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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stereotypes, Truth and Retreats

" I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the TRUTH" 
- 3John 1:4

God loves truth! It's apart of who He is, and what He speaks. I have such a strong hatred for deception. It's the opposite of Gods character and how He desires for His children to live. As I'm ministering to women or girls in my community, one of the things I often try to listen for in our daily conversation is "what is this woman believing about herself, God and or others?"

Being an African American woman, I have so many perceptions that are put out about who I am that I daily have to fight through or have the temptation to prove I'm NOT.  The media doesn't help at all as it cycles such lies out into a wider audience. I'm sure the same can be echoed by the women in my community, they too are in this fight. 

"You're  just lazy, abusing the system that uses my hard earned tax money"

"She's one angry black woman, she keeps a frown on her face"

"She's only having all those babies so she can get more food stamps" 

"Black women can't ever get along  with each other"

"You will never be educated, talk proper, or be as holy as she is"

Satan has such a crafty way of tempting us to believe these lies and many more about ourselves. When you hear something for so long , you begin to believe that it's truth and you live your life according to what you have heard. 
Jesus!! What bondage that is!! I know, I've lived it and still wrestle with much of it today! 

I have such a burden for the women and young girls in my community to truely KNOW who they are and their purpose. You are NOT what's  portrayed about you on tv, radio or magazines. You are NOT another black person looking for a handout. You are NOT at the mercy of every white person you meet. You are NOT dumb because you graduated with a GED or don't talk as "proper" as she does. 

Just think of what would happen if we really started addressing people according to who GOD says they are. 

You ARE loved more than you could ever imagine!

You are valuable to someone who cared enough to give His only child for your future.

You are created in the image of the living God and created for a purpose bigger then you or me. 

God is jealous over you

He cares about your pain and wants to walk with you through  it. 

We have this overwhelming responsibility to always preach the truth to people in a way that God will use to capture their hearts and show them who HE created them to be. When ministering to others who have believed lies and have been blinded for so long,our conversations must begin with Genesis 1and 2, reminding people of their value, dignity and worth. Teaching them how that image was shattered, the effects it has on all of us today and how it will one day be restored again. Praise God! 

This weekend is our second annual Women's Retreat. It's a weekend filled with TRUTH, vulnerability, prayer, sweet fellowship and fun. We designed this  weekend getaway to serve as a ministering tool to a few women we've invested in. A time for those who know God to grow closer to Him, or a time for some to start a new relationship with Him.
A time for these women to bond and begin to break the stereotype that black women who live in the hood can't get along with each other. 
A time for these women to be challenged, affirmed and loved on so that they become the leading agents of change their community and families need. A time when we are filling them with truth in hopes of the Holy Spirit bringing it back up at the right time,  empowering them to walk in the ways of The Lord.

We know Satan isn't too fond of this, so we desperately covet your prayers. Please pray that the ladies are encouraged, provoked to faith, connect with one another and that they begin to know and understand the TRUTH of Gods word.
Pray for us as leaders -that we would love them well, stay closely connected to the Father as we minister to them and pray WE learn just as much from these ladies as they are coming to learn from us.

We need the Holy Spirit to show up and bless our time together. We need a revival.

May we all strive to live truthfully amongst one another and kill deadly stereotypes 
by getting to know others and seeing them as God does.

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free"- John 8:32