The Saddest Day in America

Matthew 10:28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Well, this is the final day of the presidency of President Barak H. Obama and we look to his departure as bittersweet. He was indeed a man of grace and dignity and wore his blackness with pride.

Now, we enter a new era with a newly elected president who has put these United States into such a polarized and divisive nature. His rhetoric and antics, his arrogance and sheer ignorance to insult, bully and deny others to speak about him and against his position on any and everything from Saturday Night Live, his devotion to Putin and to him bringing in entertainers, sports figures and comedians to meet with him to help solve major problems within the black community.

Yes, I for one see this is the saddest day in America with all three governing bodies are all of one political party.

What a number of Americans dread is the thought that Donald J. Trump now has the power of an ink pen to override President Obama’s executive orders and put his own signature of revenge against progress.

And another troubling matter is that Trump now has at his closeness to use nuclear power to wipe out nations.  

But, despite what we may see with our eyes and feel within our inner being, there is hope.

One thing that we know is that this new president will not be able to do everything he has claimed or declared to his adorning flock of voters. No. Mr. Trump will and as we all do, must answer to a higher power. And that is God almighty.

So, do I fear Mr. Trump? No. And neither should you.

What we have before us today is the power to believe that God will not allow the wicked or evil  to prevail over His people.

God is in control and all power is in His hands.

So my dear friends don’t spend your time worrying about what you think that President Trump may or will do. Get out into your communities and be active, vocal and non-violent when you protest,

Just remember. All power is in God’s hands. God rules the heavens and the earth.

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” Daniel 4:37

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Thank you to President Obama and First Lady Michelle for your service to this nation.

Farewell Obama Tribute – Joey Gallant

 

Poverty Knows No Zip Code

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 1 John 3:17

Christmas is but a few days away and many have completed their shopping, some have just started and a number of you have turned away from the commercialism of shopping altogether.

Each year, notable organizations, charities and television outlets make an appeal to have coats, toys and food donated for those economically unable to provide these things for themselves.

suburban-povertyHowever, with all the holiday appeals, I wonder, have any of these organizations consider the poor living in the suburbs?

From my viewpoint, I think this is where the anger is generated over the years from the population of folks who do not live in the city.

The underlying disappointment comes about because it seems like the same groups of people living in specific areas in the country are given help quicker than someone who may not live in a row house or apartment building.

Let’s deal with the facts of everyday life folks.

Poverty knows no zip code or color.

Poverty doesn’t discriminate either.

I know what it is like to lack. And it is not a Good Times television sitcom.

Now, I want to also state for the record that I am not blaming the receivers of these donations.

When the appeal for donations are asked each year, people respond thinking probably more on those living in poverty in the city than those living in the suburbs.

Is it intentional? I don’t think so. I just think that the organizers and committees of these good-intention decision-makers think only specific demographics are in need.

But this way of thinking has to end…and I don’t believe I am the only one who has thought about this very subject.

I truly thank the Lord for seeing me through hard times of poverty. Lack has instilled in me a first-hand experience of having empathy for all of humanity.

Life isn’t easy to live, especially when you may get hit suddenly with unemployment, homelessness or a terminal sickness.

Living now in what used to be towns of farmers and is now a up and coming growing community outside of the City of Philadelphia, I can testify and assure you that the poor still remain within even wealthy communities (e.g. nannies, housekeepers, caregivers, lawn workers, etc)

But, when I watch news stories during the holiday season, it is noticeable that their reporting of giving is focus on the same inner cities  receiving donations but those in our neck of the woods are being overlooked.

So today, I am making an appeal to all those good-intention organizations, charities and news outlets to revamp the way they distribute their donations in the future.

This is what I decided to do; I am re-engineering that famous Christmas story title of “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”.

Here is my take on the above. “Yes America, There Are Poor People Living in the Suburbs.”

Perhaps this post will find its way on the desk of a kind and cheerful newspaper editor who will pass on this message to those groups who keep forgetting that poverty is everywhere.

May you all show the true reason for this season and have a Merry Christmas!

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Scam Proof Yourself this Christmas

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12:15

 

Okay, the holiday season is upon us and if life has taught us anything. We must be diligent and beware of the numerous scams and ads that will infiltrate our emails and smart phones.

online-shopping-800px

This year, I thought it was important to put together a list of websites you can bookmark and apps you can download for your iphone or android to help with the discovery of any unknown emails or ads coming to you for the sole intent to disrupt and possibility destroy your ability to use your computer and phone.

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Just a reminder that internet criminals will nine times out of ten use bogus fronts of legitimate businesses to pull you in. And remember, you may even get email from someone you trust and it turns out to be a malicious virus or malware.

Stay vigilante on purpose and don’t take anything or anyone for granted when it comes to internet crime. Also, help younger and older users who are not familiar with using the internet. It’s the right thing to do.

Cybercrime is alive and well and is not going anywhere.

Scam proof yourself this Christmas!

And keep yourself safe year-round.

Websites to Help Identify Current Scams and Crimes

Hoax Slayer

Scam Busters

Fight Identity Theft

It Security Guru

Fraud.Org

Hoax Busters

Federal Trade Commission (Scams)

Snopes

Apps for Phone

Scam Detector (app)

Whispers System (encrypt your calls)

Security Apps (Google store-free)

Where to report online crime

USA.Gov

FBI Internet Crime Complaint

Comedian Chuck Nice gives his take on McAfee’s 12 Scams of Christmas

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

 

 

The Aftermath of 9/11 Fifteen Years Later

Lamentations 3:20-23

20 My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

The aftermath of 9/11 fifteen years later is still fresh in the minds of so many Americans.

As I waited patiently for the bank teller to complete my transaction, this young lady looked up at me and smiled. Within in a few seconds, the teller began sharing with me what she had just learned from her child’s teacher.

“Did you know that the children who will be entering kindergarten this year will be learning about September 11th? I mean, they will actually be learning about something that is now in the history books.” She paused and began tapping on the keyboards. Then she resumed the conversation.

“I was in fourth grade when 9/11 happened,” she said. “I can’t believe that it has been fifteen years…and now, its’ history.”

All I did was smile and nod my head. I understood her amazement and the fact that September 11, 2001 will be forever a historical mark in the lives of Americans.

It was a hard day and an wake-up call for our nation because we had assumed that no one in their right mind would enter our country and attack us. But of course. It did happen. And for a few weeks, we were on the lookout for terrorists and taking revenge on the nation(s) who might have been involved in this horrific deed.

Remembering the day that it happened also brought to mind how our church sanctuary was filled the next evening after the attack. People from all walks of life were entering our church, crying and holding onto their loved ones. Our pastor deliver a short but encouraging message that left everyone in the congregation to reflect on how blessed we were as a nation and how we were still holding on to our freedom to walk into the house of God for solace and comfort.

A few weeks later, I remember that this nation went back to business as usual. Lives would never be the same.

And God was left by the wayside…that’s the history that I also remember.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

In Memory…In the Arms of the Angels

 

 

Double Jeopardy

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Acts 10:34-35                                                                                     

This past Sunday, Americans found themselves living with, yet, another act of senseless violence against police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Three members of law enforcement were ambushed and killed and three others were wounded.

The shooter was an 29-year-old African-American who served in the U.S. military as the previous gunman in the Dallas tragedy.

For the families who have seen their loved ones taken from them in the line of duty, it is not just a grievous loss but also a sacrifice for the citizens they serve within their communities.

When reading one of the articles about these brave men, one story resonated and got my attention.

The article about police officer Montrell Jackson who on July 8th had posed on his Facebook page the following, “I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me,” he wrote. “In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat. … These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better.”

Baton Rogue Police Officer Montrell Jackson

This post was a heartfelt message from a man who is not only the color black but wore the color blue.

Officer Jackson was experiencing two environments.

That of a black man in today’s America.

And a police officer in today’s America.

It is apparent that their are some people who saw Officer Jackson as someone who was supposed to deal with their personal hate while wearing his uniform or when he wasn’t wearing it.

And the sad part of this all is that it wasn’t just coming from one segment of the community. But he may have experienced hate from whites and blacks alike.

This is probably the same double jeopardy that police officers throughout the nation might be dealing with if they are from the minority community.

If we also look at the two people who caused havoc in Dallas and Baton Rouge, they also wore uniforms.

As, honorable discharged military, these two young men learned to defend our nation and were taught how to use an assault weapon.

What makes these two men different from Officer Jackson is that he was crying out to God about what was burdening his heart. He was asking God did the city he served, loved him. He wasn’t bitter. He was heartbroken.

And then their are the two men who once wore military uniforms and decided to take on another rational. They allowed hate that they felt was against them, be a response to their pain.

These three men took different roads.

The saddest of them all is that color was and continues being the cause of pain, suffering and death here in America.

Black, blue and camouflage.

I was just wondering. Is this the kind of society we want to hand over to our young?

Think about it.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

 

 

When History Repeats Itself

                                                                 Changing History for the Better

Galatians 5:17 New Living Translation (NLT)

17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

 

At this very moment, we seem to be a country in a state of turmoil.

And rational and reasonable people are seemingly caught in the middle of all this chaos taking place around us.

This summer has seen, heard and witness violence of the innocent and not so innocent.

Talk radio, news and social media and protestors are now doing more of a disservice to those who gave their lives with race baiting, intimidation and threats.

We also have learned from our history that violence only begets to violence.

The word love has been thrown around so much these past weeks that the meaning of it tends to be merely tongue in cheek rhetoric.

In the past two weeks, I have visited Philly. This is not usually my habit but habits are made to be broken.

Looking around, I began to feel sad and just wanted to cry.

Why?

Because I was trying to gain an understanding of why my black people have perhaps missed something in the Dallas Texas shootout.

I was thinking about an incident back in the 1980s when a bomb was dropped on a roof top in a black neighborhood.

Then I thought about how the Dallas police chief gave the order to send in a robot with a bomb to take out the assassin of his police officers.

We often miss the bigger picture until it becomes normal.

I couldn’t help but to remember when Philly’s city administration and the police department had serious issues with the black group known as Move.

Tensions had reached a fever pitch and before anyone knew it, things in that West Philadelphia neighborhood had become a battle ground.

The standoff and confrontation of Move reached a terrible end.

A bomb was dropped on the roof of Move’s house and caused death for adults and children, and destruction to a two block radius.

And life after that bombing was never the same again.

What the black community throughout this nation needs to do is be more proactive and not allow outside influences dictate how we should be perceived to the world.

Peace among our fellow-man is far better than hate and destruction.

There is good and evil among us all—we just have to want the best for each other.

Regardless if you are a police officer or a protestor, we need each other.

When history repeats itself, it is never worth the rerun.

My sincere sympathy and prayers to all the families who are grieving the life of a loved one they have lost over these past several weeks.

Romans 8:6-8 New Living Translation

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. 

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

More of the Same

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44

Two black men shot to death by police officers in two different states.

Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile of Falcon Heights, Minnesota are yet two more black men who have died by violence at the hands of white police officers.

And with these two public killings, protestors of numerous walks of life, black, white, Latino, Asian, old and young, came together in the streets across America to show their disgust, as well as, their resolve that these public killings at the hands of police must end.

But while the protesting was taking place and the news media continue to spin these tragic deaths, unbeknownst to Americans, one person came to a breaking point and decided to take vengeance against the Dallas Police.

A day later, the nation witness five police officers killed, five wounded along with two civilians.

By the break of day the news media carried their stories based on their audience demographics.

Within a forty-eight hours news cycle, the two black men who were killed by white police officers became a mere by-line and the men in blue are now portrayed as the victims.

What is more ridiculous is how President Obama is being accused of being against law enforcement officers and siding with of all people, black men.

Well, I for one have to keep it real. Thank God that there is someone in a position in power in America who is willing to speak up for black men. At the rate of these police public killings of innocent black males, young and old, something needs to be done, and that is sooner than later.

Now, I have read too many comments of white folks saying that “we kill more of our own than police do.”

But if we carry on this masquerade of thinking that one race is more superior than another race based merely on color.

Then America had better be ready to look to a different rebellion unlike the sixties.

Hatred, fear, racism and bigotry are a worthless cause in the eyes of God.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Tim Wise: Colorblind Denial and White Privilege

When the Father Is Not Loved

 

6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Rocked by the loudest screams echoing through the super outlet, shoppers stopped to see exactly in what direction this childlike voice was coming from.

Panic was seen on a number of the shopper’s faces as we stopped pushing our shopping carts to commune with each other.

“Oh my God! ” one shopper said in a high pitch voice. “That child is in trouble!”

Three men ran in the direction of the voice.

There was quite a bit of confusion taking place in the store with shoppers pointing in different directions as to what they perceived the child was being held against their will.

Two burly store employees ran between the tall metal shelves holding plumbing supplies, while the voice over the loudspeaker announced that all entries were locked and no one could exit.

Standing next to me was an elderly lady in her late eighties with a look of disappointment on her face.

“Humph. That child is not in trouble! ” the woman said to a few of us.

“How do you know that?” snapped back the short stubby woman in a neon green garden hat.

“Because I know children voices,” retorted the elderly lady. “My ears know when a child is in trouble and when they are just being disobedient. That child is putting her parent through the ringer…just mark my words. That child needs a good old fashion behind whopping.”

And without skipping a beat, this elderly woman walked away from her shopping cart and headed towards the front door.

A few minutes after the elderly lady had departed the voice over the loudspeaker advised the customers that the doors were now open.

As I finish my shopping, I stood waiting patiently in line.

The gentleman in front of me had inquired to the cashier had they rescued the child?

And much to the gentleman’s surprise, the cashier shared with him that the child was never in danger.

It so happened that this child refused to listen to her father and therefore decided to scream and make him feel embarrass.

“You know, sir, ” the cashier said, ringing up the customer’s order.

“We always get these kind of children coming into the store. If they can’t get their way, they either have a temper tantrum. Or some will say that they don’t know their parent.”

As I put my items in the trunk of my car. The thought of what the elderly woman had expressed earlier reminded me of what we must look like when we complain and act against God’s will.

Children behavior is the spitting image of adults.

Adults are just as guilty as the screaming child when we can’t get our way with God.

Sorrowfully to admit this but when the Father is not loved, the way He loves us, we are disobedient children too.

May every man, in whatever role you play in a child’s (young or old) life. Be fulfilling and rewarding.

Have a joy-filled Father’s Day.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

The Pulse of a Nation

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

2 Timothy 3

This weekend Americans received two horrendous reports from Orlando, Florida about gun violence and the seed of mental illness and hate.

The tragedy of the killing of the young twenty-two year old pop singer and YouTube sensation, Christine Grimmie, by a stranger brought about for many of us, sadness, anger and questions.

Then before the weekend news cycle ended, another major breaking news announcement of forty-nine people being assassinated and fifty-three injured in Orlando.

On Sunday morning, there were probably sermons denouncing these two incidents of hate and gun violence and then, there were also I’m sure sermons denouncing the lifestyle of those who were attacked in the night club.

Here though lies the truth of any violent death.                                           christian_symbols

They are not of God.

God never created man to be violent but to love, as He is love.

The condition of mankind is continually getting comfortable with sin.

And with sin comes the outcome of being faced with the consequences of disobeying God.

With people pointing fingers at one another and declaring one to be holier than another person.

Maybe we all need to step back for a moment and search of our own heart and realize that the heart is deceitful and wicked and no one knows that better than God.

Those who were murdered have loved ones who are suffering and in pain, trying to figure out what happen and most importantly, “why their child? Spouse? Friend? Neighbor?”

We are all responsible for how this world is turning out.

Also, this is truly not the time to act impulsively and attack the families of the ones directly responsible for these two tragedies. I’m pretty sure that these families are dealing with the heaviness of being responsible for something they may not have had a hand in.

Only time will provide what the facts are in these two cases.

My heart tells me that those of us who believe in Christ, should never stop praying–and our prayers need to be for the entire world and not just for America.

And finally, we ought not to buy into the rhetoric of individuals or groups who would use these two tragedies to divide us even more.

Much hate breeds much evil.

Much love breeds much love.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Be Thankful for the Foolish In this World

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty   I Corinthians 1:27

I want to share my thoughts on the late, great Muhammad Ali.      Muhammad_Ali

When Ali came onto the boxing scene, I was a young girl who only knew three names in the boxing field. They were Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson and Sonny Liston.

Two of my uncles were serious boxing fans and somehow the kids in the family fell into their love for cheering on the boxer that was representing the Negro race.

I remember so vividly when Cassius Clay came on the scene.

Clay was loud, arrogant and annoying to me and many others in our community. We were all cheering for Sonny Liston to put this loud-mouthed to rest. But it didn’t happen that way. Cassius Clay had done the unthinkable. He put a whooping on Liston and silenced all his supporters.

After Liston’s defeat at the hands of Clay, many of us kids felt there would no longer be someone of his status for Negroes to look up too.

But somehow, God always has a ram in the bush. And this ram was not declaring Jesus as his savior but rather, Mohammad.

Indeed, this was an upsetting turn of events for Negroes at that time because the religious denominations that we took hold of were Baptist, Seven Day Adventist and A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal).

As Ali won fight after fight. And spoke boldly about him being proud to be a Negro and how he stood firm and resilient at press conferences and against accepting his draft notice. Ali had indeed become an answer to so many Negroes prayers.

Muhammad Ali had triumph in a way in which young Negro children as myself, and my friends could look to and take pride as to who we were as a people.

There was no longer any shame attached to being black.

Muhammad Ali had stripped the colonization mindset of American Negroes and was leading a new era where young black males and females could take pride in who we were and the wealth of our rich historical inheritance.

Yes, initially, Muhammad seemed to be a foolish young man. But his foolishness turned the world upside down.

Ali! Ali! Ali! He was indeed heroic in his time here on earth.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord