Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Current State of the Union

One being who is interested in politics, I know that once a year, the President of the United States has a joint session of Congress (that being the House of Representatives and the Senate) and he informs that nation of the current state of the country. On this one, I'm going to somewhat do the same.

Editors note: I don't mean to put others down in this writing, but I do plan on being very direct. This is written moreso for the sake of fellow believers, so this is where the prophet in me is going to come out in play. So please don't take this the wrong way personally, but do be challenged in this.

Just recently, I received an email from a precious brother about the current state of many young teen age girls and many of whom are having sex at a young age. I'm not sure why we're surprised by this. I've been hearing of this stuff for years. Of course, I was in public high school and heard a lot then. Why do I think this stuff is happening? Perhaps its that we're not preaching the gospel from the pulpit.

I honestly don't hear the preaching of the Cross and the Blood of Jesus much from our pulpits. I usually hear a nice little message that really has little effect on me whatsoever. So, first and foremost, I point the finger at myself. God, change my heart. But I'm in many different churches and they honestly seem more like bless me clubs. The message usually sounds more like "what can I get out of it?"

But I watch videos like the one where Ms. Banks is being interviewed by Matt Lauer and I begin to think. A lot of these issues are all wound together. Tyra was partly right in what she said about the parents, but its actually a lot of things. The way the media glamorizes sex and doesn't show the repercussions of the sexual malay that soo many are involved here. So the parents are partly to blame, as well as the media as well as the church.

But also, another point to consider is the fact that the teens also have a major part to play. With everything being covered as it is today, teens also have to be accountable to themselves. We can't just go around and point fingers at everyone, but we have to take personal responsibility for this stuff. Usually this stuff is done because these kids are needing and wanting attention. They're looking for love, unfortunately, in all the wrong places.

Sometime ago, I was asked to speak at a youth retreat. I wanted to preach on a Jesus Revolution... rally the troops. But God laid John 15 on my heart and had me preach from there. Finding ones identity in Jesus and truly understanding what Him going on the Cross is really all about. It's not about what can God do for me, but its "since the Lord has done all this for me, what can I do for Him? How can I know him better?"

Let me leave this topic with some encouragement for you. There is a Godly uprise going on right now. There is a revolution underway. Its a generation, a people who are falling in love with God all over again and doing what it takes to take the gospel everywhere. May God arise and His enemies be scattered...

In other news, coming from Voice of the Revolution comes my next line of thought. Allow me to preface this in saying that my heart and love goes out to the gay/lesbian community. I have absolutely nothing but love for them as Jesus loves myself and them.

But Jesus doesn't love my sin. But I picked this YouTube video up from the Voice of a Revolution about a recent episode that happened with the Justice House of Prayer. Granted, I'm a good 3,000 miles away and I can only report as its been reported to me. But from the video (and I'm not sure who was filming this) but it certainly doesn't look like the victims is the gay and lesbian community. I just wonder what would've happened had the cops not been there.

In any case, we pray for the teens of this nation and we pray for glbt community, as well as many other things.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tech Support/Customer Service

I've been doing tech support for a major international hardware company now for just over year. And before that, I worked at Wal-Mart for 3.5 years. I lately felt soo obliged to help the rest of the world in how-to get effective customer help. There are some tricks of the trade that I would like to pass along to the world to help you as the customer out more and help my fellow techies/nerds out.

1. Everyone has emotions and they can be hurt. We're humans too. I understand that when you calling me, you have a problem and issue that needs to be resolved. That doesn't merit you the right to have a lousy attitude and cuss and chew us out for your problems. I'm sorry your computer is acting up, but that doesn't give you the right to yell at us. I've found its much better for all parties involved to act and respond in a calm and collected manner. The tech on the other end of the line is doing their best to understand and handle the situation. Your yelling at them is probably going to hurt you in the end. I understand that you may have a business to run and need to get your equipment up and running again. And I want to be able to help you out. But please remember that a little bit of manners can go a long way.

2. Complaint department. The techie on the phone probably has little to no control over the companies policies. Your whining to them about the stupid policies probably won't help. It will probably feel better for you to get it off your chest, but that doesn't mean it will help your case. There is a good chance that the person trying to help you doesn't like the policies either, but they probably can't say that on the phone lest they want to keep their job. It's better for you as a customer to do this leg work yourself. It's one thing to voice the complaint, its another thing to berate it and demand immediate answers, which probably isn't going to happen.

3. Treat them like a human being, and your probably going to get a lot better help. I'm a people person, and i love to help others out. I can usually tell in the first couple minutes if i'm going to like the person or going to want to accidentally on purposely hang up on them. Usually, when the person is being civil about the situation, I love to bend over backwards and help the person out (even if that means bending the rules a bit in their favor).

Unfortunately, computer problems do happen. Usually anything man makes will break down after a time. It's an unfortunate thing about life. Hopefully, I can be of help to get it working again. Put yourself in their shoes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election 2008 recap

Ok, so our country has just elected our first black man to the highest office in the land, President of the United States. I'm thrilled for Barack Obama that he has made it thus far. And he will probably be a very prayed for president.

I can also honestly say that I'm scared. I'm scared for the unborn babies out there. I'm scared for the possible implications that this could have on our nation. Listen, one of the greatest thoughts that has ever entered my mind is that one day, I will personally stand before a Holy and Righteous God and give an account of my life (this is a quote I saw hanging on someones wall, so I can't take the credit for a quote like this.

But last night, I got a text message from a precious brother in the Lord and it basically said that we need to pray. This isn't a race issue for me. And it's not even necessarily a political party issue for me. Yes, I'm registered Republican and I somewhat hesitantly voted for McCain. However, I'm not looking for a political party to end the woes of the nation. I'm simply registered as I a Republican because I see that many of their issues are closer to that of a Biblical stance. Had it been a black Democratic woman that would have Biblical values and been running that platform, you can believe that I would vote for her.

But, as of today, we will have our first black man as president. Do I agree with his policies and/or religious views? Most likely not. I heard that some folks were making jokes about the segregation and making references to slavery. Folks, that's immaturity and that's not acceptable.

The Bible commands us to pray for our leaders and those in authority over us. I pray that our new president-elect will be blessed with Godly wisdom and that he would surround himself with folks that have God's heart and the countries values as the first and primary goal. I pray for his protection against assassination. I pray that the people of America and the world would pray for him and not disrespect him as they did President Bush.

(It's easy to criticize someone, but its hard to quit whining about something and pray. That isn't to say that she shouldn't speak out about injustice and right the wrongs, but its important on how we go about it.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Living and Learning

I don't know about you, reader, but I'm always learning and growing. I'm always looking for how I can grow and mature in my life and my walk with Jesus. I used to play soccer. I haven't played in a league for years. I played right full back or half back. I would usually never cross the mid-line of the field. It wasn't my job really to be up there. If I was up there, it was for a very brief time. If and when the opposite team came into my area, it was my job to get the ball and get it up field and then for the offense to take it and advance it and hopefully score.

One of my main things I do for church is prayer/intercession. Granted, to a certain degree, everyone is to be doing that. But then there are some individuals who are more cut out for it. Just like we're all to do the evangelist, but there are some who that is what they do. They're always hitting the streets and talking to people about Jesus. Now, I CAN do that, I have no problem talking to a complete stranger about life and I frequently get the opportunity to speak with people about stuff. I mentioned to one of my friends who is more socially ept about sometimes how I'd like to get more involved with different evangelistic outreaches at times.

But you know how some people are just more socially capable and some aren't? I'm one that isn't. Some people walk into a room and they're like the center of attention. And then there is me. I'm more support for people like that. That same friend who I mentioned above once said to me the following: "Shawn, don't give up your gift of intercession. It's an important thing. Some are like me and they're ground troops. Others are like you and they're air support. You'll see things in the future and need to radio down to me to warn me. And trust me, it's helpful."

That really spoke to me. The body of Christ is a big body. And there are tons of different gifts and parts in it. There are those who are more loud and then those who are soft-spoken. I once had a roommate that he just had one of those deep booming voices. But he was a gentle giant at the same time and very teachable. But he loved to open air, and he had the lung capacity for it! I've done it once, and I can do it, although not necessarily my forte.

I know for the church, I want to see giftings and callings released and for people to really utilize what they have.

One of the tricks to being prayer support is learning to do it in public in a non scary type of way. When I go with a team, I'm content with being there and praying, but just looking like I'm just going on with life as usual. You may think that's a little deceitful. But if you would've asked me, I would've told you I was praying. I was just doing it covertly.

I remember one time when I was on an outreach team to the local university, UNCC, they had a "coming out day". They had a public forum for those who were admitting they were homosexual to come and publicly say they were. So as a team, we went down and sat and listened to them. After wards, a couple of us got to speak with the organizers of the event. They were astounded at the turnout for the event. It was at this time that we told them that at least half the folks there weren't in support of it, but we just wanted to hear what they had to say.

It's stuff like this that makes go and the world spin. As well as making for a great story to tell.