A. Chapters 4-6, Perseverance

Chapters 4-6

Confederate Statues and Monuments – JLD

Scattered throughout the southern regions of the United States are various confederate statues and monuments. You would think after the Civil War all symbols of Southern Pride would be banned as Nazi ones are in Germany, but our country loves to be different. And by different I mean deifying those who fought to continue the injustice of slavery, by seceding from what became the United States of America. They say it is not about racism, and slavery had nothing to do with the civil war, but the articles of secession from each state that fought against the union, prove the confederacy did have racial motivations. So for this reason, many southern cities are citing that confederate statues no longer represent who they are as modern, diverse cities with momentum, yet in The Church and The Community, Page 165, I wrote about the towns that are holding fast to the confederacy. Read and learn.

Apologizing For Your Overt Racism – JLD

Of course there are some who say racism does not exist, and that most people do not see color; time and time again these assertions are proven to be false. In The Church and The Community, Page 92, I wrote about a Hispanic co-worker at Sears, who accidentally forgot to return a credit card to the customer. Ten minutes later, the customer returned to the store and demanded the card that the “illegal immigrant stole”, and with my co-worker on lunch break, I frantically looked for it around the cash register. My manager came over and by this time, the customer was calling his credit card company saying to shut off the card… the illegal immigrant is probably buying things right now in the mall. Then my co-worker returned, and showed us where in the register he hid the card. Most stories of racism end here, but in this same chapter I detail another half dozen, though in only one, the racist apologized.

Vote Today and Vote Wisely – JLD

As midterm elections are upon us in the United States, we are presented with various candidates who may, and may not, support our values. And depending on your religious beliefs, the decision might be further complicated by trying to decide which secular leader, secretly (or openly) aligns with your theology. One movement or party though, is gaining momentum again in the United States, yet their premise stands in opposition to the Bible. In The Church and The Community, Page 74, I talked about Socialism, and likened it to a situation where my siblings took property from myself that they felt they deserved. Forget capitalism, entrepreneurship, hard work, or even reaping what you sow… just take from the people who have more, to give to people who have less. Socialism. Now ask yourself if the candidates you support, support the idea of socialism. Thoughts to consider, as you vote.

Never Forget Terrorism and Heroism – JLD

It has been 17 years since terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in New York, but many adults in my generation, remember it like it was yesterday. We recall vivid details of where we were, what we were doing, and why our country subsequently went to war against Islamic Terrorists in the Middle East. We will also never forget the heroism of the first responders, the sacrifices they made, and the emotional trauma that haunts many of them, to this day. I personally made the decision. Sadly though, there is new generation that was not alive, does not know, and does not feel the threat of terrorism. They might have a friend or relative who joined the military in the aftermath of 9-11, but without witnessing the terrorism and heroism yourself, it is all too easy to forget. In The Church and The Community, Page 105, I wrote about 9-11… may it be a legacy and reminder to all those who read.

Pastor, Founder, and CEO Departures – JLD

When the planting or senior pastor leaves a Church, whether for good reasons or bad, the membership painfully feels the effects. The same happens when a founder decides to part ways with the company he built, and if an outgoing Chief Executive Officer is unable, or unwilling, to help the oncoming, the transition is rarely smooth. Add in the concept of the “source” (https://medium.com/maptio/taking-over-from-a-founder-ceo-why-it-goes-wrong-and-how-to-get-it-right-c424e7821f37) and it is no wonder why most organizations tank in the aftermath of losing their head person. The board and employees and members thought they would be able to easily keep the operation afloat… of course they did. The best leaders lead so well, they make their job look easy. In The Church and The Community, Page 79, there is the story of a church that crumbled after their Senior Pastor stepped down from leadership. I encourage you to read it, and educate yourself on the complexities of high level transitions, BEFORE you find yourself considering or dealing with one.

Talk To Young Adults About Sex – JLD

Adulthood legally begins as early as 15, but can be recognized as late as 21 years of age. In most of the world though, 18 is the average age wherein someone is legally considered an adult. Often, mentors and parents are comfortable talking with young adults about driving vehicles, purchasing alcohol, using weapons and voting, but few are willing to talk to young adults about sex. If a boy or girl is old enough to copulate, they are more than old enough to talk about it! Despite the awkwardness or difficulties, in order to ensure our future generations are making wise choices, we needto prepare them for the implications and realities of being sexually active. In The Church and The Community, Page 113, I said not to believe singles or young adults, when they assert they are abstinent. Many of us were similarly dishonest, with ourselves, and learned life the hard way. It’s time to talk about sex.

Implications of Restoring How It Used To Be – JLD

I wish things would go back to the way they used to be… really? You want to give up running water and modern medicine? It’s time to make America great again… when were we ever great? During the period women when had no vote, or are you referring to the time blacks were enslaved? The problem with nostalgia is a failure to recognize the mistakes of the past, and realize the advances of the present make today our best moment. Yes, there is something in yesterday we might want; it comes with baggage we cannot afford. The best way to thrive in the present, and future, is to burn our ships Viking style, and discard our past, because “if going back is an option, you will retreat when the going gets tough”. This is a direct quote from The Church and The Community, Page 64, where I talked about how to succeed in the present, and beyond. Will you, or will you die in the past?