Please join Kristie Anyabwile, Courtney Doctor, Dennae Pierre and me as we share a short word and lead a time of prayer. We would like to join together to pray during this unprecedented time.
When: Tomorrow, Saturday, March 21
Where: Zoom meeting (space limited but will be recorded)
Time: 10:00 am CST; 11:00 am EST
How: Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 346 116 0711
The Lord invites us to come before His throne of grace in our time of need. We hope you will join us as we go before the Father who loves us and is for us. Our hope is in Him.
We look forward to praying together!
If you can’t join us, this might be a wonderful time for you to grab some of your friends and family to pray together. There are ways for us to social distance together! I’ll be praying for you.
This is a strange time for all of us but not for our Lord. He knew we’d be “social distancing” for a time.There’s nothing and no one who compares to our God. And this truth provides strength to our hearts. Our flesh may fail, our hearts may fail, but we will endure because God is the strength of our heart. I have been praying for all of us as we adjust to a new normal–a “normal” that is quite abnormal! In the meantime, I’ve also been dreaming of ways to bless you. We are in this together!
Today I’d like to share a read along of God’s Very Good Idea. I hope you and your family enjoy this time of reading together.
Follow these links to view the video:
Grateful for you!
Recently, I spoke at a high school about loving your neighbor who is not like you. It was so much fun and completely chaotic. The lights went out–all electricity lost. I was screaming to 200 students about Jesus’s command to love. It was hilarious.
But they listened and were responsive and just so great. But then at the end something unexpected happened.The principal of the school came up to me and said, “I’m convicted. That convicted my heart. I am a racist against (a certain people group). I have a lot of work to do.” He continued to share more. I told him it was God’s kindness that he’d reveal that and thanked him for confessing.
God can work miracles with the lights completely out, when it seems like a complete disaster. God doesn’t need the
lights to work! God uses whatever He desires to work good in the world and in us. Also, God can change hearts. Let’s
have hope for others (and ourselves) that He can change us! He can. He does.
If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us and purify us. (1 John: 1:9)
A few nights ago my family experienced the hardest, most sobering time we’ve had since starting our #BlackHistoryMonth meal and historical conversations. It was kids choice night. The kids chose the dishes and we discussed some of the stories of Black children in the Civil Rights era. Our were thankful for what we learned that night, thankful for the kids who made it possible for them to enter their schools without much fear.
That evening was hard but a necessary part of teaching our kids the whole story. We thanked God for those kids and how their stories and lives changed history—changed all of our children’s futures.
You can learn more about what we did here: Kids and Black History Month.
This month my family will be cooking through “Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking” and discussing various aspects of Black History. Each week I’ll share briefly about what we discussed but I encourage you to research the people and places if you’d like to know more.
Saturday we ate Louisiana red bean & rice; wilted mixed greens with bacon and discussed the 1811 Uprising (Louisiana slave revolt). We discussed how the church has used the Bible to oppress slaves and what the Bible actually says about slavery in the context of the first century.
While waiting for our beans to finish, we listened to Fats Domino….He was born in New Orleans and was a leading pioneer of rock and roll. Inducted in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of fame in 1986.
Last night I made “Beef with onions and wine.” It’s a version of the French stew beef bourguignon. According to Martin, the author of the cookbook “Jubilee,” Mahalia Jackson called it “oven beef Burgundy.” Tonight we listened to music by Ms. Jackson and learn about her life. This recipe was stupid good. I mean: GOOD GOOD GOOD! Yum!
I hope to update the site once a week with the various things we are doing. But one of the best ways to get the full picture of it would be fo check it out and follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trillianewbell/. And although I haven’t announced this yet, I will be starting a YouTube channel where I’ll discuss some of these things.
The Super Bowl has come and gone but the conversation about the halftime show might have taken center stage.
The show headliners were two Latina women, Jennifer Lopez, or J.Lo as she’s known by fans, and Shakira. Both are strong performers with unique styles. Both are dancers with two decades, three or more for J.Lo, under their belts. And both tend to wear little clothing and twist and shake in ways many Christians might find inappropriate.
So, when the halftime show was announced and the two took the stage, most of us should have known what to expect. They performed as they have most of their careers. And as one who was a dancer in her younger years, their technical skills were quite impressive. But those skills were overshadowed by their sexual innuendos. From the specific highlighted areas on their outfits to the rotating hips, sexuality was on full display.
The question many asked after the show was how could J.Lo and Shakira do this in the midst of the MeToo Movement? Don’t they realize that they aren’t empowering women?
That’s a question only they can truly answer but given their life’s work isn’t much different than what they performed, I’d say they weren’t considering their halftime show in light of MeToo. They were doing what they always do.
The question I’m most interested in is whether or not performances like this objectify women. The short answer: yes. If we are going to dress in a provocative manner and perform on a stage, any stage, then we are drawing attention to our bodies, the movement of them, and communicating something as a result. For those of us following Jesus, we know that we cannot and should not use our bodies in such a way that tempts anyone to sin. We want to do everything in our power to eliminate that temptation. Protecting those around us—as much as we can because we know that women can be objectified regardless of what is worn or what they do—is a part of loving our neighbor.
But what I struggle with is conflation of the MeToo Movement with a sexually charged halftime show. The MeToo Movement, from all accounts, is about men who have abused their power, not only objectifying women but also assaulting them. I so appreciate all of the desire to see women protected and honored and the MeToo comments regarding objectification of women and the halftime show as long as we never excuse men for taking advantage of women because of what she wears or doesn’t wear. Women don’t ask to be assaulted. Let’s be careful not to mix this up.
In saying this, I want to be clear: I am not saying that women have zero responsibility for their own bodies, what they wear, and how they act. What I am saying is that we should consider the wisdom of bringing in the MeToo Movement when addressing the music performances. There is a problem with our over sexualized society but that never is an excuse for abusers. No, sexual performances do not empower women. Yes, women should be mindful of what they do with their bodies. But, no, none of these things are invitations for sexual assault or abuse.