Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bound by Bitterness

Getting ready today for our Men's Bible Study tonight where the men of our Church and Community are trying to learn how to deal with our Anger Issues, yes EVEN GOOD MEN GET ANGRY.

In our Noonday and Evening Bible Studies, we are studying the Book of Hebrews. I have anchored down in Chapter 11 and probably won't come up for five or six months as we will do character studies about each hero of faith but in prayerful anticipation, I saw a verse in Hebrews 12:15 that I will use for tonight's discussion with the men:

Hebrews 12:14 (Phillips NT) 14 Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness "without which no man shall see the Lord". Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others.

The passage warns of us of a very grievous sin that gets a free pass, this sin will ruin a person. The root of bitterness often goes unnoticed, it rarely gets any attention, it is rarely discussed, but it is like a deadly virus that is silently killing its victims. As we discuss this mighty sin, some may ask is this is so, why is this sin so great?

The sin of bitterness is hidden beneath the surface, it is covered up, it cannot be seen in a literal sense. The problem with bitterness is that it has to have a reason; the bitter person has to have something to be bitter at. Often the object of this bitterness has no idea that the bitter person has so much venom toward them. The bitter pill is difficult to digest; it literally destroys the body that is trying to digest its poison.

The strange thing about bitterness is that when it is planted in a life, after it has been watered, when the bitter heart has become fertile ground, other roots spring up. The good thing about a root is that it can be removed while it is in the beginning stages of growth, a small sapling can be pulled up with ease, but as it takes hold the longer it's roots take hold, the greater difficulty we have in plucking it up.

The other roots that grow along with bitterness are easy to identify, hatred, anger, malice, backbiting, division, jealousy, envy, unhappiness, the list could go on I suppose. I wonder if you have let this bitter root into your life, has it entrenched itself within your heart? If it is there how well are you hiding it, are you doing good at disguising it?

The real problem with bitterness is how it swells up at times in our life; it literally can affect our health. It will take a person to the grave; it can bring forth the deepest form of depression. As you look over your life, is the bitterness worth the pain, are you not tired of carrying this heavy burden around?

I have found that some people are bitter with God, their spouse, their child, their job, a promotion, a promise, a pain, and sometimes the church, what is your object of bitterness? As we wrestle with this green eyed monster of bitterness a decision must be made, will you let it flourish or will you cut it off, pluck it up by the roots?

Your Bitterness must be Admitted and Faced. Quit Hiding, Quit Justifying, Quit Lying, Tell the truth, look your self in the mirror and look at the beast within you.

Your Bitterness must be Abandoned and Forsaken. When we look in the mirror, we fix whatever is wrong. No one sees something that is wrong with your appearance and does not try to fix it.

I am writing my list of things for tonight;s meeting. Maybe you need to write the things that have developed a bitter spirit in you and fix it

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's Actually a good Day, When you Consider

I admit this is one of my favorite commercials presently playing on TV. It's not because it is so funny or has cute animals or cute graphics but it has a message that speaks to me every time I see it.

Let me say I am not advocating Nationwide Insurance. I am sure they are a fine company with great people providing a necessary service but my intent is not to get people to sign up with Nationwide Insurance. Feel free to choose whoever you like, can afford and is best for you. Again, I just like the message of the commercial.

Do you get the message? Not Nationwide's message but the underlying message of the commercial, if not look at it again and then come back and read this..............go ahead..............I can wait.
, hint it shows up about the 28 sec mark of the commercial.

The commercial opens with two men in a car who are buckled in upside down just experiencing a car accident. The insurance man receives a phone call stating that he has some bad news and some good news. The bad news is the customer's car is probably totaled but the good news is because Nationwide has a program called Vanishing Deductible, for his years of good driving he will pay no deductible.

The jingle is now sung NATIONWIDE IS ON YOUR SIDE. Good Commercial, but that's still not the REAL MESSAGE. Yes Nationwide did a great spot pitching its product of vanishing deductible but that isn't the real message.

In the last sentence of the commercial, the company man for Nationwide says, "IT'S ACTUALLY A PRETTY GOOD DAY...WHEN YOU CONSIDER". There is the real message!

Replay the spot! This person just had a car accident. He may be injured and require medical attention. He is still trapped in his situation by the device that saved him. His car is completely totaled and may have to find alternative transportation for a short time. His world has just been turned upside as symbolically he is sitting upside down..............and through it all, it still can be said, "IT'S ACTUALLY A GOOD DAY WHEN YOU CONSIDER".

There comes times in our lives where we need to consider, take a step back, BREATHE, look around and reevaluate, reassess, reconsider our situation.

I was just in a car accident................but I am still alive
I am sitting upside down.....................but I wasn't thrown out
I don't know what I am gonna to do...........but God will make a way
I have lost everything....................................but I still have hope
I couldn't save my car..................................but I saved my coffee

That's my word of hope for someone today, Take time to consider in the middle of all that is wrong, look at what is right. Nationwide didn't mean to create a religious commercial but they did. There is one one more shout within that 30 second spot. Notice where he was when he considered.

He was still strapped in, upside down, half injured, not sure of his future when they word of hope comes, "IT'S ACTUALLY A GOOD DAY WHEN YOU CONSIDER".

In the middle of our situation, not when we go on vacation, not when we take a mental holiday, not after a few drinks but right in the middle of our situation we can consider. You may ask how is this possible.

Paul says it better than I can in Philippians 4:8 ESV Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Luther J. Taylor Sr appointed to South Bend Board of Public Safety

The Pastor and People of the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church come together to congratulate of Deacon, Business Manager, Sunday School Teacher and a Child of God, Deacon Luther Taylor for his appointment to the Department of Public Safety Board for South Bend, Indiana.

Deacon Taylor is South Bend living African American History as he was the first Black Fire Chief of South Bend, Indiana. He served over 21 years in this position and was the longest running ever Fire Chief in South Bend History.

He serves currently as the Manager of Emergency Preparedness for Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center Hospital in Mishawaka, Indiana. He is a faithful member of the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.

Deacon Taylor is a Pastor's dream, a man who follows God, supports the Pastor, tithes according to the principles of God's Word, works with other for the benefit of the Kingdom and truly understands the motto, If I can't help you, I won't hurt you.

On behalf of the entire Macedonia Family, Deacon Taylor, WE LOVE YOU AND WE ARE VERY PROUD OF YOU.


Luther J. Taylor Sr. will serve on the South Bend Board of Public Safety South Bend—Mayor Pete Buttigieg has appointed Luther J. Taylor, Sr., former South Bend fire chief and former director of the St. Joseph County Emergency Management Agency, to the South Bend Board of Public Safety. Taylor served 21 years as fire chief in South Bend. He is the longest serving chief in the department’s history. Taylor retired April 16, 2007 after 34 years of service to the Fire Department.

“I am honored that Luther Taylor will continue to serve the residents of South Bend on the Board of Public Safety,” said Buttigieg. “His years of service to the community are exemplary and he will ensure that our public safety officials and officers are held to the
highest standard.”

Taylor joined the South Bend Fire Department in 1972 and on January 12, 1976, Taylor was promoted to captain. Four years later, he was named battalion chief of fire suppression where he implemented the HAZ-MAT team and served as its first coordinator. Taylor was named fire chief in 1985 by former Mayor Roger Parent.

“This is an opportunity to give back to the community after 34 years with the Fire Department,” said Taylor. “This is also an opportunity to continue to work on the important issues facing public safety. I’m honored that Mayor Buttigieg has asked me to become a member of the board.”

Taylor will replace Bruce J. BonDurant on the board. BonDurant is the stepson of the new fire chief, Stephen Cox, and resigned due to a conflict of interest. Buttigieg will swear in Taylor before the next Board of Public Safety meeting on February 15, 2012 at 9:15 a.m. in Board of Works Conference Room on the 13th floor of the County-City Building.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Father of Black History

Recently, the men's ministry of our church had a fellowship where we took the younger boys of our church out to the movies to see the film Red Tails. It was a good time; however, we learned many things. One of the most striking things that stood out from this encounter was how many of our African-American boys didn't have any knowledge of who they are or where they come from.

I was reminded of these words: "Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history"
These are the words of Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, distinguished Black author, editor, publisher, and historian (December 1875 - April 1950). Carter G. Woodson believed that Blacks should know their past in order to participate intelligently in the affairs in our country. He strongly believed that Black history - which others have tried so diligently to erase - is a firm foundation for young Black Americans to build on in order to become productive citizens of our society.

Known as the "Father of Black History," Carter G. Woodson holds an outstanding position in early 20th century American history. Woodson authored numerous scholarly books on the positive contributions of Blacks to the development of America. He also published many magazine articles analyzing the contributions and role of Black Americans.

He reached out to schools and the general public through the establishment of several key organizations and founded Negro History Week (precursor to Black History Month). His message was that Blacks should be proud of their heritage and that other Americans should also understand it.

Carter G. Woodson was born in New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia, to former slaves Anne Eliza (Riddle) and James Henry Woodson. Although his parents could neither read nor write, Carter G. Woodson credits his father for influencing the course of his life. His father, he later wrote, insisted that "learning to accept insult, to compromise on principle, to mislead your fellow man, or to betray your people, is to lose your soul."

Ambitious for more education, Carter and his brother Robert Henry moved to Huntington, West Virginia, where they hoped to attend the Douglass High School. However, Carter was forced to earn his living as a miner in Fayette County coal fields and was able to devote only a few months each year to his schooling. In 1895, a twenty-year-old Carter entered Douglass High School, where he received his diploma in less than two years.

From 1897 to 1900, Carter G. Woodson began teaching in Winona, Fayette County. In 1900, he returned to Huntington to become the principal of Douglass H.S.; he finally received his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College, Kentucky. From 1903 to 1907, he was a school supervisor in the Philippines. Later he traveled throughout Europe and Asia and studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris. In 1908, he received his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and in 1912, he received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.

During his lifetime, Dr. Woodson developed an important philosophy of history. History, he insisted, was not the mere gathering of facts. The object of historical study is to arrive at a reasonable interpretation of the facts. History is more than political and military records of peoples and nations. It must include some description of the social conditions of the period being studied.

Woodson's work endures in the institutions and activities he founded and promoted. In 1915, he and several friends in Chicago established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. The following year, the Journal of Negro History appeared, one of the oldest learned journals in the United States. In 1926, he developed Negro History Week and in 1937 published the first issue of the Negro History Bulletin.

Dr. Woodson often said that he hoped the time would come when Negro History Week would be unnecessary; when all Americans would willingly recognize the contributions of Black Americans as a legitimate and integral part of the history of this country. Dr. Woodson's outstanding historical research influenced others to carry on his work. Among these have been such noted historians as John Hope Franklin, Charles Wesley, and Benjamin Quarles.

Whether it's called Black history, Negro history, Afro-American history, or African American history, his philosophy has made the study of Black history a legitimate and acceptable area of intellectual inquiry. Dr. Woodson's concept has given a profound sense of dignity to all Black Americans.