Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’


Well it’s about that time to go to the dance floor of the first three way of 2018. And you know what time it is. For those who are just reading this for the first time I do a “three way dance” on this blog in which I summarize three different stories into one. That’s a three way. For this, I’m commenting about the retirement of Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, the recent crap out of H&M, and a local radio comments about “being church hurt.”

First on the dance card: The retirement of Chief Ed Flynn.

If those in Milwaukee haven’t heard: the first announcement of a retirement of 2018 has been declared that Ed Flynn is stepping down as police chief of the city. Just to think that 10 years ago this month of January,  he came in as an outsider to Milwaukee in which Mayor Barrett wanted a police chief to make a difference. And yes, it wasn’t an easy search. But it paid off. Ed Flynn was sent to Milwaukee from Massachusetts at a time that the community and citizens were deeply concerned. They were concerned about out of control crime, tension, happenstance, and the ability of one word: trust.  There were other concerns but to me that was a concern that many feared in Milwaukee. The crackdown on fear in the city was heavy issue to tackle. But it was faced in a new way. Ed Flynn had brought in new ideas since his first day on the job. Again, this was 10 years ago.

In the past decade, under Chief Ed Flynn in the Milwaukee Police Department:

Technology – the birth of CompStat and the Greater Milwaukee Committee with new ideas of data driven.

Crime Analyst Program

Early Intervention Program

Opioid Task Force

OMAP – Office Management Analyst and Planning

Neighborhood Task Force

Crisis intervention team

ShotSpotter

Homeless Outreach team

Implement of the  Digital Radio System

Creation of the Salvation Army Chaplaincy Program

Body Camera Programs

Social Media

Town Hall Meetings with President Barack Obama and Steve Harvey

Awarded over 1600 medals of heroism

He is the 5th Police Chief since the Harold Brier Days serving longer than any of the previous predecessors behind the badge. And with the announcement of his retirement, Chief Flynn along with the 10 years of policing in Milwaukee, he has accomplished 40 years overall with Law Enforcement.

This is just a few examples of what the Milwaukee Police Department had experienced under the “Ed Flynn Era of Change”. However, there are those in Milwaukee felt that the Chief didn’t do enough to curb the violence of Milwaukee’s concern. There are those whom are going to say that oh, Chief Flynn didn’t do crap because of the corruption of certain cops harassing black people in Milwaukee. It’s a common thing, ask the activist whom are out in the funk everyday. Yes, there were hits and misses. The Chief knows this as do we. Chief Ed Flynn will remain on the desk until February 16th in which he’ll return to the east coast with his family.

Second Dance:  The Mess of H&M.

Oh, let me go in on the first mess of 2018.

This story though, was so crazy. A black child on the UK version of the H&M Website is posed with a green hoodie stating the words: “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” We looked at that site and it was lit with hate and unfavorable examples of why racism is not just an American problem, but more of a INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT! As the story also went on, the mother of the boy (whom is black) went on the social media and act is if that it’s nothing. And oh, the words “get over it” was used. When I hear the words “Get Over It” it usually comes from White Folks on Black Folks regarding slavery. Now you have a black woman in a different country telling us black folks who see her son in a hoodie with a coded message telling us to get over it. I mean what year is this again? This maybe 2018 and we just got here on the 18 train, but the fact of the matter is that, the more things change the more things remain the same.  Sorry Millennials: that is everyday life! This is like the house negro and field negro comments that Malcolm X often said. Yeah, we know what he said. The mother said also she wanted the money. Those dollar signs. When that picture again went viral, so did those whom were celebrities like Diddy whom wanted to sign the boy a modeling contract based on this matter. Remember Rachel Dolezal? Me neither. She made a picture that had a different message on it. Other folks redesigned the picture adding two crowns to signify the pride of the young boy being a future king.  Now why I’m talking about this: Why is H&M is distracting us from the real issues of the world and merely our country? When we wake up in the morning, reading the news, social media, and all we talk about the news with distractions! We’ve been distracting by the news for weeks, months, years, era, generations, conflicts, etc. That’s been a problem since day one! Are we surprised by this? Yes and no.  And this mother whom ever she is must realize that one day when another child comes up and puts on a shirt, pants or what ever that has some coded message per say that many will disagree with, they will talk! And again the deep discussions will reignite the reasons why. No matter if you’re in America, the UK, Africa, or ANY COUNTRY that deals with racism every day!

Final Dance on the Card: Being Church Hurt

Last week on the first Friday of the year, I listened to WNOV’s The Forum Program. And the full 3 hours of the program was about those who have been “church hurt”, or being hurt by the church. It was based on the article that some folks read (mainly younger black folks)  about the reasons why they don’t attend church. And I’ll bet it came from those who haven’t been there. It also featured those whom have had history in the church ranging from bishops, ministers, and members whom have those vivid memories but mostly it was NEGATIVE!  As I was listening to the program, it was coming from those who say it was a scam, the black church don’t allow the LGBT no love,  and other negative factors. Oh the issue of money was conversed.

I want those being effect by this “church hurt” thing to hear me out on this. Yes, there are pastors, bishops, deacons, and many other church leaders that did things negatively on the value of money. Yes, it’s true. BUT: don’t assume that it’s all of the Churches! Not all the churches are about MONEY. Not all of the church are about kicking out the LGBT. Not all the Church are about the erasing the thought of supporting young folks. Not all churches are about hating on someone who is in need of coming in to keep warm from the freezing cold! Not all CHURCHES are the same! WAKE UP! If that were the case, I wouldn’t be in church now! I’m sorry you’ve been hurt. Church hurt. But many of you members who haven’t been to any the services in a minute, and you’re complaining, why haven’t you come forward? Ok, maybe you have been working. Raising families. Taking care of a senior person. Or sat out and did nothing. And you complain. If you complain and not attended the service, you need to go! If you are on the membership roll that haven’t been at the services, meetings, events, activities or there special outings to support or donate, then you need to retool and revise your membership! Hate to say that.

Don’t always assume that the church is ALL evil. What is evil is being put or driven by those who spoil the bunch. That is EVIL! Hell, I wouldn’t stepped into a 4th Generation family tradition that I wouldn’t be able to work, earn scholarships, utilized groups (both men and women), photograph archives, record sermons and still raised almost 28 years later! That’s right, this June will be my Church Anniversary of coming in as a full member through conformation class.  That’s a joy.  And that’s positive. And the Church NEEDS MORE POSITIVE OUTLOOKS! Not just hearing the music or the sermons. And also the biggest issue that many have against the church besides the money and pastor, is when we get done hearing the sermons, we go out to eat to Red Lobster or a local restaurant. Church folks got to eat too! There are 168 hours in week. The Average hours on a Sunday morning Worship Service is like what, 2 hours? So in those two hours of Church, we go to the restaurant and chow down for about 1 hour or so. And we go home. BUT THE WORSHIP WORK in the week goes on. It goes on at your job. Your community centers. Your Activities of recreation, homes, the elderly, Your Sorority, Fraternity, Veterans Groups, Peace Groups, Activism, Alumni Associations, etc. Even when you help folks to Vote! That is your Worship Work in the continuation of the Church! Think about that. If many more folks in Milwaukee who were listening to that broadcast would actually get it, they would actually get it. I know some understand.

I say this mainly to Milwaukee. After all, it was a Milwaukee Black Radio broadcast of WNOV that commented on this. We know what the host said. We know what the guests said. And we know that. But look here: it’s not perfect. Many of you go to clubs on Saturday Night, partying in all. Being catered. Which is nothing wrong at all. But also, like the church at times, there are members of the clubs whom can be hypocritical of the DJ, the clothes, the set up, the bar, the drinks, the food, the parking, and the security. Just like your jobs, groups and etc.

You don’t hear me!

We’re trying. We know it’s hard. After all, being a Christian or a every Sunday church person is not just happenstance. It’s a hard job. Period. But with God’s grace, we’re up for the challenge.

Amen.

 

 

 

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Oh we have heard this haven’t we?

The sermon quote that is making rounds Online and on TV. By now, there was a line in a sermon that Pastor Jamal Bryant said that is turning heads. And I don’t mean turning heads.

Let go in on this commentary/sermon thing about Pastor Jamal Bryant and this thing he said.  It’s time to go in!

First, lets review of what he said in the entire 29 minute sermon:

Now since the long review is out of the way. What is the matter, world? Ok, so a pastor like Jamal Bryant who is well known in Baltimore, recites a sermon that features a lyric from one of Chris Brown’s songs, “These Hoes Ain’t Loyal.” I’ll bet many on the Youtubes, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vine and many others had to format their video stuff on lock just for world to hear and see the Pastor and the four words. Really? Is this what is becoming a fad in the videos now? Without expressing the entire truth? Many today are just what I am about to say is: not getting the big picture. And just to think, I had a chance to revisit that. This is why many in America just don’t get it. Even the pastor had to defend his stance on his platform on today’s edition of News One Now with Roland Martin.

In the commentary, Pastor Jamal Bryant yes used the word hoe. However that was not just referring to women. Men can be the same element and follow suit also. He also said in the commentary that his life isn’t perfect. That goes for everyone. And to top it off, he’s not the only pastor in history that has said something well “controversial”. Remember this?

Oh yes. Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The former pastor of President Barack Obama, which he was talked about during the 2008 Campaign. And many of the so-called patriotic, going the right of the United States of America had to go on the offensive of the stance of Rev. Wright. They called him a racist. They called almost every name in the book. And having the gall to believe that this man a pastor that Obama knew for about 20 years was actually saying God Da*n America. Why? Why this? Just a reminder, when Rev. Wright at the time of the remarks, was reflecting about the issues that America had gone though. Ranging from inheriting slavery, to bombing other Countries, doing the most of the illegal shenanigans, and many other issues that the world knew at the time, and even today. Many here in the good ole’ USA per say need to WAKE UP!!!!  Especially those who feel that the country is going through positive changes where those are still struggling the game! Every 4th of July, I said this last year and yes I will say this in month ahead, after the parades, after the barbecues, movies, and yes the fireworks, will we still be the country that will live up to the adage that all men are created equal? Ponder that when the country turns 238 in July.

Now,  getting back to Pastor Jamal Bryant, and his “controversial sermon”. I’ll bet that many of the readers, had or have pastors who said things in their sermons that were controversial. And yes, me too. Some are probably saying like: “Oh, the pastors can’t say that in NO CHURCH!!” They supposed not to be clarifying secular quotes, or going to secular places to “save the unsaved” or “bring those to church out of those bars and clubs, and raptures”.  That’s a load of bull. I ask this: WHY NOT?!! Just because they are pastors of a church?!! Here is something that I know pretty well asking: what  about the children? Guess what, the kids hear this stuff going on also. When you have children in the pews as well as adults in the pews with them and the pastor says these sermons that seem controversial, guess what it’s going to be heard in various ways. My currently pastor has referenced N words, B words, D words, and many other WORDS that many are afraid to say in a church, that is archived. Many of you are probably asking, why you didn’t leave your church after hearing those words? Here is my thing, when a sermon comes up I listen and take notes on everything. Not just the snippets like everyone else. I began to analyze sermons and well as many forms of public speaking in college. The tones of the speeches or sermons I know relates to the attitude of the document. Plus also I remember taking Philosophy classes and I learned about provoking the thought of documents and speeches. Oh yes, I know! What Pastor Jamal said is nothing new. I’ll bet many have said the same thing in the pulpit. Either it got them in the hot seat, or in standing ovation of praise. It makes no difference.

So why are we tripping? We hear about this stuff everyday. Look at your local news. Look at Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, or your favorite celebrity that got caught in a crossfire of rumors that is blowing up! Remember when in my blog stories ago where I written that the church has ears and eyes in the community of what is going on? This is one example!

I don’t care if you go to church or not. I don’t care if you believe that Jesus died for our sins, or just a fantasy. If you love God, and/or FEAR GOD, a fan of religion or just think it’s babble.  And I certainly don’t care if you live your life being an Atheist. Or whatever. Guess what? It’s real! No one is above anything or anyone. Even if you are a non-believer that went from Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran or any other denomination in the religion game and try to be a free thinker. I am a fourth generation member of my UMC Church and I am a Free Thinker at the same darn time! Can I get a witness here? It can happen folks. That’s like saying, you can free think all you want, but remember your principles and what got you here!

Now this sermon talk thing, I predict that it will last………about two weeks. And what next? Something else. So yeah it’ll stay fresh for about a couple of days and then it will be a thing of the past. Just wait.


I was on the net today in really, of the Melissa Harris-Perry Webpage on MSNBC’s site. Her featured letter was addressing the issue concerning the angle of Hot 97’s DJ, Mr. Cee. I’m sure of us have been paying attention about him sharing his testimony about his recent arrest and also his admittance of his encounter with a transgender individual. As I was listening to the conversation online, yes he was in pain. He was in pain from all of the lies and turmoil that has been surrounding him. I’ll be honest, it was open. It was on point. And yes, it’s was real for him to do this. If those don’t know what’s up, here’s is the entire interview of what took place.

BUT BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY: This interview may contain some adult themes. Be advised. 

What you just heard was just about 30 minutes of Mr. Cee utilizing his confession, and also having doubts of not returning to work. In a way, he did accept his 12:00pm time slot show. Also, as I was looking at the comments on Melissa-Harris Perry’s page about this story, yes, the comments had to ring out. Now many had support of him. But there were questions or statements about not bringing God into this. Why is so many continuing to say: “don’t bring God into this.” Or “Jesus needs to be out of the conversation.” It’s time to admit this, and I’ll say it here. IN EVERY CONVERSATION: no matter what it is, God is in every story conversation. Many are saying how so? I don’t believe no Gods, no Jesuses or any thing that’s all holy. No need for the church to get involved. NEWSFLASH: you don’t need a church with four walls and a sanctuary to clean out or to make a confession of concern. Let’s just say, God was using Mr. Cee in his testimony in terms of coming out of his confession. God was using Mr. Cee to go to that station with the odds of this Transgender/Arrest angle to tell the truth. No matter what. If the “cleansing” portion of the interview was his confession or his “come to Jesus Meeting”, then I would infer that was his need of setting the record straight. No matter how private or public it maybe. It’s not easy for anyone to tell secrets or those like that to remain in the Pandora’s box. But God willing that Mr. Cee doesn’t have to worry about this matter.

I had to bring up this “don’t put God in this” thing on this story because, folks at times don’t want to be all religious. Many don’t realize that there are connections. Or parallels into objectives like this one. We see it all the time. 12 years ago when the World Trade Center was attacked, many were asking: “Where was God that day?” I’ll tell you this. God was working with the firefighters, the policemen, the construction workers, the medics, American Red Cross, and many others in need of help. Those locating their loved ones trapped in the rubble and also those who wanted to comfort from all the drama and pain that was transpired. The same with those who were affected with the Boston Marathon Bombing, and most recently with the Colorado Flooding. Now those maybe National Disasters, in which those are common. But what does that have to do with Mr. Cee’s recent confession? Did he have support while on the show? Yes he did. Ebro wanted him to stay despite of his concern.

Also: this has to be a statement and I’ll make it plain. The Hip Hop world, must not shy away from this. Remember when Harry Belafonte was going towards the likes of Jay Z and Beyonce about “social responsibility”?  And many had the negativity of them doing charities? Well let me tell you as a fan of Hip-Hop since Run DMC made their rhymes of Reading Rainbow back in the 80’s and such:  No more hiding. And STOP TRIPPING! It’s OK to keep track of your endorsements, your connections, your stacks of hits, or many others in the game, but with an issue such as this needs no money. That does not matter. All you have to do is see the responsibility, and take it. Now many not want to do it. But it is an responsibility in a social sense. And this goes for the Local DJ’s here in Milwaukee also. I got love for them, but they better come with a sense of Social Responsibility!

But we know that they won’t come out for this. As long they have fans of all allies ranging from the LGBT to straight, religious, alternative, and many others, this is one responsibility, that needs attention!

Many are still saying, “don’t bring God into this.” Well, the almighty God in another way, has been involved.

Literally.


I’ve been saving this for quite sometime now. Today, I will be sharing a common thing that is going on in churches and also via social media. Tweeting in church. Oh yeah, I’m going there. But before I do this, I want to let those who might be offended or extremely sensitive about this: It’s not. And no it’s not going to get you into hell nor dance with the devil. Allow me to explain.

As most of you know based on my past blogs, I am apart of the United Methodist Church. I’m actually a 4th Generation member of my church in Milwaukee. A couple of years back, I started to tweet messages from my church’s sermons in which I feel is a common thing among the 21st Century churches. Plus the United Methodist Church has a moniker of Rethinking Church  in terms of being thinking outside of the box. That’s like going to the Motown Museum and seeing the actual studio office that Berry Gordy had one question after 9:00am, What’s next? By the way it’s a good site to go to while visiting Detroit.

But back to the lecture at hand: Why do I tweet in Church? Now alot of you Ministers or you Lay Leaders, or an Old School Usher that always has the finger up. Or maybe being dressed up in a nurses outfit. I see them in the Baptist churches. Or if you’re Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or another person of faith that may not like this, but it’s a way to be on the cusp on communication. This is what the young kids are doing now. Mostly. Technically, I’ve been tweeting in the pews for the last few years. And I have to say that it has been a good thought of expressing Sermon quotes from the pulpit. Another reason is, that let’s say that you or someone you know may have missed that church service, and wondered about what the pastor said in that sermon. If you can’t remember that title of that sermon, usually I put up a Quote followed by the words: Sermon in Church now. And I do the hashtags for catching on either with or without the connection of twitter. Let me give you an example:

“Facing The Darkness” – Sermon in Church now.

As far as the hashtags: #rethinkchurch #unitedmethodistchurch (or #umc) #milwaukee #wisconsin; usually I add an occasion like these hashtags like  #lent2013 #advent #easter #mensday #womensday #ashwednesday and others I think it’s vital. It’s good thing in which ONE can do while doing and listening to a sermon in church. Again, I know that most or some may not feel that Twittering is a good thing. Believe me, I got the folks like “oh you’re facebooking in church. You better pay attention.” You can connect your tweets to your facebook wall. Now this was one of my friends since elementary school that blurt this out. What I’m doing in church with Twitter (sometimes with Texting more on that later)  is nothing more being relevant! That is what John Wesley wants UMC’s like me to do! John Wesley for those who are non-christian or non-United Methodist was the founder of Methodism, which many years later transcended to the now known United Methodist Church. Heck, even my Wisconsin Conference UMC thinks this is a good idea, Why? Because I told them based on their Rethink Church Communications Workshops that I attended in 2011. Technically it’s a “Legal Eagle”.

Now I’m going deep here. And I want to address this who like to follow me on Twitter every Sunday: whenever I type in a tweet message from my church pew or church special service, DONT EVER JUMP THE GUN! The reason why I’m saying this, because  I had a person back in September who didn’t know me on Twitter, commented to me on my twitter feeds. The topic I typed in was known as “What is the Church?” – a simple question right? However this came up in which I thought I would never happen. Usually I don’t put those on blast, but I want to call out this person  who put me on blast last fall:

This was the convesation that took place via Twitter mind you:

  1.  ‏@smcclintonjr “What is the church? It supposed to be love, faith, forgiveness.” Sermon quote. #umc #milwaukee #wisconsin #rethinkchurch
  2.  @halehawk  @smcclintonjr I thought it was supposed to be the Body of Christ. #big #difference
  3. @smcclintonjr @halehawk: That can be true. Which it is. But my pastor today talked about it in general terms. He was just saying in general.

    @halehawk @smcclintonjr Jesus is generally taboo in our culture. “Relevant” sermons tend to forget Him too.

     ‏@smcclintonjr @halehawk; Well let me just say this. No sermon should not forget about Jesus. What my pastor said today overall was not forget about(cont)@smcclintonjr @halehawk his teachings and love. As I listened to the sermon today (entire sermon not bits and pieces) his viewpoint to me was (cont’d)@smcclintonjr @halehawk just as equal as having that mindset. I think at times we need to clearly examine what they have to say and how it (cont’d) @smcclintonjr @halehawk (con’td) effects our daily christian lives. Just my two cents.
    Yes, this was the conversation. But I also provided with this comment via Twitter and Facebook:
    Tweetjack: It seems that my tweets from the pews every Sunday is good to many but recently raising eyebrows to some. I write these (cont’d) in order to help spread good news from my church’s sermons every Sunday. Why? its not because of technology, but also to enlighten (cont’d)someone or somewhere. So with that, I’m going to keep tweeting from the pews. However, in order to understand a sermon or speech (cont’d) You have to read or hear EVERY WORD! Not bits, or pieces. Know the 5w’s and articulate them in YOUR christian life, everyday! (cont’d) And also use that to be relevant in the church as well as outside of the church. I’m just saying as a church going, tweeting person.(cont’d) So either to agree or disagree, fine. Just my two cents. TweetJack: (con’td) But I’m glad that the lines of my church’s sermon is reaching out that may need to hear inspirations. #realtalk
    Real talk. We today in the world hear bits and pieces when it comes to sermons. But if I were a person who want hear EVERY WORD, I come into the church sanctuary and hear the entire sermon, say what the pastor has to say, and THEN I can make my own commentary statement. Unlike “@hallehawk” from last September, she didn’t do that. I know her real name which I will disclose, but her twitter name is not. If you know this person, in Florida. Tell her this: Come to Wisconsin.  Come to Milwaukee. Have a sit down talk with the Pastor about why he said what he said and get it over with. And tell her also, what I do with these tweets is not for fun. I don’t get paid for it, nor have an endorsement for it. I do it out of my leisure to those who WANT TO HEAR AND SEE good news from the pews via Twitter.  Whether you are United Methodist Church related or not. If that was so important to her, why not ask for a transcript or a recording? I’m just saying. And for those who feel I’m doing a bad thing by calling her out, let me say this, folks called me out on social media, which at times I fired back. I’m not a minister. No, I don’t hold no papal degrees, or Ministry of Divinity. If the United Methodist Church were to have a Twitter Social Media Ministry in which I could GET PAID Every Sunday per tweet, as a career choice, you darn right I would be paid up the ying/yang. And while were on the subject: I think the United Methodist Church members who do use Twitter, for communications or everyday work, should get compensated. Put that in your UMC Conferences, Annual Conferences, or any other conference that you feel should be beneficial. I’m just saying. And if you are a UMC Member, tweet it up! Or in this case, write letters to your District Superintendents, Bishops and etc. I’m just saying! And part of that can come from Apportionment. We know how we UMC’s do it. Just saying. Hey: Rethink Church! And plus since those in the church who are WAY OLDER THAN ME want to talk about how can the church get more YOUTH and YOUNG Folks into the church, maybe you have to include this.
    According to the standards in which I learned from the 2011 Rethink Church Workshop, which was hosted by The United Methodist Communications:
    • 1.7 Billions are online  – new mission of getting the church online.
    • 75% of Adults are online
    •64% use the internet for faith related reasons
    –Online has become a campfire around which people gather to tell their stories, meet people, and form relationships – all about connections – for resources.
    I had to put this out. Really. And hopefully lessons can be learned from this without judgment. Don’t judge my path if you have walked my journey! And goes for those who feel Tweeting, Texting, Facebooking, Googling, Binging, TweetDecking, and other forms of Social Media is a bad thing by sitting in the pews, and if you are a pastor, lay person or a person of faith that thinks it’s a bad thing or a distraction: Remember this from my pastor, not to call you out but just remember: “Jesus faced darkness. He was successful.” Sermon quote. And to add: Don’t hate the player, hate the game! That needs NO scriptural references! Many might be asking questions.  I know this. But hey, just real about it. And plus since those like to say, why can’t they all that stuff outside of the church? Well guess what. This Twitter thing I do, is a first step!