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HOW ARE WE MANAGING TO WEATHER THE STORMS OF LIFE

HOW ARE WE MANAGING TO WEATHER THE STORMS OF LIFE

A TRUE SYMBOL OF PEACE (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

A TRUE SYMBOL OF PEACE (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

Today we face many trials in this life that causes us to ask this question; how are we managing to Weather the Storms of Life? When we think about this and evaluate the world we live in, we are subject to come up with many different answers with hopes of resolving problems that are eroding the very fabric of life as we know it. In light of the recent verdict handed down in the Treyvon Martin and George Zimmerman case, we ponder what to do next. It seems as if George Zimmerman has been given a “pat” on the back and walked free of taking the life of Treyvon Martin, one of our beautiful children, but then again is he really FREE?  Will he ever be FREE?  The blood stains of an instance child are on his hands forever.  He took the life of one of God’s previous angles.

We are not called to judge others but to pray for them. What has happened is truly a tragic, yes, one thing we can all take from this is a lesson of how we see and relate to each other. Our children are our future and any injustice done to them is an injustice to society as a whole.

If we should make the choice to see George Zimmerman’s behavior through the eyes of hate, are we any better than he is?  Trayvon Martin’s parents have been a tower of strength.  They have set the example of how we should react in light of what has taken place with their son.  Now let us follow their example, let us follow the example of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy of non-violence, let us follow the example of Gandhi’s legacy of non-violence, let us follow the example of our Lord and Savior’s legacy of love, peace and non-violence.  When we do this, we will all stand head and shoulder above George Zimmerman and all those who spread hate and violence among us.

Jesus left his teaching as a pattern for us to live by, that pattern includes “Love.”  At this point I believe that “Love” is what’s needed as we embrace all parties involved. How are we managing to Weather the Storms of Life, through LOVE?

How are we managing to Weather the Storms of Life? Everywhere we look there seems to be discord, anger, hatred and frustration and yet we ignore the key ingredient to all our problems. We tend to ignore how Jesus came and lived among all people, enduring the storms of life, yet not discouraged. He gave us the blue-print for any situation we might encounter, yet we want take time to learn of him. Until we realize that we did not create ourselves and we are dependent on something or someone, we will continue to see these very struggles unfold.

It’s true that no one knows what’s going to happen, or when, who’s around us to say? No one can control the wind or lock it in a box. No one has any say so regarding the day of death; no one can stop a battle in its tracks; no one who does evil can be saved by evil. As long as men and women have power to hurt each other, this is the way it is. If you keep your eyes open day and night without blinking you’ll never figure out the meaning of what God is doing on earth. The good, the wise and all they do are in God’s hand—but day by day, whether love or hate they’re dealing with, they don’t know. Everyone is lumped together in one fate; life leads to death, that’s it (Ecclesiastes 8:7-17; 9:1-6 MGS).

Thank you for reading and studying with us this day.  May you find love, peace and joy in all you do to help bring about a resolution in the many difficult situations we as a people find ourselves in.  I leave you today to ponder in your heart the same question that I begin this discussion with, “HOW ARE WE MANAGING TO WEATHER THE STORMS OF LIFE?”

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DID THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE OF TRAYVON MARTIN PLAY A ROLE IN HIS MURDER?

DID THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE OF TRAYVON MARTIN PLAY A ROLEIN HIS MURDER?

Treyvon Martin

This is a subject that has been written about in newsprint, discussed and debated on radio and television as well as the internet and social media.  Today, we want to focus your attention not so much on the murder of Trayvon Martin, but on your own individual MINDSET concerning the OUTWARD APPEARANCE of anyone of us.  Therefore, the question I propose to you is this, “ WHAT ROLE DOES A PERSON OUTWARD APPEARANCE PLAY INTO A PERSON STEREOTYPING OF OTHERS, AND OR OUR OWN RACIAL HATRED AND PREJUDICE MIND SETWhen you stop and consider your answer with a deep and abiding truthiness’, you might be surprised at what your thought process provides to your present mind set.  By asking yourself this question in the privacy of your own space, and providing a true answer to the question, it’s possible that you just might be able to reshape your thinking about other people who may or may not look, dress, act, or have the same color skin as you do.

We all know that our outward appearance plays a role in how we dress for the occasion that we are involved in at the moment.  A business person [male or female] will wear a business suit, a policeman or fireman will wear a police or fireman’s uniform, our supreme court justices wear long black robes, a nurse or doctor will wear a white coat, prisoners wear the traditional orange or stripe jump suits, and young teenagers [both white and black] wear their hooded sweat shirts.   This list goes on and on, however, when you stop and consider the different types of uniforms that each group wears, which of these groups brings the greatest fear or threat into your mind, and cause you to pause and consider the race and character of such a group, and WHY?

Now I encourage you to think deeply on what you are considering here, especially believers of Jesus.  Because outward appearances can be deceiving and often have nothing to do with one’s true self. Jesus severely chastised the Pharisees for putting on a show of exterior piety but inwardly they were full of hatred and hypocrisy. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness“ (Matthew 23:27). Jesus died for all men and His love was expressed toward all men.  Do you express your love in the same manner as Jesus?

It is my conviction that no one can be pleasing to God who bases his acceptance or rejection of others according to outward appearances. Even as racial hatred and prejudice, focuses on outward appearances, it is rooted (finds its origin) in an attitude of superiority. Racial hatred and prejudice  is demonstrated when people refer to someone in terms of derision according to their race or nationality. The account of the Pharisee and the publican who went into the Temple to pray illustrates how hatred for others most often is rooted in an attitude of self-superiority. In Romans 12:3 the apostle Paul warned, “…not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think so as to have sound judgment..,“

Time and again Jesus taught His disciples to not think in terms of personal superiority, but to be humble, willing to serve others. He demonstrated this in the most forceful of ways by washing His own disciples’ feet even though He was the very Son of God. How grieved our Lord must be as He looks upon His people for whom He died and hears them use ugly words of racial hatred. Brethren, be honest with yourself; no one loves God and Jesus Christ who refers to another human being in vile and ugly terms (I John 4:20-21).

Now, in considering your truthful answer to this question, “WHAT ROLE DOES A PERSON OUTWARD APPEARANCE PLAY INTO A PERSON STEREOTYPING OF OTHERS, AND OR OUR OWN RACIAL HATRED AND PREJUDICE MIND SET?” Let me provide you with the answer that Jesus left for you, when he said, “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

In our next lesson on this subject we will discuss how Racial Hatred and prejudice produces division in all people rather than unity.  I remain your brother in JESUS CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

RACIAL HATRED IN AMERICA AND WHY WAS TRAYVON MARTIN MURDERED?

Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)

RACIAL HATRED IN AMERICA AND WHY WAS TRAYVON MARTIN MURDERED?

Today, we will center our focus on Racial Hatred and why was Trayvon Martin targeted on this day for murder?  This is a very deep and troubling question that should disturb all of us as parents regardless of the color of our skin.  Trayvon Martin was not just a young Black Child, he was all of us.  He embodied the heart, soul and spirit of who we all are as God’s children.  If an individual can target one of us hunt us down, murder us and then claim self defense and get away with it, this leaves the door open for this to happen to anyone of us. Racial hatred comes in all colors, creeds, shapes and sizes.  No one race of people holds the key to Racial Hatred and Prejudice.  However, the case we are discussing deals with a young black male who was targeted for murder on this day, and because he was targeted and murdered it has awaken the conscious of all the world.

Racial hatred focuses on outward appearances rather than the inner man. The first thing a prejudiced person notices is skin color. This was evident in the 911 tapes as Zimmerman spoke to the 911 operator.  It appears that his mind was focus only on the color of Trayvon Martin’s skin and his racial prejudice and hatred for Black people in general.   Perhaps we all, consciously or subconsciously, notice whether the person we just met is White, black, Hispanic or Oriental.

However, some not only notice skin color but immediately formulate attitudes of acceptance or rejection based solely on one’s color of skin. In the 1800′s and even into the 1900′s many Caucasians believed that black people did not have souls. All blacks were considered at one time to be good only as slaves. Our Supreme Court even concluded that Black people were only considered to be two fifth of a human being.

When God rejected Saul as king over Israel due to his disobedience, He sent Samuel to the household of Jesse to anoint the one He had chosen to become the new kingI Samuel 16:6-7 says that Samuel “looked at Eliab and thought, surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him. But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’“

In Acts 13:22 we discover what God was interested in concerning who would be king over Israel. “…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will.” God looked into David’s heart and saw a man who had a love for Him and was willing to submit totally to His will. There are so many passages of scripture we could quote to show that God is not concerned with outward appearances but with what is found in men’s hearts. Does God care whether one is black, white, brown or any other color? No, He cares if we are humble, merciful and obedient, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God“(Micah 6:8).

Now we all must demand that our elected officials stop looking just at the outward appearance of an individual and provide justice for all of its citizens.  We all are children of God, and with God there is no white person are black person, we are shades of the same God with the same red blood running through our veins.

Jesus went to the cross and died for each one of us, his love for us extended beyond what color we are.  If Jesus can do all he did for each one of his children, then why can’t we find it in our hearts to rid ourselves of Racial Hatred and Prejudice and show that same love and commitment for all right here and now.

Jesus proposed this question to all who say that they are Christians and believers of God.  He said, “How can you say that you love me, whom you have never seen, and have Racial Hatred and Prejudice in your heart for your brother and sister whom you see daily?”

Now as we close, let me encourage you in the name of Jesus to demand justice for Trayvon Martin and never stop seeking answers to this question, “RACIAL HATRED IN AMERICA AND WHY WAS TRAYVON MARTIN MURDERED?” 

Let us all keep this family and the community lifted up in prayer.  We know that our God is a prayer answering God, and if we will all bow down and say daily a little prayer for someone other than ourselves, God will come and bring healing, and we all will see a supernatural miracle take place right before our very own eyes.  I lift each one of you up in the name of Jesus Christ, I remain your brother PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

RACIAL HATRED AND PREJUDICE HAS NO PLACE IN AMERICA TODAY

Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)

RACIAL HATRED AND PRDJUDICE HAS NO PLACE IN AMERICA TODAY

WHY WAS TRAYVON MARTIN [A BLACK YOUTH] MURDERED?

This is a question that all of America and the world should be asking ourselves.  This young teenager could be anyone of our children regardless to the color of our skin.  But it so happens that Trayvon Martin was a seventeen year old young black male, and young black males always have a target on their backs.   We should not have to worry about our children being gunned down for no reason other than the color of their skin.  Based on the 911 tapes and all the evidence thus far it appears that Trayvon Martin was murdered because he was a black youth.  Now listen to the 911 video clip and make your own judgment, and we will continue this discussion on the other side.

People of all races are rallying around this family and beginning to stand up for justice.  This is a very good thing.  It let’s those who will fan the flames of racial hatred and prejudice know that they cannot continue to murder young black youth and get away with it.

We as parents worry about our children when they leave our present for any reason, but we should not have to worry about them because of the color of their skin.  My two boys grew up in a gated community in the North East Georgia Mountains where they were the only two black kids in the entire community.  I did not worry about them traveling in, and around the community, but I did worry about them when they were on the outside of the community and traveling through the city.  Our neighbors were very good people and we all got along well and looked out for each other.  You can find these communities all over the country, but for the bad apples the ones with racial hatred and prejudice in their hearts, it makes it difficult for all of us.

The murder of Trayvon Martin is a perfect example of a bad apple that has caused a worldwide condemnation of what has happen.  Although it was a young black teenage boy that was murdered, it has brought all races, creeds and colors to come together to find justice for the family of Trayvon Martin.  Why?  Because this is not a black thing are a white thing, it is the right thing to do for all of us.  We all have children and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and it is very important that we protect them from racial hatred and prejudice and having a target on their backs, allowing them to be hunted down like a wide animal, then shot, killed and the hunter is able to walk away free without having to worry about having to face LADY JUSTICE.

The time has come for us to shed our racial hatred and prejudice for each other and put on God’s whole armor of love.  Whether black or white, those who feel that skin pigmentation is to be ridiculed are doing nothing other than calling God a fool and saying that He did not know what He was doing when He caused people to adapt to environmental changes and develop different color hues.  Probably one of the deepest throes a person can endure is to slowly die a spiritual death and not know it.

Many are there among us who have allowed bigotry and racial prejudice to separate them from the eternal light of God.

No attitude of mind is further from the spirit of Christ than that of racial hatred. No, I am not thinking in terms of degree of sin, I simply mean that racial hatred and prejudices are totally antagonistic to and opposite of the “mind of Christ” that caused Him to give up His equality with God and come to earth for the specific purpose of dying for all men. In the next few lessons we will look at some thoughts concerning the focus of racial hatred, the root cause of racial hatred, fruits of racial hatred, and conclude by considering racial hatred compared to the spirit of Christ and God-likeness.

Let us all not forget that Trayvon Martin’s dreams and hopes were taken away from him, his parents dreams and hopes for their son was snatched away on that dreadful night.  This could have been anyone of our sons and how would we be feeling at this moment?  So I encourage each one of you to pray in honest for this family and the community.

Now let us stand together as a people, not black people are white people, but the American people.  We are all Trayvon Martin; We are one in Jesus Christ, not separated by our skin color.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

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