Category Archives: Social Media

Wrong Bandwagons- My Take On Joel Osteen and the Houston Floods

osteen

 Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church in Houston have been under a thunderstorm of accusation almost as big as the Houston flood itself. The controversy is over why their church doors were not open to those in the city seeking shelter and food. I admit, it looked bad. A megachurch directly in the city hit by the biggest flood since Katrina. I also admit I said this to myself, I was like self, why arent the doors of this church open for people?  Especially when video and pics are taken from a non-flooded parking lot at the church.  Now I had to check in with why I had that question within myself because I have no problem at with Osteen’s wealth. And although there are hustler preachers out there who are only interested in people’s pocketbooks, I have never once thought that Osteen was one of them. I know he’s a man of God and is changing many lives.  My one and only eyebrow raise with him was his endorsement of Trump during the presidential campaign. I would love to pick Osteen’s brain on this topic, because I have a problem with white Evangelicals backing this president… a major problem. But Harvey in Houston is a completely different subject as it relates to Joel Osteen.

Even though it didn’t “look good” that the doors to Lakewood church were closed, I had to reserve judgement. I have the Holy Spirit and very directly received a “reserve your judgement” nudge from Him. So I did. I wasn’t going to post anything anti-Osteen or anti-Lakewood church on social media. AND NOW THE TRUTH COMES OUT. We find very clearly that parts of Lakewood Church were greatly flooded. (See pic below) Now you could not see the internal flooding from the street, so taking pictures and video from the parking lot or front doors of the church could not capture images of the flooding. There’s no way the church could have opened it’s doors to those seeking shelter if the building needed rescue itself. Selah.

This is a good lesson for those who call themselves believers, many of which I personally saw repost articles on how this church was guilty of taking from the people of Houston, to now refuse to give back to them in a time of need. We have to be careful of the bandwagons we jump on. We have to discern truth, and while we are seeking it, we have to reserve judgement until it is revealed. We have to recognize the enemy’s devices. The moment this big shaming attack happened to a man of God, we at the very least have to pause and attempt to recognize why. This story getting so much attention should alone be a reason for pause, because the attack was coming for the Body of Christ. Is the enemy behind this, has to be something we ask, especially when a story is being spread so quickly. Is this a deflection from the real issue, that real people have been displaced and are in need of help and prayer. Those are the questions we must ask. However now that the truth has come out, those accusing Osteen and Lakewood will not refute their claims, they wont apologize, they wont even drop a simple “my bad” on social media. Nor will the pictures of a flooded church circulate as quickly as the pictures from the unflooded parking lot did. Folk will just go on about their lives, leaving the debris of the damage they caused.

Reflecting on all of this I’m reminded, (another Holy Spirit nudge), of the times when people came for me, who based opinions about me completely on lies, hearsay and gossip. How hurtful that was to be on the receiving end of such vicious attacks from people who had personal agendas to discredit me…and the fact that this came from the church pushes a sword in deeper into an already infectious wound. And oh how hurtful it was that so many were willing to just go along with their stories, never questioning their validity. Those who would roll their eyes when they saw me, or who wouldn’t return my phone calls, or who gave me mad cold shoulder action all up in the sanctuary of the saints. It’s laughable to me now, but I remember it all, and it will all look really good in my book.

We have to remember that being accused does not equal guilt. Some of the greatest movements in history took place after someone first endured great attack. Ask Martin Luther King, he wasn’t always revered, he was first reviled by the masses before he was ever celebrated. Yet he was guilty of no wrong doing, only of moving an entire nation forward. Oftentimes changing of a tide or a season is accompanied by wrong accusation because people have a problem with being confronted with the low place they live in. Be glad when you are accused when you know you’re not guilty. It’s a sign for a table being set before you in the very presence of your enemies. The very reason that Osteen and Lakewood have come under such attack is because they have done great things for the Kingdom of God and oh the enemy, he no likey that. This current onslaught of attack will only propel them forward into greater exploits. The same is true for us. When we’re attacked, greater exploits are ahead of us.  Just make sure the bandwagon you jump on is heading in the right direction.  

 #HolySpiritNudges #TheEnemyIsTheAccuserOfTheBreathren #SatanIsTheFatherOfLies #HeIsAlsoTheAuthorOfConfusion #ThisIsWhatHeDoes #DontAllowDistractionsWhilePeopleAreSuffering #PrayForHouston #JoelOsteen #LakewoodChurch #HurricaneHarvey #HoustonFloods

lakewood
Photo credit @heyitslynneg
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Philando Castile, Close to Home

Philando

There are the times when police shootings of innocent men hit us harder than others. It’s all tragic, it’s all loss, but because we’re human sometimes we’re affected with one story more than another. We have to be because taking in too much tragedy is not good for the soul.

For me it was Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Eric Gardner, Sandra Bland, all for different reasons, these tragedies hit me in a deep and personal place.

Now Philando Castile affects me in that same place, with the legacy of all the others behind him.

Every person who knew him called him kind, sweet, generous. I have had to go to the Father so regularly in fighting the urge to fall into a low place over his senseless death. That tragedy can strike because of an assumed threat, based on the color of your skin, even though you are kind, generous, AND innocent, is an overwhelming notion.

The boy with the disability holding the sign in the picture, says more than what is written on his board. Losing someone special to him surely hits him harder than it would most. When someone is kind when you have a need that is outside the norm, you are dealing with an extremely dear person. #Tears

Praying for his family, his friends, for our nation, and for the hearts of many like me who have been hit hard by this loss. #LetTheKindAndGenerousKeepYourHeadUp #BlackLivesMatter

 

 

Alton and Philando

I had a flashback. In my very conscious effort to diffuse all that’s going on right now from my spirit and mind, I am reminded that I actually have the option to diffuse. I along with anyone who takes their emotional and mental well being seriously had to pull back at least a bit from last week’s tragedy. We cant be constantly reminded of tragedy, bury our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not happening, no, but we do have to be sensitive to how much information we take in. But all of this reminded me of a time when I couldn’t diffuse because I was in the front seat of grief.
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 A much younger cousin of mine came up to me  only a few hours after my mother’s funeral and said, “Whew, I’m glad that’s over.” It that moment I thought to myself, yeah maybe for you. The funeral was only just a step for me in a very long process of grieving. We in the public, especially those who are African American can feel real grief, pain, threat, fear, all of that, as it relates to the killing of Black men and women by brutal police. This hits home because we understand full well that what happened to them  could happen to us, or someone we know or love. But our grief cant touch the surface of those who are directly tied to these men who lost their lives last week, or last year, or 10 years ago, or 100 years ago. (Because we do know the killing of Black folk by police or authorities is not a new phenomenon right? It being caught on film is the only new thing… but I digress.) Like me during those grief stricken days closely connected in time to my own mother’s death, the family and friends of Mr Alton Sterling and Mr Philando Castile cannot so easily disconnect from their pain with distractions on television and Facebook.
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Alton Sterling was a working married man. He was taking care of his children who adored him. In the picture to the upper right is his 15 year old baby boy, Cameron Sterling crying out during his father’s funeral. It was Cameron who most connected me to who Alton was during his outcry through last week’s press conference. It’s in moments of a human expression of agony that connects us to a sense of loss. I think they call that empathy. Cameron didn’t deserve to loose his daddy.
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Philando Castile was an all around good guy who was loved by family, friends and his community. The picture to the upper left is a powerful photo that speaks to the spirit of the African American experience during loss.  The hands raised represent the choosing to hold ones head high even when your loved one was taken senselessly. The white suits represent the purity of this young man’s spirit and the love he had for the children he served at the elementary school he worked for.
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Neither of these men deserved to die. None of these families deserved to bury their loved ones today. Praying for Alton’s family and friends. Praying for Philando’s family and friends. Praying for Cameron who misses his father at such an impressionable age of early manhood. Praying for Diamond Reynolds and her daughter who witnessed murder in cold blood.
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Praying for our nation to fully grow into the base understanding of the value of life in black skin.