Monthly Archives: February 2017

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. ≈ Psalm 139:14

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of ‘Negro History Week’ the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month” (History.com, 2017).

So, as we celebrate Black history… and honor the accomplishments of African Americans. Let us remember that we are all… wonderfully and uniquely made by God. Thanks… to all the African Americans who dared to excel… who challenged to go beyond a given persona… because they possessed their own identity.

Let us remember the sacrifices of those who are no longer here. Let us cherish those who stand and defend liberty each day. Let us protect those who are vulnerable among us. Let us continue onward, as exemplified by the wisdom of James Weldon Johnson’s poem.

The Gift to Sing

Sometimes the mist overhangs my path,
And blackening clouds about me cling;
But, oh, I have a magic way
To turn the gloom to cheerful day—
I softly sing.

And if the way grows darker still,
Shadowed by Sorrow’s somber wing,
With glad defiance in my throat,
I pierce the darkness with a note,
And sing, and sing.

I brood not over the broken past,
Nor dread whatever time may bring;
No nights are dark, no days are long,
While in my heart there swells a song,
And I can sing.

                                                        by James Weldon Johnson

Black History Month… appreciating those who dared to dream and lift their voices with the harmony of words and deeds for the good of all. May we continue to dream and raise our voices …for those things [that]are true, that are honest, that are just, that are pure, that are lovely, that are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8). May we all have the gift to sing as we dare to dream…

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. ≈ Acts 5:29

Few will deny the benefits of belonging to a group. While, groups may differ in the types of benefits they provide. A major benefit of membership in a group is the validation of a person’s sense of belonging to a “larger social whole” (Baumeister & Leary 1995). For most people, belonging to a group is good and often necessary.

In addition to membership in the Body of Christ many Christians also belong to other groups.  But, sometimes belonging to a group becomes undesirable or problematic, for Christians. Especially, when a group display symptoms of groupthink.

Janis (1972) asserted eight symptoms of groupthink:

  1. Illusion of Invulnerability… Members hold extreme self-assurance that encourages recklessness.
  2. Collective Rationalization… Members ignore warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
  3. Belief in Inherent Morality… Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
  4. Stereotyped Views of Out-Groups… Members hold negative views of outsiders, who are seen as the “enemy”.
  5. Direct Pressure on Dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express opinions against any of the group’s ideas or actions.
  6. Self-Censorship – Members do not express doubts and departures from the observed group consensus.
  7. Illusion of Unanimity – Members accept the majority views and judgements as unanimous.
  8. Self-Appointed ‘Mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from evidence that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, opinions, and/or judgements.

Christians have free will to choose right or wrong. However, it is an expectation that Christians will do what is right. Right in the sight of God, regardless of their group’s point of view. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36, KJV). 

Even though Christians participate in a variety of groups, they still must glorify God. They must stand against that which is wrong, defend those who are weak, and love their neighbors as themselves. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV). Therefore, Christians…  obey God above man and avoid groupthink.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s Granddaughter.