(Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)
Ok. Class is in session. One plus one equals two. Two plus two equals four. If it quacks, it’s a duck. If it barks, it’s a dog. If it has orange hair, lies consistently, mocks the physically challenged, incites violence, displays racist, xenophobic, misogynistic behavior and is an unbelievably narcissistic bag of wind which has no command of the English language and even less decorum, embarrassing the United States in front of the entire world, then it is definitely a misplaced commander in chief who is not to be trusted because he has already proven who he is. Remember, if it quacks like a….. anyway. You get it. Even though those with far more degrees than most of us clearly did not get it.
The fact that the president of Morehouse College, one of our most esteemed institutions of higher learning came out and admitted that he and the other HBCU (Historically Black College and University) presidents “got played” by Trump is an embarrassment that I would never admit. Why? Because once we saw you guys grinning with Forty-Five, all bets were off. We knew you had just gotten played. We were already wondering, “What in the world are they doing?” “Have they lost their mind?” “Have they no pride?” No, as soon as the photo-op was done and Omarosa told y’all the fried chicken and Kool-aid was down the hall waiting, y’all should have made your way back to your campuses and shut your office doors in repentance. And you should have NEVER, NEVER brought up this sad, sorry debacle again. But you did. You said, “We got played.” Like WE needed a teacher and a classroom to tell us this.
Is this what we want our young people to emulate? That we are so doggone needy that we need to shuck and jive our way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and beg for crumbs we know we won’t get anyway. And even if you DID get an extra crumb or two, is it worth your pride? Is it worth your dignity? Where is your self-respect? Is it worth the strings attached and the ropes hung to whatever prize you thought you would have gotten? What a sad day when we see educators, those individuals who we trust with the nurturing and growth of our young people—who we trust with the molding of their minds, display such a hungry zeal for crumbs from the master’s table. We need educators who will teach our young people how to lift up their prophetic voices and address evil in high places, systemic racism, the industrial prison complex and injustice in this world. The late Rev. William Augustus Jones, who pastored the Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn said that we cannot offer up a prophetic voice of protest and if we are eating the king’s meat. Further, my own late pastor, who I grew up listening to as a little girl attending the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Queens would say, “How can we say we’re free of white folk, if we go begging to the government…..we must do for ourselves with our own money. Even if we don’t solve all of the problems, we must maintain our dignity.” These words of my late pastor, the Rev. Dr. Timothy P. Mitchell continue to reverberate in my spirit decades later. We must maintain our dignity. That’s a lesson I will forever cherish. Sign me up for Introduction to The Basics of Dignity. Not How To Get Played 101.
I just finished watching a tribute to Mary Tyler Moore on CNN. One of the things mentioned was that when the Mary Tyler Moore Show first came on the air in 1970, the pilot was not well-received by the public. People were asking questions: “Why is she single?” “Why isn’t she looking for a husband?” “Why is she wearing pants?” “Why is her friend so mean?” The gender issues that this show addressed in the early 70s might be foreign and surprising to our young people, but they were (are) very real. (The Mary Tyler Moore Show also tackled the issue of race, albeit,
in a far more subtle way with the introduction of John Amos playing Gordy the weatherman.)
However, I want to point out that despite the initial pilot not being well received, the producers decided to take a risk and they went ahead with the series despite objections. And as we know, the Mary Tyler Moore Show not only turned out to be a success, but helped shape the culture with regard to gender issues We MUST have people in POWER and LEADERSHIP who are willing to take CHANCES so that shackles can be broken and that oppressive norms are longer normal. We must have people who are willing to take RISKS and who are willing to put everything on the line so that this world (and in particular this country) can be changed and ALL its citizens are free from tyranny, oppression and poverty.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show not only helped change people’s understanding about gender and race issues, but it produced 3 spin-off shows which did the same. When we take a stand, when we risk everything, when we purpose in our hearts to resist the toxic norms of this world, there will be others who will “spin-off” and reach even more people! Remember, freedom is always worth the risk!
The purpose of spiritual disciplines or any sort of discipline is the transformation of the person. Our aim for these 21 days is to introduce new and/or reinforce old concepts so that we can reset our year and walk in the freedom of our Lord, unburdened by limitations that hold us back— limitations like poor health as we discussed yesterday.
And that brings us to today’s topic which is the concept of studying. Paul says in Romans 12:2, that we are transformed through the renewal of our mind. That means we must use our minds. And an important aspect of this transformation through the renewal of our minds is the habit of studying.
One definition of the word study is to devote time and attention to acquire knowledge. Richard Foster, whose work, Celebration of Discipline I’ve referred to earlier, says that study is a specific kind of experience in which through careful attention to reality, the mind is enabled to move in a certain direction. A specific kind of experience……This lets us know that studying is not simply reading, but observation and careful attention. Foster also makes the point that what we study determines the kinds of habits that are formed. Now keep in mind, that study and meditation are not the same. Meditation, which we will talk more about next is devotional; study is analytical. Although the two may overlap, they are distinct.
Richard Foster gives us four steps for (more…)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NRSV)
As I type, at this very moment, the U.S. Senate is working feverishly to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If they are successful, this move will adversely affect millions of Americans who are in need of appropriate health care. I believe that it is not by chance that our scheduled topic for today is Health & Wellness. Because no matter how the adversary attacks the health and well-being of God’s people — especially through adverse legislative reforms–it is ultimately up to us to take care of our own bodies and to treat our bodies like the temples which they are.
The original context for 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is Paul giving the Corinthian people instructions with regard to sexual morality, beginning at the 12th verse. However, it is clear in verse 19 that regardless of the original context, Paul is reminding the people that the physical body is a temple which houses the Holy Spirit which is given by God. Given by God….that means that the Holy Spirit is not only gift from God, but that the Holy Spirit resides in each of us. (more…)
How many times have I heard people say, I don’t need to go to church. I can pray to God right where I am. The church is full of hypocrites. Why do I want spend and waste my time with people who act one way in church and another way when we see them outside of church?
First, the purpose of church is not so you can simply pray to God. Certainly you can pray to God right where you are. But that is the wrong assumption of the purpose of the church. When we start off by saying I can pray to God where I am…. I don’t need the church, we place importance on the wrong subject. It’s not about you. And it’s not about me. Sure you and I want to grow in Christ and learn more. But ultimately, the church is about you and me changing others. And God called Christians to do so through coming together on a regular basis – that’s the church.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of fasting. While there are some Christians who say that no where in the New Testament is fasting commanded, we must understand that fasting was a given. It was the norm. Therefore, there was no need for it to be commanded. In fact, Jesus gives instructions on how to fast because he knew that the people were already practicing the discipline of fasting. Perhaps you’re familiar with the different types of fasts, including the very popular Daniel Fast. Every major religion supports fasting from food and/or drink to some degree or another.
However, the central idea of fasting is really the voluntary denial of ordinary functions for the sake of spiritual enlightenment or awareness. While the bible deals with fasting from food, there are other ways in which we can apply the concept of fasting. According to Richard Foster’s timeless classic, Celebration of Discipline , there are at least three more things we can fast from. These (more…)
Welcome to the first installment of 21 Days of Freedom! Often at the beginning of a new year we dedicate ourselves to Prayer and Fasting in order to renew our relationship with God and center ourselves. We use the time for reflection and focus on the purpose God has for our lives. We usually use the term discipline when it comes to prayer, fasting, meditation, etc. I propose that what we usually refer to as disciplines are really avenues to freedom! For 21 days I want to briefly discuss and reflect upon these agents of freedom and more. I will also be on Facebook Live every weekday morning at 6am for about 10-15 minutes discussing the Freedom of the Day. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. In the meantime remember that you are Unstoppable! Well, let’s go!!
One of the main mistakes we make is thinking that the act of prayer is based upon asking God for things or asking God to do things. That’s not the main goal of prayer. The main goal of prayer is to establish a relationship with God. When we are in a relationship with someone – whether it is a significant other — or a friend of family member, we know that we must have established a relationship based on love and respect before we begin to ask them for things. Sure they can offer tokens of love and gifts of affections. But we know that if someone were to approach us and ask us for something and we had no relationship with that person, we would certainly question if the individual were in his or her right mind! Well, God is a bit more understanding than we are and probably doesn’t question if we’re in our right minds. He already knows our limits. But he does desire a relationship with us.
Also prayer should not be a struggle. Often we are intimidated by the great “prayer warriors” around us. God wants us to communicate with him in our own way, not based upon how we see others pray. Do not let those around you or those you see on television or YouTube intimidate you. Your relationship with God is personal and if it is to grow you cannot be anyone else but who you are. God does not want us to be phony. He wants each of us to communicate to him in our own unique way. That’s how he made us…unique and marvelous!
The Pattern of Prayer | Matthew 6:5-15
The Prayer of Worship | Psalm 103
The Prayer of Repentance | Psalm 51
The Prayer of Thanksgiving | Psalm 150
The Prayer of Guidance | Matthew 26:36-46
The Prayer of Faith | James 5:13-18
The Prayer of Command | Mark 9:14-29
If you have any questions feel free to post on my Facebook Page. Or you can contact me through my website, http://www.lisadjenkins.org
 Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin... Zechariah 4:10a (NLT)
Great New Year to you my Unstoppable Friends!
Often we enter the new year strong! We have goals and plans. And as Christians, many of us begin by taking our prayer routine up a notch by fasting. Then as the year progresses, and our goals are not met and our plans fall apart, we wonder what went wrong? Did I pray wrong? (more…)
Socrates once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. The Apostle Paul told the Galatian people, “make a careful exploration of who you are….” (Galatians 6:4a, MSG Translation).
With all of the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we often strive to move forward without regular periods of self-examination. Most of us wait until the end of the year right, before the new year is about to roll around. Some folk are more diligent and make an examination of their life, finances and goals bi-annually or even quarterly. But if we are to operate in God’s purpose, we must examine our lives each and every day. One of the things that I’ve learned that sets wealthy people apart from folk who are just making it, is that wealthy people check their finances every single morning and every single night. They check their accounts (all of them, including retirement—especially retirement) as well as the money in their wallets throughout the day. They make assessments about how much was spent each day and if what was spent was truly necessary. They examine and keep daily tracks of each and every personal expense throughout the day.
We must have the same diligence in every area of our life. (more…)
Greetings People! I want to share some exciting news with you! And it’s news that is so ironic because it comes on the heels of this week’s post about me preaching from the floor because of my gender. Well (drumroll – LOL) I’m pleased to have been invited to be a part of Roho. Roho, which means spirit, in Swahili, was recently featured in the New York Times. It is a brand new website featuring sermons from some of the country’s most outstanding African American preachers. The real irony is that in the wake of my “Floor Preaching”, the sermon chosen to be featured on Roho is the one where I was the first female to preach for a Good Friday Service at the historic Bethany Baptist Church of Brooklyn. (Yes, I preached in the pulpit! ) And if anyone is familiar with the pulpit at the Bethany Baptist Church, you know that it is perched faaaaaaaaarrrr above the floor! LOL.
In any event, please check out the sermon. I pray you will be blessed by it as well as sermons by many other preachers such as Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Dr. Cynthia Hale, Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman, Dr. Otis Moss III, and more.
By the way, I was asked by a local radio station about why I chose to preach on the floor last Sunday. Here’s the audio clip from that interview
Thank you to each and every one of you! Your words of encouragement have meant so much to me and it makes ministry, which can be challenging, a lot easier. Please know that I am praying for you that God will increase your territory and give you strength for your day-to-day challenges. Remember, you’re stronger thank you think and you’re better than you were!!
In the meantime, and until next time, #beEmpowered!