Thursday, March 06, 2014
Two books that I have been working my way through over the last few months, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. How do either of these books apply to your walk?
Whether in you faith walk or in walking you have to get into a rhythm. If you want to change, you have to change your habits. Create a new routine. One that includes the incremental changes you need to get closer to God and your health goals. Life will do everything it can to derail this new thing until it doesn't. Don't stop.
Show Your Work
Let folks know what you are doing. Pictures, Posts, Videos, Music... whatever it is share. There are a lot of people here on Faith and Fitness, over 100, but there are only a few that post. I challenge you to make a habit of sharing your work as you go along this journey. Your story is not just for you. Your story is meant to be shared.
Remember to do it all to the glory of God.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
So this is the fruit of one of those ideas. I decided that I wanted to hear some of the sermons that I have been reading read aloud. So that is what I did. I read Francis Grimké's sermon, "Christ's Program for the Saving of the World." This is very raw version of it. Even though it needs polish and my daughters walks in right in the middle of it. I thought I would put it out there as an exercise in showing my work.
Take a listen. Leave a comment. Let me know what you are talking yourself out of. Get started on something and don't forget to show Your Work.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. - Proverbs 13:12
Monday, March 03, 2014
My latest sermon at my home church.
Here are my notes.
1These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: 2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt.
Last week we spoke about Joseph, who through God’s guidance interpreted the Pharaoh's dreams and saved not only Egypt but his family from a famine. At the end of Genesis the children of Israel had moved into Egypt and God was continuing to keep the promise he made to Abraham.
6Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. 7But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
God had told Abraham was that his children would be as numerous as the stars and this was happening with each new child born. God had also told Abraham that his descendants would also face adversity, Genesis 15:12-14 and that part of the story was about to happen.
8Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.10Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.
God Calls a Redeemer
As the Egyptians attempted to destroy the nation of Israel a redeemer was born. His name was Moses. His very life was a miracle. His mother saved his life when he should have been killed by decree of Pharaoh. He lived right within the courts of the Pharaoh only to escape to Midian. It was there that God began to reveal himself to his people.
4When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. -ch3
God begins a progressive plan of revealing himself not just to his chosen people but also to the entire world. He start by Revealing His Name
11But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”12He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” 13Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
God revealed His Name and this overcame Moses’ objections. He said that He would be with Moses. There is a confidence when you travel with God. After Moses returned to Egypt and began to meet with the leaders in Israel as well as the Egyptians leaders. This is where God began the next step in revealing Himself. God Began to Reveal His Power. God’s goal was to reveal His Glory and He struck right at the heart of their culture.
At this time the idea of God was accepted. In fact in Egypt there were a lot of different gods. God wanted to reveal Himself in a way so that there would be no doubt that He was God. So God struck at Pharaoh through a series of plagues.
- Water Turned to Blood
- Overwhelmed by Frogs
- The Dust Became Gnats
- Overcome by Flies
- The Egyptian Livestock Die
- The Skin of the Egyptians is covered by boils
- Heavy Hail falls form the sky
- Swarmed by Locusts
- An Oppressive Darkness covers the land.
Even through all of this Pharaoh’s heart would not budge. In fact God was hardening his heart.
27But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. 28Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me; take care never to see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.” 29Moses said, “As you say! I will not see your face again.”-ch10
At this point God moves on to the last step of revealing Himself. God Reveals His Plan to Israel. Ch 11
3Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. 4And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.
7“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.
13The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
Do any of you notice that this plan that God reveals to the Israelites in captivity foreshadows another shedding of innocent blood?
It is at this point that I want to talk to you frankly. Things are not going to get any easier for us. We are living in a culture that is becoming increasingly more hostile towards us. Christianity is going to be marginalized, ostracized and much of it is our own fault. The conversations that frustrate me the most are not the ones I have with unbelievers. They are the ones that I have with the family. We have marginalized God’s influence in our lives. TV, technology and entertainment has a greater impact on us than the Word of God. We are so weak that we don’t even know what we believe anymore.
This is why getting into your Bible is so important. It is God’s revealed Word for your life. This is where your purpose will be found. Not in the blowing of the wind or your feelings.
We are losing a generation because we are unable to explain what we believe. We are also unwilling to examine ourselves from the scriptures.
My challenge to all of us, myself included, is to love Him by keeping His commands. That means going and making disciples. I should be discipled and I should be making disciples.
If you knew that the destroyer was coming tonight. Wouldn’t you want to make sure that every house was covered by the blood. Becuase it will be exactly as the Lord said it will be for those who are not covered.
29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
|Photo Credit from http://thelionofanacostia.wordpress.com/|
When the elder Grimké died Francis and his 2 brothers were given to his half-brother with the "understanding" that they would be regarded as family. This would, for a time, provide them with some level of freedom. After a few years, however, this half-brother attempted to give to his wife as her personal slaves. Francis avoided this by joining the Confederate Army and evading his older half-brother until Emancipation.
From this tumultuous start Francis and his surviving brother Archibold moved to the North (Mass) and were educated. Francis went on to study medicine at Jefferson College in PA where he graduated as Valedictorian in 1870. The following year he began to study Law at Howard University in Washington, DC.
At Howard we felt called to Christian Ministry and he left pursued Theological Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary under Charles Hodge who was the president at the time. Acknowledging God as revealed in the Scriptures he wrote this in his journal in 1936, "I accept, and accept without reservation, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as God’s Word, sent to Adam’s sinful race and pointing out the only way by which it can be saved. [W]ithout the Holy Scriptures and what they reveal, there is no hope for humanity. To build on anything else is to build on the sand."
After leaving Princeton in 1878 he became the Reverend of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church in DC. He would spend almost all of his 60 years in Christian Ministry at 15th Street. His ministry spanned from Reconstruction to the post-World War I era. While first and foremost to him was his calling to be a Pastor he also served as a Trustee at Howard University, helping to found the NAACP, advocating for suffrage and other public aims.
From his pulpit he continued to train and disciple. His sermon, "The Afro-American Pulpit and Its Relation to Race Elevation" called the African American Churches to move beyond the levity, emotionalism, and frivolity of the day to a high calling of Christian Discipleship and Service. As a counter point his sermon, "Christianity and Race Prejudice" called out the White church of that era for its duplicity on race related issues.
Again this is longer than I intended but I hope that you have been blessed by learning about these Pastors. Rev. Grimké reminds me that the calling to be a Pastor is a serious one and that there is no separation in your life. The Christian should do everything to the Glory of God.
|Photo Credit to Me.|
Thursday, February 27, 2014
|Photo Credit http://nos.twnsnd.co/|
Continuing with my Visual Devotions Series.
Today is Isaiah 44:3
"For I will pour water on the thirsty land,and streams on the dry ground;I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,and my blessing on your descendants."
This is a reassurance to the Children of the Promise that their God would restore what had been destroyed. That God would cause life to return to what they thought was dry and desolate ground.
Christ's return restored the ground. He restore a right relationship with God. He quenched a thirst in His people that nothing else could satisfy. Slow down and know that no matter the situation He is our greatest reward.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
|Photo Credit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Payne|
By age 10 he had lost both of his parents and was being raised by his Aunt. It was not the practice to educate blacks during this time but Payne was introduced to the Members Moralist Society. This Group, established by free blacks, was committed to “educate orphan or indigent colored children, and also to provide for their necessary wants.”
By 1829, at 19, he had opened his first school teaching children and adults alike. This first school failed but he regrouped and started again and by 1835 he was teaching and housing 60 students.
In 1835 however this school ended when the South Carolina Legislature passed South Carolina General Assembly passed Act No. 2639, An Act to Amend the Law Relating to Slaves and Free Persons of Color. This act made it illegal to be taught as a slave and also made it illegal to teach slaves. By penalty of fine and the lash.
He would go on to founding another school in Philadelphia, become the 6th Bishop of the A.M.E. Church. On becoming the Bishop he noted, "I trembled from head to foot, and wept. I knew that I was unworthy the office, because I had neither the physical strength, the learning, nor the sanctity which makes one fit for such a high, holy, and responsible position. . . . I prayed earnestly that God would take away my life rather than allow me to be put into an office for which I felt myself so utterly unfit." He held the position of Pastor in high esteem.
He stressed educating yourself as a high goal. He also felt that theological training was as important. I wish I had more space but I will cap it off with this. He was insistent that we examine those who would accept the high calling of Pastor. It is something that I struggled with and still do. He said this, "Whenever a young man comes forward, and tells us that he is called to the ministry, let us examine him rigidly, according to our excellent discipline and the requisitions of God’s word. It is not enough that he tells us God has called him; let him show the evidences of his call. Some of us are too credulous. If a man tells us that he is called to this work, we believe without proof;without any qualification, we are ready to push him into the sacred office. His say so is not enough." Payne concluded with this, “Some men have gifts, but no graces. Others have graces, but no gifts. Neither of these are wanted in the Christian ministry.”
Don't think that you are separate from the culture around us. We are the culture. There is no Them, it is only us.
Our God is not a commuter. He moves in. This is a call to us to do more than worry about our 4 walls.