Archives for category: Liberty

The divides we face should never be along racial lines.  We, regardless of who we are, should always side with truth and justice.  In the Bible, Jesus often spoke about showing favor and mercy to the widow, the alien, the fatherless and the poor.  Many of us have fallen, or will fall, into one of those categories.

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A few years ago, I created this blog to challenge the way we think–to open our minds. Today the old adage, knowledge is power, is probably truer than ever before. Many of us fear what we do not know.

On Tuesday, I sat in front of my television, as perhaps millions of others, and watched as Charlie Sheen disclosed what was probably his biggest personal obstacle to date: his HIV status. As I watched him, I saw an individual who was the embodiment of the human experience–wonderful, flawed and broken, all at the same time. At times during the interview, he look bewildered, as if he were having an out of body experience–as if it were happening to someone else.

Days before the Matt Lauer interview, I already knew what Charlie Sheen’s disclosure would be. The Internet was already abuzz. The opinions and speculation varied from support to condemnation. As I read through some of the posts, I was reminded of King David. During one of his fallen moments, he declared, “It would be better to fall into the hands of God than to fall into the hands of man.”

God’s grace reminds us that we are ALL wonderful, flawed and broken. In all of our lives, we will experience moments where our actions will take us to dark places from where only God can deliver us. The truth is, only God can judge.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Whether we know it or believe it, we are all called for God’s purpose. He can take our biggest mistakes, failures and shortcomings and use them for His glory. One of the positives that came from Sheen’s disclosure is the open dialogue about HIV and AIDS. There is still so much misinformation and stigma surrounding the disease. As having had the experience as an HIV educator and working with HIV researcher, I understand the value of these teachable moments.

Last year, I wrote and produced, “What is Your Status: An HIV Awareness Story ” to highlight some of the issues that still surround HIV and AIDS.
Please check out the video below:

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With liberty and justice for all…

Those are the words on which the United States’ Pledge of Allegiance rests. Unfortunately, the grand jury’s November 24, 2014 ruling on the Ferguson, Missouri shooting has once again exhumed a dirty, American secret—racism.

Racism in America is ubiquitous. It’s in our schools. It’s in our government. It’s in our homes, and it’s even in our churches. Yes, racism is even present in the house of God. For some, “liberty and justice for all” is conditional. For those individuals, the privilege of justice and equality is applied only to the subset of the population that looks and thinks like them.

I’m only three paragraphs into this blog, and I have probably already offended a great majority. When it comes to social faux pas, religion and politics are high on the list. However, I think that is part of the problem. Our nation has become so concerned with political correctness that we have diminished the free exchange of ideas and information and substituted it with a false sense of tolerance. A nation that is tolerant will always be a nation filled with prejudice, apathy, and hatred. You see, tolerance is not the same as acceptance or even love. To tolerate someone means that if given the change, you would rather not interact with them. You tolerate them because you have no choice. For a nation that rests on the principles of God, that is unacceptable!

This morning, as my fingers stroked across my keyboard, I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go with today’s blog. My heart ached as I read about a city stricken by grief and charged emotions. I mourned over a mother who has lost her child. As I tried to make sense of all this madness, I wondered, “Where is God in all of this?” The verse that immediately came to mind was, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…” (2 Chronicles 16, 9).

Throughout the bible, God is constantly looking for at least one person who will make a difference in their generation. Before God destroyed the city of Sodom, he said to Abraham, “

“If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it,” (Genesis 18: 26-32).

I believe that God is looking for someone, at least one person, in each generation that will stand up in His name. This means standing up in the face of injustice and inequality. It means speaking love into the hearts and the lives of God’s people.

With liberty and justice for all…

The original version of the Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), a Baptist minister and a Christian Socialist. The original version read: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Years later, Louis Albert Bowman ignited a movement to incorporate the phrase “one nation under God.” Now, I don’t know how that all transpired, nor do I know what political processes were in place for that to occur. The point I am trying to make is this: one person can make a difference. Many are called, but only few are chosen. Will you answer the call to be a voice of your generation? The world needs people who are unapologetically, unashamed to stand up for justice—to stand up for God.

The problem is that most people are waiting for someone else to make the sacrifices.  Most people are waiting for someone else to take a stand.  What if that person that everyone is wait on is you?  What will you do?