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“Oh, You Thought I Was Playing!”

Lou Coleman-Yeboah

By Lou Coleman-Yeboah

“Not; Says the Lord!” I meant what I said and said what I meant! I am a compassionate God and I am not slack concerning My promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance [2Peter 3:9]. But when the rubber meet the road, don’t get it twisted, I will not be a loving God at the expense of My holiness. Besides, how many times have I bowed to your pleas for mercy?  “Please Lord, give me one more chance. I love you. I’m sorry. Please Lord, please!  All right,” I said. “I’ll give you a break this time. Once more I relented. I said, “Okay, but this is the last time. If you don’t return back, I will become a consuming fire towards you. No excuses, no whining. Is that clear?” “Oh, yes, thank you Lord. I love you” you said.  Profuse in your gratitude, and filling the air with solemn promises of loving me. What happened? What went wrong?  Instead of loving and honoring me, you profane me.

I tell you, “After all the things that we’ve been through you should understand me like I understand you. To love and be loved in return, it’s the only thing that my heart desires. Just appreciate the little things I do… we can build a world of love, a life of joy make our goal each other happiness. I will do everything for you. Every day I want to do a little bit more….” [Teddy Pendergrass – When Someone Loves You Back].  What more can I do? “I gave my heart, soul and Spirit to you, didn’t I; didn’t I do it. I gave you the love you never knew. Didn’t I?  I thought that heart of yours was true.” “Silly of me to think that I could ever have you for myself; Silly of me to think that you could ever know the things I do are all done for you [Silly –The Delfonics]. It’s obvious; you don’t love me as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! [Revelation 2:4-5]. You have abandoned the love you had at first”–the love that caused you to drop everything and to follow me into the desert. This is the love that captures my heart and colors every moment of every day. Turn back to me “… or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place …” [Revelation 2:5].

Oh, how God longs to have a relationship with us. The Bible tells us that what God desires, what He really wants, is a meaningful relationship. “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” [Mark 12:30]. I tell you, the greatest investment we can make in this life is a wholehearted pursuit of a deep personal relationship with God. Think about the time in your life when your love for Christ burned more strongly than ever. Think back to what it was like when you first came to know the Lord. Remember how you felt? What you did? How often you prayed or read the scriptures? Remember how you responded to tough situations? It is easy to slip, to get busy and to fall away from that strong relationship with Christ. But, [Revelation 2] says to remember what it was like, to remember that spiritual infatuation you had with the Lord at the start. Go back and do the things you did at first.  Return to your first love, renew your devotion. Because, nothing could be more important than living your life on the foundation of God’s greatest commandment: to love him. Let Him be your center, your focus, your everything.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord [Romans 8:38].

I tell you, “ I have never been so much in love before, what a difference a true love made in my life, so nice so right, loving Him [Jesus]. He gave me something new that I’ve never felt, never dreamed of, something’s changed, and no it’s not the feeling I had before, ooh, it’s much much more.  A love I never knew that it’s touch could mean so much… and when we walk hand in hand, I feel so real, lovers come and then lovers go that’s what folks say, but not my lover. What we have is much more than they could see, yeah so much more…” [L.T.D. – Love Ballad].

Are you prepared to let the one who loves you more than anything else in the world lavish His love on you? If so, Shhhh. Listen. Receive. Drink it in:  Precious one, you might not know me, but I know you like none other.  [Psalm 139:2] I am your most beloved companion.  [Psalm 119:63] It is my desire to overwhelm you in my love. [1John 3:1]  I chose you when I planned creation.  [Ephesians 1:11-12] Nothing you have even done can separate you from my love.  [Romans 8:38-39] You are not a mistake.  [Psalm 139:15-16] I am healing all wounds and brokenness of heart.  [Psalm 147:3] I will never stop doing good for you.  [Jeremiah 32:40] I will never, no never, leave you nor forsake you. [Hebrews 13:5] You are my treasured possession. No one loves you like me.  [Exodus 19:5].

Can you feel His lavish love? Go ahead. Do something outrageous and incredibly silly. Embrace His courtship and gentle wooing. Jesus loves you this I know!

 

 

Rev. Al Sharpton Says Police Shootings Are A National Problem

By Manny Otiko | California Black Media

Stephon Clark’s memorial service held Thursday was a chance for both national and local figures to share their opinions about the latest police shooting of an unarmed black man.

Hundreds gathered to mourn the life of Stephon Clark at BOSS Church in South Sacramento, CA. Clark was shot and killed by law enforcement officers that encountered him while responding to neighborhood complaints of car windows being broken on March 18. Clark was mistakenly believed to be in possession of a gun but was found only to be holding his cell phone.

Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, spoke at the memorial. He slammed the media for the way they were trying to frame the story.

“This is not black versus white, this is right versus wrong,” he said.

Photo by Antonio R. Harvey: Matt Barns Former NBA player, friends and family take Stephon Clark to his final resting place.

He also took a swipe at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders who described Clark’s shooting as “a local matter.”

“This is not a local issue, it’s a national problem,” he said.  “A problem this president wants to ignore.”

Matt Barnes, a former NBA player, spoke after the memorial service. Barnes also organized a rally in Clark’s name. He said the issue hit home with him because he was a parent.

“I’m a father of two young boys, and I fear for their lives,” said Barnes. “Not only in the streets, but also behinds the hands of cops.”

Julie Debbs, a Sacramento resident, said Clark’s death could serve as a unifying force in the black community. She noted that several local gangs had attended the funeral peacefully.

“Everybody came together today. This is beautiful. Maybe this will bring us all together as one,” she said.

Local, Service-Based Nonprofits Team Up to Put On “B’cause U” Voter Empowerment Workshops in The Inland Empire

RIALTO, CA- Hoping to boost voter turnout for the upcoming mid-term and future elections, a collaborative of local nonprofit service organizations is pooling their resources to educate, empower and motivate residents (ages 16 years and older) to register, vote and become more involved in all levels of government that affect our lives.

The nearly 20 nonprofits — who have named their partnership Inland Empowered — are hosting two “B’CAUSE U” Voter Empowerment Workshops this month on Saturday, April 7 at the Carolyn E. Wylie Center located at 4164 Brockton Avenue in Riverside and on Saturday, April 14 at San Bernardino Valley College located at 701 S. Mount Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino. The workshops will begin at 10 a.m.

An opening performance by members of Youth Action Project will set the stage for the workshops, followed by the first presentation on “What Government Is & What It Is Supposed To Do For You.” Marc K. Fudge, Ph.D., Professor of Public Administration at Cal State University of San Bernardino (CSUSB) will present on April 7, and Dr. Brian Janiskee, Chair of the Department of Political Science at CSUSB will be the April 14 presenter.

Spoken word and dance performances by Destiny Muse, Chelsea Davis, Caleb Collins and others will precede and then follow the second presentation on “Understanding What Propositions Really Mean & Why Your Vote Matters.” Joan Donahue, Vice President of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Riverside will make the presentation on April 7, and Jill Vassilakos-Long, Co-President of the LWV of the San Bernardino Area will present on April 14.

“Our collaborative chose to design a creative, educational program that will allow people to gain a better understanding of government on local, state, and federal levels and to become more involved in the decisions each level makes that impact their everyday lives,” said Lisha Smith, Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Inland Empire Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., who manages Inland Empowered’s planning meetings.

“Inland Empowered believes that knowledge is power,” she added. “That’s what we are offering through these workshops, knowledge to awaken people to the realization of the power that lies within their vote.”

The workshops are free, but individuals attending are asked to register through Eventbrite.comFree refreshments will be provided and there will be raffle drawings during the workshops.

Members of Inland Empowered

  • 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • BLU Educational Foundation
  • Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Fair Housing Council of Riverside County
  • Inland Empire National Pan Hellenic Council
  • Inland Empire Section, National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Knights of Peter Claver
  • Ladies Auxiliary League of Women Voters of Riverside
  • League of Women Voters of the San Bernardino Area NAACP of Riverside & San Bernardino Counties Riverside
  • African American Historical Society
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
  • The Group, Riverside
  • Youth Action Project, Inc.