Am I call to be single?

This is a blog post that I deeply feel as if the Holy Spirit has been convicting to me write since Thursday August 11, 2016. I have friends that I deeply truly miss and love their faith in God. Both of these friends challenge me daily and help me grow closer to God even though we do not live in the same towns anymore. Thank God for technology and the app voxer. But this blog is something I wrote in my first couple of years of accepting the gospel. This is a blog for all the people that truly trust in God but struggle with being single. Not only being single, but for those that are thinking about life decisions. Hope you enjoy and if you like it please share and subscribe and follow me on twitter.

My honest prayer for all that read this is that after reading this blog you feel at peace. What ever decision you are trying to decide in your life at the moment. That God will use you in mighty ways and that you see a clear passage with no turns for where you are meant to go. God be with us as we continue on this journey to get closer to you we love you and praise you.

“Father, I come to you crying from the inside. To figure out what is wrong with me. I believe you have called me to celibacy, but I am not for sure say that you have. Almighty, you know what your desires are in my life. All I ask is that you make me follow you. I want you to be the player of a chess game and I just be one of the pawns.

But God all I want to do is just love you Lord, and ask if you can for sure give me a correct answer on what to do. I just want to know if I really am. Father I also ask that you make sure I keep daily devoted in your word, and you make me do this everyday. I love you so much and I adore you for that. There is so much on my mind right now it is insane.

I know you will tell me in your own time but Abba I ask that you give me an answer to these concerns. I do not know what to do Yahweh I really do not. I am seeking your will father what am I supposed to do? Are you calling me to be single? If so I do not care anymore Lord, I will serve you till you reunite me with you. Then I still want to glorify and worship you I do not care to see loved ones.

But there are two things driving me insane right now is it your will I stay at Campbellsville University? I feel like your spirit that you sent us is telling me to leave but I do not know. My life is starting to get stressed with so much pain, father I ask that you ease my mind and take this stress of of me. I have seen the one vision of me in South East Asia father or so I presume. Right now Father I am so ready to go for sure into the field. But I feel as if my doctrine and theology is not fully equipped to go out.

Lord, I also ask you you slowly change me into being better equipped when trying to express your word to others. Definitely when they do not want to believe in you or if they disagree with me. I ask of you to give me more grace, patience, and most important un-laziness. Lord, change me please Alpha and Omega I want you to be my beginning and my ending each day of my life. I sound so selfish right now father but I feel like I need you now more than ever.

I ask that you just help me quit asking all of these questions. I know your will, will be done no matter what. Father, please just give me some clarifying on what to do. You are my life I love so much Amen.

The answer to this prayer happened in Hebrews 12:25. I am taking this verse out of context a little but I feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me. God started showing the gospel to us through the flood that wiped out the earth in Genesis. Noah was criticized and people thought he was crazy. God’s judgement had to come then and it will come again. God knew it from the beginning that we would miss up. So since then He has tried and tried to get us to come back to Him. He loved us His creation even though we messed up he still wanted us back. Before the Resurrection ever came to be.”

This is meant for those that are struggling with finding God’s will in their lives at the moment. But also for those that feel deep down is God calling me to be single or not? God will answer in time do not worry about that. But this blog is to show that God is a God that takes care of us but also a God that will answer prayers. The journey of following a God that calls us to go and tell others is a journey that will not end until we are in the grave. This journey does not and should never stop with me or should stop with you. We must be willing to be bold and proclaim his great name. This is the God that we serve, this is the God that is willing to use sinners for his name to be proclaimed.

 

 

A Long Waited Lament

Oh, those that follow the king of kings,the presidents of presidents, the Lords of Lords. Where have we gone wrong since the rise of Christendom, when was the last time have we seen those that follow Jesus truly cry and weep for others? Yes, there has been persecutions towards Christians for years. But, Jesus said that will always will happen; but if we trust our history back to the Jewish scriptures. You will see laments there is a whole book called Lamentations and some of our Psalms are actually laments. There a plenty of books and you can google what Psalms are laments it is time you guys actually start looking at your Bible and learn from our forefathers.

Westernized Christianity has long forgotten the idea of lamenting for the land and lamenting for others. We have made a whole case of apologetic works that help you deal with the issues is God evil or not? Do not get me wrong I love apologetics besides theological works I read a lot of apologetics because sometimes we need to be challenged. But that field has suspended the mind set of a lament. The word lament according to Webster is, “sorrow, regret, or unhappiness about something.” When was the last time you were at a funeral and you just heard the love ones make cries out to the Lord? When was the last time you were at a hospital bed of someone close to you dying that you reach out for chaplain to come and help you. All these things are good but deep down we are losing the lament. Laments is an important part of our faith towards those that trust in God.

The problems that are going on around country and world are problems. But have we truly sit down just for one day and lamented over this terrible outcast of pain that is going on. Most of us work 5 to 6 days a week so we do not have the time to actually lament. We must learn to make time because that is how we can heal. Does that mean we sit idly by while others are suffering no! But sometimes you must be willing to pray deep prayers  that involve you be angry with God and crying out to him. This is why one of my favorite passages of scripture is John 17 Christ’s priestly prayer. Sometimes we focus to much on Matt. 6:9-13 being the Lord’s prayer and we neglect the passion Jesus describes in John 17. Jesus knows God’s will must be done but is showing that he is praying for his disciples  that will deal with the pain of following through God’s plan. Jesus is lamenting here in this chapter (once again I am not posting verses because you just need to read the whole chapter your self) but he also shows praises that he is now God among us.

I am going to post a lament I wrote for a small devotion during my under-grad. I do this not to brag but after delivering this lament to the class I felt so much at ease at sharing this with others. This was a devotion that was reflecting on Psalm 148. It is a creation Psalm: But to be honest I can not praise God because it is so hard. One of my really good friends committed suicide last week. Blake Fudge: Every one always wants to think every thing. What if we truly expressed our feelings to each other. He asked me to hang but I decided to put it off so I could study for my Hebrew test. Why God would you allow this to happen to someone so young? You shouldn’t of let him do that. This Psalm declares all creation will declares praises to God. “Sea monsters” extremely one of the most terrifying animals to the Ancient Near East. But they proclaim praises to God. So Fudge is praising God now like he always was because we praise him because he has created everything we love. The last verse says “horn” which is another way of expressing a an anointed one. To Israel he was near because he offered a king up for them. He is near to us now, he is our king he created all. Fudge is praising now but one day will praise him because of he has done everything. For us! Oh, God why allow this? Should not be our question but why should we not praise him. Because he has has done everything for us! Because he is near to us will we lift up his name during our toughest times? Because his name alone is worthy to be glorified.

After writing that I realized how hard it was to praise God when so much destruction was going on during my life. I was struggling through Hebrew afraid I was going to fail and I was not spending hardly any time with my wife alone. It was a tough time I am not going to lie but after this moment the realization that God is still there is worth it.

Truly, it should be time for us to come together as Christians and just cry out to the Lord. When we cry out people realize that we feel their pain and their problems no matter how hard it gets. Come let us cry out to our Lord our savior of our sins and let others see how we do trust in him! Let us quit being so busy and truly start lamenting for others it is not just the job of Pastors, ministers, chaplains, and etc. to lament, it is the people of God’s duty to lament. You do not always have to have an answer right away but the truth is once you start lamenting there will be a change inside of your heart. Take time out of your busy day and start lamenting. We are not going to be perfect and we can never be perfect but what we can do is show others that we are broken sometimes. Come Christians and lament towards the injustices going on around come and lament towards the injustices that are happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us not forget that we trust in the one that says “there will be a day of no more tears”(Rev 21:4). What a great and wondrous day that that will be. But in the meantime we need to share tears and stop trying to soothe everyone’s feelings away to make them feel better. Lamenting is a strong spiritual practice that so many of us have forgotten.

The above picture is from the website: http://biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2015/10/13/when-your-song-is-a-lament-sing-it-with-your-whole-heart/

 

Reflections from the Wild Goose

As I write this, I am currently dealing with depression inside this crazy chaotic world we live in. Over the past couple of days I have struggled with dealing with the words “white privilege.” This word has never come up inside of any my conversations before, but in the context I understand that this is an epidemic inside our urban and even rural areas. But the depression part is that there are multiple issues of Injustices we as Christians must fight. But the goal of Injustice work should not be seen as through the lens of liberating but eradicate the ends of injustice. Might seem idealistic, but this is our goal for those that follow Jesus.

From this conference, I heard a lot about the issue of what was going on America which needs to be addressed. But the issues outside the American context was not addressed so much. The Christian mindset is always focused on glocally (global and local mindset). Our kingdom does not stand in one place our kingdom moves throughout the world (Matt. 28:18-20). Jesus’ message is that you care for the poor, the widow, and the orphan but you also care for those that we do not yet know. We must begin to start praying and while praying finding ways of doing God’s work. Divine and Human agency is a concept that every Christian must come to realize is a part of our Christian walk. This theological conviction addresses in simple terms that God (divine agent) asks that the human (human agent) to do something and the human will do this or not do this. This matter of Divine and Human agency is a concept that is more complicated than this, but this conference has taught me one thing is that God is still at work inside this world.

But the idea of justice and peace is seen as a neoliberalism agenda. Then on the other side you have the fundamentalists that express neoconservative views that do not get along with each other. Both sides attack each other why do often as Jesus said in his sermon on the mount “cast the plank out of our own eye” (My paraphrase). Not both sides can be right, but on the other hand neither one of the sides should attack the other. So many times the progressives (mostly classified as neoliberalism) have critiqued the other side and declared that many of the fundamentalists are not following Jesus. Or the fundamentalists (mostly considered as neoconservative) declare that those that hold to the position of being liberal are to open to others.

I may be a white male, but I can tell you deep down I am tired of this crap. Democracy is not working out and it is never going to work out! People must realize that our system is not based just on white supremacy but our society is starting to care about one’s self and it declares well “my opinion” means this. This is not the gospel and it never will be the gospel is not about YOU, it is about Jesus and it is about community.

I declared earlier that I am depressed while writing this post. It is worse now I started to write this post yesterday and not doing this to brag, but after fasting from food today I have realized deep down I am more depressed than yesterday. This culture has made itself to center around each and every individual has his/her own opinion. Which can be good but listen to the recent study on NPR’s podcast hidden brain episode 38 “Me,Me,Me.” Our culture has birthed many narcissists.

Saint Paul the great theologian states “You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy” (2 Tim 3:1-2). Paul is writing to brother Timothy here a preacher during this time. Paul feels the need to say that one day this will happen. This text speaks to us today it has spoken of us since Christendom started. Christendom was the start of free enterprise to Christians. The printing press lead to the downfall we are here now. Both of these instances are great, but in the ends hurts those of us that follow king/president Jesus.

The text that was just quoted above brings into the effect since Jesus died the end times are a coming. The end is here now but our work is not yet done. This text of scripture declares that it is going to be hard. Honestly, let me get really personal with you guys for a few seconds. My wife and I after coming to RVA have sucked at our relationship with each other. No longer do we actually have devotions with each other and no longer do we actually spend time with God with one another. This is a problem that needs to be fixed. The problem is no joke what I have just realized is that it is my fault. I am not supporting her and I am not actually truly providing for my family spiritual meat.

Why is this? Excellent question we are glad you asked that. We do not know for sure but what I can tell you is no joke since I have been in Richmond the mind has shifted to center around me. Forgive me oh God it is not about me, but it is about you and only you. Help us to come closer to each other and declare community once again.

An example that happened to me while I was working at the Library I am currently working at. I was having a deep theological conversation with someone. Her remark after I said the gospel is all about community, “well that is your opinion.” No, it is not my opinion the scripture is full of it and for you to argue against that is for you to argue against God does not like justice and God is a God of wrath. All three of these are spread throughout the whole Bible. I say all this to tell you to pray for us all of us that we can come together.

Our culture is becoming more and more away from trusting in Jesus. This problem is an epidemic that is spreading like cancer. It is time for an uplifting and for us to trust in Jesus once again. The time is coming now as Matt Chandler said “Christians are going be to pushed back to the shadows. Where we have always thrived.” The Church has always thrived when the rest of the world has hated us and has always thrived when it is in the shadows. This is coming are we willing to trust in Jesus and truly be prepared to go back into the shadows? We follow the one that was lead to a cross and that is where we are heading. But in the cross is our victory because why? We realize that Christ has overcome and when he has overcome we are allowed back to God. The time is now Christians come let people hate us and when they hate us let us just laugh and smile and say okay, Jesus loves you and Jesus loves me.

This weekend there is a conference called together. The goal is for every Christian no matter what come and worship Jesus. This is what needs to happen instead of focusing on ourselves. I hope to see you guys there at DC. We need to come together and become one again with Jesus. Let the world hear the good news of the gospel.

 

The problem is not democrat or republican! The system needs to change.

From the start of this blog, I am going to tell you that I should have done more research. But this post is about reflecting on the European Union withdrawal from the UK. My only research is listening to a debate on the Unbelievable podcast that had both sides debating each other through the Christian approach. If you have time I really encourage you to listen to this podcast once a week, it is a great dialogue usually between non-Christians and Christians debating over certain issues.

When listening to this debate from both sides, there is only one thing that kept going through my head. What they struggle with is what many Americans are struggling with; the poorer get poorer the richer get richer, education for poorer families are failing and these students are not getting good education, and also more and more people are becoming homeless. Also, the big issue of our presidential race at the moment was in this also “closing the border.”

This should throw red flags up to the Western civilization that something is wrong. The problem with European Union is not the European Union and the problem in America is not the American government (both contribute to the violation of human rights), the problem actually is democracy. That is right the problem is the form of the government both “great powers” have and democracy is destroying the rights of individuals. I one hundred percent agree that everyone he/she should have their own rights. But the system we have now is not working and it needs to be reformed.

The ultimate dilemma we have now facing our country is voting not for lesser of two evils, but actually voting for two people that have stride off living the democracy way of life. Trump has his flaws and many that we will not be addressed here. But Trump has not had to worry about anything in his life. He has been able to live comfortably his whole life and has not had to worry about not having a place to live or finding anything to eat. Which is the exact opposite of those of us that follow Jesus did and say. Jesus traveled along the road during his day and he was actually homeless (Luke 9:58, Matt 8:20). When we decide to take care of ourselves first that diminishes the gospel message.

Trump has plenty of evangelical leaders endorsing him now. Which is sad but literally almost everything the man says James Dobson says the same thing. Many Christians are only caring about themselves and their own image and feel that our “great nation is failing” this is a direct quote from James Dobson the other morning I listened to on Friday June 24. Our nation is not failing it is democracy that is failing, democracy has for years and still does infringes on the poor and only cares for the rich.

I have critiqued enough of Trump and his supporters now is the time to critique Hillary. So many blogs and articles bash each opponent separately and I have not came across anyone bashing both. Part of Hillary’s campaign is that she wants to reform our current polices. Which is good, but the problem is Hillary has been part of the democratic system of democracy herself. She has made a career out of our system and does not want to give up her power. That is the main problem of the democratic way right now. Too many people have made it their life goals and careers to make into our political system and never want to leave because they are seen to others as being rich and people respect them.

I will also say that Clinton has been power since I was born almost. She has always been on the sidelines either with her husband or working in the government. This is something that needs to stop inside the democratic way of life. There is no reason for one person to be a part in our power structural economy to always stay in power. This is the main critique that has been against dictatorships are we not doing the same thing? Yes, the argument will be addressed but we vote together. Idealistic that is a great way to get everything done but what do you do when all the same people are in power non-stop? What do you do when so many of our political leaders have been receiving funds from so many business leaders that want their own agendas played into effect? This system is not working and that is something we have to address inside democracy heck if you think democracy is so great; look at what democracy has done to Burma and many other parts of Asia.

Also, with Hillary Clinton’s approach is the moral ethic dilemma of abortion. Saying this word makes some people mad and makes others say we must not allow this to happen. The moral grounds in which Christianity teaches is all life is equal and we love no matter what. This is why being a Christian is hard as heck to follow Christ because this sounds insane as many of my other blogs have suggested. But to claim you are a Christ follower is you declare that you are pro-life. Pro-life is not just about babies Pro-life is and should be all about every human life no matter how old, color, ethnicity, or religion.

The Calling:

My first class in seminary I had to draw something or write a reflection about myself and my calling. I seriously hate talking about myself that is why I am indebted to Reformed Theology. That is another blog post for another time because that term has been abused by to many Christians. This blog is showing that reflection, that I made and after finishing one semester of seminary I feel the need to post. Also, I will be starting an internship tommrow with Richmond Justice Richmond Justice Initiative. If you have never heard of them check out their website http://richmondjusticeinitiative.com/. Our goal is to bring about awareness/prevention of modern day slavery and uniting different church denominations together for this fight this is the Kingdom of God people. This organization is not only for Richmond but for the world join in our voice. Here is the reflection: The calling

My life has been all about being

abused and feeling broken in all aspects

of life scattered throughout

God intervenes throughout the course

of my life and declares “I am here! Listen!”

As a freshman He allowed me to see a glimpse

of my future. As a human I thought I understood

it all deep down I did not listen.

I know only a glimpse of what I am called to do.

I am called to go about stopping multiple forms of

social injustices in the world, but still called to Asia.

But also teach in the undergraduate setting.

This reflection does not give God enough credit but as my previous blog posts have shown God changed me I did not. He has always been there and I know there are different beliefs about God not being a he. But Jesus, called him father nonstop and that is the way I see God also. He is my daddy that no matter what is there, you can believe in other gender of God if you want. But God is not part of any gender he is the ultimate supreme he is not a man, woman, or transgender. He is the embodiment of each individual here on earth and much more he is indescribable as Louie Giglio would say. No matter what we do in this life we must realize that God is the creator and when we realize this we see the world in a new light. You may disagree with me in multiple issues but the Christian way of looking at life is showing that everyone must believe in repentance and secondly of all you care for others before you care for yourself. This is the antagonist of the worldview that each person cares about himself/herself first.

My views in the past year have changed a little bit before taking my first semester of seminary I can say that God is calling many of his children today to fight the unjust system of this world. He allows his children to fight the injustices now that his kingdom has entered upon earth since Christ died and rose from the grave. My prayer is for those that read this post today is that you know God loves you. God has called each of us to do amazing work here on earth, and I pray to God that you know this and find what you are good at. No matter how hurt or how painfully you feel about the injustices going on around you or inflicting upon you now; God is there and as believers in Christ we pray for you and know that you are not alone. We will fight alongside you slowly the Kingdom of God is coming upon us and is in heaven and inside each and every one of us. I love you guys and first and foremost we love God and allow his name be shown to the whole world.

Who is Our Shield? Poem/Reflection (Gen. chapters 12-15)

Who is my shield?
I shall trust my country
To be my shield
I shall trust in my government
To be my shield
I shall trust in my leaders
To be my shield
I shall trust in humans
To be my shield
No I can not trust in any of these
To be my shield
Each of these shields lead to someone
Wanting power hiding behind
Their own shields
I will trust in the shield of God
The shield that shows us that faith
Is a way of peace
Dawkins, Hitchins, and the other
New atheists have it wrong
They have trusted in the human
Shields of faith
Instead we trust in the shield of God
The one that declares that we stand behind
That shield and show the fires of this world do
Not stand against his shield
His shield shows peace and
We stand behind deeply embedded
Into the soil of the earth
Our faith is shown by this shield
This shield is our way of peace
We do not need kill behind this shield
But so many have but that is not the way
Our shield is in God that shows that we give
Our lives up so that others can know him
This is our shield
To wipe out religion
Is to wipe out the conscience of our inner-being
We all strive to be a part of this shield of peace
This shield shows that God is working among all
Of us his children
Will we trust in this shield or will we trust in our
Human errors?
Trust in the shield that has been standing
For centuries now we are the shield that will
Never be broken our shield is in Christ!

Christian response to a mosque

Wait, you are a Christian and you went to a Mosque? What is wrong with you? Some of your reactions I can hardly feel behind the desk I am currently sitting at. Yes, to proclaim God’s love you have to be willing to adapt and learn the other side. Does that mean you accept what they believe no, but you have to be willing to look at the other view through their eyes. This blog is my reflection of attending a Mosque.

 

The first thing that has to be addressed, is the passion and commitment. The worshipers walk in and start praying first then meet with people they knew. On each of their faces you could tell they were sincere about their worship towards Allah. During their prayers, they believed in purifying one’s soul to make themselves know that deep down they must be purified before talking to Allah. You would actually see fathers bring down their young sons and daughters to pray and when they did the children were very well behaved. This whole time, you could tell no one was judging another is that what the kingdom of God is supposed to be about? They were passionately worshiping and declaring their prayers to God.

 

The second observation, was the most humbling to me. I am sorry that I do not know the name of the person who stood up, but there was a man who got up and preached. During this sermon I think he spoke from the Quran in three different dialects. The first, was the original Arabic tongue, his native tongue, and then lastly in English. He would read and give context of what he is reading. Christians need to learn from this it is okay to read in different languages and actually read in the native tongue in which the Bible was written.

 

During the sermon, I am not for sure where it was located at in the text. But during the sermon the pastor proclaimed “that one day there will be 3 sets of people who will enter Jahannam (hell) or Janna (heaven). During judgment day you will know those that Janna because their light will be showing bright.” When hearing this I could not help but think of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus describes that “we are lights to the world and should be a city on a hill shinning” (Matt 5:14-16). The pastor proclaimed, “There will be a day of judgment when people will rush towards Janna and see light coming from those that trusted in Islam and wonder why they do not have this light.” This should be our goal as Christians but our light is not passed upon during judgment day our light is supposed to shine today. We declare we follow Jesus and a light should shine about us. This light is meant to bring hope to the world because people will see that we do not care about ourselves but others.

 

The second part of the sermon the Pastor declared that, “During judgment one day there will be a wall that comes down from the sky in Janna. This wall will separate those that did not truly trust in Allah. The people that cannot enter Janna will be asking the question “Why can we not enter in?” Allah’s remark will be I do not know you and you did not follow me in your life.” After that point the Pastor started declaring “sins” that will not get you into Janna. Honestly during this time I blanked out and kept reflecting on another part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus declares, “On that day many will say Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name. And I will declare to them I never know you depart from me” (Matt. 7:21-23 my paraphrase).

 

If the pastor was reading from a Haddith or from the Quran, I do not know, but deep down he describes exactly what Jesus was saying here. All though Jesus in his passage is not talking about sins. He is talking about one’s lifestyle. Jesus shows in this passage those that trust in him well be known by their fruits but they drew attention to themselves through their actions (Matt. 7:15-20). Jesus instead wants us to help build his kingdom here and now and help those that are around us. This “wall” the pastor explains to me exactly what Jesus was saying better. He is saying that one day people will think they will enter the Kingdom of God but not be allowed to enter. Why? Because deep down they did not love! As Christians our first goal is to love like God loves us. Is it based on works NO! But our actions are shown through love. You do not show your kids you love them by constantly beating them and making fun of them. You do not show your spouse/partner that you love them by showing that you are in Charge. Instead by simple actions you show them you love them.