by Gray Graham
Talking to people via an electronic device is nothing new. People have used electronic devices for communication for almost 200 years. The devices have changed over that time but people are still people. I know this will come as a shock to young people who don’t seem to know that Baby Boomers and Gen X are not the same thing, but social media isn’t new.
What might be new however is the amount of anger, vitriol, disrespect, and hate that is shared on social media these days. Not liking people is nothing new but doing it in such a mean, disrespectful, and hateful probably is a little new. Being rude and mean was something that the majority of people didn’t used to do. Even the most hateful racist person used to manage some form of manners when engaging with others. Sadly that has gone away which means that the lines of meaningful communication are severed which means we can’t accomplish significant meaningful change in the world today. Even those who are supposed to be your allies and friends will insult and belittle you.
One of the things I bring up frequently is how social media isn’t very social. I would say social media today is anti-social. Most of the behavior you see on social media daily is nothing (I hope) you would see in a social setting in everyday life.. I don’t think people would be yelling and cursing people they don’t personally know at a dinner party, but then again with people today I could be wrong.
I can’t even be sure that people actually know what a person is anymore. Many people on social media make no distinction between trolls, bots, spam, and actually people. Thieves and impostors are nothing new in the world but it seems like a lot of people can’t tell the difference between a nefarious individual and a real person being themselves.
We no longer seem to be able to view others as simply human beings sharing their thoughts. Even I struggle with having a discussion with people online after all these decades. We live in a world now where very few people actually want to have a discussion with people with different views and opinions. I don’t think that the bots and trolls are the cause of this behavior. I think it has more to do with people just not caring what others think. It has no value to them. For most people the only thing that matters is what they think. No amount of facts, data, or personal testimony is going to sway their thinking. It used to be said that no one has ever changed their mind because of a discussion on the internet. This may be true, but some of us keep trying.
The reason people might not be very social anymore could be because life is kind of hard for a lot of people at the moment and they are not doing well at all. We have lost basic human rights. We feel betrayed by people we used to look up to and trust. We lost loved ones due to a worldwide pandemic and we saw other people not care and were willing to let us die too. We are told of a world where atrocity after atrocity is commented against people.
On top of all of that many people are struggling to find a place to live and being able to feed their families. That’s a lot for the average person to deal with for sure on top of whatever personal issues you are dealing with in your life. You just never know what struggles and trials a person is dealing with in their lives.
I don’t think the average person even knows what is good anymore. I am sure your idea of good and my idea of good are different. I regularly see people complaining about people that appear to be nice and kind. It’s not that they think the person is pretending to be nice, no people dislike them because they are nice. You see people today hold views that would seem to conflict with each other yet they hold on to them because it makes sense to them. Good is whatever they say it is in that moment.
It would seem that today’s social media is teaching people to be mean and selfish. Instead of thinking of humanity and society as a whole we are being taught to only think about their wants. Everything else is insignificant. Even among allies they put their desires above others.
In a world where everyone is for themselves how do you still try to be a good person. I mean in the world today everyone thinks they are a good person no matter their actions. No matter who they hurt a person will feel completely justified in their actions. We are at the point where many people can’t even form romantic relationships and marriages because that is still a contest of wants and not an exchange of love and caring.
No matter how bleak things are in the world there is always a ray of hope in the human heart. In the darkest times there will always be a person that will believe something better is possible. And they will touch the hearts of others and they will start to believe too. That’s what we need to be on social media for others.
We have to be the goodness we want to see in others. We have to rise above the strife and discord. We don’t have to insult back when we have been insulted. We don’t have to attack when we have been attacked. We can just smile and keep being positive and loving but we should keep the door open for those that may have a change of heart. Because there will also be people that want to grow and get better and we have to keep the lights of goodness burning to welcome them when they decide to come home.
by Gray Graham
Over the past few months I have seen quite a few posts from people who proudly state they are an ally that supports all the “in” civil rights struggles at the moment: Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ, trans, abortion, anti-fascism, etc.; but then they give the big caveat; but I make sure not to discuss that here (insert social media platform), with my family, or friends, or spouse. Smile. Giggle, giggle.
Now this is nothing new. Not even close. All my life I have seen white people (you just knew I was talking about white people didn’t you) proclaim how they do not discuss social issues with pretty much anyone in their lives because it would make the racists, sexists, and bigots in their lives feel uncomfortable. And I hope you didn’t miss the point that these people are still apart of their lives. They are their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends, and spouses. So our supposed allies in the fight for survival and life are having dinner and going to parties with people that would take away all of our human rights.
Ally-ship for a lot of white liberals and leftists is really just a game. It is not a life long quest or endeavor. It is just something to do so they can talk about it at one of their dinner parties or get-togethers with their like-minded “woke” friends. They are not going to make any real sacrifices or take any real stands to change anything because at the end of the day they don’t really care that much.
I have seen people say that their racist, bigoted family members were actually really good people with big hearts as long as you look past their support of discrimination and hate then they are the best. If you don’t believe me take a look at your favorite white liberal activist on social media. Scroll through their posts and see how many times you will see them mention how someone in their inner circle is a bigot. Count how many times they ask if they should date a member of the fascist cult that is trying to take over the country.
Marginalized groups in America, especially Black people, have always known and had to deal with wishy, washy “allies”. They will protest with us one minute and the next they will be back with their families who are spraying us with water hoses, sending attack dogs at us, shooting us with tear gas, or worse bullets. They are not going to loose any sleep and they are not going to make any sacrifices for the well being of others. Having Christmas dinner at Grandma’s is way more important than speaking about the injustices occurring in our country. That’s just politics. A difference of opinion. Family is more important than anything.
I am not white. I can not imagine socializing or being married to anyone whose moral values were so different than mine. Over the years of doing this I have cut ties with many people who held views that went against what I believed to be right. I can’t see how I would not do more for the people that were in my inner circle that I called family and friends.
Apparently that is not how most white people are though. Family ties are more important than the suffering of others. It is better to get a nice tie for Christmas from your racist mother- in-law than to tell her that she is a racist and supports racists. Apparently is better to have a sexist husband that hates women than it is to be alone. I guess that is a really nice tie.
If you are wondering how this is inspirational then hang on for a moment because there are plenty of white people who are actually allies and they are able to rise above this white supremacy culture to call it out. They have always been by our sides every step of the way in our fight for civil rights and they always will. They have made many sacrifices to help others in their fight for basic human rights. If that isn’t inspirational then I don’t know what is.
by Teal Graham
We have been faced with difficult situations in our lives. It could be a situation of our own making or a situation caused by malicious actions of another person that wanted to cause us harm. Some of us may have problems that may seem small and can be easily remedied, others not so much. Whatever the situation just about all of us have experienced hard times
During the rougher times of our lives people may need some help but not everyone is apt at asking for it. Some find it very difficult to do so for one reason or another. So they find themselves drawing inward emotionally. If people are fortunate to have others around them that can see they are troubled they may offer an extension of help in some form.
However, when no solution is to be found it can become difficult to wait out the circumstances, to wait for an answer. During these moments people may find themselves struggling and may look for an easy, but wrong, solution to their problems. While this may yield results that solved their problems, they usually come at a price that will be more costly and cause more pain down the road.
Christians typically run to God immediately when they have a problem because He is the answer, but they are usually impatient. Although taking our troubles to the Lord is the right thing to do we often lack the patience to wait for a solution from the Lord. God wants us to continue to go on with our lives but we also need to understand that He is the ultimate solution in our difficult times and hardships.
Sometimes our problems can be so consuming that we allow ourselves to forget to ask for help from our Heavenly Father. We focus on trying to fix it ourselves excluding God altogether, which is a mistake. While we are on the topic of mistakes let's understand God is not in the business of making mistakes. He is a God with a plan and purpose for the good of all His creations good and bad.
So even when troubles occur through no fault of our own, that has a person of faith desperately seeking God's help and perhaps questioning why this is happening, it's important to remember that even in these very difficult times we as Christians have the ability to endure. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. We only get stronger in faith through our hardships and when our endurance is fully developed, we will be perfect and complete, needing nothing but our faith.
Embracing our struggles that come with living is challenging but we are equipped to do it.
The best part is we are never alone. God is always with us, so spend time in prayer and talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit for help during weakness. Don't spend that time with God complaining about your situation but ask for strength to endure troubling times because you know God will be with you in the end.
Having faith is not just about hoping that God will end your suffering, but that He can end your suffering. It also may be that your suffering may not end because it is part of another plan that God has for you that will lead you to a greater path. Faith is believing that no matter what happens, God is in control and he is watching over you.
Faith is a hard thing. The best of us will have weak moments of faith because life will test us. Not just once but through our lives. Easy, less painful ways are usually laid out before us to try our faith but the path of the Lord is often a difficult one that few choose.
This is why faith in God is the cornerstone of Christian belief because you can not truly serve God if you do not have faith in God. We have to believe that God is with us even at the lowest points in our lives and in the end he will always take care of us.
by Gray Graham
It’s hard to be a young adult today with a good heart. You have the old people blaming your generation for everything that is wrong in the world today that their generation caused and they are mad that you aren’t fixing it fast enough. Then you have the young adults that are your age that don’t really seem to care about the problems of the world and are willing to let everyone suffer because they can’t have everything they want.
As a young person you work as hard as you can to do your very best in life, like your parents and grandparents before you, but it seems like in today’s world the most basic things seem impossible. When you look online you see so many people with fancy cars, nice big penthouses in the city, who are traveling the world, living a life of luxury. Like how are they doing that when all the jobs you see offer like $12/hour with a master’s degree. Is everyone else a pro gamer, Youtuber, rapper, hooper, model, and football player?
You don’t want all of that though; you just want to be able to go school, pay your bills, have a nice place to live, and not starve. It would also be nice if people wouldn’t pollute the world or take away all your basic human rights before you turn 30. Finding a comfortable pair of pants that has pockets would be nice too.
Growing up is supposed to be hard but it is not supposed to be this hard, especially when you are young. You are supposed to be learning about life and discovering yourself, not trying to prevent the extinction of mankind or save the planet from destruction. You are supposed to be learning how to buy groceries and toilet paper, not teaching an old person how not to hate change and anyone that is different. You also aren’t supposed to be teaching your peers not to eat paste or lay across railroad tracks while trying to catch legendary Pokemon.
You, my young friend did not ask for these burdens and to be honest you really don’t have to pick them up. As you can see others aren’t too keen on joining your labors. It’s easier to blame everything on you and guilt you into fixing it, than to be a leader to show you the way. Lucky for you there are plenty of older leaders out there that have been doing the work for a lifetime but sadly they don’t have much help from their peers either.
The thing is that when you are truly a good person you are pretty much always going to walk alone especially when you are young. Most young people are not trying to be super responsible and dedicated when they are young. Our society’s culture is built on young people being reckless and careless. All of societies ills are always blamed on those reckless young punks that cause trouble instead of following the great examples of the elders.
I am here to tell you my friend that you are doing just fine, whatever your current station in life. You don’t have to finish college by a certain age. You don’t have to be earning this amount of money at this age. You don’t have to have your own place at this age. You don’t have to be married at this age. You don’t have to have kids at this age. You definitely don’t have to join this group and start acting like one of them by this age.
Yes, the majority of people your age are going to do all the above because they don’t know anything else. It’s what is expected of them; what they have been taught their entire lives, but we already know that these things don’t bring happiness into your life. You are not going to be filled with joy just because you are married, have a good job, have a house, and have a large bank account. Plenty of people have all of this and are miserable. Plenty of people have none of that and are filled with joy everyday.
And that is the most important thing you need to always remember, you can only do your best and you have to find peace in that. Whatever your best is that is good enough for God and your best will never be good enough for people. They will always want more from you when you have given them all that you have to give.
The world had a lot of problems before you were born and it will have a lot of problem after you die. It’s not any one generation’s job to be perfect and fix the world. Spend your time enjoying life and sharing your joy with the people you love. I am sure that whatever you do will be greatly appreciated by the people that care about you. In the end that is what matters the most.
Take care young ones and know that God is always with you. You are doing just fine.
by Gray Graham
A rainbow is formed when water droplets reflect sunlight and break it down into the individual colors of the visible spectrum. If you find the end of the rainbow you will find a pot of gold owned by a leprechaun. You could also find a fish that is about to become a dragon. In America today you probably will find an evangelical “preacher” spreading hate in the name of Jesus to their congregation.
When you think about it, it really should come as no surprise that there are a lot of evangelical ministers who are spreading hate to their followers by belittling and attacking people that live differently. Their defense of these attacks of hate is that their lifestyles are a sin and frowned upon by God. They have decided that everyone that lives a lifestyle that differs from theirs, is one of them and they are not one of us.
Now when they say us they think they are referring to Christians and people that follow Jesus Christ. What they are in fact doing is judging people for God and deciding what sins are worthy of damnation and which sins are not a big deal at all. In other words doing that thing that Jesus told his followers not to do.
For the past couple of months I have seen a lot of so-called Christian preachers spew some of the most lost and hateful messages about people you ever wanted to see. Now this is nothing new. If you know history a lot of people have used and hid behind the Word of God as a justification of committing some of the greatest atrocities known to humankind. Funny thing though, I am willing to guess you have never heard a single sermon about how wrong and evil those things were. I wonder why?
Anyone can call themselves a Christian. Some people were baptized as a Christian as a baby and didn’t have much say in the matter. But as Jesus tells us it takes more than that to be someone that follows and serves God. In other words you have to do work that shows that you are a servant of the Lord beyond mere words.
The real kicker for all of this is that many of the people that are ostracizing others have a few sins of their own that they might want to address before telling anyone else they are going to burn in a lake of fire. But that my friends is too hard for them to do. It’s much easier to talk about the sins of others instead of talking about your sins.
I don’t know about you but I definitely need the grace of God and His mercy. It doesn’t matter how good of a life I think I have led or people say I have led, I still ask for forgiveness from God for without the sacrifice of Jesus I wouldn’t be anything. I am only where I am today because of his grace. We all need God’s love and grace. I would never tell another human that they could not call on the Lord for love, mercy, and grace.
To see someone that calls themselves a preacher talk about a group of people like they are less than human and some creature from Hell seems a little lost at best and just hateful at worst. But thanks to social media it is something I see everyday. It is a message that has been ingrained into the hearts of so many self-proclaimed Christians in America today.
As I have written many times before it would be nice if these Christians dedicated an ounce of this passion to addressing the child abuse and sexual abuse that occurs in their churches today. I am not even going to discuss the financial inequity that exists between church ministers and their congregations.
Needless to say followers of Christ have more things to address in the world today than people’s personal lifestyles. Even if you did think how people live was a top priority of the church, this ain’t where you would start and is not the sin that the majority of people are committing, but I am sure they know this already. Maybe that’s the point of all of this.
Anyway go out and spread some love today. We all need love and God has plenty for us to spread around. Be blessed and take care.
by Gray Graham
There is a lot going on in the world right now. We have a war going on in Europe. We have a civil war going on in Africa. We have aggressions going on in Asia. We have a culture war along with a soft civil war in the United States. We have children that are sold as sex slaves throughout the world. We have individuals trying to starve people. We have priests molesting children in the church. We have billionaires trying to take pennies from the poor. I have only begun to scratch the surface of the evils of this world.
Now I am sure there are many activists in the world that can immediately tell you some evil I left off my small list depending on their moral leanings. The world is full of evil so there is no shortage of causes that are worthy of trying to combat. That’s where activism comes into the picture.
There are people that spend pretty much all their time fighting against the evils of the world trying to get their systems of governance changed. It is important work. It is the only viable method of long-lasting change that will help people long-term. It is also the thing that the average person cares about the least.
Most people care about living their lives. They don’t really have the time to ponder the effects of trying to change an international law that will help refugees fleeing a repressed regime in a country that they don’t know. Some people say they should but those people often have no idea about the problems the average person deals with in their lives.
It sounds crazy but it is actually easier to be an activist than it is to be helper. An activist just has to work on protesting for change. In today’s world that involves a lot of social media posts, fundraising for politicians, attending charity balls, and dinners with movers and shakers. It doesn’t involve cooking meals, mowing yards, cleaning toilets, and listening to the horror stories people tell about the pain and suffering they have endured in their lives. A lot of people can be activists but as we have just seen very few people can be a helper especially when it puts their lives in jeopardy.
Too many people think that their work is done and they are doing more than enough just because they are an activist. I am sure many activists are also helpers. I personally know a few. I also know a lot of activists are no different than the average person, they don’t do much to help the average person deal with their everyday lives and problems. For example it’s easy to complain about schools not providing school lunches to school children. It’s a lot harder to try and organize a method to make sure those children actually have lunch to eat at school every single day.
This is probably the main reason so many people are apathetic about government, politics, and activists. They see them as all pretty much the same and in a lot of cases they are probably right. It’s nothing to see an activist posing in a picture with a politician that is responsible for legislation that the activist says they are fighting against.
Most people don’t hang out with people trying to cause harm to their friends, associates and themselves, but we often see these power players do just that. They are at the same fancy parties and same high dollar events that the average person can’t afford to attend. In the eyes of the average person their lives are much better than the ones they live and all these people are exactly the same.
So many people forget that people basically want to live their lives in peace. They want to be able to take care of their families and be safe from harm. Many want to make sure that everyone can do this same thing. People just want to be happy. When people leave their beliefs and prejudices at the door and just embrace something it is always a wonderful thing. That’s why so many people used to love sports and entertainment. It was one of those times that people were just people enjoying and sharing the same experiences without their daily strife.
Sadly those days are gone because someone is always going to bring their fight to everything. One of the things some activists today do is that they interrupt times of celebrations and calm with a protest because things are not 100% the way that they wanted so everyone else is going to suffer. Nothing turns off the average person more than someone that complains about something, their complaints are heard and addressed, and the person immediately starts complaining more; never acknowledging what was done for them. Not taking a moment to pause and be thankful for the small things. For a lot of people this behavior is just as infuriating as the evil behavior because it causes just as much harm to them spiritually.
We are never going to eradicate evil in the world. We probably can’t even mitigate evil in the world beyond what we are able to do today. We are fortunate that no one has blown the place up at this point even though many a man has tried. There are just too many people in the world with different moral and political views to make any worldwide change in a meaningful way. Most people can’t even make meaningful changes in their cities, states and provinces.
Instead of getting caught up on making gigantic changes in the world we would be better served helping the people around us every day. I mean there are so many people that simply need to be loved and know someone cares about them. They need that more than they need a lot of the things so many people are fighting for all the time. People need peace of mind and calm souls.
While this world is full of hate it is also filled with love. Love is what feeds a person’s soul and what makes life worth living. Fighting all the time generally leads to hate. I have seen so many people become the very thing that they are fighting against. They are full of rage and hate and they want to destroy their enemies.
We need to start focusing on helping and supporting people instead of being activists. We definitely need activists but everyone doesn’t need to be an activist. We need a lot more helpers than we need activists. In the long run raising people who are full of love and hope will do more to change the world than any laws passed.
You have to change hearts to change the world and you do that through dinners at the family table and hugs when you need them, not by yelling at people because they are not mad enough about your personal crusade today. Helping starts when activism ends and it never stops. I hope and pray we can learn to help and love people a lot more than we are doing today.
by Gray Graham
The word Christian means to profess to believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ to stride to be Christ-like. It is a word that is used by the majority of Americans to identify their religious faith and moral character. Most people who identify as Christian make sure to proudly state it with many going so far as to scream it from the rooftops. People that identify as a Christian, generally want to make sure it is known that they are a Christian, but what does it actually mean to be a Christian? If you simply call yourself a Christian does that mean you live your life in a way that is Christ-like?
Usually the first thing a non-Christian will tell you about a professed Christian is that they don’t appear to be very Christ-like to them. You see even if you are not a Christian, chances are you still honor and respect Jesus Christ and his teachings. Non-Christians see the love of people in everything that Jesus did so that is something they can support. When you actually take the time to talk to non-Christians you will soon find out that their issue isn’t with Jesus Christ but with Christians. If you know history then it is easy to see why.
People who have identified as a Christian have committed some of the most evil, heinous acts human beings have ever known. They have annihilated entire civilizations. They have enslaved other humans treating them like they were less than animals. They have treated people like disgusting trash, and stolen fortunes all in the name of Jesus. Even today you have people that take money from the poor, molest children, sexually assault people, worship guns and weapons to kill, as well as cover up all kinds of crimes in the name of Jesus. Are we to believe that these people are living in a way that is trying to be Christ-like?
Jesus clearly addresses people that use his name in vain as well as evil people that do horrible acts in his name, God will take care of them one day. In the meantime we should carry on with our service to God. Now that doesn’t give much comfort to a lot of people, especially non-believers. People want a sense of justice or what they perceive to be fairness. They want evil people to pay for their sins.
What we forget is that God is the only being in Heaven and on earth that decides what is right and what is wrong. While there are people that are evil and do evil things, we don’t know where they will be at the end of their lives. It is possible that at some point before their life ends that they will find God and repent for their sins. They may be saved and accept Jesus Christ as their savior. This is something that so many people forget.
The thing about trying to be like Jesus is that it is completely different than trying to be what we think of as good. Being like Jesus is to sit down at a table and eat with someone that you know is going to betray you. It is to remain peaceful when your enemies are trying to kill you. To be like Jesus is to challenge the people of the church and let them know that what they are doing in the church is not serving God and is not helping His people. It is to take care of the saved and sinners alike equally for we all fall short of the glory of God.
The thing that so many people today forget about Jesus is to be humble. Humble today is a dirty word. I see all the time people profess that they are not going to be humble and you shouldn’t either. People are focused on themselves today and not much else. Many have been beaten down so much and told they are worthless that they feel a need to prove that they are not.
Jesus had to endure the same thing. He was a Jewish man under the rule of the Roman Empire. He was from a place that many considered to be beneath upper society. Nothing good came from there. Jesus was mocked and ridiculed up to his death. He had all the power in Heaven and on earth, but did not use it to save himself. He sacrificed his life for all people so that they could reach Heaven. Jesus not only did this but in the moment he also took the time to save someone that asked for forgiveness at the end of their life.
The thing people completely miss when it comes to being like Jesus is that it means you start being less like you and the people you see in the world. You start caring more about people and less about things. You are not moved by money, fame, and power. You are moved by telling people about God. You love being in the presence of your family and friends, not just people that are going to help you make your next business deal. Sharing the love of God is your joy not being consumed by worldly things.
We all need to be more like Jesus. We need to learn how to love all people. We need to learn how to correct people that are doing wrong. We need to be willing to sacrifice for others. These are the things that Jesus taught and people have forgotten especially those that call themselves Christians.
In the end it doesn’t matter what you call yourself. You can call yourself Christian, religious, spiritual, atheist, agnostic, or whatever label you wish to give your moral philosophy. One day God is going to tell you what you are and that is the only thing that matters. It will be at that moment you will find out if you truly followed the teachings of Jesus Christ and served the Lord.
by Teal Graham
Women have always learned the ways of womanhood from their mothers or grandmothers. Some women have learned the ways to womanhood from other sources because their mother, grandmothers, and aunts weren’t available. For many Christian women their teacher was a woman grounded in Christian faith with a strong love of God.
This God fearing older woman instructed younger women using examples from the Bible. Those examples might be no more than a bit of scripture or a sit down with the Bible opened to a passage, but a lesson was taught and correction was given.
Now back then, (I’m dating myself but I’m cool with that.), that instruction may not have been appreciated immediately but that instruction became words to live by, a life giving spring so to speak.
Today it seems a lot of younger women in the church, have strong views in opposition to the Bible. Life experiences have given them hard feelings that have left them bitter and jaded at the Word of God. They claim Christianity as their faith, but they do not hold sacred the religious doctrine they say they believe and follow. Some younger women have even gone as far as to make the claim that the Bible is unjust and hurtful to women.
Anyone making such claims truly has a crisis of faith and belief in Jesus Christ as their savior and could use the love and support of Christian women of God. She needs a group of women that will listen to her issues and answer them with the Bible. Her words and experience can give comfort to a young woman who is constantly given messages that conflict with the teachings of the Bible. There are plenty of bad sources out there but she needs sources from the power of a praying woman.
This mentoring helps women who feel victimized find peace in a world where women are subjected to many cruelties. The women elders of the church can teach younger women how to live their lives serving God in a world that today shuns such behavior. They can help those who have trouble applying the Bible to their everyday lives
This guidance will help a Christian woman become a godly righteous woman after God’s heart and not worldly woman lukewarm in her faith. Christian women instruct their daughters with godly principles. These teachings become the cornerstone that provides comfort during their rough seasons in life. A life-giving spring that becomes eternal and everlasting passing from one generation to the next.
Although, this teaching is timeless and does not follow trends for trends are fleeting; here today and gone tomorrow. God is always the same, today, yesterday, and forevermore. A godly woman of Christ will understand that she will always look different from how a more worldly conscious woman does.
We need more of our female church elders to share this wisdom with our younger women in the church. Unfortunately there aren’t that many women in the church that actually want to mentor younger women. There are a variety of reasons but it seems the most common one is that older women feel that younger women do not wish to hear any of the wisdom that is shared with them. Many older women feel like few of the younger women actually want to follow Jesus.
The Bible teaches that women of God are to become someone of reverence to her family and community. A true asset to her family. A prize of immeasurable worth. A resting place. A voice of confidence and encouragement. A constant source of nourishment and comfort. A trusted guide through difficult times that lives forever and ever.
It seems as though few young women today wish to become any of these things which doesn’t actually matter. We as older women of God should still teach the Word of God as it is written even in times where it is not accepted. We know that the Word of God gives comfort in life. Everything else will pass away over time. That is the message and love we need to share with our younger sisters to help them on their path to God through Jesus Christ.
by Gray Graham
Previously on Grandposts Inspire, we talked about why you need to stop making New Year’s resolutions year after year that you are not going to do. Today we look at one of the most common resolutions I have seen put out there the past couple of years: I will stop being perfect.
First off, child you ain’t never been perfect. You have never been anywhere close to perfect. The mere fact you felt the need to make a resolution that said you need to stop being perfect means you have never been anywhere close to perfect. The very first thing you need to do is look at things a little differently with a different mindset and a different heart.
When you say you are going to stop being perfect what you are really saying is that you are not happy with some aspect of your life. You are not getting the results that you feel like you deserve. Maybe you are not being loved the way you want to be love. Maybe you are not being helped like you help others. Maybe all your kindness is being repaid with harshness. Something in your life has got you feeling like your acts of perfection are not being appreciated.
Now ask yourself why do you feel this way and is this how you are supposed to feel. You might be feeling like you are better than those around you so why should you keep trying to do more. You do more than enough already so you shouldn’t have to do more. It’s not going to be appreciated anyway, right?
Here’s the thing, there is nothing wrong with trying to be perfect. When we say perfect we should be saying that we are always trying to be our best. We do this for ourselves and no one else. It is who we are and who we wish to be. Our love of God, ourselves, and others moves us to do these things because that is who we are.
I know it is the cool; in thing to just be your bad self and let everyone else have to deal with you, but is that really how you wish to be? You know you should be giving people your best and not your worst. That’s why you say things like Jesus help me not do this. You know better you are just letting that evil heart sway you.
The temptation is always strong to do things that you believe will benefit you. The Bible is filled with people that loved God but still sinned. Raise your hand because that applies to every single one of us. Even though we sin God still loves us and He made a way that we can still get close to Him in spite of our sins. And yes we all have sins that we need to repent so we can be saved by God.
It would be easy to just throw your hands up and say forget it all. I am going to stop trying to be better since there is no way I can be perfect especially since it seems I am the only one trying. Instead of thinking like this why not think that I am going to work on these things to help myself and others around me.
I know this is going to come as a shock to you but I guarantee the people around you don’t think you are perfect. I am sure they have a long list they can share of things that you do wrong. I am going to go a step further and say they probably have shared that list with you. I am going to go even further and say that might be the reason you said you were going to stop trying to be perfect in the first place.
So please stop listening to these charmers and manipulators that keep telling you to do things that are the opposite of what God tells you to do. It doesn’t matter how they come packaged they are all wolves in sheep clothing. Doesn’t matter what church they pastor, what street corner they evangelizing, what books they write, or how many people are following them on social media, they are all trying to sell you a bill of goods that takes you further away from God’s purpose by telling you what your tempted heart wants to hear instead of what the Spirit is telling you that you need to hear.
So get back to working on that list of things about yourself that you need to work on and your goals in life that you want to achieve that will keep you on the path to the Lord and not worrying about building kingdoms on this earth. Just focus on God and doing your best at all times and you will be fine. Perfection is not the purpose of life anyway, being in the grace and love of God is.
by Gray Graham
We are coming in on the end of another Black History Month. The NBA All-Star Game just ended (the unofficial Black people’s Christmas) and most people have moved on to thinking about Easter and getting their summer beach bodies. Given all the events the past few years, let’s take a look and see what Black History Month means to people today.
For those that care it was not lost that many non-Black people took Black History Month as the time to attack African Americans and Black History in full stride. If you are an older African American then you have lived a lifetime of being attacked for being Black. In the old days racists were free to speak their mind without fear of any type of retribution. They didn’t have to use “woke” instead of just saying nigger (A lot of people will be bothered because I chose to type that word out instead of using the n-word).
For the past few years Black people have been under constant attack from people that are either threatened by our existence or could care less that Black people exist. This Black History Month they decided to kick it up a level and attack the concept of teaching Black History at all. States across the nation are taking up initiatives to remove the teaching of anything related to Black History especially anything pertaining to slavery. It sounds like something the villain in a movie would do but alas this is reality for Afro Americans. Everything Black people deal with in life is larger than life to white Americans. African Americans actually have to fight against Lex Luthors trying to make the smallest of us completely miserable. Unreal to other groups who believe it or not often join in on the attacks.
In the shadow of the hatred Black people are going through right now how are we feeling about Black History Month. Today it seems as if Afro Americans have a few different ideas when it comes to Black History Month that are as diverse as Black Americans themselves. These are just some of what I have been able to gather from talk with my people.
First, there are those Black people that look at Black History Month as a celebration of the African Diaspora so they celebrate the accomplishments of Africans across the world. It usually centers around the first Black person to do something that white people had been doing for centuries. There are the exceptions of a Black person that did something to become wealthy. There is also the rarer African that did something ground-breaking before anyone else. The purpose of Black History for this group is to prove that Black people have contributed just as much as white people to American society and therefore should be accepted and respected by the white American majority. There is a sense of pride that comes from telling the history of Black History Month and why it is important today.
Another way Black History Month is celebrated is as African American Heritage Month. Instead of focusing on the first Black person to do something, they focus on African American culture. For them history denotes something in the past while heritage, the term that other ethic groups use for their months, denotes a culture that continues today as well as acknowledging your ancestors that created that culture. It focuses on the unique African American experience of the descendants of freed African slaves and their struggles with trying to survive in a racist American society. Instead of looking at African Americans through the eyes of white supremacy where every Black person is the same, they focus on just the African American experience. There are also Black people that celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month for example because there are Africans in those cultures also.
Last and of course least there are Black people that do not acknowledge nor care about Black History Month at all. This group comes in basically three flavors all of them bitter and sour. The first are those Black people that are just apathetic. They have been abused for generations and it shows in everything that they do. They are at the point where they just don’t care about anything beyond what their basic desires are. Far too many African Americans fall into this group because they are the ones that have been left behind by everyone in our society, which sadly includes successful African Americans.
The next group is the one we will loving call the Revolution. To acknowledge Black History Month would be to acknowledge defeat and they will never accept that. They reject anything that is done by the “white man”. They believe that Black History Month is just a patronizing endeavor and they want nothing to do with it. Regardless of whether African Americans celebrate Black History Month or not I would say a large group of Black people feel this way. Dealing with evil every single day of your life is impossibly hard and it has made a lot of Black people bitter and angry. One does get tired of fighting after awhile.
The last group is the group that Black people just can’t stand. There are many names used to identify them but we will take the high road and not use them here. They are the dark skin people that actively campaign against Black History Month and pretty much anything concerning African American culture. They are the ones that white supremacists love putting front and center at any event where they are attacking Black people. There is nothing a racist loves more than using a dark skin person as a weapon against Black people. Many dark skin people have found out it pays very well to be that black weapon for racist white people. In many cases it pays more than they could imagine or make another way. I doubt most of them believe anything that they say but who knows maybe some of them believe that white people are superior to other humans and should be worshiped.
I almost forgot the self centered group so we will call them the honorable mentioned. They don’t care about Black History Month because they only care about themselves. As long as everything is okay in their world then everything is fine. You will probably never see them express a view about being Black or anything to do with Black culture. They make sure that they do everything to fit into white American society to succeed in life. Many will go out of their way to never associate with other Black people. As long as their money is right and they have funds coming in then they can’t be bother with Black History Month or Black culture. It has to be a very empty experience but I guess it works for them.
So does anyone know the true meaning of Black History Month? It would take a series of books to delve into what it means to be African American. In this article I have used the terms Black, African, Afro American, and African American interchangeable because in America for most people they are the same thing when in fact they many completely different things. The life experiences of Black people around the world are not all the same. No one would think I was talking about the same people if I used the terms Irish, Jewish, Polish, and Italian.
For me that pretty much sums up the meaning of Black History Month. I guess a lost culture can never be recovered. Some wounds will never heal especially when they are constantly be reopened and you are getting new ones, yet my Black people still rise, strive, and thrive.