It is difficult for many people in the 21st century to relate to Old Testament figures and stories. Perhaps a modern-day figure or story would help them relate though? Consider a man who (in the 20th century) spent 27 years in prison for nothing more than the color of his skin. Talk about a "Roadblock" in life!
Who would have thought that a 27-year obstruction in the life of a stranger (for nothing more than the color of his skin and the hope of his heart) would one day lead to a revolution of freedom from an evil system of bigotry? While he was in prison, he made an impact on his country and was able to lead a silent revolution behind prison walls. He also comforted fellow prisoners and governed within the prison system. And he was also chosen by God to one day "save many people", in the same way that Joseph of the Bible did.
Who would have possibly looked at this man when he was a small, poor child and seen one of the most influential worldwide leaders of all time? Few, if any.
His words ring profound, reflecting thoughts fine-tuned and tested by the harshest realities of life. But something he once said settled deep not only in the souls of humanity, but even more so in the hearts of his own people. "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
This quote is exactly what this man spent the latter years of his life doing, at a pace and fervency unlike few others. His name will forever live as one of the greatest men in human history because he allowed his destiny to be a place of deliverance for people other than himself.
Who could this man be that turned the world upside down? What kind of man is this that suffered 27 years in prison because of his race? Where in the world is this man from, and what would he do with regard to the "white man" who inflicted him with such great harm? His name? Nelson Mandela!
It is a modern-day human story of a boy born into poverty, imprisoned by white men in power, and then raised up by God to become the President of a mighty nation. Instead of vengeance, he embraced his tormentors. Rather than imposing evil for evil, he was color blind, and he touched the hearts of his enemies. Partisanship could have been his arm of power; instead, he forsook political parties and strived to make the nation one people. You, beloved, have a modern-day Joseph, coat of many colors fame, in the 21st century. Nelson Mandela proved himself to be a big man in a nation divided by racism.
The Call to Discipleship
On Sunday, June 4, we will begin a journey toward the call to true discipleship. There are Christians sitting in the pew, but are they true disciples? There are people on church rolls, but are they true believers? There are people who committed their lives to Christ as their Savior, but is He their Lord? Are you that one person looking for more in your experience with God?
You may be one of those who is frustrated with your Christian experience because you know God has a more abundant and meaningful life for you. Perhaps you have been a believer for many years, yet you feel empty in your faith and you wonder if there isn't more to the Christian life than this? If that is you, then this is your time to experience the transforming power of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Start right now by taking time each week to join hundreds of people in their quests to experience God. If you enter this study, you will be able to:
- Hear when God is speaking to you
- Clearly identify His activity in your life
- Believe Him to be and do everything He has promised
- Adjust your beliefs, character, and behavior to Him and His ways
- Recognize a direction God is taking in your life and identify what God wants to do in and through your life
- Clearly know what you need to do in response to His activity in your life
- Experience God doing—through you—what only He can do
Sign up today. Notes will be sent to you via the Internet or by mail. All materials are free.
The War on Free Speech
A mom asked her five-year-old little girl what she thought free speech is. The little girl responded, "Free speech is anything someone says, as long as I like it." Sound familiar? Does a five-year-old child sound a lot like what we are hearing in the political arena? Perhaps students in so many college campuses, who deny speakers an opportunity to share their views, are a lot like this five-year-old. How embarrassing for Bethune-Cookman and Notre Dame when students showed such disrespect toward their commencement speakers! And that is just two schools of "higher learning."
Consider these words: Intimidation, silence, coordination, well-honed protest, violence, paid rioters, burning the American flag, destroying private property. What about government interference? Remember the IRS, who refused "Not for profit" status to some organizations because they were conservative in political thought? Was anyone prosecuted for that? Did the head of the IRS take the Fifth Amendment? What about the government invading our privacy with the "unmasking" of United States citizens? Want to talk about abuse of powers? Did you know that prosecutors of a northern state launched a bogus criminal campaign against some 30 conservative groups? Talk about silencing free speech. One well-organized group used intimidation by "blackmailing" corporations who supported conservative causes.
Free speech? Sure, as long as you don't disagree with "what I like", or so the five-year-old said.
1.) Killing the Rising Son, by Bill O'Reilly – This is the book of the year for me. What an amazing read! I couldn't put it down, as it depicted the history of how America vanquished the Japanese in World War II. There is information within the book that will shock you, including letters to present-day living presidents that asked, "Would you have dropped the Atomic Bomb to end the war?" The answers from various presidents will surprise you. Every student of history ought to read this book, and it should be required reading in every college History class.
2.) Sojourner Truth, as shared by Isabella Baumfree and edited by Paul Negri in 1850 – This is the story of one of the most famous and admired African American women in United States history. Upon changing her name to "Sojourner Truth", her life was one of faith as she came out of slavery when New York abolished the practice in 1826. Her journey toward faith in Christ is inspiring, and her understanding of theology, as an untrained and uneducated former slave who depended on the Holy Spirit to instruct her, is even more amazing. A first-hand experience of Sojourner Truth, as told to her editor, it is a must read for women, young girls, and Black Americans who want a taste of history as it was actually experienced.
3.) Black Lies Matter, by Taleeb Starkes – This book is an eye-opener to the truth of the "Black Lives Matter" terror organization. If you are truly interested in the facts of the race war in America, then this is a book you will want to read. It exposes how Al Sharpton uses race to fill his greedy pockets at the expense of his own people. Ferguson, Missouri??? Once again, the truth is told of what really happened there and how Black Lives Matter used that incident to incite riots and mayhem. Chicago?? How much longer will the people in Chicago continue to live in such fear as they become the murder capital of the United States?
Note: For those who want to check any of these books out at All Nations Presbyterian, the office will have them available for your pleasure. Of course, the magic word is "FREE!"