On Friday, November 21, 2008 I received an award from my church family, Calvary-Roseville United Methodist located in East Orange, New Jersey. I was humbled by my selection and expressed my gratitude. Also, I chose that moment to remind the audience of our tasks (from my point of view) as Christians.
Text of Acceptance Address:
Job 14:1-2 reminds us: "Man that is born of woman is of a few days and full of trouble; He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down, he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not".
This passage sobers us to the realization that ... given our brief stint, the light we shine will stand as the legacy of our passage here.
My light is still dim and sometime flickers. And so, it is with a profound sense of humility that I receive this award.
I am further humbled by the realization that one can gain more privileges when others judge us ... as opposed to if we had to judge ourselves.
Allow me to take this moment to say that recognizing the efforts of our peers to foster goodwill amongst us... represents the infancy of the task to which we have been commissioned. That task is to feed his sheep.
In closing, let us pause for a moment to remember our prime directive ... love one another. From hence we know we are our brother's keeper. ONE LOVE!
I believe that it cannot be overstated that our heavenly father and our fellowship with him should be our priority. This thought must be foremost within our minds. All other entities should share a secondary berth. Because I am wedded to this idea, I believe that we need to constantly remind ourselves that men and women should be subservient to our God and our laws. We have elected Barack Obama to be our president. He is slated to serve us for the next four years. Let us keep him in our prayers. Here in the United States and in many countries around the world he is held in high esteem and because of this, I felt compelled to repost one of my prior journal entries.
Our Limit Was High...Back When We Were Dumb (We Didn't Settle For Less)
Oh Lord Our Help In Ages Past Our Hope For Years To Come
He who settles for less, settles for mediocrity. Christ showed us God's humility when he taught us to pray. (God leads by example.) Christ began by saying "our father". By saying these words, Christ bought us closer to our creator and in this way he established the bond between us. Our God is approachable.
Words are important because of the symbolism they create. John 1:1 tells us that in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. John 1:14 states that the word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten son of the father) full of grace and truth. We avoid addressing fellow humans as lord or master because of the symbolism such words evoke. We should exercise great caution in how we address and view our earthly partners, advisors or chosen leaders. We must be ever vigilant that these individuals not share the same proximity nor be elevated beyond that of our Heavenly Father. Let our doctrines be scripturally based and our lives holy; then we may hold a better perspective on others from whom we seek advice or place in positions of leadership.
At a critical juncture in the history of this great nation (America) John Hancock wrote, "In circumstances as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgment ... all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God who rules in the armies of heaven and without whose blessing the best human counsels are but foolishness and all created power vanity." These passages attempt to shed some light of understanding upon why we must not elevate our earthly partners, advisers, or leaders above that of our creator.
George Washington observed, "It is the happiness of his church that, when the powers of earth and hell combine against it ... that the throne of grace is of the easiest access and its appeal thither is graciously invited by the Father mercies."
At the moment we arrive at this level of conscious thought, we will more aptly embrace our Heavenly Father. It cannot be overstated that we the people must take all necessary steps to ensure that the persons whom we placed in positions of authority should not be exalted within our minds. Because, when this happens it allows for mischief making. Thomas Jefferson observed that very point when he wrote, "In questions of power, then, let not more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution."
HOLD ON TO GOD'S UNCHANGING HAND.