Happy New Years

Posted by Unknown Thursday, December 31, 2009 0 comments

Do you still get exciting about watching a fireworks scene on New Year's Eve? I have fond memories of seeing fireworks in many different cities: Time's Square, Atlanta, Ga., Washington, D.C., and of course Baltimore, MD. Over the years I have made me way to a religious service in thanks and praise for God allowing me to see another year in this journey of life. It's somewhat unfortunate that urban communities have become somewhat challenged. What may seem to be the sounds of fireworks, in some instances, is the sound of gun shots. Due to the nature of our congregation at Union Baptist Church, we have changed the traditional "Watch Night" service from 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Streets become dangerous at night and many persons where staying home to avoid potential danger. Nevertheless, even with changes in culture and society, the spirit of the Living God does not changes. We are able to still give God praise, worship and honor even with the shift in hours. Why, because we serve a God who is not bound by our timetable. He operates above time and when he so chooses steps into time and becomes an on time God. For that I am thankful. Happy New Year and enjoy the power, the presence and the peace of God as we enter the second decade of a new millennium. Peace!

Playing Music Again

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, December 30, 2009 0 comments

My family gave me a piano keyboard for Christmas. It was something I always wanted, but had refused to buy. I couldn't thank them enough. I pulled out my old piano training books. Reviewed my flash cards and sat down to bang on the keys, it was humbling to say the least. So much to learn: teaching yourself to read music, learning the keys again, discerning the notes, symbols, and keys. Wow! Learning to play the piano will take a lifetime. I'm sorry I took so much time off. Nevertheless, this is my New Year's resolution - to play the songs that warm the heart and provide strength to the spirit. My hat is off to all those who continue to make music everyday. Who sing or play with the vest of their youth. Who endeavor to continue to learn and perfect the gift that only comes from God. Who practice, practice, and practice to master a song and to become proficient in their craft. Everyone should play some music. Everyone should allow music to become integral to their spirit. I love music! Sweet, Sweet, Music!!!!

Mr. Percy Sutton

Posted by Unknown Monday, December 28, 2009 0 comments

Mr. Percy Sutton was an icon. He understood what those of us in Baltimore missed - He acquired and restored the Apollo Theater. We permitted our Royal Theater to be demolished. So unfortunate that we didn't have a political/business figure like Mr. Sutton.

Mr. Sutton combined the negotiating skills of a politician with the business acumen of an entrepreneur. So successful as a negotiator he manage to go and complete law school without finishing his undergraduate degree.

An accomplished lawyer he served as head of his borough. He was the ultimate go to guy in New York. He was proud of his African American heritage and interacted with the famous and infamous.

Personally, I admired his understanding of controlling media outlets. He providing a training ground for many businesses person, think Ms. Dorothy Brunson. He provided inspiration for others, think Ms. Cathy Hughes.

One New Year's eve many years ago, I attended with a friend the final show at the Apollo Theater before he renovated it. The show was electric and the place was magical.

Now the world knows, "Showtime at the Apollo." Many artists have used that theater as their platform to success.

Thanks you Mr. Percy Sutton for understanding that if we want to preserve our treasures it is our responsibility to acquire them, fund them and sustain them. Peace!

Too Many Mistakes

Posted by Unknown Sunday, December 27, 2009 0 comments

Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes! In a game, as well as in life, are difficult to overcome. Unfortunately, you cannot retract loose words or retrace lowly steps. Too many people live life like our Ravens did today. One quarter you are on top and then next quarter you are error prone. After the game is over you only have yourself to blame. The reality for each of us is that our mistakes are not played on national television for all to see.

Santa Claus

Posted by Unknown Thursday, December 24, 2009 0 comments

My hat is off to Luke Durant, Jr. who found his niche as the African American Santa Claus in Mondawmin Mall. Quite the entrepreneur, Brother Durant was involved in a number of business ventures. His lasting success was in owning a candy store in the mall. It's my understanding his store will close at the end of 2009. I'm happy to hear that Brother Durant will continue to serve as "our" Santa Claus for years to come. His image as a Santa who looks like "us" reinforces to our children that we can be affirmative in our culture and self-worth is a value. Also, we can look at our own images with esteem. Luke Durant's commitment to being a positive African American image is worthy of honor and applause. Thank you Luke for helping our children to enjoy a Merry Christmas throughout the years.

Seeing the Star

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, December 23, 2009 0 comments

In the Biblical scriptures a central question was asked during the birth of Jesus Christ, "have you seen the star?".

This question strikes at the center of the Christian belief system. Because it in essence means are you able to see spiritually versus physically. As we move into 2010, I pray that each of our spiritual ability to see is increased and sharpened. Why? God is always shining a distinctive star for you and me that signals his deliverance from our condition and/or situation.

Have you seen the star?

For All The Marbles

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, December 22, 2009 0 comments

This will be the game of the season - The Ravens versus The Steelers. I sure hate to rush the week. I definitely will not rush the worship service. But, this will be a game to watch. It appears that the Steelers have their mojo back. The Ravens appear to want to reach another level. Therefore, let the best team win. Who do you pick? Black and yellow or Black and purple! The distinguishing color is either yellow or purple. Hmmm! I think I will take purple.

Snow Day

Posted by Unknown Monday, December 21, 2009 0 comments

Now the real work comes, persons have to get out of their homes to go to their jobs. No excuses! Many stayed home from church yesterday expressing claims of ice and snow. But, "the man" doesn't want to hear any excuses when you want to get paid.

Therefore, get out with a smile and be careful because the streets are still icy. Enjoy the day and make the best of all possible opportunities. I think I may skip work today; drink some hot chocolate, and, watch movies. I won't tell on you, if you don't tell on me!


Posted by Unknown Saturday, December 19, 2009 0 comments

Do you enjoy being snowbound in your house? What are you doing to past the time away? Are you in conversation with others who live with you or are each of you doing your own thing? Some are sleeping. Some are watching television. Some are texting their friends. Some are writing on blogging. Whatever you are doing? Is it fun and is it the best way to spend your time. I ventured out into the snowstorm today to serve a family in need. Driving back I got stuck attempting to drive up a hill. Two members of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works drove by, turned around, and got out of their truck to assist. One was a male and the other was a female. They stayed with me to assist me until I was able to turn around and drive away. That's public service. They are two individuals I would love to get to know. I gave them my card and told them they have a standing invitation to visit with me and talk to me. If they is anything I can do for either of them. They can consider it done! When we as a community learn the benefit of assisting strangers, we will never be able to hold the blessings God has in store for us. The word is true, "you may be entertaining angels unaware."

Winter Wonderland on the East Coast

Posted by Unknown Friday, December 18, 2009 0 comments

Do you believe that the weather person is correct and that in Baltimore it will snow all day tomorrow? If so are you prepared for the snow? Why does it seem to snow on the weekends and not during the work week? I pray you are ready and that you have made alternate plans. The Ravens have changed the starting time for the game on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. I wonder why? Is it possible that the snow will continue through Sunday afternoon? If so, I wonder how many people will venture out into the weather to make their way to their house of worship? I have a funeral service on Saturday and worship service on Sunday. By God's strength I plan to be at both. Be safe in your travels!

Water Running Down Your Front Street

Posted by Unknown Thursday, December 17, 2009 0 comments

How would you feel if you woke in the morning to leave home and water this high is gushing down the front street of your home? Persons on Argonne Drive had that experience today. Officials say a water main broke. Given the deferred maintenance of our public works system it is surprising that we do not have more of these incidents. No aging city is immune to cracking pipes and utilities. Katrina type occurrences can happen anywhere in America at anytime.

This afternoon in West Baltimore at Union Baptist Church from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. individuals and institutional leaders from the West Baltimore Community of Upton will gather together under the theme, "Reclaiming our Community by Reaching for the Heights of the Promise."

This service signals a change in the relationship structure of the community. A necessary change if this community is to be a serious contender for a "Promise Neighborhood" grant that the Obama Administration intends to provide 20 communities across America who seek to create Harlem Children Zone type models within their community. What is significant about today's service is that from a grassroots level the leaders have decided to change the way they have been doing business and break down the silos that have previously existed. You may listen to Dr. Hathaway and others who where interviewed by Ms. Donna Owens of WYPR Radio 88.1 discussing the Harlem Children's Zone concept and its potential within Upton.

Over 30 institutions and organizations will be represented at this historic gathering of leaders and community that will signal a swift in how business will forever be done in West Baltimore's Upton Community. All are committed to changing the climate and cultural of the community for the better. All are committed to improving the quality of life for each of its residents. All are committed to improving the outcomes for all of its children.

If you are in the neighborhood come by Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Avenue, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. The movement begins for "Community Rights because Place Matters". Where a person lives is important to the fabric of our society.

If we are going to change the conditions of the communities of America, we have to be the change. From the movie Notorious, it was proclaimed that "if we are going to change the world, we will first have to change ourselves."

A Day of Honor

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, December 16, 2009 0 comments

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 will be a memorable day in the life of the Hathaway Family. After a long academic journey, Alvin Jr. will be sworn into the Maryland Bar as an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Maryland. The Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Court of Special Appeals will administer the oath. Judge Robert Bell was the person who encouraged Alvin Jr. to enroll in a double Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor program at West Virginia University School of Law and the School of Business.

His grandfather, Mr. Charles A. Hathaway will be one of the persons who will be beaming with pride - he will witness his grandson stepping into Maryland history. While I will exhibit the pride of a father. My wife, his mother, will be overjoyed. His sister will be excited.

This family honor makes me more determined to fight all forces that would limit opportunities for children within our community to reach their full potential. I am particularly concerned about urban elementary and middle schools that are failing our youth at every turn. Within the Upton Community of West Baltimore change is going to come - So Help Me God!

Rev. Oral Roberts

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, December 15, 2009 0 comments

Regardless of what you may think about his theology, Dr. Oral Roberts built institutions that will live on and carry out his vision of God's Kingdom. We in ministry have the same challenge to create institutions to carry out the vision God has given to us.

Christmas Concert and Service

Posted by Unknown Sunday, December 13, 2009 0 comments

The Senior Choir of Union Baptist Church will present Camille Saint-Saems' "Christmas Oratorio" on Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. in the Main Sanctuary, 1219 Druid Hill Avenue.

Featuring: Alma Garrick Macer, Soprano; Kay Davis, Soprano; Crystal Freeman, Mezzo-Soprano; Joy September Dobson, Contralto; Keith Pennick, Tenor; and Derrick Thompson, Baritone.

Special performance by Brittany Wharry, Classical Guitarist.

Under the direction of Robin Paige, Minister of Music
and Carolyn Starks, Organist.

This service will ushering everyone into the Christmas Holiday spirit.

Who's your Prayer Partner?

Posted by Unknown Saturday, December 12, 2009 0 comments

Recent news events involving international sports figures, professional football players, local and national political figures causes one to pause and ask the Marvin Gayish question, "What's going on?" Why are we witnessing a period of never ending moral bankruptcy? Why are there so many instances of decadence and deprivation? Are humans destined to failings and flaws?

If the Biblical record is true? Yes!

The human species left to his own devices is destined to sin. Without the power of God by ourselves we are incapable of resisting the evil plans of Satan to kill, steal and destroy.

Therefore, every human being needs one of more "prayer partners." Persons who hold you accountable to a high moral standard. Persons who are within your inner circle who know you, understand your weaknesses, and stand with you to continually point you to God as your strength. A prayer partner who you are unable to duck. A prayer partner that will accept no excuses. A prayer partner who demands the inner conviction of a God fearing life. "No person is an island." We cannot move through the journey of life isolated from persons who demand of us high standards for living.

I would pray that everyone identifies a person(s) who will covenant with them to be their prayer partner. Instead of a gossip queen or a beer drinking buddy; obtain a prayer partner. A person who understands the power of prayer and the ever present need to call on your Heavenly Father for strength and guidance.

Players Lose on Monday Night

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, December 8, 2009 0 comments

I have avoided making any reference of the Baltimore Ravens in my daily messages. Professional football is a rough and tough sport. Every situation is potentially a dangerous situation. So many injuries and accidents the league is becoming increasingly focused upon protecting the athletes. Nevertheless, last night's Monday Night Football game begs some attention. As I watched the game I realized that in sports and in life you have to have discipline. Without discipline you are subject to fouls and penalties. In sports as well as in life you need a leader to take charge when you are in difficult situations. Finally in sports and in life your offense and defense must preform at an excellent level. The game of football, as well as, the game of life will be lost when you lack discipline, when you are leaderless, and when you performance is less than excellent. Should the Ravens have taken advantage of the opportunities given to them? Should the referees have been a little more lenient with their calls? All I can say is that in sports and in life you will earn what you get and you will get what you earn. Live life with discipline, understand that God is your leader, and pray that your offense and your defense is sufficient.

Christmas Tree

Posted by Unknown Monday, December 7, 2009 0 comments

Should you have a "real" tree in your home or an artificial tree? Over the years I have gone back and forth in this discussion. The smell of pine is wonderful. The fallen needles all over the floor is awful. The symmetry of a natural tree reminds you of winter's wonder. The looming danger of a fire is fearful. Where do you land? Do you bring a "real" tree into your home each year to decorate with all of your Christmas lights and ornaments? Or, do you bring out the trusty dusty that looks the same, is put together in the same way and decorate it in the same manner. Why don't you take a page from the White House and use a different decorating scheme each year. I tried that but only got as far as changing the color of my light bulbs. Well if Christmas is only about the tree, I'm far from the point. For me Christmas is about seeing the youth perform in our annual Christmas eve celebration. It's about feeding families with Christmas baskets. It's about seeing the joy in children's eyes who are not related to you, but you have partially filled their Christmas list wish. It's about being reminded of the love of God who comes to us in the form of a child. For me Christmas is more about the potential for good and the memories of all that is good. It is greater than a tree either "real" or artificial.

Christmas Time

Posted by Unknown Friday, December 4, 2009 0 comments

How quickly time moves? The Christmas season is approaching. Right in the midst of a terrible recession the season demands a change in our moods. From sadness to joy, from sorrow to jubilation, from gloom to ecstasy, we feel the need within our spirits to be jolly. It always amazes me when I see the wide array of Christmas lighting to goes on within a community. From the majestic display of the Washington Monument, to the community street lighting of 34th Street in Remington, and to the individual displays on houses throughout the city; we feel the need to light up the exterior spaces, even if the interior space begs to differ. Nevertheless, we are to praise God in all things and at all times. What time is it? This is the time to remember the joy of a new born baby entering into the world as our Savior. What time is it? This is the time to enjoy the blessings you have and are receiving. What time is it? This is the time to thank God from whom all blessing flow. The Christmas season is a wonderful time to be alive and full of hope.

South African Tennis Players

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, December 2, 2009 0 comments

50 of South Africa's finest tennis players will worship at Union Baptist Church on Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. These young tennis players are 13 years and younger. We are excited to welcome them. They are led by Mr. Louis Bolling, a member of our church. International travel is a worthwhile educational experience. As these young people interact with our youth, relationships will develop that are lasting and that will expand the horizons of friendship across the Atlantic Ocean. An invitation is extended to my Face Book Family to join in this experience.

Bring your young people to interact with our South African relatives.
1219 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217 (410) 523-6880.

Mayor Shelia Dixon

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, December 1, 2009 1 comments

One must recognize that our system of justice is all we have to determine what behavior is or is not according to the law. Our society would disintegrate if there was not such a system of justice. It is comforting to know that the pendulum of justice swings both ways. It is a time honored creed that justice is blind. For those of us within the African American community who have suffered at the hands of justice that on its surface seemed tilted against us, we can only hang our heads in shame that a sister who rose from the very depths of our community, who understood the pain and pathos of our community; now find herself going to bed tonight with a conviction of a misdemeanor crime. How unfortunate we are because to create a Mayor of a City such as Baltimore takes at a minimum 15 years of service. It requires a graduate education and a life long commitment to service. One must expose themselves to the public scrutiny that few survive to commit to a process of distributing limited public resources on behalf of people. Along the way you seek to assist those your know and those you care for. Mayor Shelia Dixon's story is a tragic one. It is a story that is repeated throughout Baltimore - promise shot down too soon. Mahatma Gandhi said it long ago, "public service mandates public accountability." As we discuss and critique our Mayor, may we all know that "he who is without sin, let them cast the first stone." My prayers are for her and her family as they reestablish there lives within Baltimore City.

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