and build up our brothers and sisters in Christ through articles relevant to our daily lives and struggles. Through the written word they are hoping to impact Christians and help people live lives that glorify God.

Even if you don’t normally read very much, be sure to check Cross Eyed blog. It covers college, dating and courtship, entertainment, faith, marriage and family, politics, time and money, worldview, singleness, devotional life, biblical manhood and womanhood, time & money, gospel and blogging.

I especially like crosseyed because it features excellent writers whose intimate relationship with Jesus you can't miss! I'm glad to be featured there and I think the play on words, "cross-eyed", is, as the britons say, wicked!!

Visit their website, just click on the title of this post or any of the images!


21 March 2009

My Predictions

I wrote this on the 5th of March but felt uncertain as to whether to publish it or not. After a bit of thinking, I've decided to publish it. Ladies and gentlemen, "my predictions"...

For those of you who are very holy, Rihanna and Chris Brown are back together and might even be married. For those of you who literally tread in the heavenlies, Chris Brown and Rihanna are two celebrities, both recording artists, who have been seeing each other for quite a while and sadly, two lost individuals as well. They are both fairly recent and most beloved on the celebrity block. Both under the age of 21, they are quite young.

Before you write me off as worldly, I only got to know Chris through my cousin who is (whats the word...) bananas about Chris. As for the beat up Rihanna, her hit song “Umbrella” was playing everywhere, you’d have to be deaf if you're below 20 and are unaware of its existence.

Chris Brown beat his poor girlfriend up, fellow celebrity Rihanna, so badly that he is due in court. He beat her like she was a thief or something. They were driving from a party in the late night to early morning, I think and allegedly got into an argument when the young man got a message from another lady. Well, Rihanna called the fellow names and before long, he had given her a piece of himself. A call was made to the police by either the young lady or an onlooker and when the cops arrived, Brown had fled the scene. A few hours later he turned himself in to the police. I don't know the whole, precise story but thats the general idea.

Well, allegedly, 3 weeks after the incident, they are back together and could even be married.

Do you see the folly of these people? I mean, come on, give me a break!

Chris Brown was painted black, and rightly so, by the media, radio stations boycotted his music, and the general public was out raged. The incident had potential to destroy the rest of his career. He quickly proposed marriage to his beaten up love, allegedly, and she, in her folly accepted, not only him, but his proposal for marriage as well. He, in my view, has acted out of remorse which means that their marriage is doomed.

My Predictions:

  • Chris Brown will continue to hurt Rihanna. He obviously has a hot temper and has fits of rage. Remorse will not solve his problem, it will merely suppress it for a season.

  • Secondly, we should be hearing of a divorce anytime from now. You can’t get married to someone who beat you up right after you make amends, I mean, the guy has asked you to marry him, most likely out of a sense of guilt and feels he needs to pay you, to make up somehow, for his horrible mistake. A marriage cannot last based on such a foundation.

  • Rihanna and Chris will continue to search but they’ll never find. They’ll always seek true love, happiness and satisfaction but until they find the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they’ll never be happy. Watch these two young people grow to become miserable individuals as they search for life with a capital L.

You may be wondering how carnal a fellow I must be to follow the lives of the some of the most appalling of men, namely celebrities. Well I must admit it’s a bit of a secret indulgence of mine for few reasons:

  1. First and foremost, I follow some of these guy's lives to see what the fuss is all about! Why do people pay so much money and attention to see these people, why are people crazy about them? Whats the buzz and fuss all about?!

  2. But also, for me, it is scripture revealed. As I see these men and women search for life under the sun, my jaw drops to see scripture come to life. Solomons words become real, "life is meaningless under the sun". All that fame and wealth and yet so, so unsatisfied, so lost and so doomed.

  3. Lastly, as I share the gospel with those around me, those who care so much for their idols and celebrities, it is good to show them how stupid a life without Christ is through the testimony of the lives of those they cherish so dearly. "Look how empty the lives of those you cherish are," I'll say, "Look at how this person has died leaving their all their fame and wealth, there's got to be more to life...".

And besides, I follow their lives passively and not actively! I mean, I have better things to do...


17 March 2009

White Man by Michael Gungor

Over the festive season, I came across Michael Gungor, a gospel artist and worship leader. I later found the simple but, I dare say, hair raising song, for some at least, "White Man". Michael is a gospel singer and so, I was rather curious to find out how such a title could sum up the idea of a Christian song. He released the song as a single off his "to come" album and it soon became a controversial song. I also found that he had written an article about the song and the about the response he hopes the song will retain. Have a read and a listen! By the way the video is not by Michael...

White Man
Words and music by Michael Gungor and Lisa Gungor

God is not a man, God is not a white man
God is not a man sitting on a cloud
God cannot be bought, God will not be boxed in
God will not be owned by religion

But God is love, God is love,
and He loves everyone
God is love, God is love,
and He loves everyone

God is not a man, God is not an old man
God does not belong to Republicans
God is not a flag, Not even American
And God does not depend on a government

But God is good, God is good,
and He loves everyone
God is good, God is good,
and He loves everyone

Atheists and Charlatans
and Communists and Lesbians
And even old Pat Robertson,
oh God He loves us all
Catholic or Protestant,
Terrorist or President
Everybody, everybody, love, love, love, love, love
Yeah, I say God is love, God is love,
and He loves everyone
Stop the hating, please just stop the hating now cause God is love

© 2008 worshiptogether.com songs/ASCAP. Admin by EMI CMG Publishing.



God is Not a White Man by Michael Gungor
Preparing for the release of their new project in September, Michael Gungor reflects on what has become a controversial single off the new album.

“Atheists and charlatans and communists and lesbians, and even ol’ Pat Robertson, oh God He loves us all. Catholic or Protestant, terrorist or President. Everybody, everybody, love, love, love, love.” (from our new song “God is Not a White Man”)“…some people are concerned about the word ‘lesbian’ being in the song.” (my advisers)

Listen, I’m not after being controversial. Bothering people just for the sake of bothering them is just annoying, and that’s not really the emotional response that I am hoping to elicit with our music. But you know what? And forgive me for being a little gross here, but sometimes cleaning out a festering sore can sting a little.

In the bridge of the song, my intent was to be as offensive as possible with that list. Many of us don’t like to think of God loving the people that we hate the most. The terrorist, the racist, the rapist, the Pharisees and the TV preachers. My hope was that people would notice any internal cringing in order to bring their own prejudices into the light.

I think that sometimes we fool ourselves by thinking our sin is cleaner than everyone else’s sin. “I don’t hate people, I just hate the people that hate people.” However, I believe that looking down on anyone as something less than an image and beloved creation of God is not only sinful, but at the heart of nearly all the problems of the world.

And in order to justify how we divide, compare, and rank ourselves, we often end up fashioning a god for ourselves that supports our decision. The Israelites fashioned a god (golden calf) that they thought would be a shinier and more tangible deity than the One who brought them out of Egypt.

Our early American forefathers fashioned a god that allowed them to have a “Manifest Destiny” to own this land, and that led them into the massive genocide that they carried out on the Native American people that lived here before us. Hitler fashioned a god that allowed him to exterminate the Jews. I wonder what kind of god that we have fashioned today that allows us to separate and hate each other like we do.

What kind of god have some Christians fashioned that allows them to look down on homosexuals? What kind of god have some Christians fashioned for themselves that is happy with our denominational separations and elitist attitudes? What kind of god loves this group of people over that group of people?

Certainly not the God of the Bible.The Bible teaches us that God is love, and as Christians, we are to be made into God’s image, not to try to make Him in ours. We are not to paint our own personalities and preferences on God’s face. We are not meant to control Him or own Him with our faith or our religion. Instead, we are called to give Him ownership of our lives through our faith.

What would a church look like that was rid of the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ poison that has plagued the world for so many thousands of years? What if we really believed that there is no more Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female? Perhaps we could become the Church that Jesus prayed for in John 17 right before He went to the cross. Of all the things that Jesus could have prayed right there, He asked that God would unify us. There is enough separation and division in the world already. It is what leads to things like war, racism, and poverty. If the Church is to become a new kind of humanity, we must unify in love as we shed the lines that divide us from the people that we are called to love and serve.

“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of
them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be
in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the
glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in
me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me
and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Posted July 22, 2008 Michael Gungor is the lead singer and worship songwriter of the Michael Gungor Band. The group's new album, Ancient Skies, is releasing September 9, 2008 from Brash Records.

13 March 2009

Respect For The "Least"

Things I learnt away from home. I spent about two years away from home. I learnt quite a few valuable lessons. I've shared a couple, I thought I'd share still another.

I'm not sure why I picked this one from South Africa but I did.

When you analyse society, the working class can be divided into various categories. One of those categories comprises of those people who "serve". I put serve in inverted commas because, nurses serve but at they are fairly, well paid and they went to college in order to do what they do. I'm talking about waiters and waitresses, assistants at tills in stores and markets, those men and women who sell air time at booths, auxiliary staff, cleaners, gardeners, security guards, parking attendants, fuel station attendants, (I almost mentioned prisoners here but that wouldn't be quite right!), etc. Some of them are just trying to raise pocket money others actually need their jobs to survive.

The first thing to realise about those in positions of service is that they are not there because they necessarily want to be. They would get better jobs if they could, jobs with better pay and less hours. Their jobs are tough and stressing. No one would want to work so hard, for so little, but they have no choice.

Secondly, if you are not in this line of work, its not because you are smart or intelligent of hard working (per say), but you have a better job because God has allowed you to. You could have failed college, or been born to not-so-well-to-do parents or guardians, etc. So an important thing I learnt is not to look down on these people because I realised that if it t'was not for God's grace, I'd be in their shoes.

This dawned on me while I was with my Uncle and his family during my time away from home. I'd go into their living room and turn on the t.v or go get me a drink from the fridge and I kept thinking, "you know what? I'm able to live here, as comfortably as I do at my own home, not because I'm smart or because I know these people I'm staying with but because they know my parents! That's it. If I was not a child of my father, I wouldn't be here! The picture widened when I saw people who were less fortunate than me, people who worked long hours for peanuts. People who worked humbling jobs, jobs were you wait on fellow human beings, cleaning windshields or cleaning tables at restaurants or standing behind tills for long hours on end, etc. I realised that I wasn't where these people were because of God's grace period.

Now, these guys work long hours. I don't really blame fuel attendants or guys behind tills for being grumpy sometimes, I mean, they have probably been at the till for ages (or they are about to be) and they are tired and their thin account balance's keep flashing before their eyes as they work so hard. And there comes some stuck up individual behaving like the poor attendant is not a human being. I learnt while in SA to try not to be burdensome to them because God knows they have enough burdens of their own. I try to be considerate as I have dealings with them. I avoid causing them problems and making a fuss over things petty.

I also try to be polite. I avoid being rude and always thank them for their service. I could probably go further to greet them cheerfully as I approach them. If they seem rude and grumpy, I try to remain polite because I know that if I had a day like they have had or are about to have, I'd be pretty grumpy too! If they try to make small talk with me, I oblige. I try not to act uninterested. I smile and laugh with them. I apologise for any misunderstanding or mistake on my part.

Being a Christian is about, among other things, being different. Jesus said we must love our enemies and gave various reasons why (Matthew 5:43-48). One of the reasons he gave is worth some reflection. He said in essence that if we hate our enemies what difference would there be between the world and us? The world chooses to hate those who hate them. A Christian should be different.

Likewise, those in positions of service must be able to see something different between us and other customers. If we all treated them like the world does, what difference would there be between the world and us? That lady at the till should be able to say,"There's something about that man" or "There's something about that woman". "She's greeted me so cheerfully" or "That wonderful man always thanks me for my service." "There's something about him/her."

There must be something about me.