He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Monday, August 18, 2008

Real Talk

Ephesians 2:11-16
So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death the hostility through it.

I have gone back and forth in my mind for sometime, debating if I should even post this blog. I have peace tonight in this decision and I look forward to what the LORD does with this. I believe, personally I have always had "thick" skin so to say when it comes to comments made out of ignorance of another's culture. I was talking to my husband the other day, I don't know what it is, but it seems like, every sense we have moved in this area ( or neighborhood) I have become quite sensitive, and a bit hurt by some of the things I hear people say about blacks.

Real Talk... I am not here to point the finger at a particular person, I am not trying to secretly place someone in the spot light with out using their name.this is just honest blogging. One of the things Kevin and I are COMPLETELY CONVINCED OF is that we truly believe that the LORD has called us to be a bridge in HIS WORK in RECONCILING the RACES. The LORD has truly blessed us to the point, where we have so many close friends of different ethnic background, and for that, we are SO THANKFUL. WE love all our friends the same, we are not the ones to show any form of partiality towards others.

Real Talk, the thing that burdens, and bothers me is when people believe something about a WHOLE CULTURE based off of the actions and examples of others. (i.e.-blacks are always late, all blacks are uneducated, blacks always drop out of school, all the kids that live in the 'hood' or that come from poverty don't have a DAD at home with them...I can go on)

I must confess, I am not the best when it comes to being on time. But please let me assure you it has nothing to do with the fact that I am black. It has so much to do with the the fact that, as a fallen sinner, I am lazy at times, I get in waaaaay over my head and plan to many things to do at the same time. (I don't know how to say 'NO' at times when I should)... I have a five year old at home with me who may have to be disciplined at least 6 times before I make it out of the door... I am sure you get it now :)

May, I also say, I too have been guilty of passing judgement on another culture based off of the history of things I have seen. That was sin on my part, I am striving to look at each person and their circumstances individually. It jut bothers me, I find my self asking the LORD when is this ever going to stop. It doesn't help that we live in the place that birthed the Civil Rights Movement. lol..GOD IS INDEED SOVEREIGN!

I remember a while back someone asking me "why do blacks sit in church for so long."- I could have really been offended my that...but the LORD gave me something else...I thanked Him for the opportunity to dialog with this sister about the differences in our cultures. One of the things that Kevin has always preached to me in our home on racial reconciliation is the FACT that in order to be that bridge, in order for the races to be reconciled is for US TO BEGIN with the first step...and this is to FIRST TALK ABOUT IT.( lets talk about how it hurts, what was wrong about it, should there be any form of confession, and or acknowledgement?????) I hated that.. I didn't want to talk about it because it always began ( at least my experiences) and started with slander, and or ended with neither sides being at peace with one another. In my eye it just always seem to make things worst. I believe so different now.

I am ready to talk now... I am ready to seek the LORD in what part HE would have me to play in all this... As frustrating, and hard as it is.. I would not change this! I believe we shall one day see the nations come together. I believe it can,beginning with us!! I am so thankful to the LORD for placing Kevin and I on staff with Bk and Delta. She and I have learned and will continue to learn so much about one another...Let the dialoging begin. :)

FYI- if you would like to know...research reads that when slaves where given a break from hard labor in the fields..there were times when they would use that time to hold church services. Those church services sometime lasted very long...the slaves begin to noticed that "massa" was quick to ask them to return to their labors...BUT, during those times that they held church they were not asked to return to work as fast.... hence the result of SOME BLACK worship services lasting as long as they do. Here you have something that BEGAN in SLAVERY but has been passed down for so many generations..It's not something that we as a culture even think about asking because it has just been done for so many years

Here is a list a posted a while back on where we all can start on this journey of Racial Reconciliation:
Where do we start?

Pray... ask God to remind you daily of what you and your people have experienced, showing you what racial hurts you need to forgive. Ask God to remind you what you or your people have done to contribute to racial hurts, and for what you need to be forgiven.

Confess your sins, to God, and if appropriate, to another Christian.

Develop a meaningful friendship with a person of a different ethnic group.

Study what scripture teaches about racial reconciliation. An excellent study guide to start with is Multi-Ethnicity: Six Studies for Individuals Or Groups, by Isaac Canales, InterVarsity Press. Or listen to the Urbana seminar tape: Racial Reconciliation’s Roots in Scripture, by Neil Rendall.

Visit a church from a different ethnic background than your own... Sunday morning is a very segregated time in North America. If you don’t know any, ask people you know from that culture or look in the phone book to find the churches in your own city.

Get involved in a multi-ethnic mission project, either in a city in North America or overseas.

Learn more about the history of an ethnic group different from your own.

Read books about ethnic and racial reconciliation. Spencer Perkins & Chris Rice’s More Than Equals (which was an Urbana 96
Book Of The Day) is available from InterVarsity Press.

Seek out other teaching about racial reconciliation. Listen to the Urbana seminar tapes: Role of the Oppressed in Racial Reconciliation by Brenda Salter-McNeil or Racial Reconciliation & White Responsibility by Neil Rendall.

Share what you have learned with others in your own ethnic group

Lord, I pray our family is one that loves justice, shows mercy and walks humbly with you LORD. Please continue to help us to be sensitive to other cultures. I pray that we are respectful, and genuine in our dealings with them. Please continue to provide opportunity upon opportunity to close the gap between the races. Father, we cannot do this alone..we need you. I pray we really do bring you HONOR and GLORY in this area. Please keep our tongues from evil.

Ephesians 2:19-22
So [Jesus] came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off [Gentiles] and peace to those who were near [Jews]; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.