Friday, December 23, 2005

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry CHRIST-mas!!!

What is Christmas to you and do you celebrate it? I am not celebrating it in the traditional "secular" way. We both know that Christmas is about acknowledging the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. 

How can I, as a Christian, not recognize the day? December 25th may not be the actual date of His birth, but it is the only nationally recognized day set aside for that purpose. How we choose to recognize the day is what makes us different from the rest of the world. 

Recall in Job 3, Job's children all celebrated their birthdays. The Bible says that Jobs seven sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them (Job 1:4). 

I believe that the reason that Job prayed for them is because he either suspected or knew that they were not honoring God in their celebrations. 

I am convinced that the dissatisfaction is in what they did during the celebrations and NOT the celebrations themselves. Remember, we are to do all things as if for the Lord - not for ourselves.

The original celebration of "Christ-mas" was a day set apart due to the actions of those that came to worship the baby Jesus. The emphasis being on the "worship" which in most churches today is actually a celebration. 

Traditionally from day one, worship was also coupled with gift giving. The big problem today is that people have forgotten or have never known the true meaning of it and have turned it into the thing that we detest! 

I believe that we as Christians adopted the December 25th date as a way to combat the pagan winter solstice celebration. Yet, we have now become like them and now glorify Santa Clause or St. Nicholas. 

Did you know that St. Nicholas is an actual saint? See even that man was associated with Christianity.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was the the traditions need to be sorted out properly. I choose to not put up a tree but have no problems hanging lights and exchanging gifts. 

I believe the lights represent the stars in the heavens on the night of the celebration of Jesus' birth and the gifts tokens of worship to God, honor and respect to the King, and the suffering of the Messiah. 

The gifts as described in the Bible are Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. 

Gold was the usual offering presented to kings by their subjects, or those wanting to pay respect. 

Frankincense is highly fragrant when burned, and was, therefore, used in worship. 

Myrrh was used chiefly in embalming the dead, because it had the property of preserving them from putrefaction. (John 19:39). Myrrh then is brought as a gift to acknowledge the human suffering that Jesus partook of when He came into our world.

So while the world celebrates the season with gifts and jovial activity and good cheer, we as Christian are to be of good faith, joy, and hope. 

We can and should celebrate the birth of our our King, our Lord Jesus, and our Messiah on His day. To do any less would seem to take away from our fidelity in Him.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Is there power in the words???

When it is said that, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. " - Proverbs 18:21, what is it really saying and what does it mean?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Who Are They Anyway?

Alright, so why is it that whenever a group of us are having a discussion somebody brings in the “They” crowd? “They” are always usually interjected into the conversation in a hushed voice, as if we don’t want “Them” to hear us talking about “Them”. We always listen to what “They” have to say about something and sometimes even make decisions based on “Their” opinion but why? What do “They” know that we don’t know? By the way, does anybody even know who “They” are anyway?

See, I believe that “They” are actually agents of “The Man”. “The Man” of course being the overseer of a totally anonymous, invisible, secret conglomerate of society’s so-called conspiracy entities known as “The Establishment” who have an agenda to continually suppress “The Little Guy”. On a more global level, President Bush stumbled upon a sect of “The Establishment” known as “The Axis of Evil” a small collective of the “Evil Empire” permeating the terrorist world. He even managed to associate Saddam Hussein as one of “Their” prime operatives. (You go Bush -daddy!!!)

While I do suppose that “They” are contributors to disrupting most of the world’s progress by recycling axioms usually preceded by the words, “Well, you know what they say…” The fact is that we don’t actually know if what they say is really what “They” said. How are we to know that they even know what “They’re” talking about. As one author puts it, “Everyone knows that boys are better than girls at math, that spicy foods upset the stomach while milk is soothing, and that lemmings drown themselves en masse. Likewise, we all believe that strange things happen during a full moon, that people become more conservative as they get older, and that stomach cramps will sink a swimmer who goes in the water too soon after eating”(You Know What They Say - The Truth About Popular Beliefs. New York: HarperCollins, 1990). The only trouble with all this is that who is going to prove whether it’s correct or not? Rarely, in fact, do we bother to question what "They" say let alone check to see if “They” are right or not.

In the writing of this blog, I discovered that “They” actually have a website named, what else - Read this with caution as I’m sure that “They” have a way of tracking your access back to your computer and planting a virus in your favorite solitaire game or erasing your critically important jpeg file of your dog’s first birthday party or something. Because, you know what “They” say - nothing is safe on the internet these days. Somebody’s always watching.

Who’s that!!!!

What's Love Got to Do With It?

Somebody please help me out here. When in a relationship, Love is a primary binding factor - but is anything else really needed besides Love? What about trust? What IS trust? I don't think it's so much a factor of whether or not a person can trust me but if they trust themselves. According to the Bible, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." This meaning that we are only as we see ourselves. If we are not trustworthy, we tend to not trust in others. Trust is an unspoken bond. You make it when you accept responsibility for another's emotions and they entrust with you with securing their heart. What we do with that trust dictates the degree of commitment we make to a person.

So, Love = Trust + Commitment? Is that the correct equation or should it be more like; Love = Trust + Faith? Where do things like financial responsibility, quality time, and good common sense fall into the mix? Is it possible to Love logically or is this a game for the Emotions only? Wouldn't a logically thinking man find a more practical way to handle the problems of Love? I mean, he’d probably factor in the other things that emotions leave out thus creating and environment where Peace of Mind can foster Confidence which could be translated as Trust: Trust being equivalent to Security. Security promotes Respect which is reciprocated by “Love”.

I’m just a man of logic… Fortunately for me, I also incorporate emotions. I find it utterly unwise to undertake an endeavor like Love without at least attempting to factor in the unexpected. In today’s modern-age, it has become a requirement to establish where people are starting from in order to map out a course of success in a relationship. Baggage is allowed on this ride (max of 2 please), as long as you keep them stored in the baggage car along with everyone else’s and avoid riffling through other people’s baggage stored there. However clearly label your baggage so as to not accidentally take someone else’s at your final destination.

So, is the most successful relationship built on the old principle of Love alone or on a new paradigm?

WhaTs LoVe Got To Do WiTh It?

Who gives to this feeling, who needs to the find its meaning
When time is too much to give, when short is life to live
Where truth turns to lies, where the weary spirit cries
Why wasn't it given back, why is there so much lack
How hard it is to see, how easy it is to simply be
In Love..... So
Whats Love Got To Do with It

- Anonymous ;-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fasting is Really Slow Going!

Well, my 40 day fast turned into a 10-day fast. It was an experience and the Lord revealed a number of things to me. Fasting, praying, studying the Word, and being obedient are the things that make up our spiritual walk and the man who endeavors to seek after the Lord in such a way deserves a blessing. Well, I believe that I got just that! My walk was strengthened and my attitude changed. I have a true spirit of appreciation for what the Lord gives us in the way of food, life, shelter, family and loved ones, etc. It’s difficult for me now to take any of those things for granted any longer.

I also learned a lesson in obeying God’s word. I had seen Him work miracles in the life of the believer while on my fast and many times after it ended. Through it all, I am reminded of the scripture in 1 Samuel 15: 22-23 “Does the LORD really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn't want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him. Rebelling against God or disobeying him because you are proud is just as bad as worshiping idols or asking them for advice”. This was significant to me because Satan created circumstances which brought me face-to-face with His word and I was tested. The outcome of that testing… will remain between the Lord and me – but I wll say that I am a better man because of it.

So, I lasted all of 10 days on a vegetable and water/100% fruit juice fast. It was invigorating and challenging. I went from 177lbs down to 165lbs during that time. I ended after 10 days because I was not able to perform my job adequately while maintaining that fast. The Lord and I have a deal though… I will complete 40 days of fasting through the remainder of the year so I still have 30 days to go.

Anyway, that’s that… I recommend that all Christians seeking a spiritual breakthrough go through at least 5 days of fasting in a month and endeavor to do a full 40 days per year. 40 is a break through number in the Bible. Moses, Ezekiel, and Jesus all endured 40 day fasts and received a revelation afterwards. There is an example there for all of us. The Lord hears the prayers of the obedient and blesses those whom He will bless.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

This is the day...

Well, today - Monday August 1, is the start of 40 days of purpose for me. I have decided to subject myself to 40 days of fasting, prayer, studying, and preparation for the things that the Lord has on my heart. I am not boasting of what I am about to do, only maintaining an online journal so that I can focus in on and describe what changes are taking place.

As this is really my first time attempting to do something this drastic, I am asking for as many prayer partners as possible. Keep coming back daily for updates!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Honey, I'm Home!!!

Honey??? Where you at?

I thought maybe she'd be here by now... dang!

Proverbs 4:7 (Amplified Bible)

The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation).

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Baby, you wanna go out for dinner tonight?

Oh, I forgot, nobody's gonna answer. 

Wishful thinking.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Shakespear Noir

Funny thing happened as I was checking my email the other day...

"When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things." - I Corinthians 13:11

What does it mean to be a full-grown man. Because there are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, who are walking around and they look like men.... They've got whiskers, they might even have a child, but it's not clear to me that they are full-grown men.

As a consequence, there are a lot of 30, 40, 50, even 60-year-olds who never quite grew up, who still engage in childish things, who are more concerned about what they want than what's good for other people, who may not treat their women the way their women deserve to be treated, who may not engage their children an nurture their children in the way their children need to be engaged.

The first thing is setting an example of excellence for our children..... If we are to pass on high expectations to our children we've got to have high expectations for ourselves.

One of the values that I think men in particular have to pass on is the value of empathy, Not sympathy, empathy. And what that means is standing in somebody else's shoes, being able to look through their eyes. Sometimes we get so caught up in "US" that it's hard to see that there are other people and that your behavior has an impact on them. And sometimes brothers in particular don't like to feel empathy, don't like to think in terms of "How does this affect other people?" because that's considered being soft. There's a culture in our society that says we can't show weakness and we can't, therefore, show kindness. That we can't be considerate because sometimes that makes us look weak. That sometimes we can't listen to what our women say because we don't want to act like they're in charge.

And our young boys see that. They see when their mother is being ignored. They see when you are inconsiderate. They see, they watch, and they observe. We have to change that cycle for them. So that they can grow up to make better choices and value life for their families.

You can tell what's important to somebody, not by what they say, but by what they do. Where they put their bite, where they put their energy, where they put their time......

You're not strong by putting other people down, you're strong by lifting them up.

In a Father's Day sermon at a South Side church, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama appealed to fathers in the black community to begin acting like "full-grown" men in order to earn the devotion and respect of their loved ones.

Ok, everybody get all of that? Here is the funny thing that happened to me. I almost accepted that the entire thing, although I really couldn't see myself in every aspect of what it said! 

Now, let me preface this comment by stating: The views and opinions expressed on Ya' Heard are not necessarily those of the guy who actually posts them (me). The posting of said comments are strictly (well, primarily) for entertainment purposes and do not necessarily (well they kinda - after all I did write them) reflect the views and opinions of the author! DONE!

Now boys and girls, hang on for a lesson in objectivity. See what I failed to do initially was to exegete the email message. 

First off, I had to consider WHO the message was coming from. Albeit a nearly anonymous email, I did recognize the person who actually sent it to me... a WOMAN!!! Aha - he says! Now the email was direct, succinct, and moving... but biased. I perceive that this was probably authored by a woman. 

What man in his right mind would actually write those types of things about himself or any other man (see Sen. Barack Obama)? I thought he was married? His comments sounds like something I would have said at an all women's mixer for the NAACP and I was the guest speaker or something. Probably a great pickup line, right??? 

Wait, he WAS at a BLACK church on Father's Day. More women than men heard that message that day! Bet he pocketed some numbers on the back of programs in the foyer, eh?! Anyway, the perspective was that of a woman.

Secondly, WHO was the message FOR? Obviously, it was meant to give the impression to men that it was them, but it went to a lot more women than men so it got reversed and was targeting women. Black women to be more precise. See how slick women are? Anyway, it was written BY a woman FOR women.

Now here's the topper, WHAT was being said? Basically, it was a woman telling men - well - how to be men? I know, I'll repeat it... A woman was telling us men how to do the "man thing". 

I'm quite sure that after the thousand of generations of men who have graced this world throughout history, none of us could figure it out and none of us bothered to pass down what we knew - so the women had to do it for us. 

Before I completely put my head on the chopping block here, remember my disclaimer!!! Thank you. 

I read and I saw a lot of bashing. I'm not saying that I expected to see a great deal of praise! In fact, even when quoting what the Distinguished Gentleman said, we only got the "blast" part of his speech. On Father's Day! COME ON!!!!! I know that SOME positive things were said regarding black men. Where dat at??? She (the author of the email) commented on how black men haven't "matured" and are still portraying men with child-like mentalities, mistreating the black women, and embarrassing our black sons and daughters. 

We are insensitive brutes with no perception of consequences and passing on that negative legacy for our sons to follow. (Tisk, tisk!) Shame on you Black Man!!!! Shame! (walking away in disgust, shaking my head)

Sistas, I was raised by a single black mother in the ghetto projects on the Chicago southside in the 70's and 80's. Yep, she raised 6 of us (4 boys)
alone! We all managed to make it through those times and I believe we have all done pretty well in terms of learning our lessons. 

As men and fathers, well I believe that we had to learn those on the streets and through trial and ERROR. Yes, there are a lot of men out there who just don't get it yet. Some very good women have become victims of society's native sons and have suffered great losses and make great sacrifices in order to recoup. BUT, you all are not off the hook either. 

There are many sistas out there chewing up good black men and fathers and spitting us out like old chewin' tabacky... You are looking for strong yet sensitive men. You are looking for aggressive yet tender men. A man who will cry with you one minute and think he's the best and then call him a wimp for being compassionate and for reciting poetry. You take our kindness for weakness (that aint right)!!!

You tell us to be a man - have you ANY reasonable idea of what a MAN is supposed to be? Oh, you were going by what your father did... I see... so, uh he had it together, did he? That's terrific... 

Do you suppose he just popped out of the womb endowed with these traits? I know his father set a good example or he had other male role models! AHA!!! Well, what role models do we have today? Sports athletes, rappers, and street pharmacists. Nice outlook... Why is it that way? 

Prestige is inherent with wealth in today's black society. A man making $60K working a steady job and barely getting by (due to the cost of living and maintaining one of those OTHER women) is enough to get a man thinking that he had better jump on the bandwagon and write a hit hip-hop groove. Just listen to the lyrics of the top 10 black R&B or Hip-Hop songs. What they talking 'bout Willis? Well, look at the rewards... big cars, half naked women, bling and cash to blow... what's the downside? 

Look at the confusion we have to deal with! Put a good man in those circumstances; insensitive woman, nagging, unkempt, not willing to do the things that a good woman/wife is supposed to do for her man - despite how she feels, the lure of quick money, loose women (who he doesn't have to care about), and respect (as long as he has money and is still making records) - and you get the topic of last Sunday's message.

Well, I have exhausted myself on that one.