13 JUNE 2017 BODY OF CHRIST NEWS Fathers, Forgive Your Sons. Sons, Forgive Your Fathers. “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” — Malachi 4:6 With this being the month of Father’s Day, I believe that the subject of Forgiveness is very impor- tant and prominent. The role of a father is one of importance however over time has changed and in some cases become non-existent. Statistics show that over 20 million children live in fatherless homes and millions more live in a home where the father is physically present but emotionally absent. The father role has lost its value, replaced years ago with the mother being responsible for caring for and raising the children while the father stayed away from the home, chasing the next dollar for the family. Due to society making the role of being a provider and bread winner more futile for the father, than being accessible to his family’s needs, today there are a great deal of us who grew up resenting and missing our fathers, and desiring nothing more than to have him pres- ent. Society did away with the father being the example within the home to his son, being the disciplinarian, and provider all at the same time, which in turn drove a wedge between father and son. I grew up in the 60s in Alabama with my mother. She was both mama and daddy because daddy was often away, doing his own thing. My mother had 13 children of her own, who she raised as best as she could. I was one of the younger siblings and stuck close to my mama. My father was an alcoholic. Maybe the seed of unforgiveness was planted at an early age for you due to an absentee father. Maybe it was fur- ther watered and nurtured by a father who was bound by addiction to other things except his family. I am here to let you know that you can be free from the shackles of unforgiveness if you want to be. Forgiveness is a conscious deliberate decision to release feelings of resent- ment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. The seed of unforgiveness was plant- ed inside of me at the tender age of 13. A few days after Christmas, I was standing with my face turned toward the fireplace, and my back to the door. I was standing there being warmed by the fire when out of the corner of my eye, I see Mr. Bo get out of his truck. I don't know how to describe the feeling I felt as I watched him walk around to enter the house, but I knew something very bad was about to happen. I turned with fear in my heart for my mother and said "Mom, Mr. Bo is about to shoot you!" And I went to run, I couldn't stand there to wait and see what the outcome was going to be. But as I went to run, my mother grabbed me and said "Don't run boy! Stay right here!" Mr. Bo then raised the gun he had just bought me for Christmas and shot and killed my mother in front of me. That was the day I pitched my tent and built my solid foundation of unfor- giveness and bitterness in my heart. My father killed my mother in front of me. I'm sure right now in this moment you are thinking a million different things. And on top of what you're thinking, I can imagine what you're feeling. Disbelief, hatred, sad- ness, anger, disappointment. Believe me, it's my story so yes...I felt all the above and some. So as the story goes on, the judge allowed me to sentence my dad to 99 years and one dark day in prison. While he was sitting and hopefully rotting in a physical jail cell, I too was living in my own place of confinement, shackled and bound by the heavy weight of resentment for my dad and what he'd done. Both of our lives had been changed forever in one second. Before going to prison, my dad shot himself in the head but did not die. When God is in control and has a plan to work all things together for your good, there is nothing anyone to include yourself, can do to change it. You may delay it, but you can't deny what He has already predestined. As the years went by and my life con- tinued, as a result of being a product of my father, and having some of his same characteristics and traits, and growing up without parents, I found myself doing the very things I didn't want to. I became an alcoholic and tried drugs and entertained a chaotic and destructive lifestyle. I was headed down a rocky path with no signs of slowing down. If I was in total control of my life, as I sometimes thought I was, I would have been dead some- where a long time ago. But in 1980 God used a little infant sitting in her mother’s arms as her father persis- tently begged me to go to church with him, and that night, with a bottle of malt liquor in my hand, I turned my life over to God. I had reached rock bottom and sincerely desired a change in my heart. Ever since that day, my life has been changed. The night that I accepted Christ into my heart, did I forgive my father? Absolutely not. Forgiveness is a pro- cess. It doesn't happen overnight. But because forgiveness is a conscious deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. In that moment when I spoke to God about my love for Him, He quickly put me in remembrance of His word. It wasn't such a tough pill to swal- low because it was my desire to walk worthy before Him. He reminded me in 1 John 4:20 that if a man says "I love you God," and hateth his brother he is a liar. For he that loveth not his By Pastor Larry Herron Larry Herron and Father Forgiveness is a conscious deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you. Continued on Page 18 Minister Nuri Muhammad It’s about having confidence and love for oneself in order to move forward as a Black race, according to the message Minister Nuri Muhammad delivered during the Denver Business Expo. Black Campus Ministries, African Student Union and NOI Denver Study Group sponsored the recent event titled “Pooling our Resources: From Begging to Building, from Nothing to Nation,” at the Tivoli Turnhalle on the Auroria campus. One of the biggest problems within our race is the disintegrating black family, said Muhammad, a pro- tégé of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan with the Nation of Islam. He currently serves as a student minister at a mosque in Indianapolis, Ind. Minister Nuri Muhamad also travels to different cities across the country representing the Nation of Islam and speaking out about crime, education, relationships and other topics effecting the black community. He especially loves going to college campuses and mobilizing the student masses with his messages on theology, wealth, politics and liberation. “Only way something is to die is to kill the root. When light hits the branch of a tree, it doesn’t die; and when the light hits the trunk of the tree, it doesn’t die. But when light hits the root, then you get rid of the trunk, branch and fruit of that tree,” he explained when it comes to the black family. “So when you look at the problems of our people, marriage is one of them. Black people have a 75 percent divorce rate. Every four couples you see out on the street, three of those couples will not be together. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said marriage is the corner stone of the family. Family is the corner stone of the community, and the com- munity is the corner stone of the nation.” Muhammed went on to say marriage is not the only problem effecting the black family but self-hatred within our race. “Knowledge of self produces love for oneself. Love for yourself produces you doing for your- self. If you say you are my brother and drop the “b” and “r” it becomes other. You are my brother and other self. So if I know me, love me and I am doing right by me, and you are my other, I have to treat you the same way.” For Christians, the young Muslim minister said people need to look at their present situations to those things going on in the Bible. “The Bible is prob- ably the best black history book that you can read,” he said. Muhammad didn’t hesitate to break down how individuals in the Bible were black. “Job said my skin is black. When Abraham went into Egypt, they thought he was an Egyptian. Egypt is in Africa. Solomon said, ‘I am black O yea daughters…’ Solomon was the son of David. So if Solomon is the seed of David, Jesus also said out of his own mouth, ‘I am the seed of David.” “When we learn about those things blacks from the past have done, then we gain confidence. We are direct descendants of God. So we are in possession of God’s genetic makeup, holy heredity and divine DNA. When we see ourselves that way, we as a people will not only have con- fidence, but Godfidence.” Muhammad didn’t hold back about our health issues, as well. Black people’s dietary habits by continuing to eat like they did back during slavery. He stated, “Greens, cornbread, pork chops is a plantation plate.” For more information on nutritional and other books Minister Nuri Muhammad recommends is to go online to store.finalcall.com or call 720-216-7397. Finally, Muhammad pointed out that those sancti- fied, baptized and holy rollers of the church face the same conditions as others around the world. However, he added, “If you are really connected to Jesus – you should have life and have life more abundantly.” Nuri Muhammad Knowledge of self produces love for oneself. TESTIMONY PROFILE