Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

This post is dedicated to Israel Robles and Matthew Bivens. Matthew has no blog but he really doesn’t need one. The dude is epic. Israel can be found all over the world as he runs among many other things a non profit called Tu Contacto Global and a movement called Terra Tour which has led him to lead road trips from Canada all the way to Brazil

So I decided to start posting tweets of meditations/quotes and call them verses from the Book of Ramon. A narcissistic obsession. Maybe? But the story behind them goes a little deeper.

Last year around September I took a trip to Juarez and went to visit Israel Robles who is doing some amazing things there and all over Latin America. I was impressed with not just the activity that was going on and the things that he was doing but the positive attitude that seemed to exude from him and his team members. At the same time I was bogged down in negative thinking about how our church was doing but also just depressed about my life in general. After seeing Israel in action I became inspired to live my life with the same passion and gusto. The only thing was I knew I couldn’t take Israel home in my pocket. That’s when I remembered 1 Samuel 30:6 where it says that “David encouraged (strengthened) himself in the Lord his God” and I thought I may just have to encourage myself to live the life that I want to live. So that’s where the Book of Ramon comes in.

No I am not trying to add another book of the Bible.

No I am not starting a cult.

No I am not saying that everything that I posted was inspired by the Holy Spirit

I just wanted to remember and keep a record of all the nuggets of inspiration and encouragement that was helping me and I realized that this could also be helpful to someone else out there in FB or Twitter land.

But here is the bad news: I am sad to say I am closing it. I realize that I am now no longer encouraging myself but I am only doing it for the sake of others which although that is a good purpose that was not my original intention. So I have several tweets left and it will be officially closed. The good news: I am going to take each post and write a couple pages on it and turn it into an ebook which I will be giving away in the near future.

So that is the book of Ramon explained. Nothing super amazing. Just a guy trying to get out of a pit of negative thinking and low quality living.

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I was going to just post one more time before we left for PA but I had to remember Steve Jobs. An inspiration to many of us who aspire to be creative and live life with imagination. RIP Steve

One of the big differences that I have seen between the black church and the white church involves preaching. It boils down to this: the stated goal of preaching is different therefore the delivery and content are different. The black preacher preaches in order to lift up. He knows he is talking to people who have been down and who face huge obstacles. The white preacher preaches in order to inform and educate. He knows he is talking to people who want to increase their knowledge.

This influences the delivery and the content of the preaching. The delivery of the black preacher is circular and high context. Most people think that black preaching is too emotional and not logical. This is due to not understanding the context of black culture that is sourced in Africa. It is not enough to have a logical argument. There is logic in black preaching but The black preacher knows that it takes more than logic to drive the argument home. This is done through stating the point. Talking about something related to the point and then stating the point again. Repeat and end with a climactic conclusion and you have a typical black sermon. It is very non linear. This is due to black culture being a high context culture. In a high context culture words are not the primary vehicles of communication. Facial expressions, music, hand gestures etc. are also taken into consideration when weighing whether a message will be received. So the black preacher states the point over and over again and this immerses her in the message and what God is saying and the congregation sees that this message must be important and begins to feedback with Amen! Preach preacher! It is the truth and it is conveyed in a non linear fashion.

On the other hand in the white church logic reigns supreme and linear forms of thought and speech hold sway. This is due to the legacy of the Enlightenment and even Greek culture. There must be a beginning and an end point and it must be clear how we got from the beginning to the end. This is due to a low context culture. In a low context culture the message is primarily in the words and the words only. It is enough to state what you want to say. Everything else that comes along with your message is frivolous and unnecessary. Emotion is shunned because it may interfere with the delivery of the truth. In the white church you will not hear feedback from the audience or Amens! from the choir. The true test of whether the message is heard is whether people actually get up and do it.

Most people usually critique black preaching or white preaching based on what it lacks. Growing up as a black pentecostal and then being part of a multiethnic church and a predominantly white movement I have had the privilege of seeing both styles in action. This has led to some soul searching in my own ministry on how to deliver God’s message. Doing both in different contexts I can honestly say that there is no better style but I wrestle with how both of these styles can be combined in order to be a greater benefit to the body of Christ.

  • What do you think? Do you prefer one over the other?
  • Could it ever happen? Has anyone seen it happen?
  • Can you give any examples of preaching that is a mixture of both styles?

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

By Charles Bukowski