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Lord & Phebe

The Power of Accountability.

in Christian Living/Personal Development/Relationships by

What is accountability?
Let’s get straight to the facts; accountability is the act of being accountable. In this context, it means trusting someone to encourage and pray for you as you do the same for them. Many Christian men and women have accountability groups that they form within their churches or they may just be close to Christian friends who meet on a weekly basis to encourage, pray for, and confess to. Now, I must admit, when I was young, I thought accountability meetings were an absolute waste of time because of my experience I personally had with it, let me share a few of my thoughts when I got into it:

  • Accountability was extremely depressing because all we seemed to talk about was our failures….and most of us were struggling with the same things; it’s hard to listen to the rebuke of someone who has the same log in their eye.
  • I felt like everyone at the meeting wanted to hear what you were struggling with so that they didn’t feel as bad about their sin (lol…lame right?)
  • There was no growth or progression in my walk with Christ

But as I grew older, I realized I was doing it all wrong. I shouldn’t have been in an accountability group with a bunch of teenaged, immature Christian boys because we were all technically at the same levels in our faith. I should have looked to a mature man of God in the faith that had conquered the struggles I was facing and would push me towards spiritual maturity.

Why is it important?

Because any Christian who is not accountable to somebody is a dangerous Christian. It is for your own protection. We must understand that all man has fallen from the grace and glory of God and therefore we are all sinful (Rom 3:23). If you don’t associate yourself with a fellowship of believers, you might not see it yet but you are headed down a prideful path. A path in which you don’t want anyone in your business, telling you what to do, or living a life that you don’t want anyone to know about. You, my friend, are being blind to the things that you are doing. We all need a friend, a mentor, and someone to hold us accountable, especially in this race we are running as Christians.

God uses fellowship and accountability to protect us from straying away from the path that we are on through Him. He wants us to keep on going down a path of righteousness, TOGETHER. A mentor of mine once told me “every Christian needs a Paul, a Timothy, and a Barnabas. Paul is meant to guide us, Timothy is to help us mature, and Barnabas is there to challenge us.” Be accountable to somebody, and have somebody be accountable to you.

Let Iron sharpen Iron.

Should Married Men Have Female Friends?

in Lord & Phebe/Relationships by

Having a female friend is not the main issue, and if you had them coming into the relationship they should be almost considered as sisters; but I will start off by saying this, if
your best friend is a female and she’s not your wife; though I have only been married for a few months, I’m pretty sure I have the right to say there’s something wrong in this picture. No woman should be closer to you than your spouse. The bible does not forbid friendship between man and woman, but as a godly man there are moralities of wisdom that one should heed to. IF you do actually have female friends as a married man, there MUST BE some distance and boundaries put in place. If you are a woman with a sound mind I think you would side with me on this. If a man’s best friend is a woman who is not his spouse, he is most likely to share his problems and deep feelings with her which may cause a dangerous emotional attachment; and we can all agree that though adultery is a terrible sin against God and your spouse, emotional cheating is up to par with this because emotional attachments are EXTREMELY hard to break.

Here are a few things to remember as a married man:

  • You are in a covenant that should be guarded with your life. LOVE your wife as Christ LOVED the church and be willing to lay your life down for her.
  • We are in a generation where the institution of marriage the way God created it to be is under attack, so you must be willing to fight DAILY for a successful marriage.
  • In your marriage, you are the leader, and a leader is someone who uses his influence to empower individuals to achieve a common goal; and in your marriage your common goal is to be conformed into the image of Christ and have a taste of heaven on earth as you do life together the way God intended it for you.

As a married man, avoid putting yourself in risky situations with a woman that is not your wife. I don’t want to be so particular, but even being seen in public with another woman can give the wrong impression to other people.  (Prov 22:1) says a good name is better than riches, and as godly married man, you want to hold to a good name for yourself and your family. When we look at the bible on the topic of temptation, it mentions nowhere to try and fight temptation, it actually says to FLEE or run away (2 Tim 2:22, 1 Corinth 6:18) Fighting temptation becomes a huge issue when the heart is desiring for the lust of the flesh. So, my advice to young or old married men, is to stick with your real best friend (the amazing woman you married) and FORSAKE all others, they ain’t worth it bruh.

Are Men and Women Equal?

in Christian Living/Relationships/Theology by

Are Men and Women Equal?

Whenever I hear this question, I tend to respond, “Can a Queen be a King?”

In today’s society, there are many opinions on this topic. Some women might suggest that “woman should be above men”, where as some men might suggest “women are below them”. Even in Christendom, many of us take Ephesians 5:22-23 out of context by replacing “submission” with slavery or replacing “husbands” with dictator. I, especially as a young man used to think this way. But let’s look at this from a biblical view.

Genesis 1:26-27 states that God created male AND female in HIS own image. Though we know that Adam was created first, he was incomplete. That is why scripture (Genesis 2:18) states “it is not good for man to be alone.” From there, while Adam was in a deep sleep, God took his rib and created woman with it. I find this interesting because the rib is found on the side of the body. A nonconformist Minister and author, Matthew Henry, stated that “Eve was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”

God created man and gave him the RESPONSIBILITY of being the “head” (lead servant) of his wife. It is his duty to love her, serve her, care for her, and honor her. In addition to that, he must be able to provide for her in all physical, spiritual and emotional aspects. But in Gods wisdom, as I stated earlier, man is incomplete, so the role that a wife plays is as EQUALLY important. A wife’s RESPONSIBILITY is to be the “helper” to her husband. She is there to help her husband with whatever task the Lord has given them to do. We hear the woman is the backbone to a successful man and if we are to go by scripture, we should believe that to be true. So, we can see that men and women are equals in worth but they have been assigned different roles by God.

A Pastor and author by the name of Josh Harris wrote a book titled “Boy Meets World”. In this book he affirms the biblical teaching that is called Complementarianism, which is a theological view held by Christians that men and women have different responsibilities but they are complementary roles.

“From the first two chapters of the Bible we learn that Adam and Eve were created equal in God’s sight. Within the context of their equality, God assigned men and women different roles. He made Adam first, signifying his unique role as leader and initiator. He created Eve from Adam and brought her to Adam to be his helper in the tasks God had assigned him. She was made to complement, nourish, and help her husband. God’s greatest gift to man was “a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). This doesn’t minimize a woman’s role, but it does define it.

Men and women were created equal, yet different. And the fact that we’re different is wonderful. God didn’t make us to duplicate each other, but to complement each other. The point here is not that Adam was better than Eve, just as God the Father is not “better” than God the Son. Father and Son are equal in essence, power, glory, but they have different roles; and the Son joyfully submits to the Father’s will (1 Corinthians 15:28). So in marriage a husband and wife are equal, even though Scripture tells the wife to joyfully submit to her husband’s leadership.

As a woman, it may be hard to take in these truths, however that is a normal feeling. But I believe a husband can make his wife’s role of submission easier for her by first loving her as Christ loves the Church. In this way, it will not be a dictatorship but a marriage that will be modeling Christ and His Church.

As spouses we should heed to the instructions of the Lord and understand that whatever He has told us to do is actually for our good. As we follow His instructions, they WILL bring joy and fulfillment into our lives.

 

More info at https://answersingenesis.org/family/gender/inferior-or-equal/

Why I Married at 22?

in Lord & Phebe/Relationships by

Why I married at 22?

I recall having a conversation with a co-worker a few weeks after my wedding. He saw a ring on my finger and asked

Co-worker – “Are you married now?”

Me: “yea bro, just happened a few weeks ago”

Co-worker – “That’s the worst decision you could ever make, How old are you?”

Me: I gave a little smirk and responded “22”.

Co-worker- “What’s the rush man? Enjoy your life properly”

Because of the generation we are in, I know I will encounter many of these conversations. It seems like marriage is a no enter zone, yet everyone seems to have a “significant other” or a “common law-partner. I’d rather stick to the terms the bible uses, such as husband and wife. While I can give many reasons of why I decided to marry early, I will give you 3 reasons that came to mind while writing this article.

  1. I found a good godly thing.
    Proverbs 18:22 says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.
    At the age of 15 I met a young woman who was growing to love the Lord more and more everyday and that melted my heart. I was in the 10th grade when I told her that she was going to be my wife (lol, I didn’t even ask…soo unromantic). I wasn’t looking for a wife at that age but the Lord in his sovereignty decided to allow me to become close friends with a beautiful young woman who had such a humble and teachable spirit. She was so eager to learn more about Christ that it FORCED me to study the scriptures even more, and that’s what I loved. I felt as if  we were on the same page concerning our walk of faith. We were in the same youth group at church so I actually got to see her grow consistently (My youth leaders changed my life lol). On top of that, from  when I knew her she was already serving in the church.  that showed me the potential she had to be a great wife. I saw myself spending the rest of my life with her and I told all the mandem, “IM WIFING THAT GIRL AT ALL COST BRO!”
  2. I was Physically and Spiritually ready.
    I come from a culture where material things SOMETIMES overshadow the things that really matter. Since I was young and decided I want to marry early, I needed to gain the approval of all my guardians before I moved forward with the process of the marriage. And to get their approval meant money. They knew I was spiritually mature enough to head for marriage but….my money game was sooo weak (lol I had to use slang there, sorry). But a real man knows what he wants, and I WANTED THAT WOMAN. So I moved to another province in Canada (equivalent to another state), four hours by flight, or 2-3 days by driving and I got a decent paying job in law enforcement. I started working hard and trying to save harder. I eventually got my own place to live and so on. As a man you must be able to provide, BUT I will say this, you DO NOT need to be rich to get married, you just need to be settled Have your things together and show that you are mature,   to take care and provide for another person or persons, cause a baby can happen at anytime….even with family planning. Also, since I am a Ghanaian-Canadian, I pretty much had two weddings: , A Ghanaian Traditional wedding, where the family permits and hands over their daughter, and a regular wedding we do in the church. I love my culture and would do it a million times over for my bride, but this is not necessarily for everyone, even those of my culture. (You didn’t hear it from me though). Spiritually speaking, your pastors and mentors should be able to see your maturity and advise you if you are ready to go through with it.
  3. Marriage is from God
    All over the scriptures we see that marriage is truly a blessing. It is an institution ordained by God to display a picture of Christ and His Church. It is one of the greatest means of sanctification and it teaches us how to be selfless just as Christ was selfless. Even as youth in a generation like this, fornication is something that has become a huge issue amongst Christians. Sexual temptations are everywhere, in every corner. But the thing is, these urges are not wrong, they are actually from God but must be channeled in the right direction. This is another reason why marriage is heaven sent. Me and my wife were virgins till marriage but..Sex is AMAZING. (hope my moms not reading this lol), and God wants you to enjoy it. Sex is actually only for believers but we all know because of the fall of man, sin distorts anything that was made for good. I do not believe man was created to be alone, because even when we look at the example of the trinity, they are all in fellowship with each other and we can see God is most glorified when saints can come together and push the kingdom forward.

Do I advise young Christians to marry? Yes
I do because marriage is a gift from God and anything God gives is always good. Many young adults want to do things married people do without true commitment for better or worse. Marriage brings a new level of maturity in you and causes you to be focused on the things that really matter. I have seen successful marriages and many unsuccessful marriages., From the advice I had received from good marriages, both spouses have to come in with the same mentality and build only for the better. Nothing is easy and nothing comes easy but with hard work it WILL become successful. I pray this is a blessing to you all and inspire the younger people to pursue marriage in addition to already pursuing Jesus. Love y’all.

Problems are Great & Solutions are Golden!

in Boundless Altitude/Business/Leadership/Money/Personal Development/Productivity by

Being raisProblems are great,& (1)ed the average way; society causes us to think that problems and situations are never really a good thing, and that you should avoid problems as much as you can. But every visionary understands that all problems need a solution, and solutions are your tickets to reaching your goals to be whatever you desire to be and fulfilling your call and purpose in life….What am I getting at? Just wait for it.

When a problem arises, we try to pass it on and tend to want someone else to deal with it. But as a person of purpose that is not the right state of mind to have and that is not how one is to progress or improve your quality of life. When there is a problem, there is always an opportunity, and especially being a Christian, I believe in the sovereignty of God and how he gives us burning passions for unsolved issues that we would have to step up and do something about it. The only downside to this topic is that; we can talk hours about making change, and everyone actually gives good ideas and inputs but NO action is ever made. Usually when an entrepreneur starts a purposeful business or organization, it is because there is a problem that they are targeting and with determination, going to solve.

While reading biographies as usually, I came across an amazing entrepreneur by the name of Richard Branson; he gave a story about how he would always be traveling, and he would always get annoyed and disappointed at the poor service they would give on these airlines, and he felt that other people must also feel this way. He went on to start his own airline….I Know right? What a guy!…but not only that, he hated that banks would have so much hidden fees to confuse him and other clients, so he decided with his company to start a bank. See? Every issue is an opportunity to do something legendary. Especially when you’re passionate about something.   Since I am a devout believer, I relate everything to Jesus. Jesus saw the sinfulness of man and realized that they had a problem and he was the only solution. He died for mankind to have salvation. There was a problem and there was a solution that greatly affected the world in a positive way.

Entrepreneurs see that someone’s needs are not being met, most of the time that someone is themselves. They start with one issue and it actually opens your mind to see more opportunities. It just takes that one push to go fourth and accomplish it.

So whenever you encounter a problem, see it as God is giving you a task to get busy with.

Peace and Love People!

Embracing Wisdom

in Christian Living/Devotionals/God/Personal Development/Productivity by

prov-1-2Last year, somewhere around this time, I had an awesome opportunity to intern at Lisle Memorial Baptist Church in Jane and Finch (Toronto, Ontario). While I was interning there I had an opportunity to share the word of God with the saints that worshiped there. It was a very interesting experience being 20 years old, coming from a traditional (African) Pentecostal church, to sharing the word with a completely different audience of ethnicity, and denomination. It put me in a challenging position to grow as an aspiring preacher and I really enjoyed it. The gospel was preached and I believe lives were changed. That day, I believe I preached a sermon from the book of proverbs on “embracing wisdom”; as I have been reading a proverbs a day throughout this month of June, Proverbs 7 threw itself right out of the page in my face, and it is quite similar to a section of my sermon dealing with the purpose of the Proverbs and who and what wisdom is.

Wisdom is embodied in the Proverbs and acts as God’s dynamic word.
In the New Testament, Jesus becomes the wisdom and the word of God.
Embracing Wisdom is Embracing Christ.
Christ is Wisdom

See the graph below.

 

Origin of Wisdom Teaching of Wisdom Value of Wisdom
In God (v.22) Prudence(vv.5,12) Yields riches and honor (v.18)
From everlasting (v.23) Understanding (v.5) Greater than gold and silver (v.19)
Before all things (vv.23-30) Excellent thing (v.6) The wise are blessed (vv.32,34)
Truth (v.7) The wise find life (v.35)
Hatred of wickedness (v.7) The foolish love death (v.36)
Righteousness (v.8)
Knowledge (v.12)

Discretion (v.12)

Fear of the Lord (v.13)

 

A call to good works!

in Business/Leadership/Productivity by

GEN_History_GeorgeWilliams_ContentDoing my biographical researches, I found out that the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was created by George Williams, a British man, devoted to God who gathered young men together to create a place that would not tempt them into sin through the teaching of the word and physical recreation. It was also to develop the mind, body, and spirit. The written purpose of the YMCA was to unite all young, male Christians for the extension and expansion of the Kingdom of God. Mr. Williams believed in something called “Muscular Christianity”; it was a movement committed to piety and physical health basing itself on scriptures from the new testament, from concepts of character (Philippians 3:14) and well-being. When I woke up this morning a question came to my mind, and it was; Where are the George Williams of our day? As believers we have been called to good works, and to expand the kingdom of God by any means. We need more innovative entrepreneurial Christians who will take the world by storm for Jesus. There are many of you sitting there, reading this right now, with a burden to bring change to your community and possibly the world. Go out and do what the Lord has put in you, if it’s a business, a nonprofit organization, a gym…whatever it is, just do it; with the Lord on your side and a cleansed heart, he is more the able to grant you your petition. Keep in mind that no everything that is Christian necessarily says Jesus or has crosses on it; The reformer Marin Luther allegedly said “The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” Let’s work, and let’s do it well for the glory of God saints.

The 10 Marks (of a mature Christian man)

in Christian Living/Lord & Phebe/Relationships by

THEWhat are the marks of a mature Christian man? I know people are looking at the image I have up and think it’s the beard lol, its not. I have jotted 10 characteristics I’ve recognized that most mature men hold. Please understand that these are obviously not the only marks of a mature Christian man, but just a few that came to mind when I thought about the subject. Here are the 10 marks of a mature Christian man (According to me):

  1. His Spiritual Life is on-point (as the young urbans say)
    One mark of a Christian mans maturity is his spiritual maturity. A man who is theologically sound SHOULD be in continuous transformation, conforming to the image of Christ. A mature man does not just read and study scripture to gain knowledge alone, but for a spiritual revival and transformation in his life and community. Correct theology and prayer go hand in hand, so don’t think that prayer is excluded. Prayer is like the air we breathe in the Christian life. Leonard Ravenhill said “No man is greater than his prayer life” – Take note and let that sink in.
  2. He has an Identity
    Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to the things of the world, such as what career you want to do and so on; as humans we are always changing, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Right now I’m talking about knowing who you are and embracing it with confidence. I know countless people who actually have no identity. One day they’re a preacher, the next day a gangster, and then lastly they become an Imam (I’m being for real). As a mature man in the faith, you know your identity is hidden in Christ. We were all created in the image of God, but when man fell we lost sight of who we really were! But because of REDEMPTION, we can now confidently proclaim that we are children of God. A man with an identity does not get blown by the wind.
  3. He’s got goals, visions, & ambition
    A mature man is not necessarily a workaholic, but not a lazy bum either. He has goals he wants to achieve and he is in continuous pursuit until he reaches his goal. It could be something as big as self employment or something as small as purchasing a really neat car. Mature men are determined and strong willed.
  4. He’s emotional, but not led by his emotions.
    Emotions are good, but to be led by them is terrible. The bible, truth, and what is morally right should override your feelings especially on making tough decisions. A mature man knows how to use and control his emotion.
  5. He’s Humble.
    A mature man is humble. He understands that there is always someone higher than him. He is never afraid to ask for help when it is needed and he loves to learn from older and experienced men and women in all aspects in life. He needs not discouraged when playing the background because he has a clear understanding of sovereignty and knows that there is a time for everything.
  6. He’s quick to listen, and slow to anger.
    Being a young black man and growing up in a rough place, I was a skinny little kid and I knew I couldn’t fight, so I became sharp with my words. We use to call it roasting (lol). I also dealt with some serious anger issues as a young man, especially when things didn’t go my way. But when I look at the scriptures, the first chapter of James talks about being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Anger in itself is not a sin; even Christ got angry, but anger could most definitely lead to sin.
  7. He Loves the Lord and his Commands
    Jesus told the people of that time that if they truly loved him, they would keep his commands. The way you love your woman and would do anything to make her happy, and also not do things that would get her mad, is how we should love God. And in the simplest sense, what he requires. Salvation changes you, your desires and your life.
  8. He never looks down on himself and others.
    Mature Christian men understand that there are seasons in life. You have to have the attitude of Paul and be content whether you have little or plenty. Never despise small beginnings because it could end up being the next big thing. Whatever the mature man does, he tries to be the best because he understands that he is a representative for somebody much greater. Whether a man is a garbage man or a CEO, he should desire to be the best, because that shows true character.
  9. He’s a Leader
    He is a leader or is ready to be a leader as he follows Christ. A mature man is responsible for the direction, vision, and leadership of his family and relationships. The book of 1 Tim 3:12 gives us the standards on how to serve or lead. The mature man is called to lead leaders. (I’ll go deeper on this topic very soon)
  10. He Loves One Woman.
    Mature men choose to love their woman even if they don’t “feel” like it. Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. If it was a feeling, all of us would fall in and out of love every other day. Love is a choice you make, and especially being a Christian man, your love should be growing more and more each day. I believe that even in a relationship, we are to be examples of Christ. Marriage is a depiction of Christ and the love he has for his Church, and we are to love with this love and be COMMITTED; choosing to continually pursue and love that one woman. No one said it will be easy, but your love is like gold; being tested and purified in the fire. Love Love. And for all you “playas” out there, STOP PLAYING!