Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rebirth Of A Nation

Yesterday we witnessed a first. For some, a long-awaited first. For others, long-feared. I know plenty of people who are thrilled to see a black man as President. I know some people who are equally thrilled, if not moreso, to see the former President leave office. Here are my thoughts (thank you for asking) about the whole thing.

I am a Christian first, then a husband, a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a worship leader, a musician, and an American, in that order. I love my God, my family, my ministry, and my country. I worship my God. Period.
I care deeply for my family and friends, but I don't worship them. I care deeply for my ministry, but I don't worship it. I care deeply for my country, but I don't worship it either. I worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That is my God.

I say these things because I find it extremely important to understand my priorities so I always remember from where I come and to Whom I belong. I choose to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness," so that "all these things will be added to [me]." (Matt. 6:33)

So what does this have to do with the "rebirth of a nation?" Simply stated, a lot of Americans are worshipping the new President and serving him as a god. They firmly support everything he says and does. His words are like fresh water to them. They run through the streets chanting his name as though he were the savior of this land.

As I watched the new President's inaugural speech, I felt an underlying sense of pride (for my heritage as well as my country's courage to try to break down racial barriers) and a surprising sense of hope. Then something happened that put things into perspective. The camera moved. They panned out over the crowd and then went to a shot of the President at the podium with so many hundreds of people seated behind and above him. All around him were men and women just like him. He looked so small. It was at that moment that I remembered, "He's only a man. He may be very intelligent and well-spoken, and he may hold one of the highest political offices in the world, but he's still only a man. I respect and even admire him, but he's still only a man. His position is much grander than he. His country is so much more powerful than he. And all the while, Jesus sits on His throne, awaiting His appointed time to return to the Earth He created and take His children home with Him!"

My point is two-fold.
1. Respect the office of the President.
2. Worship the true Savior of this land.

Although the President holds significant authority in this world, no person holds higher authority than Jesus. The President is a good man and I choose to respect him. However, I choose to be led only by the Holy Spirit who prompts me to love unconditionally.

This is not my confession of perfection. This is my request for rebirth. May we, as a nation, be reborn into the faith, hope, and love of Jesus, the true Savior, both now and eternally!

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Friday, January 16, 2009

Meet The Brannons

Hey Kids! I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to my new bride, Stephanie. She and I married on New Year's Day and I'd never seen her more beautiful! Absolutely radiant!!

Okay, enough gushing. It's been two weeks now, and things are good, but we are learning a lot about ourselves, each other, and marriage that we never imagined. Some people say marriage is easy. Some say it's super-difficult. Some view marriage as an obstacle or a burden. Some view it as a great challenge. I think it's all of the above (minus the obstacle / burden part, of course).

It's easy to be around the person you're in love with. It's super-difficult to change from being a selfish single person to a selfless married couple (it doesn't happen overnight). The challenge is learning to be completely selfless and fully devoted to your God and your spouse. It has been said that it takes couples about 9 or 10 years to learn complete selflessness. Well, I'm a guy, and I'm from Texas which makes me want to do things faster and better (thank you, testosterone), so I'm shooting for less than 5 years! We'll see how that works out for me.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate