A BIG THANK YOU AND THE UNDERGROUND SITE

THE UNDERGROUND SITE

Hello People, so it has been amazing these two months since i started blogging, i really cant believe the number of hits i get on the blog daily and i want to say thank you for checking in and reading, for not allowing me to be up here talking, ranting and rumbling to myself 🙂 i really do appreciate you all.

So barely two months after starting out here, I am glad to tell you all that i now have the opportunity to become part of something new and bigger; a ministry/Site called THE UNDERGROUND SITE. It is an online christian magazine which brings to people Christian stories and news from around the world, devotionals, art and culture, life changing messages etc. I am an Editor, Contributing Writer and Columnist for this ministry.  My column is called STORIES OF GRACE AND LIGHT  so always look out for it. God had a plan when i started this blog and i can see he was just prepping me for this. Some may see it as something small but i see it as an opportunity for me to be part of something bigger, a bigger platform to help share the message of God and help bless people and as well as bring glory to God. So i am very pleased and grateful for this opportunity.

This blog WILL still exist as a matter of fact but don’t fail to join me at TUS, i want you all to be frequent visitors to the site, because it is a Christian Magazine like no other.

Peace,
Michael Ernest.

ALBUM REVIEW: CHRIS AUGUST – THE UPSIDE OF DOWN

Chris August is back with another album after the successful 2010 “No Far Away” which really placed him out there in the genre of Christian music earning him 3 Dove awards. Usually especially after such an a brilliant debut album artists usually tend to slow down or disappoint with the follow-up album but not for certain folks and Chris August has just fallen into that category because The Upside of Down sure does live up to his debut and to me even surpasses No Far Away.

I remember hearing the album title track Upside of Down during rush hour which I always kick against but just could not wait to hear Chris’ new song and I remember the disappointment I felt after hearing it, it sounded like a nursery rhythm when I first heard it and then I listened again when I got home and relaxed and the feeling didn’t change. See what I failed to experience or get into was the depth of the lyrics, however my interest in the project reduced because I felt it wouldn’t live up to the old record. And then I heard the Chris and Group 1 Crew song and it rekindled my interest in the project. So I went on and when Chris started previewing the songs on the album I became a full-blown fan once again and all of a sudden I fell in love with the first single after repeatedly listening to it, it grew on me and now its a song I actually vibe to and really like it. It tells the story way too common about most of us; the story of us being fair weather Christians.

The album starts with Center of It which is my least favourite song on the album, jump to track 3 a song called Amen and can I just say that is has become my all time favorite Chris August song and I hope he makes it the next single so yes it is that beautiful. Guitar chords similar to John Mayer’s are present in this song and then there is black gospel music elements all over the song, he did justice to the song. And from here on to the end of the album is a progression of one beautiful song to another laced with powerful messages focused on faith, restoration, change and hope. This Side of Heaven  is another song that shows great lyrical depth from Chris August. Restore is a song about restoration and hope for broken relationships, troubled marriages another subject very common today, and he croons “God is God who knows how t heal, just give it to him and he will restore”. Unashamed of You celebrates one’s love for Jesus and not being ashamed of the gospel and Jesus. The album is just the perfect album for christian with shaky faith, growing faith and new converts.

It is one of those nice to have album , I have been listening to it non stop since I got it. Do I think it is better than the first album? Yes I do, because most of the songs are very likable and easy to relate to. The singing however is average I felt he didn’t really push himself on the album. He played it safe but the song writing and production has really matured a lot from the last album, the arrangements  is just amazing. And he has the most interesting titles when it comes to album titles.

So yes you should get this album, I think it is one of the most amazing christian albums out this year.

BEST TRACKS

Amen

I Believe

Water Into Wine

A little More Of Jesus

Restore

Truth Is Still True

The Upside of Down

 

THE MAN WHO SAT ON A TOILET FOR TWO STRAIGHT DAYS GIVING A CRAP

 

Meet Simon Griffiths the guy who sat on a toilet for two straight days.

More than often we wrap ourselves in the bubble of our life and forget about every other thing going on around us, we sit on our comfortable high horses and go about our business not caring about those suffering or other things that have no direct impact on us or our loved ones. We don’t do ANYTHING to help others or change the world. I bet when you read the title of this post you probably giggled and laughed, truth is I did laugh myself when I read the headlines about this man who sat on the toilet for two whole days but then I read why he did it, and I saw the bigger picture that no matter the means he was doing it he was helping change the world. He got out of his comfortable life (with his university degrees in engineering and economics)  and did something to help others. Moral of the story no matter the way you do it, drop your pride, ego, selfishness or whatever that may get in the way and go out of your way to help someone.

Here is the rest of the story

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Though It Tarries, Smile And Wait For It…..

The best teachings one can give is one that has been experienced and the best lessons comes from experience. So today I want to talk to you about something I am going through personally. It’s about not giving up, waiting for a brighter day, looking and feeling positive regardless of the present situation of things.

For one my life isn’t perfect and I am still waiting and hoping for better days and for a whole lot of things to fall into place, people look at me and say hey Michael what’s up? What’s new? And expect to hear about the new things, accomplishments, achievements etc in your life and when you tell them “same old” two things always happen

1. Their faces lights up as if they are secretly happy that you are stagnant.

2. They look into your eyes and show concern, support and understanding.

Anyway I am not here to talk about what other people think about your condition but what you think about it and how you carry on.  To be really honest staying positive, smiling and keeping your head up is one of the most difficult things to do when life and things are going tough, at that point every single thing you said about not giving up seems to fly out the window but knowing God and remembering all his promises to those who love him makes it a lot easier to look at the brighter side even in the darkest of times. So when you feel as if things are not working out remember his promises of never forsaking his children, remember that he will see you through and your situation will pass.

It is also important to remember to smile while waiting and while facing our storms/battles. Try not to take it out on others because everyone is going through a storm, heading into a storm or just coming out from a storm one way or the other. As difficult as it may get remember to smile for God is in control.  Learn how to let go and let God.

Mat 6:25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Mat 6:26  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Mat 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

I love NIV and in NIV verse 27 says

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

All what I am saying and sharing with you is more like words I am telling myself to strengthen my faith but I choose to type it out and I hope it reaches to someone else out there too. You guys know I am crazy about good stories so let me share two… Continue reading

Tattoos: Sinful? My Two Cents On Tattoos And The Bible

 

So here I am again about to talk (write) about tattoos, I wish this will be the very last time I will be addressing this issue (but if only wishes were horses right?).

Tattoo is one of those things that brings about so much debate when it comes to religion and what the bible says about it. If you have a tattoo you will know the number of times someone gave you a side-eye or frowned at you because of it, talk less of the people who will out rightly tell you that you will end up in hell for marking your body and you get even judged by people living deeply in sins of their own I mean sins that the bible  has warned us again again and again about (yes you guessed right I am talking about sexual immorality).  I am not here to talk about sins and mankind today but in due time I believe I will because one thing is for sure I will not shy away from anything I feel is the truth in this blog even if I am also guilty of it.

I have three tattoos on my body which I will talk about in another blog post and the stories behind each of them too. You will not believe the number of times I have debated this tattoo case both online and in real life and it gets really funny when people can’t actually pinpoint or back up what “the bible says”. So I have decided to break them down one after the other.

First and foremost I want to establish that the laws from the old testament are referred to as the “Old Laws” and the teachings of the new testament the “New Laws”. The old laws were handed down to the people so that the will shun pagan practices and seek the one and only true God and live in accordance to what was right at the time in preparation for Jesus to come.

(Deu 7:6)  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

The old laws are outlined in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The children of God really did pick up a lot of false religion and practices from the land of slavery so the had to be this strict laws to set them straight in the ways of God. Now the question is why the “New Laws” I will like to make an earthly example about the laws that were set by man though God is no man just trying to make a point. Remember when the blacks were not allowed to vote? When women didn’t have equal rights? And the were laws that allowed and permitted this but these laws were later amended and changed. Yes the old laws of the bible were incomplete I wont use the word flawed but incomplete.

  • The old laws allows war and retaliation
  • The old laws allows discrimination
  • The old laws doesn’t forgive sins(since only the love of God can do that)
  • The old laws suggests that acting according to the law and written code are the only criteria for peace and eternal life (but grace based on faith is what we need for eternal life as Jesus stated).
  • The old laws relies on fear of punishment rather that the love of God. Continue reading

GET INSPIRED : Six Insipring Songs Of The Moment

Welcome to my very first music-related post, this will be the first of many. So today I will be introducing or re-introducing six songs I recently discovered that for the moment inspire me a lot or stir up something in my soul. Some of these songs are relatively old, I guess I have been living under a rock but still there are a blessing to me right now.

 

 

My Own Little Word – Matthew West

Its the song that made me get Matthew West’s album ( I just discovered him), it is the most incredible written song in the album in my opinion. I reckon you also get the album called The Story Of Your Life, apparently it is from 2010 but is is amazing. Before he wrote and record the album he asked his fans to send him letters about their life, joy, struggles and he got 10.000, he rented a cabin and read all the letter and then from the letters he wrote the album and it birthed this beautiful arrangement of songs about  pain, confusion, depression which God can take away due to his love, grace and mercy. Album preaches a message of hope and God’s power in the midst of everything. Okay here I am reviewing the album lol. REnjoy the song.

 

 

Clear the Stage – Jimmy Needham

I started writing a post that will come on this blog when I FINALLY finish, it is based on our love for things or people and how we put them before God thus making them our idols. So Clear the Stage talks about the same thing. My friend asked me to go listen to this song and she told me that she took three hours to listen to 4mins that the greatness of the song was too much to take it in all at once and I understood what she meant being a music lover. It is indeed a beautiful song even though I didn’t experience the same feeling she did, love the song nonetheless.

 

 

Our Sovereign God – Aaron Keyes

Okay this song right here sends me straight to tears (well not cry like cry but teary eyes), only gospel songs have the power to do that. It is a perfect worship song and I LOVE this song, the lyrics are great and the instrumentation and arrangement is perfect and above all it connects me with God once the first line rolls in no matter where I am it’s like I immediately get into the spirit.

 

 

The Well – Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns is one of my favourite christain bands and I loved their last album and when I thought it couldn’t get any better they came out with Come To The Well which is an amazing album, The Well happens to be a song on the album. We know the story of Jesus at the well and what he said that we should drink from his living water so we will never thirst no more. No matter the kind of thirst leave it all behind and come to the well. The song reminds us of the message and significance of leaving it all behind and going to the well (Jesus). Other noteable songs from the album are Jesus, Friend of Sinners and City on the Hill.

 

 

I Wont Go Back – William McDowell

William is one of those worship leaders I love and admire and I was just coming out of an old bad habit I have been fighting for a long time and then I heard I Wont Go Back and it broke my heart, it was as if God sent me the song at that particular moment saying Michael you cant go back to your past life. Song says ‘I wont go back I cant go back to the way it used to be before your presence came and changed me… all my sins have been forgiven no more chains….my past is over”. It is a song about freedom from sin, bondage and bad habits. Every now and then when the temptation crawls in I will say out 1 Cor 10:13  and play this song.

 

 

Where I Belong – Building 429

This song is a reminder that we are not of this world, and that our home is in heaven and with Jesus. Nice tune love the part that say “take this world and give me Jesus cos this is not where i belong”.

I hope you enjoyed my list and yes these songs mean a lot to me. Please do share songs that are inspiring you too.

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Tunisian Man Beheaded For Converting To Christianity

A  very graphic video of a Christian man being beheaded by Muslim extremists for converting from Islam to Christianity recently  surfaced online and i got to see this brutality this morning. Footage of the incident, which reportedly took place in Tunisia, shows a young man being held down like “an animal” with a knife to his throat. The video—be warned, it is immensely graphic  (the actual execution appears from minute 1:13). For those who prefer not to view it because I couldn’t bring myself to watch it and i did throw up a little in my mouth, this is so sad.

  • beheading in tunisia

Video footage of the incident shows a young man being held down by masked men. His neck is pulled back, with a knife to his throat. One of the masked men, who was not in the camera’s view, chants a number of Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity.

The man holding the knife begins to cut to the cries of “Allahu Akbar!” (or “God is great!”), as the victim appears to be mouthing a prayer. The slicing takes about two minutes before the beheading is complete–upon which they shouted more Islamic cries and slogans of victory.

 

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Why Does God Allow Suffering And Tragedy?

So i promised my twitter followers yesterday that i will share this amazing message here on the blog for people to see, i hope this message gives you some form of understanding, closure and peace as it gave me.

so here goes:

It was the worst mass shooting in American history – 70 people shot by a gunman, 12 of them killed, while they were watching the midnight showing of a new movie just 21 miles from where we’re sitting. There are no words to describe the anguish being felt by those who are suffering today; our heart and prayers have – and will – go out to them. There are so many tragic stories, so much pain. And many people are asking the question, “Why? Why did God allow this?”

This has been a heart-rending summer for Colorado. First came the wildfires, which ravaged the houses of hundreds of our neighbors – and prompted many of them to ask the question, “Why?”
And those two tragic events are on top of the everyday pain and suffering being experienced in individual lives – maybe including yours. There’s illness, abuse, broken relationships, betrayal, sorrow, injuries, disappointment, heartache, crime and death. And perhaps you’ve been asking the question, “Why? Why me? Why now?”
That “why” question goes back thousands of years. It was asked in the Old Testament by Job and the writers of the Psalms, and it was especially relevant during the 20th century, where we witnessed two World Wars, the Holocaust, genocides in the Soviet Union and China, devastating famines in Africa, the killing fields of Cambodia, the emergence of AIDS, the genocide in Rwanda and the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. And the 21st Century didn’t start any better. There was 9/11 and now the Syrian slaughters, and on and on. Why all of this if there’s a loving and powerful God? Why do bad things happen to good people?

Several years ago, I commissioned a national survey and asked people what question they’d ask if they could only ask God one thing. The Number One response was: “Why is there suffering in the world?” Incidentally, I did find an interesting statistical quirk – people who are married were much more likely to want to know why there’s so much suffering. I’m just sayin’.
But if you’ve never asked why our world is infected with pain and suffering, you will when they strike you with full force or they come to a loved one. And Jesus said they are coming. Unlike some other religious leaders who wrote off pain and suffering as just being illusions, Jesus was honest. He told us the truth. He said in John 16:33, “You will have suffering in this world.” He didn’t say you might – he said it is going to happen.

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