Posts Tagged ‘God’

“Fake it ’til you make it.” We’ve all heard those words. It’s great advice when you are in front of people, trying to make a good impression or learning a new skill.

When it comes to faith, faking it doesn’t help–it hurts.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” You can see why people might fake faith; it is impossible to please God without it. So, just like kids trying to earn a treat, we try to be what we think God expects. When we fall on our face, the tendency is to hide it under the proverbial rug instead of openly admitting our lack.

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Hip-hop artist Lecrae is the newest individual to share his story on Iamsecond.com, a website featuring video testimonies of personal struggle, transformation and hope of celebrities and everyday people.

“Hip-hop is more than music, it’s actually culture,” said Lecrae. “It’s the lens through which you see the world.”

As a child, Lecrae’s world was void of good role models. Growing up with a single mom, Lecrae admits he would watch rap videos at his grandmother’s house and found people to fill the void. Despite his ability to rap, Lecrae wrestled with insignificance, having never met his father and experiencing abuse and neglect. He sought to fulfill this emptiness by surrounding himself with gangsters. Before long, Lecrae was embroiled in a world filled with drugs, theft, alcohol and gang activity.

“I didn’t fit in anywhere. I was just a misfit of a person,” he said.

His mother encouraged him to read the Bible, but instead he tore out the pages. Lecrae thought church was for older people and not for him, a perception he developed while attending a few times with his grandmother.

It wasn’t until a friend invited him to attend a conference out of town, that Lecrae realized his preconceived notions about faith may have been wrong.

“I saw guys who have been shot for being in gangs, girls who were extremely promiscuous in the past – rappers, dancers, singers – people who came from the same background I came from and they still embodied who they were culturally. But they were all in love with Jesus,” Lecrae said. “And I had never seen that before.”

Lecrae didn’t understand the God they were talking about but remembers asking God to get him out of the life he was living.

Not long after, Lecrae was driving and took a turn too fast when his car flipped over several times. The roof caved in, the windshield broke and the glasses he was wearing molded into the frame of the car, yet he didn’t have a scratch on him. It was that moment he decided it was time to live for Jesus.

“I saw a change. I spent a lot of time searching for father figures, and God has shown me that, ultimately, he’s my father that drives me to keep pressing,” Lecrae said.

Lecrae started volunteering at a juvenile detention center, singing songs he had written in his darkest moments when crying out to God.

“You’d just see them sitting there weeping. And time after time they keep requesting, ‘Can you do that song? I need something that’s going to remind me that I need Jesus,'” said Lecrae. “This is what I want to do – use music to offer hope and encouragement.”

Lecrae has released four albums with his newest, Rehab Deluxe, hitting stores Sept. 27.

I am Second is designed to help individuals discover hope. The iamsecond.com website includes authentic film testimonies of “everyday” people and celebrities related to a variety of personal struggles, including abuse, addictions, pride, eating disorders, broken families and the search for success and meaning in life. Celebrities featured include 2010 American League MVP and Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton; former Korn band member Brian “Head” Welch; surfer Bethany Hamilton; and football stars Bradie James, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford.

Launched in Dallas-Fort Worth in December 2008, iamsecond.com quickly spread virally across the globe. To date, the website has seen more than 5 million visitors from 217 countries/regions who have viewed over 20 million pages on the site. The site has since officially launched in Orlando, Fla., Evansville, Ind., and Kansas City, Mo., with several other cities planned for the future.

The I am Second movement is now readying for the debut of its newest initiative – the I am Second book, slated to release from Thomas Nelson in January 2012.

For additional information about I am Second, visit http://www.iamsecond.com or for information related to the I am Second book, visit http://www.ThomasNelson.com.

A. Larry Ross

Sweaty and exhausted after hockey practice, I dropped onto a bench in the locker room. As I yanked off my skates, I listened to a teammate spread the latest gossip.

“Can you believe she hooked up with him? What does he see in her, anyway?”

“Who knows?” I replied. I felt a familiar twinge of guilt and ignored it.

Another teammate interrupted our conversation. “Laura, you’re gonna play in Sunday’s game, right?”

“For sure!” I answered. I didn’t feel as sure as I sounded. My stomach had flip-flopped when Coach announced the schedule. I’d have to miss church … again.

It was my sophomore year, and I’d played for the Komets seven months of every year since fifth grade. I’d made the hockey-over-church choice a thousand times. But it never got any easier.

My youth pastor often encouraged me to come to church and youth group more often. He said God should always come before sports. He just doesn’t understand what it’s like to be on a team, I thought to myself. But I knew he was at least partly right. I played volleyball for my high school, but that never conflicted with church the way hockey did. Because I was on a club hockey team, we often had Sunday games–which meant I missed a lot of Sunday school and church. Practice on Wednesday nights meant I rarely went to Bible study.

It went beyond just missing church activities, though. My relationship with Christ was starting to slip. It’s not like I was totally walking away from God. My teammates did a lot of stuff I never got into, like swearing and drinking.

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IgniteYourFaith.com is provided by ChristianityToday.com to creatively engage and empower Christian teens to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

G – GOD | O – OUR | S – SINS | P – PAYING | E — EVERYONE | L – LIFE

God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sins separate us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds. (Genesis 4 – Malachi 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John)
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever. (Acts – Revelation)

GO HERE TO READ MORE: http://www.dare2share.org/gospeljourney/

Dare 2 Share Ministries is mobilizing teenagers to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Read more here.

Superstar Common took time out to speak with BV Buzz about faith and his success.

“I think that’s the foundation for me. That’s how I am able to exist in the industry,” he said.

“You have to bring who you are and what you are and your spirituality and the things that you believe in have to exceed and go beyond anything that you do,” he continued. “Any work that you do and accolades that you get, you have to know that God is more important and family and love that you have for others. I just put that first and wake up in the morning like this is who I am. That allows me to function more in the music industry and the Hollywood world.”

The rapper gone actor is getting ready to head back to his hometown, Chicago and will be stopping by his childhood church, Trinity United Church.

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Since its online launch in 1997, the EUR/Electronic Urban Report (www.eurweb.com) has become the Internet’s foremost information source for urban entertainment, sports, politics and opinion.