Thursday, September 30, 2010

Check Out "Rehab"

Lecrae’s long-awaited fourth album, REHAB, is now in stores! The album features Tedashii, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, Sonny Sandoval, Anthony Evans and many more.  You can check in by picking up a copy of Rehab now on iTunes or at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Mardels, LifeWay, Berean and Family Christian.  For more information on where to find Rehab in-store click here.

You can also purchase the deluxe and/or vinyl version of Rehab as well as album merchandise at the storefront. For more information about the album and to listen to the three singles click here.

Check out my favorite song off of the album, "Boasting" featuring Anthony Evans!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Do You Micah 6:8?

This past weekend I had the opportunity to preach on Micah 6:8 at New Hope Fellowship in Lawton MI. This Scripture has had a big impact on my life and philosophy of ministry (and the ministry of Sunshine) over the past 9 years or so that I have become familiar with it. Preaching from it, gave me the chance to really dig into the book of Micah and see the big picture of the book and just how Micah 6:8 fits into the context of the book (I definitely recommend reading the book of Micah!). I am still chewing on what it means to truly live out the "Micah marks of grace" found in Micah 6:8. Below is a summary of my message from Sunday...

"Do You Micah 6:8"
Passage: Micah 6:1-8

The Context:
(1)Verses 1-3 = The LORD presents His case against His people
(2)Verses 4-5 = The LORD reminds them of all that He has done on their behalf
(3)Verses 6-7 = The Big Question: “What does the LORD require?
(4)Verse 8 = Our Response to His Redemptive Work

The Micah Marks of Grace

(1)Justice (do justice)
Justice (Hebrew “mishpat”) is much more than legal equity; it refers to the entire scope of God’s government of His world. Thus to “do justice” involves, on the part of government, a fair and just use of power and proper functioning of a fair judicial system, especially to protect the weak from the strong. On the part of individuals, “justice” involves honest and fair business dealings and faithfulness to keep one’s word, as well as not taking advantage of the poor or those with less power or protection.

We must contend for justice individually and corporately, personally and systemically!

(2)Mercy (love kindness)
Mercy is the Hebrew word “checed” (pronounced hesed) which means goodness, kindness, and steadfast love.

"The Gospels are filled with stories of Jesus touching those declared untouchable, speaking to those who were not to be spoken to, befriending those who were thought not to deserve a friend.” - taken from United By Faith

(3)Faithfulness (walk humbly with your God)
(a)One cannot “walk humbly with God” apart from a relationship with Jesus.
(b)A Biblical view of who God is will always lead to humility
(c)We must disciple others to walk humbly with God

Consider this…
67% of the world’s population does not know God (the Lost)
40% of the world’s population lives on less than $2/day (the Least of these)

People are poor (in Scripture & in life) for 3 reasons:
2)Personal Tragedy/Calamity
3)Personal Sin

People who are experiencing injustice and oppression need others to contend for justice (personal & systemic)!
People who are reeling after a personal tragedy need others to lavish mercy on them!
People who are in bondage to personal sin need to have their eyes opened to what it means to humbly walk with God!

Do you Micah 6:8?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reflections Of A Runner

This past Sunday morning I once again "competed" in the Chicago Half Marathon. As many of you might remember, I ran in the race last year for the first time. I really didn't know what to expect last year, and my goal going in was simply to "run the whole time." Going into this year, I put a little more pressure on myself. I began training earlier in the summer. I was stricter about my diet. My goal was to get my time under 2 hours this year. Therefore, the morning of the race and even in the days leading up I was "feeling the pressure" so to speak. One of the best things about this year's race was that I had a good friend, Curtis "CZ" Zackery, come into town to run with me. Although we didn't run together during the race (he moves at a much faster clip), it was huge to be able to talk through training practices, morning of routines, diet, etc.

The weather was perfect on Sunday. There were once again approximately 20,000 runners. I was able to finish the race this year with a time of 1 hour and 56 minutes (Praise God!). It felt so good to cross that finish line!!

Here is a "race footage interview" done by Sarah Murphy & Nikki Blodgett...

Here is a "post-race interview" of myself and Curtis "CZ" Zackery done by Nikki Blodgett...

I once again ran to raise money for Sunshine. I want to thank everyone who has either already sent in a donation online, or who is planning to soon. We are still accepting donations! Email me ( if you are interested, and I can send you the donation instructions.

Lord willing, I hope to stay in half-marathon shape and continue to do other runs/races throughout the coming year. I'm a runner, so...

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Equipped For A Glocal Urban Reality

Each fall I have the opportunity (along with other staff members from Sunshine) to do volunteer training with primarily college students and young adults. In addition to "program specific" training, such as discipline, how to tutor, etc - we teach sessions on the historical context of our neighborhood, seeing and celebrating the image of God in other cultures, educational inequities in urban areas, a Biblical response to poverty, and last but not least...The Gospel. For those coming to us from schools like Moody, I know that the Gospel and exegeting the Scriptures will be emphasized in their four years there. However, one thing I have emphasized this week (that one of my mentors, Dr. Fuder, use to stay to us in class) is that we must not only learn how to exegete the Scriptures, but we must also learn how to exegete our city, our neighborhood, cultures, people, etc. We must be cultural learners. We have to intentionally study (and re-study) the historical context and current social trends and challenges in the area in which we serve. In humility and with graciousness we must approach the realities of race, culture, and class as learners in God's school. This type of ongoing education is crucial for us as Christ-followers in the 21st Century. The integrity of the Gospel is at stake because we have an "all nations" commission and a "love our neighbor as ourselves" mandate.

I told the students this week that regardless of where they end up serving, whether it be rural, urban, or suburban that thinking Biblically through issues of race, culture, and class will always be relevant if we want to live missionally in a way that truly exalts Christ. However, studies are showing that the world in which we live is increasingly becoming urban. A recent Christianity Today article entitled "Urban Urgency" reported that more than half of the world's population now lives in cities. In 1950 fewer than 30 percent of the world's people lived in cities, but it is projected that by the year 2050 almost 70 percent of the world's estimated 10 billion people will live in urban areas (according to the United Nations). As God is sovereignly moving people to cities (Acts 17), He is bringing the Nations to these cities. As this happens, Ray Bakke likes to say that "other nations" are no longer geographically distant, but rather culturally distant from us (as believers). It not only becomes about crossing cultural divides to reach people for Christ, but also about learning from our global family (those who know Christ) as we begin to do life together and celebrate our differences.

We have to ask God to give us a "glocal" mindset and heart (that's local and global). We need not juxtapose the two against each other. It is both/and. This new growing urban reality is going to require believers to have an ever increasing Christ-centered compassion for both the neighborhood and the nations.