Life in the Furnace

A lady came up to me in a McDonald’s today, placed a watchtower magazine over my Bible and said, “If you want to know more about the Bible……” To be honest with yall, the rest of her dialogue just drifted off into silence after her action and those 9 words. First off… How would I learn more about the Word of God outside of the Word of God?? Makes no sense! That’s like saying, “If you want to learn more about auto mechanics, you need to take culinary classes.” Umm… No. It doesn’t work like that.

So I picked up my Bible and said to the woman, “Don’t place your magazine over my Bible like that. Thank you.”

Now, I was in no way rude or hostile. I was only being clear and assertive. Anyone who REALLY knows me, knows that context is a BIG DEAL to me. Whether the communication is verbal or non-verbal… You sayin somethin! After picking up my Bible, I looked at the woman intently, waiting for her to continue with her dialogue; but when she saw that I would not accept what she was trying to communicate to me non-verbally (that the contents of her paper and staples were above/greater than the living/powerful/never-changing/infallible Word of God) by placing her magazine over my Bible… She quickly said, “Have a nice day”, and walked back to her table.

The Word of God is assertive and intentional just like God is assertive and intentional, because God and His word are one and the same! These days, people think you are mean-spirited, rude and/or abrasive if you’re being straight up. Assertiveness is one of the facets of personality that God has firmly established in me. It’s what has kept me from being well-liked by or “cool” with many. But it’s also what has kept me from associating or getting involved with people, places and things that were not essential to the destiny God has placed before me.

Nowadays, passivity is being exalted as Christ-like behavior, and if I don’t let you walk all over me… Then I’m not conducting myself or acting as Jesus would. I’m sorry, but Jesus is THE MOST politically incorrect person I know. Tossing up tables in the temple (Matthew 21:12), calling religious leaders for what they really were (Matthew 12:34 & Matthew 23:15), calling people “dogs” who were looking for deliverance (Matthew 15:25-28) and telling people who were mourning at a wake to leave the house where a girl lay dead. (Matthew 9:23-26).

The Bible tells us that God’s ways are above our ways and His thoughts are above our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) In other words… God doesn’t think like we think, nor does He share our perspective. Many times, what we believe to be of great value or hold in high esteem, God views as worthless. And many times, what we as humans, consider to be mean-spirited, rude or abrasive… God calls it righteousness! The problem is, we get so used to living life by this world’s system and by the standards of men, that we govern ourselves accordingly and then “sprinkle a little bit of Jesus on top” whenever it’s convenient.

2 John 1:9-11 says, “Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.”

Sorry, but the truth is not something I’m willing to water down, exchange or deny to obtain the affections of man. God bless.

#truth #Godovereverything #byefelicia #sorrynotsorry #dontbow#lifeinthefurnace

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I’m a Graphic Designer

Hey guys! It’s definitely been a minute since my last blog posting. To be honest, I’ve just been super busy with married life and also, my reason for this particular blog posting, working my graphic design business.

It’s been a long time coming, but my graphic design business has finally taken off! Just wanted to let everyone know that if you are in need of graphic design services, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

AG Graphic Designer Facebook Cover Photo 1

If you would like to see my work, please visit… http://facebook.com/andraegallardo.graphicdesigner

Be blessed and have a great weekend!

-SurnameISRAEL

I Featured On a Website!

Hey guys! I felt really inspired to post a blog today about something interesting that happened to me last week! I’m pretty excited! Can you tell? Yeah… Excited! Haha!

So… Last week, I was browsing through my reader here on WordPress and I came across a blog that I thought was really interesting. The blog was talking about plus size female models. I read the entire blog and thought it was cool, but then I started thinking… “What about plus size male models? Do they exist?” So I Googled plus size male models and sure enough! They do exist!

As I continued looking through Google images, I came across a photo of a plus size male model wearing a really dope ensemble! When I looked at the link source, it said Chubstr. You know I had to get to clickin! To my surprise, I found a whole community of plus size dudes with style and great fashion sense! I was blown away by this website! So dope!

As I was looking through the website, I found a section where you are able to submit photos! I was like, “Awwwwwwwww SNAP!!!” Haha! I decided to submit a photo of my style and, to my surprise, they actually featured me on their website! (I will post the link to my feature and to their website at the end.) Really cool dudes! Super friendly! They’re completely open to what you bring to the table!

So, if you’re a plus size brotha with some style and great fashion sense… Head on over to Chubstr and join the community! Totally worth it! I highly recommend it! You won’t be disappointed!

Here is the link to my feature… http://chubstr.com/2015/submission/photo-complete-serendipity/

Here is the link to their website… chubstr.com
You can also find Chubstr on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Be blessed yall!

-SurnameISRAEL

My New Clothing Line

Hey guys! I am so pleased to announce my new faith based clothing line! It is something that I’ve wanted to do for many years and now the Lord has opened the doors for me to be able to live my dream!

Anomalous Clothing Social Media Promo 3

My clothing line is called Anomalous Clothing™. Anomalous, meaning, to deviate from what is standard, normal or expected. That is exactly what Jesus did every time. He was never in a box and He still isn’t! All of my designs are completely based on the Word of God or on conversations I had with the Holy Spirit.

I would like to invite you all to “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/anomalousclothing

You can also follow us on Instagram @anomalousclothing

And on Twitter @anomalousclthng

LIKE • FOLLOW • COMMENT • SHARE

Be blessed yall!

-SurnameISRAEL

The Character of God

Today, as I logged into my WordPress account, I noticed that there were some notifications waiting for me to check. These notifications were pertaining to my blog posting of yesterday.

As I looked through the notifications, I saw the different people who liked my blog and chose to follow it. Thank you so much guys! I appreciate it so much more than you know! Blessings to you all!

So… As I was looking through the different people who liked my post, I came across a blog that is full of the Word of God! Way too cool! 🙂 Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely LOVE the Word of God! It is life-changing, powerful and full of life!

As I was browsing through this blog, I stumbled upon a section that talked about the character of God. It was mentioned in this blog post that one of the ways that we can get to know the character of God is by looking at the many names of God throughout the Bible. I also agree with this statement. However, I also believe in the power, the person and the voice of the Holy Spirit.

I am not trying to belittle or to minimize the importance of the blog that I read. Rather, I am just adding a little more detail to the statements that were made.

I agree that we can get to know the character of God by His many names mentioned in the Bible, but I also believe that we can get to know the character of God simply by building our relationship with and personally getting to know the Holy Spirit, who is Jesus who is God. Now, in the book of Isaiah, God says, “My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts…” This is VERY true! His ways are DEFINITELY not our ways and His thoughts are DEFINITELY not our thoughts! Haha!

I am the Associate Pastor of our church The Outpouring Faith Center. Many times, the Holy Spirit will speak to me of His character. Other times, He will speak in such a defined tone, that I can notice His character just by the way he uttered His words.

Now… People tend to have this huge misconception that God is only ever soft, tender, candy coated, “marshmallow-y”, sugar encrusted, lovey-dovey, give-me-anything-I-want kind of, gumball-machine, instant-gratification love. Yes, the Bible calls Jesus the Lamb of God. But I’ll tell you what! It also most definitely calls him the Lion of Judah! Pffft! He’s fire and water all at the same time baby! He’ll lavish you with His love, kindness and goodness, but I bet He’ll put you in check real quick when you get outta line!

See, people tend to have this idea built up in their minds of the way they think God should be. That’s why, when God start tryna correct you and be straight up with you and show you summa dat not so sweet, correction, leather-belt, whoop yo booty kind of love, you get to rebuking, talkin bout… “SATAN I REBUKE YOU IN JESUS NAME!!! THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!!!” And the whole time, God is like, “Nah man!! It’s been Me the whole time tryna push you to a newer, more powerful level in the spirit!!!” What you call a crisis, God calls a gym!! If you’re hungry enough for a REAL experience with God, get ready to experience some not-so-comfortable things in the process of being filled with more of Him!!! He ain’t tryna make you more like you!! He tryna make you MORE LIKE HIM!!!

One of God’s main goals for us is to get us to mature, but He doesn’t use comfortable circumstances to accomplish this!! I’m here to tell you that you are going to see God do great things, but don’t expect to be breastfed along the way!! Get ready to roll them sleeves up and get a little dirty!!! There is only greatness for you at the end of the process!!!

God is a loving God, but He is also a just God. He is multi-faceted! It is up to us to get to know the many facets of God’s character through our relationship with the person of the Holy Spirit! After all, He is the person that Jesus left for us to walk with us, to speak to us, to counsel us, to guide us and to give us direction!

So in short… God’s character is very loving, but His character is also straight up.

I hope this post was a blessing to you, the readers, and that it brought forth clarity.

Blessings!

-SurnameISRAEL

http://www.facebook.com/theoutpouringfaithcenter.juarez

Feeling Inspired

Have you ever had that “typing feeling” where you feel like you could blog for hours and hours? Yeah… That happened to me today. Haha! Anyway…

Today I was talking with a good friend of mine from the state of Ohio. Him and I used to be in a Christian Hip Hop group together back in the day. We did concerts all over the place and we had a great time. I produced every song we rapped over. I’m pretty sure we did a little bit of recording as well.

So… As we were talking, he asked me if I have any beats for sale and I told him that I hadn’t produced anything in a long time. To be honest, I can’t even remember the last time I produced anything!

I started to show him some tracks from one of my favorite Hip Hop crews called The Strange Fruit Project. As I was listening to SFP and talking with my friend, I started to feel a little spark of inspiration to produce music again! I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do this because my life has definitely gotten a lot busier since I got married. Not a bad busy, but a good busy. Anyway… Ima just be praying that the Lord would give me the creativity to produce music again for His honor and His glory. I take none for myself!

And for your listening pleasure, here’s a track from The Strange Fruit Project entitled “Get Live”.

Be blessed yall!

-SurnameISRAEL

Minimalist Photography

Hey Guys!

I’ve been browsing around on Pinterest lately and I came across some images that I really love! Now… Anyone who really knows me, knows that I love love LOVE minimalism! Its clean! Its smooth! It looks perfect! Haha! So I typed “Minimalist Photography” in the search bar and these are some of the photos that grabbed my attention…

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Visually, these photos are just so amazing to me! Being a photographer myself, I’ve dabbled a little in minimalist photography. I actually blogged about it earlier this year and posted a photo. In my opinion, my photo looked great, but I’m sure there is so much more that I need to learn about snapping minimalist photos.

And just to be clear with you all… I AM NOT the photographer who snapped any of these photos. I just wanted to share some images with you all that I found in Pinterest.

Have a great rest of the day!

Blessings!

-SurnameISRAEL