Do You Have Your B.A. Degree?

More than 30% of Americans hold Bachelor’s degrees.  Having this degree can prove to be very helpful in growing your career but there is another B.A. that is even better than a Bachelors and worth a whole lot more – a Born Again degree.

In the 2011-2012 academic year the average net cost for a full-time student at an in-state public university was about $22,000. Tuition fees for a B.A. degree can range from next to nothing all the way up to $60,000/year. And that’s just for an undergraduate degree. But a Born Again degree is free. That’s right, I said FREE. Jesus has paid it all. (Colossians 2:13-14 – 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[a] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross). This means that all of our debt was erased the moment that Jesus Christ hung died on the cross AND rose from the dead.

The average work span is approximately 40 years. After getting your bachelor’s degree your knowledge is only good for the span of your career. But what happens to all that learned knowledge after you retire? It becomes obsolete and you never really use it anymore. But once you get your Born Again degree it never goes out of style. The Bible never becomes obsolete and wisdom lasts forever. When you retire from your job someone younger else will take your position. But in the body of Christ, you can never be replaced.

Have you ever met someone with the same degree that you have but they’re further along in their career than you are or they make more money than you do? Well, with a Born Again degree no one outranks you in the body of Christ. There are some nuances to this rule (i.e. – preachers) but for the most part once you give your life to Christ, you are saved and will go to heaven (Isaiah 53:5 – But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed). Also, the purpose of getting a bachelor’s degree is to gain the tools to excel in your chosen career but how do you excel outside of your career? The Bible gives us guidelines on to deal with people in & outside of our work environment (Read: I Corinthians)

We’ve all heard of lawyers being disbarred and doctors losing their medical license but once you become saved then you are ALWAYS saved. Unless you choose to walk away from the body of Christ, your soul will not perish  (John 10:27-30 – 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,[a] is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one”). What a wonderful feeling to know that nothing can remove me from the love of God!

Let’s face it, some degrees are useless (think underwater basket weaving) yet some people still pursue these fields of study. They do all this hard work to learn, study and sit through exams only to graduate and not have a clear career path cut out for them, or worse yet, not even be able to use their degree. What good is having a degree that you can’t use?! With a Born Again degree, what you learn in the body of Christ never goes out of style. No matter what career path we follow, how big our family may grow or what life throws at us, the information we learn from the Bible is always helpful and will never be useless.

A Born Agree (B.A.) degree is worth a lot more than a Bachelor’s (B.A.) degree any day.

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The Forehead Is Half Full: The Case For Dating Men Who Are Losing Their Hair

I have never been attracted to men who are balding, whether it’s just a thin spot in the middle of their head or a receding hairline. The strange part about it is that there’s no real reason why men with thinning hair are less attractive to me. It’s not like a man’s hair makes him a better conversationalist or puts more money in his bank account (Ha, I wish!), I’m just not drawn to them for some reason.

I’ve read somewhere that subconsciously women view balding men as having weaker genes. In an almost primeval way, who wants to mate with someone they think is weak? It is kinda hard to think a man dressed in a tuxedo or a suit is sexy when there is a patch of hair missing on the top of his head.  Although there are some exceptions to this rule – who wouldn’t date Vin Diesel, Prince William or Jason Stratham (sexy, sexy)?! Shoot, I’d even date Donald Trump with his infamous ‘comb over’ if he wanted to. Lol!

But is premature balding such a bad thing? There must be some benefits to dating someone with less hair, right? Well, here’s what I think those might be:

  • Men who are balding tend to treat you better & are more interesting – Maybe they’re trying to make up for the fact that they don’t have a full head of hair. With any shortcoming, physical or not, people usually tend to overcompensate. This may not always be the case but I’m sure there’s some truth to this.
  • It makes my hair look better – Okay, I’ll be honest. If I’m standing next to someone who is uglier than me, doesn’t that make me look prettier? Well, in the same vein, standing next to someone who is losing their hair surely makes mine look better. And if it doesn’t make my hair look better then it at least makes me look like a good person for dating him. (Yeah, I said it)
  • I can focus more on his personality – When you are less attracted to somebody from the start, getting to know them becomes easier because you’re not blinded by their good looks. I don’t have to worry about butterflies in my stomach when I see him or staring at his pictures on Facebook because he’s so darn cute – I can really just focus on his conversation, personality and commonly shared interests. Plus, who knows it is possible to become attracted to him once I get to know him, no hair & and all.
  • I already know what I have to look forward to – I always try to imagine what a man will look like when he gets older, whether or not he’ll lose his hair or gain weight, etc. If a man is already losing his hair when I meet him then I don’t have to worry about how he’ll look in the future. I can already see what I’m getting! (Don’t men do the same thing with women & meeting their     mothers? Hhhmm)

All in all, I have never found a man who is losing his hair to be good looking but that doesn’t there aren’t any good ones out there.

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*According to Webmd.com, African American men who experience premature balding may be more likely to develop prostate cancer so please talk to your doctor about that. Click here for more info.

“We Are All Oscar Grant”

Today I went to go see Fruitvale Station. Unfortunately, it wasn’t playing in a theater near me so I had to travel a little ways to see it, and I am so glad that I did.

If you’re not aware of this film, here’s the back story: Twenty-two year old African American Oscar Grant, III was brutally shot & killed in Oakland on New Year’s Day in 2009 by an overzealous White transit cop named Johannes Mehserle. Johannes was sentenced to 2 years but ended up serving only 11 months in prison. That’s right – 11 months in jail for murdering an unarmed young man.

Not knowing much about the story of Oscar Grant, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I walked into the theater. But 2 minutes into the movie, I was enraged! The movie started off with the live shooting of Oscar Grant (what I’ve attached here) and sets the tone for the rest of the film. This movie shows the kind of man that Oscar was – an imperfect one, but a seemingly good father and completely innocent young man. His whole objective that night was to celebrate New Year’s with his friends and get home safely by taking the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) instead of driving. But he never made it home. Transit cop Mehserle claims that he was reaching for his taser to calm Oscar down but instead grabbed his gun and shot Oscar in the back while he was lying on the ground defenseless.

Riots & protests ensued in the days following Oscar Grant’s murder, some peaceful and some violent. I can only imagine the heartache that Ms. Wanda Johnson felt in losing her son Oscar considering that he was unarmed & not dangerous. Barely old enough to drink, he simply wanted to ring in the New Year without any trouble. There can’t be any worse way to start off your New Year than to learn that your son’s life was unexpectedly & unjustifiably taken. But through it all, she still fights for hope in our justice system and redemption for her son’s execution.

I did feel as though the movie was incomplete. Before the end credits rolled there was a status update letting us know what happened to Oscar’s family & the transit cop that killed him. However, the battle shouldn’t end with his death. Connect with the Oscar Grant Foundation, whose mission is in part to “Provide comfort, needs assessment, emergency counseling and resource referral information to assist the family through the initial aftermath of a traumatic event caused by violence and treatment for the emotional injuries sustained at the hands of law enforcement officers.”

Fruitvale Station won two awards in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival: the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature & the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film. This film stars Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer and is playing nationwide in a theater near you.

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Don’t Pray For Me. Pray For My Dentist

I had yet another dental appointment this week & was scared for my life. I would rather be stuck with 5,000 needles than to have a drill in my mouth for two hours on a single tooth. My new dentist is pretty good (I just started going to him this year) but when I walked into his office he didn’t seem as upbeat as usual.

That’s when it dawned on me that my prayers this morning were for the wrong person. I was praying that God keep me safe & calm during my root canal but I should’ve been praying for my dentist (actually the endodontist) instead. After all, he’s the one with the drill & the Novocain in his hands. It doesn’t matter how calm I am if my dentist didn’t get a good night’s rest. He might be too tired to do the best possible job on my teeth.

Have you ever been at work, only a few days away from a much needed vacation & can’t concentrate on your work because you‘re daydreaming about lying on a beach instead? Well what if my dentist had an upcoming vacation and couldn’t focus on my teeth? Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What about when you have a meeting right before lunch and your stomach is growling because you missed breakfast? Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What if my dentist had a fight with his wife that morning (or even the night before) and is in a bad mood now? Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What if my dentist doesn’t feel well but didn’t want to call in sick today? Uh oh, I’m in trouble.

So before you go to see a medical specialist of any kind, pray not just for yourself but also for your doctor. Trust me, it’ll make a difference!

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Racism: You Can’t Determine What Is Offensive To Someone Else

Most African Americans have experienced racism at some point in their life. The problem is that most White’s in this country are apathetic to our plight. They tend to think the problems that we have are self-inflicted and our bouts with racism are over-exaggerated. I contend that another person, particular someone who is not of color, will never understand exactly what racism is & how it can affect generations of people.

White people don’t deny that there is some racism out there. And we already know that most racist acts are committed against African Americans – not Hispanics, not Asians, not Indians – but African Americans. So if we all can agree that racism exists & that African Americans are victimized more often, then we must agree that there is a perpetrator. After all, racism cannot exist without a catalyst, right?

Let’s talk about the “n-word”. There are some White people that think because some African Americans use that word, that it’s counterintuitive to discourage Whites from using this word. They can’t seem to understand why we continue to perpetuate a term that has such a hurtful past but get upset when they use that word. Here’s my response to any White person who says that:

SO WHAT, YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS OFFENSIVE TO ME!

The aggressor (in this case: White people) doesn’t get to decide whether or not it’s okay to use a word that I consider offensive coming from someone else. It’s the same example that I gave in an earlier post – if I call someone fat that’s considered rude even if they call themselves fat. And unless you grew up under a rock, everyone knows that the n-word is offensive to Blacks coming from White people. So why would you use it (especially in public)? White people aren’t always the aggressor and all Whites aren’t racist, but when it comes to race relations they don’t have the privilege of appearing to be a racist. It’s the same way with sexual harassment – if I say my co-worker is sexually harassing me then my company has an obligation to investigate even if my co-worker doesn’t agree that sexual harassment took place. Even if you don’t agree that using that word is wrong, you still know that it’s considered offensive so just don’t use it.

Some things we don’t have to agree with or even understand – Feelings are subjective. If someone is offended by something, you don’t tell them that they are wrong for being offended, instead you respect the way they feel.

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Trayvon Martin: Racism Is Still Alive & Shooting

President Obama recently shared the African American perspective on the injustice of the Trayvon Martin not-guilty verdict. Between the outcome of this trial & my own personal experiences I can truly attest to the fact that racism is very much alive & apparently killing.

Like 99.9% of African Americans in this country, I believe that the acquittal of George Zimmerman was unjust. I understand that we are supposed to abide by & trust this country’s legal system but since the vast majority of hate crimes committed are targeted against Blacks it should be obvious why there is so much aught against our judicial system & against White people in general right now. How can it make sense to anyone that when you murder an unarmed individual who was not coming after you in the first place, that you get to walk away with no consequences whatsoever?

I won’t argue the merits of the actual case since the verdict has already been rendered, but suffice it to say that if Trayvon was “Todd” I’m sure the outcome would be much different.  Race was most definitely a factor. Going back to the beginning of this ordeal, the police didn’t even make an arrest until a month & a half later (46 days to be exact) and that was only due to public outcry not because Sanford police were inclined to do it on their own. Really?! I’m sure if the tables were turned and Trayvon shot George Zimmerman the arrest would have been instantaneous. One commentator on CNN made a good point: If it was an all-Black jury & they convicted George Zimmerman everyone would argue that the jury was biased or even racist. So, conversely with an all-White jury (with 1 “other” juror), race was an issue.

Going back to President Obama’s press conference, I believe that our President was right on target. My favorite part of the speech was when President Obama said “…we have a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws” and that African Americans have a “difficult history not acknowledged”. NO ONE can understand the anguish that African Americans feel in this country when it comes to race relations. When White people say that they “don’t get it”, it’s just not for them “to get”. For people to claim that George Zimmerman didn’t racially profile Trayvon Martin or that he’s not a racist is preposterous. Someone who isn’t African American can’t possibly understand who is & who isn’t considered a racist. That’s like a man trying to tell a woman that childbirth is no big deal. A man can never really understand pregnancy just like White’s can never understand what it feels like as an African American to experience racism, especially to this magnitude. You can’t belittle our experiences or our realities.

So, now it’s time for action! Even though I wasn’t able to attend a peace rally in honor of Trayvon Martin, I have contacted my local & federal officials for them to take immediate action. You should join me in standing up on behalf of Trayvon Martin and the injustice that was served. Click on the links below to see who to contact:

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Things That Make My Teeth Itch – Aauugghh!!!

There are a few random things that are going through my mind right now. Again, these things are very random but I still thought I’d share:

  • From time to time I do a random phone sweep where I clean out phone #’s that I haven’t called in a while. I hate it when someone calls me out of the blue after I’ve just deleted their number
  • Don’t be mad at me if I can’t tell whether your baby is a boy or a girl. The sex of your baby might be obvious to you but not to other people. If your baby has on blue, I’m going to guess it’s a boy every time.
  • I hate it when I only have 2 or 3 items in my shopping cart but the person in front of me with a  full cart of groceries won’t let me go ahead of them
  • I hate it when I try to return something only to realize that I just missed the deadline per the store’s return policy
  • You’d think that because football season is over there would be more men grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons
  • I hate that cell phones are getting more expensive but the battery life keeps getting shorter & shorter
  • I hate that I have to check my drive thru order before I drive off because of 1 time a McDonald’s cashier forget to give me my fries and I didn’t notice until after I drove off
  • I hate it when people walk in the middle of the parking lot knowing that they hear my car engine right behind them trying to drive past them
  • Even though I get tired sometimes, I hate that I can’t take a nap in the middle of a Sunday afternoon because it will through off my sleep pattern for the rest of night
  • I hate putting on pantyhose for church & getting a run in them before I even get to the church
  • I hate offering people mints for their bad breath & they decline
  • It’s only when I need to wear a certain pair of shoes, I realize that they either need to be polished or need a heel replaced so I can’t wear them after all & it screws up my whole outfit

 

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