Tomatoes

You’re smiling at me, but your eyes give everything away.

You’re falling apart.

Hey, that’s okay. 

You don’t need to smile…

 

Like grocery shelves of produce injected with preservatives, growth hormones, and natural flavor, Church pews are lined with people. 

 

Side-by-side.

Take a bite.

Uh-oh, this one’s got a spot.

 

These days Tomatoes and Christians have more in common than Jesus. 

Bright. 

Red.

Juicy. 

 

Fake.

 

“Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretchmarks.”

K-Dot

 

Your imperfections are beautiful. 

Your flaws give me life.

Your weakness glorifies Jesus. 

 

Let me hit you with some Fake News:

“I’m working on…”

“I’m getting better at…”

“I’m trying…”

 

Homie, you’re good.

 

You’d be better off if you stopped

trying

to work on

getting better at that.

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1, 2, 3

1 Corinthians 12:31

“But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

“If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.

And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

 

I think it’s so powerful and insightful that Paul goes directly from speaking about the greater gifts of the Spirit, to saying it’s all worthless if you don’t have love.

 

What’s important in life? According to Paul and 1 Corinthians 13, love is mandatory. Loving God and loving people, that’s what it all boils down to. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many prophetic words you gave, if you understood all mysteries, had all knowledge, moved mountains, or gave all you had for the poor if you didn’t love well.

 

You are nothing without love.

 

If Love is so crucial, why am I not hearing more about it? How come all I seem to hear about are the gifts of the Spirit? How come I’m not hearing or seeing teaching on how to love well? How come we’re so focused on feeling Him instead of loving Him? How come judging for him is valued more than loving for him? How come all I hear about are healings, not times people overcame and loved well?

 

I’m scared we’ve missed the point in a horrible way.

 

Love.

Love well.

Love with your whole heart.

Love like He’s loved You.

 

What does love mean? What does love look like? How do I love well?

 

I think true love can’t be manufactured. I know it can’t be faked. I think it can only come from Him and your relationship with Him. I think it gets put in your heart if you’ve given Him the space to work it into you. I know there’s no way in hell I can “Just Do It”. I’m hoping that by turning my heart towards Him and asking for his love over and over and over again, some of him just comes out in moments.

 

I desperately want to see True Expressions of Love. I think that is what will change the World.

 

Do you want to see change? Love. Do you want to motivate? Love. Do you want to heal? Love. Do you want to represent Him? Love. Do you want to inspire? Love. Do you want to make a difference? Love.

 

True, undefiled love—personally, I don’t think there’s a greater, more powerful substance.

 

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.

For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

My God

My God.

Oh, My God.

 

You’ve put something wonderful inside of me.

You’ve put yourself somewhere between my skin and bones.

 

Your goodness is overwhelming.

To feel you all the time, would be too much.

 

I want to drink you in.

I want to stay next to you.

 

Periods of space,

Create longing and hunger,

For you to be the most amazing thing I’ve tasted.

 

You satisfy me.

You fill me.

You are my goodness.

 

My heart longs for You.

My soul cries our for You.

 

I need You.

Without You, I have no chance.

Without You, I would rather not exist.

 

I see You everywhere.

Father, when do we get to be together?

My heart is weak before you.

 

I am completely Yours.

 

My God, My King.

 

I need you,

But,

I have you.

 

My soul is content.

You are enough.

 

My life is Your canvas.

My life is worship for You.

Let My Life be a sweet fragrance to You.

 

You are enough for my Soul.

You are my Endlessness.

It’s in You

Give me something I can chew on.

 

Something so broken down to the bare minimum it’s hardly recognizable. Something stripped so much of it’s substance, it almost loses it’s meaning.

 

At least maybe then I would understand.

 

I understand.

 

It all needs to make sense.

Does that make sense?

 

Everything needs to fit in these boxes right here. Closed off, taped shut, nothing else allowed in here.

 

Goddamn.

I crave Freedom.

God, damn.

I crave You.

 

Won’t you step out?

Won’t you wake up?

Breathe the fresh air.

 

Open your eyes and see what’s around you.

Open your eyes and see the Freedom.

 

You can feel it, can’t you?

It’s new, exciting, electric.

It’s cool, crisp, refreshing.

 

It’s in the breeze.

It’s in the trees.

It’s in the sunset.

It’s in the blooming flowers.

It’s in the smile of a child not yet broken.

 

It’s in You.

Join Me.

Let’s See Some Change

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Romans 4:14-15

If those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made empty and the promise is canceled. For the law produces wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.

What are you focused on?

I want to see freedom. I want to see you unity. I want to see all the fake shit done with. I want to see people operating out of fullness. I want to see the church step up as The Church.

The law is dead. Your works mean nothing. All that matters is your heart and Jesus. If you lived a “good life” but your heart wasn’t changed, you missed the point. Do you feel good because of what you do, or because what God’s done inside of you?

It’s not about being financially stable. It’s not about going to college. It’s definitely not about going to church on Sundays.

Luke 9:23

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

And can we all stop focusing so much on sin? It’s done. It’s no longer a problem. Sin has been taken care of, once and for all, 100% of the time. That doesn’t mean you aren’t going to sin. It means that when you do, it’s already taken care of. It isn’t an issue.

Jesus gave us a new starting point. It’s your relationship with him. We don’t have to look at sin as something we’re “working on” or “trying to fix”. How do you work on something that’s already been taken care of?

Romans 8:3-7 (Message translation) says, “God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God!”

Let’s take the focus off of sin. God doesn’t think about your sin, so why should you? This whole thing is about getting to know him and getting to be more like him. So engage in the relationship. God isn’t focused on fixing you, because he already did that. Focus on the journey.

I’m just saying, I see and talk to countless people that have been hurt by and hate the church. It pisses me off more than anything else. Can we stop misrepresenting? Please?

What’s your job?

Love.

What’s going to making a difference?

Love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Freedom

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Sin has been taken care of, once and for all, 100% of the time. That DOES NOT mean you aren’t going to sin. It means that when you do, it’s already taken care of. It isn’t an issue.
 
Jesus gave us a new starting point. It’s your relationship with him. We don’t have to look at sin as something we’re “working on” or “trying to fix”. How do you work on something that’s already been taken care of?
 
Romans 8:3-8 (Message translation) says, “God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.”
 
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
 
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.”
 
Let’s take the focus off of sin. God doesn’t think about your sin, so why should you? This whole thing is about getting to know him and getting to be more like him. So engage in the relationship! Keep you eyes on him at all times. God IS NOT focused on fixing you, because he already did that! Focus on the journey.
 
Graham Cooke says, “When we started this journey with God, we weren’t just handed the “fullness” of the “fullness of Christ.” Instead, we entered a territory that is so huge it’s going to take the rest of our lives to explore.
 
As new creations, we are ever-evolving into the fullness of Christ because Jesus is big country. We must become explorers who are constantly finding something new in the face of God.
 
We are all learning how to explore the land that is in front us, to investigate the promises and new truths that God has placed in our lives.”
 
The Enemy wants you to believe that you are disqualified because of your sin. You’re not. In fact, you’re powerful. That’s why he’s constantly hitting you with accusation. If you align with that accusation, he’s winning. He wants you so preoccupied with your failures that you don’t focus on the power of walking with Jesus.
 
Let’s rejoice in the good news! We are not slave to sin. We are free in relationship with Christ. You are deeply, deeply loved by God.
 
To Freedom, my friends.

God’s Amazing Grace

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I think a lot of people are confused about some things concerning the Lord. (Disclaimer: I get confused about things concerning the Lord a lot.) Just as it is with pretty much everything in America, I think our relationship with the Father has gotten way too self-centered. We’ve taken His incredible, life giving grace and love, and somehow twisted it into this disgusting thing that allows us to do whatever we want and feel. NO! There are things that should never be done, ever, and even though God will forgive you and love you NO MATTER WHAT you do, that doesn’t make things permissible.

I know people struggle. Hell, I’m living proof that people struggle. I know all about God’s grace because he’s extended it to me over and over again. I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t struggle, that’s the last thing I’m about, but I’m seeing more and more people abuse God’s love and grace. I hear people say things like, “It’s my relationship with God, not yours.” or “Don’t judge me because God doesn’t judge me.”

It’s so sad because He is grieving. He loves you so much, more than you could ever imagine. He loves you with everything that he is. All the while he’s loving you, you’re spitting in his face, disregarding his requests, and writing off your sin with His grace. And yet…He keeps on loving you.

Imagine this, you’re absolutely 100% crazy about this guy or girl, and you’ve always been crazy about them. Thing is, they don’t just ignore you, they take you for granted. They are constantly using you, and they never give anything in return. Sometimes they’ll even fake that they love you to get what they want, and then abandon you once they’ve  got it. Even though this person treats you like trash, you are still desperately in love with them. All you want is to get to know them, to be with them and to have a relationship with them. You’re love never changes, you’re always there for them, always waiting, watching, hoping. Feel that for a second.

God loves you so, so, so much. He’s loved you from the beginning, and no matter what you do He’ll go on loving you. No matter if you kill someone, if you steal something, if you lie, if you’re depressed, if you have homosexual tendencies, if you haven’t loved anyone other than yourself your whole life, if you keep having sex outside of marriage, if you’re controlling, if you’ve watched porn, if you’re under the religious spirit, no matter what, He’ll still love you just like He did before. That’s how incredible He is.

But STOP continuing to do these things and excusing it with Him. Stop taking advantage of Him. That’s not what He’s there for. He is not there for You, You are here for Him. It just so happens the Creator of the Universe is the most loving being in existence, and He’s so good and just He’s given you free will, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are here to do His will.

Turn from your actions. Try to be less selfish in your relationship with Him. Ask the Father what he likes. Find out how He feels and thinks about things. Return a minuscule fraction of the love you’ve been given.

Jeremiah 2:25

When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, “Save your breath. I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!”

There is Peace

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We can rest in His peace. It’s always there, it’s always waiting for us.

If you’re following the Lord you can have full confidence, no matter the outcome, because of the promises He has given you. If you know how He sees you and what He’s said about you, and you can find peace and rest in that. The Ruler of the Universe has called you something. How could anything other than that be true?

In this way of life, there is no stress about tryouts, interviews, presentations… If He has called you a professional soccer player, then that is Who You Are, even if you don’t make the team. You are an artist even if your book doesn’t get published. You are a chef even if someone doesn’t like your food. What He has said is truth, and finding a place of habitation in that truth brings confidence.

So don’t stress or worry, but live in full confidence, for the Lord has said who you Are! He has said that you will do something or be something, and therefore it IS. Hold onto that truth, fight with that truth, anchor yourself down with that truth. Don’t let it go or you could lose sight of what He sees…You.

There is victory with the Lord. He will always win.

We have Freedom

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We have Freedom.

We can experience this freedom because the Lord died and paid for our sins!

This doesn’t mean that we won’t have struggles, because Jesus paid for our sins and therefore they’re all taken care of. No! It means that we can experience freedom EVEN when we sin! The Lord has taken care of it all, so when we mess up, we’re still good, he still loves us.

There is no performance about it. He has given us the strength and a way out of everything, but you don’t need to get under condemnation when you make a mistake. In fact, to get under condemnation in those moments means rejecting Jesus’ death and the price he paid.

So live in Freedom, because it’s not about what we do, but about what he has already done for us. The Father knew we would never be able to live perfect lives, so he sent Jesus to take care of it once and for all. We are dead to sin, meaning, sin (with true repentance) cannot touch our relationship with the Father.

Praise the Lord!