Lent

Most of the country is pausing during this particular 40 days of lent as we prepare to celebrate the annual Passover "holiday of Easter,"
which as Christians we deem as the sacrificial heroic life and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the world. 


However, according to a recent poll by Greater Bibleway Church Int., we have found that well over 64% of Americans believe that not only

is there a lack of optimism but feel that the country is headed in the wrong direction. The reasons given were lack of moral leadership in

public office, lack of leadership from white church leaders, ongoing peril of racial and wealth inequities, lack of global respect for America

in the area of national security, recent school rankings, impact of gun laws, the #MeToo movement surrounding the abuse of women, unfinished

DACA/immigration disparities and health care uncertainties. 


All of these challenges on the heels of the sacrificial and heroic life of Jesus Christ are being celebrated during this 40 days of Lent season 2019. 


What we found in our research and polling is the fact that the United States Of America, president Donald J. Trump has divided America on these facts that people of color will outnumber whites in 2045 unless he can change who is allowed in America. Our poll shows that people of color will be the majority of the American population in 2045 and African Americans have already uses its numbers to gain political power in congress and electing it's first African American president Barrack Obama, our research shows population projections, Whites won't be the dominant racial group. The census projects in 2045, the White population will be 49.9 percent of the country and 24.6 percent will be Latino, 13.1 percent Black, 7.8 percent Asian and 3.8 percent multiracial. The Hispanic bloc has several groups such as Mexicans and Salvadorians and one of those groups may have more people than all groups put together someday. That is why people who support Donald J. Trump, not because of his tax cut, not because his court appointments, not because of his support for Christianity and not Muslims, but purely because of his policies to try and keep America white. They are afraid of our Mexican and Salvadorian brothers and sisters, and therefore the whole focus is on immigration, to decide who should be allowed in America and who should not be allowed in order to keep America majority white again. 


The projected growth rate for multiracial populations, Asians and Hispanics from 2016-2060 timespane, Whites will be declining in numbers and percentages with the exception of the 65 and older group. As of 2018 there are more White seniors than children and more White deaths than births. According to Greater Bibleway Church Int., who's research shows people of color will outnumber Whites starting in 2020, says Bishop Toris T. Young Senior Pastor and Presiding Bishop. People of color will fuel the country's growth in voters and consumers and provide the tax base for years to come. He also said that the rapidly growing largely White senior population will be dependent on these young people of color for contributions to the economy and government programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Bishop Young said what President Donald Trump has done, since running for president and now as president is used these factors to sow fear in the White community to include the White church in order to hold on to a base of about 30 to 35% who is willing to vote for him no matter what he does or say simply because they fear being the minority in a country they believe is only their's. The reason to promote such terms around the country as "Make America Great Again," "Take Our Country Back," etc., resonate within some in the white race because of these facts set forth in our research and census data. We see the rise in hate crimes and hate actions all over the United States at a epic high, as White church leaders are silent, however they have given there solid support of this president and these actions thus far. 


"We need to build alliances with all Americans no matter Black, White, Latino or Asians we are all American" says Bishop Toris T. Young. All of these challenges on the heels of this lent season as we prepare to celebrate the sacrificial death and heroic life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Subsequently, leaving many to ponder like the prophetic voice of the Psalmist, "How shall we still sing (celebrate) in a strange (unusual) land like America?" While church leaders and Christians are supporting this type of agenda set forth by this American president. 


The prophetic overtures of the sacrificial and heroic life of Jesus Christ continue to give us luminous light and example even in the midst if what is considered a dark and flagrant timeframe. The kind of example that mimics his prophetic compliance to something higher as seen in his passionate journey down the road of Via Dolorosa during the events of that season, which includes: "His passion in cursing of the fig tree," which represents a symbolism that regardless of what timeframe it is, we still should be productive in cutting down unproductive fruit; "His passion in calling out the leaders of his day by calling them "blind guides," in which he calls them to a justice construct to work "for" the people not "against" the people; "his passionate discernment in knowing how to find solace in the collective body of supporters at Bethany," in which, he calls for us to unify ourselves in times of great distress and upheaval; "his passion in finding an upper room to spiritually commune with God," in which, he calls for us to reflect and contemplate the cost of greatness; and lastly, "the passion of navigating betrayal and the renewing of life" again (resurrection), in which he calls us to "rise up" to a commitment and a consistency to all that pertains to living life to the fullest of treating all people as created equal. 


To that end, our call today, during this lent season during Easter (resurrection) celebration continues to be as triumphant and transformative as it was then during unusual and sporadic times that our passion and sacrificial journey force us to "rise up" and call all church leaders to do the right thing and stand up against this agenda of white dominance and allow God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Lastly, in the poetic words of the great legacy of Maya Angelou, who stated that "You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like the dust, I'll rise"; America it is time to "RISE UP" White Christians, Black Christians, Latino Christians, Asian Christians, Multiracial Christians we must unite and "rise up" against hate speech, against hate actions, against fear tactics and show the world we are true Christians by our love for one another.  There's a difference, albeit subtle, between being ready to "Rise Up" out of the ditch you fell down in, versus being prepared for it. Take, for instance, the fellain the Book of John who was paralyzed and at the pool of Bethesda. He was ready to be healed, but he wasn't prepared for the healing that would happen. We know that he was ready to be healed because he sat at the pool for thirty-eight years. We know that he was ready to be out of that debilitating space because he explicitly communicated such. We know that he was ready to "Rise Up" from the situation he fell down in because he had pain too apparent to conceal...yet too secret to reveal. This man was ready for change, but he wasn't prepared for it. He wasn't prepared for all of the responsibilities that came along with the change. He wasn't prepared for how, after being complacent for thirty-eight years, to "Rise Up" would radically re-create his life. It's like some people who have the notion of winning the lottery to a cure-all for those who will hit the super-duper-mega-colossal Powerball. people who play are always ready to hit it. But a closer look often shows that they haven't thought completely through what it would really look like. They haven't thought through the emotional, mental and/or even the spiritual texture of what it would actually feel or be to inherit the mo' problems that come with mo' money. Hence, the reason most lottery winners are bankrupt within a few years after inheriting their windfall. Anything that you aren't prepared for - i.e. given copious thought about and deliberate consideration on how the fill-in-the-blank would affect your life - you will eventually miscarry. In the same sense that prenatal care prepares a woman for producing life on this side of Heaven, your diligence in the actions you are taking is the prenatal care to carry your pregnancy to term and properly nurture its life thereafter. Again preparation requires foresight, thought. preparation is not anything so much coincidental, but deliberate in the effort to succeed and accomplish all that you set out to task. You prepare for marriage, you prepare to become the C.E.O. of the business, you prepare for a promotion, you prepare for the game, you prepare for parenting, you prepare for the wedding, you prepare for the party, you prepare to accept the position, you prepare to submit the proposal, you prepare for all that you are walking in the direction towards. In other words, preparation is about the in-between steps you are going to take in order to situate yourself where your vision takes you!. When you maximize attention. You Minimize distractions. President Obama for example when he was in the white house he preferred to wear variations of blue or grey suits. 


Another account is of an accomplished Syrian military general by the name of Naaman who happened to be leprous. When he consulted with the Hebrew prophet Elisha for a healing prescription, Elisha told him to "dip in the Jordan River seven times" to become clean. The plurality of times Naaman dipped in indicative of (1) patients in the process, (2) commitment to change (3) faith developing, and (4) comfortability in new performance(s). The repetition in the above serves two points. The first is not to grow frustrated at something you don't see changing immediately. Elijah's servant didn't know on which attempt he would notice a difference but kept at it until he saw a change. Look for gradual growth rather than the dramatic kind. The "little cloud, the size of a man's hand" encourages us to see before-and-after improvements in the actions we take towards our "RISE UP" Everything isn't going to happen all-at-once, and you'd be prudent to catalog this. You don't grow up all-at-once, complete school or your daily all-at-once. There are certain things that you are going to have to keep in order to complete the process. The second thing to learn is, the longer you keep at something, and the more consistent you are about your process, the more you will train yourself to develop new behaviors and re-frame your thinking. It takes approximately 21 times for you to become comfortable with a new behavior another 21 times before it becomes habitual. Aside from what's been mentioned, you have a responsibility to do, based on the fact that you are. You competed against millions of other tadpole-like sperm to enter the winner's circle of your mother's womb. There is not, hasn't been, nor ever will be another you in all life; God hand-selected you to be here! You are here not to take up space, not to be idle, not as a fixture, but to get something accomplished by which only your uniqueness has the capability to do. Jesus said. "Blessed are the doers." and I know you know that "Faith without works is dead...show me your faith without action, and I'll show you my faith by the action I take." Information without operation is pointless; in order to "RISE UP" in this area, it's imperative to move in the direction of what you have an understanding of. "Successful people do daily what unsuccessful people do occasionally."


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"Celebrating The Season Of Lent In Unusual Times In America"