Tuesday, February 12, 2019

AMERICA'S ROYALTY: A Shameful Past Revisited

After this I saw a vast crowd,
too great to count, from every
nation, tribe and people and
language, standing in front
of the throne...
(Rev. 7:9 NLT)
Dear Readers.  I'm really struggling with this post!  It's only a couple of days before Valentine's Day and I should be writing to you about love and all the sentimentality that goes with it.  But right now, I'm just not feeling very loved!  Nothing personal mind you, just a weariness of the soul!

February has long been one of my favorite months of the year.  So much to celebrate in it isn't there?  National Heart Month.  Mardi Gras and Lenten season that often falls in February and always a reminder of my own ethnic history,  National Freedom Day (commemorating the signing of the 13th amendment abolishing slavery) and Black History Month! 

 Speaking of the latter, this is the one month that I can easily find great classical movies displaying the phenomenal acting skills of people of color.  Community programs and events are plentiful and they help me relish the memories of the contributions of black people all over the world.  These go beyond entertainment and the arts of which we are most noted but in every discipline.  It just makes me feel proud to be a Black American with a national legacy of purpose and value!

Unfortunately, the jubilation is always short lived because of the painful past of racism that accompanies each historical event.  No matter how noteworthy or awe inspiring the presentations, the issue of racism arises!  Even something as common as a royal wedding in England is marred with crude jokes about the bride's color.  

It struck me recently, after the reporting of such news across the Big Pond, that America has a lot in common with Britain.  We too are ruled by a royal family!  Using the terminology of black historian, Ser Seshsh Ab Heder (Clifford Boxley),  curator of the Forks of the Road Exhibition -- King Cotton, Queen Sugar, and Prince Tobacco is indelibly linked to  this country's history and their economic offsprings are alive and well in our society today!

Whereas from the 15th-19th century sugar, cotton, and tobacco crops produced by slaves created wealth in this nation and kept them slaves; more recently we see distribution of power; the limitation of economic resources and mass consumerism keeping  poor people enslaved.  Like Britain's  monarchy, our royal family is also steeped in tradition.  Classism and the suppression of economic freedom is an ongoing priority.  And for the most part, there's a feeling even among poor white people, to hang on to unearned privileges and past superiority.

Resplendent in the jewel tones of this Cultural Crown are the colors of our shameful past:

The Black Codes -1865-1866 - Laws passed after the Civil War in the south restricting the movement of newly freed African Americans. Examples: Freedmen could not be taught to read or write; Freedmen could not assemble together without the presence of a white man; after freedom must gain immediate employment or face vagrancy charges and jailed.

Today: Racial profiling and the assumption that people of color without jobs are lazy and abusers of government aide.

The Green Book -1936-1967 -Negro Motorist Green Book by Victor Hugo Green was given to travelers in the south to show them the places they could safely eat, gas up and lodge.  Especially helpful when traveling near towns that had sun-down rules.  No Negroes welcome after sun down!

Today: Starbucks Sally, Barbecue Becky, and Permit Patty, nicknames for women who called police on blacks for casual activities prove that what would be considered the norm for whites become a criminal offense if you are not.

The Red Book - Early-Mid-1950s -  Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television.  A book used by television and radio producers, agents, advertisers,  and others that listed the names of entertainers who supposedly had communist affiliations. If their names appeared in the book they were black listed and denied employment in their field of expertise.

Today:  Entertainers and Sports figures like Colin Kaepernick who dare exercise their right to protest social injustices are nationally castigated and accused of anti-patriotism. They suffer loss of pay, job opportunities, and slander.

The Blue Book of the John Birch Society -1958-present - This was a book that encompassed the standard operating procedures undergirding this ultra-conservative and anti-communist group. They oppose among other things, Big Government and redistribution of wealth.  Although they vehemently deny being racist, their actions and rhetoric seem to have disapproved of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and other legislation that leveled the social playing field for minorities. Many believe they are supporters of one of President Trump's  political bases instrumental in bringing him to power.

Today: There is a resurgence of politically motivated bases that support similar ideologies that restrict wealth distribution and human rights especially as it concerns people of color.  These are purportedly founded on the tenets of the constitution and idealism of American patriotism. 

Other colors in this Crown of Shame are the usage of maps by realtors, banks and other financial institutions to keep metropolitan areas segregated and deny mortgages for poor people seeking homes in perceived risky neighborhoods.  They were designated as below:

-Type A - green line denotes affluent neighborhoods
-Type B - blue line denotes still desirable neighborhoods
-Type C - yellow line -denotes declining neighborhoods
-Type D - red line denotes most risky 

Has much changed?  I think not!  Just over the weekend we were hit with the political fall-out of Virginia's blackface controversy.  Sadly, there is a rising popularity of black memorabilia (mammies, grinning big lipped, watermelon eating caricatures, etc.) making a comeback and big bucks.  Replications of demeaning images are being seen in fashion and advertising!  The use of the N-word is common place today and with it the lack of respect for us as humans!   It is as if it says in the bible, Americans ... 

Having lost all sense of shame, they have
 given themselves over to sensuality
 for the practice of every kind of impurity
 with a craving for more.

 (Ephesians 4:19 Berean Translation)

PRAY, MY SISTERS PRAY!  That America will learn before it is everlasting too late that respect for life and justice is due all who set their feet on this soil.  Each person has the right to a peaceful life free from ridicule, with ample opportunities to pursue happiness!  If we clean up our act, denounce the shame and treat each other with compassion, perhaps some will believe that happiness is through a life demonstrated by Jesus Christ!

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the  no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.



Monday, January 28, 2019

FOCUS: Who's the Real Enemy?

Be sober, be vigilant, because
your adversary the devil walks
about like a roaring lion...
(I Peter 5:8)
Wow, dear sisters!  The month of January nearly slipped by without me checking on your progress!  How are you doing on those new year's resolutions?

You may recall in my last post I challenged you to look seriously at your plans and where you are putting your time! What are your priorities?   It's a dilemma that is centuries old.  Just ask our bible sister, Martha of Bethany who had to figure it out for herself! (Luke 10:40-42)

January  2019 has been brutal so I'm not surprised if you've gotten distracted.  Whether it was due to severe weather conditions that extended throughout our nation, or those financial woes that come after Christmas.  Perhaps you even experienced situations unexpectedly. Thousands of federal workers and their families are feeling the impact of a prolonged government shut-down.  Two income homes have been reduced to one or even none.  If you are experiencing either of the above scenarios, please know that you are in my prayers! 

All this unrest and upheaval in our lives make for a perfect climate to complain and point fingers.  But I've  just got to tell you, no matter where you're pointing yours and placing the blame, it all boils down to this statement by Dr. Tony Evans:  "Everything we see in the physical realm is caused, provoked, or influenced by something in the invisible realm." (The Battle is the Lord's, Waging Victorious Spiritual Warfare, Moody Press, Chicago).

I believe even the most fundamentally sound Christian will sometime forget that we are living in a fallen world with a powerful enemy lurking about!  We are shocked and distraught at the happenings in our world when really we shouldn't be THAT surprised!  We've been on a downward slide of immorality, violence, and corruption since mankind's fall in the Garden of Eden.  This is where Adam and Eve were both beguiled by our real Enemy, Satan!

A quick re-read of Genesis 3:14-19 will prove that sin and its originator (Satan) is the root cause of every societal woe.  Not one man, Not one political system, Not one particular philosophy! The Face behind all the pain, chaos, perversion and violence we are experiencing is that of the Real Enemy. Until we citizens of the world acknowledge this fact, and deal with it God's way  nothing we do will be effective!

Just think about it!

1.  In the Bible, God exposes Satan as the Liar that he is and relegates him to the earthly realm and the atmospheric heavens, i.e. the stars, moon, and surrounding earth. This is the only place that he can exercise his limited authority and power. (Genesis 3:14-15; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4)  

Greenpeace, is an environmental activist group fighting daily to protect our oceans and forests; devises plans to address the devastating affects of global warming and tries hard to reduce man's carbon foot prints on the earth today.  They see the government, consumer goods manufacturers, and irresponsible humans as the enemy.  They are partially right. We do have a responsibility as stewards of this physical earth to nurture and protect it (Genesis 2:15).  But the main culprit behind the abuse of our natural resources is Satan, who provokes the behaviors and practices of the abusers.

2.   The pain and difficulties of parenting along with issues surrounding violence, divorce, women's rights, employment and the workforce emanate from God's punishment of the sin of disobedience by Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:16-17; Ephesians 5:1-6:1; Colossians 3:17-23)

Satan loves to insert himself into human relationships and cause confusion.  He's very much like the Allstate Insurance commercial character, Mayhem doing his damage and then walking away with a satisfied smirk! Any time he can interrupt the peaceful and orderly function of these relationships or confuse us regarding our godly roles he's happy.  Rebellion, lack of respect, misuse of power and authority, racism and the like all have Satanic roots.

3.  The Opiods and Healthcare Crisis.  Men and women have been self-medicating for years, trying to stave off the negative affects of our aging and dying bodies.  It is a normal thing to crave relief from the physical and emotional pains that come with life.   It has become for many, a lucrative business providing this temporary relief.  We see it in a multitude of pills, shots, herbal and dietary supplements tablets and powders, some legal and some illegal.   But none are able to prevent death (Genesis 3:18-19; Psalms 90 10; Hebrews 9:27)

God never meant for mankind to be sick a day in our lives or to die!  But we know Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy everything and everyone God created (John 10:10). God has always provided what was needed for our health from the leaves and herbs of His garden (Genesis 2:9; Revelation 22:2).   But Satan is a Deceiver and Perverter of all that is good! We can't beat death in this life but Christ has prevented it in the next one (I Corinthians 15:55-57).  It is not rocket science to know that the greed, self pleasure, vanity, and the narcissism we see today was first demonstrated by Satan, the anointed cherub of God in eternity past (Isaiah 14:12-13; 2 Corinthians 11:14).

True, everything that goes wrong in our lives cannot be placed at Satan's feet. The Devil Made Me Do It is a weak and often baseless defense nowadays!  We must acknowledge our own responsibility be accountable.  This is especially important since we have access to a powerful weapon. Sixty-six books of a comprehensive Spiritual Warfare Guide (the bible) to help us diffuse the Enemy's influence.  Why not stop all the blame shifting and take some time to pick it up! Learn how to recognize who the real enemy is in your midst.  It could be Satan but then it just might be you!

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the  no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.

Monday, January 14, 2019

FOCUS: On What Matters Most!!

"...but only one thing is needed.  Mary
has chosen what is better, and it
will not be taken away from her."
(Luke 10:42 NIV)
Happy New Year Sisters!  I'm wondering if you've been as busy as I have since the calendar turned from 2018 to 2019.   We're only a couple of weeks into the month and already I'm scheduling appointments and events that have taken me well into the Spring of the year!

There's lots going on in my part of the world...actually a lot is going on all over the world!  So, maybe that's why I think it's a good time to talk about an old Nemesis of mine, time management!  Actually, the phrase time management is a misnomer.  We can't really manage time!  It goes on no matter what we do!

Yet, we try to get more of it any way we can don't we?  Many of those wonderful New Years resolutions we made were designed to do just that.  Who cares that they very rarely work! But don't be discouraged dear ones.  I believe there  is a way to get, if not more time... more out of the time that the good Lord has given us!

Over the past few weeks, the Word of God has been pounding an undeniable message into my head and heart.  This year focus only on what matters most!  Let me tell you how I know this message is for me; not just for this year but for the duration of my life!

First, this scripture verse screamed in my spirit after hearing it on my church's morning prayer line!  It was only a day or so into the new year:  "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).  To put this principle in context you really need to include what Moses said in verse 10: "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by  means of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away"

If you're like me with more years behind you than in front of you, those verses can stop you in your tracks and make you start thinking about what's important in life, then question how you're spending the gift of time!

Second, our quarterly Sunday school curriculum recently moved us into a new unit of study that began in 2019.  Guess what the study was entitled:  What Matters Most!  These wonderful lessons are giving us opportunities to examine whether we are living out the gospel in our daily lives; if our character is standing up to culture, and if our bible training in godliness can endure to the end!

Third,  each year my pastor casts a vision for our church.  He gives us a theme to meditate on and provide scripture as a focal point for growing spiritually throughout the year.  This year is a very special one for our church.  We will be celebrating 100 years of ministry!  I can only believe that it was the providential will of God that stirred his heart to choose as our theme.....Wait For It!!!!!!  What Matters Most: Leaving a Legacy that Lasts!

Time is elusive, a mysterious and ethereal thing like our lives!  It can appear for a while and then suddenly disappear like a vapor (James 4:14)   It behooves us to treat this precious gift with both wisdom and respect, focusing attention and resources on that one thing that is really needed!  This is the powerful lesson Christ was teaching Martha in Luke 10:38-42.

Her sister, Mary chose the better part...that which mattered most, sitting at the feet of Jesus!  We should do the same. When deciding between what is good and what is best, choose the one thing that glorifies God, makes a kingdom difference, and leaves a legacy of godly wisdom.  Remember my dear sisters:  Only what you do for Christ will last!

Books for suggested reading:  Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver (Waterbrook Press) and Life Management for Busy Women, Elizabeth George (Harvest House Publishers)

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the  no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.



Wednesday, December 26, 2018

WINDING THROUGH THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

"For what is your life?  It
is even a vapor that 
appears for a little time
and then vanishes away."
(James 4:14)
While most households, those who celebrate Christmas that is, were noisily opening up gifts. I found myself doing something quite unusual that morning.  At least I thought so until I sat down to read my devotionals.

I was just trying to clear away a bit of clutter from my desk i.e.,
rubber bands, paper clips, and Christmas cards yet to be opened.  Trying to bring some order to the space. A writing desk sits in the corner of my rarely used living room and it is my favorite spot to meet and chat with the Lord!  

I picked up an obituary from a recent funeral to file it away. (Call it an age thing but for years I've been bringing funeral programs home, reading through them again and promptly putting them in a folder in my file drawer.)  I can't seem to throw them away. It feels disrespectful, like throwing away the memories or legacy of those departed!

I have obituaries of church members, family friends, family members of friends, and relatives (misfiled because I have a separate folder for those!).  A collection of different sizes, various styles, full page and bookmarks.  It was like leisurely looking through a family  photo album. 
  
They commemorated people of all ages.  One was of a baby only a few months old.  A few had lived to their eighties or nineties! They dated back to the early 2000s, so of course I began to see members of the same family appear (husband and wives, mothers and fathers of friends, sadly, some of children of parents still  living).  There were beautiful and brilliant twenty year olds; talented millennials, and I grieved all over again for the knowledge and wisdom taken to the grave by  senior saints who blessed and encouraged me while they were alive!

I stood there just remininscing,  thinking about where I was in my own life when these souls transitioned.  I was beginning to feel a bit morbid when I settled down to read my In Touch Devotional by Dr. Charles Stanley.   He put it all into perspective.  Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on life, death, and eternity.  After all isn't that why Jesus came into the world? (John 3:17; John 10:10; John 14:1-3).

Mary, Jesus' mother had to consider His death not long after rejoicing at His birth (Matthew 2:13-21).  King Herod pronounced a death sentence on all Jewish male children, two years old and younger to deter the One prophesied from taking the royal throne.  In those critical hours, Jesus' earthly parents had to envision the brevity of their son's life and so it should be with us.  

For some the Circle of Life may be long and winding filled with many high points.  But for others short and abrupt! The reality of it all is that some that we celebrated Christmas with this year may not be with us next Christmas.  Show them love while you can and remind them when they start to complain, that the greatest gift they could ever receive is Jesus!

In reading the title of this blog post your mind may have wandered back to the movie Lion King, one of my favorites!  The similarity in name and theme was no accident
.  I love the song, Circle of Life.   In fact the entire movie teaches life lessons worth sharing.  But when I look at the lyrics of this particular song a bit closer I find a great deal of wisdom in them.  Wisdom that is appropriate no matter what stage of life you are in or your religious preference.

As humans we all flow through a life cycle predetermined by our Creator (Psalms 90:10). It is up to us to find our place and purpose in it while we can because as is attested to by both the psalmist David and writer James in the bible, it goes by so quickly.   Now that Christmas is over, our minds tend to lean toward the future. New resolutions, prospects, and opportunities to look forward to.

While we prepare for what will be a wonderful year of beginnings for some, let us be thoughtful.  It may also be a year of finality.  Sadness and regrets may also be in our futures. Still your hearts now against anger or bitterness for any losses that may occur.  Embrace it all as it comes!  The ebbs and flows, the ups and downs.  All are normal and with God's help we'll find our way through it.  


It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love.
'Til we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle,
The Circle of Life.
(Circle of Life lyrics by Lebo M.)


UNTIL NEXT TIME...

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

COMPASSION: A Priceless Christmas Gift

But go and learn what this means.
I desire mercy, not sacrifice...
(Matthew 9:13a)
As I have matured and become somewhat limited in my finances as a retiree, I've ceased trying to find the perfect Christmas gift for others!  I'm sort of done with asking the grand kids for their list and then rushing all around town trying to fulfill their wishes!

I'm thankful that I no longer have to participate in Secret Santa gift exchanges and cookie swaps at work.   Yes, they were fun at the time but grew mundane year after year.  Then it's that tedious chore of  shopping for obligatory gifts.  You know, those gifts you buy individuals out of guilt, because they buy you one every year!  Of course when you find something suitable it has to be of the same quality and price range as the one they bought you so as not to appear cheap! Does anyone beside me think that to give without any thought but price is shallow and hypocritical?

When it comes to giving Christmas gifts this year, I'd like you to consider one that is actually appropriate all year around but is rapidly falling into oblivion...compassion!  One of the down sides of having access to 24/7 media is that we are bombarded with our world's brokenness and soon become desensitized to it.  I must confess, I'm no longer shocked at the perversion and violence going on in my city.  Concerned,  Yes!  Shocked hardly! What my local news misses, I can catch in the form of made from real life movies; reality or talk shows.  If I'm not careful, I sink into the same kind of negativism and apathy as the world!  This should not be so!

Compassion is not the same as empathy (although close).  The lack of it is not always apathy!  One can feel very strongly, even pray for a situation without really getting involved.   It goes much deeper than that.  True compassion can be seen demonstrated by the Lord, Jesus, Christ.  It is identifying with the pain and suffering of another although keenly aware of the circumstances and consequences that caused it.  It's seeing others as God sees them!  Broken but still of value! 
Looking beyond where people are to where they could be or were meant to be!

In the Gospel of John we find Jesus moved with compassion to intervene in the life of two women: The Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:4-26 and the woman caught in adultery in  John 8:1-11.  Both women were considered social outcasts in their religious communities.  No doubt past decisions and current lifestyles put them in the predicament they were in, but Christ never condemned them! He not only felt their pain (He was considered a rebel and outcast to the Pharisees) which is empathy; but He did something to make their lives better.  That's compassion! 

On our current political scene, hundreds are at U.S. borders trying to escape poverty, drugs, and violence in their birth countries.  I understand the immigration pundits "hard line" defense.  But history tells us that they have not always taken this stance.  It is the color of the immigrants it seems that makes a difference.  In any case I must agree with Laura Bush's quote from earlier this year  in regard to the immigration issue: "Can we not find a kinder, more compassionate and moral answer?

We seemed to have lost both empathy and compassion not only for those trying to get to America, but citizens born here.  When will we as, I heard said: "Stop looking at issues through the eyes of the pocket book" and do something about them.  People are dying for lack of affordable healthcare insurance and those with it compromise their standard of care because of the rising cost of prescriptions and premiums to keep it.  Yet pharmaceutical and insurance companies are thriving.  The CEOs of these companies empathize with the situation (they get sick and die too) but because their ability to afford healthcare comes from the profit they make off others, compassion seems somewhat lacking. 

There's not much we can do on the national or global scene but we can demonstrate compassion now, right where we are!  As the body of Christ, let's stop politicizing compassion, picking and choosing who we will pray for, minister to, invite to our churches.  Let's reserve judgement of a person until we've first taken time to know them.  Everybody has a story....stop and listen!  Don't just pray about a situation, get involved in a "real, significant" way.  God did this for us when He sent His Son, Jesus to die for our sins (John 3:16)!   He had compassion for our brokenness and every wretched life style that existed.   Don't you think it's time to do the same.  Let's RE-GIFT COMPASSION this Christmas.  It just might make a difference!


UNTIL NEXT TIME...

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

TUESDAY REWIND: SON Therapy For Winter Blues!!

"Why, my soul, are you down
cast? ...Put your hope in God
...my Savior and my God. (Ps. 42:11)
(A reprint from a December 2014 blog post)
D uring my tenure as a marketing assistant with a large pharmaceutical company I had the opportunity to learn a lot about psychological diseases and their symptoms.  One in particular caught my interest.  It was a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder.  You may know it as The Winter Blues or as researchers dub it... S. A. D.

Generally, it is treated with anti-depression meds, life style changes and sunlight therapy.  Although it can occur almost any time it is more prevalent during the dark, cold, and activity prohibitive winter months. People who suffer from S. A. D really are sad and depressed, so I guess that explains some of the moods we're seeing lately!  But I'm beginning to see a bit of it among a particular group of individuals and in one particular place....The Church!

Here are the symptoms: Lack of focus; sleepiness; irritability; don't care about spiritual things, i.e., bible study, prayer, morning devotions.  If not in the acute stage one can make it out to church, but barely.  Once you sit down the hearing becomes dull.  You're too tired to stand for praise; no clapping or hallelujahs during worship and you can't remember a thing the pastor said even between the dozing!


I don't think it would be much of a stretch to call this S.A.D too...Spiritual Apathy Disorder!  With all the hustle and bustle this time of year it's just too doggone hard to get excited about Jesus!  Too many parties to attend, too much shopping and of course the extra weight we gained from eating all that free food has more than our butts dragging!

No worries my friends.  If you take heed this can be only a temporary condition.  All you've got to do is apply some SON THERAPY to your day. I'm talking about a big dose of JESUS!  Similar to the medical one, exposure to the Light works wonders!  In John 8:12 we find that Jesus is the Light of the World.  Like natural sun light, a dose of Jesus releases spiritual serotonin in your body which means He's an automatic mood lifter.  You just want to smile more!  Gone is moodiness and depression.  Just a few minutes talking to Him in prayer each day makes all the difference!  Wake up early and join us on the prayer line!**

Having problems getting those skinny jeans on with all the cakes and cookies consumed since Thanksgiving?  How about fasting some of those heavy meals and feasting on God's Word the Bible!  John 6:35 says that Jesus is the Bread of Life.  I know you think you could live on bread alone but from one carbohydrate junkie to another...believe me you can't! Extra pounds make you sluggish and sleepy in church. Your clothes become too tight and you get subconscious, so you plant your self on the pew and don't get up until it's time to go home and take them off! Now THAT'S when the church really says AMEN!!

The Enemy works extra hard to keep Christians from focusing on God at church but he takes a vacation during the holidays because we distract ourselves!  
Yes, there's lots of things to do and it seems that everyone and everything demands your attention.  Even the most organized soul finds it hard to keep up...no wonder we're irritable and stressed out.

 So why not pick up the bible, turn to John 10:10-11.  Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd.  Sheep don't go to psychiatrists!  They don't worry or stress out over Christmas lists and dinner preparations.  They just follow the Shepherd's voice and they know that green pastures are straight ahead.   Jesus came to give us a life of peace...we've just got to stop long enough to enjoy it!

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

SUITED AND BOOTED (Gearing Up for the Fight of Our Lives!)


"... and with your feet fitted with
the readiness that comes from the
 gospel of peace." (Ephes. 6:15)
As the old song goes...You oughta been there! I'm talking about the Spiritual Boot Camp hosted by the Sisters4Sis-ters ministry of my church this weekend.  S4S is one of several ministries seeking to embrace, encourage, and em-
power women of all ages to serve and fulfill their roles biblically!

About 250 sister soldiers came off life's battle field to prepare their hearts and minds for deeper training in spiritual warfare!  A training that they would get no other place than the incomparable and infallible Word of God!

My heart leaped to see them pouring in from the parking lot Friday evening.  The younger women helping the older women.  Mothers and daughters coming in together.  Old friends reuniting
and embracing. Some hobbling on canes still recuperating from joint replacements. One dear sister weakly making her way after an exhausting day of chemotherapy!  All patiently waiting in line to go through military processing, pick up a gear bag, and report to a waiting squad leader!

This was the first leg of a spiritual journey that many have told me not only changed their thinking and perspective on biblical womanhood but was a starting point for changing their lives and marriages!  They now understand that it won't always be easy....but with God it is possible!

The 2018 women's spiritual bootcamp (the first for the women of our church) has long been anticipated.  For fourteen years we have encouraged husbands, sons, and other significant males to join the men of Emmanuel M.B. Church of Indianapolis in what has become a nation wide phenomena for Christian men empowerment.  It was nowNOT OUR TURN....but OUR TIME to join the fight against a common enemy, Satan!

The goal for this first boot camp was to Reclaim our Spiritual Identity, Authority, and Power in Christ. We are indeed as the apostle Peter reminds us in I Peter 2:9 (NIV):

 A chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
an holy nation, a peculiar people; that
we should shew forth the praises of Him
Who hath called us out of darkness into 
His marvelous light: 

As women of God, I believe we have lingered too long in the shadows and darkness of our present culture.  We have traded in real power for the pseudo and temporary rewards of feminism; denying ourselves the protection and benefits that God has promised!  For those who have stood strong against the waves of culture, we have been mocked and made to appear weak!  Be sure my Sister Soldiers, God's word will prove us right!

To put it plainly, in this present darkness, feminism reigns but disappointment is on the horizon.  We need to be prepared to help those gone astray, pick up the pieces of shattered marriages, sexually confused children, and drug dependent lives trying to escape the dysfunction of it all. We WILL  be there!  Because as one of our Bootcamp mantras declares: 
No Sister is Left Behind! 

The Enemy's attack against Sister Soldiers is unique, strategic and potent.  Therefore, the weapons and the skills we employ against him must be of the highest order.  We've known for ages that this fight is supernatural (2 Corinthians 10:4-6), but we have become somewhat deficient in warfare.  Our boot camp was indeed a basic training in spiritual weaponry.  We revisited not only the pieces and usages of the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) but began to examine the strategies that is needed to assure victory in every type of attack. 

Discipline, Accountability, and Unity were areas of special focus.  Prayers for humility and submission to God's Word prompted confessions, testimonies and drew us spiritually and visually to the very Throne of God!  It was there that we unleashed all burdens and obstacles,   emerging as God-Empowered, Ezer Warriors (Genesis 1:18; 20) suited and booted for warfare. 

This journey has just begun for us.  There is much to learn concerning this good fight
of faith (I Timothy 6:12).  The fight for the lives of our homes, our children, our communities and our nation! Each training session is designed to hone us into stealth weapons against the Enemy of God.  If you're in the Indianapolis area please join us.  If not,  Pray for us and revisit this blog where we will be chronicling our progress in proposed 2019 post-boot camp bible studies!  

Until Next Time...HU-AH! (Heard, Understood, and Acknowledged!)
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