Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Catching Up . . .

. . . One of the reasons I hesitated to start a blog was I didn't want to end up putting myself under pressure to post updates everyday, or even every other day. I was however, hoping to do it at least once a week. Well, here I am two weeks later, with no posts in between. Oh well, its not like I haven't been doing anything for the past two weeks.

I was very busy helping my church finalize plans for our annual prophetic conference , which was wonderful, but as there are a few of us, we all had to wear several hats, and at the end of it, I was spiritually refreshed, but physically tired. So, here I am, a two days after the conference ended, typing this in a hotel room while away from home the first week on my new job! :-)

I'm late on reporting two things that were very noteworthy: Dr. D. James Kennedy, of the Coral Ridge Hour, moved on from this life on September 5th. The second noteworthy thing, the same day after I wrote about Juanita Bynum breaking her silence, I found out that Bishop T.D. Jakes broke his silence on the matter. I was also kind of disheartened to find in a related article on the same website, there were over 20 pages of comments left, much of them negative. The phrase "the harder they are, the bigger they fall", except in this case, it might be the higher they are, the bigger they fall; How easy it is for us to forget that the "big shots" in the Christian world are humans just like us, with flaws, failures. The one difference is as I said before, normally private matters have been exposed for all the world to see.

On the other hand, another article on the same subject had me laughing. Yes, its a little irreverent in its tone, but the author presents some basic truths, that frankly need to be heard more. Truths that the author says she learned attending a Black Pentecostal church in a tough neighborhood in Dallas. Truths such as "If you're in ministry, never travel without your spouse for any length of time." and "A woman shouldn't be calling another woman's husband without the wife's permission". Another nugget:
"But all of this makes me want to gather some of these big-name folks, stuff them into a rickety church van with “Holiness or Hell” stenciled on the side in crooked letters and haul them to South Dallas for a little Ghetto 101. Seriously: If more folks followed the wisdom that’s been hammered into my brain at the old school, we would’t be where we are today."

It's just like a woman of God and I were recently discussing, there is much talk in the Kingdom about integrity, honesty, and the like, but it comes down to walking the walk, there is much to left to be desired.

Finally, I want to share two inspiring items that were shared with me recently, both very thought provoking. The first one I received via email a few weeks ago, and rather than forward it to family and friends in the kingdom, I decided to post it here:

"Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, 'I love you and I wish you enough'.

The daughter replied, 'Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom'. They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated.

Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?'. 'I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' she said. "When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough'. May I ask what that means?' She began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone'.

She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. "When we said , 'I wish you enough', we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them." Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

She then began to cry and walked away.They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them but then an entire life to forget them. * Only if you wish send this to the people you will never want to forget and remember .
TAKE TIME TO LIVE..... To my friend and loved one, I WISH YOU ENOUGH........ "

The second item, someone shared with me this past weekend. I met a minister who was a vendor at the Prophetic Conference hosted by my church. Although he came there for one purpose, he later told me that he eventually realized his "kingdom purpose" for being there and when his perspective changed, things opened up for him that weekend. He later told me and the other two young ladies who were working at the registration table alongside me about a story that someone sent him via email. A young man cleverly planned a touching, sentiment ail, well-executed, poignant way to propose to his finance. This is the story behind it:

R"ob and Keisha dated for about 4 years. And he knew that she was the one...but he had to save up for all that God had prompted him to do for her. So in short what you are about to see happen on April 28th....he rented out 10 rooms in the Ritz Carlton in buckhead and invited about 50-60 people to be there for this special night...Keisha had to go from room to room and in each room were people who were special to them....his boys...her girls...her Bible Study group....his parents...her parents..etc. and everybody in each room had questions that she had to answer to be able to move to the next room and before she left each room the people there would pray over her....so you have to watch each room to see how that goes...he chose roses because Keisha aunt who passed suddenly loved roses and he bought some of the dipped in gold because of the stories in the Bible about Solomon and how everything was dipped in gold and the song that you hear playing in the background was the same song that was played at Keisha aunt's funeral, she was like a second mom to Keisha.

When Rob was asked what he was thinking and how it felt...he said that he was kicking and screaming all the way. not because he did not love Keisha and want to marry her....but because of the time, money, and stress that was spent doing this. Rob, put his house up for rent and saved for her ring and this night and he did it out of obedience... I have spent the past year of my life piecing together a vision given to me by God. On April 28th, 2007 that vision was fulfilled. My labor of love for the woman I love. "God Is Love...The Proposal"
(clink on link to view).

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Satanic Messages in Hip-Hop/Rap? Say it ain't so!

I wanted to share this information in my first post, and decided to wait, but its so much on my mind, that I can't wait any longer. My DH told me about two weeks ago about a clip he came across on youtube in which a pastor talked about the subliminal messages hidden in a rap recorded by Jay-Z. He further went on to tell me this same pastor talked about another group who had a curse written in their album liner notes, the message was backward and one had to hold it up to a mirror to read it. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I knew about hidden Satanic messages in rock music, but RAP?

To be clear, I'm not a fan of RAP/hip-hop now and wasn't much of one when I was younger. I will admit that back in the early nineties, when Christian rap was coming into its own, my brothers and I would play CDs of some of the artists, some of them who even had a "hard-core" sound that reminded me of Public Enemy. As for secular rap/hip-hop there were a few songs I liked. This was mainly because I trained myself to listen to the lyrics of a song, and not just get caught up in the beat, as many of my peers would tell me they did, and many times I quickly got turned off by many of the artists and their songs.

So this past Monday, Labor Day, my husband found the clip for me, I played it, and couldn't believe what I was hearing and seeing and yet I knew it was the truth!! This pastor even digs up the roots of the "thug" -- just like everything else around us on this planet, its has spiritual roots. Unfortunately, the clip on youtube has been removed due to "terms of violation", so I'm unable to share it.

This pastor, tells it like it is, and to be sure, he has his critics. His name is G. Craige Lewis, his ministry is EX Ministries, and he has traveled the world preaching to young people, mostly teenagers about the spiritual roots of the hip-hop culture and lifestyle. Not everyone is a fan, and a search on Google resulted in the usual that I've come to expect: web pages that claim to refute him and prove why he is wrong are listed along with message boards and other blogs that praise him for his crusade. The Dallas Observer even published an article on him.

His message is not just directed at the hip-hop artists. He also calls on the carpet many famous famous gospel singers who appear on the albums of secular artists, or have secular artists guest on their albums. He also takes to task black ministers, preachers and bishops who have in his estimation, compromised the gospel message in one way or another. The first reaction is to think, who does he think he is? But when one gets past their emotional reaction to his message, and really listens, and old saying may come to mind "It's tight, but its right".

His website has a page of testimonials from people, many of them teenagers who have been impacted by his mininstry, and a podcast page where you can listen to and download mp3s of Minister Lewis and discussing various topics that affect the Body of Christ from the recent Don Imus scandal, to BGLOs, and of course the influence of Hip-Hop on the culture. Listen as he discusses the spirtual power of influence (the true meaning of the word), and the difference between "stars" and "celebrities":

Aside from the spiritual ramifications, rap has recently also been under the microscope for the attitude displayed towards women, especially black women, in thier lyrics. The Imus scandal shed light on an issue in the black community that very few leaders have dared to deal with -- that of the mysogynistic lyrics, and the lifestyle it promotes. Bill Cosby has twice spoken out about social ills in the black community and how to remedy them, but his loudest critics have been other blacks.

This gentleman has also tackled the subject, long before the Imus debacle, in this well thought-out and written essay (A word of caution, song lyrics are quoted here and they are explicit). I discovered his article on this blog that belongs to a fellow believer in Christ. Take a look around there, you might find a thing or two that causes you to SMH.

I'm glad God has raised someone to inform and help bring deliverance and healing from the spiritual effects of the hip-hop culture. I'm also surprised that he has elicited the kind of reactions that he does. When truth hits one in the face, one has two choices: to accept it or reject it with a face of anger (masking denial) claiming its not for you. Unfortunately, this isn't anything new. After all, Jesus Christ, who is our example, said the Gospel is offensive, so its no surprise that this message, an off-shoot of the gospel, is offending people across the country as well.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Juanita Bynum breaks her silence

The Pentecostal/Charismatic Christian world received a "one-two" punch almost two weeks ago when news broke about the abuse that Juanita Bynum suffered at the hands of her minister husband, Thomas Weeks. III. See here and here. The next day, the news spread that Randy and Paula White announced their divorce at their church. The news even appeared on sites that normally reports the latest celebrity misbehavior like tmz.com and various black-owned blogs, believers and non-believers/Christians alike.

While my admiration for Prophetess Bynum is not what it used to be, my first reaction was shock and later sympathy. News clips all over the 'Net burst with comments from the "everyman". I observed a dividing line appearing between men and women, another dividing line between believers and non-believers and another bet still yet another between those who think she deserves what she got, and those who don't. I wont go on ad-nauseum about the whole matter and keep most of my opinions to myself because I doubt I will be saying anything new that has not been said yet. She has plenty of critics, detractors out there. Just visit any of her links on YouTube and read the back and forth comments centering around women who preach and you'll see what I mean.

But, I digress.

Today, I just happened to visit FOX5 in Atlanta to find out she called a press conference and gave an unprepared statement. I respect the fact that she didn't go into details, but what puzzles me is the reporter that was assigned to the story stated Prophetess Bynum was going to the TBN studio in Atlanta to tape the Praise The Lord show.

Come again? I don't understand.

I realize as she said her new platform will now be to raise awareness of domestic violence, but...where do I begin? I also know she is a strong woman, and wouldn't be down for long, but I was also hoping that since she has publicly endured what many women experience privately, she would take a sabbatical first, not for years mind you, but at least a few months. SMH. I don't understand, but then again, I'm not her, and I don't have a ministry or multi-million dollar enterprise to run . . . yet.

I only hope that she will take more time for herself to heal. Seeing this kind of reminds me of a couple I knew who suffered through a miscarriage a few years ago. I was concerned about the female half of the couple and how she coped with her loss. I later found out that she went to church the next morning, and sang in the choir of all things!!

I've come to realize in my short time on earth, that I have to respect people's decisions when it comes to things they may or may not do in their personal lives, but I had to wonder if going on with "business as usual" was her way of healing, or her way of not dealing with what happened.

Believe it or not, and I'm kind branching off into a different subject here, as humans, we are tri-partite: body, soul and spirit. When we suffer through emotional, traumatic things, it not only affects the soul -- your mind, will, intellect, emotion (to name a few), but manifests itself in our bodies. Oh sure, most times it doesn't appear on the surface or isn't obvious, but believe me, our bodies feel it. And that trauma will show manifest sooner or later... in the form of some illness, either physical or mental.

Bottom line is, I not only wish her well, but wish both her and her husband healing for their souls.

My first post!

Hello world! Wow! I'm really doing this, after toying with the idea for the past few weeks, and even getting a Divinely inspired title, I still procrastinated and put it off . . . until today! I have so much to share, that I felt overwhelmed with getting started, and so.. I kept putting it off. But, no more.

So, what's the purpose of this blog you say? Simply put to inform, enlighten, and minister to the whole man. That's it in a nutshell. I come across so much during my daily browsing on the 'Net that emailing links to people over and over gets a little old. I guess thats one of the purposes of blogging, right?

This maybe a rough start, so bear with me, but please do visit often and also feel free to comment.

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