Monthly Archives: May 2017

Artist Kobra Tupac Mural Maimi

Choppin’ It Up

May 8, 2017 | Andrew Mann | Ministry

If you let a person talk long enough, you’ll hear their true intentions! Listen twice, speak once.Tupac Shakur

The burger was good—a flat patty with crispy edges, crunchy lettuce, a glistening tomato, sriracha aioli, all between two sides of a toasted, buttery bun. Neither this meal nor the company sitting across the table were planned at the start of my day.

The young man, who in conversation disclosed he was now twenty-two years old, had texted me earlier that afternoon. He remembered we had met when he was twelve. He came to a basketball camp. Since then we’ve had many fist bumps and hugs as we pass on the street. He’s never been in our building, never been to church. He’s a rapper. Most young men in our neighborhood are or at least aspire to be. However, he actually is. He’s performed at the Apollo, has tens of thousands of followers on social media, and is excited about signing a deal with a prominent record company. His music reflects his experience in life, an experience very different than mine.

Yet there we sat—talking, listening, or in his words, “choppin’ it up.” Perhaps as you get closer to the end of this paragraph you’re expecting to find a point, a moral, a conclusion. No, it’s not here, just as I don’t have a conclusion to the end of my story. When we got back to the block, we parted ways with another fist bump and a hug. I’m not sure the point of it all, but I look forward to more opportunities to chop it up.

Artist John Feknew Growth and Decay


May 1, 2017 | Andrew Mann | Faith

Programs don’t change people; people change people.

Speaking at a TED Conference in 1998, Billy Graham pointed out, “There are many problems that technology hasn’t solved”. He described the following:

1. Human evil—Why do racism, injustice, and violence sweep our world bringing a tragic harvest of heartache and death?

2. Human suffering—We have families that self-destruct, friends that betray us, and unbearable psychological pressures that bear down on us.

3. Death—One thing we have in common . . . all of us. . . . We are all going to die.

In the twenty years since Billy Graham shared these words, a lot of new programs, technology, and research have attempted to understand or rectify these problems, yet they persist. Then again, the Bible says, God didn’t send a program to help us; He sent a person.

Jesus offered solutions to all three of these problems. He lived a life that was truly innovative—like none before and none since. Ultimately, the most impacting innovation wasn’t His life or His death. It was His resurrection. He, Jesus, is alive, and promised to be with us always through His life-giving Spirit. His Spirit teaches us to love even those who hurt us . . . to be patient . . . to be gentle . . . to control ourselves . . . to relax . . . to use kind words . . . to forgive. Now that’s innovation!

Seems to me when I learn what He’s teaching, there will be a lot less evil, suffering, and death in my world.