Love Conquers Ignorance

Oh, Mr. Graham,

We have not come far from the attitude of the eight religious leaders who wrote to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. while he was incarcerated in a Birmingham, Alabama jail in 1963.

As a Christian leader, I am ashamed for you. You have a large forum into which you speak and write. You submitted your take publicly on your Facebook page on why you perceive so many black men have died recently at the hands of police officers: “Parents, teach your children to respect and obey those in authority,” and “It’s as simple as that,” and, “Mr. President, this is a message our nation needs to hear, and they need to hear it from you.” You received thousands of “likes” for these comments. You promoted anger and hate.

At the very least, you promoted ignorance. At the very least, you did not promote love.

I did not read any desire to perceive or understand the fear and profiling and aggressive, biased treatment on one side, and the fear and anger and gut-wrenching distrust on the other side.

“But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the [situation]. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes.” Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail

This is not about African Americans failing to parent or young black men failing to submit, or a black president failing to discipline “his people.” This is about a system that has been broken for decades.

You’ve come a long way from your father, who preached a true gospel of love; who had the love and respect of many Presidents, and many Christians of all ethnicities, whether they voted Republican, Democrat.

Your rant on Facebook was nothing more than an angry white male slandering a group of non-white people. And that, Mr. Graham, is not what a Christian does. We are not to speak and act as the world does.

We are to be impartial. We are to love our neighbor. We are to put our agenda and our will aside in order to promote God’s will. The day you posted your rant, you stepped away from God. I invite to step back toward Him again. Offer a public apology.

If you want to see Franklin Graham’s rant, go to: http://on.fb.me/1F9wG0u

If you want to read Sojourner’s Christian response to Franklin Graham, to go:

http://sojo.net/blogs/2015/03/19/open-letter-franklin-graham

“Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world?” Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Fuchsia

©susanirenefox

©susanirenefox

I’m certain fuchsia’s godly made

And if of this you need persuade

Direct your eyes toward setting sun

A desert moon, the clouds at dawn; warm hues and shades

 

The tiny pomegranate seed

There’s bougainvillea, grows with speed

Oh, don’t forget the peony

Then Phalaenopsis and sweet pea; ah, thistle weed

 

The Painted Desert tells the tale

Of God’s delight in color scale

He fills our senses night and day

This feast, a visual bouquet; along life’s trail

 

fucsia make-up

We humans long to imitate

This value God spoke to create

In sassy heels and boldest ties

In lipstick, eye shade to disguise; appear ornate

 

 

The truth is, no one can outshine

What’s generated from The Vine

No matter pattern, shape or hue

God’s eyes of love this brilliance view; through which we shine

©susanirenefox

©susanirenefox

You Are Enough

I’ve been feeling seriously under the weather the last two weeks. Flu, antibiotics, colitis. My brain is in a fog and I just haven’t been able to write. However, I’ve been reading. A lot. And I didn’t want to skip today’s blog. So I’ve chosen to give you a taste of some else’s blog because his stood out to me this week as the most clear message of the gospel. Simply and truthfully stated.

But God—who set me apart even before birth and called me by His grace—chose, to His great delight, to reveal His Son in me…” Galatians 1:15-16

No images today, just an introduction in the hopes that you’ll read on, particularly if you’ve ever received the message that you’re not enough, that you have to do something in order to receive the heart and Spirit of Jesus, that you need to become someone in order to receive the love and grace of God.

Here’s a little teaser from his blog post titled, The absurdity of being too far gone to be forgiven:

John the apostle said this about Jesus (bold-type added):

“He died in our place
to take away our sins,
and not only our sins
but the sins of all people.” (1 John 2:2 NCV)

Who is included here? Everyone, right? When did Jesus do this? 2,000 years ago. How many of your sins were in the future when He did this? All of them.

Please, today – right now – click on the link below and read Mel Wild’s post. You will be uplifted and ready for the weekend.

In My Father’s House

Prisoner of Hope

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

©susanirenefox

©susanirenefox

Willingly your captive, prisoner of hope

Persevered to woo me, grace and love your gift

Willingly your captive, prisoner of hope

 

Rescued me from hunger, hollowness adrift

Beckoned me, asked nothing, freely gave your grace

Persevered to woo me, grace and love your gift

 

Loved me, fed me, filled me; famine now replaced

Riches never ending fill me with your peace

Beckoned me, asked nothing, freely gave your grace

 

Mercy, love, compassion; gifts that never cease

Your plans engender hope, my faith You inspire

Riches never ending fill me with your peace

 

I seek to do your will in all you require

Love is your commandment, this burden of Light

Your plans engender hope, my faith You inspire

 

Gratefully surrendered in love I delight

Love is your commandment, this burden of Light

Willingly your captive, prisoner of hope

Willingly your captive, prisoner of hope

 

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

 

Inspired by Cindy Powell’s post, Forever Bound at Deeper Waters

In the Chrysalis

caterpillar

As Christians, why do we struggle against the world when we are told our enemy is not flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12)? Why do we wage war as the world does, with hateful words and rhetoric, when we are told these are not to be our weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)? Why do we insist on clutching to our own agendas when following God’s agenda would be so much more fruitful (James 4:7)?

cocoon_butterfly

We’re a fearful culture. We exclude, discriminate, segregate, judge, restrict, and divide. We live from fear. We are slow to learn and resist change. We refuse to gently and lovingly engage when we see or hear private wrongdoing; we step away because, “it’s not my concern.” Yet we’re quick to indiscriminately judge whole groups, deciding they are greater sinners than we. We’re caterpillars who inch along, give our Sundays to God, but refuse to surrender pieces of our private lives the rest of the week for the gift of grace and love that comes with yielding all.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19

animal-kid.com

animal-kid.com

We’re an impatient culture. We suspire when we stand in line. We honk horns when we drive. We search out the shortest grocery queue. We want fast food, fast downloads, fast conversations and no interruptions. We want what we want and we want it now. We pray, and assume our prayers go unanswered if we don’t immediately receive a job, a house, a spouse, a cure, a resolution. If tragedy occurs, we run from God instead of toward Him, accusing Him of not caring. We struggle inside our chrysalis, refusing to acknowledge the wait is a journey, the silence a respite for metamorphosis, redemption. We agonize and thrash to escape before our intended time.

Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not get tired; they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

scholastic.com

scholastic.com

We’re a changing culture. As we investigate God’s word for ourselves and assimilate its meaning – not just listen to what other people tell us it means – our eyes and ears begin to open. Our hearts are blessed by hope and filled to overflowing by His mercy, grace and love. We are enabled by the Spirit to bless others who we recognize as His creation. We suddenly have a core grasp of what loving God and loving our neighbor means. He has released the butterfly in us, and we are transformed. We live our lives from abiding in love.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

Ode to Psalm 119

Acrostic A in Fourteen Syllables

Almighty God, Creator

Maker of things visible

and invisible, to You

I lift my hand, raise my voice.

Adoring me so greatly

You sacrificed Your One Son.

Anointed, Jesus lived, taught,

suffered, died, overcame death,

abides in me now through the

Holy Spirit’s grace and peace.

Acquiescing to Your will,

I build Your kingdom through Christ.

As I write in praise of Your

everlasting love, all my

afflictions fall away in

Your mercy and forgiveness.