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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “good news”

SPEAK Your Successes

I read something so troubling yesterday that it pained my soul.  Why?  Well, it was a description of a community by a writer who does not know that community, to an audience (who I would like to think is) genuinely curious.  The article I read was one of two things, truth or blatantly offensive.  Either way, the commentary is sad, but it sells.

Unsettled, I actively pulled up the perimeter of the community of focus.  I did so to compare, in fact, the picture painted  in the article with the one in my head.  Maybe I was being too optimistic in thought?  It is possible.

Actual people and families living within this targeted area flooded my thoughts.  I began to identify (by name) residents within these boundaries who, contrarily to the writer’s depiction:

  • live with their spouses,
  • parents who take care of their children,
  • are educated and believe in the value of education,
  • work and work hard,
  • are faith-filled and faithful,
  • are respectful and respected,
  • actively strive for success,
  • are not criminals,
  • are not receiving any form of “free” governmental assistance,
  • and so and so forth.

I began to list residents who, if you are in distress, they will take a moment to listen, and to help.  I began to note people of and from that community who have done and are doing positive and amazing things.  The list is long and growing, and silenced.  The sadness of my soul grew heavier.

You know, people have their own agendas when telling your story.  Far too many times, far too many people consent to other people’s versions about their lives because they do not know (for themselves) their assets, their value, their history, their truth.  Once you understand that your very presence is a miracle, that alone should give you life.  Once you accept that your life is one of purpose, that your value is too great to be measured, that your destiny is greatness, you will understand that your responsibility to be great is owed not only to yourself, but to those who sacrificed before you and to those who will follow.  You will recognize that the inspiration and focus which lives within you is intentional, disallowing you to accept another person’s truth about your circumstance.  You will know you for yourself.  It is for them to accept, or not.  Either way, you are not deterred.

A few years ago, I learned that there is a language of success.  SPEAK it!  Insecurities may tempt you to hide the good of your life.  People will be jealous.  Oh well.  People will talk about you for being true.  Shrug.  People will attempt to be stumbling blocks.  Rise above them.  These people should not be walking close to you anyway.  Be thankful that you can recognize them.  Do not be bitter.  Be better!

Speak your successes!  People will be happy for you!  Some you will see.  Some you will not.  Be encouraged.  People will help you!  People will watch you.  People want to see positive manifestations in both people and in situations.  Be honest.  You want to see it too!

Speak your successes!  SHINE and SHINE BRIGHTLY!  Do not apologize for being your best self.  You will draw onto you new associations, new experiences, new opportunities which will challenge you to be all you can be.  You will challenge theirs.

Speak your successes so that when others share their versions of you for their gain, the audience will have a rebuttal.  One rebuttal may be considered an exception.  One rebuttal will make a truth not absolute.  Just think…..a non-absolute truth presented in an absolute way…well…..that is a lie.

Be Well,

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

Kingdom Business

Does anyone besides me go through seasons when attending church services on a regular basis seem difficult, to say it nicely?  If you have not guessed, I am constantly surrounded by numerous faith-believing people, mostly Christian but not all.  We have conversations about numerous topics, but I have yet to have a serious discussion about my struggles regarding attending church services on a regular basis.  Let’s face it.  The faith community can, at times, present their views in ways that come across as extremely judgmental.  To someone who studies the Word, these sessions can easily turn into back and forth scripture quoting showdowns.  In doing so, we illustrate that we can recite biblical verses but this does not always leave a person motivated to face and deal with a very real issue.

Maybe you can relate to me?  I love spending time reading, studying, mediating on, talking about, being bathe in God’s Word.  Still, I have learned that I cannot talk about His Word with every faith-based person.  (I may blog more about that at a later time.)  Because I enjoy this and because I understand the importance of developing a personal relationship with God, I can very easily find a solitary place for this purpose.  Because I have a great deal of faith-based friends who are concerned about my spiritual well-being, as I am about theirs, I fellowship regularly (if not daily).  I donate (time, talents, and/or financially) to causes that promote His Kingdom, either directly or indirectly.  I listen to faith-based music and teachings via multiple vehicles.  Still, at this time I find myself believing that God wants me to attend church regularly.

“But why,” I have been asking.

Rest

At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place.  The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.  But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”  And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.  —Luke 4:42-44

Do you know why you were created?  Really, do you know your purpose?  I needed to get unapologetically serious about mine.  Why?  Because people watch.  (They want to hear and see good news.)

Contrary to the multi-billion dollar industry that continues to become richer by instilling fear, people really want Love.  Via Love, there lives Truth.  Via Truth, there lives trust.  People want to trust, but many do not think they can trust so they watch.  They watch for the lie.

Isn’t it interesting how babies—toddlers—trust you until you show them that you lie?  How disturbing to one’s soul that must be?  And THIS is why, during this season, I must push through my struggles and attend church services regularly.

It is now, at this time, that I understand the importance of finding a balance between finding solitude and going out amongst the people, even in faith-based places.  There is work to be done both in and outside of the sanctuary.  May my life preach the good news.   After all, this is Kingdom Business.

Silent Watch, Public Praise

Do you believe in angels?  Seriously, do you believe that they exist TODAY?  I do.

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”  The angel answered, “I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and tell you good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you will not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”  —Luke 1:18-20

The year before I enrolled into law school, I attended a summer law program at the University of Richmond.  While there, I met a woman who identified herself as a Dean at another law school.  She told me that if I delayed attending law school by one year, I would receive a full scholarship.

“Really,” I thought.  How could I be sure that this would really happen?  I did not know this lady and she did not know me (or so I thought).  I had only met her that day.  Needless to say, I delayed my plans to attend law school.  After finishing the law program in Virginia, I returned home and got a job at a non-profit organization.  Only one or two family members knew why I was delaying attending law school.  It was not something I talked about, probably because I was skeptical of this good news.  Have you ever received news that seemed so miraculously good and you did not believe it?  Why would we ever struggle like this?  Should not we live knowing that all things are possible through Christ?  Believing impossibilities should not be our obstacle.  THIS should be our expectation!

Rest 

After returning home, I continued to prepare to go to law school while spending time with family.  Being home ended up being a greater blessing in hindsight because one of my grandfathers died during my first year in law school.  (God knew.)

While I was home, I spoke to the Dean only one time.  Interestingly, I had a certain peace about the situation.  Then, several months later it happened.

Immediately his [Zechariah’s] mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.  The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.  —Luke 1:64-65

Via mail, I received notification that I had indeed received a full scholarship, inclusive of a stipend, to attend law school.  What a HUGE blessing!  I still praise God for this manifested promise.

A strange thing happened, however.  When I called the home phone number I had used one time prior to thank the Dean, I was told I had the wrong number.  Likewise, when I called the law school where she said she worked I was told there was not, nor had there ever been, anyone who worked there by her name.  I thank God for sending me an angel who delivered His message.  I thank Him for being patient with me as I silently watched His promise manifest.  I thank Him for allowing me that experience to remember regarding other promises He has made.  I thank God that this experience will encourage and bless someone else.  Yes, I am still singing His praises!  People are still in awe!  After all, if He did it for me, He can do it for you!

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