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New Place to Catch Me

October 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I am now blogging at http://patrickngwolo.wordpress.com.  Please change your subscriptions or your bookmarks to that page.  Thank you much.

To God be the Glory.

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Christians Gone Wild: Only Dumb People Hear From God 1 Cor. 2,3

July 2, 2010 1 comment

This is out of our Bible Study Series entitled:  “Christians Gone Wild.”  Arrogant and worldly Christians usually trust their own wisdom and the wisdom from popular books, authors, celebrities, and even pastors.  We brag about our what we know and who we follow.  Our affirmation and our sense of well being comes from this stuff.  Through the Holy Spirit God calls for us to be “dumb” so that we can be wise through Him.  Be empowered by Jesus!

Only Dumb People Hear From God God 1 Cor. 2,3

Also check out http://www.thecitygoodhope.org.  Some of the most God inspired writing on the planet.

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Why I Preach the Gospel and Why You Should Too

June 21, 2010 3 comments

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the single greatest force for change that the world has ever known.  I grew up trying to figure out in which arena I could make the most change in the world.  I first believed that politics was the area in which wholesale change could be made in the world.  I believed that if you became President of an organization or President of the United States of America that you could enact changes in policy that would make sure that we conquered poverty, world hunger.  I believed that if good people were put into office we could change the world.  At some point, I figured out that politics at its root was filled with compromise and corruption.  I did not believe that real change could happen through political system. I vote, but not with hope. My hope then shifted into the financial arena.  I saw that people who had economic clout could earn and buy power.  You didn’t have to be the politician who changes things.  You can be the person who supports the politician who changes things.  But I began to see that even money at the end loses its power.  Our school system is broke, but at the heart of it is not actually money.  It’s a commitment to educate children rather than train them to be monkeys who are able to regurgitate bits of information.  It’s a commitment to teachers who would spend the time to make sure that they are not just socially promoting kids.  It’s about parents who will recommit their time to making sure that children have the support they need at home.  The problem is more than just money.  At some point, I figured that no matter how much money or power you had, the real issue was the heart.  That people at their core are wicked and deceitful and did things, even good things, to their advantage. People at the core just don’t want to do the right thing.

I began to see that the cause of all poverty, disease, homeless, etc. was sin.  People are poor because rich nations don’t want to share with poor nations, because it is not in their national self-interest.  Approximately 3/7ths of the world’s riches reside in the United States of America and the rest of the world (well over 300 countries) share 4/7ths.  HIV is killing communities, but if everybody decided that they would have one lifetime sexual partner, we would eradicate AIDS within one generation.  But it is impractical, because sin exists, and people want to do generally what they want to do, regardless of whether it hurts God or other people.  No politician and no amount of money can change people’s HEARTS.

That is why the gospel (good news) of Jesus is needed – because when people believe in the good news about Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit regenerates them and transforms them into a new creature. John 3:5, 2 Cor. 5:17.  That person now has the ability to love God and to love people.  That’s why we need more people who will share this message with their loved ones with their neighbors and with everyone they meet.  Our communities can be one where the smell of brotherly love is in the air.  The early church communities experienced this, when there was need among them they gave everything they had, so that none among them would suffer want.  Acts 2:38-45.  They gave like this because God had transformed their hearts and radically changed their focus from temporal blessings to the enjoyment of their fellowship with an eternal God.  We need more preachers.  I’m not talking about Sunday talkers, but Monday walkers.  Share the message of Jesus living, dying, and being resurrected for your eternal life with God with all that you meet.  Live as if this is true in your life and watch God transform the people around you.

If you want to see more about how this message changed the world read the book of Acts.

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Letter to My Sister, Erykah Badu

April 16, 2010 1 comment

Sister Badu, I’ve been a fan of your music since you have been on the scene since Baduism. You were representing D-Town (Dallas) when no one else dare to and for that I am extremely grateful. I even heard stories about you being a rapper before you were a singer from people who knew you from the North Dallas Area. (Even D.O.C. wouldn’t represent Dallas, but you did!)

I woke up one Monday morning, to read an article in an online paper concerning the video for your song “Window Seat.” I must confess that I had not viewed the video (for reasons I will share later) until after your response to my tweet. I apologize if it seemed as if my tweet purported to be fact and I wanted to make sure that you knew it was my opinion.

Here was my original tweet:

Let’s call it wht its: @fatbellybella stripped 2 sell records & get attention. (sic)its wht its… Have a gd morning ths morning!

You responded with this tweet:

sir, I make ZERO dollars from saling (sic) records you are ill informed and Jesus would not like it one bit .u leading the people wrong

You also tweeted this after I asked for more clarity:

peace I meant you were being quite judgemental w/out a bit of proof nor truth and led the reader to believe u were an authority

After looking at your tweet, I thought about it. By the way, your tweet was hilarious and it made my day. I agree with you that my tweet may have come off as fact. I sincerely apologize if I offended you by not stating that is was my opinion. Although I still stand by the content of what I said, I think I should have made it more clear what I actually thought.

After some thought, I decided to view the video, so that I could see what your work and respond with more insight. I also read the interview that you did on this blog: and found your response to be enlightening. This is my take on the video:

My Observations of Your Video

In the video, I saw your angle about “groupthink” — that people shouldn’t be afraid to do something out of the ordinary. I also saw how you were assassinated, died and were “reborn” a new person. It reminded me of another person that happened to: Jesus Christ.

The JFK angle was an interesting touch. You shot the video on the “grassy knoll” outside the library. In the beginning of the video, you jumped out of a 60’s style white town car, sort of like the one JFK was riding in when he was assassinated.

There were multiple messages including death and rebirth, being an individual, and the bondage of groupthink. It was just like you said there were multiple messages and people could have taken a lot out of the video. Even the filming of the video of itself was new and cutting edge. The video was different from a lot of videos made today.

The Goodness of Art

Sister, I believe that all art is created by God and through Jesus Christ. Gen 1:1, John 1:2. And when God created Art he created it good. Gen. 1:31, John 1:1. Good art is beautiful and reminds us of the beauty of God.

When Satan came in the garden he corrupted what God had created, by tempting man to sin, which Adam gave into. Genesis 3. The very creation that God had beautifully declared to be good was marred and disfigured by sin. Marriage was distorted. Relationships were distorted. Music was distorted. Art was distorted. Because of Man’s sinful nature and the influence of Satan, art created pure and for his glory has been defiled.

“Sin isn’t only doing bad things, it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things. Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily idolatry.” – Tim Keller

How does this relate to art? When art or anything else becomes the place by which we build our life and gives us meaning, it becomes a God thing. It takes us farther than we ever really wanted to go and it morphs from a good thing to something that we worship — a God thing, as Marc Driscoll would say.

I believe that your video had many messages that were good and thought–provoking, but I think it crossed the line from a good thing to a God thing, when the body that God gave you to glorify him was used to glorify Art. Sister, you are a beautiful soul, but your body was meant for the view and enjoyment of your husband. Part of the reason why I was so reluctant to watch it was because I didn’t want to look at what did not belong to me. God loves the fact that two married lovers can enjoy each other’s body. So your body wasn’t wrong, it’s just the purpose you used it for was wrong. The ironic thing is that the potentially good messages that were portrayed in your video were devalued and even demonized by a good number of males, because they were staring at your buttocks.

If I had to shorten my statement, for some people the video became pornography. For proof, look at some of the YouTube message boards. They were filled with men lusting after you and fulfilling their selfish desires with your body. They missed the message and you became the object of their affection and worship. As one who has struggled with porn, I know. Porn has destroyed many of my relationships, and it helped me to view women as objects of art to be worshipped, rather than a human being created in the image of God.

Does that mean art is bad thing?

No, art can be redeemed. It is why Jesus Christ left heaven and came to earth. More than assassinated, he was appointed by God the Father to die. It was Jesus Christ destiny to die at the hands of his Father. The bible declares that it pleased God the Father to crush his own son? Isaiah 53:11. Why? God must punish sin, and instead of taking his wrath and vengeance out on us, who have no righteousness, he took it out on his own son. Romans 3:10 What happened to Jesus was more than assassination— it was atonement. He died for us ungodly human beings. Romans 5:8. Jesus then rises again in three days in a new, glorified body, never to die again. John 21. In fact, He is now in heaven as the Man. Acts 1:8,9 His resurrection is the beginning of a New World Order full of love and peace that will see its fulfillment when he comes back again. This old world is quickly dying.

How does this relate to art?

Well Jesus isn’t only going to redeem people, but he is going to redeem his creation and that includes art. Romans 8:21‑39. Jesus will rule with his redeemed people on this redeemed earth. People will be changed by the glory of their Savior. 2 Cor. 4:4‑6. Some of these changed people will then begin to take back and transform that which the devil has corrupted — like art.

In various art forms and genres, God is precisely taking those art forms and reconciling them back to Him for his glory! For instance check out Sho Baraka and his video, “We Can Be More.”

When Christ-followers view or listen to anything artistic, they should ask the question: does this work of art bring fame (glory) to the name of God and to his Son Jesus Christ?  I Cor. 10:11. No, everything that gives God glory doesn’t have to say his name. A beautiful sunrise declares his glory. I also believed that some of your songs do that as well.

Sister Badu, am I asking you to change what you do? Actually no, I’m not. I’m a Christian preacher and I have learned that telling people to stop sinning that may not be Christian is pointless. No sister, I’m looking deeper.

In your video, you died and were reborn a queen. There was a part of you that you felt died while shooting this video. I think this is similar to what God is calling us to do. He is calling us to die to ourselves and our desire to run our life, and follow Christ. That’s death to idolatry, to sin, and ultimately to our selves and our right to exist outside of the plan of God. On the flip side, God raises us up in new life with Christ so that now we have freedom. We are now a kingdom of priests – a royal priesthood.

I don’t know if you believe that Jesus Christ is your Master and Savior, but God leaves you with a decision to make. It will be the biggest decision of your life. If you repent from your sins and trust that the Lord Jesus rose again from the dead you shall be saved. Romans 10:9. The result of you making that decision will be new life with Christ Jesus forever. If you say no to Jesus, you are essentially saying to God, “I’m fine, I will bear your wrath, myself.” Embrace the Love of your life. I John 4:10. Sister Erykah, I desperately want to see you in the “Next Lifetime.”

With much Love and Affection from your brother in this life and, God-willing, the next,

P. Ngwolo

Happy New Year

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

I know I have been out of commission (visit thecitygoodhope.wordpress.com when you get a chance) but I wanted to wish each and every one of you Happy New Year!  Just remember that parked at the intersection of Justice and Mercy is the cross of Jesus Christ!

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Books in Heavy Rotation

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are some of the books, that I am reading or have been influential in my development.  Maybe you can add some of these to your own library.  Maybe you have an opinion on one of them. Let me know!

ESV Study Bible (English Standard Version)

This is simply the best study bible out there for people who want to not only read verses out of the bible, but to understand the message of the bible and articulate that message to other people.  Lots of great tools have been included to help one’s study of the Bible. (When you get the Bible, read St. Mark’s Gospel, Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes,  and Ephesians )

Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley

This biography was such an amazing tale of a man who through the force of his convictions educates himself and becomes one of the strongest orators and thought leaders of the 60s.  Even if you disagree with his politics, his story is fascinating.

Martin Luther King Trilogy by Taylor Branch (Parting the Waters, Pillar of Fire, and On Canaan’s Edge”

This trilogy I still haven’t finished.  But if you are looking for something on the life and times SURROUNDING Dr. King and the players in that era (e.g. Kennedy, Malcolm X) this is series for you.  The author spent almost 20 years of his life putting the information together and its well worth the read.

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

Piper calls for those of us who are Christian to run after God and get out of boring, safe Christianity, and actually run after Jesus.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

If you are trying to pick up some tools to order your life, there are some here.

Desiring God by John Piper

Piper drops this gem. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”  Please read!

Destruction of Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams

Mr. Williams spent an inordinate amount of his life tracing the history of the decline of ancient African empires to the modern day neo-colonialism that is Africa’s calling card.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Achebe speaks about a civilization — a way of life — that is killed ironically by “civilization.”  Good book: it gave me perspective.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I just love anything that Mr. Gladwell writes.  The Tipping Point started the love affair.

21 Indisputable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell

John Maxwell writes this great one on leadership.

Slide-ology – The Art of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte

If you are into making presentations and want to understand the art behind great Powerpoint or Keynote slides, pick this one up for your library.

Vintage Jesus by Marc Driscoll

I haven’t read this one yet, I must confess.  However, I hear it is good for those who want to know about the life of Jesus in highly reader-friendly language.

Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin speaks to the discontent of the Black America in the sixties.  Some of what he writes is still prescient for today and he is at his poetic best in this book.  The Letter of a Birmingham Jail is included.

Get Back in the Closet and Change?

November 17, 2009 4 comments

My friend over at GCM watch posted some excerpts from Pastor Terrance Johnson’s sermon  “Get Back in the Closet and Change.”  Let me know what you think.  Right or wrong?

http://www.gcmwatch.com/3779/houston-pastor-go-back-into-the-closet-and-change