humanity

Ignorance and Money and Hate

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Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

Winston Churchill

In my attempt to keep “Fresh Oil” positive and attractive I want to apologize if this post and it’s content becomes offensive in any way. The visual aids and artist selected to divulge my message is by no means a pivotal swing from what “Fresh Oil” represents.

Blessings of talent without maturity is shameful in and of itself. exploiting those of a lesser caste status due to your success is ignorance to me.

All peoples are struggling to blast a way through the industrial monopoly of races and nations, but the Negro as a whole has failed to grasp its true significance and seems to delight in filling only that place created for him by the white man.
Marcus Garvey

Even if Negroes do successfully imitate the whites, nothing new has thereby been accomplished. You simply have a larger number of persons doing what others have been doing. The unusual gifts of the race have not thereby been developed, and an unwilling world, therefore continues to wonder that the Negro is good for.
Carter G. Woodson

Here we find that the Negro has failed to recover from his slavish habit of berating his own and worshipping others as perfect beings.
Carter G. Woodson

How dare anyone tell us that Africa cannot be redeemed, when we have 400,000,000 men and women with warm blood coursing through their veins? The power that holds Africa is not Divine.
Marcus Garvey

I was black growing up in an all-white neighborhood so I felt like I just didn’t fit in. Like I wasn’t as good as everybody else or as smart, or whatever.
Halle Berry

I’ve always maintained that black people and women suffer from a presumption of incompetence. The burdens of proof are different. It just gets so tiresome.
Carol Moseley Braun

If the white man wants to hold on to it, let him do so; but the Negro, so far as he is able, should develop and carry out a program of his own.
Carter G. Woodson

In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us…. I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … Your interference is doing him positive injury.
Frederick Douglass, The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

It startled the nation to hear a Negro advocating such a programme after many decades of bitter complaint; it startled and won the applause of the South, it interested and won the admiration of the North; and after a confused murmur of protest, it silenced if it did not convert the Negroes themselves.
W. E. B. Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk, on Booker T. Washington

Let us in shaping our own Destiny set before us the qualities of human JUSTICE, LOVE, CHARITY, MERCY AND EQUITY. Upon such foundation let us build a race, and I feel that the God who is Divine, the Almighty Creator of the world, shall forever bless this race of ours, and who to tell that we shall not teach men the way to life, liberty and true human happiness?
Marcus Garvey

Negroes, as they enter our culture, are going to inherit the problems we have, but with a difference. They are outsiders and they are going to know that they have these problems. They are going to be self-conscious; they are going to be gifted with a double vision, for, being Negroes, they are going to be both inside and outside of our culture at the same time. Every emotional and cultural convulsion that ever shook the heart and soul of Western man will shake them. Negroes will develop unique and specially defined psychological types. They will become psychological men, like the Jews . . . They will not only be Americans or Negroes; they will be centers of knowing, so to speak . . . The political, social, and psychological consequences of this will be enormous.
Richard Wright, The Outsider

One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. It was only a country for white people. Not black. So I left. I had been suffocating in the United States… A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn’t stand it anymore… I felt liberated in Paris.
Josephine Baker

The differentness of races, moreover, is no evidence of superiority or of inferiority. This merely indicates that each race has certain gifts which the others do not possess. It is by the development of these gifts that every race must justify its right to exist.
Carter G. Woodson

The first point was we wanted power to determine our own destiny in our own black community. And what we had done is, we wanted to write a program that was straightforward to the people. We didn’t want to give a long dissertation.
Bobby Seale, Bobby Seale Interview


The depression brought everybody down a peg or two. And the Negro had but few pegs to fall.
Langston Hughes

The first point was we wanted power to determine our own destiny in our own black community. And what we had done is, we wanted to write a program that was straightforward to the people. We didn’t want to give a long dissertation.
Bobby Seale, Bobby Seale Interview

The needs of society determine its ethics, and in the Black American ghettos the hero is the one who is offered only crumbs from his country’s table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast. Hence, the janitor who lives in one room but sports a robin’s-egg-blue Cadillac is not laughed at but admired, and the domestic of buys forty- dollar shoes is not criticized but appreciated.
Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The white kids were going to have a chance to become Galileos and Madame Curries and Edisons and Gauguins, and our boys (the girls weren’t even in on it) were going to try to be Jesse Owenses and Joe Lewises.
Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

There can be no black-white unity until there is first some black unity…. We cannot think of uniting with others, until after we have first united among ourselves. We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.
Malcolm X

There is always a turning point in the destiny of every race, every nation, of all peoples, and we have come now to the turning point of Negro, where we have changed from the old cringing weakling, and transformed into full-grown men, demanding our portion as MEN.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

We black men have a hard enough time in our own struggle for justice, and already have enough enemies as it is, to make the drastic mistake of attacking each other and adding more weight to an already unbearable load.
Malcolm X

We who have been born and nurtured on this soil, we, whose habits, manners, and customs are the same in common with other Americans, can never consent to – be the bearers of the redress offered by that Society to that much afflicted country.
Richard Allen


We’ve always been proactive in having mentoring programs, having internships, trying to work with the unions so they can encourage more people of color getting into them.
Spike Lee

We’ve gone through the names-Negro, African American, African, Black. For me that’s an indication of a people still trying to find their identity. Who determines what is black?
Spike Lee

The Negro has loved even under severest punishment. In slavery the Negro loved his master, he safe-guarded his home even when he further planned to enslave him. We are not a race of Haters, but Lovers of humanity’s Cause.
Marcus Garvey


“Number one is that there is absolutely an abundance of African-American men in prison,” Kenneth Foy, a marriage and relationship therapist, told New Orleans news station WDSU. “Another is the drugs and alcohol … [and] the high numbers of Black-on-Black crime.”

With fewer Black men to date, some Black women consider dating outside their race. But social taboos prevent a lot of them from looking at other ethnicities as viable mates. Outside of that, some women simply want a guy that’s going to look like their family has always looked.

“Before my father was deceased, [my parents] were married for 43 years,” one single Black woman, Krystal Williams, told WDSU. “For me, I’ve always envisioned my family looking like them.”

And that’s the problem with this sort of thing: On the one hand, telling people to abandon their “type” in order to be pragmatic seems condescending. But the fact of the matter is that ignoring suitors of other races because of social stigmas is silly, and it won’t help the world progress.

Love truly is blind, and if your values and goals align with someone whose race is different from yours, who cares what anyone else has to say? Black women have empowered themselves so much by pursuing higher education and great careers. Now why not take the next step and get empowered in their love lives as well?

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Pray Without Ceasing

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Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.

Mahatma Gandhi


Luke 18:1

New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

The failure to persevere is the most common problem in prayer and intercession. We begin to pray for something, raising our petitions for a day, a week, or even a month, but then if we have not received a definite answer, we quickly give up and stop praying for it altogether. This is a mistake with deadly consequences and is simply a trap where we begin many things but never see them completed. It leads to ruin in every area of life. People who get into the habit of starting without ever finishing form the habit of failure. And those who begin praying about something without ever praying it through to a successful conclusion form the same habit in prayer. Giving up is admitting failure and defeat. Defeat then leads to discouragement and doubt in the power of prayer, and that is fatal to the success of a person’s prayer life.

People often ask, “How long should I pray? Shouldn’t I come to the place where I stop praying and leave the matter in God’s hands?” The only answer is this: Pray until what you pray for has been accomplished or until you have complete assurance in your heart that it will be. Only when one of these two conditions has been met is it safe to stop persisting in prayer, for prayer not only is calling upon God but is also a battle with Satan. And because God uses our intercession as a mighty weapon of victory in the conflict, He alone must decide when it is safe to cease from petitioning. Therefore we dare not stop praying until either the answer itself has come or we receive assurance it will come.

In the first instance, we stop because we actually see the answer. In the second, we stop because we believe, and faith in our hearts is as trustworthy as the sight of our eyes, for it is “faith from God” (Eph.6:23) and the “faith of God” (Rom.3:3) that we have within us. As we live a life of prayer, we will more and more come to experience and recognize this God-given assurance. We will know when to quietly rest in nit or when to continue praying until we receive His answer. I am learning to wait at God’s promise until He meets you there, for He always returns by the path of His promises. Syria and Israel and all war torn countries in the world are my endless prayers. I am overly persistant about asking God to move the mountain of felon disenfranchisement. I am forever going to labor about prayer related to our churches condition, I want to see faith present among His people while here in the living, I see so much prayer needed for God to increase the workers of the vineyard. While in prison I learned to trust God as I never knew I would, I prayed that my sentence of injustice would be over turned and God moved, my mother prayed when I was in comma for seven months and God moved, I prayed to be delivered from the addictions I once had in cocaine sales and consuption and He moved. I once cried from a pit in Lybia, and He moved. Pray family without ceasing until He moves, thank Him always as If your petetion has been delivered.

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“What Are You Afraid Of” ?

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perseverancePermanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacle s, discouragement s, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.

Thomas Carlyle

Philippians 3:12-4:1

I’m sure many of us here, at one time or another have watched the Olympics on Television. Some of us know who Katrina La-maydion is, but for those who may not know, she is one of Canada’s Gold Medal winners so far in the of year 2002 winter Olympics. Katrina won the gold medel, in the 500 Meter speed skating.

Just allow me to recall that race for a moment, maybe some of you can remember watching it. All these ladies who have been training vigorously for this very moment, were finally standing at the starting line, two skaters at a time trying to beat the clock and get the fastest time. You could see the look of determination on their faces, as they set their focus on the finish line just 500 meters away. I can remember the look on Katrina’s face, as she bent down into starting position, waiting for the signal to go. Her eyes were focused ahead, her muscles were all tensed, ready to press forward.

This evening I want to talk about “Gold Medal Living”, and through out this message we will be looking at 5 ESSENTIALS FOR GOLD MEDAL LIVING.

As we have briefly looked at these speed skaters in the Olympics, we realize and we can appreciate that when they reach the Olympics, they don’t just reach the finals, and are satisfied to stop there. They aren’t satisfied to finish there, they want to go on to better things.

The first essential to Gold Medal Living is Dissatisfaction.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
(Phil 3:12)

A Christian should never be satisfied with were he or she is at the present time, as Christians we should always be striving to be better, to be Holier, to win the race. Paul says that it is his goal to know Christ and to be like Christ. We should not let anything take our eyes of Christ, off our goal, we should never be content to stay where we are in our Spiritual walk, we need to strive to be better, no matter how far we are, there is always room for improvement. Therefore, dissatisfaction is an essential for Gold Medal Living. (Dissatisfaction that is in the sense of wanting to be all that Christ wants us to be.) Just as it is with athletes such as Katrina La-maydion, she was not satisfied with just being in the race, she was not satisfied to stay at the level where she was, she pressed on toward her goal. We as Christians ought to have that type of dissatisfaction, wanting to press on toward our goal, and just as Katrina La-maydion was rewarded at the end of her race, we too as Christians will be greatly rewarded in heaven. If these athletes can work so hard, for earthly rewards, how much more should we as Christians work, toward our heavenly reward.

There is a quote that says, “A ship in a harbour is safe but that is not what ships were built for.” We can apply that to our lives as Christians.

The second essential to Gold Medal Living is,
Devotion.

Again as we look at the life of an athlete, we can clearly see that they have to be devoted to their training. They have to be devoted, to remain in top condition, to be able to press on toward their goal. These athletes have to be very devoted to what they have set out to accomplish, that is, to be the best that they can be.

With such single mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside everything harmful, and forsake anything that may distract us from becoming effective Christians. We need to be devoted to what we are doing. This type of devotion demands love. Matthew 22:37 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”.

So far we have looked at two essentials for Gold Medal Living. Dissatisfaction and Devotion, the next essential for Gold Medal Living is,
Direction.

When an athlete is at the starting line, all of her energy, and focus is in the direction that leads to the end of the track. When an athlete is running down the track, she don’t look back. If she turned to look back it would hinder her, it would cause her to slow down, and maybe even cause her to cross over in the way of another skater, and maybe even cause her to go of course.

The second part of Phil chapter 3 verse 13 says, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

You can’t score if you don’t know where the goal is!.

When we talk about forgetting what is behind and putting our focus on what lies ahead of us. The story of Lot and his wife comes to mind (Found in Genesis 19:26), God told them to run away from Sodom & not to look back, but what happened to lots wife when she looked back, she turned into a pillar of salt. Lots wife was looking back clinging to the past, she was unwilling to turn completely away, she wanted to look back to what she was leaving. Are we like Lots wife this morning, are we looking back longingly at sin while trying to more forward with God? We can’t make any progress with God as long as we are holding on to pieces of our old way of life.

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said it this way, “No one can serve two masters.” When we make a decision to follow Christ, When we turn our lives around from a life of sin to a life of dedication to Christ, we need to look in the right direction. We need to maintain a focus which is set on the goal which lies ahead, on the goal which we have set out to follow and achieve, and that goal is to live a holy life, that goal is to live a life that would make us more like Jesus, that goal is to receive the reward of eternal life in heaven with our Lord and master. And to achieve that goal, as we can see, direction is an essential.

So far we have seen three essentials for Gold Medal Living, the first was Dissatisfaction, the second was devotion, and the third was direction.

The fourth essential for Gold Medal Living that I want to talk about is, “Determination.”

In the text we see that the first part of verse 14 says, “I Press On… (3:14a) To press on takes determination, there are obstacles in our way sometimes, but this verse say’s “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

(1 Timothy 4:7-8) says “…Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but Godliness has promise for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

As I have talked about Katrina La-maydion, the Canadian Olympic Champion, I am sure we can all appreciate and understand the determination that it takes for such athletes to train themselves to be in such physical condition, they train themselves to be ready for the race, they are determined to try their very best, they give it their 100%.

Maybe you’ve seen a Speed Skater set to begin a race. Have you every noticed the look on their faces. As they are ready to skate the most important race of their lives, they have a look of determination on their faces, they have made it this far and there is no turning back, they are determined to give it their best shot. There is a chorus that we sometimes sing, and it fits right in with what we are talking about this morning, “I am determined to hold on to the end, Jesus is with me, on him I can depend. I know I have salvation, I feel it in my soul, I am determined to hold on to the end.” Oh as Christians may that be our pray and determination this morning, and for those out side of Christ It is our prayer that, that will be your determination as will before to long.

You know most of us have done things in our past, which we are ashamed of, and we live in between what we have been and what we want to be. However, because our hope is in Christ, we can let go of past guilt, and move on with determination to what God will help us become, then we can forget about the past, and move on to a life of faith and obedience, we need to look forward to a more fuller and more meaningful life because of our hope in Christ, and don’t forget, “your to near the crown too lay down the cross, Don’t give up the race you run will soon be o’er. Your too near the crown to lay down the cross, just hold on it won’t be long and you’ll be home.”

In the Olympics only one person can be called the winner of the race, but as Christians there can be many winners, and all Christians may receive a reward. Furthermore the rewards of the Olympics will eventually fade away, but the crown Christ gives will never fade. The important thing is that we reach the goal that Christ as set for us. No matter how successful we may be in the eyes of man, we cannot be rewarded unless we “take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of us.”

So far we have seen four essentials for Gold medal living, dissatisfaction, devotion, direction, and determination.

There is a planned extermination for the children of God. The only way to prevent becoming a fatality is to live as a Gold metalist. The fifth and final essential for gold Medal Living is Discipline.

In our text, Phil 3:16 it says, “..let us live up to what we have already attained.” It is not enough to run hard and win the race; the runner must also obey the rules. I remember watching a race one time, and one of the runners were disqualified for breaking the rules, he caused two false starts by beginning to run before he was suppose to. He was not disciplined enough, to go by the rules, therefore, he could not go on. 2 Timothy 2:5 tells us that, “If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.” The issue is not what the athlete thinks, or what the spectators think, but it’s what the judge says. The Bible tells us in Roman 14:10-12. “…We will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written; “‘as surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God’” The Greek word used here in this text for “Judgment Seat” is Bema, the very same word used to describe the place where the Olympic Judges give out their rewards. If we have disciplined ourselves to obey the rules, to remain a Christian, we shall receive a reward.

Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to “Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In a few moments we are going to sing the chorus, “your to near the crown too lay down the cross.” But before we do, I want each one of us to examine our lives. And ask our selves this question, “where am I in the race? Maybe there are some here this morning and you are at the starting line, or maybe you have already started the race, or maybe there are some here this morning and you are still in the stands watching. You no where you are, God knows where you are.

As you examine your life, and your place in the race as a Christian, the alter is open, maybe you want to pray for strength, that God will give you these five essentials for Gold Medal Living. Come this morning as we sing the chorus. “Your to near the crown too lay down the cross.

I Don’t Know What’s Best For Me!

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winds“Learn then this basic truth, that the Creator is absolute Sovereign, executing His own will, performing His own pleasure, and considering naught but His own glory. “The Lord hath made all things FOR HIMSELF. (Prov 16:4). And had He not a perfect right to do so? Since God is God, who dare challenge His prerogative? To murmur against Him is rank rebellion. To question His ways is to impugn His wisdom. To criticize Him is sin of the deepest dye. Have we forgotten who He is?” (p.30).

“Because God governs inanimate matter… when we complain about the weather, we are, in reality, murmuring against God”
Psalm 103:19

New International Version (NIV)

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Pastor Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago… by PastorCharlesJenkins-Official

Some time ago as I went out my door in the early spring, a blast of easterly wind rounded the corner. It seemed defiant and merciless and was fierce and dry, raising a cloud of dust ahead of it. As I removed the key from the door, I quite impatiently began to say, ” I wish the wind would…”What I was about to say was change, but my thought was stopped and the sentence was never finished.

As I continue on my way, this incident became a parable for me. I imagined an angel handing me a key and saying, “My Master sends you His love and asked me to give you this. “Wondering, I asked, “What is it?””It is the key to the winds,” the angel said and then disappeared. My first thought was, “This indeed will bring me happiness.” So I hurried high into the hills to the source of the winds and stood amid the caves. I proclaimed, “I will do away with the terrible east wind–it will never plague us again!” I summoned that unfriendly wind to me, closed the door behind it, and heard it echoing through the hollow caves. As I turned the key, triumphantly locking it in, I said,” There, I am finished with that.”

Then looking around me, I asked myself, “What should I put in its place?” I thought of warm southerly wind and how pleasant it must be to newborn lambs and new flowers and plants of all kinds. But as I put the key in the door, it began to burn my hand. I cried aloud, “What am I doing? Who knows what damage I may cause? How do I know what the fields want and need? Ten thousand problems may result from this foolish wish of mine!”

Bewildered and ashamed, I looked up and asked the Lord to send His angel to take away the key. Then I promised I would never ask for it again. To my amazement, The Lord himself came and stood by me. He stretched out His hand to take the key and hung it on His belt. I asked, ” Do you keep the key to the winds?” “I do, my child,” He graciously answered. And as He spoke, I noticed that all the keys to my life were hanging there as well. He saw my look af amazement and asked, “Did you not know, dear child, that my kingdom rules over all’?”

“If you rule ‘over all,’ ‘ I questioned, ‘is it safe to complain about anything? “Then He tenderly laid His hand upon me to say,”My dear child, your only safety comes from loving, trusting, and praising [ME] through everything.”

Living to Die & Dying to Live

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Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living. It is the beginning place, the foundation upon which more can be built. Where trust is, love can flourish.

Barbara Smith

A chicken and a pig came upon a church building and read the advertisement on the billboard out front, which read, “Help Us Feed the Poor.” Immediately the chicken suggested they help feed the poor with bacon and eggs. The pig thought for a moment and said, “There is one thing wrong with feeding bacon and eggs to the poor. For you it only requires a contribution, but for me it requires total commitment.”

Many in the church today do not want to be totally committed to the Lord because it demands too much of them.

Webster’s Dictionary says “To commit oneself says one is to speak or act in such a manner as to bind oneself to a certain line of conduct.”

Commitment to Jesus Christ is more than a definition: it requires my life, my soul, and my all. But too often find ourselves lingering between being committed and uncommitted.

In the following scripture passages the life of the uncommitted and the committed are presented to us.

1. Are you Uncommitted?

Matthew 19:16-22
16 “Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, ” ’You shall not murder,’ ’You shall not commit adultery,’ ’You shall not steal,’ ’You shall not bear false witness,’
19 ’Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Those that are Uncommitted focus on Self rather than the ways and work of God. (vs.16)

“What good thing shall I do that I may have…”

Self-centeredness is the hallmark of our society today. The only thing that people seem to care about is their own desires, their own wishes, their own satisfaction no matter what the cost or the consequences.

Most marriages dissolve because of the self-centered attitude of the married couple. Neither is willing to give themselves completely to the other, but each wants to live their own lives as a single but still be married. Marriage still requires surrendering our own desires and wants to the will of God and to make the relationship work at all costs.

Our self-centered attitudes have spilled over into every realm of life:

Our children are disrespectful of parents or any form of authority because they have been told that whatever they want they can have and no one has the right to stop them or to punish them.

Our Representatives and Senators have become so self-centered concerning their own jobs and popularity that they will sell out the security of our nation if it is necessary to win a few votes.

Our leaders are so wrapped up in their own plans and desires for political and financial gain that they no longer seem to be concerned about our nation and rush headlong into making decisions that fly into the face of God as if to say we want no part of you anymore.
Those that are Uncommitted focus on Keeping laws and legalistic works rather than the Word of God.

“All these things I have kept …”

Its not about keeping a bunch of do’s and don’ts. Its about keeping the laws of grace and mercy and obeying the commandments to live a holy life.

We get so caught up in judging others that we forget about the sin in our own lives.

Those that are Uncommitted focus on Riches of the here and now rather than the riches of Heaven.

“Go and sell and follow Me.” – Treasure and heart issues

The Bible tells us that where our treasure is, that’s where our heart will be also. In a world that is so caught up in materialism and self-gratification, it’s no wonder that people don’t have a heart after God.
It has been my experience that it does not matter whether you are rich or poor, whether you have a lot or very little of this world’s goods, you can still be materialistic.

If you get more upset over your car getting scratched, or your new carpet getting stained, or you new clothes being ruined than you do over the sin in your life then you are materialistic.

If we set our hearts on the things of God and lay up our treasures in Heaven, those little situations won’t mean nearly as much to us.

Those that are Uncommitted focus on Keeping rather than giving.

“He had great possessions”

Mark 8:36 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
What good will houses and lands and all the possessions of this world do you when this life is over.

I have never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul! You can’t take it with you. You came into this world with nothing and you will go out of it with nothing.
The only things that will follow you are the souls that you have won to Jesus and the good works that you did for the Lord with the right heart. Everything else will be burned away.

How about you and I?

Are we part of the uncommitted always focusing on self rather than God?

This man who came to Jesus was looking for a better method of getting what he wanted rather than wanting God to make him a better man.

We are prone to look to God for greater ways and means to accomplish our goals … whereas God is looking for us to surrender our lives and give our soul to accomplish His goals.

Jeremiah 7:3-8
3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
4 “Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ’The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these.’
5 “For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor,
6 “if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt,
7 “then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. 8 “Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit.
God never gives up on the uncommitted.

He is always calling and challenging the uncommitted to commit to Him.

2 Timothy 2:11-13 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself

2. Are you Committed?

Matthew 10:34-39
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
35 “For I have come to ’set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’;
36 “and ’a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
37 “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
39 “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

1)Those who are Committed focus on Inner Peace rather than a temporal peace of man. (vs.34)

Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

This is peace that no amount of troubles can take away. This is peace that will be with you in the middle of every storm.

I don’t know how people who don’t know the Lord can survive in this world. It is no wonder than so many are committing suicide or end up in a mental institution. Without Jesus there is no real peace.

2)Those who are Committed focus on Relationship with Christ rather than with family and friends. (vs.35-36)

Certainly, family and friends are important and must have a high priority in your life, but nothing must come before your relationship with God.

Jesus still holds us to the commandment that says thou shalt have no other God’s before me. Anything and anyone who separates us from God or who stands in the way of our relationship with God becomes an idol to us.

If we focus first on a relationship with Jesus, then all of our other relationships will be far greater because of the Love of God that will be made manifest in us.

3)Those who are Committed focus on Love worth finding rather than selfish love of man. (vs.37)

What is real love anyway? Most people confuse lust with love, or physical attraction with love, or the feeling that this is right with love. None of those these have anything to do with love. They only have to do with two people with an uncontrollable lust.
Love is really found when we still care about someone after we have seen them at their worst.

When the dirty clothes are stacked to the ceiling, the dirty dishes beg for your attention, the sick babies are crying in you ears and pulling on your leg, the creditors are ringing your phone every 20 minutes and we haven’t even had time to brush our teeth or comb our hair. If you can still look at one another after all of that and feel love, then you can say we truly have love one for another.

Love is also giving without expecting anything in return.

Love is doing all you can do for someone else, and when you are feeling totally exhausted and can’t seem to take another step, love will get up and go another mile if asked to do so.

4) Those who are Committed focus on Discovering the Source of Life rather than being the source. (vs.39)
Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.

We are to be Committed to God first of all.

Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said to him, ” ’you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 “This is the first and great commandment.

Those who are committed to God will not have trouble meeting any of their other commitments. The pure love of God and our pure love for Him will keep us on the right path.

Secondly we should be Committed to Church.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

How can we say that we love the Lord and yet fail to attend the services where God can speak to us and through us?

No man is an island. We need each other to grow, to have strength for the battle.

How can we say we love God and yet fail time and again to come together to meet with Him and to be around the people of God?

How long would your marriage last if there was no togetherness and no communication?

How can we say we love God when we don’t even care what goes on at God’s house?

Is your commitment to Jesus Christ and the truth that leads you into a loving peaceful relationship with Him?

Are you willing to die to the things of this life that you may live in Christ and obtain a life that is far more peaceful and fulfilling than the life the world offers?

Conclusion:

An African Pastor was threatened by rebels who demanded that he renounce his faith or die. He refused. The night before they took his life, he wrote the following lines on a scrap of paper:

I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.” I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I’ve stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals!

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, or burn up till I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops.

And when He comes to get His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear.
How about you?

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Are you living to die? Or, are you dying to live?

If we will live this life in search of the truth of the Gospel, in search for the true love of God, in search of the peace that passes all understanding and in search of commitment to Jesus as Lord, then we will be ready for that life which is yet to come. At the moment of our death we will enter into the Glories of Heaven.

If we live this life in our own way, forgetting God, forsaking and rejecting His great salvation, then we are already walking dead in our sin. The end of this life is only a step down into a deep dark and terrible eternal death where we will be always dying but never really die.

Come to Jesus – ONLY THEN CAN YOU REALLY EXPERIENCE WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT.

42-Michael Jordan- Martin Luther King Jr. Courage in Adversity

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America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

Barack Obama

Not so long ago, black athletes were segregated from participating with white athletes due to the Jim Crow Laws established after the Plessy V. Ferguson (1896) Supreme Court case.

Black athletes, as were their non-athletic brothers and sisters, were seen as racially inferior and not worthy of socially mixing with whites.

However, these purely promoted brave athletes slowly but positive social change against the racism and later racial prejudice in this country by their heroic example both in and out of the athletic arena.

Jackie Robinson didn’t choose baseball. Baseball chose him — and in more ways than the mere fact that Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey plucked Robinson from obscurity in the mid-’40s, making him the first African American major league baseball player.

Robinson tried his hand at several sports before eventually stumbling upon an opportunity to play pro baseball.
Robinson met a former player for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League as his military tour was coming to an end. (After he refused to sit at the back of an Army bus, Robinson was transferred to Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, where he became an athletics coach. Shortly thereafter he was honorably discharged.) Robinson was convinced by the former pro athlete to try out and wrote to Monarchs’ co-owner Thomas Baird. A few months later, in early 1945,

Robinson accepted a contract, paying him $400 per month — a good amount of money for him at that time.
“He just happened to be playing for the Monarchs when the Dodgers just happened to be looking for a guy,” Dodgers team historian Mark Langill told Yahoo! Movies of Robinson’s good fortune. “It’s not like he dreamed of being in the majors. They found him instead of the other way around,” Langill added.
Langill contends Robinson chose that contract with the Monarchs because he was about to get married and simply needed the money. And when he got recruited to the Brooklyn Dodgers soon afterward, Negro league players grumbled: Robinson wasn’t considered as good as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, who were deemed the best pure ball players of the time.

In the United States since World War II, the world of sport has undergone dramatic changes. The first decade after the war witnessed the resurgence of baseball as the national sport, particularly with the return of hero-athletes, the formation and development of the National Basketball Association, and the transformation of professional football into a powerhouse organization vying with baseball as the national sport. That competition continues to this day, with the profound irony that in some quarters the Black athlete is now seen as “saving” baseball1.* In the pre-World War II years, the Black athlete was restricted from competition in all the professional sports. Only in the Olympics, because of its international nature, were Black athletes allowed to compete unrestricted.

This situation reversed the mores of the later 19th and early 20th centuries, where in football, basketball, and horse racing, for example, black and white athletes competed against each other. But as Black athletes increasingly began to dominate their sports, as was clearly the case in bicycling and horse racing, white athletes and managers decided to ban interracial competition. The contemptuous posture and defiance of superb Black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson only fanned the flames of fear and resentment among whites. After his defeat in 1915, white champion boxers refused to fight a Black man until 1936 when Joe Louis defeated Jimmy Braddock to become boxing’s world champion.

To mask the real fear of loss to Black competitors in sports and elsewhere, the white population fabricated a number of myths about Black people, claiming Blacks suffered from low intelligence, criminal tendencies, and inferior physicality. These sick myths that served white skin privilege began to explode when Eddie Tolan and Ralph Metcalfe, distinguished themselves in the 1932 Olympics, as did Jesse Owens (most famously), and Metcalfe, among other Black athletes were to in the 1936 Berlin games, where Nazis were, like many White Americans, claiming to be of a superior race.

It was bitterly ironic, perhaps even farcical, that these Negroes should disprove abroad the very theories that confined and oppressed them at home. Yet nothing at home changed upon their return — except that no longer could the myth of Black people’s laziness and lack of ambition be promoted unimpeachably, since the historical record was clear internationally.

Consequently, when Joe Louis defeated Primo Carnera in 1935, a reporter wrote, “Something sly and sinister and, perhaps, not quite human, came out of the African jungle, last night, to strike down and utterly demolish the huge hulk that had been Primo Carnera, the giant.”.2*

In addition, the New York Sun noted that the “American Negro was “a natural athlete.”.3*

It is perhaps symptomatic of the times that a syndicated newspaper columnist, Hugh S. Johnson wrote, in 1938 , “The average of white intelligence is above the average of Black intelligence, probably because the white race, is several thousand years farther away from jungle savagery. But, for the same reason, the average of white physical equipment, is lower. .4*

Similarly, in the Atlanta Journal, commenting on Jessie Owens’ exploits at the Berlin Olympics, O.B. Keeler wrote, “Our fastest runners are colored boys, and our longest jumpers and highest leapers. And now, our champion fighting men with the fists is Joseph Louis Barrow.”.5*

It is testimony to the pervasive view of the Black athlete as somehow subhuman, that both Northern and Southern U.S. newspapers and commentators shared the view that the “new” strong Black athlete was now so because of his jungle ancestry. That view is still largely held, but perhaps better concealed amidst intonations that Black athletes are simply, naturally “athletic,” as opposed to being intelligent, critically astute practitioners of an intense work ethic which makes possible their excellence in the aesthetics of athletic play and competition.

Even as recently as September, 1995, Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four minute mile barrier, was reported to have said that Black sprinters “have certain natural anatomical advantages.”.6*

While the position of Black athletes at the college ranks is not as well studied and documented as that of professional athletes, the most cursory inspection shows that all colleges and universities, except for marginal, and perhaps, denominational schools have to some degree integrated since 1960. In all these areas, Black college athletes have excelled in tandem with their counterparts in professional sports. There are more Black quarterbacks in college football than ever before. Although there is a prejudice in the professional ranks against Black quarterbacks, many argue that the greater numbers of them in the National Football league draft will increase pressure to change the current, fearful attitude toward Black men in leadership roles. Significantly then, in this year’s championships of college basketball, the majority of the players there who reached the Sweet Sixteen and the Final Four, were overwhelmingly Black. The Most Outstanding Player in the final game between the University of Kentucky and Syracuse University, Tony Delk, is a Black player. In track and field, particularly in the coming Olympics, the overwhelming number of Black American athletes in proportion to white Olympians is radically disproportionate to the Black population in overall U.S. society.

Apart from numbers in the professional leagues, one index of the changing status of Black professional athletes is their income. In the 60s and 70s, the case could be argued that the Black athlete was financially and otherwise undervalued to a point that made arbitration and serious salary negotiations impossible. The dean of American sports writers, Sam Lacy, sports editor of the Baltimore Afro-American, noted in 1967 that “the African American player was much quicker to sign a contract than white players, and in comparison, was woefully under paid.”.14*. During the 1980s and 1990s, the situation changed dramatically. In 1991, for example, Sports Illustrated noted that Eric Dickerson of football’s Indianapolis Colts had just signed a $10.65 million dollar contract over a four year period, making him one of the highest paid players in football..15*In 1990, the twelve highest paid players in National Basketball Association were all Black. In baseball another story has unfolded in the 1980s and 90s.

In 1990, the number of Black professional baseball players continued to decline, reaching only 17% in 1992 while Black attendance also declined. But of the remaining Black players, a significant number commanded more than ordinary salaries. In 1991, Dwight Gooden signed a contract with the New York Mets for three years and $15.4 million to become baseball’s second-highest paid player. Since 1991, at least 4 Black players have exceeded Gooden’s salaries. For example, Cecil Fielder, Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, and now Ken Griffey, Jr. all earn in excess of $7 million annually in multi-year contracts. The average of Griffey’s salary earnings, spread over his 4 year current contract, is $8.5 million per year, making him the single highest paid baseball player in history..16*

Salaries alone do not tell the entire story. Increasingly, an expanding group of African American athletes receive additional income far in excess of their salaries for endorsing products from breakfast cereals to automobiles. This was not always the case. In fact, the first Black athlete of the football Chicago Bears, Walter Payton, did not appear on the Wheaties box until 1986. Now, in 1996, Michael Jordan of basketball’s Chicago Bulls and sports’ highest paid athlete is expected to earn 90% of his $40 million through endorsements. While this situation does not characterize the majority of Black athletes, it does include a significant number, and is in happy contrast to the 1960s and before, when the picture of an African American on a breakfast cereal box was simply unthinkable.

Today the United States observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honour the life and work of the great civil rights leader.

King is most famously remembered for his legendary “I have a dream” speech, and his leadership in the non-violent civil disobedience for civil rights for African Americans.
And rightly so. King was a transformative figure and a once-in-a-generation kind of leader. King deservingly holds the distinction of being the only individual American with a current U.S. holiday named after him.
But what’s often forgotten when most think of King — and certainly isn’t taught to my generation or portrayed in the mainstream media’s depiction of him — is that he was a champion not only of civil rights and racial equality, but also of labour rights and economic equality.

By the end of his life, King came to the belief that mere legal equality between black and white Americans was inadequate.

A Family in Trouble

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family in trouble

If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.

Abdul Kalam

Malachi 4:4-6

New International Version (NIV)

4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

Matthew 1:1-2

New International Version (NIV)The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

1 This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Luke 1:16

New International Version (NIV)
16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.

Many of America’s thirty million white-tailed deer find themselves endangered not by guns, but by the cars of our expanding suburbs. I was reminded of their plight when a mature doe dashed through traffic just ahead of me. As I watched, I wondered what had driven her to take such a chance, and why she then stopped on the other side and gazed and saw two small fawns looking helplessly at their mother across the busy street. Instead of following, they turned and walked back into the woods.

This family is not alone. We too can find ourselves in circumstances of separation and danger we did not anticipate. Reading Malachi and Matthew reminds us that we are troubled children of troubled parents who desperately need the help of our Father in heaven. Sometimes we need His help to see and avoid repeating the sins of our fathers( Nehemiah 9:2-3). Sometimes we need His help to turn back to the example and care of loving parents (Luke15:18).

Only from our heavenly Father can we find the perfect forgiveness, example, and inner grace we need. He knows we are fallen children of fallen parents, and even now He offers us the help of His Spirit and the rescue of His Son.

Each day we learn from yesterday
of God’s great love and care;
And every burden we must face
He’ll surely help us bear.

It’s never too soon to turn back to God.