Today, I’m thankful for how God provides, even when it’s not the way in which we planned or envisioned. I’m thankful for support from family and friends, especially for the support I receive from my wife.
Archive for the ‘God’ Tag
Today, I’m thankful for tests and trials. They suck to go through but they make us who we are. I’m thankful that we don’t have to go it alone. I struggle more with worry than I have ever before, but I’m thankful for people I can lean on when worry strikes. Mortality is real. The weights of this world are real. But so is God, so is Love, so is Family, so are Friends.
I’ve had a rough week on the thankfulness tip. I try to stick with the idea of being thankful every day… I mean I always have things to be thankful for… but bitterness has crept in this week in a big way.
I’m sincerely sick of self-righteous self-deceiving church leaders who shit on the little people… and it makes it hard to call myself a Christian. I love Jesus, but so many of the people who claim to follow him don’t even seem to try to follow His words at all.
So… I AM thankful for my friends who keep the faith and fight through the bullshit, but I AM NOT thankful for these men and women “of God” who power trip and refuse to live lives that God would be proud of. I know I fail time and time again, too, but it’s hard to believe that some of these church leaders even try to live a faithful life.
Praying for the people being oppressed by these powerful men and women who pretend to be living for Christ… there are people hurting right at this moment that I type and my heart goes out to them.
Early this morning, I took a hot bath to soak my aching body (12 hours of housework and yardwork on Saturday is still wearing on me) and read a chapter of AW Tozer’s Pursuit of God. As I read Tozer’s words, I just couldn’t help but keep thinking, “I’m no Abraham!”
Abraham was told by God to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. In layman’s terms, that meant that Isaac was to take his son to the top of a mountain and murder him FOR GOD. As those who have heard or read the story already know, God waited until he was able to instill fear and reverence for the Lord in his heart, then commanded Abraham not to lay a finger on Isaac. As Tozer explains, this test of faith in God was about clearing out Abraham’s heart from coveting anything other than God.
Well… I’m no Abraham. I covet many things in my heart, some that I feel like I shouldn’t and some that feel right. But it seems that according to Tozer (and the Bible), God should be the only thing residing in my heart. This is a very troubling concept for me.
My sons, my wife, and many other friends and family reside in my heart. My pain in the butt dogs reside in my heart, too. Not to mention, the love of music, nature… etc. And, I think Tozer’s point is not that I shouldn’t love these things, but that the love and reverent fear of God is the only love that should reside in that inner Holiest of Holies in my heart. But, I’m not sure I’m wired like that.
This is certainly a struggle for many, but I can only speak for me. If God asked me to sacrifice my son to Him, I’d probably curse God up and down before becoming Jonah, trying to run from Him. Now, the solace in the story is that God would never make me (or Abraham) carry through on that sacrifice, but I could never have gotten to that place in my heart where God was so revered that I could let go of my own child in such a manner.
I guess I don’t have to be all that concerned with such a literal request, seeing as Jesus’s sacrifice eliminated the need for such a sacrifice to God in this day and age. However, there is a non-literal sacrifice requested daily… and I’m not always sure I’m up to the task…
Just some food for thought… I’m no Abraham.
(This originally posted a couple of months ago!)
I hate hate! If there is one thing that truly brings forth a feeling of rage in me, it’s hatred. Write that on the table, I’ll start this blog with some brief bios and histories so you can get the full picture.
To begin with, who is Lord Jamar?
Lord Jamar (born Lorenzo Dechalus, September 17, 1968 in New Rochelle, New York) is a emcee and actor. He is a member of the hip-hop group Brand Nubian, which formed in 1989. As an actor, he is best known for his role of Supreme Allah on the TV series Oz. He has appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Third Watch, and The Sopranos. He has also done production work for artists such as Dead Prez, Buckshot, Shaka Amazulu The 7th and Tom Browne. He released his debut solo album The 5% Album (an album dedicated to the Nation of Gods and Earths) on June 27, 2006. He also appeared in a much talked about episode of The (White) Rapper Show in which he criticized contestant John Brown for naming his company Ghetto Revival. Like his onscreen character on Oz, Jamar is a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths.
Jamar is a core member of Brand Nubians, a socially conscious trio of rappers that formed in 1989. Jamar is a Five Percenter, a complex offshoot of the Nation of Islam. To many, their doctrines would sound no more legitimate than Scientology, but the group has a decorated history and following, including many of the founding fathers of hip hop (Jamar included).
Another player in today’s story is Michael Muhammad Knight. If you are my friend, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that MMK is my favorite author right now. His exploration of his own faith (Islam) has inspire my exploration of mine (Christianity). In fact, his writing is part of the source material for a sermon I’ll be delivering later this month. MMK is certainly considered a heretic by many, if not most, of the Muslim world. He has embraced groups like the Five Percenters that the mainstream Muslim faith community has rejected.
As MMK is one of my favorite writers, I follow his VICE column and read earlier this week Michael Muhammad Knight’s take on Lord Jamar’s comments of Kanye’s kilt. I, honestly, knew nothing of Jamar’s comments or even Kayne’s kilt prior to reading this piece, but I spent some time on Jamar’s twitter and on Google to see what the story with Kanye’s kilt and Jamar’s comments were about…
It all started with this tweet… “Y’all Cee where the Kanye sh*t is taking us right? #halfafag.” This tweet Jamar has since explained doesn’t make him a homophobe. Brand Nubian has made homophobic jabs in lyrics before, but these Kanye attacks, including a new diss track that I don’t intend on listening to anytime soon, seem to be on another level.
I’m not an expert on the Five Percenters, but I do find their culture fascinating. Lord Jamar, as well as other Gods (what Five Percenters call themselves and each other), have been jumping at MMK for his piece saying that Jamar was well within his right and that “Gods don’t play that gay shit” (a direct quote). And, that’s bullshit.
I don’t care if it’s Westboro, orthodox Muslims, or these Five Percenters, blaming hate on your religion is bullshit. If your higher power is a bigot, then your higher power is full of shit. God is bigger than rules and walls that we try to build around Him. Jamar can indicate that he’s not a homophobe claim that his views on sexuality are the views of “true Gods” just like Jerry Falwell could say that 911 happened because God was exacting his wrath on the gays… any way you slice it, it’s called hate.
So in other words, grow up. In other words, God is bigger than the box you put Him in. In other words, Jamar is a bigot. Period.