Monday, December 27, 2010

Gay Marriage

I was talking with some of my christian friends the other day and this came up in conversation. Here is a brief look into the conversation that we had:

i agree with a lot of what has been said. Speaking about a specific issue should never take precedence to preaching the gospel unless that issue is a HUGE stumbling block to the person

on some:

yeah, i hear what you're saying about Jesus dying for my sins, but what about my boy over there who is gay? are you saying he can't be saved? Because if that is what you're saying, then i want no part of christianity

But i will say this:

I honestly believe that all of the legal protections afforded heterosexual couples should also be given to homosexual couples.

After a marriage ceremony, does a husband have to wait until the state sends back a copy of his marriage certificate before he can marital tango with his wife (without being in sin)? No.

I say that to show this: Marriage in the eyes of the Lord and marriage in the eyes of the state are two different things.

The state performs "civil unions" and calls them "marriages". We (as believers) sign marriage certificates ONLY because we want to be granted the rights that the state gives people that the state calls married. We want easy inheritances/estate planning, we want hassle-free health insurance for every member our families, etc etc.

I feel like we (christians) are fighting over semantics and i think too much money has been wasted on this fight.

We may ask: "What good is a state marriage license if the Lord views the union as thoroughly sinful?" And my response would be: What good do we do in saying "Well, you can't get married, but you can get this other thing that is just like marriage - but with a different name"? We are wasting millions of dollars and precious legislative time over semantics.

If we agree that there should be no civil/criminal penalty for people who fornicate, divorce or do any other such thing, why not allow the state to recognize the civil union that gays have in the same way that it recognizes the union that straights have?

Will forcing a regard for the Lord in a particular area bring practicing homosexuals any closer to the Lord? Do we gain some sort of "gotcha" pleasure by holding onto this last front in the culture war that we have fought and lost? (i hope not) Do we really think that the legalization of gay marriage will bring about a new wave of evil that is presently unseen in this country?

I'm not trying to say that we shouldn't legislate morality. We do it all the time and we should continue to do it. For example: Even though banning abortion will not change the heart of the mother it will prevent a life from being taken. The only thing that a gay marriage ban accomplishes is making stuff more difficult for gay couples than it has to be.


Friday, December 24, 2010

2nd amendment rights?

The more i hear about senseless violence, the more i consider whether or not I want to exercise my 2nd amendment rights. As a christian (if i choose to carry), is the right response to someone threatening my life the immediate seizure of theirs?

I look in the eyes of some of these people that have been arrested recently for heinous crimes in my neighborhood and I see apathy. If there are people that are walking around that don't value human life, I think that I would like to be in the position to take theirs if/when they seek to take mine.

I'm inclined to say that these people need Jesus (they do), so they need my gracious words and my "tunic" more than they need reciprocal violence. But i'm also inclined to say that if i'm not being persecuted for my faith, these people are very capable of making a mistake that would liberate me to ensure it is the last they make.

what say ye?

Thursday, December 23, 2010



[kris-muhs or, often, eks-muhs] Christmas.

—Usage note
The abbreviation Xmas for Christmas dates from the mid 16th century. The X is the Greek letter chi, the initial in the word Χριστός ( Christos ) “Christ.” In spite of a long and respectable history, today Xmas is offensive to many, perhaps because of its associations with advertising. It is not used in formal writing.

I've found myself growing more and more bothered by the usage of "Xmas". I don't think that most people that say "xmas" are aware of its greek origin. But then again, does it really matter?

I think i need to be bothered less by this.

Monday, December 20, 2010

United Stated Postal Service

Dear USPS,

I was christmas shopping online yesterday and I paid the extra $4 for Fedex. There's an old saying in Tennessee...I know it's in Brooklyn, probably in Tennessee...that says: "Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me...You can't get fooled again"



Friday, December 17, 2010

No more Mr. Nice Guy?

I'm a nice guy. I do favors for people. I do nice things for people. But i find that being a nice guy opens the door for people to take advantage of my niceness.

Recently, this has taken shape in people (in my band) using me and my car as a means of free transportation to/from rehearsals and shows.

Today is my last day of niceness (to band freeloaders - not to you guys).

We had to go to a show that was a relatively long way outside of brooklyn. I had a car full of people (6 total). Only one guy gave me some money for gas - and he gave more than his fair share.

Never again will any of the people in this particular band ride in my car for free.

Gas is about $3.30/gallon here in nyc. I remember when gas was above $4/gallon a few years back. But the cost of gas isn't the issue.

I don't really care how much gas costs. I don't really think twice about when i pull into a gas station. I put my credit card in, fill up and leave.

The real issue is one of principle. Taking advantage of people is not cool. thoughts?

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I just watched a showtime documentary on people in the DC area living with HIV/AIDS and it helped me to see that there is self-righteousness in my heart. As I was watching the film, part of me said:

didn't this person KNOW that this end would befall them??!?
didn't they know that what they were doing was STUPID?!!??

...and it was in those moments that I realized the mercy i've been extended by God (as a believer) is the same mercy that must penetrate my heart as I think about people in these situations.

There but for the grace of God go I.

I pray that God's new mercies and his amazing grace would come to mind when i'm tempted to think things like "i would have never done something like that", because it is only the grace of God that kept me from going down such a path.

The documentary was also quite sad. You never realize how much suffering there is in the world until you're given an opportunity to walk in someone's shoes for a time. It really helped me to cry out "maranatha" afresh to the Lord. Not only is sin pervasive, it's consequences are too. As long as we glamorize sin, there will never be a shortage of sad footage for documentaries like these.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Job search

Recruiting continues. I've got a job offer, but i've got to figure out which place is the best fit for me. I've also got to figure out how much of a risk taker I am. I can either accept the job offer that is in front of me, or I can walk away from what is in front of me and continue to search for another job (would that make me crazy? would that make me crazy? would that make me crazy? possibly.)

Ideally, i'd like to live and work in the city. But i'm averse to finance...and that is what complicates things.

Updates to come.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Settlements or Reparations?

Please watch this unembeddable youtube video of a senator painting a settlement due to black farmers over systematic discrimination as reparations. 5mins. worth your time:


here are my thoughts:

1. The usda ADMITTED to denying business-sustaining loans to black farmers SOLELY on the basis of race.

2. This farmland was given to black farmers AFTER emancipation - so this isn't about reparations

3. This is the stuff that makes me hate politics - b/c this is not only racism, it is also meant to stoke the flames of partisanship. King said an "urban" senator from chicago (the city) paved the way for this to happen - but ILLINOIS (the state! - senators rep STATES, sonnn!) is a farm state and...AND (ANNNNNND!)...KING VOTED FOR THE BILL!

4. In other clips he paints several claimants as "city drug addicts" who are the children of the farmers and not the farmers themselves.
+ that argument is lame - he is only appealing to ignorance to stoke poorly founded outrage
+ this is very reminiscent of the whole "welfare queen " label from the 80s - just b/c some people are abusing their liberty does not mean that all are.

5. did i mention that the usda ADMITTED GUILT?!?!?!? THEY ADMITTED IT!!! on some "yeah, we did it"

also - i'd like to know when this will be covered on broadcast news. I've yet to see anything.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Football Player blames God for dropped pass

Here's a link to the article on the football player.

Pass dropper, Steve Johnson had this to say on twitter:


There's so much that i want to say about this. The short version is this:

God makes many promises, none of which is a guarantee of worldly success. Blessings are not earned nor are they merited, they are graciously given by God in his sovereignty.

This dude needs prayer. You can't deny the fact that he's hurt - but the theology that is informing his anger is wrong and will only lead to disappointment like this. I'm concerned about how he will respond in a much more serious situation.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Just a quick thought:

The truth of what someone is saying has nothing to do with whether or not they believe it or put it into practice. It may call into question whether or not they are the best person to share such a truth, but it does not render their claim worthless.

This thought came to mind as i read an article on the New Jersey pastor that gave the leadership at his church the following options:

1. Close your facebook account
2. Step down from leadership

The pastor's reasoning behind the mandate was that it was a means of protecting marriages, since facebook provides easy access to old flames and such.

It then came out that the pastor invited an assistant at his church to join as a third party to marital relations shared between the pastor and his wife in 2003.

Though i do not agree with how the pastor is going about trying to promote sexual morality, the fact that he was at one time guilty of the sexual immorality that he is trying to prevent does not mean that the leadership in his church shouldn't seek sexual morality at all costs.

Now, with those things said i think it is important to highlight the following:

1. The pastor's mandate was a great idea since we all know that there was no marital infidelity before facebook.

2. On a more serious note: 8 years of secrecy about sin is grounds for this pastor to step down/be immediately removed. Just sayin.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

still single

still single. not really worrying. Praying that my heart would be at rest in the Lord and his provision.

There are times when i wonder if my standards are too high.

I've loosened the reigns on the "must be reformed" and "must be in a good church". But i'm still single.

I don't think my physical standard is too high. I'm not waiting for the proverbial "halle berry" to come along. In my fraternity in college, some dudes actually made fun of me for having a physical attractiveness bar that was set too low (" think SHE'S attractive?!?") that isn't the issue.

From a personality perspective - i'm just looking for chemistry. I think that will come from some degree of mutual understanding. Doesn't have to get all my jokes (i tell bad jokes - lots of them), but should be someone who would appreciate the effort, you know?

to be honest, i've had "chemistry" with girls i've met over the past 1.5yrs in school, but they all hit their heads on the "must be a christian" bar (and not just someone who goes to church twice a year).

Aside: that "hit their heads on the 'must be christian' bar" reversed the "bar" analogy. The "bar" was initially something that people would have to step/climb over, but in this case, the bar is something that would have to be walked under - hope this doesn't cause confusion.

idk, yo.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today I voted

No line at the polling spot. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not.

also -

I wonder about voting sometimes. The referendum questions were totally written at a 12th grade+ level. The first question was something like "to reduce from three to two the number of terms..."

i'm not too sure that people that have poor reading comprehension would be able to understand such a sentence.

People that have poor reading comprehension make up a much more significant proportion of our population than you think.

is it just that it sucks to be them? is the lesson "take education seriously"? We dumb down lots of things in society, why not voting?

I don't think that anyone wins when people can't understand what they're voting for.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Political Process

currently doing some reading for my brand strategy class and something that struck me is that people generally respond more strongly to the negative than they do the positive. It takes something like 5 positive interactions with someone to undo an initial negative interaction.

The same goes for all this politics. If you lie about your opponent (for example, the libertarian candidate for governor in nys was called a sexual offender - when, in fact, he is not) or construe things that they've done in a very negative light - people are much more likely to let the negative things inform their opinion of the candidate rather than anything positive that is presented in a different ad or from a non-partisan news source.

These kinds of things lead me to a general apathy about the political process. Not apathy in that "i don't care"...because i genuinely do - but apathy in the "i don't want to care" because people are so messed up and any hope for people to do the right thing is a false hope - and i don't need the extra drama.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quick Thought on Forgiveness

I was blessed with the opportunity to share this with a kid from my parents church that was in the middle of a fight with his cousin and i figured it couldn't hurt to share it over here.

nick, you've only got one family, so nothing good will come from keeping grudges over things that don't matter much (i'm only assuming that this is the case - if it is a big issue, then y'all should still try to work it out so that when you ask her to pass the stuffing on thanksgiving, she actually passes it LOL).

more importantly, as a believer, you should also aim for reconciliation. Simply put, God forgave us in spite of the sin that we've committed and his love will cover the sin that we will struggle with in the future - so then how can we *not* forgive someone else who may have wronged us?

One reason that we have been forgiven is so that we can forgive others. Our right response to Jesus' love for us is to try to love others in the same way (selflessly, sacrificially). Not because they deserve it, but because loving others in that way honors the Lord.

no matter how you feel, sometimes it is going to be on you to be the person that is going to take the first step towards reconciliation. And if the other person doesn't want it, you can always try again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whooping and Hollering

A CNN article on black preachers who "whoop"

i had a hard time saying anything about this article b/c there is so much emphasis on the fact that pastors have to "earn the right to whoop".

The way that they earn their way there sounded pretty good.

And i honestly don't see anything wrong with the mirthful celebration that whooping can lead to.

i think my biggest problem is that I KNOW the black church. While in it, it was probably all mirth for me, but in my reflections, i've experienced more sadness than mirth.

i've gone through periods of the "self-hatred" that was described in the article - but that "self-hatred" was informed by the culture in the black church being overwhelmingly "black" as opposed to overwhlemingly "christian".

just my $0.02

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fights/Insurance/Awkward Gym Interactions

So much stuff to share.

There was a huge gang fight at a house across the street from my house last thursday. BACKGROUND: it wasn't always this way - it seems like the gang members set up shop at 2-3 houses on my block within the past year. For some reason, members of a rival gang were in my neighborhood causing trouble. There was a physical fight, bricks and glass were thrown, my dad's car was in the middle of the fray. The rival gang members were outnumbered, they left. I decided to go outside to see if there was any damage to my dad's car after they left. No sooner than after i put the key in the door of his car, i look down the block and see three young men with VERY menacing looks on their faces. They were about 50-100 paces away from me. I didn't want to run and have them think that i was a lone gang member, but i didn't want to walk too slowly and get hit by a stray bullet (common sense says that after punches have been thrown, you don't return to throw more punches).



The suspense is killing you, i know.

I made it back into my house safely and am currently alive. I walked back to my house somewhere between very quickly and slowly. Thank you for your concern. The rival gang returned with more people and started to throw things at the house and break windows. There was a lot of yelling and cursing exchanged. Local neighborhood gang reinforcements arrived on the scene (en masse), but people in the house (which must have a lot of bad stuff happening inside) told them not to do anything (not even to fight) and to leave because the police were due at any moment - and the last thing that they would want is for unnecessary attention to be brought to the house (newsflash: the whole neighborhood already knows, we don't like you and your days on the block are numbered).

Everything eventually died down - the police showed up after their presence was needed.

I had knee minor knee surgery on the 12th of august. Same exact surgery that i had on the same knee in july of 1999. I feel great. Recovery has gone well. I have residual numbness and pain. Neither bother me too much, but i'm going to see my surgeon again in the near future. The big issue surrounding the surgery is the fact that i might be on the hook to pay for a significant portion of the surgery beyond my deductible. The summary of benefits received from the insurance company said that they paid $6k less than they were supposed to because they deemed the costs to be excessive. Hopefully that cost will not be passed on to me. After sharing this with my parents, i learned that i'm supposed to get approval from my insurance company before getting such procedures done. I did not know this. You live and learn. Hopefully this can be a free lesson.

Last story!

I'm an NYU student. I use the NYU athletic facilities to work out. I shower at the gym after I workout. The showers in the NYU gym are communal. I loathe showering at the NYU gym for this reason. I hate walking around/riding the train in sweaty clothes more than i hate communal showers - so i shower at the gym every time. I lock my locker when i shower and I usually lodge the key to my lock (i lost both of my combination locks) between the soap dispenser and the wall while i shower. Today i decided to store my stuff in a new and different section of the men's locker room and so it logically followed that i used the shower in that section of the locker room (the gyms and locker rooms at NYU are HUGE). When i went to lodge my key between the wall and the soap dispenser, my key fell behind the soap dispenser and it wouldn't come out.

Did i mention that i lock all of my belongings (including my clothing) in my locker when i shower?

I had to stand around the locker room in a towel and flip flops and wait at least 10mins for a guy from building maintenance to come with a huge knife (it was very flat, so it could fit in between the wall and the dispenser) to get the key out from behind the soap dispenser. I HAD TO STAND AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM IN MY TOWEL FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES. You never realize how weird such a thing is until you get looks from EVERYONE that comes in the locker room that say "dude, why the heck are you standing around in a towel and flip flops?"

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Lord, help me not to be like the son who stayed home. Help me to rest in your grace and not my works. Help me to see that your love for me is just as strong when I'm actively nipping sin in the bud as it is when i'm at my worst.

Lord, help me to desire you above all that this world has to offer. Lord, help me to be content with your provision. Lord help my heart to say "your grace is sufficient" as easily as my mouth can.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Chelsea and her hubby did a huge prenup thing going into the wedding.

“Chelsea’s world was shattered when she learned that her father had been unfaithful to her mom,” said a source. “She’s never forgotten that pain and disappointment. Her father has always been the person she most admired, and the fact that he cheated on her mom not once, but many times, made her very gun-shy about trusting the guys she dated.”

That distrust has led to her making some interesting demands before entering into holy matrimony.

“Under the terms of of the prenup, if Marc is unfaithful, he stands to lose $10 million, including his share of the couple’s $3.8 million apartment in New York City.”

- quote taken from here

There's so much to be said about this whole situation, but i will approach it from this angle:

While i understand the world's perspective on prenuptial agreements, I will never sign one. I don't care how much money i have going into a wedding. My prenuptial agreement will be to love my wife as Christ loved the church. And by God's grace, I will love my wife as I ought to.

I wont divorce my wife and try to get half from her because Christ didn't and WILL NOT divorce the church. If the Lord does not treat me according to my sin, how can I not, by the Lord's grace, forgive my wife for however she may sin against me.

This may sound idealistic, but there is a high calling on the husband - If the Lord blesses me with a wife, I will seek to honor the Lord in how I treat her. And that treatment will, by the Lord's grace, never include divorce.

I don't want to presumptuously say what I wont do, because i don't know the depths of my own depravity, but by the Lord's grace, I can obey him - and in my obedience to him, I can love my wife as I should.

This doesn't mean that i'm not looking for certain things from a prospective lady - here is my list:

She will be:

1. A woman that will be seeking to honor the Lord in all that she does.

2. Under sound biblical teaching (mos def not gonna try to go fishing in random churches)

3. Seeking and submitting to the godly wisdom of older women in the faith.

4. ...and she will have accountability in her life.

These things in and of themselves don't mean that she will not ever seek a divorce, but i believe that a mind that has been renewed by the word of God coupled with the accountability and prayer that comes from being in regular fellowship with other believers (both means of God's grace), can keep a marriage.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Went to a free Chrisette Michele and Musiq Soulchild concert in brooklyn @ wingate park. I had VIP seating b/c my dad is active on the community board and they extended free VIP seating to him - he reserved a seat for me.

I was able to get seats in the VIP section for my sister and her husband. I asked a security guard very nicely to let them into the section and he did. They just couldn't go to the bathroom (wristband required to get back in).

Chrisette Michele is hands-down my favorite singer. She is a soul/rnb singer, but she is a believer - and it permeates all of her songs. She has an amazing voice and she *writes* BEAUTIFUL songs.

She sang my favorite song towards the end of her set, here's a video of that song:

She also dedicated a song to her father, who was in the audience. It was so beautiful. I never realized that the song was about her father until tonight. Helped me to see it in an entirely new light.

Here's the song:

I can't imagine that a single father with a daughter that didn't well up when he heard her sing this song. I is such a beautiful song. It's called "your joy".

ummm - i may or may not have made a sign with a marriage proposal on it for the concert.

It was also really encouraging to hear her speak of the Lord during her set with a high degree of reverence.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gigging at churches with bad doctrine?

I filled in for a friend on bass at a seventh day adventist church here in nyc today.

We played a bunch of music - a lot of contemporary gospel. The church appeared to be very solid doctrinally. The lesson during sabbath school (sunday school) was justification by faith. The songs were edifying.

It was your typical west indian mixed with african american worship service.

The things that stood out to me were the emphasis on doctrine and the fact that the doctrine wasn't focused on their distinctive (or at least what i thought to be their distinctive) as a denomination. There was only ONE reference made to the sabbath while i was there - and there weren't any antagonistic statements made toward non-SDA people.

Here's what stood out to me:

During the sermon, the preacher, a traveling evangelist, spoke about part of the changed life of the believer as one that is free from smoking, drinking alcohol and drinking soda. There isn't a biblical proscription against any of those things, but some people extrapolate that idea from the whole romans 12 "body is a temple" text. For the purposes of majoring in the majors (as opposed to majoring in the minors), i let those statements go.

But then towards the end of the sermon (which was actually a very nice sermon) during the altar call portion of the sermon the preacher said something to the effect of "repentance, faith and confessing the Adventist church as the TRUE church"


There was an OVERWHELMING response to his sermon so i didn't even think that it would be appropriate to find him and ask him about it (because they were planning to baptize people ON THE SPOT after the service - he had something like 30 people to baptize and i was STARVING!)

There is a VERY high chance that i will get called back to this church to play again since i have good friends that are musicians that play there faithfully.

I'd like to go back there with a clear conscience.

Here's an email that i just sent to the church's contact line:

Today during the altar call that took place after the sermon, the evangelist said something to the effect of "turning from sin, faith in Jesus Christ and confessing belief that the Adventist church is the true church".

Does your church (and/or the larger SDA umbrella organization) agree with his statement that the adventist church is the TRUE church? Confessing your church to be the true church means more than "we believe that our doctrine is correct", it also states that you believe all other churches to be false churches.

Today was my first time visiting your church. I enjoyed the worship service. I was encouraged to hear teaching on justification by faith prior to the 11am service. I was just curious to understand your stance on this issue.

I am not a reporter of any sort. I do not have any ulterior motives in sending this email and soliciting a response.

I am a christian. I am a member of Sovereign Grace City Church, a new church plant, in brooklyn. I am originally from brooklyn, ny and this is the second opportunity that i've had to attend an SDA worship service. I have many friends who are SDA.

I also took it upon myself to read up on SDA churches on CARM and it appears as though there are several problems with their doctrine in general. But it also appears to be the case that SDA church 1 does not equal SDA church 2 - so i'll get to the bottom of all this before i agree to play there again.