For those of you who don’t know, Juneteenth, marks the day when U.S. troops arrived in Galveston TX in 1865 to ensure that all enslaved people be freed by taking control of the state. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.
However, most people have never heard of it.
Because it hasn’t been a part of the national narrative.
Because it wasn’t important enough to be a part of our nation’s story. Our history. So, that means no recognition in the history books, no days off work, no fireworks.
Because if the freedom of those who were slaves was important as the freedom of the colonists from their ‘oppressors’ it would have been a part of our history, celebrated by all races and not just those of African descent.
On July 4th, 1776, Black people in America had no independence. It wasn’t for them. Those inalienable rights were written into the Constitution by hands that also signed bills of sale for slaves. Can you imagine slaves overhearing their oppressors celebrating their ‘freedom’ from their oppressors?
So, when the end of slavery was officially enforced on June 19, 1865, it should have been celebrated by everyone who considered themselves to be a child of God, because as the Constitution states, those inalienable rights were granted by the Creator, The Lord God of Israel from Eternity Past to Eternity Future, through His Son, the Lamb of God Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
Happy Juneteenth America! Let the fireworks begin!
Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)
28 There is neither Jewnor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Most American’s are passionate and protective of their right to free speech…
Or are we?
How many people have willingly signed away their right to free speech because of their job or career.
Companies, school systems, municipalities, government agencies, and even religious organizations don’t want their employees making them ‘look bad’ or liable; so they make one of the conditions of employment a contract that ‘limits’ what they can say publicly if they are to remain employed.
I’m talking about speech that’s respectful and responsible, not reckless.
Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [a]edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Colossians 4:6 (NKJV)
6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Are you free to say what you want to say about your company and where they stand on issues?
Are you free to say how you feel about the culture of your organization without fear of retaliation?
Is there something that you want to responsibly express or share about your organization… about your faith… about what’s in your heart, but if you do so you know you could lose your job?
How many people endure toxic cultures, bullying, inequity, unfair policies, abuse of authority, basically from people who are merely ‘working for a living’ just like them because they fear losing their job…career…even their retirement?
Is that freedom of speech?
Restricting our ability to respectfully and responsibly be critical and hold accountable the leadership in our places of employment or our concerns about social or spiritual issues is quite frankly not allowed in many workplaces.
It can’t be equated to shouting ‘FIRE’ in a public place. That protects life. And there is some speech that is not protected by the constitution because it’s a threat to the ‘public good’ however, withholding what’s on our mind about our employers sometimes only protects egos, reputations and the threat of litigation.
Think about this, Americans are more free to say how they feel about their national, state and local leaders… their pastor… their loved ones… than their boss.
Many people even express their criticism to God Himself before the do so to their boss!
We are more free to tell God how we feel without fear of relaliation than the person for whom we work.
Psalm 142:1-2 (NKJV)
I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.
God is more willing to ‘reason with us’ than many of our places of employment.
Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Is you freedom of speech that’s protected by the Constitution, surrendered in your contract?
Think about it, but be careful what you say about it at work.
Isn’t amazing how people give coaches a pass? They don’t want the teacher or police to ‘curse’ at their children, even if they are disruptive. They don’t even want the preacher to speak too ‘harshly’ to or of their children – but the let the coach say what he or she wants and how he or she wants. Some will even let a coach hit their children…hit not spank.
Have you ever heard anyone say they had to talk to someone ‘on their level’ to reach them, especially when they are disruptive or have harsh speech themselves.
God says very clearly that we are not to allow corrupt communication to come out of our mouths…
This applies to coaches too!
Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
He clearly tells us that we aren’t to swear (an oath) or to curse ( cursing is pronouncing condemnation)…
Matthew 5:37 (NKJV)
37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
That means it’s sin to say “Hell yes!” or “Hell no!”. Jesus says that “anything more is from the evil one”.
To reason that it takes profanity or cursing to get the best out of someone is to imply that it takes ‘the evil one’ rather than God to do that. Why do people trust their children to language straight from the devil. In other words, we are saying God can’t handle it, but the devil can. God forbid!
Some say it prepares them for the real world or competition. I say that teaching them how to get the best out of you according to God’s will prepares them to be light in the real world. Remember, God is sending us out like sheep among wolves…that’s how He prepares us.
Matthew 10:16 (NKJV)
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
There is no game, competition or battle on earth than the one Jesus endured on the cross. There was no profanity and cursing in preparation for that…only submission and humility.
If I don’t curse or use profanity to get the best out of my children, I’m not going to allow a man or woman to do so when it’s within my power.
Giving a coach the thumbs up to curse out or belittle your child is another way that a parent can provoke their children to wrath.
Allowing a coach to curse your children is cursing your children…
Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV)
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
There are plenty of coaches out there are very effective and do it the right way. But to those who don’t…God will hold them accountable and hold the parents accountable for allowing it.
Just because our culture has normalized this behavior as acceptable doesn’t make it right. Trust God’s word and not the ‘devil’s words’ with your children.
3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And (A)I have walked in Your truth.
Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)
11 (A)Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; [a]Unite my heart to fear Your name.
If you consider yourself a disciple of Christ, you must be very careful of a popular affirmation these days…
I’m living my truth!”
Sometimes our truth is sin, anger, wrath, rage, lust, jealousy, prejudice, betrayal, hate, blame,a hardened heart, refusal to read God’s word, refusal to pray, forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, worshipping our desires, satisfaction of our flesh, rebellion against God.
The truth is, we can’t trust our heart or our ‘truth’ because without the truth of God’s word…it’s wicked.
Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And [a]desperately wicked; Who can know it?
What is the beginning? When did everything ‘start’?
Genesis 1:1 (NKJV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Time/tīm/noun (Oxford Online Dictionary)
1.the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.”travel through space and time”
2.a point of time as measured in hours and minutes past midnight or noon.”the time is 9:30″
If you are a parent who believes in the the Lord God of Israel from Everlasting to Everlasting through our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) you have heard this question in some form…
“Where did God come from?”
“When was God born?”
“Who created God?”
I know most of you already know this, but please humor me so I can make my point. Besides, even the Apostle Peter let us know that we sometimes have to be reminded of what we already know…
2 Peter 1:12-13 (NKJV)
12For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this [a]tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
God introduced Himself to the world of many beliefs and many ‘gods’ through the perspective of a people He raised up to create a faith. FAITH, NOT RACE…
He created this people through a man named Abram, later changing his name to Abraham…
Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)
“Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
I love the way that the bible refers to God as “The Lord God of Israel from Everlasting to Everlasting” in so many places. Yes, it’s a mouthful. Yes, it’s a lot to type, but it is exactly who He is…
Psalm 41:13 (NKJV)
13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.
Psalm 106:48 (NKJV)
48 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord!
That is the New King James Version but, look at how the Complete Jewish Bible says it…
Psalm 41:14 (CJB)
14 (13) Blessed be Adonai the God of Isra’el from eternity past to eternity future.
I love that…“from eternity past to eternity future”. The thought of eternity past infers that there was NO BEGINNING.
God does not require a beginning. He does not require a birth. He does not require an origin. Why?
God created TIME for our benefit. So we can measure and have context to our lives, history and the future.
Galatians 4:4-7 (CJB)
4but when the APPOINTED TIME arrived (IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME), God sent forth his Son. He was born from a woman, born into a culture in which legalistic perversion of the Torah was the norm, 5 so that he might redeem those in subjection to this legalism and thus enable us to be made God’s sons. 6 Now because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, the Spirit who cries out, “Abba!” (that is, “Dear Father!”). 7 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son you are also an heir.
Think about it. Even when scientists who say the universe BEGAN with a BIG BANG, you can ask, “Okay, what was there before the BIG BANG?”. One could very easily reason that when God said, “Let there be…” there was a noise and physical manifestation.
Some things are difficult for even the ‘greatest’ scientific minds to understand, and one of those things is TIME. After all, I think of science as our attempt to give a physical explanation to a spiritual world.
Early in His ministry, Jesus was confronted by the enemy as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11, He was confronted/attacked while His FLESH was weakest. He had been fasting for 40 days. The enemy tried to catch Jesus in His flesh’s most vulnerable state. But, even though Jesus’ flesh was weak, His will was strong. Jesus knows us, and He knows our flesh gets weak too, that’s why He encourages us…
Matthew 26:41 (NKJV)
41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Even though Jesus’ flesh was weak, His Spirit and resolve was still willing and strong.
Because He fought off the enemy’s attack with the WORD OF GOD. The word of God is our most powerful weapon against the enemy.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
As much as so many Americans are preoccupied with and put faith in their GUNS…our greatest attacks aren’t against the FLESH, but SPIRIT. Even those who attack you physically have succumbed to a spiritual attack that led them to result to violence…it started in the Spirit.
That’s why you can’t bring a gun to a sword fight!
Temptation is an attack of the enemy, and Jesus made the devil back down with the word of God in Matthew 4:1-11.
He was tempted with HUNGER (vs 3)…which many have used as an excuse for violence and theft. Jesus’ response…“IT IS WRITTEN, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”. (vs 4)
He was tempted with PRIDE (vs 5,6)…which has led many to violence. Jesus’ response…“AGAIN IT IS WRITTEN, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test”. (vs 7)
He was tempted with POWER (vs 8,9)…which has led many to kill countless people. Jesus’ response…“Be gone Satan! FOR IT IS WRITTEN, you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” (vs 10).
Verse 11 tells us that the devil fled…Jesus overcame the temptation/attack with the word of God.
Everything that leads man to violence and gun fire BEGINS with a temptation to the spirit, but Jesus taught us how to fight before the guns are drawn.
Read Matthew 4 :1-11 again for context. Read 2: Corinthians 10:1-6. Read James 4:7. And read Psalm 33:16 and remember…. YOU CAN’T BRING A GUN TO A SWORD FIGHT!
King David was so excited about the return of the Ark of the Covenant that he celebrated with a public dance.
Enjoy my wife’s (Mechelle Johnson) music video featuring members of our church family doing the Walk with Me Strut to her single, “Walk with Me (Never Alone)”. It’s a derivative of an Old School classic.
The dance was choreographed by Tarri Hester Johnson.
2 Samuel 6:14-15
14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment.[a]15 So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.
If my blog blesses you, I gladly accept donations of $2 or less. 1 Corinthians 9:14 (CJB) 14 In the same way, the Lord directed that those who proclaim the Good News should get their living from the Good News.