Goodness of God


January 20, 2009 has arrived. So many are excited and I must admit I’m one of them. Once again, the eyes of the world are focused on our nation and this period in our history- this period in world history. President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office today (in less than two hours). Record crowds started to flow in earlier than expected in an effort to secure a spot for the big event. I, on the otherhand, have secured a spot on a comfy couch in my living room. I plan to watch this significant event snuggled under a floral quilt with a cup of hot tea in hand.

It seems quite apropos that yesterday was our national observation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and now today the first president-elect who also happens to be a Black man is being sworn in as The United States of  America’s 44th President.  I pray for him and his lovely family and will do so often. 

I’ve heard the question asked many times in the last couple of months, has Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream been realized- is the election of Barack Obama the culmination of the dream?  Unfortunately, no this country has certainly not become a walking manifestation of Dr. King’s dream.  Yet, it is quite a significant step for our nation with its tormented past.  For those of you who can’t quite seem to understand that I have to liken it to the thrill of the first man walking on the moon-what actually comes to mind is the statement Neil Armstrong made when he took a step on the moon saying, “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind!”  This is a thrilling day.  Once again, I urge you not to miss this moment.  In the history of this country and even amongst international communities this is no small day!  So join in the celebration and be blessed!  It is so worth it!  My goodness!  It’s time to get back to my spot on the couch! I wouldn’t miss this and I know I’m not the only one.  Be blessed!

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Alright, I felt led to repost this one originally posted here  last year around this time.  It seems it was extremely helpful to many people then so I’ll probably repost it every year around this time because it is so important.  If you haven’t already, please take time to read The The Virtuous Woman Demystified.  I believe you’ll be blessed!

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A Very Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!

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Regardless of how I voted, I had the biggest grin from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, Tuesday night! Yes, proud to be an American, but even more touched to be a Christian and know that somebody’s prayers had been answered that night- in front of the whole world! Praise, God! Who’s next in line? I say it’s something to shout about! God is good!

Today is not what it was just a few days ago.  We’ve reached a glorious milestone in America’s History.  The election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of these United States has been inspiring not only to many American citizens, but also to countless others around this world.  Different races, different nationalities, different ethnicities and even those who hold different philosphies can be excited about America and this milestone.  Even so, some seem to have had the wind knocked out of them- and I’m talking about a part of the Christian community.  It’s been a season of bitterness to many.  Personally, I was saddened at words/comments of poison and bitterness I had witnessed in the comments of some Christian blogs in the last few months.  Politics really gets some people fired up.  They seem to easily demonize the candidates of the party of which they are not supporting. I think it’s a shame and I believe God does as well.  He is so much bigger than our American politics… God is neither Republican nor Democrat. He doesn’t expect His children to walk in love only when it’s convenient.  We’re to walk in Love always… whether or not the politics at hand agrees with our own.  

Love endures long and is patient and kind; Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 

Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. 

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.  Love (God’s Love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes not account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is everready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 

Love is what we all need to walk in.  Christians have no excuse not to.  This season of the political process has shed a great deal of light on the great divide in the Christian Church in America.  I’ve heard Sunday morning is one of the most segregated times in America… for the most part, each race retreating to the safety of their own church in order to worship the God who created all races.  A black church here, a white church there, etc.  Of course, there are more and more integrated churches. Yet, there is still a great divide in attitudes of those in the church in this country.  Those often repeated words of the president- elect’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, should have served as a wake-up call to the church.  Even if you have never given it much thought, I know God has.  Bitterness is a pill that’s been swallowed for too long in our churches.  I can honestly say, because I have been a member of a predominantly black church before, that too many times we allow cetain thoughts and attitudes to reside in  our heart simply because of past pain and indignities.  As Christians, we have to proceed with our lives and give it to God-  He cares so much for us and he cares about that pain.  If we’ll only trust Him with our pains and sorrows, He’ll take them.  He’ll give us so much more in return.  I believe last Tuesday night was evidence of that.  I pray that those in the church wont’ miss the significance of that night.  Whether a die-hard conservative Repbulican or a passionate devout Democrat, if you’re a Christian, I believe you should be joyful of at least one thing.  God answered and honored the prayers of many that night… those who were enslaved, beaten, tormented with fear to ever dare to dream for anything better- those who were told they were less than and treated as if they were 2nd class citizens…those who wept for loved ones who were taken away by the cruelties of the slave trade…those who cried out to God for justice and peace and a chance for the American dream even though they were not really considered to be a true citizen of this country…even though they were thought of as no more than another person’s property… their labor… their chattel…

God answered the prayer of a people that night and all Christians can rejoice about that.  It should be a reminder to you that your prayer that you’ve been believing God for will be realized as well.  Faith and patience make up the breakfast of champions, and we are truly that- we are champions. With the recognition of this truth, we are all victors.  Please don’t let this moment and this time pass you by without rejoicing.  God is good and faithful and true.   I urge each one of you not to miss out on this moment and the recognition of the goodness of our loving, prayer- answering, God.  Now, let’s pray and agree on that!  Let’s pray for healing and reconciliation in the Christian church.  Let’s continue to believe God for the fruit of the dream He planted in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s heart those many years ago- and let’s pray for that for God’s own church.  It’s time to remove the barriers and proceed into a new season within the body of Christ.  It’s time to let God love through us and renew our minds to the promise of His Word.  Then and only then can we as Christians affect nations.

It’s time to put pettiness and bitterness and gloom and doom aside and pray for and support the president-elect who, for all you know, was called for such a time as this.  I, for one, am more than happy to do so.   Be blessed!  

Barack Obama's Victory Celebration in Grant Park Hundreds of thousands gather to cheer for the President elect

Photo courtesy of Time Magazine

P.S.- I also saw some inspiring posts on some of the following blogs as well… the night before the elections ragamuffinsoul.com had an interactive online prayer meeting called Praying Backwards where the participants were asked to pray for the candidates of the party they were not going to vote for. I think they had approximately two hundred people to join in.  Way to go Carlos!

This Christian sister had a great attitude regarding the elections.  This strong man of God also wrote an inspiring post on his blog after his candidate of choice did not win-   and I also found some other blogs  with some encouraging attitudes like this one from Kelli  who urged the church to rise up!  and these from  Kevin, Abbye, and this one from Brad Ruggles.  I appreciated all of your posts and your spirit!

Alright, one thing that has been pretty heartbreaking is all of the poison that I’ve witnessed by other Christians when it comes to American Politics.  I was able to read some blogs and it tore at my heart some of the vicious, mean comments oozing out of some of my Christian brethren. Nobody’s perfect to be sure, but let’s not allow hate, or let resentment reside in our hearts under the guise of being “Godly”.  That’s just a personal observation. 

What I really wanted to write a little snippet about was an internet prayer meeting taking place tonight at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  Read all about it hereRagamuffinsoul.com is hosting this prayer session to bring some unity to our body and to pray for all of the Presidential and VP candidates.  Those on the left side of the political spectrum are asked to pray for those candidates on the right side of the political spectrum and those on the right side of the political spectrum are asked to pray for those candidates on the left side.  If you’re a moderate, than pray for everyone!  But the point is to pray for those you’re voting against.  Pray blessings on them!  They are all our leaders in one form or another whether they are senators, or a governor and we should respect and pray for them and their families- point blank.  If you’re unable to log in and take part with the internet prayer session, then make it a point to pray for all of the candidates on your own time!  Be a blessing!  Be blessed!

Today is the first day of my favorite season- Autumn!  However, I  want to share one of the highlights of my summer which was a two week visit from my niece, Mariah.  She has already started back to school and is in her Jr. year of high school.  I’m certainly the proud aunt and both my sister and I were thrilled to have her come up to the Carolinas!  Of course, we did the usual- shopping, going to the movies, pedicures, and hanging out at the beach, but we also ventured out to Myrtle Beach to visit Hard Rock amusement park which opened this past spring. Here are a few of the pix from our time together!
Of course, fresh flowers, a personalized gift basket, and welcome signs all make for the start of a lovely visit!

Of course, fresh flowers, a personalized gift basket, and welcome signs all make for the start of a lovely visit!

After a home inspection by brother, Al, and a few pix we went out to dinner...the two had driven 8 hours!

After a home inspection by brother, Al, and a few pix we went out to dinner...the two had driven 8 hours!

We're going to MYRTLE BEACH!

We're going to Myrtle Beach!

 

First Stop- Broadway at the Beach- Look at these two Motorcycle Mamas!

First Stop- Broadway at the Beach- Look at these two Motorcycle Mamas!

While at B@B, We ate at the Crab House...Rose & Mariah before Caviar...Rose & Mariah after Caviar- YUCK!

While at B@B, We ate at the Crab House...Rose & Mariah before Caviar...Rose & Mariah after Caviar- YUCK!

Next Stop... Hard Rock Park!

Next Stop... Hard Rock Park!

 

We saw some STRANGE things at the Hard Rock!

We saw some STRANGE things at the Hard Rock!

...Including this guy who was all too glad to stop and strike a pose!

...Including this guy who was all too glad to stop and strike a pose!

 

VERY strange things, indeed!

VERY strange things, indeed!

There was also a live band, and an ice skating show (Too Cool!), and of course we made our own entertainment as well!

There was also a live band, and an ice skating show (Too Cool!), and of course we made our own entertainment as well!

 

So Long, Hard Rock!

So Long, Hard Rock!

Back home and time for some days and nights at the beach!

Back home and time for some days and nights at the beach!

 

Of course, we went out to eat at a few places.  Here we are on Mariah's last night in the Carolina's at Hiro's Japanese Steakhouse with friend, Pearline.

Of course, we went out to eat at a few places. Here we are on Mariah's last night in the Carolinas- Hiro's Japanese Steakhouse with friend, Pearline!

 

We managed to squeeze in making shirts on this trip (I opted for pajamas).  It turned out to be a lot of fun and we decided to do one every year when my niece comes to visit.

We managed to squeeze in making shirts on this trip (I opted for pajamas). It turned out to be a lot of fun and we decided to do one every year when my niece comes to visit.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

Philippians 4:8 NIV

 

This verse really struck me today.  Probably because quite a few times in the past week, I’ve actually caught myself thinking negatively and have quit as soon as I realized it, and used my mind to go in the opposite direction.  For instance, I could have been thinking about a loved one driving a car, then my thoughts would trail off into that person having an accident, visions of the accident scene- who responded to it, the subsequent fight for life and death at the hospital, who would be called in what order, etc. – and sometimes all of this drama even has a soundtrack… my own private little mini-drama for one. 

Why do we use our imagination like that?  I must say I have done it all my life.  But why?  Why do we torment ourselves with a million different scenarios that could possibly occur but haven’t occurred ?  Life is tough enough- just putting yourself through the tragedy of whatever your mind throws at you is extra wear and tear for the soul.   No good can come of it.  However, what if we consciously made an effort to utilize our God-given imagination?

What if we used that imagination to think “good thoughts”?  That same mind that so easily churned out thoughts of a horrible car accident and a loved one fighting for their life can be redirected in seeing that loved one as safe and protected as they go along their way.  It can envision strong angels surrounding that loved one as they go about their business and the mercy of God hovering over them all the days of their life.  That God-given imagination can be used to see that loved one traveling highways of pleasantness and paths of peace.  Once again, the choice is up to us. 

Now, how about that?  We can actually choose what to think and how to think.  I didn’t always know that.  Thank God for the revelation of it!  Have I mastered it yet? – Oh, noooo!  Will I keep on working on it?- Ooooh, yes!  Why?  Because the word of God tells me to and I have every confidence it is the best for me- because my Daddy wants nothing but the best for me.

So, the next time your mind tries to get you wrapped up in a horrendous melodrama- take the time to nip it in the bud – that’s right!  Just cut it off…but don’t stop there!  Take the time to replace it with a promise from the Word of God.  If you can’t think of a promise regarding the mini-drama in your head, just pull out the Word and find one!  That way, you can be prepared the next time that “melodrama” tries to play in your theatre!  Remember, it’s up to you to choose which thought is going to be the trailer and which will be the blockbuster with star-billing.  Make the right choice and be blessed!

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