Friday, November 18, 2011

You'll be a Man my son! IF

 
If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

poem by Rudyard Kipling

Friday, October 14, 2011

Benjamin Banneker mathematician, astronomer, compiler of almanacs, inventor, and writer.

Benjamin Banneker was a mathematician, astronomer, compiler of almanacs, inventor, and writer. He was one of the first important black American intellectuals.

Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731, in Ellicott's Mills, Maryland. A free black who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy by watching the stars and in mathematics by reading borrowed textbooks. He became an active writer of almanacs and was appointed by President George Washington to the District of Columbia Commission.


 A free black who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy by watching the stars and in mathematics by reading borrowed textbooks. In 1761 he attracted attention by building a wooden clock that kept precise time. Encouraged in his studies by a Maryland industrialist, Joseph Ellicott, he began astronomical calculations about 1773, accurately predicted a solar eclipse in 1789, and published annually from 1791 to 1802 the Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Almanac and Ephemeris. Appointed to the District of Columbia Commission by President George Washington in 1790, he worked with Andrew Ellicott and others in surveying Washington, D.C.

As an essayist and pamphleteer, Banneker opposed slavery and war. He sent a copy of his first almanac to Thomas Jefferson, then U.S. secretary of state, along with a letter asking Jefferson's aid in bringing about better conditions for American blacks. Banneker's almanacs were acclaimed by European scientists to whom Jefferson made them known.



Copyright © 1994-2011 Encyclop├Ždia Britannica, Inc. For more information visit Britannica.com

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Simple Acts For A Healthy Mind

How can we optimize our mental well-being? Psychologist Doctor Judy Ellison Ph.D in an recent article gave five tips to optimize mental well-being.

  1. Be social and connected - connect with the people around you, family, friends, colleagues and neighbors, home, work or in your local community. Social relationships are critical to our well-being.
  2. Get active - exercise has been shown to improve mood and has been used successfully to reduce depression and anxiety. Look for exercise that you enjoy. Mix it up so that you don't stop out of boredom.
  3. Be a lifelong learner - learning keeps us youthful at any age. It encourages social interaction and increases self-esteem and feelings of competency.Talking classes or learning something new gives you something positive to talk about with your friends and family.
  4. Give and receive - there are so many ways a person can give of themselves to others. You can practice "random acts of kindness" thanking someone, smiling, volunteering your time, and getting involved with your local community. These positive experiences contribute to a sense of mental well-being.
  5. Be grateful in the moment - the ability to be present in each moment is a major component to mental wellness. Think of all the reason you have to be grateful. Think of all the reason you have to praise God!
Personal mental well-being does not happen by itself - however, we can each choose to take steps to optimize this part of our lives. Today is a good day to start.

    Searching for the bird of happiness


    Everbody I know is searching for the elusive bird of happiness. A lot people are looking for happiness but only few find it. What do those who find happiness have in common?

    Dr. Judy Ellison, Ph.D.  psychologist and research scientist says There are three things that happy people have in common:



    Something to DO.  People who are engaged in fulfilling their life purposes, who believe they are here for a reason, are more apt to be happy. This may also include personal growth activities, pleasant hobbies and interests. When you keep busy there is less time to mope or be unhappy.

    Something to LOVE.  It is no surprise that social relationships have been found to be a big contributor to happiness. We imagine that to mean having a romantic relationship, and yes, that is important. However, according to research, you get more joy spending longer periods of time with a close friend – just hanging out.
      Something to LOOK FORWARD TO.  Happy people make future plans to do things that they enjoy. There is nothing better than looking forward with anticipation to taking that special vacation, moving into a home of your dreams, or something as simple as flying a kite on a beach.

      What would your life look like if it looked the way you wished? What would make you happy? Now is the time to take the initiative and do the work to make it so.

      LIVE IN THE MOMENT!!

      A funny thing about time--the past is gone and the future is not here yet. We only have this moment. Make the best of it. It is all you got. We have only today. Let us begin." Jesus said "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomrrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

      COURAGE TO CHANGE

      Change can be scary and it takes courage to respond responsibly to change. The poet Robert Burns wrote "The best laid schemes of mice and men often go astray". A.J. Cornin wrote "Life is no straight and easy corridor along which we travel free and unhampered, but a maze of passages, through which we must seek our way, lost and confused, now and again checked in a blind alley.

      But always, if we have faith, a door will open for us, not perhaps one that we ourselves would ever have thought of, but one that will ultimately prove good for us."

      Friday, April 29, 2011

      Duke Ellington

      April 29, 1899, Duke Ellington was born. He was an African-American jazz composer, band leader, and pianist.


      Born Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington, D.C., into a middle-class family, he acquired the nickname Duke as a child for his manners, clothing, and personality. He began playing for friends and at parties and soon formed a small dance band named The Duke's Serenaders. In 1923 Ellington moved to New York City, 4 years later Ellington began performing at The Cotton Club, the most prominent nightclub in the Harlem area of New York City at the time.

      In the late 1920s Ellington composed for and recorded with his 12-member orchestra such pieces as Black and Tan Fantasy, The Mooche and Mood Indigo. Through recordings such as these and through radio broadcasts from The Cotton Club, Ellington gained a national and international reputation. In 1931 he took his band on its first tour of the United States. With his piece It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Ellington anticipated the era when swing music and dancing became a national obsession in the United States.

      After 1932 Ellington enlarged his orchestra to 14 members, and in 1939 he hired a gifted young American arranger, Billy Strayhorn, wrote one of the Ellington orchestra's signature tunes, Take the 'A' Train. By 1940 Ellington's band included some of the best American jazz instrumentalists. During this period his orchestra also recorded so-called tone poems, which anticipated the bebop style of 1940s jazz. In the late 1940s Ellington's band, which generally maintained a remarkably stable membership, experienced a higher rate of turnover among musicians and went into creative and commercial decline.

      In 1953 Ellington recorded the album Piano Reflections, on which some of his most enduring work as a pianist can be found. A religious man, Ellington began composing liturgical works (which he called sacred concerts) in the 1960s. Over the course of his career, Ellington wrote a number of pieces that became standards in the jazz repertory. During his lifetime, Ellington received hundreds of distinctions, including 11 Grammy Awards and 19 honorary doctorate degrees. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the United States and the Legion of Honor by France, the highest civilian honors in each country, respectively.

      In 1988 the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., acquired his entire archive—200,000 pages of unpublished music and other documents—and made it available to researchers, musicians, and the general public. He is considered the greatest composer in the history of jazz music and one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. Unlike other great band leaders, Ellington personally created most of the music played by his orchestra. Ellington composed about 2001 works, including musical comedies, music for ballet and motion pictures, an opera, and numerous short songs and instrumentals.

      He composed exclusively for his jazz big band, seeking out players with distinct musical styles. Beginning in the 1930s and throughout the remainder of his career, Ellington toured incessantly with his group, logging an estimated 16 million km (10 million mi) of travel and playing an estimated 20,000 performances throughout the United States and in 65 other nations around the world.



      Reference:

      Jazz: A History of the New York Scene

      Samuel Charters and Leonard Kunstadt

      (Doubleday, Garden City, N.Y., 1962) p.73



      Jazz People

      by Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York

      Copyright 1976

      ISBN 0-8109-1152-3



      

      BILL COSBY Comedian & Philanthropist

      Comedian Bill Cosby's 1984 sitcom, The Cosby Show, became the highest ranking sitcom for 5 years in a row. The program aired for eight years. Best known for "The Cosby Show," which aired from 1984-92, and his books, "Fatherhood" and "Time Flies," Cosby is one of the most influential stars in America. He has been involved in nearly every entertainment medium - stand-up comedy, concert recordings, TV, film, print and more. His distinct style of humor often centers on the basic cornerstones of our lives - parenting, family and citizens in our communities.




























      His lifelong contributions to our culture and commitment to education, earned him a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor in 2002.

      Wednesday, April 27, 2011

      Did You Know That Guion S. Bluford Jr. Was The First African American To Travel In Space

      U.S. Air Force pilot, American astronaut. Born on November 22, 1942, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bluford became the first African American to travel in space in 1983 as a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

      He studied aerospace engineering at Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1964. A distinguished U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) member in college, Bluford joined the U.S. Air Force and served in the Vietnam War. Flying more than 140 combat missions, he won several medals, including the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

      Thursday, April 7, 2011

      Using Baskeball for Christian Outreach

      We had 13 players in the gym 45 minutes before starting time. This a wonderful outreach ministry for Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne Indiana. This ministry needs your prayer support and your advocacy. Please leave a comment about this ministry. Your comments help us raise support.








      Friday, March 25, 2011

      The City of Detroit--Could Better Leadership Have Made A Difference?

      Leaders are accountable for results. expecially when it comes to preparing their young people for the future. When a city's leaders are focused on delivering results, they know that they have to anticipate changes and prepare their city to respond to those changes. These leaders know that talk is cheap and they have to deliver the goods--they know that they must graduate kids from high school who are ready for college or ready to work in a twenty first century workforce. The city of Detroit is an example of what happens to a city when its leaders are not held accountable for results?

      For sure detroit was hammered by economic forces that were beyond the control of its leaders. Wave after wave of economic bad news caused factory closings to wash over the city in a rising tide of layoff notices. Hardest hit was the automotive industry with its good payinsg jobs available to the average person. You didn't need a college degee in to earn a good middle class income. As the automotive industry started to leave town the kind of people that every city needs started to leave town. The tax base that evey city needs also left town.

      A March 25, 2011 Huffington Post article states "New census data indicates Detroit's population dropped by a startling 25 percent in the last decade, from 951,270 in 2000 to 713,777 last year. That's a 60 percent decline from its 1950 peak population--1.85 million--and the lowest count since the 1910 Census put the then-promising Motor City's population a 285,704."

      How different could Detroit be if Detroit leaders had prepared Detroit's young people to graduate from high school ready to fill the world's need for smart people running smart machines doing smart work. A workforce doing smart work on smart machines does not lose work to countries with less skilled workers working for lower wages. Good leadership does makes a difference!

      Saturday, March 19, 2011

      A Beautiful Sunset Bethlehem PA

      Some things are priceless. Like this sunset that I was blessed to experience during a walk this evening with my daugther in a park in Bethlehem PA. Praise God!

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Historic buildings in Bethlehem PA

      I always love walking in the Bethlehem PA area because walking in this area is like thumping through a picture book of American history. You can walk across fields where our forefathers fought our independence from England. Shown in this picture are the remanants of a stone building that was could have been part of our pre-revolutionary history.

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011

      FATHERLESS BOYS: A Single-Mom Watches Her Teenage Son Struggle with Impending Manhood

      FATHERLESS BOYS: A Single-Mom Watches Her Teenage Son Struggle with Impending Manhood
      By Vanessa Werts

      Across America, in the inner-city and in suburbia, fathers are silently disappearing from their sons’ lives. Over the last decade, fatherlessness has emerged as one of the most consequential trends facing society. What was long thought to be primarily an African-American problem, stemming from poverty and poor education, has become an issue that crosses both racial and class lines.

      Fatherless boys are crying out for affirmation, attention, and the unconditional love of their absent fathers. Too often they flounder about life with no real sense of self and a wounded heart. Unfortunately, for society and for many boys without fathers, feelings of awkwardness, confusion, and hurt play out in staggering statistics of violence, crime, and imprisonment.

      According to the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), a non profit organization established to combat father absence and promote responsible fatherhood, violent criminals are overwhelmingly males who grew up without fathers, including 72 percent of adolescent murderers and 70 percent of long-term prison inmates.¹

      Nonetheless, not all boys without fathers display deviant behavior. Some internalize the weight of their emotions and silently struggle with who they are and what they will become. Much like my 16-year-old son, Marcus, who besides a few undesirable grades, gives the impression of being well adjusted.

      Although we have our parent-teen challenges, Marcus is mostly reserved and predictable. I can always count on him to have a fervent opinion, even when he’s wrong. Yet he’s timid and uncertain in social settings. Teachers often compliment his respectful demeanor saying how pleasant it is to have him in their class. One time a friend of mine referred to him as the “gentle giant,” comparing his kind spirit to his tall stature. Considering everything I know about my son, nothing could have prepared me for his reaction to a disagreement between us or his eventual melt-down.

      That Saturday morning started out as many of our weekends do. I went out for an early morning walk and returned to the sound of video games and cartoons blasting from the televisions. As I walked across the living room floor, I noticed there were potato chips lying in the carpet next to the sofa. When I questioned Marcus and his younger brother, Deon, neither of them admitted to being responsible. So I gave them an ultimatum to tell the truth or deal with the consequences. This sparked a bit of defiance in Marcus. From there, a difference of opinion escalated to his breaking point.

      Frustrated with me, Marcus slammed his hand against the bathroom wall. The sound and the eruption of emotions that followed confirmed that his reaction was about something much deeper than our confrontation. Finding release, Marcus sobbed well over an hour. Pain and sadness were etched in his face as warm tears trickled over his cheeks. Each time I asked what was wrong, he cried louder – harder. “I’m tired of everything and everybody,” he finally exclaimed between gasps. “It’s all my dad’s fault. I just don’t think he appreciates me.”

      Memories of my own fatherless childhood washed over me as I consoled and wept for my son that day and for the millions of fatherless boys who want more than anything to have a father who cares.

      After my ex-husband and I divorced twelve years ago, his relationship with Marcus settled into a pattern of random calls and sporadic visits. Though rough at first, Marcus eventually adjusted to the new arrangement, expecting me to be there to tuck him in bed at night, and for dad to call and make arrangements to pick him up for a trip to ToysRUs. Back then, their relationship was amicable.

      Now, with puberty and an awakened consciousness as factors, careless fathering has become a futile distraction in Marcus’s mind. Broken promises and inconsistent communication caused a wedge in his relationship with his father. “At 12-years-old, I was on the fence about him,” says Marcus. “I began to loose faith in him when I was in 6th grade.” By the time he turned 14; Marcus claimed not to care whether he saw or heard from his father at all.

      Sadly, Marcus thinks he doesn’t need his father or guidance from any man. His belief: “I will become a man based on my own experience and instincts. And I’ll use what I’ve learned from my mom and other adults – mainly family - who have given me advice or life lessons.”

      When fatherless boys quit expecting and stop hoping, something terrible happens to them, and to society. “The absence of a father can shatter a child’s world,” President George Bush said at the Forth National Summit on Fatherhood in 2001. “We know that children who grow up with absent fathers can suffer lasting damage.” President Bush went on to say, “Nearly every man who has a child wants to be a good father, I truly believe that. It’s a natural longing of the human heart to care for and cherish your child. But this longing must find concrete expression.”²

      Undeniable facts: there were 12.9 million one-parent families in 2006 – 10.4 million were single-mother families, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Families and Living Arrangements: 2006. “Court and school officials report that many children do not even know what to put in the ‘Father’s Name’ blank on printed forms,” David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values, wrote in his 1995 book Fatherless America.³

      Supporters of responsible fatherhood initiatives are as varied as the reasons for father-absence. From pro-fatherhood groups to public officials to the federal government, they all weigh in on how to address fatherlessness. Expectedly, opinions differ on the reasons why fathers abandon their children and the methods used to address the problem. Nevertheless, the resounding truth we all agree on is: children need their dads.

      Federal funding and grants are available for programs designed to strengthen fatherhood. Like the NFI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services joined the fatherhood movement last year and launched a national initiative, the 2006 Promoting National Fatherhood Initiative. The program is currently on-going and enables fathers to improve relationships and reconnect with their children.

      It’s widely believed that manhood must be learned, that it’s not a birth right. I agree. Yet for Marcus, past experiences with men have been synonymous with disappointment and rejection. Promises are continually broken by his father, and calls are infrequent at best. On the occasion his father does call, Marcus makes excuses not to spend time with him. I used to make him go with his dad. Not any more. Disturbing as it is to think, considering his attitude towards his father, I often wonder if it’s too late to reach him.

      “It’s never too late!” says Marvin Dickerson, President of the Greater Washington DC Chapter of 100 Black Men, a non profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for African-American youth, particularly males. “I think it’s harder as time goes on because their options diminish. Methods have to change with the age range.”

      Because Dickerson’s father passed away when he was only 10-years-old, he knows all too well what its like to grow up without a father. Remembering life after his father’s death, Dickerson says, “I had a lot of positive people around me who thought I was special and went out of their way to take care of me.” Even so, he admits that his fondest memory is of his dad coming to see him play in a youth All-Star Baseball game. Coming off the field after making a major play, Dickerson recalls looking into the stands at his father. He says the proud that’s-my-boy smirk on his father’s face was priceless. “It was the best feeling.”

      Recently, I registered Marcus for a group-based mentoring program operated by 100 Black Men of Greater Washington DC, Inc. The program inspires youth to identify personal dreams or goals and build action plans toward achieving them. “The realization of seeing them when they start to dream,” says Dickerson, “when they start thinking about the future, I know it’s worth it.” There is no substitute for dad. However, mentoring programs give fatherless boys and their families a ray of hope.

      Through mentorship, I hope Marcus will begin to value his life regardless of feeling unappreciated by his father. And that he will discover his personal greatness. But mostly, I hope being mentored by committed caring men will help fill the void created by his father’s absence.

      Riding along in the car one afternoon Deon said, “Mom, I’m a happy soul.” He flashed his signature smile. Imagine that. Astonished, I turned to look at him and asked what he meant. Pondering his answer, he finally said he was just happy. At 8-years-old the soul knows when it is nurtured and loved completely. Marcus once felt that way. Before maturity and the realities of life began to whisper that life is about choices and sometimes you’re not the chosen one.

      What will become of America’s fatherless boys? What price will society ultimately pay if this trend continues? The clock is ticking.

      Saturday, March 5, 2011

      I Am Only Human

      How often do we make statements that go something like this; "I am only human". "I am only human" speaks to man's fallen sinful condition and accepts this condition as normal. But we who are Christ followers must not accept a fallen sinful condition as normal. The Word of God says in 2Co 5:17 "Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence".

      God says that He is in the process of creating in me the very mind and nature of Jesus Christ.

      Wednesday, January 26, 2011

      Want Knowledge? Check out the book of Proverbs

      The purpose of the book of Proverbs is: to teach people how to attain wisdom, discipline, and a prudent life, how to do what is right, just, and fair. In other words how to apply divine wisdom to daily life. The Key verse is "The fear of the Lord is the begnning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipine".

      I will be sharing more thoughts on the book of Proverbs very soon--please check back

      Monday, January 24, 2011

      A New Heart


      Once a week I help lead a substance abuse recovery class at the Allen County Jail in Fort Wayne Indiana. I told my student-inmates about my visit a few weeks ago to my cardiologist for my annual checkup. The doctor gave me an excellent report. He said that my heart was very healthy for a man my age. Of course he was only talking about my physical heart. But what about my spiritual heart?

      My spiritual heart was at onetime in such bad shape that only God could heal it. But God chose not to rehabilitate my heart instead he created in me a "new heart" and a "new mind". He created in me the heart and mind of Jesus Christ. He gave me a heart and mind that will never die and one day He will give a body that will never die. For those reasons I am eternally grateful and will forever praise and thank Him.

      Saturday, January 22, 2011

      Why I wear the Kufi hat


      Some folks are curious as to why I and the man shown in the picture wear those odd looking hats. This is a picture of the late Umaru Yar'Adua the former President of Nigeria wearing a crown style kufi. Yes that funny looking hat is called a "kufi". Let me tell you why men like me wear the kufi.

      The history and tradition of African clothing is long and intriguing. One item that comes from this lasting culture is the kufi hat. The kufi hat comes from West Africa where men have worn it for years. In West Africa you often see older men wearing a kufi hat every day. It is worn by Christians, Muslims, and African Jews. Many grandfathers and other older men wear a kufi every day to symbolize their status as wise elders, religious people or family patriarchs.

      I am like many men of African decent, who remember the struggles of the African in North, Central, and South America wear my kufi as a witness to those struggles. I wear my kufi not sign of protest but rather it is sign of peace and hope for liberation of all oppressed and impoverish people in the world.

      Friday, January 21, 2011

      Young Single Mothers In Need of Prayer


      Jasmine and her baby daughter Leasia. Leasia is two months old. Also shown in the picture is her friend Talishia. I have known Jasmine since she was a little girl. I was her sponsor when she was baptized at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne Indiana. Jasmine is a single mother facing a number of challenges. She needs our prayers. She is unemployed and looking for a job. She is also looking for an apartment. Please pray that Jasmine finds employment and an apartment.


      Talishia is in the tenth grade and she is expecting a baby in August. Please pray for Talishia.


      I need your prayers. Please pray that God will show me how best to minister to these young women and the many others that I know.

      Tuesday, January 11, 2011

      Repent And Hear The Laughter Of Our Children Again

      About two years ago Bethlehem School closed. Our leaders were saying that we are not closing; we are just consolidating with some other Lutheran schools. But members of our congregation knew the truth; we closed our school. The people in our neighborhood knew that we closed our school. One day in April 2009 while walking the halls of our empty school, I began to feel a deep sadness when I realized that the laughter of the school children was gone from our empty school building. I went straight home and wrote the article below and posted it on Facebook.

      Will the laughter of children be heard at the Bethlehem School building again?
      by Elvis Netterville on Monday, April 6, 2009 at 2:09am

      Will the laughter of children be heard in the Bethlehem School building again? This is a question that many people of the Bethlehem congregation are asking themselves. The leaders say that there will be children in our building again. They say that we will reach out to the community and bring them in—but some of the members have serious doubts. These members believe that with the school closing and with our outreach track record there is little chance that the corridors of our school building will ever again echo the laughter and happy voices of our beautiful school children. There is a sadness that is growing in the hearts of many members. Is this really the end of Bethlehem Lutheran School they ask themselves. How could this be happing they wonder. Surely we could have done something to prevent this. What could we have changed that would have made a difference? The answer is we could have allowed God to change our hearths.

      But what are we to do now? Well if you ask me and I very aware that nobody has ask me. I say that we need to start with repentance—we need to own up to the fact that we have not walked in the light that God has given each one of us. We can not claim that we did not know better—we must admit that we could have done better. We can cry out to God to create in us “new hearts”. New hearts that are humble and open to the changes that God is calling us to make. We can cry out to God to give “new hearts” that are driven by Kingdom values and Kingdom priorities instead of our cultural priorities and prejudices.

      We can ask God to give us the ears, eyes and the heart of Jesus. Ears of Jesus so that we can hear the cries of those who are hurting in our neighborhood. Eyes that see those who are hurting. A compassionate heart that is moved to demonstrate the love of Jesus.

      Will the laughter of children be heard in the Bethlehem School building again?

      Yes I do believe that the laughter of children will be heard in our building again. I do believe that our neighborhood can be a neighborhood where children can run and play in safety and their grandparents can feel secure in their homes. I believe that Bethlehem can be a fountain of joy, peace and wisdom in this community. Yes I do believe!! Yes I do believe that if we confess our wrong doings and wrong attitudes and if we repent, God, who is always faithful, will keep His word when He promised “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

      Yes I do believe that we can hear laughter of generation after generation of children in our hallways if we confess our sins and repent.

      God forgive us for we have done!

      Monday, January 10, 2011

      Indiana: Outreach becoming main focus

      Leaders from the Indiana District met in Fort Wayne in October to exchange their views about the state of Lutheran congregational healthe and missional focus. The leaders represented Indianapolis, Gary and Fort Wayne--where decline in worship attendance and urban decay are common concerns.
      To read more click on news at www.christianurbanministries.com

      Tuesday, January 4, 2011

      God Wants To Give You Freedom and Life.

      You got to change the way you think if you want the freedom and life that God wants give to you. This was my message to the inmates in my substance abuse recovery class at the Allen County Jail last night.

      Norman Vincent Peale wrote "Change your thoughts and you change your world".

      This is also a major theme in the Bible. This is what the scripture says "In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." John was telling people that they had to go in a whole new direction in their thought life if they wanted the blessing of the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 3:1-3)

      This was also the message of Jesus. The Bible tells us in Matthew 4:17 "From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near". Jesus is saying that a change in your thought life is possible and is absolutely required if you to become a part of God's family and kingdom.