What do you fear?

This goes to all the CEOs, executives, politicians, lawyers, judges, doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, janitors, farmers, car dealers, actors, musicians, artists, pastors, students, athletes, food workers, retail workers, factory workers, real estate agents, etc.:

Have you ever wondered why most hate hides in the shadows? Have you wondered why those who carry the hate don’t just come out and say how they feel? Why continue to hide behind the “hood?” With so much open hatred, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, at all levels of government and society at large, why continue to hide? 

Seems like fear. But of what? Job loss, family loss, status loss? What is it? If truly you are superior won’t another job be found? And that’s if your current employment is even lost. Doesn’t your family already know? Amongst those with similar ideas, what clout would you lose? So, again why hide in the shadows? What do you fear?

Grieving

Today… I’m sad, grieving, hurting. When asked what am I grieving: My response – that two more black men (Rayshard Brooks & Robert Fuller), were murdered over the last few days, by those who felt they could – that these lives meant less to the world, to the society than their own – as some kind of sport or badge of honor. Might as well have taken a finger or an entire limb, which is what occurred during public lynchings in the recent past, check history. Take a body part to hang on the wall like a prize. Evidence of conquered prey.

My response: I feel like every moment I have, every breath I take, not actively engaging in the fight, in the movement for change to make things better is a waste of time… with the breath that I’ve been given, which at any point could also be taken as callously as my brothers’ and sisters’ lives. Left to saying my name, which some might intentionally mispronounce, if not only as a not so silent protest, against my life. My response: that I have family, friends, patients, colleagues, doctors, nurses, and other staff that live at risk everyday. Not because of COVID or cancer, but because of the color of their skin. Where diagnosis, disease, and degrees does little to separate them from the indiscriminate lack of concern for Black Lives. Understand please, that this is an issue of the highest order. Deference reveals privilege. Soul searching is in order. Silence contributes to continued violence.

Thoughts on the time…

Still processing, but it’s time to share.

Seeking justice for Ahmaud and Sean and so many others,* too many others. But, truly can justice be had when it’s been so long? Twenty four hours… three months… two years… eight years… fifty years… 450+ years. But with little true change, can there be justice? Why should voices still have to reach the decibels, which now ring from block to block, city to city, state to state, app to app to be heard? to finally move those who are called, those who are voted into office to serve – to action, when a life… yes a black life, but again, a life has been taken? Blood calls out from the blacktop, concrete, the dirt where it was spilled, seeking justice. But, no answer is found.

Ask, “Why?” The answer returns like the coldest, sickest, most violent shaking of reality, a truth which is the measure of where we’ve come from but, also from where we have not moved at all. Created equal by our Creator, but treated as such? The illusion is perpetuated by hope, yet shrouded in ‘as long as you stay in your lane, your neighborhood, your place, or you’ll suffer the same fate’. It’s like walking into a yard with “beware of dog signs”. But, the owner is telling you, “It’s safe.” Then, all of a sudden, the dog is snarling and barking at you. You know the reason. But, the owner is still trying to encourage confidence in you as you walk toward the porch. Then, out of nowhere, it lunges at you and is no longer constrained by its leash. After all, you are in its territory. You turn to run while the owner calls the dog to return and calls it a very fine dog. But, by now the dog is after you and quickly catches up with you, and takes hold of your shoe. You try to shake it loose and defend yourself, but it’s too late. You’re in a death struggle with this dog and it is winning. Then, you are startled, awakened by the commotion, and your heart is racing. You discover you’ve been dreaming – nightmaring to be more accurate.

Question: Does this seem that different from our reality? Question: Did the dog escape or was it set loose? Why did the owner not step in with more force? Was this justifiable because there were signs? The owner welcomed you, welcoming telling you to ignore the signs, encouraged and offered good faith, testimony about their dog. Somehow this dream returns and the owner is defending their dog and their own actions. The dog catchers are looking at you as though you did something wrong by just, being. Shouldn’t my life matter? Shouldn’t my life matter more? or at least as much as this dog…a dog…?

I’m awake now. But this question rings through my mind. Where is justice? Why should voices still have to reach the decibels which now ring from block to block, city to city, state to state, app to app to be heard? My life matters! A Black Life Matters!

*Started back on May 8.

It’s Been Too Long……

Just wanted to say hello….”Hello.” It’s been a long time since I posted here and I wanted to let those who actually look here that life is good. A lot has happened since I last posted. I will update more at a later time but in the midst of life’s ups and down, I’m living blessed. Praying life is well for you.

“once we understand that what happens beyond our control may be just what we need, we see that acceptance of reality can be our way of participating in our own evolution.” ― David Richo

Live Blessed!

Happy New Year 2018

Good morning 2018. Welcome or should I say thank you. Thank you for coming. Thank you for letting me in. Thank you in advance for the time that we will share. Thank you for the experiences that lay ahead of us. Thank you for hope. Thank you for dreams accomplished. Thank you for love.

God bless you all this day, each day. May 2018 be your best year ever. Live Blessed.

A Special Evening- Thank you.

This is oh so late, but just wanted to thank you all who were able to attend and who sent up prayers for my concert a few weeks ago! It was truly a wonderful and special evening, that I will never forget. God blessed and truly worked through my friends David Paul Regier, Scott Hill, and me. Looking forward to the next one, some big things on the horizon stay tuned. That evening along with music I spotlighted a couple causes, one whose mission is to prevent suicide, promote mental health, and create a message of hope for young adults. RememberingJordan.org The second and equally important is the prevention of youth exploitation especially in the area of human trafficking. iEmpathize.org Please take time to check out these organizations, and other resources about these subjects. You may very well have a young person, a young adult, or an adult for that matter, in your life or will come across someone who needs what you will learn. Thank you again. Live blessed.

Advice for the Journey

When preparing for a trip of any length how many of you are last minute packers? How many of you pack well in advance but somehow still find that you’ve forgotten something? How many of you after you return home unpack quickly? Or do you take your time to unpack – at least the inessentials?

As we are at the front door, preparing to begin the journey of a new year, how many feel prepared? How many of us know that we’ve packed well and don’t expect to get caught off guard, only to discover that we’ve forgotten a razor, socks, or underwear? We can prepare all we want. But we must also provide space for the unknown in our journey. My advice: Trust yourself more. Trust the hands that continue to hold you. Live blessed.

Just Because… Happy First Day of May!

Just Because… Happy First Day of May! If you are reading this you are blessed beyond measure. Some are celebrating another year, others new additions to their family, others new jobs, upcoming moves, or the anticipation of any of these and so much more. On the other side some are remembering loss, words and actions of rejection, feeling physical and mental pain, coping with the results of a doctors visit, and again any number of other peace stealing circumstances. The reality is that this unfortunately is our reality, a confusing and mixed up world full of joy and pain, happiness and sadness, laughter and crying, wellness and sickness, wealth and not so much. Life is full of blessings and the truth is blessings come in many forms. Take each one, each moment and embrace it. Place your trust not in your circumstances or your ability to change them or even handle them but in Him who said come to me, lay down what you’re carrying, holding, lugging around and I’ll give you rest. Come now…celebrate the blessing of today. Happy First Day of May…Just Because!

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lam 3:24

Fatherless & Widowed

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. Jam 1:27

While reading this verse a couple mornings ago a few thoughts came to mind.

In this world, many young people are growing up without both a mother and father or in some cases neither, for whatever reason. Also as a result of the introduction of sin the blessed union of marriage has been tainted by death and has taken many a husband leaving brokenness and sometimes unquenchable sorrow. Caring for the physical needs of these individuals is James’s inspired message to us in this verse, but what are we doing within the spiritual context of this instruction?

As we take the gospel, in love, to this world we are to share and reveal an image of a father, that the world has distorted and that many have never known. Foreign to many is a father of love, free of abandonment, hurt, pain, or rejection, however Love is our Father who art in heaven. Now as for the companionship of a husband lost, the Bible calls the church a bride anxiously awaiting their groom, who we know as Jesus. James along with inspiration from Paul (Eph 5) is laying it out for us and bringing these ideas together so that we can better understand a pure and undefiled religion. People hate religion because it is often practiced outside of love and the pure heart and intentions that Christ ministered with. James is saying if we look at this world as being full of individuals who have been spiritually orphaned and/or widowed, taken advantage of, abandoned, hurt, and rejected by our adversary, the devil, after willingly or unwillingly going his way for a season, they have a need day in and day out that longs to be filled. As we move closer to the second coming of our Savior there is little knowledge and understanding of the true nature of God the Father and His son Jesus, and we are to visit and share with our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. what hopefully is an overflow of Christ in us. The abundance of true wealth, not just our earthly gain, shared with those longing to be restored is an earnest and honest practice of pure and undefiled religion.

Finally, keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, but how?

One day a young minister was being escorted through a coal mine. At the entrance of one of the dim passageways, he spied a beautiful white flower growing out of the black earth. “How can it blossom in such purity and radiance in this dirty mine?” the preacher asked. “Throw some coal dust on it and see for yourself,” his guide replied. When he did, he was surprised that the fine, black particles slide right off the snowy petals, leaving the plant just as lovely and unstained as before. Its surface was so smooth that the grit and grime could not adhere to it. In commenting on this incident, an unknown author said, “Our hearts should have the same characteristic. Just as that flower could not control its habitat, so we cannot avoid living in a world filled with evil. But God’s grace can keep us so clean and unspotted that though sin touches us on every side, it will not cling to us.”

Living in this world we all experience hurt and pain. Our hurt and pain, God who is able and remains faithful, uses to smooth off our rough edges and bring out a glow, a shine, a surface that the evil of this world cannot cling to.

Jesus in His final prayer before Gethsemane asked these things of God the Father, I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As we seek a closer walk with Christ, our religion, in spirit and in truth, in Him as the foundation of our truth and hope and every promise fulfilled, will become purer and our lives will become even more resistant to the things of this world. The Lord is faithful, who will establish you, and keep you from evil. 2 Thes 3:3

Jude says this Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 24

Remember as you go through each day, this day, what the truth about a pure and undefiled religion is. Church attendance, yeh sure. Bible study, definitely. Paying tithe, again sure. But nothing can replace walking in and sharing the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Father with the Fatherless and Widowed of this world for this is as we once were ourselves, a broken people without Father or Groom, who have now been called to the family of God. Continue in grace and to grow in faith in our brother, friend, and Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Live blessed.