Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Church, Two Steps Forward One Step Back.

     Back in the year 1615, Galileo who was an Italian, physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer and philosopher made it know that the world revolved around the sun and the earth was indeed round and not flat. The church felt that this was contrary to scripture and charged him with Heresy. He had to attend a trial. He recanted his discovery for fear of death and he was put on house arrest for the rest of his life until he died. Years later it was discovered that Galileo was ahead of his times and thus correct. The church and science was not in congruence and the church just as it is today was slow to change. (Wilkepedia 2015)
    I thought about this and had some hope of change when it was published on October 13, that the Catholic Church was meeting and was opening dialogues to shift their tone on gays,divorced and single people and to be more welcoming of this group of people. Pope Francis vision was to open the doors of the church and allow everyone to feel welcome. (Povoledo, E Goodsteinoct, L 2014)  This would have been a major change to modernize the church and would have promoted evangelism internally and externally in the Catholic Faith. The Church is a place of love. If God is present love is present because it is the church teachings that God is love who loves all of his creation especially mankind who is made in his own image and likeness.

    I thought that Pope Francis was well before his time but, however admired his courage to put on a committee of bishops to view this. Today those who identify as being homosexual and those that are divorced and remarried are viewed as living in sin and are refused communion. In the United States, however many people attend parishes who have the spirit of don’t ask don’t tell.  The question is, is the church ready for such a radical change? The answer to this committee was a resounding no.
   On October 19 Catholic Bishops vetoed this document. It did however accept a revised document that makes reference to welcoming homosexual person  by  adding “men and women of homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and sensitivity.” The idea of saying anything positive about same sex union was scrapped as well as allowing those who have married and remarried outside the church access to communion. Pope Francis wanted to extend communion to more people who are not allowed at this time. (Davies, L 10/19/2014)
    In these modern times, there have been many studies that have proved over and over that sexual orientation is linked to genetics and other biological factors. The church has agreed that there is little difference in revelation of God and science. In fact the church no longer argues about evolution in its teachings. It feels that it is indeed creation and God evolving it’s creation over a period of time. God is at work. The Church also teaches that God reveals himself little by little over time and we as believers gain more knowledge of him as he reveals himself to us. The question is, is God revealing himself to us today? We live in modern times where over half of marriages fail. There are many societal ills that contributes to this. We also live in a time where fewer people are getting married and fewer people are having children as well. The look of the modern family today has changed. We have blended families and there are many other examples of non –traditional families. How do we minister to these people?
    As the article indicated, there are many people that have gifts to offer that the church doesn’t welcome with open arms, be it lesbian, gay divorced remarried or single people, these people are creatures that are made in the image and likeness of God that he truly loves just as much as he loves all of his creation. So if God is love, shouldn’t we love one another as he love us? The fact remains that when Jesus was on Earth and developed his ministry, he called people that were imperfect to love and serve him.
   Maybe the Church is being called to call others that are viewed as being imperfect to come in the church to love and serve the Lord.  Is the church still behind times? Is the church once again having a Galileo moment and not allowing itself to modernize and thus reach out to all of the worlds peoples?


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What do we do when we realize that the people we look up to are just human?

There has been an increase of celebrities and gospel singers and pastors who have been having their “dirty laundry” exposed by other people. Some of them have been pictures revealing them in the nude, others have been videos of sexual acts taking place and others have been alleged allegations of abuse. From time to time you used to see this but over the last 12 months it seems that it has happened more. It may be because of technology, the Internet and social media.  People who have revealed this information in all cases have their objectives leaving the minister, the celebrity or a or musician the victim. Others who may be victims as well are the family and the children and the follower of the ministries that hold these positions.
  But the question that is to be raised is what do the people of faith do when these things take place. The one that we look up to, the one that you have been following and enjoying their music their sermons their ministry; what do you do when we realize that this person is merely a sinner no better than yourself and even has done things that you probably never thought of doing.

     The answer is that you do nothing.  You thank God that he is the one that is in charge. And you love on that person and let them know that it is ok and God loves them and forgives them. And in most cases you should not turn your back on them. The only difference is that the things that they did has been exposed. The fact remains is that there are very few if any person on this earth that has not done something that they would be ashamed of if it was revealed to the world to see. These are the things that should strengthen our faith. God is calling us to look beyond those who are of flesh because they will fall short every time. We humans have a way of messing it up. We have a way of falling short we have a way of doing things for pleasure and when the things that we do in our privacy is aired it puts us in the position to be judged. But God has revealed to us that we who are without sin should cast the first stone.
    The followers of Christ put their earthly leaders too high on pedestals and at times create a mini savior without even realizing it. And God has a way of reminding us that he is the one that we should serve and that every human being that is on this earth is a sinner, some more than others, but at the end of the day it is all the same.   
    I serve a God that has sacrificed his own son and has paid the price for everything that we have done. God was born incarnate in the flesh taught us and preformed miracles  and suffered  and tempted in every way that we do, and was  crucified died and buried and rose from the dead. All of this happened for a reason.
  We are so preoccupied with others sins when there is enough grace from God that is sufficient for all of our sins. God is calling us to have faith in him. The death and resurrection of Christ was for a reason.  This week is considered Holy Week for Christians and Passover for our Jewish brothers and sisters.  We should thank God that we have an advocate that heals us from all that is not godly and washes us clean.

There is a story in the Bible told in both Mathew and in Mark. There was a man who was very powerful. And he had this favorite slave that he highly favored that became ill. He sent for Jesus to come and heal this slave. As Jesus was on his way to this mans home he stops Jesus and tells him that he is a powerful man so powerful when he tells folks to jump they say how high.(paraphrasing) But he is humbling himself to him to ask him to come and heal his favorite slave. He tells Jesus that he a sinner is not worthy to receive him under his roof but to only say the words, and his soul may be healed. Jesus tells the man that his faith has healed his slave and it is done. And this reminds us this week that no matter what we have gone through in life, no matter what we have done or failed to do, if we seek God we will truly live forever.
    Christ has destroyed the sting of death and died for the sins of the whole world. We are called to put our faith in him and love each other and ourselves as he loved us. For we will be judged for all of the good things that we do and our shortcomings all of those things have already been paid for.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year Dear, It's Over!

     The week between Christmas and New Years is not only the year that a number of us celebrate Kwanza. It is also a time of year that we reflect over the old year and make plans and goals over the New Year. Some people have the tradition to spring clean during this time and on New Years’ Day have one window open to reflect the airing out the old from last year.  This tradition in the southern United States is just as routine as eating black eyed peas for good luck.  The symbolic gestures along with the planning for the New Year can be very healthy. Some people make the decision to watch their weight go on a diet and work out. Another thing would be to make a budget for the upcoming year. Looking at were money was wasted and where you can more wisely spend your money for the upcoming year is a good thing that one does. 
       This is also the time of year that a lot of relationships end. People look at the end of the year and the starting of a new year as a fresh start. A time to have a clean slate; However if one decides to make this type of a decision, you should not make this decision with haste.  An emotional decision that is made without thinking it well through could make you full of regrets in the long run.

      Relationships are work; you have to compromise and not think of yourself as an individual and put another person into consideration.   Every decision that you make need to be with both in mind. In a relationship you are building upon a team. Being in a relationship is the single most unselfish move that one person can make. It is the loosing of self and the discovery of a new being. In the Bible, it states that " the two shall become one flesh."  Even though this is not literal but spiritually and emotionally if it is true love this does happen in every since of the word. You cannot go into a relationship being selfish and feeling that it is all about you.

     On the other hand one should not be in a relationship when they are not being made to feel good about themselves. One should not accept abuse be it verbal, physical or emotional; allowing you to experience these things is a sin against self. Even though it is easy to talk about it than to solve issues that are complex, be aware that mostly nearly all of the time when there are problems it is about someone's pathology. When a person does not treat you right, it is about them more than it is about you. They are a broken person about things that was not reconciled long before they met you.  And if someone is expressing to you how they feel you are treating them most of the time it is about your issues whether you are blind to it are not.  There are four parts of every person. The part of the person that we see and everyone else see. The other part is the part that everyone else see's but we are blind to it ourselves. The side that we see and no one else see's. And the side that neither we see or no one else see's. It is important that all of the sides to ourselves should be explored.
      Whatever decision that we make in reference to matters of the heart, make sure that these decisions are made wisely and thought out. The problem started well before New Years. The decision to end something or work on a relationship should be made calmly and not while you are on a high about life events. Regardless of what decision you make, always remember that tomorrow isn’t promised. We live in the here and now, in time and space. So we should live life to the full today.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Self Intimacy: Learning to Forgive and Love

About a week ago, someone that I care about told me something that I found very hurting. I have been so angry as a result of this. And suddenly Sunday morning I woke up and realized that I am not angry at my friend at all. The anger that I have was the anger that I have with myself.  I was angry with myself because I allowed what I was told to belittle me and challenge my worth.

   For many years I suffered from depression and low self-esteem. As a result of this I jumped into relationship after relationship thinking that these relationships would make me happy.  “If I only had the right mate and the white picket fence and the 2.45 children I would be happy.”  So I went to one relationship to another not only love affairs but friendships with people who didn’t have my best interest and /or had other motives. I was an easy target to be used and emotionally abused.

   After years of having bad relationships, meeting the same negative people in different bodies I had to finally look at myself. I was the common denominator. I was the one that was responsible. It is a lot to put on another person the responsibility of your happiness whether they know it or not. It is unfair to give another person the responsibility to your own happiness and a lot of power to give another person.

After realizing this, I learned to have an intimate relationship with myself. Over a period of time, I did things to make myself happy and did things to create happiness for myself. I spent many quiet times with myself and read books that made me dig deep within myself to learn many things about myself or things that challenged my belief systems to  figure out  why I believe what I believe. I started to do things that I dared not to do alone because of social phobias like going to the movies and dining out. I learned to do things alone when I wanted to do them instead of waiting on someone to experience things with. I even learned to travel alone. I learned to fall in love with myself.  Previously I didn’t want to be alone because I didn’t like myself enough to be alone. I didn’t see the value that I had within. Today I love my quiet times. It is my personal intimacy.

   So when my friend made a statement to me something that cut deep to me and made me question if I was loved like I love I became angry. This anger was because I had worked so hard to feel good about myself and how dare I allow someone to make me feel devalued as if I didn’t measure up.  And Sunday morning, (oh joy comes in the morning)I realized that what was said had nothing to do with me. It had everything to do with them and the experiences that they have and how a friend needed to feel valued and with this need, no matter how abnormal it sounded and how it showed so much psychopathology I allowed it to take away my value.  I allowed someone else psychopathology to affect my happiness.

No one can make you feel angry. Our happiness come from within and we determine our happiness and  this happiness gives us value. Because the truth of the matter is no one has no less value than another person because we are all children from the same creator. The issue is the experience I had with myself when I felt was not favorable. No one did anything to take value away from me, it was the experience that I had with myself. I had to work through this and realize why I had this experience and why I allowed someone else experience affect me

The lesson that was learned is that never allow a person to give you value.  We are all very special people. And no one is better than anyone. We are all unique and marvelous creation.   We are all works in progress and we must constantly do activities of self -care insure that the joy that we should all have within us stay without any force taking it away. So this day I recommit to myself that I will continue to have an intimate relationship with myself. Because when you truly love yourself, you can then give love to others in return.  

Photo was taken from:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Meaning Behind 11/12/13

     I heard on the radio this morning today being 11/12/13 was one of the best days of the year to get married. Those that are into numerology look at numbers because every thing that happens in reality, numbers have a significant meaning behind them. Looking at that concept theologically, numbers are very important in the bible. God created the world and rested on the seventh day. God is three persons in one. Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days. Noah's Arc was sailing for forty days and forty nights. There are many numerical symbols in the bible. Many authors have written on this topic. There is even a book in my library about decoding the bible.
     After listening to the radio report and having a conversation about the significance of today’s date, I contacted Charles Dotson who is a local expert in numerology and metaphysical studies. Mr. Dotson explained that to calculate the universal day, one would have to add 1+1+1+2+2+0+1+3=11.  This number is very significant because it is what you call a master number. Master numbers indicate spiritual gifts that make them highly sensitive to intuition, especially visions, insights and being able to receive divine guidance at a higher level.  Mr. Dotson goes on to explain that this can also, however, create tension, extreme restlessness, illness, and physical problems if the energy is not channeled properly into service of humankind.
     Eleven in particular is called the spiritual messenger and illuminator. It brings spiritual insights and revelations, and then brings these illuminations to other to help raise spiritual awareness on the planet.  It is a very sensitive to all, nervous energy and can indicate intense emotions or chaos, stress, tests, trials when it bringing light or awakening in a situation.  It is also a number that that can bring fame or being in the spotlight. Overall, it is meant to be a time of growth and understanding, inspiration, transformation, and hard learned revelations about how life truly works.  That’s why 911 the traumatic event and 911 being used as the number we call for an emergency is no accident
     When it was expressed that this was contrary what was spoken about this day in the media and that it was a good day to get married he then explained that the only way this can be justified is that 11 can also be reduced to 2(1+1=2).  This is the lower vibration of the number 11 which means it will function or manifest itself as "2" energy.  The 2 energy represents relationships, harmony, cooperation with others, partnership, teamwork; balancing your need with those of someone else.  In this case, it makes sense that marriage or union could be related to this.  
       “Typically, whenever the number 11 is seen as the final total or a certain date, I don’t reduce it” states Dotson.   “Therefore, I gave the meaning of the 11 energy and not the 2 energy which is the lower or basic vibration expression.” Some master number totals 11, 22, 33 etc. are usually not reduced, but because of the higher requirements of the master number energies, most will instinctively want to function at the most basic root level of these number, 11/2 ;22/4 ;33/6.  
      This is the first of a series of interview that I will have with Charles Dotson. It is interesting how everything from physics, chemistry and other natural sciences is related to math. Would it be farfetched to think that our universe operates from numbers as well? Some religions feel that numerology is the work of evil. I find it fascinating to keep an open mind. If one would allow religion only to dictate science, we would still think the world was flat instead of round.  Look to more postings on this topic.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Harriet Tubman Sex Tape Comedy or Insult?

I heard some rumblings on the radio last month about the Harriet Tubman sex tape and didn't get a chance to actually see it until today. It was produced by Russell Simmons "All Def Digital Channel" on You Tube which is supposed to take You Tube artist and put their craft on a larger level so that they can become successful in the main stream. However this video, who had two actors and an actress that are well respected people in the You Tube/Comedy world, were criticized and hated on in social media. It was so serious Russell Simmons was asked by the NAACP to take it down. Now I am a person who has thick skin and can be very liberal when it comes to some things including comedy. On the other hand, I have taken quite a few ethics and virtue classes along with counseling courses that have made me more sensitive to things that could offend people especially when it comes to culture.  The question that I am raising is that in the world of comedy, everyone can be poked fun at. There is no topic that is off limits; however, are some topics and some people too sacred that we cannot poke fun and laugh at? Are black folks so sensitive that we cannot poke fun at slavery and laugh at it including racism in the past in the modern day? Is making fun of ourselves serious and sometimes sick history  or a healing or a cleansing on some level? I don't have the answers. I am middle of the road on this issue but I would like to know what you all think about it.  If you find this video I must warn you that it may be offensive. There is no nudity but strong language. If you are a very sensitive person and feel you cannot handle this matter, you may not want to watch the video.  But the out takes are very funny.
Pictures was taken from www.businessinsider.com   

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Today in History

Today in History:   On June 19, 1865 General Gordon Granger stood on the balcony of Ashton Villa, in Galveston Texas and read “General Order NO. 3.” It called for the quality of personal rights for slaves who were now considered free. It advised the freemen to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages from their former owners. It also informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military post and that they will not be supported in idleness either at their present state or elsewhere.  However the most interesting thing of all General Gordon Granger of the Union army brought the “Buffalo Soldiers” with him to enforce the law.  The “Buffalo Soldiers” where a group of soldiers of African descent, that fought for the Union Army (The North Army).  Today Juneteenth (a portmanteau word for June 19) is a day that the Buffalo Soldiers came to Texas to enforce the law.

Credits:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashton_Villa, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buffalo_soldiers1.jpg