You Can Actually Do It All

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Who are you? Why are you? What do you do? Why do you do what you do?

Answer those. 

What’d you say for “What do you do?” More than likely you answered with your job. Our culture teaches us to place our value and find our identity in our occupation. 

Think about it. As a kid you probably answered this question innumerable times. “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” Then you had to do a project to research that thing. Then you were told to go to college so you could be that thing. And perhaps you’ve become that thing. 

I’m sincerely proud of you! But I have a question. What else do you wanna be? What other titles do you wish you carried? What are some hobbies you wish you could invest more time and energy into? 

Why haven’t you done those things? Is it because you believe you have to choose?

Well… you don’t. 

Take this guy. Clearly he’s a speaker of some kind. And clearly a musician. He plays jazz and has a single on the charts that rivals pop artists like Bruno Mars and Rihanna. Listen Here!

He’s clearly a family man. 
And he’s lettered and has dope friends who are doing great things. 💁🏿‍♂️👨🏾‍🎓He travels and mentors. 

And through 14 years of sermons and teachings he has pastored me and numerous others. 

My pastor has been the embodiment of exercising EVERY gift God has given you. His leadership and example inspire me to tap into all of my talents and not alllow anyone to pigeonhole me into one arena. But people seriously struggle with the idea that anybody, especially a pastor, can truly be multi-faceted. It’s so bad that he had to release this statement on Facebook in February because his music has been gaining more attention. 

“Hey FB Family! I have been fighting a vicious rumor for about 8 months and it has now hit a new level. It has been reported that I am leaving Lansing and resigning as the Sr. Pastor of the Epicenter of Worship. This rumor is an absolute LIE!! I am not leaving Lansing and last Sunday WAS NOT my last Sunday. In fact, Epicenter is expanding its footprint in the region. We currently have 3 churches in Lansing (two sister churches and HQ). With the help of about 50 people in Detroit we have opened Epicenter of Worship Detroit and it is doing well. IN 2017 ALONE, WE HAVE ORDAINED OVER 12 MINISTERS FOR GOSPEL MINISTRY IN THE REGION.   

Yes, I am a jazz SAXOPHONIST- musician but that doesn’t take away from my pastorate. Why can’t I do multiple things and still LEAD HEALTHY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES? I am asking EVERY EOW MEMBER TO MEET ME ON SUNDAY AT 10AM!! HELP ME PUT THIS LIE TO REST!!!! NOW YOU HEARD IT STRAIGHT FROM ME!!! THE LION IS OFFICIALLY AWAKENED! LANSING GET READY FOR EXPANSION.”

What I’ve learned is this… My job is what I do. It’s not who I am. Who I am is a child of a supreme being who created the universe with His words, who split apart a sea, who set a water soaked altar ablaze, who showed prophets visions of things thousands of years before they happened, who impregnated a virgin, who became a human, who died, who came back and who gives His Spirit to those who receive Him. If that’s my Father why would I relegate myself to one way of expressing myself? 

Who are you? Why are you? What do you do? Why do you do what you do?

Who’s stopping you from doing and being more?

Thank you, Dr. Sean Holland for living your life as an example for others. 

You can purchase your copy of Steps of a Good Man here👇🏾

Can I Pray For You?

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I know this is posting to my social media pages, but I’m taking a break from Facebook and Twitter. However, I feel led to extend this offer. So if you see this and the answer is yes, either click the link and comment on the actual blog or send me an email at evans.claricha@gmail.com. 

Feel free to share it with anyone you think would want prayer. 

  

The Same People Who

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The people who say carrying a gun is a fundamental right are the same people who think having healthcare is a luxury.  

The people who say adoption is a viable solution to abortion are worried about preserving their family line and are grossly unaware of the fact that millions of babies are aborted yearly compared to the hundreds of thousands who get adopted. 

The people who say they dedicate their lives to saving the ozone are the ones who say it’s ok to kill unborn babies. 

The people who say they are representatives of Christ are often the first to blame poor people for their situations and systematically victimize the “least of these.”

The people who say that science backs up everything about their world view ignore science when it comes to someone’s gender identity. 

 The people who say Mike Brown got what he deserved tend to be the same ones who can’t comprehend why Cosby’s alleged victims took so long to come out.  

The people who say they can forget their pasts because they have been forgiven are the same ones who never lovingly tell others forgiveness is available for them. Instead, they hold up signs to let people know that their god hates fags. 

  
The people who say everybody should feel free to express themselves as they see fit are the ones who get the most offended when I end a corporate prayer by saying “in Jesus’s name.”

The people who say all babies should be born tend to be the ones who ignore the fact that most aborted babies are aborted by women who will end up on welfare so that they can then complain that those women shouldn’t have children they can’t afford. 

“All lives matter!” Shout my conservative Christian friends until they are asked to show GENUINE love to their LGBT or Muslim neighbors. 

  
The same people who yell forgive the murderer every time a racist kills a Black person or 9, are the ones up in arms and completely pissed today because same sex couples can legally marry.

Liberals be like “Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get one.”Why can’t the same logical be applied to prayer in schools? Don’t wanna pray? Don’t. If you don’t believe in it, how does it hurt you? 

  
  

I can never be wholeheartedly liberal or conservative. 

Left wing. Right wing. Same bird.

——-

This will be a living blog. I could go on forever about the hypocrisy I see in both liberals and conservatives. 

The God Who Answers By Fire

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About a month ago, the worship teams of both my churches learned a song by Eddie James to sing at a conference. The title of the song is “I’m Sending the Fire”. It’s based on the scripture in 1 Kings 18 where Elijah got fed up with all the idol worship. He said, “Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. (‭1 Kings‬ ‭18‬:‭24‬ NLT)

Since learning it, I’ve been meditating on the passage. Just focusing on how our God responds to us in powerful ways. So much so that a few weeks after the conference I had a dream and at the end of the dream I heard Numbers 16. Now hear me out, I love the Lord. I read the bible, but I don’t mess with Numbers. AND I have never heard the Lord speak that way. So I wake up and I’m like whet? Then I looked it up and my eyes were WIDE open when I got to this part.

If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the LORD.” He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel. (‭Numbers‬ ‭16‬:‭29-33‬ NLT)

All of this was going through my mind today as I stood in the place where Elijah made that declaration. You read that right. That’s where I was today. I can hardly gather the words to describe how it feels standing in that spot and coming to the realization that I serve the God who answers by fire. And He’s the God who opens the earth at the word of a prophet.

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That’s one thing I did today. Dope right?

In Case You Didn’t Know…

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**Snagged from my 2010 tumblr blog. So excuse the stuff that’s reflective of the time it was originally posted**

I heard a song once that says, “Did you realize that you’re alive at the greatest time in history?” If you’re like me when you first read that statement you may be like, “How could you even think that’s true? Crime rates are steadily rising. Global warming is becoming a more pressing issue. Earthquakes are happening everywhere, more often than ever before…” ya know, the whole rant we can go on about the horrible state of our world. BUT the song was really talking about at this point in history, we can spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ faster than ever before!
Think about it, people in my age range tend to be members of several social networks. I am connected to thousands of people on Facebook alone. I have over 900 followers on Twitter and my followers have followers who I’ve never met before. So if I post a statement as simple as Jesus is Lord, as soon as I press the post button, INSTANTLY I have given over 1000 people the opportunity to find out more about our Lord. The same thing is true about Twitter. It’s the latest craze, but what separates Twitter from other networks is the ease at which we can repost small pieces of information. With that being said, it’s just as simple for me to tell my followers a little bit about Jesus and it could be retweeted a largely finite number of times.
All of this is nice, but you can run into people who get offended or annoyed by your social network ministry, but just as you would in face to face ministry, you have to ignore their feelings enough to help them to get saved.
After I first got saved, I had a real fire and zeal for God. I talked about Him everywhere I went and to everyone I knew, starting with my Facebook status. A girl came up to me that I knew from high school and said, “I read your statuses every day for encouragement. I read them and think ‘I wanna love Jesus like that too.’” That has stuck with me ever since that day in the Fall of 2006. If people don’t mind spreading the news of how crappy their days have been or how the people in their lives have let them down countless times, I should surely feel free to spread my love for Jesus in hopes that another person will develop a hunger and thirst for a relationship with the creator as well.
You might not have realized it was that easy.
-OhCAE

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God’s Gene Redeems

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Every time my knee hurts, I think about my mom and everyone else in my family with arthritis and any other health issue that is genetic. Instead of accepting that as my destiny as well, I remind myself that I have a new DNA. Arthritis runs in my blood, but there are no diseases in the blood of Jesus.
Sickness is not my inheritance. With His stripes, I am healed.

*i snagged this post from my tumblr blog. I think I stole the title from one of my pastor’s sermons in 2011.*

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Photo cred: wakethesilence.deviantart.com/art/By-His-stripes-we-are-healed-41556439

So I Asked

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This is a Part 2 to another blog called “Ask” so if you really wanna get this one and if you wanna make me feel good go read that one first. Click this link!
Ask, Seek, Knock

Oh Cae.. You done now?

As you read, for YEARS The Lord has been showing me that all I have to do is ask for what I want, but I still struggle to believe Him for crazy things.

I’m about to take you on a journey that I’ve been on since last summer. OhCAE? Follow me.

In July 2014, I moved to a new city after living in East Lansing my entire adult life, 8 years at the time. I didn’t have a job. I had spent my savings on my last few months of rent and car notes. The move was abrupt and I had no plan. Gas was still 3.75+ per gallon so commuting to my church in Lansing wasn’t an option. So I started going to another church that I was introduced to via my home church. Before I left the Lansing area, my home church started announcing a trip to Israel. I heard of it and thought it’d be cool to go, but as you’ve read I had no money. Fast forward to attending the new church and they announced the trip to Israel. (It took me a while to realize it was the same one). And when they announced it, they explained that this is an annual trip they plan to give people a right for Israel, but this year was different. This year isn’t gonna just be a normal tour. This is a year of strategic intercession, a year to be a watchmen on the wall, year to go into that region and be purposeful about shifting the atmosphere. That announcement charged me up, BUT I was bummed because although I had started making a LITTLE cash, a trip to Israel was super far fetched.

I started getting sad about my life in general and I just cried out to The Lord and asked Him why did it feel like I could never have or do anything I want? Why did I seem to only do things out of necessity. I told Him I really wanted to go, but it was impossible.

A few days later, I was rereading some of my blogs. I came across the one mentioned at the top of this one and The Lord began to minister to me through that piece. So… I asked. I asked The Lord if He could make a way for me to go on the trip.

In November, I decided to move to Detroit (yes, I was doing a lot). When I moved to Detroit, the family I was babysitting for didn’t want to lose me so they increased my hours as well as my salary. I was able to afford commuting and pay bills and still be able to save a little for the first time in forever. Still… Israel was a no go. I didn’t know what to do. So… I asked.

I posted on Facebook and asked my friends if I made a donations page would they help me pay for the trip.

I made it and chose an arbitrary end date in January and I was encouraged because people started giving, but that was before I found out the money was due December 18.

I wanted an extension. So… I asked.

I ended up getting an extension and I made the final payment the day before my extension deadline.

To paraphrase myself in “Ask”, There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. But just like with my shirt and trip to Israel, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!

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As you can see, I started composing this months before I had the money, but I have learned something recently that it so simple that it’s hard to comprehend. If you want to believe in something, just believe. Did you get that? If you want to think something is true then just think it. And when you are convinced that it’s true, you’ll start to act as if you believe it. I really wanted to believe that God’s word is true when it says ask and it shall be given, but in order to show I believed it I had to ask and expect that I’d get what I asked for.

So… I asked.