Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Da Word... 211! Blessings will flow!

Who doesn't want to catch a blessing? I mean come on, some people would give anything to receive just ONE! What if I told you aiming for one is straight panzy? Heh heh, that's right! Pops isn't about the one offs, He's about streaming an ill flow of blessings your way, believe that. So how can we trigger such a flow?


"... I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly."
- Pops ( Deuteronomy 1:36 )

My man Moses is continuing his story about where the Israelites have been and where they are going. This specific instance is about the lands Pops above promised the nation, specifically the forefathers Abraham and company. See, Israel had escaped from Egypt and were making their way to the promised land. Right on the verge of entering, they doubted Pops. They saw what they would have to contend with to enter the promised land and cried, "No way! We'll get stomped!" What's worse, they started saying stuff like, "We should have stayed in Egypt." OH SNAAAAAAAAP! No they did not! Yes they did. And yeah, I can see you suddenly clutching your chest in an attempt feel Pops as if to lessen the pain of an imaginary arrow piercing your heart.

Now COME ON! These peeps saw FIRSTHAND the incredibly awesome things Pops can do. Shoot, homie was leading them via a pillar of wind by day and a pillar fire by night! Why did they doubt? I don't know. But yoooo! Caleb! Yes my friends, Caleb did not cower. Caleb was all about heading to the promised land. Peep Numbers chapters 13 and 14 for the story. Caleb stood tall and followed Pops wholeheartedly. The result? Those who saw the power of Pops firsthand and yet doubted him and went so far as to call his Egyptian rescue operation a mistake LOST the chance to enter the promised land. But for Caleb and his descendants the blessings of Pops would continue to flow. And flow they did!

How can we trigger a flow of blessings? By following Pops wholeheartedly, and I'm talking wholeheartedly! There's no point in doing it any other way. Otherwise you'll just miss out on the illest of the illest blessings that Pops has ready to roll out to you. Why settle for a mere sip when you can have the whole drink! Going all in is what it takes. And believe me, it is so beyond worth it that it is without measure. Go ahead and take the dive brothers and sisters! There is plenty of room and there is no end to His flow.


- patrick

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Da Word... 210! Drop-kick bias holmes!

This morning I was listening to Just Thinking, a podcast from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and he mentioned that Deuteronomy is oft noted as Christ's most quoted book.  So I thought, "Hey, if da Christ hit this book like crazy when speaking with people, maybe I should delve into it some!"  Let's hit some Deuteronomy!


And I charged your judges at that time: Hear the disputes between your brothers and judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien.  Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike...
- Moses (Deuteronomy 1:16,17)

Humans tend to have a bias toward one thing or another.  Showing impartiality when deciding between two things is pretty tough for us!  We are so easily swayed by all kinds of signals and triggers... especially when those signals and triggers are people and identity!  Now is having a bias all that bad?  Naw lo.  A bias towards compassion over conceit is world's better I think!  But having a bias in situations that result in disproportionate or unfair treatment towards another human being or people group tends to give rise to problems.... buhlee dat.

Why do we treat people differently?  It's the idea of favor or group identity.  Yeah, we like to be in another's favor, especially if such a person is connected like CRAZY.  If we come under a connected person's graces, it follows that we inherit some of that connectedness!   And therein lies the problem, such thinking will lead to deleterious shafting of the less fortunate.  That's right homies. Those who seem small or insignificant get left by the wayside and are treated anything but fairly.  That's just wrong, ethically and morally.  I mean, just because so-and-so can't elevate our position in any way, shape, or form, it does not give us the right to give him or her the shaft!  That individual is still a person, just like us -- living, breathing and filled with emotions, feelings, needs, and desires.  The same thing applies to those who are different from us whether it be by race, ethnicity, citizenship, or organization.

It's up to each and everyone us to eliminate such bias in our hearts when dealing with people.  If we don't, such thinking will begin to spread like a sick and twisted disease.  It will infect all of our relationships even creeping into family, friends, and communities.  It will start to seap into institutions and businesses.  Pretty soon an entire county, state, or nation will be wrought with infestation.  What happens then? The beginning of the end my friend.  Discrimination will run rampant, respect for human diginity will be lost, those who are connected will reap the fruits off of the backs of the less fortunate.  Eventually those being shafted won't take it anymore.  There'll be an uprising, a civil war so to speak.  And we know that a house divided against itself cannot stand.  I think you can guess how it ends.....

I don't know about you, but I enjoy it when peeps are happy and at peace with each other.  When people love each other and look out for the interests of others, things start to get mad interesting!  Life becomes da BOMB and we start to experience life in ways we have never known.  Our friendships blossom, our familes grow tighter, our communities grow, and blessings are showered among us all.  And yo, the strength of our bonds with one other  intensifies exponentially. Let's spread this kind of thinking and action in everything that we do. Let us also operate fairly, especially if we are in positions of power whether it be at school, clubs, work, government, living groups, da whole nine.  If you do, believe me, your circles will benefit immensely rippling into the lives of many and your quality of life will soar.  Your burdens become a joy.  Word.


  - patrick

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Da Word... 209! Beware da Snakes

And we're back!  Apologies for the long hiatus there!  Let's get to rockin' and rollin' 


For Certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.  They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

-Jude ( Jude 1:4 )

Da snakes!  Watch out people!  These kind of folk discreetly slither their way into our midst and try to shake things up.  They endeavor to outrightly confuse you!  Because they purport that God backs them up, such people are extremely dangerous.  Note also that they are doing one of the worst things possible: causing people to stumble.  Yes my friends, snakes like this seek you out to make you fall and maybe even turn away from the path!  You know what snakes like this can expect? "...The Blackest darkness has been reserved..." (Jude 1:13).  It's bad enough if one screws up his or her own soul for eternity ( that's free will... choice ), but to systematically endanger the souls of others!?  Yeah.... you don't wanna be that guy... such a person is going to reap a whirlwind. 

So how are these snakes wreaking havoc?  They interpet and parade the grace of Pops as a license to do all things immoral.  That's right!  They peddle the grand mercy and grace of Pops as some unlimited hot ticket into all things self seeking and self satisfying. Yeah kid!  This is no lie.  Where others would turn from their old selfish ways, these people continue on saying, "Pops will forgive me because of homie's limitless Grace.  So let's get some escorts up in this piece and have ourselves a paaaaartaaay!"   Now that's an extreme example only to show a point.  These snakes grossly pervert the idea of God's grace.

God has limitless grace for those who are genuine in their hearts.  If you know something is not right, that it is definitely detrimental for you be it tangible or intangible, and it displeases Pops... you can't go on doing it! If you truly have a relationship with Pops, you would not continuously and purposefully stick it to him.  You don't do this with your various meaningful human relationships right?  The Pops relationship is no different.  The snakes, though, are looking at numero uno.  They want what they want: pleasure, control, and counterfeit freedom.  So they delude themselves and justify their actions by perverting the meaning of Grace.  As a result, they will try with all of their might to persuade you into their ranks.  And you know what?  It's hard to fight because though the Spirit is willing to walk the walk, the flesh is mad weak.

What can we do then?  heh heh.... BRING DA RUCKUS!  That's right.  We see a snake, we route him out... immediately.  The longer a snake lingers, the more dangerous it becomes.  So don't hesitate; attend to the matter at hand. Have mentors who are strong in the walk and have a pretty firm grasp on what Grace is and what it is not.  When a snake approaches and peddles something too "good" to be true, i.e. it lets you still be mad tight with Pops above but also allows you to indulge in stuff totally against Pops above, and you find it hard to combat because you want so bad for it to be true, seek out that mentor!  And do it with a quicknes before you begin to convince yourself that yes, what the snake says is true.  Check out da Word!  If it ain't in there, or something in da word contradicts it, raise up that Word like a sword and cut it down.  And remember, Pops has your back.


- patrick