Right now; EVEN now; We Should Give Thanks! —– #Thanksgiving –>

gratitude

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6)~~ God has given us reasons once again to give Him thanks, and this is what we must do. We are living in a time of great anxiety, but He has offered us a way out of anxiety. We may know His loving care. There is no one so good, so high, so holy, and so merciful as God. We are thankful that He has invited us to bring our petitions and our requests to Him. Who else can we go to for wisdom, or for hope, or for guidance? We are thankful for peace that proceeds from His forgiveness, the wholeness that comes from His restorative touch. We are thankful His for creating a world He called “good.” We thank Him that despite the evil that has entered the world and still wages war in our own souls, His goodness is undiminished. We thank Him that we have seen honor that is bolder than shame…mercy that is wider than cruelty…truth that is straighter than deception…faith that is stronger than treachery…hope that is deeper than desperation. We thank Him for the ordinary things: the bread we receive today, the breath by which we live today. And we thank Him for the extraordinary things: the strength we didn’t know was possible, and the discovery of truths we didn’t know. We thank Him for the immeasurable grace shown to us in the coming of Jesus Christ, the hope of the world. Be thankful today for each other and enjoy your families and the blessings you have… In all things today, give thanks In His Name. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Violence is the Language of the Unheard; Know the Context and make the RIGHT THING be heard!

cropped-injustice.jpg
So many people have Quoted Dr. King’s words as if to justify the response to the verdict and government missteps in Ferguson.  There are a LOT of obvious truths as to why people feel the way they do and why things are like they are.  Even in the 60’s Dr. King spoke on these things that SADLY are still an issue today.  But before we go on twisting the man’s words, it’s important that we know the context of the conversation he was speaking in…  Yes, Violence is the language of the unheard but it also results in the wrong thing BEING heard! Read on! 

MLK: A riot is the language of the unheard

Three years after “I Have a Dream” and the March on Washington, Dr. King talked with Mike Wallace about divisions in the Civil Rights movement
  • We recently celebrated the 51st anniversary not just of one of the greatest speeches in American history — Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” — but also an important turning point in the civil rights movement, when a quarter of a million people marched on Washington, D.C., to demand equality for African Americans.
In one of the most stirring refrains of his speech, Dr. King told the crowd assembled before the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, about his dream:
 

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

 
The path to this dream, Dr. King said, must be through non-violence:
 
Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights — of meeting physical force with soul force.
 
Three years later in 1966, in an interview with Mike Wallace, Dr. King continued to stress the path of non-violence, despite a summer of violence. Race riots were taking place across the country, and rifts in the civil rights movement were widening. Militant leaders – like Stokely Carmichael and his call for “black power” — demanded that the movement part from Dr. King’s gospel.
Despite such pressure, Dr. King would not budge. He told Mike:
 
I contend that the cry of “black power” is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.

Dr. King fought on, non-violently, for two more years. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, the day after he gave his moving “Mountaintop” speech in which he told a crowd in Memphis that he’d seen the “Promised Land” of a just country, but tragically predicted:

I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.

Below is the text of Mike’s Sept. 27, 1966, interview with Dr. King for CBS Reports.

REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (speech): Now what I’m saying is this: I would like for all of us to believe in non-violence, but I’m here to say tonight that if every Negro in the United States turns against non-violence, I’m going to stand up as a lone voice and say, “This is the wrong way!”
 
KING (interview): I will never change in my basic idea that non-violence is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for freedom and justice. I think for the Negro to turn to violence would be both impractical and immoral.
 
MIKE WALLACE: There’s an increasingly vocal minority who disagree totally with your tactics, Dr. King.
 
KING: There’s no doubt about that. I will agree that there is a group in the Negro community advocating violence now. I happen to feel that this group represents a numerical minority. Surveys have revealed this. The vast majority of Negroes still feel that the best way to deal with the dilemma that we face in this country is through non-violent resistance, and I don’t think this vocal group will be able to make a real dent in the Negro community in terms of swaying 22 million Negroes to this particular point of view. And I contend that the cry of “black power” is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.
 
WALLACE: How many summers like this do you imagine that we can expect?
 
KING: Well, I would say this: we don’t have long. The mood of the Negro community now is one of urgency, one of saying that we aren’t going to wait. That we’ve got to have our freedom. We’ve waited too long. So that I would say that every summer we’re going to have this kind of vigorous protest. My hope is that it will be non-violent. I would hope that we can avoid riots because riots are self-defeating and socially destructive. I would hope that we can avoid riots, but that we would be as militant and as determined next summer and through the winter as we have been this summer. And I think the answer about how long it will take will depend on the federal government, on the city halls of our various cities, and on White America to a large extent. This is where we are at this point, and I think White America will determine how long it will be and which way we go in the future.
 
WALLACE: Even Sen. Jacob Javits asked the question recently. He said that he was a slum resident, but he and some of his fellow Jews were able to make it out of the ghetto on the lower East Side of New York. The same thing is true with lots of Irish, Italians, and he asked the question why the Negro finds it so difficult to make his own way up out of the ghetto? You did.
 
KING: Number one, no other racial group has been a slave on American soil. It’s nice to say other people were down and they got up. They were not slaves on American soil. The other thing is that the Negro has had high visibility, and because of the prejudices existing in this country his color has been against him. It’s been against him and they’ve used this to keep him from moving up. In the final analysis, when you say to a man that you are in this position because of your race or because of your color, you say to that man that he can never get out of it. Other racial groups have been able maybe to change their accent or to change their names, but the Negro can’t.

We Must Not Strike Back!! @Josephwalker3 –>

From the Tennessean:

A message from Bishop Joseph Walker, presiding bishop-elect of the 2 million-member Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship International and senior pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville:

“A Grand Jury in St. Louis County, Missouri has made its decision. Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson will not be indicted for the killing of Michael Brown. I know this will pain and anger many in America, particularly African Americans. But I implore you to think and pray before you react.

“Today, we must reach out, not strike back. Turn your anger into productive energy. Speak up and speak out, but don¹t scream. The physical and verbal violence has got to stop. We have the power to end it by starting substantive conversations in our communities.

“Today, think about Jesus¹s message of peace and understanding. Then put His message into a modern context. Move from the street to the sanctuary ­ and bring the entire community with you. Wherever you are in America right now, go to your churches and invite others whom you perceive to be the ³other² to join you. Invite law enforcement in. Invite a broad spectrum of community leaders in. Invite members of other faiths in. Invite students in. All colors. All beliefs. All opinions. Invite them in.

“Be the instigators of discussion and collaboration. Take to social media, not to rant but to reach out. Start dialogue. Ask questions. Listen to responses. This is how we begin to operate from a position of mutual respect, which is the only way we will finally root out racism and misunderstanding in this country.

“We have begun this process in Nashville by forming Nashville Unites. It encourages ongoing dialogue between communities, law enforcement, educational institutions, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. It aims to establish and promote shared goals for a better city. Nashville Unites represents organized momentum towards understanding. Similar organizations can be launched in any community in this country. Do it today. Let today¹s decision out of Ferguson be the day we stop the useless posturing and finger-pointing on all sides. The time has come to reach out and invite each other in.

“I do not have all the answers for overcoming what divides us. But I know that this is the only way we will find them.”

Stop all the hating and battling of people; Your enemy is not “human” #ArmourOfGod–>

Armour of God
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12)~~ My family and I are hurting; Our whole region is hurting! I thank you for lifting your voices to end racial profiling and police intimidation; But hurting others or destroying property is not the answer!! No matter what the grand jury decides, I don’t want my son’s death to be in vain; I want it to lead to incredible change. Positive change. Change that makes the St. Louis region and the world better for everyone. We live here — together. This is our home. We are stronger united. Continue to lift your voices with us, and let’s work together to heal, to create lasting change, for all people, regardless of race.”  Words from Mike Brown Sr.. Father of the slain younger Mr. Brown in Ferguson, MO. 
 
Things are so tense right now, not just in Ferguson, but in so many places around the world and we are at each other’s throats… and the burning question is “Why?”. Why are we in such a war with each other? People cite things like race and status and other differences between classes of people. They bring up things like one’s affluence versus another’s struggle; the long-term hatred of a particular race. One says they’re trying to take this away from them or destroy that – that when “their kind” has a problem, they resort to violence so now everyone has to be on guard. Political, social and economic differences are just as tense as a racial divide these days.  Truth is, we’re all still…. people! We make enemies of people because they look different, or have different cultures or beliefs, or because they come from a different place… or simply because they’re a different … race!  Sometimes it’s the simple words said by people, through the things that belong to our souls; and they labor to deface the heavenly image in our hearts. Seems like people can be experts at pushing our buttons. And the rapid-fire forums of social media contribute to and vastly accelerate the tension as so many more people and comments are made public within seconds of an activity. They can say or do just the right things to get your mind going and your blood boiling!
 
But the combat we often find ourselves in is not against human enemies, nor against our own corrupt nature; we have to do with an enemy who has a thousand ways of beguiling unstable souls. The devil assaults us through random thoughts in our minds. Once evil has gained it’s stronghold, it succeeds in keeping you from God’s purpose in your life. The devil can’t harm us but he is a master at getting us to harm ourselves. So we riot and loot; we fight and lash out at people as we all are tricked by the enemy’s evil principalities.  If you look at the status of affairs in the world, look at the various movements and the overall mindset being developed by man these days – how many things that we were all raised to know as wrong have become acceptable practice? No, the devil can’t take us out but if only he can turn us away from God…and then against each other…gotcha! The devil can’t hurt us but he can get us to hurt ourselves and each other through his twisted plot! 
 
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:13-17). Friend, Don’t let people get to you!  Don’t be fooled by the tricks of the enemy; but know who the ‘real’ enemy is and what’s happening around you! We must resolve by God’s grace, not to yield to Satan. Give no place to the devil! Resist him, and he will flee. If we react, we give way, and he will get ground. If we distrust either our cause, or our Leader, or our armour, we give the enemy an advantage. May you pray and receive when antagonized, that fruit of the Spirit… Self Control. Come Lord Jesus! 

God’s Truth IS the Truth #NoTrendingNecessary –>

mans opinion or Gods truth

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Tim 4:1-2)~ Increasingly mankind is buying in to a ‘new’ mindset that interprets the truth of God in a very different (and misguided) way… politically correct and adjusted as seen fit to compensate for the “way things are” today; taking into considerations man’s feelings and desires; in step with trending popularity; re-defining the intent of God’s word! We have changed the truth of God into a lie; following and even worshipping the created (our own ideals) rather than the Creator (God)! This interpretation suggests that it’s okay to exist in a way other than God’s word; because what God expects from us is unrealistic and we can’t do it anyway! People now attach ‘language’ to sin to soften the blow of sin…to make it more acceptable and its consequence less punitive..like the lies the devil told in the Garden of Eden. Because society has propagated the belief that it’s unrealistic to live by the guidelines of God’s Word, today’s culture says that to follow the Word of God is out of step and out of date with ‘reality’. Now what used to be up is down, what used to be this way is now that way. God’s doctrines are now viewed as to be intended for those in ‘Biblical’ times. Here’s the reality check: As much as it may disturb some to take it in, the truth of the matter is this: God is God alone and He does not change (Mal 3:6); He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) – He didn’t ask for nor does He desire our opinion, feedback or interpretation. Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it (Job 40:2). He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and His way IS the way…Acceptance by Him cannot be obtained on any other ground than that of the covenant of mercy, through the atonement of Christ. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor 2:11)..we can’t shape things around political campaigns, public outcry and opinion or even organized rebellion. These are all areas that the enemy will use to get us to justify our rebellion. Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes. We have the Word, that many of us have knowledge and understanding of. We must also stand under that Word! Wisdom is to be used, that we take great care in the decisions we make and the doctrines we follow. We scream that we have ‘free will’ to do as we choose..but that doesn’t mean that what we choose will be right. From the choices of Adam and Eve going aside of the Word of God in the Garden that set the course of a curse to all of mankind…to the choice of Abraham to trust God that brought the promise of abundant blessings to all that came behind him…and the choice of Jesus to do the Will of God that restored all of mankind… His Word is and must always be our foundation. No matter what is said, created as a new law or trending in popularity, God’s Word is still the ultimate truth and we must not depart from it! 

O Give Thanks Unto the Lord; His Mercy Endures FOREVER –>

His-Mercy-Endures-Forever-930x1024

O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; God of gods; Lord of lords; who alone doeth great wonders; that by wisdom made the heavens; that stretched out the earth above the waters; that made the sun to rule by day; the moon and stars to rule by night. O give thanks to Him who remembered us in our low estate; And hath redeemed us from our enemies; Who giveth food to all flesh; O give thanks unto the God of heaven for HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER! (From Ps 136)~~ God’s very being is absolute GOOD! He does not merely do good nor does He simply demand it from others; rather He IS good. No deed or motivation originates with Him that does not exist as an expression of generous goodness! His every action and impulse are profoundly good. My favorite part about this all is that God’s goodness does not have an expiration date! His love does not reach some moment where we discover that it has been finally exhausted. While we are fickle and faithless, God is steadfast, unflinching, consistent and always pressing toward the ones on whom the eyes of love have been set! In this world where everything seems in flux and unreliable, God’s love is absolutely, surely and infinitely true and stable. As we look over the seasons of our lives, our joys and sorrows are made right and are in an unending abundance of grace! We should be always encouraged and assured that God is with us! His love will never abandon us. HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER!

Getting TO the next season requires getting THROUGH this season! #Perseverance –>

persevere

If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jer 12:5)~ How often we find ourselves complaining about our discomforts and pain; Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me…O my God, my soul is cast down within me (Ps 42:5,6). We pray to God to move us on into the next season as a way of getting us out of these trials and pain. Pain is inevitable but we must not become disoriented by it. Our trials, even in our places of comfort are designed to propel us toward our place of destiny. In order to go TO the next season, you must go THROUGH this one – no one is going to just ‘walk’ into the next season. Like the elements of nature, that change from one season to the next with turbulent and sometimes violent clashes in the weather, we must go THROUGH challenging circumstances and impacts of our perspective as we move from one season in life to the next. What’s more the new season may not necessarily the ‘due’ season that so many of us expect. Don’t misunderstand in thinking that the new season will not have trials because it’s very possible that the season you go into may be even MORE challenging. Remember, God is preparing you for the next level; but your “destiny” may be a little further off..still. If you think you can’t handle what you’re going through today, what makes you think tomorrow will be ‘easier’? In fact, it may be ‘harder’! But my confidence is in the Creator! Your blessing comes in perseverance. HOPE thou in God: praise Him for the help of His countenance. Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen. For if we HOPE for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance! We can HOPE in God because He has planned for us to have a hope: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE” (Jer 29:11) . And that promise, we can depend on for God is not a man that He would lie; nor the son of man that He would repent; hath He said, and shall He not do it; or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? (Num 23:19). So if God promised it, it’s sure to be done because He not only won’t fail; but He won’t turn away from that which He has spoken. But your perseverance is a must, in THIS season; because if you can’t handle the little things of today, how will you handle tomorrow? Trust Him even in the trials of today; God is preparing you. Be faithful over these few things and He will make you a ruler over many!!