We Wear the Mask – National Poetry Month

When I heard that April is National Poetry Month, I picked up a book of writings by Paul Laurence Dunbar and flipped through it for something timely.  I landed on a page with the poem “We Wear the Mask” – pretty appropriate in the midst of a global pandemic where we are learning to practice “social distancing” and taking many precautions.

We Wear the Mask - Paul Laurence Dunbar - Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 6.48.23 AM

Check out my reading of this great poem at  “We Wear the Mask”

Photo DGreen in Mask IMG_2002


Have a great day, and stay safe out there!


Posted in Black History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emancipator — Extra. Slave Market of America

Emancipation - Slave Market of America


I saw this document up for auction at the website of Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc. and thought I’d pass it along!

It was published in New York in 1836, and is up for sale at $8,500.00.

The auction house’s description is as follows:

Rare Anti-Slavery broadside protesting the US House of Representatives vote for the so-called “gag bill”.

Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, the broadside was a response to legislation passed by the House preventing even the discussion of the passage of any bill to put an end to slavery in general, and in the District of Columbia in particular. After repeated petitions and attempts to legislate against slavery in the nation’s capital, “A special committee of the House of Representatives, appointed on February 8, 1836, under the chairmanship of Henry L. Pinckney of South Carolina, recommended the following resolution: “That all petitions, memorials, propositions, or papers relating in any way, or extent whatever, to the subject of slavery, or the abolition of slavery, shall without being either printed or referred, be laid on the table, and that no further action whatever shall be had thereon.” The resolution passed by a vote of 177 to 68. Printed at the bottom of the broadside are the names of those who voted for Pinckney’s resolution. See Dumond, pages 236-37.

The Library of Congress provides the following description:

“The work was issued during the 1835-36 petition campaign, waged by moderate abolitionists led by Theodore Dwight Weld and buttressed by Quaker organizations, to have Congress abolish slavery in the capital. The text contains arguments for abolition and an accounting of atrocities of the system. At the top are two contrasting scenes: a view of the reading of the Declaration of Independence, captioned “The Land of the Free,” with a scene of slaves being led past the capitol by an overseer, entitled “The Home of the Oppressed.” Between them is a plan of Washington with insets of a suppliant slave … and a fleeing slave with the legend “$200 Reward” and implements of slavery. On the next line are views of the jail in Alexandria, the jail in Washington with the “sale of a free citizen to pay his jail fees,” and an interior of the Washington jail with imprisoned slave mother Fanny Jackson and her children. On the bottom level are an illustration of slaves in chains emerging from the slave house of J.W. Neal & Co. (left), a view of the Alexandria waterfront with a ship loading slaves (center), and a view of the slave establishment of Franklin & Armfield in Alexandria.”


An excellent example of this broadside sold for $6240 at Swann in 2007 and another (with “archival repairs on verso”) in 2000 for $5290, also at Swann.

American Anti-Slavery Society

The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave, was a key leader of this society who often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was also a freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had 1,350 local chapters with around 250,000 members.


Anybody wanna send $8,500 my way?

Posted in Black History, History, Race Relations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Father of Black History


Carter Godwin Woodson

19 December 1875 – 3 April 1950

Years ago, Stevie Wonder put out a song with the lyrics “looking back on when I was a little nappy headed boy…”  When I look back, I remember how my mom bought some Black History themed comic books when I was in elementary school.  I was a BIG superhero fan, so comic books had (and still have) great appeal.  I hoped to have super powers like Spiderman, The Flash, Aquaman and the Incredible Hulk… but that never came to pass.  I still have those Black History comic books, my kindergarten report card, and about 3.5 tons of other stuff that I have carted from Michigan to Florida to Arizona, back to Michigan, and back to Florida… (one day, perhaps, I shall be delivered from “packratitis”).

In the photo below, I blocked out my mom’s name (she was a teacher and wrote her name on E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G). I don’t think she would appreciate her name being broadcast out into cyberspace.

Golden Legacy Black History Comics

It was great to learn Black History via these comic books.  Today, I find that I desire to continue learning more about my heritage.  We often hear of the “icons” or “stars” of Black History such as Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. but how often do we hear about the scholars who help us to learn about this key aspect of American History? I recently learned about the “Father of Black History” – Carter Godwin Woodson.

Carter Woodson was born in 1875 in New Canton, Virginia. He was the first and only black American born of former slaves to earn a PhD in History. He grew up working on his family’s farm and later worked as a day laborer prior to completing his education. At the age of 25, Woodson enrolled in Frederick Douglass High School where he diligently completed 4 years of study in 2 years. Woodson went on to graduate from Berea College in Kentucky in 1903, merely a year before Kentucky passed a law prohibiting interracial education.

Carter Woodson was determined to continue his education, so he began a correspondence program at the University of Chicago, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in History. He entered Harvard University in 1909 and completed his PhD in History in 1912.

Carter founded the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History in 1915 and was the chief editor of the Journal of Negro History which he launched in 1916. He eventually published 8 volumes of this journal. His interest in educating all people about the history of blacks in America led him to launch an annual celebration of Negro History Week in February of 1926, which evolved into Black History Month in 1976. He had established himself as a scholar of African American history by 1937, when he began publishing the Negro History Bulletin.

I first learned about this great American historian when I picked up a copy of his landmark work, The Mis-Education of the Negro. I found the title intriguing, and the contents informational and challenging.

I encourage you today to learn more about this pioneer in American History, – the Father of Black History – Carter Godwin Woodson.



Gates Jr., Henry Louis & Higginbothan, Evelyn Brooks, editors, African American Lives, Oxford University Press: New York, 2004




A Place to Visit: Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum



Written Works of Carter G. Woodson:

(Free or minimal expense)

The Mis-Education of the Negro




The History of the Negro Church

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/38963  or   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007F31H34/ref=docs-os-doi_0


A Century of Negro Migration by Carter Godwin Woodson



The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 by Carter Godwin Woodson



The Journal of Negro History

Volume 1: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13642

Volume 2: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20752

Volume 3: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20906

Volume 4: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/21093

Volume 5: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/23200

Volume 6: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22149

Volume 7: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24484

Volume 8: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/44343

Continue reading

Posted in Black History, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

President John F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights Address

Below is the transcript of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 Civil Rights Address.  This was a courageous effort to draw attention to a problem that in part still lingers today in regards to economic and educational disparities amongst the various ethnic groups in the United States of America.  Let us not forget what we went through, how far we have come, where we need to go and for what we stand.

Good evening, my fellow citizens:

This afternoon, following a series of threats and defiant statements, the presence of Alabama National Guardsmen was required on the University of Alabama to carry out the final and unequivocal order of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama. That order called for the admission of two clearly qualified young Alabama residents who happened to have been born Negro. That they were admitted peacefully on the campus is due in good measure to the conduct of the students of the University of Alabama, who met their responsibilities in a constructive way.

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

Today, we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. And when Americans are sent to Vietnam or West Berlin, we do not ask for whites only. It ought to be possible, therefore, for American students of any color to attend any public institution they select without having to be backed up by troops. It ought to to be possible for American consumers of any color to receive equal service in places of public accommodation, such as hotels and restaurants and theaters and retail stores, without being forced to resort to demonstrations in the street, and it ought to be possible for American citizens of any color to register and to vote in a free election without interference or fear of reprisal. It ought to to be possible, in short, for every American to enjoy the privileges of being American without regard to his race or his color. In short, every American ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated. But this is not the case.

The Negro baby born in America today, regardless of the section of the State in which he is born, has about one-half as much chance of completing a high school as a white baby born in the same place on the same day, one-third as much chance of completing college, one-third as much chance of becoming a professional man, twice as much chance of becoming unemployed, about one-seventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year, a life expectancy which is 7 years shorter, and the prospects of earning only half as much.

This is not a sectional issue. Difficulties over segregation and discrimination exist in every city, in every State of the Union, producing in many cities a rising tide of discontent that threatens the public safety. Nor is this a partisan issue. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics. This is not even a legal or legislative issue alone. It is better to settle these matters in the courts than on the streets, and new laws are needed at every level, but law alone cannot make men see right. We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the Scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution.

The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?

One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression. And this Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.

We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is the land of the free except for the Negroes; that we have no second-class citizens except Negroes; that we have no class or caste system, no ghettoes, no master race except with respect to Negroes?

Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise. The events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or State or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them. The fires of frustration and discord are burning in every city, North and South, where legal remedies are not at hand. Redress is sought in the streets, in demonstrations, parades, and protests which create tensions and threaten violence and threaten lives.

We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives. It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say this a problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the facts that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all. Those who do nothing are inviting shame, as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right, as well as reality.

Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law. The Federal judiciary has upheld that proposition in a series of forthright cases. The Executive Branch has adopted that proposition in the conduct of its affairs, including the employment of Federal personnel, the use of Federal facilities, and the sale of federally financed housing. But there are other necessary measures which only the Congress can provide, and they must be provided at this session. The old code of equity law under which we live commands for every wrong a remedy, but in too many communities, in too many parts of the country, wrongs are inflicted on Negro citizens and there are no remedies at law. Unless the Congress acts, their only remedy is the street.

I am, therefore, asking the Congress to enact legislation giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public — hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments. This seems to me to be an elementary right. Its denial is an arbitrary indignity that no American in 1963 should have to endure, but many do.

I have recently met with scores of business leaders urging them to take voluntary action to end this discrimination, and I have been encouraged by their response, and in the last two weeks over 75 cities have seen progress made in desegregating these kinds of facilities. But many are unwilling to act alone, and for this reason, nationwide legislation is needed if we are to move this problem from the streets to the courts.

I’m also asking the Congress to authorize the Federal Government to participate more fully in lawsuits designed to end segregation in public education. We have succeeded in persuading many districts to desegregate voluntarily. Dozens have admitted Negroes without violence. Today, a Negro is attending a State-supported institution in every one of our 50 States, but the pace is very slow.

Too many Negro children entering segregated grade schools at the time of the Supreme Court’s decision nine years ago will enter segregated high schools this fall, having suffered a loss which can never be restored. The lack of an adequate education denies the Negro a chance to get a decent job.

The orderly implementation of the Supreme Court decision, therefore, cannot be left solely to those who may not have the economic resources to carry the legal action or who may be subject to harassment.

Other features will be also requested, including greater protection for the right to vote. But legislation, I repeat, cannot solve this problem alone. It must be solved in the homes of every American in every community across our country. In this respect I wanna pay tribute to those citizens North and South who’ve been working in their communities to make life better for all. They are acting not out of sense of legal duty but out of a sense of human decency. Like our soldiers and sailors in all parts of the world they are meeting freedom’s challenge on the firing line, and I salute them for their honor and their courage.

My fellow Americans, this is a problem which faces us all — in every city of the North as well as the South. Today, there are Negroes unemployed, two or three times as many compared to whites, inadequate education, moving into the large cities, unable to find work, young people particularly out of work without hope, denied equal rights, denied the opportunity to eat at a restaurant or a lunch counter or go to a movie theater, denied the right to a decent education, denied almost today the right to attend a State university even though qualified. It seems to me that these are matters which concern us all, not merely Presidents or Congressmen or Governors, but every citizen of the United States.

This is one country. It has become one country because all of us and all the people who came here had an equal chance to develop their talents. We cannot say to ten percent of the population that you can’t have that right; that your children cannot have the chance to develop whatever talents they have; that the only way that they are going to get their rights is to go in the street and demonstrate. I think we owe them and we owe ourselves a better country than that.

Therefore, I’m asking for your help in making it easier for us to move ahead and to provide the kind of equality of treatment which we would want ourselves; to give a chance for every child to be educated to the limit of his talents.

As I’ve said before, not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.

We have a right to expect that the Negro community will be responsible, will uphold the law, but they have a right to expect that the law will be fair, that the Constitution will be color blind, as Justice Harlan said at the turn of the century.

This is what we’re talking about and this is a matter which concerns this country and what it stands for, and in meeting it I ask the support of all our citizens.

Thank you very much.

Posted in Race Relations | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Steinbeck speaks out on race relations

Here is an interesting essay by John Steinbeck that my Dad found among my grandmother’s old photos… What are your thoughts?

2013_11_23_15_32_11 ATQUE VALE John Steinbeck essay July 23 1960

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Divine Law and the Foreigner

 The Immigrant Question

By Damon S. Green, @Biblenomad

      Immigration Reform is a hot topic on the lips of politicians, activists, and brave immigrants who are seeking to protect what they see as basic human rights.  Legislators wrangle over how to deal with the ages old “immigrant question”.

Founders of the United States of America addressed this question in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness… He [The King of Great Britain] has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither…”

The “immigrant question” is addressed throughout the Bible:

  • Adam and Eve – placed in Eden, later deported.
  • Abraham – told to leave home.
  • Isaac – moved to escape famine.
  • Jacob – fled to distant relatives.
  • Moses – a Jew adopted by Egyptian royalty; fled to Midian where he met and     married his wife.
  • Jesus – taken to Egypt to escape death threats, emigrated to Nazareth.

God is deeply concerned about immigration and treatment of foreigners.  The Old Testament word for “immigrant”, Ger, occurs 92 times in the Bible.  It means a guest; implies a foreigner and is often translated as: alien, sojourner, or stranger.

King David, when fleeing from Saul, prayed: “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.” (Psalm 39:12)

God commands fair treatment of foreigners:

  • Ex 23:9 “Also you shall not oppress a stranger…”
  • Le 19:10 “And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape … leave them for the poor and the stranger…”
  • De 10:18 “He … loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers…”
  • Eze 47:22 “… divide it [the land] by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you…. They shall be to you as native-born…; they shall have an inheritance with you….”
  • Mal 3:5 “And I will come near you for judgment … Against those who exploit wage earners … And against those who turn away an alien…”

God welcomes us INTO His Kingdom and sends us OUT as ambassadors to represent His interests and teach ALL nations the Good News of Salvation in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).  Let us follow the Word and Holy Spirit as we serve the immigrants in our midst, for we also are sojourners.

See these scriptures also :

Ex 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Ex 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Ex 23:9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. {heart: Heb. soul}

Le 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Le 19:33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. {vex: or, oppress}  34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Le 24:22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

De 23:7  Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

De 24:17 Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge:

De 24:19 When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. 20 When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. {go…: Heb. bough it after thee}  21 When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. {afterward: Heb. after thee}

De 27:19 Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Jon 31:32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.

Psalm 146:9 The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Posted in Immigration, Race Relations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

“For just as the human body is one and yet has many parts, and all its parts, many as they are, constitute but one body, so it is with the Church of Christ. 13 For, in fact, in one Spirit all of us–whether we are Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free men–were baptized to form but one body; and we were all nourished by that one Spirit.”  (1 Corinthians 12:12)

As a young Christian in college, I was frustrated one semester as I attempted to research the Biblical stance on slavery.  I had no training in Bible research and was clueless about how to proceed.  My results were unsatisfactory to me and left many questions unanswered… How could a just God permit such inhumane treatment of a race of people?  It was not until years later that I learned about some key differences in slavery in Old Testament Israel vs. slavery in the Roman Empire vs. the “peculiar institution” of slavery in the Americas.  The American version of slavery was particularly cruel and evil.  It afforded no protection for the dignity or rights of the enslaved.  It denied basic human rights and offered no hope of redemption or jubilee from inhumane treatment.

True freedom may be found in a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God who laid down His life to redeem mankind from eternal damnation.  We may receive forgiveness of all sins, peace with God, grace and power for a victorious life through our relationship with God as we allow Jesus of Nazareth to be our Master, Saviour and Lord.   As we yield to the will of God and choose to serve Him and not our own naturally selfish desires, we become free from the power of the Evil One who seeks to work through men and women submitted to him.  The Enemy of our souls seeks to steal, kill and destroy… He will do this through slavery if that option is available to him.

Slavery still exists today, albeit in a different form.  It is in force in child slavery in various countries, forced sex workers in many cities and nations, and the abuses of immigrant workforces in many areas throughout the world.

Today, January 1, 2013, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States of America.  This proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln extended freedom to many, but not all enslaved men, women and children in the certain states of the USA.  Let us remember the past, not to enslave descendants of oppressors with guilt and shame, but to avoid repeating similar offences agains our fellow human beings.

Please see the proclamation from President Barack Obama below:

(Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/31/presidential-proclamation-150th-anniversary-emancipation-proclamation)



– – – – – – –



On December 31, 1862, our Nation marked the end of another year of civil war. At Shiloh and Seven Pines, Harpers Ferry and Antietam, brother had fought against brother. Sister had fought against sister. Blood and bitterness had deepened the divide that separated North from South, eroding the bonds of affection that once united 34 States under a single flag. Slavery still suspended the possibility of an America where life and liberty were the birthright of all, not the province of some.

Yet, even in those dark days, light persisted. Hope endured. As the weariness of an old year gave way to the promise of a new one, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation — courageously declaring that on January 1, 1863, “all persons held as slaves” in rebellious areas “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” He opened the Union Army and Navy to African Americans, giving new strength to liberty’s cause. And with that document, President Lincoln lent new moral force to the war by making it a fight not just to preserve, but also to empower. He sought to reunite our people not only in government, but also in freedom that knew no bounds of color or creed. Every battle became a battle for liberty itself. Every struggle became a struggle for equality.

Our 16th President also understood that while each of us is entitled to our individual rights and responsibilities, there are certain things we cannot accomplish on our own. Only a Union could serve the hopes of every citizen, knocking down the barriers to opportunity and giving each of us the chance to pursue our highest aspirations. He knew that in these United States, no dream could ever be beyond our reach when we affirm that individual liberty is served, not negated, by seeking the common good.

It is that spirit that made emancipation possible and codified it in our Constitution. It is that belief in what we can do together that moved millions to march for justice in the years that followed. And today, it is a legacy we choose not only to remember, but also to make our own. Let us begin this new year by renewing our bonds to one another and reinvesting in the work that lies ahead, confident that we can keep driving freedom’s progress in our time.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 1, 2013, as the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation and reaffirm the timeless principles it upheld.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


Posted in Race Relations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Integrity: Key to Selflessness

There is a crisis of integrity in the world today.   I was impressed to write about this recently during a church prayer service.  Soon afterward, I saw someone’s status post on Facebook about integrity.  A little later, my former pastor and employer, Bishop Keith Butler’s daily internet devotions began addressing “integrity.”  I believe that it is time for me to follow this inward witness and address the topic here on this blog.

A lack of integrity affects one personally as well as that person’s family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and community.  When thinking about this, I recall the title of a sermon given by one of the assistant pastors at my former church: “Is You Is What You Say You Is When You Is All Alone?”  Bad English, for sure, but it makes me think of the importance of being real at home alone, with my family, at work and at school….  My heart’s desire is to be authentic and live a life of worth that will bless my family and those I encounter each day.  I can do this if I develop and hold fast to Integrity as the standard for my conduct.

Let’s first define what we mean when we use the word “integrity.”

http://www.dictionary.com defines the noun integrity as:
          1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
 2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
 3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.
                                Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/integrity

Our integrity keeps us constant in our daily walk with God and interaction with others.  Our integrity keeps us in the peace of God when we are all alone and have opportunity to act outside of holiness because it seems that no one is watching.   Our integrity will motivate use to keep pressing forward, against all odds, against all opposition, against all contrary feelings to a deeper level of personal holiness.  Our integrity motivates us to be imitators of God as dear children.  God spoke in Malachi, “I am Jehovah, I change not…”  We learn in the Letter to the Hebrews that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  We are charged “I am Holy, therefore you be Holy.”

Our soundness is most secure as we draw near to Christ and seek to be like Him.  As we yield to the holy influence of Holy Spirit, we are changed from glory to glory.  You may have heard the saying, “God loves you too much to leave you the way you are.”  Why does it seem that God won’t leave us alone?  Well, Psalm 8 tells us that He is ever mindful of us.  We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for Good works that God ordained for us to complete before the foundation of the world.  How can we complete our calling and fulfill our purpose apart from our Creator?  Without Him we are nothing.  With Him we can do all things.

Integrity causes us to cling to our Creator like static electricity causes the fabric of your clothing to stick to your body.  We are joined with Christ… so much so as far as God is concerned, we are seated with Him in Heavenly places – far above all the mere mortal things of this world.

Integrity is perhaps measured by how closely we adhere to the mold shaped for us into which our lives conform by the help of Holy Spirit.

How can we know our integrity apart from an independent investigative report from God?

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Scripture References

    1. Genesis 20:5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.”
    2. Genesis 20:6 And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. )
    3. 1 Kings 9:4 Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments,
    4. Job 2:3 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
    5. Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
    6. Job 4:6 Is not your reverence your confidence?And the integrity of your ways your hope?
    7. Job 27:1 Job Maintains His Integrity ] Moreover Job continued his discourse, and said:… Job 27:5 Far be it from meThat I should say you are right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
    8. Job 31:6 Let me be weighed on honest scales,That God may know my integrity.
    9. Psalm 7:8 The LORD shall judge the peoples;Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, And according to myintegrity within me.
    10. Psalm 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,For I wait for You.
    11. Psalm 26:1 A Psalm of David. ] Vindicate me, O LORD,For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip.
    12. Psalm 26:11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity;Redeem me and be merciful to me.
    13. Psalm 41:12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,And set me before Your face forever.
    14. Psalm 78:72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
    15. Proverbs 10:9 He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.
    16. Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
    17. Proverbs 19:1 Better is the poor who walks in his integrityThan one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
    18. Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.
    19. Proverbs 28:6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
    20. Titus 2:7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,

Integrity in Action

 The scriptures listed below lead me to conclude that we act in integrity when we willingly conform to God’s righteous standards.  This means that we first must acknowledge our need for God’s assistance.  Secondly, we allow His Holy Spirit to fill us with His love and wisdom, guide us, correct us, lead us, and strengthen us. Thirdly, we base our actions on how the Spirit of God leads us to express His great love to our family, neighbors and strangers we come in cantact with.  Love fulfills the law of God and pleases God.  We learn in 1 John 4:8 that God is LOVE.  God is integrity.  When we keep ourselves in the love of God (receiving His love for us and acting in love towards others) we are operating in the integrity of God.  Love NEVER fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).

In fact, God’s love constrains us to not fly off the handle, act foolishly and lose our integrity.  What a blessing to be loved by such an awesome God.

Leviticus 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

 Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? {walk…: Heb. humble thyself to walk}

Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 

 James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

Posted in Common Courtesy, Immigration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day – May 2011

Let us be thankful for those who laid down their lives for our safety and freedom.  Let us recognize the great ethnic diversity of our American patriots.


  1. The Native Americans who assisted early European settlers in their survival in America.  Without their assistance, settlement would not have been possible.
  2. The Native Americans who assisted during World War II  – Code Talkers (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_talker) 
  • Code talkers was a term used to describe people who talk using a coded language. It is frequently used to describe Native Americans who served in the United States Marine Corps whose primary job was the transmission of secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted these messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formal or informally developed codes built upon their native languages. Their service was very valuable because it enhanced the communications security of vital front line operations during World War II.
  • The name code talkers is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the Marines to serve in their standard communications units in the Pacific Theater. Code talking, however, was pioneered by Choctaw Indians serving in the U.S. Army during World War I. These soldiers are referred to as Choctaw Code Talkers.
  • Other Native American code talkers were deployed by the United States Army during World War II, including Cherokee, Choctaw, Lakota Meskwaki, and Comanche soldiers. Soldiers of Basque ancestry were used for code talking by the US Marines during World War II in areas where other Basque speakers were not expected to be operating.
3.  Remember the African American slaves and free men who fought in the U.S.A.’s                   war for independence from British tyranny.  
4.  Remember the African Americans who fought as “Buffalo Soldiers” in the                              western U.S.A.
5.  Remember the Tuskeegee Airmen, African Americans who fought in World War                 II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskeegee_airmen)
6.  Remember the many Puerto Ricans who have faithfully served in our armed                         forces.
7.  Remember that a Jewish carpenter from Nazareth laid down his life to save the                   whole world.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Messiah for All Nations

There are numerous passages in Holy Scripture that show God’s love for all mankind.  He so loved the world that Jesus was the sacrifice for Jews and Gentiles alike.  Jesus declared that the Gospel must be preached to all nations, and then (after it is preached to all nations) the end (His return for the Church) can come.

(Matthew 24:14 ESVEnglish Standard Version “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”)

One of the temptations we face daily is to judge others based upon their “earth suit” or physical appearance: skin color/shade, grade of hair, size of nose or ears, etc.  All of these external features have little to do with the true person wrapped up in that “earth suit.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. looked forward to a day when we would be “judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin.”  Let us be imitators of God and see others through His eyes of love, pardoning, forgiving, exercising mercy and forgiveness, compassion and patience!  I know I need as much patience as I can get from family and others close to me.  Let us remember that we are all God’s favorite children and that His message is Good News, not bad news.  Exclusion, hatred, prejudice, and racism sound like bad news to me… Enough of that.  Time to grow up people, into the image of our loving Heavenly Father, and we can do that as we develop a daily walk with Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior and Master.  It is time to Embrace the Nations, not hate them.

Scriptures For Meditation

Isa 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

Isa 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. {It is…: or, Art thou lighter than that thou shouldest, etc} {preserved: or, desolations}

Isa 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Lu 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Ac 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Ac 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Posted in Common Courtesy, Immigration, Uncategorized | 2 Comments