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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog

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#MyVisionFast: Do you care enough to mourn...fast and pray?

Posted on January 20, 2017 at 9:32 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 

Today is the official inauguration date of Donald Trump.  And no, I will not go on and on about what his presidency might mean to these United States of America for the next four years.  There has been enough of that kind of speculation both well-informed and sometimes misguided, emotional rhetoric since the day of his election back in November 2016.  However, I do want to pause and say THANK YOU, LORD for the pivotal and invaluable leadership of President Barack H. Obama and his entire family.  I am grateful to have witnessed an African American president in my lifetime and I will be so proud to share this piece of history with my own children one day.  But today is the beginning of a new era in American politics and social policy.  I honestly do not know exactly how this will all play out but given the person that our President-Elect has shown us and the people with whom he has chosen to surround himself as advisers and cabinet members, I can certainly understand why so many have been in mourning.

Actually, I am reminded of one of my favorite people in the Bible, Nehemiah.  In Nehemiah Chapter One, Nehemiah asks a question about his home and he his deeply saddened by the report - just as many are deeply saddened by this inauguration; but Nehemiah's response teaches a lesson to us that I believe we would do well to take heed.

Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.  They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. [Nehemiah 1:2-4]

Friends, it really does not matter to me on which side of the political aisle you choose to stand, as a child of the Most High, if we just look with eyes of compassion on this world and the prevalence of crime, poverty, prejudice, injustice, and unrighteous motives, maneuvers, and manipulations, we ALL should be in mourning.  We should all be in mourning because in so many ways, America is in "great trouble and disgrace" and her walls of liberty and justice for all are broken down and its gates to secure the inalienable rights of all people in its borders have been burned with the fire of ignorance, hatred, and intolerance. I understand why people are weeping as Nehemiah did for his beloved city, Jerusalem.  All you have to do is read the newspaper or scroll down your Facebook timeline, or watch the news and you will see that we are in a state of social, educational, and economic crises.  

Yet, I am reminded of that great call to action in 2 Chronicles 7 when the Lord speaks to King Solomon after the dedication of the temple:   if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I believe that Nehemiah knew that the very first thing he had to do in spite of his tears, his grief, his mourning, was to fast and pray before the God of heaven.  Honestly, perhaps that is what makes me feel somewhat uneasy and definitely disappointed with the believers who critique our president elect so harshly out of their own deep grief and devastation.  We can mourn but do we care enough to mourn AND fast and pray?

BlogFam, again, it does not matter to me on which side of the political aisle you choose to stand, if you are a child of the Most High, if you also believe that we are in a state of crises, then call a fast and get on your knees.  Pray to the God of heaven asking God for your own forgiveness and forgiveness on behalf of this great nation.  Turn from your wicked ways, and then be open to receive our healing.  I can only imagine the great revolution in our country if EVERY believer committed to doing just that. I offer these next steps, not as an oversimplification of the work it will take to see the shifts we need to bring our nation to prominence and restore the hope of all of its citizens.  I offer this a necessary step that must not be skipped as we take action to march, write, vote, speak, legislate, protest, and sing our songs of freedom.

Nehemiah wept over the state of Jerusalem in his day.
Many of you are weeping over the state of America, today.
But I strongly encourage you to follow the example of Nehemiah - and the instructions to King Solomon - and take your mourning one step further to fast and pray.  

OR do you only care enough to mourn?

God Loves You and I Do Too!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

Heart Problems, Love Solution... #SocialJustice #HumanRights

Posted on October 29, 2016 at 1:19 AM Comments comments (1)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
Today, I  visited the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, GA.  Can we just pause right here? I literally took a deep breath after writing that first sentence because of all the emotions I felt in response to the images  I saw that continue to cause a deep wrestling and restlessness within.  Unfortunately,  as I reflected earlier today while walking through each exhibit, I was reminded, yet again, how I will never understand how anyone can have so much hatred in their hearts for another human being. I am also painfully aware of how many of the same attitudes and actions of those who carry such hatred are still among us today.  As I listened to the recordings and watched the videos and read the captions under the pictures, I saw and I heard so many words that could be apart of a 2016 commentary on any issue of social justice that is still an issue today.  For example, as I perused the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection of writings,  I found this opening statement of an article by Dr. King, entitiled, "Nonviolence and Racial Justice," written in the 1958 issue of The Friends Journal, a Quaker Weekly:

It is impossible to look out into the wide arena of American life without noticing  a real crisis in race relations. 

His 1958 observation could be the opening statement of any reflection on the same topic in 2016. And the truth is that you do not have to only look at American life. The center allows visitors a glimpse of the "real crisis" around the world regarding human rights. And whether one admits it or not, the truth is that we have a global, international, national, regional, statewide, county/parish, local, neighborhood, down your street, and even in your house, heart problem.

Heart problems evidenced by the senseless murders, endless insults, ruthless racism, careless posturing of greedy men and women who operate out of seemingly bottomless heart pits of hatred to promote injustice, fear, and economic and physical slavery around the world.

It is a sad commentary on the world that human beings can be so heartless.  It is sad and discouraging and overwhelming and angering to be a witness to the brokenness of our whole world. 

BUT.
GOD.
 Friends, as I walked through this center, as deeply grieved as I was, a question arose within: In what ways does the church perpetuate a blatant disregard for human rights?

The sad truth is that the answer is... IN EVERY WAY.  I do not recall one issue that I read about today that the church universal has not stood on the opposite side of love.  Think about it. Think about any social justice issue, or broader yet, any human rights issue* and I  bet all of us church folks can name at least one issue that we have chosen to be discriminating,  divisive, stubbornly  refusing to shift or at the very least show compassion for others who are the least of these enduring violations to their rights and humanity.   

Sometimes,  well, many times, I wish that  people would recall that JESUS said the GREATEST commandment is to LOVE.  And LOVE supercedes your doctrines, your shallow theological claims passed down from generation to generation,  and   even how you "feel" on a good or bad day.  LOVE is the ideal and very real solution to the heart problems of today.  If we, the church universal, would just OBEY those two greatest commandments, I can only imagine how the world could be a better place. 

Until then, I am not ashamed to say that my FAITH in God is my eternal hope and daily inspiration to surrender my heart to LOVE and pray that my actions follow. What about you?

GO LOVE SOMEBODY.... TODAY!

Blessings,  Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

*P.S. - FYI... THE 30 UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS... (http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/)

Article 1 Right to Equality
Article 2 Freedom from Discrimination
Article 3 Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security
Article 4 Freedom from Slavery
Article 5 Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment
Article 6 Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law
Article 7 Right to Equality before the Law
Article 8 Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal
Article 9 Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile
Article 10 Right to Fair Public Hearing
Article 11 Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty
Article 12 Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence
Article 13 Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country
Article 14 Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution
Article 15 Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It
Article 16 Right to Marriage and Family
Article 17 Right to Own Property
Article 18 Freedom of Belief and Religion
Article 19 Freedom of Opinion and Information
Article 20 Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association
Article 21 Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections
Article 22 Right to Social Security
Article 23 Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions
Article 24 Right to Rest and Leisure
Article 25 Right to Adequate Living Standard
Article 26 Right to Education
Article 27 Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community
Article 28 Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document
Article 29 Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development
Article 30 Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights
 

iTHRIVE: Learn From My STRUGGLE

Posted on November 26, 2015 at 10:03 AM Comments comments (2)
Greetings!


BlogFam - 
As I write this blogpost, I will admit that what I originally had in mind to share is not what seems to be flowing from my thoughts at this moment.  I am writing on Thanksgiving Day morning and I am writing as I watch scenes from the movie Selma, a 2014 American historical drama based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches.  In particular, I just watched the scene where the first attempt to march across Pettis Bridge was met with violence, tear gas, horses, beatings, gun fire, trampling in clouds of smoke.  And as much as I want to focus on the feel good memories and present plans of family and friends to gather for Turkey and dressing, I am compelled to acknowledge that the struggle for justice for all is not over.  And so on this day, I am so very grateful to God for ALL the sacrifices that my ancestors and elders and even many of my peers have made on my behalf.

I am grateful today for the grace and the strength of civil rights leaders past and present, near and far, young and old, who fought and who fight for the rights of the few and the many.  I am grateful today for the opportunity to write and share my thoughts on the struggles that I know we all have experienced, internally and externally that have made us who we are.  I am grateful today for the unwavering hope that I and so many have that whatever we are facing will all work together for our good.  I am grateful today that the work to be done is being done quietly and loudly, in churches and in schools, in the streets and in courtrooms, in private and in public.  I am grateful that I believe in the prophetic word of God that "judgment [will] run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." [Amos 5:24]

Friends, Learn from the struggle.  I know that you may have your own internal struggles with hatred, procrastination, prejudice, self esteem, un-forgiveness, laziness, depression, pride, ingratitude, and immaturity.  And I pray that you would surrender your heart, mind, strength, and soul to God so that the one who is greater inside of you will help you to overcome your struggles so that you can thrive.  However, the internal struggles that we have are also evidenced in the social ills that we see in the external struggles for liberty and justice in America and around the world.  There is a work for all of us to do.  And sometimes, we have to look back, look around, and dare I say, look inside in order to familiarize ourselves with the struggles of those around us because it is the same struggle that we face every time we look in the mirror every morning or wrestle with before falling asleep at night.  

Dr. King said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."  Therefore, in order for YOU to thrive, and for all of us to thrive together, we must pursue LIGHT and LOVE.  Now, as a believer in Jesus Christ, Jesus is the Light and the ultimate example of Love that I aspire to.  I am even reminded of the witness in the Bible that conveys the struggles of our Lord - internally and externally, as He lived to fulfill God's purpose for Him on earth.  Though we most often want to focus on the glorious moment of Resurrection, the struggle of the Cross and Crucifixion is an unavoidable reality that was a part of the journey to our redemption.  And while none of us will need to die for the sins of the whole world, all of us can thrive as examples of light and love in this dark and hate-filled world.

BlogFam, today, I pray that you would learn from your struggles.  Identify them and own them exactly as they are within you.  I pray that you would open your heart to feel and your eyes to see the struggles of others around you.  I pray that you would be grateful for the hope that everything is working together for your good and that you would feel a sense of urgency for the prophetic word of God through the prophet to come forth quickly.  I pray that your honest reflection would push you to act in order to enhance the ways you thrive in your life and that you would be compelled to act for liberty and justice on behalf of others.  I pray that you would be an example of light and love in this world and that your struggles simply bear witness to the amazing grace of God that is available to us all.  In the Name of the ONE who helps us to LEARN and to THRIVE...  Amen.

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

#PRAYER for our Youth: #LightItUp [A Recording]

Posted on October 30, 2015 at 9:12 PM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam - 
This is a slight departure from our current series but one that I believe you will appreciate...  

I was invited to PRAY on the last night of the LIGHT IT UP Prayer Call series.  This was a week of prayer for children and youth in light of recent events and all that our children and youth have to face and deal with everyday, everywhere.  I pray that this prayer blesses you and I ask that you PLEASE share it with EVERY young person you know that needs to be challenged and encouraged to carry the LIGHT of Christ everywhere they go!

LISTEN and BE BLESSED!
LIGHT IT UP PRAYER CALL
Delesslyn Kennebrew Praying 10-30-15
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THE PRAYER...
God of Fire and Light, First we say THANK YOU for being so good and so kind and for just being the same, yesterday, today, and forevermore.

THANK YOU for calling us together for such a time as this, to pray and intercede on behalf of children and youth everywhere.

I ask you to please forgive us for the many ways that we have dismissed, disregarded, or diminished the light of Christ that is available to shine brightly in and through and on all of us.  Forgive us Lord and ignite our fire again.

God of Fire and Light – I pray that on this night, we would open our hearts and minds, our ears and our eyes to the many ways that the darkness of injustice, abuse, violence, hypocrisy and silence pervades and invades the world…. Our city… our streets… our schools…and even our homes.

God of Fire and Light – I pray that on this night we would avail ourselves to be vessels of your light.  You are the light of the world and when we say YES, we invite you to light a fire in our souls that calls us to be light bearers everywhere we go. 

God of Fire and Light – I pray that on tonight we would recommit ourselves to walk in the light, beautiful light.  We recommit ourselves to come where the dew drops of mercy shine bright.  Lord, please shine all around us by day and by night.  YOU are the light of the world.

And on tonight we acknowledge you as the light of the world.
On tonight we choose to walk OUT of the darkness.
And from this point on WE will light up your world!!!
IN JESUS' NAME...

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

Follow Me on Twitter @AudraSunshine or IG @AudraSunshine1

SPECIAL THANK YOU to Rev. Dominique Robinson, M.Div. for the opportunity to pray for our youth during this series hosted by the New Life Presbyterian Church in College Park, GA.  She has a big heart for the youth across this nation and I was honored to be apart of her vision! [Twitter @DominiqueAyesha]


FIGHT ON until the Acceptable Year of the Lord!!! Luke 4:19 and Matthew 6:10

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 8:42 PM Comments comments (0)
W.W.J.D. = What Would JUSTICE Do?
 
FIGHT ON until the Acceptable Year of the Lord!!!
 
Click Logo to LISTEN NOW!!!
 
 
Luke 4:18, 19, 21
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to…To preach the acceptable year of the Lord….And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
 
 
 
Matthew 6:10: Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
 
 
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, this will be the final post on the series –W.W.J.D = What Would JUSTICE Do?  I hope that it has been a blessing to you and has given you a few nuggets to consider or re-consider along your journey.
 
 
 
Where should I begin?  Well, I will be upfront and tell you that while I believe that the ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD is imminent, I do not think that it has been attained yet. First of all, let me share with you what I believe is the mark of the ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.  It is when ALL that has been fulfilled in Him, has been fulfilled in us.  It is when the Kingdom of God reigns on the earth and what is done in the earth is done as it is in heaven.  And the truth of the matter is this: this can happen at ANY time that the Lord sees fit. I believe that the ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD is imminent; I do not think that it has been attained yet.  
 
 
 
One of the key verses in this episode of Luke 4,when Jesus preaches His first sermon is Luke 4:21.  And he began to say unto them,This day is this scripture FULFILLED in your ears.  All that Jesus had spoken in verses 18 and 19was fulfilled in Him.  He was truly the embodiment of the prophetic words of Isaiah. For IN Him is the GOSPEL, HEALING, DELIVERANCE, RECOVERY, LIBERTY and ACCEPTANCE.  All that the prophet declared as necessities in the earth are fulfilled IN Him.
 
 
 
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
 
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
 
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture FULFILLED in your ears. 
 
 
 
Jesus is the totality of EVERYTHING we need in our lives.  He is the true source of our life and His life, death, burial, and resurrection has given us complete access to experience the fulfillment of the Word in our own lives.  If you are a believer, then you are a part of the Body of Christ and in His body ALL things are already FULFILLED in the Spirit and apart from the body, it is not possible to experience the totality of life and life more abundantly as is possible/realized in Him.
 
 
 
BlogFam, I am intrigued by the reality that there are actually believers who have no desire to SEE THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.  There are believers who do not long to see the Kingdom of God rule the earth. There are believers who hinder the will of God being done on the earth as it is in heaven.  I am intrigued but I am not surprised.  And I am not surprised because for one to live their life in such a way, one would be driven to sense the urgency of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and while it might be comforting at a funeral to hear of the sweets by and by or flying away on some glad morning, in our day to day, everyday, routinely scheduled lives, being ready – keeping our lamps trimmed and burning for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is just not at the top of our list of Action Items.  And so while we are waiting for the Lord to heal us and bless us and fulfill those pretty promises that make us feel good about us in our lives, we are NOT as busy waiting or watching for the ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD!
 
 
 
My sisters and brothers, this is what Jesus has come to prepare us for.  Every day we are being made ready for the quick return of Jesus Christ and just because it has been thousands of years since Jesus walked the earth and you think that you have so much time -  BE NOT DECEIVED!!!  For a thousand years is as ONE day on the calendar of the divine! And the JUSTICE that we desire to see on earth in politics, in the economy, in social policies is ultimately unattainable without total surrender to the sovereignty of the Almighty God. This is NOT to say that it is ridiculous for us to fight for the rights of all humankind but it is actually a relief to know that ultimately JUSTICE is in the hands of the Almighty God and but for the grace and mercy of the Holy One we would not have a desire to see JUSTICE – God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven.
 
 
 
And so we FIGHT ON! 
 
 
We FIGHT ON not just for the guiding principles of this country – that we would be one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.  BUT, as believers we fight on until we see the supreme reign of God in this earth. 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until we LOVE GOD – LOVE OURSELVES and LOVE Our NEIGHBORS as we love ourselves. 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until every knee shall bow and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord. 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until we present our bodies as living sacrifices that are holy, acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service. 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until we see the crooks and the crooked places made straight! 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness flows as a mighty stream. 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until we all do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before our God! 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven! 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until The Spirit of the Lord is upon all of us and in UNITY we preach the gospel to the poor; heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, and the liberation of them that are bruised! 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until we experience the ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD and His Word fulfilled IN us! 
 
 
We FIGHT ON until Jesus comes again!!!
 
 
We FIGHT ON!!!
 
 
BlogFam, Are you ready for the acceptable year of the Lord?  Is thy heart right with God?
 
 
 
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
 
Blessings,
 
Delesslyn      
 
FOLLOW on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
SUBSCRIBE and SHARE the Salvation and Stilettos Blog TODAY!!! And LISTEN ONLINE every Sunday evening as I host the Kids Korner Radio Program at 4:15C/5:15E on www.wigoam.com!!!
 
 
 

Take Your Bruises to the Lord and Leave Them There!!! Luke 4:18

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 5:02 PM Comments comments (0)
 
W.W.J.D. = What Would JUSTICE Do? Series
 
Take Your Bruises to the Lord and Leave Them There!!!
 
LISTEN NOW!
Bruises 10-17-12
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Luke 4:18-19
 
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
 
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
 
 
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, I know that it has been a while since I have written consistently.  Over the last few weeks, I have only managed to blog maybe once/week and at times, not at all.  The desire to share remains but I know the last few weeks I have also been in sermon preparation mode and so my writing energy has been channeled in that direction.  I am not excusing my commitment to my BlogFam as much as I am asking for you to extend this blogger some grace.  I do not take you for granted.  I believe in God.  I believe in You.  I believe in the work that God has called me to do through my writing and by God’s grace, I will continue to do so as I am inspired.
 
 
 
 
To SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED.
 
 
 
I will admit to you that this phrase does not make sense to me upon first glance.  Several questions come to my mind as to what the Lord truly means when He reads the words of the prophet – To SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED.  Now, it would have made sense to me to set at liberty those who are imprisoned or those that are bound or those that are in shackles or those that are almost any word you can come up with that is an antonym for the word LIBERTY.  BUT in this passage, in the phrase of this passage, the word is TO SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED.
 
 
 
Why do the BRUISED need to be liberated?  What about a bruise imprisons or binds or shackles us such that we need to be freed from our bruises?  I have had many physical bruises on my body for one reason or another and bruises can be ugly, painful, and can last for days or even weeks at a time.  A bruise is to injure without breaking the skin….to develop a discolored spot on the skin as the result of a blow, fall, etc. A bruise develops when small blood vessels under the skin tear or rupture and blood leaks into tissues under the skin and causes the black and blue color.  A bruise is an undercoverwound… and to be quite honest, these kinds of wounds in the Spirit can often be the most detrimental.
 
 
 
So, what about those wounds we cannot see that come as a result of a blow to our ego or a fall from grace?  What about those wounds we cannot see that are a result of injuries that do not allow others to see us break our focus or our stride?  What about those wounds that are just beneath the surface that are ugly but easy to cover and unlikely to be noticeable to others because they require no band-aid or cast?  What about those bruises to our emotional,financial, or social well-being that are not so easy to discuss yet we are imprisoned by their reality in secret? What about YOUR bruises?
 
 
 
TO SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED… this is what Jesus says that he has come to do. Among all of the many things Jesus has done, is doing, or will do, Jesus has also come to liberate each of us from those bruises that no one can see but Him.  WOW!  Do you have any bruises like that?  It is amazing how the things we refuse to confess, admit, discuss, or own up to can keep us from fully living into the person that our God has created us to be. Some of us would rather walk around bruised in secret than to be liberated by the removal of our bruise. 
 
 
 
For when you walk as a son or a daughter of God who is free from your own secrets that the enemy tries to use to keep you from doing and being and having EVERYTHING the Lord has for you, you indeed become a force to be reckoned with!  But as long as you do not deal with our undercover wounds, the enemy has a hold upon yourlife’s witness that will hinder you – burden you – shackle you – imprison you to the parameters of expression that are actually only a mediocre representation of the POWER of the Almighty to transform your life!
 
 
 
Furthermore, when you do not deal with the bruises that have left you torn or ruptured on the inside by surrendering your injury to Christ, you choose to remain spiritually bound to something that the Lord wants to liberate you from AND until you release your bruise to the liberating Christ, your soul will remain black and blue.
 
 
 
Friends, it is time to deal with your undercover wounds!  It is time for you to take your bruises to the Lord and leave them there! It is time for you to walk in the FREEDOM that comes from acknowledging God in EVERYTHING especially the injuries that are easily hidden from others!  It is time to take full advantage of the power of God to SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED…and that includes YOU!!!
 
 
 
Friends, take your bruises to the Lord and leave them there!!!
 
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
 
Blessings,
 
Delesslyn      
 
FOLLOW on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
SUBSCRIBE and SHARE the Salvation and Stilettos Blog TODAY!!! And LISTEN ONLINE every Sunday evening as I host the Kids Korner Radio Program at 4:15C/5:15E on www.wigoam.com!!!
 

Maybe You Cannot SEE... Luke 4:18

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)
Maybe You Can’t SEE Anymore…
Luke 4:18b - He has sent me to proclaim…RECOVERY of sight for the blind.
Greetings!
BlogFam,today I went on a Prayer Walk and as I prayed I was reminded of how many things we miss around us that are so obvious. As I walked around, I was thinking about how many times I have passed by these trees, bushes, flowers, people, cracks in the sidewalk and did not have a second thought about any of it.  It is truly amazing how much we miss that is so obvious…. Obvious if we simply paid attention.  As I was walking, I decided to take a few pictures to capture the sights as they appeared on this day.  I saw children and teens and elderly.  I saw homeless, hospitals and schools.  I saw cars parked and cars stopped and cars speeding down the street.  When is the last time you really took the time to SEE everything around you? 
As I continued to walk, there was one thing that I saw that was not so pleasant.  I saw death.  Well, before you think I was going crazy and too much sun hit my brain, let me clarify. I saw a dead bird.  In the midst of all the signs of life, the green, the sun, the people, the laughter, I saw death.  Now, I have no clue what caused the demise of this one lonely bird but I do know that at the moment that I saw the bird, there was no resurrection, no potential for a comeback, no resuscitation, no hope.  I do not know the circumstances or details surrounding the death of this bird but I do know that on October 4, his life came to an end and any hopes or dreams to fly again were promised no more. 
Friends,I will not make this post a eulogy for that lowly creation of the Almighty but I will say this:  The obvious and very public presence of that dead bird caused me to begin praying for the many more obvious people, places, and things all around us who are suffering, sad,lonely, left out, miserable, moping, depressed, and possibly even dead.  Every day we make a choice to SEE or NOT to SEE.  And more often than not, we CHOOSE NOT to SEE!
It is for this reason I am compelled to re-imagine our verse for today.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
He hath anointed me to preach… RECOVERING of sight to the Blind…
As many times as I have heard and read this verse, I never thought about it including those who can physically see.  He hath anointed me to preach… RECOVERING of sight to the Blind…
Most of the time when we read or hear about those who are blind we automatically associate their blindness with them physically NOT being able to see…and we should. Blind people cannot see.  However,I believe that in this instance the Lord is challenging those who are blind to the economic disparities, racial injustices, educational system deficiencies,gender inequalities, and all other forms of hatred and neglect that we choose NOT to SEE.
Perhaps, in this passage, we are being called to RECOVER the sight of all of us who have said THAT is NOT our problem and THOSE are NOT our people.  Perhaps, in this passage, Jesus is calling us to take the blinders off of our eyes that were placed there by our own prejudices, jealousy, envy, selfishness, or strife.   Perhaps, in this passage, Jesus is saying that NOW is the time to speak to those who are NOT physically challenged by their sight but those who are spiritually challenged by their sight.
Friends, maybe it is YOU who cannot SEE anymore and on this day I pray that your sight would be RECOVERED so that you can begin to observe all of the obvious people, places, and things around you that are in need of YOUR attention.
 
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
 
Blessings,
 
Delesslyn
 
FOLLOW on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
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Oh FREEDOM! Luke 4:18b

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)
 
W.W.J.D. = Oh Freedom!
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Luke 4:18b  He has sent me to proclaim FREEDOM for the prisoners.
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, As I begin to reflect on this part of our verse on today, I cannot help but think of the old Spiritual I hear most often during Black History Month in February…
 
Oh Freedom! Oh Freedom!  Oh Freedom, over me! 
 
And before I be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave
 
And go home to my Lord and be FREE!
 
Oh Freedom!
 
FREEDOM is defined as the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.  It is exemption from external control, interference,regulation, etc.  FREEDOM is the POWER to determine action without restraint.  It is the POWER to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without. 
 
Oh Freedom!
 
 
So what exactly did the slaves mean when they sang this spiritual? And is there meaning relevant today?
 
 
Well, I believe that the meaning of this spiritual is not restricted to the social and physical bondage that slaves experienced.  I believe it obviously included that; however, the FREEDOM to which they referred meant so much more than the FREEDOM that could be legislated by government or signed into law by the President.  This FREEDOM was FREEDOM of the mind, the body, and the soul.
 
 
There are so many people who are walking in bondage in their minds, their bodies, and their souls. These people are not only inmates in the prison cells behind bars, with armed guards, and electrical fences; but they are confined to the boundaries that others have imposed upon them or that they have assumed for themselves.  People are being controlled in ways that many will refuse to acknowledge simply because it does not look like the brutal and inhumane pictures we see and stories we read about the days of slavery.  My friends, if there is any area in your life where you do NOT have the POWER to determine your own actions without restraint, then by definition you are NOT FREE.   If there is any area in your life where you do NOT have the POWER to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without, then by definition you are NOT FREE.
 
                               
 
I know that this might throw some of you for a loop but let’s truly think through this. There are so many things that I know that I do not completely understand about the ways of people and the ways of this world, the systems that are in place and the socio-political and economic philosophies that guide and guard the systems in place.  I admit that I do not know it all and I do not understand the depths of the FREEDOM we may or may not be entitled to; however, I do believe that your FREEDOM, my FREEDOM is worthy of our reflection on today and our reaction on tomorrow.
 
 
Furthermore, while we might celebrate our FREEDOM in and through the Lord Jesus Christ as the epitome of all FREEDOM, the truth is that when we are NOT free in other areas of our lives, the FREEDOM we have in and through the Lord Jesus Christ is undervalued and overshadowed by the social, political, economic and emotional constraint that hinder or outright prevent our POWER to determine our own actions, exercise choice and make decisions. 
 
 
In other words, as saved as inmate Number 33455 might be, he is physically still behind bars and unable to enjoy the bounty of the FREEDOM he has been given in and through Christ. 
 
 
As saved as that single mother on welfare might be, her EBT card and low income housing afford her limited options to experiencing emancipation from the confines of her present situation. 
 
 
As saved as that executive might be in his or her heart, the current scandal – even if initiated by others in the company –will taint the satisfaction they find in their POWER to determine their own course of actions. 
 
 
As saved as your Bible Study Group leader might be, if he or she is bound by the heartache and heartbreak of past relationships, then their perspective of the FREEDOM they have been given in and through the Lord Jesus Christ might fall beneath the actual deliverance granted them by God.
 
 
 
BlogFam, in other words, I do NOT think that Jesus simply wanted us to be FREE in our souls through His blood that was to be shed at Calvary when He speaks these words. But I believe that Jesus knew that the FREEDOM He wanted all of creation to experience was holistic, a complete awareness that we can LIVE and LOVE without regret and when there are others who do not own their POWER to LIVE and LOVE, we are to proclaim their FREEDOM to those who are imprisoned and to those who imprison.
 
 
 
He has sent us to PROCLAIM FREEDOM to the prisoners.
 
Oh Freedom! Oh Freedom!  Oh Freedom, over me! 
 
And before I be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave
 
And go home to my Lord and be FREE!
 
 
 
BlogFam, Are YOU Free?  AND more importantly, in what ways have you proclaimed FREEDOM to those who are imprisoned? Perhaps, today is the day that you re-evaluate your own sense of FREEDOM and truly own the POWER you have to get free and to free others in the process!  Perhaps today is the day that you name the past or present people, places, things, situations, or circumstances that control you, regulate you, interfere with you and keep you from being ALL that our God is calling for you to be. Perhaps today is the day that you proclaim FREEDOM for some man, woman,boy, or girl, that does not know that they can be FREE!  Perhaps today is the day that you stand up and speak up to those who imprison others and deny others the FREEDOM to LIVE and LOVE without regret simply because they themselves have been the victims of the same kind of bondage.  Perhaps today is the day that all of us remind each other that Jesus has already declared our FREEDOM and repent for the ways we have denied others the FREEDOM that has already been divinely granted them. 
 
 
BlogFam, Today is the day to PROCLAIM:
 
Oh Freedom! Oh Freedom!  Oh Freedom, over me! 
 
And before I be a slave or a slave-owner, a prisoner or one who imprisons,
 
I’ll be buried in my grave – because it is FREEDOM I have proclaimed
 
And go home to my Lord and be FREE!
 
 
 
My sisters and brothers, HE HAS SENT US TO PROCLAIM FREEDOM FOR THE PRISONERS…including ourselves!!!
 
 
 
 
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
 
Blessings,
 
Delesslyn
 
FOLLOW on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
SUBSCRIBE and SHARE the Salvation and Stilettos Blog TODAY!!! And LISTEN ONLINE every Sunday evening as I host the Kids Korner Radio Program at 4:15C/5:15E onwww.wigoam.com!!!
 
 

Good News Still Exists!!! Luke 4:18a

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM Comments comments (0)
 
W.W.J.D.= Good News Still Exists!
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Luke 4:18a  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.”
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, Do you like to hear good news?  Do you like to share good news?  Do you like to discover or create the situations out of which good news comes? Do you like good news?  I do! I like to hear it and share it and discover it and create it!  Good news – whatever that means to you – is usually positive.  Good news usually puts a smile on your face.  Good news can turn a bad day upside down.  Good news is just good.
 
 
Now, I know it seems that good news is rare and the moments are short-lived because of everything else we all have going on. I know it also feels this way because of all the negative reports we watch on TV or read in our local newspapers. However, I want you to know that GOOD NEWS STILL EXISTS!!!  And if good news seems to be the occasional rarity in your own life, I challenge you to go DISCOVER or go CREATE good news moments in your own life or better yet, in the lives of others that you can share and that they can hear.
 
 
Friends, GOOD NEWS STILL EXISTS!!!
 
 
 
Now, I believe in the truth of the Words of Jesus in the Bible and in our verse for today, He has read from the prophet Isaiah. His first line is this:
 
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim
GOOD NEWS to the poor.”
 
And when he finishes reading the complete passage, in Luke 4:21, Jesus says:
 
“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
 
 
BlogFam, there exists some GOOD NEWS that is always relevant and full of life, hope, peace, and joy.  This GOOD NEWS should be the headline of not just newspapers but of our lives.  This GOOD NEWS has never failed or forsaken, and it has never disappointed or discouraged. This GOOD NEWS is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it has already been fulfilled.  In other words, it iscomplete and lacking nothing.
 
 
My sisters and brothers, as we reflect upon our overall theme: W.W.J.D. = WhatWould JUSTICE Do? I am compelled to remind us that in our efforts to hear, share, discover or create the GOOD NEWS of JUSTICE, we must begin with the one who came as Justice in the flesh, Jesus, the great liberator of us all.  I do not at all mean to dismiss the dismal reality of the poor amongst us but I do mean to challenge you to be the one to proclaim the GOOD NEWS to the poor – the spiritually and economically poor.  For at the most basic level, the common thread of inspiration on either side of this coin is that GOOD NEWS STILL EXISTS and JESUS is His name.  The GOOD NEWS to everyone, all over this world is that Jesus is our life, hope, peace, and joy and we must share this GOOD NEWS so that the world, especially those in our own house, canhear it.
 
 
We have kept this GOOD NEWS to ourselves for too long and people need to hear the GOOD NEWS that they are loved by the one who is the epitome of love.  This is GOOD NEWS!  People need to hear that if their hearts or their pockets are empty and void of what they need to meet their needs, well, the GOOD NEWS is that Jesus has not forgotten about them and He is willing and able to meet every one of their needs. The problem is that those of us who have discovered this truth for ourselves have neglected to share the GOOD NEWS with others who really need it.  We keep the GOOD NEWS of Jesus to ourselves and then wonder why the world is as crazy as it is!  We keep the GOOD NEWS to ourselves and then wonder why people of all ages are so broke and broken!  We keep the GOOD NEWS to ourselves and wonder why the poor exists amongst us!
 
 
I think it would be amazing if we applied our faith in Jesus to the injustices of this world and thereby created GOOD NEWS that can then be shared and replicated everywhere.  I know that you may feel like there are too many poor people in this world or in your community and you do not know where to begin.  Well, begin with the GOOD NEWS that Jesus loves everybody and every effort we make to create JUSTICE in this world, must begin by simply sharing the LOVE of Christ that we have already received. 
 
 
BlogFam, how will YOU share the GOOD NEWS with the poor on today?  This is the work of JUSTICE.  I know you may have never thought of it in this way but to share GOOD NEWS is to create JUSTICE.  Please do not dismiss the power of opening your mouth to speak words of life, hope, peace, and joy to those who are poor –spiritually or economically.  Jesus said He was anointed to PREACH – SPEAK – PROCLAIM – TELL GOOD NEWS and my friends, so are we!!! 
 
 
It is time for us to open our mouths with GOOD NEWS to those who need to hear that there is a better way, there is another way, and there is a faithful way to be in this world and it all begins with our relationship with Jesus Christ.  JUSTICE begins with JESUS and not a good quote or an organized rally or a great party or a few more dollars in the bank.  JUSTICE begins with Jesus and as those who follow Jesus are preaching – speaking – proclaiming – and telling the GOODNEWS that there is one who loves them so muc.h.  And because we have experienced the love of Jesus Christ we are compelled and commanded to love the poor, who are our neighbors.  We love the poor by sharing this GOOD NEWS in word and in deed. We love the poor by boldly declaring the GOOD NEWS of God’s love for them.  We love the poor by following up our words with actions that create JUSTICE in their lives.  We love Jesus by loving the poor.
 
 
BlogFam, When we speak Jesus, Love, Justice, we are speaking terms that are interchangeable but if we speak nothing, then we are perpetuating the plight of those who are poor amongst us. So, my friends, SPEAK UP because GOOD NEWS STILL EXISTS!!!
 
 
 
 
 
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
 
Blessings,
 
Delesslyn
 
FOLLOW on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
SUBSCRIBE and SHARE the Salvation and Stilettos Blog TODAY!!! And LISTEN ONLINE every Sunday evening as I host the Kids Korner Radio Program at 4:15C/5:15E on www.wigoam.com!!!
 

It's Me, It's Me, Its WE, Oh Lord! - Luke 4:16-22a

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM Comments comments (0)
 
 
W.W.J.D. = It’s Me, It’s Me, It’s WE, Oh Lord
 
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Luke 4:16-22a
 
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
 
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
 
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…
 
 
JUSTICE QUOTE:
 
“The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for ALL, in common,will take you into eternity.” – Marcus Garvey
 
 
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, As we begin to have our conversation around issues of JUSTICE, one of the unavoidable, most critical aspects that we must own is our own responsibility to ensure JUSTICE and our own ability to create JUSTICE around us.  JUSTICE is really not an US and THEM conversation for when you begin there, you already limit the possibilities of seeing JUSTICE take place.  JUSTICE is not a black and white issue and I am not simply referring to race.  JUSTICE has gray areas even for people of faith and full of conviction.  There are serious conflicts among Christians as to how we are called to love our neighbor as we love ourselves socially, politically, economically, and educationally.  We do not all vote the same way and we do not all espouse the same ideologies as reflected in our conversations between each other.  JUSTICE was not even easy for Jesus so I am not surprised that 2000 years later, we continue to define and re-define,debate and re-negotiate JUSTICE on what we believe to be the best terms for all people.
 
And though, at our very core, I do believe that all people were created in the image of God, it is so often hard for us to see that when we have these types of conversations. Thus, for this reason alone, I want to begin with this assumption: ALL people are created in the image of God. This is not a statement about what ideas or behaviors one thinks are god-ly because that would be an immediate jump to tension and division.  I want us to pause on today and truly consider what it means for us to love and respect other human beings as images of God in this world.  I wonder how we might proceed differently if we would just pause before the verbal attacks around issues of JUSTICE to remember that God loves you AND the person you do not agree with, too.  God truly loves all of us and it is out of God’s love for us that God also desires that we love one another.
 
 
It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
 
 
IT’S ME
 
I really do appreciate the wisdom of Jesus in our foundational scripture passage. And before we approach each part of what Jesus has to say about JUSTICE, I think it is imperative that we begin with that FIRST line: The Spirit of the Lord is upon ME.  BlogFam,the Spirit of the Lord is upon YOU. Perhaps, you are in a desperate situation and JUSTICE is not what you believe has been given to you.  You might feel like your community has experienced INjustices at the hand of your neighbor for so long that all you know to do is fight.  Fight for paved roads, fight for better schools, fight for a fair trial, fight for affordable housing, fight for food,fight, fight FIGHT for the liberty and justice that appears NOT to be for all people.  This is a tiring perspective because while you look back and see how far your community has come; perhaps you lookahead and still see that more fighting still is yet to be done.  There have been so many heroes and she-roes that have given their lives for the cause of JUSTICE.  They have answered the call of God and declared that the Spirit of the lord was upon them to serve as a vessel for JUSTICE in this world.  And we still need YOU.  We need you to help us to see where the needs are and where the fight is and where the support is needed.  We need YOU. We need you to help us to continue to care beyond any victories we think we might have achieved.  We need YOU.  We need you to remind us that children are still starving, the elderly still cannot get needed medication,young adults cannot afford higher education, and that we have not yet realized liberty and justice for all people in all places.
 
 
It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
 
 
IT’S ME
 
 
BlogFam, the Spirit of the Lord is upon YOU.  Perhaps, you have “arrived” and you are now in a position of power to help those who truly cannot help themselves.  You get invitations to meetings and fancy dinners and have access to men and women who know how to get things done.  You might feel as though people should just work harder, as though people should just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.  That sounds great but when you don’t have boots in the first place, you do not have boot straps to pull up.  You can make that happen.  You know that someone in your family knows someone in another family who can make a call and ship the boots across town and it would not cost you nearly as much as you think and it really would take so little of your time to do so.  You have been blessed to benefit from legacy, scholarship, generational wealth and political influence, college educated parents, tutors, world travel, gated communities, AND your experience has not included food stamps, welfare, free lunch, public schools, public transportation, and maybe not even student loans.  However, we need YOU.  We need you to help us speak up in conversations where we have no voice, show up in places where we will not be invited, stand up for those who do not know they can or that they need to stand up for themselves.  We need YOU.  We need you to write policies and energize your colleagues to rally around issues that their children will never have to consider because of your hard work and privilege.  We need YOU. We need you to share your knowledge and leverage your relationships in ways that not only benefit your immediate constituency but that would also benefit those whose picture of liberty and justice for all is fading fast or is restricted to images that remind them that they are excluded because the pictures they see only look like you.
 
 
It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
 
 
IT’S WE
 
BlogFam, for too long we have limited our perspective of JUSTICE to what our eyes see when we look at ourselves in the mirror, our family, our neighborhood. JUSTICE is so much more than you and me as individual citizens of this nation and of this world.  JUSTICE is acknowledging that WE all have a part to play in each other’s lives.  It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer. And when we fully realize that it is WE who must FIGHT and CREATE opportunities for JUSTICE then I truly believe that this conversation can move forward in miraculous ways.  The Spirit of the Lord is upon ALL of us to dream, to believe, to think, to act, to have access, to educate, to speak, to live, to fight for and to create JUSTICE. WE are all responsible, those who are in need and those who can meet those needs and until the day we celebrate the image of God in each other, liberty and justice for ALL will only be a ME-thing and not a WE-thing.
 
 
It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
 
 
JUSTICE QUOTE:
 
“The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for ALL, in common,will take you into eternity.” – Marcus Garvey
 
 
 
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
 
Blessings,
 
Delesslyn
 
FOLLOW Me on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
 
SUBSCRIBE and SHARE the Salvation and Stilettos Blog TODAY!!!
 
And LISTEN ONLINE every Sunday evening as I host the Kids Korner Radio Program at 4:15C/5:15E on www.wigoam.com!!!