The Fall

Gm!
This is so random, so petty 😂 but idc 😂😂🤙🏾🤙🏾🔥 … it’s definitely a sermon and will help somebody! ❤️🙏🏾

Okay so earlier this week I tried to accept new friends requests but Facebook denies that request because I’ve reached my 5,000 friends limit. BUT this morning I was able to accept new friend requests — which means some people unfriended me! 😃😃😃 Yay!


I just want to say thank you to anybody who unfriended me (the past) because you removing yourself just made room for brand new friends (future). I appreciate you! Lol!

No seriously— to anyone who read this whole thing, I know “losses” can hurt, be confusing and feel as if you’re being rejected. But be encouraged, ONE, it’s not that something is ‘wrong’ with you, it’s just that God gave you a capacity—you only need a certain amount at certain times. TWO, this life is a series of seasons, my big bro Pastor Shamar says “watch the weather”, know which season it is—“you never see a Tree try to reattach fallen leaves. It’s called ‘the Fall’” 😂 them leaves iz leaving whether we want them to or not!

Hope this helped!
If not, 🤷🏾‍♂️ unfriend me 😅
… just joking!

❤️ Ps. Theo

Why I’ll Always Love Kobe

I never knew Bean personally. But I knew him. He was my favorite player of all time. My guy. My Kobe.

I’m a few hours from finding out the news shortly after Grace Experience … taking our guests out to lunch afterwards … my phone blowing up with texts and calls and before I could finish the texts with cry emojis I see on the Chili’s TV “Kobe Bryant dead at 41.”

No. No. No. Not Kobe.

I cried through out our meal with friends. I felt so bad that I couldn’t truly be a good host … but I had lost some one very special to me.

Obviously fandom can be radical. But this was bigger than that. My feelings and passion for Kobe are bigger than me cheering for the winner of my years cheering for them. My love for Kobe goes back decades.

It was 1998 or 1999 I believe. My father due to his addictions and destructive inner demons lied to us saying “we’re moving, I’m selling the house.” Only to find out in the local newspaper that our house was being foreclosed, our possessions auctioned and quite frankly — he lost our home. He gave me and my younger brother an ultimatum; move to Georgia, Purvis or finish the year in Lumberton. Either way he was ditching us and leaving us to figure things out for ourselves. I don’t remember how the conversation happened but my Cousin Craig and Curt opened up there home to us. Took us in. Which allowed us to stay with our school and friends. At this point my mother was deceased and my Father was done with us. Life sucked so bad. But one night, my cousin Curt was watching his NBA TV when this skinny smiling kid came on the screen. At the time I wasn’t following basketball other than MJ VHS tapes were recorded back in 1993 and 1991 … plus back with my dad we couldn’t afford cable. I remember asking “Curt who that is on the screen?” I remember all of the purple and gold stuff surrounding the house. Curt said “… he’s going to be the greatest of all time.” From that day forward Curt taught me all about Lakerdom and from day 1 of Kobe’s first game until … tragically today I have been a diehard, fanatic and supporter of Kobe Bryant.

Why?

My life was in shambles. Kobe was not that much older than me and became someone I could grow up with. At a time in my life where I wanted to give up I didn’t and Kobe inspired that. When he failed I failed. When he succeeded. When he almost when to jail, I was praying for him. Kobe was not supposed to be all that he became but he did. So much was stacked against him and a lot of people hated on him and that’s why I loved him. He maximized all that God had given him and learned learned learned!

From my youth up Kobe was my guy.

And now he’s gone.

I’m so heart broken. Praying.

Angry. Sad. Mad. Mad at God. Devastated and in shock. My heart is ripped out because somebody who I have watched, idolized, cheered for and more.

When I had nothing to inspire me, I had Kobe. When I had my first heart break, I could count on Kobe watching him play. When we didn’t have any where to go, I had Kobe. When faced the worst parts about life … man I had Kobe. Some kind of how, even when he made me mad taking bad highly contested shots … I still needed them to go in – because if he won, I won.

Friends wondered why I took it so personally when they joked about Kobe or tried to debate. That’s because when you talked about Kobe you were talking about me.

Now he’s gone. even more sad … several others and reportedly GiGi his daughter.

I’m praying for his family but the wind has been knocked out of me.

My favorite player is gone.

I can’t believe it.

But Kobe, I’ll always love you bro.

Family over Everything

You can get another church … but you can’t get another family.

Dear Leader, Pastor or Church Planter,

you can get another ministry, organization and

you can launch another church …

but you can’t get another marriage or family.

Technically you can remarry or start over, but don’t let it be at the expense of “ministry”.

Jesus said “the poor will be with you always”; unpacking that means that there will ALWAYS be ministry opportunity. But NOTICE; no matter how intense Jesus’ ministry was — even during the death of the Cross, He still left his Mother taken care of, because He knew how important it was to model that. If He died for the sins of the world, but couldn’t take care of His own Mom what message would that send?

A hard hard truth is before you launch out into the deep; creating a new ministry or launching a new organization, spend time getting health and spiritual assessments to determine if your family or marriage is ready for this daunting assignment. And honestly a good leader or organization would tell you what I’m about to tell you–if your family isn’t ready to start, although you may feel differently, you’re not either.

I know you feel a passion about ministry or starting a organization, but if it will cost your marriage or your family—then you’ve missed the most important ministry of all.

In this 21st century climate — your greatest witness is not how well you fulfill or express ministry gifts or operations. It is not your talent, your million dollar budget or how great your church looks on Instagram — your greatest witness is having a healthy marriage, family and deploying healthy future leaders into society to change the world who just happens to be believers. That’s a good witness.

And if anybody tells you ministry comes before family … ask yourself a hard question, what will God say at the gates, when he asks you to give an account of how successful your ministry work was although your family ministry wasn’t? If you made it heaven but your kids or spouse didn’t.

Proud Parent Moment

You ever witness your child, or the one you lovingly lead or mentor do something incredible? Or say something brilliant, and it overwhelms you with great tears and joy? 😩❤️

Thats a ‘proud my moment right? 😁

Well what I’m discovering is that what makes that ‘proud Parent’ moment 🔥 SO special, powerful, emotional … is not that we doubted their ability, but witnessing it, seeing it materialize 🙌🏾 from within confirms that God can do it through them even when we doubt ourselves.

To know that God trusted us with them, knowing how bad I could mess it up. Seeing God use those I lovingly lead, through THEIR ability WHILE at the same time, at times doubting my own.

Humbled and I’m proud. 🙌🏾❤️✝️🔥

Losing and Life His Art

Losing has so many rich lessons in it.

And life, is but a canvas for God’s art.

I get it now.

I really do, I know that’s a bit of an arrogant thing to say but I’ve experienced enough of what Life has to offer that I see it’s template.

Everything is a template.

Everything is a type and shadow of something else.

As much as I am not a fan of losing … like, I hate losing … it’s how I lose that I hate even more. Losing has to have value, losing has to have an experience in it. It has to be an epic loss … two gladiators who are bloodied, beaten trying to overcome, who have equally exasperated all at their optimum to overthrow the other and then one valiantly falls to the blade of another in honor. Almost like Russell Crowe’s Gladiator character and Keanu Reeves ‘The Last Samurai’ characters meshed into one in their final scenes …

I have to had learned something valuable in the loss. Something I could take with me in the next level or the next life.

And the appreciation and solace in those things is where I cherish the loss.

And Life, oh Life

You beautiful canvas You.

You have no say so on what the Creator paints upon you.

And regardless of what He paints, it will always be beauty.

Even though what He paints, is expressed in the how of our lives … of which I often find myself lovingly hating and despisingly loving. He gives and He takes away.

And it’s still blessed.

I am grateful that He uses my Canvas … that my aspiration and agony is His Art.

I Know Now

cropped-tedx-2

“The moment you become aware, is the moment you immediately become responsible.”

I shared this when I gave a TEDTalk at the most recent TEDx Charlotte conference.

To watch my TEDTalk in full click here.

It’s been two years since I blogged.

I haven’t lost the passion for writing, storytelling or saying what’s on my mind or what’s in my heart. That’s not the reason it’s been so long.

The reason is because … I had to go through a bunch of crap … to help me find who I am and what exactly I am supposed to do, with my passion for writing, storytelling and saying.

I’m not making any promises … but you, your friends, co-workers and more are not going to want to miss what I have to say.

I am unabashedly, apologetically going to inspire you, challenge you, provoke you and drive you to emotions you need to feel with my words.

I am going to drive you to destiny, to what God has called you to be, told you to do and more. You’re going to love reading my content.

In the next few months I will be slowly rolling out new material I’ve stored within from months as we get ready to launch a brand new campaign year of motivational speaking, preaching and coaching others.

I am so aware now … more than I ever have been … and with that comes great responsibility.

You ready?

Brothers

So it’s been a while but no worries … I have a lot to share with you. I pray that during the time of my last posting that you, your family and all of the things that connect to you have been blessed.

Since the last time I wrote to you I to have experienced some new things, trials, new lessons … but I am grateful to God that the ability to see beyond the surface is untamed. From that macro, big picture perspective is where I draw thoughts. And this first blog here is from where I will write my newest piece.

How I view America.

636018898215917808260833659_grunge_bless_america___precut_png_stock_by_somadjinn-d727784

Now I could go into history, our … you know how America became a Nation July 4th, 1776. Or how the Emancipation Proclamation executive order period lasted between September 22nd, 1862 to January 1st, 1863. Or the Civil war ending May 9th, 1865. Or the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery January 31st, 1865,  the waves of the “Great Migration” of the colonial era in the 19th Century around the 1880’s to early 1900’s. I could go into that. Lastly, I could go into our history of civil or social iniquities such as the hanging of Emmett Till in 1955, Detroit, July of 1967 or the study of the Equal Justice Initiative in 2015 finding that 3,959 black men, women and children were lynched in Southern states between 1877 and 1950.

resistance-civil-rights-header

I could go into all of that.

Moreover I could go into the countless times that White, Black, Latino, Asian or other Ethnic groups of Men or Women have killed one another, violated one another, robbed one another, destroyed one another … mass killings, shootings, looting, suicides, bombings, rape, scandals, oppression, discrimination, corruption … systematic oppression, mass political incarceration, drug world immersion, hypocritical Church controversies, police brutality, social injustice, crime lords, gang violence …

vote

[Inserts an unnecessary but dramatic gasp of breath…]

and more.

But I won’t. Because that’s not the way I feel enthralled to expand us or our thinking…our view. Instead, from God’s lens … macro, eagle-eye, big picture point of reference.

Eyes enamored with pain, are blind to the nail-pierced Hand enamored to heal.

Don’t miss the ocean for the fish or the forest for the trees!

The big picture-truth is that because of the inauguration Sin, iniquity, this life, this world will never been without recurring and unprecedented present evils.

“There is nothing new under the sun.”

One law passed, policy updated, legislation revised, protest launched, initiative started, organization founded or act of heroism doesn’t eradicate evils. The ever-manifesting presence of pure darkness of mankind will be present! That is truth.

The only hope is Christ. Looking unto Him … who is soon to return! And until His return, He, the Light, hopes to live within each individual … that alone can only drive out darkness.

Until then … the way I view it is like this; and I hope by the end of your reading you can consider viewing it this way to.

Do you remember “Soul Food” the Movie? I do! Great movie. Perhaps your family looks like this.

54304bf49ba485dec5f34c4a2d9c12a5

Pretend you have a Family. A crazy family. Well actually … you don’t have to pretend! LOL!

BN-QW403_BONDS_J_20161118143606

 

Your crazy family, sometimes you disagree, sometimes you hurt each other … really hurt each other. Sometimes someone brings drama at family dinner or on a family road trip or while trying to watch the football game. But at the end of the day we’re still family. And we can’t get nowhere anywhere without each other. And once our family focused on fighting for each other and instead of against each other things got better for everybody? And remember … we could talk about each other or fight each other but no one else could. Family was all we had. All we have. And family never let anyone divide that.

25BROTHERS-articleLarge

Ladies and Gentleman … your family … my family is America. The truth is that America, in my opinion is already a great country. We never stopped being great. The truth is that our indiscretions, iniquities, failures as a people are no greater than what has transpired on this planet since the beginning of time. In other countries similar or far worse happen as often or if not more than they happen here. Which makes me grateful that I can openly share freedoms, that we as Americans take for granted. I thank God that the good Lord chose to birth my destiny on this side of the globe and not the other. In the words of Da’ T.R.U.T.H. would I still believe in God if I was born in another continent? Another country? 

What I am saying is that there is a lot, a lot that breaks my heart, breaks our heart that happens in these United States. But because we are all God’s children … imagine how it makes Him feel?

When we return to place to look at our situations as exactly what they are …ours, acknowledge our sins and mistakes, then true healing can take place. God never created religion, we did. God never created labels, we did. God never created sin…we did.

Isn’t about time we start dealing with ourselves, our homes, our hearts, our communities first before pointing fingers at someone else.

Maybe we can view it like that.

Don’t let your time here on this planet expire, you stand before God in judgement, before you realize that the very people you despised, stayed away from, engaged less, judged, mistreated, overlooked or undervalued, you had more in common with than not. Don’t wait until God deals you your just and swift reciprocation before you discover that all of us were really Brothers.

Amen? Amen.

bus_heroes

Waiting

The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth upon the manifestation of the sons of God.

The creatures, inhabitants of this world, groan in expectation, awaiting the arrival, resurgence and materialization of God’s Sons in the earth. -Romans 8:19

That was the response I received after praying, meditating and waiting. But I will come back to that point. First I want to share with you a few thoughts I have.

charlottesville-protests-car-crash-ht-jt-170813_12x5_992

We are ever praying for all of the families involved, connected and hurt doing the recent events. A horrific tragedy. We are praying for the families of those who lost loved ones. And we are also praying for those whose hearts, minds or agendas are filled with rage, hatred and ill-guided passion. I say ill-guided passion because their is an element of humanity, a no-judge zone that has to be illustrated.

“As such were some of you…” -1 Corinthians 6:11

As my heart broke, my Wife and I exchanging passionate frustration, tears and consolation as we read, watched the news of this weekend, it took discipline not to selfishly take to the computer and write everything I felt.

But if I am a Christian, Saved, Spirit-Led, then even in a plateau of re-sparked lamentation I walk not after the flesh–that is my feelings, but after the Spirit. Our World, despite it’s inevitable doom as outline in the eschatological themed scriptures, Christians, Non-Christians alike need leadership to strengthen, encourage, galvanize and love them to hope again. Moreover to inspire them to become the hope, vigilant to sacrifice for it. Even at the expense of life.

So after I had a conversation with the Master, conversation with my Wife, I felt it was time to share a few thoughts with the Church on the subject of Charlottesville.

  1. Why is the Christian community so surprised?
    • So we are just going to skip over Matthew 24, II Timothy 3, Ephesians 2:2 and countless other scriptures that highlight the protruding presence of evil, accessibility of disaster in this present world? I know that Social Media plays a huge role but these things have been going on for ages. One thing is for sure, evil has always been present; can we say the same thing about the Church??
  2. The most divided hour of the Week is Sunday morning; is this not a consequence of our own lack of unity?
    • To my Christian Brothers and Sisters on both sides of Race let me admonish you. Until we stop whatever it is that we are doing and make cross-racial, denominational fellowship intentional we will never have an adequate amount of credibility to influence not only issues in society but the changes that need to be made.

One Christian didn’t agree with this so they created a derivation of the Gospel and started a new denomination. Another one. Then another one. Then another one. All until we started discriminating and hating all of God’s children and used the Lord’s Name to do it. In a sense Sin creates all things but sometimes it’s the Church’s sins that were created first. What we see, hate personified, was created by an absence of Love. The absence of love was created by an stockpiling inventory of sin. “Because iniquity has abound, the love of many has waxed cold.” We created this.article-charlottesville-23-0812

Are our weapons carnal? Are they no longer mighty through God?

    •  I know, I know…we have to be wise right? I know that we cannot be quick to respond on social media, we have to let justice play it’s part, pray, forgive and all that stuff. I get it. I really do. But let me share humbly that although Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, the Holy One of Israel was humility perfectly personified, He was never passive. He was wise, strategic and impeccable.
    • I understand the Church trying to be wise but it appears that we have cloaked ourselves behind the mask of wisdom. It appears that we are not only passive, quiet but absent. Pundits, leaders and others verbally chastised the President for not accurately denouncing and condemning the hate-groups over the weekend but what about the Church? Why didn’t our Leaders, of all colors, present a united front? And let’s not be naïve; there is nothing new under the Sun. I believe whole-heartedly that the Church triumphant, less inundated and entangled with the affairs of this life, would be able to influence miraculously the apparent wiles of this present hour. I know the scripture must be fulfilled and some things must happen but I believe if Christ beheld Satan fall like lightning from the sky once, it can happen again if the Church would posture itself back where it was supposed to be. It is not the President’s fault people. It’s ours.

“In fact the time will come when they will kill you and think that they are doing God a service.” -John 16:2

Moreover, we have gotten ourselves into a pickle. A large portion of our outcry and support for social justice like these are being led by groups who do not share the same theological beliefs as the Church. A group of LGBT members protest loudly and proudly about the discrimination and hate. But…there the LGBT! And the Church as a whole are nowhere to be found? So do we support them or condemn the ones that are doing our jobs for us?

If we were not so stuck hiding behind our four walls we can actually ditch the Social Media Courage (being so opinionated on Social media but absent in real life) and actually salt the Earth. Salt doesn’t have to enforce change but it can be a light and influence. Instead of pointing fingers, finding blame, Clergy and Faith Leaders can actually join hand in hand and help save souls from the inside out. Instead of absorbing all of a City’s resources to fit our Christian agendas, pack out our churches and grow our profitability we can actually share our ‘oil’ and pour out back into the city.

Read Luke 17:1-2, Matthew 25:42-46 – And ask yourself; who are the little ones?

170812-stein-charlottesville-car-hero-1_faec44.jpg

It’s interesting when you think about it.

We are waiting for Christ’s return.

The World, as described in Romans 8:19 is waiting on us.

Christ will return for a Church who has done, what the earnest expectation of the creature expects us to do.

Christ will show up. But the World is waiting on us to just be present.

I think Christ’s allowance of the wiles of the Evil one to overwhelm us, was geared that the Church might Repent.

Full and totally repent.
Just repent.

I do not think we have yet.

So there probably will be more of this while Christ waits.

 

To connect, email me at PastorTheo@wopchurch.org

 

Too Much Like Christ-Like

It didn’t take me long to decide what I wanted to share with you…I have just been very busy. For real. 

First of all I want to say I appreciate you taking out the time to read, share, subscribe and support me sharing with you. I do feel this is service, I do feel led to share and I do feel a mandate to speak to things that may not come up in every day Christian conversation.

The Church Body, community as a whole has a lot of great things happening. This is one of the greatest times of storytelling for the Name of Jesus Christ. His message and life is spread prolifically all throughout this world. Books, television, media and movies.

Church-Culture-2

And the Christian movies are actually really good! 

But it is not wise to spend time glorying in ourselves but rather in our infirmities. Moreover areas of opportunity for growth. As we see in the story of the man with the withered hand, where I also feel comfortably called to do so, is to try to inspire the Christian body to extend their hand, weaknesses, where we have come up short, that we may be healed.

Healings do not happen to those who deny they need them.

So even in this blog I am not attempting to cast a negative light but to simply highlight areas of improvement.

So here goes…

Church…how can we be a Body, if we are not a family?

So (and I absolutely mean no harm) but my family and I have been new at Pastoring in the city of Charlotte for almost a year now. And do you know, I can count on hand how many Sister-Churches, Pastors or preachers have come by to check on us, worship with us or even make a simple phone call. Literally…in some cases the only time I heard from some ministries were when we attempted to involve them in our programming.

It’s a million churches in Charlotte. Exaggerating but you get the point.

Which evidently is the only way you can get some people to fellowship. Now I understand this may be the way it’s always been, but that doesn’t make it right. You mean to tell me that your brother and sisters moved to a new city, to start a ministry, right down the street from you and you never took the initiative to welcome them? To visit them? Just to see if they needed anything?

And I am actually wrapping this up but it speaks to a lot of church cultural proclivities that we see but don’t speak much to. We say we are not competing but…we all know we are. There’s an mysterious need to become reclusive, exclusive and preservative in the presence of your brothers and sisters. We put our guard up. We become isolated in our own ministry. The Christian people are the only people that I have witnessed that are literally of the same progeny, priesthood and Parenthood but are almost diagnosed to be allergic to one other. Our common interactions amongst other brothers and sisters are so unnatural. It takes effort to greet your Brother and Sister. To speak. Social constipation.

So like…in Heaven, we will all be together right? So…in Earth we don’t have to??

What’s wrong with shutting down your service just to go and support or worship with another? (No strings attached.) Why can’t we drop what we are doing and go help a sister-work do outreach or evangelism without the hypersensitive caution that there will be some ‘sheep-stealing’ going on? If there is a starter work that you are aware of, why is it like pulling teeth for a ministry to even entertain the thought of deploying resources or personnel to assist another – without being asked to do so or financial compensation?

maxresdefault
Really Church? We just going to act like we don’t see a need?

PREACHERS. EVANGELISTS. SPEAKERS. PASTORS…Why is it that the only time we go and visit another ministry or support is when we have been invited to be the guest speaker?

[whistles aloud.]

Why do we lie and tell people “We’re praying for you.” But we are really not actually praying for them. We really mean “We are hoping God blesses you.”

Why are there 20 churches almost just 5 minutes from each other?

No seriously. Count em. Literally minutes apart.

Why is it when someone asks for ministry support, when we have the resources to help, we say “we have to go pray about it?” I mean I know you can’t be a fool and you have to be a wise steward. But if I have a Church van that I do not use on Thursdays. And I am aware that one of the local Churches needs a van to use on Thursdays. I mean…should they have to ask? Did God make me aware of their need just to be observant?

God: “Oh look Theo…their transporting people to church in their personal vehicles. You have three Vans and none of your staff work on Thursday evenings.”

Me: “God you’re right. No worries. You gone bless them one day huh?”

Jesus, the God from Nazareth brings us out to send us back in. We do not forget where God brought us from but we do tend to ignore the people who are still there.

Why do we have to ask for offerings, donations or financial support from others?

Why is it so easy to spend thousands of dollars on plane tickets, passports and more to do mission work ten thousand miles away overseas (which is a passion and bucket list of mine) but not in the inner city urban area ten minutes away?

I have more questions. I am just going to stop there.

Last comment I want to make.

You know when you talk to a fellow Christian or maybe someone who is doing something for the kingdom, this is how the conversation goes:

Me: “Hey how are you? I love the work that your doing!”

Them: “Oh thank you! To God be the glory.”

Me: “Well you keep up the good work. We’re praying for you.”

Them: “Thank you we appreciate it.”

WHY…

Can’t I just say “Hey, how’s the ministry going …

“How can I help?”

And when they share with you how you can help you actually do it.

No strings attached.

Nah…that won’t happen. *shrugs.

That would be too much like Christ right?

%d bloggers like this: