Monday, May 24, 2010
Recently, I was given the opportunity to be a guest on "The Forum" radio show on WRDT 560 AM to talk about the "Virtual Reality"; Cyber-Bullying, hacking, and other types of intimidation of social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and the like. This opportunity was due in large part to the re-connecting with a childhood friend, Charles Johnson, who is also one of the hosts of the show. The idea for the show was to open up discussing some of the abuses and horror stores associated with social networking websites and then close with how we are using these sites to inspire, uplift and spread the message of Jesus Christ.
But, the topic of "Cyber Bullying" is not a aberration but it is becoming more and more a problem the more popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and the like become. What is happening is that these sites are being used as tools to intimidate, stalk, bully and ultimately destroy the lives of those unfortunately targeted as prey. One such instance occurred earlier this year in January in South Hadley Mass, where 15yr old Phoebe Prince, who came to this county from Ireland because of its opportunity and promise found herself a victim of texting sexual comments, Facebook, etc. One day while walking home from school some kids drove by her as she walked by hurling insults and even threw an energy drink at her. She kept walking home and when she arrived home, Phoebe walked straight to her closet and hung herself because of the weeks of torment. Christina Long's another example of this kind of abuse. Christina was a 13yr old, who was strangled by a 24 yr old married man. This happened after their initial meeting in a chat room, which lead to e-mail and even phone calls. They eventually met up and he strangled her, leaving her body face up in a nearby neighborhood river. These are just two of the countless number of horror stories that stem from socializing and networking over the world wide web. For some it has caused them to become leary of these media outlets and have chosen not to get involved. And, for others it is caused a greater awareness and caution as they continue using these social networks to exchange information and to network with people across the globe. As of late the government is now stepping into to create legislation and convict those guilty of "Cyber Crimes." In the case of 15yr old Phoebe Price, nine (9) teens were eventually charged with violation of civil rights, criminal harassment, disturbing of school assembly and for 2 males a charge of statutory rape, because of the sexual content of the harassment.
While there are some who are using these social media outlets for "Cyber Bullying" there are others who are using it in a positive fashion, myself included. Our segment of the radio show dealt with just that, we are attempting to populate the world wide web with positve, inspirational and aspiring messages about Jesus Christ. The motto of our personal ministry website is "Reaching 21st Century Young People, With 21st Century Ministry," We are attempting to parallel our ministry tools to meet with the needs of this unique generation of young people. And, so we are connecting with youth on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube & now Skype to spread the message of Jesus Christ. We have a growing catalogue of videos that can been seen on our Youtube Channel PSTRNIMMONSTV (www.youtube.com/PSTRNIMMONS). People can log on and see video footage of bible lessons that we teach for the campuse ministry Young Apostolic Students for Christ (YASC) along with other ministry events, interviews, music videos and much more. We have recently added this channel to our personal ministry website www.michaelnimmons.com, which includes, PSTRNIMMONSTV, The Pastor's Perspective (our blog), Powerpoint / Media Downloads, and much more. From our site you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to our videos on Youtube as well as subscibe to our weekly blog. We are trying our very best to wins this loss generation for Jesus Christ.
We are extremely grateful to God for this gift of creativity and innovation, and we intend to use it to give Him the glory. We are looking to partner and network with people of like mind and passion, and you are encouraged to visit our website to find out more about us and to see how this ministry can be a blessing to you. We would like to hear from you about any suggestions or comments on how this ministry has blessed you, and what areas would you like to see us pursue in the future? What other social networking sites would you like to PSTRNIMMONSTV on or apart of? What are some of your ideas on how we can expand the reach of the ministry? We would love to hear from you.
Finally, we would like to send special thanks to Charles, Ginger, Joe & Janice who are the hosts of "The Forum" radio show on WRDT 560AM for the invitation to be apart of the show. And, we look forward to coming on again to share with you all in the very near future.
As always we encourage your comments, questions, criticisms and words of encouragement. Let us know how this ministry has been a blessing to you. Enjoy the video and we look forward to seeing you in Cyber Space.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Bishop Noel Jones is arguably one of the most profilic preachers of our time. And, I feel priviliged to have been able to follow his ministry all the way back to the early 90's up to this point. I've always considered him to be the "Michael Jordan" of preachers, because he is the kind of preacher every other preacher wants to be like. His approach to the message, his intellect, his analyitical style of delivery is one that is unique but also often imitated by others.
On Friday, May 7th I had yet another opportunity to hear this powerful man of God minister during Greater Grace Temple's 11th Annual Pastor's and Church Leader's Conference. And, I can say that I believe out of all of the messages that I've heard Bishop Jones preach, this one by far is the best of them all! I'm sure you wondering how could I make such a declaration, how can I measure a Word from the Lord as being better than another? O.K. I have to admit that maybe that might be a bit of a stretch, because the power of God's Word is the same regardless of the delivery, or the person. But, maybe a better way of saying it is was this truly was a Word for me! And, I'll explain.
The text for the message came from the 11th chpt of Matthew where Jesus is approached by disciples of John the Baptist on behalf of John asking him, "Are you the One, or should we look for another?" Jesus responds, " The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." Jesus goes on to assert, "The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence and the violent taketh by force." The title of the message was "Take it! Go For it!" The message itself was thoroughly centered about the latter clause of Jesus initial response to the disciples of John's question of "Are you the one, or should we look for another?" After Jesus laid down the reasoning behind his credibility as the "One." He interjects a disclaimer, "and blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." And, until this message I must admit I didn't understand the significance of this latter clause, but what we discovered is that God uses scandal and offense to bless His people. And, if you are able to endure the scandal and the offense then you are going to be blessed! But, you have to be able to "take" or "endure" the scandal in order "take" or "apprehend" the blessing.
In Bishop Jones's message he offered several concrete examples of this premise that God uses scandal and offense to bless the children of God, with John the Baptist being the primary in his thesis. John the Baptist was specifically created to point the way to Jesus, and here we find him in Matt 11th chapter in prison facing imminent death, and grappling with whether Jesus is the one or should we look for another? And, to add insult to injury John the Baptist's death was not a peaceful transition from earth to glory, but it was violent. He was beheaded at the request of King Herod's wife, because of his outward expression of dislike for King Herod marrying his own brother Phillip's wife. And, so the question then becomes why would God allow somoeone who was created to the point the way to Jesus die such a horrible and violent death? Bishop Jones also inserted into his message the life of Joseph, and how scandalous his life was even though God had divinely appointed him to be the curator over his own brother's seed. Joseph went from the literal Pit to the Palace and all of it was initiated by the hatred of his own brother's and Joseph was not allowed to exact revenge against them becuase of their jealousy. He was not given the luxury of retribution even though he had it within his power. But, instead after revealing his identity to them he was able to declare, "what you meant for evil, God meant for my good so that I could save you alive." And, therein lies the heart of the blessing. Inasmuch as Joseph was able to take the offense and the scandal that was faciliated and ochestrated by God's own hand and carried out by his brothers. But, didn't not exact revenge, but rather spared his brother's, thereby preserving their seed. If Joseph had not acted kindly towards his brothers, but exacted revenge there probably would not have been a Children of Israel, if not a Children of Israel, than maybe not a line of Judah, if not a line of Judah, than maybe not even a King David and if not a King David well you know the rest. Some much hinged on Joseph's ability to endure the topsy turvey-ness of his life in order to get to not just his blessing but the blessing of future generations. And, such as it is with you and I. We have to be able to take it or endure the offensiveness and scandal of this walk with God, then we will get to the blessing God has for us. But, why does God choose scandal and offense to bless His people? Is this the only way that we can get blessed, and is this really the best way? And, Isaiah 55:8, God boldy responds; "My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts. For as high is the heaven is the from the earth, so are my ways from your ways and my thoughts from your thoughts." He reinterates this again in Isaiah 46:13, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: " What God chooses for our lives, has to be the best thing for us, and we have trust that God knows what He's doing.
My question is can you endure?