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Posts Tagged ‘multimedia’

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel[a] as their helper,

    whose hope is in the Lord their God. 

-Psalm 146:3-5 (NLT)

Put Focus on 5 and Put Your Trust in God

I have spent nearly 10 months redefining and rerouting my goals and resetting my immediate action agenda. With only 60 days left in 2020, it is time to roll out some new initiatives. In the meantime, I am steady cranking out videos whether for my weekly Bible study with Pastor Powell or Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce every Saturday. One surely beneficial element to all of this productivity is the increase amount of digital products available for download on the Life Path Multimedia electronic storefront like my Bible study outline or even a sermon presentation. I have fallen behind a bit on the podcast, but I am tackling it one by one.

I usually take the advice of the Simple Preacher or Unashamed of Jesus when it comes to looking at the Bible through a different perspectives and fresh voices. Yet, I took another systems approach and strategy for tackling the remainder of 2020. My focus on 5 has allowed me to set my goals and actions in alignment. I have been able to line up my top tier goals and identify 5 for me to focus on the next 60 days. I used Brian Tracy’s Goals! and the Brian Moran’s The 12 Week Year. I will update you on my progress with these goals periodically in future posts.

The Bible study on God & Government has been going well. We have seen more views in the past on our study of the Temple of God. However, I believe that God & Government’s highlight was about Christ Criminalized and Crucified. After all, I got to where my highly controversial t-shirt for that episode.

Live@Lunch Bible Study

This upcoming lesson is the final lesson of the series. It focuses on not trusting or bragging on human leadership. It hinges upon 1 Corinthians 3:21 and Isaiah 2:22 along with Psalm 146:3-5. The series has not kicked off with as much fanfare as the likes of Bunkerville or even that of Steve Dennis and his blog.

More Good News to Come

As we wrap up 2020, I am staying busy. I still have a book of poetry in the works and I am almost done editing some more digital products. Those things are yet to come, but I am promoting the fast-approaching weeklong campaign for Life Path Mobile Ministries called Giving Thanks by Giving Back. More details will be released this week.

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Growing More Confident Day by Day

Not long ago, I preached on Hebrews 4:16 where believers are implored to “come boldly unto the throne of grace.” I entitled the message “A Time to Get B.I.G.,” referencing the basketball adage of playing inside the paint by getting big but also establishing an acronym of Bold In Grace. It was in the early stages of COVID-19 so the sermon was via Zoom, but I was truly transparent that the sermon was more for me than any of the listeners.

Confidence comes with consistency and confirmation. I have struggled with the confidence to venture into a full faith plunge with some aspects of my ministry, especially on the multimedia side. COVID-19 brought me face to face with the reality that now was the time for me to get B.I.G., Bold In Grace.

God-Given Confidence by Grace

To be Bold In Grace simply means to step forward with a newfound boldness due you being covered by God’s grace. If I fall flat on my face in failure, I know that God will allow me to recover and learn the lesson because I was obedient and faithful. If I succeed, I count that as a blessing and continue to learn what works and what doesn’t work, what fits and what does not fit at all.

Being Bold In Grace, gave me a new sense of confidence.

Confirmation in Different Forms

Oftentimes, folks want to hear a confirming word from the pulpit that resonates and sets the pews on fire with inspiring anecdotes ad stirring words of pragmatic ways to be more of an empowered believer in Christ. They want that biblical confirmation from on high with the organist leaning on the chords as the preacher kicks up his leg and tunes and swoons the church into a frenzy to close our the Sunday sermon.

That did not happen for me.

I received a letter from an inmate that was somewhere around the end or the beginning of the year. I was coming out of the cloud of confusion with my mother passing on Christmas Eve and I was still unsettled on all of that was transpiring in my world. Like a friend told me, as much as you want to, you never fully recover from the loss but just learn to live with it to a degree.

The letter quote Psalm 16:11 and confirmed so much to me that my response probably took the recipient by surprise. You see, when you seek to bless somebody, don’t be surprised when God actually blesses them through your shared words or gestures and in turn they share with you how much it blessed them. That’s what I did, sharing how much the letter had confirmed the path that I was on and seeking to transition with a tiny tinge about I just didn’t know how it would emerge or evolve.

And the second piece of confirmation came not long after that as I had just preached in the brig for one of the last times prior to COVID-19. I struggled with my feelings regarding the infrequency of preaching as an itinerant preacher, helping a church without a pastor, preaching at the brig once per month, and posting random blog messages online.

Then one day I see a familiar face in the gym as I am awaiting to play the next game of five-on-five full court. He came my way, and I wondered how I knew and recognized him. I was stumped. When you’ve done a grip of bad things to all kinds of folks across decades on earth, that’s not a good feeling and your guard is up just in case.

He called me “Rev” and that put me at ease a bit then he mentioned having been located at the brig and hearing me preach every so often. He shared the simplest confirmation for me that set me on fire.

“They let you out to figure it out on your own,” he said. “They don’t tell you how to adjust to this life out here. You either figure it out or go back in again.”

That statement clarified how I needed to extend my purpose and plan to include both multimedia and mobile ministry focuses as well as training for individuals and institutions to develop the capacity to live changed lives, especially for re-entry and recovery.

Continuing to Go Forward in Faith

I don’t recall how long it had been since those two encounters of confirmation, but I began to work on some things on the side differently, putting my skills to use with blogging, creating infographics and visuals, and putting together presentations for training and professional development opportunities. I was gaining knowledge into a lot new areas such as SEO keywords and social media marketing.

Then COVID-19 hit. It was a gamechanger.


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Discovering More Clarity with My Calling

In business, you set up and maintain a business identity.

It speaks to who you are and what you do. It becomes your brand. And it is how others come to know your business.

Ministry is similar, but there is a subtle difference between the two.

Firstly, the ministry calling is based on God giving you your marching orders. He usually pricks the heart of the believer for a cause or concern that invokes compassion or conviction, causing the believer to follow the leading of the Lord and His Spirit in that given direction.

Secondly, the ministry calling evolves over time. After one’s initial calling, God reveals more along the way. Greater clarity on the big picture is provided along the way during the journey.

My journey started around 2005 with an idea that would eventually take the form of Life Path Ministries & Services in 2008. It include Bible Stories & Beyond (Bible lessons and activities), All Men Edified Now (A.M.E.N.) (a monthly small group Bible study), and Operation Reach Out (evangelism and outreach). I added a weekly newsletter, self-published books of poetry and ministry guidance, and Bible study activities for A.M.E.N. over the course of several years.

I was content with what I was doing for God. I was confident that I was in the right place and on the right track.

Comfort Zones Cloud Clarity

Comfort zones can become dangerous places for anyone with a calling from God. That’s a particular place where business and ministry are truly similar. The amount of overlap is difficult to determine by degrees, but they at the least run parallel to one another once you get into the danger of comfort zones.

I knew what was doing in both ministry and business. I was struggling with completing my degree between Organizational Leadership at Chapman and Business Administration at Azusa Pacific. I knew how to do the work. I knew that the work was both important and critical. I even knew that the Lord had more in store for both myself and the ministry.

I was in a strange place. I was in an unknown zone. People applauded my work and what I was doing in the name of the Lord, but I felt an uneasy tension or frustration of the unknown lying ahead. I was engaged in what Keith Haney points out as motivating others like Jesus, but I had no name for it.

The evidence of the work was visible with tangible results, but I struggled with pinpointing what exactly it was that I was doing. Let me clarify that to say I struggled with what to call it. I was stumped with how to categorize it. I didn’t know what box to check when describing it.

Was it a ministry like Prison Fellowship, Salvation Army or YMCA? Was it a para-church ministry like Focus on the Family or 700 Club? What was this thing that I was doing?

I could not articulate it with clarity or with confidence if asked.

It took me over 12 years to realize . . .

I am in the inspiration business.

I am a preacher, rooted in a steep biblical basis of study and interpretation. I am a teacher and facilitator, focused on making tangible life connections for those with whom I study and lead. I am an evangelist, fired up with a passion for both those who the Lord calls “the least of these” and “sheep without a shepherd” similar to other street ministry efforts across the country.

I am in the inspiration business.

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Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

Henry David Thoreau

I came across Michelle Lesley’s blog while searching for something else, something utterly and entirely different. I don’t know if I could count it as an accident. I just know that I can count this as a discovery in my book, and that carries a lot of weight as I evaluate where and how to spend the limited commodity of time.

Michelle Lesley got me thinking when she served up the blessing of social media for believers. I looked to the Simple Preacher, hoping his feed would clear my head, but he merely indirectly confirmed some of this woman’s findings.

Stop for a moment and consider what this Christian blogger did by simply adhering to the content calendar credo and posting an item for Throwback Thursday. She used a name that is attached to both our faith identity and our answer for who is our Savior.

“Live out your beliefs. . .”

Believers.

In a word, our identity is summed up. We believe, so we are to live differently. Yet, we are called out and expected to live differently due to those beliefs. We walk out our beliefs, and we put our faith on display in the flesh as we engage other believers and those who remain in unbelief.

“. . . and you can turn the world around.”

We are now identified differently because we live our beliefs. Since we believe, we live out those beliefs and accomplish the miraculous. I don’t mean water into water. We achieve the impossible before the eyes of the hopeless and helpless. We overcome the insurmountable as our enemies and other bystanders look on with awe and amazement. We survive and stand out as miracles of the Maker.

We are to “turn the world around.” And I believe that to be part of our calling. That is why I started my podcast Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce. That is why I launch the video live stream for Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce on YouTube ad Facebook.

It is not enough for us to say that we believe. We need to get over it and get on with it. We need to get busy and get to what the Lord has for us to do. If we are called to “turn around the world” as a result of our beliefs, then we can definitely do so by living differently, offering inspiration and encouragement for people from all walks of life to better themselves.

“The highest human act is to inspire”.- Nipsey Hussle

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