Check it out. Good reminder. Gives some perspective. To see the whole original post, click the link at the bottom of the page.

grace & peace,

Hassan

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/12/just-how-big-is-god-and-how-small-are-we/

Video  —  Posted: March 12, 2012 in Encouragement, Uncategorized

Good read…

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/02/08/christian-image-is-everything/

 
 

The Gospel Changes People

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Check it out.  Here’s a cool example of the kind of transformation the gospel accomplishes in people.

grace and peace..

Hassan

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/02/10/from-victorias-secret-model-to-proverbs-31-wife/

 

Cool Post from LionsandLiars.com

Posted: September 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Social Media, You Will Not Punk Me!

December 17, 2010 in Blog, Featured with 18 Comments

social media-1

As I have been traveling in these last three months, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why I’ve fallen back from Twitter and Facebook. Well, I wanted to articulate it in a blog before I decided to return. Considering that if I do return it will most likely be a reformed version of my previous experience.

Here are the top reasons I left the social media world for months:
*Note: I did not write this so that you would be more impressed with me. However, I do find myself quite impressed that I did step away from the instant gratification of social media. So insert applause now. You knew that was coming!

1. May I Please Be Your Idol?
• I believe many artists have fallen into the pressure of producing an image that appeals to a particular group of people that came before them or a particular group of gatekeepers. In order to impress these people, they build an image of someone they’re really not. Some may argue they are following Paul’s example, but there is a vast distinction between becoming all things to all men to save some and being a people pleaser. What there doing is creating a certain image so that people will think more highly of them so that they will become acceptable in their circles. I did this for many years in a church I attended. I felt filthy and told myself I would never do it again. The standard of what I post will be based on scriptures and the scriptures alone, not if this youth leader thinks his 13 yr old youth member doesn’t think its appropriate for me to talk about something. I will strive to be biblical with every word, however I will not be censored because it brings discomfort.

• I love people. The second greatest commandment is to love people. However, there can come a point in time when your love for people becomes counter-productive in your attempt to grow closer to the LORD. Because I love people and communication, it can be draining to attempt to respond to fifty percent of the people who reply to your tweet or post. I love all the people who think I’m worthy enough to mention on Twitter or Facebook, but we (supporters and myself) have to recognize the predicament I am in. If I reply to everyone, I no longer have a life! I no longer live missional in my community or spend time with my kids. Then, I become a dead-beat dad. No one wants that! But if I don’t reply to everyone’s request I’m labeled as conceited, arrogant and lacking compassion for those who support me. There needs to be a balance. I have to find it.

• I loathe Twitter thugs and Facebook gangstas who spend their lives attempting to unfold some great conspiracy. You, my friend, may need to take a timeout. I refuse to debate you over 140 characters. I’m sure I’ve said some things that have offended some people. I pray that the Lord continues to grow me in his grace, and that I become sensitive to others rebuke. However, there is a difference between confronting a brother in his sin and speaking tough over cyberspace. If I’m that much of a pagan, why do you continue to visit my page and follow me? So many cyber nerds find significance in slamming people over the net. They grow a little “WHO-heart” with every slanderous word. (*I’m in a Christmas mood with the “Whoville” reference.)

“ I HAVE AN 87% APPROVAL RATING ON MY TWEETS! THAT’S GOOD!”

2. It’s Still an Incomplete Form of Socializing
• There is so much that is lost in translation when speaking over the Internet. I find that so many arguments, debates and feuds are sparked because of miscommunication that comes from social media. Grown men no longer confront their frustrations face-to-face or even over the phone. I’ve found that many of my friends have become complacent with sending me texts about issues that need to be discussed in person or over the phone. I fear that social media will create a generation of people who send pertinent information via tertiary means. In the long run, I foresee people struggling to handle conflict in person, gossip becoming commonplace and spelling being abysmal!
• People assume relationships because you have spoken with them over Facebook or Twitter. My friends and I have had experiences with particular people who position themselves as friends to our family and spouses just because we are Facebook friends. These masters of cunning strategy use social media to create this pseudo association with intimate friends of ours. They think if they get close to our family, then we will listen to their music or give them a record deal. That’s actually the most ridiculous avenue to a relationship. And it’s quite scary too. I love to build relationships with people, but I meet thousands of people on the road. So please don’t hate me just because I don’t remember you poking me on Facebook!

“I FIRED MY MANAGER VIA FACEBOOK!”
HMM THAT’S NOT GOOD!

3. It Becomes Counter Productive.

• Although this time hasn’t quite become what I’ve wanted it to, I have found myself processing and producing more short and long-term goals. Social media has a way of distracting you from those things if you are not careful. Since there is so much information passing through the feeds, you can easily become tossed to and fro with each blurb that tugs at your interest. I’ve experienced countless episodes when I’ve had an agenda to send one particular feed in a short amount of time, only to be detoured by the flood of random thoughts and updates. This person over here is demoralizing a celebrity, while another person is suggesting you watch this video because it’s the funniest thing ever. Next thing you know, you’ve spent three hours looking up Twitter updates, Facebooking and staring at a screen the size of your palm that controls your world. We love information so much that if we are left out of any conversation we feel our day is incomplete. It’s ok to pass up on social media for a couple hours, days, weeks or not be on it at all. Read a book, write a prose or have a conversation with someone that doesn’t include lol, smh, or #justsaying.

“I FORGOT WHAT MY WIFE AND KIDS LOOKED LIKE!”
THAT’S NOT GOOD!

4. Am I Really Starved For Fame?

• It was healthy for me pass on the applause to refocus. I use to find my significance in replies and how much people posted stuff on my Facebook page. And when I first heard of Twitter I was extremely hesitant to join. I know that I have a “performance” issue, which means I spend a lot of effort trying to impress people with my humor and intellect. This is one reason I fear celebrity and popularity. I know myself, and I know how sinful I am. I’m thankful that the spirit of GOD is all-powerful and able to starve my flesh. It’s healthy for us to take sabbaticals from the applause every now and then. If you can’t see yourself living without the applause, then you probably are not fit to live for GOD’s glory alone.

“MY TWITTER GAME KILLS YOUR TWITTER GAME!”

I post this to challenge you, while at the same time explaining how the LORD worked in me these past three months. With a lot of prayer and Wheaties, you too can be like me! Get to work and maybe I will get back on Twitter/Facebook.
But I will not be a slave to anything.

Move!

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

Here’s a vid from my dude Marcus T. Gray aka Flame. You can check him and other artists out at the clearsight music link in the blogroll.

grace and peace,

Hassan

Dying to Live Miniseries

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hey peeps,

just thought I’d post this little miniseries. It’s called “Dying to Live”. It’s a promo for Reach Records recording artist, Pro’s new album of the same name. Check it out! I pre-ordered it already, so if you’re in the youth group…you’ll be hearing it this Fall.

Much Love!

Hassan

Check This Out

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Check this out. Cool post about Christian music. Mostly Hip hop.

grace and peace,

Hassan

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2011/08/08/jesus-and-the-gospel-rap-movement/#more-17220

Hey peeps,

I found this post at http://theresurgence.com. There’s great stuff there. Posts, videos, etc. This one is by a pastor at a Church in the U.S (Seattle) called Mars Hill. His name is Mike Wilkerson. Enjoy!

Grace and Peace,

Hassan

Creativity and the Creator

A great artist can stun us with creative brilliance—a ray of light from some beautiful realm beyond, shining through the window of this painting or that song. When I’ve been so captivated by great art, my soul bursts in praise to the Creator who, among his many great works, has made this artist—a masterpiece in his own likeness—capable of expressing an extraordinary measure of his own infinite creativity.

A Reputation

Amy Winehouse, judging by her unprecedented successes at the Grammys, her influence on new artists like Adele and Lily Allen, and critical acclaim from industry peers and legends, was one of those great artists. Tony Bennett, after recording a duet with her said: “Amy Winehouse was an artist of immense proportions…an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist”. Jay-Z credited Amy with ushering in the resurgence of British music. 

Yet, Amy was known not only for her remarkable talent but also for her volatile and controversial lifestyle. The first lyrics I heard belted by that powerful voice now ring with irony, “They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, ‘No, no, no.'”

The sin we tolerate always pollutes, always corrupts, always disintegrates what God created good, and—if not stopped—always ends in death. 

Reckless Abandon

The accounts of Amy’s personal life sketch a woman chasing something with reckless abandon through a drug-induced fog. According to Amy, her violent marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil was based entirely on drugs. The couple had been arrested together and separately multiple times. But then, in January 2009, while he sat in jail, Amy fell in love with another man. She said: “I’ve finally escaped from hell…I’m in love again, and I don’t need drugs. Look at me, I’m glowing!” 

Yet within only few months, her parents were quoted as saying Amy needed rescuing. “Amy is in denial all the time,” said her mom, Janis, who went on to suggest that Amy’s body was to blame for her addiction. “She probably feels trapped, her body is trapping her. But I know with addiction you do not have the choice because the substance itself directs you.” Meanwhile, Amy’s father, Mitch, reportedly blamed her ex-husband Blake for influencing her drug habit. Previously, he had confirmed that it was the passing of Amy’s grandmother in 2006 that had first pushed her into addiction.

So Which Was It?

A drug-pushing husband? Her body leaving her without a choice? The substance itself driving her? Grief or aimlessness after the loss of her grandmother? Or a desire for happiness that just might be satisfied by the right relationship? Probably all of these factors played their part (though the idea that “the substance itself directs you” is surely an overstatement).

One thing is certain: Amy needed rescue. She was enslaved, and though the addiction was a slavery of her own choosing, she was helpless to escape on her own. At present, we do not know whether the drugs finally caused Amy’s death; but it was clear long before that her addiction was killing her quickly.

Sin’s Corruption

Those of us whose sin has not yet consumed us should not be too quick to judge Amy. For her, sin’s pace was intense, and its end came quickly. But the sin in your life and mine works the same way. Maybe slower, like some poison dripped over a lifetime, but the sin we tolerate always pollutes, always corrupts, always disintegrates what God created good, and—if not stopped—always ends in death.

The Only True Rescue

Amy’s death seems all the more tragic for the loss of such a talented artist. But in fact, sin’s effect is always tragic: every person is created in the image and likeness of the Creator, and to corrupt one’s self and wreck the lives of others is in some sense to desecrate Another’s masterpiece.

Those of us whose sin has not yet consumed us should not be too quick to judge Amy.

The only true rescue from addiction and all of sin’s other forms and effects is to be freed from the bonds of that slavery by the Redeemer, forgiven by the Creator for spoiling his good work, and to be re-created by his Spirit to live a new life. No vaguely defined higher power made in my own image can do all of this—it is through Jesus Christ alone.

Genesis 20: Liar, Liar…again.

Posted: July 14, 2011 in Devotionals

After a ridiculously long break (since mid- February), we continue making our way through the Book of Genesis. We pick up in chapter 20 with a story that sounds eerily familiar. It involves Abe and his wife Sarah.

Abe and Sarah are still making their way to the land the LORD has promised to give them (Remember chapter 12.) Once again, Abraham selfishly puts his own safety over the well-being of his wife. He tells the King of the land he was visiting that Sarah was his sister (which is part of the truth). He does this because he’s afraid that the King will kill him if admits that Sarah is his wife. Apparently it wasn’t uncommon at this time, if you were a King and you saw a woman you wanted,,,,to just take her….and if she happened to be married then you just knock off her husband….problem solved. Needless to say, Abe was afraid for his life.

The King of Gerar sends for Sarah and takes her into his palace. Then the LORD graciously intervenes…He comes to the King in a dream and warns him that he’s as good as dead if he touches Sarah . The LORD steps in to ensure that Abimelech (the King) doesn’t sin by sleeping with Sarah. And he also works to ensure that the promise that he made to Abraham will actually come to pass. You see…Abraham risked having his wife become pregnant by the King of Gerar. But the LORD promised that Sarah and Abraham would have a son.

Again we see the grace and mercy of the LORD. In spite of Abraham’s sin, the LORD works to protect the promise to give Abraham a son.

The King is spared from sinning. He sends Sarah back to Abraham, but not without charging Abraham up about his deceit. He asked why Abraham would sin against him and bring such trouble on him and his house. In contrast to Abraham’s selfish, sinful actions, Abimelech shows incredible integrity, kindness and generosity. He sends Abraham away with gifts, including silver which he gave as vindication (proof) of Sarah’s innocence (that she didn’t sleep with Abimelech).

To close the chapter, Abe prays to the LORD and the LORD heals Abimelech and all the folks in his house. “ For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. (verse 18)

 

The Candy Shop

Posted: July 8, 2011 in Gospel Compassion

Hey folks,

Pastor Ken floated me this video today. It addresses the growing problem of child sex trafficking. My hope is that the LORD would break our hearts over sin like this….and any sin for that matter (including our own). And not only that…I pray that we would be moved to action; that our brokeness over our own sin would end in repentance and obedience to the LORD and that our brokeness over the sin around us would move us to compassionately serve and take the gospel to the world.

Grace and peace…

Hassan

[exerpt]

The Candy Shop is a film initiative to help fight against child sex trafficking.

This film is being made for the Doorpost Film Project, and with support from 12Stone® Church and Street Grace. The Candy Shop is a Fairytale/Parable about the child sex trafficking epidemic that has overrun our city of Atlanta. We are using the film to not only raise awareness but provoke meaningful action towards this issue taking place in our own backyard.

Up to 500 underaged girls a month are trafficked for sex here in our city of Atlanta.
It’s the number one city in the country for child sex trafficking..
The 10th in the world.

This plague has gone on for too long, and now we at Whitestone, in cooperation with Doorpost, 12Stone® Church and StreetGrace want to put a stop to it.

This film represents the spearhead of a citywide and possibly a nationwide campaign.
It is not a documentary. It is not a PSA. It is the beginning of a movement.

Visit the Street Grace website to find out more information and get involved directly.

stopthecandyshop.com
whitestonemotionpictures.com
streetgrace.org