I was mad.
I heard the same sentiment from many regarding the decision to fly the American flag at half-mast last week to note the singer Whitney Houston's passing.
I'm not sure my ire has subsided over the judgment, but I can say I feel as though I got a "glimpse behind the curtain" into the Kingdom of our Lord.
I was glad...
Saturday was a "slow news day." While I was getting dressed that morning I decided to turn on the news to see what was happening in the world. Apparently, nothing of significance according to all the major news broadcasts - EXCEPT, the funeral of Whitney Houston. "Hmm, that's interesting this is on Fox News Live," I thought to myself. I changed the channel to CNN, same thing, CNN International, same thing, HLN same thing. A live broadcast of a funeral, now that IS a slow news day.
But the reality is that it was so much more. As I settled in to watch the broadcast I realized this was an historic event; NOT because a music icon had passed, but because it was most certainly the largest CHURCH service broadcast in the history of all mankind! Now, you may think that is a grandiose assumption on my part, but I challenge you to think of any other time in television (or other era) when a church service was carried on all the major news networks. Not even the ceremony of Princess Diana carried UNITERRUPTED coverage.
I watched as the various ministers and singers PREACHED the full Gospel message. "Jesus is the only way..." I kept thinking, "they are going to cut in and stop this Jesus talk."
But apparently, it was a slow news day. Slow enough for FOUR straight hours of NOT ONE commercial. NOT ONE "talking head" in the corner of the screen letting us know this was Whitney Houston's funeral. NOT ONCE was the volume of the broadcast altered to have an anchor give us additional information.
Reverend Marvin Winans said at the beginning, "You haven't come to a funeral you have come to CHURCH." He closed by addressing Whitney's mother (Gospel singer Cissy Houston) and saying, "You have brought the whole world to church today."
Literally MILLIONS of people around the globe were watching as the Gospel was proclaimed. The full, clear and concise message was heard. Singer CeCe Winans sang the same song Whitney sang the night before she died, "Jesus loves me this I know," and added, "All around the world sing a long, "Yes, Jesus loves ME!"
My grandmother used to tell us grandkids, "you might as well get mad and glad in the same pair of britches." Saturday, I certainly did.
For all that Whitney Houston was and wasn't; for all that her fame brought her in fortune and stole from her life, it did not, in the words of the Apostle Paul (and quoted by actor Tyler Perry at the funeral) separate her from the love of God. Three hours into the "homegoing" I thought THIS is the greatest contribution she ever made. Her passing was news worthy and her family used it in a way we should use every moment we have breath, telling others about the love of God, the hope of Christ our Savior, and the redemption available to ALL: drug addict, prostitute, Oscar or Grammy winner, leper, orphan or President. "For God so loved the World."
"And as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to Me and gather them around me. " John 12:32 The Message
In closing Reverend Winans related he was contacted by a lawyer asking if wanted to secure the "rights" to what he was going to say, since certainly it was going to be broadcast many times over. "I told that lawyer, how can I own what I am going to say? I am just going to preach the Word of God, and nobody owns that."
"For I determined to know nothing among you except Christ and Him crucified...so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." 2 Corinthians 2:2,5
It took an act of God to hold back commercial breaks, talking head spokespeople and all else that would interrupt a broadcast. And like my grandmother encouraged, I didn't even have to change my britches.
"And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14
I've been busy preparing a slew of gifts and awards for the next Wounded Warrior event, but before that I will head back to southern India the first part of March. I'm anxious to share with the orphans in Machilipatnam and Kodaikanal the great love of our Lord and Savior. It is NOT the love found in the song hit by Whitney Houston:
"The greatest love of all is easy to achieve, learning to love yourself it is the greatest love of all."
Children ARE our future, I want to teach them well - "Jesus loves You, this
I know for the Bible tells me so."
"You know He is at the door. Don't take this lightly." Mark 13:32
Watching the real news, the King is on the way, (it makes me smile)
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