105 Voices of History

Posted by Unknown Monday, August 31, 2009 0 comments

Last night at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. was an outstanding concert of 105 voices from the 105 Historic Black Colleges and Universities in America.

I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural event last year and was able to return to last night's 2nd year performance. It is quickly becoming the go to event of the year for African American people and lovers of good music.

Master of Ceremonies was Tom Joyner, he is truly hilarious. Special guest artists was Take 6.

But the special night highlighted a singer from each of the 105 HCBU's around the country. We cannot take for granted the special mission these colleges and universities have in educating African American talent.

Music is the rhythm of life and the love of music is the soul of our people.

Prison Cells hold us back

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, August 25, 2009 1 comments

Salvador, Brazil was one of the ports during the Slave trade where 40% of the slaves landed and were held for "curing".

Families were broken up. Members of tribes were separated. Slaves were shipped from South America to the cotton fields of the South in the United States of America.

These jail bars are from a fort where our ancestors were held in bondage. These bars are not unlike the cages we find in prisons throughout America holding people of color who either stood before the bar of justice or will stand before the bar of justice.

If it is justice? Why is it that just us filled the cells of America in disproportionate numbers to our population? Why doesn't rehabilitation occur to redirect lives in a positive direction?

In Salvador over 85% of the population is of African descent. It is a thriving city with commerce everywhere. Poverty exists but opportunity abounds.

We are lagging behind in the world community by the staggering numbers of African and Latino men and women behind bars.

If the song says, "everything must changes, nothing remains the same." When will this devastating noose around the neck of our community be cut loose? When will our community reject paths that lead to incarceration for those trails that lead to independence and self-sufficiency?

I pray that it is sooner rather than later.

1st Lady Michelle Obama

Posted by Unknown Monday, August 24, 2009 1 comments

1st Lady Michelle Obama is an attractive sister. She makes us proud as she represents the best of African American womanhood and motherhood. Her every move is scrutinized and analyzed.

Here she is descending from Air Force One on a vacation trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona during a hot summer day and because she is casually dressed with mid length to her legs summer shorts some are calling her dress inappropriate because she is photographed as the first 1st Lady wearing shorts. Humorously one commentator remarked, "what are you talking about they are not Daisy Dukes?"

This sister; who regularly exercises, maintains a healthy diet, and looks good, is blessed with a physic that honors God. She takes care of the Temple God has blessed her with.

I'm proud of her and I am pleased to call her the 1st Lady of America. History will record as Frank Sinatra would sing, she did it, "my way."

Continue to reflect the best of our sisterhood and continue to keep the world guessing and wondering how is it possible that we never saw this coming; An African American family in the White House who are able to live life with dignity under a microscope and do it well.

Our Children Must Learn and WE Must Teach

Posted by Unknown Sunday, August 23, 2009 0 comments

As our children are preparing for school, these images adorn an entrance to McCulloh Homes, a low-moderate income housing project in West Baltimore. Built in the late 1940's the images of a boy playing music and a girl reading a book convey the secret to success in our society. The arts and academic achievement are the keys to an enriched life.

Where have we gone wrong in the education of our inner city youth? Why have they become disenchanted with education? Why are their horizons so limited?

We have a sacred trust given to us by God to "train up a child in the way they would go; so that when they are old they will not depart from it."

This trust is so intricately tied to Jesus' concept of heaven that he "took a child and stood him in their midst and said if anyone would do harm to this child, it would be better that they tied a millstone around their neck and cast themselves into the sea."

Educating children, training children and protecting children are mandates from God. As children throughout our country and city begin this year's school challenge; may each of us commit ourselves to interacting with the children of the community in such a way that they quickly learn that we care about each one of them.

Let's Go Out Tonight!

Posted by Unknown Saturday, August 22, 2009 0 comments

It always amazes me that our sisters have a unique gift for dressing up. When it time to enjoy an evening out they know what to wear, how to wear it, and when to wear it.

They sometimes cause men to appear shabby when they put on make up, fix up, and dress up.

During a show in Rio De Janerio this young lady appeared on the stage in an elaborate attire. It reminded me that clothes can only enhance the beauty one possesses. It can not create beauty. Colors should complement one natural hue and not clash with God's creation.

It's Saturday! Maybe this is the evening that we order the limousine, make the reservations, put on our fashionable best, and spend the night on the town. Life is so fleeting. You should spend quality time with the one you love and or admire.

As Smokey Robinson and the Miracles would sing, "I'm Going to the Go Go!"

Strong Mothers keep on Giving

Posted by Unknown Friday, August 21, 2009 0 comments

This picture was taken on the streets of Rio De Janerio. It was the first time I had ever witnessed a woman sitting on the street nursing her baby. As I watched her in this most intimate of moments demonstrating the love and care of a mother to her child, I thought how much mothers all over the world are willing to sacrifice for their children.

Where would we be without mothers who give all they have to insure that their children receive the best life could offer.

A closer look at this mother reveals that her baby is well nourished, that she appears to be in reasonable health, and that their clothes are clean. I gave them some of the money I had so they could enjoy whatever they choose to buy.

Where are they now? Where do they live? Where did they go?

They are miles away from Baltimore; but under the watchful eye of a loving God.

Don't Your Love Good Food!

Posted by Unknown Thursday, August 20, 2009 0 comments

It is interesting that so much of our life centers around food. Think about it: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc. Some of us are even concerned about how the food we eat looks. Is it appetizing? Many of us eat too much and the result is that we are overweight.

Are you aware that there are people all over the world who do not have enough to eat? They would be happy to eat what we throw away.

Learn to eat more modesty. Learn to eat all that is on your plate. Learn to enjoy each meal because there will come a day when that meal will be your last.

Remember gluttony is a sin!

Big Boats, Little Boats

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, August 19, 2009 0 comments

Rev. Jesse Jackson once remarked, "that if he was going to sink; let him sink not in the habor, but out in the ocean where the big boats are." I took this picture traveling from Salvadore to an island in the middle of the Atlantic.

Here was a man in his little boat near a tanker in the middle of the ocean.

First I thought how dangerous this was. Then I realized that so many of us are fearful to go into deep water because it is out of our comfort zone. But, in the deep water are plenty of resources available for your consumption.

Never again will I leave my little boat in the harbor tied to the dock. From now on I'm going where the big boats go; knowing that my God is able to keep you from falling or sinking if you are in His Will.

A Wonderful World

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1 comments

As our summer turns to fall and our shorts are put up for warmer pants, I can't help but think about Rio De Janerio. It's winter there and the beach is full of people enjoying the water, the sun, and the refreshing breeze off of the Atlantic Ocean. Copacabana Beach is one of the finest places in the world. People come from everywhere to experience the white sand and blue salt water.

Sometimes, I feel like I was born in the wrong place. But, I've learned to" count my blessings and to name them one by one." We are blessed to live in a country and a world that is so beautiful, to have transportation systems capable to take you anywhere your heart's desires and your ability to afford, and to know that indeed, "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof and all they that live therein."

So I have no remorse. Baltimore, even with all of its problems, is a nice place. From here we can see the Atlantic Ocean; we can travel to the Piedmont Mountains; we can wonder through forest areas; we can spend more money than necessary at malls all over the place; and we can visit houses of worship that are outstanding and beautiful.

If we could only learn to live on this planet together, what a wonderful world this would be!

Castle in the Sand

Posted by Unknown Monday, August 17, 2009 0 comments

On the beach in Rio De Janerio a young man created this castle in the sand.

It caused me to wonder how many times in life have we attempted to built something out of material that would soon wash away.

Relationship built upon false premises. Careers attempted without antiquate preparation. Goals set without clear objectives. No matter how ingenious one might be; you must build your hopes on things that are eternal.

There is a eternal reality to life that is grounded in the life teaching principles of God. Love has to be self-sacrificial. Truth has to be without compromise. Services has to be to others. Giving must be from the heart. Revenge should be left to God. Forgiveness should be the order of the day. Thriftiness should be your creed. Slothfulness should be abhorred.

There are principles in life that are timeless. If you live life according to its principles, you will find that your castle will not be built of sand; but built on the eternal rock of your salvation. Start you week with a prayer that God will equip you with the materials of life to build each step of your journey on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.

"All other ground is sinking sand."

Enjoying the Evening Sun

Posted by Unknown Sunday, August 16, 2009 0 comments

Yes it is Sunday Morning and all of our spirits should be rejoicing. Nevertheless, I'm sharing this picture taken in Salvador, Brazil of the evening sun setting on the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean.

How beautiful is the God of all creation! How marvelous is his majesty and power! We are blessed to worship a God who is so attuned to nature and so enthralled to inspire in us awe.

Awake to know that God is God all by himself. Be inspired to commune with God and allow Him to commune with you. He is always standing at the door of our hearts knocking to come in and sup with you and me.

The songwriter says, "come into my heart and stay."

Praise God in the morning and continue to praise God in the evening.

"Blessed assurance Jesus is mine Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!"

The Importance of Recreation

Posted by Unknown Saturday, August 15, 2009 0 comments

There is a spiritual dimension to recreation that we sometimes misunderstand. We think of recreation as sporting activity or an exercise activity. In fact recreation is literally: the state of re-creating. Recreating is the process we find in the Genesis story when after six days God recreated on the seventh day. We interpret that to mean rest, but a true interpretation reveals that God began the process again of re-creating.

In our human dimension we need to take the time to re-create; some call it vacation time. Re-creating is one's opportunity to renew your mind, to refresh your thoughts and to recharge your batteries. It is best done away from the routine and mundane rituals of one's life.

God has created a beautiful earth and universe. I recommend that you explore the rich beauty of our world. Visit museums, travel to distance places, take time to walk unfamiliar terrain, see America and be certain to see the world. In exploring and in traveling you are able to recreate your life's experiences and transform your perspective on life.

If God has blessed you with companionship, take you special someone with you. If you are enjoying the blessedness of singleness, always remember that "he will walk with you and talk with you and tell you that he is your own, and the joy you will share as you tarry there, none other will every know."

The Joy and Sadness of a Child Leaving Home

Posted by Unknown Friday, August 14, 2009 1 comments

Before I share experiences from my summer vacation in Brazil, I want to describe the most unique feeling I felt this morning and wonder if others have had the same feeling.

My son is leaving to go to Dallas Texas to move into his new home and to start his business career. When a child leave home for the last time, it brings feelings of joy and sadness.

The joy is in the feeling that as a parent you have done your best to prepare them and you are excited for them as they seek to make their place in the world. Your prayers have been answered and your hopes have been fulfilled. Your child is able to stand on his or her on two feet. In an era when young people are having a difficult time to earn enough income and find affordable housing; here is a young man who was able to finish eight years of college, during which he acquired four degrees, buy a house, and secure a good job - all within ninety days of graduating! A tremendous accomplishment during a time of economic uncertainty. As a parent you can only feel pride and joy.

On the other hand when a child leave home to begin their own home, it signals an end of an era. The child has become an adult. Gone forever are the days of playful tussling, engaging in sports activities, trips to the museums and sites where you are seen as the authority and the guide throughout life's experiences. Gone forever are the days when you can speak without question and the awe of simply being Dad bring reverence and adulation. Gone forever are the days of counseling through all the stages of life and interpreting the events of the times. Gone forever are the sounds of tiny feet and the chatter of audible sounds. Gone forever is the need to depend upon you for financial and spiritual support. Your child has become an adult and will sink or swim on their own power. This phase of your task is over. Life as a parent is entering a new phase.

Will he make good decisions? Yes if the past is any predictor of the future; he will! Will he chose good friends? Yes because "birds of a feather do flock together." Will he be able to tap into the resources of his community? Yes he has learn to become self-reliant and like a bird being pushed out of a nest; he believes and knows he can fly.

Now continues the prayers of a parent who has attempted to be righteous and ask that God protect and provide. Endless prayers are uttered as you rely upon a God who is able to do all things but fail. Pray life become deeper. Prayer life becomes poignant and powerful as the umbilical cord of a parent is severed and the child's need for a spiritual umbilical cord to God is strengthened.

I'm so glad to know that when you feel joy, true joy; it is a divine experience that comes from God. And when you feel sad, all you need to do is to lift up your heads all you gates and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, he is the King of Glory.

Vacation Time

Posted by Unknown Sunday, August 2, 2009 0 comments

My blogging pace may be slowed for a while. It's vacation time! I'm headed to Rio De Janeiro and Salvador in Brazil to enjoy the culture, beaches, and sights.

If I have access to the Internet, I will share some of the sights. views, and culturally significance scenes I encounter. It is good ever now and then to leave the country of our birth and see parts of the world. God made the world for our enjoyment. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof and they that live therein."

Sunday's worship was exceptional as we are continuing in our preaching series, "How to Pray with Power."

The Right to Bear Arms?

Posted by Unknown Saturday, August 1, 2009 0 comments

We are moving dangerous close to anarchy in urban areas across America with the never ending gun violence occurring in the streets of our cities. It is particularly disturbing that young African American males are disproportionally involved as assailants and as victims. Candle light vigils have been held. Stop the killing rallies have been conducted. Still the wave of violence has reached "Tsunami" levels. There appears to be no end in sight. It seems as if the Prohibition violence of the roaring twenties was a minor skirmishes in comparison. With Al Capone there appear to be some order even to the violence of the Chicago era. Our modern violent episodes have no rhyme or reason.

If not for the NRA, serious advances would be made to cease having weapons in the hands of citizens, law abiding as well as criminal. Should we tamper with the Constitution and make it a federal crime in all instances to bear arms? This is the dilemma. No one is willing to relinquish their weapons when violent criminals are lurking everywhere and they strike in random ways.

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