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What Would Happen if God RSVP’d

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RSVP

 

by James Washington
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times

This may sound familiar to some of you as I am commenting on an earlier article. There is a passage in scripture that tells us to be careful about how we entertain strangers because they in fact might be angels in disguise. Now I don’t know if you believe in angels, but have you ever wondered what you would do if you had the opportunity to entertain God. I mean what would you do if God was coming over for dinner? What would you do if you knew God was responding favorably to your invitation to come and visit?

I’ve thought about that often as it relates to prayer. After all, isn’t prayer an official invitation for God to enter into and become a permanent part of our living breathing eternal existence? The question is what would you do if His answer was yes? Guess who’s coming to dinner!

Serious contemplation of that convinces me that I’m not ready, but I will be forever extending the invitation to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. As with Enoch, the very thought of being able to walk with God is pretty much mind boggling. The very thought that the invitation to be lead by the Holy Spirit has been accepted would humble any man, or, at least it should. As I pray and beseech the Lord to let me empty myself of those things that stand in the way of the Holy Spirit taking hold of my life, I know deep down inside that if it actually happened, I’d be changed forever. T

ry to imagine a lifestyle predicated upon living for Christ. You can certainly understand the angst one might feel when you connect the dots of prayer to the words of faith to the actions of living. Our actions are a direct link to whether or not we understand and accept what we’re actually praying for. Each day I ask the Lord to allow me to do one thing, only one, and that would be viewed by others as behaving and acting in the role of a man of God; not necessarily a preacher but a practitioner of Christian belief.

That may sound somewhat pretentious to some of you, but I merely believe that during the course of any day, someone whom I come in contact with should respond to that contact with a reality that I’m a practicing believer. See Jesus in me, PLEASE!…somebody, anybody, stranger or angel. Many a night time prayer, after morning a conviction to do better, has me searching for that kind of thought or gesture, that thing I did on that day simply because I love Jesus. Most times I come up wanting. It did not happen on that day; not one thing did I do or say that wasn’t motivated by self aggrandizement.

Now there are other days where I and others have tangible evidence of my at least trying to witness, give testimony, offer a listening ear or sharing an able hand. God was there in thought word and deed. That then becomes and ends as an awesome day. The key I think is wanting to and not having to. If you believe you have to do something, you might be tempted to keep score.

In this case if you do that, you lose every time. We know we cannot earn God’s respect or His attention. Jesus took care of that for us. But you can ‘become’ enough. You can evolve enough so that God just might come and walk with you as He did Enoch. The reward is God’s to give, not ours to expect. So the next time you stop and pray, think about what you’re really praying for or, why you’re praying at all. Then consider your actions in relation to that particular moment.

Hopefully, it all adds up to the realization that God is ready to take you up on your invitation. I can’t imagine what that conversation would be for you, but for me I pray for it every single day. May God bless and keep you always.

May God bless and keep you always.

James,  jaws@dallasweekly.com

#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: Prayer is Your Power

Terrible things happen to good people often. We live in an unjust world with people making decisions that are informed more by profit than people. We cannot take those principles into our relationship with God. We must believe that “… all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

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Prayer is about faith. It is believing that God hears us.
Prayer is about faith. It is believing that God hears us.

Faithful Utterances

By Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew | Texas Metro News

This week, a friend informed me that she was following the ambulance to the hospital with her husband. Her husband was going through a major health crisis. She wasn’t the only one who reached out—a friend’s mother had unexplained pain and another friend contacted me about her friend’s son who was hospitalized with pneumonia. Each of them asked that I pray for them.

I consider it an honor to pray for others. Prayer is powerful and I love that I have a group of friends who I can turn to that I call the “prayer warriors” that when I send a text to lift up the concerns and issues of others before God, they go into battle mode.

Prayer is a weapon and I think many of us don’t understand its power until we need it. For many of us, it’s a routine, something that’s more about religion than it is about relationship. We have gotten prayer twisted as some exchange solely for stuff. God is not a celestial Santa Claus dropping off gifts. Prayer is an opportunity to go before to God sincerely in relationship. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others.

Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:5–8)

Prayer is about faith. It is believing that God hears us. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) I realize that my prayers are even more powerful when I am in relationship with others seeking God: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20). It’s dangerous when we see prayer as a way to manipulate God into doing what we want. There is nothing wrong with bringing your requests before God but it’s important to check our motivation and intention. It’s also important to know that just because God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way that we want does not mean that God doesn’t love us.

It doesn’t mean that God does not hear us. It does not negate the omnipotence or goodness of God, either. We must believe that God is able. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) It’s easy to blame God when things don’t go the way we want them to—”the rain falls on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

Terrible things happen to good people often. We live in an unjust world with people making decisions that are informed more by profit than people. We cannot take those principles into our relationship with God. We must believe that “… all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) …. God is concerned with our hearts, with people and cares for us even when things don’t go the way we’d like. I can report that all of the individuals we prayed for had excellent results.

God is good! Yet, I realize that this isn’t always the case. Prayer is powerful. God wants us to have this daily form of communication. 1 John 5:14, tells us: “And this is the boldness we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Don’t use prayer just when you need something. Just as all relationships require consistent communication for growth and results, the same is even more important in our relationship with God. Prayer is a powerful partnership with God that can move mountains when we believe!

Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry Podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit drfroswa.com.

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Black History

AFRICAN-ISH: The First Christmas Story

Both Joseph and Mary were of the lineage of David, Joseph descended from David’s son Solomon (and Bathsheba), and Mary extended from another son Nathan. Therefore, they were required to go to the little town of Bethlehem,  in Judea and there,  in a cattle shed Jesus was born.  (Bethlehem is 70 miles south of Nazareth and 5 miles southwest of Jerusalem).

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The four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John chronicled the full theme of Christ as the universal Savior.
The four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John chronicled the full theme of Christ as the universal Savior.

By Simon Burris

The narrative of Jesus’ birth and proof of his Hamitic (Black) African bloodline* began in the Old Testament in the book of Genesis chapter 10, in the Land of Ham, located in southwest Asia and Africa. Three most  prominent Hamitic personalities:  Abraham,  Isaiah and David.

People and places of Hamitic origins  are underlined.

(1) Abraham the patriarch was Babylonian (Ethnic Ethiopian). Gen. 11:31;  (2) Isaiah a prophet lived 750 years before Christ, predicted the virgin birth was a nephew of Amaziah a Judahite (Canaanite) king; and (3) David the great king of Israel  was a descendant of Abraham, also of  Tamar and Rahab (Canaanites).

The (Hamitic) Genealogy of Jesus Christ: Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-34

The Birth of Jesus:   (about 6-4 BC)

Mary the virgin mother of Jesus and her husband Joseph the “foster” father of Jesus, a carpenter, lived in Nazareth, a town in northern Palestine.

At this time Emperor Augustus of the Roman Empire decreed that a census would be taken. Everyone in his domain had to go to his or her hometown to register. He probably ordered  Cyrenius  ( Quirinius ) the Afro Roman governor of Syria / Judeadistrict to take charge and supervise the mandate.

Both Joseph and Mary were of the lineage of David, Joseph descended from David’s son Solomon (and Bathsheba), and Mary extended from another son Nathan. Therefore, they were required to go to the little town of Bethlehem,  in Judea and there,  in a cattle shed Jesus was born.  (Bethlehem is 70 miles south of Nazareth and 5 miles southwest of Jerusalem).

A short time later shepherds from the countryside as well as Wise Men (Magi) from neighboring countries  ArabiaBabylonia,and Persia  traveled to the nativity site, paid homage and worshiped the infant-Savior.

Now Joseph was warned by the Lord in a dream that Herod the Edomite king of Judea was plotting the murder of the child, fled with his family to Egypt, returning to Nazareth after the death of Herod.

Jesus had siblings, brothers Joseph, Simon, Epistle writers James, Jude, and several sisters. The last mention of Joseph occurs in the Gospel of Luke when he and Mary take the 12-year-old Jesus to Jerusalem. Mary played a vital role all through Jesus’ life, from the day He was born till the time of the crucifixion.

Conclusion:  The four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John chronicled the full theme of Christ as the universal Savior. *Descendants of Ham’s sons Cush (Ethiopia), Mizraim (Egypt), Put (Libya) and Canaan (Ancient Palestine/Israel). Genesis 10: 6-20

Footnotes: Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25?

The ancient Romans celebrated the winter solstice on December 25 as the birthday of the SUN; the Babylonians and Persians -SON of the SUN. Some 300 plus years after Jesus’ earthly demise, Roman Emperor Constantine in 336 legalized this date as the birthday of the SON of GOD – JESUS the CHRIST!   Originally:   Christ’s Mass.

Eurocentric racism:  Pope Julius II in 1508  commissioned  Michelangelo, Raphael and other Renaissance artists and church scholars to portray and depict almost all major biblical characters as  Europeans  (Caucasians), save servants and slaves.  

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Activism

SDA Churches Join Outreach Efforts to Find Solutions to Upsurge of Violence

the Northern California Conference of Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) held their annual Convocation at Grand Avenue Seventh Day Adventist Church in Oakland. Seven hundred people came together in celebration and worship. The theme was “Embracing Change.”

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From left to right: Pastor Raymond Lankford, Elder Busayo Alabi, Pastor Damon Washington, Sister Rose Robinson, Pastor Garrett Anderson, Pastor Edwin Brown, Pastor Willie Johnson, Pastor Virgil Childs.
From left to right: Pastor Raymond Lankford, Elder Busayo Alabi, Pastor Damon Washington, Sister Rose Robinson, Pastor Garrett Anderson, Pastor Edwin Brown, Pastor Willie Johnson, Pastor Virgil Childs.

By Post Staff

On Oct. 8, the Northern California Conference of Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) held their annual Convocation at Grand Avenue Seventh Day Adventist Church in Oakland. Seven hundred people came together in celebration and worship. The theme was “Embracing Change.” The guest speaker was Dr. Myron Edmonds, who pastors in Cleveland, Ohio. He spoke about how Christ wasn’t a traditionalist, and the work isn’t being done because some in the church don’t wish to change and they tend to demonize new ideas.

Throughout the day, the Mobile Medical Health Van operated by Immanuel Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church out of Oakland sat in front of the church and provided health screenings and community resource information to the general public. The Medical Van, which was gifted to the church by Pastor Raymond Lankford of Healthy Communities, has provided free health care services throughout Alameda County for the last few years. The prayer of Pastor Damon Washington of Immanuel Temple Church, who was ordained during the afternoon program, is for their health ministry to partner with the other providers like OPIC and Oakland Workforce Agencies and to combat the ongoing health disparities and violence within the city and beyond.

They have pledged to work with the Chaplains, the OPIC and the Formerly Incarcerated Giving Back, who want to make amends for the damages they have done to harm Oakland.

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