Posted in Accepted, Accountability, Bigotry, Change, Confidence, Fear, Forgiveness, Free Will, freedom, Garden of Eden, God, guilt, Life, Politics, Progress, Racism, Self, Success, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Accepted

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This past week saw the taking down of the confederate flag in South Carolina and it was not without its controversies. Highlighted in that week was congressional sparring about the event and a much choosing of sides by political pundits.

There was also a huge buzz on social media where some felt South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made a decision that would make or break her political career. There was talk about this event thrusting her into the national political scene and perhaps even a vice president bid. Others felt that she had ruined her career and she even received cowardly death threats.

I was not that vested into whether the flag stayed up or came down and I did not even watch it. What turned me off was this: Our country has an acceptance problem. Many of our troubles and struggles come from our inability to accept one another.

So, in our initial relationship with our heavenly Father, we were separated from the commonwealth of God by our sins. It is impossible for us to be accepted by God on our own. Despite many failed attempts over thousands of years, we only proved that we are sinners and lost forever in darkness.

Then, Jesus comes and dies for the sins of the world so that we have the opportunity to be “accepted in the Beloved.” Now, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we who believe live to bring this joyous occasion to others. Acceptance not only says that you belong, but it also says that you belong just the way you are. Acceptance is the bridge that allows the sinner in darkness to fellowship with the light. Without acceptance a connection cannot be made. And it’s in that fellowship that the magic happens. The apostle John wrote that if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin — that’s a pretty powerful fellowship! But if I am not accepting, it’s all for naught!

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Have you ever felt like you did not belong? Have you ever been in a situation where others have made you to feel that way? It’s a horrible feeling, but do you know we do that whenever we decide that another person does not matter. I don’t have to conform to the way you think to accept you. You don’t have to look like me, live like me or eat the same things I do for me to accept you. I accept you because I have been accepted. And the thought of me cheapening my acceptance or taking it for granted because I don’t accept you, is not an option for me. My acceptance of you is my judgment of you and as for me and my house, we choose to accept.

Posted in Accountability, Bigotry, Change, Death, Fear, guilt, History, judgment, Justice, Politics, Racism, Religion, Religious Freedom, Self, slave, Truth, Worship

Our hypocrisy

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I struggle with the evils of this world. But I’m struggling more with the hypocrisy of America.

Only in America does it matter how you were killed and the circumstances around your death play a factor in who even gets involved.

Yesterday’s shooting was a huge tragedy and I can relate in so many ways. I can relate as a member and as a pastor. I have thought about what I would have done as the pastor. I attempt to change shoes with the deceased. I’m thankful that no one ran background checks on the victims or attempted to somehow blame them for what happen.

Think I’m crazy? Is this going too far?!?

I watched the press conference at noon today and heard how many government agencies came together to assist in this tragedy. I watched as Charleston’s Mayor, police chief and the Governor of the state got choked up over what happened. They spoke of bringing everyone together to heal.

Then I thought about Walter “Lamar” Scott who was gunned down by a police officer in the same city. Someone please tell me what is the difference in these two incidents?

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Are we to believe that it matters who pulls the trigger? In each shooting, those who died won’t come home. Are my feelings supposed to understand the difference?

I can relate to Mr. Scott as a Black man who has been pulled over by police. I share his same fear whether or not I will survive the encounter. I have to consider if I have fostered enough respect, credentials and support in my life to withstand the criticism left for my family to hear. The criticism that argues what I may have done wrong to justify my murder or how it could somehow be my fault that I was gunned down.

There were lots of prayer vigils tonight and not nearly the amount for Mr. Scott. I’m  saddened that this is our reality. My heart goes out to ALL who have suffered loss. I repent for my part in the hypocrisy and I pray that God heals our land.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Bigotry, Change, Confidence, Death, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, freedom, friend, Generosity, Giving, God, Greed, guilt, Happiness, Health, helping, Honor, judgment, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Mind Power, Opinions, Pain, Progress, Racism, Religion, repentance, Self, Sharing, slave, society, Success, Truth

No middle ground

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We are a society of extremes — and it doesn’t have to be that way. The way things are going we will of course destroy our planet and ourselves.

There seems to be no middle ground that anyone wants to choose. Think about it? We live in a world where people actual starve to death. And then on the other side of the world there are people so obese that they struggle through their lives suffering from degenerative diseases until they die.

We have generations of people in poverty living in conditions that are deplorable and then just a few days journey away, there are people so wealthy that it would take 4 generations to spend it all.

This crazy world has Christians that practice hate, record keeping of wrongdoing and feel murder can be justified, while there are atheist seeking to live in peace and harmony.

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There are workoholics who hold down two and three jobs at a time while others can’t seem to find one job.

The question today is what will it take to move us to the center? Get rid of the media? Seek Jesus for real? Eliminate big business? I want to raise our conscious level higher so that we are more sensitive to our fellow man.

Did it work? I would love to hear your feedback.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Bigotry, Change, Children, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, freedom, Giving, God, Happiness, helping, Honor, Jesus Christ, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Perseverance, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Resurrection, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Time, Trust, Worship

Some day at Christmas

Some day at Christmas we won’t be farmerry-christmas

from making friends no matter what color they are.

We will be color blind and our hearts will see

that God made you and me.

 

Some day at Christmas we won’t be rude

and pass out to everyone who has a need for food.

We will not covet all the things that we see

because we live for him who died on that tree.

 

3142505786_793baeb9a7Some day at Christmas all wars will cease.

Our heart’s desire will be to seek peace.

We’ll take responsibility for all that we do

and make this world better for me and you.

 

Some day at Christmas the deed will be done.

Our lives will be judged by God’s only son.

We lived our lives for Christ and stood in his Grace

and spread love thoughout the human race.

Posted in Accountability, Beauty, Bigotry, Change, Confidence, Faith, Fear, Free Will, Generosity, Greed, Grief, guilt, Happiness, helping, History, Honor, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Marriage, Opinions

So what I’m trying to say is . . .

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In January we tried to start the year new.

February was the month to build new relationships or strengthen old ones with the help of cupid. It didn’t work.

In 2013 March brought us the memory of the resurrection as we pondered our relationship with the cross. We felt guilty.

April always fools us. We’re fooled by people and things and we suffer loss of income, respect and dignity.

In May and June we remembered our parents, but failed to do anything more meaningful than a visit. We try, and try and try and there just isn’t enough time in a day. These visit are probably the most sincere things we’ll attempt all year, but we have a hard time going beyond that.

We celebrated our independence in July. The freedoms we enjoy allowed us to over spend, over indulge and over react. We came out of the month with one truth — it’s hotter than hell in July.

August meant nothing to us. Only emptiness and uncertainty wondering what the rest of the year would bring….

September was a reminder that we have to work. We must work for our living and work to pay taxes for other people’s living and work to support our government. The ninth month reminds us that there is no rest from our labors.

October is full of tricks and lies. It lies about the treats because they never existed. And all that’s left is tricks. We live in a world full of unmet expectations and unused potential. The only thing that really happens in the month is that we get tricked.

November we’re supposed to be thankful and in December we are supposed to be at peace. That doesn’t happen either so all we get is tricked.

Sooooooooo,

Dear significant other,

Since I regularly participate in May and June, I won’t April you. I’m December and I’m November so despite what happens in September, October and August, our February will be July. So let’s January!

Posted in Accountability, Bigotry, Change, Determination, Giving, Justice, Love, society, Taking Responsibility, Uncategorized

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of victory, but for what?

For years I celebrated Cinco de Mayo thinking that it was the equivalent of the Fourth of July for Mexico. I grew up with Mexican neighbors, I still love Mexican food (minus all that cheese) and never did any of them ever correct my thinking. Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

In the spirit of unlikely victories I’d like to say that I am dissatisfied with the way civil rights is rationed out in Christian America. Our civil rights movement of the sixties advanced African-Americans some. Not that African-American’s have arrived by any stretch of the imagination, but it just seems to me that those who have been through a struggle would reach back with empathy  to help others going through a struggle.

Based on our history, you would think that on a massive scale, the Jewish nation would have done more things to assist African-Americans in their struggle. I’m not at all saying that nothing has been done, but with the reparations as a result of the horrible Holocaust and the fact that Jews maintained their identity through that process, Jews had information that would have changed the state of African-Americans today. Now I say this fully aware that most of the houses sold by Jews from the 60s-80s were sold to Blacks because Whites would not live in homes formally owned by Jews. Southfield, MI is a perfect example of this. There have been educational, healthcare, housing and other services given to assist African-Americans which were funded by Jews. These things were great helps in the struggle and they specifically dealt with the RESULTS of the struggle. I don’t know of anything done to PREVENT the struggle — and that’s my point. After slavery, Blacks needed direction and guidance. There was a need to know how the financial system functioned and ownership of real estate. Other than Tulsa’s Black Wall Street (and we know what happened to it!), this knowledge was missing. I wonder what if the Jews taught Blacks how to succeed much like the Native American taught the pilgrims how to succeed what would things look like now?

Fast forward to the 21st Century and African-Americans should be doing more to help Mexicans and Hispanics in their struggles with this nation. The very same struggles that we are still trying to overcome. Granted this should be the responsibility of everyone including federal, state and local authorities. When you start running statistics you will see that Jews went through some very horrible things here in America. African-Americans are still going through some horrible things in this country. And Mexicans and Hispanics are catching hell right now. From being kicked out of our country, to not having their healthcare disparities even addressed, to not receiving fair wages and benefits for work and poor education.

I don’t mean to sound harsh or offensive, but we need to stop accepting the unspoken pecking order that ranks the races.  I want to do something about this. I’m not sure what exactly, but I would like to do something to help with this cause. I realize that there are a lot of causes out there, but this Cinco de Mayo I would like to not only celebrate the Battle of Puebla with them, but I also want to end that celebration, by asking them what I can do to help. What about you?

Posted in Bigotry, Black History Month, Change, History, Perseverance, Politics, Racism

It’s February and you know what that means…

February is Black History month and I guess I’m still stuck with asking the same question: Why?

I mean, I guess it’s a good thing, but I would still love to see each month being dedicated to a different race. I get this idea from growing up in Detroit. In the summer time, the City of Detroit hosts a summer full of ethnic festivals each weekend and scores of people come down to the heart of the city to celebrate. There’s always music, food, people dressed in authentic clothing and lots of trinkets to buy!

It’s always fun — no matter which festival it is — and it’s always educational. I’m sure that this social event draws most of the people because of the location and all the happenings. However, there is that side of me that wants to believe that in Detroit we are more cultured and care about and support our difference more than despising them.

Just having Black History month seems like a quick solution to shut someone up. I mean, was this the solution to stall talks of reparations? Is this so that Blacks will have something of their own or unique to them?

So who is celebrating Black history month exactly? It seems that many of the businesses that are supported by Blacks are doing some type of tribute whether that be in the form of a commercial or hosting some event. Now of course we’re not talking about a lot of companies here. Sales show that the number one fast food company for Blacks is McDonald’s. For whatever reason, McDonald’s has profited off Black dollars more than any other fast food chain. Johnson and Johnson sells more hair care products for Blacks than any other company. Look for these two companies to run commercials and sponsor events during this month.

I don’t mean to put this in a negative light. I just like it better when purpose is clearly seen in what we are doing. I’m not opposed to educating the world on the contributions of Blacks in American history. I would just rather see it in the classrooms and accurately written in our history books instead of just dedicating a month to showcase a couple of folks.

Frederick Douglass once said, “America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.”  This is a powerfully true statement. All the problems we face as a country come because we have not been true to our past nor true to our present. We categorically deny all charges of wrongdoing in the past. When has the American government admitted any wrongdoing? The treatment of minorities in this country is the worst. There is not a country that has been more deceitful. This has led to many of the problems we face as we worship the almighty dollar!

We cheat our future by lying in the present. Our government (I’m including the current and last presidents and congress over the last 12 years) has not been a good steward of our economy. There are too many lies and empty promises. The result of this is a dim future for our children.

So I wonder what the history books will say about this era? Twenty years from now will Black history month be celebrated by talking about President Obama’s contribution to the national debt or will Black history be a thing of the past by then.

Only time will tell.