Meditations of a christizen (christian-citizen)upon today's topics.
|I, Brother James, cultivated through my imagination and birthed via writing instruments (pen, laptop, etc) 'The Word Courier's Journal'. It is one of several literary efforts so conceived to include the "word", the mind altering, eye opening, life saving gospel of Jesus Christ into the every day conversation on those things deemed relevant to those readers who stumble upon my column. I and all other followers of the Lord are called to witness this message across the globe or at the very least to those around us. Jesus did say "Go therefore and teach all nations..." (see Matthew 28:19 KJV Holy Bible) Here lies my modest attempt to introduce the unknowing people to the Lord and immerse they who know Him in discussion with respect to His outlook on all that matters.|
|Kwanzaa is a cultural celebration of beliefs held dear by those of us in African and Afro diaspora communities throughout the world. It is a yearend-year beginning ritual that rings out the old year beginning on December 26th and rings in the new year on January 1st.
Each of the seven days highlights a different principle valued by traditional African and Afro-centric communities. (see list) Today, December 29th is day 4, Ujamaa. This day is dedicated to cooperative economics. Economy based upon cooperation more so than competition is the priority expressed here.
Day 1, Umojo (unity)
Day 2, Kujichagulia (self-determination)
Day 3, Ujima (Collective work and responsibility)
Day 4, Ujamaa (cooperative economics) -Today
Day 5, Nia (purpose)
Day 6, Kuumba (creativity)
Day 7, Imani (faith)
We here in the United States have historically practiced this principle. Rent parties provide a perfect example of such. Our forefathers and those among us old enough to remember (which I’m not) devised a way to raise the rent money by throwing a party. They would put together a potluck, find some musicians, throw a party, get donations and pay the rent.
Harlem of the 1920’s is generally credited as being the birthplace of such events. Rent parties provided a beginning and a boon to popular black music of that day. Noted jazz and blues musicians performed at these functions. The Harlem renaissance it seems benefited from this social gathering born out of desperation.
This began in Harlem, but it was carried out across the industrialized North and Midwest during early 20th century years. Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh played host to these occasions as well. Regardless of location, the more enterprising party host used this device to supplement their incomes on occasions besides their rent being due.
The parties captured the spirit of other principles espoused by Kwanzaa. The ideal is certainly creative (kuumba) and requires a unified mindset.( umojo) The functions displayed the ultimate in pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps ( kujichagulia) mixed with a sprinkling of community spirit (ujima) which took faith (Imani) to attempt in the first place.
Rent parties enabled black people of the day to survive and thrive. Rent partyers weren’t trying to connect to their African ancestry. They were just doing what they had to do in a world fraught with high rents and low wages. Yet, their efforts continued the tradition of ujamaa first conceived in the mother land.
|Matthew 18:8-9 KJV Holy Bible
8) Wherefore, if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
9) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee: it is better to enter into life with one eye than having two eyes to be cast into hellfire.
Americans delivered the Republican party a Godsend in the guise of a seven million differential popular vote thumping and 306-232 Electoral College beatdown of Donald Trump in the 2020 general election. And we did this even as Republicans increased their numbers (though still a minority) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Voters paved a way to prevent a Republican party titanic sinking with its wayward ships’ captain Donald J. Trump. Among them the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) unabashedly supported Sen. Joe Biden for president. They recognized the rampant spread of the Trumpian cancer would in time turn the Republican body into a corpse.
Black voters, independents and moderates led the charge to dump Trump. And enough though not most Republicans joined in. To the Republican party, we who played a part in this simply respond as such, "your welcome." Some among the party leadership don’t feel grateful. Their thanklessness is due to a lack of perspective. It seems at least 100 party house members and the Attorney General in 17 states need a different outlook.
Fortunately, our Lord provides such. Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that we need to do away with that which can send us down the wrong path- no matter how much it hurts. (see Matthew 18:8-9) He said these things regarding the survival of our very souls. He was not talking about politics. And neither is this column.
Sen Joe Biden correctly stated during the campaign the election was about the soul of this nation. It wasn’t about court appointments, tax breaks, immigration or abortion. It was about who and what are we going to be as a people and as a country.
Will we as citizens project hostility, intimidation and violence towards those who differ from us in even the slightest regard? Or will we find a way to peaceably move forward even when not in agreement?
As such, we the people clearly decided to remove the offending hands, feet and eyes from our collective body. Now, certain remaining Republican party leaders need to follow suit unless they’re comfortable being flunkeys to an autocrat who represents everything against stated Republican values.
The party at its best displayed leadership. Ronald Reagan confronted rather than colluded with a hostile Russian state. Abraham Lincoln eventually took the right position on the slavery issue. Theodore Roosevelt established the national parks.
If the party is to return to any semblance of such accomplishment, they must shed soul stagnating stuff. Donald Trump’s filthy eyes should be plucked from among them. His hands bloodied by caged children, and 300,000 mostly preventable Covid-19 deaths should be cast off from out of their midst. And his feet marching us towards dictatorship, death and destruction should be severed never again to enjoin the body politic. No pain- No gain.
|Joel 1:14 KJV Holy Bible
“Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord and cry unto the Lord.”
Bishop Charles Edward Blake Sr, leader of the Church of God in Christ has declared a worldwide fast today. It is to occur from 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. in all our respective time zones. I expect to participate along with many of our nearly 9,000,000 members across the world.
The scripture from Joel 1:14 was the key verse used in the announcement concerning this fast. A renewed reading of this verse and its surrounding text suggest why it has been selected. The context of Joel’s first chapter is eerily like today’s pandemic reality.
It describes an unprecedented wave of destruction which did or would fall upon Judah, the Hebrew nation that he was speaking to. A plague that like the Corona Virus would entail devastating economic consequences. And this anomaly like todays involved bugs the smallest of creatures waging havoc on the people.
Joel instructs the people in their fast to do so with spirit of penitence. I think that this would apply to today’s fasting as well especially given the events and spiraling death toll as of late. I get the feeling (and that’s what it is feeling not something I claim to have scriptural backing on) that this goes beyond however long the pandemic last.
We have heard about a new normal. The wearing of mask, social distancing, and disinfecting are all needed protective measures against this plague. That is part of a new normal. However, we simply need new. It could be that we need to renew our selves our world and our intimacy with the Lord. Perhaps the future has new in store for us minus the normal.
|Isaiah 55:10-11 KJV Holy Bible
10) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returned not tither, but watereth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Ezekiel 12:25 KJV Holy bible
For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass: it shall be no more prolonged : for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word and will perform it, saith the Lord God.
Scriptures that refer to when God speaks do so in a direct assertive manner. Words that denote limited, conditional, unfinished and uncertain qualities are not used in these verses. Take note that the words except, if, unless, but and maybe are not used in either Isaiah 55:11 or Ezekiel 25:12. The meanings conveyed by these words have no place with respect to the power of God’s word.
Instead, words such as shall and will dominate the discourse. Shall and will together account for more than one of every ten words depicted in these scriptures. It’s made clear here that what God said will happen. People who claim God revealed something that doesn’t happen blaspheme the Lord.
The Scriptures also read “God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent:…” (Numbers 23:19 KJV) Yet, recently a glut of church leaders claim that God told them Donald Trump would win the 2020 election. He didn’t. Donald Trump clearly lost in his bid for reelection as president.
Kenneth Copeland, Paula White and Pat Robertson lead a contingent of those who say the Lord revealed a Donald Trump victory to them. Mr. Copeland can laugh all he wants to and as crazily as he wants to, but the joke’s on him. Paula White speaks in tongues (or so it appears) but lies on God.
It’s not entirely out of the question someone told them Donald Trump would win the 2020 election. In fact, it’s believable that a spirit (of sorts)revealed their misinformation to them. However, given the “prophecy’s” failure to be fulfilled it’s clear the someone wasn’t the Lord and the spirit wasn’t His.
|Matthew 6:25 … Take no thought for your life what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not much better than they?
I make it a point to feed the birds and occasional stray cats first thing in the morning. The feeding is first before other morning rituals. I distribute bird feed before my morning coffee and before breakfast on those days that I engage in the a.m. meal. I remind myself; feed the birdies feed the kitties.
I’ve been doing this routine for at least the past 20 years when my residence has included a yard or some kind of green space. I’m inclined to keep indoor plants when my abode is bound by concrete (or gravel) on all sides. When able I feed birds and sometimes cats looking for a morsel.
Mind you, I don’t have birds or cats as pets. These are not my birds or my cats. Feeding the birds is something I just feel like doing. In fact, I don’t even mind the squirrels getting some. I put much of the bird feed on the ground to include them. Raccoons or opossums sometimes eat what I put out but I’m not trying to feed them.
The fact is birds, squirrels and cats alike don’t depend upon my benevolence. They’ll eat with or without my contribution. I have never known a neighborhood's bird, squirrel or cat population to starve upon my leaving it. They still eat. I just make it easier for them when I’m there.
The Lord uses me to help some of his creatures out. He supplies their needs before I move into their area and after I leave. I am so glad the Lord favors me even more so than my feathered and furry friends. And I might add that goes for the few of you who will read this.