When Do Black Lives Matter?

When Do Black Lives Matter?

Of course, the question itself will bring about backlash from those with 1 dimensional (1D) thinking because it is not part of their message.

Well, it should be part of the message for everyone living in a community where the murder rate is beyond understandable. And yes, I am talking about black-on-black crime. It is unnerving and painful to acknowledge that the black community seems to be more concerned about the black lives taken by police, than those in their own community. Let’s face it–more black people are killed by other black people than those killed by the police.

Don’t get it twisted! I’m not saying there should not be a movement against police brutality against black people, but when is there going to be a movement against black people killing black people? The fact that black communities have become so desensitized to black-on-black crime makes those entire communities hypocrites when they protest police brutality and march in protests with BLM banners and wearing BLM T-shirts.

Until the black community wakes up–I mean really wakes up–and deals with the issues in their own back yards, on their own streets, how on earth do they think the killing of black people is going to cease? Yeah, the black community has myriad issues to deal with–poverty, illiteracy, mental illness, and homelessness, but are any of these issues a pass to commit crime? The drug-related crimes are over the top–not just those selling illegal drugs, but those committing crimes to get a fix. And then there is the greed, not need aspect of criminality in “the hood.” Carjacking, car theft, home invasions, and robberies. Now, these crimes are committed by every ethnic group, but stay focused–this essay is about black-on-black crimes.

People in the black community complain about the lack of opportunity and diversity in various places, but no one wants to own the problem with black-on-black crime. Why is that? Is it that “black lives matter,” only when the police are involved? Why don’t black lives matter daily, in every community?

Every year, new organizations rise and say they are going to solve the problem. Some may have put a “dent” in the problem, but the problem has not been solved. So many pastors and school leaders have attempted to stem the tide of violence and yet, the violence continues. Has anyone stopped to evaluate why? Has anyone stopped to think about emphasizing the need to stop killing each other in a manner that they see themselves differently? Has anyone thought about effective appropriate parenting classes would be in communities where the kids are angry and rebellious because parents are not parenting? How about parents teaching their children their value and worth before they ever start school? How about parents demonstrating, in front of the children, what it means to be a productive member of society? How about the church leaders stop passing the collection plate long enough to be an effective servant of God in teaching their congregations how to mentor children in their neighborhoods? When we as a community stop being so self-centered that we only care about us and seldom care about others?

When we learn to “love our neighbors as ourselves” real change will occur because love makes a difference. But if people do not love themselves, they are certainly not going to love others. So, let’s start with teaching people how to love themselves–displaying integrity, honor, and compassion. Until we do, the Black Lives Matter movement will continue to be a hypocrisy when black people, keep killing other black people.

Now do not think for a moment that I am advocating dissolution of the Black Lives Matter movement; I’m simply trying to put some perspective into the situation. We need police reform and it needs to begin with how police officers are trained, and continue as review on a regular basis–especially for those veteran officers who learned things one way and are reluctant or even rebellious about learning something new. When we as a people learn to respect all lives–especially those of our sisters and brothers of like skin-tones, maybe, just maybe–we can convince everyone else around us to respect us and our lives. Unless a person is defending their lives–no one should ever be killed–black or white or brown or any other ethnic group simply because of anger and a lack of inability to think before doing. Whenever people “react” to situations without thinking, they lose the ability to control a situation. Learn to respond and respect the lives of all.

Become a 3-dimensional (3D) thinker–thinking beyond what one can see or from just one perspective. When we do, we can solve problems and save lives.

Let The Lord Lead!

Let The Lord Lead!

Listen to my words, LORD, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, LORD, detest. But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me. Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies.Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Psalm 5 NIV

Is the Lord leading our already great nation? Too many (without express guidance from God) are saying that God is using Trump to bring people back to Him! Does God need to use deceitful tactics to bring awareness of who He is? Does God need to take “choice” from us to bring people to Him?

If that was the plan (and I sincerely doubt it), it’s not working. More people are turning away from those bastions of religious ardor than ever before. In fact, the attitude of a number of people is borderline hatred for anyone claiming to be a Christian. I was told that I couldn’t be a Democrat and a Christian. When I asked the person who said this, “why not” they responded by saying Democrats don’t believe in the bible.

NEWSFLASH! From what I see of Republican behavior, they are the ones who don’t believe in the Bible. Oh sure, they “select” a few talking points to justify what they do, but the bible should not be used for talking points, but righteous living before God. If a person spewing forth cherry-picked scriptures are not living The Word, what they say means absolutely nothing. They are not letting The Lord lead them anywhere other than to “seize opportunities to control the masses,” just like the Pharisees.

The more I talk to Believing Christians (not the pseudo-Christians–who profess a form of godliness, but know not God), the more I realize that people are running from those who claim to be Christians but don’t want to love others.

Let me see if I can make a case for what I see and believe (based upon The Word). The first thing I look at in The Word is knowing what I’m supposed to do–Love God and love others.  God gives each of us the right to choose what we do and He honors our choices--and leaves us to receive the consequences of our choices–good or bad. This is why I am Pro-Choice (which does not mean I am pro-abortion as some are saying–promoting the lie that a person cannot be pro-choice and a Christian).

According to The Word–Christians are to defend the rights of the poor and the needy, those who are vulnerable and don’t have a platform to fight for themselves. I have been involved with non-profits and in volunteering for many years–making sure the rights of others are not trampled and that they have access to what they need. This is the Christian walk–always considering the needs of others above self. Do we see that from Republicans or the rats scurrying around the White House?

Do I love God? More than life itself and have enjoyed serving Him. If He called me home right now, I would not be concerned about His final words to me for I know, I’ll hear, “Well done.”

How do I know this? I say what God says and do what He tells me to do. When I allow Him to lead, I cannot go wrong. Does He always take the road I’d like to take? No, and I often wonder why I can’t go the way I want to go. I can–He doesn’t force us to do anything nor does He make choices for us. He has planned our lives (Jeremiah 23:11) and if we want to obtain what He has planned, we must believe Him and follow His directions, not man’s.

How about loving others? Not a problem–I know how to love because of the love He pours into my heart–unconditionally, even the unlovable. That doesn’t mean that I like what others do or condone lifestyles that are not of God. I discovered a long time ago that we encourage people to come to Christ by how we treat them, not by preaching them into hell. Christ loves the sinner–so can I–but I don’t become a sinner to show them Christ; I live what I say I believe. If people don’t want to change who they are or what they do–they won’t and that’s not on me. My responsibility ends with my representation of who Christ is, not whether they accept and believe it.

And herein lies the problem with the “representation” of who He is by Republicans who promote a liar-in-chief. Many who have straddled the fence in coming to terms with Christianity have now chosen the other side–alongside the non-believers and atheists because they want no part of “Christianity” as demonstrated by pseudo-christians. I refuse to be a hypocrite, listen to them or support them since they lie to themselves and others about who they are.

That is truly the sad part. When people have an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ, they have chased people away with their attacks and delusional beliefs that God would choose a mentally incompetent pathological liar to lead millions of people–into total chaos, pulling apart families, making people fearful and obstructing justice to try to keep their wrong-doings hidden. That doesn’t sound like the God of Heaven to me and it certainly doesn’t demonstrate who He is.

Fortunately for me and a number of others, we won’t have to answer to God for this folly when we stand before Him. On a daily basis, I seek The Lord for guidance and implore Him to help me get through another day, without resorting to the tactics I see from others. That does not mean I won’t use every avenue open to me to point out the hypocrisy of those in leadership positions or to let them know–they lie and mislead and we see it. I thank God for Him keeping my words–civil (just barely, but He does rein me in) so I don’t come across as a hypocrite.

My criticism of those in White House and on Capitol Hill is justified and needed in order to bring them to a place where if they never respond to me or others; they will not be able to stand before God and say, “they didn’t realize they were wrong.” There are a number of us who remind them on a daily basis that what they’re doing is wrong. We can’t make them do right, but we can keep letting them know just how wrong they are and we do.

Whenever anyone attempts to violate a person’s rights–in Christ or according to the Constitution, they are wrong.  Using bullying tactics and deceitful strategies and bribery to get others to do what they want is wrong. Separating families who have committed no crimes and just want the opportunity to have a better life is wrong. Yeah, yeah, I know there is a “legal” way to obtain entrance into this country, but desperate people often do desperate things in order to save the lives of their family–especially when children are involved. So what happened to “defending the rights of the poor and needy?” With those who love Christ and have more love to share with others, we’re doing just that. It’s the others–the pseudo-christians–who are not being led by The Lord.

What Do They See?

“If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message,” (2 Corinthians 12:6 NLT).

With this statement Paul is making, it appears that when we are telling the truth, we are not necessarily boasting, but some could take it that way. Why should this matter? If we’re going to create an environment in which people will want to know our Risen Savior, we must make sure that they “see” us living what we preach and not just hear us–boasting about what we are able to do through Him.

If we are indeed a new creation in Christ Jesus, do people see us doing the same old things we used to do that kept us in a quagmire of ungodly living?

Are we living with others in an intimate relationship outside of marriage–as God defines marriage?

Are we subjecting ourselves to the fallout of using illicit drugs?

Are we mindful of the laws designed to protect the innocent and do we adhere to them?

Are we allowing our tongues to wag and snag others into the pits that kept us receiving God’s best in our lives?

If we say we are born again, and yet–others see us as though we have never heard of Jesus Christ, what benefit is that to the Kingdom of God?

Are we not aware that we when we “say” one thing and yet do another–we are hypocrites?

Do people see us being friendly and courteous to others–no matter what the situation that arises?

Do they see us respond calmly to negative events or do we clown like the heathens and then–five minutes later–we are heard praising God?

If we really want to win others to Christ, we must become “living epistles read of men” for the glory of the kingdom of God and not our own.

It is not what people hear us say that convinces them our God is an awesome God–it is what they see us do–in trying times as well as the good times–that convinces them of our God.

God is faithful to keep us focused on Him when we allow Him to do so. If we’re going to boast–let this be our boast–He is faithful–and we must learn to do the same.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to become more like You with each breath we take and show others by what we do, not what we say–just how awesome You are.

Stumbling and Fault-finding!

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry” (2 Corinthians 6:3 NLT).

When we–as promoters of the Gospel–look at what is happening in our society, nationally and internationally, wondering what in the world is going on, do we consider how others view how we live?

Are saying one thing and yet doing another?

Do we show love to everyone we meet or are we selective about how we respond to others?

Do we posture in public and party in private?

What skeletons are hiding in our closets, while we attempt to act as though we have never done anything wrong?

Are we up testifying in churches about God’s goodness or testilying and everyone around us–knows it?

Do we live the life we proclaim God wants us to live or we just sounding brass–making noise–but no harmony exists?

When we stand before God–at the end and now–will we hear how many people we have caused to stumble in their faith when they found fault with our own?

Some people believe that how they live is their business and no one else should matter, but the truth of the matter is–that’s a lie–especially if our lives as promoters of the Gospel are not circumspect.

The way we live–as children of the most High God–should be able to survive microscopic inspection by all at any time. This is why it is important for us to live what we say. We must be “doers of The Word” and not just hearers or preachers only.

The worst kind of person–who proclaims to love God–is the one who preaches one thing on Sunday and yet lives like the devil’s own the rest of the week–and everyone knows it. And because they see this person–not living The Word–they feel no obligation to change anything they do and most refrain from hearing any good thing about the Gospel because of those who preach it, but live contrary to it. These are the stumblingblocks to another’s faith and give them reason to find fault with the Gospel and the ministry of it.

Does this sound like you? I pray not!

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to do all that we encourage others to do–according to Your Word–that none of us will become a stumblingblock for others or give them reason to find fault with our promotion of the Gospel.

Time After Time!

“You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19 NIV).

From the beginning, whenever mankind has fallen out of fellowship with God, He has relented and shown compassion and mercy towards us. He has given us chance after chance to get living right for Him.  Some of us have taken advantage of the opportunity and some have not. And yet, He waits–giving us space to repent before judgment falls upon us. Why are some waiting?

There are some people who have decided that having “fun” is more important than living right. They resent anyone attempting to tell them they should change their ways and stop doing what gives them “short-term pleasure.” Perhaps, just perhaps, the method being used to deter wrong behavior is judgment itself and when people feel like they are being judged–already–they feel no need to change. However, if the method to convince people to change is with loving-kindness, sharing all of the benefits of living for God, and proclaiming God’s love–and people see us “living the benefits” they will more likely believe us and change.

We do not have to beat people with The Word, we should love them with The Word.

We do not have to point out their sins; they know–they are just too fearful to let them go.

We do not have to judge others who are in sin–that’s not our job; we should live the life before them and encourage them to get to know Jesus.

If we say one thing and yet do another–we are hypocrites. We cannot convince others that God is love if all they ever see is condemnation from us. Sometimes, people who have been convicted of sin by others who were harsh and rigid think that is the only way to win others to Christ. I am so thankful that God’s love was showered upon me in such a way that I was ready to give up all that was not like Him, willingly because I wanted to please Him. Hallelujah! I’ve learned that pleasing God in all things is so much more important than any attempt to pacify others.

We must remember to share with others–God’s mercy, His love, His compassion, His forgiveness, His patience–in waiting for us–time after time. We must convince others–not with our words, but by our actions–that the benefits of living for God are greater than living for the world.

He had sent people to me–time after time–to show me the way–that one pathway to Him and though some of their methods did not work, He did not give up on me and sent those who had received His love to share with me, and I received–their love and God’s love–and now living with His benefits–walking in His favor.

I pray today that we’ll become those people-who have received God’s love–and will share it with others in bringing them into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. God has given us yet, another opportunity–as He has–time after time-for us to show people The Way, The Truth, and The Light of His Love.