Sunday, January 25, 2015

SELMA On My Mind!

...With your blood you purchased people
for God from every tribe, language, and
people and nation (Rev. 5:9)
Like thousands of people this month, I spent a few dollars to see the movie, Selma. The theater was particularly crowded since  the time I picked happen to be Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday.  I was pleased to see blacks and whites, young and old, and entire families with children from as young as six years old to the most senior of saints buying tickets!

Having lived through this time, I was well familiar with the historical  account of the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on what was called, Bloody Sunday.  But I was a young teen and aside from the fact that it was horrifying to see then even on my black and white television set, the impact was quite different for me now that I am an adult.

I suppose it's because in my naiveté as a teen, I thought that scenes like that were probably at its worse THEN!  Surely, the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and Dr. King's death in 1968 was enough to ensure victory against racial bigotry in America.  Forward wind to 2015...Not so much!  Voting rights are still being denied through disfranchisement.  Bad cops are still the black man's enemy, and terrorists, albeit now in tailored suits instead of white sheets still exist to wreak havoc among the poor and innocent. 

Bloody Sunday has turned into Bloody Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday!  In Selma  in the 1960s young black men were leading the march against discrimination.  Now they lead the nation in black on black crime as  murder victims.

In Selma the  black beat-down came from policemen on horses trying to prevent folks from exercising their right to protest unjust treatment.  In New York, Ferguson, and Florida it's easier to just to kill them for peddling cigarettes or walking down the street in a suspicious manner!  Meanwhile, back at the ranch...politicians play the blame game and future hope slowly slips  away from the hearts and minds of our young people who choose suicide and drugs  over a world that they find no consolation in. 

Yes...Selma is on my mind here lately.  It has me thinking  about how far we have yet to go before we finally get it!  Race hatred is not the answer!  Fear mongering only breeds discontentment and incites irrational emotions.  Jesus died for ONE RACE, the human race and the only solutions we have are PRAYER and WITNESSING!  Not something our nation's Think Tank would come up with that's for sure!  

One thing that the movie Selma did not emphasize much was just how the Civil Rights movement was fueled by prayer!  I know this because I and my older siblings participated in the desegregation of our school and local businesses.  We received non-violent training, learned how to protect ourselves and NOTHING was ever done without the local ministers leading  us in prayer!  

CHRISTIANS CAN STILL BE LIGHTS IN OUR COMMUNITIES BUT WHY NOT START IN OUR HOMES!  Talk to your children!  Parent your children!  Know where they are!
Let's all be accountable!


Monday, January 19, 2015


A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. (Isaiah 42:3).

"My husband and I make over six figures a year, but we can't make one baby even with the latest medical interventions, yet this single welfare mother has seven and struggles to take care of them all.  So much for being fruitful and multiplying!

"Cancer took my mother and two of my siblings now doctors tell me that I've probably got a year at most to live with my own diagnosis.  I'm a good Christian woman, with a thriving ministry....why me?"

" I don't deserve this...I stuck with him through job layoffs, financial bankruptcy, and helped him get his degree.  Now that we're back on our feet, he's leaving me and our kids for another woman!  All that marriage counseling and fasting was a waste! "

Let's face it life is not fair! And whether you accept it or not, bad things actually do happen to good people!  The human response, even for those of us who know the Lord and His Word is to blame God!  After all He's Omnipotent (all powerful) and Sovereign (rules every thing)!  Surely, He can prevent some of this mess going on the world today!

Anger at God  is not something that's easy for a Christian to admit!  Somehow it makes you feel less spiritual doesn't it?  Even to think it, conjures up the proverbial lightning bolts striking us down from the heavens!  But if we're honest we know that just like in any other relationship, anger is an emotion that comes into play from time to time.  It's okay be angry....God can take it!  But it might help to know just What and Who you are angry with!

Christian counselor, June Hunt (Hope for the Heart), reminds us that there are four reasons we get angry:  Hurt, Injustice, Fear, and Frustration.  As  humans we've experienced them all and you don't get a pass, just because you're a Christian!  Jesus says in John 16:33, "In this world you will have tribulation (trials, pain, problems, distress) but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." Your dual citizenship, being a part of this world and the Kingdom of God brings both heartache and blessings! We become angry when we are called to endure the injustices of this world as we travel through to the next! 

In our lack of spiritual wisdom we blame God! In this we are just like our fore parents Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:8-13).  We forget that we are living in a fallen world!  Disease, divorce, violence, and injustice was never God's original plan for His children...we opened that door ourselves and  live each day with the aftermath.  If you want to be mad, be mad at Adam and Eve!

Still we cling to the promise of John 16:33....Christ has overcome the world...He has made living in this world bearable (I Cor. 10:13):  Through His Word, His Spirit, the Prayers and support of others we can deal with disappointments.

Take a moment to click on this excellent article by Dr. Charles Stanley:

Too lazy?  Here's a brief recap: Disappointments are allowed to teach us, to stretch us and to grow us in our faith.  The next time you experience disappointment do the following:

--Resist the urge to become bitter
--Ask the Lord how you should respond
--Follow His directions
--Keep your focus on God and His higher purpose


Monday, January 12, 2015


I can hear my Mama right now, rocking back and forth on the porch of that old tin-roof house I grew up in.  Spouting forth wisdom that only life experiences give you...Be careful who you tell your business to.  Some folks are like old refrigerators...can't keep nothing!

If you've ever had someone to tell your business, after they swore they wouldn't, I know you're feeling me!  It's happen to me a few times in my life and I have to admit that I've not always done well keeping my mouth shut either!  Not that intentional hurt and pain was ever the motive.  It's just hard for women in particular  (although men do it too) to keep from sharing! 

So, since this is a new year and  we're all about starting off fresh, I thought these tips might do wonders for your present relationships and keep you from re-living the fallouts from old ones destroyed because you just couldn't keep your mouth shut!

Let me start with a disclaimer:  There are some secrets that shouldn't be kept, like when they are hiding sin!  If a person is being hurt or there is physical and/or emotional harm being done, especially as it concerns children, you have a Christian moral responsibility to tell someone!  It is the same for the knowledge of criminal activities.  No matter how difficult!  Your neighbor may never forgive you but God will and you just might prevent something more destructive from happening.   We ARE our brother's keeper and it's only a matter of time before the problems going on next door becomes yours!  (Prov. 28:13; Is. 1:18)

Believe it or not the bible is pretty ambivalent about secrets. Both the Old and New Testaments give many examples of secrets kept for noble causes.  Joseph kept his identity secret from his brothers (Gen. 42) only to care for his family during a famine.  King Saul's son Jonathan kept David's whereabouts secret to keep Saul from killing him ( I Sam. 19-20).  Rahab hid the Israelite spies in Jericho and was honored later in scripture as one of God's Faithful (Heb. 11:31).  Even Jesus healed and cautioned His own disciples to keep quiet about His mission? (Mark 8:27-30; Matthew. 8:1-4).  So it all boils down to how you handle them --that my sisters takes godly wisdom.

1.  Be honest in conversations of a personal nature.  Let people know upfront that you will not promise to keep a secret that you believe perpetuates dishonesty, hurt, or harm to another person.  This will no doubt keep you out of the pipeline for gossip but you'll never have to worry about letting something slip!  

2.  Learn how to discern when violations of confidences are coming.  Anytime someone comes to you with, "I really shouldn't tell anyone this but..." be on the alert.  That is if you don't  want to be drawn into conversations where something may be told without permission. And just to let you know...for Christians this often comes in the form of a sincere prayer request...yeh right!

3.  Just as there are secrets that should be told there are many that shouldn't.  Never tell a secret that will embarrass, shake the confidence of, or humiliate another person. Some secrets told to us by close relations can be down right funny...but not to the one who told you!  Telling a secret that makes anyone the butt of a joke is not only wrong but mean spirited!

4.  Never ask a child to keep a secret.  Secrets are burdens difficult for adults but it is absolutely unthinkable to put on a child!  Children have enough problems to deal with on their own, carrying yours shouldn't be one of them.  Also, you are teaching them how to lie and keep secrets from you!! Some that may be harmful and devastating to their lives that you might need to know.

Sometimes keeping secrets come with a may keep a promise to keep a secret for a reasonable amount of time, i.e., for example in the case of domestic violence.  You may need to give the victim time to make an "escape plan" to leave the abuser before notifying authorities.  But make sure the timeline is understood and adhered to as agreed. 

 He who trusts secrets to a servant makes him his master.
(John Dryden)

Remember:  Be careful who you tell your secrets to!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Not the Boss of Me...REALLY??

"Righteous are You oh Lord.." Ps. 119:137

 As the youngest of ten children, I had plenty of folks telling me what to do!  Since my oldest brother and sister were at least 18 years my senior, you could even say that I grew up with two sets of parents!  So it wasn't strange for me to lament to a sibling growing up...You're not the boss of me!

This gave a bit of relief in my home but it got a little more difficult once I realized that in the real world, my parents and siblings were only the beginning of the bosses I would encounter.  Let's see, there were my teachers and principals at school.  The pastor, deacons, and ushers at church.  Various adults in my neighborhood...the ever present village, you understand.  Then as I got older there were other people in authority over my life, like rental offices, policemen, government agents, work supervisors, etc.

But when, I became a Christian and I found out that the one Boss that should have been the easiest to obey was the One I had the most trouble with.  I didn't say it aloud but in my actions, I would often say in ignorance to God...You're not the Boss of me!  I know how to run my own life!  Man was I wrong!

Here's why God is my Boss and yours too if you've any sense:

God is Sovereign:  He rules and has authority over all things.  He is the Creator and King of all the earth (Ps. 24:1; 46:10; 83:18; I Tim. 6:15)

God Answers to No one:  Whether in heaven  or on earth He does exactly as He pleases. (Ps. 115:3; 135:67).  So while the meteorologists scratch their heads and calls snow in the desert, strange weather, God knows exactly what He's doing.  He taught Job a thing or two in the 38th and 39th chapter  of the book by the same name and He can do the same for us.  In fact, whatever He plans can not be stopped! (Job 42:2).

God Overrules Natural Laws - Do you know what a miracle is? It is an observable occurrence that even when the laws of nature are fully understood cannot be  accounted for.  In the rubble of one of the burning towers of the 911 attack, with heat ranging up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit,  a bible survives readable and intact. Other Biblical instances are the Fall of the Jericho wall (Joshua 6) and God turning back the hands of time for Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:8-11).

God Changes our Minds Without Violating our Free will - (Prov. 16:9; 19:21).  I can't explain it but God always gets His way and we don't even know He's doing it! Pharaoh had no intentions of letting the Israelites go but he did.  King Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah all the goods he needed to rebuild the Jerusalem walls along with military escort for no apparent reason than to do God's will.

So with modern and biblical evidence is there ANYONE else you know who is worthy for us to put our trust in?  Paul puts it very plainly in I Corinthians 6:19-20.  "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body. "  

Eugene Peters in the the Message Bible says this ..."Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body." 

With that said....Happy Bosses' Day God!