Reflection: Church Service-“Breaking that Spiritual Dam”

During worship service this morning at my local church, I shared some thoughts that I felt eager to share with the church body during “shares” after the worship music:

I shared that I’ve been interested in the recent news in Oroville, California…

… and been following up on it. I felt that their is a lot of symbolism with “man-made” dams that have been constructed around the world with our “spiritual” walk. The dams can be a symbolism of “lies” (e.g. “Your not good enough” , You are a loser”, etc..)that has been spoken to each of us in various ways that hinder us to receive more what God can do through us.

Before writing this, I was reminded of this “old-school” worship song..

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Let The River Flow Lyrics Darrell Evans

I feel that we need to let God destroy that “spiritual dam” in our personal lives in order for His “Holy Spirit” to move in us mightier as His children.

What are you currently personally “struggling” with? Do you trust that God will get your through it? I then shared one of the songs that was sung during worship on “I’m NO longer a slave to fear..”, which I shared last year at church that we can substitute “fear” with whatever (e.g. sin, depression, alcohol, deception…

drugs, an orphan, anger, cancer, PTSD, shame , jealousy, greed, stress, bullying, sexual impurity, lost, past, etc..) is keeping you “bondage”.. Keep repeating this to get it in your head until you have been release from these. This is part of meditation w/ God’s word (Bible verses on each one).

After my share, the guest speakers (Dennis & Zoe) from Pillager, MN shared about their recent trip to the Philippines. This family duo modeled how God can use us . They went to the Philippines to minister to the people there in different barangays/villages in various ways (e.g. healing, words of knowedledge, encouragement, etc..) This was such an encouragement for all of that we don’t have to depend on “ministers” or “church leaders” to do God’s work. We all can be used by Him to bring the taste of God’s kingdom on earth.

Hope and pray this will touch you and may God use each of us mightily in these days and please pray for the people of Oroville and the communities in the valley downstream of the #Orovillespillway or #Orovilledam. Feel free to share your thoughts, prayer requests, etc..

Good News Prayer
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What’s it like being “multiculturally” (racially, ethnicity, nationality, etc.) diversed…identity?

Growing-up in the somewhat culturally diverse east-side of St. Paul in the 80’s, it was just a “norm” to just associate with any person with a diverse ethnic background….until my “middle school years”! “Race” somewhat became a “factor” on who you hung out with and who your friends were in this particular school. I didn’t like it! You can it was my “worst” years! Being “Asian-American” having friends with both “white” and “black” in elementary school, I felt like I had to choose what “race” to be “friends” with (see my personal racism story). Long-story short, why do we have to be “labeled” or “grouped” or “categorized”?…

ACTORS/ACTRESSES

‘The Cosby Show’ child star stuns Oprah: ‘I’m not African-American. I’m American.’ October 7, 2014 bizpacreview.com

“The former child actress who charmed America in “The Cosby Show” for most of the ‘80s shocked megastar Oprah Winfrey during a recent interview when she declared she considers herself “American,” not “African-American.”

“I’m proud to be who I am and what I am,” she said in an interview on the OWN network. “I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.’”

…“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American,” she said….

“I mean, I don’t know where my roots go to. I don’t know how far back they go…I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American. And that’s a colorless person.”…

…“What I really mean by that is I’m an American. That’s what I really mean,” Raven-Symone said. “I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.”
….

Tired of the labels? How do you identify yourself?

Good News Multicultural

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Birth Stories:

Black parents give birth to white baby

By Andy Soltis

July 21, 2010 | 4:00am nypost.com

Couple Gives Birth to Twins: One Black, One White (03.25.11)

“Uploaded on Mar 25, 2011

Parents suffer grief, discrimination because of the medical rarity. For more, go here: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/twins-wh…

Genes?

Racist who wanted to create whites-only town proven to be of African descent
Published time: November 11, 2013 19:45
Edited time: November 12, 2013 16:19
rt.com

White Supremacist Finds Out His Ancestors Were Black (VIDEO)

“Published on Nov 13, 2013

“A white supremacist behind an initiative to turn a North Dakota town into a “white enclave” received some shocking news — he’s not 100 percent white. Craig Cobb, a 62-year-old man who has aimed to start a community for white supremacists and neo-Nazis, received some news that he wasn’t too happy about.*” Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola of The Young Turks discuss.

Watch the full video here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11…”

POLITICANS

1995 Video Surfaces of Barack Obama Revealing from conservativetribune.com

“..In his book “Dreams From My Father,” the future president…”
*shares about growing-up bi-racial and the struggles of it. He feels America is made up of groups in “isolation” and that some individuals long to be part of a group.

Good News Racism

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I (Sal) personally can relate to all these stories above as I grew-up with an “identity issue” (see racism testimony) myself. I hated labels growing-up. I remember growing-up in elementary school, race was no matter or issue. I had friends of all multicultural backgrounds. Then in Middle School (6th grade), the identity slowly became an issue.

I remember in high school, I joined a “cultural” group called the “Asian Club”, which many friends from diverse Asian ethnic backgrounds invited me. There was one remark that really “stabbed” me in the heart…

“You don’t even look Asian enough…your eyes are big” (paraphrase)

This was just one example of many out there growing-up that got me to struggle with my “true identity”. I was like, how Asian do I have to look (e.g. squinty eyes) to be in this club? My full name is Spanish (Salvador Cruz Monteagudo). I then tried to “hang out” with Filipinos more, but struggled too because I didn’t even speak the “native” language of my parents. In college, I even was more “welcomed” by the “United Latinos”!

It wasn’t until college when I felt a real belonging and race wasn’t an issue. I became a Christian and realize I’m part of God’s big family! However, there is still challenges amongst the “Christian” community on this multicultural issue, but what is mentioned in the Bible keeps me rooted and strong in my personal faith (walk with my “Heavenly Father”!

GROUPS: CULTURAL

How did “labels” or “races” came about?

Race (human classification)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Early taxonomic models

…The 1735 classification of Carolus Linnaeus, inventor of zoological taxonomy, divided the human race Homo Sapiens into continental varieties of Europaeus, Asiaticus, Americanus and Afer, each associated with a different humour: sanguine, melancholic, choleric and phlegmatic respectively.[45][46] Homo Sapiens Europaeus was described as active, acute, and adventurous whereas Homo Sapiens Afer was crafty, lazy, and careless.[47]..

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“..This was a founding work for other scientists in the field of craniometry. He divided the human species into five races in 1779, later founded on crania research (description of human skulls), and called them (1793/1795):

the Caucasian or white race
the Mongolian or yellow race, including all East Asians and some Central Asians.
the Malayan or brown race, including Southeast Asian and Pacific Islanders.
the Ethiopian or black race, including sub-Saharan Africans.
the American or red race, including American Indians.
..”

Bible Perspective

Answering Racism With The Bible

Are There Really Different Races?
by Ken Ham on November 29, 2007; last featured September 16, 2014 answersingenesis.org

“…To illustrate the basic genetic principles involved in determining skin shade, we’ll use a simplified explanation,26 with just two genes controlling the production of melanin. Let’s say that the A and B versions of the genes code for a lot of melanin, while the a and b versions code for a small amount of melanin.
Gene chart?

If the father’s sperm carried the AB version and the mother’s ovum carried the AB, the child would be AABB, with a lot of melanin, and thus very dark skin. Should both parents carry the ab version, the child would be aabb, with very little melanin, and thus very light skin. If the father carries AB (very dark skin) and the mother carries ab (very light skin), the child will be AaBb, with a middle brown shade of skin. In fact, the majority of the world’s population has a middle brown skin shade.

A simple exercise with a Punnet Square shows that if each parent has a middle brown shade of skin (AaBb), the combinations that they could produce result in a wide variety of skin shades in just one generation. Based on the skin colors seen today, we can infer that Adam and Eve most likely would have had a middle brown skin color. Their children, and children’s children, could have ranged from very light to very dark.

No one really has red, or yellow, or black skin. We all have the same basic color, just different shades of it. We all share the same pigments—our bodies just have different combinations of them.27…”

-Phenotypes

Postcards: Nina O’Leary

“Published on May 4, 2015

Artist and photographer who came to UMM to study from Buffalo, Minn. She has earned national attention for her interactive photo project entitled “Native Enough” which features a variety of portraits of UMM Native American students describing what their heritage means to them. O’Leary has also served as a staff photographer for UMM’s Profile magazine and has her own photo business.

For more information visit: http://www.pioneer.org/postcards.html

“There is only one race, and that’s the “human race”

IDENTITY CONFUSION?

Celebrating Confusion: The Crisis of Bruce (Not Caitlyn) Jenner
9:30AM EDT 6/2/2015 JOHN BURTON charismanews.com
…EMPTINESS
“Bruce Jenner, talking about how people didn’t understand what he was going through even at the height of his Olympic success: “Little did they know I was totally empty inside.”

He then continues to share why he decided to go through with his gender transition: “I’m not doing this to be interesting. I’m doing this to live…”
NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal lied about being black

By Ramon Ramirez Jun 11, 2015, 10:34pm CT dailydot.com
“…Dolezal is by her family’s account white—Czech, Swedish, and German, with some Native American heritage, according to her mom—which is problematic given that she’s built an identity around being an African-American woman. And amid swirling controversy about Dolezal’s heritage on Thursday, she responded to KXLY4 reporter Jeff Humphrey’s query in telling fashion….

Related Sites:

Race and Ethnicity pluralism.org

“The United States in the twenty-first century is home to perhaps the most diverse and varied Christian population on earth, with Christians of European, African, Asian, and Latin American birth or descent. This great racial and ethnic diversity poses both challenges and opportunities for America’s Christians. For Christians, overcoming racism and changing the structures of injustice that support racial exclusion is central to the reconciling work of the church. With the new immigration, beginning in 1965, the racial and ethnic diversity of American Christians has become greater than ever, recasting and making more complex the already difficult issues of race and ethnicity…

Justice for African Americans also remains on the agenda of Christian churches. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s involved the work, the leadership, and the commitment of many Christians, most prominently the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Inspired by the deepest values of Christianity, they sharply criticized those institutional structures and practices which had supported a racially segregated society and, in many cases, a racially segregated church….

While many gains have been made, race is still a major issue for the churches. Some local churches are still, in effect, racially segregated along black and white lines. Others, however, have intentionally cultivated racially inclusive congregations and have expressed a commitment to racial justice in their life of worship and service. …


Class, Culture and Ethnic Identity in Christ
Racial Harmony Sunday

January 17, 1999

by John Piper Scripture: Colossians 3:5-17 Topic: Racial Harmony desiringgod.org

Bible Verses about Our Identity in Christ

What is this social identity issue caused from?…media? How can we combat it? Would love to hear your stories or personal experiences on this issue? What’s your solution? Feedback, suggestions, comments, etc.. are all welcomed!

*note: this is one of the never-ending blog topics, so keep coming back for new articles or links. Feel free to share any below that’s related that might help “seekers”

Good News Sociology

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