What Do You Anticipate in the New Year?

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, December 31, 2013 0 comments

As the moments of 2013 wind down and 2014 looms in the distance future, what do you anticipate happening in the New Year for you? For some, resolutions are made as a way of establishing goals or benchmarks. Still others write a plan with specificity in terms of times and deliverables. What do you do to shape your sense of anticipation for the New Year?

May I offer a few suggestions:

1. End the year and begin the year in prayer.

2. If you have not, begin writing a journal of your thoughts, deeds, and aspirations.

3. Promise yourself to and develop deeper spiritual disciplines

4. Within your family and friends tell your loves one that you love them and don't take them for granted

5. Within your community of faith increase your giving: time, talents and treasure

6. Exercise and eat healthy

7. Travel to places you have never been before

8. Take periodic walks through parks, nature trails, and county roads

9. Meet and develop a relationship with persons from a different ethnic group

10. Share in a worship experience of another faith tradition

HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR! ANTICIPATE GOD DOING GREAT THINGS IN YOUR LIFE!


BCPD 5 Year Strategic Plan

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, December 30, 2013 0 comments

www.gbc.org/news/BCPD-Strategic-Plan-for-Improvement-Nov2013.pdf


As we hover over the edge of a new year, my prayer is the Baltimore City Police Department become an agent for positive change in our communities through effective community engagement.

The Last Sunday in 2013

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, December 29, 2013 0 comments

For those who believe in God, the last Sunday in the year is a time for reflection and celebration. Since all time is in God's hand, the ability to live in this moment is a divine gift. It is one that should not be taken lightly. How marvelous it is to experience such a moment? It is one that will never come again. The ability to learn from your mistake, to celebrate in your victories, to travel and witness the wonders of this world, and to think that God has kept you for a specific purpose. My prayer is that you discover that purpose and live the rest of your life in God's will according to God's way. Every one has experienced moments of extreme difficulty. Every one has experienced moments of extreme ecstasy. In life one has to learn the lessons of the mountains and the valleys to be able to testify to the goodness of God. Life has its ups and downs, life is a never ending series of changes, but we have the assurance of knowing God who never changes. That's why God is called a rock in a weary land and a shelter from the stormy blast. Celebrate this Sunday with your highest praise!

Getting Ready for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Speeches

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, December 27, 2013 0 comments

On the dawn of 2014, I'm preparing for a series of speeches honoring the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Sunday, January 12, 2014 beginning at 10:00 a.m. I will speak at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church and share reflections on The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Friday, January 17, 2014 beginning at 9:00 a.m.,  I will be the guest of Druid Hill Family Center, YMCA. I will speak for their 2014 Y Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Breakfast. The Theme is "Connected to the Dream."

On Saturday, January 18, 2014 beginning at 9:00 a.m., I will be the guest of the Maryland Classified Employees Association, (MCEA). I will speak on their theme, "Celebrating Dr. King's Divine Purpose."

On Sunday, January 19, 2014 beginning at 2:00 p.m., I will be the guest of The Reginald Lewis Museum. I will be on a panel discussion the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after previewing a film that will be shown that afternoon.

I'm honored to have these opportunities to publicly address the meaning of this amazing man to our times and to our journey. It appears he was larger than life, but he was a man who God used to uplift humanity. With God all things are possible, He is preparing someone right now to continue the legacy of service exhibited in Dr. King's life.


Christmas Eve

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, December 24, 2013 0 comments

As one gets older the traditions you create have a lasting meaning. Anticipating Christmas Day as an event were one receives gifts dulls in the context of the economy and the costs associated with those gifts.

How do you place the Christmas Day in its proper context is largely determined by what you are doing on Christmas Eve and how you feel today? Are you satisfied with who you are, where you are and whose you are? Are you feeling inadequate because of what you don't have, wasn't able to give or what you know you will not receive? Is more emphasis place upon what something costs over and against what the meaning is from who gave the gift?

One year I made a wooden plaque and gave it to my mother for Christmas. She displayed such joy because I was able to give something I thought about, something I made, and something I could afford. I love my mother and the gift I gave her was all I had and it was full of love for her.

That's what Christmas Eve should be about the love you have for others and your willingness to share that love with them. We are in a cynical time in our culture and history. We place more emphasis on things than on people and relationships.

Make this Christmas a time for healthy and loving relationship with God in the center, you will discover that things really don't matter. Enjoy Christmas Eve by creating a tradition that will stand the test of time: bake cookies, decorate the tree, write hand made greeting cards, or visit Union Baptist Church and share in the experience of the Youth of Union on Christmas Eve. The experience will warm your heart and prepare you for the anticipation of Christmas Day, the Day Jesus Christ enters once again into your life with His love!

Preparing For Christmas

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, December 22, 2013 0 comments

Matthew 2: 7-12 records two attitudes in preparation for Christmas. King Herod has one attitude and The Wise Men have another. The deference in their attitudes is striking and understanding the difference may help you in your preparation for Christmas.


For the full word you need to meet me at Union Baptist Church today at 11:00 am.

King Herod placed himself before God. That attitude is reflected by those who think Christmas is all about them and their needs. 

The Wise Men placed Jesus first by going to Him with the attitude of giving to Him.

Is Christmas about what you get or what you give?

Prepare yourself now, three days before Christmas, to have an attitude of giving.

Christmas Baskets Being Given Today

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, December 20, 2013 0 comments

Getting ready to go to church to assist the Board of Deacons with the packing and distribution of Christmas Baskets. This annual service to our community focuses the attention of our church upon giving to others. Its what Christmas is all about. The sharing, caring, and companioning together as one celebrates the gift of Jesus Christ to the world.

Given the federal governments cutback in the SNAP program (food stamps) people are experiencing hardships and difficulties feeding their families. We need more compassionate people in our government and definitely more compassion within the faith community.

Thank you to everyone who has given their support to this ministry.

God really does love a cheerful giver!

Every Tub Stands on Its Own Bottom

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, December 18, 2013 0 comments

I remember a distinguished professor from Harvard, Dr. Preston Williams would say, "Every Tub Stands on Its Own Bottom." He was communicating the idea that everyone is responsible for their own actions, their plan, and the results. Responsibility is the opposite side of the coin marked freedom. If you want freedom, you have to take responsibility. They are inseparable. They are forever connected.

Its a travesty to see so many people shirking responsibility and wondering why they are not free. They wonder why programmatic changes hamper their access to benefits. They wonder why segments of our population continue to say, "no free lunch."

It is unfortunate so many people are dependent on the systematic distribution of benefits, but when its time to impact policy changes or to vote, they are no where to be found.

This is how our secular system works. Freedom and responsibility are connected at the hip. If you desire something in life, you must work for it, work to protect, and work to keep it. You must be responsible to be free.

Take a pledge today to be responsible for your freedom. Endeavor to work, to participate, and to advocate for resources and benefits for you and your community.

Never relinquish your freedoms to others whims. Be responsible and be free!

Performance Under Pressure

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, December 17, 2013 0 comments

Monday Night's football game between the Ravens and the Lions featured a 61 yard field goal by Justin Tucker. Throughout the night for the Ravens, he was their scoring machine. He kicked 6 field goals accurately. Nevertheless, a 61 yard field goal with the game and his team's playoff chances hanging in the balance was a pressure filled moment. We witnessed Justin Tucker perform under pressure. He said to his coach, "I got this!" as he was standing on the sidelines waiting to come into the game. 


Few of us may ever have the opportunity to perform under the pressure of a game situation, but we are always under the pressure of having to make a decision between right or wrong. Those pressure packed situations happen everyday. Someone plucks your last nerve, someone defames your integrity, someone calls you out of your name, or someone wants you to join them in wrong doing, we are constantly in pressure situations. You face  the personal tension of yielding or not yielding to the seduction of sin or willing entering into a sinful matter. You feel the tension as your nervous system wrestles with the ideas in your mind. Do I treat someone right or treat them wrong? That's another pressure packed moment for you.

How do you respond when you are under the pressure of Satan seeking to steal, kill, or destroy your joy, your hope, your salvation, your peace, or your very life? How do you respond in the pressure filled moment when you must choose between right our wrong?

My prayer is that you perform under pressure in a manner that causes the angels to sing and that pleases God. I pray that you make the decision to follow the path of Jesus Christ all the way. It may feel like pressure for the moment, but after you perform under the pressure, you will discover an unbelievable joy. You will win the victory over sin. You will become God's hero.

Make this the day, just like Justin Tucker did last night, that when you are facing your moment of extreme pressure, tell God that because He is on your side, "I got this!"

Worry or Worship?

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, December 14, 2013 0 comments

Ruth Bell Graham once said, "Worship and worry cannot live in the same heart; they are mutually exclusive."

The choice is before us this Christmas season. Do you worry about the things on earth, or do you worship Him that is above the earth?

Yes, evil may be lurking at your door. Satan may be planning one of his tricks or traps. I want you to know that God is worthy of worship and God is able to lift you in the midst of your despair. The song says, "don't worry, be happy!"

Yes, be happy in your worship of Jesus Christ! He is the Lilly of the Valley. He is the Bright and Morning Sun. He is the Lifter of your head. He is Alpha and Omega. He is the Truth and the Life.

A final note, "worship is not taught from the pulpit. It must be learned in the heart."

Honoring Our Seniors

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, December 12, 2013 0 comments

Another reflection from the Nelson Mandela Memorial Services was the honor and respect given to this senior statesman. We should always honor our seniors.

Dr. Howard Thurman shares this thought,"We remember the old people. Those whose fires have been banked, and who sit in their solitariness, some with minds broken by the hardness of their days, who cannot be comforted by the memories of other times; some who at this season of the year hunger and thirst for the love of their children, and find it not; some who live in homes for the aged, surrounded by those of their kind, who huddle together, hoping that in the warmth of each other's personality and spirit they might find strength sufficient for another day."

I share this thought. "May we never forget the sacrifice and contributions of our seniors to our development and well being. They withstood the assaults on their personhood to usher us into a brighter day. They worked tirelessly at jobs without given proper respect to teach us the value of a hard days work. Oh how proud we are for their steadfastness and their belief in the provisions of God. They taught us the power of prayer in the midst of life's storms. They translated the word dignity into a characteristic we should aspire to. They invested wisely in the next generation knowing God would make a way somehow. They were thrifty and taught us the value of saving for a raining day. Now its our time to provide strength to them for their journey. It's our time to be their comfort and companion. It's our time to tell them stories, share jokes, and cook and clean for them. It's our time to tabernacle with them as they tabernacled with us. It's our time to be respectful of the awesome love they shared. It's our time to make them proud by showing them the gratitude they have rightfully earned. May we never forget to honor our seniors. They have been faithful in service to all of us."

Lessons From Nelson Mandela

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, December 11, 2013 0 comments

Yesterday, South Africa began its tribute and celebration of the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. President Barack Obama spoke eloquently at his services. Today at the Washington National Cathedral the Official United States Memorial for Nelson Mandela will be held. My wife and I are honored to receive an invitation from the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa to attend.

When one reflects upon the life of Nelson Mandela there are some lessons I have learned:

1. Truth is a powerful weapon against injustice.

2. Personal integrity means one's willingness to ask for forgiveness and to reflect upon one's actions.

3. Leadership requires organizational capacity and followship.

4. Longevity does have its place.

5. God is ultimately in control of life's nuances.

6. Commitment is yielding the nerve center of your consent such that the yielding means more than whether you live or die.

7. Stability in your personal relationship strengthens your public persona.

8. Learn to be intentional in your statements and wise in your judgements.

9. Think globally and act locally.

10. Personal sacrifice is a reality of public life.

11. Be willing to train others because no one is indispensable.

12. Ultimately true change occurs within the system while agitation occurs outside of it.

13. Prisons can hold your body, but not your mind and spirit.

14. Relationships have no racial, sexual, economic, geographic, or religious limits


Back To Back

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, December 10, 2013 0 comments

In the Baltimore area we have experienced back to back snow episodes. This could be called piling on. Piling on is when you have not fully recovered from one experience and another similar experience happens. Depending upon the experience, it could be called, "double the pleasure, double the fun, or double the trouble."

For me the snow is a pleasant experience, it changes the nature of the household from a bee hive into a sanctuary. It gives everyone the opportunity to pause and interact with one another for an extended period of time. It makes every morsel of food special because you can only eat what you have and you definitely don't waste any food during a snow episode.

On a spiritual level I love knowing that God is able to send you back to back experiences. He does it everyday. He sends you back to back blessing, that we sometimes take for granted. He sends you back to back grace, that gives your strength for the journey. He sends you back to back forgiveness, that gives your another chance to approach the mercy seat.

I thank God for back to back episodes because he demonstrates to us over and over again that He is God!

Going Out in The Snow

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, December 9, 2013 0 comments

It snowed on Sunday while we were in worship. Our service was spirit filled but everyone was concerned about their travel home. Fortunately, our members made it home safely. They most likely watched an exciting Ravens and Vikings game. The Ravens won with a few minutes remaining on the clock.

Today I peeked out the window to see the condition of the streets. From my vantage point it looked pretty hazardous. I live on a side street. The salt truck came out, but its not plowed.

It is interesting to note, that how life is, from your vantage point it may look dreary. Cold chills in the air, ice on the streets, and snow everywhere.

But, once I went out and cleaned off the car, started my engine and ran some errands; I discovered the streets were relatively clean. The temperature was modestly nice. It was a great day when I went out in what I thought was a snowy day.

Isn't that how life is, your situation may seem dreary, but if you move from your place, you discover the peace God has in store for you just around the corner.

Christmas Caroling and a Evening of Joy

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, December 7, 2013 0 comments

Yesterday two choirs from area schools participated in an evening of Christmas caroling and songs. The Golden Voices of The Booker T. Washington Middle School for The Arts and The Furman L. Templeton Academy Choir shared in the joyous spirit of the season with beautifully arranged songs sung with the enthusiasm of our youth.

Over 250 people were in the audience, parents, caregivers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, school teachers, school administrators, and members of Union Baptist Church. The Room of Remembrance was standing room only.

How marvelous it was to spend an evening listening to our youth remind us of the reason for the season? Too often we miss opportunities for fellowship and communal sharing. There was a time when people would walk through the community singing the season's songs. Unfortunately we have lost that kind of cohesiveness, but we shouldn't lost the spirit.

I was truly blessed by the outpouring of the spirit that brought all of us together yesterday. Oh the blessed thought of youth singing songs of praise, thanksgiving and joy bringing us together every day. That's a glimpse of heaven - joy to the world and peace, goodwill towards all people - everyday!

I'm so happy to know the spirit of the living God can fall fresh on you once again.

Oh How Powerful Love Really Is!

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, December 6, 2013 0 comments

"He loved us not because we're lovable, but because He is love." C. S. Lewis

In the loneliness of our struggle, we sometimes miss understanding the love God has for each of us. The love He has really is not based upon reciprocity. What we give to Him is not a measure of what He gives to us. His love is not predicated on what we do, but on whose we are. We are God's creation and He loves what he created!

The challenge we must recognize is if His creation is not functioning as it should, God will destroy and recreate, He will also retool to make His creation better.

I live for God's retooling, but I am fearful of God's destruction. The retooling is what the Prophet speaks about when God places you on the potter's wheel to mold and shape you. The destruction we see in the story of the flood and in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God reserves for Himself both options towards His creation. Therefore, I live for His retooling.

On how powerful God's love really is when in spite of my inconsistency, He is willing to retool me into His creation.

I submit myself to the power of God's love throughout life's journey.

Oh to be able to love like that, wouldn't the world be so much better!

President Nelson Mandela

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, December 5, 2013 0 comments

During my lifetime God has gifted the world with some amazing and courageous people. Leading the list is President Mandela, he elevated world statesmanship into an art form. He demonstrated a depth of commitment very few have every reached. He served with a grace and style that was tempered with wisdom. He walked the earth like a King and loved people like God. 


I count it a joy to know my life was lived on a planet he inhibited.

The Source of Your Strength

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

"God is the one who provides our strength, not only to cope with the demands of the day, but also to rise above them. May we look to Him for the strength to soar." by Jim Gallery

Reflecting today about the source of one's strength to soar. There are moments in life when you spiritually need to spout wings and fly about the issues of the moment.

Birds appear to display this unique gift from God to avoid danger on the ground by lifting their wings and fly to a higher level, far from danger and securely positioned in the air.

How marvelous would it be to be able to flee or avoid danger by flying above it and being suspended in the air, soaring and gliding, getting a bird's eye view of your problem. From the air your perspective changes, from the air problems are reduced to specks on the ground, and from the air the space around you is cleared of all obstructions. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could spout wings and mount the wind currents of the sky and soar above the issues of the day?

I've discovered the amazing ability to imagine great things God is able to do in one's life. Divine inspiration is capable of transporting you to places far removed from a linear plane. Divine revelation is able to pierce your cloudy day and expose you to the sunshine of God's presence. Divine meditation is able to lift your mind's eye to God's timberline where your perspective rises above and your spirit soars above the pettiness of life and the triviality of this moral existence and you feel the reality of the eternal.

Beware of the tendency to be trapped into a fleshly existence, when you should be living a spiritual existence.

In John 3: 1-8 (KJV) you discover a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. In that conversation Jesus discloses that some things in life are strictly spiritual and can only be understood in a spiritual way.

Likewise, when you learn to appreciate and come to understand the source of your strength is God, you will be able to mount up on wings of eagles and soar above the mundane and experience the sublime.

Work to Do After Christmas

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, December 4, 2013 0 comments

For my meditation I reread this massage from Howard Thurman, entitled The Work of Christmas.

"When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart."

Given the conditions in our society and world today, there is much work to do after the Christmas is gone this year. Therefore, the question is what will you do not for Christmas, but after Christmas to usher into reality, The Savior Has Come!"

It appears we are fighting never ending battles against enemies who are always seeking to steal our joy, rob us of our peace, and to kill our dreams.

On this day I proclaim, "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world."

I believe in the greatest of God who is able to overcome any situation, any difficulty, any circumstance, and any problem.

Yes! Our God is a great God!

Conference Call

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, December 2, 2013 0 comments

I have an important conference call at 1:00 pm today. The other person is in Hollywood, California and we are going to discuss the promotion and viewing of the forthcoming movie,"Son of God" which will be in movies throughout the country on Feb 28, 2014.


Can you imagine a long distance call to talk about Jesus Christ?

The only thing better is the long distance call you can make directly to Jesus Christ, who is only a prayer away.

A New Sunday God Has Given to You and Me

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, December 1, 2013 0 comments

"When I live my little segment of time, I must live it in the light of the fact that all of the vast complex of which my little segment is a part, gives to my little segment its meaning. Therefore, I cannot say about my life that it is of no account, I cannot say of the time that I am living that nothing seems to be happening, because this is not one of the great and tempestuous or creative moments in human history or in the history of worlds. My time is my time, and I must live my time with as much fullness and significance as I am capable of, because my little segment of time is all the time that I have. I cannot wait to begin living meaningfully when I will have more time, because all the time that I can ever experience is the time interval of my moment, so that my minutes, my hours, my days, my months, must be full of my flavor and my meaning.

Therefore, I will bring to my day, as commonplace and insignificant as it may seem, the fullest mind, the greatest purpose, and the most significant intent of which I am capable, because my time is not merely mine, but because my time is in His hands as well."

By Howard Thurman, The Mood of Christmas, p. 37.

With this thought in mind, may you see December 1, 2013 as a new day in God, instead of just another day on the calendar. Use today in a significant way!

Another Saturday Night

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, November 30, 2013 0 comments


There was a period in my life when Saturday would signal to get ready to go out that evening looking for a party, going out with someone, or hanging with the boys. Never a thought about staying in reading my Bible, praying, studying or reflecting on the goodness of God. 

Now that's what Saturday means to me, it's a time to imagine the awesomeness of God and to feel the intimacy of His presence. There is no question in my mind that God is real. He is as scripture would say, "an ever present help in the time of trouble." The song writer says, "He walks with you and talks with you and tells you that He is your own and the joy we share as we tarry there none other will ever know!"

I have a date with my God tonight. I'm busy!

What's Leftover

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, November 29, 2013 0 comments

People who feasted on Thanksgiving now have to eat the proverbial leftovers. For some the leftovers are the best aspect of the Thanksgiving meal. For one your ceremony of eating has passed and now you can eliminate the fine china and pull out the paper plates. Instead of eating at the table you can put your plate on your lap in front of the television.


Why are leftovers so delicitable?

In a spiritual sense the leftovers are what Jesus is after. He sees what remains after all the pomp and circumstance the most useful in God's Kingdom. He sees what remains as the essential portion-the good stuff.


In Everything Give Thanks!

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, November 28, 2013 0 comments

As Thanksgiving Day November 28, 2013 looms on the horizon, I'm reading for my morning reflection, I Thessalonians 5: 16 - 18 (KJV), "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

This text is meaningful because this summer during a study tour in Rome, Italy, I walked the final trail of Paul in Rome. He was shackled, beaten, beheaded, and hung upside down because of his love for Jesus Christ, his preaching of the Gospel, and the organizing of faith communities throughout the known world. He is writing as that fate looms in the near future for him.

How powerful a thought to give thanks for everything? Particularly when one realizes that life is not a bed of roses and rain falls upon the just and the unjust. Still, Paul suggests we are to give thanks for everything. When the very context of Thanksgiving brings memories of times when the world was unblemished and the circle of love was wide and your responsibilities were few, even as the pain of lost moves through your spirit, Paul still says, give thanks for everything.

I wondered how is it possible to give thanks for everything, when everything has not been good. Then Paul spoke to me once again in Romans 8: 28. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Thanksgiving is the more meaningful now because I can give thanks in everything because all things work together for the good.Why? Because I love the Lord, Jesus Christ and the Genesis story reminds me in the creation of the world that God said everything is good.

Happy Thanksgiving! Let us rejoice in the Lord and to continue to give thanks in everything!

Pre Thanksgiving Day

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, November 27, 2013 0 comments

I'm relaxing today and had the thought this is pre Thanksgiving holiday. In anticipation of the feasting that will occur tomorrow, I'm beginning today giving thanks to God. It is divine to have a conscience reality of God and all that He does for you. I'm learning how to better express my love by engaging in greater service for Him. 


Jesus said, "If you love me feed my sheep." 


Learning Who You Are!

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, November 26, 2013 0 comments

On a recent trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, I was introduced to a service by the Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ. They have the world's finest genealogical search engine and website. It is free and open to anyone. The website is Familysearch.org. Since I have been introduced to the site I have discovered wonderful things about my ancestors. I recommend everyone to visit and to create an account to begin compiling your family history. Knowing who you are, helps you to understand whose you are.

Joshua 2: 24 (KJV) "That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever."

Salute to Veteran's

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, November 10, 2013 0 comments

We joined in celebrating the military veterans of Union Baptist Church. We began with a breakfast with The Honorable Clarence "Tiger" Davis. He used his speech as a opportunity to share a segment of the wonderful service of African American military professional in the many theaters in the world. In spite of discrimination and segregation they served with distinction gaining freedom for others they did not have for themselves.

Approximately 15% of Union Baptist Church congregation served in military service. They are active members and provide leadership within the church in many areas. Their discipline and commitment bring a high level of accomplishment to the tasks they undertake.

I preached today a sermon entitled, "A Soldier's Reward." The scripture reference was 2 Timothy 2: 1 - 10. Verse 3 reads "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. A soldier's reward is a crown of glory.

High School Football Game

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, November 9, 2013 0 comments

Today a rivalry between City and Poly will be played on the football field. The schools have played a game against each other for 125 years. it is one of the longest running rivalries among high school football teams. Its been many moons since I graduated from City. The excitement for the game has diminished. I applaud the athletes, students and alumni who continue this great tradition.  I applaud the schools for maintaining a level of academic excellence. I have long since passed the baton to the next generation - "City Forever!"


No Day Off

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, November 8, 2013 0 comments

Today I served a family whose patriarch passed away last Monday. As I preached the eulogy it was taken from Psalm 8 entitled, "A Man's Man Who was God's Man."


The essence of life is to live one that pleases God and serves humanity. 

Think about your daily actions. When it comes to service there are no days off.

Attacking Food Programs during a Recession

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, November 7, 2013 0 comments

Every religious faith tradition teaches the idea of love and to care for those who are weak.

It is heartless that our government choses to reduce the food stamp or voucher allocations of families during this recession. I spoke with families who received the shocking surprise of seeing their November allotment cut by $10 - $27. In one case the family had received $90 a month and it was reduced to $63 a month. That's almost a 30% reduction. How does the US Government expect a family to be able to adjust to such a immediate lost of support?

Within the faith community it is clearly time to address this issue head on. We need a system of cooperative food buying and distribution. We need a different model of grocery store within these communities. A non-profit and for-profit hybrid that distributes fresh fruits and vegetables for free with dry goods and can goods for sale at a marginal profit. We will need to expand our network of soup kitchens and food pantries. I'm seeing an increase in requests for support from the modest food pantry we have at Union Baptist Church. No way we will be able to respond in an holistic way without the collective energies of people of good well working together to fill this gap in service.

It is a heartless government that refuses to provide a safety net for its citizens during these times of high recession.

If you are able to feed your family during this time, consider yourself extremely blessed.

If you are on the margin and life is a struggle, seek a real relationship with a faith community not asking for a hand-out but joining in the faith with them to work through these times together. God is with you and you need to be with God.

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)



Thank You Gloria

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, November 6, 2013 0 comments

This blog is dedicated to my very special sister-in-law, Gloria. She does special things on ordinary days that remind you every day is special and unique, and every relationship is to be treasured.

She urged me to continue my gift of sharing thoughts over my blog, which are read daily by many people.

Thank you Gloria for reminding me to return to my love of sharing daily meditations.

It is interesting that life can become so hectic as you bounce from situation to situation or react to each and every vibration that disturbs life's flow, that you sometimes fail, "to smell the roses."

I've been blessed in my life as you have in yours. God is an amazing God. He truly is awesome in all He does.

I think about the many places He has permitted me to see. I think about all the wonderful people I have met and relate to. I think about all the documents, books, manuscripts, poems, and biographies I have read. Think about all the music you have heard, isn't life full of wonder?

I received from Gloria a very simple gift - socks. Oh how special they are because she thought about me.

That's the greatest gift we can give to one another - thinking affirmatively about someone.

I will wear them with pride. I will walk with a new sense of determination to be the best I can be. I will always be mindful that each of us in our own way should encourage each other by doing the simple things that really matter like saying, "I love you, you are special to me!"

Psalm 40: 3 (ESV) "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord."

The Red Line and economic inclusion

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, September 28, 2013 0 comments

The Red Line is an outstanding opportunity to move Baltimore City into the 21st century by linking its rapid transit lines with expanding economic opportunity ("Charm City Express," Sept. 16).

Growing up in West Baltimore, I remember the horror of witnessing the displacement caused by State Center, the Inner Block Parks in Harlem Park and I-70, which devastated my neighborhood. Not to mention the poorly designed public housing that transformed the very nature of the community.

Nevertheless, the Red Line offers a sense of optimism that finally the planners are involving local residents and have developed a plan that minimizes displacement and provides a major tool for improving the aesthetic look of our community. It will generate economic investment in neighborhoods that desperately need infusions of private and public funds. It will provide employment, job training, and stable incomes for community residents.

As pastor of a historic church in West Baltimore, I support the Red Line. Our history as a church has been firmly rooted in the Civil Rights Movement, and the future of our ministry lies in advocating for economic rights, livable wages, the right to organize, and the creation of ladders to the middle class.

The Red Line is the right investment at the right time to transform Baltimore City into a metropolitan area that connects to Washington, D.C., but also to other major cities on the East Coast and, through the expansion of Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, around the world.

This is not the time to be parochial in our view of a modern transit system. This is the time to see us as one Baltimore. It is the time to see our city connected with arteries leading both north and south.

The Red Line is a significant and important step towards transforming Baltimore into one of the premier cities in the country.

(Printed on Saturday, September 28,2013 in the Maryland Voices, Op Ed Section)

On The Eve of The 50th Anniversary of The March on Washington

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, August 23, 2013 0 comments

There are moments when prayer, reflection and meditation will calm ones spirit, provide focus to ones journey, and create balance in ones life. As we move to the eve of the 50th Anniversary of The March on Washington we are at such a moment. While significant gains have been made, the lingering vestiges of racial divide are still deep. The unequal distribution of wealth is wide. Access to education is still an impediment to many people. Unchecked violence is tearing at the very fabric of our society. Too many people are incarcerated for minor offenses. Too many homes suffer from the effects of broken relationships and deferred dreams. One can astutely say we have marched one step but have moonwalked and reversed the hard fought gains won.

What do we do and where do we go from here?

I believe we have to rediscover the power of prayer and the discipline of a faithful walk with God. We have to experience once again the depth of true relationships and the eternal value of love. We have to believe in the truth of open and honest communication. We have to reconnected the generations and share stories and values that have been endearing. We have to fully participate in the creation of sound public policy and electoral politics. We have to vote with the determination that there is something to vote for.

Finally we have to live so God can use us at any time and place!

Reflection from Rome - Sport and Games

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, August 17, 2013 0 comments

In Baltimore we have large capacity stadiums for baseball and football. The Orioles' stadium holds 48, 876 people. The Raven's stadium holds 71,008 people. These stadiums are the sports entertainment center of our City.

People come to the stadiums to cheer, yell, scream, voice their support for or opposition to the contestants on the field. They will wear the team colors and some will even paint themselves in the colors of their favorite team. If you are not careful, after a period of libations, people may even become hostile or angry.

Sports and Games are interwoven into the fabric of our society. People cheer for winners, root for your favorite, and boo for the losers as a source of entertainment. People will fantasize and imagine they are the sporting hero, that they catch the winning touchdown, hit the tie breaking home run, or pitch the shut out. People use sports and games as an avenue of escape and entertainment.

In a prominent section of the City of Rome stands the Colosseum. Construction for this massive structure was begun in 70 AD. This is the date of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Colosseum, designed to hold 80,000 people, was the place for sports and games. You may remember this is where the gladiatorial contests were held. The base of the amphitheater could be flooded so that mock sea battles could be enacted, there were animal hunts, and public executions, and it was used to conduct dramas based on classical mythology.

The Roman Colosseum was the place were people came to cheer, yell, scream, voice their support for or opposition to the contestants on the field. They would get into such a frenzy that they would become hostile, angry and or sad. In contests between humans, the Emperor sat in his covered booth and by either holding his thumbs up or thumbs down decided if a losing contestant lived or died. This was done to add drama and excitement to the sporting event. People desired seeing the blood and death of the loser.

All in the name of sports and games!

Reflections from Rome - Worshipping God

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, August 16, 2013 0 comments

Living in America we have to a certain extent religious freedom. None of us can really say you have experienced persecution from the government because of your beliefs or form of worship. Police and/or military are not standing around watching if you are gathering to worship and being ready to arrest you if you do.

If you lived during a period of time when the very act of gathering to worship would have been considered a crime against the state would you worship the God you served? Would you worship God if it meant your life and/or your freedom? Would you worship God if the mere mention of your fidelity to Him meant you were less incline to bow to the state?

You all know the story of Daniel and the lions den. Would you worship God if it meant being thrown to the lions? You know the story of the three Hebrew boys. Would you worship God if it meant that you would have been thrown into a fiery  furnace?

You don't have to answer. I can answer for you if church attendance during bad weather is any indication. If bad weather stops you from coming to worship, wouldn't a bad government stop you as well.

If you will not boldly come out in the snow, would you boldly defy soldiers?

In Rome we studied the history of the Catacombs. The Catacombs is an underground cemetery. We visited Saint Callixtus, a site that is 37 acres with estimated over  a half million bodies buried there. It is four stories underground.

We walked two stories down and walked through crypts were famous and not so famous Christian believers were buried.

There was a period of time when the church was persecuted and Christians were not permitted to gather for worship. The very act of worship meant you would be arrested by the Roman state or killed as a martyr. The Roman Empire permitted the Catacombs to exist with a type of respect for the dead. While the Roman Empire believed in cremation, Christians believed in the burial of the body. Nevertheless, the Roman Empire permitted the burial of Christians in Catacombs, but didn't permit public gathering for worship.

How do you thing they resolved this dilemma? Did they cease worshipping God because it was literally a crime against the state? Did they defy the Empire at the very risk of their lives? Some did and they are listed as the martyrs of their era.

While two stories below the ground, I discovered what many of the Christians of that era did as their act of worship. They built their altar and sanctuary underground in the Catacombs. They worshipped in the tombs underground.

How inspiring it was to have prayer in the very place where Early Christians worshiped God!

It was an awesome and deeply moving experience to know even in the cemetery you could worship God in beauty and in truth.

Why do you permit there to be any reason for not worshipping God for all of His marvelous works? Get out of the bed, don't relax and become lazy, and avoid the tendency for making excusing for not going to worship.

You are free to worship God. So get up and worship Him!

Reflections from Rome - The Church Marches On

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, August 15, 2013 0 comments

On my visit to St. Peter's Basilica, I stepped into a room where on the wall was a listing of deceased Popes from St. Peter to John Paul II. The attendant asked everyone to be quiet and to reflect upon the lives of the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church.

In that moment I was reminded that "The Church Marches On."

It marches on in spite of human limitations. It marches on in spite of weaknesses and frailties. It marches on in spite of the ego drives of various leaders. It marches on in spite of tension and turmoil. It marches on in spite of controversy and conflict.

The Church of the living God marches on through time because we serve a God who is above time. The Church is His and not ours.

Reflections from Rome - Archives and Artifacts

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, August 14, 2013 0 comments

"Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years." It is one of the oldest cities in the world. As a result through its development the history of Western Civilization and religious history is told. By Vatican City being a country within a country, it has retained an extensive archives and artifacts collection over these many years. I must tip my hat to the Roman Catholic Church and its founding fathers and people religious. Their belief in historical criticism made them collectors of archives and artifacts from around the world. Their position as one of the most powerful empires provided them with the resources to collect and retain these precious items. The importance of Rome at a period of time when their Popes during the Middle Ages ruled the church and the country gave them great power and influence on earth. They attracted legendary figures such as Michelangelo, Bramante, Bermini and Raphael to live and work there. The buildings reflect the work of exceptional artisans and craftsmen. The ability to acquire precious materials such as gold, marble, ivory, silver, fine woods and linens added luster to the structures. Precious jewels were collected from around the world and bought to this special place - Rome.

What I learned from this experience is the historical importance of archives and artifacts to tell a story of a culture and a people.

Viewing precious containers of pieces of the manager in Bethlehem where Jesus was born, seeing pieces of the chains that held Paul when he was held captive in Rome, walking along the stone paved paths that made you feel the unevenness and tortured pace of one having to walk with the heavy burden of knowing you are walking to your end, see the pedestal were Paul was beheaded was a graphic item of this significant event, walking through the Coliseum were major contests and torture of gladiators and Christians were held, seeing the place where the chariot races were held and being reminded of "Ben Hur," and seeing the world famous Sistine Chapel impacted me and reminded me how important it is for us to collect our archives and artifacts and to preserve our story for future generations.

I view the preservation of these items and more as one of the significant contributions of Roman culture and religious history.

The challenge is for each faith community to see itself as a part of a continuum and preserve its history and tell its story to future generations.

What a powerful testimony that would be if through the eyes of each faith community this generation and future generations could tell the story of how God has been to them.

Reflections from Rome - "The Power of Faith"

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, August 13, 2013 0 comments

Last week I visited the many historic, biblical, and cultural sites of Rome, Italy. I spent four days of intensive study of biblical scripture and visited the sites described by the text. What was clear to me was the power of faith as a universal quest of the human spirit. When viewing the remains of one of the greatest empires on earth - The Roman Empire. It was amazing to realize a band of followers of Jesus Christ and believes were an element in the downfall of this powerful secular regime. The Roman Empire was without a doubt the rulers of the world. Its military might and conquest of the world was without peer during that era. Its wealth was beyond measure with its ability to extract tax from the people, kingdoms, and governments of the world, who could overcome this power. They constructed a range of gods to provide justification for their position and power. They believed god was on their side. In fact the Pontus Maximus was their god in human form on earth. They constructed secular temples for the worship of their gods.

But something happened that demonstrated the power of faith. Love became a quality stronger than hate. Service become more important than being served. Faith proved it was more powerful than intimidation. God was more powerful than Pontus Maximus. Eternity was more lasting than momentary power and fame.

The faith of people who believed in God outlasted the Roman Empire, one of the great empires of the world.

If one had a choice between faith and fame, I suggest you choose faith in God.

Four Days of Study in Rome

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, August 8, 2013 0 comments

From Tuesday to Friday I have been a part of a Biblical Study group that has revisited scripture from the lens of Rome as an ancient city. So much of religious history involves Roman people, places and papers. The influence of Greek is prominent all over the city in the ancient writings on walls and statutes.


It's powerful to view sites that predate the birth of Christ and internalize the reality that Roman was once a great empire.

To visit The Vatican and remember the religious influence of Church Fathers, Popes, and the religious faithful is awe inspiring. Looking up at Michangelos Sistine Chapel speaks to an interpretation of the religious story through the eyes of this artistic genus is.  

The Power of Christianity

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, August 6, 2013 0 comments

Once a mighty empire, Rome was believed to be the center of the universe. It is a shadow of its former luster. Nevertheless, as a seedbed for Christianity it propelled this faith experience throughout the known world of that day into this modern day. St Peter's Square and The Vatican play important roles in church history. The Church Fathers wrestled with matters of faith and theology. Their search for God continues today. The blessing is God is available because He is looking for you right now! 

After 40 years this is what I've learned

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, August 4, 2013 0 comments

A good wife is truly a blessing. She brings so much of God's special qualities to the family relationship. Never take a good mate for granted.

Family relationships are to be treasured because they are brief. A year ago my father was here with me, a year later he is gone. Each moment we spent together and each conversation we shared is very special. Can't cry about what I don't have because I'm so thankful for what he gave.

Your children are a blessing and they grow up and mature. It's amazing how I rely on my children for their advice and perspective. They are so brilliant that I enjoy bring with they and talking to them.

God created the family unit for a special reason. It is the building block of His Kingdom.



This weekend I had the pleasure of attending my family's reunion. It was our 40th reunion and I remembered with my cousins how we organized our family over these many years.

They have become ingrained in our family as the opportunity to join with your relatives and feel the blessing of unconditional love. In our family we may joke, but we don't judge.

We believe our God is a God of second chances.  We believe that the family that " prays together stays together." Prayer, song, remembering our legacy, celebrating our children, and thanking God for our journey has been our keys to success.  

Next year we will come to Baltimore to begin our next 40 years as a family bonded together be love.


Always Play To Win

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, May 7, 2013 0 comments


Last night's game between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat should teach us all a lesson-always play to win. By all estimation Miami was the runaway favorite to sweep the series. With four time league MVP, LeBron James, and two high paid superstars and a strong supporting cast, everyone was prepared to just give them a championship ring. The Bulls with key people injured and a starting point guard under 6 ft, no one gave them a chance to compete, much less win.

Oh, did they win. Even with the odds against them, even playing on Miami's court, and even with sport's critics analyzing them; they won.

It illustrated that when you are in the game, don't just show up, don't just participate, play to win.

If the tiny acorn can become a mighty tree, if David can beat Goliath, then you have the ability to win your contest-if only you believe.

Regardless of what happens in the series, the Bulls have taught us all a major lesson-always play to win.

The Trip To Bountiful

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, April 21, 2013 0 comments

"The Trip To Bountiful, according to press notes, tells the story of 'Carrie Watts, an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her small hometown of Bountiful, Texas one last time, against the wishes of her overprotective son and domineering daughter-in-law. Her journey becomes a heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming and inspiring tale that examines the fragility of memory and celebrates the enduring power of hope and faith."

Do you have dreams of returning to the place of your youth? Are the memories of your childhood, your parents and siblings, and your friends worth revisiting? For some people those memories are as alluring as a moth is to a flame. For others those memories are as repulsive as toxic fumes. What are the ingredients that makes the different between the two experiences?

I believe it is the following:

1) A transformative spiritual encounter which couples ones understanding of God with key experiences in your childhood.

2) Loving authority figures who produced a sense of discipline and order, but also, sprinkled in love and affirmation.

3) Wholesome play activities that teamed sportsmanship, team work, and collaboration. These types of experiences are counter the " dog eat dog" and " win by any means mentality."

4) Life seemed safe and secure. These feeling embody the uterus sensation when you knew your were protected and well fed.

Give some thought to your childhood experiences and list the elements that either made them memorable or something you want to forget!

Honor Where Honor Is Due

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, April 19, 2013 0 comments

Last night I joined with 1,200 persons in paying tribute to The Honorable Chief Judge Robert M. Bell. His stellar career as a jurist in Maryland carried him to the its highest judicial office. The accolades were sincere and profound. It was fitting to give him honor for the life he's lived.

Many persons look for their day in the sum. A day when the spotlight shines on them. Too often we live selfish lives and as a result there are so few who have benefited from the life we have lived.

God challenges is to live for him so that we may live for others. Real honor is not for us, it is for Him.

For Every Mountain

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, April 18, 2013 0 comments

Listening this morning to a song sung by Kurt Carr that I posted to my Facebook page entitled, "For Every Mountain."

My thanks to the officers and members of Union Baptist Church for their gracious luncheon last Sunday. I was deeply humbled by the many expressions. I'm thankful to my extended family of The Brice's, The Wright's and The Black's who shared special moments with me. I love and respect my sister Kathy, my brother Kevin, and my nephews Kyle and Kolbe who helped me cut the cake and blow out candles. To my wife, Kathleen, my son Alvin Jr, my daughter Sheneika, and my daughter Adaria; they are the wind beneath my wings. To each of you who used Facebook as the medium to send expressions of well wishes, I thank you for your thoughtfulness.

The words of this song have special meaning,
"For waking me up this morning
That's why I praise you
For sending me on my way
That's who I praise you
Fr letting me see the sunshine
Of a brand new day
A brand new mercy
Along with each new day
That's why I praise You and for this
I give you praise"

"For every mountain You brought me over
For every trial you've seen me through
For every blessing
Hallelujah, for this I give you praise."

Thanks everyone for making my birthday a special day indeed.

Thanks be to God for the journey!

Turn Up Your Time

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, March 9, 2013 0 comments

This evening begins the ritual of Daylight Savings time. At the midnight hour you are asked to turn your clock up to 1:00 am. Proverbially you lose an hour, but gain more daylight. It's an aspect of Spring that, for me, is quite enjoyable.

God blesses us with the gift of time. You really can't manipulate it. You can't gain more of it or loss more than what has been allocated to you.

David says it well in Psalm 31:15a "My times are in thy hand:"

Whew! It Missed!

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, March 6, 2013 0 comments

My wife and I returned from Miami last night in anticipation of flights being cancelled because of the news of a snow storm that was to hit Baltimore today. Looking out my window it is clear the snow storm that was announced missed us. Whew! I'm glad! I hate shoveling snow.

If you think about it deeply. Everyone has had instances in their lives when you have been the beneficiary of a near miss. Something was intended for you, but by the grace of God it missed its mark. I won't specify but there should be a testimony in your heart that praises God for the near misses in your life.

It may not be so obvious as the encounter between Saul and David where Saul threw a spear at David and missed. (1 Samuel 19:8-10) Nevertheless, I'm certain you have had a near miss.

Thank God what was intended to destroy you, dehabilitate you, or demean you - missed!

You escaped with your life, your sanity, and your joy.

1,000th Blog

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, March 3, 2013 0 comments

My thanks to a young lady who encouraged me in 2009 to begin writing daily blogs as words of wisdom with scriptural basis. My thanks to my son who assisted me in developing my website and linking it to various accounts. My thanks to my family who have labored with me as I devoted the time to these writings. My thanks to you for feedback and encouragement over these years.

I must admit these writings have allow me to reflect upon life, the scriptures, current events and future trends. Readers throughout the United States and parts of the world are subscribers and read my postings. I pray these postings have been a blessing to you as they have been to me.

Biblically one thousand has significant meaning. There are many references in the Bible to the number one thousand.

Sarcastically, the women in the days of Saul and David taut Saul by saying, "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." They were comparing the military conquests of Saul and David in 1 Samuel 18:7.

The Psalmist made reference to the awesome wonder of being in God's presence, "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." Psalms 84:10

Isaiah describes the power of God to increase one's power by saying, "A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I The Lord will hasten it in his time." Isaiah 60:22

To prevent one from becoming too over confident because one has great possessions, Micah challenges faithless giving by asking the question and making a thoughtful suggestion. "Will The Lord be pleased with thousand of rams, or with ten thousand of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth The Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:7,8

May these words written on a tablet prove meaningful to the readers and challenge your spirits to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.




The Benefits of Good Instruction

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, March 2, 2013 0 comments

Have ever received advice and failed to heed the suggestion? Only later to discover how much you missed by not following the instructions you where given. Sometimes the door of opportunity only opens once. It is then you discover the benefits of good instruction.

I know a young couple who has prospered in their careers and in life because they seeks and heed the wisdom gleaned from their elders. I met a group of individuals in a church this week, who are trying to get their lives back together and are discovering how difficult it is to retrace steps in time. Time is a terrible judge when you attempt to do things out of order.

I heard a marginally employable man say at a rally if his employer doesn't give him a raise he would quit his job. I wanted to tell him that in life you earn your raises by hard work. No one wants to lose a good and productive employee. Work hard and you will get paid.

Another individual informed me they couldn't get their relationship right with their mate. I suggested that you be sensitive to their needs, concerned about their welfare, and complementary of their actions, and you will discover they will reciprocate in every way.

The best instruction which is a good instruction my father gave to me when he said, "Keep God first in your life." Thanks Dad you have never steered my wrong.

Proverbs 16:20 (KJV), "Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in The Lord."

unionbaptistchurch.co

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, February 28, 2013 0 comments

I'm beta testing our redesigned church's website. It's a work in progress, but it's about 60% completed. I'm looking for useful critique and helpful suggestions.

It is good to periodically allow yourself and your efforts to be critiqued. One improves by hearing suggestions that will lead to either improvements or discontinuing negative behaviors.

God is one of the best critics you can have in your life. He is always asking that you measure yourself by His standards and not your own.

Isaiah 43:19 reminds us of God's desire for us and why he critiques us. "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."

You Have Special DNA

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, February 26, 2013 0 comments

Wikipedia has this definition for DNA-"Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule encoding the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms..."

Every living creature has their own distinctive DNA pattern. It is believed that no two persons DNA patterns are alike. Though all of this scientific research, man has validated what the Psalmist knew long ago; that God has made us differently and uniquely.

Psalms 139:13-15 (NIV) "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth."

Unless you have committed some transgression, you should be happy to known God has placed a special and unique mark on you and in you. It's your DNA.

Returning Home

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, February 25, 2013 0 comments

There is something mystical and spiritual about returning home. The draw of the familiar, coupled with the sense of security and affirmation of family makes returning home a joy.

When you return home you rediscover love, you reestablish purpose, and resume your activities with a vigorous resolve to get things done.

While traveling to far away locations, seeing new sights, enjoying wholesome experiences, and staying in exotic places is fun; coming home is better.

I'm flying from Texas to Baltimore on my return trip home.

I don't have the prodigal son feeling, I have the feeling of a King returning to his castle.

Open the gates, sound the trumpets, and prepare the banquet table, I'm returning home.

Riding The Highway

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, February 21, 2013 0 comments

Persons familiar with the Dallas Fort Worth area will readily admit that Texas has an amazing highway system. As you travel over the system, you are riding literally above the ground and in the air. Everywhere you go you see massive construction adding additional stretches of above ground roads and bridges for future portions of the highway system.

High cranes are all over the place. Workers are everywhere. A construction and building boom is going on.

It reminded me of a song we use to sing, "It's a highway to heaven."

Yes to travel the King's highway, you have to ride above the ground, avoiding the pitfalls along the way.

God has designed a highway system that will elevate you above the ground and transport you to your destination with ease.

"It's a highway to heaven. None can walk up there, but the pure in heart. It's a highway to heaven. I am walking up the King's highway. My way gets brighter, my load gets lighter, walking up the King's highway. There's joy in knowing with him I'm going, walking up the King's highway. If not walking, start while I'm talking, walking up the King's highway. There'll be a blessing, you'll be possessing, walking up the King's highway."

Today is A Cloudy Day

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, February 20, 2013 0 comments

Looking out my hotel window over the City of Dallas, there are grey clouds in the sky. It's a cloudy day.

From time to time you have cloudy days in life. Those are the days when the skies are darkened, those moments when things seem gloomy, and those instances when you wish for a more sunny day. Cloudy days are a fact of life and they serve a two fold purpose.

1) They teach you to appreciate the sunny days God brings your way. 2) They instruct you that God is still able in the midst of your gloom.

When cloudy days come my way, "I look to the hills from whence cometh my strength. My strength cometh from The Lord."

I thank God for the sunny days and the cloudy days because in those moments I am reminded that God is still God all by Himself.

As I look out of my window again, I see the sunlight breaking through the clouds.

Change You to Change The World

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, February 19, 2013 0 comments

If you desire for change in your environment, you first have to change you. Too often people who want change blame others when their actions, attitudes and attribute remain static. They have not changed.

Change begins with your spiritual perspective. It then recognizes how best to act to transform the situation. How you think and feel has a tremendous impact on what you do. I once worked for a housing organization and was doing an interview with a news reporter. The reporter asked me what the problem was I said the vacant eyesores. After the interview the camera man pulled me to the side and said I should not think of the vacant houses as eyesores, but rather as housing opportunities.

This change in my perspective transformed how I looked at my environment and propelled me into a career as a community economic developer. For me when I look at a half glass of water, it is not half empty, but is half full. I see positives while others may see negatives. By changing me, my perspective of the environment has changed. Consequently I believe my impact has been greater.

So many people adopt negative lifestyles, negative habits, and negative opinions; largely because of their negative spirits. Change you and you can change the world you live in.

Three biblical persons come to mind who first had to change themselves and from that point began to change the world. Moses in Exodus 3, Isaiah in Isaiah 6, and Paul in Acts 9; all underwent a spiritual change and from that point began to change the world.

Think about all the good that would occur in life if you made the commitment to change you today.

The Wrong GPS

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, February 18, 2013 0 comments

I had an amazing experience yesterday. I was driving from the Dallas Fort Worth Airport to my hotel in Dallas. Driving a rental car I didn't pay the extra cost to rent a GPS, I would use the one on my cell phone. To my dismay I discovered that what I thought was a GPS app, was just a map app. That was no good because I was unfamiliar with where I was, so it didn't help me to look at a map. I needed someone or something to guide me. I downloaded a GPS app and that one didn't talk and looking at it was confusing.

In life when you are lost you need someone to literally take your hand and guide you to where you want to go. It's uncomfortable being lost. It's dangerous driving and being lost. I had a dilemma. What do you do when you are lost and you don't have anything or anyone to guide you?

I went back to the ITune's store and downloaded a better app. This one talked to me and gave me step by step directions.

Don't go through life with the wrong app. Go to God and he will lead you and talk you through your situation until you find the right direction and get to the place He has destined for you.

The Palmist reminds us in Psalms 139: 7-10(KJV), "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."

Always have the right GPS to guide you through the highways and byways of life.

A Sense of Belonging

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, February 17, 2013 0 comments

There is a deep abiding feeling everyone has which yearns to belong: to belong to a social group, to belong to a religious group, to belong to a business group, and/or to belong to a family group.

This feeling creates a sense of well being, security, status, and affirmation. The human being was not made to be alone. They were made to belong.

Unfortunately there are some relationships to which you belong that instead of boasting your ego, they damage your ego. A destructive belong can be mentally and spiritually brutal.

God designed us in a way for everyone to have the ultimate sense of belonging. God permits us to belong to him in an intimate relationship.

1John 3:1 (NIV) reads "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

How rewarding it is to know that you and I belong to God who calls us His child.

When You Need Wise Counsel

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, February 16, 2013 0 comments

Everyone faces situations were you can benefit from wise counsel. For some they are able to get advice from a mother or father. In special circumstances, some people can get advice from a grandfather or grandmother or a special aunt or uncle. Still others have the benefit of a mentor who provides sage advice when needed. Whomever you may seek wise counsel from, you will face those moments in your life when you will need a different perspective from someone who is wiser, more experienced, and older than you.

Jesus reminds us of the power of The Holy Spirit as a wise counselor. He says in John 14:16,17(KJV), "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

He reminds us that we can access our counselor through prayer. He directs us to the fact that the counselor dwells within you because it's The Holy Spirit. And, He reminds us it's the Spirit of truth.

When you need wise counsel go the The Holy Spirit that is within and available to you whenever you seek to hear the truth about yourself, someone else, or your situation.

The Power of Love

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, February 14, 2013 0 comments

Today I shared testimony in support of a repeal to the death penalty in the State of Maryland. Governor O'Malley presented convincing arguments for its repeal. Lt Gov Brown and NAACP President Ben Jealous joined the chorus. I added my voice.

One of the most compelling arguments was presented by Rev Megan Foley, whose father was killed and his killers were caught, tried, and executed. She indicated that the healing and closure promised as a result of her father's killers being put to death, did not happen.

Only when she discovered the power of love was she able to heal and move on with her life. It was not love for what her killers had done to her father. It was to refuse to allow hate, revenge, and remorse consume her life and stunt her ability to love. She achieved the healing and wholeness that only comes from God.

Matthew 5:43-45(KJV) "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say into you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite fully use you, and persecute you; that Ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

If we could ever learn the power of love, what a world this would be.

Happy Valentine's Day

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, February 13, 2013 0 comments

Very soon the special day will come when flowers, candy, diamonds, and gifts are given as an expression of love for another person. It will be Valentine's Day. A day when you publicly express your love.

The commercialization of the day has somewhat distorted its meaning. Expressions of love have been reduced to the value of the gift you give. How tragic that one's love is to be noted in a monetary way?

As you approach this special day, take time to express in a sincere way your love for those who give meaning to your life by the affirmation they provide to you. It's a blessing to be loved and a greater blessing to love someone else.

Jesus was clear in his expression of love for someone because he wants us to strive for the greater love.

John 15:12,13 (KJV) "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Happy Valentine's Day My Love!

Return To God

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, February 12, 2013 0 comments

If for some reason your relationship with God is not what it once was or what it should be, you can reunite in  a real relationship with Him. The sins you commit have a way of creating clouds in our lives that shield you from the sunshine of a loving God. Your eyes can adjust to the darkness, your minds will become accustomed to the shadows, and you will accept sin as the norm. You must learn to reject sin and refuse to tolerate its devastrating effects.

For those who want to return to God, read this verse in The Book of Isaiah. "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you." Isaiah 44:22(NIV).

The songwriter says, "I've been redeemed brought with a price."

This is the day to return to God. His love will engulf you and bring bright light to your dark existence.

Life Has Seasons

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, February 11, 2013 0 comments

The famous words of The Book of Ecclesiastes rings true, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1(KJV).

Today's breaking news indicates that Pope Benedict,85, will resign. The reports cite his waning strength and advanced age. Wisely his stepping down permits an orderly transition to a new Pope. He knew when his season had ended and is preparing himself for his next season.

All life has seasons. How tragic it is for a person to be unaware that their season has come and gone, only to discover they are attempting to do something they once did, but are unable to do anymore.

Remember Michael Jordan with the Washington Wizards, he was but an old shell of himself in his Chicago heydays.

Live the seasons of your life appropriately.
Do things in there proper order. And know when it is time to move on!

Planning For Success

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

I encountered a person who informed me they were a financial planner. He described how through his services I could be on easy street within a number of years. He talked about accumulating wealth and the benefits of investing. I listened for a moment and said "No Thanks." Then I met a person who told me they were a life coach who through their consultation I would be able to develop clear goals and establish a life plan. Again I said, "No Thanks."

If they would have asked me, I would have directed them to read, Proverbs 16:1-9 (NIV)

"To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from The Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person's ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by The Lord. Commit to The Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end-even the wicked for a day of disaster. The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of The Lord evil is avoided. When The Lord takes pleasure in anyone's way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Better a little righteousness than much gain with injustice. In their hearts humans plan their course, but The Lord establishes their steps."

The best finiacial plan for me is to give my tithes and offerings to God. The best life coach in this world is the wisdom tips and commands uncovered in God's word.

If you want to plan for success, keep God first in your life.

Can You Handle Plenty?

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, February 9, 2013 0 comments

There was an old song that said, "I've got plenty of nothing and nothing has plenty of me."

So many people have become so used to not enough, that they are not able to handle just enough. In their spirit they can't imagine more than enough. I'm not talking about a prosperity gospel were you name it and claim it. I'm talking about a God who has provided you with plenty.

Can you handle plenty? Plenty is when you have more than you need. Think about it? You have more that one pair of shoes, more than one dress, some have more than one car, and others have more than one house. You have more than one dollar.  If God has allowed you to have more than one, you have plenty.

Read Phillipians 4:12,13 (NIV) "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

Do you know what it is to have plenty? So many people dwell on the negative. They forget how to praise God for the many positive aspects of life. If you ever learned the divine lesson of being full, you will discover God will provide you with plenty.

We have to develop the spiritual grace of gratitude. Learning how to be grateful for all God has given to you; instead of dwelling on the things you think you don't have. "Rest assured it is harder to know how to have plenty than it is to know how to be in need- so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God."

Remember to pray for God to teach you how to know what plenty is!

Always Keep Praying

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, February 8, 2013 0 comments

Ephesians 6:18-19 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,"

It is so easy to forget that your life is a living testament to the God you love. Every word you say reflects His presence in your life. Every action you take speaks to His motivating force in your life. Think about all the things you've said and may say that you wouldn't say if you knew you were standing in the presence of God. Think about the actions you have taken and may take that you would not take if you were aware God was staring in your direction. We say and do things as if God is unaware. God sees everything because He is everywhere.

That's why prayer is important. It keeps your mind in perfect peace because your mind is stayed on Jesus. Learn to pray always. Even on the midst of conflict and confusion, even in the midst of trouble and tension, and even in the midst of joy snd jubilation. Pray never creasing for a closer walk with God.

"Praise The Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."

It's Party Time

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, February 5, 2013 0 comments

Today is Tuesday, February 5, 2013, as the world knows, The Baltimore Ravens are the Superbowl Champions. They won the Lombardi Trophy as the best NFL football team in 2012. The Mayor of Baltimore has called for a parade from City Hall to the Inner Harbor. People are expected from wide and near to join in the festivities. It's party time!

There should be moments in your life when you pause, dance, and party.

In 2 Samuel 6:12-15, (NIV), you find David in such a moment.

"Now King David was told, 'The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.' So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of The Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before The Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of The Lord with shouts and the sounds of trumpets."

David took his public moment of partying to dance for The Lord. Imagine the City we would be if we mustered the willingness and organized the people to dance, parade, and march for God, as well.

It's time to celebrate all that God has done for you and for me.

Party over here, party over there!

Fulfill Your Obligations

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, February 2, 2013 0 comments

Think about the many obligations you have in life. You have bills to pay for goods or services received. You have obligations to your loved ones, that special someone, to your family and friends. You have an obligation to pay back to your school from which you received your education. Recently Mayor Bloomberg of New York gave $350 Million to Johns Hopkins University. That increased his contribution to over $1.1Billion dollars, he said he felt an obligation for the quality education he received.

You may feel an obligation to your community. A community that natured, developed, supported, and prepared you to face the world without fear. One may feel an obligation to their faith community and religious organization because there you were affirmed and learned moral principals that have served you well in life.

When you read Romans 8:12-17(NIV) you discover you have your ultimate obligation to God.
"Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation-but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry,' Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

Yes as children of God your ultimate obligation is to him. Do that and everything else will fall in place.

The Power Of Love

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, February 1, 2013 0 comments

Meditating this moment from the words found in Romans 12:9-21(KJV).

"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving The Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. be of the same mind one toward another.  Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith The Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

Paul wrote these words for you and for me when you have to go through difficult situations with love in your heart.

"Who Do You Belong To?"

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

In life there is no neutrality, there is no sitting on the fence, and there is no walking the middle of the road. In life you may be free to choose, but choose you must, "to whom do you belong?" Are you a child of God or one of Satan's imps? It may seem harsh, but you will either be on God's side or Satan's side. You will either work for good or for evil. It will be either black or white, right or wrong, or left or right. There is no in between.

Today's scripture found in 1Samuel 30:1-20 (NIV) is an interesting story. David has suffered a terrible lost. His family and goods have been taken. His army is so disgusted with him, they are contemplating stoning him. Depression is about to set in, but David, "encouraged himself in The Lord." He finds an Egyptian and asks a probing question, "Who do you belong to?" By his actions the Egyptian demonstrates he is on the Lord's side.

That's how you determine which side you are on is by your actions. Are you loving or hateful? Are you forgiving or vengeful? Are you patient or quick to anger? Are you helpful or hurtful? The side that you are on is determined by your actions. "Who do you belong to?"

You Will Be Called, "Sought After"

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, January 31, 2013 1 comments

Isaiah 62:11-12 (NIV) reads, "The Lord has proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to Daughter Zion, See your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him". They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of The Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted."

So many verses within the scripture should give you encouragement as you journey along the way. Meditate on this passage that proclaims, "You will be called Sought After."

What a marvelous joy to know that in a world of disappointments and rejection, God already has a name for you, "Sought After." That name places you in a special relationship with Him, it's your reward for being faithful. It describes the extent of His love for you. He allows no barrier to stand in the way of His desire to be with you. He seeks after you because you are, "Sought After."

Therefore, you don't have to worry about a broken relationship, a lost job opportunity, or a cut in your pay. God is after you. He is seeking you. He will reward you because your name is, "Sought After."


"I Will Never Be Shaken"

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, January 30, 2013 0 comments

My reading this morning is Psalm 30. It contains one of the most encouraging verses in scripture, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."(KJV)

By reading the entire Psalm, I gained a new appreciate for mountaintop experiences. We learn life lessons during our valley experiences. We learn how to wait on The Lord and to endure. But what about your mountaintop experiences? When you achieve some measure of success or enjoy some moments of prosperity, does your faith turn from the heights of heaven and focus upon your accomplishments.

It is when you find yourself standing at the pinnacles of life that your praise should be pronounced and your exhortations should be proclaimed. In your success, don't allow your faith in God to be shaken.

In your fortune and fame, retain the resoluteness of faith that it is not moved.

If God can trust you with success in this world, He will shower upon you even more, so you can be a blessing to others.

"Perfect in Christ"

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, January 28, 2013 0 comments

"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ." Colossians 1:28 (NIV)

In life you will receive criticisms and accolades. You will receive tribute, as well as dispute. In this life, no one is perfect, no one is without blemish. One's short fallings should not deter you from pursuing your calling. God has begun a great work in you and He will fulfill the call upon your life.

Therefore, take your faults, fears, and frailties to The Lord. Leave them at the altar and pick up the Cross of your convictions and walk in the path God has laid out for you.

You will discover through Christ you will be made perfect. Through Him, He will transform your earthly house into a marvelous mansion. He will take the broken pieces of your life and create a beautiful mosaic knitted together by His grace and mercy.

In due time God will make you perfect just like He said He would.

Pressing On Through Your Storm

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, January 27, 2013 0 comments

Into every life a storm will come, the question is, "how do you press on through your storm?"

 The secret is to understand the blowing of the wind. Storms produce one of three distinct winds: headwinds, crosswinds, or tailwinds.

 Headwinds are those turbulence that meet you face to face. They confront you directly. You see them coming. You can either hunker down or rise above headwinds.

Crosswinds come unexpectedly from a direction unseen. They can knock you off your feet and severely alter your path. After there blast you must find your way back to your equilibrium. This may take time and the going may be rough, but maintain your focus to return to your positive direction.

Tailwinds are those forces of wind that propel you quickly to your goals. They push you, motivate you, stimulate you, and propel you to do something miraculous.

Understand the winds within your storm and you will find strength for your journey.

"Keep me from turning back
My hand is on the plough, my faltering hand:
But all in front of me is untilled land,
The wilderness and solitary place,
The loving desert with its interspace.
What harvest have I but this paltry grain,
These dwindling husks, a handful of dry corn,
These poor lean stalks? My courage is outworn.
Keep me from turning back.
The handles of my plough with tears are wet,
The shares with rust are spoiled, and yet, and yet,
My God! My God! Keep me from turning back."

Have You Found A True Friend?

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, January 26, 2013 0 comments

A friend of mine once said, "We met on this day a year ago. It's our anniversary!" I remember significant days within my family. I remember birthdays, anniversaries, wedding days, graduation years, and days when a love one has passed. But, do you remember the day when you met a dear friend?

Life is so short and friends are so few, we should never take those relationships for granted. It is rare for childhood friends to remain friends as adults. If you retain those childhood friends can your relationship mature and deepen as the years go marching by?

Treasure those moments one spends with a friend. Establish an anniversary day and communicate with them the importance and significance they mean to your life. We are affirmed in relationships. We find love in relationships. We learn confidentiality in relationships. We have companionship in relationships. Ultimately we discover God in relationship.

The wisdom literature of Proverbs emphasizes the importance of intimate friendships. Verse 17:17 says, "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Verse 18:24 reminds us, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

Have you found a true friend? Try Jesus! The songwriter says, "There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus. No not one! No not one!"

Three Nots

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, January 23, 2013 0 comments

In life there are something's you shouldn't do. I call these things, "nots." Your "nots" may not be my "nots." I submit everybody has some "nots."

In Colossians 2:21 (KJV) you find these cautions, "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"

How profound are these words? What is it that you should not handle? What is it that you should not taste? What is it that you should not touch?

I can't answer these questions for you. All I can do is suggest to you that everybody has some "nots."

Those things that are your Achilles heel. Those things that are your weakness. Those things that will make you sick or sin.

Winning Against The Odds

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

Last night 19 year old American tennis player, Sloane Stephens, faced 31 year old 15th Grand Slam title holder and 5 time Australian Open winner, Serena Williams. For the past 14 years, Serena Williams has been a champion and an ironic image in the world of sports. Her powerful serve and quick reactions put fear in her opponents. Her muscular physique and discipline training habits was the awe of the female tennis circuit. For a very long time she has been the giant of women's tennis.

Her  opponent in the quarter finals of the Australian Open was 5'7" Sloane Stephens. She was ranked 29th in the world. She has never won a Grand Slam title and being in the quarter finals was the deepest she had ever  been in a final's tournament. She was young and inexperienced at playing at this level and against an opponent of Serena's caliber. But she was determined, her training and hours of practiced paid off, she beat Serena to advance to the semi-finals.

Everyone faces large, looming situations were the odds are stacked against you. Everyone figuratively has to face a Goliath in their life. Your battle may not be witnessed on the world stage. Your battle may be in the secret space of your mind and spirit. Will you go down in defeat to your Goliath? Or, will you fight your opponent with a determination that this time you will win?

That's the attitude one must have when you face your opposing force that is seeking to deny you, to deter you, to destroy you, and/or to defeat you. This time fight the good fight with the confidence that God will be with you.

In 1Samuel 17:37, before David went out to fight Golaith, he said, "The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and The Lord be with you."

You can win your battle against the odds, if you live in such a way that God will be with you.

Heard Some Amazing Things

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, January 22, 2013 0 comments

Yesterday many of us listened to the Inagural Address of President Barack H Obama. It was an powerful speech that contained some amazing things. He reminded us that " we must do things together, as one nation and one people." He challenged us, "That is our generation's task-to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American."

Every now and then you hear some amazing words that lift your heart from dispair, that buoy your hopes over the waves of indecision, that transcends your desolate moment and transports you to an oasis in space. Words have power when they have transcendent meaning.

Luke 2:17,18 (KJV) records these words when Mary and Joseph, "Heard Some Amazing Things:" "And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds."

The shepards carry the news of the amazing things the angels had told them about the coming of the a messiah.

I've come to realize in life's journey Angels can speak to you. Through the transformative power of God's word they are able to turn your situation around, liberate you from some bondage, and create enduring relationships that become loving. Angels can speak to you in such a profound way your soul feels salvation and your spirit can acknowledge peace.

Take the time to listen to the Angels tell you the amazing things God has in store for you.

We Can Win

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, January 21, 2013 0 comments

I joined the millions of viewers who watched the NFC and AFC Championship Football games yesterday. Eventual winners were two teams coached by brothers: The Baltimore Ravens and The San Francisco 49ers. I am partial to The Ravens and believe they will win The Superbowl in two weeks. There will be a lot of media build up to this contest. How do the parents feel? Who will they root for? This is Ray Lewis' last game, what does that mean? So many questions will be asked only to be answered by the sounding of the final whistle and the awarding of The Lombardi Trophy to the winner. The winners will get fortune, fame, endorsements, bonuses, massive rings, and a parade in their hometown. The millions of viewers and fans will get memories and bragging rights that will go to the winning team's hometown.

After all the hype, what does it really mean?

Philippians 3:8 (KJV) provides some Biblically insight, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.

After all the fanfare and hoopla of life, only what you do for Christ will last. Paul says everything else is but dung.

Live life and play to win Jesus Christ in your life. Then you will celebrate for eternity.

An Important Oath

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, January 20, 2013 0 comments

On January 20,2013 at 12:00 noon, President Barack  H. Obama will be sworn in as The President of The United States in a private ceremony. The public reenactment will be held tomorrow on the steps of the Capital at 12:00 noon. It is my prayer I will be able to witness him taking the oath of office as I did on January 20,2009.

Oaths are significant in that its the symbolic binding of persons to an agreement. The implication is that your words will commit your character to execute the terms agreed upon.

You will find no greater oath in scripture than the one God makes to humankind. While God keeps his promise humankind continually breaks their part of the bargain.

Read Jeremiah 11 and you will discover the effects of breaking an oath with God. The oath God offers seems to be one any would desire, "Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your Hod: that I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O Lord." Jeremiah 11:4,5 (KJV).

Affirm the oath God has made with you be obeying His word and following His will for your life.

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