Dear Mr. Christian

Heard this song today on the radio. The beat and sound caught my attention and then I listened to the words. I’ve posted the words below. It is one of those songs that makes you think.

Dear Mr. Christian
By Derek Minor Featuring Dee-1 and Lecrae

Verse 1
I was nine years old when daddy first touched me
At 15 I ran away and never stopped running
I met a man who took me in ‘cuz I was pretty though
He said that you could make some money in my video
I get high and drunk just to make it through a show
And act like I’m enjoying it but really this is all a show
I feel degraded, purity obliterated
This is all I know and I really hate it
Mr. Minor are you listening? I know that you’re a Christian
And got computer programs to block me from your vision
And every time you watch me you say that I’m the issue
Your pastor preaching about how not to let me catch you slipping
But maybe I’m a victim, maybe I’m just trapped in the system
And next time you pray maybe I might get a mention (please)
Before you talk about me remember that I’m lost
And your secret pleasure coming at a cost

Hook:
Dear Mr. Christian, I know you’re on a mission
I know you say the answer to my problem is religion
I know I’m supposed to change the way I live and stop sinning
But I’d appreciate it if you take some time to listen
Dear Mr. Christian

Verse 2:
Man I’m on that chronic
Higher than a comet
Sippin’ gin and tonic
Drinking till I vomit
Tatted on my arms, tatted on my face
Pants hanging low, nina on my waist
I be slanging soft, plus I got that hard
Die for my hood, ride for my boulevard
I got love for my dogs but never for these girls
It’s M.O.E. ‘cuz money rule the world
But Mr. Dee-1, I grew up crummy
Saw my pops get killed in front of me
Saw my momma do dope in front of me
Felt like ain’t nobody love me
Uniform dirty, dressing bummy
Went to school they called me ugly
Caught the bus they used to jump me
God I just prayed to you Sunday
Now it’s Monday, I’m starving
Sip sour milk out of the carton
Talk to myself while I’m out walking should I put myself in a coffin?
I don’t know! All I grew up with was trouble
Ain’t know no role model, I knew the struggle

Hook:
Dear Mr. Christian, I know you’re on a mission
I know you say the answer to my problem is religion
I know I’m supposed to change the way I live and stop sinning
But I’d appreciate it if you take some time to listen
Dear Mr. Christian

Verse 3:
Excuse me, I don’t quite understand you
Propaganda and banter and all of this empty chatter
And amidst these amens, hallelujahs, and shuckin’ jivin’
I see a lot of hypocrites and hyper-criticizing
Mr. Lecrae my momma sold me up the river for some rocks
And daddy told me I was nothing but a problem
Now here you come telling me I’m a low down dirty sinner
And you got the nerve to wonder why I’m in these streets robbin’?
Well go and get batman, and go get back man
I don’t need to be judged by you and all of your wack friends
Ain’t gluttony a sin? Why you staring at my gin?
Where I’m from we don’t pretend
We know we ain’t gettin’ in
Now the world don’t trust me
And these streets done crushed me
Thought you were known for love but you just love to judge me
Truth is, ironically you need me around though
‘Cuz otherwise you got nobody else to look down on

Hook:
Dear Mr. Christian, I know you’re on a mission
I know you say the answer to my problem is religion
I know I’m supposed to change the way I live and stop sinning
But I’d appreciate it if you take some time to listen
Dear Mr. Christian

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He Gets It

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. –  Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV

I have assurance that no matter what happens to me, what I do or what my struggles are I can come to God.  Christ get’s my pain, struggles and temptations. It is easy to think that I’ve messed up so badly that even God won’t or can’t help me. That somehow I must fix my problem before I can come to him. Or that I’m the only one who struggles with something.I just have to deal with it on my own. In reality, Christ wants to be there for me and I don’t have to fix myself first. In fact, I probably can’t fix myself.

Conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness

Saturday morning as I was trying to put up the bounty from my trip to the farmer’s market a team of Jehovah’s Witness representatives came to my door. My first thought was oh great I don’t have time for this. I really wanted to just brush them off because I was too busy and didn’t really see the point. I as surprised to be greeted by 2 young men in their late teens or early twenties rather than the usual middle age or older adults that usually come to our door. As I was deciding on my response several things hit me.

First, while I do not agree with their beliefs these young men are to be commended for the zeal they have for their faith. How many evangelicals, much less 20 somethings, are out before noon on a Saturday morning sharing their faith? I am neither condoning their methods or beliefs. It hit me that I need to be more alert and aware of opportunities to share my faith.

Second, that these young men were created in God’s image and desperately need to be presented with the truth.  Many Christians believe that is is somehow acceptable to be rude, combative or argumentative with Jehovah’s Witnesses because of what they believe.  Those tactics rarely work. In fact, they only build walls and prevent any opportunity to share the truth. As my Granddaddy used to say, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

My approach was to dialogue with these young men. I was very clear about my beliefs and background. I answered their questions about the Bible and God’s name with truth that raised points they were unfamiliar with. Further, they left with something to think about and the invitation to come back and if they had anymore questions.

More Than Just a Little Chorus

Worship ServiceA little chorus …

If you are like me you’ve probably either used that phrase or heard it used in reference to worship songs.  Have you taken time to really think about what is being said? It is as if modern worship music is somehow lesser than hymns. Think about this in 1824, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross was considered contemporary or modern worship. I think sometimes during  corporate worship it is easy to check our brains at the door and not really reflect upon what is being sung, said or read.

True some songs like I Exalt Thee are simple and repetitive. It is very easy to just check out without focusing on what is being sung.

I Exalt Thee By Pete Sanchez

For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods
For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord

One of the things that I like about worship music is that much of it comes from scripture. I have learned a lot scripture this way.

Seek Ye First

Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Allelu, alleluia (Matt 6:33)

Man does not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Allelu, alleluia (Matt 4:4; Deut 8:3)

Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you
Allelu, alleluia (Matt 7:7)

Many worship songs are essentially a prayer that is sung. Much of Keith Green’s music was like this.

Oh Lord You’re Beautiful by Keith Green

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, please light the fire,
That once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with Holy fear.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Others like Creed by Rich Mullins teach doctrine.

Creed by Rich Mullins

I believe in God the Father
Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate
He was crucified and dead and buried

And I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man

I believe that He who suffered was crucified, buried, and dead
He descended into hell and on the third day, rose again
He ascended into Heaven where He sits at God’s mighty right hand
I believe that He’s returning
To judge the quick and the dead of the sons of men

And I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man

I believe it, I believe it
I believe it
I believe it, I believe it

Compare the lyrics of Creed with the Apostle’s Creed.

Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Amen.

So next time you are at church don’t check your mind at the door. Use the worship time to reflect on what is being said.

Rest

The Big Guy's feetI took this shot of the Big Guy or rather his feet. The Big Guy  was relaxing after a long day of traveling. As I was editing the picture I remembered a book I discovered during college. The book is  Principles of Spiritual Growth by Miles Stanford.  One of the principles that was a rather strange concept for me was that of rest.  As my tagline indicates I have ADHD and rest isn’t really easy for me. Even if I’m sitting down watching TV I have to do something.

Before reading the book I had heard a lot about doing things for God, the faith, church, etc. but little about resting in God. I was familiar with Psalm 46:10 “”Be still, and know that I am God…”  I just didn’t get the concept of resting in God. Standford explains it ““True activity is that which springs out of, and is ever accompanied by, rest. It is only as we know what it is to be ‘still,’ that we are ready to ‘go forward’ ‘We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go’”.

We need to take time to rest in God. Meditate on His word, listen to Him and even that dreaded getting still in God’s presence.  I really struggle with even the thought of being still, not because I don’t want to spend time with God but rather that my brain is always in hyper-drive. It is as if just being still is a wasted time. In reality rest is needed.

End of Year Reflection

This is my last post for 2010. Gee, seems like the year has just started. I guess this is the point where I’m supposed to write some sort of illuminating treatise full of great wisdom. It  I’m all out of witty sayings and wisdom right now. I do have a few observations for the year.

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions for many reasons. Goal setting is more my style. I guess they might be the same thing. For 2010, I decided to borrow an idea from a friend of selecting a theme for the year.  My theme was to Make a Difference.  I have tried to write more about causes  and other ways to make a difference. Spent some time this week redoing the Make a Difference Section.

Life doesn’t always go the way we plan. Sometimes even the unexpected bumps in life can turn out to unexpected blessings. I just have to be willing to trust God and look for the blessings.

One of those unexpected things this year is an unplanned move to problems with our condo.   I absolutely hate moving.  The process of moving can be a difficult and at times an insurmountable task. During the moving process I will eventually reach a point where I just want to toss everything or just leave. It was during the packing and unpacking stage that I realized there were some important lessons that can be learned from moving.  First, God is in the business of fresh starts and is willing to forgive us when we make a mess of things. This doesn’t mean there are no consequences from past actions. Second, sometimes you just have to get rid of the junk in our lives. Finally, a change of location can also change ones outlook and perspective.

It is so easy to forget that I was created by God, in his image and to have fellowship with him. Somehow I get my priorities messed up  and focus on my needs, wants and goals.

Real faith isn’t just for Sundays. What good is faith that does not affect ones daily life? Situations that challenge ones faith can also cause it to grow.  It is important to move from just reading about matters of faith and actually practice what one  believes.

People are more important than having nice things. Do not sacrifice friendships or other relationship to gain more things. Seize the little moments to make memories; you never know how many more you will get.

Those are just a few of my observations from 2010.