I SEE COLOR

I keep running across the question “when will we stop seeing color and start seeing human beings.” I think we are asking the wrong question.  

I get the premise behind it, although why don’t we ask a question hitting the individual at the root?  

You see…I am an artist…a co-creator…I see color.  I see the hue and saturation within everything I look at.  When I look at something or someone…it is not simply a noun that pops into my head, rather many pleasant and descriptive adjectives followed by that simple noun.  Those adjectives are important to me, because they list the details.  See, my Creator is into details…that is where you will find Him.  That is where you find what He says, feels and thinks about that noun.  This is how I choose to think, feel, and see as well, because that is up to me.  I simply choose to see what I see

So let go back to the saturation of something.  It is the intensity of a color, expressed as the degree to which it differs from white.  Hue…on the other hand means both a color and a shade of a color.

When I meet people with a different skin color than me…I see their color…I see their COLORS.  That will not change and I don’t see anything wrong with it. 

You see…color does matter.  When you look at someone and see color, you have to see deeper to see the hue and saturation. 

Now, lets go back to the question, “when will we stop seeing color and start seeing human beings.”  I think the question we must ask is…

“When will we stop seeing color and start seeing colors?”

Maybe even…

“When will we start seeing colors for their beauty, commonality, and purpose?”

Once, I had an art teacher who saw something in me, that I certainly did not see in myself.  She asked me (when pointing to a picture in a magazine) “what color do you see?”  I remember my single minded, smart-alec, one word response being, ”black!”  She said “nope.”  I thought she was crazy and certainly didn’t understand, because we were looking at a shadow within the photo…I saw  dark…I saw black.  She continued pointing to the “black” area, telling me she saw blues, grays, browns, reds, and even yellows.  Then I really thought she was nuts…until I looked deeper.  She then went on to explain, black is not just black…it is made up of multiple colors woven together on the page.   Her vision went beyond the surface.  This rocked my world.  I looked deeper, longer and explored the hues and saturation of dark area within the photo.  Suddenly, I saw what she saw!   There was so much more beyond the surface of what I was looking at.  Over time, she taught me to look beyond my single minded way of viewing art.

At this point in my life, it is quite an organic vision and feeling I get when looking at the world around me. Nothing is one color. Nothing is black and white.  Everything is many colors.  Without the range of intensities in colors and the many different shades of colors, the world is not what our Creator intended it to be.  

So, when I see the color of my dark skinned sisters hands, I see a tapestry of colors. I see such a unique beauty.  I feel a deep love, that celebrates the differences in our skin.  I see a gold within her that is indescribable…difficult for me to put to words.  I see the differences in our skin and I am overjoyed because of what we create together.  When I see the color of my dark skinned brother…I feel respect for him and honor.  I feel protected and respected in return.  I feel blessed and honored that she and he would choose to be my friend. That she and he would allow me to become a part of that colorful tapestry.  I do not see a black and white tapestry.

Did you know that in physics, they do not consider black and white to be colors, because they don’t have a specific wavelength?  Did you also know that a color is visible light with a specific wavelength? In color theory, black is the absence of all color (because it is the absence of light) and white is the presence of all colors.   Although, when speaking from an art medium, white is typically regarded as the absence of color.  Black is made from “all” colors–which is why if you mix a bunch of different colored paints together you get a close to black color.  I am not trying to start debate on whether or not black and white are colors, I am simply pointing out, there is more to it than meets the eye.  Seeing black and white…SAYING “she’s black”, “I’m white” is not what we should see or say.  Are we teaching others around us and those after us,  to see all the colors and their purpose, not just black and white?  My dark skinned sister is a person OF color. My dark skinned brother is a person OF color. Even though I myself, am not considered a person OF color in this nation, I am a person WITH color. Together, we create a breathtaking tapestry of color.  So you see…I SEE COLOR.

Anyone who claims to live in God’s light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It’s the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by the darkness. ~ 1 John 2:9

Please understand, when I say, “I am a person WITH color.”  I am not saying that I have experienced the same struggle, hurt, or oppression as my dark skinned sisters and brothers.  What I am saying is, I AM WITH MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS OF COLOR.  I am also saying, that my Creator did not give us just one shade, just one color, just one wavelength or even just one intensity.  Although, He did create us for each other…for unity…for relationship. I am saying, there is more than meets the eye, for all of us.  There is a commonality and purpose to our differences.  We are not just BLACK AND WHITE.  My children would would not refer to or LABEL me as “white” rather they take the opportunity to DESCRIBE me as “peachy”.  They would also not refer to all our dark skinned friends as “black” but rather “dark skinned” or “brown.”  This was not something my husband and I taught them…this was something that they taught us.  I love that they see beyond the labels the world has given us.  This is the vision of a child.

Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants, you have established strength because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemy and the avenger. ~ Psalm 8:2

You see…I serve a God that is relational and generational.  That is how he speaks throughout His Word.  Over the years I have learned how He communicates.  He uses a language that is woven with those relational and generational threads.  He speaks to His people through His tapestry of their legacy…through the generations before.   I have learned as well…my tapestry is riddled with a diverse collection of colorful thread and my legacy runs deep.  We of color, have that in common.  We are all a part of one amazing tapestry.  We each have legacy…a great one…and in the end, they will all be woven together to create ONE breathtaking piece.  

You see, some of us assume that our legacy will not be revealed for years or that your legacy begins when you die.  Not so, it begins when your born. How it is stewarded and the type of legacy you leave is completely in your control.  My spiritual momma once told me “All great legacies come with a price tag. To move beyond “mediocrity”, you must invest everyday in the account of those who follow after you!”  How are leading those who follow after you?  How are you teaching them to see color?

Don’t allow the evil of this horrible act to steal your breath away.  BREATHE.  I said…YOU BREATHE!  HE IS STILL ON THE THRONE!  Look around you at the colors that make up this beautiful world. Invest in each other.  Look at what you can create together.  There is an opportunity to shift the course of the lives we live and those that follow.  To continue to build a legacy that will withstand the generations to come.  The cost is great but the reward is greater.   

When I look at my friends of color…I see the great generations before them.  I see colors He has woven in the legacy within them…through the diverse relationships around them.  I see a legacy of Love.  This does not have to be a generation of tolerance, entitlement and apathy.  All lives matter.  EVERY.LAST.ONE.

I AM WITH YOU MY SISTERS AND BROTHER OF COLOR!!!

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” ~ Rev. 7:9-12

Quest and Achievement

“We who remain here are now ready to send you out into a dark world.  We shall wait for your return.  It will not mean much, however, if you come back with successs in your hands.  We shall not be concerned over you achievements.  We shall, however, be happy if you come back with scares in your hands and a light in your eyes and the dust of a battle on your soul.  Let no man disturb your life in God!  Let nothing and nobody dim your vision of life as quest rather than achievement!  He shall cause you to see it with your eyes — and one day, late or soon, you shall go over!”  ~Rev. O.P. Kretzmann

QuestandAchievementDeuteronomy

So, Is It a Ministry of Worship or a Worship of Ministry?

“They pretend to worship me, but their worship is nothing more than the empty traditions of men.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭15:9‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“Church you are so close to the trees, you cannot see the forest. You have been in it so long, you do not see the important details of what is in front of you. That is where I am.”

“Yet regarding Israel Isaiah says: “With love I have held out my hands day after day, offering myself to this unbelieving and stubborn people!””
‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:21‬ ‭

He said, “You can keep reorganizing the structure and operations of your organization…of My house, but until you stop and let My Spirit back in, you will keep circling the same tree, stumbling over it’s roots. Not getting anywhere. I am the ONLY ONE Who can lead you through the forest! No man can do what I do! It is time!!”

“I am giving you this time to step back. To yield, rest…find Peace…find Me…find your posture of worship again. Selah, pay attention to your spirit…listen to My Spirit.”

‘For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. ‘
– Romans 8:14-17

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul says “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Paul was addressing idol worship among the Corinthians.

The Lord is asking the tough questions. He is asking you to find your posture of worship again. What has become your worship of anything other than God? “Have you placed a higher value on doing ministry? Are you more concerned with the upkeep of different ministries, than maintaining the spiritual good of your souls? It is time to Selah. This yield is for you, my sons and daughters!”
#Selah #straightenmycrown #yield #ministryofworship #worshipofministry #cannotseetheforest #throughthetrees #trippinonroots

A New Look

The Lord is redesigning His church. He is giving it a new look from the inside out. Stop thinking it will look as it did before all of this. No matter how hard you work to keep up the old pace, it just won’t work. Stop doing, get still, listen….there are things you will have to speak to that you have never had to before. It will require less of you and more of Him.

He’s going to do things on a huge scale with the smallest of things and moments in time. Best of all, it will be with the most unlikely people.

There will be talks with His people amongst the cushions of the couch, that could not have taken place in the sanctuary, hallways, or offices. Talks challenging each other as to why we are here and what the task at hand is.

There will be walks in the neighborhoods that will go for miles, because of never wanting the content of the conversation to end. These are conversations that while wearing out the soles of one’s shoes, they will be challenging each other to go deeper within and discover the very makeup of one’s soul.

There will be all day teachings and discussions that bring so much expectation to the new thing God is doing. The teachings will not necessarily be guided by one but by THE ONE, with multiple contributors.

We won’t recognize this church because it’s nothing like what He was doing before. He knows the heart of His people better than we do, and He is meeting their every need just as He intended…through His church. #Heisredesigningthechurch #wewontrecognizeit #somethingnew #theOne #straightenmycrown

It Is Time To Yield.

Could it be, that our most productive, progressive and effective posture right now, is rest?  Maybe this turmoil is all for us to yield?  A season of slow?  A surrender and peaceful posture? Is this a Selah moment? I woke up hearing…

“If you have not found Rest in this time, you are missing ME.  It is time to yield.” ~ God

What are you missing because you are too busy to see or find Rest.  What current posture…whether it be spiritual, mental or physical…is keeping you distracted? We often work so hard to fill the void.  What happens when all the things that feed the busy-ness STOP.  All the things that race through our minds.  Our thoughts.  

To pay attention to our thoughts, the noise must stop.  So many are afraid of the silence that comes with stopping, that they fill it with whatever noise they can.  We are so used to the noise that when it does stop, panic sets in because the thoughts we have heard were not ground in truth.

Could it be that all this time, the things you thought and felt weren’t really true?  Could it be that your thoughts and emotions may have misguided you?

Wisdom says “don’t believe everything you think and feel.” 

Believe it or not, you are not the sum of what you think and feel.    Thoughts and emotions are possibilities.  They were meant to be indicators, yet some of us have allowed them to become distractors.  They are not there to take as a certainty…an absolute.  Process your thoughts and feelings before you believe them.  They were not meant to govern you.  They were not meant to be the foundation to which you make decisions.

The foundational truth I go to is Galatian 5:22. If I am NOT love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control…then I am NOT grounded in Truth.  Then I am not standing in what God says I am.  I ask myself “Am I being Peace? Am I being Love right now?”  If not, it is a very intentional switch…I decide in that moment to say or do something that ignites peace or love. For example, speak a blessing over someone or something in my life.

Peace be still.  Breathe.  Tell fear to go, in the name of the One True King…He is still on the throne.

 “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  ~ Hebrews 12:2

“THE Lord (God) says to my Lord (the Messiah), Sit at My right hand, until I make Your adversaries Your footstool.” ~Psalm 110:1

#YIELD #SELAH #Heisstillonthethrown #peacebestill #rest #peace #surrender #straightenmycrown

Have You Lost Your Mind?

Have you lost your mind?  

Or have you lost control of your mind?  

It seems you can’t get yourself out of the entrapment of your own thoughts.  You allow guilt to speak…to scream louder than grace.  

What or who have you surrendered your thoughts to?  Who is the one controlling your mind?  

Could it be that you are allowing guilt to be the decision maker.  Fear to be the driving force as to whether you take something on.  Shame to be the very thing that leads you into isolation.  The feeling of loosing all control…loosing your mind…it’s almost unbearable.  You feel completely alone in this prison but in all actuality…you aren’t.  There are just so many that seem to be in this same prison. It is overwhelming.

The thing is…if you were to push past guilt, fear…the shame past the threshold of that prison door, that is actually wide open, there is freedom waiting.  A freedom, where the Lord will impart to you the very thing that will bring you out of those thoughts.  He will bring you out of the prison that those thoughts hold you to.  

Is it really the enemy keeping you in there? You seem to be the one that is keeping yourself from stepping over the threshold of His grace.  Who’s your real enemy in this season?  Who is keeping you from being the receiver of the very grace that was meant to empower you.  Think about it…who have you handed this power over to?

Grace is not just undeserved favor, it is also the operational power of God.  It gives you the ability to do what you could not do before.  

Remember, Mercy is not getting what you deserve.

Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.  When you receive something you don’t deserve, it typically ignites something in you to steward it well. Receiving grace, is your first step to believing in you.  It is your first step of you loving you, and you receiving love.  Steward the gift of grace well…allow it to empower you to step out of the entrapment of your thoughts!

Let’s be clear…Grace is not supplied to stay in sin, but imparted to you, for you to come out of sin!

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-12 

#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #gethealed #whosyourenemy #graceisnotdeserved #straightenmycrown

YOU’RE DIFFERENT!

YOUR’RE DIFFERENT!  And it was intentional.

My friends…please consider this.  There are those of you, that are just different…who were never meant to fit in.  Maybe the Lord never intended you to blend in with the crowd.  I might suggest that He truly did set you apart.  Could it be that you were meant to stand out?  Could it be that this whole time, He was developing a heart in you to truly connect…to reach the outcast and downtrodden?  You will find, to your surprise that this development will not only extend to the outcasts and misfits but to the people in high places of authority, prominence or influence.  This development is to reach any and all people who are wandering in despair over the lack of real and true connection.

From conception…before you were in your mother’s womb, the intent was for you to be different.  The mold was not duplicated.  He intended for you to stand out.  He intended for you to stir up conversation, cause second glances, for people to question why you were different. 

Could it be that He is calling out His sons and daughter for such a time as this?  It is time of new and different!  He’s calling you out to love so deeply and so differently, there will be some that just don’t know what to do with you.  

And this whole time you thought something was wrong with you…when really you were just called to greatness.  This whole time, the very thing that was different about you was actually being celebrated in a realm you couldn’t see.  Rise up sons and daughters…it is time!  It is time for different!  He’s not doing the same thing, He is doing a different thing.  Take honor in that…get out of your way…get in THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE…allow Him to use you!

‘ Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].’

Romans 12:2

‘But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.’

1 Peter 2:9-10

 

Peace is Attainable

peacePeace is attainable.  

So many are in transition right now and have been for some time.  I believe that breakthrough is coming!  The feeling of uncertainty, abandonment, anxiousness, and feeling lost, tends to take over in the quiet moments.  These are not moments to avoid and/or ignore.  

Take a second…hide away…don’t hide from your feelings.  Go to your closet, your car, for a walk…anything.  Allow yourself to process.  Take a breath.  You control your thoughts.  They are not governed by anything you don’t give authority to.  In other words, your thought are controlled by whatever you give authority to.

Track your thoughts on how you got there.  How did you get to this end thought?  What sparked the trail you went down?  Ask God to show you where this all started.  Open up that line of communication.  He patiently waits for you to come to Him.  He does not force His way in.  He is a Gentleman.   Find your safe place with Him.  Ask Him for one.

We so often look at peace as an emotion or feeling.  It is a very physical, living, breathing, presence.  He is the Prince of Peace.  His very presence is where we are able to attain Peace.

End all be all, is it grounded in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?  If it isn’t…then it needs to be.  You get that option.  You get to choose.  You get to decide what you think on.  You get to control your thoughts…even when they feel out of control.  The devil has worked very hard to convince you otherwise.  You are not what you feel.  Those are indicators to what is going.  Your feelings are not bad.  They are there to bring your attention to something that needs to be addressed.

What are they revealing to you?  How can you use those feelings to overcome?

Again…take a breath…breathe!  You are going to be ok.  Even if you don’t feel ok yet, or all the time for that matter.  It is totally normal.  Peace is attainable.

‘But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. ‘

Galatians 5:16-24