By now, everybody and their mama knows about what’s going on down in Georgia with Bishop Eddie Long. It’s tragic, and it’s disappointing. I believe in “innocent until proven guilty,” but a lot about this situation just doesn’t add up (e.g. the cell phone pictures of the Bishop wearing spandex). I sincerely hope the accusations aren’t true, but would I be surprised if they are? No.
But I’m not here to talk about the accusations. I’m here because, after listening to what Bishop Long said a couple of Sundays ago at his church, some of the words that he shared really impacted me. The words about how we respond to painful situations.
In his message, he said:
While I was at my church’s Bible study last night, my pastor talked to us in detail about how to have joy in our lives. As he was doing so, he gave us a very simple formula for joy, which I tweeted during church1. In case you didn’t see it on Twitter last night, though, here’s the Formula for Joy. In order to have joy, you must put:
- Jesus first
- Others second
- Yourself last
Pretty simple, right?
Well, it may be simple, but it’s definitely not easy. Speaking from personal experience, it’s difficult to put others before yourself. I mean, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told: “If you don’t look out for yourself, nobody else will.” But, in all honesty, that statement shows a lack of trust in an Almighty God. When you act according to His will and follow His instructions, He’ll look out for you. Guaranteed.
Reverend Father Uncle Ruckus (no relation) is a recurring character on The Boondocks, a very popular animated TV series that criticizes and satirizes American culture and race relations. It’s absolutely hilarious, yet extremely thought-provoking at the same time. Anyway, Uncle Ruckus is a black man who hates black people and everything about black people. He claims to be white, although he is dark-skinned; his reasoning for this contradiction is that he is suffering from “re-vitiligo,” which makes him darker the older he gets.
With all that said, it definitely wasn’t surprising when he tweeted the following during the 2010 BET Awards on Sunday night:
NOW THEY ABOUT TO GO TO CHURCH AT THE #BETAWARDS ….AND THEY WAS JUST FLYIN THEY DRAWS!
Let me elaborate (after it sets in that cartoon characters have Twitters, too). Around 10:15 PM EST, Tyrese performed a tribute to the late R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass. As was customary at many Teddy P. performances, some women threw their panties (or “draws”) onto the stage, to express their affection for Teddy, or in this case, Tyrese. The disturbing part about this, though, is that immediately after the Teddy P. tribute, Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin took the stage for a gospel performance.
Immediately after. Isn’t that… wrong?
And the Word of the Lord reads:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” — Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
I had a talk last night with my dad, basically about what I was doing with my life. It all started when he asked me why I was going back to school so early. (I’m going back today, January 6… classes don’t start until January 20. That’s two weeks that I’ll be at school… pretty much by myself.) I told him I was going back just because I needed some time to myself… to think about a lot of things. Mainly about my future.
Being a college student about to graduate, to say that I’m nervous about what’s going to happen after graduation is quite the understatement. I’m actually terrified. And yeah, I know that a lot of students are in the same boat I’m in. Does that make me feel any better? Absolutely not.
And a friend of mine told me that I’d probably go to hell for that. I mean, after all, it is the Pope… how could I laugh at him? He’s not just a regular man… he’s the leader of the entire worldwide Catholic Church!
I’ll admit… laughing at someone getting knocked over isn’t very nice. As a result, I asked the Lord for forgiveness. It doesn’t make it any worse, however, that it was the Pope who I laughed at. The Lord would be just as disappointed in me if I laughed at a friend of mine getting knocked over.
Whether you want to admit it or not, the Pope is just a man. And at the end of the day, he’s really not any closer to God than any other man is. As my pastor likes to say, “it’s Jesus… and the rest of us.” I mean, honestly… looking at the above picture, the Pope doesn’t look that special. I don’t see a halo or anything over his head. He looks pretty normal to me. I gotta admit, though… the man is clean!
(Yeah, I know a lot of people will view this post as extremely blasphemous. Oh well.)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” — Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
It’s amazing to me that, as popular as this Bible verse is, there are so many Christians that don’t completely get it.
To be honest, that’s my favorite verse in the entire Bible. I know everybody uses it, but the impact that it has had on my life is unbelievable.
In everything that I’ve done in my life, I’ve used this verse to give myself the confidence that I need to get it done. But it’s gotten to the point now, though, that I’m not surprised anymore when Jesus helps me out in my endeavors. I really just expect it to happen now.
A lot of people might say that I’m taking Him for granted. I disagree. Let me compare this to the relationship I have with my dad. (My earthly one, that is.)
I know. It’s Monday. I’m a day late. Sorry.
Anyway, the Word of the Lord reads:
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” — Mark 11:25-26 (KJV)
We talked about this in church yesterday morning, and it’s been on my heart ever since. So why not blog about it, right?
I’m not usually the type to hold grudges against people… or so I thought. I’ve tried to be nice to people, even if I’ve felt that they’ve wronged me. At the same time, though, I would still hold something against them. I would still look at them in a different way, because of whatever happened between us.
As nice as I can try to be to them, however, that’s not true forgiveness.
I love my mom. But there’s a lot that we don’t see eye to eye on.
For example, my mom is a very strong Christian. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that… in fact, I’m a Christian as well, and I am completely happy and confident in my religious beliefs. But she seems to have an issue with me closely associating with and/or supporting people that don’t share these same Christian beliefs. And that’s where I completely disagree with her.