Food 4 Thought by Marcia Dixon

BREXIT – FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS

When I woke up on Friday 24th June, I did so in the belief that Britain had voted to remain in the European Union. The actual result told me otherwise. The majority had voted to leave and, as a result, had awakened a political earthquake, causing David Cameron to announce that he would be stepping down as Prime Minister before the next Tory conference.

There’s no doubt that Britain has entered turbulent times, with no one sure of what the future holds. As believers, it’s beholden upon us to take to heart Paul’s directive in 1 Timothy 2:2-3, which states: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people –  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour.”

Our leaders are definitely going to need God’s guidance, and/or wisdom in the forthcoming days and weeks, as they lead us through uncharted political territory to carry out the will of the majority, as well as keep the nation united.

It’s also important for Christians to remember that, in times of political turbulence like this, God has got everything under control.

There has also been a lot of talk that the EU Referendum and Britain’s decision to leave is prophetic, and in line with biblical prophecies outlined in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Whether you believe this or not, if you’re a Christian it’s important to keep your eyes on Jesus; continue living out your purpose; play your part in fulfilling Christ’s mission, and always be mindful that Jesus is coming back soon.

 

MORE THAN JUST GREAT WORSHIP CENTRES

Churches tend to polarise opinion – people either love them or hate them. Very few people are indifferent about them.

I’m one of those who love the Church. I love what it stands for, love the fact that it’s the vehicle God has chosen to share the Gospel and that the message it preaches has transformed numerous people’s lives. Furthermore, where people of colour are concerned, the message of the Church reminds us that we are made in the image of God and, in doing that, helps us develop a positive self-image, that helps protects us from the psychological effects of racism that come with living in the western world.

However, despite my love for the Church, and Black churches in particular (mainly because I am a member of one), I fully understand why some people might have animosity towards them.

The Church is one of the foremost institutions within the Black community, and one of the very few organisations that bring people of colour together on a regular basis, with a common aim to worship God and work together to be a light in our communities. And they offer a safe space where members can get help during their times of need.

Not only that, churches pool together the finances of its members through regular donations, which are used to buy buildings and finance the spreading of the Gospel.

I believe the presence and work of the Church greatly enriches communities across Britain, and without it many of us would be bereft; however, I understand the disappointment those, who aren’t part of the church, feel with regards to their view that churches should be doing much more for the vulnerable, the disadvantaged and poor in the Black community.

The Church should not be perceived as a social club for the elite few who become Christians. It should be seen by those who aren’t part of it as a vehicle that actively works to tackle some of the social ills that affect the Black community, especially as it is an organisation rich in human and financial resources.

It must be said that there are numerous individual Christians and some churches actively tackling many of the social problems impacting our community, such as: youth crime, gangs, violence, poverty, mental health and unemployment. However, it’s apparent that greater traction would be gained in dealing with these issues, if churches united together to set up and resource organisations to deal specifically with these social problems.

There’s no doubt that, when churches are on point, and their members fired up for God, they are amongst the greatest instigators of social change and charitable provision in this world. The community is looking to the Church to move beyond staging great worship centres, and to provide great social care for the wider community. It is more than equipped for the task – and a role that it is capable of fulfilling.

 

RIP, Muhammad Ali

It’s amazing the impact an individual can have on this world, when they focus on achieving their aspirations and are their authentic self. This was the case of former boxing world champion Muhammad Ali, who died on June 3 after losing his battle with Parkinson’s disease.

His death brought to the fore how much he impacted the world throughout his life – whether as a sportsman, supporter of civil rights or as a humanitarian – and this was despite his endearing bragadociousness. I believe there are many lessons we can learn from his life. I’ve listed 13. They are:

Live fearlessly

Be confident

Be the greatest at what I do (ie. do my best)

Be proud of my race and culture

Stand for something

Put principles above fame and fortune

Be authentic

Love people

Serve others

Inspire others

Have fun

Get back up when life knocks you down, and

Have faith in the Creator

 

Rest in peace, Muhammad Ali.

 

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