Meditations of a christizen (christian-citizen)upon today's topics.
|I, Brother James, cultivated through my imagination and birthed via writing instruments (pen, laptop, etc) 'The Word Courier's Journal'. It is but one of several literary efforts so conceived to include the "word", the mind altering, eye opening, life saving gospel of Jesus Christ into the every day conversation on those things deemed relevant to readers. There will not necessarily be a sermon in every entry. But I and all other followers of the Lord are called to witness. Jesus did say "Go therefore and teach all nations..." (see Matthew 28:19 KJV Holy Bible) Here lies my modest attempt to introduce the unknowing people to the Lord and immerse they who know Him in discussion with respect to His outlook on all that matters.|
|Hindsight is 20-20 but what's next is a blur. It's easy enough to look back with regret about the mistakes we've made. However, it's unrealistic to live an error free life. And sometimes what may be a mistake in our eyes could be the intention of providence.
Having said that, I regret only those decisions in which I didn't follow my gut. Often, you just don't know how something will turn out. But when the instincts kick in and I fail to follow the gut, I usually regret it. I don't think that I'm alone in this.
I have learned that what I think of as instinct is often though not always that still inner voice. The communication that comes from outside and beyond me but is heard from within me and is heard in my own voice. I'm speaking of that voice we should always listen to.
I have made my best decisions when I listened to and adhered to that voice. The decision to follow Christ to wherever it may lead is one of the few choices that I regard as a no doubt about it 100 correct decision. That has proven time and again itself the right choice because it has led to many good results.
This is not to say I haven't made bonehead mistakes since that decision. Let's face it, I'm guilty of such blunders.
The decision to go to the University of Iowa is likely the best secular decision that I've ever made. I wrote in an earlier entry that who matters. Where and when also matter. The only regrets that I have concerning my choice of school is not taking full advantage of what it had to offer. But like I said hindsight is 20-20.
|God is Lord of all or not at all
You can't cherry pick the Scriptures that you adhere to. All of them apply.The people who come to mind when I say this are fellow pro lifers who will cheer the Dobbs v Jackson's Woman's Health Organization Supreme Court decision which is said to over rule Roe v Wade.
It boggles my mind that the most ardent "pro life" states typically have the highest infant mortality rates. (rate at which babies born live die before their first birthday) That makes no sense.
The mentality under which churches dot their lawns with crosses for the yet born babies as they allow the birthed babies to go without help as a matter of public policy is dubious. Theirs is not a pro life for the whole life stance.
To me death is death. And I suspect that's how our Lord see it.
|Our local (as opposed to web based) writer's group suggested a prompt for our April get together which happened to be virtual. The assignment was to write on this theme: "if you're alone how do you know you're lonely?" Here lies my response...
I grappled with how to approach the topic of the evening; if you’re alone, how do you know if you’re lonely? This is quite the head scratcher. Or is it? Like everything else in my universe, this issue revolves around reading and writing. Often, I sit down to write pen in hand or stationed at my p.c. and nothing comes of it. I either draw a blank or have several incoherent themes written down that don’t add up to a story.
Then, as soon as I began doing something else, my brain releases enlightenment that it refused to reveal to me at my desk. While cleaning the bathroom sink, I recalled one of the loneliest people in all of literature; Miss Emily the lady who inspired the story “A Rose for Emily.”
Emily’s biopic is among my forthcoming Super 7 short story list. I first read about her in high school. I wrote in her Super 7 summary that “I was then unaware of being introduced to a character type in fiction that I would encounter in my nonfictional adult life.”
Emily came from a reputable family, but they weren’t royalty by any stretch. Still, she and her dad believed no suiter was good enough. That’s why the towns people thought they “held themselves a little too high for what they really were.” (Quote from the story) And there lies the answer as to how she arrived at her pathetic end.
Emily’s example shows that being alone for so long can cause someone to lose sight of reality. She believed herself to be something she clearly was not. Hers was an extreme isolation that brought about a detachment from reality that bordered on madness. It seemed as if her loneliness drove her stark raving crazy.
She went from promising youth to pathetic old maid because she was too far removed from the reality. The notions of grandeur stirred by a delusional confederate pedigree of a bygone era led her to be alone and not realize the need for others until it was too late.
I know Miss Emily is fictional but less extreme examples of her are all too real. It’s as if being alone and being so numbs one to the point that they’re lonely. An immense lack of self-awareness can creep in when no one else is there to challenge it.
This creates a strange paradox where people don’t know they’re lonely but do feel lonely. And those who feel lonely will act it out in some manner. The one who’s alone must look outside of self and determine if they do what those who feel lonely do.
For example, would they lose out on someone who would love them to get everyone else to like them? Do they make it a point to look or feel like they’re part of the crowd? These are the signs of those who feel lonely but would deny being so.
People may not necessarily know what they are but be assured they know what they feel and what they do. And by being aware of how one feels and the actions that one takes, it’s possible for those who are alone to determine if they’re lonely.
Of course, another thought that comes to mind is why so many married people seem lonely. But that’s gist for another essay.
|Some of us are wondering when we will return to normal. We must understand though we’re not returning to “normal.” We can’t return to a place we never left. Normal isn’t set in stone. The one enduring trait about normality is its evolution. Normal continues to prove the adage “the more things change the more they stay the same.”
Yet some still speak of returning to “normal” as in the pre-2020 Covid-19 era world. Others talk about the new normal. However, the next normal is upon us. The likelihood of returning to pre pandemic era ways is akin to going back to the 2019 calendar year.
So as not to debate the point endlessly, I have come up with seven proposals for the back to normal crowd to make their case:
If you want to tell someone “normal” will return, give them a call on the nearest pay phone that you find outside.
It’s always a good ideal to state your point in person. So while you’re at the gas station tell this to the gas station attendant who wipes your windows after she fills up your gas tank.
It’s a good strategy to continually make your point within your mind. You can do this while thumbing through your copy of the Yellow Pages.
If you’re not comfortable speaking up, just have your middle school student child/grandchild/other explain your position in a handwritten (i.e.) cursive note.
Those of you employed at a real physical workplace i.e., non-virtual can make their argument to co workers as you stand in line at your job’s HR office while waiting for your paper paychecks to be handed out to you at the end of the week.
Include this in your social life. Discuss back to normal with your date before, during or after the movie you watch at the area’s drive in theatre.
Shop and chat. State your position about going back to normal to other bargain hunters while shopping at your local K-Mart. Better yet go to a nearby Sears store and do the same.
There you have it, seven super ways for someone to make their case about a return to normal. No need to thank me. I’m just glad to help.
|The Scriptures tells us that Solomon had 700 wives. 1 Kings 11:3 Holy Bible. So, wouldn't that mean he'd have 700 women nagging him to take out the garbage and cut the grass? Keep in mind this is the same man who wrote in Proverbs (25:24) that a man's better off by himself on the roof than with a contentious woman in a mansion. But then again having to navigate that many wives and another 300 girlfriends is probably what made him so wise.
|Rev. Jesse Jackson, in his first book, “Straight From the Heart” (1987) stated that African American accomplishments in the fields of business, education, entertainment, politics, sports and science represented the fruits of success whereas the church provided the roots of success.
The fruit of a tree is its product whereas the root of a tree is its provision. The root absorbs the nutrients delivered by the atmospheric elements while it defends against the oft destructive nature of those same forces. The black American community continues to profit from such a relationship with the church.
It’s simply not possible to record an accurate portrayal of black history minus the contributions of the church. Nor is it possible to do such when speaking of all American history. The two are inseparable. From the beginning, the fate of black Americans has determined the fate of all Americans. And both have been blessed from above.
The Lord freed today’s African Americans’ ancestors from slavery much as He did for the children of Israel in bondage to Egypt. And too His deliverance of Americas enslaved was no less miraculous than that of the ancient Hebrews.
The abolitionist movement was forged in and grew out of Christian ministry outreach. The opposition to slavery was rooted in biblical theology. The Scriptures inspired notions of justice, righteousness and love thy neighbor. “Am I Not a Man And a Brother” was the mantra inscribed upon the abolitionist symbol which depicted a black man bound in chains.
To this end, blacks, white missionaries from northern states and their southern counterparts in the holy war engineered the famed underground railroad that provided escape for many. They used the press to call for an end to slavery and challenge public policy that allowed it to exist.
The Christian coalition continued the fight for right after the Civil War and slavery’s demise. The church helped the Freedman’s Bureau, a government agency designed to help former slaves adjust to post slavery life. They built schools that taught children and adults alike the basics of reading, writing and math.
The bulk of today’s historically black colleges and universities (H.B.C.U.) were established by church efforts. Booker T Washington, the esteemed leader, first attended Hampton University (VA) before he founded Tuskegee Institute. Today more than 100 years following such efforts HBCUs produce roughly 20% of black college graduates and nearly 30%of black graduates with STEM related degrees. Church roots continue to engender success fruits.
The book of Ephesians tells us that Jesus is the head of the church. (Holy bible Ephesians 5:23) The fruit lives because the root gives. Black history in these United States of America has often been black harshstory- a harsh story.
However, it’s filled with victory and promise. They who descend from the African continent along with all other Americans would do well to stay embedded with the roots which sprung of the Lord.