Jesus Culture in Concert.

JC concert 2

"We won't be perfect, Lord...but we'll be yours."

“We won’t be perfect, Lord…but we’ll be yours.”

On May 19, I attended a Jesus Culture concert. It was the Charlotte, NC stop on the Still Believe tour with Kim Walker-Smith.

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know about my last Christian concert experience featuring HIllsong United. Can I just say that this concert may have been even better? Even with my excitement at how great it was, I hesitate ever-so-slightly at calling it a concert.

For all intensive purposes, it was a concert. I bought a ticket(premium/VIP, if I might add), had to present a physical ticket at the door, and I had a seat…but it was a great worship experience. I said it in my post about Hillsong; in venues such as coliseums and arenas where large groups of people come together to worship as one, I always imagine what Heaven will be like. Where people of different colors, of different walks of life, of different “sides of the track”, of various occupations and fields of study come together with abandon with one purpose: to praise the name of the Most High.

Their newest album drops tomorrow and I’m uber excited. If you don’t know much about them, check out the “Still Believe” album by Kim Walker-Smith and the brand new(tomorrow) album, Unstoppable Love. You won’t regret it.

Until next post…

-Misfit.

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Wedding Season Has Begun!!

Hey Everybody!

It’s been a month since I last posted and SO much has happened since. There are going to be a few posts over the next couple of days…I have to catch up!

This post will be about my first wedding as an adult, a real invited guest(most of the weddings I’ve attended didn’t include an official invitation), and what I believe was my first non-Nigerian wedding.

A co-worker of mine from Asheboro(my former work location) got married at a cute rustic, country event center. The venue was just breathtaking. The ceremony took place outside, lakeside, at 7pm. The weather was perfect for an outdoor wedding. I told my sisters the next day…it was a perfect pinterest wedding! The guest book was smooth rocks to be written on, there were mason jars everywhere, the colors were gray, yellow, and white, the groomsmen and ring bearers had on suspenders(adorable), there was a photo booth and Lindsey was GORGEOUS!

I truly enjoyed myself at the Kilby-Brown wedding. The pastor/officiant was so personable. He spoke about the lives of Zach and Lindsey, their dedication to keeping their relationship and love based in/on the love of Jesus Christ, and their absolutely cute ‘high school sweethearts’ love story.

I had a great time.

Until next post…

-Misfit.

Photo booth fun!

Photo booth fun!

Being Christ-ian.

This post is going to be blunt.

Social media, the world wide web, and our human nature to want a “role model” has created a big problem in many Christians.

We follow Christian celebrities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We like their pictures. We say “aww” when they post about their spouses and kids. We love and/or envy their wardrobes. We want to know where they shop. Who is their tailor, seamstress, hair stylist, personal makeup artist? Unknowingly, we begin to follow their “life” with Christ, not the message of Jesus Christ.

Why do we even have Christian celebrities? The only Christian “celebrity” should be Jesus Christ.

Don’t get me wrong. Is it great that these people are using technology to spread the Gospel? No. Is it a problem that some people have become the model of Christianity…even though they are but men? Absolutely.

I love the music made by Jesus Culture, Hillsong United, and Israel Houghton, but…do I need to love and/or be obsessed with them? No.

There has been a transfer of “obsession” from secular artists, characters, speakers, or celebrities to those who have achieved “stardom” talking about God.

We should NOT be obsessed with pastors. We should NOT “follow” tele-, e-, or mobile-evangelists. We should NOT “be like” Christian artists.

We are called to be like Christ. We are meant to follow Jesus.

I don’t model my Christian walk after any human. Nobody should.

We should model our Christian walk after Christ.

Read the Bible for yourself. Don’t rely on instagram-size bites of the Word. Find out about God for yourself. It’s worth it.

Be Christ-ian.

 

-Misfit.

I Used To Hate Hymns.

I used to hate hymns in church. I used to dread that part of service.

As a person who loves to sing, praise and worship, and enjoy great music…those sad, sorrowful-sounding compositions just deflated my excitement. I’ll even stretch and say that it offended me. Yep, I was offended. How do you get me excited, hype, and happy with some LIVE praise and worship, then just shoot me off my high with a segue into the slowest hymn in history?!

I now realize that my previous dislike of these songs was just a preference for upbeat music. I never really paid attention to the lyrics and message in the hymns…only what it sounded like to my uninterested ears. Today, I still don’t like how sad some hymns sound, but I appreciate and understand that the words and message in the song is much more important.

Some of my favorites are It Is Well With My Soul(this song got me through an extremely low point in college), Great Is Thy Faithfulness, I Need Thee Every Hour, and Higher Ground. I truly believe that my growth in Christ has brought me to this point. Sometimes I find myself singing these songs randomly in the car, around the house, or even sitting during church.

I serve the same God that inspired the authors and composers of many of these songs so long ago. Isn’t that amazing? God is always relevant, His word doesn’t and will not change, and his love and faithfulness is everlasting.

If you’re anything like I am with slow hymns, next time you hear one, try not to think about how long it’ll be before the song is over. Read and understand the message in the lyrics, tap into the Holy Spirit that was there when it was written, and thank Him because you can. The words are sometimes so simple, yet powerful.

Happy Sunday.

-Misfit.

I’m Happy.

I’m happy.

No need for exclamation points, all caps, or an ellipsis. I’m just happy. I think I know why. I choose to be happy.

It seems so simple, but it’s taken me a while to get here. Now that I’ve arrived at this destination of happy, I realize that I got here by doing a few things daily.

1. I’ve made a conscious effort to smile more. My whole life, people have randomly asked me, “What’s wrong?” or “Are you okay?” because my facial expression makes me appear upset. Whether I was actually upset or just unaware of my expression, those questions are annoying. Also, I’ve read somewhere that smiling triggers something in your brain that improves mood. Essentially, smiling more tricks me into being happy. A new quote I found says “I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.” Paul Simon is the one who said that…and back in the day he seemed pretty happy to me.

2. I’ve stopped wasting time, energy, and brain power on things, situations, and people I can’t control. I almost don’t even want to write and elaborate about how, but I will. If you’re like me, you spend a large part of you spare time just thinking. Thinking is great, but too much of it can lead you to start with the what-ifs, how comes, and whys. After you spend your time thinking of all these questions and frustrated yourself, you might become aggravated because you realize you don’t have the answers. Trust me, it sucks. I’m giving up on that habit.

3. Lastly, but certainly not least, God makes the difference. Being born and raised in church, I’ve always heard scriptures and songs about God and his sovereignty. Now I know it for myself. I’ve chosen to look for and find Him for myself, not just by hearsay. This relationship with God is a journey. I’ll equate my newly recognized peace and happiness as a state line sign you see while on a road trip. You know where you want to be and are on your way to, but seeing “Welcome to North Carolina” helps you keep track of your progress. My peace that passes understanding and joy in the Lord are evidence that I’m on my way. Estimated time of arrival…to be determined.

Choose to be positive. Be happy. Enjoy.

-Misfit.

P.s. Here are some songs that I love. They even sound happy. 🙂

The Best Compliment

Today at work I received arguably the best compliment ever.

An associate told me, “You’re a good Christian.”

Simple,  right? Not “you’re beautiful”, “you’re smart”, “you have a gorgeous smile”, etc…just a simple observation about my Christ-likeness.

She doesn’t know much about my personal life, what church I attend, the details of my relationship with God or anything like that, but something about what she sees everyday made her say that.

I want to assume that she sees “The God in me.” I’ve talked about wanting people to see that in a previous post. It’s so awesome and humbling to hear someone say that. I can’t take the credit for it at all. The Holy Spirit is continuously working in me and I’m glad and grateful that the results are visible.

-Misfit.

15. Go to my favorite artist/band’s concert.

I’ve begun checking off my “before I turn 30” bucket list!

Shannon and I holding up our “Upfront with United” stickers after the experience. Don’t we look happy?

Number 15 on the list, “Go to my favorite artist/band’s concert.” has been completed! Today, Monday, November 18, I attended a concert for one of my favorite Christian bands, Hillsong United. When I wrote the list, I didn’t have this band or, honestly, this genre of music in mind. But when I found out about the concert, I decided since this would be a time to be with Jesus in a venue like that, it trumped any other band.artist I could go and see.

Let me tell you…It was an experience like no other. Complete with concert lighting and graphics, I worshipped and praised God. I had a great time. It was amazing. One of my best friends, Shannon[pictured], attended the concert/experience with me.

When we bought our tickets 3 days ago, on Friday(is that considered 4 days?), Shannon and I were SO excited. It’s such a blessing to be excited and happy about the opportunity to fellowship and worship in an arena filled with people from everywhere and anywhere. To my right and left were strangers, but in that place there was no difference between us. People of all denominations, colors, creeds, genders, shapes, ages, and sizes came together for a few hours because of a simple common denominator: the love and salvation we have all found in Jesus Christ. 

With our hands lifted high, our voices ringing in the coliseum, and a heart open for a word from Him, we were a nation. We were a church. We were Zion. It was an incredible feeling. This is one bucket list item that I won’t mind crossing off many times over.

hillsong 2013 1

Hillsong: Young & Free and Hillsong United, God bless you.

-Misfit.