A New light of Hope across America! – Celebrating Black History Month w/Forgiveness (the death of racial bias)

all lives matterIt was evident in 1865 when Racism enacted laws that governed freed slaves. These laws, called Black Codes arrested homeless and unemployed black people and fined them as vagrant. Because the vast majority could not afford to pay the fines, they either went to jail or were forced to “work off” the offense. As time went on, poor black men filled the prisons until the majority of criminals were black and most poor blacks were criminals.

In essence, racism created laws that made black men and criminality the same thing.

In the 1920s and 30’s, Racism dressed in white hoods, called black people “niggers” and found southern trees to bare its trophies. It burned down homes, churches, business, schools and killed little black girls and boys— leaving their broken bodies on the sides of river banks like trash.

In the 40’s and 50’s Racism evolved. It changed its name to discrimination and segregation, changed ours to “Colored” and was a bit more tolerant of our visionaries and white advocates who joined forces with us in the military, politics and social reform.

Racism pushed back on us when we dared to dream and march and demand equality. It publicly brutalized us with hoses and gases and dogs. But we persevered. Focused and unrelenting, our efforts enacted laws that gave us the rights to vote and learn and lift our heads in public and yes, even ride a bus. We demonstrated and prayed until our men became leaders and heroes and eventually martyrs for our causes.

Then Racism retreated. Wounded, but still alive, it laid low and reinvented itself. And while the black community, bent over and carrying 300 years of pain as if it didn’t exist, found pride in black power, black panthers, Shaft and afros, Racism became Racial Bias and we became Black.

Racial Bias is trendy and it sounds nicer. It’s subtle, institutionalized and on its surface, it’s even nonracial. Giving us reason to be newly suspect of our friends next door, it widens the racial divide; instigating accusation and promoting new fears.  And instead of using southern trees, Bias decorates urban sidewalks with the bodies of black men and police stations with the hoodies of non-aggressives. It assigns our daughters to systemic living but boasts of its tolerance to interracial marriage, integrated schools, communities and church…all the time ignoring our liked-minded Caucasian friends and keeping true equality just beyond reach.

And like some ancient demigod, it works in mysterious ways … existing just beneath the surface of truth and infusing our conversations with so much passion that they’ve become unproductive.

It has created racial divides so vast they’re impassable. It has laid for itself a foundation so strong with micro aggressive laws, pointed fingers, behavioral slights, snubs and insults embedded so deep in our society, they’re unreachable.

But what if finally, we did something different?

20120513053600!PickaxeWhat would happen to racism, if regardless of race, every one of us who REALLY cared grabbed a pic axe and started to dig?

What if we changed the game?

Who would we become if we accepted our differences and forgave the past… what if we took away its excuses?

Let’s do it!

Join me in a show of solidarity throughout the month of February, Black History month, by putting a green light on your front porch, in your window or on your steps; symbolizing healing, forgiveness and new beginnings for all people!!

Our position should be that our issues are not limited to one race of people because they are so big that they impact the quality of life for all people.

Share this blog. Spread the word…

Let’s shine a new light of hope across America!

C5E15635-1CC5-403E-A017BF68B03D6E2A_article

 

 

Advertisements

Faith takes you out on the water… or does it?

storm

See if you recognize yourself in this story:

Twelve men are in a little boat during a storm and being battered by waves. They see Jesus walking toward them…on the water. At first, none of them move because they are afraid, confused and shocked by what they see. Then, in a show of amazing faith, one of them becomes the hero when he steps out of the boat and actually walks on the water…just like Jesus.

Then the wind blows hard, and seized again by fear, the man looks down and begins to sink.  As he does, he calls out to Jesus for help. Jesus immediately catches him and says, “O ye of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mark 14:31).

And the moral of the story is…drum roll please…. “If you have faith and don’t look down or doubt, keeping your eyes on Jesus at all times, you too can be the hero who walks on water, just like “Peter” did. 

But what if you are not as heroic as Peter?

What if you are one of the ones who remain in the boat frozen in uncertainty? What if you are the one shocked, confused or content to just watch it all unfold? Afterall, we’re only human and there is a “man walking” on water.

Then again, maybe you are brave enough to step out of the boat and into the unknown – a new relationship, new job, or new direction in life. Maybe you are heroic enough to defy the storms of cancer, lupus and other illness or disease. Maybe you’ve taken that first step, but doubt got the better of you and now you’re sinking -in debt, relationship problems or loneliness.

Truth is, I’ve been every one of those characters at one time or another in my life. And I’ve heard all the lessons taught using this story and so many others that emphasize, not who I am, but who I should be. 

I should be the one with amazing faith to walk on water… the one who overcomes faster than a speeding bullet, who prospers financially, casts out demons and leaps tall buildings in a single bound.  I should be the one whose eyes are always, always, always fixed on Jesus. I should be the one who makes my way to Him every time without delay. With no second thoughts or murmurings, my faith should take me boldly out on that water and I should stand tall…cause that’s what faith does, right?

Wrong. Faith is not an all or nothing deal and doubt is not the same as unbelief.

Notice that Jesus didn’t say that Peter had no faith; He said that Peter’s faith was little. He didn’t ask Peter, “Why didn’t you believe?”  He asked, why did you doubt?

Each of us will at one time or another experience varying degrees of faith, uncertainty and times when we cry out to God to save us. And it’s ALL good!  Because although walking on water at any time is pretty cool, what’s missing from our lessons is what happens on either side of Peter’s little stroll…it’s that Jesus came toward HIM…to save him.

And so the moral of the story is not that we need enough faith to walk on water without doubt. It is that whether we are in abundance of faith or in doubt, whether we are in a boat on the water, walking on the water or sinking under it, no situation or circumstance will deter God from drawing close to us. The hand of God will find you in even the darkest waters. 

This is a story, not of heroes of faith making their way to Christ but of Christ drawing near to each of us in the midst of our storms … FAITH you see, is the confidence that GOD WILL draw near to us, and save us…every time!

And that my friends, makes quite a splash!

Are You Positioned to Recieve from GOD?

Demaryius Thomas, Eric DeckerLast night my friend, Harvey told me that he loves playing flag football. It reminded me of a time when I was a young girl—how I loved playing football with my brother and his friends. We’d gather in the courtyard outside our home and choose up teams. I was never first choice because even though I was fast, I struggled with catching the ball.

My brother Lawrence often got frustrated with me because he’d have to explain the rules of catching over and over again. He’d yell at me to put myself in line with the ball and then just “receive it.” He’d say, “That’s why they’re called receivers Leslie.” Needless to say, I didn’t get in the game very often.

So here I am, XX years later, still not in the game, but I finally know the rules. I know that I must get my shoulders in line with the ball and keep my eyes fixed on it… focusing on it alone and NOT being distracted by all the movement around me. My arms must be extended so that I can receive the ball through a focus created by my hands and I catch with soft fingers that are strong, powerful, slightly bent and straight.

My brain went right away to the parallels of receiving God’s best in my life.
I think that in order to experience a truly supernatural life in Christ Jesus, we need to correctly position ourselves to hear AND receive from Him. We must get our lives in line with His word, focusing on God alone and NOT being distracted by the movement around us so that we CLEARLY hear that still and small voice of the Holy Spirit. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (“rhema”) of God.” “Rhema” is the revealed word – a word that God has brought to light, which is specifically directed at you.

As good receivers, our position is on the offense and our goal is to defeat the opposing team by first receiving from GOD everything that He has directed toward us… even in a crowd, above our worries and in spite of the enemy’s accusations. And so perhaps, it’s not enough for us to just know the rules – perhaps we should get in the game, position ourselves for a good catch by doing what He says – whenever He says it…despite the chaos around us…otherwise, we just get tackled and drop the ball.

I don’t know. Just thinkin…

Does your life reveal a “Spectacular” God?

I was reading an Oswald Chambers devotional the other day that started with some very pointed questions like “Is our attitude today an attitude that comes from our vision of God? Are we expecting God to do greater things than He has ever done? Is there a freshness and vigor in our spiritual outlook?”

As I read those questions, I realized that in many ways my life lacks luster in exhibiting the objective of God—fulfilled, exuberant, expectant, spectacular and confident in the road that He has placed me on. I was not asking nor expecting anything extraordinary from God. In fact, I realized that at times, I’d reduced Him to “human-like” characteristics and even fallen into the “if it be thy will” prayer…. just in case my faith fails me.

But I’m bored with “safe” and “just in case.” I’m bored with prayers that lack luster and shy away from great and enormous expectations of God. I want more from life than that. I want mountains to move and cancers to disappear. I want families alive and thriving, talking donkey heads, open seas and thunderous rolls from heaven. I want miraculous!

John 10:10 says, “Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.”

In Hebrew thought, we are not mere vessels and the world is not a container, spaces to be filled with things. The world is an event in God’s purposes… the temporal manifestation of His conversation with us on the way from beginning to beginning… and we are sojourners filled with His breath of life.

Otherwise, what is this life that the Christ offers? Surely it is far more than being stuffed with a bunch of divine ideas, learning scripture and filling ourselves up with theology that make us fat with revelation but goes nowhere.

I say that if we live as God has purposed for us, than living must be Christ Alive in us—manifesting miracles; passionate, vibrant and awesome as we travel toward the way back home. Life must be filled with hope and great expectations. It must be…. in a word….spectacular…right?

“I don’t know. I was just thinkn’”