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“GUNNING-UP” OF BLACK AMERICA Title
July/August 2021
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America: armed & dangerous title
Features

by David Sedlacek/While fear and anxiety started in the Eden home, God’s plan always addressed mental wholeness.

by Freddie Russell/An arms race among the races challenges faith to a duel.

by James Prysock/Playbook for community power and justice.

by Julian Waddell/The community that was, the wealth that could have been, and the myths that live on.

by Omar Miranda/Who is God that He Should Care About Us?

by Ivor Myers/The War on Oppression and the God Behind It

Dragonspeak TOC image
Eye on the times TOC image
6
Relationship Rx TOC image
“Black-on-Black Crime”… and other business myths TOC Image
Favorites
4»

by Phillip McGuire Wesley/MEDIA THAT TAKES YOU HIGHER

5»

by Carmela Monk Crawford/RIDING THE WAVES

by Edward Woods, III/BLACK AND POLICE SHOOTINGS

by Carl McRoy/THE DESTRUCTION(S) OF BLACK WALL STREET

by Donna Green Goodman/IT’S A FAMILY REUNION
by Richard G. Berry/THE SCALES MUST BE WRONG!

by John and April Nixon/THE SECRET THING EVERY HUSBAND NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT HIS WIFE

24»

by Carlton P. Byrd/GOD’S PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES

by Ellen G. White/SEEING BY CHOICE

by Rashad Burden/WHY I AM, WHAT I AM

Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter as we study and explore God’s Word. Start at page 26 and take the challenge in the only global, interactive Bible study in which the Bible reads you!
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Want to Do God’s Will?
cover of May/June 1991 issue of Message magazine
It is the high privilege of the believer to have the eternal God interpose Himself into the affairs of his life that are personal, social, economic, and otherwise, simply by prayer and faith and a willingness to serve God without hypocrisy.

God is the Supreme Intelligence, and He knows how to communicate with His children. He has promised to hear our prayers and to guide us in the paths of righteousness. God is ready and willing to hear and help us.

Only our sins or our economy of faith “tie His hands.” Put self and personal opinions aside and come before Him as a child before a loving parent. He will delight in manifesting Himself in your behalf. He bids us, “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Luke 11:9).

Message, circa May/June 1991
Charles D. Brooks director/speaker of Breath of Life

Phillip McGuire Wesley, jr.
Elevation
Media That Takes You Higher
Throughout the craze of quarantine and social distancing, artists, writers, and producers have still remained creative! Be encouraged today as we go through a journey of music, good reads, and apps that will help elevate you through these trying and climactic times.
Book
book cover of A Principled Principal: 12 Life Lessons I have Learned About Principled Leadership
A Principled Principal: 12 Life Lessons I have Learned About Principled Leadership
Eric A. Todd, Ed.D.

If you are a leader this book is for you. Eric Todd presents 12 leadership principles that guide any leader to consider their methods. Topics include: how to communicate, how to envision with a team, personal testimonies about hindsight, lessons on caring for people and knowing how to resolve conflict. Todd’s life story is compelling and informative as he shares his life’s journey and lessons. This book can be found on Amazon.
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Call 1-800-456-3991 Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time for subscription information or address changes. MESSAGE (ISSN 0026-0231) is published bimonthly Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec.

© 2018 by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, Maryland, 21046, U.S.A. Address editorial correspondence to MESSAGE MAGAZINE, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046-1565 U.S.A. All subscriptions are prepaid. If you did not order MESSAGE, it is being sent as a gift from a friend. You will not be billed. To subscribe, mail payment to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. or call 1-800-456-3991. Subscription price: one year, $19.95 U.S. currency; single copy, $4.00; overseas, add $10.00 per year for postage. Prices subject to change without notice. Periodicals Postage paid at Nampa, Idaho and additional offices. Vol. 87 No. 4 July/Aug 2021. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. Printed in the U.S.A.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Statements in this issue attributed by an author to other speakers/writers are included for the value of the individual statements only. No endorsement of those speakers’/writers’ other works or statements is intended or implied.

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editorial
My message
Riding the Waves
T

he aging disciple John recorded the best expression of “destiny” that I have ever known. This, glimmering sliver of hope expresses a word picture of the moment God’s people sync in a marvelous show of faith and triumph:

“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God” (Revelations 15:6).

This status update juts out from a foreboding, prophetic forecast as if to say: “We interrupt this program to bring you this important message: ‘Don’t worry, but get ready.’” As we wade through the stream of destiny, each of us even within our distinctive array of concerns and challenges, bound together in a manmade murk of injustice, climate dysfunction, and financial malpractice, must determine how we’re going to ride this thing out.

Message
eye on the times
Person standing in front of large clock in clock tower
Washington Post reported that:
Black Americans have the highest rate of fatal police shootings between 2015 and March 2021.
  • Black Americans were killed at a rate of 35 deaths per million, which is 2.5 percent higher than White Americans.
  • White Americans are killed by police at 14 deaths per million.
98.3% Police Officers uncharged
  • Hispanics are killed at 26 deaths per million
  • From 2013-2020 98.3 percent of the police involved in killing, walk away from the incident with no charges. (Mapping Police Violence)
BY EDWARD WOODS, III
W

hile news pundits reference former police officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction and sentencing in connection with the death of George Floyd as proof that the “system” works, they provide no answers for the rate of deaths being so much higher for black people. Conviction requires such an egregious level of interaction, captured on mobile devices, in order to ensure that the “system works.”

Black from the Past
The Destruction(s)
of Black Wall Street
By Carl McRoy
T

he first wave of destruction:
May 31-June 1, 2021 marked the centennial of the plundering of the Greenwood community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as Black Wall Street. A smoldering reservoir of white resentment toward black prosperity was unleashed when a black teenager was accused of sexually assaulting a white teenage girl in an elevator.

Though the “victim” denied being assaulted and refused to charge her “assailant,” white supremacist terrorists refused to allow a lack of evidence to deprive them of declaring open season on blackness. Law enforcement deputized a posse that killed 300 people, looted hundreds of homes and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, including hotels, grocery stores, medical and law offices, schools, and—20 churches. Yes, many professed Christians torched 20 of their neighbors’ churches in less than 24 hours! To make things worse, insurers denied coverage for the losses.

T

he first wave of destruction:
May 31-June 1, 2021 marked the centennial of the plundering of the Greenwood community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as Black Wall Street. A smoldering reservoir of white resentment toward black prosperity was unleashed when a black teenager was accused of sexually assaulting a white teenage girl in an elevator.

Though the “victim” denied being assaulted and refused to charge her “assailant,” white supremacist terrorists refused to allow a lack of evidence to deprive them of declaring open season on blackness. Law enforcement deputized a posse that killed 300 people, looted hundreds of homes and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, including hotels, grocery stores, medical and law offices, schools, and—20 churches. Yes, many professed Christians torched 20 of their neighbors’ churches in less than 24 hours! To make things worse, insurers denied coverage for the losses.

T

he first wave of destruction:
May 31-June 1, 2021 marked the centennial of the plundering of the Greenwood community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as Black Wall Street. A smoldering reservoir of white resentment toward black prosperity was unleashed when a black teenager was accused of sexually assaulting a white teenage girl in an elevator.

Though the “victim” denied being assaulted and refused to charge her “assailant,” white supremacist terrorists refused to allow a lack of evidence to deprive them of declaring open season on blackness. Law enforcement deputized a posse that killed 300 people, looted hundreds of homes and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, including hotels, grocery stores, medical and law offices, schools, and—20 churches. Yes, many professed Christians torched 20 of their neighbors’ churches in less than 24 hours! To make things worse, insurers denied coverage for the losses.

optimal health
The Plant-Based Lifestyle
It’s a Family Reunion!
#blackfamilyreunion
Photo provided by Chef Mommy
By donna green goodman
D

id you know that the tradition of red foods reaches back to the Juneteenth Celebrations? During those celebrations—which started 2 1/2 years after we’d been freed—the menu included red foods like drink, cake, and watermelon. Some of the reasons ranged from honoring the blood of the ancestors, to ancient African sacrifice customs, to red meaning strength and spirituality. While red soda has become a popular mainstay at our gatherings, the historical red cultural drink at those gatherings was made of hibiscus and was called “bissap” in West Africa. It was brought to the Caribbean and America during the slave trade and is now popularly known as sorrel.

We’re featuring some delicious dishes from Chef Cynthia Chea Pean and Chef Mommy, Heather Martin. Both offer recipes featuring the same traditional foods—okra, greens and vegan fish—prepared natively from Africa and Louisiana. I guarantee, they are delicious.

Optimal Health
The Whole Person
The Scales Must be Wrong!
Got COVID weight? Plan to lose it with us.
Someone standing on a scale
Photo from StockUnlimited.com
By Richard G. Berry
I

was a little disturbed about the fact that I had gained so much weight during the past 12 months. I blamed my humble bathroom scale. It was dormant for the past year and so something must have happened to its internal mechanism. Come to think of it, I didn’t want to believe what any of the scales I encountered indicated! Surely they must have been wrong!

Unpack Those Pounds

A recent survey by the American Psychological Association showed that 42% of adults in the United States reported undesired weight gain due to COVID. The average increase was 29 pounds. It is interesting to note that this study also reported an 18% undesired weight loss presumed due to muscle loss from “all that sitting around.”

John and April Nixon
relationship rx
The Secret Thing Every Husband Needs to Know about His Wife
Couple smiling at one another
M

ost men spend their lives wondering what women want. It’s probably the single most asked question by men. In fact, it was Sigmund Freud who said, “The great question that has never been answered…despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’” It’s an elusive subject, to say the least. Most men assume women have a long list of things they want in a man, like: 1. Must have money; 2. Movie star looks; 3. Cooks and cleans. However, this is far from a woman’s mind when she thinks about what she really needs from her man.

When it comes down to it, all women want trustworthiness. That may seem obvious, but there’s much more to this idea than simply not cheating on your spouse. Let’s start by defining the word. Trustworthiness – “deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable” (dictionary.com). Women want to be confident, secure and able to rely on “her man.” They want the kind of man Jesus was when He “loved the church…[and] gave up his life for her” (Ephesians 5:25b, NLT). This is how “husbands… [must] love [their] wives, just as Christ…” (Ephesians 5:25a, NLT). Christ demonstrated trustworthiness for men everywhere and reveals the secret thing that all women need from them. Here are five practical ways to improve on your trustworthiness for your woman:

The Gospel text
and Mental Health text
The Gospel and Mental Health title
By David Sedlacek
Student in purple button down shirt
A

ccording to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. – 43.8 million – experiences mental illness in any given year. Many of these individuals turn to their church or their personal faith in search of support. Despite the prevalence of mental health concerns, however, there is still a stigma attached to mental illness. For many, the culture of silence, mistaken expectations and misguided attitudes cause believers to feel shamed, blamed, and alone in their mental illness.

Despite a growing desire to help those suffering with mental illness, members and leaders often report feeling ill-equipped to address mental illness or mental health to their pastors, church leaders, and congregation members. A major factor that contributes to this is the failure to see how the gospel is intimately connected to the workings of the mind and heart. However, mental health and the origins of mental illness are woven throughout the Bible beginning in the book of Genesis.

Student in purple button down shirt
The “Gunning-Up” of Black America typography
Where is it all headed? typography
woman using gun with american flag texture in background
By Fredrick Russell
It

was an innocuous conversation in which we talked about many things, and nothing at the same time. During a lull in our banter she detonated a bomb: “I’m buying a gun.”

We had no guns in or near our home, and zero conversations about purchasing such. Nevertheless my level-headed, young adult daughter announced to me—in that same casual way she shared the fact that she was purchasing a car—“I’m buying a gun.”

She was tracking with a growing trend among black Americans, who, in droves, are purchasing firearms. This major surge in gun acquisition in the black community exploded in 2020, with the data indicating a phenomenon in the making. Yet, the “gunning up” of America, represents only one indicator of our crisis-level distrust and disunity.

Are You Destined to Transform Your Community? 7 Ways You Can Inject Hope in Your ‘Hood and Love in Your Heart
By James Prysock
S

ocial justice is a term that weighs heavily on our communities. For some communities, social justice brings awareness of a social hierarchy in this world that creates disparities in things such as socioeconomics, race, and gender. For other communities, social justice serves as a daily reminder that they participate in a system that disadvantages other identities and they need to be part of the solution.

The people caught in the middle are in survival mode. Some of us survive until the next pay day; some try to get a job to have a pay day; some code switch in order to “belong”; and many experience microaggressions. Through it all, we end up having to advocate for our own humanity. So while necessary, social justice work can be exhausting.

How can we have productive dialogue in a way that aligns our human and Christian values? Unfortunately we do not always have the best examples. Many times we see people disagreeing, yelling at each other or attacking another person in a comment thread.

"Black-on-Black Crime"... typography
and other business myths typography
Black business men and women in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Circa 1921
By Julian B. Waddel
B dropcap letter
efore reading any further, know that this article is not about that, but there is a correlation between phrases like “Black-on- Black crime…”, “All Lives Matter,” and “That is why I do not shop with black businesses,” that require a deep exploration. For now, let us just explore the myths surrounding black businesses.
woman on rooftop with Jesus Saves sign
Our World, Tied Together
Who is God that He should care about us?
BY Omar Miranda
God is the Father
There’s something about a father that represents the deepest and best ideals of what human relationships are and ought to be. However, it would be insensitive and unrealistic to recognize that a vast majority of the population—due to traumatic childhood experiences—doesn’t have a particularly positive experience of what a father is.

However, even given that reality the Bible refers to God as a Father. The Bible described God, the eternal Father, as the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in consistent love and faithfulness.

Dragonspeak: The Race Crisis in America
Part Three
By Ivor Myers
GOD
is a God of war. Particularly, He is a warrior against all systems of oppression. In the Old Testament, He brought judgment upon the nation of Egypt, stating, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them ” Exodus 3:7-9.

After God delivered the Israelites they sang a song which included these words:

“The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone” Exodus 15:2-3, (emphasis supplied).

Many look unfavorably upon the God of the Old Testament because of His judgments upon various nations, failing to understand that these nations were destroyed because they were nations guilty of the sin of oppression. And, God hates oppression.

Future Cast
Gods Purpose for Our Lives typography
by DR. carlton p. byrd
E dropcap letter
ven though God has a purpose for all of our lives, there are many people who wander throughout their entire life, not knowing their purpose. And I’m not just talking about young people, either. I know people at mid-life who don’t know why they’re here.

Yes, they’ve achieved a measure of success and experienced accomplishments – received an education, have a nice car, have a nice house, a good job. But they’re never truly confronted the question, “Have I done the thing that God created me to do?”

But whether they know it or not, God has a plan for their lives. And everything happens according to His sovereign plan. His plan was in place before the foundation of the world.

In life, many people aspire to things that aren’t in God’s plan. Often, they want to do something important because they think if they do something important, that will make them important, but you will never be truly satisfied with anything less than fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.

Group looking at phone
You’re fam here.
Message is the oldest, black, Christian magazine in North America whose longevity is owing to its critical function of sharing the message of redemption, relationship, and readiness.
Redemption in slab font
We believe that God, recognizing how irretrievably broken our lives and world would be following the influence of the enemy’s lies, sent His Son Jesus in whom we are created anew. He has promised the total righting of everything that is wrong in this world. Seek Him. Reach for Him, and He will in no way cast you aside. He wants you to know Him, and assures that He will be there when you look for Him. No matter who you are, this opportunity is for you.
Relationship in. slab font
We’re here to operate as a set of His hands and feet, to come alongside all who preach, teach, and work with this good news. We fight against the destructive effects sin has had on us, the personal, systemic and perpetual division that plagues this world. In particular, we target and counter the false narrative of who God is. Together we affirm His image found in the black mind and body that has so often borne the brunt of brutality and untruth. Together we seek to align with God’s Kingdom at work in the here and now.
Readiness in a slab font
Finally, we prepare for that day when all of God’s people reunite with Him in person. That preparation includes a complete opening of our minds and hearts to Him, allowing Him to do the work of getting us ready. We’re reading His word with an open mind, seeking the special blessing of the Spirit especially on His Sabbath, and we eagerly watch for His return!
Let’s walk together, fam.
To receive personal Bible studies, pray with someone, talk with a chaplain or find a church, reach the Message Resource line: 1-855-God-Cares (1-855-463-2273).
 ELLEN G. WHITE
The Experience Logo
The Experience Logo
The Experience - Seeing by Choice
Seeing by Choice

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing”.

John 9:1-7, (NKJV)
Rashad burden
The Experience Logo
The Experience Logo
Why I am, what I am.
Y

ou’ve heard that everything happens for a reason. What if I told you that everything happens to reveal your resilience and royalty? It doesn’t always feel like we are a chosen people set aside for greatness, but I want you to consider that your destiny is in high places. Join us as we examine a young man who is found sitting in the dirt but was predestined to be there for a divine purpose.

Sunset Landscape
Read John 9:1; Jeremiah 1:5
Jesus and his disciples come across a young man who was born blind. This young man has never perceived the blues in the sky, the greens in the leaves of the trees, or even the mud-brown of dirt. It seems so unfair, yet we know from scripture that God sees our very beginning. Have you ever thought God, or life wasn’t fair to you? You are not alone. What has happened or is happening that you feel isn’t fair? Share it with us here at Message on social media using #MessageMag.
Mountain sunset landscape
Read John 9:1-2; Proverbs 15:3
As the disciples take notice of the blind man, they voice their opinion about his predicament, and it isn’t positive. Has anyone every talked to you or about you, and they have no idea what’s going on in your life? They have never taken a step in your shoes, but they have so much to say. How did you handle it? Share it with us here at Message, #MessageMag.
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Did you catch this?
What’s the Message? May 27, 2021
Author and CEO of Love Beyond Walls, Terrance Lester on Proximity and Presence
What’s the Message? May 27, 2021  Author and CEO of Love Beyond Walls, Terrance Lester on Proximity and Presence

Proximity is when you are close to something, but presence means that you are intentionally showing up to be around that on a daily basis.

Presence is when you switch on and you take it to another level, where you’re saying I am going to show up in community. This is not something that’s just an event. This is something that I’ve adopted as a lifestyle. This is my life and my witness, and that’s the thing that I like to highlight is that we need to move away from doing a lot of these event-oriented things and move to a lifestyle of service.

If you are busy, and you’re only available for a few events, that’s cool, but people are hungry today. People need shelter tonight. People need to stop smoking tobacco tomorrow. These issues are constantly persisting, and if you’re only operating from a place of proximity, where you still have this every-now-and-then, you can’t have the long-lasting change that you really desire to see, because presence is when you dwell.

And using my faith, it says Jesus came to the earth and He dwelt among them. I want to not only be around my neighbors to just love them for a moment, I want to be there to build relationships. I want to know their fears, their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations, and also want to embody what it means to live in solidarity with those who are suffering.

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Bless and Be Blessed
Adventist Community Services map
Find resources near you by going to this link https://www.communityservices.org/resources/acs-centers-near-you/
Atlanta, GA
Berean Outreach Ministry Center
291 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318
 404-799-7288
 http://atlantaberean.com/bomc
 info@atlantaberean.com
West End Seventh-day Adventist Church
845 Lawton Street, SW
Atlanta GA 30310
 404-755-5927
 https://westendsdachurch.org
Ashton, MD
Emmanuel Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church
18800 New Hampshire Ave
P.O. Box 519
Ashton, MD 20861-0519
 301-774-0400
 https://www.emmanuelbrinklow.org
 info@emmanueladventist.org
Baltimore, MD
Berea Temple SDA Church
1901 Madison Ave
Baltimore, MD 21217-3803
 410-669-6350
 https://www.bereatemple.org
 bereatemplesda@gmail.com
Liberty
3301 Milford Mill Rd
Windsor Mill, MD 21244-2042
 410-922-0050
 https://www.libertysda.org
 info@libertysda.org
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Thanks for reading our July/August 2021 issue!