Natasha’s Study: SDWSC Chapter 9

 

 

SDWSC Official Homepage http://www.sdwsc.com/

Scripture Reference: Gospel of John 6: 1-14, 12: 1-7; Matthew 26: 6-13; Mark 14: 3-9

Discussion Point 9:  “When I put my “what” in Jesus’ hands, it becomes enough.” – Elisa Morgan, page 56

She Did What She Could, when she could identify her “What?”

This chapter addresses our human dilemma of stretching between doing “everything” and doing “nothing.”  This is certainly a challenge for women because we are wearing so many hats that we often feel compelled to do everything all of the time, until we burn out and then we resort to doing nothing.  Being burnt out is not good for anyone – God doesn’t benefit, and you can’t give your “nard” (best offering) to the world. 

Therefore, we should not overwhelm ourselves trying to do everything.  Simply ask God, “What would you have me to do on this day?  On this morning?  At this moment?”  Then do that.  At first glance, our “what” may not seem like a big deal, but that’s the beauty of it.  We never truly know the impact until we take action.  The Bible is filled with stories of people who took what appeared to be seemingly small actions at the time, but have turned into Bible stories anchored in children’s hearts for thousands of generations.

We know Jesus’ response to Mary’s “what” – “”Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”  Then of course in the Book of John, Chapter 6 verses 1-14, we see Jesus multiply a boy’s two small fish and five loaves of bread to feed five thousand men, not counting the women and children.  After everyone had eaten all that they wanted, the disciples gathered twelve baskets of barley loaves that remained.  Jesus did not only make enough; he multiplied the offering so that it was more than enough.

When we prayerfully surrender our “whats” to Jesus, he will multiple and reveal himself in the situations that we encounter.  I recently bought a CD which includes a song that I have played in my car everyday for the past couple weeks.  The song is a simple reminder that “there ain’t nothing” he (Jesus) can’t do.  I can place all of my “whats” into his hands, and watch him make those “whats” more than enough.  He is more than able and willing to do it.

Will you surrender your “whats” today? Tomorrow?  Everyday?

HOT Topic Friday: A Way Up for African-American Boys

 

WGL110498Today is the first in a Friday Hot Topic Series concerning the issues that are affecting our African-American boys.  I call it a hot topic series because there has been some chatter about the increasing concerns.  As we will observe in this post, however, it is one thing to look at or talk about an issue, but it is another thing to determine the proper way to respond.  The current reality is that in so many ways African-American boys in this country are simply being tossed aside and ignored.

For Part I of this series, I will simply highlight some (though not all) of the critical issues plaguing these young men.  In the September 2010 issue of Ebony magazine, President Obama is interviewed concerning the education of our nation.  Ebony opens the article with these staggering facts:

“Nationwide, three out of every 10 students dropout of out high school.  For Blacks, that number is near half – and growingFurther, it is estimated that every school day, a Black male student drops out of high school.  That’s enough students to fill two classrooms every hour and an entire high school each week.”

The article goes on to highlight how this problem has an adverse effect on our economy, violence, and other American values.

According to the “Yes We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males 2010, only 47 percent of black males graduated from high school in the 2007-2008 school year.”  Additionally according to the report, the best scores for black males in the eighth grade who read at or above the proficiency level was 15 percent.

Why should this issue concern you and why talk about it here?

Picture the end of the road for a black male who cannot read – He will either become a criminal or he will require significant government assistance (i.e. your hard earned tax payer dollars).  And finally, if he does not end up dead or on drugs, he is going to jail frequently.  “According to a report by the Justice Policy Institute in 2002, the number of black men in prison has grown from five times the rate it was twenty years ago.  In 2002 there were 791,600 black men in prison and 603, 032 enrolled in college.”  Your tax dollars pays for the housing, clothing, and feeding of jail inmates too.  These are only the self-centered reasons to pay attention to this series.

From the bleeding heart of one Christian, this issue demands an answer to the question, “Who is my neighbor?”  The Good Samaritan story in Luke 10: 25-37 gives us a clear response.  In these scriptures we first observe two “Godly” men knowingly pass by a man who was wounded and in need. The Samaritan “unchurched person” stops to carefully access the man’s situation.  He emphasizes with the wounded man’s situation, and then he immediately takes action to restore this man to his proper position.  No only that, the Samaritan was consistent in the service that he provided to the wounded man.  Jesus’ response is that we are to go and do like this Samaritan did.

The issues affecting African-American boys is not only the African-American community’s problem; this is America’s problem.  While completing freshmen training at the Naval Academy, we were required to learn the twenty seven “Laws of the Navy.”  The fifth law states: “On the strength of one link in the cable, Dependeth the might of the chain, Who knows when thou mayest be tested?  So live that thou bearest the strain!”  We are only as strong in a community as our weakest link.  I Corinthians Chapter 12 states that we should treat the weakest among us with special honor.

In no way am I implying that all African-American boys are weak and uneducated criminals.  On the contrary – There are many African-American boys that have grown into strong, Godly, educated men of good character.  I will feature several of them in this series, and they will identify some solutions and ways that we can offer a way up for African American boys.

After all, what do I know about being an African-American male in this country?  This is enough to think about until we meet here again for Part Two: Make an Impact – Share Jesus on next Friday.  Blessings, Natasha

Coffee Talk: Quick Fixes & Unexpected Returns

 

I had a sinus infection all weekend.  It actually started on last Wednesday evening with a sore throat, right around the time for choir rehearsal no less.  The sore throat persisted on Thursday, and exploded into a sneeze evolution, slight headache, nose drainage, and the thought of my head as a balloon by Friday.  This was a very big weekend and I could not afford to be sick.  As if there is ever a good time to be sick.

So I ran to the closest CVS on Friday morning meeting to grab the generic brand of Claritin and a few Chloraseptic losengers for my throat.  I was hoping to have relief (no matter how slight) by the evening hours.  My relief never came.  As a matter of fact, things only got worst.  I went to meet a new community of people with a tissue box in hand for fear of embarrassment that I would not make it to the restroom in time to wipe my nose.  I was a walking germ with sanitizer in her pocket.  I could not breathe through my nose, and did not sleep that night.

I was frustrated because the medicine did not work.  I mean I did pay $13+tax and expected results.  What’s worst is according to the instructions on the medicine box, I could not take another cold pill of any kind for another twenty four hours.  I’m pretty strict about adhering to those rules.  So, I suffered for the rest of the weekend.  I drove two hours to get home on Saturday evening and before I went home to kiss my family, I headed straight to the grocery store.  I was going to find a solution to fix this problem, and quickly.  I really wanted something that would also give me the ability to sleep.  Down the aisles I go…Where is that Advil Cold and Sinus?  It must be here somewhere.  I don’t see it.  Don’t like the taste of NyQuil, so that won’t work.  Tylenol Cold and Flu.  Ahh, that might do the trick.

            But wait a minute Tasha, go talk to the pharmacist guy; He’s sitting over there bored with nothing to do at work.

Me:  Hi, how are you?  These are my symptoms; I feel like trash.  This is what I took yesterday, and it did not work.  What can I take now?

 

Him: You have a sinus infection.  We are seeing a lot of that going around.  Your body is responding exactly as it should to fight off the infection.  It will probably take you another two or three days to get back to normal.  Don’t buy anything else, and don’t take anymore of that Claritin stuff – It will only dry you up and prolong the infection.  Go home.  Drink plenty of water, and maybe take some Sudafed.

Me: Thank you, have a good day.

 As I walked to the car, I thought in amazement about how incredible our bodies are designed.  My body sometimes responds positively and at other times negatively without my controlling it or willing it to do what it was designed to do.  I sit at the steering wheel in awesome wonder.  I can rest and drink water – two other gifts that are given to us for free.  And now on the road to recovery, I can say “Thank you.”

Have your received any refreshing reminders from God lately?