Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) on Religion & Revolution

stokely-carmichael-civil-rights-activist-resigned-as-prime-minister-of-the-black-panther-partyKwame Ture aka Stokely Carmichael famous SNCC organizer, Pan-African and firebrand speaks on the role of religion in liberation. A highlight of this speech is that according to the Bible Jesus never stepped foot in Europe so he could have been any color BUT white. Additionally, Ture outlines the many contributions Africa has made to world religions in general and Christianity in particular such as monotheism and the monastery.

Many do not know that Kwame Ture seriously considered becoming a preacher as a teenager. I actually think this calling was fulfilled just outside of the church walls in struggle for African people. May this mighty warrior rest in peace!

Happy Kwanzaa!

Today is the first day of Kwanzaa the Pan-African Holiday celebrating African culture and principals. For more information on this holiday visit: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org.

Be Blessed as we continue to celebrate this season of holidays and prepare to for 2013!

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               From: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org

Advent Reflection: Your Timing vs. Divine Timing

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Luke 1:5-25

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous-to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak. When his time of service was completed, he returned home.

After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.”The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

Reflection by Onleilove

“And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time” – Luke 1:20

Like Zechariah most of us struggle with believing God’s words and promises. For many of us our unbelief is fueled by the media, news reports and the “common sense” of our day. During our holiday season we sing “joy to the world” while struggling with depression. We marvel at manger scenes with Three Kings of diverse races coming together to worship baby Jesus and yet struggle to believe diversity can exist in our churches. We praise Jesus as the “Prince of Peace” while living in a country that spends more on war than on education for children.

Though we know the promises of God, we falter in our faith. From today’s passage we see that even the zealous Zechariah struggled with believing. We can’t condemn Zechariah’s actions because it is difficult to wait years for a situation to change. Emotions, criticism and doubt will cause even the most faithful to murmur. This passage has a great deal to teach us about God’s appointed timing versus our timing. God’s appointed timing is based on eternity and our timing is based on finality.

Elizabeth and Zechariah were chosen as the parents for John the Baptist. God had to delay John’s birth so that he would be on time to lead the way for his cousin – Jesus. Looking back, we can see that John’s birth was right on-time and by delaying the birth of John, God was not punishing Zechariah and Elizabeth but was actually choosing this couple to assist in preparing the way for the Christ.

At times, what appears to be a delay or denial from God may actually be divine timing that will lead to the birth of a new ministry, business or relationship that will impact our world in a powerful way. Though we may be tempted to murmur about our current circumstances let us remember that God can see the entire picture and is working situations out for a divine purpose and appointed time. When the world provides negative reports and you are tempted to murmur, remember the words from this gospel song: “Whose report will you believe? I shall believe the report of the Lord!”

Prayer

God, when we are discouraged by the reality we see, give us new eyes to see your reality. When we are tempted to murmur, give us the faith to know that you are working for our good and the good of humanity. In our times of doubt, comfort us and remind us of your love. Amen.

Prayers for Children

Sandy HookMy heart was saddened when I learned of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but I was also reminded that in the inner-city children are shot and killed everyday. Growing up in East New York, Brooklyn I was accustomed to hearing gun shots and hitting the floor for cover at an early age, this is a tragedy as well. In Chicago for 6-months in 2012 on average 50 people were killed by gun violence a month (many children and teens), this is higher than the death rate in war torn countries. Trauma research has shown that youth in inner-city communities in California have higher trauma rates than youth in Iraq-this is a tragedy as well. I do not like to compare pain because pain is pain but what we must overstand is that when we allow the poor to die for years without concern we open ourselves up for tragedies like Sandy Hook. ALL life is sacred! Black, white, rich, poor, children, teens and elderly. What is done to one affects all because you can not build a gated community to keep out the violence and pain of the rejected. Yes we need access to mental health and gun control but what we also need are villages that will shepherd youth with love and justice.

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Advent: The First Baby Shower Unites Women on the Margins

Polish Black Madonna & Child

Polish Black Madonna & Jesus

On Christmas 2010 I received a great surprise, my reflection on Mary & Elizabeth (in the Gospel of Luke) was posted on NPR’s On Being Blog-this blog is for Krista Trippet’s wonderful Radio show on faith, spirituality and culture. On Being was formerly know as “Speaking of Faith”.  Read the blog below and don’t allow the myths of this season to distract you, take this time to center, reflect on 2012 and prepare for the New Year!

This Advent I am reminded of the meeting Mary had with Elizabeth to announce she was with child. Though this could have been a time of anxiety for Mary, with Elizabeth it became a time of celebration. I playfully call the following account of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth the first baby shower:

“Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly, You’re so blessed among women, and the babe in your womb, also blessed, And why am I so blessed that the mother of my Lord visits me? The moment the sound of your greeting entered my ears, The babe in my womb skipped like a lamb for sheer joy. Blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true!

And Mary said, I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good look at me, and look what happened — I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten, the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others. His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him. He bared his arm and showed his strength, scattered the bluffing braggarts. He knocked tyrants off their high horses, pulled victims out of the mud. The starving poor sat down to a banquet; the callous rich were left out in the cold. He embraced his chosen child, Israel; he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high. It’s exactly what he promised, beginning with Abraham and right up to now.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back to her own home.”
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Onleilove:

A Poem I wrote that was inspired by my time on 125th Street today.

Originally posted on 20 Lines A Day:

Riding up to Harlem in a silver chariot.

Hustling & Bustling during a season of busy “cheer”.

A child laughs, a mother cries and I see the city reflected in a hobo’s eyes.

As I exit the train I hear Jazz musicians serenading commuters running by.

I hear a world of renaissance that has passed me by.

I think of this village called Harlem and feel the spirits of greats pass me by.

Can I add a stroke of paint to this village mural and contribute beauty with ashes?

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125th Street Subway Station Mural in Harlem

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Become Like a Little Child…..

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven….”-Matthew 18:2

From: lovenwords.com

      From: lovenwords.com

Affirmation: “The world is safe and friendly. I am safe. I am at peace with life.”

Onleilove:

A great post by artillumina: Station 9 Womb (Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem)

Originally posted on artillumina:

luke 23:28-31
Creative response by: Rachel Yates

The bible passage is very bleak – it’s hopeless, warning perhaps of the dangers of following the “Laws” of the religions at the time (that might lead to a barren womb; that is, a place that bears no offspring, no-one to hand down the Christian teachings to.) These are the same laws that led to Jesus’ conviction of blasphemy. “Blessed are the wombs that never bore”. What sort of a world would it be if we were to say this? A world where we suffer watching our children struggle with life? Where we wish they had never been born into such suffering? Where negative ideologies hinder their growth and prevent them from living a free, fulfilling life?

I wanted to create an image that celebrated the feminine…

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The Liebster Award & 100 Followers!

Thanks to Mahogany over at Crazy Fun Sexy Guide: For Women I was nominated for Liebster Blog Award!!! I also found out that I have 100 followers today! I am grateful for everyone who reads and follows this blog.  I have been busy but I will  be making regular post soon I promise. Stay tuned for some Advent (Christmas) reflections and interviews to encourage you during this crazy time of year! Be Blessed.

libsterWhat is the Liebster Blog Award?

It’s an award that was reputedly started in Germany in order to give smaller bloggers recognition for their hard work. You receive this award from a fellow blogger that feels your blog is both worthy & important to them.

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Onleilove:

Detox your skin with Tea!

Originally posted on "...ORGANIC BEAUTY":

A cup of tea is most helpful in the cold months of the year. They re soothing to our bodies when come from the chilly and cold weather outside, or when we are down with the seasonal colds, tea brings much comfort to us for many things. But how many of us are aware of herbal teas, used from the inside, can be used to clear acne.

SKIN DETOXING

Skin detox tea for the skin helps in reducing acne and other skin problems as it cleanses the skin from inside out in 21 days. The herbal tea will help detox your skin and help prevent and treat acne and oily, blemish-prone skin. Healthy, clear skin becomes a reality thanks to mild liver cleansing, pores detoxing, and gentle cleansing of the body inside out. Once your body gently cleanses itself from toxins and excessive hormones, acne breakouts will less likely to occur.

ACNE IS CLEARED IN SEVEN STEPS:

  1. Antibacterial action

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