Monthly Archives: February 2009

Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Wall!

obama-senateSince April 30, 1973, when America was going through a dark time and President Nixon was finishing up a speech to the nation regarding the resignation of major players in his administration, he said what no other President before had at the conclusion of his speech; “May God bless America.”

May God bless America. I have to stop and just think about that phrase.

Gerald Ford nor did Jimmy Carter humbly stoop to use that phrase (surprisingly enough since Jimmy was a Baptist).

However, Ronald Regan made full use of the phrase and communicated his sentiments well through it.

Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43 utilized that phrase in over 80% of their speeches.

I was again reminded of the phrase when President Obama repeated it after his speech to the joint session of Congress recently.

It caused me to think about other phrases about God we employ.

Not only do we use “May God Bless the United States of America,” but also “In God We Trust,” or “…One nation under God.” We really want God’s help in America, and we boldly proclaim it after presidential speeches, on our money and in our Pledge of Allegiance. However, somehow some still think we need a wall of separation between church and state.

The money system that America has depended on has failed us once again. The best economic strategists, otherwise known as the “priests of money,” have no clue on how to fix the problems we are experiencing. All we see from the financial gurus are palms facing upward and shoulders being lifted as the mouth quips, “I dunno?”

So, what do we do?

We go back to what has successfully sustained our nation; God.

Our nation was founded on His word, principles and ideals. 80% of Americans claim to be His children and what some were ostensibly relying on just isn’t working (no surprise here).

So, as Regan said in a speech while in Berlin to President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, I say to Mr. Obama, “TEAR DOWN THIS WALL THAT SEPARATES CHURCH AND STATE!”

You want change? Then here’s your change; tear down this wall, and let’s call a week of prayer and fasting, and then let us see what will happen to our nation. Before any speech to the joint house of congress, do what is done every morning before the session starts by my friend Chaplain Barry Black of the United States Senate or a designee, and that is to have prayer.

Mr. Obama you claimed to be a Christian during your campaign. Show us your colors.

If not, at the end of your speech from now on, you might want to say something like, “May Warren Buffett bless America.” Or, you can use, “May Bill Gates bless America.” Give it a shot and let’s see if they will “show us the money!”

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – www.exaltationchurch.com

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Lent; A Tradition Worth Giving Up!

YOUNG WOMAN RECEIVES MARK OF ASHESTraditional Lent started centuries ago when man thought that he had to prepare himself for the death and resurrection commemoration of Jesus Christ. It’s as if he had to prepare his own body for death.

Today Lent is part of many “high church” holy days respected as a religious tradition. It’s a tradition because it is not a ritual nor a sacrament found in scriptures. Many people view it as a self denial gratification process that makes them feel better about themselves. People give up various things in their lives during this season as if it gets them in a better position with God.

Now here is where information is so vital to those who want to give up something. Let me explain.

The purpose of Jesus Christ was to fulfill a legal requirement that God demanded when man fell from Grace. Jesus was the only one who could take mankind’s place in death and satisfy this penalty. He gave up everything for mankind; glory, power and honor. The scriptures say that Jesus became poor for our sakes that we might become rich.

When someone gives up something for us, we don’t have to give it up again. That’s redundancy.

While giving up something for Lent might seem worthy, righteous, noble or religious, it really is only good for the individual; nothing else. I’m not being sacrilegious here or disrespectful to those who observe it, but it doesn’t gain you any “brownie points” with God at all. It’s all tradition based on man’s self sacrificing attitude that somehow this might make him look good in God’s eyes. That’s all.

Now what you might like to do is observe a 40 day season of communion. This is where you, during the traditional Lent season, take personal communion everyday either alone or with family or friends, remembering what Jesus did for you on the cross and celebrate what has been given to you as a result of His death, burial and resurrection.

What He gave up for us, we receive in blessings of salvation, healing and eternal life. We don’t have to give up chocolate (one of my weaknesses) soft drinks, pork (I love sausage biscuits) or anything else for that matter. He didn’t demand us to give up anything, except to follow Him.

So instead of giving up anything for Lent, just give up Lent. You’ll feel better as you celebrate the goodness of God and still enjoy that which you have, maybe by tradition, given up something you really didn’t want to in the first place.

Now let’s all meet at Hardees for breakfast followed up with a trip to Godiva.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

Ok, The Secret Is Out!

pirate_treasure_chest1I must admit, over the last 4 months, more and more people are turning to what I have to say about various issues and ideas more than ever. So many are reading “What I Think About It” and listening to the broadcast. More so than ever before.

It’s humbling but at the same time perplexing.

Since beginning the written blog back in the fall, over eight thousand people have viewed and read the words that are impacting and changing people’s attitudes and actions in life.

That gives me a convincing indication that there are so many that not only need to, but ought to hear it, apply it and live it. There are a lot of WITAI fans who believe and know what I say is right and true. I get a bundle of positive feedback. You see, I’m sorry, but you won’t hear what I say and write from anyone else. I say what people are thinking. That’s the beauty and edginess of WITAI.

I do the same thing in my sermons on Sunday morning. So many people say to me all the time that they wish so many countless others could hear what I say. They tell me that they’ve never heard many of the things I speak to them (it’s all found in the Bible). It is so refreshing and encouraging to them.

Many of you who faithfully read or listen to WITAI let me encourage you to do the following;

1. Share with as many people as you can the written blog by forwarding it to them every time you get it. You will be thanked later for it.

2. Convince as many people as you can to listen to WITAI on the radio or streaming on their computer.

3. When you have a friend who is going through difficulty, go to the blog site, WITAI, and look for a “tag” that could help them. Send them the link to it and watch what happens.

4. Take the courage to leave what you’re doing and where you are and come and listen to what I have to say at Exaltation Church on Sunday Morning.

5. By reading the daily blogs, listening to the radio and hearing it in person on Sunday morning, you will be so well prepared for life than ever before.

I absolutely love helping people and equipping them for life.

I love taking the Bible and making it have a no-nonsense correlation between religion and reality.

WITAI is your connecting bridge between religion and reality that teaches you how to develop values and ideals. It will make your life more pleasurable, livable and joyful.

I love getting up everyday and sharing what I believe will be the most positive message influence you’ll have for that day.

You need to know how to use what you hear and read in the Bible and apply it to your everyday life. I’m here to help you with that.

You’re welcome. I love you too!

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

The Cigarette; Some People’s Best Friend!

smoking_largeIt was my alarm clock, believe it or not. We didn’t have air conditioning and in the summertime, dad would sit in the swing on the front porch, read the newspaper, smoke a cigarette and the smell would wake me up (my bedroom was right next to the front porch). I absolutely hated that smell.

I didn’t realize, until I was older and away from home, how bad my clothes must have smelled to others because of cigarette smoke. I never thought about it. But then again, most of the parents of my friends smoked so maybe it wasn’t so bad.

Smoking is the drug addition that is more accepted by Christians than anything else. We realize that it is some people’s best friend; it was my dad’s.

They have to have that cigarette after a meal, when drinking coffee, when stressed out, after marital relations and I’m sure other times that I don’t know about. With the average cost of a pack of cigarettes at $4.50, and smoking two packs a day, spending $9.00 dollars a day on your best friend is not too shabby. Let’s see that’s $56.00 a week, $270.00 a month and $4,590.00 a year. I wish I was somebody’s best friend like that, don’t you?

My dad introduced his best friend to my brothers and my older sister. In fact one of my brothers about died when he picked the wrong weed to chew on as he was walking home one day to keep dad from smelling the smoke on his breath; the weed was poisonous. They had to rush him to the hospital when he began to turn blue; bad mistake on his part.

My dad’s best friend, who became my sister’s best friend, killed her when she was only 52. Interestingly enough, her death put a hole in my heart. See, parents don’t get it when they spend time with this best friend, that they are drilling holes in their children’s and family’s hearts should they die an early death.

Some people are open about their drug addition to their best friend; some arrogant about it. Some sneak around and do it. We don’t see them, but boy do we know it. Their clothes and their breath reek with it. (What I despise is coffee and smoker’s breath. My dad would tell me goodbye when I would leave for school with that luscious fragrance.)

Now the Christian world can be very inconsistent about things especially when they preach against smoking. I remember hearing a 400 pound pastor preaching on the sin of smoking and how it harms the body. This man died on the operating table having his stomach stapled. Maybe he should have taken up smoking?

I want to be compassionate with smokers and say, please stop. You’re killing your body, you don’t smell the greatest and you’re spending a lot of money. In Richmond, pretty soon, you won’t be welcomed to bring your best friend into the restaurant with you.

Hey, Christian smokers, listen to me. You’ll have a better testimony, you’ll be healthier and you’ll save money.

Can you imagine a picture of Jesus with a cigarette in his hand? How disappointing. (I found a picture that I was going to include with this blog of Jesus smoking but it was too offensive. Maybe I should have put a picture of a Christian smoking instead.)

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

Fireproof or Foolhardy?

fighting-couple1It is amazing to me, how some people are so devoted to a piece of paper more so than each other.

I mean there are people in this world who live together in a legitimate marriage union who absolutely cannot get along with one another and have no common bonds, much less love each other. These people have long been psychologically divorced for years and because of their obligation to a “church” and its position on divorce, they feel they have no other alternative than to live together.

Everyday for them is a day in hell when they are together.

Now I realize that there are some who have resigned themselves to the fact that they might as well make the best of it and live together amicably. They both understand that it is better to get along rather than fight all the time. I mean it’s not just in the pews of our churches but it’s in the pulpit as well. There are pastors who boast of marriages of 30 or more years and they say it with arrogance. However, the truth is that there are some of these marriages that have not been enjoyed for the sake of the couple, but have been endured for the sake of the church. Sad, isn’t it?

I don’t believe for one moment that this is the kind of marriage that God intended for mankind. You cannot convince me, that because of our wrong choices in mate choosing, that it is our lot in life to live with our mistake for the rest of our lives.

Now, let me be clear, marriage is not to be a trial and error arrangement. Multiple marriage victims need to research why they keep choosing the wrong mate. My heart goes out to those who, time after time, fail to find pleasure and happiness with a mate that they thought would be the “right one.”

I give credit to the movie “Fireproof” for the good it is struggling to do in keeping couples together in marriage. However, we as the church created the problem and now we’re trying to get these unhappy couples to “keep it together” to help the church save face. According to Barna research, born again Evangelicals have the same divorce rate as non-Christians. Let’s face it, we’re not getting the job done in teaching proper relationships in marriage.

What is the solution?

We have to begin teaching the proper manner to children to search for a mate at an early age. The church has got to develop better classes for parents to teach their children about life long commitments and how to choose them wisely with God’s help. Schools have got to do a better job in teaching what real relationships mean. Sex education has become the cure all to end all problems in the school system, but that’s only part of the problem.

We’ve got to get to the root and quit dealing with the fruit.

We need better schools that teach values and ideas that are meant for all people; not just Christian schools that isolate and build walls between the good and the bad.

We’ve got to do better than fireproof our marriages; we’ve got to teach how to not marry an arsonist.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

America’s Failing Leadership

bald_eagle_head_mg05011John Maxwell said, “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.”

Leaders from all walks of life in America are failing at what they have been given a responsibility to do, and that is to lead.

John’s quote is so poignant as to where we are in various fields in America. Men and women have lost their passion to lead. Leaders are to lead, not just sit in power chairs and enjoy the accolades of the masses.

The success of any program, plan or parish begins at the pinnacle and filters to the bottom.

The passion of a leader impacts the position of the layman which results in success or failure.

We have seen it quite glaringly from home lenders to home leaders. We’ve watched it go from heads of corporations to heads of churches. No one is immune from irresponsible leadership.

During this time of economic debacle of blundering and greedy CEO’s there is a lack of taking responsibility and a whole lot of finger pointing and blaming others. This is symptomatic of poor leadership.

Presidents of businesses and CEO’s are refusing to take their rightful place of authority and responsibility and are now delegating the role of who gets laid off and cutback to sub-leadership so they themselves appear guiltless and blameless. I call them cowards.

Pastors (who should be the ones who lead by example) are becoming the ones who falter in their leadership. They are becoming the ones who need repentance and rehabilitation and leave their sheep in confusion. Others receive their recompense for their sermons and fail to take responsibility for anything else that goes on behind the scenes. To all of them I say, “you need to turn in your credentials.”

Our politicians are more concerned about electability than responsibility. They vote, they lead and they choose, based on what makes them look good instead of what is best for America. Our political system needs reform now more than ever.

Leadership is defined by the passion of the leader and not the position of the leader. Jesus was passionate about impacting people. He was a leader. In fact, there has never been a leader like Jesus Christ. When men write about the leadership skills of the Master, one key element stands out; relationship. He cared about the welfare of the people. He had a relationship with them that caused them to follow him and look to him for leadership.

Can we not learn? Are we too prideful in America to go back to saying, “In God WE trust?” If not, someone is going to come along and say ,“I have all the answers.” Can we say anti-Christ?

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

“Skepticism Is Slow Suicide”

wrightffRalph Waldo Emerson had it right on with his skepticism quote.

Too often we are elevated in our spirit by a dream, a cause, or a mission only to be torn down by another who feels it is their “duty” to see to it that we don’t fly too high.

Skepticism abounds in the heart of man. It is a wretched, evil filled and faithless emotion that seethes from the heart to the mind and mouth. It is the self applied caution of life and love. It is that which protects us from being wrongfully manipulated or hurt.

You say skepticism is good sometimes. Really? When?

What good does skepticism produce? None. It only wastes time in trying to establish relationships, reach goals and doing good in general. It’s a barrier in relationships that makes one become judge and jury until another proves himself worthy of the other’s approval. It is the water which one must build a bridge to cross over to win the approval of another, whether it’s for a relationship or a project.

No, skepticism on any level is not good.

Learned skepticism is a result of one having been hurt time after time after time only to build the personal wall of protection higher and higher each time.

Good people who accept others at face value are vulnerable. They are an emotional disaster waiting to happen if the people they accept are fraudulent. They are a people at risk of being hurt.

But these people learn people skills of how to evaluate other’s goodness by what they know from their gut, their experience and knowledge. One thing they don’t do is become aloof or keep their distance from others until otherwise proven wrong.

Skepticism is built not on faith but on doubt.

Skepticism says that I have no faith in you, your project or anything good you do. I will be skeptical of you until you have proven yourself, so that I can have faith in you, your project or anything good you do.

Our entire society is built on skepticism. We revolve around it.

Jesus Christ was not one who was skeptical in any shape, fashion or form. He was a man who accepted another human being at face value. Why? Because he saw the potential in man. He saw what he could have been instead of what he was.

Did Jesus get burned in relationships? Of course He did. He even chose a disciple, a close friend, a brother and a confident that betrayed Him. His own people rejected him. His mother and brother called him ‘delusional ‘at one point in front of others.

No, skepticism is an attitude full of doubt and unbelief. I’ve been burned a lot in my past and I’ll have many more emotional fire produced scars. But like I’ve said before, success bears the scars of sacrifice.

It’s an attitude that the world’s system thrives on. No thank you, I’ll be having something else; trust and encouragement.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com