The More You Know: Juneteenth

The More You Know: Juneteenth

Imagine not knowing your freedom was a reality while the rest of the world knew? And then are told, “You are free.”

This is why we celebrate the Black Emancipation Day called Juneteenth.

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I heard of Juneteenth but I really wanted to research what this day was about. Juneteenth is a holiday held on June 19th symbolizing the end of slavery in the United States. Two and a half years ago, the Emancipation Proclamation was made by President Lincoln to abolish slavery. Though this proclamation meant the end of an era of oppression, it was not yet enforced in all the states.

On June 19, 1865, after an Executive Order, Major General Gordon Granger and union soldiers went to Galveston, TX with news to the last of the enslaved that the war was over and they were free. This major enforcement is what makes the holiday what it is. Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas by state legislator Al Edwards in January 1, 1850. Edwards is still seeking to create Juneteenth as a national holiday. 45 out of the 50 states recognize/observe this holiday.

Today, Juneteenth is about celebrating and educating others about our history, our freedom, our accomplishments as a people, and where we have to go.

It’s important as a community to uplift and educate how far we have come. The same delay for freedom is still true today. As a people, there is still strife, struggle, and delay to be represented and at the table in the mist of injustices. There is still delayed freedom in the economy, in the legal system, education, in the environment, and beyond. But we can still celebrate our progress. I know friends who are doctors, lawyers, accountants, businessmen/women, etc who are making a difference in their communities and the world. We still fight for our seat but if our ancestors could survive the oppression of slavery, we can surely keep fighting the system.

That’s why it’s important to have Juneteenth and Black History Month: to know we can make an impact.

For me, learning about this holiday gives me more pride about the resilience of our ancestors. As an African American, I know someone had to struggle for me to have the freedoms I have. I am an educated black woman. Yup…let that sink in. This holiday makes me realize the privilege and opportunities I have. I will always be proud and unashamed to celebrate my history. The older I get, the more knowledge I learn about where I come from.

To end, in the great words of James Brown, “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.”

Blissfully,

Bianca

MLK Day In the Trump Era

MLK Day In the Trump Era

It is an interesting time in history. Hate, ignorance, and complacency exists from the top to the bottom. It feels like every day different people from different walks of life are discriminated, hated, prejudiced, bashed, and treated lesser than. Even in the mist of darkness, good shines. There are people from all walks of life shining with good works and deeds. Darkness is temporary when we speak out against injustice. Knowledge and education is vital and needed. Truth needs to be sent to the ends of the world. Study rather than stereotype. Learn rather than limit. Heal rather than hurt. Love rather than hate.

Study

Blissfully,

Bianca

The Marathon of Love

The Marathon of Love

via Daily Prompt: Marathon

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If you did not know, today is Martin Luther King Day. In our world, love is not a quick jog but a marathon. Till God decides to take His children home, it is a marathon to love your brother or sister who is different from you. We live in the same world and we need to love. So here are some of encouragement for this marathon of love from Dr. King and the King of Kings:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.-Mark 12:31

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.-1 Peter 3:8
 
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. 
No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.-1 Corinthians 10:24

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.-Philippians 2:3
 
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.-Hebrew 13:1-2

The time is always right to do what is right.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.-Galatians 6:2

Love one another, friends.
Blissfully,
Bianca
My Lenses of Life: The Invisibles

My Lenses of Life: The Invisibles

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The prophesy of Christ has been revealed to prophets of old and kings. Great leaders like David and Joseph knew of the coming King that would surpass their reign. But you know what? The birth of the Messiah was also revealed to lowly, invisible shepherds who were watching their sheep on a dark night. An angel proclaimed the birth of the King to them because God wanted them to know this light and this truth. The point is Christ came for all, not just the people of status. He came to restore and save the invisibles: lost, the broken, the widower, the prostitute, the disabled, the foreigner, the weak.

Question: Have been kind to a janitor, a waiter, a person whose first language is not English, a disabled person, an LGBTQ person, a black person, a Muslim person, and a child lately?

I ask this because the world seems to turn a blind eye to the invisibles. Some people pity temporarily and “pray for peace.” Some find excuses to blame and point the finger at their faults. Some just say “Well they are going to hell.” And yet, some of these say “America needs to turn back to Jesus,” “there needs to be a revival,” and “Jesus come quick”

Jesus says to be the light. But, I do not believe He meant criticize the sinner and be better than them. Christians are not the Messiah. Jesus is the Messiah who came to world and revealed Himself as the perfect marvelous light to a lost and dying world.

I am not perfect. You are not perfect. He is perfect. Jesus allows us to be His light, to share the good news of Christ. Jesus came for all, not some. A local pastor said you cannot be the light without prayer, intentionality, and a heart of seeing people the way God says people.

God wanted the lowly shepherds to see the hope and reality of Jesus, the Messiah. He calls us to be the same. He calls us to love and recognize the invisibles, the people who are overlooked, under-appreciated, judged, persecuted, and mistreated. They need to know that they are loved and valued.

A kind word.  A smile. A handshake. It does not take a grandiose gesture to show the love of Christ. See God’s creation, pray for the heart and words to speak to people who are not like you, be intentional in showing love and compassion. But it starts with your heart. From your heart flows everything you do.

God’s heart was so full of love that He sent His Only Son to a dark world full of invisible people so that can know the hope and light that could restore and save.

That is the message people need to hear all 365 days of the year.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Blessings,

Bianca