Crucify Kaepernick!

I’m a white male who served this country honorably and believes in social conservatism….Phew, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me proceed.

If you own a television, computer, radio or any other electronic device you have inevitably heard about the racial inequality that exists in America.

Is it true?  Absolutely!  A person has to be blind, deaf or live in an area with one race to think otherwise.  Prejudice in America still exists, but the real question is, what do we do about it?

I’m all for protesting when there are signs of racial bigotry, but I believe we should do it without destroying the work of other people.

By now you have heard the story of Colin Kaepernick, the famed 49er’s Quarterback who intends to sit during the National Anthem as a way to protest racial injustice.  Is he destroying the work of others?  I believe he is!

Protesting while desecrating the American flag or sitting during the National Anthem doesn’t give a display of respect to one group without disrespecting another.

Kaepernick says he respects the soldiers who have fought for this country, but I have to wonder if he really does.  What about the black soldiers who fought during far worse social conditions in order to pave the way for a freer society?

Black men who went to fight in the Civil War because they believed in a united America where all men could be free, who eventually returned to jobs reserved for white men while the lower paying jobs were given to them so they could stay in poverty?

How about the thousands of brave soldiers who heeded the call when their country needed them while the world was at war who still were not allowed in the same restrooms as their counterparts?

I could go on, but you should get the point.  See, to a soldier the flag or an anthem means more than a tangible item that represents a nation.  It represents the ideology of that nation, even if the reality doesn’t live up to the expectation.

To those that have died in the battlefields it represented freedom;  freedom from oppression, freedom from tyranny, and a freedom that comes to all men and women no matter the color of their skin.

To me, protesting during the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance is an attack on the men and women who died in the battlefield while supporting something greater than a song or a flag.

Here sits a man who should get full credit for working his way up in a sport that has allowed him fame, prestige and riches.  But my argument is that others died in the name of something greater…liberty!

Unlike the media, I’m not going to yell to crucify Kaepernick.  It would be my sound counsel for him to travel around the world and see the many poor faces that starve or are dying because there is no effort to save them.

He might just find that while America isn’t perfect and we have a ways to go, we are still a nation that allows him to sit during the National Anthem on national television while collecting his million dollar salary.  A right somebody else paid for!

 

 

 

 

I Hate Family Reunions!

I love every moment I get to spend with every member of my family.  I look forward to the days we have plans to spend with my wife’s family.  I mean, I’m a true southerner that believes the most important thing you have on earth is family.

BUT I HATE FAMILY REUNIONS!

I’ll probably catch some slack for that, but before you revoke the thoughts you have of me during the one time of the year you decide to send Christmas cards highlighting your achievements, let me tell you why.

There used to be a time in the southern parts of America and maybe in the north too that families were so important to us that we were together all the time.  I remember being little and spending a majority of my time with my cousins, uncles and aunts and especially my grandparents.

As an adult I still want to be with family!  There is rarely a week that goes by that I haven’t visited with my parents, my wife’s parents or talked to one her brothers.

I mean we live in the communication era!  Of course I have a problem with family reunions.  We have email, instant messenger, cell phones, snap chat, text, social media and a host of other ways to get a hold of each other.

So why would I want to take one day out of an already hectic schedule to see people who have already shown that I’m not important enough to talk to the other 364 days a year?

Think about it, some families like my extended family offer to have a Christmas get together every year.  What happens is they are not well attended.  Why?  Because everybody else has other commitments.  Can’t blame them right?

364 days a year we don’t talk, we aren’t part of each others lives.  So why would we think that we would be priority to each other that one day?

When my son was sick my wife and I went through an emotional time.  Guess who was there?  OUR FAMILY!  Of course this includes our friends and church family.  After all, family is more than just blood related.

So why would I take from one day with the important people who are with me the other 364 days to spend one day with the people who said I wasn’t important the other 364?

Maybe it’s not family reunions I have the problem with, maybe it’s the need to have families be closer.

Yet, until I can get a real answer, I’ll continue to blame family reunions!

 

 

A Belt On the Butt!

I can’t say that I got punished with a belt a lot.  I was always a pretty smart child and the times I did get a spanking while bending over a piece of living room furniture caused the threat of a belt to forever be embedded into my memory.

Now, I know what child psychologists say, especially the ones without children.  They claim that research suggests that spanking children causes them to have traits of aggression and does little to change their behavior.

Christian parents often struggle as they seek guidance from all the self help authors who claim to be well known.  Do I spank or do I not?  Of course we all know that the Bible says Proverbs 13:24, “He that spares the rod, hates his son.”

Maybe the philosophical question should be, “is a child with aggressive traits so bad after all?  Let’s examine the evidence:

  • We no longer want our children to be exposed to losing.  Instead of a winner take all attitude, we only want “everybody to be a winner.”  Where has that gotten us?  In a society where we can no longer tell the men from the women.  Masculinity is no longer celebrated unless it’s a trait of a female.
  • Because we are sensitive and don’t want to harm anyone, our education system only teaches history with a political agenda.  We don’t teach on Pearl Harbor, we don’t teach of the ferocious nature of the Japanese and how they made Isis look like a girl scout troop.  No, we only teach on America dropping the atomic bomb!  What have we gotten in return?  A generation that no longer understands the sacrifice of farm boys and inner city kids who fought to make the world a safer place and a free society.
  • In exchange for parenting we decided to let our children talk.  It is now common place to hear a child back talk their parent in public and not show them the respect they deserve.  What we get is a child in charge and a parent in disarray.

I could keep going and go on for days, but the reality is if you don’t have the point by now, you probably aren’t going to get it.  The problems within our society aren’t political as some suggest.  The problems are actually maternal and paternal.

Parent’s have traded the swift discipline that  worked for thousands of years for a softer-gentler approach.  Until we are willing to take off our belts and remind our children that we are the boss and every action has consequences, we’ll be left with a confused generation.

I think it’s time to take off your belt.  If you don’t have one, let me know, I’d be more than happy for you to borrow mine!

If My Dad Whines…

Social media has began to light up with pictures of everyone’s fathers in anticipation of the upcoming weekend…Father’s Day!

As common for me I’m going to abstain from the norm.  If you know me, you know I have an affinity to typically go in the opposite direction from everyone else.  This led me to examine how my parent’s must feel when I don’t follow suit.

There’s nobody in this life that has taught me more about hard work, sacrifice, how to be proud yet remain humble and that I could possibly admire anymore than my dad.

Yet we have somehow forged a relationship that very rarely warrants either of us telling each other how we feel about the other one.  Now I would quickly state that since my dad retired, he does have a propensity to point out my moral flaws!

See, I chose to post pictures of my grandfathers.  Two men that still hold a mystical resemblance to modern day superheros for me.  To me, my dad was always there and was the epitome of discipline and no fun.  Every once-in-a-while he was the guy that seemed to enjoy administering my punishment.

Then I thought about how my own two boys are exactly the same.  Today they are both with their grandfathers!  Actually they would give up a full day with me to spend 30 minutes with their grandpa’s!

My 11 year old is more than willing to ride with his “Papa Tim,” to just about anywhere.  So why with me is he so concerned about being embarrassed?  My 5 year old would rather spend an afternoon in a smelly old metal building doing projects with his “Papa” then he would to spend it in the pool with me.

It is the same for the Grandfathers.  I spent my money, picked out the Father’s Day present and will get excited to give it to the Old Man, yet my boys will get all the credit!

So I guess there is just something special between Grandfathers and Grandsons!  I’ll simply remind my boys how blessed they are to have two good Grandfathers who enjoy spending time with them.

And if my dad whines about the whole picture thing?  I’ll simply remind him he will always be my hero, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the two guys that I thought of as superheros!  Happy Father’s Day to all of you!

 

I’d Run You Over

I know the Scriptures, I know that Jesus said that nobody that puts their hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom, but I also can’t help myself from reflecting on my past.

I remember a time when I hadn’t allowed God to fill my heart.  I was pretty shrewd back then, not allowing people to run me over nor getting the upper hand.  If you got in my way, I’d run you over!

When God took over I changed.  I’m a firm believer that God loves the humble and meek.  I still have a tendency to be some what bullish and appear to have confidence.

My wife says that I have a “law enforcement look” about me and at times my appearance screams of someone trying to intimidate others.

I guess I should blame my parents, I got my wide shoulders from my dad and my wide hips from my mom!  Nothing could be further from the truth however, because I’m probably the easiest going person there is.

Matter of fact, I would tell you that when I quit running over people others started running over me!  It’s true, since I’ve been a Christian, especially a Pastor, I feel like I’ve been a doormat for people to walk over.

I wasn’t at my first pastorate 3 days before some guy decided to call my modest wife a harlot!  A harlot!  My good Southern Baptist raised wife, a harlot!

Of course there was about 15 minutes there where I wanted to lay hands on him.  The nice thing about being a Pentecostal is I could have done exactly that and called it a spiritual moment.

What I realized was that God had really changed me.  Since that time I’ve been treated unfairly by some, used by others for their own self gain, had people tell me how sorry I   am without any response from me and I’ve even been called names.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been perfect.  The last time a man threatened me with physical violence I told him exactly where I was and that it would be better for him to come and do whatever it was he thought he would do.  I figured one of us may need to repent as fast as we could!

Yep, I remember a time I wouldn’t have allowed people to run over me, but then again, I wasn’t representing an awesome savior who has shown me nothing but mercy.  After all, what’s a little suffering compared to what He did for me?

 

 

The Church Needs to Get Some Balls!

Pastors tell me that we can do nothing but pray about the coming times.  The political climate is bad, America has lost its moral compass and it is all part of God’s apocalyptic plan!

Maybe their right?  After all, most of the one’s I know seem more assured of themselves than I do, but I’m still willing to argue that they are only half right.

The only person that has a viable excuse for not recognizing the current moral lapse in America is the person who just woke up from being in a coma the last 8 years.  It is true, morality has seemed to have died and we’re all standing around looking for who is responsible.

Of course the church has gotten a majority of the blame!  It is said that we went down a slippery slope in the 80’s when some of the TV Evangelists got caught with their pants down.

The 90’s were no better because the church only recognized excess and traded simplicity for plush new sanctuaries and that awesome new red carpet that is now out of style!  The 2000’s ushered in a rebellion and now the church is at the center of the moral decline….so they say.

Blaming the church for the current moral condition is like blaming a farmer for a tornado!  He can only plant the crops, water them and take care of them, he can’t be responsible for something ultimately out of his hands.

American society traded hard work and learning for the lust of pleasure long ago.  Think about it, how many kids play sports on Sunday now?  Oh I know, little Johnny will get a scholarship one day and after college he’ll make some money, right!

Unfortunately only 1% of the kids will ever make it that far.  But hey, they sure are having a good time now!  What we’re left with is a generation that we are now realizing are consumed with themselves and have gotten their morality from reality TV.

Blame the church all you want, but it started in the homes with mom and dad.  I would proclaim that our willingness to put the 900 other zillion things in front of God has left us with an empty generation that lacks the moral barometer of their grandparents.

How do we fix it?  I don’t know, maybe the church needs to get some balls!  The better question may be how we can win a generation that traded the church for the pursuit of their own desires.  If you figure it out, let me know, I’m looking for exactly that answer……wait, what kind of balls did you think I meant?

 

 

…Go To Hell…

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”  (Matthew 6:26, KJV).

I left home a little over 24 years ago to serve my country.  I couldn’t wait to get back home to the foothills of eastern North Carolina.  Most North Carolinian’s are like me, they remember a simpler time when the breeze blew against the cotton fields or the beads of water sparkled on top of the tobacco leafs after a hard rain.

Today, North Carolina is known for something else then the beauty of the landscape that fills our environment.  Our values and culture have been decimated by the large corporate machines who hunger and thirst for greed.

Many call it a cultural shift in which the millennials want an all inclusive way of life.   The divide that has resulted leaves us in a bitter feud over House Bill 2 and the right of all of us in the usage of public bathrooms.

Of course the moral dilemma of a man using the bathroom with a little girl is at the forefront, but there is something even greater at work here.  Will corporate America and the power of the media continue to persuade our moral compass?

For years the media has quietly manipulated the American mind by utilizing the news as propaganda.  But now corporate America chimes in and rides the horse of self righteousness by firing anyone who imposes on their intent to abolish free speech.

It has filtered into avenues that nobody really saw coming, ESPN, NBA, NFL, Amazon, Ebay and many others.  These companies now believe that the power has been given to them to suppress the moral barometer of Christian belief and force their will on everyone who opposes.

Many Christians sit and argue about the greatest method of fighting these conglomerates.  Should we boycott?  March?  Fight?  Would any of these things be loving like Christ?

I remember Daniel though, he refused to eat the unclean food from the King’s table, risking his life to stand up for what he believed in.  Sounds like he boycotted and stood up to the imperial power.

Here’s where we are.  Christians can keep ignoring the current events and waiting for politicians to come along to change things while our rights continue to be taken away.  We are now the minority and must face the consequences of our own inclusiveness.

The time now warrants decisions, will you stand up and risk unemployment because of your Christian faith or will you sit down and follow the moral decline that will soon face the impending judgment of God Almighty?

The time is now and further decline will risk greater persecution.  Not only will you lose your jobs, you will face fines and imprisonment for sharing the Gospel (The Bible tells us those times are coming).

The posers, those that say they stand for the Gospel, yet trade the truth for self indulgence are being exposed.  The real church must stand up in the face of all of this evil and remember that the Church thrives when it is persecuted for their beliefs.

What will you do?  Will you sell your soul for the riches of this world and go to hell or will you give it all away having the faith that the grace you have been given is eternal?