Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Updates





Peace and Blessings,

A few updates have been made to the website section. Among those are links to websites of the Ambassador and DA Truth, two of the hottest Christian Hip-Hop artists this side of Heaven. The Ambassador has a degree in Theological Studies, and his website includes sermons he's performed, articles he's written, and other things related to his youth ministry. DA Truth's website has info on a national he's apart of in collaboration with Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary, called the "Hero" Tour. Also, there's a link to the "Realize the Dream" website, which approaches youth education from a wholistic, developmental approach. Enjoy, stay blessed, and speekonit...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekly Bible verse(s)

Peace and blessings,

The verse I wanted to share this week is the following:

" Drink waters out of your own cistern [of a pure marriage relationship], and fresh running waters out of your own well. Should your offspring be dispersed abroad as water brooks in the street? [Confine yourself to your own wife] Let your children be for you alone, and not the children of strangers with you. Let your fountain[of human life] be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity], and rejoice in the wife of your youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant doe[tender, gentle, attractive]-let her bosom satisfy you at all times, and always be transported with delight in her love. Why should you, my son, be infatuated with a loose woman, embrace the bosom of an outsider, and go astray? For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He [Whou would have us live soberly, chastly, and godly] carefully weighs all man's goings. His own iniquities shall ensnare the wicked man, and he shall be held with the cord of his sin. He will die for lack of discipline and instruction, and in greatness of his folly he will go astray and be lost."
Proverbs 5: 15-23 (KJV-AMP)

In my opinion, this verse speaks to four themes. The first is importance of remaining faithful in marriage and resisting the temptation to "dip out." The second is consequences that "dipping out" in marriage can have on the married couple's children. The third theme is the sanctity of marriage. That is not to say that everyone is supposed to get married (because God may have not called some people to get married), but that for those God calls to marriage, it is imperative to use that union as a testimonty to God's love and grace. This testimony is for the benefit of the couple, the couple's children (their children, etc...), and for others. Therefore anything that threatens that union (i.e. "dipping out"), inevitably thwarts are ability to realize and actualize God's purposes for the married couple'd lives. Further, children often shape their perceptions of and reactions to relationships based on that of their parents (or guardians who fulfill that parent role), therefore married couples have a moral responsibility to their children in that respects. The fourth is less of a theme and more like an application for today's times. American society prides itself on effieciency and variety, and their depictions of relationships is no different. Epecically with regards to men, there's this dominant idea that the more women the better (at least when you're young, because eventually when you get older you'll settle down). I argue that this is especially true for Black men, as we are constantly being fed images and messages (e.g. music, videos, other aspects of popular culture, etc...) that having many women is the signifyinf marker of what it means to be a man. However, I urge us a Black men to be men of God and to not to succumb to societal pressures. I am in no way saying that this would be easy. By the fact of simple demographics alone, black men are disproportionatley dead or incarcerated, creating situations in society where in various institutions (schools, churches,e tc...) and places of employment, the women heavily outnumber men. So in essence, black men have a large pool of women to choose from, making it that more difficult to maintain a one-woman relationship. This temptation is what makes the reliance upon and word of God so critical to our (and everyone's ) approach to relationships. Let's pray that God will revolutionize how this country values relationships and the sanctity of marriage, so that male and female relationships reflect God's image, and not ours. Until next time, stay blessed and speekoinit...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Paying Homage to our Fallen Soldiers...

Peace and Blessings,

Lately, a friend and I have been talking about all of the people who've passed in 2005 and in the first quarter of 2006. With Gordon Parks, an African American pioneer in film and photography (see link) passing earlier this week, he joins an honorable group of individuals and freedom-fighters. Richard Pryor, Ossie Davis, Corretta King, and Rosa Parks are just a few of the individuals whose legacy will be forever felt. In addition to reflecting on the lives of those who came before us, we've also been asking oursleves a semi-selfish, yet undeniably relevant question: "Now that many of our soldiers are gone, what are WE going to do to honor their names and the causes that they dedicated their lives towards achieving?" It is commonplace to honor individuals through memorials and grave visitations (of which I am in no way criticizing or devaluing). I believe that there also comes a time, however, when we must honor those who came before us by our actions. Although I like the New Testament(NT) much more than the Old Testament (OT) , one thing that fascinates me about the OT is the heavy emphasis on the mentor-mentee relationship. Whether it's Moses - Joshua, Samuel - Saul, or Elijah - Elisha, the OT gives importance to leaders raising leaders. This dynamic was also evident within early churches (although women were unfairly denied participation in such dynamics) and religious institutions (Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X in the NOI, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, etc...) during the civil rights movements, which is the era through which many of the fallen soldiers discussed above lived and contributed.




Pic of Richard Pryor, courtesy of
  • AirMassive



  • Rosa Parks, courtesy of
  • Achievement




  • Coretta Scott King, courtesy of
  • People



  • Although our soliders may not have physically took our hands and showed us the ropes in terms of imparting us with lessons of wisdom and leadership, they did so by their actions and the lives they led. I pray that we'll be able to lead lives of leadership and righteousness so that the generations to follow will have a sort of "blueprint" through which to navigate through anything this world presents them with. Speekonit....