Lately, I have noticed a growing trend among black televangelists who are preaching a ministry of prosperity.  They emphasize that “nothing and/or no one can stop you” when you are in sync with this “holy” way of thinking.  They cite grace and faith as guarantees for success… right along with the following disclaimer:  If it’s not working for you, you are to blame.

Perhaps your faith is not strong enough.  Perhaps a monetary seed is needed.  Perhaps you’re too sinful.

In any event, YOU are to blame.  Oh wait, there is something else you should know.

You see, there is an enemy and that “the enemy” is prepared to thwart your blessings, if you are not careful.  This enemy moves through your life and seeks only to cause harm, and demonstrate its power over this world.

Nevertheless, this “enemy” is never clearly identified, nor is there any mention made of very real external forces that may contribute to your failure.

Of course, Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub and even Abaddon are all honorably mentioned (or dishonorably, as the case may be), but as for anything tangible, that’s never really discussed.  The problem is that this leaves most people with the idea that a ghost or, even worse, a red devil with a pitchfork is all that needs to be avoided to have a good life.  If you can do that, you can successfully navigate this thing called existence.   Avoiding that spectacle shouldn’t be too difficult!  I mean, how could you possibly miss a seven foot tall being with horns?

However, the elephant in the room remains largely unmolested… as it has since days of old.  It’s not mysticism, it’s people, and a particular group at that, that stand in the way.  But that little detail is left out– that is, until white televangelists takes center stage.  You see, they can discuss it.  The question becomes, will they?

Now, this is no slight to black televangelists.  The truth is, they cannot fully discuss the elephant in the room.  If they do, they are accused of whining, complaining, living in the past, displaying a lack of forgiveness (which is unbecoming of a man of the cloth) or, worse of all, race baiting.

But the fact remains that, in order to have this particular “enemy” (the one that has destroyed more lives than any red devil with a pitchfork) addressed, it is up to white televangelists to champion the cause!

As such, I’m calling loudly on white televangelists to publicly, openly and honestly discuss racism and its vestiges with their congregations!

I am calling upon white televangelists to speak the truth and no longer ignore or allow their congregants to merely be Sunday Christians who go on to terrorize their employees, coworkers, neighbors, etc. on Mondays.  No amount of “Hail Mary’s” should exonerate so-called Christians from their obligation to love, honor and respect fellow human beings (as it has done so in the past).

If churches and other religious institutions continue to ignore this elephant in the room, the church will continue to decrease in influence and importance in the ever decaying world we now live in.

I mean, why attend church, synagogue, mosque at all if you experience the same mistreatment there that goes unchecked in secular society?  What’s the point?

Can anybody hear me?

Insurance, insurance, insurance.

These days, there are so many insurance choices available that they seem to cover EVERY possible issue that may arise in your life.  There’s Whole or Term Life Insurance, Death Insurance, Auto/Motorcycle/Boat Insurance, Home Owner’s Insurance, Mortgage Insurance, Renter’s Insurance and a host of others.  Even if you own a spaceship, there is undoubtedly a policy out there to insure it.  You may not be able to afford it, but it’s out there.

The trouble with having so many insurance options presented, however, is that the rules, as well as the differing levels of coverage that exist from state to state, are, for the most part, profoundly unclear.  And, if you aren’t up to date on the constantly changing procedures, you can quickly become overwhelmed and/or be cheated out of a lot of money due to unnecessary or overlapping coverage.

If that isn’t enough, even if you manage to pay the fees and avoid the pitfalls, the insurance companies have other ways to cheat you.  For instance, you can pay full monthly premiums for life insurance for 30+ years only to turn 74 or 75 years of age and have your insurance benefits suddenly cut in half.  That’s right.  Despite being up to date on your premiums, you are not safe!  Apparently, the reality of your possible death and/or associated withdrawal of monies from an insurance company is just too much for them to handle.

So, incredibly, insurance companies are legally able to cut your benefits without any explanation or legitimate reason!

Things like age and uncovered illnesses (the parameters of which are, of course, determined by the insurance company) can easily get you a fast trip to the poor house.    Even with some covered illnesses, the copays and deductibles can decide and/or limit care options.  On some level, simply not having any insurance at all does away with the stress of dealing with unexpected costs and forms.  But then, you have to bear the weight of the full costs of treatment, which—as has been seen with antibiotics for cancer patients and the Epi-Pen—are artificially high in the first place.  You lose one source of problems only to fall into an entirely different set.  You just can’t win.

And it’s not just health insurance either.  Likewise, you can pay for Auto Insurance only to be penalized or even dropped by the insurance company for using it.  They accept payments from you month after month, year after year but, once you call them with a problem in need of service, your coverage is in jeopardy.

Again, the law of the land dictates that the insurance company has all the power.  Thus, they are well within their rights to alter or cancel your contract!

So we, the consumer, are truly at the mercy of the insurance company.   We, the consumer, are tasked to pay for insurance but never use it or risk expulsion.

As such, those of us who actually have insurance do everything in our power to avoid using the service that we are paying for.  To dodge excessive fees or hassle, we find ways to ignore health problems or patch things up on our own, which is not only ridiculous, but the very opposite of why insurance exists.

Could you imagine the power company dropping your service because you demand electricity at night?  Or, the gas company cancelling your contract because you asked for too much heat during the winter?

We need to band together as a society to force our representatives/government to step in and regulate insurance companies.  As it stands, they are the only ones benefitting.  Can anybody hear me?

Contrary to popular belief, terrorism and the threat of terrorism are not new phenomena.  In fact, terror attacks are, in a big way, the very reason we’re speaking today.  Think about it, the fact that the United States of America is even a country is as a direct result of the invasion and conquering of other lands and people by European settlers, who then called them their own.  In the history books, this process is lovingly referred to as colonization.  At least, that’s what it’s called by the culprit.  Just for one moment, try to imagine how the peoples being invaded felt.  Imagine being attacked and decimated, having your families tortured or used for sport and watching your homes burn to the ground.  Imagine succumbing to diseases you had never even heard of due to being given infected blankets or injured by strange weapons never seen before.  I think we can safely assume that the individuals being colonized were not willing participants and did not view the process as a blessing.  Thus, battles ensued.  Blood was shed.  Lives were lost.

But more than the overwhelming loss of life was the loss of the culture of the inhabitants of the conquered lands.  Whatever ideals, religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs, customs etc., that were a part of the conquerors’ world were now imposed on the remaining individuals that survived the physical slaughter.  I don’t think it is farfetched to say that these same citizens had to have experienced extreme trauma, major distress and mental illness after being forced to abandon everything they ever knew or believed on the threat of death.

Now, imagine this same scenario being repeated and played out from sea to shining sea.  The trauma imposed upon the conquered occupants who were oftentimes members of thriving civilizations before being colonized was completely ignored.   Honorable mention to the raping and pillaging that ensued.  But, depending on your vantage point, the success or failure of each mission changes.

Try to imagine conquered peoples having to live through and with these situations without reparations or apology!

Fast forward to today and the script is being flipped!  The former conquests are now becoming the conquerors!

For the first time in history, the colonizers are getting firsthand knowledge of the fear and helpless rage that their conquests have lived.  Now, the former master is being threatened, confined and controlled by forces who have a totally different belief system.  For the first time, the former conqueror is afraid…and rightly so.   After all, he is dealing with a rising group of people who believe that their way of life is both accurate and mandatory.  To that end, they are willing to kill or be killed.

The former colonizer finds himself unprepared to deal with this new threat.  So, amazingly, he solicits members of other societies that he previously colonized to take on HIS latest enemy.  By convincing them that they are being threatened as well, he feels that he can get them to be willing to die in his stead.

And why not?  He’s done it before!

He sends them to boot camps and other training camps designed to strengthen his cause.  He convinces those that he has consistently terrorized to assist him in terrorizing his future conquests.  He uses inclusive words such as “us” and “we” when discussing the threats  —  ones that are actually aimed at dethroning HIM!   Once graduated, the reformed members now use words such as “us” and “we,” seemingly forgetting that they were previously as much of a “they,” “them” and “those people” as their new enemies.  As such, they are now ready to die for a country that never even considered them human beings!

And then you have people like me.  As all this is going on, we’re here encouraging others to live by the words of Tonto when he addressed the Lone Ranger after the latter’s frantic statement that “they” needed to hurry to escape from the natives who were pursuing them.

Can anybody hear me?

There are literally dozens of websites dedicated to finding one’s ancestors.  In fact, new sites are popping up every day.

This, of course, works out well for anyone wanting to find out about their lineage.  People can easily see if they really are the descendants of royalty and well-known explorers.

As an added bonus, long lost living relatives/friends can be located as well.

Here’s my problem:  It’s wonderful to see those people on TV who have tearful reunions with their loved ones, but what about the long lost relatives/friends who want to remain just that, long lost?  What about individuals in witness protection programs, or rape victims, etc., who purposely don’t want to be found?

What recourse do they have?

Now, I know what some of you are thinking.  You can certainly understand why SOME people may not want to be located.  However, there is probably a lot less understanding for individuals who never endured a particularly traumatic situation but still do not want to be located by family members/friends in search of them.

I am a firm believer that most people are in contact with the family members/friends that they actually want to be in contact with.  The ones that have dropped off are, most often, intentionally cast aside.  For example, we may have stopped answering their calls until they stopped calling, changed our phone numbers, moved without a forwarding address, or simply stopped opening the door.  It seems pretty obvious that the honeymoon is officially over.

Okay, okay…every now and then there is that someone who fell through the cracks.  Somehow, you lost contact with them and, consequently, you don’t mind being located/reunited with/by them.

But, for the most part, we all have relatives we deliberately avoid, like Uncle Bill and Aunt Sue.  Their publicly unhappy marriage being on display at every family function you can remember was only part of the impetus.  Their rowdy offspring, tendency to pilfer things out of your home when you aren’t looking, inability to repay loans and startling lack of accountability were also factors.

Ironically, or maybe just annoyingly, these are the family members that don’t allow you to get away.  They show up at every family reunion, so you end up not attending just so you can avoid them.  Unfortunately, some innocents get caught in the cross-hairs.  The alternative is that everyone goes from quiet avoidance to pistols at dawn.

So, for the sake of peace—your peace—it is what it is.

Can anybody hear me?

According to Revelation 2:9 (taken from the KJV Bible) which reads in part, “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan,” there ARE people known as Jews who “ARE NOT.”  This would imply quite logically that there must be people—others—who are NOT known as Jews but who ARE, in fact, Jews.

To put it simply, there are real Jews (i.e. the children of Israel) as well as fake Jews in existence on the planet today.  Discovering which is which will not only solve the mystery of the century but, at the same time, has to reveal a deceptive campaign deliberately aimed at keeping real Jews in darkness.

Now, I know there are people reading this who will see this as hateful or prejudiced.  This is not true.  This is not anti-Semitism, this is bible study.  The text says what it says.  It is no more prejudicial or discriminatory to ask this question than it is to prosecute someone who bore false witness against another.

If we go no further than the United States, we can clearly identify individuals who proudly and loudly call themselves Jews and yet are among the wealthiest citizens…in clear defiance of biblical prophecy.  Nowhere does the bible say the lost children of Israel will own, control or even participate in all avenues of commerce in America from Hollywood to Harlem.

Let us suppose for one moment that these same wealthy individuals are in any way related to the Ashkenazi Jews of Russia who live in astounding poverty.  The question then becomes: Why do the obviously wealthy Jews in America allow their family members in Russia to live in abject poverty, especially since proper Jewish teaching indicates that the sanctity of life takes precedence over everything else?

If you research more than a handful of today’s A-list actors, (honorable mention to bankers, scientists, etc.), you will find that most of them are direct descendants of Ashkenazi Jews.  These wealthy actors are living in the lap of luxury while their relatives are struggling for bread!

According to Genesis 15:13-16, “Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.  But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.  You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.  In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.””

To imply that the referenced text in any way is indicative of the lives of the people presently known as Jews (especially in America) is preposterous.  Clearly, present day Jews in America are not people who require God’s assistance with punishing or righting any wrongs supposedly perpetrated against them since it is black, brown and red people in the United States who find themselves on the bottom.  Is it possible therefore, if not probable that at least some of these same Jews must be representative of the “synagogue of Satan” referenced in the Bible, since they lay claim to the title of Jew exclusively?

If the Bible is the book that is revered in the United States and abroad, then ALL of its teachings must either be respected or rejected.  Even if your loyalties are in alignment with the Torah only, you cannot deny that present days Jews do not fit the description of a people oppressed in all nations and sinking lower and lower, to where only the Father can uplift them.

There is however, a group of people alive today who fit the individuals described in the Bible like a glove.  These same people were not only taken from their homeland and brought to a strange land to be beaten, mistreated and, serve as slaves but, they continue to suffer at the hands of those in power in the nation that captured them.  Is it not equally possible some of these are the real Jews that the Bible speaks of?

Can anybody hear me?

Donald Trump

Love him or hate him; call him a racist; call him rude and/or obnoxious!

But, before you call him anything else, know this:  There is a real possibility that, someday soon, you may indeed be calling him Mr. President.

What does that really say about this country?

If you were anything like me, you laughed your head off when Donald Trump announced that he was considering a run for the presidency.

Back then, you thought an ice cube had a better chance of surviving in Hell then Donald Trump had of winning a primary much less a possible nomination.

Fast forward to today and he is actually a serious contender!  Do you believe it?

Most of us who have lived with and through the painful history of this country never thought we would live long enough to see the United States go full circle and end up right back to where it started from 60 years ago, with boycotts, rioting in the street for human rights and unjustified police killings in 2015-16?

What happened?  Where did all the well-meaning and post-racial folks go?

Could it be that once the curtain is closed on the voting booth their true feelings are expressed, with both their friends and their politically correct selves that espouse love and freedom for all publicly none the wiser?

With all the talk about wanting to end racism, reverse racism, bigotry, discrimination, hatred, etc. that everyone from pastors to politicians’ talks about, how can someone like Donald Trump be the frontrunner for president?  I’m not saying that the other contenders are any better for the job or that their viewpoints are any different from Donald Trump’s but, at least they exercise some restraint.  They at least care enough to lie.

After all, who’s going to know?

One thing is for sure, Donald Trump cannot be voting for himself.  He cannot continuously maintain a commanding lead without the participation of a lot of individuals who have publicly displayed disdain for him while privately supporting his (and perhaps their own) agenda.  What, more than anything, does THAT say about the current state of America?

Can anybody hear me?

Political Correctness…

What does it mean?

According to Wikipedia, political correctness in modern usage is terminology that is used to describe language, policies, or measures which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society.

This sounds innocent enough but, what does it really do?

For me, political correctness is a destructive, unnecessary muzzle on the mouth of truth.  It inhibits anyone from speaking the truth to anyone else (regardless of substance) for fear of repercussion/ostracism.  Furthermore, it actually leads to the sort of resentment and disgust that mark the language it’s trying to curtail.

Think about it for a moment.

Does it promote education to be more tolerant of others?  No.  Does it teach the history behind the abuse or mistreatment of certain groups and explain WHY the statements are wrong?  No.  So what does it do?

It forces us to pretend and, if that isn’t enough, to provide fake comments/responses in all areas of our lives under the guise of not being offensive to others.  However, in the process, we offend ourselves and our beliefs.

Now, I’m not advocating that we have a free for all.  I’m not suggesting that we impose our personal truths, beliefs and choices upon everyone under the guise of freedom of speech.  To be clear:  Everyone has the right to govern their own personal truths, beliefs and choices.

Nevertheless, when these personal truths, beliefs and choices become the norm or mainstream, we have a problem.  And what’s worse is that if you don’t get on board with this madness, you become the problem.  YOU become the anti-social malady that needs to be removed.

When a country such as the United States purports that it is built on Christian principles and provides the Bible as the foundation on which it stands only to modify the teachings thereof to suit personal truths, beliefs and choices, this is not a sign of progress.  This is a mistake and “not” correct politically or otherwise.

Either the Bible is the Book that governs the lives of Christians or it isn’t.  You cannot have it both ways.  You cannot rewrite it for your convenience or to suit your lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong.  Other religions and religious beliefs have a right to be.  The individuals who profess these other religions are tasked to adhere to the rules thereof just as individuals professing Christianity are tasked to adhere to the rules of Christianity.

Love them or hate them but, The Ten Commandments, from the Bible on which this country claims it stands, are clearly stated regardless of race, creed or color.  If you state that you are a Christian, you are tasked to abide by the rules.  Period.

Now, I’m not discussing things like smoking or drinking even though the drinking of strong drink/alcohol consumption is addressed therein.  Let your conscience be your guide.

I’m not even going to discuss racism and the vestiges thereof.  I am not going to bring up the murder of African-American citizens in the streets of the United States at the hands of law enforcement and any other citizens who deem them inferior to themselves. I’m not even going to discuss sexism at all.

That’s because there are other behaviors mentioned in the Bible that are clearly condemned and deemed an abomination.  One such behavior is homosexuality.

Oddly enough, no matter what these religions agree or disagree on, they all seem solidified on that subject.  To me, that implies something.  The idea that religions that are, in many cases, literally at war with one another can agree on this and other things speaks volumes.

Can anybody hear me?

I have so many things to blog about today that I don’t even know where to begin.

I could start with outrage over the Senate’s public verbalization of their intent to block any nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice by a sitting President. I could lose myself in the knowledge that any sitting president in Obama’s position would take this opportunity yet, somehow, he is vilified for it.

I could go on and on about there being no justice for Freddie Gray, et al. However, I would probably run out of ink due to the sheer numbers of those maimed or murdered at the hands of the police at any given time. And then, I could thoroughly crush my spirit by remembering that these are only the ones that make the News. A lot of others occur with little to no fanfare.

I could discuss the lady who made off with a purse containing $10,000 of tuition payment monies after the owner left it unattended in a local coffee shop. But, in truth, the owner of the purse would receive as much ire as the woman who took off with it. Who in the world travels with $10,000 in cash in their purse and then leaves the purse unattended? The purse should have been surgically attached to her hand!

I could discuss the Black Lives Matter campaign.

. . . . the Cops/Blue Lives Matter campaign.

. . . . the Animal Lives Matter campaign.

However, the need to have these campaigns in the first place speaks volumes about the society we live in.

Why isn’t it obvious that all LIFE matters?

I could discuss Black History Month but… (see entry on Black Life Matters campaign above.).

I could discuss the OscarsSoWhite “controversy!” But, I don’t care enough about the Oscars nor what they stand for to even waste ink and paper.

I could discuss Bill Cosby, however, I am tired of hearing about him. Either file charges against him, arrest him, try him in a court of law and not in the media or let him be.

I could discuss Peyton Manning but… (see entry on Bill Cosby above).

I could discuss the 22 year old man who took pictures/films of under-aged (elementary school) children engaging in sexual intercourse. However, I cannot wrap my mind around the idea that elementary school children can actually physically engage in sexual intercourse, nor that no one was paying enough attention to the situation to realize what was happening on SCHOOL premises.

I could discuss the UBER driver that snapped, killed about 6 people, injured 2 more, snapped back and continued his work day as usual. But, if I were to do that, I might put my foot in my mouth.

I could discuss the decision by some states to allow transgendered individuals to choose the public restroom that they most identify with. After all, the sheer magnitude of social unrest and possible crime due to imposters pretending to be transgendered, and other safety issues, etc., should outweigh any quick decisions made in order to feign sincere interest in solving this social issue. But that’s a nonstarter as well.

So, I’m not going to.

I prefer to discuss the 106 year old woman who visited the White House, hugged the President and the First Lady, kicked up her heels and had the time of her life! Boy would I love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with her and pick her brain.

She made me happy. I like that. So that’s what gets my attention today.

Can anybody hear me?

There is something in the air that I just cannot quite put my finger on; a vague disquieting feeling that makes everything just a little out of focus. Oh, I know what it is: It’s that everybody seems so miserable.

I don’t care who they are, where they work or what capacity they work in, their gender, orientation, religion or class, they are all miserable, just the same.

The pain shows on their faces, in their movements and actions as well as in their inability to be kind or helpful to others, even when it is within their power.

It feels like they are too mired in their own suffering to concern themselves with anyone else’s…or maybe they’re just unwilling to assist someone else in feeling better when they feel so bad. After I am kind to them in spite of themselves, everything comes pouring out! It all comes flowing to the forefront like an erupting volcano!

I cannot tell you how many times someone is treating me harshly, while I am ignoring the abrasiveness and continuing with the conversation in a pleasant matter, when they suddenly begin to tell me their deepest secrets!

Stranger concept at work maybe? That could be true in one or two cases but, for the most part, it’s not applicable. You see, some—in fact, most—of these people are not strangers. They are neighbors, coworkers, family members, the mailman, the bus driver, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, etc. They are fully aware that they will see me again. However, at that moment, they cease to care.   They need relief.

I get to hear all about their feelings of failure as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a son, a father, a brother, a sister, and a person.

I get to hear about their fears, hurts, disappointments, family problems, health problems, job woes and regrets.

The voices, the faces and the problems all differ, but they all seem to have one thing in common: They seem to be in search of/need someone to let them know that all is not lost…that it’s gonna be okay…that nobody is perfect.

In spite of my own desire to bury my past under a layer of concrete, I find myself discussing my trials and tribulations (past and present) just to let them know they are not alone. Sometimes reliving it is painful but, if it helps somebody, I do it anyway. I just want them to know that I really do understand what they are going through.

Some people just want you to listen. They don’t want criticism or advice. They just want your ear without judgment.

I try to provide that too though I struggle with knowing when to give what. If I continue to care about people the way I do, I’m sure I’ll master it sooner or later.

Still, I don’t seem to be making any progress on getting exactly WHY everyone is so sad. I haven’t even figured that out for myself.

Can anybody hear me?

Tired . . . Tired . . . Tired. . . .

I don’t know about you but, I can’t do this anymore. I am so tired and fed up with my job and my life! Nothing is going the way I thought it would go. I cannot believe I rushed through my childhood to get to this overrated thing called adulthood!

Don’t get me wrong. I am not suicidal. I don’t want to die! In fact, the opposite is true. I just want to live! I mean really live . . . not just killing time while I survive from paycheck to paycheck. I don’t want to just hop from weekend to weekend with only tedium in between. I want a real life where you get to work and play! Simply stated, this ain’t it!!

I’m not even talking about being filthy rich or anything like that. I don’t want notoriety or the inability to walk the streets! I certainly don’t want to be in constant fear that some knucklehead is gonna kidnap one of my children either!!

I just want to be comfortable. I just want to not worry about EVERYTHING! Bills. Education for my children. Insurance. Employment. Wars. Violence. Constant repairs. Listening to endless complaints and filing even more myself.

It’s enough to make you want to get under the bed and stay there forever.

It’s enough to make you want to be a child again, forever under the protection (and support) of someone else!!

I mean, think about it. There are only about five things you get to do as an adult that you aren’t legally allowed to do as a child:

  • Driving
  • Sex
  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Voting

Let’s face it, you’ve done all of those things by the time you are 21! After that, what’s next?

If you don’t know, let me tell you.

Responsibility!!!

That’s right…responsibility. Before you even get to “enjoy” this thing called adulthood, you get weighed down by a thousand concerns that are dropped on you all at once. You worry about completing college/trade school, then living single for a minute before getting worried that you’ve been that for too long. Then you worry about getting married and before you now it you’re having babies. Adorable, lovable, utterly helpless, dependent and self-centered babies.

Now you focus on the children until they get tired of the attention that they once demanded and cherished and the vicious cycle begins anew, only it’s them finding out the horrible truth about growing up and not you.

So, right about now, childhood should be starting to look really good. How many are with me?

Can anybody hear me?