Archive for the ‘Mourning’ Category

Today, various actions carried out by the living on behalf of the dead are in view.  In Scripture, the dead are buried or mourned, and there are no mentions of ceremonies and rituals for their salvation.  The living may become anointed, committed, consecrated, dedicated, devoted, and sanctified.  The living may memorialize, respect and venerate the deceased, yet may not change the status of the dead in divine judgment.  Trusting that nothing is impossible with GOD, many have advanced teachings that the Church can issue indulgences and pardons for sins committed by both the living and those deceased (e.g., http://www.theguardian.com › World › Pope Francis The Guardian Jul 16, 2013 – Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win ‘indulgences’ by following World Youth Day on Twitter.).  Contrary to the serpent’s word, Ye shall not surely die, the dead are not alive in a place of torment where they may receive the ministry of Jesus Christ (suggested by 1st Peter 3:  18-20, King James Version, KJV).  More correctly, focus should be upon faith that is to be seen as an eternal living element of divinity imparted to the living.  Black arts, occult practices, exaggerated remembrances for the dead, and necromancy (communicating with the dead to influence and predict events among the living) are forbidden.  Christians do not accept the account of King Saul calling up the spirit of the Prophet Samuel as a genuine example of operations by GOD; rather, it is spiritualism and witchcraft (1st Samuel 28:  9-19, KJV).  Even so, mature believers firmly hold that the dead in Christ shall be transformed as they are resurrected and lifted up to be with the Lord at his coming to harvest the earth (1st Thessalonians 4:  16-18, KJV).  In his blog A CHRISTIAN VIEW published at WordPress.com, Steve Finnell regularly provides a brief bible-based consideration of issues and questions that pertain to Christian belief.  On Thursday, March 26, 2015 (1:41 AM), Steve shared the following:

 

What is the meaning of baptized for the dead?

1 Corinthians 15:29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

I am not the first, nor will I be the last to admit I do not know the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:29, however, I do know what Paul was not trying to communicate. He was not implying that the dead can be baptized, by proxy, using a living person.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood:  neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.  Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you:  I am the LORD.  (Leviticus 19:  26-28, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Harrowing of Hell? (02/10/2015); The Sin Covered By Salvation? (12/28/2014); Only While We Live? (12/02/2013); Reveal Himself To All (12/03/2013); Those Who Never Heard? (06/07/2013); If You Are Sent…? (06/08/2013); After the Rapture? (11/01/2012); Opportunity to Repent (11/02/2012)

 

“Steve”, I agree with your point that there is no baptism by proxy taught in the Scriptures.  Here are a few points that were stirred by the Spirit within me as I began to reflect upon your testimony:

(1.)  In responding to a question by the Sadducees (regarding a woman married to seven brothers, and whose wife she will be in the resurrection) Jesus declared that the Father is a god of the living.  GOD maintains eternal promise to the dead through their offspring, the living.  Consider again:  Matthew 22:  31-33 (KJV):  31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

Isaiah 63:  15-16 (KJV):  15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?  16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not:  thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Romans 4:  12-14 (KJV):  12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.  13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Galatians 3:  6-8 (KJV):  6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

(2.)  While Abraham is said to be alive, David is not; and the curse he incurred appears in Solomon and Rehoboam.  See again Acts 2:  29 (KJV):  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

(3.)  A prayer in the holy writings that was offered by the Prophet Daniel is often respected as a model like that of the Lord’s Prayer.  Daniel’s supplication includes confession of need and sins committed by those already dead.  However, Daniel does not petition on behalf of the dead so much as for the divine Name.  See once more Daniel 9:  16-17 (KJV):  16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain:  because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.  17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

(4.)  The dead are all given opportunity to respond to the claims of divinity only while alive.  See Psalms 115:  16-18 (KJV):  16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s:  but the earth hath he given to the children of men.  17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.  18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

Isaiah 38:  18-20 (KJV):  18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee:  they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.  19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day:  the father to the children shall make known thy truth.  20 The LORD was ready to save me:  therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 9:  5-6 (KJV):  For the living know that they shall die:  but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

(5.)  Because the acknowledgment of GOD is not dependent only upon the specific statements of doctrine and law that were generated and developed through the covenant of Moses, those who died before Deity appeared upon the earth in the person of Jesus Christ, also have place with GOD through the provisions of the cross.  Salvation is the acknowledgement that their actions, attitudes and behavior continued to display the righteousness that identifies the divine nature.  Consider again Romans 8:  3 (KJV):  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Acts 13:  38-39 (KJV):  38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

1st Peter 4:  3-8 (KJV):  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.  6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.  7 But the end of all things is at hand:  be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:  for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  The full provisions and teachings for salvation have been revealed gradually over time.  Yet, divinity has remained immutable and unchanging.  See Romans 6:  16-18 (KJV):  16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  Also Romans 8:  8-10 (KJV):  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, I expand upon a comment (see below) that I posted on Facebook in response to photographs posted by a younger cousin of herself and her brother from some years ago.  I shared a Scripture proclaiming the triumph of Jesus Christ.  The enemy not only wanted to take my mother’s life away from me; even the only photograph I had of her—kept in a special scrapbook within the privacy of my bedroom—was coveted.  Thus, it is by things revealed in Christ that I have continued with balance and wholeness from GOD; and more than once, I have been privileged to see and speak with my mother in dreams.  I continue to believe Christ had prepared me and strengthened me for the common ordeal of losing a family member (e.g., children, parents, spouse, etc.), one that threatens most believers throughout their lives until the time it finally occurs.  Even so, as I thought on this, I realized, we are rarely given instruction by our parents, our friends, or our neighbors on what to do or say that correctly comforts and nourishes others in their bereavement.  Some years ago, at the last funeral I attended, I was forced to speak angrily after an example in the Bible:  Then Job answered and said,  I have heard many such things:  miserable comforters are ye all.  Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?  I also could speak as ye do:  if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.  But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.  (Job 16:  1-5, KJV)  I have since learned that, because the power of death is repeatedly experienced as an emotional or mental breakdown (we say, people are not themselves) that is accompanied by doubt, fear and spiritual upheaval, the intervention of GOD through Jesus Christ absolutely must appear in order for created beings and living creatures to have place within the eternal order that is to exist throughout the universe:

 

Thanks for sharing these.  For many years I’ve had a large scrapbook that I filled with my favorite verses of Scripture.  After my mothers death, I kept 3 special photographs there, including one taken of her during the 80s.  When someone (an abomination who apparently did not know me, have compassion toward me, or respect me) removed the photos, I was reminded once again:  Luke 12:  4-6, King James Version (KJV) 4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear:  Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.  Be encouraged!

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer:  or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.  (2nd Corinthians 1:  3-7, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A “Good” Verse? (05/09/2014); What GOD Demands (05/10/2014); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013); Faith for Facing Tragedy? (06/04/2013); Words Spoken By GOD? (06/05/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013)

 

Here are a few points believers should consider regarding our duty as comforters:

(1.)  The time for service as one who heals, one who reinforces, and a valuable ally who helps others around them to overcome bereavement, loss, and separation does not begin with the onset of a crisis.  Long before the  death of any loved one, divine love is imparted by the believer as a subtle (barely visible; hidden because quiet) presence, that, like a seed buried within the earth, appears and blossoms as godly benefit at a later time—when comfort may be least expected (and perhaps not even welcome) yet, most needed.  Comfort is not to be an artifact of mourning; comfort is to be an aspect of eternal life established now and today through ones regular routines of life.

(2.)  Those who insisted upon cheap talk, condemnation, and gossip behind your loved ones back, are no different than those who denied them because of their poverty, did nothing to encourage their positive efforts to meet challenges and overcome their problems, and refused to share or lift them up when given opportunities by GOD.  Comfort is not to be from the recall of kindness to oneself so much as it is to be the memory of kindness to ones deceased.  The blessing from GOD is twofold, a double portion, where we look back upon good works, and where the believer continues having relationship with those who did serve, share and uplift their deceased during the times of their struggles and victories.

(3.)  While gentleness, floral bouquets, releasing memorial balloons, prayers, and kind words are nice and thoughtful, the most meaningful comforts are those that come by our being filled with the Spirit of Jesus to establish continuous and eternal life.  Because GOD is active and present in (we say, inhabits) praise and the aspect of prophecy that is edification (we say, building up and comfort), divinity is conveyed and imparted to those who endure loss by proclaiming the promises of GOD in Christ, even resurrection from the dead, and completion of their transformation to be immortal and incorruptible at his appearing.  Thus, believers should be alert to obey 1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, KJV:  13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  What believers are to do as vessels of divinity (we say, incarnations of Spirit) is demonstrate and manifest divine love.  Thereby the believer acknowledges Jesus as son of the Highest, and “comforts” GOD, who has suffered separation from Christ through death, sin, and slander.  Christ within the living is the comfort to GOD that refreshes the Almighty Father as the power from his resurrection, as the new life from his ministry of atonement, and as the affirmation that a believer is one redeemed and saved in the judgment of GOD.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, I share an acknowledgement of the contribution and works of the much loved African American scholar, teacher and writer, Dr. Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson).  As I was going through the checkout at a local grocery market, the cashier remarked on the news that the poetess had died, and asked whether I had ever met her.  Without also admitting I have no friends or family who share my interest in poetry, I confessed I had not, yet, had already finished a work in tribute.  We agreed, her passing should be received as a peculiar alarm, and call for re-commitment throughout the Nation.  The institutions that anchored and flavored our earlier survival are disappearing faster than the 25-cent rent party.  An even greater onslaught is on the way.  The most fitting and lasting memorial we may make is to carefully preserve the culture that has been the setting for her jewels of thought.

 

ON THE PASSING OF A POET
[Maya Angelou, 1928-2014]

Because it meant the passing of our greatness
As a people it was right the neighborhoods
Should mourn and wail
“The Drum” was more than a bookstore
And a “hangout” for the ones who felt
Their standard and their scale could be
Anchored in their Negritude
A vision of Pan African possibilities
The rebirth of all tribal truth and love
An oasis became a desert, where the voice of life was stilled
Soft sands became the foundation, the campfires were smothered
And the palms and waters salted into silence

We quietly accepted when the “Negro Digest” closed
Its open doors, and publishers of our magazines and newspapers
Like the little corner stores where mom and pop had challenged us
By hanging foreign cheeses that made the place to reek
One by one began to disappear, we could no longer speak
As if a culture, a collective, an ancient mind today
The self began to be released
And computer generations began to forge a new age
Of communication, of social media, of tweet and hash tag
Of see is worth a thousand say
A blitzkrieg of selfies, candids, still life, and portraits by Instagram

We must alert our children and our grandchildren
the race war we expected, and worked so hard to shun
By replacing “burn baby burn” with “learn baby learn”
Was waged in stealth, with quietness
the embers of the midnight sun the signs of soot
In the turnings of the wind
As if still ruled by plantations that separate all kin
The assault on home and family by divorce
Thug life, same sex protest, single-parent pain
Surely we should not lose this pillar of our people
With only tears to go against the grain
Without charging our children to start to live with purpose

Person to person, toe to toe, some things ought to never go
Our theaters darkened by idol Internet, reality TV
The falling of our stars, an “out of business” sign placed on display
We are losing the great ones, the institutions that nourished them gave them to us, and that they bequeathed to us to be our own
The Apollo, the Howard, the Lyric, the Regal
Radio stations and DJ personalities
Our world will become a ghost town
Filled with shadows that are known by going viral
On a global stage
Our casualties and losses are more than we can ignore
fatherhood, heritage, blues, and legacy
The anchors had when everyone was poor
our barbershops, our churches, the funeral parlors
a city of nomad tents against the storms

We mustn’t let the loss of one more scholar
Be the loss of our eternal wisdom too
For this is not a time for weeping, this is not a time to cry
The mall is not a refuge, nor the “burbs” a hiding place
There has to be a warning
Even more than a pledge to save what’s left
The caged bird now must sing her notes of jazz and song
to hold above the ruin while we rise
Challenged to create ourselves anew
We must hear with new ears and see with new eyes
Beyond all ivory towers, projects, ghetto dungeon walls
In Harlem renaissance from house to house

May this passing strike our daughters like a Muse to shower them
In history, with poetry and dance
May they now give birth to the architects of forever

 

Signature Mark

 

©Michael Andrew Williams, 2014.  All rights reserved.

 

 

There is a lot more to be said, carefully contemplated, and spiritually reflected on than simply what I’ve shared here in a poem.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and willingness to love.

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  (Philippians 3:  7-9, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The death, burial and resurrection of Moses are in view, today.  Also, there is more on what GOD demands from humans.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “mohammad” (a Level 1 member with 95 points active since May 11, 2014) posted the following:

 

 Is the body of Moses was taken up by God ?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  What GOD Demands (05/10/2014)—(4.)  It is in the nature of relationship that GOD is no more demanding of humanity than humanity is demanding of GOD.  Just as the dimension, the nature, and the quality of material objects focus and limit how they may be used as tools or weapons as well as how long they endure and display value, created beings and living creatures, the conditions and spheres for their existence, and the operations and processes for their exchanges and interactions have been established and generated in accordance with aspects of divinity.  All that is must have place within, and respond to, such frameworks for being as divine order, eternal purpose, and spirit makeup.  Boundaries are not imposed on an arbitrary, random, or subjective basis.  Restraints and restrictions are imposed only to allow and provide such benefits as balance, change, completeness, definition, direction, fertility, growth, opportunity, prosperity, protection, revelation, safety, and vision.  It is an aspect of divine integrity within relationship that humans are not asked to serve as though they were angels.  Thus, self-generated expression for mankind is to be maintained.  Moreover, the peculiar beauty and strength of mankind are also established through humanity’s dependence, infirmity, and vulnerability.  Even so, the expressed will of GOD as divine law and judgment are also to be maintained.  Consider again the Scriptures:  Psalms 127:  1-2, Psalms 149:  3-4, Jeremiah 9:  23-24, Ezekiel 18:  23, Matthew 11:  28-30, 1st Corinthians 10:  13 and Revelation 4:  11, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts:  and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:  for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  (Hebrews 11:  4-6, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Anointed? (04/28/2014); No More “Mr. Nice Guy”? (04/29/2014); Resurrection from the Dead? (04/23/2014); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); Moses Killed? (09/23/2014); A Guarantee of Heaven? (03/22/2014); Face to Face Like Moses? (01/28/2014); Covenants and Relationships (01/29/2014); Salted with Fire? (09/24/2013); “Authorized Personnel Only” (03/13/2013)

 

“mohammad”, here are a few points recorded in the Holy Bible:

(1.)  The Scriptures report that Moses died in the land of Moab.  Although he was 120 years old, he continued to show health and stamina (his natural force was not abated, or diminished).  In obedience to GOD, Moses went up to Mount Nebo, and the top of Pisgah, and did not return to his people.  Moses was not translated as was Enoch, nor taken up by a chariot of fire, as was Elijah.  Later, Moses appeared as an evidence of resurrection from death.

(2.)  A 30-day period of mourning was observed for Moses as if his body had been recovered, and as though he had been given the full rites of burial.

(3.)  The Scriptures report that the archangel Michael disputed with the devil about the body of Moses, yet would not violently assault the Adversary.

(4.)  The Scriptures report that in preparing for his crucifixion, Jesus went to the top of a mountain accompanied by three of his apostles.  There, the Savior met with Moses and Elijah, and was transfigured before these eye-witnesses, who also heard the voice of the Father.  While the miracle of water to wine was the first display of divine glory as power by Jesus, the transfiguration was the first bodily display of his divine glory.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Where these things may be found:  See Genesis 5, Deuteronomy 34, 2nd Kings 2, Jude 1, Matthew 17, and Mark 9, KJV.).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living:  for all live unto him.  (Luke 20:  37-38, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     Today, I share a poem acknowledging a creative artist and teacher, Amiri Baraka (nee Everett LeRoi Jones).  Also, there is more on divine revelation through believers.  I was a young broadcaster in FM radio learning and exploring jazz music as an expression of African American culture when I first heard a daring fusion of speech and music featuring the playwright and poet Jones with the New York Art Quartet (also known as NYAQ).  As nothing I had ever heard or read before, their performance of Black Dada Nihilismus (1964) impressed me with the ferocious intellect and power that are to be conveyed by the spoken word as art.  Our poets should also be firebrands and speak to the issues of our living, not simply the awe of existence or our polite sentiments as those who are now “genteel”.  Poets also must howl, kick ass, and show tough love until hearers and the world around them are “scared straight” and flee from complacency.  Every writer must walk the thin line between hypocrite, showman, and bearer of truth.  What it means to live forever must be succinctly redefined without arrogance before the eternal.  Is it any wonder, the Greeks aligned themselves to Muses, and the shepherds of Israel are fluent speakers of acrostic poesy?  Through Baraka the many hard issues of censorship, FCC regulation, freedom of speech as well as the duty and privilege for thought leaders and writers came into view with overwhelming clarity and power.  At that time, I received Jones as the “Father of my Black consciousness,” and since then he has been a major influence in my thinking and writing along with Jesus Christ.  On this past Sunday, in memoriam, a local public broadcast station radio program host featured Baraka’s performance with the New York Art Quartet of Music’s Underwear (recorded June 14, 1999, from the album “35th Reunion”).  The program host later explained by email, broadcasting Nihilismus instead would have gotten him into difficulty.  (Meanings for the chosen names:  Amiri is Prince, Baraka, is “blessing, in the sense of divine favor.”)

THE BATTLE AXE:  GOD is Showing You (01/14/2014)—A foreign nation and its ruler may be made known and visible by an ambassador who embodies the lawful authority of his sovereign state.  Similarly, believers serve as envoys and representatives for the unseen kingdom of GOD.  Those who are born again, must also learn and “grow up again” by meeting the same life challenges, tests and trials as all others alive upon the earth.   In the same way a spectator should know something about the process, rankings, and rules for the game before they can be fully comfortable with the crowd in the stands for a football playoff competition, a person should receive proper preparation to correctly evaluate and recognize divinity and godliness appearing in others, and in themselves.  See 1st John 2:  1-5, 1st John 3:  15-17 and 1st John 4:  1-3, 6 and 12-14, KJV.

He Done Gone and Died
For Amiri Baraka the African American Musicologist, Playwright,
Poet and Scholar (1934-2014)

LeRoi, who could smile so wide
He done gone and died

A quiet, poet’s death
Not like the other Bison
Falling wordless under arrows
The bullets of the West,
The Eastern tourists
Urban meat eaters,
Reveling in their
blood sport from a distance

Theater is where you find it
Make it
Catching the conscience of the king
Playing out the truth
In toilets, subways
The First Church of Dada
or
Sailing ships that lifted like a ghost

Showing life
To be or not to be
His own
A thing of black
Beauty, a new aesthetic
A new politic
And new voice not to be smothered

Who else could have shown us
The means of production
And socialist art
America’s true poetential for revolution
And Marxist magnificence
The thought of social violence
As the tool to gain humanity
For nation-building, baptism
rebirth

Hearing our primitive rhythm
Our genius as old as time
Proud not poor
Hip not beat
Rich not square
Hard not foul
Country not nationalist
Cool not compromised
Angry not hateful
Rushing like the A-train
To get it done
And where it has to go

Not lamenting
Laureates lost
Newark’s neglect
Paradise, pomp
The clearinghouse bonanza
Where the mind’s packed
In champagne
Waiting for a curtain call
Another dress rehearsal

Like gun runners, airmen
Act like you know
Make wordmusic, song bombs
Glittering spears of speech
that loose us from this mortal coil
LeRoi just upped himself
And split the scene
Let there be applause.

LeRoi, who could smile so wide
He done gone and died

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2014.  All rights reserved worldwide.

     There is far more to be said, properly shared, and spiritually understood.  (For example, many argue against divine law as an obstacle to complete freedom of speech declaring their right to blaspheme has been abrogated.  However, blasphemy is a manifesting of sin that may dominate awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures.  As such, blasphemy is self-destructive and can not be supported by frameworks of commitment, common sense, consistency, respect and righteousness that disqualify blasphemy as affirmation of ones life essence.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  (Matthew 12:  35-37, KJV)


THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today I present an acknowledgement of Nelson Mandela that I have been sharing with U. S. President Obama, the Ambassador of South Africa Rasool (Washington, DC), U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and others, a poem, ALL AFRICA REJOICING.  Just as the power of a single word, so the power of a single association or a single image.  The poem appearing upon the page is always only a fragment of the writers mind, while the other pieces are to be found within the reader.  At best, a poem is a fragment of thought, a phrase, and a small abstract of a great whole in place as the writer’s mind.  Specially for this reason, there should be some order, some direction, some integrity.  I look forward to your comments.  Be encouraged!

ALL AFRICA REJOICING
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela  (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)

All Africa crying
Tears of joy
The cataracts of Tugela cascading
Thunders rainbow laden
Licking her chops as a lioness over prey

Surely, it is an act of GOD
When Methodist schoolboys
Escape Bantu education
To fill their hands with King Protea blooms
Broad fields of destiny and law

The sudden prison bars of island waves
Treacherous currents that torture you
To tell all your truth
Your tribal secrets
Your names, your hearts committed

There will be a future, the defense of peace
We must hide until then by silence
Stone face, arrested smiles
Or weeping gasps and snatches of
Breath in the cosmic egg, infinity

The splendid USA, a shining revolution
A heritage of reconciliation
From a common ground of shame
Nguni and the troublemaker’s rest
Amandla

The soil of the escarpment opens to embrace
Collusion, victory
The covert ancestral home
The rich earth of sky children
And the offspring of the trek, for all are welcome

From Joburg to Harlem
From Niagara to Soweto
Hands should now clap rhythms for dancing feet
Drums should now sound for freedom dreams
Made real

A hero of the Boer Wars released
Home again from Cape Town and Pretoria
The pantheon of ancestors
The power of our believing is now increased
The vision we all bled for still alive: 

Two elephant tusks and ears of wheat
A knobkierie and a spear
The secretary bird with wings expanding
Banded warriors beneath their rising sun
All Africa rejoicing

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2013.  All rights reserved.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

Confusions about the state of the dead are the topic, today, along with more on whether the Bible is always positive.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “in-cog-ni-t0” (Level 2 with 775 points, December 23, 2010) posted the following:

If all pain and suffering as we know it ends when we die…?

If all pain and suffering as we know it ends when we die, how then are we still connected to our loved ones who are living?

Many Christian/religious people believe all sorrow and pain ends when we die. Thereafter, we live blissfully in Heaven forever. That’s something that I will have to see for myself to believe because no living person can confirm it.

What causes a little confusion for me is when I hear people say “I know (insert deceased person’s name) is looking down on me. As a whole, this seems like an oxymoron to me because most pain and grief stems from loved ones.

So, am I to believe that a person dies, and their spirit stays connected to the family with no emotional association. Am I to believe, the spirit hovers over the living as they experience heartache and distress but has no sense of feeling? Or, is this just something we say to comfort ourselves?


THE BATTLE AXE:  Scriptures and Sayings? (06/09/2013)— (6)  The Bible is itself a sacred reality, and conveys the being and spirit substance of GOD.  Just as death is to be understood as “natural” and “normal” for mankind, the acknowledgment of GOD and sacred actuality are to be natural and normal, requiring truth, rather than special ceremonies and ritual.  Both the negative and positive accounts of Scripture are needed in order for mankind to receive the multiple levels of awareness, divine completeness, sanctification, and mature understanding that establish the new life in Christ.  Even so, the process of life that unfolds is in accordance with divine content, rather than data and factual knowledge.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write:  for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death.  (Revelation 21:  1-8, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Must We Really Die? (05/13/2013); Can GOD Die? (05/14/2013); Death Has Been Transformed (05/09/2013); Loving the Enemy? (05/10/2013); What’s The Way Out? (04/20/2013); A Kindness to Mary? (04/21/2013)

“in-cog-ni-to”, many long-time Christian believers also feel confused and uncertain regarding the Gospel teachings on death and eternal life.  Often, it is not that they are ignorant of their Bibles; it is that they still condemn, hesitate to accept, and refuse to acknowledge the clear statements put before them as sacred truth.  Even so, here are some points to consider that you may find useful for your further spiritual growth:

(1)  Consciousness of GOD and of spiritual truth does not directly and immediately result from awareness that comes by the flesh, a set of mechanisms for continuing our physical being.  Included in the flesh are appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, sexual craving), sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, touching), and mental functions (e.g., desire, fantasy, forgetting, imagination, recall).

(2)  The holy writings teach that the dead lose all awareness that permits participation in the world, a set of mechanisms for continuing our emotional, psychological and social being.  While the earth is the creation of GOD, the world is the creation of mankind.  Included in the world are culture, family, language, money, politics, religion, science and technology.

(3)  The comfort from GOD for those in bereavement includes proclamations, promises, and prophecies that pertain to the restoration of life to the dead (we say, the word of GOD, and hope).  Many seek to claim the benefit of the divine truths, and the sacred hope that is the inheritance of believers without also submitting themselves to GOD by obedience, rebirth, repentance, reverence, service, and trust.

(4)  The completion of mortality (we say, death) is not the completion of existence.  We all know that there are many objects that have being that do not possess the peculiar spirit that is life (e.g., door knobs, floor boards, mirrors, stones).  The holy writings teach that GOD uses death as a tool to continue Creation; and that resurrection is the divine tool for reuniting of body and spirit for deceased persons along with the aspects of their character, inner make-up, and integrity as human.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5)  Resurrection pertains to judgment, and the revelation of divinity among created beings and living creatures.  Dead persons do not exist in the direct celestial presence; the eminent being of GOD makes it that all are alive before him for the purpose of righteous judgment.  (The accused must be present for just and impartial hearing.)  Presently, only GOD is immortal; the holy angels and sacred beasts of heaven are neither immortal nor mortal.  Judgment of the wicked and the second death will eliminate all sin; and mortality will no longer exist.  All humans will have been transformed to be immortal and incorruptible.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC