Beauty for Ashes: A Global Outcry for Justice and Equality

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8

Oh, Nation! Do you hear our voices? Do you hear the cries of the people? The people who are constantly shot and killed on the streets and in their homes of America? The people constantly under assault and persecution for the color of their skin? The people striped of their identity and vandalized of their basic human rights to live free on this earth?

Our cities are burning due to the blind eye for justice. For generations, we have been raped of our humanity and dignity. How long do we have to continue on the same cycle of racism, prejudice, bigotry, harassment, discrimination and ignorance?

Oh, stiff-necked nation, repent for the sins against humanity. Turn away from your idols. Change from your wicked ways, devices and weapons of destruction against the people of color. Have you not learned anything from past generations?

This racist spirit; this racist attitude is a condition of the heart. It is a learned behavior that is passed on like a contagious virus. It is a disease of the soul that has infected every political, educational, judicial, and economical system throughout the world.

Do you not understand there is a penalty? That there is a price to pay for injustice? That you are accountable and responsible for your actions or complacency?

Why did it take cities to burn across the nation to the arrest four white men for the death of an innocent man?

Your hands are bloody and unclean. Your hearts are like filthy rags. Your mind is like a cancer.

We are at a crossroad in America for justice. We can’t go back to insanity. The repetitious pattern of hatred has to be extinguished. The time is now!

This moment is a pivotal point in history. The embedded racial coding throughout American culture is exposed and guilty as charged. Do you realize that there are consequences of an unchanged heart filled with arrogance, greed, ignorance and disobedience?

Oh city of Babylon, judgement is upon you. Purge from your evil ways before it’s too late. Its midnight hour in America and in the world. Extreme measures of correction, action and resolution is the torch that will lead the way out of darkness. The wind of change is upon us.

Will we finally have beauty for ashes?

The message is simple. Love.

I Peter 4:8

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Jer 50:23-25

How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the Lord.

25 The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

Jer 50:26-29

Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple.

29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel.

Jer 50:38

A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

Jer 50:43

The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.

Jer 51:7-11

Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

10 The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple.

Jer 51:17-18

Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

Jer 51:43

43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.

Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Prayers for the Victims of the South Carolina Church Shooting

Heartfelt prayers goes out to the family and friends of all those affected in the Charleston, South Carolina AME Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in my mind that it hated me first…I have told you this so that you will not go astray” (John15:18; 16:1).

Psalm 37 King James Version (KJV)

37 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

18 The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

28 For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

Guardian Angel Appears to Save Teen

Miracle Man Saved Car Crash Victim

Crash Survivor Meets Mystery Priest

 

Overcoming the Odds

ball anc chain

“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulation for you, which is your glory.” Esphesians 3:13

After watching “Good Morning America” this past Tuesday, I was inspired by the story of the three women who escaped such a horrific experience after being kidnapped, raped and abused as a child for many years and finally being set free in adulthood.

The powerful words that each of these women expressed was heartfelt and demonstrates the power of God to sustain you through all life’s hardships and circumstances.

“I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time, I will undo all that afflict thee and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out: and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.” Zephaniah 3:18-20.

Personally, I was inspired many years ago through my own trials and tribulations to start a blog to encourage others through God’s word. I can truly identify and relate to the words that was so deeply pronounced by these women.

“Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corth 1:4

Their stories are built on the truth that God will carry us through many storms in life despite the situation or circumstance. Everything done in the dark comes to the light. Truth eventually will be revealed. Dirty laundry is being aired for a purpose, just as well as many stories also being exposed in today’s media of real life situations of Christians who are chosen to be a witness or spiritual warrior commissioned to reveal God’s character and truth.

Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” Proverbs 30:5

It takes boldness and courage to speak God’s word to so many who do not believe, do not understand or do not have a personal relationship with the Lord.

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunk in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether; we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” I Thessaonians 5:11 and 5:14-15.

It’s an exciting time for all those who have their spiritual eyes and ears open. It’s time for Christians to position themselves to be a lighthouse in a cold and dark world. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12

Additional References:

2 Corth 4:6:10

Ephesians 5:8-20

Ephesians 6:10-19

In the Eye of the Storm

Be strong and of good courage: be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee wherever thou goes.” Joshua 1:9

 My heartfelt prayers goes out to all those who was affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

There are many storms in life that interrupts our plans, our dreams, our goals, our way of life. Without warning, we find ourselves in a situation or circumstance that is completely overwhelming. We may lose a job, a home or a loved one. Dealing with lose is never easy. We do not expect it nor do we deserve it. Life just dishes us unwarranted chaos and heartache. “If when evil comes upon us, to the sword, judgment or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house and in thy presence, for thy name is in this house; and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou will hear and help.” II Chronicles 20:9

When Jesus fell asleep on a boat in the middle of a horrific storm. The disciples panicked and awoke Him in fear that they would drown. Jesus calmly wiped the crust out of His eyes and said, “O ye of little faith.” Then he He rebuked the raging wind and He said, “Peace, be still.” And, the storm ceased. Luke 8:23-25

We may find ourselves in a similar storm in life. When the storms continue to rage and you don’t know what to do or which way to turn, remember the words of Jesus. It is possible to have peace in the midst of your storm. When you call on His name, the presence of God is always present. He always makes Himself known in the center of disaster. That’s when He can do His greatest work within us. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” II Corth 4:6-10

We may not understand why terrible things happen to us, but there is always a greater purpose. Love never fails and God always prevails rising above every storm. Be encouraged and take heart. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:18-25

“And the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send us in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid. John 14:26-27


Finishing the Race

woman-girl-silhouette joggerIn dedication to all those who were affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14

When you start a race, the ultimate goal is to be the first one to cross the finish line. Winning feels great. It is an indication that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. It demonstrates strength, pride, determination and commitment. Integrity also illustrates the true character of a winner as long as honesty and playing fairly is part of the performance.

In high school, I was a sprinter on the track team. I also remember that I would exhaust all of my energy from the beginning to the end of the race because I was running the 50 to 100 mile dash. However, runners who compete in a long distance race must conserve their energy and concentrate on keeping a steady pace throughout the race. By the end, runners get a burst of adrenaline, momentum and speed.

The navigation through life is very similar to the challenges and obstacles we face in a marathon. Everyone has a dream or goal that they want to accomplish. They set out to fulfill their ambitions. Their main objective is to gain status, fame, money, material objects, a wife or husband, children, dog, house and car.  Well, you get the idea, anything related to the world’s idea of success and prosperity. Often, moving through life anxiously without enjoying the moment in time.

To achieve our goals, some lose their morals and values. They will lie or cheat. They will even ignore certain situations. Once they gain the success they’ve worked so hard for, they often grasp a tight hold on it as well as developing greed or envy. In fear of losing what they’ve gained, they forget the most simple and precious moments or to acknowledge others along the way.

We often see children rushing to grow up too fast or a couple rushing to get married. We do not take the time to enjoy each stage of life. Before we even graduate from school, we wish we were in college. By the time, we’re in college we wish we were married. By the time, we’re married, we wish we had children. Even in the most general or daily activities, it causes us to rush through life. We rush to our jobs every morning. We rush to the grocery store to complete errands. We rush to get the latest fashion or model car. Everything is a constant rush and we nearly want to hurt somebody if they get in our way.

Often times when we finally get to our destination, we have many regrets, failures, heartaches and sorrow because all to many times we’ve rushed through the natural process of life and missed out on valuable time. Often times, we could of avoided mistakes or bad decisions if we just took the time to focus on priorities and appreciate the time in that moment. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Eccles 7:8

Satan can often trick us into thinking that we are running out of time. However, procrastination and fear is definitely part of the enemy’s tactic to keep us from moving forward. Sometimes, even paralyzing us.

However, through God’s grace, mercy and timing, He will work all things out for our good in His own perfect timing. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted: A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; A time to rent; and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Eccles 3:1-8

Unlike the sprinter, the long distance runner realizes that each step is closer than the one before. While keeping abreast of their pace, they understand and appreciate the moment they’re given while keeping their eye of the prize. They can even accept if their competitor passes them by and know that not all is lost. They keep moving ahead with determination. Even though they are tired and out of breath, they pick up momentum. As they approach the finish line, they strive forward to victory. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run; and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” I John 5:4

A Call To Action

 

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It has been five years since the nightmare on Wall Street, the downturn in the housing market, economic homicide, stock market suicide and job market genocide. We have experienced a constant series of rollercoaster events to last a lifetime: Natural disasters, global, social and political turmoil.  Now, we’re facing another panic attack in Congress over extreme budget cuts in our nation. Have you had enough?

A Heart of Prayer

When life seems to be spiraling out of control, it is only through prayer that makes a difference. Man is not in control as much as the world system believes. We serve an unlimited, omniscient, all-knowing God. “God who works all things out for our highest good”. Romans 8:28

Perhaps, God is calling us to acknowledge Him. Desire Him. Understand Him. Love Him. We simply can’t keep living less than His expectations and intentions that He created us to be. Phil 2:13

A Heart of Repentance

We can’t continue to sleep walk through life while others walk dead. “Awake thou that sleeps and arise from the dead and Christ will give you light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise redeeming the time because the days are evil. Therefore, be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Esph 5:14-17 We need a touch from God: A spiritual awakening. A revival. Only the power of God can change the direction the world is going. Repentance must be at the heart of every man.  “Every knee shall bow and confess that He is Lord.”Phil 2:10-11

A Heart of Service

We are in a new season. The year is still young. Let’s add caring to our resolution list for mankind in 2013. We need a call to action. We must also serve our neighborhoods, our communities , our world. We have all been hit with some type of devastation in our lives: A death of a loved one, an illness, a tragic accident, foreclosure, divorce, abusive relationships, addictions, job loss, bankruptcy and other horrific things. We can’t escape life, but we can heal our wounds. It takes each of us. When we give back to others, we enrich our own lives and uplift others. We cannot afford to wait for someone else to make a difference. There is power in one, but there is also power in the masses. “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

The corruption, greed, and hatred is a manifestation of the enemy magnified on the earth whose mission is to kill, steal and destroy. The Lord’s intention is to give us life more abundantly. John 10:10

A Heart to Build Future Generations

There may not be much we can personally do about the decisions made in Washington, but you can decide what you can do to make a difference in your community. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” When Christ lives within us, “We can do all things in Christ which strengthens us.”Phil 4:13

We can begin to rebuild a new future for the next generation which starts with one prayer at a time and one brick at a time.