Millennials and Racial Reconciliation

This is Trip’s talk from the ERLC Summit on the Gospel and Racial Reconciliation. Below is the manuscript from that message.

This evening, I’ve been asked to speak about millennials and racial reconciliation. And I feel privileged to stand here and serve as part of this amazing effort towards unity in God’s church.

As a rapper, I’ve been a part of a lot of concerts over the years with lots of millennials and people of all age ranges. And I’ve seen that music really has a way of unifying people. There are some concerts where there is only one demographic of people: maybe it’s all soccer moms and white suburban teens, or all urban college students, or all southern baptist pastors wearing khakis (Alright, maybe not that last one). But there are also many where there are all kinds of people— young and old, black and white, and many other groups. And people who observe it often marvel at the diversity, and I think it’s a really good thing as well.

While I do think that’s cool and wonderful, I do not think it’s as impressive as some make it out to be. Every day there are…

How Do We Use Our Gifts for God?

This is a brief message from Advance College Conference in Raleigh, NC. You can read the manuscript below:

I want to speak to you very briefly about using our gifts for the glory of Jesus.

Have you ever heard kids ask questions? They have an amazing curiosity that seems to have no end. That magical question “why” can go on for hours and hours. I have friends who’s kids are in this stage right now. Well it seems that there’s a little child in my soul that likes to ask why, but it’s not about abstract questions, it’s about everyday things.

I’m not very easily motivated. There are some people who are naturally driven, and the fact that something needs to get done is enough motivation for them. My wife is one of those people; I am not.

In order for me to get anything done, I need the sense that I’m doing something grand. “But if I take this trash out, will the trash man get saved?” I’m a big picture guy, and I’m rarely drawn to details or tedious tasks. Unfortunately, details and tedious tasks are the majority of real life. This is probably why I struggled…

Does it Matter if Jesus Rose?

Well we are around that time of year. One of the two times many of us go to our mom’s church, or put on a nice easter suit and head to a nearby church building. I know some of y’all already have your easter suit and dress picked out.

It seems everybody gets takes part in the festivities. Christmas and Easter are those interesting times of year when even people who usually don’t care about Jesus get involved in some way. There are easter eggs and easter candy for sale everywhere. There are easter programs, and parades. Easter takes over a little bit, though many don’t believe in the easter story.

It’s not surprising though because Easter and Christmas have become cultural events. They’ve turned into little more than national holidays, family reunions, and opportunities for retailers to make some more money. Of course, those who believe in the birth and death of Christ celebrate that, but it’s not required.

I remember growing up my family would go all out for easter. We’d go to the mall the week before and take picture with the Easter Bunny. I personally think that is the creepiest of all the holiday mascots. A gigantic…

Who Am I? Pt. 2: Adopted

This video is from a Disciple Now conference in Batesville, MS. Please forgive the video and audio quality

Intro

Last time we laid some foundations in our discussion about identity. We talked about what makes identity important; mainly that if we don’t know who we are, we won’t know how we’re supposed to live. And then we talked about how we’re beautifully made, but broken. And because of our brokenness we’re separated from God and in need of a Savior.

This morning we’re going to discuss one of the beautiful truths about being saved by God, which is adoption. At this point though, the discussion of identity shifts a little bit. All the things we talked about last night— that we’re made by God, known by God, broken, and needy—are true of everybody on the Earth. The things we’re going to talk about now are things that are true of those who are in Christ. We’re now talking about how our identity changes when we become Christians

Recently I read a biography of Steve Jobs, the founder and visionary behind Apple, the biggest company in the world. It was really interesting to read because he was a genius…

Who Am I? Part 1: Beautiful But Broken

This video is from a Disciple Now conference in Batesville, MS. Please forgive the video and audio quality

This weekend we’re going to talk about identity. That’s what your leaders asked me to talk about, but what they didn’t know is that this was already something that’s been on my heart and that I’ve been thinking about. I’ve talked about it with the youth group at my church in D.C. quite a bit.

So why has identity been on my heart? Why do I think it’s so important to know who you are? Because if you don’t know who you are, you don’t know how you’re supposed to live.

Think about The Bourne Identity. This man wakes up on a boat and doesn’t know who he is. He finds a clue and goes to Switzerland. He gets in a fight and realizes he’s trained in combat. Wouldn’t that be crazy if you randomly found out you had secret ninja skills? For the rest of the movie he’s on a journey to discover who he is. He’s capable of things he didn’t even know about. But if he doesn’t know it, he won’t be able to live as…

Can Xians Have Fun?

Does becoming a Christian mean the end of my fun? That’s an interesting question and I think a fair one to ask. There’s a certain picture of Christianity that’s often painted. When people think of Christianity they think of different things. Some think screaming TV preacher, others think white guy in a suit or old black grandmother in a big church hat. Some think political conservatives or those people who don’t like science. But very few people think Christianity and think: hey, that would be a fun thing to do! Becoming a Christian doesn’t seem fun to people.

Christianity has gotten a reputation as a killjoy. It’s something for boring people and old people. One rapper in a song says, “If you scared, then go to church.” Apparently Christian churches are for timid, scared punks. People think becoming a Christian means you have to wear suits and long dresses, and listen to bad Christian music, and stop being cool. First of all, some of y’all aren’t cool in the first place, but that’s another story.

I just watched this Ja Rule interview yesterday. He was talking about his experiences with churches. In his experience churches always said come as you…

Proud Speech and the Glory of God

Introduction

I love kids. One of the reasons I love kids is because they show us ourselves. They’re like little mirrors. Let me tell you what I mean. Kids have pretty much all of the same problems we have, but those problems are just a lot more obvious because they don’t know how to hide them yet. This is really clear when kids do things they’re not supposed to do.

Have you ever seen a kid touch something they’re not supposed to touch? They’ll look around to see if you’re looking. They don’t care if another kid is looking; they just don’t want adults or parents to see. Why do they do that, though? Because they know you’re in charge, and they don’t want you to find out because they know you’re the one they have to answer to.

Adults are the same way. Often we’re OK with doing things we’re not supposed to do, as long as the person we have to answer to doesn’t find out. You’re glad to speed until you see cops ahead. Maybe we’re glad to leave work early as long as our boss doesn’t find out. Maybe some of us cheat on tests as long as the professor doesn’t catch…

Preach Christ, Show Them Glory

This video and manuscript is from Trip’s General Session at the Legacy Conference 2013.

Introduction

The theme of this conference is Soli Deo Gloria, or glory to God alone. That’s a great theme. And we want that perspective – that all the glory in the Universe belongs to God alone, to inform every single thing we do. During my time tonight, I want to think about how that informs our evangelism.

Telling people about Jesus seems to be one of those things that all of us know we need to do, yet all of us feel guilty about not doing enough. Am I right? Am I alone in that? Even just this past week, I was feeling convicted because a relationship I began to build with one of my neighbors has kind of started to fall off. I haven’t been as intentional as I should about building on that relationship, and continuing to try to tell him about Jesus. And it seems like I feel this way often. The question I want to ask is why? What heart perspective needs to be fixed? I need my mind to be renewed. I have to remember why I’m…

What is the Good Life?

If there’s any genre of music that’s always talking about and chasing after the good life, it’s hip-hop. I love hip-hop. I have loved hip-hop for my entire life. There’s just something about the drums, and the rhymes, and the energy that’s always drawn me in. When I was a teenager, when I wasn’t in class or asleep – or asleep in class – I was listening to my favorite rappers. I used to hang on their every word, and they had a lot to say. I know most rappers are not trying to be teachers, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t learning. I listened closely to their ideas about the good life – and I liked what I heard.

I had favorite songs like “Money Ain’t a Thing,” and I was listening to albums with titles like “Get Rich or Die Trying.” So it really isn’t surprising that my idea of the good life was having a wallet so stuffed that it wouldn’t even close. It wasn’t all about money, though. I learned about hedonism, casual sex, materialism, irresponsibility, laziness, drugs, and getting respect – all as pieces to the puzzle that is the…

All We Need is in God

As some of you know, I’m a new father. My son, Q, is five months old. And he’s almost always happy, except for when we put him in his crib to sleep. He immediately loses his mind. He seriously thinks we’ve abandoned him to fend for himself against all the difficulties around him, such as tiredness and needing his diaper changed.

But one day he discovered the joy of sucking on his hand. It’s a self-soothing thing he has figured out. And when he puts his hand in his mouth – and he really shoves it in there – he forgets about all his troubles. It doesn’t actually change the fact that we left him alone in his room, but the hand makes him forget about it.

Well, I know that everybody here today has bigger problems than sleeping alone in a room. We have money issues, marriage issues, health issues, and so on. And similar to my son, we sometimes look for ways to cope with our troubles. We don’t want to feel that pain and distress. So we turn to things that make us forget about it. But is that the best way to deal with it? Distraction?

Absolutely…

Importance of Words

Words are important. We use words communicate with our friends and family. We use our words to conduct business. I use words to put songs together and make a living. We use words to discipline our children. Politicians use words to convince you that they’re the best candidate for the job. Words are a huge part of every aspect of our lives. I have a new son. It’s hard to live with a person seven weeks old, mainly because they can’t talk. So sometimes I want to help him but don’t know how because he can’t communicate with words yet. It’s hard to imagine a world without words.

The average person says about 16,000 words a day. That’s 112,000 words every week. That’s over five million words every year. We use words. A lot.

And anything that there’s a lot of begins to be undervalued. The value of something changes based on how much of it there is. When there are 100 cookies on a table after service you might keep talking for a while. But when there are only a few cookies, they seem precious. You’ll probably rush over there and if you get one in time, that…

The New Covenant

I do music for a living. And as many of you also know, the kind of music I do is a little bit different than the songs you might hear at a CHBC service. There are many things about hip hop that make it different than other genres of music. One thing that’s not unique to hip hop, but is more common is the remix.

What usually happens with a remix is you take a song you’ve already made and you remix it. You keep some elements from the original, but you also change some things to put a new spin on it. So you might add new lyrics, or a whole new beat, or a just a different approach to the same thing. But one of the goals is to give the listener something new and even improve on the song.

Well the New Covenant, which our text talks about tonight, is almost like a remix. I say that because God promises to make a new covenant with His people, but everything about it isn’t new. His character hasn’t changed, His promises didn’t change, His overall intent didn’t change. But there are some things about this covenant that…

The Perfect Anger of God

I want to start by reading some quotes. So just listen closely and think about whether or not you agree with what’s said.

“Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.”Albert Einstein

“Anger is a short madness.”Horace

“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”Benjamin Franklin

“Never do anything [out of anger], for you will do everything wrong.”paraphrase

Anger isn’t one those character traits we usually desire. No one likes anger. Anger leads to bitterness and holding grudges. Anger leads to bad decisions. Anger sometimes even leads to violence. People usually don’t want to be around someone who may fly off the handle at any moment. It seems a bit unstable.

But here’s my question: does God get angry? Is there anything that can make the God of the universe boiling mad? Well I think our text this evening will address that question.

Background

You don’t have to turn with me. In Exodus 17, the people of Israel test God by acting as if they can’t trust Him. After everything He’s done for them, making them His people, delivering them from slavery, providing for them and so on, they still don’t trust Him. So they fight with…

Lord of the Demons

I want to begin by thinking about stories. Since the beginning of time there have been certain common themes that run through our stories. We have love stories, comedies, and tragedies – or the mixture of all those in one known as romantic comedy. But across all those kinds of movies, there are two themes that almost always show up: good and evil.

Think about your favorite movies. In Braveheart, Scotland and William Wallace are good, while England and King Edward are bad. In the Chronicles of Narnia the kids and Aslan are good, and the witch is bad. Even in Disney movies, this is true. In Aladdin, Aladdin and the genie are good, but Jafar is bad. Don’t act like you don’t know about Aladdin.

You always want the good side to win and most of the time they would.

So when we begin to talk about Jesus and when we begin to talk about God people sometimes think in the same categories. They think of the universe as a cosmic battle between God and the Devil. And like all of our favorite stories, we’re anticipating the end to see who wins. Is Jesus just an…

The Temptation of Jesus

There are few things that stir up affections in my heart for Jesus like hearing new Christians – or any Christians – make public professions of their faith through baptism. I think of some of my friends, though, who were brand new Christians and were a little confused about what that meant. They hear the Good News that theyʼve been made new creatures, that they have new hearts, that they have been washed and justified. And they think this means they will no longer struggle or face temptation. But anybody whoʼs been a Christian for a week can tell you thatʼs not true. The question is not whether we will face temptation. The question is, how will we respond to temptation?

I read a quote this week that said, “All men are tempted. There is no man that lives that can’t be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.” Is this a true statement? Has there ever been a man who could resist even the most well placed temptations? Well, letʼs turn to Luke 4:1-2:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the…

Driven

There are some people who are good at certain things. There are basketball players who play in the league for years and years and they finish their careers rich and happy. They wanted to play the game they loved and they wanted to make a career doing it. They did it and they’re good. Then there are others, like Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan was more than good. He was great – many argue, the greatest. Michael Jordan was not content with just playing the game and making a career. Mike wanted to be better than everybody. He wasn’t content with making it, he wanted to be the best. So he stayed in the gym later than everyone and he worked harder than everyone. And all of this because he was deeply driven by that desire to beat you. You saw this at his hall of fame speech. He was still challenging folks and his competitive nature came out like never before. He was driven.

You could also talk about artists like Lil Wayne. There are some rappers who just want to be famous and make money. Not Lil Wayne. He wants to be the greatest of…