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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You Can Tell A Single Man A Mile Away

I’ve become more cognizant of some of the characteristics that single men seem to share. A man who is not in a serious relationship or married is obvious to spot. Here’s what I’ve noticed -

Single men groom a little differently: Similar to single women taking care of their hair, single men always keep theirs cut or nicely shaved. But what about their other hairs? (Don’t think dirty ya’ll!) I’ve met a lot of single young men who have unusually long nose hairs. Why is this? Don’t single men ever look at themselves in the mirror from the side to check out their nostrils? Long nose hairs are such a turn off! Married women don’t let their husbands leave the house without checking these things.

I can tell a single man by the food he eats: All you have to do is look in a man’s grocery cart to tell whether or not he’s cooking for two, let alone if he’s married. Men cooking for two have more food in their cart (and invariably more exotic foods) whereas married men don’t seem to buy very exciting foods. But it goes beyond the grocery store. When eating out single men tend to order differently (and usually less healthy).

Single men dress differently: Single men dress to impress. They may be a little bit flashier but they do take more pride in their appearance.

Single men don’t really attend church: Most Black churches are full of women and fewer men. Occasionally I’ll see some single men at church (which is always a good thing) but most men are married and are probably dragged to church by their wife or significant other.

Men, are single women so easy to spot?

“15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy”

I found this article written by Luminita Saviuc back in 2011, but it still holds true today. If you want your life to be easier follow these 15 steps below -

 

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right

 There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame

 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk

 Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs

about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining

 Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change

 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it. “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels

 Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

 

 

Your Spoiled Brats Are Your Fault

No one likes a spoiled brat. As an adult you learn right away that other people are not tolerant of spoiled behavior. You can quickly lose friends or even the respect of other people. You learn that life does not revolve around you and no one will stick around very long if you continue to think that it does.

But when a child is spoiled that’s a little different since the parents are responsible for their children’s bad behavior. We’ve all seen toddlers who throw temper tantrums in the grocery store, infants who throw food in a restaurant or the adolescent that talks back when he/she doesn’t get their way. Whether your child is a baby or a teen, there is nothing cute about a child who is disrespectful. Puberty is just no excuse!

Why do parents tolerate this behavior? It’s one thing if you allow your child to act spoiled in the privacy of your own home (notice I said “act” spoiled not “be” spoiled – there is a difference) but to have other people witness spoiled behavior should be more embarrassing for the parent than it is for the child. Why let other adults see how ungrateful your child is? Why set a poor example for other children that may not be as privileged as your own? Now parents who have witnessed your child’s bad behavior have to explain to their children why it’s not okay to be unappreciative of what they receive. Remember parents, you can’t get exasperated with or be mad at your child since you are the one who spoiled them in the first place.

I know I was spoiled as a child but my parents made sure I never acted like I was spoiled brat. Giving a child things that they want (not need) spoils them but when a child expresses gratitude, that is the opposite of spoiled.