Professor Toni Morrison

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, March 31, 2011 0 comments

Last night I attended a performance and discussion by Ms. Toni Morrison at the Meyerhoff Theatre in Baltimore. Above and beyond listening to Ms. Morrison in person, was the fact that the event was sponsored by the University of Baltimore's Law School, and that it was free. Ms. Morrison held the audience spell bounded as she addressed the issue of women's rights, legal and feminist issues. She explained the development of some of her characters. She discussed her method of storytelling, which she describes is how we think. We don't think in a linear manner. Our thought patterns are all over the place. Her storytelling is likened unto our thought patterns. When asked to tell which of her novels her favorite is, she remarked that is like trying to distinguish among your children. Then she declared that her favorite novel is the one she is writing right now. This woman is 80 years old. She was thankful that she could walk onto the stage without the assistance of a wheelchair. The Meyerhoff Theater holds 2,400 people. There were at least 2,300 people in attendance. That number included 500 students from Baltimore City Public Schools that has read some of her novels prior to attending. The Law School Dean remarked, maybe you would consider attending University of Baltimore as freshmen. I watched the audience, talked with friends, and imagined the rebirth of this exciting section of the City. The night reinforced for me the importance of The State Center Project to the total economy of the City of Baltimore.

Fighting the Good Fight!

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, March 30, 2011 0 comments

Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." Nehemiah 4: 14

Lorenzo "Truck" Simpson is a 10 year old national boxing champion from Baltimore. His story is inspiring and tragic at the same time. His story reflects the awesome struggle our youth has to survive the pressure of everyday life. What is revealing is that many youths are born, skip the period of adolescence, and are forced to become an adult way before their time. Attempting to survive the breakdown of the family unit, the presence reality of violence, and the inability to sort through all of one's emotions, feelings, and tensions place undue stress on our youth.

I post this story about "Truck" Simpson because he is one youth that is attempting to fight his way out of his life's situation and possibly realize his dream to escape.

What I know is that talent can get you in the door but only character can keep you in the room

As "Truck" trains and hones his talents, May God inspired people influence his life by developing his character and moral fiber.

Losing Our Way

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, March 29, 2011 0 comments

Bob Herbert of The New York Times comes very close to expressing my sentiments in his article, "Losing Our Way." I respect Mr. Herbert for his consistent voice on behalf of the poor and working class of America.


Last night as I watched President Obama explain the reasons for engaging in the Libya crises. I wondered to myself if he fully understands what is happening right here in America. The people are hurting and screaming for relief. They have not yet revolted, but the elements of mass rebellion are in the air; just like the particles of radiation that is making its way in the air from Japan.

Herbert says it this way, "So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home."

Never ending war is not the change people were looking for; ending the war on poverty is the battle people in America wish to fight.

A Day of Glass

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, March 26, 2011 0 comments



The world and technology is moving so quickly that one must stay prayerfully alert to understand the direction God wants us to go. One thing that is for sure, He is already in the future waiting for us.

Check out this video from Corning that shows us that glass will be the vehicle for new technology.

Hathaway Family Reunion - Washington, DC

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, March 25, 2011 0 comments



I'm beginning to get excited about our Hathaway Family Reunion. It will be in Washington, DC. This will be our 38th Annual Reunion. As an aspect of our reunion will be a visit to The White House. The first weekend in August. A special time indeed.

"Say to my soul, I am your salvation." Psalm 35:3


Have you every experienced a moment of doubt? In this text you will find David expressing such a moment. First, it informs me that David has his doubts; if not, why would he pray, "Say to my soul, I am your salvation," if he were not sometimes possessed by doubts and fears? Therefore, you and I are not the first to experience doubt or acknowledge weakness in faith. If David doubted, and God said that "he was a man after his own heart", than we should not feel that we are any less Christian because we have moments of doubt.

The test also tells me that David was not content while he had doubts and fears, but went to the mercy seat to pray for assurance. Therefore, we also must pursue an abiding sense of acceptance in the love of God without which we can have no joy when His love is not present in our souls. When the Bridegroom is gone, our souls will and must be still and fast.

I learn from this text that David knew where to obtain full assurance. He went to God in prayer saying, "Say to my soul, I am your salvation." We must frequently be alone with God if we expect to have a clear sense of Jesus' love. This type of relationship is not obtained in a crowd, it is obtained in your prayer closet with nobody present but you and God. When your prayers cease, your eye of faith will dim. To be frequently in prayer is to be frequently in His presence; to be slow in prayer is to be slow in the progress of your journey towards Him.

Notice that David would not be satisfied unless his assurance had a divine source. "Blessed assurance Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine." David says, "Say to my soul." Lord, You say it! Nothing short of a divine testimony in the soul will ever cause the true Christian to be content.

Moreover, David couldn't rest unless his assurance had a vivid personality about it. "Say to my soul, I am your salvation." Lord, if You should say this to all the saints, it means nothing, unless You should say it to me. Lord, I have sinned; I don't deserve your smile; I scarcely dare to ask it; but oh! say to my soul, even to my soul, "I am your salvation."

Let us have a present, personal, infallible, indisputable sense that I am Yours, and that You are mine.

The Church cannot afford to Sleep

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, March 24, 2011 0 comments

"Let us not be like others, who are asleep."

1 Thessalonians 5:6

People who isolate themselves and walk alone are very likely to grow drowsy. Isolation is the opposite of community. The church has grown weaker by its sense of isolation from the problems, issues and concerns of the people in their neighborhoods. Too many churches are vacant and inactive during the week. Too many of its leaders and members are isolated from the troubles people face within the shadows of their cathedrals.

We are not suppose to be asleep to the hopelessness, dismay, and apathy of our community. We are to be the beacon of hope, a signal that better days are coming, and a safe harbor for those in trouble.

When have you talked to someone other than your immediate friends, co-workers, or family?

Take the time to speak to the people in the community of your church and you will be amazed what they are feeling and thinking.

The church, its members and leaders must not be asleep to the needs of our neighbors.

Our mission is to be awake and to wake up the world that the Savior has come and is available to them.

It's by keeping good company that you stay alert, refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in your journey towards God's promise.

Are your tools sharp?

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, March 22, 2011 0 comments

"So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened." I Samuel 13:20


We are engaged in a great war against evil. Every weapon within our reach must be used and should be sharp. Our preaching, teaching, praying, giving, serving, exhorting, comforting, advocating, and leading, all must be carried with us into the battle, and the talents we have which may have been thought to be mediocre for service must now be employed. To destroy evil; rough tools must deal hard blows, and dull tools are of no effect. We need sharp tools and weapons to deal effectively against the enemy whose only purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. Each moment of time, in season or out of season; each fragment of ability, educated or untutored; each opportunity, favorable or unfavorable, must be used because we have many foes and our power to overcome evil is slim.

Many of out tools and weapons need sharpening; we need quickness of perception, tact, energy, force in action, complete use of God's word to do the work of the Lord.

Go find someone in your family

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, March 21, 2011 0 comments

"The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon." John 1: 41


True grace puts an end to all spiritual monopoly. Andrew first found his own brother Simon to bring him to Jesus Christ.

You may not be an evangelist on a grand scale; but everyone can tell the good news in their homes and community. If your life has been changed the first to perceive it are the members of your family. They should be the first to hear the good news of the love you have found in God.

Your family conversations should be words of testimony. Your family discussions should magnify the name of the Lord. Your family disputes should be resolved in the manner Jesus taught, which was to turn the other cheek.

Go find the Simon Peter in your family and tell them the good news of Jesus Christ.

Super Moon tonight

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, March 19, 2011 0 comments

I encourage all who are in North America to take a look at the super sized moon tonight. It is simply beautiful. What is interesting is that it is luminous, but emits no illumination on its own. It reflects the light of the sun.


Oh! How beautiful we would be if we reflected the light from the Son of God!

No Fear

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

"The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? the Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1


Is God your joy, comfort, guide, teacher and in every sense, your light? He is light within, light around, light reflected from us, and light to be revealed to us. God is more than a giver of light and salvation; He is light and salvation!

If that is so, "Whom shall I fear?"

The darkness has no power over light. Light destroys darkness.

The blessed assurance of this text is that, "the Lord is the stronghold of my life."

"If God is for us," who can be against us, either now or in time to come?

Luck or Love?

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, March 17, 2011 0 comments

"...I pray that you, being rooted and established in love." Ephesians 3:17


As we move through this day, may we truly know it is the love of God that sustains us.

Peace!

The gift of eternal life

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, March 15, 2011 0 comments

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." John 10:28


The tragedy of Japan and the massive lost of life, reminds each of us of the value and fragile nature of life. Life's experience is truly a vapor. Some may say, "here today and gone tomorrow." At the core of this life's experience is your faith and belief.

A Christian belief has an assurance that, "when this earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, we have a building not made by hand eternal in the heavens."

Who in life has not experienced the awful pains of lost? Who in life has not asked the question, "why?"

I stand on the word of God in matters of life and death. I believe in the eternal gift of God promised to each one of us.

Particularly as I wrestle with the massive lost of life in Japan.

Indeed, my faith confirms that, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

"Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, we will understand it, by and by. By and by, when the morning comes. We'll understand it better, by and by."

Praise is what I do

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, March 14, 2011 0 comments



Psalms 147

You have to take moments in your quiet time to just praise the Lord. Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord.

All day and all week - through the good and the bad, through the happy and sad - Praise is what I do.

I Choose to Worship

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments






Psalms 95: 6 - 7

There are moments in life when God reveals Himself in a mighty way. Those moments are unxplainable, unimaginable and awesome in every way, as a result all you can do is worship Him.

The events of the previous week has been such a moment for my family and me. As a result, there are no words to explain it.

All we can do is worship - God.

Welcome Home

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, March 13, 2011 0 comments

To all of the people and resources that made it possible, "Thank you!"


To all of the expressions of concern and prayers, "May God Bless you!"

Alvin Jr. is home, safe and secure.

He will only be strengthen in his faith journey by the experience.

My prayers are never ceasing for the people of Japan. I feel their pain and anguish.

8.9 Earthquake in Japan

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, March 12, 2011 0 comments


We sit our comfort zones and watch news on the international scene.


This morning the world was awaken to the news of an 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan. The epicenter was approximately 230 miles from Tokyo, Japan.

The news shook me from my sleep because Alvin Jr. is in Tokyo on a business trip.

I anxiously and prayerful was watching CNN. The news pictures were difficult to watch. They showed cars, boats, and houses being washed ashore. A tsunami warning was issued.

Then I received a text message from Alvin. He was alright. The hotel building shook for 15 minutes and stopped. Then it shook again and continued to shake for over 2 hours.

My God, my son is in the midst of the worst earthquake in the history of Japan. Epic proportions!

My prayers go out to the people of Japan. I thank God that through His divine providence my son is safe and secure.

We truly live within a world community.

What effects one, effects us all.

Your Precious Stone

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, March 10, 2011 0 comments

"This stone is precious." 1 Peter 2:7


How do you establish value? One way is to assess what your life would be like without that which you value.

Peter indicates that Jesus is like a precious stone.

What would your life be without Him?

Can words describe how precious He is?

He is total satisfaction and happiness. He is light in the midst of darkness. He is a friend when no one else seems to understand. In the midst of tragedy, he is a comforter. After a night's sleep, he is the bright morning sun.

One cannot place a value on the unspeakable gift that God has given to us.

All you can really say is that the Love of God found in Jesus Christ is precious.

Ash Wednesday

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, March 9, 2011 0 comments

Today within the Christian Community is known as Ash Wednesday. It is a day that begins our 40 day journey towards Easter Sunday, known as the Lenten Season.


It is a time for reflection and redirection. It is a time of prayer and repentance. It is a time to demonstrate your thanksgiving and to magnify your praise.

Is there anyone who cannot honestly say, "God has been good to you!"

That's why this season of remembrance should cause everyone to express within their own spirit their deep and abiding faith in God and to reverence the sacrifice of his Son for you and me.

Our world is a dangerous place. Our country is moving though turbulent waters. The very fabric of our society is being challenged. Nevertheless, our hearts should be glad and our spirits should rejoice because we have one more day.

Brandon Davies: Is this right?

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, March 7, 2011 0 comments

Mr. Brandon Davies is a star player with Brigham Young University's basketball team. He was recently dismissed from the team for having sex with his girlfriend. When one attends BYU, they make a commitment to live a "chaste life and virtuous life which includes abstaining from alcohol beverages, tobacco, coffee, tea, and drug abuse." BYU is a school that adheres to the principals of the Mormon religion. With Mr. Davies on the team, the team is nationally ranked. With Mr. Davies off the team, they are mediocre. The problem I have with this situation is the classic question posed by Jesus, "he who is without sin cast the first stone." BYU was willing to tarnish the career of their star basketball player and suggest that in a school of this size he is the only one who has erred in the "standards" they have established. Their claim is that he made a commitment and failed to keep it. Our society is making a dangerous mistake by attempting to make a god out of sin. To be frank, it is very difficult for me to view this matter through any lens but racism.

Fort McHenry Prayer

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, March 5, 2011 0 comments


Prayer for the Dedication of the New Visitor and Education Center at The Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, March 3, 2011

By: Rev. Dr. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr., Senior Pastor, Union Baptist Church

Let us pray: We come on this occasion seeking a deeper meaning of what it means to be an American Citizen. We are tied together in a tapestry of human mutuality. On this occasion we seek the opportunity to peer through the lens of history to understand who we are and whose we are. It is by understanding the treads of our mosaic of mutual freedom and commonality that our lives are enriched and our spirits revived.

By understanding our history we gain a greater appreciation for the unseen hand of God that moves within time to touch the hearts, minds and spirits of people.

This is the place that provides us with the concrete evidence of God’s Hand. It was at this place that a simple poem was written to express the unyielding desire of the human spirit for freedom. This simple poem captured the essence of what it means to fight for America’s greater good. This simple poem became “The Star Spangled Banner” America’s national anthem. Its writer, Francis Scott Key, has become an historic iconic figure because of his heart felt poetic expression of divine origin.

The Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine will become that place were people from all over the world and America come to relive those precious moments, to walk the grounds of this sacred space, and to learn of their common bonds and aspirations as citizens. The rolling mounds, picturesque views, and historical artifacts will transport them to the genesis of America’s grand experiment in democracy.

We dedicate on these sacred grounds on this day a New Visitor and Education Center. May it serve untold generations by inspiring them to dream, big dreams; by educating them to strive for personal advancement and enrichment; and by consecrating them to believe in truth, justice and the quest for freedom and equality. This oasis was borne out of struggle. This oasis is our testament to future generations. This oasis will place an imprint on the memory and spirit of its visitors and remind them that the quest for freedom continues to march on.

Bless the exhibits, the guides, the maintenance staff, this building, and the Park Rangers. Bless all those who enter and all those who serve. Entreat them to never forget that we all stand on the shoulders of those who believed that tomorrow would bring a brighter day. We inherit a legacy from people who were willing to sacrifice themselves so we may experience the sweet aroma of freedom.

May we be ever mindful of our charge to continue the march towards freedom, to resist the forces that would divide us, and to embrace the good that is in all of us.

In closing,

“Our hands are on the plough, our faltering hands, and all that is before us, is un-tilted land. The wilderness in its solitary place. The lonely desert with its inner space. The handles of our plough with tears gets wet, the shears with rust are spoiled, and yet. My God, keep us from turning back!”

AMEN

Work in Progress

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, March 4, 2011 0 comments

"He worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered." 2 Chronicles 31:21


The individuals who prosper go about their work with all their hearts, while those who go about their work halfheartedly are almost certain to fail.

If one is to work, they need to do their work diligently. For the past five months, I have had to opportunity to press for job opportunities for local residents. As other local clergy and I made these demands to the stakeholders, the response that we heard back is that the people don't want to work. We countered with the argument that if given the opportunity the people do want to work. Then reality sits in and in too many instances, people sometimes do not display the initiative that suggests they really want to work.

As a result, we designed a simple test.

Ask people to come to a week long training and orientation without any promise of a job, but simply to demonstrate their desire to work on a job if the opportunity presented itself. After witnessing over 500 persons going through training for the past 5 months, I'm convinced that there are people who want to work wholeheartedly.

Why? Because wholeheartedness shows itself in perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to press through your own personal problems to do what you need to do to succeed.


When will the church wake up?

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, March 3, 2011 0 comments

"Blessed is he who stays awake." Revelation 16:15


In earlier times, people talked about waking the sleeping giant. It was seen that people had the capacity to change their situation if they only took action. Their inaction was liken to being asleep.

One can say that the church is asleep. Its leadership has become seduced into a tranquil state by the strange narcotic of passive accommodation. Passive accommodation is only acting when you are stuck by something. But when you are narcotized, you are unable to feel the pain when one is stuck.

The church and its leaders have reached this dangerous state because it is only concerned with self-preservation. When the church and its leaders are only concerned about itself, it has lost its way and is asleep. Quickly the church is losing its integrity. Quickly church leadership is becoming irrelevant to these times.

The only thing that can transform the church from passive accommodation into active resistance to the evil at our doorsteps is for it to wake up. The church and its leaders must awake to the source of its strength - to lift up the action model of the life of Jesus Christ. The wheat must be separated from the tares. Hypocrites must be unmasked. True believers must stand up.

Those who love the Lord and the church must not lay idly by when the very fabric of our society and culture is crumbling. Wake up!

When a Supreme Court would permit the desecration of a funeral service as a tool for partisan protest, the judges have abdicated their judicial positions and polluted the meaning of justice. The church must wake up!

When the President and Congress would protect the military and security budget and cut only the smallest portion that seeks to address the needs of people, they have chosen their own self-interest over the interests of the people. The church must wake up!

When local governments are only seeking ways to place more burden on those who can least afford it, they have opted our of representing people and have chosen to do the bidding of special interests. The church must wake up!

When the only time that people of the church will assembly is to sing, dance, pray and sermonize, then the church and its leaders have lost its prophetic voice and is asleep at the switch. The church must wake up!

I'm so glad that the God I serve neither sleeps nor slumbers. I'm go glad that in Him we can be more than conquerors because of Him who loved us.

When the church and its leaders wake up, that will be a glorious day indeed.

Remember the poor!

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, March 2, 2011 1 comments

"Remember the poor." Galatians 2:10


One of the more enduring images I have in my mind are the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Never have I seen before such abject poverty. This picture depicts an housing area were people live. The poster reads: "remember the poor: March 21, 2010."

It is interesting to note that you don't have to go far to witness poverty. It is everywhere. The scripture lesson for this morning reminds us to, "remember the poor."

Why does God allow so many of His children to be poor? He could make them all rich if He pleased. There is no need for people to be poor, except that He sees that it is best. "The cattle on a thousand hills are His." He could supply them; He could make the richest, the greatest, and the mightiest bring all their power and riches to the feet of His children, for all the hearts of the people are in His control. But He does not choose to do so; He allows them to be in want, He allows them to pine in penury and obscurity. Why is this?

There are many reasons: one is, to give us, who are favored with enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus. We show our love to Christ when we sing of Him and when we pray to Him; but if there were no sons or daughters in need in the world we would lose the sweet privilege of evidencing our love, by ministering in giving money or goods to His poor; He has ordained that thus we should prove that our love does not exist in word only, but in deed and in truth. If we truly love Jesus Christ, we shall care for those who are loved by Him. Those who are dear to Him will be dear to us.

Let's then look upon it not as duty but as a privilege to relieve the poor of the Lord's flock - remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me." Surely this assurance is sweet enough, and this motive strong enough to lead us to help others with a willing hand and a loving heart - recollecting that all we do for His people is graciously accepted by Christ as doe to Himself.

A Binding Agreement

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, March 1, 2011 0 comments

"In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement." Nehemiah 9:18


Have you recently reevaluated your relationship with God? Do you fully understand the terms of your covenant agreement? If so, then you need to realize that you have a binding agreement with God. He is bound to you, if you are bound to Him. "I will be your God, if you will be my people."

In an agreement you have three components: an offer, an acceptance, and some consideration (value). Jesus is always standing at the door knocking with His offer, all one has to do is to accept, and the consideration is the sacrifice of Jesus.

Check this out! Have you recently received some blessing which you hardly expected? Can you sing of mercies multiplied? Have you ever found yourself in a place and could only proclaim, "if it had not been for the Lord on my side, where would I be?"

Then this is the day to put your hand on the altar, and say, "Bind me here, My God; bind me with cords, forever." Let all of us this morning make a binding agreement with Him because of what Jesus has done for you. All of us should have a spirit of gratitude.

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