10 Reasons Our Church Gave Away $350 in Gas Money

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Not our store, but you get the idea.

1. We want people to know that Jesus loves them and is very powerful in the world.

2. The Church is constantly asking people to give, so the church should be first in giving.

3. Right or wrong, I felt like some people were trying to tell me we couldn’t do it, and that pushed me to do it. Thank God for them truly!

4. It’s an excuse to make people smile, and smile they did. For some, getting just an unexpected $5 was too good to be true and they outright refused it!

5. The 60+ people we touched will all share our flyer and story with at least one person, and probably many.

6. Shameless self promotion the week before Easter to get new people to visit our church. Evangelism, marketing, sales, and advertising all overlap the spiritual path in a profound way.

7. The 11,000 people living within a square mile of our church have never seen anything like this. Who knows who may stop through or what the outcome might be.

8. People love it and it makes everyone feel good.

9. It is a great way to live out the Golden Rule.

10. There’s a first time for everything and we had to start somewhere. Maybe we’ll give away more soon.

11. Gas prices are a national concern right now. Tangibly easing the pain for people is the Christian thing to do.

I Know, You Told Me So

Ok, so my main man Herman Cain dropped out ofthe race.You told me he had no chance of winning the nomination. You questioned my embrace of a conservative Republican candidate. I had hopes of seeing this man rise from poverty to business success to the 45th U.S. president. For a black conservative, he got closer than most, and opened doors for all of us in the future. Alas….

 

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What can I say, running for president is serious business. Apparently, all’s fair.

Ten Things I Like About Herman Cain

1. He’s black. Two black presidents in a row!

2. Some of those conservative ideas actually make a lot of sense.

3. Nicknames include the Hermanator and the Dark Horse.

4. He beat stage 4 colon cancer.

5. His mother was a  cleaning woman, father a barber, janitor, and chauffeur.

 6. He was chairman of a federal reserve bank.

Don't hate. Congratulate.

7. He can play the piano and sing well.

8. He’s a Morehouse Man, class of 1967 with a master in computer science as well.

He could...go...all...the...way!

9. The number 45 has proved fortuitous for him throughout life. He was born in 1945. 2012 will be his 45th college reunion, he would be the 45th president and inauguraed in 2013, the same year he’ll celebate his 45th wedding anniversary.

10. His book is entitled “This is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House.” Hate it or love it, the man has balls.

It Was An Accident

When you reach for a knife to cut the potatoes, be sure you’re in the right spiritual frame of mind. Picking up a knife to cut the potatoes is routine enough. But if you’re angry or distracted or guilty because you’re not supposed to be eating potatoes, unless you’re extra careful, you’re more likely to have an accident. Same goes for reaching for a glass of grape juice or holding someone over a ledge as a joke. Regular, everyday routines can turn ugly quick with the wrong frame of mind.

I’m working on thinking positive and staying attentive to the present moment. That’s where the miracles are.

Philippians 4:4 “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whtever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

 

Please Don’t Forgive My Student Loans

The Occupation seems to be holding steady and even gaining ground.

Why are we doing this again?

The only thing we know for sure about the people in the tents downtown is that they don’t know what they want, but they’ll know it it when we get it. What do we the 99% really want? Student loan forgiveness comes to the top of my list–just wipe them clean off the books. But in reality, that would be one of the worst things that could happen to the future hopes of the American economy.

I had a bachelor degree, and I decided I wanted to get a master. I sent off to the school for information, they sent me back a nifty catalog. Towards the back, they told me it was going to cost well over $50,000 to get through the 3 years of study. I said, “ok, no problem,” applied, got accepted, matriculated, and graduated. Six months after graduation, that bill they told me about came due.

Now, it’s true that a lot of companies got bailouts; they swindled and evicted and laid off countless hardworking people. Yes, the credit card companies employ the type of people the Bible warns us about. All that is true–so if they voluntarily decide to forgive the $829.785 billion in federal and private students loans Americans owe, I’ll let them.

But I don’t expect that to happen.

The way I see it, all of us bright educated folks need to use the degrees we begged, borrowed, and stole to obtain. We should be the ones inventing, writing, selling, and making new stuff.  All our new, must-have gadgets and books and services will stimulate the economy. Also, we’ll have enough money to pay back the loans once we put ourselves to work.

Sallie Mae and Pell already made the education possible, thank you very much. Now, I don’t intend to wait for a jobs bill to employ me or Obamacare to cure me, or the Occupy Movement to get my debts cancelled.

I for one, plan to use this fabulous education of mine to make a real difference for myself and the world.

Why I Can’t Accept Compliments

There are times when I hear a preacher preach, a musician perform, or a comedian stand up. To be completely honest, they did a good job. Not great, not incredibly inspiring to me personally, but good. When I shake their hand afterwards, I lie and tell them what a wonderful job they did and how moved I was by their efforts, and how I’m going to tell all my friends to watch their You Tube….

I try not to do it, but chalk it up to me just being too nice.

The thing is, if I do that to other people, someone is invariably doing the same to me.

“Really powerful sermon, pastor. I felt like the Spirit was talking directly to me.”

Call it vain, but that’s nice to hear. Also important to remember that there will always be people who are exaggerating the compliments for whatever reason. Compliments are the best, but they’re not meant to be taken literally.

I’m eternally grateful for the impact I make and the support I receive. But it’s important not to let the compliments inflate you too much.

The criticisms shouldn’t deflate you too much, either.

Are the Occupiers Tough Enough?

This Occupation has the makings of a real revolution. A lot of courage has already gone into this movement thus far in dozens of cities. But for some real “we shall overcome-type” of reforms, many millions of brave souls are going to have to be willing to die for this. Yes die. If the effort is sustained, they’ll have to occupy Wall Street through the Holidays. New York City gets several inches of snow at a time in the winter. I’m sure Zuccati Park is lovely in December, but I wouldn’t want to live there in a tent.

What can you do except root for the 99% to win?

What do we win when we win, anyway? I say for starters, everyone’s loans and credit card debt get wiped clean up to $100,000. That would be swell. In 15 years, plenty of people would work their way back into desperate conditions, but many of us would use a mulligan like that to get over the hump and supercharge our quest for the American Dream.

It’s a nice brainstorm, but in order for those types of revolutionary concessions to be granted, many people are going to have to freeze, get beat up by cops, be separated from family, and then they can get ready to endure the real hardships.