Last night, after being struck by lightning, a 62-foot Jesus burned to the ground leaving nothing but the dusty remains of plastic foam and fiberglass in its wake. The statue was built as a “beacon of hope and salvation” at the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. And now it’s just a tragic reminder to invest a little bit more in big Jesus statues, or, maybe don’t invest anything at all in big Jesus statues because these are recessionary times and who in the world spends $250,000 on a Jesus statue when you probably have a church where at least 25% of your congregation is unemployed or underemployed? What sense does it make to rebuild that statue and then be in the pulpit talking about, ”Please give to the ”building the big Jesus statue fund”?” No sense at all. (Granted, sources say that the statue was financed through earmark donations, not general church finds. But really? You got earmark donations for a giant Jesus statue for your church? Not a billboard, not advertisements, not even a cross, but a big Jesus?)
Could it be that the burning down of the statue is a sign that that church, and maybe us as the church universal, need to stop wasting money on frivolous things. I know it seems really crazy to say a huge statue of Jesus is frivolous, but honestly, I don’t think Jesus would be okay with a church spending that much money on a statue of Him when they could use that money to do “greater works”. The statue of Jesus that can be seen from the Interstate is not “greater works”. At least, I’m not certain it is the greater works He was referring to.
Anyways, I’m not going to ramble on about this. I might be alone on this matter and others might think this is a national tragedy. I just wonder if this strikes anyone else as slightly strange and unusual?
Like anyone else, I have kept up with the situation in Haiti. I don’t wear myself out with the news coverage, I instead resign myself to prayer. But, when I do watch I am amazed to see that God is in the midst of it. It may be hard to see, but He really is there. I came to this realization last night, first as I watched Hope For Haiti Now, and then as I spoke to a friend about it later on in the evening. I marveled at how proof of God’s existence is so clear in the rubble of Haiti that if you don’t believe in God exists after seeing so many people being pulled from the rubble, alive, than you may as well concede now.
Today I continued to ponder God’s awesomeness in Haiti and I decided to compile a list of the people, who against all odds, and against what is par for the course, live today to tell the story of how “God Blocked It“. So without further delay, I wanted to share some of the proof of God’s existence.
- Marie Carida Roman, 84-years-old, rescued after 10 days under the rubble
- KiKi, 7-year-old, rescued after 7.5 days under the rubble
- Emmanuel Buso, 21-year-old, rescued after 10 days under the rubble
- Josyanne Petidelle, 19-year-old, rescued after 3 days under the rubble
- Bea, 13-year-old, rescued after 18 hours under the rubble
- 16-month-old girl, rescued after 68 hours under the rubble
- 11-year-old girl
- 12-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother
These 8 instances are by no means the only proof of His existence and by no means is this a comprehensive list of those who have been pulled out from the rubble alive, these are just the names I could find for the time being. Look upon this list and the great number of other survivors and consider God. Consider His awesome sustaining power, which is all most of these people had to live on. Consider that most of these people praised God once they were rescued and some were singing songs to God while they were buried in the rubble. Now tell me you don’t believe there is a God out there. Better yet, tell God you don’t believe He is out there, because by this alone, I know too much about Him.
The tefillin is not a bomb. I’m going to make this short and sweet for those of you who don’t know what tefillin is and may encounter one before you leave this earth–the teacher teaches what she too needs to learn.
Here’s what it looks like:
Here’s how you put one on:
Here’s who can’t wear one:
In other words, women.
Here is some of the scriptural justification–according the Jewish people–for wearing them:
And it shall be for a sign for you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand did the LORD bring you out of Egypt.
And it shall be for a sign upon your hand, and as totafot between your eyes; for with a mighty hand did the LORD bring us forth out of Egypt.
And you shall bind them as a sign upon your arm, and they shall be as totafot between your eyes.
You shall put these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall tie them for a sign upon your arm, and they shall be as totafot between your eyes.
Class is now dismissed Gentiles.
Thanks to http://www.tiferesjudaica.com, http://www.bejewish.org, http://sospire.blogspot.com, http://www.hasoferet.com, and Wikipedia.
As we all turn our thoughts and prayers toward the people of Haiti, I also wanted to point out that donating to the disaster relief fund for Haiti is so painfully easy that there shouldn’t be anyone who doesn’t give today and within the next few days. Considering we are all so synced up to our cell phones and we spend much of our time texting, BBMing, Tweeting and updating our Facebook status, I am asking that as many that would, would do the following:
Make good use of your phone, FB status and Twitter account for Haiti today by doing the following: Donate to the Red Cross via SMS by texting “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10. Or, you can text “YELE” to 501501 to donate $5 to the Yele Foundation, founded by Wyclef Jean. (Post this as your FB status update and encourage others to do the same.)
And just in case anyone is concerned about the technicalities of this donation process, I have already done it. It’s as simple as it looks. Text the number 90999 with the word “Haiti” in the body of the text. They will respond asking you to confirm your donation with the word “YES” and then they’ll send you a response thanking you for your donation and letting you know that the amount will be charged to your phone bill for Red Cross International Relief.
Never has giving to a cause been so simple and I encourage everyone to take this step because every dollar counts. It is moments like these when I thank God for technology. Take this step because it could have been you, your family or your friends caught in this devastation. Be your brother and sister’s keeper.
Last night, A.J. Jewell, fiance of songwriter, singer and Atlanta Housewife, Kandi Buress was killed following an altercation in the parking lot of Body Tap, an Atlanta strip club. A.J. Jewell sustained a blow to his head that would later on take his life, leaving his five children with no father. This is the second time this week that an altercation left a black man dead and his family to pick up the pieces. The first of which was Derrieon Albert who was senselessly beat to death and had the whole beating recorded. Please join me in prayer, or in your own quiet time, pray for A.J. Jewell’s family, children and former fiance. Also, please pray for Derrieon Albert’s family and friends and the state of our society at large.
I submit my prayer to you on behalf of those with hurting hearts. Yesterday evening, family and friends of A.J. Jewell found out that their precious son, father, brother, friend and lover were taken away from them too soon. I pray that you would be the comforter who rushes to the side of the broken-hearted. Right now people want answers to questions that may not be answered anytime soon, so I pray dear Lord that you would grant them patience while they wait. But not only patience, but your peace that passes all understanding. A.J. has left behind 5 children. 5 children without a father. But I pray that they will not become another case study for statistics but that by your hand, their every need will be provided. Call upon those family and friends who are trustworthy and have real love for those children. Shower those children with your precious love so that they may never lack for a moment in feeling loved. I also pray for Kandi, that you would make her strong in the days to come. Do not let her bow to this adversity, but let her be strengthened. Let her weeping endure for the night but not last beyond the appropriate period. May she rise up and spring to deeds of love on behalf of those children, his family and her own. Lastly Lord, I pray for our society at large. You know very well what we are in the midst of. You know how lives are being senselessly taken by violence, but it has also been said in your word that the kingdom suffers violence and the violent take it back by force. So may the righteous rise up and drown out all of the evil, adversarial spirits in existence in the world. As cliche as it may be to say, I am praying for a claiming peace on earth. Freeze up the plot of the enemy. Grab back your children on their way to commit violent and senseless acts. Reclaim them all for your glory. I claim your greatness above all of this hate. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN
I’m not huge on knowing directors by name and to be honest, when I found out John Hughes died yesterday, I wasn’t entirely sure who he was. That is, until someone told me he was the director of every single awesome 80s movie saw and loved. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Pretty in Pink”, “The Breakfast Club”, “Weird Science”, “National Lampoon’s European Vacation”, “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and my absolute favorite, “Sixteen Candles.”
So now that I know him by name and have apparently always known his work, I do know he will be greatly missed. He ushered an entire generation into the 80s in pop style. I wanted to be a teenager in the 80s because of him. I loved Matthew Broderick because of him. I thought Ducky should have a chance because of him. I wanted to go on ridiculously random family vacations because of him. I wanted the fairytale ending of sitting on top of a table with a candle-lit cake and my crush in front of me because of him. I wanted to be left “Home Alone” because of him. I wanted this 80s life that I couldn’t otherwise have because I was a little black girl growing up in Laurelton/Rosedale/Jamaica, New York because of him.
John Hughes made the 80s cool and this 80s baby loves him for it. Rest in peace John Hughes and blessings of comfort to your family in their time of mourning.
A trailer from one of my favorite John Hughes’ films:
I don’t even want to bother with a lot of political-speak right now. I just need people to watch this video and see what a crazy old coot Jon Voight has turned out to be.
Ok, maybe I shouldn’t call him a coot, but crazy and old is pretty accurate. Most of this speech is larded with fallacious statements and his old age seems to have rendered him incapable of remembering that the previous president, part of his ilk, is the reason why we are in the mess that Obama is cleaning up.
So as to leave on a high note, I wanted to make sure you paid close attention to the first sentence on this post which I’ll make my unofficial quote of the day:
Jon Voight’s speech at last night NRCC-NRSC dinner was a carefully crafted jingoist clap-a-thon, larded with dominionist, eschatological messages to stir up the theocratic nutbags, while hitting the usual right wing punching bags: the media, Hollywood, Joe Biden, the stimulus package, Congressional Democrats. (Man, I love this!)
Oh I thought I’d leave on a high note, but sometimes it’s just not possible. So in closing I have to say, in my opinion, that all politicians, in one way or another, are false prophets promising a nation what they cannot always deliver and selling us on a dream that usually has to be deferred. Tis better to do what the greenbacks say, “In God we Trust.” Well, actually God said it first, but you know what I mean.
Yesterday night, Kavya Shivashankar won the Scripps National Spelling Bee for spelling the word “Laodicean.” Interesting, right? I don’t think it is any coincidence that of all of the multi-syllabic words that could have been chosen for her to spell in her final opportunity to win the bee, that this word with biblical origins would be chosen. The church in Laodicea, as referenced in the new testament book of Revelations, was a church full of lukewarm believers. They were neither hot not cold, in this day and age they would be considered the believers who straddle the fence. Paul’s words to this church through divine inspiration were that it was better for them to be either hot or cold, because as lukewarm they were only worthy enough for God to spit out. Paul would go on to tell them that they were much too caught up in their own concerns:
“You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
Last night, when the girl asked the judged to define the word he told her it meant being lukewarm as it pertains to religion or politics. But I believe very strongly that this is God’s message to the believers today and it has nothing to do with politics. I don’t claim to be a prophet, I don’t know that that’s the gift God has given me, but I do believe everything happens for a reason. And it’s no coincidence that two days before Pentecost, God would use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. A spelling bee! (And guess what? Laodicean is not really the most difficult word she could have spelled last night. So look at God!) And now millions of people are searching to find out what Laodicean means and in that searching they will discover the origin and in discovering the origin they will happen upon Revelations 3:14-22 and in reading that they will either choose to be renewed or consumed. God’s message to his believers on this day is that we’ve been straddling the fence for too long, our lukewarmth is unsavory, and He needs us to choose sides because in doing that, His remnant of believers will be the ones He shows Himself to. He wants to show up in a mighty way, but He’s waiting for us to choose.
Choose ye this day whom you will serve…
Mike Tyson’s 4-year-old daughter Exodus was taken off of life support and has been pronounced dead following an accident in the family home over the weekend. Please remember him in your prayers. Remember nothing else but this man grieving the death of his daughter. Let not your memories of his past infractions prohibit you from interceding on his behalf in this his time of need. My heart goes out to him and his family for their loss. May God grant him peace that it may be well with his soul to know that Exodus, has made her exodus to be with her heavenly father.