Archive for January, 2009

What was your first car?

So I’m REALLY not feeling well today and I feel like having a little fun.

Do you remember your FIRST CAR? What was it? Here is mine.  This was the color and everything! It was a 1984 Cutlass Sierra. I bought it for $200 from I girl I knew that was going off to college. I actually bought it with money I made selling candy with my friend Ray.

So here it is. My first bucket! Post a link of a picture of your first car in the comments.

800px-1985-88_oldsmobile_cutlass_ciera

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Pray for Amanda Smith

Hey blog family. 

I ask that you fervently pray for Amanda Smith. She’s the mom of one of the people in my youth church. She had an aneurysm last year and  now she has to have more surgery to correct it. Major brain surgery. She’s going in tomorrow and her 15 year old son as well as her 12 year son are FREAKING OUT. 

Please, pray for them just as earnestly as you prayed for my mom-in-law. 

Thanks and I’ll keep you up to date on her status.

What’s your legacy going to be?

As a resident of New England for the last 6.5 years, I have come to despise the Indianapolis Colts.  Patriots vs Colts is well on its way to becoming the best rivalry in football.

On the other hand, I have become a HUGE fan and admirer of Tony Dungy. And my admiration goes FAR beyond the fact that he was the first African American to coach a SuperBowl winner. My admiration is for the legacy he’s established as leader and a man of  God.

As a leader, he’s not only responsible for recruiting effective coaches of color, he’s responsible for mentoring some of the most successful coaches leading their respective teams. His legacy as a leader includes a list of the who’s who in head coaching. Herm Edwards, Ron Meeks, Jim Caldwell, Lovie Smith and Mike Tomlin are people who have taken their cues DIRECTLY from Tony Dungy on a personal level. All of them have been hired by him and mentored by him.  He has generally produced effective leaders. Edwards, Smith and Tomlin have led successful teams to the playoffs – Smith to the SuperBowl (where he lost to his mentor’s Colts) and Tomlin is coaching the SuperBowl favorites this year. Meeks led a GREAT defense in Indy and Jim Caldwell was the assistant head coach there (we’ll see how he does this year).

Then, he proved you can be strong in your faith and lead a football team to victory. He’s famous for being the coach who NEVER cusses at his team and doesn’t allow it in the locker room! Check out this quote from Dungy when talking about his mentee Lovie Smith before they coached against each other in the SuperBowl:

I really wanted to show people you can win all kinds of ways. I always coached the way I’ve wanted to be coached. I know Lovie has done the same thing. For guys to have success where it maybe goes against the grain, against the culture … I know I probably didn’t get a couple of jobs in my career because people could not see my personality or the way I was going to do it … For your faith to be more important than your job, for your family to be more important than that job … We all know that’s the way it should be, but we’re afraid to say that sometimes. Lovie’s not afraid to say it and I’m not afraid to say it.”

His legacy will be one of strong leadership, he developed other strong leaders and showed the world that you can be the best without acting like the rest. He showed you can be effective without losing your soul in the process. He showed people you don’t have to abandon your convictions so that you can succeed. Not only did he display it, he duplicated it in others.

You may not be into sports. You may never have to lead millionare athletes to victory. But you do have the chance to leave a legacy. Your children, the people who attend your church, the people on your sports team, the people on your cheerleading squad, your closest friends or the people who just look up to you – they are all in position to be the testament of your legacy.

What’s your legacy going to be?

Who speaks for you?

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Hey everyone. I’m curious, what voices is the public light speak for you? Are there any, or do you find yourself not TRULY being represented publically?

So tell me, who speaks for you?

Teen Sexting = Child Porn Charges??

Technology has always advanced because of two societal linchpins – religion and sex. These new technologies have also pused the boundaries and even redefined the boundaries of ethics. You might remember my last about sexting asking about how it should be viewed.

Well, law enforcement also has some ideas about how it should be viewed. Check out this story about teens who sexted some boys at school being charged with child pornography!

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/01/15/pn.sexting.teens.cnn

What do you think? Did they go to far? Is this a literal definition of the law?

Who said what now?

Who said what now? Anybody who has been around me for the past 7 or so years knows that “who said what now?” has become my default phrase for many things. It could mean “I’m sorry I didn’t hear you, please repeat yourself.” Or it could mean “Uuuuhhh, did anybody actually think about that before the decision was made?” It could mean “I think you just said something mind numbingly stupid. Say it one more time just so that I’m clear…”

Despite my all encompassing meaning of the phrase, I actually want to ask this question with words meaning exactly what they mean: Who said what now? Allow me to explain.

I spend a lot of time with people of the faith and I often hear sentences that begin with “God said…” Nothing wrong with that. I just DETEST it when people use their “God said” as the main selling point for THEIR OWN IDEAS! Then, amazingly – in an almost schizophrenic way – when the idea changes or completely fails altogether and there is a new, subsequently different plan the first begins with “God said.” But wait, I thought God said the EXACT opposite thing just 3 weeks ago? Either God is crazy, you are crazy OR you have an idea that you think is really good but all of the details aren’t in place and you don’t have the balls to just say “Its my idea and I think its a really good one.” Who said what now?

People, just own the idea! Did “God say?” Dunno honestly. Do you think its a good idea that doesn’t violate any of the spiritual principles He has laid out for us in scripture? Yes? Then just own it!!! It is perfectly okay to think like they did in 1st Samuel 14:6 and say “Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf.” Do I need to even get into the scriptures in Ezekiel where it actually says “Don’t say ‘God says”? 

God gave you a great brain, great skill, awesome creativity and a sense of discernment. Its perfectly okay for you to do something without the sky cracking a Jesus telling you. Just own it. Maybe God told you. Maybe He didn’t but it would be AWESOME if you did it anyway. Maybe a better opportunity opened up and it would be advantageous without being against His will for you to hop on that opportunity. Maybe its all your own idea and perhaps the Lord will act on your behalf. Just own it. 

Then you won’t look so crazy and you can stop lying on God when you change your mind. Man up. Woman up. Own up to it and OWN YOUR DECISION. Then “perhaps the Lord will act on your behalf.”

(And no I don’t think God said to write this post…)

Reminded that God is sovereign

Okay, this has been a really soft subject for me and I kept a secret from most of the people I know because it hurt SO MUCH. Its time for me to share this story though because I know it will encourage someone else.

Last year, I experienced one of the greatest joys of my life. It was when my wife and I looked each other in eyes said “I can’t believe it, we are REALLY having a baby!” The joy that raced through my body was only matched by the joy I felt when I said “I do.” But that joy was short-lived.

After running the blood work a few times, a trip to the ER and 3 sonograms our worst fears were confirmed: we had a miscarriage. I had heard of people having miscarriages, but I didn’t really understand the sadness associated with it until we had our own. The pain from that equalled the joy of pregancy. I literally well up with tears thinking about it as I type this. We were 7 weeks  along when the baby was lost.

We cried and hugged and cried some more. I started to ask God “why!?!?!?” but instead I rested in Romans 8:28. I didn’t know how, but I knew it would work out for our good.

3 weeks later, mom collapsed. My wife was a mess! First the miscarriage, now this. As I watched her being so stressed out it made her physically ill, I had the thought “what if she was still pregnant?” The stress she was under at this time, she would have had a miscarriage and the guilt would have been tremendous. She would have felt guilty that she couldn’t control her emotions enough to save the baby. She would have been mad at God or her mom for having this happen and causing that to lose our baby. The family would have been crushed to deal with mom’s condition AND losing our baby. That would have been too much for us to bare.

So now I see that God, in His sovereignty showed us we could have children (something we were beginning to be concerned about) but didn’t put us in an unbareable situation. It hurts like heck, but so does alot of other stuff that works for my good.

So to you I say what God inspired Paul to write to the Roman church:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Your gift isn’t enough

During my time of prayer and meditation the other day, I was stressing! I mean STRESSING! “God, how is the youth chuch going to grow? God, how do we reach more people for You? God how do we grow the saved to be more like Jesus?”

I started thinking about what stories I could share to help people get excited about Jesus. What experiences do I have that will push people even more? What can I do to improve my teaching gift, etc, etc. I started to rely on what I could do to make it happen.

 I was thinking of all this stuff  and then I got molly-wopped internally and heard this: “Its not by my gift or by my experience – its by God’s spirit.” It wasn’t a direct scripture quote but I knew it was His word re-applied to me directly. The scripture that flooded my mind after that was: “Its not by power or by might, but by my Spirit says God.” I felt crushed and relieved at the same time. Crushed because I realized I was taking on ALL of the responsibility for God’s ministry. Relieved because I was reminded that while I outwardly do the stuff, its only by God’s Spirit behind the scenes that changes lives eternally.

Have you ever found yourself trying to accomplish His work in your power? What happened? What changes did you make?

One Thing

Hey there! Thanks for clicking here and reading my blog. Okay, so its 2009 and most us probably have a long list of things we want to either do or be (Leonce, DOPE  New Year’s post brutha!).

But what if, despite our intense prayers, plans and programming you could only accomplish ONE THING on your list? What would that one thing be?

Its 2009!!