Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Source: 10 Reasons Donald Trump Should Be Our Next President

Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve GOD and Mammon

Sometimes, beloved, the attraction of wealth, the lure of financial benefit makes us do irrational things. Yes, we need money. We want to get paid. We want some money. And there are those in the church who are handicapped by the love of money. And as the Word says, the love of money is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:10). The word Mammon in the text is defined by Webster’s as material wealth or possession especially as having a debasing influence. Debasing is to lower the value of or reputation of someone or something or to make someone or something less respected.

I’ve observed and heard the news as 100 Black pastors gathered to meet with Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. The announcement of this meeting ignited a firestorm of controversy in our community as folk assumed and prognosticated that perhaps these pastors were money hungry and preparing to fleece the flock. Some folks, if not most, objected to even entertaining a meeting with Mr. Trump because of the tenor of his rhetoric. He’s a racist, some say. He’s too abrasive and offensive others say. Others saw the meeting as yet another example of how the black church, in their opinion, is selling the black community out, fleecing the flock, ripping us off. After all, they say, why would the pastors meet with a man who spews racially charged venom and espouses overtly racist perspectives except to go behind closed doors and get paid. Mammon.

Others say that “Trump is not who the media portrays him to be” while even others say yes, let’s wait and see what comes out of the meeting. Indeed Black America is not this monolithic segment of society. Black America is not following one and only one train of political thought. There are a variety perspectives and opinions. The Black Pastors are not going to influence the entire population of Black America.

From the start, this story vexed my spirit because the first headlines trumpeted and proclaimed that these 100 were endorsing Trump. This endorsement was a hard pill to swallow for many if not most in the Black community. It felt as if this 100 were bought and paid for. Others would say this was another example of “Pimp Preachers” who would sell out the well being of their congregations and communities for the almighty dollar.

Soon after the endorsement headlines came the correction. The 100 were meeting with Trump and not endorsing him. Ok, now that was better, sort of. Then the headlines came that Trump had cancelled the meeting. Shortly afterwards another headline – the meeting is on again. Then it was off again. It was an absolute mess. The pastors called it a “miscommunication” but the public was getting restless, angry and very critical. Social Media was afire with displeasure. Yes, The influence of the black church, the reputation of the pastors were being reduced and denigrated right before our very eyes and in the community’s court of public opinion. Debased.

In the end, a meeting and press conference was hastily held and I am still trying to assess its purpose. What were the goals and objectives? What was the agenda?

After the meeting I began to see the sound bytes and news inserts that featured pastors who were in attendance. Preachers struggling to wax philosophical about the content of the gathering. But these interviews only underscored and contributed to the debasing of the office of the pastor and the influence of the black church. It is clear that they went into the meeting without a clear agenda. No platform. It was freestyle rooted in ego. And some of the pastors who spoke on national news platforms to defend and explain the meeting were probably excellent preachers, however they obviously had no community development experience or perspective. No urban policy exposure. No social justice experience. The news reports were full of empty rhetoric and shallow cliches.

So I began to contemplate this spectacle and wondered  where Jesus was in the pastors movement. What does the word say about this?

It’s my opinion that the pulpit is not the proper place to advance political endorsements. Indeed the Black Church should present itself available, present and active in the pursuit of social justice. The church can be a catalyst to institute programs which will enhance economic justice and be committed to alleviating poverty as tangible expressions of the kingdom of God. For me, the pulpit is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ – the risen savior. But when it comes to politics we should inspire and encourage the people to exercise the hard fought right to vote. However, we should abstain from the telling the people who to vote for. Even if it wasnt true, the appearance of this meeting is that the pastors were seeking a financial consideration in exchange for political support. After all, Trump did say he would “remember them”. Mammon.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, giving of thanks for all men, for kings, and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of GOD, our savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Yes, we are instructed to pray and intercede for everyone even politicians for it is them that we count on to maintain law and order in this society so that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives. This, the scripture says is good and acceptable in the sight of the LORD. And Jesus said in Matthew 22:21 to render, therefore to Ceasar what is Ceasars and to God the things that are God’s.

Even as we are citizens of God’s Kingdom, we are still encourage to abide by the laws of this society and as such we can participate and have a voice in society. In this area, the Black Church is central. It is the beacon of hope, the voice of reason, the lightning rod of liberation in our struggle against social and political oppression. Or at least that was our reputation. We follow the teachings of Jesus to establish a peaceful march towards equality in this nation. A peaceful march in spite of unmitigated violence and hatred against our people. Our struggle has been like Jesus’ walk on earth. They hated Jesus. They sought to kill him. Silence Him. Yet Jesus kept preaching, walking in love. These days headlines are full with those who would hate us even unto death, yet we walk in love.

They tried to trick and discredit Jesus. In Matthew 22:15-40, Jesus had become so popular and influential that the Pharisees threw some trickeration in the game seeking to find a way to discredit Jesus. They sought to trick him into doing crimes so egregious it would require a death sentence. Likewise there are those who would seek to kill us, discredit us and annihilate us yet we still excel, build, achieve and create in love. Still we rise!!! Our community is being deceived into thinking that we are less than unwanted. We are tricked into promoting violence, misogyny and wanton sexual immorality that discredits our place at the table of equality in America.

The church today is tricked by the lure of TV, and materialism,the trappings and titles that lead men towards the love of money, which is the root of all evil.

The people look to religious leaders for peace, order and insight to their spiritual lives. In Church economics, this is the point of currency exchange. Crassly spoken, the people will pay to know and learn what GOD thinks. They will pay to be inspired by the word of GOD. This “payment” is the support of the church. The support of the work of the LORD. This is just. And there are biblical guidelines as to how the church goer should pay and how the church leader should steward the money. Yes, the people must support the work of the church. But sometimes money becomes the main thing that the church leader focuses on. He or she becomes a lover of money. Likewise some leaders become so consumed with power that they appoint themselves as the voice of a population of people. A voice that can influence votes, be a catalyst of action for the candidates. Be subject to the candidates behest, thus serving the candidates or political leader and not the true head of the Christian State – GOD. This is religious oppression.

Oppression because the church leaders are called to a meeting with a political candidate who thinks that the flock carries political opinions like the church leader or they believe the church leaders can influence the flock to embrace the ideology of said candidate. And the benefit of promoting the candidates ideology is money. After all I’ve observed, I believe the attraction of wealth and the lure of financial benefit draws the pastors to Donald Trump. Mammon.

We have to use religion to inspire love, grace and mercy. The prophet proclaimed  “Is not this fast I choose to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free. And that you break every yoke.. ” We are here to facilitate spiritual freedom.

When Jesus boldly claimed to be the messiah in the synagogue in Luke 4:18 as he shares that he is come to proclaim liberty to the captives and set at liberty those who are oppressed.  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…  Freedom!

As Ministers of the gospel there is more at stake than politics. When Jesus speaks of liberation is liberation of the soul – of the core essence of his people. To present ourselves as the one voice of the people, a person who can influence and cause the Body of Christ to vote a certain way is to inflict religious oppression on the people and this is not what Jesus wants us for us. We are God’s people so we live by the spirit not the law.

In the end, we have to pursue social justice. We have to promote love and peace in our communities. We have to let our light so shine so that the community will know that Jesus is love. That we are a beacon of hope. A beacon of hope. A catalyst for Freedom. To move forward in a private meeting with one who on the outside appears to be against the very essence of your struggle for equality in this country, one who would return to the breaking of your spirit without an agenda, without preparation is to present yourselves as lovers of money. We  cannot serve God and Mammon.

Trump and the Pastors? A debased influence.

Source: A journal of the South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMA)

And so, weeks have gone by since the now infamous “I’m not gay no’ mo'” video went viral. In case you missed this wildly popular urban pop culture story of the moment, let me recap: the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) held it’s 107th Holy Convocation in St. Louis. It was a glorious time with the Church impacting the community through its actions and spirit filled expressions of the Word. After a spirited and albeit controversial sermon which preached against the sin of homosexuality and other “in-church” sexual immoralities, a young man rushes to the pulpit and proclaims that he is “not gay no’ mo’ “…. He enthusiastically shouts that he is “delivert” and doesn’t like “mens no mo’ “, he likes “wimen wimen wimen wimen” . After this young man avows that he will not carry a purse nor wear make up, the church erupts into a state of holy dancing and high praise…The scene becomes fodder for the worldwide web, generating millions of views, countless memes and endless cartoons parodies including a pretty snazzy smooth R&B song which incorporated a sample from his proclamations from the altar. It was pure comedy. Unfortunately at the expense of the Grand Old Church of God in Christ and the young man’s life decisions.

Wow. Our Church is faced with deeply distressed and troubled times. The fact that we are even having this conversation shows us what time it is. The fact that openly gay, “flaming” homosexuals were bold enough to parade around the Holy Convocation surely must show us the times in which we live. The fact that the preacher has to call them out in such and aggressive and arguably oppressive manner reminds us that these are perilous times. The fact that the preacher had to call out other preachers for the perceived endorsement of the lifestyle speaks volumes. The fact that our Church was placed in a position of mockery and comedic insult shows us the season in which we live.

In order to completely understand what exactly occurred that night, we must put it in context. The proclamations of bow tie boy came at the end of a sermon which preached against the presence of homosexuals in the convocation and in the local churches. There are a LOT of homosexuals in the church. They were at the convention and this ain’t new news. It’s the same if not worse at the Gospel Music Conventions I’ve attended as part of my career. And so the Man of God called them out. The original sermon and entire rant against gays should be viewed, but it is no longer available. This snippet is mild compared to the entire context. Supt. Carter started out strong but then went left. He used inappropriate language in calling out the homosexual lifestyle – period. It’s not what he said, it’s how he said it. (“I hope you bleed out yo’ butt!” – c’mon people!!)

Without the benefit of social media, I wonder what was the reaction to Evangelist Frances Kelly’s message at the 62nd Holy Convocation Women’s Day as she talked about Musical Homosexuals and Sissies  Surely the consciousness of the nation is much different from those days. Two generations later and the issues are still the same. We haven’t put a dent in the proliferation of the homosexual lifestyle, and why not?

There’s a LOT of homosexuality in the world today. They are gaining power and influence. In the same week that the “I’m not gay no’ mo'” video was going viral, esteemed Television Producer Shonda Rimes was taking social media heat for blatant, explicit and unapologetic gay sex scenes in the wildly popular TV series “Scandal” starring Kerry Washington and “How to Get Away With Murder” starring Viola Davis. Our consciousness is being bombarded by the gay lifestyle and we are increasingly unable to do anything about it. You better start reading those letters and memos you get from your children’s public schools, because they are sharing with you that some of the literature will be geared to children who have two mommies or two daddies…. This, my friends is reality in our society.

I know we have to speak about this from the pulpit. But how? When we ridicule them like Superintendent Carter, we chase them away. There are so many stories of gay folk who have lived a life of listening how they would be condemned to hell as they sat in church. This condemnation often came with no alternative or support if they wanted to walk away from their lifestyle. There are those if not most who say they cannot help how they are…. If true then the churchspeak will turn them away permanently… these are counted then as lost souls….. Conversely If we speak to them in love, then the laity interprets this as being too supportive and engaging of their lifestyle.  But our job and main concern are souls. We are tasked with bringing people to Christ. And if that is our job, does that mean we just throw away the souls of the homosexual? what about the sexually immoral? the sex addict? the prostitute? the adulterer? Do we avoid preaching the Gospel to them? and how do you know who they are? Dudes are married and having sex with men on the side. And some of these guys are preachers!!! We live in deeply distressed and troubling times.

Yes, There are so many homosexuals among us that we are now challenged with how to minister to them. We are not to judge because God will judge us all no doubt. But if we are called to minister and facilitate deliverance, then how exactly do we deal with the homosexual? How do we deal with the rapist, the sexual immoral, the adulterer, the pedophile? All of these are in the world and yes in our church!!! yea even in some of our pulpits!!!

In my opinion, as I contemplate this moment, Supt. Carter’s condemnation from the pulpit has an adverse affect opposite what we intend it to be. And you know what? if we are charged to love one another, then we must love the homosexual… however, we HATE his sin. I actually agree with the content of his speech, but I disagree with his choice of words in PORTIONS of his message. I mean, the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality as sin. However, it isn’t unforgivable. Isn’t redemption available to them just as it is available to us? Can’t the homosexual become a new creature in Christ? If we have faith, if we believe in miracles and the healing power of the Holy Ghost, isn’t it believable that maybe just maybe bow tie boy really got delivered?

And so, Bishop Charles Blake, the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ made a powerful statement in response to the controversy. In it, he admonished the speaker’s sermonic style. He apologized to Andrew Caldwell, the young man in the video. We must be merciful and so apologizing for bow tie boy’s ordeal in terms of the international ridicule this caused.. is painfully proper in my opinion. Listen carefully, Bishop said we do not by any means compromise our position in matters of sexual immorality.. that said, we have to walk in love even when dealing with the homosexual. And so if the young man got delivered, then I think we should painfully apologize and set the stage for support, counseling and all the other needs this guy and others like him may need as they renew their mind and walk in this new consciousness. I know there are some who are like, naw! he just need to burn!!! but then if you look back on your sins, there are those who would say the same about you… But God…..

There are those who are begging the question about apologies for past sexual situations that have harmed families and people.. I agree, something should be said or done by the church to address this – I don’t know what that is, but something has to be done or said that will help bring a sense of healing to those hurt by the men who would defile the pulpit to take advantage of people sexually.

One thing I found quite profound in this whole “I’m not gay no’ mo'” phenom is to watch the response videos that some in the gay community put out.. the YouTube trend was for these gay people to watch the service and react on camera and post it on youtube. A recurring theme I heard on this is a point of concern. There were homosexuals who are from Memphis or who had been to and observed Convocations whether in Memphis or St. Louis. These dudes stated that they find it to be fertile ground for seeking and finding people with whom to engage in homosexual acts. Why is that? What this says to me is that while folk are so busy being so saintly and sanctified in the main – criticizing, quoting scriptures and pointing fingers, some of these same folk are living a lifestyle of sexual immorality and perversion. so many saints engaging in this lifestyle secretly? These homosexuals also pointed out that they would engage in homosexual sex with someone they picked up at the host hotel and then attend the convocation service the next day and see their sex mate in the pulpit participating in the holy service…. In the end, while we so busy judging and pointing out who’s right and who’s wrong, condemning, sending to hell all those who we see engaging in this lifestyle, why don’t we check ourselves and make sure we are living as God would have us to live… Let us work on keeping our own sin in check. The “I’m not gay no’ mo'” urban pop culture phenomenon is a reminder that something is wrong in our society. And as people of the Lord, we must figure it out…. How to love, how to minister, how to refrain from judgement.

We must love one to Another…..

To my daughter: It would seem that an open letter is the only way that we can communicate. This is very very personal, but I don;t care. You have falsely led yourself to believe that we are not to have any relationship at all. And so I take to social media to talk to you. I don’t know if you will ever read this. But hopefully someone will see it, share it with you, and you will have the opportunity to read the pain that I feel. Perhaps you will even recognize that  tremendous pain. I am aware of the snide and sometimes hurtful posts about me that you have made on past Father’s Days. You have created this less than truthful truth in your mind. Nonetheless, you are hurt and you feel that I have not been there for you. I want to address that with this letter.

No. I was not there in your childhood. Being the honorable man that I am, I am very sorry for this.  I divorced your mother when you were very young. There is no way in this earth that she and I could have stayed together. I’m sorry that you had to deal with life without your father because of it. However, you and I both know that you can never truthfully claim that you did not know your dad.

You are a grown woman now. twice married, with four beautiful children. Yet, you have completely abandoned your kids. And I am left to raise two of them while your brother raises the other two. This comes at great sacrifice. Our own families have suffered. Our lives have been paused, re-arranged and altered just so we can take care of your children. And not even once, have you reached out to them., tried to participate in raising them, nor even uttered a thank you to us for stepping in and taking care of your kids.

While you hide behind claims that I wasn’t there for you, please note I was there to counsel you when you met Robert who told you he was going to join the Army and take care of you and your first-born. Of course you did not listen and married him anyway. But you quickly found out why I counseled against it. You’d just had the twins when he left you with no food in the house and no way to buy some while he went on a military exercise. You had to approach the Red Cross to get assistance. Then he assaulted a superior officer, got locked up and subsequently kicked out of the Army. You had no place to go. But I was there for you- opening my home to you and three children. A complete and sudden about face in my life.

We could not take your irresponsibility. I labored to find assistance for you.. support.. guidance. But you lied about going to appointments. Refused to do anything around the house…Not only did you turn our household upside down, you gave me a very hard time with disobedience, irresponsibility and general trifling behavior. You and your kids – a two newborns and a toddler. And so I took you back to your husband where you promptly had another child although your life was topsy turvy.

I was there for you when he got arrested the first time. And this is when you again refused my advice and counsel and even stopped returning my calls. Robert is now doing a life term for murder. I said it then and I’ll say it now. That could have been you. I don’t believe he did not abuse you. Not one bit.

The next time we would see each other is when I had to track you down in the city to tell you that your grandfather was gravely ill. That’s when i learned that you had gotten married a second time. To Akeem. Now, I don’t know what kind of young man this is. I do know that you and he led a very unholy lifestyle. One that deeply harmed your children in thier formative years. And as I came to observe your life at this time, I tried to counsel you again.. I was there for you.

Yes. I was there for you. As you and he lead a sordid lifestyle that I will never ever understand, I began to observe how neglected you left the children. Colicky, filthy… wild. I stepped in gradually. When you started relying heavily on your mom’s parents to raise them (they were in thier 80’s!!!) I was there for you – participating in the school activities because you and your mom refused to do so. Keeping up with thier progress. and while doing so I began to learn about the mental effects from that which you had been exposing them to. I was there for you when the authorities removed them from your care.

Yes. I was there for you. I went to the hearing to get them out of the childrens shelter. I was there. Your mother was there. and you elderly grandparents were there. The authorities asked your mother if she would continue to care for the boys. She said no. They would not allow your grandparents to continue and rightfully so. But then they asked you about your caring for the children. You sat there and said absolutely nothing. Not one word. Not a groan, an utterance… NOTHING! But I was there. and so i signed to take custody of the boys. And that was the ONLY reason they were not permanently removed, I was there for you.

I did not take the boys because I wanted to work with you to create a situation where the authorities would see you were trying to be a responsbile mother and therefor would allow the boys back into your care. We went to the mandatory guardianship orientation. You were late. I observed you in the parking lot sitting in your car. And then, to my bewilderment, you just drove off. Not only did you drive off you lied to me about being there. wow. I was there for you.

Each week thereafter I learned more and more about the neglect you were imposing on your children. I observed them at their school with shoes in serious disrepair. Dirty and oversized clothing, unwashed faces, hungry, just general neglect. On my way to my daily commute I would stop by the school and groom them. I was there for you.

And then the school meeting….. I drove down to San Diego for this meeting with the authorities. You mother was there. You were there. There were some deep seated and serious emotional issues. Issues of abuse. Your new boyfriend had taken the abuse to a whole other level. In attendance at that meeting was also the Child authorities. Again, you mother refused to care for the children but because i had already promised to take the boys in, I had to take them back with me to Los Angeles. And so I have them now. I was there for you.

Since they have been here we have learned of the tremendous abuse you have imposed on your children. Since they have been here, my family life has been strained, changed. My career path has been altered. The children exhibit very serious and sometimes dangerous mental health issues. All stemming from the lifestyle you led around them. There is unspeakable trauma while under your care. There is crazy CRAZY behavior that is beyond my comprehension. There is violent, emotional distress. There is long term mental health evaluation because of overtly violent behavior. This all stems from what you did to them – what you exposed them to. And yet. I am here for you.

I am here for you, daughter. In a way that is so much deeper than you could imagine. I am sacrificing all for the life of your children. My family life is damaged and strained. My stress level is increased. I have to be vigilant because something could happen at anytime. That phone could ring. We have had to deal with multiple hospitalizations(mental hospitals), encounters with law enforcement, therapists, social workers and so many more intense and uncomfortable situations. Yeah. I am there for you.

Meanwhile you go about your days, enjoying your life. It’s as if you haven’t a care in the world. Your great job, so you say. Your happy hours, going out with your friends… yeah. you are living it up. You have NEVER reached out to your kids. You have never thanked us for raising your children. You have never expressed any emotion, opinion, input about the situation with your children… crickets. But yet, you will post some sort of cryptic message about your father and how he was never there for you.

There is so much more I could write in this blog – but In the end, we are doing the best that we can for your children. We are all that they have. When you formally gave up your rights, you effectually ended your relationship with them. And so, we raise them and we love them.

Yes Daughter. I am there for you.

Last month, I attended the Urban Network Digital Summit in San Diego. I was sooooo glad to experience the return of this all important black music conference. We had not had a conference in some 5-7 years…  Back in the day, there were so many conferences that allowed us to shine… Black Music’s best executives, artists and pop culture together in one location sharing knowledge, networking, the record company parties and even the sometimes secret, invitation only music soirees… it was something to behold… But then the times have changed – and the conferences went away one by one.

The Urban Network Digital Summit was organized by a committee that graduated from the previous versions of Urban Network. Led by Arthur Mitchell – a guy who came along at the end of the era that I am descurbannetworksummitlogoribing Nonetheless, he gets props for pulling together some of the Urban Network alumni and putting on a pretty nice conference.  David Mitchell, Tosha Thomas, Harold Whaley.. most of the crew from the old Urban Network was in the house and had a hand in putting together the conference… Job well done guys!!!

I was impressed with the turnout as the conference attracted a bevy of young, independent artists who were starving for knowledge and perspective on this crazy industry we all know and love. Next year, I believe the Summit will have double the attendance. And probably more support from the industry at large could resort in better artist showcases, and performance infrastructure. or even targeting music equipment and technology manufacturers and providers for sponsorship dollars and added information and educational benefit.

It was obvious that there is a generational gap in the industry. The game has changed. But there is a lot of room for convergence. The old heads need to be willing to share the history and experiences in the music game while being open and flexible to the changes the digital world has brought to music artistry.

As I observe the music industry, I see opportunity for the creatives. The road to fame no longer runs strictly through massive radio station airplay and major record labels. Websites and social media are the exposure tools of today. The young guns coming up are so much more savvy to the tools for making music and even more savvy with the power digital platforms possess in building audience… that BUZZ….

There was a time when you went to these conventions and came away with a bag full of CD’s and cassettes…. This time I received a good number of cassettes but I was even the more impressed with the number of cards with the QR codes embedded. I could download the music right to my phone…. Or those that had multiple songs to share, I received a flash drive… some imprinted with the band’s name on it just in case I would forget(lol!!) Technology has taken over the entire music promotion game…..

The panel discussions were inviting. If I were to offer a critique it would be to limit the number of panelists on the dais. And also to ensure the ALL panels have a question and answer period. It becomes a session of self-congratulatory pontificating if the audience is not allowed to engage.

I always look forward to the music showcases. For better or worse, it is good to hear first hand the latest music coming along. For this Summit, I must say that I saw some great acts. And of course I saw some that need to keep practicing. They were not ready for primetime. I enjoyed mostly the complete bands… The bands that came and brought it. And there were some acts that had it going on….

Tony Toni Tone made a reunion appearance and while they were marred with sound system difficulties, I was soon reassured that this band remained tight and ready to rock their fans everywhere.

In the end, there is still a bright future for the black music industry. Yet, innovation and imagination is needed to fully live up to our potential. Are we ready? Are we willing to continue to get together in a business academic environment? Time will tell.

Good Job Urban Network.

And so I originally wrote this from the solitude of a hospital room. Yes. After years and years of basically perfect health, I experienced a severe pulmonary embolism upon my return from South Africa. I did not move about the cabin enough during the 18 hour trans-Atlantic flight and as we returned to the states, blood clots formed in the legs, travelled to and lodged in my lungs rendering me unconscious, short of breath and near death at a point. A life threatening health issue.

I am ok now, anxious to get back to full and complete health. As I sit here in the loneliness of my hospital room, my experience has ignited a firestorm of thoughts, introspection and contemplations. Here are some of my thoughts:

Thank God for Health Insurance – Even as the politicians quibble about ObamaCare, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that serious health issues can occur at anytime to anyone. I am a living witness have never experienced life threatening illness or health trauma, that things can go downhill fast. I shudder to imagine what this treatment and recovery would be like without insurance. I am blessed and I know it.

Pragmatic quality of care – I have to mention that the doctors and hospital staff have been excellent. Sure there have been one or two staffers who are seemingly detached from the personal connection between patient/caregiver – a quality that surely must be a prerequisite for this line of work; however, nearly all have been patient, kind, and most importantly it appears that they were genuinely concerned for my well-being and complete recovery.

Spiritual Care – My hospital is run by the Catholic Church. On my first day, the priest came by and seemed surprised that I had my Bible open and ready to read. He took a couple of steps BACK and muttered something about if I pray for him, he’ll pray for me. And then he hurried out of the room. The next day, he came to the ward, but did not attempt to approach my room. I was a little perplexed. So I hurried up and call my COGIC family. Spiritual Care for this non-Catholic was severely lacking. Glad I had backup!!!

Personal Introspect – I am keenly aware that I am one of God’s elect. This is not an emotional or shallow impulse. This is a declaration of unabashed truth. As I follow God’s calling on my life I see that the devil tried to kill me. But God Blocked it. He preserved me. He protected me. He reminded me that He has so much more for me to do.. He has charted a course of meaningful ministry opportunity… a course of career opportunities that will impact the world and underscore His glory in the earth.

I am thankful to God for preservation!!!! And the road I walk is much more illuminated and life is more precious in my sight….