A WORD FROM THE EDITOR
Finding Beauty in Vulnerability
I hate crying and I especially hate crying in front of people.
I’m not one for really opening up to anybody because in times past it has resulted in me being told to “get over it” or finding myself alone.
But above all else, I hate crying because it makes me feel vulnerable and I loathe showing any kind of weakness.
My reason for this is that I think if I allow people to see the fragile part of me, then they will try and break me. It happened a lot growing up, and as a result, I ended up becoming caring but cautious. I’m there for a person should they need me, but I don’t need them. I’ll pray with people and walk patiently with them through the storm, but when the pieces are falling apart in my own life I keep everyone at bay. I have to be strong, is what I’d think to myself, I have to hold it together because too many are counting on me.
My belief was that if I allowed the people I was a shoulder for know I was crumbling away inside, I would not be of any use to them. So I had to be tough because no one wants a ‘simpering crybaby’ whose hand they have to hold.
I sought to be their pillar when in essence I was seeking to be their god and didn’t even realize it.
I wanted people to need me because it made me feel strong and it feels good to be admired or to be the person that people come to for advice. I couldn’t afford to be weak; I was supposed to be this beacon of light and how could I do that going around being sad?
But you know what’s worse than being sad? Practicing putting on smiles because you don’t want anyone knowing you’re miserable. Or putting so much pressure on yourself to be everything for everybody in your life that you stress yourself out.
So much so, that you begin to think you don’t even matter anymore. You strive for perfection but keep falling short, so you think, why do I even exist?
Or the silent torture you put yourself through because rather than speak up and let people know you’re hurting, you hold it all inside, telling yourself, “I don’t want to be a burden on them. They’ve got enough to deal with. Besides, no one wants to listen to my sob stories anyway.”
One of my favorite scriptures is II Corinthians 12:9. When I feel as though I’m so feeble that I’m completely useless, and I have no more strength in me, that scripture always pops up. It reminds me in my brokenness God can use me most because I am then humble enough to move out of the way and let Him work.
Jesus recently had me open up to one of my friends about something really painful and personal. I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but He kept pressing on me to tell them. I was deathly afraid; all I kept thinking was, “But if I tell them, how are they going to feel about relying on me? They’ll never think I’m dependable again.”
Instead the opposite happened.
The Lord showed me three things: One—it’s okay to show your vulnerability because God comes in and gets all the glory. Two—by admitting our weakness we become stronger. Finally, three—God shows you you’re not as alone as you think. Yes, it’s good to pour into someone but we need to be poured into as well. Otherwise you’ll eventually become empty and then you won’t have anything left to give.
I can’t say I have fully embraced it, but very slowly I am learning that God makes me strong even when I feel like I’m a mess. If I can remember who He is in the midst of that, then I don’t have to hold it all together because He is already holding me up.
Local news in the area
No happenings as of yet, but the church is still currently raising money to finish the installation of our restroom. You can donate here: KTOR Radio
Sunday sermons, Wednesday messages
Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, “Love Never Fails (I Corinthians 13:8)”
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (I Cor. 13:8 KJV)
Charity in the King James means love and God loves us so much that He sent His only Son for us; as believers His love has to be in us. You can talk about it and try to sound like it all day, but if love is not in you then what you’re doing serves no purpose.
“False prophets try to sound anointed,” but you don’t have to take the anointing when it’s already on you. “Everybody wants to speak in tongues,” but there is an appropriate time for everything; if there is no one to interpret then it only causes confusion. We should all remember, however, that the same tongue we use to glorify God with should not be used to talk down on someone else.
“Some things God put you in because He said you have to go through it.” Jesus knew what kind of situation He was going to have to face when He came down from heaven. “Love never fails—even if I’m mad at you, it doesn’t fail… At your weakest moment it will lift you up.” Jesus sacrificed Himself because of love.
When we love those who are our enemies, the Word says we dump heaps of coal on top of their heads, “Can you imagine how the Roman soldiers felt…? He even stopped dying to ask the Father to forgive them.” We can’t allow people to take away our ability to love, to make us become callous.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, “…there’s enough love to lift you up.”
Visit KTOR Radio to listen to the sermon in full or hear previously recorded broadcasts on Sunday Morning Live.
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, “The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:11-19)”
Before Jesus came down to atone for all of our sins, the church used to have to make sacrifices as a way of atonement. In this passage, it all rested upon Aaron to go and make atonement for the entire body. By Jesus giving His life for us as payment, we received the ultimate atonement because there was no longer any need to make sacrifices—He was a living sacrifice for us.
The church, however, can sometimes get set in its ways. We get so caught up in traditions and our way of doing things that we miss the whole purpose of why Jesus came, becoming “so rigorous and structured that we miss what church is all about.” It doesn’t matter what direction we pray in. Yes, Jesus was Black “but His principles didn’t change.”
One thing we must understand is it’s all about how we live; people are watching us, “People don’t respect you because of a title, but because of the aura you let off.” We focus on our talking but forget our actions speak louder than anything we could ever say.
Thank God that Jesus gave Himself for us and we no longer have to depend on one person or a sacrifice without blemish, “If the preacher wasn’t right, and he went in to atone for the church, then they were all in trouble…” The Lord decided that He would not have His children be dependent inconsistent people to get what they needed from consistent God.
“The blood of Jesus was for all…” regardless of who a person is or where a person comes from, “We understand He had to come out of someone’s lineage, but He came for all. It doesn’t change who God is; that’s why religion is gong to always lose to relationship.” Titus 3:9 tells us it is useless to bicker over things such as Jesus’s genealogy or trivial and dogmatic things. Our focus should be on having a relationship with Christ rather than whether or not someone meets our code of standard.
THE ART GALLERY
Poems, shorts and other creative pieces
The Measure Of
by Jacqueline S. Sadberry
Is a well
Full of diamonds
All sitting at the bottom
But you have to be willing
To get scraped up
And become bloodied
Just to get it
And you must be equally as willing
To endure the same pains
As you make your way back up
When you make your way
And you begin to see
You are the diamond
You are the treasure
Despite the nothingness
The world makes you feel
Blackness is a beauty
People have tried to kill
Over ten times
And then some
Yet it still rises and peaks
Like the sun’s rays seeping out
All over the shore
Or the moon
Under a midnight glow
There is more to our culture
Than chicken wings
And gangster rap
And thank you
Events, announcements for the month of February
- Feb. 1: Last day for voter registration
- Feb. 4: Brother Michael Prince II’s birthday
- Feb. 7-13: District Meeting, Beaumont, TX
- Feb. 11: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, 6 p.m., Prairie View A&M Univeristy
- Feb. 13: Political Forum, 10 a.m., Don Clark Building Auditorium, rm. 155
- Feb. 28: “The Remedy” Talent Showcase, 5 p.m., Temple of Refuge