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“A Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Man I must have been told that a thousand times growing up.  Talking about somebody grateful for those twins; Grace and Mercy… Boy, am I glad! God gave me another opportunity to be obedient. He said to me; “I will not tolerate this stubborn, hardhead stiff-necked spirit any longer. Repent and do right… Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Can I tell you, I got me some get right real quick! See the Bible says it is of God’s mercy that we are not consumed. It is by His goodness that we are led to repentance. It is by His intercession that we are delivered. It is by His grace that we are sustained. It is of His love that we have been drawn to Him. It is because of His everlasting arms being under us that we are kept. It is by His faith that we are saved. It is by His blood that we are cleansed. It is by His righteousness that we are clothed and it is by His indwelling Spirit that we are filled and by His power that we are kept. I tell you PRIDE is a sin to be hated, a sin to be confessed, a sin to mourn over, a sin to flee, and a sin to fight against. It defiles God. It defiles man. It divides society. It dishonors life and it destroys souls. Pride ultimately destroys all that it controls. It is such a deceitful sin. It is the road to ruin and it will escort you straight to Hell. Pride, its pervasiveness cannot be overstated. Haughtiness, arrogance, conceit, inordinate self-esteem, and vainglory are as common as the air we breathe. DO NOT, fool around with Pride… Because the Bible repeatedly warns of pride precipitating a fall. “A mans pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor (Proverbs 29:23) Yes, everything might go your way for weeks, months and even years. But make no mistake about it, the day will come when God’s hand will be upon you and you won’t be able to do as you please anymore. In that day you can cry and fight all you want, but there will be nothing you can do, because God’s Mighty Hand would have taken a hold of you.

Listen, pride was the first sin to destroy the calm of eternity. It was pride that cast Lucifer from Heaven and it was pride that cost our first parents their place in Paradise. No sin is more offensive to God than the sin of Pride. It militates against His authority, His law, and His rule… I tell you God and pride are like oil and water— they don’t mix! Pride is dogmatic in its antagonism to God and God is absolute in His opposition to pride. God never has and never will compromise with pride. Dont Get It Twisted!

The saddest thing about pride though is that many people who are infected and infested with pride have no idea that they are. As a matter of fact, the proud person is often very proud of his humility…  and that is why I implore you to look again at the man in the mirror.  If we hear God’s Word when it tells us that we are sinners and do nothing about it, then we are exactly like the man who looks in the mirror. And you know what they say about the man in the mirror…. “He gets up in the morning looks into the mirror and sees that his hair is messy. He promptly walks away without combing his hair and the rest of the day he thinks he looks great. This man is either denying what he saw in the mirror, or he does not believe it.” When we look at God’s Word without letting it impact our lives then we are either pretending that we don’t know what it says, or denying that it is true. As is true with the man in the mirror, any failure to respond cannot be blamed on a lack of understanding. This man made a foolish mistake with his natural face, how much greater a mistake would it be for us to make this mistake with our souls? God’s Word, is a mirror in which we can see who we truly are in light of who God is. We must not look at this mirror and walk away. (James 1).  Check yourself before you wreck yourself because pride is foolish and it will only set you up for a fall.

Don’t let pride creep in.  Clothe yourself with humility; Do not think more of yourself than what you ought to; if you are clothed with humility God will give you grace; even the grace to overcome sin in your life.  But if you don’t, make no mistake about it, God will humble you if you don’t humble yourself. Don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself in Leviticus 26:18-21. A Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind!

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10

Two Girls Celebrate ‘Juneteenth’, and Learn Life Lessons in New Book

Sophie and Lelah Celebrate JuneteenthThe debut book in the Sophie and Lelah series by author L. Monique Gonzalez titled “Sophie and Lelah Celebrate Juneteenth” tells the tale of two spunky girls whose adventures teach young readers important life lessons. Sophie and Lelah are cousins and best friends. While attending their family reunion, one of them suffers a minor injury.

This incident throws the two girls into a journey of self-discovery that teaches them the importance of family, friendship and history as they commemorate Juneteenth, a day of celebration marking the end of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865 almost three years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

“I don’t think there are enough representations in print or media of the varied people and cultures present in our society,” Gonzalez says. “It is important to understand the experiences of others because it affects the way we relate to one another and impacts the ultimate success of our interactions.”

Gonzalez hopes to educate young readers about the significance of tradition and teach positive values in an entertaining and lighthearted way.

Interracial Relationships in the Wake of Ferguson

Christelyn Karazin

Christelyn Karazin

By Christelyn Karazin, Brand Ambassador for InterracialDatingCentral.com

In light of the recent events in Ferguson, as well as news that the police officer responsible for the chokehold that contributed to the death of Eric Garner will not face criminal charges, the focus on black people in interracial relationships has come into question by some. If you are currently in an interracial relationship, as I am, you may now be noticing an elephant in the room with the two of you. How you and your partner navigate the communication surrounding America’s recently heightened racial tensions can make or break the longevity of your relationship. Some questions I have gotten recently are along the lines of: “Is it possible to date and marry a non-black person in light of recent events? Would they really understand what it’s like to live in a country where racism is still alive and rearing its ugly head?

Sometimes debates between interracial couples creates conflict within their relationship, and oftentimes, disillusionment can set in. But that is when empathy and understanding are in order.

When events like Ferguson occur, and you suddenly find yourself party to a racial debate in your very own kitchen or bedroom, both races need to begin that dialogue by acknowledging certain truths. Much of the frustration and misunderstanding comes from each party being so invested in their own emotions that neither person wants to acknowledge these truths.

A Caucasian, or non-black, person involved in an interracial relationship must acknowledge that racism in this country still exists, even if you yourself do not endorse or engage in such bigotry and discrimination. We are a country founded upon a racial hierarchy which was used to justify slavery and subsequent injustices like segregation. The people who encouraged, accepted and perpetuated such injustices are not all dead. In some parts of the country, there are populations of white people who still yearn for the old days when everything was separate and vastly unequal. Though these populations are marginalized at this point, they do exist.

For much of the black community, events like Ferguson and the events that surrounded the death of Eric Garner, rip open old wounds. It leads many of us in the black community to feel powerless in the world in which we live. Many of us sink into utter despair. When you visibly see your partner in despair that is not the time to apply your logic and state your laundry list of facts surrounding America and race relations. It is a time for you to simply hold him or her in your arms and sooth them through their pain until they are capable of having a rational conversation.

When emotions are raw, it is best to observe and acknowledge the pain the other person feels. Acknowledging a person’s feelings doesn’t mean you have to 100% agree with their point of view. It just means that you care enough about the person in front of you to listen and give support.

Because we live in a country with a racial hierarchy, understand that issues related to your partner affect you too. If you have children, then even more so. You need to know that your children may be negatively impacted by those who adhere to this old guard racial hierarchy. You will have to acknowledge and deal with the reality of police misconduct so that you can protect your progeny.

Now, black Americans involved with non-black people, we need to acknowledge certain truths as

The Black community is in trouble. We have a 73% out-of-wedlock rate which is resulting in utter chaos, especially in lower-income neighborhoods. Children growing up without fathers are the walking wounded, and are often angry and much more likely to drop out of school and go to jail. You need to know that outsiders who observe this dysfunction see it for what it is. Everyone can see our dirty laundry, and that can feel embarrassing and put you on the defensive with your partner. But resist that urge. We have to openly and honestly acknowledge that fractured families come in to play when it comes to the chaos within our own community. No amount of money or legislation will affect the change that needs to come from within.

You need to understand that white people see us killing each other. They see how many of us apply little value to our own lives and to the lives of others. They become confused when a black person’s life seems to suddenly have value and galvanize the community only when a white person ends it. They take notice, and yes, they are quietly judging us.

You have to acknowledge that the black community is not completely innocent, powerless and unable to enlist personal accountability. Not everything is “the white devil’s fault.” Some of it -much of it – is ours. The good news is, we also have the power to harness our anger into productivity and stronger family ties within our own community.

You need to understand that the person in front of you, your significant other, should not be some voodoo avatar to stand in for every racist white person that has ever wronged you or your peers. Just as you want to be judged as an individual, you must also extend that courtesy to your partner.

If both parties can acknowledge one another, empathize, listen, and be willing to learn from each other’s point of view, such relationships have a very good chance of thriving through these moments of racial crisis in America.