Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Think on this…its comical to me how people make New Year’s resolutions. They desire to loose weight, workout more, and be better human beings. Now, you may be thinking, "what’s wrong with that"? Nothing, but the issue is, most people break those resolutions within the first few days of the year. How about we approach this new century a new way? Let’s stop making resolutions and start asking God to both guide and lead us into the better future He already has for us.

My wife and I have discovered that when we commit our plans into the Lord’s hands things work better than we could ever anticipate. While going over our 2009 prayer requests, we discovered that God had done almost everything we prayed. The challenge for many is they don’t believe that God would hear their prayer, or they don’t like depending on anyone else including God to get things done. I am convinced that I can’t do anything good unless He helps me. But that’s just me.

God loves you, and He has so much more for you than you could imagine. “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 God has a plan we just have to follow. He knows how to lead us toward better health, a better life, and a more glorious future. Follow Him and your future is resolved! ... Just a thought.

Monday, December 28, 2009

May Christmas Never End

Think on this…some people can’t stand the hoopla around Christmas. It has a lot to do with the commercialism and the shallow things attributed with the day. I understand that. I have a solution; let Christmas day, be everyday. I think there is merit to the frustration people feel over the December 25th push. What would it look like if we carried the true spirit of Christmas everyday?

I think it would be amazing if the warm feelings persisted all the time. How wonderful would it be to see smiles in March? What if the people you loved looked for opportunities to make you feel special in June? How wonderful would it be to have families coming together in August? Then they would tell their relatives how much the loved them, and make sure that no good thing went unsaid. Awesome.

What I am learning is, that is the way God wanted things to be. That is the way people who are overwhelmed by the fact that heaven came to earth are supposed live and interact. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:12-14 When we get a glimpse of that miracle we might live everyday like it was Christmas…Just a thought.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Think on this..."The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn't know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.

While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God's angel spoke in the dream: "Joseph, son of David, don't hesitate to get married. Mary's pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God's Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—'God saves'—because he will save his people from their sins." This would bring the prophet's embryonic sermon to full term:

Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son;
They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for "God is with us").

Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God's angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus." Matt 1:18-25 ...Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Worst – Best Christmas Ever

Think on this…when I was a child Christmas was a big deal. We were poor so my mom would often get help from local charities to supply us with more toys than a kid in the projects should have. It was wonderful. It was all preceded by my hometown’s big Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony. The entire main street was lit up beautifully. It set such high expectations for the season.

As was our custom we moved a lot. We not only moved to most dangerous city in New Jersey, but also the country, Camden. This is where I was exposed to gang violence, guns, and gambling. That Christmas we had nothing, and I mean nothing! No food, no tree, no nothing. I got a “hi” for Christmas, and that was that. It was depressing, to say the least, for my little sister and me. I didn’t have the true meaning of Christmas (the story of Jesus) to give me hope, so long faces were abundant.

Then about mid afternoon there was a knock at the door. My older sister and brother entered. We had not seen them for a while; so our spirits were up. They also had presents with them, and the tone of the day turned on a dime. My older sister, who was in high school, spent almost all of her money buying us gifts, anticipating our lack. My brother and I went to the local Chinese store to purchase fried chicken and fries for dinner. Why are Chinese store always open? Never mind. The point was they came, and they were Christmas!

As I am listening to my wife read the Christmas story from the Bible with our Godson, I am taken back to my worst-best Christmas. We decided that he would not have to go through what I went through, as he is also the child of a single mother. We can give gifts, and he has been given plenty, but we want to be the gift. I challenge you to follow the example of my older sister and brother, the example I now follow; it’s the example of Jesus. BE THE GIFT. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 …Just a thought.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beginning to look at lot like Christmas

Think on this…I love Christmas. I know for many it is just another day, but you must admit, people are often nicer and more compassionate around this time. Well, not if you are in the middle of the shopping frenzy. My point is that this should be a special time in which we remember the greatest gift the world has ever known, and that is the birth of Jesus. Once you look past the overwhelming commercialism you might just see what is so special about this season.

I do understand that Jesus was most likely not born in December. I also grasp the fact that traditions like a Christmas tree, and a Yule log are rooted in pagan rituals. Don’t get me started on the whole Santa Clause mythology; all these things make it hard to see power and the worth of the holiday. Then you have countless people going into debt to buy gifts that will totally forgotten by the next Christmas. Do you recall the Christmas shopping season starting after Thanksgiving? All of a sudden Christmas starts the day after Halloween, it all seems to be about the money. Looking at what this holiday has become, makes me sad.

What is Christmas supposed to be? It’s supposed to be a day in which we remember that when we were without hope, God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus came to the earth to rescue us from our impending doom. So, Almighty God, identified with our human condition. We didn’t have a God who watched us from afar, but one who understood what we were going through and cared enough to do something about it. "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" —which means, "God with us." Matt 1:23

That is Christmas. That is a reason to celebrate. We are celebrating God’s love, not store discounts, red-nosed reindeer, of jolly snowmen. Jesus is the reason for the season. Of all my non-Christian friends I have not met one person who thinks that Jesus’ birth and life was a bad thing. So, his birth should be celebrated! I am sorry that people would make you think the holiday was about anything other then that… Just a thought.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Think on this…I went to a see the movie AVATAR and it was the best movie I have seen in a really long time. (No spoilers here). I left the movie wanting to stay in that world painted by the creators. The concept of an avatar is intriguing as a Christian. The principle is, although your body is in one world, your true self is in another. The avatar is another representation of you that exists in a new reality. I know it is a bit out there, but due to the emergence of online virtual worlds the idea of an avatar is quite common.

As a Christian this rings true. How? The bible says, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.” 1 Peter 2:11 As comfortable as I have become in this world, its not my ultimate reality. I have a spirit that lives in this body that is tied to this world. In essence what you see is my avatar. That is why I am constantly fighting against these desires in me that long for the unhealthy yearnings that this life provides. The real me longs to live in the wide-open spaces with God. The more we remember that the more victory we will see in our lives…Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tired Yet Determined

Think on this…I have been investing a heavy amount of time, energy, and money into finishing my book, College Impact: Empowering Collegiate Christians for Campus Influence. I am so tired. I am wired to knock things out fast, because my attention span is not the longest. Processes that take a long time to complete wear me out. Now, I know that this is a journey that God has me on, so what do I do in the mean time?

I work, I stand, I continue, I endure! I have learn that sometimes God allows life to hits you with exactly what you need to not only help you grow, but to see your own resolve and commitment. Sometimes you can’t and won’t be able to stop while working through issues and/or circumstances. Your responsibility is to not quit. That is the lesson I am learning at a whole other level and I share it with you. Don’t give up because you are tired, frustrated, and ready to quit. If it’s worth it, then fight for it. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 …Just a thought.

Monday, December 14, 2009

News Worthy?

Think on this… I miss the good old days when the top news story was of a shooting, stabbing, major fire, etc. Now to gain headlines all you need is to have cheated on your spouse, dated someone who dated someone famous, or “accidentally” shown your genitals. All these things have somehow become news worthy.

Now, some would blame the media, because they control the content. But, as a former employee of a national news agency, I don’t think they are to hold the bulk of the blame. They are in the business of sharing content that grabs your attention long enough to show advertisements. The more people they can get to watch their network the more money sponsors pay. It’s we the viewer who drive what’s important to the broadcaster. If we want to see nipple slips, then they are sadly way too happy to oblige us.

Yes, there used to be standards and practices that kept news people’s feet to the proverbial fire, but those rules shift with our standards. I think we should look to our thirst for meaningless content before we lob arrows at the media. Then and only then we will be able to keep them in check. The bible says, “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” Isaiah 5:20 We have lost our sense of what is right and important. We should require more from ourselves first… Just a thought.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unemployment Lessons

Think on this…I have been talking to many people that are either unemployed, nervous about losing a job, or are wrestling with financial stresses. As an unemployed person, I have learned a lot about myself and the whole emotional struggle people go through in the process. The reality is that we as a country are having a difficult time economically. It affects everyone. I have friends that are upper middle class and higher and even they are living much leaner than before. The moral of the story is that you are not alone in the struggle.

Now, as a “preacher” or “minister” how am I supposed to guide people in this tough season of life, when I myself am in the same situation? First, I don’t put that pressure on myself. Second, I have learned that God does not sit by and watch us suffer. He is at work in the midst. As a Christian, I have learn to trust Him with my every need. While trusting, I am to do what I can do.

That means that I can write, work on blogs, encourage others, and learn new skill sets. There is always something that we can do as individuals. Then, we present what we can do, and God does what we can’t do. I love that. So many people are asking God to do what they can do, and why would He need to do what he has gifted us to do. Here is the principle, “Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” God wants us to exercise our faith by taking the steps we know to take and trusting him with the rest…Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tiger Woods

Think on this…everybody is talking about Tiger Woods, some would argue for good reason. Okay, so another privileged athlete tries to get away with cheating on his wife and kids (when you cheat on a wife you cheat on the kids, don’t get it twisted). Haven’t we heard this story before? Why are we so shocked? So disappointed? Aren’t these people doing exactly what we as society want them to do?

You see, we love to deify athletes and celebrities. They are the glamorous beings with which we can’t get enough. Due to the TMZs of the world, we must know every time they get onto or off of a plane, go to a public bathroom, or throw trash away. This creates a “them and us” mentality that gives them license to be or at least feel they are above the law. Then when they don’t live up to our high standards for them we demonize them, it’s the cycle that repeats. It’s so bad that celebrities can’t even go to most churches because star-struck pastors are asking them to “share something “ with the people. That is the saddest of all.

What do we do then? I think we need to no longer participate in the paparazzi driven media. Let these people live like humans instead of gods. Maybe they won’t feel the sense of entitlement that empowers this bad behavior. If someone should falter, we should have some compassion because, but by the grace of God, we would be in the same situation. Then we can let the family work through the tough issue in private instead of the court of public opinion. The whole situation is bad, but for the sake of his children, maybe we should let them work this out.

I have much compassion because the Bible says, “Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence.”…Just a thought.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Down with OPP

Think on this…Those who are into hip-hop from the 90's will remember the song, "OPP" from a group called Naughty by Nature. The song was vulgar in its suggestion as the trio's name suggests, but they had thousand yelling their anthem. I have a different approach for the acronym, O-Other P-People's P-Perspective. I can be so committed to “my vision” and “my way” of accomplishing that vision that I can actually kill it. There are people whose job is to help me. To that degree their perspective is as valuable as mine.

I challenge you to allow someone new to push on the “vision” God has given you. God brings the right people at the right time to accomplish His purpose within you. Those additional voices can sometimes come from the most unsuspecting places. "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Proverb 11:14 If you always have to be the smartest person in the room that is a problem…Just a thought.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It’s simple, LIVE YOUR DREAM!

Think on this…if you have been following my blogs you probably have seen the recurring theme of becoming who you are suppose to be in spite of your past. That is my story. Even now while unemployed, I am still pushing toward the dreams God has given me. I am have finished my book, created a website, signed a contract with a publisher, produced a trailer for the book, and am on the brink of the books release. I have been hustling. I have to do my little part so God can have something to bless. Please, live your dream. Life’s too short not to. “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”1 Thessalonians 5:24 I hope my life encourages you to trust God and take a chance. Please visit …Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holding you Down

Think on this…it goes without saying that there are some people with whom you need around you, to keep your sanity. To say it in the current vernacular these people “hold you down.” For some it’s their parents and for others it’s good friends. There is nothing sadder then witnessing relationships that are vital to an individual’s mental health deteriorate. Whether through anger, bitterness, misunderstanding, or intentional injury these separations happen every day. To the detriment of both parties involved.

For me, it’s my wife who “holds me down.” She is my sounding board when all else is unclear. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her. But some times she bugs me J (love you baby, she reads my blogs). We don’t always flow as smoothly as I wish we would. On occasion we hurt each other, but to the degree that I excommunicate her from my life, is to the degree I will fail. Why? Because she is there to “hold me down!” I can’t allow petty things to get in the way of my own success or her success for that matter.

If we knew the damage we cause ourselves by allowing our relationships to wither we would think twice. “Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody.” Romans 12:17-18 Yes, some people are toxic, but many more are simply flawed and in need of our forgiveness. Why? For our own sake and theirs…Just a thought.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fighting Words

Think on this...Words are powerful. We need only look at some 
parents/child interactions and see name calling, completely wreck a 
child's self esteem and confidence. Your ugly, stupid, etc are some 
favorites. Sticks and stones may break your bones, and words can kill you...fighting words! Is it possible that you may have received or
 delivered words that destroy?

If I am honest, I have been damaged by many words (and have dished them
 out too). I was told that I was dumb, and would not amount to anything.
 It took many years to get over that. I didn't believe I was smart until 
I was in the 10th grade. How crazy is that? When you look at my life to
 that point, it made sense. I had bad grades almost all my life (until 
college). I had no real aspirations. It was sad. I became the sum total
 of what had been spoken over me. I was told that I would probably end up 
like others in my family. Drugs and jail were on my horizon, and I was 
on my way there.

It wasn't until I had become a Christian that I could even begin to
 believe that I was made for greatness. I still have to remind myself of 
that now. WORDS ARE POWERFUL! I want to encourage you to continually 
speak words of affirmation and life to those around you. Tell people who 
you believe they can be, and not just what they have become. Who knows,
 your words may be the ones that cause them to believe in themselves.
 Make your words count! "The tongue has the power of life and death..."
Prov. 18:21 Just a thought.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Think on this… We often have many choices to make in a given day. Some are simple like, what should I wear, eat, which smell good to splash on. But, often we miss the more challenging opportunities around us. It's in the simplicity of our day that we miss chances to show steady, honest, character. These are the chances to share a kind word to someone having a rough day, allowing someone to go ahead of you in traffic, or by simply doing a great job. These are all windows of opportunity.

People forget that God is always watching. The good, bad, and ugly are ever before His eyes. He is always opening windows of opportunities for us to exemplify His character before people who need to see Him in us. How many windows do we miss in a day, truly how many? We do this by refusing to forgive someone even though God always forgives us, or by holding on to a horrible attitude. The bible says we are to, “Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everybody." 2 Peter 1:5-7 How amazing would your life be if you lived like that…Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Different Kind of Gratitude (inspired by m. celita lewis)

Think on this…we are often grateful for the good things in our lives, but what about the bad. Have you ever thanked God for the things that you wished hadn’t happened in your life because of what they produced in you? That is a hard thing.

For me it looks like; thank you God that my father abandoned me shortly after my birth. Thank you for the abuse my family suffered from a crazy man. Thank you for the woman that sexually abused me. Thank you for growing up poor. Thank you for the gang of which I used to be apart. Thank you for those friends and loved ones who have died prematurely. Thank you for all the people who have called me names, put me down, and said I would amount to nothing. Thank you for a child with special needs. For all this, I say thank you, in Jesus name Amen. Does that sound spiritual?

You see my hard childhood produced a resiliency in me that I may not have had otherwise. Every death reminded me that my life would not last forever, and it showed me that I needed to live for what matters most. The people who have spoken against me allowed me to develop tenacity that I didn’t have previously. Having a son with disabilities gave me more compassion for those for whom others overlook. The bible says… “But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4 I thank God for my journey, good, bad, and ugly...Just a thought.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thank you

Think on this…it’s Thanksgiving week in the United States. This is a holiday that has its roots in early America where the native born people taught the European settlers how to utilize the local resources. The settlers in response gave thanks for what they were given and what they had learned. I have conflicted feelings about the roots of the holiday due to the abuse of the settlers toward the Native American’s which was right on the heels of this benevolent act. It seems to me if you are truly thankful you don’t steal land and almost wipe out the indigenousness population. That’s just me.

I do like the holiday for another reason. It simply reminds us to be thankful for what we have. Thankfulness is something I can sink my teeth into. We can be so focused on what we don’t have that we can miss the blessings around us. If you don’t have a job, be thankful for unemployment checks. If you aren’t married, be thankful you’re your friendships. If you have one leg, be thankful for the other one. If you are jobless, unmarried, and legless you still have breath in your body. Remember that things could always be worse. “Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.” Psalm 107:21. As an exercise of thankfulness; respond by writing a list of the things for which you are thankful. Start with; you are still breathing…Just a thought.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Think on this…I had an interaction with my sister that caused me to think about these blogs. Her exact words were, “Do you or does someone proof read your blogs?” Basically, she was saying I have too many typos or grammatical errors. If you are in agreement with her I apologize J, I will try to do better. She tried to spare my feelings by telling me how she just picks up on these things and it wasn’t so much my writing as it was her inability to withhold her critiques. So yes, I kick rocks. I love it; family keeps you honest and humble.

I think that is how we live our lives. We are so focused on trying to project perfection to those reading our lives, that we leave little room for mistakes. The challenge is we rarely see what we don’t see. We grow accustomed to the regular mistakes we make. I think these areas, like my sister, keep us honest. Not that you shouldn't present your best, but try embrace the fact that you are prone to get things wrong in some areas.

So, if you see a grammatical error going forward, I’m working on it. If you should happen to see a flaw in my character I am doing the same, it may take some time, so please be patient with me. The bible says, “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all 2 Corinthians 3:2. I desire to be a compelling read...Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Boogers taste good!

Think on this...I have school age son. It’s cold and flu season and the kids in his school are ripe with runny noses, and congestion. On any given day you can see some kindergartener with a dried, crusty, force field of snot caked to his/her face. The crazy thing is for some reason they are oblivious to how gross they look with this disgusting patch on their face. Inevitably, a small worm like finger will go digging for gold! Once the sought after treasure is obtained it goes right in the mouth. Umm! I have come to one conclusion; boogers taste good. They are a little salty, and little creamy. Okay, who has not eaten a booger? You used to be one of those gross little booger-eating machines too. Don't judge me.

As adults the pattern persists. We consume unhealthy things just because they are there. No matter what our vice, we are prone to hold tight to unseemly habits. I love that God patiently works with us to help us be who he wants us to be. The bible says, “he wants to keep us from falling and present us faultless before His presence with great joy.” Jude 24 It’s our one responsibility to decide that we want to be freed from our nasty habits…Just a thought.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm a mess (the truth about DaWiseOne)

Think on this...Believe it or not I am a mess. A pure mess! I love to say that I love God, but do I really? (Before you think, I am just another preacher losing his nerve and quitting, read on.) Jesus said, "If you love me obey my commands." John14:21 I don't always obey. I like to think that I do, but to be honest I don't all the time. At times I find other things more pleasing, more alluring, and in my mind just better. Or (this is the kicker) I come up with excuses for why I can’t obey him and try to act like I am mature enough to “test the waters”. Basically, that means I love things more than God (in that moment at least). Like I said, I am a mess.

Is this too much reality for a communicator of God's word to reveal? Maybe it is, or maybe we are human and have to find God's forgiveness and grace like everyone else. We have struggles and things we have to overcome. Not that we should not be held to a high standard (we should), but why do we set such high standards for ministers, we all have the bible as our standard. Yes, positioned leaders should meet certain qualifications, and I do.

My point is, I have to fight for a pure heart. God gave me a clean heart at salvation but I can allow habits, history, and hazardous living to get it dirty again. I have to make sure that I regularly keep Jesus as my source to ensure that I am not following my base nature. That is my challenge, and I present that to you…Just a thought

Friday, November 13, 2009


Think on this…Ever been naked? Not as in, I was in the shower this morning and I didn't have clothes on. Really exposed, like before someone with whom you don’t want to see you naked? It's a humbling experience. No matter how nice you think you look underneath your clothes it's humbling! The bottom line is we are taught to keep our privates' private. We generally don't want people to see what we have been spending most of our lives hiding. Then we start to ask them, "So what did you see", the answer, "everything". Then the insecurity and healthy shame steps in. It's just a rough situation.

The truth of the matter is many of us are exposed and we don't even know it. Not by some peeping tom, but by almighty God. He sees all perfectly. Everything is exposed before him. The crazy thing is we will often be afraid to do before others what we do before God. I think its because we either forget that He is watching, or He seems so far away that we rarely feel exposed. God is always looking beneath the surface to our very core. He knows what you and I did last summer. The Bible says, "Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me" Psalm 139:1. The crazy thing is, he sees us and still loves us in spite of the ugly. I am so grateful for that…Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Think on this…do you remember that song? The biggest names in hip-hop coming together (circa 1989) to, "stop the violence and kick the science." This was back before women were throwing themselves at Flava Flav on reality shows. The whole goal was to stop people from killing themselves. It's so relevant to our lives because, often we are the masters of our own demise. We keep very unhealthy habits that add to our own destruction. We keep going around the same mountains and expecting that things will change because we occasionally see new scenery.

The bible says, "As a dog eats its own vomit, so fools recycle silliness." (Proverbs 26:11) Can you imagine eating you own…? I will go on. But it's nasty and gets you nowhere. We have to admit our negative cycles, and realize that we can get out if we ask for help. If you could have gotten yourself out you would have by now. That's the hardest part for many of us, admitting that we need help. The good news is, God wants us to live free. All you have to do is ask for it. "Or else it's, self destruction, you're headed for self destruction…Just a thought.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gravity- Inspired by John Mayer

Think on this…to be honest I am not a John Mayer fan. I am not an anti-Mayer, I am just not an avid listener, but this song grabs me. "Gravity is working against me…I'll never know what makes this man, with all the love that his heart can stand, dream of ways to throw it all away”. This rings true for me and I imagine for you as well. It's all about our struggle with depravity. It doesn’t help anyone to pretend that we don’t have self-destructive tendencies. We all have those feelings, deal with it.

The bible says, "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out…Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." Romans 7:18-20. I am ever mindful of my weakness and desire to abandon everything that I hold dear. Is it because I am just a bad Christian? I don't think so. I have learn to be ever mindful of my challenges so that I know what enemies I am facing. If I am blind to my own temptations how do I overcome them?

So what do we do? John Mayer had the right solution. “Keep me where the light is.” That is what we need, to be where God’s light is. I am not perfect, but I know who is, and I want to stay in His light as to not embrace my own darkness…Just a thought.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sick and Shut-in

Think on this…when I was a child in church I heard a common phrase, Sick and Shut-in. The church used these terms to speak of those who were infirmed and needed either prayer or comfort. I lived with my sister’s grandmother for years and she was on the Sick and Shut-in list. We regularly watched as deacons from the large local church visited. It was amazing really, the loved they showed for this elderly woman. I think about the fact that she had us there and didn’t go without a constant touch from someone. There were so many others who never saw another face, or felt the warmth from another person’s affection.

I understand the concept more fully as I have been wrestling with the flu this week. I have been in quarantine in my bed for days now and I am getting a little stir crazy. I get the need for my exile, but I miss human contact. I feel Sick and Shut-in. It’s the flu so I will get over it, but there are others who never get that connection. This year I started delivering food to the elderly and those with HIV and AIDS, and now I really see why they need that service. That simple act shows love in ways that I am only now discovering.

Jesus taught, “When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Show love this weekend…Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Think on this… I like television. I know, once again the ultra spiritual will think that I am being sacrilegious. I grew up on the television, and it was an important part of my upbringing. It was a way we learned about the world. There are some terrible things on TV, make no mistake about it. But, the awe and wonder, of Transformers, GI Joe, and thunder, Thunder, THUNDER CATS HOOO! Yes! As a child it was the greatest thing ever. Conversely, It was also the instrument through which I discovered naked women, way too early. Wow, that was an eye opener. But, once again, wonder! (But let’s move on J)

I think the TV is just a tool, for good or bad it’s a tool. I am an ex television network employee. I get it. Television can give you a glimpse of what is possible, and even show you the impossible. It’s amazing imagery, things that were once only in our minds eye is before us. For this reason, I realize more and more that I have to be careful with what I allow to hit my eyes because it affects my heart. Those early years were good, but when the naked women came in it messed me up. It determined how I saw women in general, which was not healthy. The bible says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Psalms 4:23 Your heart is where your affections and your desires are, it the place from where you live and emote. We can't allow HBO, Cinemax, and MTV to determine our desires. You can guard your heart, by guarding what you watch on television…Just a thought.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Goodness Gracious

Think on this…I am a part of a unique people. The African American people are special in one major way. Hardship? No, people all over the world experience that. Oppression? No, the Native Americans were robbed of their land and almost wiped out, and blacks in South Africa experienced apartheid. We are special in that we have been bred, yes bred like horses or dogs. We have been bred to work. When master wasn’t chasing the slave women around to create little mixed race babies he was matching up slaves for their best genes. My ancestors had it rough. Please don’t tune out because I mentioned slavery, it happened, deal with it. The point is we were bred for work. I believe that is why we see so many black Americans thriving at athletics where being bigger, stronger, and faster is at a premium. Good breeding.

This is a particular problem when it comes to embracing God’s grace. Grace is a church term that means, God decided to rescue us from the penalty that our sins (faults) demanded. You can’t earn grace. Many people look at God as a mean personality, but I see love perfected. Why? Because he could have let us try to repay a debt that could never have been paid, but instead he paid it, himself. That is what the cross is about. God is trying to give us what we need, ultimately. He loves us. As an African American who was bred to work, I have a hard time with grace because I have an internal tendency to try and work my way to heaven. “Let me do more, and I just need to”, are common phrases for me. I’m a worker bee. But, grace says, just take the gift.

This truth is wrecking my “worker” mentality. I can’t, but God did. I am learning to rest and embrace the grace of God. It’s weird, but so liberating. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men and women.” Titus 2:11 We don’t have to work to earn anything from God, all we have to do is receive it. That’s so awesome!...Just a thought.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Think on this…Cool and the Gang had a song called “Joanna,” which is cool because it is my mother’s name. I love my mom. I have told parts her story as it relates to my story. Like most parent, my mom has made mistakes. This was compounded by the reality that she pretty much raised herself. My grandparents died when she was very young, so she was lacking examples. While writing portions of my story, I asked her if it was okay to tell the segments that were not the most glowing for her. She surprised me and impressed me all at the same time. Her exact words were, “As long as it’s true, I don’t care”. I love my mom.

Parents so often try to shield their children from their mistakes and struggles. My mom couldn’t hide her flaws because she raised me by herself. Her issues were right out there. So, I learned from her mistakes. In a strange way my life is better because of her mistakes, and I am grateful. I am grateful that she always tried to get back up when knocked down. I’m grateful that she is honest with herself and her faults. I have learned through her candor to be honest with my issues, which has made my speaking and writing much more relatable. My mother is not perfect, but she is still a champion in my eyes. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Take some time this weekend to let your parents know you love them…Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Much Respect

Think on this…I was talking to my 18-year-old nephew and the issue of respect came up. You see when I was young respect for your parents, elders, and those in authority in general were a given. Not because they did anything to deserve it, but because it was right. His generation feels that if you give respect then you get it. I understand the concept of mutual respect, but it doesn’t sit right with me that my mom must show me respect in order for her to get my respect. Please understand that my mother was not perfect. She would tell you that herself. Although, I was on occasion driven to the point of rage, I never cursed at her or called her out of her name, she is my mom.

Likewise, I was taught to respect my elders. In most cases you were to give respect to people who had more experience. This is a principle that helps you when dealing with a boss, a police officer, or the president for that matter. I wonder if that is why we see so many kids cursing and fighting adults, and there seems to be a decrease in the overall value of those advanced in the years. The bible says, “Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” Romans 13:7 I don’t know about you, but I think we need to teach our children better…Just a thought.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Think on this…Often it’s comical to me to listen to people talk about their desperate situations. You see I have been to both Kenya and Rwanda and had an opportunity to see poverty at levels not seen here in the states. I saw numbers of children roaming in groups of 20s for the purpose of safety. Many of them lost their parents due to AIDS and genocide. Now they band together to and care for themselves. It was heartbreaking. This is not to say that people here aren’t in need. I have mentioned before my history growing up poor. But, even though we often had our lights off, we had lights. Even though we had to eat sugar sandwiches, we had sugar sandwiches. Even though we lived in a homeless shelter, we had shelter.

This is not meant to make light of anyone’s hardship. All our individual experiences are relative, I get that, but we can’t loose sight of the reality that there is always someone who has it worse. As unfair as our financial system sometimes is, and as broken as our healthcare system is, we still have it a lot better then the rest of the world. We are blessed, even when we don’t feel like it. “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9 I am unemployed, like many others, but I have learned to continue give to others. If you bless someone else, you might see your situation differently…Just a thought.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sweet Cookies

Think on this…David Jones was our town bum (actually a sweet old man with a drinking problem). We as children came up with little songs about him, the way he smelled, and his tattered clothes from sleeping on the street. Kids are just cruel. One day I was walking along eating my sandwich and David Jones asked me for my sandwich. I don’t know what I was eating, but it was good! I was just a kid, and he had the nerve to ask me for my sandwich. I will never forget his words, “Please, I’m hungry”. By the look in his eyes I knew he needed that boost even if it was from a child. So, I gave him my sandwich.

Juxtapose to that in college while on a run to a grocery store we saw a homeless man asking for food. His words reminded me of David Jones. “Please, give me something, I’m hungry, it’s for God”. He threw the “God” phrase in there so we had to help him. One young lady gave him a sleeve of cracker. (Now, we were poor college students and a sleeve of crackers was essential to our survival.) He looked at what was given, stuck his head in our vehicle and said, “Crackers? You ain’t got no sweet cookies or nothing”. We were all at once outraged and tickled.

Both of these situations point to one clear fact. People are in need. There are increasing numbers of people who used to donate to food banks that are now looking to the very same charities for help themselves. We who are employed must not turn a blinded eye to the needs of others. For the bible says, “ Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrews 13:2 I doubt very seriously that David Jones or the Sweet Cookie man were angels, but you never know…Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Think on this…for most of my adult life I have been either bored or underutilized. I for the sake of a carrier and the very real need to take care of my family worked a job I didn’t like.(I did at first) I enjoyed the fine people I worked with and grew in my character by having to be faithful in serving others dreams, but what about mine. Think about it, you are probably going to work everyday to make someone else’s dream come true. Where you work was someone's dream. Now, there is great worth in taking care of ones family, and in doing what is necessary to survive. Honestly, people all over the country would love to have any job, even one where they are bored and underutilized.

What I had to understand was, its was not my employers’ responsibility to help me live out my life’s passion. I wanted them to assist me in my pursuits that had little to do with their desires for me. You see, we will not be totally happy until we find our passion-niche. A passion-niche is that one thing you can do well, and enjoy doing. You are a perfect 10 in at least one area that you love, that didn’t even start with you. God doesn't take back the gifts he has given or forget about the people he has chosen. Romans 11:29 I now make a lot less money, but I feel much more fulfilled. Now, my passion is my grind…Just a thought.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I’m a Writer?

Think on this…it’s weird when you embrace a new truth about yourself. For instance, I am a writer. For those who have been following my blog there is a collective, duh. I know, but sometimes realities about you personally are the hardest to embrace. I shared earlier that I was barely literate until roughly the 4th grade. There are some people who have always felt a since of confidence from their academics, that is not my story. School was something you had to do so you wouldn’t be in the way at home, at least that’s what I thought.

I had only started blogging due to prodding from some good friends J. It is still amazing that people not only enjoy reading my blog, but they are gaining encouragement from it. Thank you for reading this, by the way. I have also just finished my first book. Yeah! (I will share more about it later) I am a writer. I am now in search of a publisher in my pursuit of literary effectiveness. I’m learning to utilize the gifts and talents that have been dormant. So, I will continue to leave the same challenge with you as before. What abilities do you need to reignite? “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Romans 12:6 Are you sitting on some amazing talents? What are they? If you don’t use it, you might loose it...Just a thought.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Think on this…I like many of you have a lot of dormant talents. That truth is sometimes hard to admit because I don’t fully utilize everything within. Now, before you start judging me, think about those talents you have on the inside of you that you have yet to tap into. I am not talking about the “talent” that your momma said you have, but you are hard pressed to find another who agrees with her. That is the wanna be American Idol type singing ability that makes people want to pull their ears off and eat them, to escape your relentless belting. We call that torture. No, I mean those things that you showed great proficiency for, but for whatever reason stopped.

Photography is one such gift, in which I have great ability, but life has pushed it to the back burner. I have always had a way of setting up an image whether video or still photography that was compelling. The challenge is working that gift. I recently find myself being oddly drawn toward things that I have allowed to almost die. Lately, I have been thinking about all the other talents I have that have not been touched in years. There is more, like percussion, sewing (shut up, I know not the most masculine thing), and I am actually working on my writing J.

The reality is God has placed gifts in all of us. There are things that you can do that no one else can. You are the only one who has the talent mix you have coupled with the experiences you have had. You are special, and you have amazing abilities. I know that you may not be able to focus on everything at once, but I want to challenge you to take a step over the course of the next week to utilize at least one of your hidden gifts, because you are gifted. I would love for you to share with me the talents you are going to unearth, this week. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Romans 12:6a…Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Debt to Society

Think on this…I am a life long Philadelphia Eagles fan. Don’t hate. I am from South Jersey and that is Eagles country. For almost 15 years I have lived in the Atlanta area where they embrace an entirely different bird. Not as glorious, as their northern counterparts, Atlantans love their dirty birds. I have grown to like them as well. Purest will crucify me, but it’s true. It also gives me a unique perspective on a Michael Vick. Non-football lovers know about his legal issues. He was convicted for dog fighting, and served time in prison. No one I know has a problem with that. The point of contention came when he was given a second chance to play football with my Eagles.

People are protesting and picketing because to such an act of violence toward an animal is the worst thing someone can do in their eyes. But, I recently wrote about a man who admittedly had sex with a middle school girl and celebrities are defending him. I tend to think that an act against a child should trump an act on an animal. Why are there not protest against the Hollywood folks boldly suggesting that what Mr. Polanski did was “Not that Bad”. It doesn’t get much worst then raping a child, consensual or not. Both are bad, but I think our perspective on right and wrong is a little off. “Don't judge by appearances. Judge by what is right.” John 7:24 Just a thought.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who Cares What You Think

Think on this…Roman Polanski is an award winning filmmaker. He directed such movies as The Pianist, Rosemary’s Baby, and Chinatown. These were both ground breaking as well as powerful movies. He is outrageously gifted and should be applauded for his work. He also admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Not a 17 year old lying about her age or even a 16 year old with a fake ID, but a 13 YEAR OLD! I don’t care what people think about his movie making abilities he, as an adult had sex with a child. Then he has the audacity to run and hide in other countries to avoid dealing with the ramifications of statutory rape.

Now, due to his tremendous talent many people in Hollywood are petitioning the U.S. government not pursue him for this crime. There are so many people in jail right now for the same crime, and that is a good thing. Others who have committed the same crime years ago as Polanski are now living in the most remote locations as to not be anywhere within the vicinity of children. Somehow we are to forget what he has done and just let the fact that he had sex with a middle school girl go, because some celebrity said so? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I think we as a society have given too much credence to what celebrities say and think. Just because someone made a movie, or are famous, they should not have such weight in our eye. If Hollywood supports something or someone that doesn’t mean we should. Their views should not set the bar for our perspectives. We need to look to the Bible for our direction or we will follow the whims of people that ever change. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.” Proverb 21:2 Just a thought.

Friday, October 9, 2009

No Risk No Reward

Think on this… So many people talk about faith to move mountains and the power to do miracles, but when you look at their lives you see little to no proof of that kind of living. It’s laughable and sad all at the same time. Now, I am not saying that I am the most faith filled person. Actually, for most of my Christian life I lived the same way. I talked about faith and took no risks to provide the evidence to support my claims. Not, that God was not powerful to do great things; I was just living a safe, suburban life. Great things don’t just happen!

Recently, my life has been mostly faith, and I feel so alive. It’s scary, but I am invigorated. That is why I think Jesus’ disciples were so able to spend 3 years with him. They were welcomed into a journey that was quite often mind blowing. A couple times they saw food multiply in their hands. Other times they saw people raised from the dead. They saw the blind see, the lame walk, and they were encouraged to do the same works that Jesus did. Wouldn’t you want to hang with a man who had these kinds of wild things happening? I’d want to hang out just to see what would happen. The bible says, “Does some stupid person want proof that faith without deeds is useless?” James 2:20 I want to be like Jesus, where the signs of my faith speak for themselves. No risk, no reward…Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No More Excuses

I talk to people all the time and one thing is clear, most people have some idea of what they would like to do with their life. They may not feel confident in a particular area, but the desire is often present. I have so many goals and desires that at times I want to burst. If you get me talking (and that is not hard) you will hear so many good ideas. The challenge is, for most of my life I have been the guy with great thoughts and little action and even less substance. It’s sad but true. I have in the past felt both afraid and insignificant. I think the bigger issue is I was waiting for someone to give me permission to be who I am supposed to be.

Lately I have been on a mission to fulfill everything God has placed on the inside of me. I really don’t care how others feel about what I am doing, as long as I am accomplishing what I am supposed to for God, that’s what matters. Now, I believe in accountability, wisdom, and oversight, they are all critical to a healthy life. But, waiting for greatness to come knocking is just dumb, and I have been dumb for too long. “God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That's why he sent Christ to make us what we are.” Ephesians 2:10. I invite you to live that way also…Just a thought.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mentoring is Hard

Think on this…We recently have a new person living in our home. It’s my nephew who is with us to learn, be developed and hopefully get in college. He is a great young man, filled with potential and it is our responsibility to guide him toward actuality. But, this is hard work. Honestly, when you mentor people who don’t live with you, there are moments of reprieve, but when they are there all the time it’s relentless. Here is the truth, someone welcomed me into their home, and taught me what I needed, so who am I to resist the process.

Instead of teaching him about selfishness, I am learning about selfishness. You see I like things, the way I like them. I like my computer set up a certain way, I like items stored the way I want them stored. When someone else is there you have to give him or her room to make things comfortable for themselves. Hugh! So I am learning also. Jesus fully understood this dilemma. You see, he grabbed a group of guys and poured his life into them. We call this discipleship, but it’s a spiritual mentoring process. Jesus said, Therefore go and make disciples…” Matt 28:19a. I am expected as a Christian to bring people into my life to teach and develop them. I just didn’t know I would grow so much from it…Just a thought.

Friday, October 2, 2009

That Girl

Think on this…Forgive me but I love Stevie Wonder. I know some of my more "serious" Christians are outraged, but it’s true. He is simply the artist whose music provided the soundtrack for my life. He has a song called “That Girl”. He is describing a woman and the words go, “She doesn’t use her love to make him weak, she uses love to keep him strong”. Now I don’t care how “saved” you are that is powerful. There are so many women (not all) that use their feminine wiles to break men down. They use their mouths to tear them down, but not “That Girl”. I always wanted that girl.

The reality is I now have “That Girl”. My wife is everything I could ever want in a woman. She is always encouraging, ever building, continually supporting. She is pretty on top of all that, she is all that. It’s not fair, she is stuck with me and I get to have wonderful her, but it is too late now J. When I have been at my lowest moments she quietly, and patiently prayed and stood strong. Then when she decides to open up her mouth her words are lased with power, intelligence, wisdom, and insight. “That Girl” is stinking awesome. Every man needs a woman like her. Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the LORD deserves to be praised. Show her respect--praise her in public for what she has done.” Proverbs 31:30-31 You may not like Stevie Wonder songs, but he had my wife, Zarat, in mind when he wrote that one…Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

All that from a Root Canal

Think on this…I have recently had a root canal. It was so much more pain then I have ever experienced in my life. To give some context, I am not one of those guys who have never been touched by true pain. I have been in riots, had the business end of an umbrella thrust into my jaw, I have been punched square in the mouth (split my lip, stitches), been hit by a car, and grew up with a black mother who believed in corporal punishment. I know pain. But, never have I considered reaching into my mouth, grabbing my entire jaw (teeth, gums, skull) and pulling everything out. The pain had a way of reaching around to parts of my head that were nowhere near the offending tooth. I have a big head so that is a lot of traveling. Are you getting my point? This thing hurt!

In between the throbbing pain, I had one lucid thought. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to endure the cross. I know that is way out there, but Jesus was a real in the flesh man, who went through so much more intense pain then this little tooth. The truth is I probably, due to some poor habit or bad genes caused this pain. He endured this pain for others. You see, I would have traded your tranquility, for my root canal in a minute. To get relief in that moment, oh yeah, I would have sold you out, sorry. Okay, I am not that bad, I wouldn’t do that to my mom, son, wife, or maybe 1 out of the 3 of my siblings (they can fight for which). But everybody else would have been fair game. Jesus died for us when we were not even thinking about him.No one is really willing to die for an honest person, though someone might be willing to die for a truly good person. But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful. But there is more! Now that God has accepted us because Christ sacrificed his life's blood, we will also be kept safe from God's anger.” Romans 5:7-9 All I can say is, Thank you Jesus…Just a thought.

Monday, September 28, 2009

That’s Just Crazy

Think on this…I recently had the opportunity to speak at 4 services at my local church. The outcome was, let me say, better then I could have done on my own. Basically, God did his thing. The crazy thing is that he let me be apart of it. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am a screw up on my own. I am not just saying that to sound humble, I am convinced that I am the last person God should ever want to do anything through. I still have struggles and challenges that I am trying to overcome, and more often then not I fail at that, I am simply a mess. To think that God, Almighty God would use me is miraculous and quite frankly hilarious.

Here is the really crazy part. I realize that I am not special. God loves to use some of the most unlikely people to do some of the most amazing things. So many people resist the loving urges of God to come forward because they either feel unworthy or they are trying to “get their lives together”. I have news for you, that simply impossible. Just like me, God sees how much of a train wreck you are and if you let him he would love use you too. "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak. So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 You see, when God does great things through us, even in our broken state, that enables him to show how glorious he is. Everyone will say in that moment, “There is no way they could do that, there has to be a God”. He loves taking our mess and making a masterpiece…Just a thought.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Of Faith and Floods

Think on this…with the recent floods here in the Atlanta area my heart wonders where people are in the process. We can begin to ask, why God allows things like this to happen. The reality is that good people and bad people alike were affected. So, why did this not just affect the bad people? One thing I have learned over my years is that life happens. The floods came because that’s what floods do. I am not saying this to be callus because I care about people in my community suffering and am apart of them getting the help they need. The truth is we expect man made things like buildings, bridges, and retaining walls to remain forever and the simply can’t. (I do understand issues do to shabby work, just follow me)

I see people questioning God, during these times, and it breaks my heart. Now, I do believe that God is big enough to answer all questions, but the attitude that nothing bad should happen to me is just wrong. God never promised that our lives would be filled with ice cream and lollipops. But he promised that he would be there through it all. Jesus said, I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." Matt 28:20b That means that no matter what you go through he has your back, if you truly love and follow him. So to those affected by the floods you have my prayers. But, greater then that you can have all mighty God carry you through. I learned that lesson years ago when my house was flooded…Just a thought…