Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

tragedy

One can never fully prepare themselves for pain and anguish. There are times when we attempt to mentally brace ourselves for a tragedy that we see in the near distance, but there are no adequate words to describe the exact pain that one encounters once a crisis has actually occurred. It is natural to become numb to all of the other pleasantries of life and succumb to the hurt that has developed within once a tragedy has been experienced.

Some of the most pressing questions that we vocalize during a tragedy is “Where was God” and “Why would God allow this to happen?” It is difficult to comprehend an infinite God, full of compassion and love, allowing innocent school children to be victims of a tornado, or marathon participants to meet an early grave due to evil, terroristic acts. It is perplexing to our level of intellect that a destructive soul would be allowed to carry out such heinous acts that are contrary to God’s love for humanity.

In the wake of tragedies, we often feel alone and hopeless. The truth of the matter is that God still speaks to us. It’s not as easy to tune into the voice of God during a time of hurting, because we tend to lean on emotions and feelings, but there is a still, small voice that is being vocalized.

After the bombings that occurred at the Boston Marathon on April 15, there was a vast outpouring of love and support from many Americans nationwide. Through monetary funds and other resources, people expressed their concern and compassion for those who suffered tremendous loss. Their acts of love and kindness are the language of God. Even in the aftermath of a tragedy, God’s voice is amplified.

Tragedies, while often viewed as anguish and grief, can produce beauty. My grandmother died the day before my 7th birthday. As you can imagine, I went from expecting a birthday party with rambunctious-like neighborhood children to being confined to a state of mourning. It was fifty-four days after her death that I found myself at my church preparing myself to be baptized and filled with God’s Holy Spirit. I asked God about the timing and why it happened following a tragic event. He told me I was close to the creation, but not the Creator. The removal of a precious loved one was not intended to make me weak, but to experience God in a deeper and more intimate way.

I am convinced that God feels our pain and sorrow when we experience loss. Because God’s love for humanity caused him to sacrifice his own life, He is familiar with our sufferings.  It is important that even in a loss, we can grow to know God. With the comfort he provides in the midst of pain and the peace that surpasses our understanding, it permits us to trust Him.

The human vocabulary is simply not suffice to comfort those who have recently experienced a tragedy, but God’s language is. Through His grace, you will hear Him whispering sweet words of comfort. Through His mercy, you will feel Him uplifting you.

Everyone deals with tragedies in various ways. For some, the sting of death lasts for what seems like an eternity, but through it all, God speaks through acts of love. His biggest question, in the midst of a raging sea, is “Do you trust me?”

In this video, Bishop E.W. Jackson gives a solemn and passionate request for Christians to flee the Democratic party.

The bishop points to the far left views of the Democrats that has compelled them to promote hostility towards Christians and same-sex marriage.

The left is entrenched in an Hollywood-like, secular society that embraces everything that is anti-God and anti-morality. The Democratic Party has sought the influence of mainstream society that is pushing a progressive agenda that neglects God and the biblical principles this nation was founded on. A recent example of this was the party’s refusal to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the attempt to remove God from its party platform.

As a preacher and a minister of the Gospel, I join Bishop Jackson in calling on Christians to walk away from a party that puts God on the back burner and crucifies Christian principles in order to be politically correct.

The Democrats eagerness to embrace the expansion of government sends a message that government is bigger than God. I strongly reject this notion. We must continue to seek God’s wisdom and guidance concerning every decision we make.

To some individuals, church is a sacred sanctuary. A place where people come to receive a spiritual transformation or an inspirational word of advice to relieve them of the stress and anguish they encounter in their lives. It is a place of emotional, spiritual, physical and mental healing, a venue of communication between God and humanity. But for many, church is dreadful. It is a place where well-kept secrets come to light, confusion is company, and judgment is a constant visitor. Instead of being a beacon of hope, it is being visualized as a utopia for egos, self-righteous saints, and loveless individuals.

After much thought and observation, I concur with this perception. Without a shadow of doubt, I have had pleasant and life-changing experiences via the Church. I have felt the warm embrace of people who displayed love and humility. It is indeed the place where I forsook my secular nature and decided to follow in the steps of Christ. It is where I found comfort in the fact that a loving God forgave me of past sin and called me to minister to those who are hurting and felt abandoned in an alone, dark and cold world.

It is love, grace and mercy that attracted me and many others to find a niche in the Church, and it is the lack of these components that has and will continue to drive people away. For all of us who are in the church, we have experienced deliverance and freedom from past sin. While the magnitude of our sin may vary, the bottom line is: Sin is sin. No sin is greater than another, and God is not a respecter of persons. With this said, many of us forget who we used to be and where we came from. We forget to extend the same grace to others that was given to us from Almighty God. We crucify others before showing them love. We give them a death sentence before they even stand trial. We offer condemnation instead of forgiveness, judgment instead of love, confusion instead of a peace of mind.

Many blame and fault the church for its hypocrisy. No matter how long we have been saved, we will stay fall and falter. The simple fact that we are human (with sin and imperfections) and serve a God (sinless without any imperfections) automatically subjects us to humanity, which, of course, consists of many flaws and failures, regardless of how strong our spiritual status may or may not be. I staunchly believe that the secular society is not turned away by the imperfections of those involved in the church, but the lack of love and grace shown to those whose imperfections and faults are revealed.

 

Sadly, the church has been transformed into a “Gossip Headquarters.” We forget the fact that Jesus himself surrounded himself with people full of flaws and mistakes. He despised the self-righteous people and those who had a “holier-than-thou” mindset. He looked at the inward while most men focused on the outward appearance. Jesus looked at the heart of a man. Jesus loved. We MUST love. Love is not just words. It is action. Love transcends faults, failures and imperfections. Love is more than just hymns and a 30 minute sermon. Love is more than just a fellowship dinner or a church convention. Love sees beyond the hurt and pain. Love is what embraces you once rejection and heartbreak have made residence in your life. The church must embrace love instead of embracing the gavel of a judge. The church must bring people to love instead of bringing them to an emotional jail cell. It is love that changes people, not our church standards. It is love that causes people to believe in something greater than one’s self. Love conquers our enemies, not church ministerial meetings. It is love that will bring people to God, and it is the lack of it that will turn people away. Love is on the verge of becoming extinct in the modern-day churches. The only thing can stop it from becoming extinct is….the willingness to love.

 

God And the Economy

Posted: April 28, 2012 in Politics, Religion

In the midst of the turbulent and chaotic economic woes that America faces on a daily basis, how are we supposed to respond to the financial armageddon that has encompassed us? It is very easy to become saturated with fear and anxiety, and to live in worry and be pessimistic about the future. The economic experts are predicting that the economy will be in a downward spiral for several months to come. Politicians and government analysts are divisive on how to solve the crisis. To be completely honest, the secular and mainstream world are in a frantic panic. However, if we abide by God’s economic policy, we will be prosperous and live a joyful life.

When you abide by God’s economy, you will live joyful even in the most heinous and toughest times of life. Right now, people are looking for economic news that will make them “happy.” But being happy is just a temporary feeling that can be easily changed in a matter of time. Being happy is a momentary satisfaction that can be offset by a circumstance or situation. However, being joyful is the state of being conditioned in the love and faithfulness of God. Because his Word promises us that he will never leave us or forsake us and that he has never seen righteous beg for bread! There is joy in the simple fact that no matter what the situation looks like, God is with me! Wherever he will lead me, he’s already been there and he’ll never put more on us than we can bear! But what does this have to do with economics??? Well…

1.) God’s economy is based on faithfulness. Being faithful to God requires more than 10% tithes and an offering. While we are required to bring God our first fruits through tithes and offerings, our faithfulness to God is simply the way we live our lives. If we are faithful to him by abiding in his word, prayer and offering up sacrifices of praise at ALL time, God will be faithful to us. If we love him and put him first above anyone and anything, God will look out for us and he will be our provider!

2.) God’s economy is based on contentment. Trying to keep up with the Joneses is very easy to do, but also can be detrimental. Paul said that “I have learned that whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.” In this financial disaster that our country is currently in, many people were trying to live outside their means. If God has not given you the resources to live higher than your means, DON’T DO IT! We must be content with what God wants us to have. I do believe God blesses unconditionally, but also on his timing and that we cannot try to push the fast forward button and try to live upscale before it is our timing. We must be content and be willing to let God use us in whatever state we are in. Our contentment will take us to a higher level with God which opens the door for more blessings and opportunities.

3.) God’s economy is based on selflessness. “For the love of money is the root of all evil”. Greed has crucified our financial system. It’s because of greed that CEOs are receiving huge bonuses even when their companies are under-performing. It’s because our world has become intimate with greed that Wall Street is constantly sinking. Bank accounts have dwindled, savings have evaporated and for many people, their lives have been turned upside down. Money can cause us to become selfish and think about our wants instead of us investing into the kingdom of God. When you invest into God’s economy, you will never become “broke”. For when you invest into the economy of God, you invest your time and energy into being developed into the man or woman of God that God wants you to be and you do not become caught up in the stress and money woes of the secular world. It is important for us to be kingdom minded and start of thinking of serving God and others and not ourselves.

4.)God’s economy is based on trust. At this time, people have little trust in government. Can we blame them? Absolutely not! The corruptness that has been revealed has fractured what little trust people may have put in government. However, God’s economy operates completely different. God wants us to trust in him. We must believe that his word is forever settled in heaven. When our family and friends fail us, we must trust God to be a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. We must trust him to make a way out of no way. We must trust God to stand in our defense and be our strength when we are weak.

God’s economy is NOT in a recession! The world is wavering but God isn’t. Let us partake in God’s economy by investing our time and energy in his kingdom. Let us store treasure in heaven and not in this earth. That which is divine, cannot be harmed by that which is secular.