Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dream Killers - Part II

Hey sorry it's been a while. But how many of you know the enemy is a trip? Been doing his thing lately - Big Time - but the Lord is bigger and better than anything he can toss my way. So, I'm back to talk some more about his influence. Thank you so much for your patience.

Well...Dream Killers Part II, huh? This one's easy, my friends. These are the naysayers, yawl. I believe secular sources call them haters. We've talked a little bit about that before. But Dream Killers in the church are those always speaking negativity about what God has called you to do. God says you can....they say you can't. God says go...they say stop. God says, "really," they say, "not really." God says true...they say false. God says "get up," they say...."sit down." God says speak up...they say be quiet. See what I mean? Now, these are people in God's house talking crazy about what God can't do...amazing.

Dream Killers.

God may have called you to open your own business. Yeah, it's a lot of work and it's a lot of risk, but when God says to do it, the blessing far outweighs the risk. And the work is worth it. What you can't do is allow dream killing church folk to talk you out of what God has commissioned you to do. This might sound crazy, but if God told me I'd own my own NFL franchise, believe me...I won't be listening to CHURCH FOLK. Because you know what they'll say...."it'll never happen. Impossible"

I'm sure someone told the late Michael Jackson that going solo would be a bad move. Let's see...Off the Wall, Thriller....well, let's stop at Thriller. Hmmm....46 million copies later? Was solo a bad move? You tell me. Can't listen to Dream Killers and expect your dream to live.

And you can't allow everyone to be a part of your plan. Not everyone is permitted to go where God is taking you. (cf. Read Nehemiah 2:20 - see what Nehemiah told his antagonists, Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem) That's why God has cut some folk out of your life. I know it's painful, but it's for the best. Lesson learned, I'm sure. Know this....not everyone has your best interest. They say they're for you, but gain a little success, build an audience and watch the same people who claimed they'd lift you up, TEAR YOU DOWN. Been there, done that....and I'm sure you have too.

Listen to me. Dreams DO come true, as long as God is the one behind the projector throwing images on the blackboard of your mind. As long as your dreams are rooted in reality. I can dream about dunking on Kobe Bryant all day....that's a dream that won't come true. There's no reality to it. But dreaming of being a best selling author is something within my reach. God gave me the passion...and I'm chasing it.

I encourage all of my friends...don't let Dream Killers stifle you. If God said, that settles it, whether they believe or not. Blessings

Stay tuned and stay prayerful.

Your brother,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dream Killers - Part I

Hey everybody. It's been a minute since the "Business Meeting" but I assure you, I was working on some other projects. Can't tell it all just yet, but when the time is right, yawl be the first to know. Gotta keep it on the filled with Dream Killers, know what I mean?

Listen....everyone can't handle your vision, nor do they care to. God may have placed a ministry on your heart and you're all excited right? Dangerous church folk will smile, but are they tickled? Better be careful what nuggets you drop in someone's ear. You may have heard from God, but many in the church don't recognize His voice. You receive His Word, but the reject His Word. You absorb His Word....they analyze His Word. Shouldn't take you long to figure out that 2 can't walk together unless they agree.

I remember my Mama tellin' me years ago that I shared too much of my business with the wrong people. How can I put it bluntly? Mama said, "Sidney, you talk too much." She was right. I learned the hard way that pride and loftiness leads to poverty and loss. But I was excited and I expected everyone else to be excited too. Well...depending on what God has for you, jealousy won't allow church folk to get excited. In fact, many of them will try to destroy every dream you have. Nothing new under the sun. In the book of Genesis, Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. They hated him and they hated all his dreams too.

Know this...

Don't think you're building a support group by involving everyone in your plans. You're really building a hate group. Dream Killers, yawl. Trust me. And the trap is easy to fall into. We believe that church folk are holy and sanctified folk. Certainly they wouldn't do anything to harm me? Certainly they want my dream to come to fruition?


Good friend of Sandra and I felt the same thing too when she shared all her plans for a stage play with a sister in the Lord. Wasn't long, and that sister put on that same stage play and just changed the name of the director and playwright to herself. Stole her play right from underneath her....IN THE CHURCH. And called it a blessing from the Lord. How you steal somebody's work and think God'll bless you for it? Crazy!!!

I can go on and on with this, but I'll hold back some until the next blog. Love yawl.

Stay tuned and stay prayerful

Your brother,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Business Meeting. The Money

In '89, I remember my roommate and I trying to get tickets to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Championship Game between Rutgers and Penn State. Didn't happen. We had to watch our school (Rutgers) beat Penn State from a television set. So, what's the big deal about that? When our school didn't have that great a team, we could find a seat anywhere. And we were regular attendees. Along came the championship, and Rutgers suddenly had a lot of fanfare. We tried to argue our case at the ticket booth. No luck. Didn't matter that we came to the games consistently, even when they were losing. It was the championship. ESPN. Nationally televised.

Our voice went unheard.

Enter the church business meeting. Have you ever felt your needs go unnoticed and your voice unheard at a business meeting, though you attend faithfully and tithe consistently? For some odd reason, the phrase "business meeting" brings out members you've never seen before. New faces. Same agenda. Some of them wackos. Doesn't always happen...but it happens often enough to make you feel uneasy. And dig this...

Most of the fighting is about MONEY...another sensitive topic.

Don't you hate when those who never come to church and never support the church financially get crazy about what the church is doing with the money? It's like Monday Night Raw in some spots. Some even demand the church shell out. Now, what bank do you know will shell out dollars from an account that doesn't exist? Just a question.

Now, when it comes to our money, we all get funny. Seriously, we do. When a music producer I worked with took off with $5,600 of our money, Sandra was about to send the sherriff to the church during worship. Dead serious. When that money is acting funny, our minds switch out sometimes. Mine does. Overworked, underpaid. It's taxing. But just like any business needs money to operate, so does the church. That's why God says, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house..." (cf. Malachi 3:10a). It's His money, so He's going to get it one way or the other. Don't get amnesia and think that God can't take it from us (i.e. broken down car, another bill you thought you paid, water heater springs a leak). A brother at a church I once attended told me that if he won the lottery, he'd make sure he'd pay the government, because THEY DON'T PLAY. And...ummm...God does? It's to our benefit to tithe. God commands it.

Let me paint the picture for you. It's 100 degrees outside and the a/c in the church is busted. Or what about below freezing weather and the heater is on the fritz. Can't pay the custodian on staff, so when you enter the know. (...that'll really mess up your worship experience. Who's thinking about the Word at a time like that? Nah...we're thinking about that nasty bathroom. Can we keep it real?) Not enough coming in to keep the pastor on full time. He needs a job, so he works 40 hrs a week. But the same members that crash the business meeting demand he spend more time visiting the hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. Electric bill? Can't keep the lights on without paying the electric company. Sunday School and Bible study literature? How do the active members get these? What about the hospitality committee? Food? Beverages? And the moochers always seem to walk away from a fellowship with 4 or 5 plates of food they didn't help pay for. I mean, even the preacher in the movie Friday couldn't get any weed from Smokey, cause he hadn't put anything in. So, it takes money.

Back to the business meeting thing.

Our voice is unheard and our needs unchecked because it's similar to the Rutgers/Penn State game. Church be packed out at business meeting. You can hear crickets at Bible study. Sunday School? Don't even think about it. 9 o'clock in the morning? Get real. And most inactive members who crash the meeting are there for one raise HELL. And many of them do. Cussin' in God's house, fussin' about what they're clueless about. If we ain't careful, we'll be cussin' too. If not out loud, we're thinking it, which means God can hear us.

I ain't particularly concerned about what the pastor is driving, unless of course he's ripping off the church. So what, he's driving a Lexus. Who wouldn't want one? If he can afford it, what's the big deal? "How much did that suit cost, Pastor?" much did YOURS cost, pew member? Those issues are really trivial.

What should concern us at a business meeting is GOD's business. Nothing else. We shouldn't leave the business meeting ready to knife somebody, shoot somebody. If we spent more time studying the Word, we'd spend less time arguing. I'm going on record...I need to tighten up my private time with Christ. So, that when the business meeting commences, I know how to act. And whatever God decides to do with HIS money is HIS business. What am I going to do about it? Fight Him? Box Him? ( know my arms are too short) Make Him bow down to me? Give Him an ultimatum? Come on, God Almighty? Gonna lose that fight....every single time. That's a knockout before I even enter the ring.

The inactive members may act crazy at a business meeting, but that doesn't mean that we have to respond with insanity.

Stay tuned and stay prayerful

Your brother,

Monday, September 6, 2010


The legendary Bill Cosby once said, "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." As we say in the church sometimes, "Say on." Bill betta preach up in here. Mr. Cosby knows what he's talking about. His quote epitomizes the church. Listen yawl. You can't please church folk. They love you one minute, hate you the next. Elastic love. Plastic people. Sorry folks, that AIN'T Christianity. It's church-itis. There's no pleasing EVERYBODY in the church. They'll love you as long as you're doing what they expect you to do.

Stop pleasing THEM and watch the drama unfold. Best bet is for us to please God. For real.

However, don't think that pleasing Christ will happen without a price. Oh, you WILL pay, trust me on this one. My good friend, Veraunda Jackson's company says it all...EHAP, Inc ( Everything Has A Price ). And she's right. Everything DOES have a price. Especially when dealing with churchgoers. Do the right thing in honor of God and church folk will persecute you. I'm a living witness. Let me get a little personal with you, give you a real life scenario. This is gonna be a long one. BUCKLE UP.

Now, I'm a married man. A married PREACHER, no less. And recently a single female—a cute one, mind you and supposedly a Christian—asked me to give her a ride home. I didn't do it, for a couple of reasons. Let's go with the order of importance. 1) I have a deep respect and honor for God. The Word is clear...though I have the liberty to do some things as a Christian, I cannot allow my liberty to be evil spoken of (cf. Rom 14:16). Don't have time to expand this passage. Maybe some other time. Before I get to #2, what do I mean?

I'm a guy who looks at the worst case scenarios. Suppose I drove her home and we were sideswiped by a semi, leaving us both dead? What will the papers say? "Reverend Crudup and an unidentified female—not his wife Sandra of 12 years—were killed in a collision with a mack truck." Can your hear the buzz? The grapevine? The water cooler chatter?

Sound silly?
Not in my mind.

You know they like to make the preacher look bad. Suppose one of her boyfriend's homies spotted her getting out of my car? More drama. Let's not forget the church KNOW that story will have twists and plots come Sunday. And I REFUSE to give anyone an excuse for not being serious about Christ. At least that's my intent.

2) Sandra doesn't know her. I have a deep love and respect for my wife and my loyalty is only to her. I'm past those days of being selfish and doing what I want to do, acting crazy and not considering her feelings. Those days are over. And she did the same thing for me, not allowing a minister to ride with her to CHURCH. Now that's CHURCH, yawl, the house of God, where we are supposed to be. This girl needed a ride HOME. Meeting the need would have appeared innocent, but why couldn't I return the loyal courtesy to my WIFE? Yet...I'm getting blasted for my decision. PERSECUTED.

Here's what gets me. For all she knows, I could be a serial rapist. Yeah I preach, teach and share the Word of God. But how many other people do these things with shady character? So let me ask my SPIRITUAL SISTERS in the LORD a question. So, I have enough character for her to ask me for a ride, but my character is then suspect when I make the decision to say no? Isn't that a contradiction? If I'm a good enough Christian to bum a ride with—not a serial rapist, murderer or sadomasochist—then shouldn't I be a good enough Christian to make a Godly decision? In this case...NO. So why the hostility towards me now? Was I only a friend for what I do or was I a friend for who I am? Hmmm. Got me wondering. My SPIRITUAL SISTERS...whaddya think?

But that ain't the only thing that gets me, though. Another Christian girl got hot with me concerning this it's any of her business. She even stepped to me about it. Just a question. Does this epitomize nosy churchgoers? Not making any accusation, just asking a question. Now, I won't mention names, because I still have the utmost respect for her and the other girl too, even though they're both criticizing me about it. Won't even speak to me. But my respect for other people has nothing to do with how they treat me. I respect and honor people because God commanded me to do it ( cf. 1 Peter 2:17). It's the right thing to do. But thank God for growth. Because had she stepped to me like that when I was in the Navy, I would not have been this respectful. I would've given her the business....SAILOR STYLE! And those in the fleet KNOW what I'm talking about. That's how we roll.

Church folk can be dangerous, yawl.

I still don't get it though. Women pack out the Oprah Show, many of them barking that there are no good men. But when a man steps up to honor his wife by telling another woman...NO, they still complain about what he didn't do. For them, of course. As if I'm not carrying out my Christian duties...Come on, give me a break.

Wanna hear from my SPIRITUAL SISTERS on this. Brothers can chime in too. Need your feedback. Regardless of what the feedback is however, I ain't sorry for stepping up for Sandra. Don't care who gets mad about that.

Love yawl

Stay tuned and stay prayerful

Your brother,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Character Killers

Hey everybody. I pray that everything is going well with you. Fine here, won't complain. God is good; and for me, that's not merely a cliche. Hope it isn't for you either.

Well, we've learned the importance of guarding up, because the cunning approaches of dangerous church folk can throw us off course. I'd be remissed if I didn't further warn you about what could happen when you do throw up your guard, though. Doesn't always happen, but it certainly has potential. And what's that? When you shut down the fakes, brace yourself for a bit of character assassination. It's a common ploy of the enemy.

Now, if the devil has no problem assaulting God's character, what makes us believe that his disciples—churchgoers—won't assault ours? Please know that they will. Satan did it with Eve in the Garden of Eden. He assaulted God's character and duped her into believing that God was holding out on her. God—the Holy One—suffers character assassination daily, and we should not think that we are above receiving the same.

So, what happens? It's simple We guard up and shut em down, but what follows is retaliation, an onslaught of slurs, slander and defamation. Politicians do it all the time. Election time is nothing more than mudslinging. It's crazy. If the public has enough dirt on the opponent, maybe the accuser will secure all the votes. Never about issues, but mostly about the dirt.

Trying to live righteously incites the character killer's effort to prove you live wickedly. They dig for evil in our lives to make them feel better about their lives. Think about it. If you're a crackhead, the character killer feels justified in being an alcoholic or vice versa. So, when you guard up—keeping nosy churchgoers at a distance—some feel they have the right to dig deeper. And digging for what? Not for the mere pleasure of digging, but they seek to destroy. In other words, "How dare YOU not tell ME what I want to know. I'll fix you."

Remember your gift? They hate on your gift right? So, if they can create reasonable doubt in the assembly, they know you'll have extreme difficulty in ministering your gift effectively. If people believe the character killer's accusation that you're cheating on your spouse, you'll never be able to exercise your gift in couples' ministry. And marriage counseling? Get real! Forget about it. Your reputation has been destroyed at the hands of character assassins. Their aim is to embarrass you. You had the nerve to guard up and shut em down, so now you'll pay the price. Believe me, I've seen it done, live and in color.

Stay focused. Continue to persevere in the Lord. God has your back. Not only does He have your back, He also has His disciples in the church who can see through all of their smokescreens. So, don't focus too hard on the negative, but simply know that it does happen. Focus more on Christ and the work that He has for you. You're gonna be all right. I believe that.


Stay tuned and stay prayerful

Your brother,