The Loudmouth Protestant

October 9, 2009

Understanding Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Win

When I woke up this morning and heard about Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize my first reaction was not a shout for joy. It wasn’t a cursing the high heavens either. My reaction was one of  indifference. I told my roommate and then I went on about my business getting ready for the day ahead. I got to work late and everyone was sitting around the conference room table talking about how we would cover it. I still wasn’t excited. Finally, I got to my desk and logged onto CNN where I read about how it all went down and there were some curious facts which made eyebrows raise:

The nomination process ended on Feb.1, 12 days after he took office and the committee began to solicit nominations in September 2008, 2 months before he was elected.

Having read that and others thoughts on Obama’s premature receipt of the award, I was feeling a bit weary about it all. I thought he received the award prematurely not knowing exactly what he did beyond inspire a nation to get it. Sure he lights up a room with his smile, shifts the nation and world at large with his mere presence, is brilliant and gives some great speeches, but why? Yes, foreign leaders love him, but they do so to their benefit, not his or ours. Why? So many questions swirling around in my mind for why he should get the award this soon. I should be clear that I am not not proud of him, I am. I am an African-American woman who is only now seeing my reflection in the landscape of America through the presence of Obama and his family.  But I still couldn’t wrap my mind around why he should get the award for his efforts and not his accomplishments. And then the moment of revelation came through some friends. I will not seek to transpose their words, I will just share them straightaway because that is how powerful they are.

“You know…I honestly think that the way the decision was made is nothing short of the glory of God on this one. You know He likes to use people that everyone else overlooks, and the way He works, you don’t see it coming, it doesn’t make complete “sense” as to how it happens. It’s just favor, straight up.” (A Friend Whose Name Rhymes with Freon)

“To me the decision to give him the Nobel peace prize is the ultimate act of stepping out on faith. You can debate whether he deserved it, but we all know that he needs it.

Giving the daunting tasks that he has before him in regards to the war in Afghanistan, fighting for healthcare, trying to mend our planet, etc., I feel this is the perfect time for him to be reminded of his greater purpose.

I agree with (redacted) who commented on what he has accomplished. I certainly didn’t think an African American would be elected during my lifetime. Let alone make the entire world stop and listen. I guess I’m wondering how some of you define accomplishment. I still get goose bumps when I think of the images from election night when the entire world celebrated this man’s victory. That is a paradigm shift not just winning a political election. There is nothing irrational about recognizing that.

I believe the committee was wise enough to recognize when a cause needs a burst of momentum. I’m  as proud as I was on election night and when I watched him be sworn into office in January. He continues to be humble even in his speech this afternoon when he said he didn’t believe he deserved to be in the company of the other recipients. But he does. The last man this country got so inspired by was MLK.” A Friend Whose Name Rhymes with McLaren

After reading these two responses I was shaken to the core because I realized I was only trying to understand why Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize with human knowledge. I was only looking horizontally, but when faced with the upward vertical perspective I was changed and convicted. How could I be so harsh about him winning the award when he has shifted the atmosphere of the world and cultivated community simply by running for president. He did affect change before he moved into the White House, I can’t deny that. Did any of us imagine there’d be a day when millions of people from all walks of life, all religions, spiritual backgrounds and races would come together to campaign for one black man to be president? That is only the kind of unification that can be crafted by an incredible God. And I did give honor to God for placing Obama in the White House when he was elected president back in November 2008. I don’t think it was all about a vote. It was all about the sovereignty of God and His desire to prove to the world just how awesome He is.

So, here we are again at another crossroads where we can either argue for days on in about whether Obama is worthy of the award. Whether he deserves it—which, if you let him tell it, he doesn’t.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter if we think we deserves it, it is already done. But what those who would—pointing the biggest, longest finger at myself—should acknowledge is that this is all God and no one else. That was my problem all along trying to find a human justification for it. But there can be none since we are so weak and so flawed. It is God. So I leave you with these last words on the matter as written by my partner in prayer blogging, Mark Herringshaw,

“My point is not to comment pro or con on worthiness. I’m suggesting that any recognition of any human agent of peace should be wrapped in a prayerful recognition that Jesus alone is the “Prince of Peace” and peace as a real human condition can ONLY come from him…”

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January 14, 2009

“Nah, We Straight”

Filed under: Barack Obama,randomness,video — nickisym @ 6:21 pm
Tags: , ,

Like a shot heard around the world, our president-elect Barack Obama keeps hitting them with his hipster vibe when least expected. He’s already brushed the dirt off his shoulders,

and now, in his always effortless fashion, he proves to a worker at Ben’s Chilli Bowl that not only is he just like him, but he is determined to bring the bailout to main street by putting dollars back into the pockets of minimum-wage workers–directly.  

I’m not trying to idolize the man, but I will admit I love my future president strongly and will be praying him through. In the meantime, check out his word swag:

November 5, 2008

Moving Forward

Forget the former things, do not dwell in the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19

 

President-elect Barack Obama

President-elect Barack Obama

For the past week and a half a song has been playing continuously in my heart. Every morning that I’ve woken up since last Wednesday, October 29th, “Moving Forward” by Hezekiah Walker and Love Fellowship has been in my heart, in my mouth, on my mind and in me from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep. I knew this song was speaking to something amazing that was about to happen in the next week and so I latched onto it and sung it as I walked down the streets and danced to it in my room on occasion. 

 

One week later, this morning, when I opened my eyes to this new day, the song started playing again. But this time, I was frozen in my bed and overcome with emotion for the historic news that was announced last night. Last night among hundreds of Obama supporters from all walks of life I celebrated our win. But this morning, I am celebrating His win and the fact that I know that the true reason why we are looking upon the face of an African-American man as the newly elected leader of the free world is because it was God’s will.

God’s grace has kept us to see this day that we thought we’d never see–but is anything too hard for our God? God’s grace kept us though we were slain–sold into slavery, murdered, hosed down, hung and drowned to death. God’s grace kept our parents to see the day that the hard work they did in fighting for the right to vote and the years they spent fighting for equality actually manifested itself into the greatest move man has ever seen. Where would we be without God’s grace? I don’t dare to think about it and I don’t dare to give anyone more praise for this victory than God.

There is yet work to be done but this moment we must celebrate the win, the victory in Jesus that was fully shown last night in the person of our president-elect Barack Obama. And I will–and you should–continue to carry “Moving Forward” the song and the concept in my life. Thank you my strong and mighty God!

“Not going back. I’m moving ahead. I’m here to declare to you my past is over. And you, things you may do, surrender my life to Christ, I’m moving forward…You make all things new. Yes, you make all things new. And I will follow you forward.” –“Moving Forward” Hezekiah Walker & LFC

June 4, 2008

It’s Your Time, Part 2

Filed under: 2008 Election,Barack Obama,God,gospel music — nickisym @ 10:45 am

To Barack Obama:

It’s Your Time…

The Wait is Over

When I woke up this morning, I found a message from Obama’s camp with the subject line of “It’s Our Time.” I immediately thought about Donald Lawrence’s song “Seasons” in which he admonishes listeners to walk into their season. The season comes after you’ve sown, after the valley, after the trials and the tribulations which seemed determined to set you back and after the storms of your life.

Sixteen months ago, Barack Obama began the process of sowing seeds in hopes that he would secure the Democratic presidential nomination. As of last night, the wait was over and we were greeted by one Barack Obama, our Democratic presidential nominee. After many a trial and tribulation by way of people judging him by the color of his skin and not the content of his character; seeking to use his former pastor against him; digging up any bit of information they can find that would discourage would-be supporters and accusing him of using hope like a drug to rope people into voting for him rather than focusing on the issues he has overcome. All of those things only made him stronger and gave him more fuel for the fire to press on toward the mark of the higher calling that God has for his life.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t always a believer. I kept my distance from becoming an Obamaniac because I needed to stay level-headed about his campaign and Hillary’s. I needed to make sure that the candidate I would support would be the one who truly had my interest in mind. And because of that, I couldn’t wear buttons, pump my fist and attend rallies because I had no idea who I thought would be the best candidate. Plus I couldn’t vote in my state’s primary so I only had to sit back and watch and do my homework on the candidates. But after last night, it all became a reality and I saw that God is the one who made it all possible. It wasn’t about Obama, his campaign team, the voters, the delegates or the superdelegates. It was because it is his time as ordained by God.

Last night on CNN, their political pundits were sharing their thoughts about this great moment in history and one of them said that the Republicans always choose the person whose turn it is and it is John McCain’s turn to go up to bat for the White House. She then said, the Democrats don’t always work that way although it would seem obvious that it was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s turn considering her legacy. But what is a turn compared to God’s time. God’s time is a powerful thing because once you are in His time you are in order and the harvest will come. And in His time, which Obama is operating in right now, lives of people are being changed. Young black boys and black girls are learning that anything is possible if you would only just believe. This is the time when our youth need someone bigger than a rapper or basketball player to look up to and they have it.

So what happens next? We continue to pray for the strength of Barack Obama, because though he may have secured the nomination, Hillary Clinton’s unwillingness to concede means that the next few months leading up to the general election will still be a struggle. It will not be more than he can bear, but rest assured he will have to continue to stand and stand some more on the promises of God and hold on to God’s unchanging hand. This is just the beginning but a amazing beginning it is. Thank you God.

July 12, 2007

How Shall I Vote? Let Me Count the Ways

It is no surprise to me that this election season, faith is playing a big role. It’s as predictable as the separation of church and state. How do we figure that the separation of church and state is really being enforced when on any given Sunday across the US, politicians can roam into a sanctuary under the guise that they were “just in the area,” grab the microphone and do a little public service announce about something that just happens to be relevant to the campaign. And to throw more salt in the wound, the most gangster candidates will have the audacity to leave before the sermon starts (I’ve seen it happens countless times)–how they figure that shines favorable upon a naturally judgemental congregation, I have no idea.

So now the big question is, how is religion going to affect the vote for the 2008 election and how should the candidates go about letting the voters know their religious beliefs? According to a random poll mentioned in a NY Times Politics piece candidates are just encouraged to show up at churches regardless of their intentions. I don’t believe this is a good strategy but it has long been the politicians staple on the campaign trail to kiss a couple of babies and show up at a church or two.

So as a Christian do I feel like the faith of a candidate is going to impact my vote? I am almost sad to say that it isn’t going to be the a huge determining factor. Truth be told there are too many candidates that exist and who ran in years past that profess one thing and do the exact opposite when they land in office. It’s like so-called Christians who loudly proclaim that Jesus is the love of their life but don’t conduct themselves as such.

Given that, I don’t think I will be voting or not voting for someone based on their Christianity or lack thereof. It’s even harder to fathom considering most of these candidates based on their faith–with the exception of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney–because they are all recieving media training on how to God-speak to voters. So why, knowing all of this–that you’re being fed lies by a bunch of well-trained yuppies–would anyone bother to make faith the basis of the vote when the faith is not genuine, it’s just a means to an end.

It is clear that once again it brings us back to the chief-cornerstone, that solid rock upon which we stand, and the only person that can help any of us make a good decision about who we vote for, Christ. I think the media coaches and candidates might want to take some time to talk to Him too.

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