Wanna Get Out of the Wilderness?

So, I truly appreciate how Fr. Jabriel challenges me to reflect on my Christian values when I am struggling with decisions that I need to make. He reminds me of what I already know, but often forget or choose to ignore because it requires me to take a difficult path. His guidance helps me to act in integrity consistently and he has truly helped me to insert God into my life in a more intentional and meaningful way. He also has really helped me to grapple with the Word and its application to my relationships with others and helps translate the Word to the struggles we encounter on a daily basis. He is especially wonderful at using the Word to challenge the status quo and all the big "isms" of the day that impact how we get along in the world.  I think the most significant gift he brings to this divine work is that he helps people to be their absolute best and to do God's will through challenge and support. That is no easy task.d
- Rashida Govan

Could this be the right Antidote for you?

The entire conversation I had with Dee came down to this…

Once you’re determined to transcend White supremacy…to break free from its hold on your life and the life of those you love, the only thing left to do is to develop and commit to a plan…

…and surround yourself with the right tools and community.

Sounds simple enough…right?!? LOL

Well it is…

It’s just not easy.

Changing your narrative is more than simply agreeing with a particular perspective. It’s about embodying that perspective…making that perspective the foundation of how you interact with the world.

With the Exodus narrative, you don’t have to think about how you live it out…

It’s part of culture. It’s engrained in us all.

But you now see how that narrative applies to the Black experience in America…right?

When you think about our history in America and our journey as a people, you see the Exodus…

You see your own version of the Exodus.

Getting out of your hometown…your old neighborhood…your family! (LOL)

Changing your narrative means changing the way you view the world and your place within the world…

Changing your narrative takes confronting your past, reconciling it to the present and reframing your future. It means abandoning your old worldview for a new one.

And when you break through, like T’Challa you realize that you cannot protect yourself by isolating yourself from the struggles of others. You realize that the gifts and talents that have advanced you in your journey to freedom need to be shared and taught so that others might find their way. You realize that as others begin to embrace freedom for themselves, it gives greater security to your own freedom.

It takes effort. It’s not an easy transition. You will fail…and you will succeed…

…I spend a lot of time reading the writings and lives of the ancient fathers and mothers of the church. I learn a lot from their lives and sayings…

While I may struggle believing that I can become like Christ…I mean: Christ is God after all. How wild would I be…how presumptuous to believe I could become like God…wasn’t that the root of the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden?

I can, however, believe that it’s possible to become like the Holy Fathers and Mothers of the Church…

Men and women who were definitely human – and only human…who by the Power of the Holy Spirit and their commitment to the faith were able to fight temptation and embrace grace in the fullest sense.

Their stories are inspiring and hopeful…

There was a story of some monks in a monastery. They rarely came out, except to get the necessities for life that they couldn’t make inside.

People would come from all over Egypt to learn from the monks about life…

Hoping to catch the monks outside of the monastery, they’d ask their questions and hope to gain wisdom.

On one occasion, a monk was outside and met by a man who had come from Alexandria. His question was simple:

Father, what do you all do in there all day?

The monk’s somber response was simple and profound:

My child, we fall down and we get up…

And because they know that they fall…because they are determined to get back up…they also understand the importance of being part of a community that is committed to supporting each other as they fall and helping each other to get back up and continue striving to overcome the world…

Which path do you choose?

To emancipate yourself from mental slavery takes discipline. This discipline must be both learned and practiced. And to make this type of discipline a consistent part of your life takes community.

As we fall, we should gain greater awareness of why we fall…we causes us to fall.

Then we can find the necessary supports…

As we get back up from our falls, we should become better at standing and walking forward…

We should get stronger to carry our cross onward and upward…to the Promised Land.

Through this process, we learn how to fight the good fight that will liberate us from White supremacy. And we train ourselves to remain free.

And we should understand that this freedom – true freedom – takes diligent and consistent effort…

If White supremacy is a system that has oppressed non-Whites for hundreds of years (and it is)…if systemic and institutional racism are things that have prevailed since Columbus sailed the ocean blue back in 1492 (and they are)…

…then we’re talking about breaking free from an ideology that has had nearly 530 years to embed itself into the fabric of society and culture…our ways of thought and being.

So the key to being our own best friend in overcoming White supremacy is to intentionally engage in conversation and study that reframes our foundational perspective on interacting with White society.

It takes a new narrative…

It takes a faith that is not rooted in Exodus…that won’t condition you to run in fear, or to dim your light so you don’t shine to bright and scare White folks…

It takes a faith that will equip you to stand firm…

It takes a faith that will train you to fight against and protect your family from White supremacy…

And the foundation is to embrace a faith perspective that is untainted by and free from White supremacist thought.

I’ve spent the last 12 years falling down and getting back up…

…freeing myself from White supremacy…

From the supremacy that was within me…from the supremacy that was around me.

I’ve lost battles to White supremacy…

I’ve won battles against White supremacy…

So hear me when I say: even once you break free: you have to continue to fight, in order to remain free.

My journey has taught me the things I’ve been sharing with you…

…and there’s so much more I’d love to share with those of you who have made up your minds to “leave Babylon and come.”

Those of you who have determined to “free your minds so the rest could follow…” LOL

So I want to invite you to walk the Way of Sheba with me…

Remember back when I told you about Makeda, the Queen of Sheba?

…and how the Lord said that she would rise in the judgement of this generation…

I believe that the Lord has positioned Black people in America and charged us to dismantle White supremacy…

I get that belief from the biblical narrative that I think is more appropriate for Black people in America than the Exodus story.

I call it the Joseph Theory

The story of Joseph, son of Jacob, is about a son that was sold into slavery by his brothers. From there, he was oppressed and lied on and left to die in prison for a crime he did not commit. He rose from the concrete – or from the mud…from the bottom of society in order to take power in Egypt and save Egypt from destruction by famine. By saving Egypt, Joseph ultimately saved the known world from famine…

Joseph Made Egypt Great (Again)…

Like Joseph, we – Black Americans – were sold into slavery by our brothers and sisters. From there, we have been oppressed and lied upon and left to die at the bottom of the barrel in America. Yet – also like Joseph – we have been able to rise to positions of power and influence in the land of our oppression.

Think about that for a moment…

Isn’t our story…the narrative of the Black Experience in America…very similar to the history of Joseph?

I believe that – like Joseph – God allowed us to experience all we have experienced in America and brought us to these positions of power and influence in order to “Make America Great” and save the lives of many…

…to free the world from White supremacy…

I believe that God has charged us to fulfill the prophecy of the Queen of Sheba and “rise in the judgement of this generation.”

This is the Charge to Keep we have…

I think it’s time we embrace that Charge…

…and if you think so too, then I’m inviting you to join me in the Way of Sheba.

As I talk with brothers and sisters around the Country, one of the big gaps they experience is finding a group of people that are committed to personal and community development that equips our people to finally overcome White supremacy – as a people.

Many of us have determined to overcome White supremacy in our own lives. But that’s not good enough…

We aren’t satisfied till we can effectively pass that freedom on to subsequent generations and to those beyond our own household.

So, I’ve built a community for folk like yourself to grow together. 

Through my email list, I will serve you as your personal pastor…

I’ll get to know you – if you engage with the emails…identifying where you are and helping you develop in the ways that will help you take advantage of the opportunities that will enhance your freedom from White supremacy.

We’ll keep laser focused on both your personal development. You will be better equipped to leverage your power and influence in transformative ways…

Freeing yourself, your family and those around you from the burdens of White supremacy…

You’ll also gain opportunities to develop a cohort of brothers and sisters from around the Country, who you can trust to also be committed to true and lasting freedom.

Imagine the possibilities you’ll achieve for yourself and for others…

Working with Jabriel Ballentine has helped me achieve true balance in my life. With the demands of having your own business, it was hard for me to find time to incorporate spiritual practice in my life. Jabriel taught how to make time for it and better yet, how to apply it to my day to day lifestyle. His help and guidance has been an invaluable piece to my success, and I want others to experience the same accomplishments...
Does the Way of Sheba sound like a good addition to aid your journey to the Promised Land? If so, I’d love to have you join the crew…

NOTE: If you don’t receive a welcome email within 15 minutes (be sure to check your spam folder), shoot me an email.

– Fr. Jabriel Ballentine