Saturday, May 3, 2008

Let's turn up our LIGHTS! We are HOPE!

Senator Obama isn't the only one with the audacity to have HOPE.

By Minister Mary Edwards

In spite of the fact that Detroit has become a laughingstock throughout the country; and in spite of the fact that there is a MASS EXODUS going on here; and in spite of the fact that I’m looking at my out-of-town friends with a hung down head, I STILL have a vision for this city.
Yes! In spite of the fact that every morning when I turn on the television I hear of more violence taking place – even overnight – I STILL have a vision for this city.
In spite of the fact that Detroit is referred to by some as the city touched by an “Economic Katrina…I STILL have a vision for this city. My late husband, Rev. Eddie K. Edwards, loved this city. He dedicated over half of his life to making this a better place to live.

In spite spite of the fact that more and more schools are closing (and some of them need to) I STILL have a vision for Detroit.
In spite of the fact that no one is safe, not even the elderly and animals, I STILL have a vision for this city.

When the Greek philosopher, Diogenes said, “Bury me on my face,” and someone asked why, he said, “Because in a little while the world will be turned upside down.” Although Diogenes was considered by many to be a cynic because he walked around with a lantern in the daytime “looking for an honest man,” he could have been on to something even then.

Without a doubt, that prophecy has come true. Indeed, we are living in perilous times according to II Tim. 3:1. All one needs to do is to turn on the morning news, read the headlines of today’s newspaper, or listen to the panic-stricken conversations from those among us.

Calamities are increasing and the world has become hopeless and hearts have become hardened. We are living in a world gone mad. We are living in a nervous society. Is it any wonder then that people need some place to turn to relieve some of their stress?
There is a whole lot of shaking going on. Unless you and I can bring a message of HOPE, the sinner will say, “If this is God’s wrath, if this is the end, and we are all headed for hell, let’s all party and go out stoned.”
But, I say to you today, WE ARE HOPE.
Church, we have to give this lost world, this lost city, more than a negative message such as “The end is near. Judgement is beginning. And we told you so.” If this is all we can say, we haven’t given them any HOPE. What the world needs now is HOPE SWEET HOPE.
When the shaking worsens, and it will, when you and I see these things I have spoken to you about earlier taking place, we need to be speaking HOPE. While others are worried and nervous and losing their minds, we must bring a message of mercy, grace and redemption. We must bring HOPE in the midst of hopelessness.
Now, in order for this to happen, there is at least one other thing we must have: JOY! For the joy of the Lord is our strength.(Neh. 8) The song says, “This JOY that I have the world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away.”
So, let me ask you a few questions: Have you allowed the world to steal your joy? Are the sinners around you looking at you and saying, “What do you have that I don’t have?” How do you respond to trials and tribulations? Do you fall apart? Or do you keep the faith no matter what comes up or what goes down?
In my lifetime (65), I’ve experienced many dangers, toils, and snares – even more so as a widow. People ask me: “How can you have so much peace and joy?” My answer is this: “God has put me inside a grace bubble. Jesus is my “Grace Bubble.” And I don’t care how many times satan pricks at my Grace Bubble, he can’t get to me! Why? Because the Grace Bubble is impenetrable. It has a blood covering. Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY cometh in the morning.
Church, let me tell you: “People are crying for wine in the streets.” (Isa. 24:11). In the scriptures, “wine” is referred to as the Holy Spirit. When you look around you and you see winos and drug addicts (and I tell you I’ve seen some of the dope-smokingness people right here in Detroit), when you see these hopeless folks, you and I need to rise to the occasion. Why? BECAUSE WE ARE HOPE.
Another thing we need in these “Dark Ages” we are living in is LIGHT. The Bible says that we are the light of the world. A city set on a hill shall not be hid (Matt. 5:14) Let me ask you this question: “If we are the light, why is the world so dark?”I’ll tell you why. Because we need to turn our light up! I want you to imagine a 3-way bulb. 30-60-100 watts. Church, some of us are 30 watts Some are 60 watts. And others are even brighter. But we all need to turn up the lights. Now, look at this lampshade which covers the light . This lampshade is symbolic of SIN! It’s time to remove those lampshades. God is looking for flood lights. Are you a flood light or a candle? Is your light flickering?
In summary, what do we need to turn this city from darkness into God’s marvelous light? We need JOY and we need HOPE. Now, look in the mirror and tell yourself: “I AM JOY; I AM LIGHT; I AM HOPE!
Church, get busy and let’s turn things around!

Minister Mary Edwards is the Founder of Widows With Wisdom and The Called and Ready Writers. She can be reached at (313) 341-4487 or

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