This is the day that the Lord has made and I shall rejoice and be glad in it! Over the last two weeks, I've truly been grieving the earthly transition of my cousin Bruce. He, like a brother to me, was a confidant and mentor. As a child, I looked up to him and was a caretaker of his three children. As a young-adult, I admired his compassion, preaching and love for people. And now as a mother and wife, I greatly admire all of the above in addiiton to his unwaivering faith and trust in God - the God who never abandoned him through sickness, death, adversity, disappointment, doubt, suffering, days of joy and days of pure drudgery. God was his ROCK and his focus remained on the God who was WITH HIM. I praise God for his Christian witness and for the many lives he touched with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I also praise God for his incredible wife and all who stood with him during this season of his life. Beloved, God is with us. Thanks be to God.
So, this February as we journey through Black History Month and Lent to the brink of Easter Season, I invite us to FOCUS not simply on the sufferings of our loved ones, ourselves, Jesus, others or the journeys of the great contributors of Black History without fully embracing the promises that kept them/us through every trial, temptation and test. We are not immortal. We are not without faults and limitations. However, the Spirit of the Living God at work within us will not leave us when life becomes difficult or our faith becomes a little dim. God will suffer with and in us; and, God will overcome these things in and around us to make all things NEW. Beloved, join us this month as we FOCUS on God's promises beyond the processes we face. Lift up your hearts and be ye lifted up ...This series will bless your life! See you in the sanctuary...
With the love of God,
Happy New Year, Beloved,
Eyes have not seen and ears have not heard all that God has in store for YOU! In this new year, trust God exponentially. Don't question God's promises for they shall come to pass. Fear not your future for God is preparing you for it. God will take you to every place where God appoints you. Do not fear the terror by night nor the pestilence by day, for God is with YOU and has the final Word. This is your season to walk out your faith. Brace yourself, the BEST truly is YET to come. Rest in these words and work your dream. God has prepared you for all that is ahead of you. Lean not upon your own understanding but in every way Acknowledge that GOD IS GOD! Now take a deep breath and BREATHE!!!!! That's our January Sermon Series - BREATHE. Join us on Sundays as we unpack the power and blessing of a single breath and the power to exhale (let go)...
With confidence in Christ.
'Tis ever the season to be the Hope filled LIGHT of Jesus Christ! Beloved, may the LIGHT of Christ fill every dark place in and around us for God is within us. Advent is a season of expectant love, hope, joy and peace; and, the light of Christ illuminates these precious gifts. Light by definition is something that makes things visible or affords illumination. In our English translation, hope is to desire with expectation of obtainment. But, let's take a look at what hope means in two biblical languages - Hebrew and Greek--
What are you waiting for with confidence today? Romans 5:4-5 reminds us that endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. What is being produced in you? Know this, the hope filled LIGHT of Christ shall expel all darkness and it shall shine through those who carry it. Be the LIGHT of Christ in every moment. Shine God's light as you pray and advocate for Syrian Refugees, leaders of nations, justice, freedom, drastically reduced mass incarceration rates, and unjust policing. Shine God's light as we advocate for the end of health disparities - especially those based on economic income/zip code/personal status/ethnicity. Be God's light shining for persons living in war-torn countries, those seeking affordable housing, clean water, gender equity and or food security. We are the hope filled LIGHT of the world and we are called to brightly shine so that all can experience the real LOVE, HOPE, JOY and PEACE that Emmanuel - God with us- brings. You are loved and it's our moment to SHINE. Never hide your light. for it is one of your precious gifts from God. Happy Holy Days!
"Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." - Jeremiah 29:11
Where is wholeness, health, and peace needed in the city? It is needed in every region of the world. it is desperately needed In Baltimore, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and other regions where the blood of the slain cry out to the heavens. Shalom is needed in every city and place where brokeness exists. It is needed in every valley and upon every mountain top. It is needed in every place where justice is absent and where the isms of life are pervasive. O God, breathe your holy spirit upon all who mourn this day - those who are mourning loved ones and or dreams - and fill us anew with the power of SHALOM (wholeness). We feel it. We perceive your presence. You are making a way for shalom. You are God. You are WONDERFUL and you are JUST. Therefore, we say by faith that it is done. Thank You.
Let us pray,
Lord, you are the great Healer. You are our Shalom - our peace. Fill us up with the power of Your Holy Spirit to transform this world into Your desired kingdom. We are limited in power apart from Your presence. But, with You all things are possible. So, we invite Your Divinity to pierce our humanity and raise us up to Your standard of being. We bless Your Holy Name and say, Amen. Amen. It is so. Thanks be to God!
May the peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be upon you. On June 17, the world experienced yet another hate crime in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. As the result of a senseless act of violence, nine lives are no longer physically with us - children are left without a father, mother and or brother. Wives are planning a burial of a loved one and are struggling to grapple with an immense sense of lost. A sibling of the deceased is working to bring the surviving spouse (who works out of the country on assignment) back home to bury and mourn his loved one. Many youth are questioning if they or their loved ones are the next targets of hateful deeds. A church is mourning the death of its pastor and a people nationwide are calling for peace and an end to hate crimes and evil. The perpetrator has been caught; yet, hatred and evil still remain on the run to move freely into those who will house/feed them. So, I raise this question - will you allow evil a place to dwell or allow love to make no room for sin?
Today. I pray for the families and loved ones of those men and women who were slain in historic (Mother) Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The slain transitioned this realm while declaring/studying God's Word. So, I am ever convinced that the word of God is still as powerful today than it ever was despite the fact that these beloved died in a church. The way or place that we die does not preclude/dim the beautiful light of lives well lived. These persons died on holy ground worshiping their Saviour who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine; and, their souls returned to their Creator. So, we stand on the Word of God and fear not those who can harm the body but cannot harm the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).
Thus, I say, "Live forever with God Rev. Clementa Pinckney (Age: 41), Cynthia Hurd(54), Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45), Tywanza Sanders(26), Ethel Lance (70), Susie Jackson (87), Rev. DePayne Middle-Doctor (49), Rev. Daniel Simmons (74), and Myra Thompson (59). Take your rest." May justice come swiftly. May God comfort all who mourn and give peace to our souls. God is still with us as God is with you. Thanks be to God.