DATIN: Ready for the ROAR!

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DatinCover2

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

Artists on the rise have a greater probability of dealing with adversity from those questioning their motives or raising doubts about their message. These artists have a choice: either wallow in the onslaught of attack or rise above it with their message in tack. I’ve witnessed an artist and a man of God rise above it and ready to release to the world a new sound and message. On February 12, 2016, Datin Berrios will release THE ROAR. I talked to Datin about life, ministry and this new album. This is what he had to say:

RF: If you could describe in one sentence where you are in life right now, what would you say and why?

DATIN: Being still. This is the season where I’m about to jump off the plane and the skydiver instructor is the Lord and waiting when he pushes me. I don’t get to choose on when to jump. When the Lord pushes, I trust and let Him lead me. Right now, I’m putting my all in my art. It can be a nervous time, but I also know the Lord is leading me. He has been dealing with me about going full-time in ministry. I know rappers who are struggling financially and cannot do that. It’s easier to rely on a bi-weekly paycheck but I have to trust Him in every area of my life. Since the age of 14, all I’ve known is work — and I ready to work for His glory! 

It can be nerve-racking, but man — I have God’s peace. That peace has not misled me. Right now, it’s a privilege to hear the voice of God. The same voice is telling me TO GO! I have to go! And may it be for God’s glory! 

RF: You have many around the country who are supporting your work and the message. Who would you consider your biggest supporters/backers?

DATIN: My wife (Johely), Lionel (King), my new family in Florida (who have been extremely supportive) and my Christ Church (New Jersey) family. I can always rely on them to support, to build me up and strengthen me during the most difficult times. I’m thankful bro! 

RF: Every life should be about a cause. You haven’t shied away from that. How would you describe your life’s cause? What are willing to sacrifice for and die for?

DATIN: Dude, that’s a good question. Solely to make disciples and to share the same medicine that saved me. Everything else is secondary. Even the secondary things are for God’s glory. When I serve my wife and my daughter – I want to raise and serve for the glory of God. It’s about His glory. I don’t want to do anything that distracts from that. 

RF: Since signing with God Over Money (GOM is Datin’s label), what has changed?

DATIN: GOM has been good to me. Bizzle (rapper) shares his platform with me. After signing with GOM, it has taken things to a whole new level! It’s not simply a label – it’s a family! Me and Bumps, Selah and Bizzle — we are real friends and family. It’s beyond business. It’s personal. They hold me up, keep me accountable and have helped me along this journey. I’m beyond grateful.

RF: Let’s talk about THE ROAR. ROAR stands for Rise of a Revolution What are most excited about the album?

DATIN: Ryan, you can’t ask me that man! 🙂 I can’t wait for people to hear this. When you’re in the studio and recording, you’re feeling good about the lyrics, music and production. But, when it is done, you start questioning “Is this good enough? It’s time to peel the bandaid. I’m ready for this man!  I want people to be blessed by it. I want to make good art that glorifies the Lord.

There are things on this album that are prophetic. Am I saying this because it raps and rhymes? No. It is speaking to what we are dealign with right now. For example, the single Hallelujah All Day – I talked about persecution and I’m seeing the rise of ISIS. I wrote “HAD” a couple of years back. Or when I talk about baphomet symbolism and devil worship. You then see DRAKE putting out cover art with the devil worship symbolism. Now, the baphomet statue is going on tour. I see how God used the music on THE ROAR to prophetically speak to these issues.

DATIN's THE ROAR cover caused many to raise their eyebrows and celebrated by those who feel it represents his music well.

DATIN’s THE ROAR cover caused many to raise their eyebrows and celebrated by those who feel it represents his music well.

RF: I know there has been some controversy swirling around the shock value of the album cover for THE ROAR. Do you care to address it?

DATIN: At first, I wanted to rebuke it but then received a revelation. God inspired a thought. Bizzle didn’t want it thinking it was a bit too much. But, I knew this was speaking to the core of the music. I wanted The Lion, which symbolizes the Body of Christ starring and roaring at the barrel of the gun, symbolizing the face of death. The guy holding the gun, suited guy like an angel symbolizes persecution. In other words, the world is trying to keep us quiet and cause us to embrace lukewarm Christianity and legalism. It’s an anti-Christ spirit. But, we need to ROAR the gospel everywhere we go! 

RF: You’ve heard the criticisms and read the posts about your music, tone and even demeanor appearing demonic or angry? You responded through your music to those criticism. But how does that make you feel when you are trying to rep Christ?

DATIN: Ryan, it’s about the love we share. It bothered me because it’s not who I am. Like on the song HAD ENOUGH, I’m here saying, “you’re not out here. You’re behind a keyboard. We out here representing the Kingdom!” When the put out OFF THE LEASH and we heard the criticisms – my first reaction was laughter. I couldn’t believe it because God had a plan already in the works. We had already planned to send out HAD ENOUGH featuring Bizzle and it was a revenant rebuke! God knows my heart and he provided a prophetic flow. I’ll let the music speak.

RF: What do you think is the state of CHH now?

Here’s what I like: That’s its growing and opening up doors for artists. Artists like JGivens, who I know he has a heart for Jesus, given a great platform.

Here’s what I hate: I hate that it is becoming an idol (too many false motives). CHH (Christian Hip-Hop) is becoming the pastor and church rather than becoming discipled. CHH has their own followers. This is not how it’s supposed to be. We need more discipleship and more accountability. Every rapper should have church covering. I hate that Jesus is being removed from it.

When I say this, most may misunderstand and automatically point to well known artists like Andy Mineo & Lecrae. Here’s the thing – they are doing what they are prompted to do by God. I want to make sure all of our motives are pure. For example, that’s why I like to lay down my track first when collaborating. I don’t want body anybody on a song. PRIDE – It’s the elephant in the room. When I see it, I just say “Stay right there in the corner, pride!” Otherwsie, I will be on my back.

RF: For those who are watching your career and hearing your music and are inspired to do the same, what would say to them?

DATIN: Don’t be stupid – don’t think you can get around God’s truth. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things will be added (reference: Matthew 6:33) There is nothing I have done but where God has told me to do and go. I didn’t make these deals. God supernaturally orchestrated it! My salvation and my walk is divinely orchestrated! 

Seek God in prayer, read His Word and obey! It ain’t all pretty. But, it is always a privilege to serve the Master.

DATIN is signed to God Over Money (GOM).

DATIN is signed to God Over Money (GOM).

 

 

 

DATIN’s new album, THE ROAR, is available on Friday, February 12th on God Over Money. 

 

“Thoughts & Prayers”: The Action Behind The Words

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“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1:17-22 (ESV)

The aftermath of recent tragic events in Paris, Colorado Springs, and San Bernardino have solicited the thoughts and prayers of millions of people around the world. When such needless events happen, human reasoning and explanations fall flat in the face of grief and indescribable pain. Thoughts and prayers seem to be the immediate response to senseless tragedy as families heal and communities rebuild. After hearing the breaking news, I’ve offered my thoughts and prayers, taking to social media to join my heart with others that I may never meet but are connected to around a common cause.

But, the thoughts and prayers offered have caused media outlets such as the NY Daily Post to make a declarative statement on their front page: “GOD’S NOT FIXING THIS”. I read the responses of Christians as they railed against the media and how dare they make such a statement. The “godless” media strikes again. However, I read the title quite differently. Rather than an indictment on faith, I found it to be an invitation of faith to rise up — with the ones offering thoughts and prayers.

As I wrestled with the headline and the responses from all corners, I had to ask myself some tough questions:

For those offering thoughts and prayers, have they received answers from God to the problems we face?

If they have, why has there been too many silenced after the “smoke” settles? Where are the solutions beyond political posturing? 

Why are people of faith offended when this should be opportunity to share the joy of being in relationship with God?

It’s during times of pain and confusion that many are asking questions about faith, prayer and God’s involvement. The immediate disdain for opposing views and even demonizing others for their position has prevented meaningful conversation and dialogue. I believe God is fixing matters – if only we would not only be hearers of the Word but doers of the Word. The Book of James tells us in the same passage to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. If an opposing view or a challenge to your faith causes you to be incensed, the question is — why so angry? What is causing that response?

I believe the world is calling out those who offer thoughts and prayers. And rightfully so. We are living in a time when cliches and quick memes won’t do. Irregardless of your position on the use of guns in this country (USA), we should be open to having a conversation of how we can prevent guns in the wrong hands. We are all interested in the safety and security of our communities. Before vilifying another person for their views, we could offer an opportunity to discover why they have that opinion. They could possibly be persuaded to see another viewpoint if the atmosphere was not so toxic. We’re choking as a country because the air is poisoned with division. As a result, the voices with vision are being silenced or talked over. This has to change for the sake of this generation and future generations.

I challenge all those who rightfully offer thoughts and prayers after a tragedy. If you are unwilling to listen to someone who doesn’t agree with you, how are you open to hear God in prayer as He offers His wisdom? Let’s be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. Let’s produce righteousness in the midst of contentious issues with the sensitivity and discernment only God can provide. I look forward to when we can collectively take our thoughts and prayers and provide ideas and answered prayers. – REF

Joy Comes in the Mourning (Guest Blog Post: Jonathan Frejuste)

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No one can escape the impact of loss.

The loss of someone who passes away, the loss of a friend through betrayal, the loss of health through illness, the loss of a marriage through a divorce, the loss of routines and stability due to a job loss or moving to a new country, the loss of innocence through abuse, the loss of the dream family through miscarriage, or the loss of a dream of a career. However big or small, everyone will go through loss in life.

The question is how do we deal with loss and its accompanying pain. The way to deal with loss is through grieving. Grieving is not limited to tears. The grieving process could be through artistic expression, journaling, or helping someone else in the area of your loss. Grieving is any way of getting the pain that’s inside out to the surface. Jesus said blessed are those who mourn (get the pain of what’s inside out), for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Personally, I know what it’s like to face loss – specifically the loss of innocence through sexual abuse at a young age. Through this loss, my life became consumed by fear – the fear of never being able to trust anyone, the fear of never being able to be mentally or emotionally stable enough to pursue the dreams that God placed on my heart, the fear that I was gay because of what happened to me as a child. Like many people, the pain of loss was so great that I suppressed it for many years and put on a happy Christian veneer to avoid the pain that I felt. After a number of emotional breakdowns, I knew it was time to come clean and stop lying about what I was going through. Fortunately, God placed a great support system around me who helped me find my way to a competent Christian counselor to begin to deal with the pain of the loss of innocence at such a young age. The first few steps were acknowledging the loss and starting the grieving process. Here’s what I learned in the process.

Each time we don’t grieve losses, 2 things happen:

  1. We begin to compartmentalize our lives where we walk around with a false optimism, pretending that everything’s okay. But the reality is that there is unresolved grief and if it’s not grieved fully, we are tempted to use unhealthy coping mechanisms like hiding/denial, minimizing, rationalizing, distracting, avoiding, addiction, becoming hostile or other unhealthy ways of not facing the pain.

While everyone thought all was well with Jon because I was accomplished – graduating with honors, getting my CPA license, working for a reputable company, etc., I dealt with secret addictions and emotional and mental battles that most people couldn’t believe. At different points, I also had bouts of anger that lead to disrespectful confrontations and misunderstandings and when I suppressed the anger, it led to depression. These issues kept me from having healthy relationships, walking in God’s perfect will, and were robbing me of the fullness of the destiny that God has for me. Once I understood what was occurring, I concluded that unresolved pain is like a beach ball pushed underwater – it will always find its way to the surface. In what ways are your unresolved issues showing up in your life?

  1. The 2nd thing that happens is that our hearts become hardened to avoid getting hurt again. Proverbs 13:12 says that a dream deferred makes the heart sick and when we experience loss, to keep the heart from getting sick again, we stop pursuing our dreams or even worse, stop dreaming. Grieving gives us the freedom and permission to risk again and set big goals for God. For close to a decade, I’ve worked in the corporate world, but I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. In the last few years, the Lord has placed a burden on my heart to work with young men from the inner city. Through a series of circumstances, I started working as a resident advisor in a transitional living facility aka group home teaching life skills to young men who have been temporarily displaced from their homes due to issues of abuse, a parent’s drug addiction, or a parent’s incarceration. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the pain that these young men faced would be similar to what I’ve known. Had I not grieved the pain of my past, I would not have emotional capacity to deal with the serious issues that came with the position, let alone possess the heart and empathy to walk them through their own pain in a healthy way. As bible teacher Geri Scazzero says in her book, I Quit, I could enter the pain of others because I’ve entered my own.

In life, there will always be grief because there will always be loss. We cannot choose our emotions selectively – to be happy and never to be sad. Let’s not neglect the benefit of grieving and embracing sorrow. As Ecclesiastes 7:3 says, a sad face is good for the heart. In a weird way, grieving pain leads to greater empathy and compassion for others, a better perspective of what really matters in life, and a restoration of the peace and joy of knowing that what God is doing is best. I’ve learned and continue to be reminded that joy truly comes in the mourning. What losses and pain have you yet to fully grieve and let God’s divine healing meet?

JonathanFrejuste

Jonathan Frejuste

 

Jonathan Frejuste was born and raised in Newark, NJ. He went to Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where he was saved at the age of 19. Though he has been saved for 10 years, God has taken him through a painful sanctification process which is what lead him to learn more about emotional health and how vital it is to one’s walk with God. He is currently serving as a life group leader at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, NY and is committed to giving people who have been broken by sin a safe place to heal and provide them with the encouragement and resources to pursue their destiny in God.

Connect with Jon via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jonathan-frejuste/42/202/b0a

 

Watch Jon’s Story here “The Story of New Life”: 

 

The Future-Me Decisions (Guest Blogger: Segun Aiyegbusi)

15 years ago in college, I made a decision that I was fairly certain future-me would look back on and say, “Thanks so much Bro! Way to look out for us!”

 

I chose to take a few classes that had nothing to do directly with my major at the time. My impetus was the question, “What might I do today that my future-self would thank me for?” At the time, I wasn’t certain about my post graduation plans/career, but I had a strong inkling that wherever I was headed, digital imagery would play a huge role in how I engaged people with my message.

 

Looking back, I’m so grateful for that decision younger-me made. My background in graphic design (a skill I’ve continually honed over the years) has opened up incredible doors of opportunity for me, and is in fact one of the primary skills that I use in my present line of work/calling.

 

So, what about you? What is one thing you might begin doing today (or are already doing) that your future-self would thank you for?

 

Be careful not to answer this question simply by generating a busy to-do list of activities that you’d probably end up doing anyway sometime in the near future. Instead, think 5, 10, 15 years down the line. Where do you want to be? Where would you like to be? Then work backwards. What is one thing you can do today that will inch you closer to your end goal? What is one thing you can start doing today that 10-years-later-you will say, “Thanks Soooo much! Way to look out for us!”

 

Whatever it is you decide, write it down, then impose on yourself a deadline for when you need to start implementing your ONE thing. (Trust me, deadlines are your friend).

 

Your hard work and effort might not bear any immediate fruit, but that’s okay, it’s not intended to. You’re looking out for future-you!

 

So, get going and do something today!

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Segun3Segun Aiyegbusi is a teaching pastor at Grace Church on the Mount in Netcong, New Jersey. He has a Masters of Divinity in Theology from Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. Segun is a passionate Bible teacher and is married to Modupe. They have 2 little boys, Nathaniel & Ethan. Segun blogs weekly on www.shegznstuff.com.

 

Website: http://www.shegznstuff.com

Instagram: @segunaiyegbusi

Twitter: @SegunAiyegbusi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/segun.aiyegbusi

Faith Without Action Is Dead (Guest Blogger: Wodline Hippolyte)

The other day my son decided to lock the door to my work room. I was angry and frustrated because it was the week of two upcoming events and I needed my supplies. What made things worse was I didn’t know where the key to that room was…long story.

I felt defeated which caused me to wait two days before I made an actual effort to do something. The night before I needed to get access to my supplies I decided to ask my dad for help. He brushed me off and told me to call a locksmith.

That night I was determined to pick the lock, but I was unsuccessful. My only options were to call a locksmith or face my fear of heights by getting a ladder to climb through the room window. That following morning I was determined to face my fear to get inside that room. As I walked outside the front door I was greeted by my dad who asked me where I was headed. I told him what I was planning to do and with the help of my youngest brother he ended up climbing the ladder for me to get into the room.

Won’t He Do It!

That week I learned it is with that same determination we are to pursue our God-given dreams. My dad came through for me because he saw the effort I made to “get my stuff” and many times God does the same with us. God has always come through for me when I allow my faith to be greater than my fears.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. – James 2:17

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View More: http://marjoriedatuin.pass.us/wodlineWodline is a mompreneur, wedding planner and savvy startup specialist who loves the Lord and is passionate about empowering young people to follow their dreams.

Website:          www.wodlinehippolyte.com

Twitter:           @WodlineH

Facebook:        www.facebook.com/wodlinehippolyteofficial

Instagram:       @wodlinehippolyte

For Your Good (Guest Blogger: Elvis Gyan)

“You’re from the hood, you’ll never amount to anything” was one of the many phrases I’ve heard when I was younger. Yes, I am from Newark, New Jersey, an area known to be filled with much violence. Yes, I was considered a statistic. Yes, I was looked down upon and was thought to die by the age of 18. Yes, my environment had many negative influences on me. But, you know what? God had bigger and better plans for me. He kept me safe. He protected me. He guarded me. He allowed me to encounter a variety of people with authentic spirits who have walked with me during this journey. It amazes me how God has transformed my life to what it is now. I give Him all the praise and glory.

I am here to illustrate to you today that no matter what your past or present may look like, God has better plans for your future! What the enemy has meant for harm, God has intended for your good. Never let anyone tell you you’ve fallen so far from God’s grace. Never let anyone tell you, you cannot change for the better. Most importantly, never allow anyone to keep you stagnant. All you need to do is be bold enough to make the most important decision in your life. What decision you ask? The decision to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Speaking from experience, I guarantee He will open your heart, mind, and sprit and elevate you to another level! It’s not about what man says to you or perceives you to be, its about what God says about you. Be well. Be thankful. Be positive. Be blessed. Most importantly, be ENCOURAGED! 

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ElvisGyanElvis Gyan currently serves as one of the Young Adult Leaders at Christ Church. In addition, Elvis works at Montclair State University as the Coordinator of Transfer Experience/Adjunct Professor. He has received is received a Bachelors in Biology, Master in Org Leadership and Higher Education, and is set to pursue his Masters of Divinity Fall 2015 at Alliance Theological Seminary.

Facebook: Elvis Gyan

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/Mrgyan1

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/1_more_phase

The I in Relationships (Guest Blogger: Ruth Joseph)

The I in Relationships
Relationships are inescapable. In world of 7 billion people,1 we spend our entire lives in a repetitive cycle of forming, nurturing or ending relationships. Some are good, some are bad and some are just “ehh ok”. But no matter the status, our lives exist in relationships.
When relationships are healthy, we thrive. However, when our relationships become unhealthy, we are deprived. Scripture tells us that, “bad company corrupts good character (1 Cor. 15:33).” This verse tells us not to hang around “bad company” because they corrupt the “good character” that Christ is forming in us. While this is true, there is another meaning that strikes closer to home.
 
What corrupts healthy relationships is not only the bad company of others, but also the bad company within one’s self!
We can’t ignore the “bad company” in our genes, family, and everyday lives. It’s easy to deflect on others what we are reluctant to identify in ourselves, but we need to stop deflecting and start reflecting. 
Here are two lessons that I learned.
 
1- I was created for relationships. Relationships were not created for me.
In a world that is so individualistic, Christ calls us to a higher standard than self-service. He modeled REAL relationships with His family, His disciples, His enemies, and people in society. In each relationship He didn’t come expecting to be served, but rather to serve in hopes that many would be won to the good character of the Father (Mk 10:45). 
 
2- I grow into a better me when I am in a healthy relationship with you.
We are called to “love one another” as Christ has loved us (Jn 13:34). This kind of love is not of convenience, but rather a free-willed choice. Healthy relationships thrive best when we freely choose love and sacrifice our pride. We are always transformed for the better, when we love through Him.
So take time to reflect on your existing relationships and the bad company that may be hindering all the good God wants you to enjoy.
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RuthJoseph2015Deaconess Ruth Joseph is an emerging young adult leader at Christ Church. Most Sundays, she can be found at the West Campus helping to lead worship or at the altar joyfully dancing during worship. Whether it’s on or off the altar, Ruth has a heart of worship that extends beyond just singing. She is a 316 person that is committed to service (passing love on), as a Community Service Coordinator, Life Group leader and a Bible Study Facilitator for the Quest/College & Young Adult Ministry. Last June Ruth it was an honor to have one of our very own be ordained into the Deaconate Ministry. (Deaconess) Ruth welcomes the opportunity to continue to model 316 within the walls of the church and beyond.

Three S’s of Spiritual and Emotional Refreshment (Guest Blogger: Dr. Ron Walborn)

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RonWalborn

Somebody commented to me the other day about the pace of my life. They were genuinely concerned for me when they asked the question: “How do you recharge spiritually?”  I was actually thankful because it gave me a chance to reflect on whether or not I am taking adequate time to recharge and refresh myself on a regular basis. Here is what I came up with that I practice and seems to work for me most of the time. I call this plan my “Three S’s of Spiritual and Emotional Refreshment:” 

 

1. I regularly take Sabbath SeasonsIt is no secret to anyone in a busy life and ministry that there are some weeks you just don’t get a true sabbath day. I have learned that if you work three weeks in a row without a Sabbath Day, you need to plan a long weekend or extended period of time for Sabbath rest. God did this for the land when the Israelites neglected to give the land its 7 year Sabbath rest for 490 years. As a result, God took them into captivity for 70 years (you do the math) so that the land would have its rest. A Sabbath Season. If the Lord was that serious about the land, how much more concerned is He for us?

 

2. I also guard my Secret Life with God very carefully:  When you are constantly giving out and speaking to other people, your temptation is to use everything you get from God in your public ministry.  If you have no reservoir of Secret Life with God, it is a recipe for burnout.  Furthermore, if your entire relationship with God is shared publicly, you are an exhibitionist not a lover. I have to have times alone with God where I foster an intimacy and friendship that does not get shared publicly. The busier I get, the more I value my solitude with Him.

 

3. Finally, I have learned to love a variety of Spiritual Disciplines:  The Disciplines are just intentional practices that are designed to make space for God in our lives: reading, prayer, fasting, silence, journaling and many others allow us to slow down and be refreshed by His presence. Don’t be afraid to read up on the disciplines and add some variety to your times with God. We often get stuck in a rut and need something new on the menu.

 

I want to thank that brother who asked me how I get refreshed. We bless each other when we ask the heart and soul questions of life. Those are my “Three S’s of Spiritual and Emotional Refreshment.” What do you do to refresh your soul and recharge spiritually?

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Dr. Ron Walborn is the Dean of Alliance Theological Seminary and the College of Bible and Christian Ministry at Nyack College. He has been on faculty at Nyack ATS since the fall of 1999. Ron also serves on the Board of Directors for the Christian and Missionary Alliance and has served on the Theological Issues Committee for the denomination.

Ron is originally from Western Pennsylvania where his father was a Christian & Missionary Alliance pastor in several churches. He holds a B.A. in History from Nyack College and a M.Div. from Alliance Theological Seminary. He completed his D.Min degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. Ron has pastored C&MA churches in Connecticut and California. He planted Risen King Community Church with Dr. Terry Wardle in Redding, CA in 1989. While living in Redding for 10 years, he taught part time at Simpson University.

Ron has spoken at numerous Christian and secular colleges across America, and at churches and conferences throughout the US and internationally. He has written a book on stewardship, Stewardship & the Kingdom of God, published by the Christian & Missionary Alliance and chaired the committee that wrote the C&MA position on Spiritual Gifts, Expectation Without Agenda.

Ron has been married to Wanda (the Director of Spiritual Formation at Nyack College) since 1984. They have four adult children: Kelly, Brice, Karis, and Karly, and one granddaughter, Isabella.

Website: http://www.nyack.edu

What We Do With What We Know

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WhatWeDoResponsibility.

This word conjures up many emotions and responses. Some say we need to “take responsibility.” Others may say you need to “delegate responsibility.” The word responsibility carries a weight that either is fully embraced or flatly denied. Either you will take responsibility or you won’t. It’s your choice.

This thought leads me to a question: “What do we DO with what we KNOW?” NBC says in its service announcements the phrase: “The More You Know”. But, there’s a danger in knowing more that what your willing to act upon. For example, you may know the alarming statistics of childhood poverty but discover your casual approach for doing your part to solve the issue. You may know the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation but find it difficult to live what you repeat.

I’ve been personally challenged by this question lately: “What do I DO with what I KNOW?” The parading of information is not the answer. The gaining of another degree (while admirable) is not necessarily the answer to this question. It is a CORE question. It requires COURAGE.

Let’s be frank, shall we? We know what we know, but struggle with doing what we need to do with what we know. Sometimes, it’s uncomfortable to act upon that which does not fit into what others are doing or what’s popular. It may require confrontation that we’re not ready for or a sacrifice we’re not willing to make. But, I ask this question: What good is it to know much information without the same degree of action that affects positive change?

My prayer for you (and for myself) is that we will make the decision to be change agents for our generation — act upon what we know rather than just speak what we know. Let’s be known more for our investment in getting things done than our eloquence. – RF

It’s Not How You Start

Andre

Despite not starting until Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Warriors guard Andre Iguodala was selected as the 2015 Finals MVP. – by Sean d’Oliveira | CBSSports.com

On Tuesday, June 17, 2015, the Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA Championships in decades. With the current NBA MVP Stephen Curry on deck, along with a dynamic team effort, the Warriors demonstrated they were the best team on the floor and deserving of this championship.

After watching the celebration and award presentation, I was moved to see Warriors guard Andre Iguodala win the 2015 Finals MVP award. Andre did not start in a game this season until Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Take that in for a moment. He did not start until Game 4 and won the Finals MVP. His words of gratitude and thanking God had me thinking:

IT’S NOT HOW YOU START — BUT HOW YOU FINISH!

Right now, you may be sitting on the proverbial bench, awaiting for a chance to contribute and demonstrate your talents and skills for the cause. It’s tempting to give up, sulk in bouts of disappointments and relinquish the dream to be great. But, I want to encourage you to not give up! When opportunity knocks, you want to be ready and prepared! You never know how your contribution will make the world of a difference!

Congratulations to the 2015 NBA Champions — the Golden State Warriors! – RF