Tag Archives: BLM

Courage Encourages Those In Need of Courage – and BOY do we need it!

The High School Skit

Asahi Pentax K1000 Camera Service Repair Manual | eBayIt was 1984: Michael Jackson and Madonna ruled the charts, cars were pitiful, and I was the photographer for my school’s yearbook. I still remember the camera I used … a Pentax K1000 … or was it a Yaschica? Same difference.

Anyway, because I was on the yearbook staff, I was selected to play the part of the Cowardly Lion in a skit meant to encourage sales. I still remember my lines (I was a lion saying lines – ha!) … “Courage!”

Here’s the thing, and this is the honest truth (unlike what the mainstream news will tell you), playing the part of the Cowardly Lion, when I was given a medal to honor my bravery, actually gave me courage. Yes, even though I was only acting, the costume and the script released the inhibitions deep inside me and led me to do something completely off script.

There on stage, in front of the whole school assembled, I asked one of my stage mates, “Does this mean I have the courage to do anything?”  After receiving a “Yes,” I turned to face the auditorium and yelled out to the most beautiful and glamorous girl in the school:

“Lori Gilley! Will you go out with me?!!” 

Long story short, she didn’t. …However, I got a standing ovation! Arguably the better of the two.

Take a Knee (Or Else)

It’s now 2020, the craziest year in the history of years, and courage is all but gone out of style. Oh, sure, you can find it if you look in the right places, like on patrol with a police officer, with a nurse treating a Corona patient, or with parents trying to make ends meet after being out of work for 4 months.

But let me tell you where you will find the LEAST amount of courage – professional sports.

I’ll be honest with you – as I always am – even though I think a certain large-afro’d professional football player of questionable skill is wrong about almost everything, it was courageous to be the first to take a knee during the national anthem. Yes, I said it – he did show an amount of courage in doing so.

But fast-forward to today and everyone is taking a knee, even if the reason for doing so is continuing a false narrative. Yet, is it courageous to do so? No, it’s not. In today’s social climate, taking a knee and wearing a t-shirt that says “Black Lives Matter” is nothing more than an act of self-preservation, not conviction.

OH! Excuse me! Did I say “everyone” in professional sports is taking a knee? I’m sorry … please forgive me! Because a FEW courageous souls have decided to take a stand (literally) while the rest either cower, show allegiance or sympathy to a manufactured social movement, or simply kneel to keep the endorsements rolling in.

Enter J. W. May

J.W. plays professional soccer (football) for the Savannah Clovers, a team in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA). Even more importantly, he is the son of Tommy and Tammy May (Tommy’s a deacon in our church). One day soon I’m going to drive to Savannah and have coffee with J.W. at Black Rifle Coffee Co. 

Savannah Clovers and Georgia Revolution in Finley Stadium (Chattanooga) during the playing of the National Anthem.

Not long ago, J.W. and his team played the Georgia Revolution FC in Chattanooga at Finley Stadium (shout out to UTC). When the Star Spangled Banner was played, guess who was the only one to remain standing … from either team?

You guessed it, my future coffee buddy, J.W. May.

When you read this, J.W., I just want you to know I am dang proud of you! I’ll buy the coffee!

“Encourage”

How does one define courage? Why don’t we pull an old dictionary off the shelf, one that’s not been affected by modern revisionist culture, and read what it says?

COURAGE: Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent par of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering. (American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828)

Now, let’s look at how this 1828 dictionary defines encourage.

ENCOURAGE: To give courage to; to give or increase confidence of success; to inspire with courage, spirit, or strength of mind; to embolden; to animate; to incite; to inspirit.

Lastly, I would like for you to note how Webster uses the word encouragement in a sentence.

“The praise of good men serves as an encouragement to virtue and heroism.”

For whatever it’s worth, Colin Kaepernick encouraged other African-Americans (primarily youth) to make a social statement against police violence (based on an unfortunate false narrative). Whether or not their cause was justified, one can’t help but admit those kneeling when everyone else was standing and deriding them was, in all fairness, courageous.

Flip the script… Now, with nearly every professional and non-professional athlete, regardless of color, taking a knee — instead of standing in honor of the flag of the very nation that affirms their right to be disrespectful to it — true courage is seen in those few who stand out from the crowd … literally.

In the book of Daniel we read of three Hebrew men who wouldn’t bow before a 90ft. golden statue. Even though God worked a miracle and rescued them, they were thrown into a furnace because of their uncompromising… ummm… stand.

These days the furnace isn’t quite as hot, but it’s still deadly to one’s career and social standing, at least.

Thank you, J.W., for the courage to encourage others… we sure do need it.

J. W. May tending the goal for the Savannah Clovers. Photo Credit: J. W. May

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The Emptiness that Leads to Protests Confirms a Greater Need to Share Jesus

Good Wednesday morning, everyone!

I hope this post finds you well, whether it be a Wednesday where you are, or not 😉

This morning I went walking around my neighborhood in order to burn off some ill-gotten calories. While I was walking, a thought came to mind regarding the current social climate of unrest and ever-present protesting. As briefly as possible, I want to share my thought with you and beg your feedback.

Thanks.

By the way, this is a view of my office “work place” this morning.

Why do people protest like they do?

More specifically, why to white people run the streets tearing up stuff in support of Black Lives Matter? Please don’t be triggered – this is not a racial argument that I’m attempting to make. I ask this because the whites are not being treated like the blacks, so why protest and even risk (in a few places) being arrested?

Aside from those who join protests for no other reason than to find an accepted avenue through which to express their hoodlum-istic desires to vandalize something, I believe people join protests because they believe in the cause (whatever that may be).

Now, granted, the “causes” for many protests I’ve seen are weak and unsubstantiated, contrived, or overblown. But for the most part, the people marching, protesting, occupying, vandalizing, and even those who are acting like idiots while standing in front of moving trucks are doing it because they “believe” in something worth acting a fool.

Now, to the point…

I believe that what we are seeing in our nation, even the world, is the outward expression of a deep, inward void … an emptiness of moral value and sense of purpose, which leads a hopeless society to latch on to any cause that may sooth our souls’ desire for the spiritual.

In other words, what we are witnessing is a society, one that has purged itself of transcendent, objective meaning, all of a sudden finding within itself an insatiable hunger for what it refuses to accept, so it feeds on the artificial.

What I see are people who need to feel righteously indignant in order to gloss over the reality of their own unrighteousness.

Are there legitimate reasons for protests? Of course there are – at least in some cases. However, aside from any agenda that might be afoot and seeking to overturn our nation and system of government, what I see are not adults who’ve given a lot of well-informed thought to why they are doing what they are doing, but younger people who need a reason to wake up in the morning.

Black lives matter, so that means they, too, can find meaning – and matter.  Even more, they can be a part of a group, a community of like-minded activists complete with vibrant, charismatic speakers, which will literally walk along side them and encourage them to stay strong.

Therefore, it appears to me that the world STILL needs Christ, whether they want to admit it, or not. As a matter of fact, this modern culture of protest and activism only confirms there’s a greater need than ever to share Jesus.

Your thoughts?

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Five Years Later: Are We STILL Strong? (Remembering terror in Chattanooga)

Five years ago, today, a man drove around in his convertible Mustang and shot up my hometown. His goal was to kill as many servicemen as possible, so first he drove by the recruiting office on Lee Highway and unleashed a hail of bullets into the glass-fronted building. The “No Weapons” sticker applied to both serviceman and citizen alike, so no one was able to stop him before he drove off.

Photo credit: The Telegraph, UK

I stood here and wept as I took this picture. Note the green marks where spent shell casings lay.

The next place he went to was the Marine Corp/Navy Reserve training facility on Amnicola Highway, right between the community college so many of us have attended (where my youngest daughter will attend this year) and the riverfront bike trails and pavilions so many of us have enjoyed.

There the Muslim terrorist – for that is what he was, and that is what he intended on being – once again began firing on unarmed Marines and sailors with his high-powered semi-automatic rifle. At least one Marine had unofficially brought his personal sidearm with him that day and tried to stop the terrorist, but to no avail. Before long four Marines lay dead.

(Left to Right) Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, and Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells

A Navy sailor would later succumb to his wounds.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith

The local police in Chattanooga sped to the location where the terrorist was committing murder and engaged him with their own weapons.

Bullets from the conflict left holes in buildings as far away as the Coca-Cola offices across the highway and not even in view of the firefight. But before long, the self-proclaimed jihadist lay dead, too.

But Chattanooga survived.

Within the hour my city was the focus of world-wide attention. Terrorism had come to the South, and it was worth noting.

But what was also worth noting was the righteous indignation of our citizens, and the flickering flames that dared the enemy of freedom to fan us into a raging fire! We were shocked by what happened, but we were far from terrorized; we Tennesseans aren’t the type to retreat from a fight!

It wasn’t long before the first American flags started appearing at the two places where gunfire was exchanged.

In no time there were hundreds, and then there were thousands. Flags and mementos too numerable to count turned into defiant monuments to those who died protecting our freedom.

Tents were erected to shelter the thousands upon thousands of flags, letters, and memorabilia from the weather.

It wasn’t long before black, white, and every other color and faith united arm-in-arm as family, as Chattanoogans… as Americans.

In short, terror didn’t have it’s desired effect; it had the opposite!

……………………..

Skip forward 5 years. What happened to the unity?

Unfortunately, we are now divided more than ever. What the terrorist couldn’t do with his guns, politicians and the media, with weapons of jealousy, anger, lies, and hate, are succeeding.

Racism and accusations of racism, the erasing of our history by those with no understanding of history, and constant fear and suspicion over the spread of a virus are shattering our Union. Unconquerable from without, we are being destroyed from within.

Chattanooga, are you still strong?

Then let us come together once again as Americans, or else the “fallen five” will have fallen in vain.

#Noogastrong, #Chattanoogastrong

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Racial Reconciliation: It Starts Like This – With Jesus

Today I had a beautiful and powerful conversation with a fellow pastor and fellow TBS (Temple Baptist Seminary) grad, Rev. Kenneth E. Ware of New Sholar Avenue Baptist Church, Chattanooga.

Below is a link to the conversation we had.

Your comments are welcome.

 

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Filed under America, baptist, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Christian Unity, Christianity, community, current events, Jesus