America…The Reality of Devastation

America! America! God shed its grace on thee…….Yet, everyday it makes me wonder why the back and forth of tittering with infringing and demoralizing her character at the expense of peasants who honestly, make you think, shouldn’t even be allowed to breathe a word of discontent, continues to alter the views of society.  I am outraged because honestly I feel like a lot of Americans in this country.  The concerns of the underprivileged continue to get overlooked, overshadowed, and considered to be of no merit simply because of those who don’t feel it’s a concern, pay no attention to it.  Sounds like a bullet of destruction just waiting to penetrate the infrastructure of society that continues to hold us back from true equality.  I saw a picture of a guy holding a sign that said:

“Privilege is when YOU think something is not a PROBLEM because it’s not a problem to you PERSONALLY #resist”

I find this to be a very ironic statement for the state of America at this moment as she heads down the mountain to devastation and destruction.  Many people in this country can’t see beyond their own prejudice biases and beliefs to even see the other side of the coin for people who are not in the same situation as them.  They would rather spread some neosporin on the wound as an invisible bandage hoping the problem would heal or fix itself, when in all actuality, some wounds are too deep and require antiseptics or something stronger instead.  The bigotry, hypocrisy, idiocracy, intolerant, racist, sexist, xenophobic, misogynistic, and unacceptable behaviors that continue to metastasize and infect the nucleus of our country can no longer go unchecked.

Devastation is inevitable and if puppets in office both at the top, all the way down to the local officials, remain able to infect our world, it will come that much sooner.  Food for thought.  America has always been ruled by the privileged.  Yet it’s the actions of the underprivileged that continue to save us from true devastation.  The ramifications of war and injustice have always been pushed forward at the hands of the priviledged.  Yet it’s the bravery and sacrifices of the underpriviledged that give their lives and die for the cause, so that the priviledged can remain afloat.  If this doesn’t change your perspective on what’s at stake, then we are bound to witness the days when hollywood box films depicting the end-times actually become a reality for America.

Devastation
 

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Exposed…Now that’s eye opening

As I sat here and listened with my ears to the very words our 45th sworn-in President Donald J. Trump, just uttered from his mouth, I couldn’t help wonder if my heart was going to skip a beat and stop, while he delivered his inaugural speech.  All throughout his campaign, he fought with prejudice, racism, hatred ill-feelings toward various minority groups, misogyny and used an authoritative and narcissistic agenda to bully others into bowing his way.  He refused to address the often violent, hatred and racist comments, his supporters spewed from their mouths, just because they felt they had the right to do so.  Yet, today we witnessed him saying, he would defend the constitution and find a way to unite this country and “Make America Great Again.”

His supporters believed this country was so messed up and often suggested taking us back 60 years, were blacks were disenfranchised and subjected to endure the ramifications of Jim Crow laws and mistreatment; where it was believed women belonged in the house, with no voice and forced to endure that only men could be breadwinners for their families.  Where foreigners and immigrants had no right and no business crossing the borders to enter America.  Yet, just these groups alone, have helped make America, the greatest and most powerful influential country in the world.  How can it be allowed to let someone who for 18 months, and probably over 60 years of his life, think that America only belongs to the “white” men and women and no one else.

Let’s not forget what our history has shown us.  For one, blacks entered this country via ships and were sold into labor, yet built this country.  That Native Americans, who were here well before Christopher Columbus, were pushed aside and almost stripped of their whole identity.  That immigrants from all over Europe and Asia, migrated to this country with the promise of a better life, for them and their families alike, yet are threatened daily because they aren’t natural-born Americans.  We ALL belong here and are needed to help continue to make America great.

One person can’t just go on a genocidal rampage and try to eradicate immigrants who were born in this country and continue to silence and demoralize women and minority groups alike, just because it’s what they think will make America great again.  Presidents on both sides, over the years, have had a change of heart after looking at the bigger picture.  The political infrastructure in this country is upside down and needs to be redesigned and built on better morals.  I hope he sees this too, because let’s be honest, he sure didn’t campaign in the same manner and spirit that he attempted to speak from today.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the voice of God himself was going to interrupt the inauguration to inform the world how displeased he was that we continue to parade and mistreat one another, yet say we love and serve him.  How can you have a love for someone or something that you have never seen, but have hatred in your heart, for your brother, whom you see everyday?  When the rain began to fall, I couldn’t help but think, God had to be crying over this great country.  For me, this is the 4th President that I have bear-wtinessed, who alluded a change was going to come, yet in my view these last 25 years have shown me, we are more divided than what my grandmother used to tell me about during her days and the days of my mom (40s-70s).

What this presidential campaign and inauguration exposed was that a dictator has the opportunity to hold the most highly regarded and respectable office, even though he has demonstrated his ability to be classified as illegitimate and “unfit.”  That you can be of pure evil and still be elected.  That unless you are in the majority, you don’t matter and what’s worse, his radical message, although heartfelt and much-needed, and even sounded peaceful and assuring, now has opened Pandora’s box of uncertainty around the world.

Exposure

Overworked…Still there’s Hope

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hope

I feel like I’ve been living in a dream and tomorrow, I will be forced to wake up.  For 25 years, I have shown up every day with a smile on my face ready to greet oppression, bigotry, hatred, malice and most of all, absolute demoralization of my existence all because my skin is darker than the majority around me.  Yet, in spite of it all, I clock in, smile, and begin the work that is at hand.

Shaking hands with my colleagues and sitting down to discuss how the country profits from my accomplishments, as long as they are able to take credit and I remain behind the scenes, as if my place was never to be in the forefront.  This was not something, I signed up for.  It was spoken that as long as I worked hard, I would be entitled to the rewards just like my constituents, yet they left out, I would have to work twice as hard and my work be error free, before I was even considered in the running.

Meeting after meeting, I am allowed to be in the same room, but not allowed to sit at the table and give an input, because if I was to say something “deep and profound” and it goes against the moral ethics of what we stand for, I might shake the foundation and cause a shift in the normal polarity of society’s infrastructure.  So for fear of termination, I mosey along because the massa says so…What a minute. Hold the hell up!

For far too long I have been forced to take a back seat.  Had it not been for the last 8 years, I might not have ever believed it possible that I could obtain any more than a dream spewed from the mouth of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and bear witness to the first scandal free presidency and one that was executed without bias to race, color, or creed and now I am suppose to go to the back of the bus and just clock in and smile and say “yes, sir and no, sir” and “would that be all sir.”  I don’t think so.

I have worked too hard and too many hours trying to be the bigger man and smile in the face of racism.  I have shaken hands and held conversations with people who don’t share the same skin color or complexion, as I.  I have given my blood, sweat, and tears and stood with uniformed servicemen who share different political views than me, and in spite of their ignorant banter and childish rhetoric, still called and considered them a brother and choose to spread love toward them, instead of hate and malice in my heart.  When am I going to receive my raise in society and be promoted to finally being considered a full-fledged citizen and not looked down upon because of the assumptions of my ethnic classification.

How come I have to pass a 150-point inspection to be sure I’m considered qualified for the promotion, when my fellow colleague can be cleared with flying colors because he’s a legacy and an heir to a good name?  Why don’t the rules apply to everyone.  We all work the same job, clock in the same hours and clock out everyday.  The only difference is our pay, which determines our worth and ultimately where we rank in the company.  In other words, because I am non-white, I am treated like minimum wage, devalued and barely able to survive; overly taxed and forced to prove my worth everyday and heaven forbid I slip up or the book will be thrown at me and I can kiss my existence goodbye.

Let this sit for a moment and ponder how every forgotten person feels everyday when the majority wins.  There’s the belief that it’s more than just race, yet society reminds us everyday how race is defined and that is either your black, white or brown, instead of the fact we each make up one race and that is the human race and should be treated fairly with all rights and privileges the majority receives.

Overworked

 

 

 

Stand or Be Knocked Down Every Time

Everyone is building on some foundation.  The only question is how secure is that foundation and will it be able to withstand the trials of life.  Trials come in many forms. They may be in the form of issues within your family, your job, your neighbors, your friends, and even issues within yourself, but how you handle those issues will determine if your house will crumble into a thousand pieces or remain intact after the storm passes you by.  The bible tells us that in times of trouble, we should be steadfast, unmovable, always abiding within Christ, but how many of you know, at times we falter and stray away from this instruction that we find ourselves weathering the storm without a life vest or a raft in sight to keep us afloat.  Many of us proclaim that we are strong, when indeed our actions resemble the very opposite and we find ourselves questioning, “where is God” in all of this.  My brothers and sisters, the very fact of the matter that this question is proposed signifies that we are in jeopardy of being knocked down if we are incapable of withstanding the trials of life.

Look at Matthew 7: 24-27 (KJV)

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

When we examine this text, the first thing to note is there are two types of persons being described in this text; one that is wise and one that is foolish.  The one who listens builds his house upon rock, while the other builds his house upon sand.  When the rain falls and the water rises, the winds blow and storms shake the ground, the house that is built by rock is able to withstand, while the house built of sand, withers away and falls to the ground.  One may not believe this has anything to do with the trials of life but in reality it has everything to do with how we should govern ourselves when the trials of life come to tear us down and lead us from the path that Christ has laid before us.  You can not expect to overcome your trials if the first thing you do when trouble arises, is run and hide.  Nor can you expect to defeat your enemies when you rush to fight your battles with unplanned strategies and improper training.  One must strategically placed themselves in a position that will enable them to withstand any and everything that comes along with the right equipment to underestimate the challenges that oh so surprisingly unveil themselves before us day to day.

Like a lighthouse that is positioned either by or in the water, you must stand proud and tall and shine as a beacon of light before your enemies.  You must not be afraid to let your light shine before man.  Like the roaring winds and the rushing waters that clash against the lighthouse, your life must still shine bright so others may see their way to God through you.  Though it may seem dark, know that God has not given you the spirit of fear.  Stand up for right, join in the fight and be a soldier for Jesus.  If you dare to be a beacon of light then understand you must possess these three key elements in order to keep from being knocked down by everything.

I.  The Word of Life- Luke 8:13, Ephesians 3:17, Matthew 13:5-6

The Scriptures warn us of what happens to those who are not deeply rooted in Christ. “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).

In what Jesus taught about being rooted in the truth we find that there are those who start the journey in Christ in a good way. We find they receive the truth with joy. Yet, the truth is not rooted in them deeply enough. Thus, when temptation arises, that person falls away.

Root yourself in the word of God.  Christ wants to have a relationship with you.  In order for your relationship to be effective, you must get to know him and spend time with him daily.  Through praying and reading your word, you are equipping yourself with the tools and the strength to defeat your enemies and deal with the issues that come your way. Many times we ask God to handle our storms, when he promised to never leave nor forsake us, nor would he put more on us than we could bear.  Having the word in your heart enables you to respond to the enemy in tough times.  Spending time with him solidifies your relationship and enables Christ to know, this is an equal partnership and not one that solely is benefited by one person’s actions.

II. The Armor of God- Ephesians 6:10-18

Put on the whole armor of God.  Let nothing of this world come against you and steal you away from reaching your destiny.  If you are going to stand and handle your issues, you must first be equipped with the right tools.  Know just showing up doesn’t mean you will win.  The enemy anticipates you to show up but by having the armor of God you will already have enough to withstand the perils of this world.  Our issues come in many forms.  Therefore it’s important to realize that we wrestle not against flesh and blood all of the time, but against principalities and rulers of darkness.  Though you may walk in the flesh, be ye not afraid.  For the weapons of our God are not carnal but they are mighty before God through the pulling down of strongholds.  Though you may be at war with your issues, know that you can find peace through Christ Jesus and he will give you peace if you keep your mind stayed on thee.

III. Steady Feet-Psalms 46:10

Finally, stand firm and know he is God and he will do just what he said.  God is in control. Standing with God on your side will enable you to refrain from being knocked down by every situation that comes your way.  It amazes me how often people try and put the blame of their failure on obstacles and things when the reality is their faith was not strong enough.  Have faith and trust in God that he will fight on your behalf.  Christ wants to see us prevail through our situations but this can not happen when we constantly stand in the way of God moving on our behalf.

Today I challenge each of you to write down the issues that are standing in your way.  After writing them down, fold the paper in half so you can not see them.  Lay them near an alter, or before you in your secret place where you pray.  Ask God to grant you the strength to stand still and know that he will make everything alright.  After you pray about it, stop worrying about it, for God does not want you to pray and worry.  Finally, understand your issues will not disappear overnight.  In fact, the closer you walk with Christ and the stronger your bond is, the more issues you will start to face because let’s face it, the enemy does not want you to prosper.  His task is to simply distract you from anything that relates to having peace and a relationship with Christ.  I hope today I inspired you to hold on just a little while longer.  I hope today that I encouraged you to press on just a little bit further.  I hope that you will choose to stand and not be afraid.  To shine bright and lead a life that is pleasing in the sight of God.  For if you stand, let not your heart be troubled, but stand on the promises that Christ will keep you and never let you fall down by the wayside.  Be encouraged.

#journeyofaminister