#IHeardNuthin

Here’s a little something to get you over your mid-week slump…

Lecrae’s new single dropped yesterday at 1:16pm EST. (Notice the “116” reference?) It’s a banger, too. In the past, Reach Records didn’t normally release a video along with a single. I think the first time I noticed it was with Tedashii’s first single “Dark Days, Darker Nights f/ Britt Nicole” from his new album, “Below Paradise”. (If I’m wrong, let me know in the comments below.) Now they’ve done the same with this new single from Lecrae.

Maybe this will be a new recipe for Reach – new single = new video. I know the fans won’t be upset about it. Granted, neither Lecrae nor his label mates are in the video, but you have to admit that it’s better than just staring at an album cover for five minutes!

This track is from Lecrae’s upcoming album, “Anomaly”, scheduled to be released in August. The song is produced by Gawvi, the new(est) producer signed to Reach. He’s a beast of a producer! He’s produced for many artists – a few include Rhema Soul, Trip Lee, Social Club, and more specifically, possibly my favorite Andy Mineo track from “Heroes For Sale” – “You Will”.

Check out Lecrae’s new single below.

#IHeardNuthin

Are you a fan of Reach Records? What do you think of this new one from Lecrae?

Happy Social Media Day!!!

Yeah, I didn’t know there was a such thing either. Not many people do.

Apparently, Social Media Day is day that is celebrated worldwide. It is a day that Mashable created “in 2010 as a way to recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes.” And I’m sure you will agree – it is a revolution.

The below video was created by Mashable as a sort of “promotion” for the day, but even more, as a way to show the influence and popularity of certain outlets used within the social media platform.

I’m sure everyone reading this can stand in agreement that social media is huge and highly attractive (read: addictive). Case in point – you’re reading this blog possibly from a link on your Facebook or Twitter page. Admittedly, I even wrote some of this post from the WordPress app on my smartphone. Social media has woven itself into the fabric of, not only our lives, but our very being. It has, in many ways, become an extension of who people know us to be. On the flip side, it has also become an extension of who we are, or who we project ourselves to be – whether it’s the real us or not. For better or worse – we’ve allowed social media to define us.

Social media in and of itself is not bad. Personally, I think it is a good platform for engaging people. Family and friends have been connected or reconnected. Experiences have been shared across thousands of miles. Grandparents living on one side of the country can see their grandchild living on the opposite side of the country grow up. In my case, I was blessed to find the church in which my family and I currently worship and serve.

Social media, as a whole, can be used for good – when it is used in a context in which selfish gain or humiliation and degradation of others is not the goal. Unfortunately, those two situations happen more than not in the social media world. As fallen creatures, we have a habit of using positive resources in negative ways. People post provocative pictures, videos of pornographic content and unnecessary violence, and people also engage in cyber-bullying – those are the obvious things. There’s no telling what else is being done that is not as blatant.

Although social media can and has been used to connect people (in either a positive or negative way), that very same platform has the tendency to drive us apart. The platform has done done a remarkable job in bringing so many people together virtually, that we are even further apart physically. And what does that do for the gospel?

Yes, through social media, brothers and sisters are spreading the life changing truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A 140-character tweet can be sent from North Carolina and reach someone in Germany. Someone in California can write a note on Facebook about being baptized and that could be the open door for an unbelieving friend in Michigan to engage with questions about the faith. The challenges come in when we use the platform of social media exclusively to spread the gospel.

When we don’t make the effort to physically reach out to the lost, the personal elements of relationship face even further degradation. When we depend on technology to be our hands and feet to a lost and fallen world, what happens when that technology fails?

By no means am I saying to get rid of technology, nor am I saying deactivate your social media profiles. What I am saying is social media should be employed as a resource to assist you in spreading the gospel. It should not be the means, but a means of telling the world about Jesus. He’s too good to be displayed behind computer screens, forwarded in text messages, shared on Facebook feeds, explained in 140-character Tweets, and liked in an Instagram photo. He is so much more than that. Share Him with your lips, touch others with His hands, walk with others with His feet, live with others by doing life. That is the best way that we can share Jesus – through the life that He purchased on the cross. Go live that life for Jesus.

I ask that you take just a few more minutes to view this video. I don’t know anything about the person speaking in it…whether he is a believer or not. But I appreciate the message. I appreciate the intent. I think it’s a message that we can all understand and relate to, and in our pursuit of sharing Jesus outside of a technological platform – I think it’s something that we can all get behind.

I pray that as you watch this video, you can be reminded of the need to tell people about the limitless and bountiful joy to be found in Jesus Christ – not in the limited toys and gadgets of everyday life. Grace & Peace.

How will you share Jesus today? Who will you speak to, touch, and walk with?

 

“Blogging Theologically” by Aaron Armstrong

blog

Today’s “Follow Friday” blog recommendation is “Blogging Theologically” ran by Aaron Armstrong. I learned about Aaron’s blog as I was first getting serious about my own blog. I took some time to take a look at what current writers were doing on their blogs and I stumbled upon “BT”.

I took a look through the site and one of the first trends I noticed about Aaron’s posts was his transparency. He is a brother who seemed to have no issue with telling his readers about his personal shortcomings. I appreciate his honesty.

Aaron’s site was one of the few that I saw, initially, that didn’t have posts that would be 4 – 5 pages if read on a word document. What I mean is, his site showed me that every single post doesn’t have to be really long and theologically deep in order to be God glorifying, people edifying, and worth posting. Many of Aaron’s posts are short (I understand that it a relative term) and to the point. Once you finish reading what he’s written, you don’t feel like you’re missing something. He puts his points across very well.

If you’re on twitter, follow him here.

The articles below are a few that I’ve enjoyed in my time reading “Blogging Theologically”. These articles are no way exclusive of the great writing he does on a daily basis, but there are just a few I’d like to point out:

  1. Choosing A New Preaching Bible
  2. Four And A Half Books I Shouldn’t Have Read As A New Christian
  3. Think About What You Read
  4. 3 Passages I Want to Preach (but have been afraid to)

Take some time over the next few days to check out this brother’s site. Grab a cup of coffee, your favorite reading device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc), and settle in for some good, honest reading. If you like what you read, recommend him to others.  Drop him a line if you can. Tell him that John sent you! ;)

Grace and Peace.

Have you already been to his site? What are your thoughts about it? Are there other sites you’d like to see highlighted for “Follow Friday”?

With A Cup of Coffee

As you sit down with your coffee this morning, enjoy some of these articles that I’ve enjoyed over the past few days.

1. Primer on Reading the Bible by John Hughes

There is a lot of advice out there about how to read the Bible. As with any advice, some is good and some is bad. I love these pointers because each one is rooted in dependance on God for understanding of His scripture.

2. This is your brain on mobile by Jeremy Vandehey

This is just an interesting article. Please be aware, there is a curse word or two at the end of the article. In general, the author brings some good points and recommendations on how to unplug.

3. FBI rescues 168 child prostitutes, nabs 281 pimps, in weeklong sting by Peter Weber

I am always, ALWAYS, happy when I read articles like this. Granted, there are still hundreds, if not thousands of people (children specifically) whom are still caught up in this way of life. However, this article tells me that there are 168 children that are no longer enslaved to 281 pimps and this life. And those 281 pimps are no longer on the street. Please continue to pray for, not only these recently rescued children, but also those whom have not been rescued. Also, pray for the repentance of, not only the 281 people just arrested, but also for those still enforcing this life on others – adults and children alike.

4. Hey, remember that time Google accidentally made Skynet? by Bryan Bishop

This is a amusing article, albeit a bit disconcerting. The imagery and comparisons used by the author in telling the story are a bit too realistic for comfort. The author places the creation and advancement of the Google operating system, i.e. Android, in the context of “The Terminator” plot. Quite an interesting twist to this technology.

5. “5 Ways To Fight Temptation” – I’ve always enjoyed the videos that Joe (@whatisjoedoing) released. I think this brother has a gift to relate biblical truths to a young generation in a manner which is easily accessible and understandable.

Moral Absolutes

thIn The Christian Imagination, edited by Leland Ryken (Professor at Wheaton College), Francis A. Schaeffer’s essay, “Perspective on Art” is used to emphasize the premise of the book – that being to learn how to read and understand art from a Christian worldview.

In the essay, Schaeffer proposes that the Christian worldview can be divided into two themes; major and minor. Regarding the major theme and the morals therein, he says this,

Christianity gives a moral solution on the basis of the fact that God exists and has a character which is the law of the universe. There is therefore an absolute in regard to morals. It is not that there is a moral law beyond God that binds both God and man, but that God himself has a character and this character is reflected in the moral law of the universe. Thus when a person realizes his inadequacy before God and feels guilty, he has a basis not simply for the feeling but for the reality of guilt. Man’s dilemma is not just that he is finite and God is infinite, but that he is a sinner guilty before a holy God. But then he recognizes that God had given him a solution to this in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Man is fallen and flawed, but he is redeemable on the basis of Christ’s work. This is beautiful. This is optimism. And this optimism has a sufficient base.

Romans 1:20-21 tells us that,

…his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him…

Everyone knows that God exists. This fact is easily notable and inherently undeniable based on God’s general revelation of himself. Even further, if God’s very character is truly reflected in the moral law of the universe, then the question of from where morals come is no longer a matter of debate – they come from God.

A standard is a standard is a standard.

When creation acts outside of the bounds of which the Creator has purposed them, rebellion ensues; destruction commences; and sin reigns. When everyone does  what they believe is right for themselves, what absolute standard – i.e. moral – are their actions being measured against? If my standard for “good conduct” is significantly lower than someone elses, I cannot be faulted for doing that I believe is right for me – even if I sin against that person! However, God has already set the “measuring stick” by which our actions are compared – His Word.

A non-believer may disagree with that statement. Even a believer who is fairly liberal in their views may not fully stand in agreement. However, their standing has no merit because the Bible has already told us about those who do not honor God, even though they know him. Bear in mind, honoring God involves more than a profession of faith with your mouth. Are you also honoring God with your hands and feet?

We’ve failed to live up to God’s moral standard (Gen 3). The cross was our way back to be reconciled into relationship with Him, thereby, once again, providing us the example of a moral standard in Christ. Christ’s work on the cross is forever.

There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, grounds for someone to rightfully claim that there are no moral absolutes. God, by nature, is moral. God, himself, is absolute. And above all else, God alone is perfect and requires no example of morality. We do.

With A Cup of Coffee…

Below is some content I’ve enjoyed over the past week or so. Maybe you’ll enjoy them as well.

1.“The Slender Man Made Me Do It”: Compelled to Violence by an Internet Myth by S.D. Kelly

This is extremely disturbing. The idea that a make believe figure on the internet has captivated the minds of young people in such a way that they commit such hideous crimes to “please” him. This is just another reason that parents MUST be involved in monitoring their childrens entertainment habits.

2. 12 Questions to Ask Before You Watch ‘Game of Thrones’ by John Piper

This article is a transcript from the Ask Pastor John podcast. Great content here. All 12 questions are applicable in all forms of entertainment. All 12 questions convicted me.

3. on daughters and dating: how to intimidate suitors by Jen Wilkins

Great article from Jen. I, too, found the “Application to Date My Daughter” funny…I still do, if I’m honest. However, I truly appreciate Jen’s exhortation to protect our daughters in a more secure and Godly way.

4. LOL Interwebz: Six Things You Can Stop Telling People to Stop Posting on Social Media by Luke T. Harrington

This is just funny…and so relevant. Admittedly, I thought some of the same thoughts mentioned here.

5. The Briefing – 06/20/2014 by Al Mohler

I’ve recently started listening to Al Mohler’s podcast. This particular broadcast is on the recent decision by the PCUSA to recognize same-sex marriage and a forthcoming movie called “Obvious Child”, Hollywood’s bold attempt to normalize and downplay the seriousness of abortion. Regardless of where you stand on either issue, take about 15 – 20 minutes to listen to this podcast.

6. What If The Earth Stopped Spinning?

I thought this was just cool.

7. “The Friendly Church”

On 7 Jun 14, my church took part in “Crossover Baltimore”. It was an outreach event that Southern Baptist Convention churches across Baltimore, MD participated in the weekend before the start of the SBC Annual Meeting 2014, which also took place here in Baltimore. My church held a cookout for the neighborhood. This is a short video done by the Baptist Press on our event.

The 2014 Baptist21 Discussion Panel

On, Tuesday, 10 Jun 14, Baptist 21 held a luncheon during the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Annual Meeting. As it says on their website, Baptist 21…

…exists to contend for ‘the faith once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3).We embrace our past, believing this faith has been proclaimed in our Southern Baptist heritage. We work in the present, believing the Kingdom effectiveness of Southern Baptists will be in proportion to our fidelity to the Gospel. We cooperate for the future, believing the only hope for the people of the world is the Gospel of King Jesus.

I was fortunate to attend this luncheon and witness the discussion between the guest panel of speakers first hand. The panel was pretty amazing; an almost “who’s who” in the SBC, and there was no doubt that they kept the attention of all those in attendance. I won’t list their names here because Pastor Jonathan Akin introduces them on the video, but believe that the hour spent watching the video and listening to these gentlemen is an hour spent well.

Enjoy!

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