As we mourn, filter through our emotions and reflect on the recent tragedy in Charleston South Carolina I was challenged with what response I personally should give as a black man and a pastor. Then as a local church. The thought pattern became more intriguing when I thought about what response the unified church should give. The following are a few thoughts about what I believe the church should do in response to the shootings. This list is not exhaustive or a end all, but a start.


  1. Talk About Race: This is the perfect time and place to talk about race relations in America….AGAIN. If you consider that its the south, a terrorist act against a black church, and 9 black people dead at the hands of a racist white man, you cannot help but draw historical parallels with the 16th Baptist church bombings and the general disregard for black life. Feels like we are back at the beginning. Perhaps the reset should be a restart of a conversation between black Americans and white Americans, and honestly white Americans with other white Americans, that we and they have not fully had.


  1. The Humility to Repent: Racism is a difficult conversation for everyone, but particularly for white Americans. But there can be no true healing without an acknowledgement of fault from those at fault. A full admission too. It is both courageous and humble to acknowledge historical and ancestoral wrongs to those whom have been violated. There is no true healing when we medicate a symptom. Repentance is the only pathway to true healing. If I had my way, Id like to see prominent white pastors acknowledge the issue, accept a historical responsibility to it and participate in the strategy for healing- then teach about it from their pulpits.

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50 years ago this weekend (March 7, 1965), at the foot of the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, 600 civil rights activists attempted to execute a peaceful march from Selma to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery. This march was to be a public, but peaceful show of defiance against the segregationist repression that violated black American citizens and their right to vote. However, after leaving Selma no one could have ever imagined the scene that would happen next. Alabama state troopers and county law enforcement together attacked the unarmed marchers with Billy clubs and tear gas. Men, women, elderly were voraciously beaten and attacked until they were pushed back to the other side of the bridge. To this day one of the most publicized media photos of Bloody Sunday is that of Amelia Boynton lying unconscious in the street from the attack. The offense was considered so violent that the event was earned the nickname “Bloody Sunday.”

As a believer in Christ and an advocate/activist of sorts, I have an abiding call to justice and a healthy respect for overlooked watershed moments. These are the events, the words, or the actions that are critical to a movement but are not as visibly recognized outside of the insider circles. Bloody Sunday was such. As the years have passed that dreadful day has been washed out or in some circles blended in to such a degree that its significance has been hard to find. However, Selma proved the metal of the civil rights movement. Selma put the violence response to the movement on national television. Selma publically showed the Jewish community a committed ally with the Black community -they were not just willing to fund her, but to willing suffer with her. Selma invited the nation into the nightmare black Americans were experiencing. Selma ultimately helped tip the White House to finally craft the bill that would later pass and become the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Selma cannot be lost or forgotten in our quest for equal freedoms, for I fear that lovers of justice will again be tested in future generations. The lessons of Selma are on your side.

Note from me: this is not my usual blog style blog and I will get back to all the motivational/inspirational stuff next month- but when RESPECT is deserved, it should be given. I pause to respect the movement, the Selma Marches and the participants in particular and its 50 years of significance.

If you want to learn more: Oprah Winfrey’s Selma, a depiction of the Selma events was an awesome and a fantastic cinematic piece to enjoy. However, equally as moving is the award-winning documentary Eyes on The Prize. This is a 14 hour documentary has more time to lay out the context and significance and history of civil rights events. Hint: episode six is wholly dedicated to the Selma marches and Bloody Sunday. God bless!

Wake Up Ur Dream


Newness is in the air again! It’s 2015 and time to make lots of resolutions and promises to yourself about how you’re going to make life more fulfilling, in 2015 than 2014 right? Right. Im not against any of that, in fact I encourage it and want to make a suggested addition to your list of things to do this year and that is: BE INTENTIONAL…. because none of it will happen if you are not intentional about them happening. Below a list of 10 things you should consider being intentional about in 2015…Check them out and tell me what else will you add?

1. Intentionally Make positive memories– take a trip, do an outing, put a tent up in the back yard, or go to a game. But whatever you do laugh hard, enjoy the process then log it, write about it, and take enough pictures to remember the joy of it. Be intentional about making memories- remembering them will give you lots of joy for years to come.

2. Intentionally Work Toward Your Personal Goals– Goals do not accomplish themselves. Take an intentional approach toward accomplishing them. Write your steps and start moving toward them.

3. Intentionally Forgive Yourself– You’re gonna mess up this year. Yes you are, so stop thinking and acting like you are above it. Owning your flub up is a sign of humility, and forgiving yourself and moving in a more positive direction is a sign of maturity. Do that intentionally this year and watch the weight of guilt and shame lift off you so you can be free to try again. Keep Reading →

20 Thoughts about the Midwest: Most of you know that I live in California but I am from the Midwest city St. Louis, Mo. The past few days I been hanging out in a few of my favorite Midwest cities and I just thought Id share a few reflections and observations about Midwest life that makes it so unique and at times down right awesome. Here are a few of the things I observed:

1. The radio. I miss the radio. Multiple stations with multiple genres and 24 hour gospel stations. Churches that broadcast live on Sundays! Talk radio to the umpth degree, and the local stations bump the local artists no matter what. They put them locals in rotation like they are selling platinum. DJ’s cuss, scratch, and mix live on the radio and its not even Sirus satellite ! I love it!

2. The People are the best. Kindness is a forgotten art, but not in the Midwest. Everyone speaks! Even in the hood people speak to each other! (Still don’t mean they won’t whoop yo behind, but if your cool, they speak!)

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1. I think Your Present Self Has More Potential Than Your Former Self. The implications associated with ‘finding you’ often result in losing people; none of the least of these people include your former self. Dying to what was, who you were, and how you did it is a commitment. Commit to operating in new paridigms that enhance where you’re going instead of trying to recreate where you’ve been.

2. I Think Who You Were Can Be An Enemy To Who You Want To Become. Living in yesterdays victories are the blocks for complacency and irrelevancy. If life and industry are always evolving, so does your life and industry. Past victories are an indictor of success potential, but not of success itself. So keep focused on the trends ahead with a firm hand on the solid norms that work and stay relevant in the game of life and industry.

3. I Think You Should Go For It. I mean really go for it. What was the last thing you put your entire self into? When was the last time you put a measured risk into something? Too often we go after high yield returns with a low measured investment. You will never go big, being small; to be big, you have to go big. So go big. Go for it.

4. I Think You Should Read More. Read to learn or read to relax. Reading is a habit of some of the most successful people in the world. If you are relaxing, it will help you share experiences or can take you to places (some real and some imaginary) that you otherwise could not have gone. And if for learning it’s an opportunity to gain ideas and tips from the smartest and brightest for much less than college would cost! Even in the world of video technology, the best stuff is still in books, not on video.

5. I Think You Should Review Your Friends. “You are becoming the five people closest to you.” It’s one of the clichés that have the most truth. If you look around and you are not satisfied with the lifestyle, commitment, and focus of those closest to you, you are likely not satisfied with yourself. Im not saying to dump your friends, but I am challenging you to expand your circle. Find associates you can grow from and be challenged by.

That’s what I think… Wake Up Ur Dream

Im reflecting about some of the worlds current events; the Gaza conflict, Russia/Ukraine unrest, Border security issues, Boko Haram, BRICS union, the minimum wage challenge, etc and I am amazed at how we can live in a world so dangerous, yet so exciting and full of potential all at the same time.

This is the time the thinkers concoct their greatest ideas, diplomats do their best diplomacy and the producers produce at unprecedented rates; protestors protest with earnest, praying people pray with fervor and get results, and even though the times feel uncertain, unsteady ground is the most fertile ground for change to grow.

These times are not to be feared, but embraced and participated in. Its not a time to bury your head and hope the wind blows over; but its the time to extend your wings and let the winds of difficulty take you further than you ever dreamed or imagined you could go. Civilizations advance in conflict. Hero’s are made in conflict. Your life grows in conflict. The Kingdom of God is advanced in conflict.

So whatever conflict our world faces or that you personally are facing in your life, embrace the challenge, participate in the solution, and watch the landscape of your life change for the better. It will get better if you participate in the change that makes it better.
This is a great time to be alive!

In Him,


I’ve witnessed panicked mothers navigate through seeming impossible circumstances to get their sick children to hospitals; I’ve seen a physically, emotionally, and financially depleted father and mother figure out unconventional methods to keep their children fed and with a roof over their heads; I’ve seen a troubled businessman create the most amazing idea during a down spiral in the market and make thousands… The common denominator in these all these people is that they all had a type of success ignited by a personal misfortune.

For many people, misfortune tells a tale of a sad hard luck story, with the greater emphasis on the ‘hard luck’ versus the rest of the story. However, for many other people, high achievers, positive thinkers, etc, misfortune is the water needed for their genius to swim in. Misfortune, if you understand its nature, is not really to point out your “mis,” its really to point you toward your “fortune.” See, the reason why a panicked mother can drive through traffic, surpass lines and get her baby to the ER is because her misfortune drove her to an unprecedented level of focus; why the father found ways to feed his family with no thought of failure or embarrassment from his peers? Because his misfortune forced him (and many of parents) to tap into their untapped sense of purpose and creativity to make meals, spin deals, and otherwise to provide for the family. Even many great inventors and business types don’t produce their best until they’ve reached near their worst.

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There really is no such thing as a one sided relationship that is considered healthy. If this is inspected maturely and truthfully every person in any type of relationship is engaged in it, at least in part because of what they receive from the relationship. You get married or have friends because of something they provide; they make you laugh, support you, encourage you, keep you from being lonely, or can stand to be the object of your affections etc. We enter business relationships because they can further our pursuits, help us make money, etc… There is nothing wrong with expecting something from a relationship that you give into. The people that you pour into and are in connection with should provide something meaningful to your life. It is fair and right to expect that. It creates the balance necessary to give the relationship worth. Any relationship without reciprocity should be reevaluated. One-sided relationships are fertile grounds for bitterness, and anger, so stay away from them.

If you consider that most well developed nations spend billions of dollars answering three essential questions necessary for current sustainability and future development then you will understand better why our history is important. Those three questions are:

– Who am I?

– Where in the world am I?

– How did I get here?

Answering these vital questions make national libraries, Historic Institutes, and academic history departments necessary to human development. The knowledge of ones history gives a nation a strong sense of knowing that they belong somewhere, knowing where that is, and it provided the identity of who they should be when they are there. Given this power, if ever, a person wants to control your development, its as simple as offering you a faulty account of your history and replacing it different information. These false truths about people, races, and particular individuals can have very destructive results. If you/we accept these false thoughts and ideas at face value, with no personal introspection, you/we will become who someone has told you/us to become; you/we will accomplish at the limits they have set for you/us and you/we will produce what they have willed for you/us to produce. For this reason it is important for you specifically, evaluate everything you have been trained to think about yourself, your life, your abilities, and your potential outcomes. To do this you must start by reviewing your life history; good or bad, you must review you, and then move forward with a God-strategy.

So, I ask, what have you been told about you, your abilities, and potential?  Whose ideals have you been living out from day to day? If you will consider for a minute a the history of you life and a few things Jesus Christ says about you and, perhaps you can answer those three questions for yourself and navigate yourself toward Gods best for you. Go back, to go forward.