Monday, March 8, 2010

First I'd Like To Thank...

Deuteronomy 8:17-18
You May say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers as it is today.

It is always interesting to see how people respond when they receive awards at the Oscars. There are actors, actresses, directors that have been nominated for years and never have won. Then there are the phenomenons like Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, and Monique who win the first time nominated. It is so moving to see the appreciation and humility of those who win. What was noticeably missing this year is appreciation for God given by the recipients. Is this commentary about our culture as a shift away from God or the realization that God is disassociated with much of what goes on in Hollywood?

As African-Americans, we have always had an appreciation for God's hand on our talents and destiny. Even the schizophrenic knee jerk response of “Juicy J” of the rap group Three Six Mafia, thanking Jesus showed a religious reaction to thank Jesus even though they operate under a satanic moniker. Some would argue that they are glad that Monique did not give an empty obligatory religious response “thanking God” and then others wonder why she did not thank God first before anyone else. The assumption is that all African-Americans are Christians and that America is still a Christian nation.

For those of us that are Christians we expect that when we make it to the stage of success that we first acknowledge God. Going all the way back to when we were children growing up in little “Baptist” churches in the south we remember the person taking the microphone, “First giving honor to God, who is the head of my life…” We’ve come a long way from those days. Today there are a lot of people who believe they are the head of their own lives.

When we are successful and given the mic who will we attribute success to besides ourselves?

Moses warned the Israelites that when they come into the Promised Land, to a land flowing with Milk and Honey, not to say, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced my wealth.” Whenever we win at life it is at the expense of others.
We win at life because of the graciousness of God and the sacrifices of those who went before us. Monique thanked Hattie McDaniel who won an Oscar by having to play a slave so that she (Monique) could win with “dignity” playing an abusive mother on welfare. (Interesting paradox) she had an amazing performance and rightfully won, hands down! Maybe we pick things apart too much but then again maybe there is a lesson we can learn from others.

Moses said, “It is God who gives us the ability to get wealth. When you crossover into the land your Lord God gives you:

1. Give God Glory and thanks before anybody else.

2. Thank God for those who went before you? We stand on the backs of slaves who sacrificed their lives for us to be free.

3. Thank those who stood beside you.

4. Thank God for your haters. God allowed others to go before you to work the land that didn’t even like you.

5. Encourage yourself in the Lord for your hard work.

Dear God, thank you for blessing me. Without you I am a failure. You are the source and the strength of my life. Thank you for blessing me with success and letting me cross over into a land flowing with Milk and Honey.

In Jesus Name,

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