Monday, June 28, 2004

Spiritual Maturity

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. - Hebrews 5:12-14

The reader base is continually growing, all thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for putting it down for me. Of all the things that I seek to accomplish when I put pen to paper, my ultimate goal is making sure everyone knows my Strength and my Redeemer. I know a lot of the way I write and communicate is of a dialect and vernacular that is a bit ‘thuggish’ and mature, but please keep in mind that my directed audience is for all those street soldiers out there in the world. God has blessed me to be born into an army of Christian believers, right here in the Southside of Houston, Texas. Starting with my parents and throughout both sides of my genealogy, I live with and among devout Christian people and for that I’m grateful. I know that there are a lot of people who have never been exposed to Jesus up close and personal like I have. A lot of people have never seen their grandfather get down on his knees and pray a prayer of complete submission and willful obedience. They’ve never seen their mother or grandmothers get full of the Spirit in church and collapse in tears of joy. They’ve never been taught the Word of Christ by their father like I have. They’ve never seen people put the Word into real life action. I often ponder the strength of my spirituality if my birth circumstances were different. What if I was born into a North Korean family of atheists? What have I done to deserve the blessing of being born into a Christian family? What have others done to deserve the misfortune of being born into an idol worshipping culture and family? Pondering the randomness of birth and circumstance will make a lot of people hesitant to embrace the Christian path of salvation. Having parents and grandparents who didn’t believe in or follow the teachings of Jesus Christ would make any person reluctant to even listen to what the Christian message is all about.

Our Sunday school lessons these past few weeks have been out of the book of Hebrews. In this book, the writer is exhorting all of the early Jewish Christians to keep the path of the Gospel, even though it came under the New Covenant, and not their Old Covenant. Everybody ain’t ready to open their ears to a change; instead the safe thing is to do whatever your mama and daddy are doing. Serve like they serve, worship like they worship. Hebrews shows that this is not a mandated occurrence. When that Holy Spirit pricks your heart and allows you to receive the Word for what it is, the complete and inerrant Word of God, then you can move on towards the glory.

Speaking of these things will turn some non-believers off. Instead they would rather avoid us ‘Jesus freaks’ altogether and act as if we’re speaking a foreign language addressed to the air whenever the topic of the Christ pops up.

You should come to church with me one Sunday; I think you would enjoy it. know, I’m not one for all that church and organized meeting and stuff. It seems like all of them are talking about how everybody else is going to’s all too random to me.

A lot of people refuse to address their belief. Instead they’ll casually acknowledge the presence of a Supreme Being, but they never seek to define their spiritual awareness. Invariably these same people start groping and praying the hardest when trouble or misfortune comes their way. Let one of those felony arrest warrants get issued for them, or that doctor tell them some news that they weren’t ready to handle. It seems whenever we’re faced with the burdens of life that threaten to sink us into the depths of pain and misery that we find our voice to cry out the loudest for God to come to our rescue. To strengthen us. To guide us.

Lord, please, I won’t do wrong anymore, just PLEASE Lord, deliver me from this dark pit.

Trying times will make us damn near wear our kneecaps out because we’re down on our knees so frequently and fervently. But yet, once those clouds start scattering, and that sunshine and happiness starts coming back into our life. God who? Oh..yeah, umm..look here, I give Him some time..’God is great, God is good, let us thank you for our food. Amen.’ How about that? I’ll say that before I eat..most of the time. And I’ll even get down and say my prayers at night ‘Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.’ See, that’s almost 2 whole minutes a day! I’m serving mane! I BELIEVE! God is strong! God is GOOD! Huh? Uhh..well you know, Sunday is my only day to really relax and get thangs done around the house..I don’t like going to church, they take too many offerings…It’s too much of a fashion show, I don’t like their service…That preacher is sleeping with almost all the women in the church, I ain’t got time for all that….That pastor over there was caught him on tape talking about going to them places where them lil boys be dancing on tables…My hair wasn’t done..I didn’t have anything to wear…I be sleep. The excuses for why we don’t take time to worship, honor and exalt the Lord are never-ending. Fortunately, attending church is not a requirement for salvation. Salvation comes by faith and faith alone. If anybody tells you different, send them to the Statement of Faith on and tell em to holla at D.( I STAY ready to explain the reason for my faith.

At some point in our lives, we ALL have to step back and re-examine what our parents have taught us to believe. Some people are in a quandary, because their mama is telling them Jesus is real, and their daddy is telling them He’s not, and they’re confused. This is one of the products of mixed marriages, spiritual confusion. Parents are supposed to train their child in the way that they should go, but when you have parents who disagree on The Way..there’s going to be added difficulties. Just something to think about for all ya’ll singles out there..because what may seem like a minor difference between two people, can potentially manifest into a major identity problem with children produced from the union. I have several friends and family members who are participants and/or products of spiritually mixed marriages, and I would think they would all agree that their lives would be a lot simpler if the issue of dissenting faiths was not present. Those who are currently part of a mixed marriage of faiths, don’t get offended. I’m not tripping, because the Word that I follow says that no matter the differences in a marriage, the Christian believer is supposed to remain faithful, no matter what. There are a lot of married Christians dealing with non-believing spouses and they’re having a hard time. In our Sunday School class, our teacher even told of the devout Christian wife who prayed constantly for the Lord to touch her husband and bring him on in from running the streets. Her husband ended up having a series of strokes, that caused him to be bedridden and requiring her care and attendance for the next 20+ years. That’s a prime example of how you need to be careful of what you pray for ya’ll.

One of the common draws of today’s churches is promised prosperity.

Come to church, give your tithes, and God will bless you with wealth and riches.

Pray like Jabez and get paid n’ga!

That ain’t it ya’ll. I mean, God WILL hook you up, but the real prize has nothing to do with material wealth, but rather eternal salvation. And once you’re faced with the reality of having to go before God for yourself one day and give account for all the things you’ve ever done, you better have a plan n’ga, God ain’t trying to hear none of that..

I didn’t know!!!

Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law mane. If them laws pull your az over for doing 110 mph down highway 288, they ain’t trying to hear that, ‘Oh..I didn’t know what the speed limit was, I’m from out of town!’ Click click. Tell that bullsh’t to the judge n’ga.

If you have the presence of mind to bow down and pray, then you have the presence to seek Him. It doesn’t matter what type of family you grew up in, or where you live, all will hear the call of Christ. Some folks hear it everyday, some folks may get it one time in their life, but when you hear it, you can’t ever say ‘I never knew’. This may be your time right now, to get to know more about Him. Don’t keep putting it off, waiting until you get older, or until you’ve done all the dirt you want to do. Come as you are, because tomorrow is promised to no man. Don’t be that fool stuck outside banging on the door screaming ‘Lord, Lord!’ begging to be let inside the gates of Heavens and God looks at you and says, ‘I never knew you’. He heard from you when your child was sick, He could hear you crying when your marriage was in shambles, or when your finances and career were in ruins, but somehow, you lost contact with Him. Oh He’s ALWAYS there for ya, but how often do you knock on His door? Only when you need something huh? Or maybe whenever you feel alone and afraid? Don’t play God for the fool and don’t fool yourself. There is no lukewarm or ‘kinda’ have faith. Either you believe that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, for whosever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life, or you don’t.

A lot of readers are Christian believers, there’s also Muslims, Jews, Taoists, New Agers, atheists, agnostics, hell, it might even be some Branch Davidians for all I know. I hope my writing encourages all of ya’ll Christian believers out there to remain steadfast and unmovable in your faith. Thanks for sending the address link to all of your church email groups, work groups and family. I know a majority of the growing number of visitors to servinemup is because of you and I’m grateful for all your love and help. A lot of my strength is gained from your presence and fellowship and I really appreciate all of ya’ll kinfolk. Fo real.

For the rest of the readers who don’t believe that Jesus is the last and Ultimate High Priest? Keep riding wit me baby, because I’m steady knocking on your mind making sure ya feel where I’m coming from. Some people stop dropping in regularly, because I’ve become too ‘churchy’ with my delivery, but yet they still come by every now and then, just to browse through and see what I’m up to. I’m glad you’re here too kinfolk, I’ve got love for all. Because the stark truth that I live, is that no matter if I bomb or bust, I know in my heart that all things work together for good for them that love God, to them who are called according to HIS purpose. That’s not mine...that’s Romans 8:28. Once you can feel that one, you’ll become a lot stronger and more spiritually mature.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Thank you for calling Defiant Energy, this is Ken, may I help you?

Yes Ken, I have some questions about my light bill.

Yes sir, how may I help you?

I’m looking at my bill for this month and my bill for last month, and I’m trying to figure out why the rates are higher?

Sir, starting May 1st, we began our summer billing rates.

How long does that last?Until the end of October sir.

Oh….but it just seems so high.

Sir, let me check your record…your bill for this month last year was actually $50 more than your bill this year. But if you want, we can send a technician out to double check your meter to make sure it’s reading correctly.

Yeah..send somebody out here to check it!

That will be at an $8 charge sir.

$8??? Just for having somebody come out here and do their JOB??

That’s the company policy sir.

Okay, well forget about that, don’t send anybody out here, cuz I know all ya’ll are going to say is, ‘Your meter is working fine..$8 mo dollars please’ Naww…ya’ll ain’t go get THAT $8 from me..but look here, what’s up with the billing cycle??

What do you mean?

Last month I was charged over 29 days, but this month it’s 33 days! Months don’t have 33 days mane!!

Sir, we can only go by the day that the meter was read, sometimes the billing cycles range anywhere from 26 to 35 days. sure is strange that once the rates go up, ya’ll decide to have a LONG billing period. Ya’ll make me want to start shopping around for cheaper rates.

Sir, January 2005 will mark the beginning of deregulated power, and once that happens, we will be able to offer more competitive rates to our quality customers.

Quality customers? What does that mean?

Those who have a good payment history..and looking at your record sir, yours is excellent.

Really?? I mean..yeah..uhh..okay. So there’s nothing you can do about this billing period?? Maybe take off 2 days or something?

I’m sorry sir.

Aiight, I was just asking..maybe I need to talk to somebody else who can help a ‘quality’ customer??

Sir, if you are dissatisfied or have questions about unauthorized charging of your account, then you should contact the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

I hear that…ya’ll just watch out now, cuz I’m looking at that billing period mane, and if ya’ll pull another 33 out next month, I KNOW something is janky.

Yes sir.

Last August, I wrote a post entitled Power. In it, I tried to breakdown the electrical distribution process, starting from the power plants all the way to the breaker boxes located at every residence or commercial building. I wrote Power the same night that I was trapped in an elevator in Buffalo, NY for over 30 minutes due to the rolling blackouts across Northern America. Millions of residences and areas were without power from New York all the way to Detroit, as well as some parts of Canada.

Recently, my local energy provider gave me an impulse to write about Power again, especially after I received my light bill for June. Above are 2 different bills. Maybe some of ya'll are balling so hard that you wouldn't even notice such an increase of more than double the previous bill, but I ain't got it like that. When I saw the bill, I had to first look and make sure the total due didn't include the amount from last month's bill. What? C'mon now, ya'll ain't got to front and act like you ain't never paid one of those 'pank' light bills before? You know..the kind that's riding the balance from the month (maybe even 2) before? Well, once I found out that this wasn't the case, and the total due was for the current month's charges only, I had to get out my calculator and pencil and try and figure out what the hell was going on.

The first thing I noticed, was that the calculation rate was different. For the previous month's bill, the rate was tiered into 3 different levels. (First 250 kWh, 250-800 kWh, All additional kWh), while the current month's bill had only 2 tiers (First 250 kWh, All Additional kWH). The first problem with this for most folks, is that they have no idea what a kWh (kiloWatt-hour) means. Watt is a unit of measurement for power. We get the term 'watt' from a Scottish inventor by the name of James Watt (1736-1819), who did a lot of research and improvements to the steam engine. He was the first person to come up with the term ‘horsepower’ as a unit of mechanical power. In honor of his contributions, the term ‘watt’ was later used for electrical power measurement. 1,000 watts = 1 kW, so if you use a 100-watt light bulb for one hour, you’ve used 100 Watt-hours which is the same as 0.1 kilo-Watt-hours (kWh) of power.

I know all those hustlers out there can feel that, cuz if not for any other measurement, I know ya’ll know what a ‘kilo’ is. Everything around the house that is running off of electricity is causing that dial on your electric meter to spin faster. Usually the largest power consumption item in the house is the air conditioner, which explains why you use so much more kWh of power in the hot summer months since the a/c is on more. Just thinking about the rates being raised right when it was starting to get hot made me a bit perturbed, so I had to give the power folks a call.

So for all ya’ll bill payers out there looking crazy at your light bill, you’re not alone. With the high price of gasoline, rising health insurance, and soaring energy rates, the operating budget for the American household is steadily expanding. Conserving electrical energy can be done by turning that thermostat up a bit and putting some shorts on and running some fans. A fan uses a lot less energy than the air conditioner, so you save power. It’s also good to make sure your attic, windows and doors are properly insulated and remember to turn off lights and appliances whenever they’re not in use. My dad used to give us ultimatums as children:

"Ya’ll either stay in or stay out!!! Don’t keep running in and out that door letting all my cool air go out the house!!! And don’t just stand there with that refrigerator door open! "

I used to think my dad was off his rocker yelling about some ‘air’, but I almost had to catch myself when I realized I was yelling these same words to my kids just the other day. It’s funny how the tables turn once those bills become part of YOUR responsibility. I’m sure my dad is laughing as he’s reading this right now…I couldn’t FEEL him then, I just thought he was crazy. But now, I’m one of those crazy dads too. Now hurry up and get through reading this, that computer is adding on to the light bill too!!!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Real Fathers

As all of the regular readers can tell by now, I’m very proud of my family. Both sides. There’s a lot of people who don’t have much interaction with their blood relatives, but I’m on the opposite end of that spectrum. I’ve been blessed to know both sides of my family tree extensively. I’m half Calion, Arkansas- Washington and half El Dorado, Arkansas- Scott…for those that are familiar, it’s a wild mix of breeds. I’m crazy as hell and my sister (pictured with me and our father ) is crazy as hell too. Of course, crazy IS relative, but it definitely runs in our family…...oops..hold on my phone is ringing….


Dontchu tell evrabody a
ll the family bizness.

Don’t’ worry grandma, I’m not going to tell about our uncle who spent most of his life running through the woods hollering.

(pause) That wasn’t on my side, I’m a Hall. He was on your papa's side of the family, them Washington’s. I just married L.T., I don't have that crazy Washington blood in me. You can tell that.

Yes ma’am.

So I’ve got a lot of thangs going on in my blood, I’m subject to say or do anything. I’m Southside Houston Texas real and I’m Union County Arkansas crazy. Everybody tries to laugh and make jokes about Arkansas, but ya’ll better recognize that Arkansas game. It’s real. Bill Clinton is from Arkansas, and no matter if you love him or hate him, you gotta recognize his game. Enough with the chit-chat, let’s dig in and get REAL, because I’ve got some more people I want ya’ll to meet.

I’ve already introduced ya’ll to my Big Daddy, the late Bishop Sam Scott. This was a man in motion ya’ll. He got up and did it, everyday and every night. 12 kids mane…12 kids?? That’s knocking it out right there..Sam got his. Yes sirr…12 kids..bang! bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!…. Alright, alright, let me back off a little bit before I start trippin too hard, because everybody ain’t ready for that. I had the blessing of spending my Father’s Day with my father and his father, my papa pronounced: PAW-paw).

Although I am a native Southsider by birth, a large part of my childhood and early teenage years was spent in a town in Southwest Arkansas with a population of 513. Every summer, my sister and I spent 3 full months with our grandparents in Calion, Arkansas. My papa, L.T. Washington, has over 3 acres of farm land in Calion, which included a chicken coop and a large partitioned hogpen full of pigs. Papa is the oldest of his siblings and he had to go to the fields and work, picking cotton, handling a plow with a mule and any other thing he could do to help support the family. He attended school sporadically until the 3rd grade, which is when he stopped going to school altogether and started working the load of a grown man.

I always felt a special bond to my papa, someway, somehow, I could always tell that we were kindred spirits. The type of bond that transcends generational gaps and educational backgrounds and meets at the core of timeless realness. I had the pleasure of attending the men’s Sunday School class that papa teaches at the New Eastside Baptist Church, Rev. Lee Veil Faison, Pastor, in El Dorado, Arkansas this Father’s Day. An even bigger treat was being able to listen while papa got up before the church congregation and ‘gave a talk’ entitled ‘A Spirit Filled Man’. I enjoyed listening to him exhorting father’s to love and train their children in the way that they should go. His main point was that true fatherly love, will manifest itself over time.
Papa always took care of me as if I was his own son and in a lot of ways, I am and I’m very proud of him. With my own eyes I’ve even seen him run down and tackle a live goat even when he was well into his 50’s. All the way real ya’ll. Happy Father’s Day Papa, you’re of a salt that the world can never dissolve. Thanks for always letting me ride with you.

Whenever I go to Arkansas and visit, I often get this reception…

You GOT to be Dodo’s boy, cuz ya look JUS’ LIKE ‘em!! Looky dere’ Johnnie Mae, here go Dodo’s boy from Houston!!!


Dodo’s boy…you know Dodo? L.T. Washington’s boy??

Ohh..that’s his son ya say?

Shole is, jus look at em, he look JUS LIKE Dodo!!

He look like L.T. ta me.

He look like L.T. too…by the head, but look at his shoulders and how he walk, that’s all Dodo right there.

Everybody in Calion has nicknames. For conversational purposes, Dodo (pronounced like the bird) means ‘D’ in Calionese. Everyone there calls me ‘Man’ or ‘L.T.’s grandson’ or ‘Dodo’s boy’. My real name is actually, D.E. Washington II, not Jr. not III, not eleven…

Say mane..yo daddy is D. Washington 10th?


I see your name is D. Washington 11th, so your daddy is the 10th right?

Naw mane..that’s not an 11, that’s the Roman numeral for 2.


So yes folks, there is a D.E. Washington I, and let me tell ya’ll right now, he’s one hell of a father. I never used to think I’d say this, but as I’ve grown older, I feel proud to stand up and testify about it..

"I’m glad my parents whupped my az when I got out of line."

Yep..I was on the receiving end of whuppings with belts and switches and I’m telling the world that I’m GLAD that they disciplined me as such. Because above all else, my father made it very clear to me, that he would rather have a dead child, than a disobedient one. Sounds brutal maybe, but Bill Cosby called out the same phenomena when speaking of his father’s mantra..

‘I brought you into this world...and I'll take you out.’

If I didn’t feel this resolve in my father (and mother) I would have been a different person than I am today. Because I was a very slick and hard headed child..they had to GET me to make me pay attention. Once children realize that bullsh’t will not go unpunished?? The fog of ignorance begins to lift away from hard headed lil boys eyes. The thing about my dad, was that his love was very balanced. The welts of discipline were generously mixed with hours of loving care and instruction. My father was my first wrestling opponent, he was my first boxing instructor, he taught me how to shoot a basketball, how to throw a football, how to play dominoes, he demanded that I learn how to cook and wash clothes for myself,

Your woman might get mad at you one day and won't want to do those things for ya, every man needs to know how to take care of himself if he has to.

I caught my first fish under his guidance, I learned how to load and fire a rifle and a pistol under his watchful eye, he's my Sunday School teacher, close friend, fellow Christian and he was the ace pitcher, while I played shortstop on our championship winning softball team, the X-Men.

Above all the things we’ve shared together, my dad gave me an unwavering love and stability that has proved invaluable in my personal development. I often make decisions for my children today, based on how my father handled me and my sister when we were kids. Even through his chastisement, we always knew it was driven from a place of love.
Happy Father’s Day to all those father’s out there handling your business and taking care of your kids the best you can. No matter what you can or cannot do for them, when you tell them you’re going to do something..make sure you do it. That’s what’s called being real. Happy Father’s Day dad, thanks for ALWAYS keeping it real…I love you forever.

Friday, June 18, 2004


Hey never did say what was up with that house you had up on the site for a few days??

That ’country az looking’ house is the house that my mother and all 11 of her siblings were raised in. It’s the house that my Big Daddy added on to room by room with his own hands as his family kept growing. It’s also the house which was the meeting point for the family before we all went to the church for Big Daddy’s funeral back in December 2002.

Oh. Well why didn’t you just say that??

I was using it as my muse for Neva Scaid.

Your moose?

No,’s what writers tap into for inspiration.

Oh. So you have a lot of fond memories of that house?

I have vague memories of that house, because my grandparents moved out of that house when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I remember there was a rooster that lived behind that house that used to try and peck lil boys. But for my mom and all my aunts and uncles that grew up in that house on Liberty Street in El Dorado, Arkansas it holds millions of memories.

Well what’s up with that sign for the reward for a runaway slave??

That’s where I’m beginning my post from Juneteenth, with the reality of slavery.

Juneteenth? What the hell is that?

It’s a holiday celebrated in the South, especially Texas.

What does it have to do with slavery?

June 19, (Juneteenth) 1865 is when the Emancipation Proclamation was announced in Galveston, Texas..which is about 50 miles south of Houston along the Gulf of Mexico.

But the Emancipation Proclamation was made into law in January of 1863??!!

Exactly! That’s what’s so sad and wild about Juneteenth, although it was signed into law in January of 1863, black folks in the Texas didn’t know about it until 2 ½ years later when Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army led his troops into the city of Galveston.

D’mn! That’s fk'd up!!

A lot of folks think the Emancipation Proclamation freed all the slaves in America, but that’s not true.

It’s not?

No, it just freed the slaves in the Confederate states and some counties and parishes were excluded.

So are you saying slavery is still legal in America?

No, I’m saying that slavery in America wasn’t abolished until the 13th Amendment in December of 1865. Lincoln wasn’t worried about the oppression of black folks when he signed the Emancipation Proclaimation in 1863, he was just doing what he needed to do to keep the country intact. Lincoln made mention many times of how he considered white folks to be a supreme race to black folks. Black men were just 3/5ths of a white man in the original Constitution and although they may deny it, a lot of white folks STILL believe that black folks are beneath them today.

C’mon mane..ALL white folks aren’t white supremacists!!

I know that….I also know that there are a lot of black folks who are black supremacists, so it goes both ways.

Do you think black folks are supreme to white folks?

I believe what the Bible says.

What’s that?

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galations 3:28)

What does that mean?

It means that God does not look at our outer shell..He sees us by our heart. I have my prejudices due to personal experiences just like everyone else, but I still strive to keep an open mind and treat everyone equally. There’s a lot of black folks who harbor resentment and hatred against ‘white folks’ due to how they’ve been treated and how their ancestors have been mistreated by white folks. Everybody can love those who love them, but the REAL hard part is having love for those who hate and mistreat you.

You’re serving up that Bible AND that history huh D?? (smiling)

Yeah..I started doing research on that era when I was checking out Ronald Reagan’s history. There’s a lot of black folks who trip on Reagan because he was against affirmative action and pretty much any program geared to help equalize the playing field for black folks.

You mean you’re a Reagan supporter?

I’m just saying I can understand how Reagan would be shortsighted and expound that everybody should be treated equally starting NOW! Ideally, that’s how it SHOULD be, but the problem with Reagan and most conservative white folks (like the ones in Simi Valley, CA where Reagan is buried and where the officers in Rodney King’s trial were found not guilty by a 12-man jury), is that they prefer to act as if history just started today. They disconnect themselves from the years of oppression of black folks in America and instead focus on ‘equal rights’ for all, regardless of race. The social, political, and economical playing field is extremely unbalanced against blacks and the poor, but they prefer to act as if it’s not. Reagan himself was a prime example of a modest American boy growing up in the Midwest to a working class family that worked his way up the chain of command. Reagan wasn’t born into a millionaire movie star family, his dad was a salesmen and Reagan had to work through high school and college.

I didn’t know that.

The other thing about Reagan that makes me more understanding of Reagan’s myopia to the issues of black folks, is the fact that he’s just a few months younger than my Big Daddy. And by actually walking and talking with my Big Daddy, I have a better understanding of how people of that era think.

What do you mean that era?

Folks like Reagan and my Big Daddy were born in 1910..1911..the climate and attitude of America was a lot different then than it is now. Prohibition (no dranks!) lasted from 1919-1933..pretty much all of their teenage years and all the way up until their early 20’s. You ever think how different your life would be if you never had legal access to alcohol in your teenage years and early 20’s??

D’mn! If I didn’t drink, I’d have a lot less things to ask forgiveness for. and d‘mn near everybody else!!. Big Daddy rarely called black folks ‘black’ and I’ve never heard him say African-American, the term he was comfortable with was ‘colored’. They almost got offended if someone called them ‘black’. But now, that terminology has flip-flopped, if you go out and call a black person ‘colored’ in 2004, you’re likely liable to have to fight him.

(laughing) Yeah..a n’ga will clown if a white person called him ‘colored boy’!!

So I guess I’m not tripping on Reagan, cuz my Big Daddy was one of those hardliners himself. He was all for standing up for yourself and taking care of your family. Big Daddy wasn’t about welfare or handouts. Big Daddy just wanted to get out there and work, ‘If you don’t work you don’t eat.’ was his motto, as well as, ‘A man that knows how to work with his hands will never go hungry.’.

That’s all the way real right there.

That’s the benefit of learning from a REAL generation. Real doesn’t fade away, it sticks baby. So just gone and sit back and enjoy the Juneteenth holiday. Put some meat on the grill, sit down and teach your kids something about history and get ready for that Father’s Day serving…

Sounds good to me!


Friday, June 11, 2004

What I'm Working With

Whenever someone starts quoting the Word of God, the reader (or listener) should always double check that what they‘re being fed complies with the actual scripture. There are a multitude of denominations within the Christian faith: Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodist, 7th Day Adventist, Mormons, Church of God In Christ, and so on, the list is monumental. Sometimes these differences or 'splits' of the church come about due to theological differences, or in traditional practices. I try not to get into all of that kinda stuff. There’s so many different ways that people choose to worship God that are based on traditions instead of scriptural direction that it will make your head swim if you try to keep up with them all.

I was raised a Southern Baptist, a denomination who‘s beginnings some trace back to the Anabaptists movement. I actually prefer to trace the Baptist church back to Biblical days and the prophet John the Baptist. Because it was John the Baptist 'The Voice in the Wilderness' that first started immersing believers in water and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, so obviously I have my own theological myopic slant that all Christians have to some degree. But instead of working about these differences, I instead choose to focus on what God says in His Word. I have 2 main Bibles that I read:

1) The MacArthur Study Bible (New King James Version): An EXCELLENT study Bible that will help the reader understand historical context and theological summaries. This was the first Bible that I read in it’s entirety . I could think of no better study aid for the novice Bible reader than this. The facts and scriptures I quoted concerning the intertestamental period in Thursday’s Hebrews post was ‘jacked’ directly from Mr. MacArthur’s Study Bible

2) New Strong’s Reference Bible (King James Version): Dr. James Strong’s Bible has a lot less contemporarily translated verses, it’s written a lot closer to the original manuscripts accepted as canons. My parents gave me this Bible (pictured) as one of my gifts for my 33rd birthday, along with..

3) The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. For those that are seeking to get ‘rooted’ in the Word, this is an indispensable study aid. Because in this concordance, Dr. Strong compiles all of the original Hebrew/Aramaic (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) words to go along with their era’s translation. For those seeking to get that Word pure and uncut, this is the closest thing to actually learning how to read Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.

So there it is right there, when you see me quote scriptures those are the tools that I use. Reading the Bible is not a singular feat, but rather a never-ending journey. Once you get IN to it, you’re going to read it daily. Even if it’s only for a few passages, because it is what feeds the Christian soul. There are a lot of religions which recognize other ‘scriptures’, but not me. I believe that the 66 books of the Bible is the complete and inerrant Word of God. There is nothing to be added to them, or to be taken away from them. Some people try to compromise God’s Word…
Jesus didn’t say that! PAUL said that! I only go by the stuff in red, cuz that’s what JESUS said!

Well, the Bible is a fabulous work, but it’s not to be taken literally, there’s no way God could have made ‘everything’ in 6-24 hour days!!

I used to struggle with all the translations and versions of the Bible. My suspicious nature towards men wouldn’t allow me to believe that the Bible we have today was ‘God’s Word’. But once the Spirit touched my heart and allowed me to become a teachable servant, I now know that the Bible is 100% God’s. When you think about it on the common sense level, it all flows.. if God DID put a book out, how would it sell? How widely would it be distributed? Who all would know about it?

Using that train of thought, anyone who KNOWS God is all the way real, will quickly understand that God’s Word is #1. There is no more widely distributed, publicized, talked about, sold, given away and preached about Book in the history of man. Isaiah wrote it down thousands of years ago, God’s Word shall NEVER return void. Real never goes out of style mane, it’s always on point. Today. Yesterday. When our grandparents were children. When our great grandchildren are parents, God’s Word will remain.

So for those who are following doctrines and ‘scriptures’ that are not part of those 66 books? We’re going to have differences, and it’s going to start with whatever you’re trying to add or take away from God’s Word. Some may call me ‘ignant’ for having such a blinded view of ‘God’s Word’, but that’s just me. I give everyone their respect for believing what they want to believe, but it’s my duty as a Christian believer to always explain the reasons for MY faith. Because I know that there are a lot of readers who have the same spiritual void that I had before the Spirit touched my heart.

Every believer has their own calling that God bids them to do. We’re not supposed to wait on the sidelines and observe, we’re supposed to get out on that battlefield and fight for the Lord. Some people preach, some teach, some write, some sing, some dance, some build, some engineer, some account, some fish, some speak, there are millions of ways and capacities to serve the Lord. I encourage each and every one of you to reach down deep and listen to that calling that God is bidding to you.

I am fortunate to have an army of Christian believers to lean on for support and guidance. I was mulling over God’s calling for D., when I picked up the phone and called my uncle who also happens to be the Pastor of Eastern Star Baptist Church in Port Arthur,Texas.

Hey Unc?

Hey nephew..what’s going on?

I have a question for you.

What’s up?

How did you know when God had called you to preach?

Well..I’ll tell you like Pastor Richardson used to say, ‘It’s the same and it’s different’.

What does that mean?

It’s the same, in that all callings come from the Holy Spirit.


And it’s different, in that it hits each person differently. How I was called is not going to be the same as how someone else is called.

I think the most common restraint for would-be believers is pride. Submitting yourself to be a servant of God will make you do some things that you wouldn’t normally do and it's a very vulnerable experience. Being vocal about your faith makes you a visible target for criticisms and cries of hypocrisy. Everything you do will be watched and observed by those who have not submitted their lives to Christ.

Mmmhmm..he’s talking that Jesus, but he’s right here drinking just as many tequila shots as err body else.

You can’t let the fear of that spotlight deter you from serving God faithfully and diligently. But you don’t have to believe me just because I’m writing it, watch what it DO! Pick up your Bible and study it prayerfully. Once you read it, you’ll better understand why I’ve got that fire in my heart. All signs point to Jesus mane…FO-REAL!! He's what I'm working with, or rather I should say, I'm what He's working with. Please be patient with me, He's not through with me yet.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Holeup now D!!

What’s up?

Before you write another word, we need to talk about a few thangs.

Aiight..go ahead.

First of all, where the hell is that church Rev. Janky preached at supposed to be??


You know, that one you put out about Rev. Janky Jus Got Outta Jail, where you and your wife went to that church with those freak-mama greeters???

Naw podna, that wasn’t ME and MY wife, that was just some dude and his wife.

Some dude?

Yeah, some unnamed dude who was narrating the short story. Rev. Janky is FICTION mane, that’s not real life.

Oh. Well what about that part about your Big Daddy healing your Big Mama’s 6th finger??

Now THAT'S all the way real right there.

C’mon now! You expect people to believe in all that ‘healing miracles’ mumbo jumbo?? You’re starting to sound like one of those weirdos slapping people upside the forehead on TV!!

Look mane, all I can tell you is that when you call on the name of the Lord, ALL things are possible.

Yeah..but c’mon now mane! Have you ever SEEN any ‘miraculous’ healing like that?

No..but I’ve seen the Spirit move a congregation of people several times.

(smirking) Oh yeah? Move them where??

To a higher place.

So you’re trying to tell me that you saw God pick a church up off the ground?

No, not in the literal sense, but the Spirit definitely moved us higher.

And why do you call it the Spirit?? You make God seem like a ghost or something.

The Spirit is just one of the 3 parts that compromise God.

Oh right!!! There you go with that ‘Christian’ thing, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit right?

Already!!…why are you shaking your head?

I dunno, I mean, I know you’re a pretty smart guy and all, but for someone as intelligent as you to fall for some ridiculous theology like that..I dunno.

What part do you find ridiculous?

Okay, so Christianity is supposed to be a monotheistic religion right?

That’s right, there is only ONE God.

But you just agreed, there’s THREE: the Father, the Son and the Spirit..3 is greater than one mane. That’s not ‘mono’, that’s ‘poly’.

No, it’s not.

Oh no?? Why not?

Well, let’s take the sun as an example. God created the sun right?

No doubt.

Well if you used the sun as a model for the Holy Trinity, God the Father would be the actual sun, which man cannot see.

What do you mean we can’t see?

N’ga, you can’t look at the sun with your naked eye, it shines too brightly.

Oh..yeah, I see what you mean.

But even though you can’t SEE the sun, you can see it’s light that it shines.


Well, the light is representative of the Son, Jesus Christ.

Mm..okay. But what about that Spirit part?

The Spirit would be like the heat that you feel from the sun. sun-light-heat, Father-Son-Spirit…3=1.

That’s a pretty cool analogy, you d’mn near sound like a preacher the way you broke that down.

I’m just repeating what I heard from my father.

Is he a preacher?

No, he’s one of my Sunday School teachers. He used that analogy in our Sunday School class this past week.

Oh. I haven’t read the Sunday School lesson for this week yet.

Aww cuz, you’re missing out!!!

Why?? What’s going on??

We’re starting into the book of Hebrews.

Oh yeah? What’s that talking about?

Hebrews is one of the strongest training books of the New Testament.

What do you mean, ‘training’??

Hebrews uses Old Testament scriptures to reinforce the gospel of Christ.

Old Testament? Isn’t Hebrews part of the Old Testament?

Naw cuz, Hebrews is in the New Testament.

What’s the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament?

Over 400 years separated the final events (Neh. 13:4-30) and final prophecy (Mal. 1:1-4:6) recorded in the Old Testament from the beginning actions (Luke 1:5-25) narrated in the New Testament (ca.424- 26 B.C.).

That sounds 'janky' right there.


Why would God be silent for so long then 'all of a sudden' start back up with having prophets write the Bible?? That's the part that makes Christianity seem like something that MEN made up!

Well, if you read over in Daniel (Dan. 2:24,45; 7:1-28; 8:1-27; 11:1-35) you'll see where Daniel prophesied of this period of silence to exact precision. Even though the voice of God was silent, the hand of God was actively directing the course of events during those centuries.

Well, how do you know it's not going to be some more Bible? You know, like the 3rd Testament or something?

Because if you read in Revelations, you'll see where God lays out the plan for eternity. There's nothing more to say or do after that, the Book is closed. And if anybody adds or takes away from the Word of God? You need to pray for them, cuz God is going to deal very harshly with them (Rev 22:18,19).

So the Sunday School lesson starts in Hebrews huh? What's that written in..Hebrew?

No, the Greco-Roman empire was controlling most of the free world when the New Testament was written. Greek was the universal language of commerce and communication then.

So why is the book called Hebrews then?

Probably because it’s written toward converting Jewish believers from the traditional customs of Judaism, to the good news of the risen Savior and His new covenant. It’s not an easy thing for people who have never seen Jesus to believe in Him, especially the ones who are following the same religion as their fathers and grandfathers. The apostles had to dig deep and show them the blueprint of God’s plan throughout the Old Testament. All of which points to the Messiah.

That’s all in Hebrews?

And more!! It’s not too late to jump in either, we’re just getting started in the first chapter this week!

Alright mane, I guess it won’t be too much trouble to check out Sunday School class.

I’m just saying mane. For a n’ga to tell me he loves God, but then never goes to church, never studies his Bible, never listens to ministers on the radio/TV or never even reads the Sunday School lessons on’s saying one thing, but DOING another right there.

Yeah..I hear ya, but you know everybody ain’t a man on fire about that Word like you are D.

I know..everybody hasn’t felt that Spirit touch their heart.

I thought you said you’ve never actually seen one of those healings before??

I haven’t, not for my own eyes in the physiological sense. But like I told you earlier, I HAVE felt that Spirit take me and a whole bunch of folks to a higher place.

Was ya’ll all popping some pills or smoking a pipe or something??

No, actually the last time I’ve felt it move a group was at my Big Daddy’s funeral.

The one that healed your Big Mama’s hand?


What did the Spirit do? Make you dance? Make you talk in tongues? took me to a place that was so glorious, that all I could do was cry because it felt so good. I’ve never done any drug that could ever give me that kinda high.

How did the Spirit get you up there like that?

Through a song that my cousin Jamar sang a cappella at the service.

What was the song?

My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord.

I think I’ve heard that song before….did your cousin tear it up?

Did he?? Mane..all of the readers that were in that church in El Dorado, Arkansas on that cold December day in 2002 when we laid the late Bishop Sam Scott, Sr. (aka Big Daddy), to rest? Ya’ll already know!!!

Monday, June 07, 2004

Ronald W. Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan, (February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004) The recent passing of America’s 40th President, Ronald Wilson Reagan, invokes a wide range of feelings throughout the black community. Since I was born a 70’s child, my personal recollection of Reagan's time in office is a bit murky at best. When the news flashed that Ronald Reagan had died, the first thing that popped into my mind was March 30, 1981. Because it was on this day that my 5th grade teacher alerted the class to the fact that our president had been shot. As I boarded the school bus that would take me and a lot of the other black students away from the predominately white elementary school located in the posh and affluent River Oaks community, back to the working class, predominately black, Southside of Houston neighborhoods, I excitedly greeted our (black) bus driver with the news.

My teacher said that Ronald Reagan has been shot!!

It all seemed surreal to me, like something out of a book or movie. Questions were still swirling about..How bad was he hurt? Who shot him? Was it the Russians?? What would happen to America? Who’s the president now?? As soon as I informed our bus driver of the news, she gave a quick sneer and retort,

I wish he woulda killed that cracker.

I was actually taken aback by the obvious hatred that was prevalent in her voice and tone. Our president was a racist cracker?? Really? I didn’t know that. It seems that a large segment of the black community held feelings of animosity and loathing against Ronald Reagan and his entire administration and policy. Reagan’s ‘back to basics’ philosophies and policies were being criticized throughout the black community for turning back years of advancements gained through the civil rights movement.

Although both my parents were working class blacks, they had not shared any contempt for Reagan with me or my sister. As far as I could tell from my dad, ALL presidents didn’t know what the hell was going on, not just Reagan.

Carter needed to get out of office! These gas prices and gas lines are RIDICULOUS! And then he sent those ol raggedy az helicopters trying to free those hostages and he made himself and the rest of America look like d’mn fools!

When it came to Reagan, my dad, being an ex-Navy enlisted man, was enthused by Reagan’s penchant for military might:

One thing I like about Reagan, he’s ready to load up those GUNS jack! He ain’t playing!

Since then I’ve been able to make my own observations of an influential man that our nation is mourning. A lot of people only see Reagan as the ‘great communicator’ expounding the conservative Republican agenda. As a Christian, there were a lot of things that Reagan stood up for that I (in retrospect) am in total agreement with. From allowing prayer in schools, and tightening the restrictions on abortion to decreasing the tax burden on the American citizens, Ronald Reagan ushered in a revival of ‘traditional’ family values into politics.

On the other side of the coin, as a black American I know that a lot of the policies that were instituted during the Reagan administration, have been crippling to the black community. Along with all of Reagan’s achievements, his administration will also be known as the era that saw the introduction of crack and AIDS into the American community. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Reagan himself created these things, it’s just that strong arguments can be made that the political/social climate induced by Reagan’s policies were catalyst to both these diseases arriving and spreading throughout the community.

The real kicker comes in when we realize that it was the Reagan administration that sent a special envoy headed by Donald Rumsfield (pictured shaking hands with Saddam) to Iraq to meet with dictator Saddam in 1983. Since America was deeply concerned about Iran winning the Iraq-Iran war, open discussions were opened up between the U.S. and Iraq for the first time since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It was during these times that Reagan's directives allowed American firms to sell military supplies and weapons to Iraq, to aid Saddam in the war against the ‘evil’ Iranian regime. This aid was rendered even though America was repeatedly made aware of Iraq’s use of chemical warfare aka ‘weapons of mass destruction’ on Iranians as well as Kurdish Iraqi’s.

Of course there are some people who will roll their eyes and decry the fact that I’m pointing out negative things about one of our nation’s ‘greatest presidents’, but that is not my intent. I think Ronald Reagan did a lot toward reviving the American spirit. From leading the charge toward ending the Cold War, to being caught up in the embarrassing Iran-Contra Scandal, Reagan definitely left a resounding mark on America. I find it more than ironic, that as we are commemorating his life, American soldiers are giving their lives toward the rebuilding of Iraq from it’s ‘evil’ dictator Saddam Hussein. Reagan’s vice president’s son is now our Commander in Chief, Saddam Hussein has been captured and detained by US forces and Donald Rumsfield is now the Secretary of Defense. My how times change in 20 years.

On a more personal side, Reagan’s bout with Alzheimer’s disease is a journey that millions of Americans must trek everyday. Since my grandfather passed away during the later stages of Alzheimer’s and I have other family members stricken with the disease as well, my heart definitely goes out to the Reagan family during their time of bereavement. Anyone that has experienced a loved one suffering from this illness knows the heavy toll that it takes on the entire family. Hopefully Reagan can be an impetus to spur along more research and development toward the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

Obviously I don’t agree with all of Reagan’s policies and perspectives, but I fully respect his rights to live his life the best way he knew how. Of course, my grade school bus driver probably finds it very fitting, that Reagan’s body will be laid to rest in Simi Valley, California.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Artelia Jeannette

Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O Lord and prove me. Try my mind and my heart.

There are a lot of people who frown up and catch an attitude whenever
someone corrects them or gives them a word of direction. I’m on the exact
opposite end of the spectrum; I actually look forward to correction. When I posted Thankya Laude, one of's readers sent me a note of correction and encouragement. This particular reader has a very special place in my heart, because she also happens to be my mother, who I love dearly.

I made the statement that of my 4 grandparents that attended my high school
graduation, none of them ever graduated from high school themselves, and my mother corrected me. Artelia Jeanette, has an amazing story of perserverance and determination that I would be wrong not to share.

My maternal grandmother, born Artelia Jeanette, spent most of her early childhood living in a sharecroppers house on the edge of a vast plantation l ess than 20 miles south of Little Rock, in a small town called Hensley, Arkansas. Although she was raised in the house of Elijah and Lacy Thompson, Elijah was not her biological father even though she assumed the Thompson surname. Artelia, or ‘Tee’ as so many called her, was a beautiful smooth light peanut butter complexion girl with long, full and pretty hair. She says that her stepfather, Elijah, treated her as nicely and loving as if she was his own child. Artelia was 9 years old when her

mother passed away, and her mother’s family took custody of her because
they didn’t feel it was proper for a young pretty girl to be raised in a
house with a grown man to whom she wasn’t biologically related. Subsequently, Tee was sent to a foster home facility and from there went to a school teacher's family. The problem with these foster parents, was that they didn't want Tee to attend school and learn, instead they wanted her to stay home and care for their small children. This denial of education was too much for her to bear, so she ended up going to another foster home facility in Magnolia, Ark., before she eventually ended up in the town of El Dorado, Ark She found a friend who also lived there and started attending Triumph the Church of God in Christ. It is at this church where she met the man who she would end up marrying, Sam Scott.

Sam was a handsome chocolate minister in the church and he had his own game
to him. When asked about their initial meeting and courtship, he had this to say,

“I wasn’t chasing after any women at the time, I didn’t have to, women were
chasing after me!” he said with a chuckle, but then a loving mist came over
his eyes and he smiled, ‘But once I laid eyes on Telia? I knew I had to get
to work!”

Their first meeting and many following weren’t as memorable in Telia’s mind.

“He was always running up to me, smiling in my face, I wasn’t even worried
about him, until one day when he touched my hand.”

You see, as beautiful as Artelia is, she was born with a predicament that
some might call abnormal. On one of her hands, she had 6 fingers. Not 6 full
fingers, but the one little stub of an almost finger that grew to the side
and at the base of her pinky finger. She often hid this 6th finger from
plain view, somewhat embarrassed and ashamed of this ‘birth defect’. But one
day, while at church, this tall dark and handsome minister, clutched her
hand in such a way that she could feel his hand rubbing against this 6th
finger. And as she was trying to withdraw her hand from his grasp, she
noticed that he wasn’t talking to her, he was actually praying for her hand
to be healed. And after he finished praying, and he released her hand, the
6th finger was no longer there.

“From that moment on, I knew that Sam was the man for me.”

Artelia had advanced as far as the 9th grade in school before she got
married and proceeded to birth and raise 12 children into this world. When
the youngest of the children began school, she went to night school and
earned her GED.

Did ya’ll hear that? A black woman from rural Arkansas who was
orphaned at 9 years of age, dropped out of school at the age of 13, got married, raised 12 black children in the Jim Crow south, with all of the pains and joys that go along with it, went back to night school as an adult grandmother and earned her GED=H.S. Diploma. True soldiers don’t give up until they go up, and that’s on the real.

Artelia, or ‘Big Mama’ as myself and the rest of her army of grandchildren
affectionately call her, has a way to warm your heart just by stroking gently on your head and looking at you with eyes of pure love and laughter. Big Mama really enjoys nice hats, good food, and good company. She’s funny, smart, wise and all the way real. You’ll never find a more kind and gentle soul. But don’t get her riled up though, because those of us that have seen her catch the spirit and pick up that tambourine and go into her dance of praise, know about the immense power that lies behind that soft smile and loving touch. Especially those that have gotten one of those Big Mama whuppings. She never had to ‘get’ me, but I’ve seen her work on some of my cousins before and I always knew I didn’t want ANY of that. Big Mama left all of her children with a grip. NOBODY could say that they didn't feel loved. A true prayer warrior. Big Mama would get down on her knees and pray for her children. Sometimes touching them and praying for them while they're asleep.

Big Mama was one of the first ones to expose and extort me toward the written word. She made sure we had books on the bookshelf to read. And a set of Encyclopedias. To go along with an endless amout of hugs and playful laughs.

Friday, June 04, 2004

EDP Consulting Engineers

I know a lot of you are here because you received an email invitation with the link to Welcome! I'm glad that you stepped out on faith and gave me a chance to inform, inspire and entertain you, it's what I do. What's that you say? Who am I? Who is me?? Who I is??? I'm D.

There is no formal protocol around here at, errbody is kinfolk. Oops! I slipped! I can actually write like I have some sense most of the time, but err now and then, that Southside Houston Texas in me comes out. Ooops! I did it again didn't I?? Ya'll gotta watch me mane, I'm slick. Because if you don't keep your eyebrows up and attentive to me??? I might end up slipping you one of those sucker punches upside the brain and the next thing you know you're going to begin understanding why Jesus is real. Notice I said brain, not heart. As much as I attempt, I can't prick your heart, that's what the Holy Spirit does. Everybody can't feel that right there, except those that have already had their hearts pricked, know what um tawkin bout??

Take some time, check out the place. The Recent Articles is definitely the first thing to check to catch you up from the last time you've been here. The Sunday School Lessons is where you can grow stronger with me in that Word. The Southside Classics are the place where all my homies from the hood feel the most comfortable. I've only posted one Recipe, but it's a jammin az etouffee that I got from one of my golf podnas from Abbeville, Louisiana. It's quick and easy too! Don't forget to holla at my boy Season Finale for that flavor, it's GOOD mane, FO-REAL!.

The Guestbook is where people sign in just to say "what's up!" or" I see ya D!" or insert a comment or remark concerning a recent post for all to see. You'll notice that I do use curse words from time to time. Some Christians and other 'church' folk have expressed offense. Sorry if I offend ya kinfolk, but like I say, if you can't handle a couple of ' az's, d'mn, sh'ts and every now and then a mf', then I'm probably not the type of Christian writer you're going to like too much. But check out the Sunday School Lessons! They're 'family' orientated!

I'm working on 'Black Christians', I hope ya'll like it, but until I roll it out, I'll leave ya'll with an email that my closest podna from the hood sent me today. We've been tight ever since we went to middle school together at Lanier, we were Southside pilgrims together over at Booker T. Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions, we both have engineering degrees, we're both married with 2 kids, and we're both mashing trying to fulfill our purpose that God has put us on this earth to do. He owns an engineering consulting firm that provides buyers, owners, leasers, adjusters, and attorneys thorough, reliable, and objective engineering evaluations of commercial and residential properties throughout Texas. Check out another Southside soldier over at EDP Consulting Engineers PLLC. People say that hard headed black boys from the Southside can't make it, but he's another example of what a praying hard working parent can do. He deserves a nice round of applause too, because this Southside.SouthPark.CrestmontPark native son, achieved a feat that very few brothers in Texas, let alone the Southside ever attain. He passed all of his exams this year and he's now a Licensed Professional Engineer for the State of Texas. That Southside is STILL holdin mane!

That's him laying back in the cut and just smiling, but don't let that n'ga fool you. When it's time to go hard in the paint and be about that work?? Hmph..already!! I'll tell you like he says it, "I'm like Roy Jones n'ga, pound for pound.." Mmmhmm, he likes to clown with it, jus like me. That's probably why we've been able to stay so close over such a long period of time. We stay real with each other. Ya'll should try being real with all the people in your life, it's really the only way to live free. Know what um tawkin bout?

So whenever you need professional engineering consulting? EDP!

Looking to buy/sell a house and need to get a professional inspection? EDP!

EDP Consulting Engineers reports provide valuable information on property structure, systems, and environment, necessary to make appropriate and informed decisions. Holla at em mane!! EDP Consulting Engineers PLLC .



Subject: FW:TWFT June, 3, 2004

I don't know if you get these but this one sounds like you...

"LET EVERY MAN ABIDE IN THE...CALLING WHEREIN HE WAS CALLED." 1 CORINTHIANS 7:20 Fulfilling your calling When Peter preached at Pentecost, 3,000 souls came to Christ. But when Paul preached a guy nodded off, broke his neck and killed himself by falling out of a third story window. Hardly an encouraging sign! But Paul admitted that preaching wasn't his chief calling: "I came to you...timid and message and my preaching were very plain" (1Co 2:3-4 NLT). Yet while he mightn't have been the most dynamic speaker in town, God empowered him to raise the man from the dead after he fell out of the window! Listen: "Let every man abide in the...calling wherein he was called." What Paul lacked as a speaker, he more than compensated for as a writer. His pen changed the world. He was responsible for more New Testament doctrine than those who spent every waking minute with Jesus. He judged cities, straightened out fornicators, stopped incest, rebuked idolatry, and established truth. Paul didn't need to preach; he wrote the inspired Word that enabled others to do it. Something so powerful was released through Paul's writings that even when they threw him in jail he didn't ask for a lawyer or a gourmet meal because he was tired of prison food. No, he asked for more paper so that he could keep writing. In fact, Paul wrote all the way to the end of his life. And because he did, souls are still being reached today! What a legacy! And all because one man devoted himself to his calling! Now for the question - are you devoting yourself to yours?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Thankya Laude

Ooooh-WEEE MANE!! Those 3 day weekends are off the chain!!! I wish we could do it like that EVRA week.

I know what you mean.

But right around 5:30-6 o’clock Monday? I started feeling that cloud tapping me on the back of my head.


Yeah, that cloud that taps you and says, ‘Don’t forget about ME n’ga, you got 3 days off this time, but you gotta come see me first thang Tuesday morning.’

Oh… (laughing) you’re talking about your job.

Yeah mane, I’m starting to HATE this mf!

Well, at least you get Memorial Day off.

Yeah, but I ain’t getting PAID for the holiday, it’s just another day I don’t have to come to work.

Really? So your check is going to be less one day’s pay for the week?


Hmph..sounds to me like you need to get on your hustle then.

I AM hustling!!

How many hours do you need to get your college degree?

Uhhh..well, you know, I lost some credits when I transferred, so I still have awhile to go.

I hear that, but the main thing is to keep working towards your goal.

It’s hard working and going to school at the same time mane.

I ain’t trying to hear that, of course it’s hard, but that’s where you are right now. There’s a LOT of people who get their high school diplomas, undergraduate degrees, and graduate degrees while working and taking care of their families at the same time. As long as you keep progressing towards graduation, you’ll get there. But if you quit? You’re stuck right where you are.

Everybody ain’t a genius and all like you mane!

Genius?? N’ga, I’m not a genius!! I’m far from a matter of fact, when I first started school, I was having so many problems paying attention, my parents had to take me to get tested by specialist doctors so they could determine if I was retarded.

What happened??

The doctors told my parents that my hearing, motor skills and cognitive reasoning were fine, I was just CHOOSING to not listen or pay attention.

Did they put you on some kind of medication or something??

Yeah, I got some medicine alright, it’s called az whuppings Rx. My momma was so relieved to find out I was medically fine, but then she got mad that I had been acting like I couldn’t hear or understand all the time, ‘huh? What?’, that she put down the ‘zero tolerance’ rule. Get out of line or not pay attention at school or at home? “Go get that belt you ol hard headed boy! I’m through talking to you!! “

How long did it take for you to straighten out?

Once I realized that both my parents were going to kill me if I didn’t straighten up, I began to show immediate progress in school.

(laughing) Your parents put it on you huh?

Hmph…you already know!
Just like most other working class Americans, Memorial Day found me relaxing and enjoying good food, good family and good friends. I did a little research and I discovered that the holiday we celebrate as Memorial Day was initially called Decoration Day. It was a day set aside to honor all of the soldiers who fought in the Civil War. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) as a national holiday, meant to commemorate ALL the American soldiers who have fought for our country. I know that there are a lot of American soldiers away from home on foreign soil fighting to defend the liberties and freedoms that go along with being an American citizen. I hope they all know that no matter where they are, and no matter what country they are currently in, we all appreciate everything that they are doing. We might not all agree on the reasons why they are over there, but we all need to recognize the sacrifices that our soldiers are making every day for our freedom here in America. Our prayers are with all of you and we look forward to all of you making it home safely.

Aside from the military aspect of Memorial Day weekend, it is also a time when a lot of students are graduating from their respective high schools and colleges. I’ve had the pleasure to attend a few ceremonies so far this spring, and I must say that each one touched my heart in unique places.

The one that made me the most proud is my cousin who received her undergraduate degree. What makes her so special, is that she defied all the odds and excuses of ‘why not’ and instead just went and did the damn thang! From being a single working mom, to being a married working mom, to being a married, working mother of 2, she never stopped. And right along with the rest of us who were celebrating her achievement, was her youngest child who was born in her last semester. All those who have a million excuses of why you can’t get your paper, she’s a shining example of what prayer and hard work can really do! CONGRATULATIONS TEE-TEE!!!

As with most achievers, a common factor for success is a loving and supportive family. Parents can’t DO the work for their children; instead parents are commissioned to offer a loving and supportive environment for the child to grow in. There are a lot of parents today going through a difficult time with their child. Whether it’s learning disabilities or attention deficit problems, the task of educating a child often requires parents to reach down inside for more.
Working an extra job to pay for a tutor, getting up early in the morning to get your child to a better school on the other side of town, doing without cable and other amenities to save for college, the list is never-ending. But before parents run out to buy the latest computer software or enroll their child in the most expensive school, you can’t forget the most vital ingredient that the learning process must entail, love.

It doesn’t matter how educated or smart a parent is, once they start making decisions rooted in their love for their child, good things are bound to happen. It may not happen immediately, especially for those with learning deficiencies or special needs, but it will surely happen. Because once parents start making decisions of love and focus on what’s best for their child, the results will eventually manifest themselves. These love decisions are not always about money either, more often than not they’re about time. Taking the time to help your child, to read with them, learn with them, check in with their teachers at school to make sure everything is going okay, these are all time sacrifices which pay huge dividends later on down the road. As much as some black people want to decry Bill Cosby’s remarks, "Parents are spending $500 on sneakers for their child, but they won’t spend $200 for ‘Hooked on Phonics’ so their child can learn how to read", those of us who are cognizant of what’s really going on in the hood know that he’s right on point.

The most crucial investment for all parents to make is our children. Some parents are just so hooked up on their children ‘looking’ like they have status or money, that they completely ignore the most important things like quality of education and respectful attitudes. Too many parents in the hood are sending their kids to school expecting their teachers to not only teach them reading, writing and arithmetic, but also manners and how to act. Subsequently, we have classrooms full of unruly and disrespectful children, along with the ones who are in their own world and not even paying attention to anything the teacher is saying. If teachers spend most of their time disciplining and reprimanding their students, it takes away from learning time. Attitude and deportment may all seem harmless when the children are young and in grade school, but if these key traits aren’t addressed early, then by the time the kids get to high school (if they make it) the parents are dealing with full blown attitude problems. Bad attitudes are normally a direct result of spoiled children. When parents indulge their children, buying them almost anything their heart desires and allowing them to speak freely without any semblance of respect, these small attitude problems grow into teenage horror stories. Kids cursing out teachers and refusing to submit authority,

You can’t tell me what to do! You ain’t my daddy!!

That is why I implore all parents to ‘nip it in the bud’. You’ve got to get to children early and train them in the way that they should go. Because as funny as it may seem for 5 and 6 year olds to throw tantrums and fits, if left unchecked these same kids will grow up with a distorted view of how the world really works. Our goal as parents is to prepare our children for the day when they’re out on their own. Taking care of their own home, raising their own kids. Whenever we have parents who refuse to assume the responsibility of properly training their child, we have a void that is magnified even more in the next generation. This is a vicious cycle known as the ghetto mentality. Some parents are so bitter about their childhoods and hardships, that they refuse to do more for their children out of spite,

My folks never did sh’t for me, my kids gotta make it like I did!!

This is what is holding the working class and poor folks back so much, because ignorant parents raise ignorant kids. And the cycle just keeps on going.

I had the pleasure of having all 4 of my grandparents attend my high school graduation. One of the reasons this was so special to me, was because none of them ever graduated from high school themselves. As a matter of fact, only 1 out of the 4 even made it out of grade school. It was a lot different time for Black folks back in those pre-Depression years. Most couldn’t go to school, because they had to use all of the daylight hours working out in the fields or taking in wash for white folks just to survive.

School wasn’t a requirement, it was a luxury, which they couldn’t afford. My grandfather, the late Bishop Sam Scott, Sr. (pictured) was one of the hardest workingmen that I have ever met in my life. Although he didn’t have much formal education, he learned how to read and write and that was enough for him. In his mind, “if a man learns how to work with his hands, he’ll never go hungry.” It is with these hands and hustling spirit of his, that he fed, clothed and sheltered 12 kids. The key point is, although my grandparents weren’t educated folks, they did everything in their power to make sure their children went to school and ‘got their lesson’.

I bring this up to say that black folks in 2004 have NO EXCUSE for not applying ourselves academically. It comes down to having loving parents who are committed to supplying the best education possible for their children, whether that’s in public or private school. It is no longer illegal for blacks to learn how to read and write, but judging by the language skills of so many of our students, you’d think it was a felony punishable by lethal injection. There is no magic referendum or law that is going to save our young black students. There is no saving politician or administrator that is going to cure all of our woes and deficiencies. The only thing that’s going to save black kids are black parents.

Parenting is a maturing process that will make or break a lot of people. Some try to do the right thing, but they can’t keep it up with consistency. They don’t make sure their kids are doing their homework because they’re too busy watching American Idol or the ballgame. Or maybe they’re out running the streets still stuck on being a kid themselves, even though they have their own kids to raise at home. There are so many different paradigms and issues that are assaulting the black family: poverty, drugs, crime, abuse, etc. that makes it harder for a child to focus on the learning experience. This isn’t a new problem with the black family, this dilemma is actually a snowball effect that started when the first slave ships arrived on American shores. But instead of using the years of educational and social oppression as a crutch, black folks need to realize that no one’s going to save us from ignorance but us.

You don’t have to graduate Magna Cum Laude (High Distinction) or Summa Cum Laude (Highest Distinction), you can be that student who BARELY scrapes through the minimum requirements and graduate Thankya Laude, just make sure you keep progressing toward your goal. The real sad part about all of this, is that the people who need to read this the most won’t. Instead they’ll scroll through and look at the pictures and move on. They don’t have the attention span or the time to read all these words, it’s too much like homework to them.