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Monthly Archives: July 2015

We Shall Overcome

This video was taken from a concert that I produced for Nevadans for the Common Good on June 28, 2015. We chose to do a patriotic concert and I decided to add this song into the program as a tribute to the 9 people that were killed in the shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina.

Nevadans for the Common Good is a non-profit organization that “helps congregations and organizations develop a deeply-rooted justice strategy – not one that lurches from issue to issue, but one that builds a base of leaders, develops an analysis of the pressures affecting families in an institution and crafts a viable response to those pressures, working together with other congregations and organizations”
(http://www.nevadansforthecommongood.org).

Yes, not so good things will happen in this life, but when they do, we need to remember that “darkness cannot take out darkness.  Only light can. Hate cannot take out hate.  Only love can” (MLK).  There is only one judge and in the end none of us would pray for judgement or justice for the way that we have lived this life.  Instead, we pray for mercy, forgiveness and grace, because we have all fallen short of the glory of God. And because of Jesus Christ, we can love as we are loved by Almighty God. We can forgive as we have been forgiven.  We can exude the same amazing grace that was given to us through God’s only Son. We can be united as One body instead of fighting against each other. We can do so much more than what we limit ourselves to. The human perspective is but a speck of dust compared to the vastness of God’s plan.

I believe that the root of the problem that plagues our world and our human family, is that we separate from each other. There is no “us” or “them,” there is just “us.” We easily forget the commonality of our own humanity and segregate over superficial differences. The world’s problems are our problems. The issues that people face in a distant land are also in our own backyard. “For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17 NIV). God did not save parts of the world. God saves the world, in it’s entirety, through love. Through the power of compassion and the truth of salvation, love is the common thread that unites us all and melts away any perceived differences.  “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

If we could just see each other as people first and not what type of person or category, then we could dialogue in a healthy conversation about the commonality of the human experience. “I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes?Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?  Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer…If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?  If you poison us, do we not die?” (Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare).

Bottomline, the blood that runs through the veins of every human being, that has ever lived and will live, is red. We are all the same, and it is with that sameness that we shall overcome the wicked and corruptive landscapes of the human mind that perpetuates the pandora’s box of racism, prejudice, sexism, homophobia, classism etc…

Look, we will all leave this world with the same amount of the world’s riches as we came in with…absolutely nothing. But we will leave a legacy of the way in which we lived this life and affected other people. This life is not about individuals but instead it is about the collective condition of the human story.   If we could just see ourselves within the people that we meet, then the world that God sees will be opened onto us so that the kingdom on earth could be as it is in heaven.

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Aligned with God

Original Oil Pointing commissioned by New Song Church

Original Oil Pointing commissioned by New Song Church

Let us be aligned with You, O God. Allow us to embrace the changes that resonate with God’s Holy plan. Calm the storms around us and within us by letting “love diminish our fears” (Rev. Zelda Kennedy). And even when we’re caught in the winds of the world, please don’t let us ever stop witnessing the gospel of Jesus Christ. For “sin (will) happen whenever we refuse to keep growing” (Richard Rohr). So nourish our growing relationship with You, O Lord, and remind us that “hope will never be silent” (Harvey Milk).

“Love cannot be taught. Love comes from God alone, and must be incarnated and experienced” (Rev. Jeff Hood). “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter” (MLK). The love of God will not be silent and neither will we. We will not look away from those whom we can help. We can and will be the transformed compassionate children of Almighty God, so that all will know that they are loved. So that all will know that they are healed and forgiven. So that all will know that they truly belong.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Conversations with God

 

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Break the cycle

charleston-victims (1)

Lord, guide us to respond to the movement of Your Spirit and not resist it. “What we are not, make us. What we know not, teach us. What we have not, give us… (Teach us) “about hope instead of weariness; love instead of fear and (reveal) the power of amazing grace instead of evil and hate – hold nothing back” (Rev. Zelda Kennedy).

Give us the courage to examine ourselves and “allow us to see where we have been blind” (Obama), blind to the pain of those around us, and blind to our shared humanity.   Let us be the sanctuary from a harsh world. Let our actions tell those we meet, that their lives matter. Let grace surround us. Let light restore us and let love unite us as the body of Christ.

“Don’t let us slip back into comfortable silence and avoid the uncomfortable truth that plagues our society” (Obama). “Our calling, is not just within the walls of this congregation, but the life and community in which it resides” (Rev. Clementa Pinckney). Break the cycle of repeating the same mistakes of the past and open our hearts to the revelation of God’s Word that “the church is freedom, freedom to worship, freedom to be fully what God intends us to be and have equality in the sight of God” (Rev. Clementa Pinckney).

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2015 in Conversations with God

 

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