Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cold War on the Body of Christ

Recently, I've noticed some disturbing changes in the world. The changes were all taking place, however, within the Church. I took a mental inventory, as I often do for various topics, and I started measuring the changes in the dynamics of our church attendance. I focused especially on people who were once regular attendees, who became less visible, then invisible. Being open minded to different things that can happen to people, I gathered from all available information that there are people who were either now working during most or all services, going to school in the same kind or who had been in military service. I was humbled, though, to learn that some were absent while they were simply choosing to privately battle illnesses. I am thinking of one sister in particular, one whom I care for deeply, that I used to talk to in great length about vision, purpose and ministry. A few years back, I was having my mind blown as she spoke about different things she wanted to. I was delighted because, unlike many others, I just knew that she could get these things done. She was just that driven. Fast forward to this past Sunday, I was shocked as I scanned the crowd (I operate the video cameras for broadcast) and saw her face. I was hoping to catch her afterwards and catch up, but I missed. Her story is now very common to me. I was once a person who didn't care to be around church much, but, being the closet narcissist that I am, appreciate the warm reception I'd get here and there from the saints. Now I am in a similar position. Now I'm one of the ones on the battlefield (read: present as nothing else is requiring so much of a commitment at this time) wondering where all these forerunners have gone.

I never want to paint a picture about anyone without remaining transparent. I've uttered how much I've hated church more than once in the past two years. After reflecting later, I realized that it wasn't church I hated, it was not having that feeling. Now, I had no idea what "it" (the feeling) really is, but I will describe to you what I think it looks like as I have seen it on other people. From the various auxiliaries in which I participate, I tend to spend a great deal of time watching other people. From video, I see, and often hear, most of what happens within the four walls of the house. I have often, slyly and openly, explained to people that technology shrinks an atmosphere, and a random comment, at just the right moment, angle and pitch can sink a battleship. Oh, come on, you churchgoers know the moment: when that sister who is anointed to preach suddenly, being "led by the spirit" decided to sing. The long winded storyteller decides to recite the Gettysburg Address instead of just telling briefly of God's goodness (hence the necessary time limit for such a thing). When these, and the other hilarious things happen in service, there are chuckles, but there are also outbursts and statements made that can, in an instant, be heard around the world (we are literally an international ministry). While doing deacon and security work, which have quietly merged recently, I have found myself totally engrossed by the daunting task of caring for a soul in worship while simultaneously keeping an eye out for a villain who chooses this opportunity to plunder. But over time, I have noticed that the labor of love has felt a lot more like labor and a lot less like love. See, I had blamed it on the working in ministry for the longest time (well, since I started grumbling, anyway). I blamed the pastor for preaching too long, thus ensuring addition minutes or hours needed in which I'd be needed to serve. I blamed the saints for not clearing out within 3 minutes of the benediction (though I still don't understand the desire of some to have the sermon end fast, only to spend 45 minutes chatting about nothingness afterward. Weird.). I even blamed the "lazy" saints for not working in ministry, which is code for: 'join up so I won't have to do as much'.

What I've found is that I was the problem. More to the point: I was looking for the passion for this thing! I see the preacher go hard in the pulpit, the musicians burn the place down, the choir concuss our skulls with the heavenly refrain, and I'm over here fumbling with this tripod trying to keep the shot centered! I will state, humbly intended, that I am very good at what I do, but it was a gut check moment when I realized that all of works of the past five years may very well burn up in the presence of the Messiah. Without my heart being in it, I've literally been taking up space. Now, to draw this all into my thesis, this is all what Adrian was doing while still making a conscious and deliberate effort to come and work at least four times a week. I have noticed that many of those who started out with me, for whatever reason, are not. My challenge isn't at all in their attendance; it's literally the most irrelevant issue. My issue is in the state our decisions to come in and out of faithfulness does to the rest of the body. I don't need to state here what the world has to offer us saints who want to slide back into the world and buck the church. What is not being talked about at length is what happens to us "house saints" when our counterparts start doing their own thing. It's a brilliant act of war commenced by Hell against us. Satan has successfully countered us on two fronts: greasing the path of the backslider for an instant re-immersion in sin, and caused the heart and mind of the somewhat stable saint to struggle for authority. Most of the arguments that I see in the Body of Christ stem from an offense that could have been ignored, but is exacerbated by the offender who would rather go to the altar for forgiveness than to face the fleshly victim they left in their wake. Bonus win for the devil: the offender is now covered by plenary indulgence, but the offender has to struggle with the offense. You know how it is: you fight to get the strength to continue speaking with the person and NOT blast them on social media, or you just jaw about them to close friends. That sinful act is the 2-for-1 in Satan's eyes.

I hope in my ranting, I haven't varied too far from my point. My sincere hope is that Christians decide that we are going to strive for better by doing better and expecting better of each other. I hope we choose to follow that litany of scripture that demands we cover each other in love, admonishing, but protecting our brothers and sisters from secular mindsets that condemn us without mercy. That last statement is for all the Bishop Eddie Long haters out there; read Galatians 6, then come back and talk to me.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Science says Black Women are ugly

PLEASE SEE ORIGINAL LINK FOR PICTURES, SUPPORTING DIAGRAMS: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201105/why-are-black-women-less-physically-attractive-other-women&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?
Why black women, but not black men?
Published on May 15, 2011 by Satoshi Kanazawa in The Scientific Fundamentalist

There are marked race differences in physical attractiveness among women, but not among men. Why?
Add Health measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively. At the end of each interview, the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale: 1 = very unattractive, 2 = unattractive, 3 = about average, 4 = attractive, 5 = very attractive. The physical attractiveness of each Add Health respondent is measured three times by three different interviewers over seven years.
From these three scores, I can compute the latent "physical attractiveness factor" by a statistical procedure called factor analysis. Factor analysis has the added advantage of eliminating all random measurement errors that are inherent in any scientific measurement. The latent physical attractiveness factor has a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

Recall that women on average are more physically attractive than men. So women of all races are on average more physically attractive than the "average" Add Health respondent, except for black women. As the following graph shows, black women are statistically no different from the "average" Add Health respondent, and far less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.
In contrast, races do not differ in physical attractiveness among men, as the following graph shows. Men of all races are more or less equally less physically attractive than the "average" Add Health respondent.
This sex difference in the race differences in physical attractiveness – where physical attractiveness varies significantly by race among women, but not among men – is replicated at each Add Health wave (except that the race differences among men are statistically significant, albeit substantively very small, in Wave III). In each wave, black women are significantly less physically attractive than women of other races.
It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others. In Wave III, Add Health asks its respondents to rate their own physical attractiveness subjectively on the following four-point scale: 1 = not at all, 2 = slightly, 3 = moderately, 4 = very. As you can see in the following graphs, both black women and black men rate themselves to be far more physically attractive than individuals of other races.
What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.
There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.
The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

bin Laden's will: Told his kids not be like him? (SOURCE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/03/bin-laden-will-wives-children)

(I DID NOT WRITE THIS STORY; PLEASE VISIT: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/03/bin-laden-will-wives-children)

Osama Bin Laden's last wish, according to his will, was that his wives not remarry and his children not join al-Qaida.
Al-Anbaa, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported on Tuesday that the will, marked "private and confidential" was dated 14 December 2001, three months after the 9/11 attacks when US forces were hunting him in Afghanistan.
The four-page document, written on a computer and signed by "your brother Abu Abdullah Osama Muhammad Bin Laden", predicted that he would be killed by the "treachery" of those around him.
Al-Anbaa does not reveal how it obtained the will or how it was able to authenticate it.
In the document, Bin Laden lists the assault on New York's twin towers in a sequence beginning with the suicide bombing attack on US marines in Lebanon in 1983, the killing of 19 US marines serving as UN peacekeepers in Somalia in 1993, and the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998.