Walking in the Snow on a Sunday Morning

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, January 31, 2010 0 comments

God has been too good to me. I can't stay in the house because I'm drawn to worship. Worship is what I do to thank a God who blesses us whatever the weather. I am getting up even now to shovel snow. It was smart that I placed the cover on the car. I won't have to deal with icy windshields and frozen locks. I've learned in life that I have a responsibility greater than being a worship leader. I'm a lead worshiper. I really prefer to drive to church this morning; but if I have to walk, that I will surely do. Be blessed everyone and continue to be a blessing!

Serena Williams is a Champion

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, January 30, 2010 0 comments

I know I'm going to pay for it later in the day, but I had to stay up this morning to watch Serena Williams play in the finals of the Australia Open. With the grit and determination of a champion she won. What captured my attention was that each and every match was a physical and mental challenge. The power of the human will to overcome any circumstance is an underestimated quality God has given each of us. Too often we succumb to easily and accept defeat when success is just around the corner. If we ever learn of the power of never giving up, as a people we will be able to do anything but fail. At age 28 Serena Williams has dominated the tennis game for the past 12 years. Her ability to play at such an amazing level will decline; but the memories of a true champion overcoming the odds and reaching the heights God has promised her will live on.

Rev. Dr. John L. Wright

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, January 29, 2010 0 comments

Tributes are pouring in acknowledging the outstanding accomplishments of The Rev. Dr. John L. Wright, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Guilford. This tremendous religious leader transcended geography by having an international sense of ministry with deep roots within the suburban and urban community. A world traveler, community activist, and theologian, he interpreted the Gospel message of Jesus Christ through a lens the included everyone, improved the quality of life of those left out, and promoted advocacy for those who needed a voice. His motto was, "If you see a good fight, get into it." I, like many clergy persons, can reflect on my personal relationship with him. Prior to my full understanding he prophesied that I would become the Pastor of Union Baptist Church. He participated in my Baptist Ordination and after a grueling period of time exclaimed, "this is enough" and offered the motion to cut off the questioning. We sat together in many meetings with public officials arguing for fair and equitable treatment for the citizens of our City and State. He was recognized in Ghana and proclaimed a Chief of a local tribe. This was the nature of this Man of God who was unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He will be missed. His influence will leave reverberations for all time.

In the country down under, Australia, we are witnessing one of the outstanding displays of talent, will, and fortitude of any athlete of any era. Serna Williams is proving to be one of the all time greats. Playing with her hamstring and calf bandaged with limited mobility; she is demonstrating to the world that she is the #1 tennis player. Last night with her doubles partner, Venus, she won another doubles title. Collectively they are the best tennis doubles team ever. But the story of The Australia Open is all about Serna. She has overcome tremendous odds at the ripe old age of 28 to reach the finals match. I turned off the television the other night because she was down one set and was on her way to losing the second set. When I woke up the next morning to review the results, I was surprised that she had won. Only through grit and determination could she have won that match that has propelled her into the finals. Her physical condition is not up to par; but her talent, her will to win, and her reputation as a fighter proceeds her. i definitely will be glued to the tube on Saturday to watch The Australian Open title match. My best to Serna the world is watching a true champion!

State of the Union

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, January 28, 2010 0 comments

I hurried home to watch the State of the Union speech last night. I'm excited each time I witness the competency and composure of President Barrack Obama as he commands the attention of the world as President of The United States of America. I sincerely appreciate his ability to place before Congress and the America people the universal truths we claim are valued. He is steadying changing the landscape. He is being true to his word. He clearly is articulating the problem of the Bush years he inherited. He is creatively navigating our country from the brink of disaster. History will record and recognize his transparency and unique talent. I'm proud to call his President. Particularly for any who travel, he is respected all over the world from the streets to the halls of power. He is correct. He cannot do it by himself. We all have a responsibility to insure that government responds to the needs of all, particular those who we must support and nurture.

Senator Charles "Mac" Mathias

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, January 26, 2010 0 comments

We join in mourning the death of Senator Charles "Mac" Mathias. His brand of Republicanism is a lot different from what we are witnessing during this era. He was a moderate who championed causes that improved the quality of life of all people. I fondly remember him using his considerable political clout with then President Ronald Reagan to press him to sign legislation named, "Nehemiah Housing Bill." Congressman Parren J. Mitchell pushed the bill through the House of Representatives and Senator Mathias pushed the bill through the Senate. Against President Reagan's wishes, Senator Mathias used his political capital on Reagan to get him to sign the legislation into law. For 10 years Nehemiah Housing Bill provided moderate income buyers an opportunity to purchase a brand new house.


This bill created affordable housing all over America. Particularly within the City of Baltimore more than 600 units of affordable housing for first time buyers was built.

In our present era there is no one championing the cause of affordable housing. The tricks and traps of our banking system has created some of the highest foreclosure rates in the county because the mortgage industry and banking interest sought to enrich themselves off of the back of the least able to afford their enriching schemes.

Not so with Senator Mathias, he understood that the federal government had a moral responsibility for insuring that the American dream was available to everyone.

May this giant of a man rest eternally in peace!

Bryant versus James

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, January 25, 2010 0 comments

Every now and then it is good to take a break from the constant flow of news and watch some basketball. The recent game between Kobe Bryant and Lebron James illustrated the power of a match up between these two giants of the game. The athleticism of these men is a joy to watch. Their ability to dominate and exert their will during portions of the game creates the energy that ebbs and flows. On a basis level they exhibit our own desires to control our environment and participate in our own outcomes. For many of us, factors largely beyond our control inhibit us from exerting much influence. We tend to be pawns and not Queens of Kings in our own games. Nevertheless, the escape to a world where a game is played that provides us with the opportunity to peer into a universe where people are able to exert influence over the outcome of a contest is refreshing. Cleveland has won two of the match ups thus far. I can't wait until they meet in the Playoffs and we are able to witness this match up over a series of games. Nothing but net!

Rev. Dr. Barry C. Black

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, January 22, 2010 0 comments

One of the most gifted preachers in America is The Rev. Dr. Barry C. Black, Chaplin for the United States Senate. He is a living example of African American History in the making.


The native Baltimorean will preach at Union Baptist Church on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217.

If you have not heard this outstanding brother. See and hear him in person. You will be blessed indeed!

His autobiography, "From the Hood to the Hill" chronicles his rise from the streets of Baltimore to the United States Capital.

Good or Bad News from Masschusetts

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, January 20, 2010 0 comments

Is the optimism we once held being replaced by pessimism? Are candidates who are resistant to change suggesting that we have had enough change and let's return to business as usual? It was interesting that when I watched the acceptance speech of U.S. Senator Elect Scott Brown the picture on the stage was somewhat disturbing. The rich diversity of America was missing and what was projected was people of the same racial and social group. Are we witnessing a reversal from diversity to sameness? If so, people of good will who believe in the vision of a broad based society that is not the exclusive domain of any one group need to heed the wake up call being heard around the country out of Massachusetts. I pray for the sensitivity of Scott Brown to an American where all people are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with inevitable rights. Do not trample upon the wishes, desires and needs of the masses to promote policy that exclude and segregate. Those persons who support President Obama need to heed the message of Massachusetts and understand that forces are at work to reverse the tremendous feeling Americans felt just a year ago when they against all odds voted for an African American President. We cannot relax or become complaisant. The revolution will not be televised. It is being fought everyday in the hearts and minds of people all over America who are organizing to advance their agenda. We must never relinquish ours that addresses the needs of the last, the least and the lost.

"24"

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, January 18, 2010 0 comments

Am I the only one who watched four hours of "24". It is an amazing television production. Keifer Sutherland is the man. He is making money as the Executive Producer and as the star actor. I guess with all the pressure on him, Brian Hastings (Mykelti Williamson) has to walked hunched over. I wish he would stand up tall and listen to Chole. She is always sneaking around a watching everything. I must admit that they have hooked me again.

Eyes on the Prize

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

Watching "Eyes on the Prize" again. It continues to be an illuminating experience. We have come so far. Yet we have so far to go. While racism is still an issue, the response of persons within our community must change to include a commitment by all to education and academic achievement. Our youth must engage in the political process at an earlier age. Our religious institutions must become places of moral teaching, civic participation, and entrepreneurship. Our communities must become places of safety and solace. Our leaders must become examples of ethical behavior. Our seniors must be utilized as "Griots" for their wisdom. Our families must remain intact and fruitful. All boats must rise or we all will sink.


God has blessed us with the spiritual, theological, and biblical image of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that refocuses our attention upon what we are intended to be as a community. Yesterday's service was thought provoking. The Rev. Dr. Michael J. Gorman, Dean of the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary's Seminary and University, preached from Revelations 7: 1 - 17, "Lamb People, Lamb Power!" He compared the life of John the Revelator to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and challenged us to understand the vision of God's community they embodied which was derived from God's words in Genesis 12, "all the families of the earth shall be blessed."


Are you a follower of the Lamb and do you have Lamb power?

Haiti

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, January 12, 2010 0 comments

For my international travelers and those with an international perspective, our prayers go out to the people of Haiti. They are experiencing their "Katrina" experience in the major earthquake that has hit their country. Haiti is less than 100 miles from Miami, Florida. The people of Haiti had suffered through domination, political thievery, and colonialist policies. They are a proud people who a forced, the majority, to live in poverty. Their natural resources are exploited. Though the recovery effort the world has to opportunity to enter into the country and bring a sense of equilibrium to the state of racial, economic, and political affairs. President Obama expressed my sentiments, "they are in our prayers!" When the time is appropriate we will endeavor to contribute to the rebuilding effort.

Ray Rice

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, January 11, 2010 0 comments

Sunday was a very good day. Worship service was inspiring! And the Raven continued the positive feeling by breaking a run on the first play. Wow! This should help us all be lifted for the week to come. Needed it after a politically down week. Enjoy all that God has in store for you.

Winter Blast

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, January 9, 2010 0 comments

This has been an amazing winter thus far. Baltimore recently had 22 inches of snow. This week I thought I could escape the cold by going to Orlando, Florida and it was cold there. I returned home yesterday to snow and cold. I also returned home to learn that Baltimore Mayor Shelia Dixon has resigned from office. President Obama during this week was taking responsibility for lapses in security. How do you protect a country from an idiot who would place explosives in his underwear? Colt McCoy was knock out of the premier college football game leaving Texas to scramble for respect from Alabama.


It has been a cold and unusual winter indeed! The wintry blasts of freezing rain, sleet and snow. The domestic and international incidents that chills the spirit. The dismay of a political career gone awry. These incidents and more have made this winter's season unusual indeed.

I take hope in knowing that the Spring Time will come. Therefore, I'm off next week to Atlanta and back to Orlando. This time I'm looking for warmer weather, pleasant skies, and encouraging news.

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