Through Christ, Who Empowers Us to Do All Things

Before Christ died, He bequeathed all power to His disciples, especially to Peter (though he had betrayed Him).

Before Peter died, He bequeathed all power to us, naming us a holy priesthood and heirs to the throne of God.

No matter your past or your present, you are offered the opportunity to live exalted in Him.

I invite you now to seize your inheritance and claim the glory set aside for you since the beginning of time so that you would live a life fully endowed with the full and undiluted strength of the Spirit, which Jesus purchased for us with His Holy Blood.

Strength is a Process

There’s a rumor going around. It’s the “get (fill the blank) quick” ghost. It sounds great. Eat this thing for a week, chant this mantra, do this exercise, and *bang* you’re healed.

Yes, maybe over time it will make a difference. And yes, sometimes there are stories of instant success. But for the most part it takes a while.

Think about growing up. It takes time to walk and talk and chew your food and pretty much everything else. You may skip a step, but it still takes time.

This goes the same for strength building of any kind. People say it’s a no-brainer. Do this thing, change this factor, and everything will just work out. I say, it takes time.

You want to get to point B, even Z. You have to start with A. You start with nothing. You’re broken and you’re scared. Then it’s on to damage control, picking up pieces and seeing if the ground will hold me. Then, once things begin to get okay, you start to get comfortable. When you start getting comfortable, then you can start taking risks, because there is the notion that there is some semblance of net to catch you if you fall. It’s not a chronological process. You’ll go back and forth all the time. Maybe you’ll skip lots of steps and then something happens and you’ll sail back even behind where you started. It happens. Trust the process. Keep going.

Allow others the same grace. Oftentimes, we forget how far we’ve come and how long it took us to get here. To us, it’s overnight. But remember that it wasn’t. Be gracious and encouraging. Let others know your story. A realistic view of life helps more than you know.

Together, we can build a stronger, more beautiful world, except you gotta be in it for the long haul to make it happen.

 

A Seat for Judas

So we all know Judas as the man who betrayed Jesus, but did you know he served as the treasurer for Jesus’ earthly ministry and sat in the seat of honor at the Last Supper? This was not an accident. Jesus loves His prodigals. He is constantly holding them near. Peter who denied Jesus three times was given the keys to the church of Jerusalem. Paul who outright persecuted the early church was chosen as the main witness to the Gentiles. Just when we think we are furthest from God, God is closest to us, calling us to come home.

Psalm 23: God, a Friend in the Midst of Our Sorrows

We all know the “Lord is my shepherd” chapter. It’s a famous passage, right up there with the Lord’s prayer and John 3:16, but did you notice the slight shift that comes in verse 4?

In verses 1-3, David speaks nicely of God. He feeds me, He quenches my thirst, He finds me a shady spot to rest my head. Very idyllic. But look what happens in verse 4! When we enter into the Valley of the Shadow of Death (an actual place, so I hear), David stops referring to God as Lord and starts referring to Him as You. You are with me. You comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the midst of my enemies. When things get hard, David’s relationship with God becomes very personal. Not until David speaks of heaven does he return to speaking of God as by His kingly title of Lord.

Jesus invited us to refer to God as Abba, Daddy. David holds his Savior tight. We too are invited to hold tightly to our Father in the midst of trouble. We need Him always, but especially in those times. Our knee-jerk reaction is to estrange ourselves from Jesus when times of trouble. God invites us to draw closer than we have ever been.

 

Resurrection Stories

On Easter, we told resurrection stories

She stood up and told of how she was duped into sex trafficking,

escaped physically but was emotionally scarred

Then came the drugs and the depression

and the self-loathing

but God found her even as she hated Him

for not saving her sooner,

but He rescued her from the pit of despair

He brought her into hope and family and love

and now she is here,

safe and clean and rejoicing in all that God has done.

Praise Jesus! Hallelujah. The Lord God Almighty reigns.

Inclusion Rider

Upon accepting her much-deserved Oscar for Best Actress, Francis McDermott left the Academy with two words: inclusion rider. What is an inclusion rider? The stipulation in an actor or actresses’ contract that requires diversity in the film in which they are part.

Although her call for inclusion specifically targeted women, I am no less affected by it. I am a brown-skinned man who dreams of doing rom-coms. In the past, it was not our place to be the romantic lead. Or any lead other than the villain. But things are changing. There is Aladdin and West Side Story and Black Panther. In short, there is possibility now, and I am grateful. Wherever my journey takes me, I am grateful, because there are a lot of me’s in this world.

My sincerest thanks to all who have the power to make this change and choose to do so. Thank you, Francis McDermott. Party on!

Stumbling Block

We are always moving

Society has things to do

In the process, things fall through the cracks

people fall through as well

And the natural reaction is “awww shucks, maybe tomorrow”

So, to elicit change

You must inherently be in the way

To be present in body and soul

Then, even if you are not seen, you will be encountered

You will be known, if only as an nuisance.

Anything you want to get done

you cannot sit idly in the shadows and wish for,

even pray for,

you must become an active participant

and stay consistently present

in order to make your presence known