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Monday, November 28, 2005

Culture Of Losing

The[y] still make decisions based more on comfort than conviction, which is why their culture of losing remains rampant.

You can't fear the unpopular move. You can't fear ticking off people. You can't fear failure in the quest for success.

But that requires a core principle.

Yet it seems the organizational blueprint remains unchanged for decades: Keep telling the [voter] what he wants to hear.

With little editing, Drew Sharp's column about the persistent vegetative state in which the Detroit Lions are now found can easily be transformed into an indictment of the Democratic Party. Long ago Howard Dean said, "I don't think we can win the White House if we vote for the President's unilateral attack on Iraq in Washington and then come to California and say we're against the war." Sure enough, John "I voted for it before I voted against it" Kerry got smashed, and now that the polls show that your average Joe is no longer in favor of the war and Democrats are beginning to criticize Bush's Misadventure In Mesopotamia, what is the first salvo that BushCo fires back? Democrats "actually voted in favor of authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein." Never mind how Rude that line of argumentation might be, the point is that Democrats should never have been in a position for Bush to flip the script like that, and Democrats would be in a much stronger position if they'd have stuck to their core principles instead of capitulating and compromising their integrity.

Integrity.

Perhaps that's the problem - when a politician's core principle is self-preservation then it is up to us, We The People, to let politicians know that they will be held accountable for their actions by us, We The People. Right now it is Bechtel and Halliburton and ExxonMoble that is holding Congress accountable. That has to change, and the change has to begin with us. We need to purge everyone who voted for the Iraq War Resolution. Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but it's a starting point for a necessary discussion. Let's discuss.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 8:30 AM :: (0) minds freed

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Word For The Week

Confession is good for the soul, though bad for the reputation.

This was going to be my GBCW post since I will be moving this week and it looked like I would be without Internet access for some time to come - it still looks like I may be without Internet access for a while - but God has a strange way of getting a word to you when you least expect it. I picked up a seasonal retail job to help with my moving expenses and I have been on my feet for the better part of the last two weeks - a new experience for me - and yesterday, as I was helping customers, a sister came into the store and talked with me for a bit, telling me how the Word For The Week has been a blessing to her. She had no idea that at that moment I had figured that I'd written my last Word, that I was ready to leave all this be and just focus on taking care of my own food, clothing and shelter. She had no idea that I was on the cusp of yielding to the temptation of nihilism, of saying, "To hell with all of this." She had no idea that I was in Elijah's shoes, crying, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers."

Yet God works in mysterious ways.

While certainly cliché, it is still true that God works in mysterious ways, as Elijah found out in our text. Katrina-force winds were blowing all around him, tearing the mountains asunder, but God was not in the wind. Tsunami-causing earthquakes were rumbling all about him and yet God was not in the earthquake. Fires burned out-of-control like Uncle Gus at a barbecue and yet God was not in the fire. But there was this still, small voice, the sound of a gentle blowing, and there God was. Too often we look for God in the big events, in the major catastrophes. We cry out, "Where was God on September 11th?" "Where was God during Hurricane Katrina?" "Where was God on November 2nd?" But it is not necessarily in the earthquake, the wind, or the fire where we hear from God, but in the aftermath through the still, small voice, the sound of a gentle blowing. Once God has our attention we can then hear from Him.

We just have to listen.

Elijah was zealous for the Lord. He had just gone one-on-450 with the prophets of Baal in the cosmic showdown - where God rained fire down on Elijah's altar as a demonstration of His lordship - yet Elijah was distressed over Jezebel sending her agents to kill him. Elijah had resigned himself to his fate and simply asked God to get it over with quickly, but God had other ideas - there was still work to do - so while Elijah thought that he had no food, clothing, or shelter coming God sent an angel to provide for him. Has God ever made a way for you out of no way? Has God ever brought you out of a situation from which there was no escape? Has God ever visited you through an angel? You may well have entertained angels without knowing it, or you may have sent them on their way without showing them kindness, but know that God does and will reach out for those who are His - His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. Whose voice are you following? Who has your ear? Are you following the Lord God Almighty or are you following your own Drum Major Instinct? For me, come hail or high water (and the water's getting pretty high right about now), I will serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Father of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

How about you?

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who still speaks in the small sound of a gentle blowing,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (1) minds freed

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Assumption

We all know what assuming does, right? Apparently Bush doesn't and almost got himself skewered for it - especially after Barney wizzed on a cross:

"We are indeed very sorry over this incident," stated McClellan, "Barney is a small dog with a small bladder, and he's pretty easily startled. This was certainly not done intentionally. The president was attempting to make a surprise visit to the pro Bush camp and made the natural assumption that the much larger encampment would be in favor of him."

Naturally.

Idiot.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 12:00 PM :: (0) minds freed

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Word For The Week

How long, O LORD?
Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
And my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13

I was in Bible Study Wednesday when this Psalm was read and it resonated with me - "How long, O Lord?" I stand on the verge of catastrophe and my pleas for help seem to go unanswered, so I have been myself asking, "How long, O Lord?" I feel David when he asks, "Will You forget me forever?" Remember, David was minding his own business, tending his father's sheep, when Samuel was directed to Jesse's house to anoint the next king of Israel. God elected David out of Jesse's sons for Samuel to anoint as the next king, and that created tension between David and the king that was already sitting in the sacred seat of Israel - Saul. David spent a lot of time hiding from the soldiers of Saul who sought to end his life, and oftentimes things seemed rather bleak for David, so David cried out from the depth of his soul, "How long will you hide Your face from me?" Have you ever felt forsaken by God?

One thing that I have learned is that the believer must live in what I call the Divine Conjunction. You know the Divine Conjunction: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king, but even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up" "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good" "And Saul sought [David] every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand." We have to live in the Divine Conjunction. It's like Conjunction Junction, you know the function - hooking up saints and kids and believers. We have to live in the Divine Conjunction. We have to be able to find our "But" with two hands and a flashlight:

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

What's going on with your But? Too many believers are so concerned about the Already that they can't see the Not Yet - there is tension in the Kingdom of God between that which is and that which is to come - yet we are commanded to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to let our requests be made known to God, and the peace of God - which surpasses all comprehension - will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Too often we let out spiritual guard down because we still haven't found our But. We have to get our But in gear and live in the Divine Conjunction, understanding that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. We don't worship God because of the hook-up, but we must have confidence that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Get right Church and lets go home.

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who is the believer's But in the Divine Conjunction,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (1) minds freed

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Limp (D) Democrats

There is a reason why Democrats have a hard time winning anything, and E.J. Dionne of WaPo is Exhibit A. It is (or should be) widely known that a lie asserted boldly is often more convincing than the truth spoken timidly. E.J. Dionne - on the facts - has the Bush Administration nailed to the wall, but he hammers them with the rhetorical effectiveness of a wet noodle. There is no emotional component to Dionne's piece, and that is the problem with Democrats - a failure to communicate with voters on an emotional level. Where's the indignation? Where's the anger? Where's the fire? If you want your message to resonate with people in such a way that they will actually remember it more than 30 seconds after hearing it then you have to reach them where they feel, and Democrats like E.J. Dionne paint a perfect picture of our perfunctory performance at a plethora of polling places - only those who habitually vote for Democrats end up voting for Democrats since few undecideds get persuaded.

It's basic communications, folks, and sometimes you have to get Rude.

The problem with most Democrats is that they're so busy crafting a message which they think will resonate with voters that they fail to emotionally connect with what the voters actually feel. Truth be told that's Howard Dean's greatest asset - he connects with people at a gut level - and that's why the DC establishment tries to marginalize him at every opportunity. Howard Dean (D-Spine) is a First-Brain Communicator, and we need many more men who are much like him.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:45 AM :: (4) minds freed

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Word For The Week

Are you ready to die? We usually don't think about death in those stark terms, but everyone needs to ask themselves if they are ready to die because death can come knocking at the most unexpected and inopportune times. We generally see death as something that we'll have to deal with a long time from know, somewhere in the distant future, but as the people of Amman, Jordan found out this past week, death can come upon you like a thief in the night while you are sleeping peacefully. As Yitzhak Rabin found out death can come knocking when you are on the verge of your greatest accomplishment. And as far too many drivers have found out, death can come at any moment when you are driving your car, so the question of the hour is, "Are you ready to face death?"

Paul said that to live is Christ and to die is gain. So long as we breathe in and breath out, we who call ourselves Christians have a job to do, namely to advance the cause of Christ, to seek the Kingdom of God, to facilitate the reconciliation of the world back to God. We are to let our light so shine that men might see our good works and glorify God in heaven. Are you ready to stand before God and give an account of your stewardship? Is it truly "Christ" for you to live or is it all about self-satisfaction? When death comes knocking on your door are you prepared to look death in the face and smile right back?

Not only do we need to have the vertical relationship in order, but we must have our horizontal relationships in order as well, for the two are intricately connected. How many times have we heard about people going to funerals and lamenting the fact that they never told the deceased how they really felt about them? How many times have we heard about people mourning because they never restored their relationship with the deceased? How many times have we heard about people grieving over the person that they were going to call next week in order to forgive them and ask forgiveness of them?

Tomorrow is not promised.

All that you have is right now - yesterday is a canceled check and tomorrow is a promissory note, but today is cash-in-hand - what are you going to do with it? We who call ourselves Christians have been called to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to every nation, tongue, and tribe. We who call ourselves Christians have been elected to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the sick and imprisoned. We who call ourselves Christians have been set apart to establish redemptive relationships with our friends, neighbors, and acquaintances such that one day they may say, "What must I do to be saved?"

This is the day that the Lord has made - what are you going to do with your day? Could you stand before Jesus Christ today and give an account of your stewardship of all that He has given you, or are you hiding your talents in the ground? If you are indeed ready to stand before Jesus - if you have your oil ready - then like Paul said, to die is gain. However, if you are not ready then there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. As the old folks used to say, "Get right Church and let's go home."

Choose this day whom you will serve, because tomorrow is not promised.

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to get with Him today,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (0) minds freed

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mama Said 'Knock You Out'

Kwame Kilpatrick (D-Crib) was re-elected Mayor of Detroit despite the efforts of the suburbs and local media to treat him like a child molester in prison. Freeman Hendrix had all but been annointed Hizzoner by the White establishment but Kwame showed that he is a force to be reckoned with - he's still the Mayor. Paraphrasing L.L. here:

Don't call it a comeback
He's been here four years
Rockin his peers and puttin suckas in fear
Makin the tears rain down like a monsoon
Listen to the bass go BOOM
Explosion, overpowerin
Over the competition, He's towerin'
Wreckin shop, when He drops these pols that'll make you call the cops
Don't you dare stare, you betta move
Don't ever compare
Him to the rest that've all got sliced and diced
Competition's payin the price

Kwame's gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Kwame's gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Kwame's gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Kwame's gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)

Don't u call this a regular jam
Kwame's gonna rock this land
He's gonna take this itty bitty world by storm
And He's just gettin warm
Just like Muhummad Ali they called him Cassius
Watch him bash this beat like a skull
Cuz u know he had beef wit
Why do u riff with him, the Manoogian psycho
And when he drives the Navigator get ready cuz it might go
BLAAAAW, how ya like him now?
The river will not allow
U to get with, the mayor, dont riff
Listen to his gear shift
He's blastin, outlastin
Kinda like Shaft, so u could say he's shaftin
Cold Vernors filled his mind
And I came up with a funky rhyme

Kwame's gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Kwame's gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Kwame's gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Kwame's gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)

----

Of course, the suburbanites are going to unleash the full power of the dark side on the city of Detroit now, but I'm going to enjoy this defiant victory for the moment.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 1:15 PM :: (2) minds freed

Monday, November 07, 2005

Nigga Please

Aaron McGruder, creator of The Boondocks - a comic strip about two Black boys who moved to outer suburbia with their grandfather - has an animated version of his strip that debuted on the Cartoon Network last night. The strip - and especially the animated series - uses the word "Nigga" extensively, and that has bunched the usual suspects' panties into a wad. There is an attempt to boycott the show because of its use of the word "nigga," which I find amusing since there's no apparent boycott of a system that perpetuates the substance of the word "nigger." Every measure of economic empowerment shows Blacks lagging far behind Whites in this country. Black wealth has not budged so much as a percentage point relative to Whites over the last 40 years. Blacks still do not own any of the means of production so we are still on the business-end of the Job Contract, and folks want to get mobilized over the usage of a word?

Nigga please!

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 10:45 AM :: (1) minds freed

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Word For The Week

For the last few months I have been looking for a new job with no success. A little while ago someone mentioned to me that if I was a Republican then I probably would have been hooked up with a job a long time ago, to which I responded that while that may be true, the 30 pieces of silver just wasn't worth it. I mention this to raise this question: what is your price? It is said that every man has a price, that there is a set of circumstances where a man will do whatever you want him to do, so what is your price?

For Judas Iscariot it was 30 pieces of silver. For 30 pieces of silver he betrayed innocent blood to those who sought to kill Jesus. For 30 pieces of silver he turned his back on the One who loved him despite knowing that Judas would betray Him. For 30 pieces of silver Judas forfeited his place in the Kingdom of God.

What is your price?

What would it take for you to deny Jesus? What would it take for you to turn your back on the Lord? What would it take for you to sell out? These are questions with which I have been wrestling myself - should I just chuck this whole ministry thing and focus on stacking papers and looking out for me and mine? Should I give up on this political stuff and just look out for myself? Should I simply curse God and die? What is my price? What would cause me to forsake everything that I know and love? What is my 30 pieces of silver?

What's yours?

I have decided that I will stand firm - come hail or high water I shall not be moved from the firm foundation upon which I stand. Come famine, pestilence or starvation I will stand firm on the solid rock that is Christ Jesus my Lord. No matter what else happens I will proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of men's souls. I will advance the Kingdom of God by feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, comforting the sick, and visiting the imprisoned. And I will stand firm against those who have a form of Godliness but deny the power thereof, those who claim to be Christ's disciples yet bear no fruit, those who vote Republican in His name and in His name cast out homosexuals and oppose many abortions, yet may well hear Jesus say in that Day, "I never knew you - depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" I may well end up standing alone, but I will indeed stand.

How about you?

May The LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who implores you to reject your 30 pieces of silver,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (1) minds freed

Friday, November 04, 2005

All's Quiet On The Underground

This week has been a little rough for me and I haven't had much time to reflect and opine on matters this week. Prayerfully I'll be more productive next week.

My apologies.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 6:17 PM :: (0) minds freed

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