The first iteration of this post was written on August 24th, of 2011. As my mind's thoughts pinged and ponged, back and forth between the world and my actual life, I was reminded of this post. I have mentioned before, in other writings, that I don't necessarily hitch rides on bandwagons. I don't think any human was designed for such. Yet, I do believe that all mankind was designed to be on the same page when it comes to the God of all Creation, allowing Him to show us the ways of our lives and all that He has called us to be. This morning, I thought about Martin Luther King Jr. and how hard it must have been for him to operate, live, and lead by God's Truth alone. To stand strong, in faith, against a system that simply promoted and protected evil, is utterly amazing! By God, all things are possible! Think of the man, whom Dr. King is named after, Martin Luther. He stood strong, in God's Truth, against the corruption found in the Roman Catholic church in the late 1400's and early 1500's.
Now for the 1st rendition of "No Riots At Crayola":
At birth, I was looked at, labeled, and crammed into a bucket called "black" (although my eyes were grey and my hair was blonde). Growing up I learned to look black, talk black, act black, and be black because that's what society told me to do. At the age of 14, God started to hold conversations with me about how things are, but most importantly about how things are supposed to be. I started to challenge traditional teachings and paddle against the flow. I no longer cared about black, something the world has claimed me to be. My only concern became that which God has called me to be and see. Friends, as well as family have been offended at times by my choice to simply be.
Does this offend you when I say that there is NOTHING black about me, except my "Be Bold" bracelet with Acts 4:29, on my wrist?
Too many of us are imprisoned by worldly words we are given to live by, when in fact, there is only ONE WORD by which we ALL should live. As Bob Marley said a while back, "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds." As long as we allow ourselves to reside in categories , we will always find conflict. Black hates white, Red trusts no one, brown is cool but sometimey and shadey, yellow is all over the place, blue wants everybody to get along, orange is stupid. Makes no sense, right?? Well, why claim a color to define your life?? If you choose to be colored, at least take note of the fact that you have never seen riots at the Crayola factory.........
At this point in life, we are enslaved, not by the ignorance of others, but by the ignorance that exists in our own minds and beings.........
Now, another thought came to mind this morning. It's about the word "Human", which we all are. Okay man is in "human" but does "hu" mean anything as a stand alone word?? So, I did a little bit of google and Strong's and Bible Works 9. This is one of the things I found: "Hu" means God, in Sufism. It is also found in the Islamic credo, "La Ilaha Ila Allah Hu" which means, "There is no God but Allah." Look at Genesis 1:26, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image; in our likeness......." Do I need to spell it out at this point? Hu-Man? God created little images and reflections of Himself in mankind. Then, He gave us free will. He pulled Adam from the Earth; the clay, as some call it. Speaking of Earth, it comes is various colors of dirt, sand, and soil, yet all from ONE Earth. Every man and woman should be operating in God's image and likeness. His image and likeness is not a physical thing. It's a spiritual thing. There is great potential for God to live in each of us! We simply have to allow it (Free Will). It's the only true way to be of use to Him. Limiting yourself to one race's, one country's, one state's frame on mind or way of living renders you useless to the greater cause of God. God is for ALL, and as hard as that has been, for us to accept and live by, in America, in 2016 alone, we must allow God into our hearts. He changes hearts for the better. The only way to change a nation is by the changing of the individual hearts within that nation, one by one.
So, everyone grab some Crayolas and let's start creating some pretty pictures of life around us and in our homes!!!
What is it to be Black? What is it to be White? What is it to be Human? I'm standing in a local store, looking at dolls. One is black and the other is white. These dolls are identical, except for the color. As I gander, I think, "They're basically the same doll. Both their heads will pop off very easily when little brother gets a hold of them. They will melt the same, as little brother goes through his pyro phase of growing up. Neither can save you in the zombie apocalypse, and neither can hide you from the wrath of God when it applies." Let's say that they both are defective. There is no "black" factory or a "white" factory to which you'd return them. There's simply THE Factory, where you find vats of doll making material. Some have a little coffee poured in, while the others get the cream.
This makes me think of how I like my coffee and how I am genetically designed; 70% coffee and 30% cream. Now, my coffee and cream are at peace and understand each other and that the coffee and dairy farmers are one in the same. With many of us, our coffee is walking around boasting of how strong and great he is and how much cream would be nothing without him, yet never letting any cream in to see or know what it's really like. Then there is cream, running around doing the same thing; talking much smack but dodging drops of coffee like the plague. Two products of the One Farmer, one claiming to be greater than the other. Siblings from the start, but too "stuck on stupid" to realize and accept it.
Sibling rivalry dates back to a time well before the American blacks and whites. Cane and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Moses and Pharoah, brother versus brother versus brother. We like to think that what we are dealing with is different from a standard set by mankind in the beginning, but our plight is no greater or lesser than that of men who came millenia before us. Truth is truth; false is false; good is good; evil is evil; right is right; and wrong is wrong. Evil, false, and wrong just choose to play the race card in our society, as often as they can because they know it divides us. Why is it so effective?
What is it to be Black? What is it to be White? I say, a state of mind. I say, a conditioning of the mind to be something God did not create you to be. What is it to be Human? I say, to be who and what your Maker has called you to be. Racist, is not a God-given calling, I don't believe. Ignorant, asinine, shallow, and evil are not God-given callings. They are all options of how we choose to be. A mentality of segregation is a mentality of segregation, whether it exists in the brain of a black man or a white man. A mentality that promotes lacks of accountability and responsibility exist in both, white folks and black folks. Evil, ignorance, hatred and deceit exists in all shades of flesh and in all densities of bone. Again, I say, they are simply choices of who we desire to be, or not to be.
Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 12 tells us that "The Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." In giving that account for your recent thoughts, actions, and attitudes; is providing peace for your pride or ecstasy for your ego more valuable and important to you than the Truth of God? Is the pain of broken pride or the agony of shattered ego greater than the torment of sacrificing your only child for the salvation of the unworthy? Thinking further on this "double-edged" sword of Truth, it is my opinion that for those who accept truth, realize truth, and apply it accordingly, it's a simple finger prick. It's very similar to the checking of my blood sugar. For those who refuse Truth, reject Truth, and ridicule Truth, Truth takes a different approach; kinda like shouting a person's name after they've failed to hear you the first three times, using your inside voice. For these folks, Truth must strike a hand, a leg, or an arm, shedding blood enough to cause shock ("the shocking Truth"), while exemplifying Truth's severing severity. The point is this: The pain of Truth, is far greater for those who worship their pride and egos, more than they do, God of all creation.
Humor Me That: A Medley of Thought.......
"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself (John 12:32)." We preach our own experiences and people are interested, but no sense of need is awakened by it. If once Jesus Christ is lifted up, the Spirit of God will create a conscious need of Him. Behind the preaching of the Gospel is the creative Redemption of God at work in the souls of men. It is never personal testimony that saves men. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life (John 6:63)."
The above text is an excerpt from today's devotional, found in Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest." It's interesting that I read this today, after spending several days thinking on the title to this post. A month or two ago, my good friend Pastor Troy Venning included the hashtag in a post to Facebook. His hashtag, "#preachJesus", combined with today's devotional has caused my mind to spawn several thoughts. Over time, with this blog, I've shared many of my life's journeys, experiences, trials, and victories. As Mr. Chambers mentions above, "We preach our own experiences and people are interested, but no sense of need is awakened by it." Of all those who have taken interest in stories I've shared, I know not who has been lifted to a greater level of spiritual awareness. It's not my job to do so, but it is a responsibility of mine to make more and better mention of the source behind my growth and experiences led by the power of the Holy Spirit, whom I could not begin to tap into without giving my heart to Jesus Christ. Peter told us many, many years ago, "Jesus is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.' Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:11 & 12)."
Therefore, I tell you all today that in all my victories; in all my good deeds; in my good health; in my love and lasting relationships, there is power beyond my own. There is love greater than my own. There is widsom, intellect, knowledge, and abilty that far surpasses my own! The power of the Holy Spirit, found in my submission to the Word of God, Jesus Christ is the source of all awesomeness in my life. My natural body is NOT what sustained my life prior to being admitted to the pediatric ICU of Mobile Infirmary while chilling with a blood sugar of 996. It was not the strength of my body that allowed me to walk away from a head on collision in January of 1999, with but a scratch or two. There was always a third hand on my steering wheel, in those moments of stopping and pulling over to help with flat tires, buying new tires, providing transportation, or purchasing groceries for others in need. I take credit for none of these things. For I know if it were up to me, my own way of thinking, my own wisdom, I'd likely keep it moving, saying something like "Lord, help 'em" as I and my ability hightail it down the highway.
In today's society, we give more power and credit to distraction than we do anything related to our Creator, God. Think about it. It became our nature to be easily deceived and distracted that first day mankind failed to consult God when something odd and different came about with claims unheard. Distraction is always more attractive, with his pretty words and deceitful derisions of God's Word and law. Why does Jesus not go viral on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter like much madness and nonsense of the world? It may be because He's NOT a virus. He's a healer, the eradicator of such viral infections of the mind, body, soul and spirit; and a capitalistic society CANNOT allow the machine to be broken down. Governments and major corporations will kill to protect their money, way before they stand up in the Truth of Jesus Christ. Oh, I'm sorry, "It is my opinion......." LOL, I remember having to phrase things in essays and research papers in such away as to not speak as though I am a top or final authority on any matter at hand or of which I was writing.
Anyway, I end this post with the Apostle's Creed, which my family and I recited multiple times a week when I was younger:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended to hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Now, before there is a claim that I am promoting the Catholic denomination, be educated for a moment. The term "catholic" (lower case "c") derives from the greek word καθολικός (katholikos), which translates to "universal." I know I've mentioned this in previous writings, but for those who didn't know, here you go. Statements like that of The Apostles' Creed and The Nicene Creed are known as professions of faith. What do you profess?
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary....... Some of you know the rest, and some of you may not. My point is this: I believe in God and His Holy Word, Jesus Christ. I believe that there is nothing on earth or in this life, I am able to do without God's allowance. I was compelled to do a little Bible Study this evening, and was led to a certain chapter of scriptures. These scriptures have come up several times, over the past few months, in conversations with a few ministers. No, I am not about to preach the Word tonight but I will share a bit of my study experience.
My study started out with my every day Bible, The Life Application Study Bible (NIV). I read the scriptures that had been weighing on me, but did not feel I saw what I needed to see. I paused and prayed to God for the spirit and discernment I needed to make sense of this compulsion to read Daniel, chapters 10, 11, and 12. From there, it hit me, to gather my resources. I grabbed my Holman Christian Standard Illustrated Study Bible, along with my Tyndale Outline Bible. Being able to utilize these three Bibles, together, allowed me to understand a bit more than what the one Bible allowed me. I thank God for the mini-library I've accumulated over time. I thank God for the people who have suggesetd or even gifted many of these books that I can fall back to, for the further education of the soul of Bryan Hollomon Williams.
My reading tonight, along with my knowledge and understanding of God's spirit led to many thoughts. I think about how the Word of God has often been used to justify ill doings. Without some spiritual connection to the Most High, folks are frequently led astray. Folks, having no spiritual ground or foundation, are easily convinced to drink the kool-aid offered by wouldbe religions that turn out to be cults. Without God, we are all lost. The scriptures I read tonight would have meant absolutley nothing to me, had I not asked for God's help. I've been given different interpretations of these verses and needed to see for myself. These are the things, we as individuals must do as often as possible. In this day and age, we CANNOT afford to just ride out with anyone, saying anything that simply "sounds right" or "sounds good." Scripture tells us, in Second Timothy, " Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
This leads me to my message for tonight. In "correctly handling the word of truth", I choose to take Matthew 22:34-40, and use it as a life filter. If a message provided by a pastor, minister, or layman does not lead me back to this, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, then I cannot just accept it as absolute truth. Both, words and actions must be run through the sifter of these verses:
"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
"ALL the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments".......Those who have ears let them hear.
Bryan Hollomon Williams