I don’t have one top favorite but one of my top favorites for many years has been John Mayer.
I don’t have one top favorite but one of my top favorites for many years has been John Mayer.
Psalm 27:4 is my hearts cry. My favorite act of worship in the bible is David on the backside of the hills playing his guitar. Obscurity is a gift. Relish it while you still have the chance.
My beliefs concerning “anything theological” are always evolving and open the change. With that said, the closest thing to what I believe is Partial Preterism. I do not embrace the classic pre-millenial futurist interpretation of Eschatology. “Victorious Eschatology” by Harold Eberle is a good starting place for Partial Preterism. I am currently studying the Book of Revelation so ask me again in a year or so and I will be able to give a thesis of sorts concerning what I believe. ;)
I’ve been in ministry most of my life. I come from a long family line of ministers. My Father pastored off and on throughout much of my childhood so it’s hard to know when it quite began. But I personally felt the call to full time ministry at the age of 18. I attended various ministry internships and training programs before I landed at Bethel Church in Redding California.
To answer your question more specifically I started traveling in a itinerant capacity in 2005. I started occasionally traveling with friends who had specific invitations to come and bring a team who could minister in the gift of prophecy. I would tag along and be apart of these various prayer/prophetic teams. People knew I was singer so occasionally I would sing background vocals here and there. Right from the start I had a unique gift for coming up with spontaneous and prophetic riffs and people began to really recognize that and would want to bring me along places. That eventually turned into little opportunities to lead worship at churches every so often and I started getting a name for myself as a singer and good worship leader. From there it eventually grew into doing what I am doing now.
I firmly believe that God is looking pure hearts, not just unique itinerant ministry giftings. And I’m becoming more convinced that he values the pursuit of ministry in the context of family and covenant relationships over anointing and calling. I always tell people who want to travel and minister to not despise small beginnings. Ministry to the one or the 1,000+ should look the same. Have pure intentions and authentic love for the person right in front of you and you will be trusted to touch and influence hundreds or thousands, maybe even millions.
A friend told me years ago that “you can gauge your level of release by you’re level of opportunity.” Meaning, if you are getting unsolicited invitations to travel and minster then this may be an open door from God. This is not a hard fast rule, but many times open or shut doors can help you determine your level of release from God. There are many reasons for why a door may be open or closed. That in and of itself is another conversation though. :)
My biggest lesson in ministry has been to remember that I alone cannot save the world. As I became empowered to prophesy, heal the sick and serve my church and community, I started to feel that it was all up to me. I unnecessarily took on everyone’s prayer burdens and felt like I had to fix everyone’s problem at the expense of my own needs and life. I have since realized that it is NOT selfish to be self-full. Meaning, before I can be useful and valuable in service to others I have to first value and honor myself and what I need, because how I love and treat myself is a direct representation of how I love and treat God. So I encourage everyone, it is right and good to minister and bless people on behalf of God, but it is more important to take time out for yourself. Feed your spirit, to do things you love to do, spend time with people you love to spend time with, above all, loving yourself is how you nourish your soul. :)
If I could sing with any singer dead or alive I would collaborate with the late, great Aaliyah. She was more than a beautiful voice, she was an innovator and a reformer within music. When she passed I was not only saddened about her death, but I was sad that I would never get to work with her. Plus I think our voices would mesh quite nicely. ;)
Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle.
This election season like many others before I decided to dive right into the thick of it. I started watching as much cable news, read as many articles as I could find and most importantly listen to as many viewpoints as I could. One conversation came on flight to Vancouver Canada from San Francisco. I sat next to a accomplished and educated Korean woman from Los Angeles who wanted to pick my brain about politics. She was warm, funny, quick witted and a strong democrat. We talked for two hours about the economy, taxes, abortion, gay marriage, etc. It was wonderful! Such exchanges are life giving for me. Especially when both parties seek to understand and share versus convince and condemn. I walked off of that plane with more understanding and more compassion.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
See, I myself come from a politically moderate to liberal background. I remember the first time I asked my father the difference between republican and democrats and which were we. He never told me exactly what view I should hold but he spoke very plainly about the pro’s and cons of both. I believe I will take this moderate approach with my children as well.
Fast forward to present day, I am a registered independent. I have chosen to not be politically aligned with any one party. At one point in time I was a democrat, at another point, a republican. Now, I am independent. This evolution into becoming an independent came about after a season of strong religious/political fervor. I used to have a strong belief that a vote for a conservative candidate meant a vote for Jesus. It didn’t matter if they were smart or well rounded. It didn’t matter if they cared for every part of America just as long as they didn’t love or endorse the parts that disgusted me. It didn’t matter if they cared for the poor or perpetuated fear and slander to get elected, just as long as they “claimed to be pro-life” and wouldn’t let the “gays” marry.
“I hope to challenge the assumption that finding the right political path has anything to do with advancing the kingdom of God.” -Greg Boyd
What i’ve begun to discover is the ambiguity and moral complexities of many of these issues. For instance, many studies have shown that economics is the driving reason behind abortion. Could legislation and programs to take care of the poor decrease the number of abortions in America then? Click Here for an article in support of that view. As well, if electing a pro-life president could simply bring an end to abortion then why hasn’t it been done in over 30 years? We’ve had plenty of Pro Life presidents since Roe Vs. Wade. It doesn’t seem as simple and black and white as most Christians like to believe it is.
This isn’t to suggest that there hasn’t been anything done by a president to bring about change for the “pro-life” agenda. It is to say that the real change we want to see must be done grassroots from the bottom up. We can’t solely expect it from the top down. Isn’t that the Jesus way though? He didn’t comment on the politically heated debates of his day like many of his representatives do today and he was the ultimate cultural reformer. Did not our Lord tell Caesar that his kingdom is not of this world otherwise his disciples would be fighting?
Thankfully we live in a society(unlike the early church) that allows us to elect our leaders and what matters most to us. With that said in this election season I chose to vote on the Romney/Ryan ticket. For me, this was not a matter of standing on biblical principles. If that were the case then I would have wanted to vote for both candidates. After much thought and consideration I voted according to my conscience and my conscience felt like Romney was the better candidate. I was not fully impressed with Obama’s presidency the last four year so i decided to go another route. As well I felt that this election boiled down to the economy and my heart told me that Romney would do a better job. Now after a clear Obama win I do not regret my decision. I felt it was the right one for me. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was the best for every true blue American.
“While all the versions of the kingdom of the world acquire and exercise power over others, the kingdom of God, incarnated and modeled in the person of Jesus Christ, advances only by exercising power under others. It expands by manifesting the power of self-sacrificial, Calvary-like love.” -Greg Boyd
Every nail you hammer into your brothers hand keeps you on the cross
What scares me about our current political system is our ability to vilify and idolize entire groups of people in one fail swoop. We easily play into a “us versus them” mentality without recognizing our essential oneness as humans. We praise one party as morally superior than another and demonize the rest. Yet the people we so easily turn into villains are our own brothers and sisters. Isn’t this the sin of Cain? Isn’t this the very thing that keeps us in bondage to sin and death? That we do not look upon on men and women with tender compassion, kindness and empathy but in our hearts and thoughts we isolate and murder them day after day.
“There are a number of perspectives for those of us with a heart to see abortion become less and less frequent and to create viable options to abortion to those who might otherwise seek it. Some will vote for Obama towards this end and others will vote for Romney. Others of us will not vote at all. Please don’t let this issue divide us any longer.” - Unknown
I am not my brother’s keeper, I am my brother- Iyanla Vanzant
When I hear conservative Christian friends of mine villainizing or speaking negatively about other Christians who voted for President Obama it makes me sick to my stomach. I come from a long line of godly and hard working men and women who are Democrats. I understand if you truly do not understand a view or position some may have. But to claim your view alone as “God’s” view alienates the very people you are called to influence and indirectly points the finger at other well meaning Christians who may see things differently from you.
Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. -Proverbs 4:7
Since going on this journey of discovering my own view or voice when it comes to politics I cannot say that I have come to many strong on conclusions. But one thing I have come to is a greater understanding. And I believe that is the point. I do not know if we should ever come to a place of perfect “rightness” with our political beliefs. We are mortal beings with limited perspective. We are barely able to fathom our own lives and the impact they have let alone the lives of 300 million Americans. That is the plight of our political system; That is the continual inadequacy of government. Instead of accusing and belittling, let’s seek to understand each other. Even people you fundamentally disagree with. You’ll never lose if seek to understand!
NEW Blog: Story Behind Hope’s Anthem! @itschristablack @jeremymriddle @davidmolnar @breezybaldwin @realcoryasbury Read Here
Check out my new album “Hope’s Anthem that was just released!
Album Promo Video
So, this is a huge announcement for me and the RELEVANT team: With the July issue, this week subscribers also received the premier issue of our new magazine, Reject Apathy for free. R/A has been three years in the making (that’s a story I really should tell sometime) and is focused on challenging our generation to the right kind of social justice: sustainable change, sacrificial living and a spiritual revolution.
With Reject Apathy we talk about a holistic pro-life perspective—the kind of stuff we think Jesus talked about—like preventable disease, violence, defense of innocents, poverty and creation care. Not only does the magazine open eyes, it challenges people to make a difference with their voice, their time or their resources.
There’s a lot to Reject Apathy, and in a few weeks the all-new website will be launching. In the meantime, you can preview the issue using the digital viewer. A movement is beginning, and we want this magazine to be a voice of change. Oh, did we mention we’re giving 150,000 copies of each issue away for free? Yep.