Soul Fiber: And, what about God?

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27-31 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh

strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40:30-31 – The Message


The story is told about a young woman who is having a conversation with her aged grandparents. She is about to go away to college and she wanted Grand Pop and Nana’s blessings before leaving. The story goes something like this:

     “Grand’s, I have been accepted in the college of my dreams and I wanted your blessings before leaving. After graduation in four years, I plan to go to Hollywood. I want to be a movie star. I want to be famous. I want to be rich and buy a lot of things. I want to travel the world….Please pray that my every wish comes true.”

     “And, what about the Lord? You want us to pray for you and you have made no reference to your plans for God,” said one of the Grand’s. “After your parents were killed by a drunk driver we legally adopted you. We prayed over you until you caught on to prayer and then, we prayed with you until you wanted to pray on your own. We also worshipped together throughout your life. At every turn, we taught you to wait on the Lord.” The young lady gave this considerable thought before responding. And that’s how the story ends. Did she become one of the following?

     Blank poses for silly pics with her kids on the beach. Blank takes sexy photos at Cemetery to honor the dead with her cleavage. Blank channels M. Monroe at the kids’ choice awards. Blank is released after spending 30 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. When asked ‘how did you survive the time knowing you were innocent?’ She responded “I started a Bible Study and prayed while waiting.…”

Each of these captions has recently been in the news. Which one do you think is the suspected descendant of any and every praying parent and grandparent?

The ones who know and know about a loving God who has our best interest at heart are the ones who respond throughout their wholesome activities to the question “And, what about the Lord?”

   Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.

Soul Fiber: RESURRECTION! Real or Imagined?

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At that moment [when Jesus gave up His spirit and died], the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom. There was an earthquake, and rocks were split in pieces. What’s more, tombs were opened up, and many bodies of believers asleep in their graves were raised. (After Jesus’ resurrection, they left the tombs, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.)Matthew 27:51-53 Message.

Resurrection is an American fantasy drama television series about dead people who return to life. The series is based on the book The Returned by Jason Mott. So far in the series, three persons have come back from the grave, reappeared to their families, and took up life where they left life. Families who have not experienced the return of their relatives from the grave are fearful and suspicious of the resurrected.

During the season of Lent as we move closer to celebrating Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, we become increasing interested in the subject of life after death and its relationship to an actual appointed time when the dead [in Christ] shall experience a literal resurrection. Apparently, a resurrection or two has already happened according to Matthew 27:51-53. Matthew suggests that there was a resurrection immediately following the death of Jesus and after Jesus’ resurrections. Allow me to park here parenthetically to note that between the death and resurrection of Jesus, He descended to the lower parts of the earth to set the captives free. Biblical resurrection is defined as the reuniting of God’s Spirit (breath) with an incorruptible body [soul], never again to be separated by death. The word resurrection is used in Holy Writ 40 times.

Most of us are familiar with the temporary resurrection of Lazarus (John 11). Many Christians believe in the literal resurrection of the body Jesus and site Scripture regarding Him being recognized by the Disciples. A colleague pointed out to me that they did not recognize Jesus by His scars; first they recognized Jesus by His voice. John 10:26-27 reads “You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” Then, there are those who believe we experience a form of resurrection each time we rise above the storms of life. Last but certainly not least, there are those who believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and we shall also experience our own resurrection – that is the hope of the Church. For you is it real – literally, spiritually, physically – or imagined, made up as a way of being hopeful about victory over death? As for me, ‘tis real.

   Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.

Soul Fiber: A Little Hope Is Better Than No Hope

combined photo“All I want is an answer to one prayer,  a last request to be honored:
Let God step on me—squash me like a bug, and be done with me for good. I’d at least have the satisfaction of not having blasphemed the Holy God, before being pressed past the limits. Where’s the strength to keep my hopes up? What future do I have to keep me going?” Job 6:10-13 Message.

Job has had quite a time by the time we come to Chapter 6 in the Book named after him. As the story goes, his sons and daughters, cattle and other livestock and much of his property and possessions have been destroyed; His wife has suggested that he curse God and die and his three visiting friends have concluded that somehow Job has disappointed or sinned against God.

When others are not aware of your relationship with God and, more importantly, when you are not aware of your relationship with God, it takes little if any effort to find fault instead of faith when life seems to dump on you. I often hear with my third ear my Bishop saying when she was at her lowest state “God, what have I done to you to deserve this?” That was one of a handful of times I’ve heard someone talk to God like they would talk with another human being. Yet, when we read the Bible outside of the 17th Century King James Bible, it reads in many places like two individuals having a person-to-person conversation. And, the Message really makes for understanding the connection between contemporary humans and the Divine.

My only God son, whom I adopted over ten years ago, is in critical condition. His natural and adoption parents are deceased. As his only God mom, I feel all but hopeless in what seems to be a hopeless situation. He is intubated, heavily sedated,  and needs a liver transplant. Two weeks ago he was up and about and we were having rich conversations. He titled my articles SOUL FIBER and, as the brain child for SPACE FOR GRACE FELLOWSHIP CENTER: The Inclusive Gathering, we have had endless chats about her development and impact on creating save space for experiencing spirituality and turning on to a loving God. The very idea of this awesome community of faith moving forward without my Godson is incomprehensible.

The medical professional are doing all they know to do. Mom use to say “we can predict; only God can produce.” While she was referencing the weather, it is true of life. We have hope (anticipation, optimism, confidence) for warmer days during sub-zero nights and we have hope for restored health when there seems to be only a glimmer of hope. Even in hopeless situations, a little hope is better than no hope.

 Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.

Soul Fiber: The Proliferation (Increase) of Good

combined photo“8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:8-9 NIV

Throughout the years, we have heard it said “your best days are ahead of you.” We have heard these words from mega and not so mega faith based organizations fleecing their membership for more money; perpetrators on every level of domestic violence have wooed their way back into the lives of many victim’s using similar words; and many victims have paid their way into poverty giving to religious money mongers or lost their lives believing their perpetrators. Often, the language and behavior of assaulting perpetrator is strikingly common across sorted opportunities for abuse; using alluring words that give a false sense of security to the unsuspecting; words that equate love with how much you give and word of worthlessness often equated with how little you can give.

Some politicians could fall into the category of perpetrator as more tax cuts benefit the have’s and victimize the have-nots. Perhaps the word love has a role here also – love of maintaining one’s lifestyle, love of money, love of more than enough, love of self…. Then, there are the military members – most of whom have earned their rise in the ranks – who are blowing their careers when they victimize those of lesser ranks. Sexual assault in particular is running rampant in the armed services.

PictureMore than a few of us are very concerned about the crisis building as Russia moves into the Ukraine; and we definitely need the justice system to rise above its cultural conditioning, justifying the actions of their own and harshly judging the actions of black men (and women). Even Mother Nature seems to be reeking a bit of havoc with the drought in the west, unprecedented snow storms in the south, and ice and snow storms in the Midwest and east. It’s been so cold and snowy that it can be difficult to believe that spring is coming.

So, what is the motivation for doing good whether you are a victim of a religious, political, family, military, or weather system? What is the point in believing that there are better days ahead? This is the season of Lent. It is during this season that we get a clear answer to the queries when we behold a man who was nailed to a cross and asked “My God, why have you forsaken me?” With every reason to do differently, Yeshua died. It is reported that in death he preached good news to those in the underworld and, three days later, he experience new life and the rest is history. It is in looking back and seeing the hand of God working out every bad situation to our benefit so that we would not grow weary in doing Good; knowing that in due season we would reap a good harvest if we don’t give up.

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.

Soul Fiber: That ‘They’ May be Made Whole

combined photoFor he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:2-4, King James Version.

The King James Version referencing the coming Messiah is quite poetic. The Message puts verses 3-4 like this: We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole.

Typically, Isaiah is used to describe an ugly Messiah that people find disgusting, disfigured, and outright pitiful. I submit that such a depiction can be just as true and perhaps more so, from the spiritual perspective. Black and brown people (like Jesus) have been viewed with disdain, whipped, lynched, and/or crucified throughout human history.

ObamaSince the election and re-election of President Obama, there has been a surge of police beating, political lynching, and character assassinations against Black/African Americans. Proponents of the NRA, Tea Partiers, Birthers, and those on the Right are turning to their fear-based religion and guns, thus, stand-your-ground laws. Still, President Obama ushers in the season of Lent by sending a strong message to Black and brown men and boys to find and follow their dreams.  As to be expected, the lead to the President’s message was about him trying marijuana when he was younger. The media just won’t help themselves to positive matters when it comes to President Obama. Yet, the President continually sets the bar higher and higher; and he is making it a probable reach for the Black and brown men who are willing to follow him in being their brother’s keeper.

As naysayers continue to speak against the Affordable Health Care Act, they will also view the President with disdain; not so few may see him as a failure; and some will continue to rip, tear, and crush him with their hateful words and actions. He seems to graciously take the punishment so that others, especially Black and brown folks, may be made whole.

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.