November 14, 2008

Shame on Who?

There is a saying. “ IF you get over on me once, shame one you. IF you get over on we twice, shame on me”.

But now the question that I am asking myself is what about time, 3 or 4…or even to the point of losing count??. Good Christian teaching is about forgiveness and redemption, but in the midst of all that, how many times do you really allow someone to have the chance to disappoint you. When is it appropriate for a good Christian to say, “I have had enough of this and I wont accept it any longer?”

I have known so many women who stayed in bad relationships for the reason of proving their Christianity by the ability to endure. Whenever I would speak to them about their situation, I would always talk about how a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. This kind of love does not intentionally harm or hurt others. There is a huge tension between ideology and reality. I don’t know where the two make peace and meet in a way that is reasonable.

IF you look to the bible for the answers concerning forgiveness, you find the concept of forgiving someone 70x7. So you should forgive someone 490 times? I cant help but to think that the point here is that true forgiveness will eventually lose count, and not that you reach your breaking point of not being able to forgive someone after the number of their offenses reach this special number.

Human relationships require a lot of work, even in good times. So what do you do when this work is strained all the more by one of the people involved repeatedly hurting the other – whether it be intentionally or unintentionally? My challenge to the person receiving the hurt is always to reaffirm value in self. Christ love for the church is affirming. Christ love is healing. Christ love does no intentional harm.

There is no easy absolute answer to how or what to do. But what is true and sure is that to find the answer you have to look to Christ. For it is through Christ and His LOVE, that you find the answers and the strength to walk in the plan of God for your life and to find the LOVE that God wants you to have in your life.

I believe that a person who harms others will have to answer to God. But I also believe that a person who allows self to be treated any less than what God would have for the individual to receive, will also answer to God for not living up to the sacredness of being created in God’s own image. For God loved God’s own image enough to share that with each of us. God loves, because God’s Love started with God’s Self.

November 6, 2008

Reality Check

Mic test, mic test….123

Just want to send a brother and sister something to think about. This is an open wake up call to the Black Men of the United States of America. We are proud of the accomplishment of electing this country’s first African- American president, but there are the untold stories that will take place all across this country--- and that is what I am flashing the caution light concerning.

You see, now the bar has been raised, not only politically, but socially and familial-ly . We have an example standing before us of a successful, educated, happily married man. This is something that gives us great joy, but I don’t want to talk to you about ‘Joe the Plumber’ but instead I want to talk to you about ‘Raiquan the Jack of All Trades’. Before there was the example of Obama to follow, we lived with the efforts of the man who might not be able to fix it or afford to get it fixed, but could put some duck-tape on it so that it didn’t completely fall apart.

If it hasn’t started to happen yet, soon there will be sisters all over this country saying these word----“who do you think you are?…. you aint Barack Obama!”. This statement is inevitably going to be resonated across this country and possibly around the world.

We have to be careful what we say, not only because we may destroy someone, but also because we never know what kind of potential we need to be cultivating in this sensitive time when more people now than ever have ‘the audacity to hope’.

Some may never do any better than they are doing today, but I dare say that there are thousands, maybe even millions who have been inspired to make some personal changes in their own life, for the better. Now that we can see that there are limitless possibilities minds are shifting in ways that wont be seen right now, but will manifest in coming days.

As the newly elected President and his first family were waving to the crowd before Obama gave his speech, I thought about how this family is now the model by which America looks for its greatest expectations on so many levels. Michelle Obama has to have the fashion sense that will carry over on to many women in this country. ( I was not a fan of the red and black that she was wearing last night, by the way, but that is just my taste speaking). And the Obama daughters now represent the tweeners of country, and before they leave the White House we will watch them develop into teens.

So for the first time in American History, the life and times of African Americans can be view in a completely different light. But what about the rest of us/ U.S.? Just like Michelle Obama stayed with her husband through some hard years, when it would have made sense to leave, many women will have to decide now to endure the man they have, not only for economic reason in the midst of a bad economy, but also for reason that will vary from situation to situation.

As Michelle smiled and looked her newly headed for power husband in the eye, as they stood on that stage, I am sure that all of the X’s girlfriends who got frustrated with where Obama was in his life years ago were absolutely sick to the stomach thinking that it coulda, woulda, shoulda been her on that stage. But she was not fit for the journey. She was not destined to stand by that man on the journey to the top.

I have so much respect for Michelle Obama because she was the greater money earner in their household, and she was also able to allow time to develop her husband into the man that he is today. If she had walked away from him and his potential--- this story would be very different, it literally would have changed history. Maybe another women would have been standing beside Obama, or maybe he would have given up a long time ago when things got hard. But because of Michelle who supported, lovingly corrected and was his head cheerleader, her husband was able to accomplish a large feat.

This is why, who you attach your life to is so significant, and developing the determination to love and pray for your companion daily are such key elements to fortifying a great future.

So to all those women who are looking at your man, or the man that you are not even giving the time of day- stay prayerful because you never know where God will lead his future and you never know how God can use you to encourage, support and love a man to finding his best self.

To my brothers, I want to say- be careful about the woman you attach your life to, she can be the catalyst for your greatest demise or the right one can be the companion of your destiny.

To both my brothers and sisters---- “ Be careful for nothing, but all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving….”