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3 FINANCIAL LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM THE JENA SIX

I have been watching with great interest, the case of the Jena Six.  For those of you who may not be aware of this high-profile case, it involves six young Black men in a central Louisiana town called, Jena.  This town of 4,000 residents has been the hotbed of controversy, demonstrations, and media from all over the world.  The issues began when a young Black man decided to sit under a tree on the school property, a privilege that up until that time, had been only reserved for white students.  Soon after he did this ‘unthinkable’ act, a group of white students did an unthinkable act of their own, and hung a noose from the tree to send a message to the black students of Jena, “You don’t belong here. Remember you place”.  This culminated in a fight where the 6 young black men are being charged with attempted murder and other charges in the beating of a white student and supposedly giving him a concussion (he later attended a party that evening).  There have not only been inflammatory statements by other white students but by the District Attorney in that area.  He was quoted telling a group of protesting Black students, “I could end your life with the stroke of a pen.”  Since then fights have broken out and tensions have flared bringing this small town into the spotlight for many weeks.

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RETHINK BLING

While working out at the gym, I recently saw a commercial by the Saturn Automobile Company in which the theme was to “rethink” commonly held concepts within our society.  One of the perceptions that we were instructed to rethink was the idea of what “bling” really means.

For most of us, the term “bling” symbolizes materialism and the display of excessive wealth at its most extravagant levels.  It is a superficial and materialistic term that we hear everywhere, from the radio to the pulpit.  It is considered to be a positive term in our society and a goal for which everyone should try to achieve.

We have all heard comments like, “she is bling blinging!” when we see a female with diamonds and gold dripping from her ears, hands, wrists and anywhere else that is humanly possible.  So what if her attitude is revolting or her credit cards are maxed out in her pursuit of  “bling”.

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FANTASTIC FATHERS

Father's Day is upon us.

As a result, many of us are rushing to purchase those last minute "father-type" gifts like a tool, a plasma t.v., bowling bag or shoes, computer equipment, and so on.
As with any holiday, the origin and true purpose often become lost in the commercialism of the day.
I decided to share the foundations of Father's Day in hopes of reminding us all of how blessed we are to have our fathers and those that serve as our fathers within our lives.

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BLACK LEADER VS. LEADING BLACKS

{youtube}Tq2kJ56hSqo{/youtube} Julia Hare, the executive national director of the Black Think Tank delivers a very moving speech at the last State of the Black Union. Whether or not you agree with this statement is probably besides the point. All I know is I will certainly be making the very clear distinction between leading blacks and Black leaders within the community. My hope is that we will hear the deeper message that is being conveyed in this short 9-plus minutes of pure prophesy. You may need to listen to this 3 or 4 times to fully understand what's being said.

OK MARTIN, YOU CAN GO BACK TO SLEEP NOW...

Sorry for waking you up every year to celebrate your birthday, despite the fact that you would not be welcomed at some of the celebrations on your behalf. After all, your fiery and provocative rhetoric concerning the economic condition of your people is not what the sponsors of those celebrations want in return for their support. No, they don’t want to hear you call for a redistribution of wealth in this country, higher wages, equity in public sector contracting, and certainly not a word on stopping this ridiculous war in Iraq. As I recall, you spoke against the Viet Nam War exactly one year prior to being assassinated. Oh yes, in your final speech you also told your audience to boycott various products in response to unfair treatment in the marketplace. No, Martin, it would have been a waste of your time to have made the rounds to those Kum ba ya hand-holding celebrations of your life.

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PREACH PREACHA!

For months, I have been plagued with the idea of writing a piece that focuses on why so many religious leaders are promoting the concept of prosperity in the form of materialism. You know what I referencing, we have all seen them on tv, heard them on the radio; we have even received their emails.

These religious leaders make promises on behalf of God, stating that if you do this (which usually involves giving them money or sowing seeds into their ministry), God will bless you. These same religious leaders also promote the idea that if one does not possess a great deal of worldly possessions, then they are truly not being blessed by God. Evidently,

they must have skipped right past first five books of the New Testament, which documents example after example of individuals leaving their wordly possessions and following Christ. For them, the blessing was in having the privilege to give up everything to follow Christ.

Unfortunately, in the church today, Bentleys, Lexus, Rolex, Gucci, and Prada are more revered names than Jesus, God, The Holy Spirit, the Crucifixion, Brotherly love, or the Resurrection.

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