Dozens of black pastors met with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday to address what some called his use of racially charged rhetoric and to hear Trump’s plans to improve the state of the African-American community.
Black luminaries like Rev. Al Sharpton wondered why black religious leaders would seek to bask “in the glow of a billionaire” while “offending their congregants and offending their cloth.”
“Let us not forget,” Mr. Sharpton said from the pulpit of his National Action Network, “Jesus was a refugee, and they are meeting with someone who has taken a mean stance against refugees. I don’t know how you preach Jesus, a refugee, on Sunday and then deal with a refugee-basher on Monday without raising the question.”
With this is our societal backdrop, it is clear that it is not happy people who are thankful, but thankful people who are happy.
“This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long” is the chorus to “Blessed Assurance,” penned by Fanny Crosby, author of more than 9,000 hymns. She became blind six weeks into her life through the misdeeds of a quack, fake doctor.
Listen to her response to someone who expressed regret at her condition,
“I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when he showered so many other gifts upon you.”
Fanny responded at once, as she had heard such comments before, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind?" said the poet, who had been able to see only for her first six weeks of life. "Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior."
Your attitude will always determine your attitude. Grateful people are never sorry for what they have lost. They are glad for what they have left. They are always forward thinking so they always possess a cup that is half full. They are always hopeful for a brighter tomorrow and a better day.
Even their speeches, in the most depressing circumstances, are flavored with positive expressions of hope and great expectations.
So they are never broke and penniless but inconvenienced with a “temporary cash flow problem.”
Being unemployed simply means, “I am between jobs.”
If they find themselves in a barren desert, “they are merely on the way to the Promised Land.”
If they land in jail, it is not a place of confinement or punishment, “but a mandatory all expenses paid retreat, affording one a time of personal reflection to adjust one’s thinking, so as to redefine his or her future.”
In this time of the year when we celebrate Thanksgiving and the birth of the Christ child, I would like to make you aware of three things, for which we all should be grateful.
1) A MIND that is whole and well that is renewed every day, that is able to discern between right and wrong, between good and evil.
A mind that is liberated and unshackled, not one corrupted by the devices of the enemy or being destroyed by the ravages of alcoholism and a drug abuse. A mind that is not held captive in mental slavery like the children of Israel who could never appreciate the benefits of freedom and always looked back to the onions, garlic and leeks of Egypt. So, except for two, they all perished in the wilderness, not seeing the Promised Land, which was their intent and purpose, the day they were delivered out of Egypt by the mighty hand of The Lord.
In your right mind, you know to seek the Lord while he may be found for the day is coming when goodness, mercy and righteousness will be evicted from our society and cast out into the streets, when men will become lovers of themselves, proud, boastful and false accusers, looking after their own interest and callously disregarding the welfare and wellbeing of weaker human beings.
You carefully ponder and pay keen attention to the Biblical verse that warns us all, ”Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength, nor the wealthy man in his riches, but let him that glorieth, glory in that he understands that I am the Lord God who exercises justice, mercy and loving kindness upon the whole earth.”
A clear thinking, discerning mind is indeed a precious gift, an invaluable resource, and a terrible thing to waste.
2) TODAY for it is a good day
A former customer of mine said something very profound, “I do not have bad days.” As long as I wake up and my feet hit the floor, that is a good day for me. There is no such thing for me, as waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
God deals with the now. He told Moses my name is I AM THAT I AM-- today if you will hear his voice harden not your heart. Today may be the last day for many of us upon the face of the earth.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a promise, today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.
Today is where you are, it is all you have, all that you can be certain of, and you must be all involved in today.
You must forgive and heal the broken-hearted today.
You must begin your quest for a better life to change your circumstances and alter your future today.
If you do not get through today, there may be no tomorrow.
So you live your life with a sense of urgency as if Jesus died yesterday, is risen today and is coming back tomorrow.
And, if it so happens that your eyes behold another sunrise, fall on your knees and give thanks for that “today.”
3) THANK GOD that you got salvation in time.
The day is fast approaching when everyone must stand before the judgement seat of Christ and give an account of everything he or she has done in this life.
If you die without Jesus you would have just received a blow from which you will never recover.
You will be destined an eternity in hell where hope, mercy, love, grace and forgiveness will not be found.
This is an awful place where the worm eating your flesh does not die and the tormenting fire is not quenched and above all there is an absolute absence of the presence of God.
No wonder it is said there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, because you will realize to your horrible dismay---there is no hope of escape.
Indeed the sign above the door of hell ominously warns, ”ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE.”
Disregard the intellectuals like Morgan Freeman, Bill Maher and Stephen Hawking who ridicule your weak simple-minded naivete. They laugh at your belief in this collection of old wives tales, fables, myths and legends.
To all the mockers, scorners and skeptics everywhere, I would say this, I allow that it is possible I could be wrong in my belief, but that still makes me no worse than you. When I die, I will go into the grave and become dust like you, but I still would have left behind a good name in the world, so my living would not have been in vain.
Nevertheless, since there is a difference of opinion, and opposing views in this debate of life, be intellectually honest and allow me this point.
What if Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi, Jim Elliot, David Livingstone, Paul The Aposte and countless other likeeminded folks like me—What if we are right-----------?
V. Knowles is a husband, father and prison minister with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.