div

Author: Trumpet Media

Letter From a Quarantined Home: Expressing Disappointment with Some of My White Brothers and Sisters in Christ

A call to fight for justice when injustice is all around us.

While lying here in my confined home, I came across your current statements suggesting that our present actions are impatient and unwise, encouraging us to “let the legal system run its course.”

Having heard these words before, I rarely take time to deconstruct the misdirected nature of the comments of others. This is especially true of those uninvolved or disconnected from the reality of men and women of color’s lived experience.

If I were to answer every criticism volleyed in my direction, then I would find little time to serve my family, my church, and, most importantly, the people of Brunswick, Georgia well in seeking justice.

I think I should give the reason for my April decision to join the fight for justice for Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, since you are swayed by the argument of “outsiders coming in.” I was born in Glynn-Brunswick Memorial Hospital on November 21, 1978. I stumbled down Glynn County’s marshes and golden beaches as a toddler and walked across the stage at Brunswick High School as a graduating senior.

I turned my tassel that night, but I never turned my gaze from my home town. To this day, I still have cravings for burgers from Willie’s, breakfast buffets from Grandy’s, and cupcakes from Holloway’s Bakery. I left Brunswick after eighteen years, but Brunswick never left me.

More than that, though, I am fighting with my hometown because injustice is there. Just like the prophet Jeremiah grew weary of holding in the fire “shut up” in his bones, the fire of righteous indignation burns unquenched in my wearied soul.

The weight of years of hashtagged brothers and sisters compels me. Just as Jesus entered the temple and disrupted the systems that hindered …

Continue reading

Letter From a Quarantined Home: Expressing Disappointment with Some of My White Brothers and Sisters in Christ

A call to fight for justice when injustice is all around us.

While lying here in my confined home, I came across your current statements suggesting that our present actions are impatient and unwise, encouraging us to “let the legal system run its course.”

Having heard these words before, I rarely take time to deconstruct the misdirected nature of the comments of others. This is especially true of those uninvolved or disconnected from the reality of men and women of color’s lived experience.

If I were to answer every criticism volleyed in my direction, then I would find little time to serve my family, my church, and, most importantly, the people of Brunswick, Georgia well in seeking justice.

I think I should give the reason for my April decision to join the fight for justice for Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, since you are swayed by the argument of “outsiders coming in.” I was born in Glynn-Brunswick Memorial Hospital on November 21, 1978. I stumbled down Glynn County’s marshes and golden beaches as a toddler and walked across the stage at Brunswick High School as a graduating senior.

I turned my tassel that night, but I never turned my gaze from my home town. To this day, I still have cravings for burgers from Willie’s, breakfast buffets from Grandy’s, and cupcakes from Holloway’s Bakery. I left Brunswick after eighteen years, but Brunswick never left me.

More than that, though, I am fighting with my hometown because injustice is there. Just like the prophet Jeremiah grew weary of holding in the fire “shut up” in his bones, the fire of righteous indignation burns unquenched in my wearied soul.

The weight of years of hashtagged brothers and sisters compels me. Just as Jesus entered the temple and disrupted the systems that hindered …

Continue reading

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Coronavirus Limits on Church Services

California restrictions allowing churches to reopen at 25 percent of their capacity, with no more than 100 worshipers at a time, “appear consistent” with the First Amendment, wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Over the dissent of the four more conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, in the San Diego area.

The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday. The church said it has crowds of 200 to 300 people for its services.

Roberts wrote in a brief opinion that the restriction allowing churches to reopen at 25 percent of their capacity, with no more than 100 worshipers at a time, “appear consistent” with the First Amendment. Roberts said similar or more severe limits apply to concerts, movies and sporting events “where large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in dissent that the restriction “discriminates against places of worship and in favor of comparable secular businesses. Such discrimination violates the First Amendment.” Kavanaugh pointed to supermarkets, restaurants, hair salons, cannabis dispensaries and other businesses that are not subject to the same restrictions.

Lower courts in California had previously turned down the churches’ requests.

The court also rejected an appeal from two churches in the Chicago area that objected to Gov. Jay Pritzker’s limit of 10 worshipers at religious services. Before …

Continue reading

Leaning into Grief

We acknowledge that the meaning of our deepest experiences is often hidden from our eyes.

John 11 is one of the more emotional windows into the ministry of Jesus. In this chapter, Jesus confront grief, and in the process, teaches us valuable lessons.

Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, send word to Jesus that Lazarus, the one Jesus loves, is sick. This was not an explicit invitation or a request for immediate intervention. However, the assumption is that once Jesus heard, he would immediately come.

Mary and Martha knew of his tender compassion. They understood Jesus’ heartfelt affection for their brother. And yet, when Jesus receives word about his good friend’s condition, he delays even beginning his journey to Bethany for another two days.

The Gospel writer tells us that Jesus delayed because loved them. He delayed that God would be glorified. And yet, imagine waiting for Jesus. He has the power to heal, he has a history of healing (even raising the dead), and yet he delays! How could Jesus be so callous?

By the time Jesus arrives in Bethany, Lazarus has died and been in the tomb for four days. Jesus walks into a setting of pain, tears, and grief. According to Jewish thinking, the soul of the deceased hung around the body for three days. And yet, Jesus purposely waited until the 4th day to show up.

To those who grieved, the situation was utterly hopeless by the time Jesus showed up. And as we know, Jesus specializes in bringing light to hopelessly dark situations.

Consider the silence of God. Joseph is thrown into prison in Egypt, and many would conclude that God had forgotten him. Moses spends 40 years on the backside of the desert while the Israelites suffer under the hands of the Egyptians. Where was God when his people needed him the most?

In contemporary situations, a Christian is falsely accused …

Continue reading

The Revolution Will Not Be Videoed

What Paul and Silas might have said about George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and and and…

For many of us, anger, sadness, frustration, and fatigue are not episodic responses but chronic conditions. In recent days we’ve all seen, heard, and read of the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery, the shooting of Breonna Taylor, the use of the police by a white woman to threaten Christian Cooper, Minneapolis police officers executing George Floyd, and of the fact that COVID-19 disproportionately harms black and brown people. I have been a pastor in Minneapolis and my heart is heavy as people have taken to the streets to demonstrate against injustice. The videos have helped some white people to see a bit of what many black and brown people know: White America has long had its knee on our necks. I am sure that some who just read that sentence are saying, “Not all of white America.” But that’s the problem. It’s hard for people of color to feel that White America is with us and not against us. White America has not demonstrated the collective resolve to repent, rebuke, and reorient itself against racial injustice. That includes Christians. White Christians can opt out of outrage over racial injustice. The status quo works for them.

Consider, for example, the tenacious support many evangelicals give to President Trump, who told police on Long Island, New York in 2017 to “not be too nice” with suspects. He appeared to encourage heavy-handedness, if not outright brutality. His then press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, had to walk back the president’s comments, saying he was joking. Police brutality is not a laughing matter. White Christians are watching the screens, maybe shaking their heads, but largely immobile. Rather than justice overflowing (Amos 5:24), it trickles down, at best. …

Continue reading

An Appeal Letter to Governor Pritzker from Illinois Faith Leaders and Churches

Governors care about the people; so do church leaders. We need to work together.

May 27, 2020

Dear Governor Pritzker,

On behalf of clergy and religious congregations across the State of Illinois, we the undersigned wish to express our deep gratitude for your thoughtful and energetic leadership during the crisis in which our State is currently immersed. The need for your strong leadership is unusually apparent to us, as our congregations have been greatly impacted by this crisis. Some of us have been personally present at the burial of victims of the novel coronavirus and all of us minister daily to vast numbers of people affected by the social and economic dislocations of this era.

Because we are at the helm of churches that shape the opinions and behaviors of hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, we are very eager to be an asset to you and the health of our State in this significant time. We feel this acutely now in light of the rising unrest increasingly surfacing among our constituencies. We want to work with you to counter this so that our communities do not become further conflicted and law enforcement is not required to deal with circumstances harmful to everyone.

The growing resistance we are meeting emerges from a sense that the concerns of religious communities are not being taken into account with the seriousness with which the state is approaching other segments of the society. As pastors, we can assure you that the safety of our congregants and our surrounding communities are of the utmost concern to us. The current guidelines create an untenable position for us as churches, especially as we are eager to serve the spiritual and material needs of our communities.

You have carefully consulted with medical health experts, business leaders, and civic authorities to craft a coordinated response to …

Continue reading

An Appeal Letter to Governor Pritzker from Illinois Faith Leaders and Churches

Governors care about the people; so do church leaders. We need to work together.

May 27, 2020

Dear Governor Pritzker,

On behalf of clergy and religious congregations across the State of Illinois, we the undersigned wish to express our deep gratitude for your thoughtful and energetic leadership during the crisis in which our State is currently immersed. The need for your strong leadership is unusually apparent to us, as our congregations have been greatly impacted by this crisis. Some of us have been personally present at the burial of victims of the novel coronavirus and all of us minister daily to vast numbers of people affected by the social and economic dislocations of this era.

Because we are at the helm of churches that shape the opinions and behaviors of hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, we are very eager to be an asset to you and the health of our State in this significant time. We feel this acutely now in light of the rising unrest increasingly surfacing among our constituencies. We want to work with you to counter this so that our communities do not become further conflicted and law enforcement is not required to deal with circumstances harmful to everyone.

The growing resistance we are meeting emerges from a sense that the concerns of religious communities are not being taken into account with the seriousness with which the state is approaching other segments of the society. As pastors, we can assure you that the safety of our congregants and our surrounding communities are of the utmost concern to us. The current guidelines create an untenable position for us as churches, especially as we are eager to serve the spiritual and material needs of our communities.

You have carefully consulted with medical health experts, business leaders, and civic authorities to craft a coordinated response to …

Continue reading

Vulnerable Gulf Migrants Offered ‘God’s Karuna’ in Bible Society Outreach

In prayer, aid, and employment, Christian ministries struggle to adapt to the new coronavirus norms.

There is no social distancing in a labor camp.

Living in cramped conditions, sometimes 10 to a room, migrant workers in the Gulf are widely considered among the international communities most vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

Seeking a share of the region’s petrodollars as remittances for their poor families and communities back home, migrant laborers far outnumber the Middle Eastern region’s citizen population—as high as 80 percent in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

And hailing primarily from Asian nations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and India, they make up the great majority of the region’s more than 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Yet from one of their languages emerges a homonym that may birth hope for the languishing workers.

“It is not corona, but karuna, which means mercy in Telugu,” said Prasad, a migrant worker from India, to the Bible Society in the Gulf (BSG).

“God is giving us the opportunity to turn to Him.”

There are 20 million Indian migrants worldwide, and 1.5 million are Telugu speakers working in the Gulf states. Many have lost their jobs or had their salaries reduced due to the economic shutdown.

The Bible society seized on Prasad’s observation to publish a new booklet in Telugu and English, appropriately titled God’s Karuna.

Its content reflects the upside-down nature of the COVID-19 world—and of God’s kingdom. There are frequent references to “humbled nations,” “greedy people,” and “exploitation of the poor.”

Though reputable Gulf agencies exist to recruit and employ migrant labor, the BSG has been a frequent critic of the “slave-like conditions” suffered by many.

“Even the strong …

Continue reading

Have Pentecostals Outgrown Their Name?

More than a quarter of the global church falls under new and debated label: “Spirit-empowered Christianity.”

“Are you Pentecostal?”

Todd Johnson, co-director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, couldn’t quite place the Chinese Christians he met at a conference in South Africa. Theologically, they seemed Pentecostal, so he asked.

They responded: “Absolutely not.”

“Do you speak in tongues?” Johnson said.

“Of course.”

“Do you believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit?”

“Of course.”

“Do you practice gifts of the Spirit, like healing and prophecy?”

“Of course.”

Johnson said that in the United States, those were some of the distinctive marks of Pentecostals. But maybe it was different in China. Why not use the term?

“Oh, there’s an American preacher on the radio who is beamed into China,” the Chinese Christians explained. “He’s a Pentecostal, and we’re not like him.”

Names can be tricky. What do you call a Pentecostal who isn’t called a Pentecostal? The question sounds like a riddle, but it’s a real challenge for scholars. They have struggled for years to settle on the best term for the broad and diverse movement of Christians who emphasize the individual believer’s relationship to the Holy Spirit and talk about being Spirit-filled, Spirit-baptized, or Spirit-empowered.

Globally, the movement includes 644 million people, about 26 percent of all Christians, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. The study was done in collaboration with Oral Roberts University, named for one of the most famous Pentecostal evangelists in the 20th century, to be shared at the Empowered21 conference, featuring 70 …

Continue reading

George Floyd Left a Gospel Legacy in Houston

As a person of peace, “Big Floyd” opened up ministry opportunities in the Third Ward housing projects.

The rest of the country knows George Floyd from several minutes of cell phone footage captured during his final hours. But in Houston’s Third Ward, they know Floyd for how he lived for decades—a mentor to a generation of young men and a “person of peace” ushering ministries into the area.

Before moving to Minneapolis for a job opportunity through a Christian work program, the 46-year-old spent almost his entire life in the historically black Third Ward, where he was called “Big Floyd” and regarded as an “OG,” a de-facto community leader and elder statesmen, his ministry partners say.

Floyd spoke of breaking the cycle of violence he saw among young people and used his influence to bring outside ministries to the area to do discipleship and outreach, particularly in the Cuney Homes housing project, locally known as “the Bricks.”

“George Floyd was a person of peace sent from the Lord that helped the gospel go forward in a place that I never lived in,” said Patrick PT Ngwolo, pastor of Resurrection Houston, which held services at Cuney.

“The platform for us to reach that neighborhood and the hundreds of people we reached through that time and up to now was built on the backs of people like Floyd,” he told Christianity Today.

Ngwolo and fellow leaders met Floyd in 2010. He was a towering 6-foot-6 guest who showed up at a benefit concert they put on for the Third Ward. From the start, Big Floyd made his priorities clear.

“He said, ‘I love what you’re doing. The neighborhood need it, the community need it, and if y’all about God’s business, then that’s my business,’” said Corey Paul Davis, a Christian hip-hop …

Continue reading

Encapsulated In His Casing (podcast)

Life may sometimes throw its curveball that challenges you to doubt what you have once believed; do a few things discussed here to reinforce your confidence in God.

Indeed, you are not alone. God is with you, and you are enclosed in His casing!

Take these actions and others discussed in this podcast episode

1. Declare your identity in God

State who you are regardless of the present circumstance. (Do this repeatedly to change your thought pattern. Do it even when you don’t feel it.)

2. Retrain your mind each time it wanders back into the negative routine.

Question yourself to retrain your mind.

– – Ask yourself who gave you what you have today?

3. Pray over those positive words that you have declared into your life.

Never, and never stop praying. Pray until your joy is full!

Listen to this podcast completely to get the full details – Indeed, you are enclosed in God’s casing!

Download this podcast -> https://bit.ly/godscasing

Subscribe to this Trumpet Media podcast on iTunes and other outlets (& rate us).

Interest-based suggestions:

THE SENSE OF HIS PRESENCE – (AUDIO & VIDEO)

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

 

The post Encapsulated In His Casing (podcast) appeared first on Inspirational Quotes & Articles of James Taiwo.