Thursday, July 12, 2012

I had "THE TALK" with my son today...

John 14: 1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me”.

No not the sex talk, that's an on-going conversation in our family.  But the talk I had with my son today was one that ached my heart to the core.  I hated doing it but I realized some time ago as a mom raising black boys in America, there are some things I must do to prepare them for the harsh realities of this world and to help them not be embittered by those realities. 

I started playing the conversation in my head about 2 weeks ago since he started spending more time with a buddy of his from football.  He would ask to walk to the Rec-center, to the friend’s house to play with his game system and yesterday he called saying they’re walking to 7-11 for a free Slurpee.  The average mom would probably say yes as long they know the friend.  I, on the other hand, started pursuing ways to make sure he understands how to handle himself when he’s out an about with his friends. 

Well this morning I felt compelled to make sure he knew exactly how to make choices that would result in his survival if a situation was to arise.

“Sweetie, you know if the police is ever to approach you, you need to respond respectfully without resisting?” 

“Mom, why would I ever be approached by the police?”

“Sweetie, listen to me just make sure your hands are always in plain sight, do not carry anything in your hands that might be confused for a weapon, do you hear me?”

“Yes mom!”

 “You see, I know you’re a sweet and loving son but they don’t know that and sometimes black boys are feared before they are given the benefit of a doubt, do you understand?”

“yes Mom”

“I love you”

 “I love you too!”



I’m still a little sad that I had to have this conversation with my son this morning.  But I’m even more heart broken that we live in a world where children are feared rather than loved and embraced.  I’m especially heartbroken for little black boys growing up without advocates and champions.  But my heart will not be troubled or embittered; I will trust in Jesus for the protection over my black and precious babies.   

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Abortion, Society and the Church

The closer we get to election, the more we will hear the A-word mentioned in both the media and churches across America.  No not alcohol; although in the US alone it is estimated that we spend 57 billion dollars on alcohol each year, we are definitely stimulating the economy by our alcohol consumption.  However, the A-word I’m referring to is Abortion.  As a Christian and a woman, I take great interest in this issue.  So this is my attempt to publically process my take on abortion, society and the church.

·         Let’s be straight about one thing: life begins at the point of conception; when the egg meets the sperm, life begins.  No ifs, ands or buts.  I have three children and the minute I was pregnant with each of them, my body started going through a metamorphosis; nausea, loss of appetite etc.  Yup, I was one of those pregnant women.  My point: the new life within was causing changes to my body.  It’s quite remarkable if you ask me.  The creation of Life in a woman’s body is simply AMAZING! 

·         It seems as if Democrats are saying: it’s your body, it’s your choice, do whatever you want with it.  Though we are free to make our own choices but all choices come with ramifications.  As a Christian woman, if I give myself fully to God, then my body and everything in me belong to my God, my creator. Do you really care for me, if you know I’m desperate for answers and you give me a loaded gun without any warning?

·         And Republicans, on the other hand, seem to want to abolish abortions so much so that they’ll force women to compliance hoping they make better moral decisions.  Oftentimes the messages come across as shaming, condemning and judgmental; I’ve even heard the words evil and anti-Christian used to describe women who abort their un-born.  The problem is much bigger than the behavior. 

·         Let’s say all abortion clinics were forced to close down, all abortion doctors no longer extended those services to women, would that put an end to abortions?  My answer is an emphatic NO!  We would probably end up with another set of problems.  Not only would they continue aborting their un-borns but women’s lives would also be in jeopardy. Like the preceding generation, we would go back to “back alley abortions”, self-induced abortions and countless horror stories of women desperately attempting to rid the life inside for whatever reason.  Ask the former generation, they’ll tell you stories of those in their communities who either received or performed back alley abortions.  Oops I’m sorry, I’m airing their dirty little secrets publically; I forgot they don’t talk about these things.  They’ll just let this generation deal with these issues on its own. 

·         We need to stand up for the life of the mother as well as the child.

So what do we do with these tough issues on Life and abortion???  Where is the Church???

Here’s my dream…

·         We all need to once and for all agree that life begins at conception.  Let not politics or scientific pundits decide what is life and what isn’t.

·         I would not force women into making better moral decisions in terms of abortion.  Change and transformation cannot be forced; it always backfires.  And I cannot say: a woman’s body is her own therefore do what you like and send her off irresponsibly.

·         I would allow abortion to be legal with a few provisions

o   Doctors would have to do a full education for each woman needing an abortion; heartbeat checks, education on different stages of pregnancy and partner them with a church representative who can help them through different options i.e. adoption, better resources or a place to stay for the months of pregnancy.

o   Churches would have a great working relationship with abortion clinics and abortion doctors.  Nope not the picket signs in front of their clinics type of relationship.

o   Churches would have a loving relationship with potential abortion client; they would non-judgmentally meet potential clients, give them food to eat, hear their stories, pray for them and with them and if they choose to have an abortion, that relationship should continue even after the abortion.  Yes church, loving can be hard.  But if a woman already has one abortion, chances are she might have another one if her life situation has not changed.  Which means your continued love might save future lives.  That is the Gospel preached in deed.

o   Where are the men in these situations? Most abortions occur not because of rape or incest but due to fear and lack of support from the fathers. The men in these situations need to be given a bigger responsibility.  If a woman identifies her “baby daddy”, if she in fact knows him (sorry having flashbacks of Maury), this father needs to share the burden and the pressure.  After all, a woman cannot get herself pregnant.  The fathers need to be a part of all of the above.  Men we need you!!

God we pray for your hands of Mercy to be upon us in this generation, for the preservation of life of our children and future generations to come. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Monday, July 9, 2012

25 Lessons Learned in Prison

25 Lessons Learned in Prison

Of course doing ministry in prison has life changing impact.  The I who started teaching the women in Dallas Prison, 6 months ago, is forever changed and is daily changing.  I pray the women received as much from the experience as I did.

1)      God is indeed with, fully present and near the broken hearted

2)      God is on a constant pursuit for all of his children, even when we make horrible choices

3)      There are no easy answers when it comes to broken people in a broken world

4)      I’m learning to look deeper rather than just focusing on the sin at the surface; still very hard to do…

5)      I’m learning to be present when talking to others

6)      Healing or lack thereof is a bigger piece of the puzzle than I thought

7)      I have never met as many prostitutes who know of Jesus as I did in prison

8)      Abuse affects a person long after it took place; sometimes a new person emerges because of it

9)      The whys and hows of homosexuality are very complicated

10)   It is not enough to tell someone that God loves them; it’s even more impactful to show them God’s love through your love for them.

11)   Going into the prison wasn’t as scary as I thought

12)   Society has very distorted views on sex and the church does not know how to help us reclaim its goodness

13)   God loves prostitutes

14)   People will do anything to fit in, belong and find community even if it means imprisonment.

15)   Many have never heard the phrase “I love you” from one who truly loved them

16)   Forced change and healing will never result into true transformation.

17)   Jesus waits for us to point the broken, the hurt and the defenseless to Him

18)   The world is in desperate need of learning to live life in the midst of chaos

19)   Sometimes denial is God’s gift for us to cope with hard things until we’re ready.

20)   There’s something good about allowing yourself to come to its end because that’s where you see your true self and that’s also where you see the living God.

21)   The Good News of Jesus Christ sounds even “gooder” to those who are tired of defeat, ready for change and looking for answers.

22)   We are not as good at hiding our pain as we think; it gets in the way of everything; it dictates where we go, what we eat, what relationships to begin; it’s in everything.

23)   Pain transcends race, gender, class and social status; everybody hurts. 

24)   We are in the midst of war; it’s a spiritual warzone.  And we are poorly equipped to fighting back.

25)   I’ve learned to pray more!!