Chapel - Erika Farrier

Erika Farrier

In part of a special chapel service with members of the Black Educators of Tyndale, Erika Farrier shares a message about the Love of God from 1John 4:7-18.

Erika was born in Salem, Virginia where she graduated from Roanoke College with a Bachelor of Science. She served in leadership on the Student Conduct Council and received the Outstanding Student Award from the Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Erika attended Rhema Bible Training College in Oklahoma and served as Rhema's Student Ambassador. Fast forward to today, Erika is happily married to her husband Keyon, and they recently welcomed their first child, Adriel.

Speaker: Erika Farrier
Chapel Date: Thursday February 17, 2022
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Podcast Transcript

Covid. Covid's a whole different life, huh. It is a pleasure, an absolute honour to be here with you this morning. Thank you so very much for inviting me. Thank you Tyndale University, all faculty and staff. Thank you, Zoe. Thank you, sister Abi, sister Abigail. Praise and worship team, you did a phenomenal job. I could have stayed right there. I didn't even have to come up here. Thank you very much for taking us right to the presence of God. Hallelujah. Can we pray? We're in the chapel. Let's pray.

Father, we thank you for your presence right here. Your Word says where two or three are gathered together in your name, there you are in the midst. And so Father, we thank you, you're in the midst of us here. We thank You, Lord God, for this time right here in your presence. And we thank you for your Word that you're allowing us to be able to share this morning, we thank you for the opportunity to be able to give and share with one another and be able to celebrate Black History Month, father, and a part of this BET celebration. Lord, I ask you to think through my mind and speak through my vocal cords exactly what you want. Nothing less, nothing more. We yield. I yield. And I thank You, Father, for your anointing now. In Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Well, you all look wonderful. It feels good to be on a college campus. Just the energy of being on a college campus. You all bring a certain vibe with you. Zoe, thank you again, for meeting me there at the front. I, I wanted to share on some heroes, can you keep playing? Because that's like my vein right there. I'm a worshiper. So if I start singing, that's what comes to me more naturally than speaking. Speaking is something that I'm learning. I'm learning is, the platform that I'm being placed in. But, but normally, if I'm in front of people, I'm having my eyes closed, and my hands go up, and I begin to worship. So you stand right there. Just helps me feel like I'm right at home. Right at Home. But let me just have the opportunity to share, we have we, I was talking with sister Abi, and Abigail was sharing with me that BET has the opportunity to talk about heroes. That's kind of the theme that's been flowing here. Heroes, and Black Heroes, Black Heroes, and African American heroes, and we've had this entire movement of Black Lives Matter throughout this, just this new season, right? It, things have kind of taken a turn. But if we focus on, what I believe, the purity of a Black Lives Matter type of a topic, there are so many things, and so many accomplishments, that certain black leaders have had the opportunity to bring forth, and to be a part of, in this world. I want to take it with a twist and tap it with the heart of God in the midst of all of it. Because I personally believe, even though there's some things that go along with the Black Lives Matters, whole platform, there, I think the sole thing that touched me, I remember watching it, I'm from the States, right, so I'm watching everything from the States. I was there, I was attending school in Oklahoma. And as I was watching this movement all over the world, what I saw, as I was talking with colleagues, and I was talking with other, other fellow employees, and we were sharing, there was some, something that one of my, my colleagues and fellow employees said to me, when she was like, my eyes have been open to something that I didn't see before, that there was a certain privilege that I had. And I didn't realize that I had it until this movement took place. And when I heard her say that, she said and I just want to say I didn't realize this coming from the small town that I've come from, until this thing has opened up the eyes of the world.

For me, certain things that I grew up experiencing, certain things that I grew up encountering, I believe one thing I'm very grateful for is something I'm going to tag into the end of this speech, is the household that I grew up in and the train, the raising that my parents gave to me and my siblings. I'm one of six. And so, and we range from a wide range, some of us in our 50s, Some of us in our 30s, I'm gonna let you know I'm toward the other end of that spectrum. But, with knowing this, I'm going to tap into some of the heroes that we have here.

One hero that has come to my mind several times, in trying to ponder and think, Lord, what's on your heart? What's on your heart for this for this chapel service, is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement, best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has honoured her as the first lady of civil rights, and the mother of the freedom movement. What did she do? If we look back on Rosa Parks, what did she do? Because most of the heroes I'm going to look at today are females. Why? Because I can relate to a woman. So she's coming from work, she's tired. And we have things that are taking place, in this world, that are if we just be honest, are just unfair. And when things are unfair, unfortunately, you have it where some people will stand up, some people will be silent. And for her, her stance was, I'm tired of being silent. And, and being suppressed on justice. So what I will choose to do is, I'm not going to stand up and give up my seat, because it's unfair that I'm having to give up my seat just because of the colour of my skin. But what I'm choosing to do is take a stance, not disrespectfully. If you have to arrest me, you can arrest me, but I will sit here as a woman. And I will rest in this seat, and not give up my seat to another person just because of the colour of my skin.

Another hero that I wanted to look at here, going back before Rosa Parks, was Miss Harriet Tubman. Miss Tubman's early life was defined by forced work in isolation. If we look at it, on the marriage of her first husband, a free black man named John Tubman, she changed her name to that of her mother, Harriet, continuing on. She was, and she has this thing, has been distinguished as being the first African American woman in the United States military, having served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. In one of her most dramatic pursuits of the war, Miss Tubman planned and led an army raid with the second South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment. She went back and she saved, with the Underground Railroad, countless lives, to help to lead them to freedom. I think when you look at a hero, a hero was somebody that's not just making a stance for themselves. But a hero's making a stance for those who will follow behind them. And it's looking for justice, for the purpose of highlighting there is an unfairness that is taking place. Why would someone be discounted, or looked at as inferior, because of the colour of the skin. I think if we look at this truth, and realize some of these heroes that I would like to just point out today, they were looking at this, there is an unjustice that's taking taking place, and I will be the person to make a difference, in the lives of those who are directly connected to me and the lives of those that are to come. And so I will sacrifice and make this stance to see that a change takes place.

Along with a lot of the accomplishments that Rosa Parks made, one of them, huge, was free more than 700 and people, 750. Listen to that number. 750 people from slavery, because she refused to just be silent and say, "You know what, I'm just gonna go with the flow". For every single person in this room, there is something that you're on this earth for. Every single person. There is something that God placed you on this earth for, and no one else. This is what I believe. No one else can do it exactly like you, because you were uniquely made, fearfully and wonderfully made. And if, let's say you and I choose not, choose not to do whatever we're here on this earth to do, I believe the Lord, because God is love, and he's looking for a way to bring help and healing to people, he may have to find someone else. But why not be that person that he originally chose? Why not be that person that is refusing to say, "You know what, I have this thing that God is, I know, he's placed this in my heart". And when you know, you know how, you know, it's God. You know, it's God because it lines up with the Bible. It lines up with the Word. It's not something that is just going to be far out there. But you know, it's God, when it lines up with the Word. These things that I'm looking at, and the heroes that I picked up, they had examples of love. That they were trying to make a difference, but with a tactic of using love. And I believe love is the key. Because for any of us who may know what the Word says. In First John, it tells us God is love.

I'm going to go on to another hero here. Next hero I want to look at is Sojourner Truth. She was an African American abolitionist, and women's rights activist, best known for her speech on racial inequalities. One of her speeches, the speech that she's well known for is, "Ain't I a Woman". As I was reading through that speech, there were so many things that kept just kind of standing out to me, but she was just highlighting. There's so many things that I've had to go through that are unfair, but why am I looked at as a different creature. Aren't I a Woman? But because of the colour of my skin, I'm looked at differently, and I've been looked upon as being inferior. So, she chose to make a difference. She escaped after John DeMont reengaged, reneged, excuse me, on a compromise, on a promise to emancipate truth in the late 1826. She escaped to freedom with her infant daughter, Sophia. Her other daughter and son stayed behind. Shortly after her escape, Truth learn that her son Pete, then five years old, think about that, as a mother. I think it touches me, and I think my speech is kind of going this direction, because I am a new mother. And so I have, I have a precious seven month old son. She looked and realized that her five year old son had been illegally sold. Think about that, a human being, being sold to a man in Alabama. She took the issue to court, and eventually secured Peter, her son. She secured his return from the south. The case was one of the first, in which a black woman successfully challenged a white man in the United States courts, and she won, because she refused to be silent.

For you and I, we're going to have opportunities to be silent. And then we're going to have opportunities to speak. For me, this is my stance. My desire is "Lord, when you want me to speak help me speak. Lord, when I need to be silent, help me be silent. But if I do need to speak, help me to say what you want me to say". Because someone's life has been directly affected by this. Now the individuals that I've pointed out thus far, none of them are perfect. None of them are the perfect example of love. But what I chose to do is focus on the characteristics that I was able to see, that I believe exemplify a father's love. AAnd the Father's love, Almighty God, and looking at Harriet Tubman, going back for the freedom of other individuals, and helping to make a way. Rosa Parks, refusing to be silent, and to sit on the bus, and then give up her seat because that's just what we do. That's just what we do. And she's like, you know what, I'm tired of just doing what we do. What we've been doing is wrong, and I'm not doing it anymore. Without being disrespectful, just making a stance. With looking at Miss Sojourner Truth, a promise was made for her to be free. The promise was, the promise was reneged. And so, negated, and she thought was, you know what, I will get free myself. And I will come back for the freedom of my son. Because I should be free.

If we look on, I'm going to pull up one person, just because he slid in there, just because I can't go without saying, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His stance, made a change all over the world. And I believe it's one of those that he stood for a cause that I believe is right for the freedom of other individuals to have equality. And to be able to be on the same platform, the same stance, without the desire to use violence, without having to look down upon another, but just saying, looking at me, me looking at you. We should be looking at each other as equals. And why can't we do this life, and love together the way it is supposed to be? I come from my parents, of course. Right. And Jim(?) and Jacqueline Hopson, and the way that I was raised is, how would I say not so much that you don't see colour, but you appreciate colour. If you look at my family, my family's probably like the big melting pot. Where we have, if I start naming all the races in my family, I will probably end up leaving out somebody unintentionally. So I wouldn't want to do that. But if the way that we're all, everyone's with marriages, children, it's all inter, interracially married. The way that we were raised was, you love who you love. Her most important desire was that they know Jesus. Pray that your spouse be saved, that they come to the Lord. And they know the Lord. You love who you love. That they don't know the Lord, drawn to the Lord. But she taught us, my mother, my father, they taught us that you love God. You love people. You are not superior, or above anybody. But in no way shape or form are you ever inferior. You treat others the way that you want to be treated. Sort of like that golden rule, right? And if something is not right, stand up for what's right.

My mother was the first black woman to work. She relocated from where she was born and raised, to a new city, actually where I was born, where she met our father. And she was the first black woman at Lewis Gill clinic and the business office in Salem, Virginia. Because she knew, I need to do the best that I can for my children. I need to do the best that I can for me. So if I can help to break the grounds, I'll help to break the grounds. This is in 1975. Fast forward, we were the first black family on our street. I remember someone called my mother and said, "Oh, I saw your husband mowing somebody's lawn". And my mother's thinking, mowing somebody's lawn, whose lawn would he be mowing? And she said, "Oh yeah, on" hint, this word, "plantation road". That's the road I grew up on, plantation road. And my mother said kindly, "No that is our house. We live on plantation road", and searching for a home. But it was the neighbourhood. Right. The neighbourhood which was,  it was unheard of, for a black family to live in that neighbourhood. And searching for a home, real estate agents, agents they would not take her and my father to certain neighbourhoods, because of the colour of their skin. They would always redirect them to another neighbourhood, and she was like, but I'm looking at this house here with this school district here, because she understands this is not about me, this is about my children. This is about my family. This is about, wanting the best for those lives that are being that are being affected by me. And a real estate agent came back, and one of them apologized. And she said, I have to tell you, I'm so sorry. You are very, you are above qualified for the home that you are going for, but I have to tell you, the man that was selling the home, once he realized, when you came to visit, that you are black family, he pulled back out and said I will not sell to them. That's okay, because God still takes care of you. So the home that we have, again, is in the neighbourhood that we were the first. And since then other families have moved. It was one of those neighbourhoods who was majority, well, all all Caucasian, and most people retired in that neighbourhood.

I'm talking about standing up for what is right. I'm going to take you to a scripture. And the scripture that I want to stand on today is in first John. And the scripture in First John talks about, God is love. The song that they sang a little earlier, Worthy is your name, Jesus. You did a beautiful job. You deserve praise, worthy is your name. There was a verse in that song that stood out to me, and it, and it kept standing back out. Because it's one of those that says, "It was my cross you bore, so I could live in the freedom you died for. Now my heart is yours, and I will live in your goodness forevermore". Maybe sing of your goodness, I'll be, I make up lyrics by the way. But talking about that freedom, yes, stay right there, that freedom. There's a freedom and part of that freedom. I think the main freedom comes from knowing the love of God. Because if you know the love of God and we understand that God is love, then what I will do is I will make sure that I am walking in the manner in which He walks.

First John, chapter four, says, verse seven. Beloved, let us love one another. For God, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God, and knows God. Anyone who does not love, or loves not, does not know God because God is love. Verse nine. In this, the love of God was met, was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God abides in us. And his love is perfected in us. Verse 13, by this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God. So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love. And whoever abides in love, abides in God, and God in him. By this, is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the Day of Judgment. Because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

The heroes that I spoke about today, I believe they chose to walk in, whether they do it or not, a way of transcending and going past fear, and a way of operating in love to make a change in the earth.

I'm going to charge it back to you, because you are the leaders of today, you are the leaders of tomorrow. And your children, I look at my son, the leaders of the future also. What is the change that you're supposed to help make happen? What is it that you're supposed to take a stance for? What is it that you're supposed to do? The God on the inside of you, who uniquely branded you. Forget brand. Who uniquely made you. He has a call on you for a reason, hear what He's saying to you. Sometimes it's going to be in midnight. Sometimes it's going to be while you're up in class, sometimes it's while you're walking across campus. But can I just admonish you this? He's always talking. And He has a calling for you, and a purpose for you. If I can encourage you in this, listen, obey, and remember God's way is love. Do it his way, and it's going to make the impact that it's supposed to make.

Thank you again for the opportunity to be here with you today. It's been a pleasure. I believe about my time, my time should be about up. No one wants to hear anybody talk for a long time. I've heard it said, "He who talks short will be heard again". So whether you hear me again. Hopefully you'll hear what was said, and you'll be able to take it. Bless you. And you have a great day.

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