Who has your back? Is there a need to worry when stepping out to catch a breath or taking a walk down the street or walking across the parking lot, driving down the highway or access road? Is there the need to worry about safety? There are many legitimate questions concerning the safety of lives on the streets and neighborhoods. When the very system expected to be for protection increasingly becomes the mechanism for taking life and a cause for concern, where does safety lie? When the very system expected to give freedom becomes the oppressor, how true is the ideal for which people stood through the bleak night to ensure the star-spangled banner remained flying. This is the system Rayshard Brooks expected to come to his aid and help him find hope in pursuit of life and happiness, instead it was two bullets in the back of an unarmed man running away, causing organ damage, loss of blood and death. This incident in a land in which the right to life is constitutional comes right on the back of George Floyd who was also terminated by the weight of the system pressing on his neck.
If the nation walks away without taking corrective action now, it calls into question the patriotic embrace of the ideals that define the nation. On June 19th in the year 1865, the reality of a broken snare was brought to light for the people held captive in the fowlers snare as the provision of freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation was rolled out to them. This freedom, however, continues to be elusive 155 years later as demonstrated in the brutalities that have thronged many onto the streets demanding a basic right to life. Blessed be God, the one in whom we trust, who has not given us as prey to the teeth of the system, because the snare is broken, and our souls have escaped as birds from the snare of the fowler. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. For those the fowler has taken, we ask for justice, we ask for redemption, we stand on the ramperts waiting to catch a breath amidst the unmerciful barrage, and asking that God will help keep the flag flying where we last saw it, proudly held at twilights last gleaming, as the red glare of rockets and bombs bursting in the air gave proof that the flag was still there. If freedom and right to life have no meaning today, that night has no meaning either. However, because of that night on which it could be seen that the flag was still standing by dawn’s early light, we should be confident today that we are covered by liberty and justice for life and the pursuit of happiness, and justice will always come through untainted together with a reform that is consistent with the ideals and creed of the land.
June 19, 2020
It is often common to sing praises of men after they are no more. This is always too late, because they do not get the opportunity to know how great they have been. Ravi has been a Kingdom Patriot, a Champion and a Hero, guiding the minds of many people back to God. He has contended with the thoughts of men and women, and strongholds of the mind with light from the mind of God. In an answer to the question, Who am I?, Ravi indicated to let God guide the personal answer. I want to take you into the mind of God from the very beginning of creation, as a tribute to this great Patriot of God’s Kingdom, Ravi Zacharias.
Genesis 1: 26-28
Then God said “lets Us make man in Our own image, according to Our likeness ; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So, God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
In answering the question Who am I, it is simply but profoundly noted that mankind was created in the image of God, created to keep harmony and balance on the Earth. God created humanity, male and female, God blessed this work of His hands and God gave the charge to be fruitful, multiply and exercise control over the earth. Since God intended mankind to be His image bearer, any attempt to operate outside of this original design is a distortion of God’s intent and a distortion of the created image. This distortion leads to a removal of the self, the originally created image, from under the blessing of God and brought under the wrath of God. In Christ however, the distortion can be restored.
Ravi has called attention back to God’s truth in many of life’s critical questions. He has contended well for the faith; he has lived well and will go home well to a hero’s welcome when God calls his name. We thank God that he gave Him to us in our time. He has been faithful in his time slot within eternity, and we want to say congratulations, faithful servant of God, and while you remain with us, may God’s grace and strength abound towards YOU.
May 16, 2020
We serve a living God . There are many looking for life in dead places. In Christ, we come to understand that we do not look for the living among the dead. Our hope is not in structures, organizations or in material things, but in the resurrected Christ, the living One. He lives, to keep our faith and hope alive and at the appointed time gather us all, those who have put their trust in Him, to Himself with the trumpet sound, and all eyes will see Him, even those that pierced Him. Even though things now seem broken, Christ has already RESTORED, and now calls us to follow Him.
President Trump demonstrated meekness in calling for a restraint and not retaliation following the attack on the US Embassy in Iraq. I doubt if any nation or people can withstand the lethal power of the United States. However, he chose the path of peace. In doing so, he preserved lives and demonstrated that peace is possible for those that choose it. As we move towards peace in this new year, it is important to recognize that justice is at the right side of peace. Let PEACE be.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy. They rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor as in the day of Midian. For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice. From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this”.
Isaiah 9:2-7 (NKJV)
We have just gone through the Christmas Season with all the joyous celebrations and many messages from different renditions of the Christmas story. In bringing attention to the Prophet Isaiah (vs. 2) indicating that a light had come for those walking in darkness and for those sitting in the shadow of death, the cost of war and violence in our day comes to mind and the message of the prophet becomes even more relevant in our time. There is also another picture presented that brings meaning and a sense of hope and relevance to the light. This reason to hope and rejoice is captured (vs. 3-5) in the multiplication of a nation and an increase of joy, the joy of harvest and of the division of a spoil, the breaking of a yoke and staff of burden, the breaking of the rod of oppression. In addition, the sandals of the warrior from the noisy battle and the garments soaked in blood were to be used for burning and for fire as there was no more need for the garments and sandals because of the era of peace.
In a way, that portrayal is representative of the statement by Ghana’s Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as he delivered the independence speech in 1957 and indicated, “at long last, the battle is ended”, translating into, freedom is finally here. In capturing the moment (vs 3-5), the prophet pointed out the joy of the people, the increase of a nation and the cessation of war. Why would the prophet make such profound statements about the light? Because a better alternative and a greater purpose was on offer, peace in exchange for war, joy in exchange for mourning. It is important to note that the increase of the governance of peace WILL HAVE NO END. In essence, as these words were spoken to Israel, they were speaking also to generations yet to come, to be joyful and to cease from battles for the sake of PEACE. There is no better alternative.
The new year calls for a MOVEMENT towards PEACE. Let’s get working.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!