Black Christian Millennial Survival Kit: 2017 Edition

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I’m a Black Christian Woman.  I’m a Christian Millennial.   I’m a Black Millennial.

I’m Black. I’m a Christian. I’m a Millennial. And all that matters all the time.

But it feels like they matter even more with the inauguration of Billionaire Donald Trump being just hours away.

I kinda went into detail in Dear White Jesus… about navigating the life of an advocate who identifies as Christian, but I feel like we need a little more focus to help us make it through this year and beyond.

So here are a few things every Black Christian Millennial should have in her/his survival kit.

You have to…

1. …have right mindset.

Paul was serious when he said “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Last night, I heard my pastor say, “We need to train like soldiers, not athletes. Athletes train to play games. Soldiers are always preparing for a battle.”

That’s us, friends. Anybody who is tasked with loving people who speak, act and vote against us is engaged in a battle. But I’ve read the end of the book, we win.

2. …focus.

Who are you doing this for? I’m specifically talking to millennials who chose Christianity for themselves. Are you a Christian on purpose? If you are, what’s that purpose. Keep your focus on why you are doing this. Do not let church or church people push you away from Christ. It’s tempting, but when those thoughts come up, CAST. THEM. DOWN.

3. …indulge your creative side.

This is serious work. Already, you may feel depleted because you’re a lazy entitled millennial.

Contrary to what media likes to say, millennials are hardworking people. Many of us juggle multiple jobs. Give yourself time to just be. Sing. Dance. Write. Learn something new. Do not get overwhelmed.

4. …get drunk in worship regularly.

Lose yourself in the presence of the Lord. Really get drunk. Your mind will benefit from you taking a break from reality. The world will benefit from you bringing heaven down and changing reality.

5. [In all thy getting,]…get an understanding.

We can’t afford to be ignorant of political processes. Get involved in your community. Read articles from credible sources. Ask questions!!

6. …respectfully, challenge your loved ones.

We can’t afford to continue to engage in conversations with people whose perspectives we don’t understand. Don’t be so afraid of being offensive that you become comfortable being passive. We have to love these people for real. Love doesn’t always leave people with fuzzy feelings. (Think Jesus on the cross.)

7. Pray.

You have a God you can talk to directly. Don’t forget that. Pray for change. Pray for wisdom. Pray for focus. Pray for your leaders. Pray for our future. Pray for this nation. Pray for the Kingdom to come. Pray for revival.

Pray for yourself. Don’t feel bad for feeling bad about what’s happening. People on the outside don’t really understand the cognitive dissonance we deal with sometimes by being Black and Christian during a historical period when there are fewer religious people than ever before. Believing in holiness and fairness at the same time doesn’t always seem likes it’s allowed. Watching a Black president prep a racist, misogynist and every other ist is hard, but allow the Lord to heal you.

We gone be alright, OhCAE?!

Can I Pray For You?

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I know this is posting to my social media pages, but I’m taking a break from Facebook and Twitter. However, I feel led to extend this offer. So if you see this and the answer is yes, either click the link and comment on the actual blog or send me an email at evans.claricha@gmail.com. 

Feel free to share it with anyone you think would want prayer. 

  

So I Asked

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This is a Part 2 to another blog called “Ask” so if you really wanna get this one and if you wanna make me feel good go read that one first. Click this link!
Ask, Seek, Knock

Oh Cae.. You done now?

As you read, for YEARS The Lord has been showing me that all I have to do is ask for what I want, but I still struggle to believe Him for crazy things.

I’m about to take you on a journey that I’ve been on since last summer. OhCAE? Follow me.

In July 2014, I moved to a new city after living in East Lansing my entire adult life, 8 years at the time. I didn’t have a job. I had spent my savings on my last few months of rent and car notes. The move was abrupt and I had no plan. Gas was still 3.75+ per gallon so commuting to my church in Lansing wasn’t an option. So I started going to another church that I was introduced to via my home church. Before I left the Lansing area, my home church started announcing a trip to Israel. I heard of it and thought it’d be cool to go, but as you’ve read I had no money. Fast forward to attending the new church and they announced the trip to Israel. (It took me a while to realize it was the same one). And when they announced it, they explained that this is an annual trip they plan to give people a right for Israel, but this year was different. This year isn’t gonna just be a normal tour. This is a year of strategic intercession, a year to be a watchmen on the wall, year to go into that region and be purposeful about shifting the atmosphere. That announcement charged me up, BUT I was bummed because although I had started making a LITTLE cash, a trip to Israel was super far fetched.

I started getting sad about my life in general and I just cried out to The Lord and asked Him why did it feel like I could never have or do anything I want? Why did I seem to only do things out of necessity. I told Him I really wanted to go, but it was impossible.

A few days later, I was rereading some of my blogs. I came across the one mentioned at the top of this one and The Lord began to minister to me through that piece. So… I asked. I asked The Lord if He could make a way for me to go on the trip.

In November, I decided to move to Detroit (yes, I was doing a lot). When I moved to Detroit, the family I was babysitting for didn’t want to lose me so they increased my hours as well as my salary. I was able to afford commuting and pay bills and still be able to save a little for the first time in forever. Still… Israel was a no go. I didn’t know what to do. So… I asked.

I posted on Facebook and asked my friends if I made a donations page would they help me pay for the trip.

I made it and chose an arbitrary end date in January and I was encouraged because people started giving, but that was before I found out the money was due December 18.

I wanted an extension. So… I asked.

I ended up getting an extension and I made the final payment the day before my extension deadline.

To paraphrase myself in “Ask”, There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. But just like with my shirt and trip to Israel, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!

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As you can see, I started composing this months before I had the money, but I have learned something recently that it so simple that it’s hard to comprehend. If you want to believe in something, just believe. Did you get that? If you want to think something is true then just think it. And when you are convinced that it’s true, you’ll start to act as if you believe it. I really wanted to believe that God’s word is true when it says ask and it shall be given, but in order to show I believed it I had to ask and expect that I’d get what I asked for.

So… I asked.

Ok. Now what?

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There was a pastor was at the Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute (Freedom School national training) this summer. She told a story of when the leaders of the church asked the people in the congregation what they needed.

A homeless man stood up and said he needed a job to which she replied “We will pray for you to get a job.” He responded with “I don’t want your damn prayers. I want a job.”

Kirk Franklin has a song called “First Love.” There’s a line that says “They were quick to pray, but slow to move.”

I think that anecdote and those lyrics sum up my current frustration with Christian people. I feel the need to be a part of community movements especially those that deal with bettering people’s everyday lives so deeply that I literally can’t sleep sometimes because of everything that’s going on surrounding Mike Brown and every other Black victim of police brutality and racism in general.

I turn to Facebook to express myself and talk and some people hit me with “we just need to pray.”

I agree. Let’s pray because racism is a stronghold and a principality. Let’s pray because we need God to be our peace. Let’s pray because we need strength to be active.

I probably lost my amen corner on that last one.

I’m sure some people stayed at home to pray when Joshua and everyone else marched around Jericho.

Moses wouldn’t be all that cool if he had decided he’d done enough by talking to The Lord.

I’m curious if the Gospels would include the story of feeding the 5000 if Jesus had just stood there and prayed for everyone instead of feeding them.

How many people can you name in the New Testament who literally died for acting on what they believe?

To make this clear, I fully acknowledge that these people prayed first before they did the works they are known for. But I’d like to also make THIS clear. After they prayed, they did the work.

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But we wonder why there are so many people who are raised in churches, but grow up to be atheists. Based on observation and conversation they’re tired of waiting on Jesus to intervene.

What they don’t understand is the same thing passive Christians seem to be missing. God gave us the responsibility of doing His work in the earth.

My new favorite song “Do Something” Matthew West

If you don’t feel like listening to the song, here’s the first verse.

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”

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What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (‭James‬ ‭2‬:‭14-17‬ NLT)
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Related, but not related: I was listening to a Christian radio station and they played a clip of Max Lucado. He said that non-religious people tend to have longer marriages than Christians. The reason? When they have issues in their marriages, they work on them and fix them. They take responsibility. Christians, on the other hand, pray about the problems and when God doesn’t fix them they say it’s not His will to stay married and give up. Y’all see the correlation or naw? God clearly wants marriages to last and I’m just as convinced that He wants racial tension to end, but we have to work.

We’re waiting on Him. He’s waiting on us.

But OhCAE, imma stop here cuz I’m getting riled up.

Stay tuned for my next post where I discuss some of the responses I got to a question as posed in my Facebook status. “Can a thinking person be a Christian? (or devoted to any organized religion)”
You may or be not be surprised by some people’s reasons for staying with or turning away from religion.