Thanksgiving Post w/ Exclusive Song by LAROUTE

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unsplash-logoJunior Moran

The Holidays are coming up, and for many of us things slow down during this time. With that being said, Thanksgiving is a great time to put into practice just that: thanksgiving!

To me, thanksgiving breaks down into two parts: remember and vocalize. It’s that simple.

1. Remember: thanksgiving is actively, purposely thinking about and reflecting on things in your life that you’re grateful for; it’s firstly a mental exercise. It takes time and energy. It requires discipline and effort. Complaining and griping, on the other hand, seem to happen without much effort. This reminds me of healthy eating vs. unhealthy eating. Eating healthy foods require discipline and effort, while unhealthy eating is definitely the path of least resistance.

2. Vocalize: whether you’re giving thanks to God or showing appreciation to others, the second step is always vocalizing your thanks. In other words, you have to say it out loud. This is a simple, but very important part of thanksgiving. You literally “give” thanks out of your mouth. When you vocalize, you add a physical component to the mental one.

So, what are you thankful for this year?

Let me help. Below is an exclusive spiritual song from my wife, Laroute, that I know will bless you. Plus, I’ve included a mediation/prayer that goes along with the song. Feel free to use these resources in your times of reflecting this holiday season.

 

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Morning Meditation

Father God,

All my days belong to You,
You see my coming and my going,
You see my pain, You see my joy,
You see my ups, You see my downs,
Lord, You see me for who I really am.
You are my God.
All my days belong to You.
All my breath belongs to You.
Thank You for all You’ve done,
You are my Creator.
Teach my heart to be thankful.
I thank you for
———————
———————
———————
O Lord, who is like You?
I give thanks for all You have done,
I lower my soul and say “thank you”!
I give thanks out loud for all You’ve done!
Amen.

How God Loved A Cranky Club DJ

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“But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles…”  – Galatians 1:15-16 

When Jesus saved me, I was a club DJ, and fully engaged in the lifestyle one might expect from a club DJ—late nights, drugs, and partying. I had a foul mouth, a sharp tongue, and a deep-rooted insecurity that affected everything I did.

In comparison to some of the characters in the Gainesville bar scene, I was a pretty decent guy. But I was also extremely moody and emotionally unstable. I carried deep pain on the inside that made me touchy and explosive. I didn’t realize any of this, of course, but anyone close to me could tell you, I was a very cranky and irritable person.

I wasn’t a Christian-kind-of-guy, in any way. I had never owned a Bible. I hadn’t grown up in a Christian home. I can’t even remember knowing any Christian people. Actually, the thought of a “hardcore Christian” gave me the creeps.

But like Paul shared about his own experience, “when it pleased GodHe revealed his Son in me that I would proclaim Him.”

In many ways, I feel like I accidentally became a Christian.

At my father’s deathbed, I had this spiritual experience. And I just couldn’t shake it. Even when I wanted to go back to my old life, I had this growing, inner knowledge of His reality, goodness and presence that I couldn’t get rid of. In the midst of all my darkness and wild living, Jesus opened my heart to Him. “He called me by His mercy and grace” alone.

Thank God too, because I don’t think I would of ever visited a church. Even if a sincere friend would have invited me, I don’t think I would have gone. I was just too afraid—I was a night creature, who had not grown up with much family. So the thought of walking into a bright room, full of old people looking at me, made me nauseous.

So how did I become a Christian?

Again much like Paul, “when it pleased God… He revealed his Son in me so I could proclaim Him”.

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The Events Leading Up to My Dad’s Passing

During my first semester at the University of Florida, I started to hear about “God stuff” happening around my dad, who had been diagnosed with cancer a year before. I heard about signs from God and genuine Christian people coming around him and praying for his healing. I was blown away that my dad was open to something like that. 

Then about two weeks before Christmas my dad passed away, I had a brief, but powerful encounter with a Christian on a bus. He witnessed to me and offered to pray for my dad. I write about it here.

A few days later after talking with the young man, I came home for Christmas break and saw my dad’s genuine faith. Without really knowing what I was doing, I started “proclaiming” God to my dad. Maybe this was first “sermon”. But I shared with my dad about the young man I had met on the bus. I encouraged my dad that my encounter confirmed everything my dad had started to believed. I spoke to his faith— that God was real, and where he was going was real.

When my dad passed, I was in my bedroom. The hospice nurse came in to get me, and she had a testimony herself. She told me how a smile had stretched across my dad’s face, right as he slipped into eternity. I don’t know if this lady was a Christian, but she seemed to be deeply moved by what she had seen. When I walked into the room, I saw the smile for myself.

And then something happened in me.

The way I would describe it: it was like I could see the goodness of the Savior in my dad’s smile. In a moment, I knew Him. I knew this God who had saved my dad. And I loved Him. You see, in 2003, when it pleased God, I believe He granted me a measure of faith (Romans 12:3); it’s the same faith I have to this present hour. I’ve grown a lot since that day, but it’s the same grace in me. It’s the same faith.

So let me encourage you, God is no respecter of persons! What He has done in me, He’s able to do in you! “The arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear”. Jesus has died for all of us! God loved a cranky club DJ. And He loves YOU with the same everlasting love! I pray that you’d see Him for yourself, TODAY.

Who Does Kayne West Think He Is?

How do we know Kayne West is for real? Is it safe for Kayne West to speak out about Christ? Is this just another stunt? Who does Kayne think he is now… a preacher???

I don’t know the answers to the questions above. Now… I have my hunch… I have my opinion… I have my thoughts. But let’s face it: opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one. But more important than opinions, I want to remind you of a nugget of truth: “Be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to get angry”. Or maybe you could say “be slow to post, quick to watch the video below, and slow to get angry, critical, offended, or frustrated by something you don’t understand”?

So with that being said, before you gear up to criticize Kanye West, stop and watch this video below, and actually listen to the man.

Before you suggest Kayne West, as a new believer, should silence himself, and remove himself from the spotlight, please consider some thoughts of mine. Remember, they are my opinions…

Could this all be an attention grab by the controversial rapper? Possibly… But I have a different perspective that may help. I’ve been a professional DJ. I’ve been a full time ordained pastor. I’ve been a full time sales/business man… Now, I am a mix of all of them. LOL But my spirituality has always bled into whatever I am doing, and since 19 years old, I’ve seen my faith play out in very different spheres and worlds. But I don’t do it because someone gave me permission. I do it just because it’s who I am. Since the day I had my spiritual encounter with Jesus at my father’s deathbed, I have tried to live out what I found to be true.

So, Kayne West is a fashion designer. Does he have to close down his fashion business? Kanye West is a professional musician. Does he have to stop making records? He is a celebrity influencer. Does he now have to become a recluse until he proves himself worthy to be seen in public?

Now, if Kayne West said he was going to be a pastor and start preaching as some authoritative voice for God’s Word, then that’d be a different story.

But no, watch the video. Kayne West even says that he is a “new convert” and he is NOT the pastor of his current traveling “Sunday Service” program he is doing.

Again, watch the video. And be careful of seeking to sound deep and wise, but actually just being arrogant and foolish.