Tag: Christian

Chocolate Vent’s Quote of the Week: “THERE CAN BE NO UNITY WITHOUT HUMILITY”

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” {Ephesians 4:2-3}

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Examine Your Relationships This Year

There is a saying, you can’t pick your family but you can pick your friends.
An ideal, healthy friendship relationship, whether it’s with your girlfriend or a male platonic friend, is one that, as the Word calls it, iron sharpens iron.
Proverbs 27:17 reads, Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Sharpen means to be or make sharp and the word, countenance, means face, favor, or presence.
You want those in your presence, whether they’re close friends or acquaintances, to sharpen you, keep you on your toes, and you do the same for them.  You don’t need people around you who simply agree with you all the time.
You need people who, when trouble comes, they can speak a Word to you in due season, encourage you when you’re down, and help you see how through God’s Word and God’s love you can press on.
Examine your relationships and see which should stay and which should go away, then act accordingly.  As the saying goes, some people are in your life for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime.
Pray about which category your friends fall, then pray and ask God how to proceed.

*Originally published on Kim on the Web.

#TheologyThursday: James Cone

Professor James H. Cone, known as the founder of black liberation theology, was the Bill and Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He attended Shorter College (1954-56) and held a B.A. degree from Philander Smith College (1958). In 1961, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary and later earned an M.A. (1963) and Ph.D. (1965) from Northwestern University. Dr. Cone was conferred thirteen (13) honorary degrees, including an honoris causa from the Institut Protestant de Théologie in Paris, France.

Among his numerous awards were the American Black Achievement Award in religion given by Ebony Magazine (November 1992), the Fund for Theological Education Award for contributions to theological education and scholarship (November 1999), the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion (2009), the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award in recognition of seminal theological scholarship from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (2010).

Dr. Cone was an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is listed in the Directory of American Scholars, in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Religion, Who’s Who among African Americans, and Who’s Who in the World. He was the author of twelve (12) books and over 150 articles and lectured at many universities and community organizations throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He was an active member of numerous professional societies, including the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the American Academy of Religion, and the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) in the Philippines, and was a founding member of the Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (SRER).

Dr. Cone was best known for his ground-breaking works, Black Theology & Black Power (1969) and A Black Theology of Liberation (1970); he was also the author of the highly acclaimed God of the Oppressed (1975), and of Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare? (1991); all of which works have been translated into nine languages.  The 30th Anniversary of the publication of Black Theology & Black Power was celebrated at the University of Chicago Divinity School (April 1998), and a similar event was held for A Black Theology of Liberation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (April 2000) and at the Catholic Theological Society of America (June 2001). His research and teaching were in Christian theology, with special attention to black liberation theology and the liberation theologies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  He also taught 19th & 20th century European-American theologies. His 2012 book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, received the 2012 Nautilus Silver Award in Religion/Spirituality-Western Traditions. It was an Amazon.com #1 best seller in religion in February 2012. Naming it one of the top religion books of 2011, Huffington Post editors said: “One of the great theologians of the late 20th century, Cone forces us to look hard at suffering, oppression and, ultimately, redemption.”

Dr. Cone passed in 2018.

Just Give It Time

Show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You]. —Exodus 33:13

When you spend time with God, it becomes evident. You become calmer, you’re easier to get along with, you are more joyful, and you remain stable in every situation. Spending quality time with God is an investment that yields rich benefits. You begin to understand what He likes and what offends Him. As with any friend, the more time you spend with God, the more like Him you become.

Spending time with God causes you to become more sensitive to the love He wants to demonstrate to you and to others. Your conscience alerts you when you’re talking to someone in a way that does not please Him. Your heart grieves when He grieves, and you quickly pray, “Oh, God, I’m sorry.” You soon want to apologize to the person you have offended and discover that saying, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” isn’t so difficult after all.

When God told Moses he had found favor in His eyes (see Exodus 33:12), Moses understood that God was telling him he could ask for anything his heart desired.

Moses responded by saying that he simply wanted to become more intimately acquainted with God. Moses had seen God perform history’s most magnificent miracles, yet what he wanted most of all was to know God intimately.

I pray that knowing God is the desire of your heart. You can know Him and hear His voice as clearly and as intimately as you want to. All it takes is spending time with Him.

God’s word for you today: God does not have favorites, but He does have confidantes

#TheologyThursday: Thomas A. Dorsey

During the early 1930s, Thomas Dorsey created gospel music — the African American religious music which married secular blues to a sacred text. Under the name “Georgia Tom” he performed with blues artist Ma Rainey and her Wild Cats Jazz Band. He wrote over 400 compositions, but it is for “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” that he is best known.

Dorsey was the son of a Baptist preacher; his mother was the church organist. Throughout his early years he felt torn between the sacred and the secular. At eleven, he left school to take a job at a local vaudeville theater. Six years later, Dorsey left Atlanta for Chicago. He was part of the Great Migration north. In Chicago, Dorsey found success almost immediately. He was known as the “whispering piano player,” called to perform at after-hours parties where the pianist had to play quietly enough to avoid drawing police attention.

At twenty-one, his hectic and unhealthy schedule led to a nervous breakdown. He convalesced back home in Atlanta. There, his mother admonished him to stop playing the blues and “ serve the Lord.” He ignored her and returned to Chicago, playing with Ma Rainey. He married his sweetheart, Nettie Harper. But in 1925, a second breakdown left Dorsey unable to play music.

After his recovery three years later, Dorsey committed himself to composing sacred music. However, mainstream churches rejected his songs. Then, in August 1932, Dorsey’s life was thrown into crisis when his wife and son died during childbirth. In his grief, he turned to the piano for comfort. The tune he wrote, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” came, he says, direct from God. Dorsey co-founded the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses in 1933. Six years later, he teamed with Mahalia Jackson, and the team ushered in what was known as the “Golden Age of Gospel Music.” Dorsey himself became known as the father of gospel music. He died in 1993.

Find Balance

In almost everything you want to find balance.
Whether it’s not overeating yet still enjoying your favorite foods every once in a while balanced with regular exercise or physical activity, maintaining a budget while still enjoying life and “fun time” at the same time, or even as a single believer, you want to find balance in this area as well.
You don’t want to be stuck on either side of the scale:  
Side A where your every waking moment is consumed with thoughts of, “Lord when will I get married?  Where is he, Lord? Why am I not married yet?”
Or Side B where you don’t think about marriage at all and have resolved in your mind the fact that your being married, which was a desire of yours
long ago, may never come to pass.

It’s okay to have a desire for marriage, as long as that desire doesn’t have YOU.
Instead, you want to maintain a nice balance and enjoy life now, as a single believer, and be content knowing that your desire for a mate will be met in 
due season.
Instead of getting stuck on one side where your desire turns into a care, you want to instead cast that care on God, leave it in His hands and as the
saying goes, “Let God do it.”
Instead of giving up hope, which is the fuel which causes a Christian to continue on in the things of God, you want to continue in hope, knowing that
God loves you enough not to leave or forsake you in this area. 
So stay in the middle, and maintain a nice balance as you wait on God with joy knowing:
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.  1 Thessalonians 5:24
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Psalm 9:10)