Category: Other

Remembering John Mack (1937 – 2018)

Civic leader John Wesley Mack was born on January 6, 1937, in Kingstree, South Carolina, to Abram Mack, a Methodist minister, and Ruth Wynita, a school teacher. Shortly after he was born, Mack’s family moved to Darlington, South Carolina. Mack attended North Carolina A&T State University, where he earned his B.S. degree in applied sociology in 1958. As a student, Mack was the head of the college’s NAACP student chapter. The following year, Mack was married to Harriett Johnson, an elementary school teacher he met through his college roommate; the couple went on to have three children together.

In 1960, Mack co-founded and became vice-chairman of the Commission on Appeal for Human Rights, an organization that incorporated members of Atlanta University, Morehouse, and Spelman Colleges, including such noted figures as Marion Wright Edelman, Julian Bond, and Reverend Otis Marsh. That same year, the students held sit-ins at Rich’s Department Store. During this time, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested. 1960 was also the year that Mack obtained his M.A. degree in social work from Clark Atlanta University.

Shortly afterward, Mack and his family moved to Oxnard, California, as part of a social work fellowship established for him at Camarillo Hospital by his mentor Whitney Young. In 1964, upon completing his work at the Camarillo Hospital, Mack moved to Flint, Michigan, where a year later he became Executive Director of the Flint Urban League. It was in Flint that Mack focused on fair housing and voter registration issues.

In 1969, Mack became President of the Los Angeles Urban League, where he would serve until his retirement in 2005; the longest tenure of anyone in this position. With Mack as president, the Los Angeles Urban League became one of the country’s most successful non-profit organizations, generating an annual budget of $25 million while promoting issues of employment, education and economic development.

In 1977, Mack became co-founder and co-chair of the Los Angeles Black Leadership Coalition on Education, and in the early 1980s, he was appointed vice president of the United Way Corporation of Council Executives. In the late 1990s, Mack served as a Fellow in Residence at Harvard University, where he led a study group entitled “The Future of Urban America: Finding Solutions Through Strategic Partnership and Policy Advocacy.” In 2005, Mack was appointed President of the Board of Police Commissioners of the Los Angeles Police Department by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa; he held this position for two consecutive years before being elected to the office of Vice President in 2007. Over the years Mack has been awarded by numerous different institutions, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Black Women of Achievement, Operation Hope, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the California Afro American Museum.

 

#ThursdayReads: Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson is an award winning author, a widely celebrated Georgetown University professor, a prominent public intellectual and a noted political analyst.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, he is also an ordained Baptist minister. Dyson is a two-time NAACP Image Award winner (Why I Love Black Women, and Is Bill Cosby Right?), and the winner of the American Book Award for Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster. His book The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America was a Kirkus Prize finalist. Dyson is a New York Times bestseller, has written 19 books, and edited another one, over his nearly 25-year publishing career. He is also a highly sought after public speaker who is known to excite both secular and sacred audiences. Follow him on Twitter @michaeledyson and on his official Facebook page (facebook.com/michaelericdyson).

 

He Won’t Give Up On You

For today’s daily devotional, I’m led to remind you of the power in Hebrews 13:5b which reads … I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  Hebrews 13:5
To know that God is on your side no matter what you may going through is one of the greatest blessings. 
Even if you were in the wrong, or they were in the wrong, or if the situation itself was just all wrong, as long as you sincerely repent in your heart and go to God about the situation, He promises to never leave you in it…He promises to always see you through.
The word, “leave,” in this Scripture in the original Hebrew means to send back, relax, loosen, to give up, omit, calm, to leave, not to uphold, to let sink
The word, “forsake,” in this Scripture in the original Hebrew means to abandon, desert, leave in straits, leave helpless, totally abandon, utterly forsaken, to leave behind
So during those storms in life when you’re crying, “Why, God, Why?” or even, “Where are you!?” During those times you feel He has abandoned you, know that He hasn’t abandoned you… and He never will.
The fact that God says He will never leave you nor forsake you is a promise. And you know you can take whatever God says to the bank. You can cash that check and it won’t bounce. God’s Word is a sure thing.
Isn’t that good to know?
So another way to read Hebrews 13:5 is as if God, Himself is saying, “I will never relax or loosen my hold on you. I will never give up on you. I will never let you sink. I will never abandon or desert you.  I will never leave you helpless. I will never leave
you behind.”
God is always your present, right now, help in your time of need. (Psalm 46:1)
So no matter what you may be going through right now, remember you’re not alone.
You have someone who is right there with you, pulling for you who won’t let you sink in the quicksands of life – He’ll pull you up right in the nick of time – every time.
*Originally published on Kim on the Web.

I Could Rock With Her!

Have you ever met someone that looks like they should be in your crew? I know I have. Every now & then I see a woman who looks polished – dressed fly, nicely coiffed hair, makeup & nails tight. When I see women like this I think, “Man she could rock with me!”

The saying ‘birds of a feather, flock together’ is so true for me. The friends that I hang out with on a regular basis are pretty much like me – put together & carry themselves well (I have my days but for the most part this is how I try to present myself). And nothing over the top – no crazy nail designs, ridiculously high heels or tacky-looking weave. If I present myself a certain way, I want to hang out with people who present themselves in a similar fashion. That’s probably what attracts one person to another in the first place.

Whenever I do see women who look like they could be in my circle, I try to get to know them and possibly make a connection. I don’t want a group of friends that all look or act like me, but I certainly don’t want any ‘crazy looking’ friends either. People would think I’m crazy if they saw me associated with someone who doesn’t look like they belong in my circle of friends.

So, what do you do when you see someone that you’d like to have in your circle?!

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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.

BA degree

Don’t Know How To Pray? Just A.C.T.S. Him

Many people aren’t sure how to pray. They think that there is a special way to talk to God otherwise their prayers won’t be answered but that just isn’t true. God hears all prayers, no matter how long, short, clumsy, disorganized, boring or weird they may be.  He’s even outlined how we should pray in the Bible –

Matthew 6:9-13

New International Version (NIV)

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors

13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

That’s what the Bible says, but how does this teach you & me how to pray? Well, there is an easy way to remember. It’s called ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication:

Adoration means to worship. Every time we go before God we owe Him worship for who He is (Luke 4:8 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only”).

Confession is expressing sincere regret for the wrong you have done. Ask God to forgive you of your sins. When you confess, God will cleanse you from all wrongdoing (1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness).

Thanksgiving is giving thanks to God. Thank Him for His love, forgiveness, protection, provision, mercy & grace just to name a few things (I Cor. 1:4 – I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus).

Supplication is the time during the prayer where you ask for your needs and desires and for he needs of others, including friends, family, co-workers and our government leaders (because they need prayer too!), etc. You may want to ask for things like God’s guidance and wisdom. (Phil. 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God).

So you see, anyone can learn how to pray. Just A.C.T.S.!

prayer

Do You Want To Feel Better? Take 66 Of These & Call On Him In The Morning

Sometimes I feel down due to the everyday challenges that life brings. One of the best things about being a Christian is knowing that despite my current position in life, I can always find favor with God (Proverbs 8:35).

I wrote a post earlier entitled, “It’s Not The Pace, It’s The Race”. As a child of God, I know that finishing the race doesn’t necessarily mean just getting through this week. It doesn’t mean even making it through 2013. It means living a life that is pleasing unto the Lord (Colossians 1:10). And the only way to please Him is to read His Word. So below I’ve written out some of my favorite verses for times that get me down:

  • When You Feel Lonely:

–          “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’.”(Gen 2:18)

–          “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” (Psalm 27:10)

–          “…Because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

  • When You Feel Like You’re in Despair:

–          “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

–          “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties…” (II Corinthians 12:9-10)

–          “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” (Psalm 91:15)

  • When You Feel Hurt:

–          “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)

–          “…Weeping may endure for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

–          “Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7)

  • When You Feel Guilty:

–          “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39)

–          “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)

–          “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7)

So if you’re not feeling well right now, don’t worry. Just pop a verse or two & consult with the God, the highest doctor in the world.

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I Love Seeing Old People At The Gym. It Gives Me Hope

I often write about the “good times” I have at the gym. =) Well, now it’s time for some more observations from my week at the gym:

  • Men, don’t adjust yourself in public please – This definitely merits a separate post (which I will write one day), but I think it’s gross! I understand that moving around a lot while working out may constitute an “adjustment” but at least go to the restroom, turn away from the crowd or wait until you’re in private. How often do you see a woman digging around in her sports bra to move “things” around?
  • No peeking – No one should be allowed to peek over at my machine to check my speed or see what level of incline I’m on. What I’m doing when I work out is my business and my business only. So what if I’m on the treadmill on a level 1 incline for 30 minutes? I may not be going very fast, but that might be the most that I’m able to do.  Some people don’t even get that much exercise in a whole week. All I’m saying is – keep your eyes on your own machine., thank you very much.
  • Farting in public – Some people just can’t hold it in, can they? All that grunting on the machines can really move the gas around in your stomach but constant offenders shouldn’t be allowed back. It’s already sweaty in the gym. Don’t funk it up any more than it already is.
  • No Talking Zone – I understand a lot of people think that the gym is a good place to meet people (which it is) but it’s all about timing. If I’m on a machine gettin’ my sweat on then it is not a good time to try to holla at me. But if I’m walking around, standing in front of the fan or getting a smoothie then that would be the best time to come up to me.
  • Thank goodness for football season! – I know the gym will be much emptier on Monday evenings now. Yeah!!

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