Sunday, December 31, 2023

Moving on into 2024 -Spread Kindness and Love

 It's less than 12 hours left in my year of 2023.  I end it still alive, and able to open the door to the promises and hopes of 2024.  I have food to eat, somewhere to live, and am able to walk, talk, see, and think with relatively few problems.  There is limited stress in my life.  What stress there is I have voluntarily brought into my life.

I had no "major" earthly accomplishments in 2023 that come to mind. The decade that began with Covid has become calmer now in terms of medical pandemics.  Our world still seems to have an evil spirit pandemic that raises up in the actions of a few impacting the lives of many.  There are at least 2 wars going on around the world that are based on relatively few people making evil based human decisions.

What can we do?  In 2024 create and spread kindness and love.  That is the commandment that a man with a Godly connection challenged us with several thousands of years ago.  It's not always an easy task to accomplish.  But, let's give it a try.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Social Gossip Media - TD Jakes

 GNN is fully engaged.  Yes, the Gossip News Network is talking about various allegations regarding TD Jakes human behavior.

1.  What were you all expecting?  If I recall only Jesus Christ was a perfect man. Let's all look in the mirror.  Have all of our behaviors our entire life been pleasing to God?  If you idolized Jakes, why would you idolize another human being?

2.  If a person performs 100 acts in their life with 2 of those not being pleasing to God, do those 2 actions condemn the person for life?  Or does the body of work count?  98% good, 2 %  bad.  You do the math.

3,  Instead of idolizing people, inspire yourself to be and behave spiritually.  Practice behaving and doing acts of kindness.  Don't worry about the sinful actions of others.  Focus on yourself and making yourself a better person.

4.  Is TD Jakes paying your electric bill, water and sewer bill, mortgage, rent, buying you groceries every week, filling your car with gas every week?  If not then why are you worrying about him?  He can afford to have people around him to help him correct his behaviors?  Can you say the same?

5.  Get back to your life.  Focus your energy and time on you and your family.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

The Miracle Maker - Jesus Christ

 As we celebrate the gift that God gave us, his son Jesus the Christ, let's pause and reflect on this God/Man named Jesus.

It is clear now that the miracle of feeding 40,000 to 50,000 using a few loaves of bread and a few fish, can now be explained clearly.  There is no doubt that from those two items, to feed thousands Jesus made some bread pudding and some catfish nuggets.  That's the type of foods you can stretch on a low budget.  Add to His resume'.  Jesus Christ, master Chef!

In today's era, what would Jesus diet be like?  Would Jesus be a vegetarian?  I can see that being a possibility.  You never read stories in the bible about Jesus going to BBQs, or grilling do you?  So, yes I can see Jesus starting His day after prayer with a fruit smoothie and some type of vegetarian dish.  And you know when Jesus stops in for lunch at the neighborhood eatery, at the sight of Him entering the restaurant, someone immediately says, "drop a 2 piece catfish, it's Jesus."

What kind of job would Jesus have today?  Definitely an Influencer.  Millions of followers of course.  The Jesus podcast would be unparallelled.  Subscribers would have to wait in line for a chance to hear an episode.  You can imagine some of the topics.  Such as "Do you really need to hit that joint?  Jesus says, get spiritually high instead!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

46 Years Ago - Evansville Aces basketball team and others perish in plane crash

 As I was preparing for an on alumni meeting tomorrow, there was something about the date that came to my mind.  December 13th.  Then I  remembered.  It was 46 years ago when I was still a college undergraduate student when the University of Evansville men's basketball team perished along with others taking a chartered flight to Nashville, Tennessee for a game the next day.  Human error was assigned the blame.  Some devices were not taken off the plane prior to taking off and the plane had been overloaded with luggage impacting how it could fly in an emergency.

It was the Aces first year playing in Division 1 basketball after a successful past 20 years in Division 2.  The team was youthful with at least 5 freshmen on the squad.  They also had a new coach who brought in ideas of a new fast break type offensive attack.  All that potential and the youthful lives of those players came to an end that night.

I did not hear about the tragedy until I turned on my TV the next day as I prepared to go to my internship job in Indianapolis, Indiana.  When on campus, I had been around several of the black players on the team.  It was difficult to accept that all of the players were gone.  The university and the parents were involved in a financial settlement based on lawsuits filed.  The amount of money the families were given seem today as being far less than the value of each person's life.  It was not meant for those individuals to have a long life.  It's unfortunate, but it is the reality of life.  Nothing is promised.  For any of the family alive today, we remain sorry for your loss.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Sadness of the Season - Pay something positive forward - Make Some Good News

 I was in line at a local grocery store.  A man in front of me had just gotten in line.  He had a red hoodie covering the top of his head, obscuring his face from the back.  I noticed the one item he was purchasing was a six pack of beer.  It was about 9 in the morning.  As he turned to pay his bill I noticed that he was a black gentleman.  He looked younger than me.  He at first glance reminded me of me, if life had taken the wrong turn in my life.

I thought it was sad that this culture and his life journey had gotten him to the point where purchasing a beer for breakfast was the beginning of his day.  I assumed it was his breakfast.  After I paid for my items I went outside to see where he had gone.  I think my intent was to talk to him.  I was praying silently to myself as I was headed outside.  When I got outside I saw him walking.  He was with another gentlemen and they were headed I assumed to his vehicle.

From that experience I think I will try to do a few deeds of kindness to others during this holiday season.  Maybe it will be motivation to do so throughout the year.  Pay it forward.  Make some good news.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Ecclesiastes - Deja Vu. Do some acts of kindness, while there is time to do so.

 It's the same as before, only a variation of a theme.  Another "active shooter" incident at a college in Nevada.  The term "active shooter" itself seems ridiculous.  Once the gunman stops shooting is he or she deemed an "inactive" shooter?  Just call it what it is.  A murderer on the loose.  Use all means to defend yourself or actively engage the shooter with the idea of ensuring they never harm anyone else again.  Then you hear that the shooter died from a self inflicted wound.  What was the point of hurting/killing innocent people?  Just so you can have your name added to the list of people who could not function in this world?

This world has seen all types of evil.  Some we may never know about, because their evil was never discovered.  Even now someone is being injured, held captive, or headed towards death because of the actions of someone else. 

The book of Ecclesiastes in the bible sums it up quite well.  We think what we are going through is new, but it has happened before.  In some cases the incidents were never recorded.  Through all the drama we have been through as human beings, you would think there would be a manual for us to be given at birth with a list of actions/thoughts that we must avoid as human beings.  But what happens?  No matter what we are told, or what we read about, we commit the same negative actions.  We do what we want regardless of the circumstances.

People talk about the coming of a new world war.  Well, what else is new?  The world has constantly been in a status where there is some type of conflict or war going on.  The reasons vary.  Greed, property disputes, religious disputes and of course just plain human arrogance and stupidity.

We are predictable in how much evil we can commit.  It's the kind actions.  The generosity and caring for each other that keeps the world from going into total chaos.  Just remember.  Mankind was wiped out before by our Creator.  Human life has already been identified to come to an end one day.  Wars, natural disasters, climate change.  It's all happened before.  We were not designed to exist forever.  Try to do as many acts of kindness and good while you are here.  Nothing else matters.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

To Know the Details of My True Culture

 I watched a movie titled "Frybread Face and Me".  It featured the life of a modern Navajo family focused on the experiences of two Navajo youth, one male, one female.  One of the featured characters was the Navajo grandmother.  She only spoke the Navajo language as she had refused to learn how to speak English over her lifetime.

I thought to myself, it would be great to be able to learn about the culture of Native Americans.  It would be great to learn about the culture of my own African ancestors who I discovered through an African Ancestry DNA test are from what are now called in Africa the countries of Guinea-Bissau and Gabon.  The Balanta people of Guinea-Bissau and the Eshira and Eviya people of Gabon are whom my DNA connect to.  Beyond that connection, I do not know the traditions and culture of my ancestors.  I do not know their spiritual foundation.  I do not know how they lived day-to-day, or what they ate.

The reality is that I was educated on the culture of "America" which is based on the culture of European Americans.  My ancestors were forcefully brought to "America" to perform hard labor that European Americans were too lazy to do themselves.  That is a basic truth.  If that is not the truth of why Africans were brought to this country, then what is the truth?

I was recently having a part 1 spiritual discussion related to the relationships between men and women.  As I thought about the topic, I came to the conclusion that how I relate to a woman is based on the European American culture I grew up under in the United States of America.  My thoughts and views of women is not based on my being educated by African ancestral values and traditions.  So, I truly am not able to respond to how to spiritually relate to a woman as my partner.

Why not?  Because the European American culture did not teach me how to approach a woman as a spiritual partner.  The European American culture taught me  humanistic traditions and roles a man and woman should display.  As a black man, I am doomed to failure in knowing how to treat a woman because I never was taught the spiritual values and traditions of my ancestors on that topic.

How can I get better?  First, I need to create a spiritual foundation working with a female partner.  We both have to work together to create the spiritual foundation we both want to start from.  We need to weed out all those humanistic actions and behaviors that create conflict and problems in male-female relationship.  We have to agree to reject those human cultural values that get in the way of our spirituality.

We have to face the reality that neither of us was given a spiritual guide to having a great male/female relationship.  I have never met anyone who has shown me that they have such a guide.  I have never met anyone who has had a perfect male/female relationship based on applying the values and culture of the country they live in.

Are you preparing a spiritual guide to give your descendants?  A spiritual guide that will guide them in a "successful" male/female relationship?  Human beings have been around for over 2,000 years.  Many lessons have been learned and maybe shared within families.  Still we struggle in relationships.

Maybe the answers do not even relate to my original culture?  Are we all just doomed to never being able to establish a spiritual foundation, because we never start from a spiritual foundation?  Can a person truly reprogram your humanity into a life where all your actions result from spiritual thinking?