Category Archives for "Books"

Feb 19

Salt & Light

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Jesus called His followers to be “salt and light”.  As salt, we are to act as a
preservative, penetrating the culture to help sustain what is good and right. 
As light, we are to counter the darkness and bring forth truth and righteousness
to bear.  Jesus said that we are salt and light, but He warned against losing our
saltiness and hiding our light (Matthew 5:13-20).  Here are two safeguards to prevent
this from happening:

Salt as a seasoning is useless unless it is in contact with food and mixed into it. 
Jesus calls us to “flavor” society in His name through close involvement with people.
Light is meant to be visible.  Secret believers need to come out of hiding and be known
as disciples.  Their profession of faith must become self-evident through their good works.

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be
salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under
foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it
giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” 
(Matthew 5:13-16).

SALT
Salt is used to preserve, season, cure, or save for future use.  It changes everything
that it touches!  Hence, a salty Christian makes others thirsty for Jesus –  the water
of life.  Salt can be thought of as a fertilizer to promote growth and development, it
is used to purify, it is used to correct to improve conditions in its surrounding, and
it is used as a laxative to clean up messes around it.

LIGHT
Light is defined as something that makes things visible or affords illumination.  Without
the light of God’s spirit, we will be in the dark about God’s Word.  The scriptures
characterize light in many different forms, for example:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form,
and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon
the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God
saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness”  
(Genesis 1:1-4).

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth
me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”  (John 8:12).

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth
the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that
doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought
in God”  (John 3:19-21).

The Colors of Light

White – the white light contains all colors.

Red – the color of intense, physical energy.  When you need a powerful burst of energy,
imagine red or look at something red.

Orange – the next color in the spectrum.  It is a color of energy, too, but a quieter,
more sustaining energy; a more enduring strength. 

Yellow – the color of the mind – joyful, purifying, mental energy.  It is the color of
lemons, smiley faces (buttons), and dishwashing detergent.  Yellow light brings clarity. 
The thing we most often associate with yellow is the sun.

Green – the color of healing and the color of learning; brilliant, emerald green
(See Psalm 23 – Appendix B).  Healing and learning are active processes.  When you think
of green, think of actively healing yourself, through physical action and through active
visualizations.  Think of vigorously learning all you can about yourself and your life.

Blue – a color of spirit, calm, and peace.  As the sun is yellow and usually associated
with sunny thoughts, so the sky is high and blue, and the sea is deep and blue.

Purple – the color of royalty – the inner royalty that is the true you and the outer
royalty of the Divine.  Use purple when you want to feel cloaked in the grand, magnificent,
noble, majestic, and a stately presence within you.

Feb 05

Black History Month

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Welcome to Black History Month 2008!

It was quite refreshing to watch Senator Obama on January 31st successfully debate (again) for the position of President of the United States of America. I marvel as I watch God use him for such a time like this in American, and world, history. This is his season. While our country assumed that Mrs. Clinton would be the clear choice as the Democratic candidate for this high office, Senator Obama has heads turning!

He is yet another shining example of how God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:16 – KJV)

With eleven months to go in 2008, let your light shine before men so that others will clearly know that our Heavenly Father is in control of all things. Further, as his representatives in the earth, we are the catalysts for change, as Senator Obama has articulated from the very beginning.

Enjoy God’s blessings!

Jan 21

Remembering King

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

“I have an inner urge calling me to serve humanity” – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remarks prior to this ordination as a minister at the age of 19.

 Inspire others to excel through your character, work ethic, and integrity.  

In the Book of Genesis, chapter one, God reveals unto Adam that he is blessed and to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it.  God’s specific instructions are to be productive, raise the level of productivity of those around us, leave a deposit in the earth for the next generation, and to control our environment.  What an awesome responsibility that God entrusts us with!  It takes inspiration to be a productive person and to raise the level of productivity of others because our actions inspire them to do so.

            Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the world’s greatest inspirations.  He truly inspired all Americans to change an entire culture, custom, practice, and mindset – discrimination based upon skin color.  Dr. King is the only American-born citizen who has a birthday as a holiday in his name.  He defined greatness through the service that he tirelessly rendered.  From 1955 to 1968, he led peaceful demonstrations against evil throughout the United States, particularly in the south.  He inspired millions to follow his peaceful demonstrations.  This was partly because of his stance on not being afraid to die for a cause that is just, right, fair, equitable, and scriptural.  Tapped as one of the most important speeches in the 20th century, Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ is replayed every year as America celebrates the life and legacy of this great servant of the Lord on January 15th. 

            Having skipped two grades in high school, Dr. King began college at the tender age of fifteen.  He was such an inspirational leader that he led a 381-day bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama in response to Rosa Parks’ refusal to needlessly abandon her seat.  During the 1950’s, the state law stipulated that she had to surrender her seat to a white person, even if others seats are available.  This law made no sense but the courage to challenge this was lacking.  God is no respecter of persons (James 2:9), and finally, under leadership, the state of Alabama’s decision to arbitrarily defy God’s Word was ignored.  Dr. King declared that “It is better is walk in humility than to ride in humiliation.”  It was a spark that caught thousands on fire to take an active role in bankrupting a corrupt state government system.  However, his compassion was equally comforting when he said that through nonviolent and peaceful protests, “We can turn any man into a friend.”

            Dr. King was so focused on his calling to be an inspirational leader that he only granted one television interview.  This was granted to Arnold McCalah.  Yet, he was arrested thirty times for taking a stand for justice, righteousness, equity, and fair treatment for all people.  On the eve of his assassination, April 3, 1968, Dr. King delivered his infamous ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech.  It was a night in which he was sick and had sent Dr. Ralph Abernathy to speak in his absence.  Instead, he arrived and delivered a powerful and inspirational address that is replayed every year for us to remember.  He described his mountaintop experience as if he knew that April 4, 1968 would be his last day as an earthen vessel for the Lord.  Most notably, at Dr. King’s home going service, one of his sermons was played and he specifically requested that no one boast about his life.  Instead, he requested that we remember him in the following way:

         He tried to give his life serving others.

         He tried to love somebody.

         Remember him a drum major for justice.

         Don’t mention his awards or his Nobel Peace Prize.

Thirty-five years after his assassination, He remains a model for all pastors. His impact on the church, particularly the African-American church, and the community it serves remains the standard against which all preachers are measured.  The chronology of Dr. King’s life is long and impressive, but several key accomplishments that changed America during his lifetime are worth noting:

1947                Licensed to preach and begins assisting his father, who is Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

1951                Graduates from Crozer with Bachelor of Divinity Degree.  He is the class valedictorian and winner of the Pearl Plafker Award for most outstanding student.  He begins doctoral studies in theology at Boston University.

1956

June 4             U.S. District court rules racial segregation on Alabama’s city bus lines is unconstitutional.

1957

September 9            Congress passes the 1957 Civil Rights Act, first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

1959

February             Dr. and Mrs. King travel to India as guests of Prime Minister Nehru to study Gandhi’s techniques of nonviolence.

1960

May 6             The 1960 Civil Rights Act is signed.

December             U.S. Supreme Court declares discrimination in bus terminal restaurants operated for the service of interstate passengers is a violation of the Interstate Commerce Act.

1961

November             Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation on buses, trains, and supportive facilities.

1964January 3            Time magazine names Dr. King Man of the Year.1964

July 2              Witnesses the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by President Lyndon Johnson – the most far- reaching civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

1964

December 10            Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway – the youngest person to win the prize.

1965

August 6            President Johnson signs the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

1967

November 7            Carl Stokes elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city.

1968

April 7 The President declares a national day of mourning for King.

1986                First National King Holiday celebrated.

 Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (footnote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) 

“Let freedom ring…” are the concluding words from perhaps the most memorable speech in the history of the United States of America:  “Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York…the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania…the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado…the curvaceous slopes of California…But not only that…from Stone Mountain of Georgia…from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee…from every hill and molehill of Mississippi…from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr., pages 29-31, 1993,Anniversary Edition. “New issues have emerged as a result of rapid technological development, such as the fight to preserve the environment, and a woman’s right to reproductive choice.  These are being addressed all over the U.S. by non-violent protest, inspired by Dr. King’s message.  It is my conviction that as new technologies emerge, they often bring tradition into conflict with new values.  The tools which Dr. King has given us will enable us to confront each new issue as it arises.  The struggles may change, but the tools remain constant, and for that we are indebted.” Source: “A Remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Benedict J. Fernandez – www.kodak.com, January 15, 2001

 

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