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.