Tag: Uncategorised

He’ll Restore The Years

Sometimes we look back at our lives and experiences and view it as time wasted.
We look at the degree we earned but never really used, the relationships that didn’t last, the activities and hobbies we engaged in while growing up which we’ve laid down or stop doing years ago.
Some even sigh with hopes of doing it all over again while making more productive use of their time next time.
For today’s daily devotional I’d like to encourage you with a popular saying, “Preparation time is never lost time.”
God will use all that He’s given you, all of your talents, all of your skills, one day if you just remain pliable and receive instruction from Him as far as what He would have you to do with your life.
He gave you those skills for a reason; it’s all in preparation for your future.
God doesn’t waste anything.
Even Jesus told His disciples, after He fed over 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fishes to pick up the fragments of food left behind as to not waste it. (John 6:1-13)
In regards to previous relationships, like I always say instead of just coming out of a relationship, learn out of a relationship.
Time spent in previous relationships that went sour now brings you one step closer to knowing what it is you’re really looking for and how you should respond in your next relationship. If nothing else, it may have taught you to seek God every step of the way and pray everything through while guarding your heart.
So no, you did not waste your time and no, you have not wasted your life away.
The God we serve is a God of a second, third, fourth and fifth chance and He will restore that which was lost as you continue to abide in His presence and allow Him to prepare you for the future He has for you.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. Joel 2:25:26
*Originally published on Kim on the Web.

#HumpDayLoveDay: Reverend Run+ Justine Simmons

o the world, Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, co-founder of Run DMC, is a legendary rapper but to his wife Justine from Hempstead, he’s simply “Joey.” In their new book, “Old School Love” they both talk about their successful marriage of 25 years which includes seven children (three from Run’s previous marriage) and three grandchildren.

Today they live in New Jersey, but they’ll head out to Long Island for a signing at Book Revue in Huntington on Thursday.

Newsday spoke with the couple about how they met, the secrets to surviving stardom and how they’ve made their marriage last.

Where did you two meet?

Rev Run: Justine went to see Kurtis Blow in concert when I was 15. I was hanging out doing a little rapping on the side calling myself the Son of Kurtis Blow.

Justine: He looked so innocent, shy and cute. After he got off the stage they whisked him to the back, but I kept thinking about him. So I knocked on the stage door and he came out to sign an autograph.

You both reconnected then married in 1994. What has held you together for such a long time? 

Rev Run: Doing right by each other. If you are not selfish, you can make it work. We always say, be selfless instead of selfish.

Justine: We are constantly trying to make each other happy and look out for each other. I don’t want to see him sad and he doesn’t want to see me sad. We are always trying to make our relationship better.

The divorce rate is so high these days. What are some key tips you can give young couples about staying together?

Rev Run: Whatever you were doing that got you so excited to get married, don’t change those patterns. If you’ve been together for two years and now you are married, don’t start putting new rules in the game. Whatever made you say, “I do!,” stay right there. Don’t let the word “marriage” change the way you treat your significant other.

Do you think young people today are fearful of getting married?

Justine: Yes! That’s why we called the book “Old School Love.” The back-in-the-day love was more intense. People tried to keep it together and not break up as fast. We are not saying we are the “It Couple.” We say, here are some things that we do and hopefully it will work for you.

Run, being a rap icon, how do you stay grounded?

Rev Run: They come with me. When I’m in it, I make sure they enjoy it as well. Think about it, I took the whole family and put them on TV with me [MTV’s reality show, “Run’s House,” from 2005-2009]. They are stars in their own right. My daughter Angela has three times the amount of Instagram followers than me!

#TuesdayTalk Politics: Andrew Young

Andrew Young Jr. became active in the civil rights movement, working with Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Entering politics, Young served in Congress, was the first African American ambassador to the United Nations and became mayor of Atlanta. In 1981, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Early Life

On March 12, 1932, Andrew Jackson Young Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. The product of a middle-class family — his father was a dentist, his mother a teacher — he had to travel from his neighborhood to attend segregated schools. After graduating from Howard University, Young chose to study at Connecticut’s Hartford Theological Seminary. In 1955, he became an ordained minister.

Civil Rights Leader

Working as a pastor in Georgia, Young first became part of the civil rights movement when he organized voter registration drives. He moved to New York City to work with the National Council of Churches in 1957, then returned to Georgia in 1961 to help lead the “citizenship schools” that tutored African Americans in literacy, organizing and leadership skills. Though the schools were a success, Young sometimes had trouble connecting with the rural students in the program.

As the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was running the citizenship school program, Young became a member of the organization and began working closely with King. Within the SCLC, Young coordinated desegregation efforts throughout the South, including the May 3, 1963 march against segregation during which participants were attacked by police dogs. King valued Young’s work, trusting Young to oversee the SCLC when protests meant that King had to spend time behind bars.

In 1964, Young became the SCLC’s executive director. While in this position, he helped draw up the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was with King in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, the day of King’s assassination. Following King’s death, Young became executive vice president of the SCLC.

Political Career

In 1970, Young left the SCLC to make a run for Congress but was defeated at the polls. Two years later, he ran again, and this time was elected to the House of Representatives. Young was the first African American to represent Georgia in Congress since Reconstruction. In his time as a legislator, he supported programs for the poor, educational initiatives and human rights.

During Jimmy Carter’s run for the presidency, Young offered key political support; when Carter was in office, he chose Young to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Young left his seat in Congress to take the position. While ambassador, he advocated for human rights on a global scale, such as sanctions to oppose rule by apartheid in South Africa.

In 1979, Young had to resign his ambassadorship, as he had met in secret with Zehdi Labib Terzi, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s U.N. observer. The resignation did not keep Young from being elected as Atlanta’s mayor in 1981. After two terms as mayor, he failed in his attempt to secure the Democratic nomination to run for governor of Georgia. However, Young was successful in his campaign for Atlanta to host the Olympic Games in 1996.

Legacy

Young wrote about his role in the fight for civil rights in two books: A Way Out of No Way (1994) and An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America (1996). He has also written Walk in My Shoes: Conversations Between a Civil Rights Legend and His Godson on the Journey Ahead (2010). He continues to fight for equality and economic justice with a consulting firm, Good Works International, that supports development initiatives, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean.

As an esteemed civil rights activist, Young has received accolades that include the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Spingarn Medal. Morehouse College named the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership in his honor, and Young has taught at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

 

#MedicMonday: Patricia Bath

Who Was Patricia Bath?

Patricia Bath was the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973. Two years later, she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute. In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that “eyesight is a basic human right.” In 1986, Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe, improving treatment for cataract patients. She patented the device in 1988, becoming the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent.

Early Life

Bath was born on November 4, 1942, in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood to Rupert Bath, the first black motorman for the New York City subway system, and Gladys Bath, a housewife and domestic worker who used her salary to save money for her children’s education. Bath was encouraged by her family to pursue academic interests. Her father, a former Merchant Marine and an occasional newspaper columnist, taught Bath about the wonders of travel and the value of exploring new cultures. Her mother piqued the young girl’s interest in science by buying her a chemistry set.

As a result, Bath worked hard on her intellectual pursuits and, at the age of 16, became one of only a few students to attend a cancer research workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program head, Dr. Robert Bernard, was so impressed with Bath’s discoveries during the project that he incorporated her findings in a scientific paper he presented at a conference. The publicity surrounding her discoveries earned Bath the Mademoiselle magazine’s Merit Award in 1960.

After graduating from high school in only two years, Bath headed to Hunter College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1964. She then attended Howard University to pursue a medical degree. Bath graduated with honors from Howard in 1968, and accepted an internship at Harlem Hospital shortly afterward. The following year, she also began pursuing a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia University. Through her studies there, she discovered that African Americans were twice as likely to suffer from blindness than other patients to which she attended, and eight times more likely to develop glaucoma. Her research led to her development of a community ophthalmology system, which increased the amount of eye care given to those who were unable to afford treatment.

Pioneer in Ophthalmology

In 1973, Bath became the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology. She moved to California the following year to work as an assistant professor of surgery at both Charles R. Drew University and the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1975, she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute.

In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that “eyesight is a basic human right.” By 1983, Bath had helped create the Ophthalmology Residency Training program at UCLA-Drew, which she also chaired—becoming, in addition to her other firsts, the first woman in the nation to hold such a position.

Inventing the Laserphaco Probe

In 1981, Bath began working on her most well-known invention: the Laserphaco Probe (1986). Harnessing laser technology, the device created a less painful and more precise treatment of cataracts. She received a patent for the device in 1988, becoming the first African American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. She also holds patents in Japan, Canada and Europe. With her Laserphaco Probe, Bath was able to help restore the sight of individuals who had been blind for more than 30 years.

In 1993, Bath retired from her position at the UCLA Medical Center and became an honorary member of its medical staff. That same year, she was named a “Howard University Pioneer in Academic Medicine.”

Among her many roles in the medical field, Bath was a strong advocate of telemedicine, which uses technology to provide medical services in remote areas.

Bath died on May 30, 2019, in San Francisco, California.

Stayed On Him

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)
 
If you’ll acknowledge God in all you do, He promises to go before you and make the crooked places straight. That means He will cause the right people to show up. He will open doors that you could not open. He will crown your efforts with success.
 
Acknowledging God isn’t something we should just do every once in a while. He should always be on your mind. Think about two people when they are first dating. They are so enthralled with one another that no matter what they are doing, they are thinking about the other person. Well, that’s how we should be with God. First thing in the morning when you wake up, you should acknowledge Him, while you’re getting ready, while you’re driving, and all throughout the day. Don’t let the distractions of this temporary world take your focus. Be determined to make your relationship with the Father your highest priority. Keep your mind stayed on Him, and He will direct your steps!
 
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for the gift of today. I choose to keep my heart and mind stayed on You. Help me to stand strong against distractions and negative voices so I can hear You clearly and follow Your ways in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

#FlybySaturday: Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. was born in Washington. D.C. on December 18, 1912, the son of Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. and Elnora Dickerson Davis. His father was a renowned military officer, the first Black General in the United States Army. Benjamin, Sr. served in various capacities (beginning in the Spanish-American war), including serving in one of the original Buffalo Soldier regiments. Unfortunately, Elnora died from complications from childbirth in 1916 when Benjamin, Jr. was four years old.

When Benjamin, Jr. (hereinafter just Davis) was 13 years old, he attended a barnstorming exhibition at Bolling Field in Washington, D.C. (now Bolling Air Force Base). One of the pilots offered him the opportunity to accompany him on a ride in his plane. Benjamin enjoyed it so much that he became determined to pilot a plane himself one day.

With his father moving around in his military duties, he attended Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated in 1929. He enrolled Western Reserve University  (1929-1930) and later moved on to the University of Chicago (1930-1932). Still desiring to serve as a military pilot he contacted Illinois Representative Oscar De Priest (the first Black alderman in Chicago, and at the time, the only Black serving in Congress). De Priest sponsored him for a spot in the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. His time in the Academy was harsh, hostile and relentless in the challenges and obstacles it put in his way. Throughout his four years, none of his classmates would speak to him outside the line of duty. None would be his roommate and none would sit with him to eat. Nonetheless, he graduated in 1936, finishing 35th in his class of 278. When he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the infantry he became one of only two Black combat officers in the United States Army – the other being his father Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. Upon graduation, he married Agatha Scott, a young lady whom he had dated while attending the Academy.

Because of his high standing in his graduating class, Davis should have had his choice of assignments, but when he opted to apply for the Army Air Corps he was denied because the Air Corps did not have a Black squadron. He was instead assigned to the 24th Infantry Regiment, an all-Black division located in Fort Benning, Georgia. Although an officer, he was not permitted to enter the officers club on the base. After attending the U.S. Army Infantry School, he followed in his father’s footsteps and traveled to Tuskegee, Alabama to teach a military tactics course at the Tuskegee Institute. On June 19, 1939, he was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant and subsequently up to Captain, Major and then temporarily to Lieutenant Colonel (a rank he would hold permanently in June 1948).

Despite the prestige of being an instructor, Davis still wanted to fly. Fortunately, others had the same desire and pressure was mounted on the Roosevelt administration to allow for greater participation by Blacks as the country was moving towards war. The administration, therefore, directed the War Department to create a Black flying unit. To his delight, Davis was assigned to undergo training in the first class at the Tuskegee Army Air Field. In 1942 he finished his training and was one of only five Blacks to complete the course and then became the first Black Officer to make a solo flight in an Army Air Corps plane. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and in July 1942 he was assigned as the commander of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, known by history as the Tuskegee Airmen.

In 1943, the 99th Pursuit Squadron was assigned first to Tunisia, then to a combat mission in the German-held Island of Pantelleria and finally took part in the allied invasion of Sicily. In September, Davis was recalled to Tuskegee to take over a larger all-black unit preparing for combat in Europe, the 332nd Fighter Group.

Almost immediately, however, problems arose for Davis.  A number of Senior Army Air Corps officers complained to Army Chief of Staff George Marshall that the 99th Fighter Squadron had under-performed and should thereafter be taken out of combat. Major General Edwin House, Commander of the XII Air Support Command wrote in September 1943 that “the Negro type has not the proper reflexes to make a first-class fighter pilot.” A furious Davis argued that no information had been presented to him that showed anything to suggest that the Black fighter pilots had performed unsatisfactorily. He presented his case to the War Department and held a press conference at the Pentagon. General Marshall did call for an inquiry but allowed the 99th Squadron to continue to fight while the investigation continued. When the results of the inquiry came back, the 99th Squadron was vindicated and found to have performed similarly to other fighter squadrons. Any continuing arguments ceased in January 1944 when the 99th shot down 12 German fighters in a two day period.

Soon thereafter Colonel Davis and the 332nd Fighter Group arrived in Italy where they were based at Ramitelli Airfield. The 332nd, called the Red Tails because of the distinctive paint scheme on the tails of their planes, performed well as bomber escorts, often being requested by bomber pilots because of their insistence on not abandoning the bombers. The group would eventually move into the use of state of the art P-47 Thunderbolts.

Davis participated in numerous missions, flying in P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs. He was awarded the Silver Star for a mission in Austria and won the Distinguished Flying Cross for a bomber-escort mission to Munich, Germany in June, 1944.

In 1945, Colonel Davis was placed in charge of  477th Bombardment Group, the group being comprised entirely of Blacks, stationed at Godman Field in Kentucky. After the end of World War II, the new President Harry Truman dispatched an order to fully integrate the military branches. Colonel Davis was called upon to help draft the new “Air Force” plan for carrying out this order. For the next few years he was assigned to the Pentagon and to posts overseas. When the Korean War broke out, he once again participated in the fighting, manning a  F-86 fighter jet and leading the  51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing.

In the summer of 1949, Davis was assigned to attend the Air War College. He was the first Black permitted to attend the college and it was significant because further promotion was dependent upon successful graduation. Despite dealing with the racial climate in place in Montgomery, Alabama, where the War College took place, he persevered and excelled and upon graduation received an assignment to serve at the United States Air Force Headwaters at the Pentagon.

He next served as Director of Operations and Training at Far East Air Forces Headquarters, Tokyo and then was assigned the position of Vice Commander, Thirteenth Air Force and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, a rank not made permanent until after his temporary promotion to Major General. His assignments around the world became almost too numerous to list but included:

 

  • Assigned command of the 477th Composite Group at Godman Field, Kentucky
  • Assigned command of Lockbourne Army Air Base, Ohio
  • Assigned command of the 332nd Fighter Wing.
  • Named Chief of the Air Defense Branch of Air Force operations
  • Named Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
  • Assigned command of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, Far East Air Forces, Korea.
  • Named as Director of Operations and Training at Far East Air Forces Headquarters, Tokyo
  • Named Vice Commander, Thirteenth Air Force, with additional duty as commander, Air Task Force 13 (Provisional), Taipei, Formosa.
  • Named Chief of Staff, Twelfth Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein, Germany.
  • Named Deputy Chief of Staff for operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany.
  • Named Director of Manpower and Organization, United States and Headquarters U.S. Air Force and Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Requirements.
  • Named Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Requirements.
  • Assigned as Chief of Staff for the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces in Korea.
  • Assigned command of the Thirteenth Air Force at Clark Air Base in the Republic of the Philippines.
  • Named Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command, with headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
  • Named Commander in Chief, Middle-East, Southern Asia and Africa.

He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in May 1960 and to Major General in January 1962. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in April 1965 and retired from active duty on February 1, 1970 after more than 33 years of military service. Finally, on December 9, 1998, President Bill Clinton decorated him with a four-star insignia, advancing him to the rank of General, U.S. Air Force (Retired).

He did not slow down upon his retirement, instead moving on to other ways to serve. In 1970 he was put in charge of the Federal Sky Marshall Program and in 1971 was named Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Environment, Safety, and Consumer Affairs. In this role, he oversaw the creation and implementation of airport security and highway safety programs and procedures (this included the establishment of the 55 mile per hour speed limit to improve gas efficiency and to promote driver safety). After retiring from the Department of Transportation in 1975, he followed in his father’s footsteps again by serving on the American Battle Monuments Commission. Finally, in 1991 Davis wrote his memoirs, relating his challenges and achievements over the years in his book Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.: American.

General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. passed away on July 4, 2002 and was buried with full military honors on July 17, 2002 at Arlington National Cemetery (his wife Agatha had died earlier in the year). In addition to the honor of being buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Davis received many accolades over the years included having a number of schools named after him. His military decorations include:

  • Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
  • Army Distinguished Service Medal
  • Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
  • Philippine Legion of Honor
  • Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
  • Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
  • Silver Star
  • Distinguished Flying Cross

Whether it was in the skies or the classroom, whether training pilots or advising presidents, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. led of life of professionalism, dignity and achievement, never allowing racism and other obstacles to slow him down. In doing so, he opened avenues within the military for generations of soldiers and pilots who followed in his enormous footsteps.