To celebrate Black History Month we would like to share our weekly
devotions presented each Sunday at St. John's AME Zion.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs
When faced with difficulties, many prople give in to discouragement,
despair and self-pity. Learn to master you mind. It can either serve or destroy you. Victory or defeat occurs
in the mind before it happens anywhere else. Believe in yourself; never accept defeat. It is not who falls that
fails, but he who falls and fails to rise again.
Dr. Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon who captured worldwide media
attention in 1987 for the successful separtion of conjoined twins who shared a portion of the same brain, now director
of the Division of Pediatric Neusurgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, is a classic example of a changed attitude and a transformed
Ben Carson was born September 18,1951, in Detroit, Michigan.
Today he would be labeled "at risk", the designation given children with high potential and limited opportunity. Carson
was falling behind in school and wanted material possessions the family could not afford. Through prayer, added responsibility,
strict discipline, and honest sharing of the need the thrftiness, Ben Carson had a change in attitude and is now a living
Let's use this month as our LENT: Let's Eliminate Negative
Prayer: God, with you, my attitude is positive and all
things are possible.
Offered Sunday, February 15,2004.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving to one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Forgiveness is the bridge over which we all must one
day travel. If our tomorrows are going to be filled with joy wherein we seize
all possibilities, we must forgive. Omnipresent God can be found in both heaven
and earth. God is present everywhere in everybody and in everything. We are never separated from God. Just as we can not breathe
or walk or move without the direct impelling force of God's presence in the brain, heart and cells of our body, so it is with
everyone else. Each human being has the spirit of God. Regardless of what we think, God is "Our Father, Our Mother, and Our Creator."
Sometimes this is not very apparent in people. The God Spirit is masked under brokenness that manifests itself in evil ways. The truth that God is present becomes distorted. Nevertheless,
God is there; and if we are to find God, we must begin to look beyond human brokenness and begin to see God in each other. God is relational and externally exists in relationships of unity and diversity. God can be seen among our own family members, but God can also be seen in society
working in conjunction with other groups as fellow members of God's household.
The presence of God can be seen and felt among the
rainbow of God's human creation. The degree to which we cause any rift or division
between humans, creatures, or nature demonstates our spiritual deficiency.
Prayer: Lord, today I see you in everythin and
Sunday Februrary 8, 2004.
For your sake
we are being killed all day long; we are accounted for as sheep to be slaughtered. ...in all these things we are more
than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:26-37)
Today is the first day of the rest
of your life. Every day can and should be an exciting venture. We must, however, learn to live every moment under
the unction of the Holy Spirit. To do otherwise leads to a dull, impotent, fruitless, and frustrating existance.
Many of us come each year to Black History Month with raised consciousness about our past, present and future. Some
will marvel over the strides we made in the past. Many will complain about what is presently going on, and others will
make resolutions to work to make the hopes and dreams of our ancestors come to fruition.
Our history is glorious. Our
heads have been bloodied but unbowed. Even in our worst state of degradation, our ancestiors said, "Before I be a slave,
I'll be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord and be free." We have not only survived, we have been and are more
than conquerors. We only need to be who we are. Ebonics says it best; "Don't be who you ain't cause if you be
who you ain't, you can't be who you is." When we think about our future, if we draw all the good from the past and make
it better, we can be assured that the best is yet to come.
Prayer: Lord, you were there when
hope unborn had died; your are with us now, I know we will always be more than conquerors through you.
Offered Sunday February 1, 2004.