Radical RevLa Welcomes You

Monday, April 25, 2011

Radical Love: Who is Jesus God or Man?

So that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught
Luke 1:4

This is the last post in our Radical Love series. As before we ask that you go back and read them all so you can have a full understanding.
Our last trouble word and the most controversial one of all is
Over 2000 years has passed and that name is still one of the biggest trouble words ever.
Saying His name, writing His name, and believing in His name still causes some to go to the deep end. They feel its perfectly alright to worship any and everything right down to the sacred pig
but let a true CHRISTian speak of Him and suddenly its
I for one know that it takes faith in Him to understand who He really is.
I can tell you all day who He is but if you don't believe as I do then I'm wasting my time.
If you think that the bible is just a book of fantasy and not inspired by God
then I can quote every scripture in it and still you would not believe.

However just humor me. For the sake of this post let's just say that you do believe.
That you do have faith!!!
You believe that God our Father loved us enough to save us.
You believe that after man betrayed Him in the garden and sinned that He developed something
that would save us as well.
You believe that God the Son by choice came down from heaven and was born as both Man and
God via a virgin's birth.
You believe that this said God/Man was and is Jesus The Christ
And you must believe that Jesus Lived and Died to save us from our sins and
reunite us with God the Father for eternity!!!
That He died on a Friday and was resurrected on a Sunday

Then if you believe all of this than you will listen to no one who states otherwise.
If you believe this then you know that your real home is in heaven and that right now you have a job to do that no one else can do while on earth.
You know that The Holy Spirit is in you to guide you into all truth and that you live for Christ Jesus as you go about doing your part in Kingdom Building.
I will not debate or attempt to convince anyone about who He is. I will just walk the walk that I've been given to walk.
I will talk the talk that I've been given to speak.
I will Love CHRIST with my whole heart and serve Him until I leave this earth and go on to glory!!!

Do you think I sound like an extreme preacher?
Do you think I don't know what I'm talking about?
Do you think that maybe Jesus is not who I say He is?
Maybe you are right. Maybe He is not the Christ. Maybe all of these over 2000 years of worship is wrong?
Then if it is true that what you say is right then really I loose nothing.
I just wasted my time attempting to do good and live a moral loving life and then I died and "The End".
BUT.......and as I always state this one too is a "VERY BIG BUT"
What if I'm Right??? What if He is the King of Glory???
What if You don't believe and can not live forever in heaven with the God Head?
What if you denied Him as you lived and rejected Him when you had the opportunity to Live forever in the presence of the Holy One?
What if you die and go to hell because you didn't stop and take the time to believe?
Or go to a place that was not created for you but for satan and his demons?

Now lets look at this if I am wrong you have absolutely nothing at all to loose!!!
But if I am right then you have only one thing to loose and one thing to gain....
You loose your place in heaven and separation from God who is Love for all of eternity
and you gain a place in "hell with satan and all of his demons for ever!!!
 If you look at my book (the bible) that place is eternity of burning fire and agony
it is said that you burn always!!! An eternity of burning and gnashing of teeth!!!
Ever seen anyone who hurts so bad that all they can do is gnash there teeth?
Pain beyond Pain!!!

So what do I have to say
Now its your choice where you spend Eternity!!!

Thank You Jesus for "Sonday"


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Radical Vashti: A Queen Who Chose To Be Deposed Rather Than Disrespected

Queen Vashti refused to come, then the king became furious and burned with anger.

Who is Queen Vashti and why should she be included in our series of radical women? How important could she really be since she was talked about for less than one and a half pages in the book of Esther. For those of us that know the bible we remember the two books in the Old Testament that has a woman as the main character. It is Ruth and Esther. In the book of Esther the focus is on her and the bold move that she took to save God's people the Jews. However before we get to Queen Esther there is another queen that made a bold move that in my opinion showed the ancient world that women were more than just an object to be treated any old kind of way.

Queen Vashti was married to Xerxes the king over Persia from 486 to 465 B.C. The Persians defeated the Babylonians who had captured the Jews and placed them in exile. Now with their defeat and capture the Jewish exiles were transferred to Persia. The capital city of Susa was the setting for the story of Esther under the  reign of King Xerxes I. So our story opens with the King of Persia Xerxes showing off his vast wealth for 180 days. After showing off his wealth he decided to have a party for all of his boys. (Now you must remember this is Radical RevLa's version).

King Xerxes had the best settings for his boys. The best hangings of linen fastened with white and purple materials with silver cords. In other words he brought out all of the good stuff to impress his guys with his wealth. He commanded his wine stewards to serve each man what he wished. They were allowed to drink all that they wanted. The King had their wine served in goblets of gold each different from the others and wine was plentiful the party was in high gear and on the seventh day old King Xerxes was about to take it up a notch.

Visual time: Picture a bunch of ancient rowdy men drinking to their hearts content. All yelling and cursing at the same time. Can you see them now "hey the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire....there's a party over here and there's a party over there...just throw your hands up in the air and wave them like you just don't care...its party time!!!!.....ha,ha,ha nothing like an ancient drunken boy party...OK visual over back to the point.

While all of this partying was going on Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal place. Visual time: The Queen and her ladies sitting around drinking tea...pinkies up in the air. Tea cookies and sandwiches. Dressed to kill latest ancient designer shoes.....ha,ha,ha...I know bad RevLa...but really the ladies were being just that and the men were off the royal chain. By day 7 it all came to a head.

According to the Word it states : "On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at."
Translation: These men were beyond drunk...the king was now ready to humiliate the queen. He wanted her to come down naked except for her crown and to display her beauty in front of a room full of drunks. He wanted to let these men without any sense of self-control to see her in the nude. His wife and the queen of his land to be put on display like a common whore.

When the eunuchs came with the kings request the Words tells us this: "but when the attendants delivered the king's command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger."
Sidebar Ladies: Queen Vashti is my kind of woman. She had heard this party going on for days. All this drinking and yelling. Now after seven days of this foolishness the king had the audacity to have some man without genitals to come and command her to come to the hall with who knows how many drunks. Not only was she to come but she the queen was to come nude wearing only a crown. Really...did he really think that anyone would come like that during that time....a roomful of drunks....absolutely no way!!!

So basically Queen Vashti just didn't come. King Xerxes was so amazed that she didn't follow his orders that he didn't know what to do. I mean here we have the conqueror of nations. The bad boy of the ancient world and this Woman had the very nerve not to follow his orders. He was so messed up that he had to call in his experts consults to decide what he could legally do. These men had to put their heads together to figure out what to do with this lady who just was not going  to let a bunch of drunks humiliate her. So these so called great men and leaders of their day came together to decide how to handle Queen Vashti.

You must understand King Xerxes struck fear in the hearts of everyone. What he said was law. You could be killed even if you were his wife and approached him without permission. Now he had been disobeyed by a woman. Who did she think she was??? Not only that Ms. Vashti had set a standard. One that if the other women seen what she did and how she disobeyed they too would follow. According to the word it states: For the queen's conduct will become know to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come. This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen's conduct will respond to all the king's nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord."

The men were afraid that the other women would follow her lead. These ancient men knew that if the women did this they would never be able to control them again. So they came together and decided to stop the women in their tracts before things got out of hand. They told the king that he had to come up with a royal decree and have it written into law that Queen Vashti was never again allowed to be in the presence of the king. Also the king was to give her royal position to someone else who was better than she. Translation: Not a woman who was better but one who would do what she was told even if it meant to come into a room full of drunk men naked!!!

They thought this would make the other women respect the men. RevLa's opinion: I think that secretly the Persian and Median women praised their queen for her stand and dignity. They might not have been able to outright show it but Queen Vashti gave away everything to be her own person. She was not the focus of the book of Esther. She was the lesser queen but to me I feel she too was great. Queen Vashti only held a few pages in the very beginning of the book of Esther. The story was about the Jews and how they were saved via this brave Jewish queen. That's God's greatest story but I see God showing us as ladies another one. 

Vashti shows us that we should never allow our dignity to be taken lightly. We should love ourselves enough that we can give up everything that this material world has to offer without looking back to maintain respect for who we are and who God made us to be. We were created from great stock and God created us as a gift. We are really something and we can not let any man reduce us down to nothing. An ancient pagan woman showed us that in no way should we allow anyone man or woman to disrespect us. Ladies we should never forget Radical Vashti. She gave up what most people would look at as everything but walked away with her self respect. She walked away with her head held high and a place in history as one of the world's greatest woman that ever lived. While I love what Esther did and trust me you will meet Radical Esther we can and should never over look Radical Vashti.

So who is Radical Vashti and why should she be included in our radical women series?
She is just one of the bravest women of her time and ours. To me she is the beginning of the women's movement. She stood for everything that's great in being a woman. She is a great example of love and respect for yourself as a woman. We as ladies of today should take notes from this great lady and never allow any man to compromise us in anyway form or fashion. The other great thing that she showed us is the power we really have. The bravest most vicious men of the ancient world was afraid that a little woman who refused to be placed on display would change the thinking of all the other women and that they would never have control if that happen. Hint, hint ladies can you see our real power and strength??? It dwells within our being. We can make or break the world if we would just trust in our Lord and ourselves but then that's another blog.

Radical Vashti we want you to know that we have not forgotten you. You are not just a one page wonder. You are a true woman of God who when faced with a decision that could cost you your life and your crown you chose to stand up for the dignity and respect of womankind. We thank you for that!!!

Radical Vashti a Queen who chose to be deposed rather than Disrespected!!!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Radical Mary: I know not a man

I know not a man
Talk about being a radical woman who could top Mary?
She was the ultimate. This young girl was presented with a task that I know many of us could never handle. She was told that she was going to be the mother of the King of Heaven.
What an honor? What a job? What pressure?
As a black girl I would say that this girl had "Heart" but as the Jewish girl that lives inside of me I would say that this girl had "Chutzpah"!!!
She had to have this inner strength because the job she was saying yes to could cause her to loose everything including her life. She would be a disgrace, the joke of the town and cause her family tremendous shame.
Not only that her husband could have her stoned if he chose to.
Yet this radical woman simply said yes to her calling without hesitation.
OK Ladies I think we should just stop right here and give this lady a standing ovation because
lets get real personally I think I'm a strong woman you know radical and all that but
really ladies when faced with stones being throw at me all at once from the whole town and all I could do was stand and take it......well that's just not going to happen. I would have to decline and take my chicken self back to the coop. So with great respect I thank this Radical Woman of God.

You see according to the ancient Jewish wedding customs Mary was married legally.
According to the wedding customs during those times Mary's father chose her husband. She did have the right to say yes or no. Once she said yes then they entered into the first part of the marriage agreement. The couple drank a cup of wine signed a paper and they were considered married. However they would not live together as man and wife at this time. If we were to compare this part of the marriage to what we do now it would be as if they were engaged except they were legally considered married and would have to have a divorce to end the relationship.
Mary would be left at her parents home until her husband finished building the home and obtaining the provisions etc. She would be looked at as a married virgin.
Mary clearly understood her current situation but once God's angel announced what she was asked to do
Mary never hesitated. She humbly accepted her task and never once doubted God.
She was a quiet powerhouse....ready to handle whatever her husband or the town had to throw at her including rocks if need be.
You see Joseph had the right to have her stone because she would be perceived as committing adultery. She would be looked at as soiled and being that they were legally married for all intense purposes she had stepped out of the covenant and became with child. Still knowing all of this she did not hesitate and said so be it. Who other than she could have that type of courage. Knowing that none of this would make sense to anyone? She still stood strong and took the job. Think about this. She had to face her parents, her husband, her town and her rabbi. She would be the talk of the town if she didn't get stoned first and she still said yes.
Could I have done this? Even with all of my faith I'm not sure that I would be that brave.
OK sidebar: I was really trying to be good but lets face it....its just not in me..so I'm going to get real
with all of my faith and yours and your sister and brother's faith I couldn't have done this at all!!!
What can I say confession is good for the soul...alright back to the lesson!!

Let us look at what Mary was being asked to do.
According to Luke 1 God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth a town in Galilee to a virgin who had been pledged
to Joseph a descendant of David. That virgin's name was Mary.
The angel greeted her and said these words
"you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
The scripture goes on to say that Mary was troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting was that. Gabriel went on to assure her not to be afraid.
Stop: visual aid...it is stated that the smallest angel is approx. 10 feet tall. Now we are talking about Gabriel here who was one of God's archangels so I'm assuming that Gabriel was three times as big as the smallest angel
(again all of this is my own opinion)
so he was expecting her to be afraid of him and he said to her do not be afraid.
However the picture that I want you ladies to see is that it was never stated that Mary showed any fear. She just listened. It wasn't his size or enormous presence it was his words his greeting. She was such a strong lady.
 Gabriel would never had to say to me "do not be afraid" I would have taken one look at this 30 foot man/angel and ran as fast as lighting or just passed out cold.

He went on to say "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
Radical Mary never missed a beat she just looked at the real picture and stated the obvious.
"How will this be, since I am a virgin?" This girl was looking at the real deal. She knew that she had never had sex and lets face it that's the only way that we know how to get pregnant.
Gabriel answered with an explaination. He said"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. For nothing is impossible with God". Mary's entire life as she knew it was about to change and who really would believe that one night she went to bed a virgin and woke up pregnant without having sexual intercourse?

Our girl didn't skip a beat she quietly said "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said". Then at that point the angel left her.
Mary's radical decision saved our lives. Mary's pure honest nature found favor from God. Mary set the tone for women like myself to just follow God in faith and never worry about what people would say about you. Now that was Mary's beginning with her Heavenly King child, but its more to this woman then just her beginnings. It has been said that its not how you begin but how you end. Let's see this woman who found favor from God that He made her the mother of the Holy One. Mary was one of the ladies that was at the foot of the cross when her innocent first born child was cruicified for our sins.
Sidebar visual: I was really trying to be good...but by now you know me...this must be said "Where were all the mighty disciples during this time? We see four women standing at the foot of the cross. Only John was there...good for you John you didn't punk out but what about the rest of the Jesus posse? The so called strong men..the leaders where were they? Only the ladies had heart/chutzpah. I'm not against men but really they need to get their act together and leave us alone. When we take a deep look at things they are not looking too good...enough said...back to the point..

As a mother I can not imagine standing and watching my child being tortured and killed for no reason. Just writing this now and just thinking about it I feel the tears coming.

According to John 19 it reads:
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, and Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene..... When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son", and to the disciple, "Here is your mother".
Jesus looked down and saw the women at his side. He saw his precious mother leading the pack. She was not going to abandon Him. His last act of sonship to her was to make sure she was being taken care of. So He stated that John was now her son and she was now his mother. From that time to her death she stayed with John as his mother and he her son.
You also must remember that by then Mary had other children who were by her husband Joseph but she chose to live with this disciple whom Jesus picked for her.

Mary ended her days as she began them. Choosing righteousness over what the world would think or say. She was commited to her job and stood in faith to the end of her task.
She knew that many did not believe her or her Son. She knew the road would be hard and she would be ridiculed. She never once second guest God or what was told to her. Nor did she care that what she said or belive made her appear crazy. I can see why she found favor in God's heart. How many of us would have done the same thing in the same way?

I thank Radical Mary for being our example. Whenever things get tough for me as a woman in a man's religious world I think back to what she might have gone through and I give thanks to God that we had her. Without her there would be no salvation for us.
So in closing I must state this....when you look at it Mary's only job was to have a baby. That baby changed the world as we know it. Remember ladies if God calls you to do a job it matters not how big it is or how small it seems. You never know when a small task for God will impact the world forever.
If you are called and say "yes" then the only thing that matters is starting right and ending right.