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, Achievement, Change, Free Will, freedom, God, judgment, Justice, Marriage, Politics, Relationships, Religion, Religious Freedom, repentance, society, Truth

Let’s get serious about this marriage thing

The outpouring of emotion and anger surrounding the Supreme Court decision has prompted me to write this post.

There are some things that never change. Same-sex relationships have been around for centuries. The struggles with sin have been around just as long and the word of God has been around longer. For those who were outraged by the decision, I hope this is a new beginning for you.

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I hope that this decision forces you to study to show yourself approved of God. I hope that this decision makes you hold your spiritual leaders to a higher standard and I hope it encourages you to be the best you can be for Christ.

Satan has allowed this to become a religious fight and it is not. This is about civil rights and that is supposed to be as important to the Constitution as salvation is to the bible. In our preamble it says we are to, “…secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…” although this country does not always do this, the decision today was a strong attempt….and rightfully so.

Our Constitution and our bibles are two different things. But what they agree on is free will. Our God offers us a choice and holds us accountable to that choice. I do not ever want the government to attempt to control my choice. But insurance companies were controlling the choice of who your spouse could be and whether or not they would pay benefits based on who you chose as your spouse.

So if the insurance companies allowed for their customers to define who gets the benefits they are paying for, then there would have been no need to incorporate marriage into this situation. Civil marriage has taken a hit, but holy matrimony has not. I would rather same-sex couples simply refer to their relationships as civil unions and the same benefits given to married couples be extended to them as well. That way everyone would satisfied. But I’m not the president.

Furthermore, we have never had a righteous president in the history of America. Every single president has innocent blood they must give an account for, whether what they did was direct or indirect. So why are we looking for righteousness in unrighteous places??

What every child of God needs to do is not react to what has happened with emotion. And definitely don’t try to be the bible scholar you are not. Instead place all of your blame and expectation on yourself — first for joining this fight so late and second for not having any influence in the matter what so ever.

What you can do right now is make sure that your own household is in order. Make sure that you are leading in the education of your family and not relying on Congress to guide your moral compass.

Allow the world to be the world and allow the word of Christ to dwell in you richly. Where most see chaos and turmoil in this decision, I see opportunity — to God be the glory!

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 Faith, Free Will, God, Iraq War, Jesus Christ, Justice, Life, Pain, Penalties, Politics, Racism, society, Truth

The someone who is worse

There is so much pain in this world.

From spiritual pain to physical pain, we struggle to deal with reality. We all utilize some coping mechanism for others to judge. We can’t seem to understand that we hurt.

You have heard people say, “no matter what you are facing, someone is going through something worse.” Well, I wonder who is on the tail end of that statement? Who is the final worse? Is it the man in  Iraq who lost his family during the bombings? We called it collateral damage. I wonder what he called it. Or is it the person whose siblings are all strung out on crack cocaine? Or maybe it’s the mother in Africa who watched seven of her 10 children die of starvation? Maybe it’s the 11-year-old boy who repeatedly got raped by his uncle. Could it be the teenager who gave herself an abortion on the bathroom floor? The gay guy who was beaten to death? The recent Black man who suffered lethal injection in Georgia for a crime that seven of his nine accusers recanted their testimony and no physical evidence connected him to?

I know it’s difficult to read these things. All of these are actual events that appeared in a newspaper within the last 6 years. Unfortunately, there were many more. I keep wondering who would be on the tail end of that quote. Who could be doing so bad as to trump every other bad happening in the world?

It’s gotta be the person who denies Christ.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Beauty, Books, Change, Giving, Greed, Happiness, History, Iraq War, Life, Love, Opinions, Pain, Patriotism, Politics, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Lessons confirmed in 2012

20130104-234856.jpgIf you are reading this blog, then once again there were foolish folks that believed the world ended a few weeks ago. We should all be thankful we made it out of 2012.

I have to say that I didn’t learn any “new” lessons, but I definitely confirmed some lessons I thought I knew. It’s always good to recap the previous year so that the next year is better. Each year we’re supposed to get better. Life is supposed to get easier. After all we matured didn’t we?

Well, I hope that you are enjoying the new year and you are already working your plan of action to make 2013 better than 2012. With that said, here are the top 5 things I confirmed in 2012. I’d love to hear about your list.

1) Read more non-fiction books and watch less TV! This one is a no-brainer. TV is run by corporate America and it is designed for one thing: To get you to buy the ads you see. There is science that supports the ability for ads to reach your subconscious mind. Your spending habits are linked to this. Now before you go thinking that I’m crazy, there is a company called NeuroFocus and they probe consumers subconscious by using Electroencephalography (I’m not smart enough to make up a word like this). The other problem with TV other than being a big waste of time is how your body handles your emotional reactions to shows. For example, whenever you get angry, your blood pressure rises and your arteries take a hit especially among older groups. So when you get so into a character on a show and their actions make you angry, your body doesn’t say, “Oh, you’re just watching TV.” Since your body can’t tell the difference, it handles that situation as if you were really angry.

2) Life is too short so to maximize your time you should spend time letting the people close to you know how important they are to you. Your circle of trust should know who they are. Your family should know they are loved because they heard you say it as well as demonstrate it. You should make sure you are living forgiven meaning that no one should die thinking you have a grudge with them or that you thought ill of them. Be known as a giver and allow others to benefit from your generosity — not just your money, but even more important is your time.

3) Get your house in order and keep it that way. This means that no matter how old you are the people close to you should know your advance directives and your wishes at end of life. We don’t know when our time is up, so it’s always a good thing — no matter how old you are — to have a plan and let those closest to you know what your plan is and the role they play in that plan. If you have done this, every year it’s a good idea to make sure it is current and your wishes are still the same. You want to make sure that the people involved in your plan at the end of life are still willing to carry out your wishes at the end.

4) Everyone needs a day of rest. God rested from his labors on the seventh day and he created us with the idea that we would need a break from the natural rhythm of life to reset. There is an awesome book written by Dr. Marva Dawn called “Keeping the Sabbath Holy” and she beautifully describes this concept and gives a lot of great information on the topic.

5) One of the most hurtful things is to have expectations for someone or something and get let down. It would help us all to remember that in America we make money. That’s what we do above all else. There are some secondary things that we do, but due to big business and politics, our system is flawed. Case in point: Sandy relief was recently left for the next session of congress because there was so much other stuff (like a new roof for the Smithsonian Institute) written into the bill. One would think that a bill with the subject Sandy Relief fund would only include things immediately related to people. I’m sure the Smithsonian probably does need a new roof, but at this point it is at the expense of the Sandy survivors. Our wars are about money and greed. There is an excellent documentary series by Oliver Stone on Showtime that talks about the untold history of the United States. It’s a sobering look at how the world sees and has seen our country over the years. This documentary has challenged me to re-evaluate what’s important to me and to help make America truly beautiful. Make the most of 2013 my friend!

Posted in Accountability, Change, Opinions, Patriotism, Politics, Racism, society, Taking Responsibility, Voting

Something must be done about voter suppression

Wow! What an election!

I’m writing this blog hours before the final counts are in, but I wanted to put this idea out into the universe. Today it took me 2.5 hours to vote –that was the longest For me since I became eligible to vote. There were two precincts voting in one place and it was obvious that voter suppression was at play.

The city I live in is a metro area to Detroit. There are lots of townhomes, apartments, condos and houses in this area. Instead of dividing the two precincts in my area by addresses, congressional districts or even a Jedi using the force, someone decided that the homowners should vote in one precinct and everyone else in the other.

The result: homeowners could vote in less time than it takes to make a country breakfast. The other group might as well been standing in line for a roller coaster ride at cedar point on their busiest day! This was not just a divide by race (because there were some African-Americans disproportionate in each group) but financially as well.

As I stood in line I had this idea; what if before the election a proposal to impeach the Secretary of State was on the ballot in every state? So, if you didn’t like the way voting was arranged then you could do something about it immediately.

It’s as if minorities in America expect things to be unfair. We put up with all kinds of “stuff” assuming that we won’t get a fair shake in this country. I’m still wondering why voter suppression is not a federal offense punishable by mandatory jail time. Lol! I’m not wondering…I know why and so do you.

Voter suppression is as blatant now as it was when African-Americans were first given the right to vote. All of this is being done to “buy” our government. If “we the people” continue to lay down for these shenanigans then our government will be up for sale. If we sell our government into slavery, then doesn’t that make us all slaves?