Tag Archives: Black Lives Matter

How Do You Solve a Problem like Donald Trump?

  
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of months, you know that America will be taking to the polls to vote for a new President in November. Okay, maybe you didn’t know that but I’m sure you are completely aware that Donald Trump is running for President. This election cycle has brought a couple of issues to the forefront of political debate. We have Bernie Sanders staging a revolution, Hillary Clinton making women across America define feminism and some questionable soundbites from the Republican candidates. I have always been interested in Politics (minor understatement – my degree was in Politics) but this is the first presidential election I’ve witnessed firsthand as I now live in America. All I have to say about the American political system is that it’s crazy challenging. At least it is when you’re a Christian and you are trying to decide who to vote for/if you should vote at all. I can’t vote in America so it’s actually been really interesting to observe the campaigning from an objective (and non-scholarly, thank God!) point of view. Here’s my take so far:

  1. I don’t understand why Americans are still debating health care. Why on earth should you need insurance to see a doctor? Americans seem to think that it’s “socialist” (that’s a dirty word out here) to give everyone free healthcare. Um. That’s normal in almost all developed countries around the world America and we haven’t sunk into communism, so I’m still baffled. #FixIt
  2. Campaigns run on all types of issues, which is great! It’s a real attempt at democracy and allowing the people to have their say on how they should be governed. Only. There’s not much choice. If you’re pro-life, for example but you believe in more liberal economic policies, there’s no one to represent you in either parties. You have to choose between your beliefs and economic reforms that could positively affect your life.
  3. American Christians be getting mad, bruh (yeah, I’ve lived here for two years I can NoCal quite well, thank you very much) and I don’t understand why! This is not a theocracy people! America is not a Christian nation. Don’t stone me for saying the truth, please – I’m just calling it as I see it. Yeah it would be great to have a true, authentic believer in the White House as a President and who knows? Maybe it will happen one day (last election cycle a black man was voted in so miracles do happen, can I get an amen?) BUT as it is, this county does not run on biblical principles. The American government is under no obligation to do as the Bible says. So don’t get butt hurt when un-biblical laws are passed. Expect them and know that the church should exemplify God’s standard not the legislative (1 Cor 5:12-13). Simples.
  4. Similarly, if you’re a Christian and you’re trusting in the government for change or to make the world a better place, your trust has been misplaced, my friend. As a good friend of mine told me, “Our hope should lie in the person of Jesus Christ, and everything we do to change society should flow from a place of abiding with Him. There’s no doubt the government will let us down.” No one would say that the government is a perfect institution and given that it serves the interests of many, there’s no way it can serve Jesus’ alone. Although we can use governmental processes to further the cause of the gospel, our hope cannot be in it.
  5. Finally, if you’re really engaged in this election process but, in retrospection, you find that you haven’t spent much time praying about what gives you concern then it may be time to get on your knees. 

I found myself in this position last week. There are a couple of social issues and injustices that I can get worked up over (gender equality, #blacklivesmatter) but I realised I haven’t been praying about these issues even though prayer is our greatest weapon. If we really want to see change, we should take it to Jesus in prayer. Same goes for the election. You don’t like Donald Trump? Pray about it.

Love Deborah xxxx

The Problem I Had With Jesus

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This year, I have had major issues with Jesus.

This is usually the part where I start spewing some wild and outrageous tale of heartbreak, a job loss or an incurable disease. If you read the blog regularly, you will have noticed that (as with most people) when ish hits the fan, my faith is also impacted (until I put my big girl knickers on and fight the good fight). Sorry to disappoint you, there is no headline here, no major event, just a host of concerns and questions that I didn’t have the answer to. I woke up one morning and felt 2,000 years was far too recent for the Messiah to have come (via immaculate conception), died (by crucifixion) and risen again.

*cue laughter*

Yeah, I know those of you with unshakeable faith have no idea what I’m on about, but those who have wondered a similar thing, walk with me for a minute.

I wanted to believe, I did believe (kind of) but it was all too much for my small mind to comprehend. God had come in human form, died and risen in order to save my sins. It sounded like a fairy tale, a Disney classic, where the hero had saved the day and rescued us all. Except, the day hadn’t really been saved. A few weeks ago, a White terrorist thought it was acceptable to enter a Church and shoot its members. Last week, a handful of extremist Muslims went on a beach and shot 21 people to death.  People continue to die of Cancer, thousands of people are trafficked every year and Black lives still don’t matter. I wondered why the coming of the Messiah hadn’t brought about the happy ending that we needed.

As we get older, our childlike innocence fades and in its place remains questions, logic and cynicism to all the things we once accepted as true. Our belief in the tooth fairy and Santa disappear and for some of us, so does our belief in Jesus. They say that without faith it is impossible to please God (well, they don’t say, Hebrews 11:16 says) and it’s true. If you can’t even believe that God can truly do anything in and of Himself, how can you expect Him to do the seemingly impossible for you? Why would you give your all or try and stay on the straight and narrow when His mere existence is met with cynicism and rejection? How can we seek the One when we struggle to accept that there is One at all?

I often wonder how I’m still a Christian with my liberal views and my growing heap of questions. Want to know how I’m still here, in faith, striving towards Jesus? Ok, here are my secrets:

I never stop reading my Bible. I don’t close my Bible or turn away from God when I have questions, I delve deeper and I take my questions to Him (and Google). Neither has failed me yet. The scripture that reignited my faith this time around was:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:1-3

In other words, Jesus was always there.

I don’t expect for things to make sense any more. I think the moment you accept that a virgin had a baby without having sex, whose life you know very little about from the age of 0-30, who died and rose again, and dwells in you today through the presence of the Holy Spirit, you kinda have to stop using logic to navigate your Christianity; you have to use faith. And that’s not to say that faith is illogical or that you should cease to question elements of your Christianity that would be stupid. What I am saying is that every detail making sense to your human, limited mind shouldn’t be the highest thing on your agenda because you will never have all the answers. You weren’t there; you missed it, you will never have an eye-witness account concerning the life of Jesus. What you do have is that conviction in your heart and all those times where you were down to nothing and he came through for you.

I try to have childlike faith. I worked in a Primary school two weeks ago. While my Jesus crisis was at an all-time high, a 10-year old turned around, looked at me and exclaimed “Jesus ain’t real.” I responded, “Get behind me, Satan!” I joke, I joke. I put on my politically correct hat and asked him why he felt that way.  As he was about to tell me, his friend quipped “Jesus is real, ‘e was ‘ung up on a tree!” I highly doubt that this boy was actually a Christian; it’s more likely that he had heard the story and simply accepted it as truth. His belief made me smile, it challenged me and I felt something shift within me once again.

Of course Jesus was real. Of course Jesus is real. ‘E was ‘ung up on a tree, after all.

Lots of love,

Joy xx

Will The Police Ever Stop Killing Black People?

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Currently, there are lots of hot topics getting our lips moving and tongues wagging. The Leaders Debate, featuring the best politicians Britain has to offer a collection of people, who have skilfully have one way or another, acquired the position as the Head of their respective parties, was surprisingly entertaining  and unquestionably frustrating all at the same time.

It would be wrong not to mention just how well Ed (yes, I call him Ed) performed at this point.

If for some magic reason you’re reading this Ed, (I had a huge debate this week about how shortening your name does make you seem quite personable) I want you to know that you did me proud. I digress. What I found quite entertaining was their belief that they all stood for something unique and if elected would implement wildly different policies to that of their competitors. Although it was almost sweet, their beliefs were juxtaposed with the extremely irritating way that they answered questions.

It’s funny how politicians all have their speech enveloped in that ‘I- think-you’re-quite-unintelligent-across-the-board-but-I-hope-you-can’t-tell-that-I’m-struggling-to-dumb-things-down-for-you’ and none of us are really allowed to complain. Why can’t we complain? We can’t complain because hearing people speak in obnoxious tones with sentences that are inherently insubstantial enough is all we really expect from the strange group we call Politicians.

Collectively, politicians are a group of people that we expect very little from. However, since they hold the keys to the doors that have been slammed in our faces and the ones we’ve been banging on in hope for years, they demand lots of our attention. So when they all get together and grace our TV screens with a more rehearsed version of their jumble of their manifestos, we are amused but never surprised. When they claim they’ll do x, y, and z but spend their whole term implementing l, m, n, o, p, we are slightly disgruntled but never surprised. When they claim to be all about the people but secretly spend our hard earned cash making a mockery and claiming ‘expenses’, we are highly disappointed but never surprised. And why should we be? They’re just people in power behaving the way people in power do: abusing the system on various levels with a slight arrogance.

When I heard of yet another police man killing yet another Black man, I was hurt, frustrated, angry and all the other emotions you feel when something is so clearly wrong but you feel helpless as to its reoccurrence. But I wasn’t surprised. Then I watched the recording of the incident and it hit me: the surprise I thought was no longer possible to feel. I was surprised at the extent of the cruelty.

‘We’ have come so far and yet we are humans sharing a planet with others of our kind who have limitless destruction capability and what seems like hidden cruelty planted deep in some of our hearts. We expect people in power to abuse it and we expect systems to work against us to varying extents according to our gender, race, or creed but we do not expect to see weapons planted on victims after they have been murdered by police officers.

I watched the video featuring Walter Scott as he was murdered in South Carolina and my heart ached at the sheer brutality of humanity.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36‬:‭26-27 (NKJV)

I remember when I read that scripture and I thought ‘heart of stone’ was a bit extreme but you look at the atrocities that have been committed throughout history and it becomes a complete understatement. By all means we are not all the makings of Hitler, we will not all join IS, or start genocides, or cause wars… but we all need Jesus. Of course people claiming to be Christian commit atrocities but a true relationship with Christ takes us away from the sinful lives we lead, ever closer to a life exemplifying the love that our father in Heaven shows us. Only God can begin that transformation.

I remain speechless at the events that led to the murder of Walter Scott but I will take my frustrations to God because only he can change our stories.

Love Dani xxx