Sunday, February 20, 2005

Proverbs 7 - The Crafty Harlot

"My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live and my law as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your nearest kin,
That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.

For at the window of my house
I looked through the lattice,
And saw among the simple,
I percieved among the youths,
A young man devoid of understanding,
Passing along the street near her corner;
And he took the path to her house
In the twilight, in the evening,
In the black and dark night.

And there a woman met him,
With the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.
She was loud and rebellious,
Her feet would not stay at home,
At times she was outside, at times in the open square,
Lurking at every corner.
So she caught him and kissed him,
With an impudent face she said to him:
"I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.
So I came out to meet you.
I have spread my bed with tapestry,
Colored coverings of Egyptian linen.
I have perfumed my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon,
Come, let us take our fill of love until morning;
let us delight ourselves with love,
For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey,
He has taken a bag of money with him,
And will come home on the appointed day."

With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips, she seduced him.
Immediately he went after her,
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks,

Till an arrow struck his liver.
As a bird hastens to the snare,
He did not know it would cost his life.

Now therefore, listen to me, my children;
Pay attention to the words of my mouth:
Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray unto her paths;
For she has cast down many wounded,
And all who were slain by her were strong men.
Her house is the way to hell,
Descending to the chambers of death."

-Proverbs 7th Chapter NKJV

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Who Gets the Glory?

I was driving along in my car yesterday and I happened to catch the last part of Dr. Tony Evan’s radio show. My spirit had been running a bit heavy, because I had been wrestling with today’s post..changing and rearranging..editing and cutting, trying to fix the words to say what I wanted them to say, but it just wasn’t coming out right. I was stuck. And it’s not like I didn’t have anything to write, like the dreaded ‘writer’s block’ or anything like..quite the contrary, I’ve been writing a lot. But sometimes after I write a piece, I’ll step back and examine it and think, ‘Ain’t no way I can publish THAT for other people to see’ Whether it’s because of observed tendencies toward schizophrenia or evidence of idiotic rambling, I know that I have a tendency to be ‘out there’ a bit. This isn’t a new a young boy, right before my mother would release me from her watchful eye, whether it was dropping me off in the care of a friend or family member, she would always look at me with sharpened eyes and say, “Alright now…don’t be over there acting like you ain’t got no sense.” For some reason she always made a point to tell ME this..because she knew I had a tendency to get ‘caught up’ in my fervent pursuit of enjoying life. There were many days that I came to her for aid, with one of my many bloody noses or knotted up forehead from running into walls, doors, whatever happened to be in my way as I was running through, doing my thang.

My father would often observe me during these frequent bouts of haphazard clumsiness and societal aloofness with a confounded amazement. .I was so much into my own world, that my most frequent responses were ‘Huh?’ and ‘What?’he would often look at me and shake his head… 'Something just ain’t right with that boy…he act like he retarded or somethin’.

It got bad enough that my mother decided to have me examined to make sure I wasn’t going deaf or had some kind of inner ear disorder or something. After I took all the tests and passed them with flying colors, the doctor came in and told my parents that my hearing, reasoning and motor skills were perfectly normal.. 'He hears you, he’s just not listening. '

Once we left that doctor’s office that day, my mother made a point to take out those doctor’s fees she had to pay on my behind. And wouldn’t you know it..after a couple of weeks of feeling that heat, I was miraculously cured!! Wasn’t anymore “Huh?’ or What?..that ‘act right’ they put on me changed all that to, ‘Yes MA’AM!’ and ‘Yes SIR!!’ God is good ya’ll…ALL the time. He knows what you need, before you even need it. Some people say that God works in mysterious ways..which IS times. But there are also times, when you can see His hand so gracefully in motion in your life and it will make you say ‘Thankya Lord’.

I know that my parents have been one of those supreme blessings that put me on that other level of the game of life. I’m not putting them on a pedestal and proclaiming them as the perfect couple or the perfect parents, I’m just telling ya’ll that I’ve got some real az parents..they ain’t got to front to kick it.

I’ve spoken of my father many times here on, he’s one of those Real Fathers, I love him to tears and it’s really a blessing to be able to learn how to be a man from a strong-hearted spiritual brother in Christ like my father is. So many black men have disconnected or strained relationships with their fathers, which I can definitely understand, because my father and I have lived in the same house as strangers before. Barely even speaking in passing of each other..but that’s just part of the male-macho dynamic. But even through these periods of coolness, there was always love and respect. Our relationship is actually getting better and better everyday, as we’re able to celebrate the family and exalt the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on one accord.

I know a lot of men ain’t got it like that, even the ones who have a civil and amicable relationship with their fathers, often have some division that keeps them at arms length with their affection..whether political difference or contrasting theological opinions, there’s usually something hindering the two from opening those floodgates of love and letting it all hang out. You don’t have to pace yourself with pure love, you go as hard as you can until you go to sleep and if the Lord blesses you to wake up in the morning, you get out of bed and go hard AGAIN. That’s part of being dead game…Believers don’t give up til we go up.

So..where was I?? Off on one of those rambling safaris again..oh yeah..I was listening to Tony Evans, and he gave a wonderful analogy regarding today’s epidemic of ‘prosperity preachers’. You know..those ministers and people out there who are all about that ‘ching-ching’ but they’re using the Word of God as an ends to their ultimate means.

Come to church so you can get your blessing!!

Pay your offerings and tithes and God will reward you so much that your storehouses will be overflowing!!

Pray like Jabez so that you can increase your land AND get a new house!

It’s not that God doesn’t want His children to be blessed here on earth…but material gain is not THE reason that we worship Him. Dr. Evans used the analogy of being a traveling father, who would always return home to wonderful hugs from his kids whenever he returned home from an out of town business trip. Eventually, he began to make it a habit to always bring a toy or special treat for the he’d get 2 for arriving and then a 2nd one once the kids saw their gifts and hugged him again with gratitude and love. But then after awhile of this the mood changed..when he arrived home, his welcome went from ‘yaaaay..daddy’s home!’ to ‘Yaaay..daddy’s home..didja get us something?’ to the eventual..’What didja get me??” as soon as he arrived. That first hug for just being home went away, no hug. That’s how God sees His children in regards to the blessings that He can bestow on us. He doesn’t want us to get so caught up in the gifts, that we forget the ultimate prize of being near Him..and hugging Him close to our heart. I really liked that analogy..because I could FEEL it.

It made me understand better..gave me a more tangible construct of attitude to strive toward. Because I often ponder the ‘jankiness’ in know..being a writer..quoting Scripture and expounding on the Word of God, but yet trying to get paid. There is a line to be real can you be to your past, to your people, your hood, while at the same time remaining true to your Lord? Many people showed up here at because a fellow Christian or a Christian that’s been ministering the gospel to them passed them the link..

You need to check this brother D. Washington out…his language can be a bit risque’, but his theological exposition of the gospel is very thought provoking.

So for that, I realize that it’s not ME that’s causing the website to grow, all I had to do is lift up His Word, God is the one that’s drawing people in and for that I am grateful for the ultimate blessing of being used as a tool of the Good Shepherd. All sheep know the sound of their Master’s whenever you use the Bible, in quotes or illumination, then it will make people stop and listen. That’s how so many of the prosperity ministers ‘lure’ the unsuspecting and unlearned sheep into their snare of personal gratification. It’s kind of wild when you think about it..people think that Satan is some cloven hooved red devil with horns and a tail, but most often he appears as a man of God..quoting Scripture and making it sound GOOD to ya..all the while leading people toward the pursuit of that fools’ gold.

You know when you put gold to fire, the most precious part of the metal gravitates TOWARD the flame and all the impurities try to get away from the heat. That’s why it’s so important to READ the Bible for yourself..prayerfully with a teachable to show thyself approved. Because once you get rooted in that Word, you’re less susceptible to someone peeing on your head, but all the while telling you it’s raining. You ain’t gotta fall for that okey-doke..real never goes out of style! So with that in mind, I constantly pray to the Lord for direction..I pray David’s prayer in Psalms 19:14 ..”Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight..O strength and my Redeemer.

As much as I may joke and clown..I don’t ever want ya’ll to think for one minute that I’m not serious about my conviction in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of us all. I know there are various faiths present here..Christians, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Buddhist, Atheist,Agnostics..some are coming to get served some spiritual food, some are coming to get a laugh..some are coming by just to check out their homey get down for his on the world wide web.

I used to post the Sunday School Lessons from our class every week, but I started getting some strange emails from people requesting copies of my church programs and stuff. My only problem with that, is that I knew that the ministry God has called me to perform is not constrained to a building or pulpit. God wants to use our testimonies to draw other people toward Him. And I know my ability to crack a joke or two has it’s way of entertaining and engaging readers to read a bit more. So many people attempt to read the Bible, but after a few begats it’s ZZZZZZZZZZ…knocked out. Some of this is due to limited reading skills, but more often than not it’s due to lack of conviction, laziness and selfishness. People don’t have the time to read the’s too’s too big…it’s too confusing.

That’s where me and my purpose comes in..because I know that if I can mesmerize that person who does not know the Lord with some of my Southside Houston-Stanford educated game, then they’ll be set up for that knockout punch of realness that the gospel of Christ packs. Of course, this has caused some good going ‘church folks’ to outcry with complaints about me using curse words or showing pictures with me holding a beer bottle in my hand..but hey, you can’t please everybody. Besides, all those sanctified and holy folks aren’t the ones I’m fishing for anyway..I’m trying to land that soul that’s floundering in the sea of futility and dead ends. Those souls out there that’s eager to grasp on to something that’s real. One of the principals at one of the high school’s here on the Southside of Houston used to get on the school PA system every morning and always close his remarks with, "They say you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink..but I always go a step further and push the horses’ head down in the water..that way the choice is more imperitave..either drink or drown. "

Along with the counsel of my parents, I also have a couple of uncles who are ministers who I can always call for a word of encouragement or direction for those times when my path seems murky and I need to lean on another for fellowship. One of these uncles actually has a lot to do with me being able to write today. When I first started kindergarten, he used to pick me up everyday when class was over. From time to time I’d have a note from the teacher that I was supposed to give to my parents. Since I wasn’t reading then.and I really wasn’t all that interested in learning, I’d always hand him the note so that he could tell me what it said. More often than not, he’d get the note and his eyes would start bulging as he read it…

Uh oh!!

What? What is it??

This note say you been acting up in class…yo mama and daddy go whup your butt!!

Of course this would cause my stomach to start doing those flip-flops with that nervous anticipation of a being in trouble seemed to bring and I’d have that worry all the way home..only to find out that the note was something harmless like a ‘Pack a sack lunch for the field trip Friday’ or something like that. I got so tired of being ‘tricked’ by him, that I decided then and there to learn how to read for myself.

Well, this same uncle also is like a big brother and confidant to me and he also happens to be pastor of one of the larger black churches in Port Arthur, Texas, the honorable Rev. Lloyd W. Scott, Sr. Of course, some people will laugh and smirk at the ‘honorable’ part..but can’t nobody say that this n’ga can’t preach. I had been receiving a lot of those, “I can’t BELIEVE you call yourself a Christian!” emails one week and I began questioning myself. How janky was I?? Was I part of the problem? Was I wrong in my application of God’s purpose for D?? My uncle just happened to call me and it wasn’t long before I was explaining my dilemma to him…

So what’s the problem?

I dunno..I guess I’m just freaked out..I never want to lead people the wrong way..or weaken the message by the frailties of my walk.

Oh… what’s the problem?

I guess I’m just trying to use my real voice and it’s facing a lot of opposition.

You talking about curse words?

Yeah..I try to stay real..but then when I have to ‘clean up’ and act like we in church..I feel sanitized and bland.

You ain’t even the kind of n’ga that say a lot of curse words!

I know..but when I write..I have to use other characters and conversations that’s not always something I would say in mixed company. So it comes across as conflicting to the gospel to some people.

Aww %$#@!! You ain’t gotta worry about that! Ain’t nothing you do that's go please EVERYBODY, there’s this one preacher up in New Jersey that’s so crazy, that he even says ‘mf’ in the pulpit and there’s another one that frequently refers to Jesus as ‘that n’ga from Nazarene’!!


Nephew..listen to your uncle…cuz I’m crazy, but I do have SOME sense matter what it is you do, if you’re worried about your message, there’s one simple litmus test you have to pass to go forth.

What’s that?

After you get through doing what you do..and all is said and done..ask one simple question..’Who gets the glory’??

Who gets the glory??

That’s right Emma Lee! ‘Who gets the glory’? If the answer to that question ain’t Jesus..then you’ve got a problem. But as long as you know you’re glorifying His’re fulfilling your purpose missionary. Ya hear me?

I don’t push my product to churches and religious groups …instead I’m pushing to those blockbleeders on the corners, those hoopers on the basketball court, those n’gaz banging down MLK with a bag full of sweets, that crowd at the club on those $2-You-Call-It drink special nights, ready to pick up a freak and jet to the mo for an hour or two, that single parent looking for hope and salvation from their ocean of struggle..I’m servin’ in the hood ya’ll and I’m preparing my line for a nice catch. The wild part is, even if I only sold one book in my lifetime and ONE person is brought closer to Christ through the words of D.E. Washington..I will have succeeded in the mission that the Lord has laid so clearly upon my heart.

Speaking of hearts..since we just had the Valentine’s Day money know, rose peddlers, candy makers, restaraunts, jewelers and greeting card publishers just got PAID on February 14th..I thought I’d roll Rev. Janky on out there next for ya’ll a bit, then we can get a little bit deeper into that Word in regards to matters of the heart. I know a lot of people assume that me and my wife are an ideal couple, but what so many of ya’ll don’t realize is the struggle and hard work it took for us to get to this point in our lives. You gotta be ready to put in some HARD WORK, if you want to make your relationship last mane, and that's FO-REAL.

Monday, February 07, 2005

SupaBowl Parties

One of the goals I strive to accomplish with, is to make sure I touch on current social and political events that are happening around the world, such as the elections in Iraq or the joint meeting of the 4 different National Baptist Conventions. Of course this means I have to read different newspapers and various media (internet, TV, radio, etc) outlets that serve up the information for the day.

The bad part about it, is that once you start reading about all the things going on in the world, the wars, the diseases, the famine as well as the thousands of atrocities committed every day, it all has it’s way of making you want to grow closer to God. Because once you open your eyes and see all of the demons and evil forces that are so active in the world, it will freak you out a bit and incline visions of living on an isolated island away from all of the perils of society.

Some people remain blissfully ignorant..

"I don’t watch the news, I don’t read the newspaper, I don’t know NUTHIN and I like it just like that!"

While others start paying greater attention to what’s really going on in the world and then they get paranoid. Some even to the extent of barricading themselves and their family away from the rest of the world. I have my moments, from time to time, when I read or see news so disturbing, that it will make me seek refuge through prayer and reading the Bible. There’s some sick and twisted people in this world ya’ll and we’ll never have enough jails to keep them locked and isolated away from the rest of the population.

So for those who don’t have a safe haven of refuge, a place where they can go and be reassured that ALL things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose, I pray for you too. Because when those storm winds start blowing, you better have a plan to come on in out of that rain. You gotta have faith in SOMEthing mane…or else there is no hope.

Now of course, all news isn’t dreary and depressing. There are some occurrences that happen in life that will make you smile and say, “Hoorayy for the good guys!” Feel good pieces if you will. I can only go so long with reading of the latest shootings, armed robberies and murders in the metropolitan section of the paper before I need to come up for a breath of fresh air. When I write my blogs here on servinemup, I always try to have an encouraging tone in the background, Jesus lives ya’ll..the tomb is empty! All of the people who visit servinemup DON’T recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior, some people get upset just to see those words.

"There he goes again with all that Christian evangelizing!! Why is it, that whenever someone believes in Jesus they feel the need to ‘enlighten’ everyone else about Him?? "

When you embrace Jesus into your heart, it will give you a charge of love and hope and you really know when you’ve ‘got it’, when you want to go out and tell everyone who doesn’t know, about the Amazing Grace and Mercy of the Lord. It’s part of the call to discipleship. Too many people allow hypocritical church going folks or prosperity preachers to turn them away from really learning about the full gospel. From pedophile priests to whoremongering preachers, there are a myriad of problems in the church that cause people to shun organized religion and instead just ‘do their own thang’. When you read the Bible, you’ll learn that this isn’t a new phenomena to the world, the last verse of the book of Judges reads:

In those days, there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes. – Judges 12:25 KJV

So even way back after the children of Israel had entered the Promised Land, people were shunning religion and organized worship and just doing their own thang. I’ve never considered myself a religious person, but I do consider myself a spiritual person. I pray, I meditate, I study the Bible daily, and I diligently seek Him. And right in the midst of growing stronger in the Word, I realized that I looked pretty stupid going to God in prayer, asking Him for blessings, when I knew I wasn’t obeying all of His commandments, which includes honoring the Sabbath.

Of course we can all turn on our TV and hear some Joel Osteen or T.D. Jakes or whoever is on, preach the Word and get our ‘church’ on. But this does not negate the need to join in fellowship with a church body of Believers. The actual act of GOING to church is still a sensitive subject with a lot of young folks and men, mainly because Sunday is for FOOTBALL!! Right? I’m sure there’s a lot of folks sitting in those church pews every Sunday thinking about kickoff, ready to watch Mike Vick do the fool, or ready to watch Ray Lewis hit somebody. I like football too! But once I became a father and I started observing my kids growing up in this increasingly sinful and immoral world, I knew I wanted them to have the foundation of knowing the Lord and His Word.

Because there’s a lot of places that I have been in my life, that would have taken me into a lot darker roads if not for my childhood training in the Bible and the ways of the Lord. I didn’t want my children to be devoid of this ultimate ‘grip’. So my wife and I started sending our children to Sunday School, but we’d stay home. Then my wife started going and I was staying home..doing MY thang.

Ya’ll football freaks know how it goes on Sunday mornings in the NFL season..wake up in time to eat some breakfast and watch pre-game shows. By the time those noon kickoff games come around..PSSSHTT!! That’s the sound of a cold one popping open and you get that good long first swig know, the game is better when you got your ‘mind right’. Kids come home from church and see you in your spot on the couch, doing ‘your thang’, you might even ask them if they had fun in church, but right when the commercial goes off, you’re right back into the game..doing your thang.

This is not a diatribe against football fans, because I’m one of them. I really do enjoy watching the games. But for those who are fooling themselves into thinking they’re part of the family of God, but yet they’re not making ANY effort to worship or praise Him in the fellowship of other Believers, whether it’s at Sunday School, 11 o’clock service, Saturday night worship service, prayer meeting, Bible study..if you ain’t giving ANY of your time to Him? Then you need to check yourself and be real. The most dangerous lies are the ones we tell ourselves. With the multitude of church services in America, there’s SOME fellowship that has a worship schedule conducive to your weekly routine. Once you start giving God some of your TIME..that’s when He’s going to grab you even closer to Him so that you can feel just how good He really is.

Now the good thing about the Superbowl, is that it doesn’t start until the evening, so you can go to church, get your praise on and be back in front of the television READY to enjoy the game! The Superbowl is a huge social event here in America, especially here on the Southside of Houston Texas. People throw Superbowl parties, everybody comes over hyped, smiling, and ready to enjoy the game, eat some good food and enjoy the fellowship of other football fans and friends. My wife and I have our ‘road dogs’ that we hang out with..either they’re at our house or we’re at there’s. Somebody might be firing up the bar-b-que pit or it might be a big pot of chili or gumbo on the stove, cooler full of’s a PARTY!

It’s always good to find a group of people that like to kick it like you like to kick it. Good food, good drinks, big fun and a lot of laughs. This camaraderie is a large part of enjoying life, because no matter how successful you are, if you don’t have anyone to share it with, your joy will be limited. So I hope all of you out there had a nice Superbowl weekend, and now that the football season is over, you might want to take this time to reflect on your fellowship life. Since there won’t be any football games on until the late summer, you just got a lot more free time on your hand on Sunday mornings. Why don’t you gone and call that audible and redirect the play toward the Lord? There’s no better time than now, cuz in case you haven’t heard, Satan and his legion of angels are in an all out blitz! They’re trying to get your soul mane, you better call Jesus for that ‘max protect’ scheme..He’s the only way you can win.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Dr. Chicken Head

A coupla years ago, a close childhood friend of mine gave me a that, I gotta jazz this one up a lil bit, cuz this one’s gotta hit a lick and make ya’ll want to pass it along to people thatchu know…

The fine red bone that you see standing next to me,is one of my closest childhood homies from the Southside. We literally grew up together since the age when you can start riding your bike over to different streets other than the one you lived on. You know how like when you’re just getting started learning how to ride your bike, and your mama won’t let you go past your yard? Or maybe you can go just as far out on the street so that your parents can look out the door or come out to the bottom of the driveway and see where you are at all times?? So ever since I was old enough to venture past this direct line and go out riding on other streets in the hood, me and Dr. Chicken Head have been kicking it. Don’t laugh and don’t start tripping, I mean, you CAN laugh cuz Dr. Chicken Head does sound like a funny name, I know a lot of Southside folks are holding their mouth right now and saying,

“Awww that n’ga D. just capped on Twin!!!”

Those who know just how close Man and Twin (both of them) are, know that it’s not like that at all, and those who can see how tight she looks can see that she’s a long way away from being a ‘real’ chicken head. We can pick up on the Southside definition of a chicken head later, but right now we’re talking about Dr. Chicken Head!

Dr. Chicken Head is something I call her with the fondest of endearements. You see, the problem with a lot of folks, is that they can’t believe that two attractive non-related people of the opposite sex can be around each other for too long before SOMEthing starts happening. Ya know..sum’n-sum’n?? Well, for those people who are so shortsighted and narrow minded as to think that people can’t have purely platonic relationships with members of their attracting sex, I feel sorry for you. Because you’re really missing out on one of the most beautiful things in life…agape. I’m sure this is a hard thing for a lot of beautiful people to handle, especially if all their life every person of the opposite sex they’ve ever known has tried to ‘get some’. Sometimes even their kinfolk. Life has a lot of diverse and painful twists like that, we’re all dealing with something. I just know that we are all glazed with the pains of the realities we’ve lived. Some people chalk it up to being part of God’s purpose and move on, others hold on to it like a vigilante and let the pain slowly eats them up from the inside. But I digress....

I call her Dr. Chicken Head with a proud tone because first and foremost, she IS a doctor..not the M.D. medical kind, I’m talking about the PhD kind. Those of us in the hood look at her with great pride and admiration because she’s one of our own that’s striving for excellence in this great big world we live in. I told everybody about a lot of our ‘jailhouse’ homies from the hood, but I didn’t mean to imply that all my homies from the Southside were ‘throwed’. Just like we grew up with n’gas who went to the pen for murder, armed assault, rape and other felonies as such, there is also a large menagerie of homies who are very positive and inspiring role models in the hood. Police officers, city workers, Sportscasters, Engineers, Teachers, Truck’s a lot of us who came out the hood grinding hard in ‘mainstream’ America getting down at what we do. No matter what circle you’re in, the task of professionalism calls for putting in that work diligently, but you gotta honor that Sabbath if you want to be REAL mane..that’s one of the Original Big 10. Those living under that Big 10 are living under the Original Law that Jesus fulfilled. But everybody ain’t ready to hear all that right now, so let’s get back to talking about Dr. Chicken Head cuz I KNOW she stay ready.

One of the things that I admire the most about the D.O.C., is that even before and after she earned her PhD, she re-invested her mind and time back into our kids here in the hood. Being a public school elementary teacher is an extremely important assignment, especially here in the poor/working class black community. Everyody don’t have the skills to gain poor black kids attention and respect. Sometimes the black and ‘think they’re’ rich kids are even worse. She was a teacher in the same school in the hood that she once attended all the way through elementary school, so she knows what it do. She gave me a call one day..

Hey D… I need you to do me a favor if you can.

Sure Doc..wazzup?

I was talking with our counselor here at the school and we were wondering if you could come in and talk to some of our 4th and 5th grade boys.

What do you want me to say to them?

Anything..these boys just need a male’s perspective and insight on life..most of them have never seen it up close and face to face. We don’t have any male full time teachers at the school and most of them live with just their mama or their grandma.

I feel ya..I’ll see what I can do.

I proceeded to contact the counselor, as well as having a screening interview with the school’s principal. We decided to have weekly one hour sessions every Tuesday morning. I had a group of 12 boys, all in the 4th or 5th grades. They all looked at me quizzically at first, trying to figure out what MY deal was about. After the counselor introduced me to the group, I thanked her for the gracious introduction and I politely asked her if she could please leave the room until we were done. She was a bit taken aback at first, I guess because my request caught her off guard..

Umm..are you sure you’ll be able to handle this by yourself?

I have full authority to maintain discipline in this room for the next 45 minutes don’t I?

Yes Mr. have the full authority to handle up as you see fit.

Okay..that’s all I need then..I got it. I’ll see you after we’re done here.

After she closed the door, I turned back to these bad az little monsters. I shouldn’t say that huh? You know, all that ‘if you tell a child he’s bad all the time, he’s going to start believing it’ and all that Dr. Spock junk right? Well listen here..I believe ALL people are good at the core, it’s just that some have so much bullsh’t and nonsense, hate and prejudice, bitterness and envy, cruelness and lies rapped around them so tightly, that you can rarely see the light inside anymore. Same thing with kids. Some kids have such a deficiency of basic home training, manners, obedience, discipline and respect, that when they get out into the world, they’re complete terrors (i.e. bad az kids). Most of them are just caught up in their own selfish world of doing and saying whatever it is they want to without threat of repercussion. But all their parents have to do is deliver a coupla slaps to the mouth whenever these kids start talking crazy…

Boy..gone in there and bring them groceries in the house.

I’m playing my video game right now!!

So! Put it on pause and go do what I say!

Not right now mama..I’m almost finished.

Boy..if you don’t get yo black az up and do what I say RIGHT NOW!!

(throwing the controller down and stomping off in disgust) Shoot! That’s why I don’t even like living here with you, I wish I could go live with my daddy!!!

See..that’s the kind of stuff there that would get a child popped in the mouf..quickly, in houses that don't 'spare the rod' on the child.. It was obvious to me that these boys were accustomed to pushing people to the limit. They could barely sit still (I suspected some might have that ‘crack’ gene twitch), only half of them could speak in full and distinct sentences..most everything else was slurred together like a DJ Screw tape. A lot of yeahhhs and naahhhhhs. It was obvious that their teachers where making efforts to break them out of this laziness of progressive communication, because whenever I corrected their yeaahhh’s and nawww’s they quickly snapped,

Oh..uh..yeah..I mean..yes…sir.

So you’re telling me that you think Allen Iverson is the richest man in the world???

Nooo..he stupid Mr. Washington…I was trying to tell that fool that Shaq got waaay more money than Iverson.

Don’t call him one has even came close..

Kobe Bryant?


Michael Jordan??


Ooh! Ooh!!..I know..I know…I know!!

Go ahead Horseshack.

Hoeshack??? My name ain’t no name is D’aundre!!??

It’s not Hoeshack, it’s Horseshack, it was a Welcome Back Kotter reference

Welcome who?

Never mind..go ahead..who do YOU think is the richest man in the world since you ‘know’?


(At this point the entire classroom started laughing and jumping up and down in their seats clownin. Some were slapping hi-five in agreement, others were laughing at him calling him was all beginning to remind me of a Sidney Poitier movie..)

All ya’ll sit down and be quiet!!! (I had to say this at least every 5 minutes, or else the room came to the same crescendo as a zoo right before feeding time.)

Well who is it? Yeah! Who IS the richest man in the world??

Bill Gates.

Who? Who is that??? Yeah..what’d he do to get paid like that???

He was one of the co-creators and chief pusher of a brand of software that is found on most of the computers around the world.

What does that mean? Yeah..what’s software??

You see this computer right here?


The things you can actually touch and feel, that’s the hardware. Here’s the monitor, there’s the keyboard, the mouse, here’s the tower which has the mother board and the main processor, which is like the brain for the computer. All that is hardware. But when you turn the computer on, you have to be able to ‘talk’ to all those hardware components and make them do what you want them to do. The interface that allows you to do this is called the software.

I don’t get it.

Take your microwave that you have at your house..when you want to warm up a muffin, you put it on 5 or 10 seconds.

Muffin?? What’s a muffin?


Oh! Ah!! Yeah! Okay!

Well..the software tells that light and microwave to stay on for however many seconds you put it on. After the time is up, it tells the microwave and light to turn off. There’s a computer in there that does that from whatever you put in the keypad..the interface between the software and hardware is called the firmware..but that’s another level of the game that ya’ll don’t need to know right now. Just remember that Bill Gates and none of the rest of the top 100 of the richest people in the world got their fortune from playing basketball or football. But ALL of that top 100 have used their brains to hit a lick. So you GOTTA be about that work when you’re at school and not all that playing all the time. Because the more you miss out right here? The more you’re going to be behind the pack when it’s time to try and DO some things in life. All this play-play stuff and laughing and giggling all the time, acting all cool? You’ll ending working like a slave your whole life.

The whole experience gave me a more real to add to my game and for that I thank my homie Dr. Chicken Head. But more than just that, I treasure the fellowship we have together when it comes to dealing with life as well as getting deep into that Bible striving for understanding. The Christian path is always a lot easier when you can look around and see those you know and love heeding that call along with you. Congratulations to my homie out in Cali..K. Brown, PhD..aka..oh, my bad. ‘AKA’, Doc Chikn’Head!!! She’s been down for D. ever since I used to ride that red and white bike. She’s been one of my biggest supporters for Servinemup, my writing as well as all of my life endeavors. We holla at each other from time to time for fellowship or just to say what’s up. I’m so glad that it was within God’s will for her and her family to be a part of my life. The wildest thing about it, is that she has an identical twin sister who I’m JUST as crazy about.....and I’ve never even seen either one of them naked!!!

Okay..that last joke may be pushing it a bit..but ya’ll gone and lighten up and laugh anyhow..these Servinemup Awards are FUN like that!!! If you forward this email to some more people, make sure you tell them to check out the site ( [URL:] ) more awards to come…the next one might be you.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Politics and Religion II

When I decided on the title for today’s post, I was still tinkering a bit with the manner I was about to ‘serve it on up to ya’ll. But I happened to start glancing through some of my past posts and I realized that I have already done a post entitled ‘Politics and Religion’. I dunno..maybe I’ve lost a brain cell or two over the years, but although the title has already been done, there are still some things I wanted to say that fall into that category. If you’re ever in a group and you’re looking to liven up the discussion? Just start talking about politics or religion..both topics have a way of setting people off…(this is where I break off into a dialogue between two unnamed people):

What the hell do you mean you voted for Kerry???

Bush ain’t trying to do nothing for black folks mane…just like the rest of those Republicans, black folks supposed to vote Democrat..that’s what Lincoln was, that’s what Kennedy was, that’s what Roosevelt was and that’s what Clinton was…I’m black and I ALWAYS vote Democrat!

You sound like one of them ignant az n’gaz that don’t understand sh't about how the world really works, cuz first of all Lincoln was a Republican! Kerry ain’t no ‘man of the people’, he’s a rich white man just like the rest of em, he don’t give a d’mn about Black and poor folks who can’t find a decent paying job with good benefits, he’s got a different coat than Bush, but underneath they’re all the same. Green is the only color that matters mane..whoever controls the most money has the most power.

So that’s why you voted for Bush?

I voted for Bush for a number of reasons..I thought he was the best candidate to uphold our traditional family values and our country is at war right now and despite all of the things I don’t like about Bush and his administration, I understand that when a family is at war, we all have to suck it up and stand behind our leader as a united front. Once we start breaking ranks and attacking our own, it’s just like helping the enemy.

Don’t you realize that a large part of the world thinks that George Bush and American capitalist ARE the enemy!!

Yeah..they might SAY that, but if that’s the case, how come everybody is trying to live here??! Look, I’m not trying to defend George Bush, hell, for all I know, he MIGHT be the devil! All I’m saying is that as long as we have thousands of our troops overseas risking their lives to defend the freedoms that we enjoy, I think it’s very important for us to come on one accord and work together toward doing whatever it is we have to do to bring our soldiers back home as soon as possible.

Kerry would have gotten the troops out of Iraq sooner!!

Maybe..but you gotta realize what’s going on over there right now. They’re trying to establish a democracy in a land that has been under dictators and oppressors for hundreds of years. The rest of the middle east is definitely watching Iraq closely, because if a respected democratic system can be established, it has the potential to send a resounding democratic ripple in other middle eastern countries.

Do you really think that’s going to work?? I mean, as it is now, you know all the Iraqis and other Muslim countries feel that whatever government is put in, it will be a puppet who’s strings were controlled by the Bush administration.

I don’t know..because democracy is only part of the problem, Iraq has some serious religious and ethnic factions amongst its people that is playing a large part in all of the unrest in the country too.

Huh? I thought they were all Muslim??

Yeah, they're mostly Muslim..but some are Sunni, most are Shi’ite and then you also have a large population of ethnic Kurds who want their own government too…so it’s a lot of different sh’t going on at the same time.

I didn’t know Muslims had different groups..I thought they were all on one accord?

Naww, all Muslims aren‘t going around trying to blow up people in the name of Allah, most Muslims are very peaceful people. When you look at the 3 major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, they all have different denominations or factions. Just like Christians branch into Protestants and Catholics and then under the Protestants you have Methodist, Baptist, AME, 7th Day Adventist, Mormons, etc. other religions also have their various particular ways in which they recognize God.

Yeah..that’s kinda wild to think..most wars and bloodshed all trace back to someone acting ‘in the name of God’.

Yeah..that is a trip. That’s why I make sure to pray for our leaders here in America and around the world, they really need it.

Whenever you start talking about a political subject like Iraq, it can stir up some deep seeded emotions that will bring out the most volatile emotions in people. I always try to make sure that the other person knows that I respect their right to whatever political, religious or social view they might have, but in the same token, I’m not about to let somebody pee on my head and try to convince me that it’s raining..ya feel me?

Most people’s political and religious foundation are formed at home during early childhood development. Both my parents and grandparents are staunch voters. They might like nairn candidate on the ballot, but they’ll make sure to vote for SOMEbody. Unfortunately, this political activism of voting is still lost on a lot of the black population, especially the younger generations. Too many people are so swept up in their own world, that they have a callous of apathy surrounding their heart when it comes to politics and they remain inactive. Everybody doesn’t’ have to run for election, but at the very least, every black person should get out and exercise their blood-won right to vote.

When I touched on this same issue in Born With A Grip, I made sure to ask people before and after the election if they voted. Of course, most people were quick to say ‘yeah..I voted’. But looking at the election returns, it’s obvious that a lot of them where lying. Since then, I have been approached by different people inquiring about my political and/or religious aspirations:

You might want to run for a political a Senator or something D!!

When I was in college, I served as an officer (Secretary, 90; President 91’) in the Stanford Society of Black Scientist and Engineers (SBSE) and after that I was the Region VI Northern Vice Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers. I learned a lot in all of those capacities, but that year as President let me know then what my political limits where. When you’re leading an organization, you have to deal with both the internal (domestic) issues like: study groups, regional and national conferences, gender issues as well as external (foreign) issues like: getting corporate sponsors, school funding. Etc. Being in the forefront makes you responsible to everybody, because no matter what happens, bottom line is that it’s your signature on the bottom of the page. To some extent you have to learn to detach your feelings and just be about the business, but somehow I’m just not that kind of guy that can close my heart completely.

This inability to just go ‘cold-blooded’ has definitely hindered my climb up the corporate ladder, but I’m much more interested in being able to get a good night’s sleep knowing that I didn’t’ f’k over anybody the day before. Unfortunately, a position as powerful as being the President of the United States of America does not always have this luxury of conscious. Because I’m sure G.Dubya has to make some tough decisions at times and invariably SOMEBODY feels the short end of the stick. Fortunately we live in a country that still allows freedom of speech (to some extent), so those who have a beef have the liberty to voice their issues. But these hard decisions often boil down to what Col. Nathan Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) said in A Few Good Men.."You can’t handle the truth!"

I’ve also been approached from the other end of the scale:

Mane D..with the way you know how to break the Bible down, you could be a preacher

Believe it or not, I’ve never considered myself a religious person. When I went to church as a child, I went because my mother and grandmother MADE me go. Those summers going to church every Sunday in Arkansas was almost like torture to me. It wasn’t that I was the anti-Christ or anything like that, I just never liked structure. Sunday was the only day of the week that I had to comb my hair and put on uncomfortable clothes and shoes and go sit up in some stuffy church listening to some fat sweating Baptist preacher screaming that everybody was going to hell if they didn’t repent. Going to church was a waste of a perfectly good weekend day as far as I was concerned. It wasn’t until after I had kids of my own that I realized just how important my church upbringing was for me in my life. Because once you start going through some of those real life issues, money problems, marriage woes, baby -mama drama, sick will make you get down on your knees and seek Him. And as much as I knew how important my religious foundation was in getting me through a LOT of tough obstacles in life, I wanted to make sure my kids had the same training so that they could have something to lean on when they get out there in the world on their own.

I posted a Statement of Faith on my website, because I wanted people to really feel what I believe. I think that it’s every reader’s right to know the theological stance of a political writer.
Although I was raised in a Baptist church and my wife and I are raising our kids in a Baptist church, I’m not one of those people that thinks that everybody that ain’t Baptist are heathens. When you research the history of the Baptist church, some will trace it back to the Anabaptist movement, but I prefer to trace it’s origin of principle all the way back to John the Baptist, the ‘voice in the wilderness’. Full immersion baptism is a part of the faith, unlike a lot of other denominations. But instead of harping on the differences, I just try to find our common bond in that full gospel of Jesus Christ. When I pick up my Bible, I don’t read it as a historical text or as a ‘mostly true’ volume, I read it as the inspired Word of God. Sola Scriptura..the Bible and the Bible only.

This past week saw a historical event take place amongst the black American Baptist community. Black Baptist churches in America are divided amongst 4 different conventions and they all met up together in Nashville in a long overdue display of solidarity. But even the reality of having such a divided congregation of believers in the church let’s us know that no matter the forum, politics always plays a vital part, ESPECIALLY in religion.

One of the most common questions I had to field when I served as an Officer for NSBE was.. "Why do the ‘black’ engineers have to separate themselves from the rest of the school’s engineers?"

For some reason, it unnerved some white folks to see black folks congregating together as a group. What’s this all about? Who’s playing the rap music and eating fried chicken? Can white engineers join?

Of course, I always made sure to smile and assume a non-threatening posture as I calmly replied.. We’re just like a family that gathers to lend each other support and camaraderie through our mutual ethnic lineage of the African-American experience. I often had to make a concerted effort not to just get pissed off at all of the stupid questions and just yell out…SOMETIMES WE DON’T WANT TO BE AROUND WHITE FOLKS!!

This definitely touches on that sensitive vein of racial intolerance that is a double swinging gate in 2005. There’s some white folks who don’t like black folks and they’re some black folks who don’t like white folks, it goes both ways. Now everybody has their own different ways they justify it,’Mane, I seen them white folks do my grandma bad.’ Or ‘Some black boys robbed and assaulted my sister!’ and all kind of incidents which trigger that vein of hatred that has the potential to consume anyone whose soul isn’t anchored in the Lord. But whenever you have a group of people that have been oppressed and enslaved, then they will inherently learn to trust no one but their own. Some of this is learned by experience, some by inherited social myopias.

A perfect example is found in the remarks that Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made last week during a ceremony commemorating the 60 year anniversary of the fall of the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. When Sharon got onto the podium, he said that Jews should always remember that when the Nazis starting purging Jews through death camps and gas chambers, the rest of the world watched without 'lifting a finger' to help. So from that lesson, Jews learned that they can only depend on themselves. As an African-American slave descendent, I feel that ALL the way. But as a Christian, I know that our heart should strive to be bigger than that myopic view of past generational pains. That doesn’t’ mean we’re supposed to completely forget, because there’s definitely a line of wariness to be drawn when deciding just how much you’re going to trust a person, no matter WHAT color they are, even your own.