9 FEBRUARY 2018 BODY OF CHRIST NEWS be to your children. Set your goal big enough to include others, to include and help other people. Many people are so selfish they will do anything to achieve their own goals, but the Bible says that if you do that, mercy and truth will forsake you. If you do that—if you read the passage that we read—mercy and truth forsake selfish ones. They will not forsake you in Jesus’ name. I want you to notice that it is not that the people forsake mercy and truth, but mercy and truth forsake them. When mercy and truth for- sake someone, they become wicked. They become deceptive; they become full of error, and yet they don’t know it, because mercy and truth have forsaken them. They will be so con- vinced that they are on the right path because they lack the ability to have mercy, truth or compassion. All lies sound good. All lies sound like truth to them. And wickedness becomes their companion. Selfish people are wicked people—you know that. Selfish people are liars. They will do anything, including destroying others, so they can get something. I don’t want that to happen to you, amen? Do not let mercy and truth run away from your presence. Find a nice rope and bind them around your neck. Be full of mercy. Be full of truth. Mercy without truth is compro- mise. Truth without mercy is legalism. Do you get me? Mercy without truth is compromise, and yet truth without mercy is legalism. Bringing the gifts that my ances- tors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. — Maya Angelou "Still I rise," And Still I Rise (1978) It is with amazing pleasure that I share my heart concerning Black History. As for me and my family it isn’t just a month set aside to learn of, celebrate and acknowl- edge black heroes who have died, suffered, overcome and surren- dered their lives so that my family and I can live ours. Black History is much bigger than a 28-day cel- ebration, it is a combination of tragedy to triumph, strength and success, battles lost but many that were won. It is a time to not just reminisce but to recommit our hopes and dreams as a people, understanding that many died so that we could live. As I look over our history as a people I am overjoyed to know that there are women who were silent but yet strong, women who raised their children with dignity even when they were disgraced, women who stayed seated because they stood for something, women who shared their hearts and triumphs through writing, singing, dancing and loving others. Our history is rich because our men worked tire- lessly even while being degraded as men, they swallowed their pride and took positions of humility so that their families could live. I am honored to be a strong, con- fident, intelligent, gifted, Godly black woman who comes from a rich inheritance of champions’ that spoke up for me. Therefore, I am able to do the same for my chil- dren. As my husband and I raise our son and daughter, we are impart- ing not only God’s truths but we are intentional about sharing our history as a people and how far we have come. We don’t allow society to paint labels on our children, but we are helping shape their identity through God’s word and the many stories that our ancestors lived. As a mother I must bring the gifts that my ancestors gave, such as the gift to speak up for my rights, to share my heart because it mat- ters, the gift of writing because I have something to say. The gift of love because Christ died for me and you. I am determined to be the dream and hope of slaves, they endured so that we could live free! As a black mother raising black children, I am realizing that soci- ety will not always see my chil- dren as I do, they will not treat my children as I do. Therefore, my children understanding who they are is more than essential it is a matter of life or death. They must understand that they are just as important, just as intelligent and just was deserving as the next hero. Each time my children, pass a school test, ace a homework assignment, or even speak up for their rights, they are creating his- tory. They too will be amongst the great champions that many of us adore and admire. Our children must know and understand their worth, regardless of where they have come from or what is said about them or to them, for they are fearfully and wonderfully made- Psalms 139:14 As I conclude, I confidently say that we have a successful history and an even better future because of who came before us. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” — Booker T. Washington By Sparkle Robinson Mom-Me-Moments TESTIMONY Sparkle Robinson & Family FULFILLMENT ... continued from page 8 We don’t allow society to paint labels on our children, but we are helping shape their identity through God’s word and the many stories that our ancestors lived.