Peace of Mind

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, September 25, 2015 0 comments

"I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart."     John 14:27 NLT

At the end of a hectic week, I needed to read a thoughtful meditation. I'm reading Friday's devotional entitled, "Peace of Mind."

I've learned that you cannot control what flies over your head, but you can control what flies into your head.

I'm focusing my attention upon the things of God. When that happens the worries of the world seem so small. Within the short span of one week I will preach eulogies for three people. Life is far too short to live it in a state of unease. Life is too short to continue to allow bruise feelings to exists particularly with the ones you love.

An honest prayer towards the end of any week is to ask God for the gift of peace of mind and heart!

Get Into Place

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, September 18, 2015 0 comments

"There was not a man to till the ground." Genesis 2:5

Today Pastor Reid and I responded to the call of the Principal and staff of Renaissance Academy to speak to their students prior to their being dismissed because a week ago there was a fight between students on their way to the subway stop at State Center. We were joined by Communities United, Safe Streets, and the Mayor's representative. Men came to support the students and staff and to let them know the expectations we have for each of them. The Pastors of Bethel A.M.E. and Union Baptist Church were united in the safety, security and success of each of the students who attends the school.

Initially the call was for 100 men to join in the effort. While we were far short of the goal, we were not deterred by the shortage. While the Bible verse proclaims there were not enough men. A few good men with God is more than enough to fight the enemies of our student's future.

You'll Ask God To Bless Them

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, September 17, 2015 0 comments

"Walk in love, as God also has loved us." Ephesians 5:2 NKJV

Yesterday the Police Sargent of Central District called to ask if Union Baptist Church would host a meeting with him and community leaders to discuss the rising incidents of violence within the community. Of course I agreed, but I quickly realized what could possibily be done to change the hearts and minds of people who see the use of violence as a viable option to address their issues with someone else.

I thought about this deeply and realized we are in a culture where verbal, mental and physical violence is too acceptable as the order of the day. I'm particulary concerned how easy believers are so willing to resort to mental and verbal violence to address their concerns.

I thought the essence of the faith experience hung on forgiveness and love.

I may be naive or alturistic, but my contribution in the upcoming meeting is we need more demonstrations within our homes, community and churches of the power of love to overcome life's tensions.

You'll Preserve Their Dignity and Self-Worth

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, September 14, 2015 0 comments

"Be full of love for others."  Ephesians 5:2 TLB

I had pancakes this morning and the choice was presented to me to have them with or without syrup. I thought about it for a moment. Pancakes are pancakes, why pour syrup over them?

As I pondered the decision, I thought about the meditation for this morning. What if instead of pancakes, it was people? What if syrup represented love? Would you want people without love?

I quickly poured a lot of syrup over my pancakes and they tasted mighty good.

Pour love over the people in your life and you will discover they are very good too!

You Won't Try to Intimidate Them

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, September 12, 2015 0 comments

"You did not receive a spirit...to fear, but...of sonship." Romans 8:15 NIV

The essence of life is relationship. The quality of one's life is defined by the quality of one's relationships. The ultimate relationship in life is your relationship with God. If you are secure in your relationship with your significant other, your family, your friends, and God, then nothing can intimidate you or cause you to fear. You have the ultimate assurance of security from the ones you love and the ones who loves you.

You Won't Talk About It

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, September 11, 2015 0 comments

"You meant evil...but God meant it for good." Genesis 50: 20 NKJV

9/11/01 is a day woven into the memory of the Citizens of America and around the world. It is a day forever etched into the fabric of our society. We, in the USA, have lived under the assumption that no one would attack us on our homeland. After facing up to the reality we are not safe anymore, the Department of Homeland Security was created. From that moment on our lives have been changed by the actions of a band of people far away who used airplanes as weapons and by goverments bent on keeping its citizens safe. If you have traveled overseas, we recognize there are security measures in effect all over the world, particularly in air travel.

Evil has a way of arriving at your doorstep. It may not be the attack of a terrorists, but it very well might be the attack of the evil one or his imps. No one is immune from evil. No one is exempted from its effects. But I'm so glad we have our own Homeland Security that is directed by GOD.

Your Quiet Time With God - Part 4

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, September 9, 2015 0 comments

"I have...treasured his words more than daily food." Job 23:12 NLT

Like food is to the body, God's word is to the soul. There is a saying, "You are what you eat." What you ingest you become. Maybe its time to change your diet: curtail watching television, slow down on your use of social media, listen less to you iPod; and take in more of God's word. You take it in by reading your Bible. You take it in by reading devotionals. You take it in by reflecting, meditating and living God's word. If your desire is to become "a solider of the cross and a follower of the lamb," then you will have to eat God's word daily to avoid the hunger pains of spiritual lack. "Taste and see that the Lord is good!"

Your Quiet Time With God - Part 3

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, September 8, 2015 0 comments

"He went out into the mountains to pray, and prayed all night." Luke 6: 12 TLB

An honset assessment of one's life reveals very few moments when you spend quality and quanity time with God. Our time of reflection is small. Our time for meditation is limited. What demands so much of your time, that you cannot spent quality and quanity time with God? If a believer understands they will spend eternity with God, then shouldn't you invest more time on earth to commune with Him? In life the time you spend with your maker is time well spent.

Your Quiet Time With God - Part 2

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, September 6, 2015 0 comments

"And for thy pleasure they...were created."   Revelation 4: 11

I often wonder how a person is able to skip over the fact they are created. No one has made themselves. Everyone has gone through a birthing, inculbating and development process. I believe the life spark can only be given by God. If you are created, the question then becomes, what were you created for? You would created to praise God and to live according to His plan for your life.

Your Quiet Time With God

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, September 4, 2015 0 comments

"Seek first the kingdom of God." Matthew 6: 33 NKJV

Too often we focus upon the process and not the priority. We expect so much of God without understanding God has a basic expectation of us. Am I in first place in your life?

For God to be in the first position, it means you must not just place Him first, you must seek Him first. Seeking implies an action that put the onus on you to search diligently for God. Think about all the things, people or places you pursue. I suspect they are many. Why not take your precious time to seek God? I've learned that if you seek Him, you will find Him. He is available and waiting for you.

It's early in the morning, your home is quiet. Take this opportunity before the hectic place of this weekend dominates your time, seek God in the quiet moments and meditation in His presence.


Don't Be Cynical

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

"If you love someone you will...always believe in him." 1Corinthians 13:7 TLB

Today's meditation deals with the idea of cynicism. According to my electronic Meriam-Webster Dictionary, it means, "beliefs that people are generally selfish and dishonest." To start from that position reflects more on one's opinion of oneself versus the reality of others. In essence if you believe people are basically dishonest then you must believe when put to the test you are selfish and dishonest. This represents one of the distinctions between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. These distinguish psycho-analysists were basically on opposite ends of the poles in describing the core of human personality. In effect and I am oversimplifying their positions, Freud had a cyncial view of the human condition, while Jung believed in an idealistic view of the human condition.

For example, in my business dealings, I am idealistic and believe people are basically honest. I have a CFO who is the opposite, he believes people are dishonest. To reconcile his position and mine I adopt the attitude of skeptism. Skeptism sugguest that you test people in business dealings to determine if they are honest or dishonest. I had a vendor submit an invoice to me. The cynic says the invoice is overpriced. The idealist says it is priced right. The skeptic says provide me with the verification that supports the invoice you have given me. Which position is better only you can decide what works for you.

I take the position of an idealist, with the option to be skeptical every now and then.


Hope after Freddie Gray

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, September 3, 2015 0 comments

This week has provided me with a sense of hope after the distrubances related to the death of Freddie Gray. I attended classes organized by two of our major universities: University of Baltimore and University of Maryland Law School. It was hopeful to witness a collective total of over 200 persons very interested in making a difference in policies, programs and practices to improve the quality of life for residents of our City. The language was brutely frank but also very optimistic. The challenges while dauting seen manageable with the collective will and brain power demonstrated in the classes I participated in.

I remarked that after the 1968 riots in Baltimore, it appeared to me that segements of our society retreated from engagement. Now after the April events, it appears many people from different sectors are looking honestly for answers and seeking how to make real change to improve our City.

We can have hope after Freddie Gray if we become a community willing to trust the innate goodness within each of us. We can have hope after Freddie Gray if we are willing to have honest conversation about our hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations. We can have hope after Freddie Gray if windows of opportunity are opened and barriers to achievement are eliminated. We can have hope after Freddie Gray if persons from the generation of today, 20 - 40 year olds, not lose hope in the goodness of humankind to become better.

I will continue my studies with optimism and a fervent prayer that I will witness positive change in our community within my time and space.

"I will...remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8: 12 NIV

This mornings blog and meditation deals with carrying the baggage of the past into your present and your future. Far too often we miss the true meaning of repentance. It is not only to ask for forgiveness. It also means to turn around and go into another direction. When God has forgiven you for a past indiscretion, He wants you to turn yourself around and walk in the opposite direction from your sin. Too often we ask for forgiveness but we fail to turn from the wickedness of our ways. As a result the baggage of the past is carried into the present and future because we really have not let some habit, practice, or situation go. If you want your sins to be thrown into the "sea of forgetfulness,' then you must thrown the habit, practice or situation into the sea as well. Jesus, after he has forgiven someone, then says, "go and sin no more."

Strengthen Your Marriage

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, September 2, 2015 0 comments

"Husbands ... be considerate." I Peter 3: 7 NIV
"Wives ...be...worthy of respect." I Timonty 3: 11 NIV

Excuse my lateness in writing this blog, please don't misinterpret my lateness as avoiding the subject. After 33 years of marriage, I understand five fundamental things one must do to strengthen their relationship, marriage.

1) Have a compatible faith perspective. Believe in God who is the essence of love, forgiveness, peace, provision, protection, grace and mercy. A compatible faith permits you to have an anchor and a mediator as you journey in life together.

2) Believe in fidelity. Fidelity is the trust one has in each other that their relationship is based upon honesty and truth.

3) Have a joint management plan for your finances. Two incomes are better than one. Two mispent incomes is no good to none. (excuse the language, I wanted to rhyme to make a point). In your planning make certain you tithe, save, and live within your means. Learn the power of becoming debt free. Learn the power of saving for purchase verses using credit. Learn the power of managing income, interest and increase.

4) Place your extended family in its proper perspective with your nuclear family. You and your mate are one and all others rotate around that unit. Don't allow extended family to interfere or interupt your primary relationship with your mate.

5) Place your friends in their proper perspective. Never allow your relationship with friends supercede your relationship with your nuclear family.

These are the keys: faith, fidelity, finances, family and friends. With these keys you can strengthen any marriage.


Never, Never Quit

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, September 1, 2015 0 comments

I recommend that you obtain a copy of the Union Baptist Church's "The Word for you Today." It's a quarterly devotional which is designed to guide each of us through daily scripture readings. You may contact our office, 410-523-6880, to obtain your copy. Invest your early morning meditation time by reading this devotional and rest assured you are joined in the readings by like minded Christians throughout our faith community.

September 1st devotional is entitled, "Never, Never Quit." The scripture reference is, "Commite your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3 NLT.

I've learned in life to press on to see what the end will be when your journey is towards God. Can you distinguish between your plans for yourself and God's plans for you? It is so easy for the lines to be blurred in your mind. I clarify the difference by asking myself this simple question, "Will my actions help me or others?" If the primary beneficiary is me, then I realize I may need further prayer to discern God's plan. If the primary beneficiary is others, then I'm fairly certain God has placed this action within my spirit and if I proceed He will give me favor.

I remember all the years I've spent in school pursuing religious training and education. At first I thought it was for myself, because I desired the prestige of becoming a Doctor. As I have walked the journey, I now realize all of the hard work, long hours, and study was to be more effective in my preaching and sharing of God's word to his people. I'm so glad I didn't quit or become misdirected.

Never, never quit when you are following God's plan for your life.

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